Tag Archives: learning

For a Moment

I read a meme once and it went along the lines of “People always acknowledge the first time for something but we so easily overlook the last time.  The last time you tuck your child into bed, the last time you drop your child off at school, the last time you gather around with all your friends present, the last time you talk to your mom/dad/brother/sister.  Be thankful, be present”.

That’s not it exactly but you get the jist of the message.  And it is so fundamentally true.

Lives change, children grow, people die, effort is lost and without even realizing it, the last time you’ve done whatever it is you used to do has passed.  That particular meme really impacted me.  Deeply.  It is so so sad but also so so true.  A lot of people spend their lives looking forward with excitement and looking back with regret but rare are those who live in the moment.

How often have you found yourself simply enjoying space with people you love. Listening to the tone of their voice, watching how their eyes wrinkle when they smile, or noticing the way they fidget with the sleeve of their coat.

How often have you gotten busy and cancelled that lunch with an old friend?  Always with the intention of rescheduling but then time slowly slips by and one day you realize it’s been years since you’ve seen your friend and they’ve become more of an acquaintance than a friend.

Being present, really present is difficult.  It takes practice.  It is a conscious choice to forget the last 10 minutes and not think about the next 10 minutes but really pay attention to this very moment.  Once a minute or moment passes, you’ll never get it back.  We only have so many minutes and to turn those into moments leads to a rich life.

I am so very grateful that I started this practice when I did. It has allowed me to appreciate so many moments I knew I would want to look back on and remember, not just what we were doing but the feelings.  The joy, the happiness, the hope.  Without making the conscious choice to acknowledge those feelings, in that moment, I would have just remembered the day but not the impact it had on my soul.

So, if you ever see me just observing, with a soft smile on my face, know I am appreciating the moment.  Observing myself and others around me and just taking it all in.

 

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Merry-Go-Round

Remember when you were a kid and parks had merry-go-rounds? Your friends would dare you to hop on while another one would starting twirling you around and around and around until the world passed you by in a blur? Yeah, I remember those too. Those blessed, dizzy-making, accidentswaitingtohappen machines have all been removed from parks now likely because some parent, somewhere, was mad that their child didn’t come with the qualities of a rubber bouncy ball and hit the ground hard instead of bouncing.

Life is a lot like those crazy ass mery-go-rounds.  You hop off of one of those trips around the circle, dizzy as all hell, your world turned upside down and you have no clue how you’re going to walk one step forward, let alone walk for the rest of the day.  Some kids ignore the blanent obstable of the world spinning in their eyes and think, I got this! I’m gonna make a run for it.  They take off, make it all of a half of a step and crash onto their faces.  Other kids stop, take a breath, close their eyes and simply wait for the world to right itself and then take their step and carry on.  Blissfully unaffected by the stomach turning ride they’d just undertaken.

Can you guess which kid I was?  Yeah, patience never has been a virtue of mine.

I am teaching myself to resist the urge to just run head-long into the dizziness. I am encouraging myself to simply close my eyes, acknowledge the moment, remind myself that whatever situation I’m in, whatever I’m feeling isn’t permanent and if I just stop, experience the dizziness and wait, the world will be right when I open my eyes.  I am also teaching myself that I get to dictate when I’m ready to open my eyes.  No one else does.  I don’t need to explain how much time I need to stand there, I don’t need to explain why I need to stand there and I don’t need to adhere to anyone else’s timeline but my own.  I am allowing myself to experience my feelings, acknowledge them and take the time I need to take to get through it.

I am attempting to put this method of thinking into practice in many areas of my life.  Patience with myself.  Allowing myself to be perfectly imperfect.  Not searching for validation of what I’m feeling or the choices I make from other people.  Simply not searching for validation from anyone but myself.  I am practicing speaking good things about myself without having to caveat that with an explanation.  I am acknowledging my areas of weakness and attempting to accept them.  But more importantly, I am practicing being ok with all of this.

I am a good hearted person. Full stop.

I am an intelligent woman.  Full stop.

I have a quick wit.  Full stop.

I am unmotivated.  Full stop.

I am headstrong.  Full stop.

I am me.  Full stop.

 

She shoots…will she score?

Dropping all of your vices is scary.  Scary but empowering.  Motivating but challenging.  I have a few vices.  I drink too much, not like everyday but usually at every gathering and on Fridays.  We do beer Fridays in my world.  I smoke.  I didn’t for a really long time but I do again.  I eat.  Oh baby do I eat.  I eat good food because I love good food because I can cook good food so I do.  Sedentary.  I am that.  It’s like the food thing.  I am good at sedentary.

All kidding aside, these things are really not helping to lengthen my life.  While a lot of fun, these vices are costly, take a terrible toll on the body and really don’t do much in way of making you feel GREAT about yourself.  This is especially bad considering I am one of those people who love to feel great about myself peoples.  Particularly my strength and physical fitness.  I was strong.  Strong and proud of it.  Now, not so much.  I wasn’t afraid of hiking or jogging because I knew that I could breath and enjoy myself.  Now, not so much.

Clearly things have got to change.  But the thing about me is this…the second I tell myself I *can’t* have something, you can bet your ass I’m going to run out and have 15 of exactly whatever it is I’ve just told myself I can’t have.  Childish?  Yes.  It is what it is.  So, one would think then the easiest way for me to trick myself would be to tell myself I can’t have a healthy meal or can’t run up a hill and then you’d find me eating my salad WHILE running up the hill….right?  WRONG.  Nope, you know what I’d say to myself? “Well you’re clearly out of your mind. We’d better have a beer and a cigarette and contemplate this conundrum”.  Because I work like a slightly off-kilter, needs-to-be-oiled machine.

So this all being said, I’m going to try to learn something new.  lifegoalIt’s called goal setting and achieving.  I’m pretty sure 90% of the population already does this but I do not.  So I’m going to learn.  Fun, right?  Probably not.  BUT I’m pretty sure it’s not going to hurt me either.  I mean not setting goals and not having a plan HAS been hurting me so….

I am a great starter of things…and not a great finisher so that’s my first goal.  To get a plan together and stick to it for 30 days.  I’ll keep you posted….

 

Eager Easter

Easter is right around the corner and lots of folks are focussed on the Bunny, celebratory dinners and the inevitable chocolate hangover.  Other folks are also focussed on the religious aspect of Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Over the years I haven’t put much thought into the whole death and resurrection bit.  I’ve gone to Church, I understand what it all means but I’ve never really thought about it.  I’m talking in a how-does-this-relate-to-me kind of way.  Now I’m starting to think about it.

This time last year, I was still deep in the ditch I had dug for myself, waivering between anger, sadness, embarassment, guilt and a myrid of other emotions.  I was walking the thin line of choice and change.  I expected that change to occur immediately but I was wrong.  So very, very wrong.

The person I was compared to the person I am is like comparing apples to oranges.  There are similarities, for sure. Both are round, both are fruits, both grow on trees, they both have seeds, they come in a variety of types and flavor profiles…really the similarities between apples and oranges are greater than one thinks; however, there are many differences as well.  They’re just not a subtle.

My differences are subtle.  I am blessed with the opportunity to practice these differences and I’m blessed to be able to actually see the change.  That doesn’t mean the same old girl isn’t kicking around in this body, it just means how she’s interacting with the world and the people in it is a little different.  I’m grateful for each new encounter, I’m grateful for each opportunity to be a little more positive, I’m grateful to have the strength to change and I’m grateful for the set backs I’m sure to encounter.  I’m grateful that the people in my life are starting to see and trust in the changes I’ve made and I’m grateful they are all so supportive of who I am. 

I totally get the death and resurrection thing now.  Maybe I just never realized that it’s not always physical.

“…May the past be the sound
Of your feet on the ground
Carry on…”

Happy Easter Everyone. 

 

Hoppy Easter