Day 3: Merry Christmas Y’all

26 Dec

So I got derailed yesterday and didn’t accomplish my tasks. I don’t want to dwell on it too much because that would defeat the goal of being more positive. But the quick lessons learned are…

  • I’m finding that “Exercise” and “Random Acts of Kindness” email are the hardest tasks to check off. It’s difficult to carve out the time for exercise. And the e-mail intimidates me because I want it to be extremely thoughtful and perfect (an affliction I find which affects many other tasks). So two solutions for this #1) I’m going to try an exercise each morning before noon AND integrate my family into the endeavor. #2) I’m going to give myself only 15 minutes (max) to write the e-mail…a forced time crunch should still get me a meaningful and genuine e-mail while reiterating the point that saying thanks doesn’t have to be this perfect, scary event– it can actually be easy and integrated into my life. I want to get to the point where I don’t procrastinate on saying thanks because I feel like I don’t have enough time.
  • Waiting until the end of the day to write the blog isn’t going to be sustainable now that I’m home for the holidays. With six people in the house and more to come I’m going to try and start my day with gratitude and write it down and then piece in the other components as they come.

So without further ado…

Three Sources of Gratitude:

  • Old(er) People: Old people are great. My granny for example turned 91 this November and she’s a hoot. I just like being around her and giving her hugs and pestering her. It would take me days to write all the little things she does which are so special to me but suffice to say I like having those who are older, because in many ways it just makes me feel safe. On the other side of the old spectrum is my Aunt who just turned 52. I wouldn’t say that’s old but it is older than me and I was listening her chat on the phone to a well wisher. She just easy peasy rattled off all these wonderful things that happened today. I don’t know why that was touching but it was– maybe because it’s an example of how even as we get older gratitude is still important and obtainable? There doesn’t have to be a lost of wonder or appreciation of life even when we’ve lived for so long.
  • Holidays, Traditions, and Rituals (even/especially? when they didn’t start off as our own): I put up the tree last night! With the help of my Aunt and cousin. It doesn’t have the scent of pine like the real trees from the PNW do but it ain’t too shabby. I showed off our collection of homemade ornaments from grade school. My Aunt started saying that our cousin, who immigrated here a handful of years back, and his wife will have to get their own once they have kids. And I kind of like that idea. Something special to it.
  • Bright, Sunny Days: Today is another bright and sunny day back home. Something about these days just makes me perk up a little bit more. Everything seems to run just a little bit smoother. I left the PNW also on a bright, clear day (rare this time of year). The women next to me on the plane took some of the most gorgeous photos of the rocky mountain range since we could see them so clealry.

Exercise: I did it! I got out the door before noon. My Aunt and mom were going for a walk so I said I’d join for a run, and then even my cousin joined me. The two of us  ran and walked and then ran some more. It was nice, I talked to him about my job some and this blog projects. We had a really nice discussion and got to enjoy the cool crisp air. There were also some silly ducks at the park. We even had a mini race with our mom’s back to the house (them walking but going a shorter route vs. us running the long way home). Well we lost, but I’m adamant it’s because my mom made us walk all the way to the road before we started our job. Also they definitely speed walked (cheaters!).

Journaling One Positive Experience: There were many lovely memories today. My favorite was when my dad’s broken Hindi nearly gave my Aunt a heart attack because she was laughing so profusely. Then there was a wonderful joke made by a cousin– I was asking his wife how she made this delicious ice cream. She said it was easy, just one step. He said yeah, come over and eat some! (Probably not nearly as funny on the paper but I think it gets the point across about how cheesy and fun family times can be). And then there were of course the beautiful Christmas decorations that we went to go see. Christmas lights fall into the same bucket as fireworks for me– they’re mesmerizing, and I could enjoy them for hours without end! Hope you like these snaps.

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Random Act of Kindness: When the day started I wasn’t sure who I was going to write my letter to today. But as I sat down to write, it hit me– who better to celebrate on Christmas Day than my Pops. My father and I have had a rocky relationship at times but overall he’s a good man, a wonderful provider, and most importantly he helped shape my values and sense of right and wrong. It was a sudden realization that came upon me years ago as I was doing a cross-country bike trip, just how profoundly he’d shaped my sense of compassion, and I vowed then to tell him. Well today, almost two and a half years later, I’m following through. The letter is written and I’m going to print it and give it to him tomorrow. I’m very excited!

Meditation: I think, until I have a greater foundation on meditation I might repurpose daily meditation into daily reflection time. I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project which is proving to be very good food for thought. In her latest chapter she discusses her struggle and desire to just be herself. At first this message didn’t really soak through but the more examples she provides, I’ve realized that I took struggle with this. A commenter on Rubin’s blog says sometimes “I wish I could make life easier for myself by following the crowd.” I love this sentence because it really establishes the paradox– in some ways life would be so much easier if we just liked what our mainstream society is equipped to handle, but then we would not be ourselves, and that’s everything. I might be muddling what I like with what society tells me I should like (career paths or degree of financial stability are some examples that stick out) and that knowing that distinction has geared me with some vocabulary that I can bring to the table when talking about my own happiness project (with others or just myself).

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