Day 6: Lots of Sparkle today!

29 Dec

I tried finishing this blog last night but it was 3a.m. and I was bleary eyed so I had to succumb to my sleepiness. On a plus side yesterday was a good day 🙂

Three Sources of Gratitude:

  • Skype/Google Hangout/FaceTime/Internet Video Conferencing Technology: Yesterday at midnight we Skyped with a distant relative for a birthday. Just a few weeks ago I had almost a 2 hour conversation with my Aunt who lives in India. My parents live more than 2,000 miles away from me. My best friend lives 800 miles south. My 91 year old grandma lives in a different hemisphere. The internet and specifically video conferencing technology has enabled me to stay in touch with my friends and family, relationships that in a different time periods most certainly would have deteriorated. My parents still have copies of the letters they would send by post back home when they first moved to the states– these blue little notes covered in writing. I’ll try to find an example tomorrow and snap a mini picture. Relationships are my top priority and so I’m especially grateful to the technology that helps be maintain them.
  • Cousins Who Are Close to Your Age Range: I’m sure our parents didn’t plan it this way but me, my sister and our two cousins are each about 6 months apart. And that’s pretty wonderful. As kids it was great because we’d just get in trouble together. And now that we’re all adults it’s even better, because we still have a playful camaraderie and can also rely on each other for some of life’s more serious tribulations. Over the years I’ve often though how lucky we are, and now it’s down in writing!
  • Cheerful Employees who are part of the Service Industry: I think working in the service industry must be challenging. You never know what you’re going to get slung at you but you’re expected to take it in stride with a smile on your face. It’s like a comedian facing a tough crowd that refuses to laugh; you can’t cut your act short so you just have to find a way to make it work. It’s an incredible feet in my opinion and truly helps set the mood. We had a really nice waiter who responded to our disorganized ordering and last-minute changes with humor and cheerfulness. It made the evening so very joyful.

Journaling One Positive Experience: There were many fun things about yesterday but my favorite I think was my Aunt’s laughter and joy when we went bowling. My Aunt has never gone bowling, I’m not sure if she’d even seen bowling on TV or heard of it before yesterday. But she was shockingly good (scored an 80!) and as so excited. My mom and her were the team captain. Team Aunty kicked Team Mommy’s butts (guess which one I was on). But that’s not actually my favorite part. I think the salient memories of a very fun family outing were (1) When my Aunt told my dad that she had been skeptical but ended up having a lot of fun and (2) When my Aunt jumped up and down excited, laughing with just profound joy and yelled “V for Victory!” All of this proving that we don’t always know what’s best and it’s the unexpected fun that adds the the sparkle to life.

Exercising: Today’s adventure was Racquetball. My dad and I would play when I was in high school quite a bit. And while I brought my equipment with me on my move to the PNW, I haven’t taken the steps to start playing there. I really like Racquetball; you have to be very focused in the moment, make quick decisions, and there is a lot of strategy and skill in acing the ball placement. My dad is very skilled, strategic and experienced (been playing since he came to the States a zillion years ago– my dad’s a dinosaur FYI) BUT he has one weakness…he doesn’t like to run! So I make him hustle, that’s my tactic. He still creamed me 21-11. Today’s exercise was good for many reasons– it involved family, it definitely worked me out (my arm I’m embarrassed to say is VERY sore today…the bowling plus racquetball did me in. Does bowling count as exercise?), it brought back old memories of father-daughter bonding, and I have a new resolved to find myself some racquetball companions when I get back home. Better watch out Pops, I’m gonna be ready for you next Christmas.

Meditation: I’ve been thinking about how I appreciate the small little moments of joy– good laughter in the moment, or taking a bit of chaos or tension and choosing to find the funny or exhilarating in it. These moments bring a type of happiness that is independent of achievement or accolade or even established symbolism. These moments for me are simply a testimony of gratitude, appreciating the gift and joy of life itself. I think it comes from the idea that life simply has innate value, and can be appreciated in it’s own life. I think it’s very similar to the feeling of awe I get when I see a beautiful waterfall or mountain top. and for me at least it is what adds the sparkle to life. I highly prize these moments; they keep me grounded and also add a bit of zest. I’m curious what adds the sparkle to life for others, as I believe it can be different but is important to have.

Random Acts of Kindness: Today’s pick is my friend K. She is a co-worker who has been so kind and welcoming ever since I moved 2 1/2 years ago. When I moved initially, I knew not a soul the big city. It was a very scary change for me because I like being surrounded my people; I found out then I was an extrovert, which when I told my close friends was routinely responded to with an obvious “duh…”. Anyway, K made be feel like I had a person. She invited me to Thanksgiving at her home (we’ve been rocking a solid tradition ever since) and she was and still is an excellent listener to my moments of frustration or anxiety about work. She’s that person that goes out of her way to pay for people meals, always quoting some reason or another that “she owes you.” Her sense of gratitude is profound; unmatched I think by anyone else I know. I’m so very excited to get the chance to fully express my appreciation back to her in a more direct fashion than managing to swipe the bill from a lunch date.

The cousins! All of us passed out on a single bed. Exhausted from a jam packed day of playing in the dirt (seriously, I'm pretty sure that's what we did that day...)

The cousins! All of us passed out on a single bed. Exhausted from a jam packed day of playing in the dirt (seriously, I’m pretty sure that’s what we did that day…)

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