Day 12: Can we make it a 48 hour day?

6 Jan

I’m going to use some creative license and fuse Friday and Saturday into one giant 48 hour day. Pretty sure this is covered by definition #3 on Urban Dictionary for Creative License. Friday was another travel day, which threw off my schedule, but even today I’m realizing that I’m going to have to make some change to my lifestyle, now that I’m back home, in order to prioritize the 21 Days of Compassion. A few barriers are

  1. The nagging feeling that I have to do errands, chores, cooking or other tasks else I’m living “irresponsibly.” I spent several hours today cleaning and de-cluttering my room, even though  my room was pretty clean already and it wasn’t one of the goals I’d set out for myself today. Sometimes I get caught up in the idea of what I should be doing or have done as an adult of 26 versus staying true to what really matters to me personally given the limited hours in a day.
  2. My internal social butterfly gets the better of me. I commit too much, over plan and overbook. The fact that I’m a good 15-20 minute drive from most of my friends also means I usually am the one commuting for social engagements. Last night I left my house at 5:30pm and didn’t get home until midnight. Not that I didn’t enjoy the company of my friends (in fact I’m the one that suggested dinner!) but dinner turned into drinks and drinks turned into a late night chat at a friend’s apartment and then I gave a friend a ride home. I have to remind myself that the 21 Days of Compassion is not just a hobby but actual something I’m pursuing to help heal and recover. It’s self prescribed medication to being a more whole, well and happy being. I wonder, if I can engage my friends here and integrate them into the activities, similar to what I did with my family back home.

Three Sources of Gratitude:

  • A Sense of Home: A friend once told me that you know you’ve made a home based on the feeling you get when you’re on the flight back. I remember when Seattle became home. I was flying back from Dallas and it was a rare sunny day. The lush greenery came into sight as I landed and my heart filled with pride. Maybe it’s because I’m a Texan, but I very much feel home is  place you’re proud to be from. You want to show it off and share it with everyone.Years ago I read a Nathaniel Hawthorn quote about new places: “Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil. My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.” The part that is left off is making every unaccustomed earth home. My friend J once told me he doesn’t understand why people use stuff to make a place “homey;” for him, home is in the heart. Pride captures the external factors that pull you into a place but heart captures the part where you dive in and help create your community. You need both to make a home. Unlike my friend J, though, I love decorating every new apartment I move into. Having some warm colors on the wall and quirky furniture is how I express what’s in my heart. And this in turn helps me share myself with my community.
  • Uncharted Territories: I was looking out the window on the plane and staring at the beautiful Rockies covered in snow, looking simultaneously menacing and serene. Much of that land must be entirely uninhabited, possibly never visited by a human. I think some people like uncharted territory because of their sense of adventure; new lands to visit and elements to conquer. I like uncharted territory for the stories. The idea of bears and mountain goats and bison and other beasts living their years in nature and their stories has this mystical beauty for me. We’ll never know them but know that they exist; the stories of the wild.
  • Oral Traditions, Legends, Folk Lore & Stories from the Past: I love old stories. As a kid I devoured aesop fables so I think my favorite were the Akbar Birbal stories. Birbal was a trusted adviser to the Mughal emperor Akbar. The stories are short and witty; I used to read them in comic book format. I like passing history on via small stories- joyful little nuggets that make you feel interconnected as well. It’s also such a enjoyable way to learn about different cultures an customs.

Exercise: I went for a quick run and felt really good about it, but man was it hard to get myself out the door. The best part was that my roomie was walking to her hair appointment I ran into her twice as I circled back!

Journaling One Positive Experience: I had some really wonderful conversations in these two days. I chatted with a woman on the airplane who was sitting next to me about her visit to Seattle. She has lived all over the world: Japan, South Korea, and Turkey for the Red Cross working with the US Military. I had never previously met someone in her line of work, didn’t even know that type of military support function existed. It was pretty cool expanding my bubble that way. I also caught up with a very old friend of mine who I had somewhat lost touch with. I think it’s going to take us some time to really get back to our previous level of intimacy but it’s nice to get the ball rolling. I spoke with an old biking buddy of mine in a half work half fun type of conversation. And at my roomies’ birthday dinner I had a really nice conversation with our friend J. Turns out, on his own, he had been making a daily gratitude list as well for the past few months. He felt it really has helped him be more appreciative, which is good inspiration!

Random Act of Kindness: Today’s letter goes to W. Since it’s her birthday, it’s only appropriate. I’ve gotten to know her over the past year and I most love her sense of self and the unabashed way she asserts her individuality and interests. She knows what’s important to her– friends & family, working out, eating well, and also enjoying your work. And she does all of these things– really taking each day and living it to the max. I love that about her, very inspirational.

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