Day 16: Splinter Moments

9 Jan

 Three Sources of Gratitude:

  • Birthdays! Today is my Pop’s birthday. Don’t tell anyone but the old foggy is 60 year’s old! Apparently his co-workers think he’s in his late 40s. Considering that my sister is a doctor, they must think he got married straight out of high school or something. But I digress…birthdays are awesome. Birthdays are awesome because they are completely arbitrary reasons for you and everyone in your life to explicity love yourself. On my birthday I feel like a King! I can do no wrong. Actually I listened to this fabulous Ted Talk by Alain de Botton entitled Atheism 2.0, where he highlights some of the best parts of religion, one of which is a calendar. Sometimes, we need reminders to appreciate the small things, to look at the moon, to cherish our family, to simply celebrate. Birthdays are that reminder (just in case we’ve forgotten) that our life is a precious and remarkable gift, worth celebrating. Our story thus far is worth celebrating. Hence in my book a birthday is always something worth rallying, whether the birthday friend is new or old.
  • Friends You Can Learn From: I love learning something new from friends. Especially old friends, whom you assume you’ve already tapped out; they always surprise you! For example, my friend E has been on the job hunt and has started blogging a mini Job Search Guide to share her learnings and advice. I found it so accessible and full of little tricks that could probably help anyone whose just trying to network better . I highly recommend the read. I also am reminded of my friend J who shared with me this community project he’s working on, stemming from his interest in the Suzuki Physical Theater, which I believe has been created by Japanese theater director Tadashi Suziki. J showed me the below video which I found very interesting. I still don’t know a lot about this form of physical theater but at least I know it exists and maybe one day will get the chance to try it out myself! So many fun things in the world.
  • Access to Transportation: Most days I bus to work. On nice days I bike. And on days when I’m running late I drive. I’ve got options. All of these options enable to get from Point A to Point B in an efficient manner. But this isn’t true for everyone. In fact, even after adding this to my list of gratitude I still made an ignorant comment forgetting this simple fact. It was a splinter moment. A splinter moment is what I call those tiny little actions you take, small decisions, that bring on sharp pains of shame. Last year I was biking and there was an overly aggressive driver being very rude and I flicked him off as I turned on my street. A small burst of anger just swelled up inside me and I made a poor decision. I immediately regretted it. I felt like I represented bikers poorly, I represented my charity organization, whose jersey I was wearing, poorly. I mean what if there was a child in the car and they saw? I still recall this moment and the pangs of shame keep me in line. No matter how far I’ve come, and how hard I’ve worked, there is still further to go. Today’s splinter moment was me laughing over a co-worker’s choice to live in the burbs (he truly does live in the burbs- that’s not the splinter moment!). When I found out where he was moving, I recounted how I’d been chatting with a girl at the checkout counter in Target when I’d first moved here. It was quite apparent I had moved (nobody buys that much kitchen gear in one go) and I mentioned which neighborhood I was living in. She seemed confused and so I used some key landmarks to describe where it’s located. Realizing that I lived in the city, she responded that she’d never been to the city before. I was shocked! I retold that story today to describe how people in the burbs stay in the burbs but almost immediately afterwards I realized I was looking at the world from my perspective of privilege. In my bubble if you don’t go somewhere it’s because you don’t want to. But in the reality many people don’t have access. That 16 year old girl may come from a family that doesn’t have a lot of time or extra income to be taking their car (if they have one) in and out of the city. In jokingly accusing her of living in a bubble, I actually pointed out my own bubble. In this bubble I have easy access to transportation, which I must do a better job appreciating. I’m curious what other people’s splinter moments might be. If you’d like to share please do!

Meditation/Reflection: My friend sent me this post on 3 Minute Meditations. I’d like to test them over the next five days. So for today I chose “The Full Body Scan.” It wasn’t what I expected. I actually got a little claustrophobic feeling when I did it. I think being congested and tired didn’t help. Or perhaps it’s like when you go to a new yoga class for the first time and you feel awful at first. So maybe I just need practice?

One Positive Experience: Up until now most of my positive experiences have involved sometime of interaction with a person. But one of the best things I did today, for myself, was to spend time cleaning up my room. I did my laundry, washed my sheets, vacuumed and tidied. It felt great! I don’t always prioritize keeping a clean space but I do love that sensation of coming home to just a war, clutter free room. I’m glad I knocked it out today.

Random Act of Kindness: I have a relatively new friend J (actually a friend of a friend) who I had some wonderful conversation with last weekend. And I’m going to tell him so. That’s all 🙂

Exercise: My roommate’s friend finished yoga teacher training last month and sent her a really nice pre-bed yoga series. In her words they’ll help relax your muscles, lower your heartbeat and stimulate your digestive system. I think it’s exactly what the doctor ordered!

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