January 22nd, 2013
No deep thoughts here. Just a scribble of insight that came to me while listening to a City Arts & Lectures broadcast with Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. He was talking about mindfulness and yoga. Mind you, I had never heard of him before, but I had run across the concept of MBSR.
Now, I don’t pretend to be a yogi or meditator, but I wouldn’t mind having more of either in my life. It struck me, as mindfulness-less as I sometimes feel my life is, I’m no stranger to the pursuit of presence. Some of my favorite things in this world involve being aware.
Like yoga and meditation, each one of these activities can transport me into a calmer state of mind. They demand full focus and are made up of a series of little nows. They make life better and have a worth and benefit simply by their doing, not necessarily their end product or output.
Alas, it seems like running is the only one that’s happening with any regularity lately, but that’s ok. It’s a first step, if not several. I may not have enough hours in the day to pursue all of them to mastery, but any time spent doing any one of them is a means to access a more pure, more true me.
And that’s a journey I want to take.
January 21st, 2013
Growing up as an awkward and frightened gay child and fighting as an impassioned activist in college, never in my wildest dreams did I believe we’d hear words such as these coming from the leader of our nation:
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.
This is how I understand the values of America. This makes me feel patriotism and pride for a change.
This is a world I want to live in.
January 20th, 2013
It was as if a hex(-agon) shaped my day. I was going to try an angled picture of pizza I made for this post. Then, type into this box about how all I ate today were round, circular foods. But I didn’t want to fall into the trapezoid of geometric word games.
No, that would be square.
January 20th, 2013
After 6+ years, the f.u. mittens originally drawn by MiHi have been completed and given to their rightful owner.
Her idea, my execution. This unfinished object (U.F.O.) is now finished (or an F.O.). It was one of the last things I completed in 2012.
January 18th, 2013
Again, I find myself at the end of the day hurriedly thumb typing into my phone (was autocorrected to oboe a second ago). So sorry that this is another drivel post, as opposed to something more composed.
Enough whining. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about a friend’s motto, “You get more of what you pay attention to.” On one hand it’s a great parenting technique. On the other, it’s the basis of the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. The end result is re-wiring the brain to be happier. It speaks volumes of the vicious cycle of stress and depression.
Tonight, I’ve laughed. A lot. I finally finished the last handful of episodes of Portlandia’s second season, which apparently I had not previously seen. Then I caught the premiere of The Kroll Show. My apologies for the lack of a link, but I invite you to use your Google-fu and look up them both up. (Please note: humor is subjective, so it’s fine if you don’t share my high regard.) It’s always reassuring to recognize your humor in others, eh?
And it just plain feels good.
January 17th, 2013
Why would I ever even think of leaving the house? Dessa was sleeping on the little green vinyl couch when I went to work.
The day passes….
Now as the night is ending, guess who’s cuddled up on the big black couch in my lap?
I got your luxury right here.
January 16th, 2013
I arrived to work at 9am and everyone was standing outside. It was a false alarm of the building’s security system, not a fire drill as we thought. Other people took pictures on Instagram, but I couldn’t be bothered. You’ve seen groups of people standing in the glaring morning sunlight in an alley. It went on from there.
The day felt like a giant false start: coming back from a sick day and getting caught up. Sporadic sneezing, still sniffling and tons o’ tea. I’m better, but not best yet.
Despite highlights of a delicious lunch with a lovely lady from HelloLucky and a successful code release to the stage environment, I still feel like it was a day of running in place.
Something that would typically make me happy (booking a trip for a conference) has me a bit deflated. It ends on my birthday, and I really don’t want to wake up in Vegas on the day I turn 40. Alas.
Also, I was eating dinner solo so I grabbed takeout from the nearby vegan place has a lemongrass broth veggie noodle bucket. It seemed like a good idea, but it was just meh. So much so that I added soft-cooked eggs and sriatcha. Still unremarkable. Pardon the whining. I fully understand that things could be a lot worse.
Now, bed beckons. Perhaps tomorrow will see a breakthrough or at least a lifting of this cold’s dulling fog? It would be nice to go out for a run too. A little shake-me-up-before-you-go-go?
Somethingm153;anything™to be a little kick in the pants.
January 15th, 2013
Stayed home from work today and did a lot of couch time with this lady. Got a little bit of knitting done too.
A day of rest and tea? I need to remember to take more of these more often. Plan to be all better tomorrow.
January 14th, 2013
Only last week I was thinking to myself that I hadn’t been sick this year. In Januarys past, I remember learning how to make dashi for noodles and souping myself to health. Seeing colleagues fall ill one by one as the week went on, I was grateful and a little proud of my system’s fortitude.
We’ve all know where this is headed, right? What started as slight congestion and an early-morning offness has bloomed into full-blown snottiness. Early application of my neti pot yesterday did not prevent today from descending into a deluge of tissues and sneezing at my desk. On the plus side, I’ve tried my hand at mixing my own sea salt and baking soda solution. However, here I am sick. And, as often is the case, it rougher now, as the day ends. Luckily, it’s mostly congestion and I’m not incapacitated; simply a little worn down.
Watching The Deadliest Catch isn’t helping me feel any better. (You can’t catch a cold from the TV, can you?) Maybe I should just get in bed and read. I know two snore monsters who’d be more than willing to keep me company and warm. Dry and on land with loved ones.
January 13th, 2013
Thwarted by phone typing. I lost a better version of this post. Thank you for the nice comments yesterday. And I apologize for not making time to properly compose thoughts and do my typing on a keyboard. It was lovely to hear from Scotland, Quebec and B.C. I’d better up my game, eh?
I have to head to bed, so I can’t recreate everything I had previously written. Instead, I’ll leave you with an article I’ll be chewing on for many day to come:
There’s More to Life than Being Happy from The Atlantic.
I’m no hedonist, by any means. I want to focus on being content with what I have, not necessarily more happy. And mindfulness is something I’m trying to cultivate. Searching for a higher meaning or calling wasn’t on my agenda. I’ve simply wanted to cut down on my own negative self-talk and irrational sense of failure. Now I’ve got to find some other reason to live? Oh, the pressure.