Interlude #1

Interlude #1

I have to get up extra early tomorrow for a training meeting I am running at work, so I don’t have enough time to write about what I was originally going to write about and give it the thought it deserves. So instead today I decided to share my daily reflection, my one positive thing a day project I wrote about yesterday.  Here goes:

Today a co-worker approached me to ask me a question, referring to me as a guru on the topic; it always makes me so happy to a knowledgeable resource to others.

Merry Go Round

Merry Go Round

Time really gets away from me sometimes. It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotony and repetition of each day. The pattern of hurry up and wait.

It baffles me sometimes how weeks and months just past by. I lose touch with people. I feel like I’ve been less than productive. I look back sometimes, and it’s like life is going by in a blur.

It’s like when I was a kid, playing on a merry-go-round. When you’re on a merry-go-round, everything goes by in a streak, and eventually, you get a little dizzy. But you can always put your foot down, like an anchor, let it slow you down until you finally come to a stop. Sometimes, I just want to put my foot down.

 

This feeling of the world going by too quickly and slipping out of my grasp is one that has plagued me for years. I can’t help but think there has to be a way to regain some control over my life. A few years ago, I had an idea that I thought might help. I decided each day to write one positive thing about my day–something good that happened, or that made me happy, or that I learned. Something unique and positive about the day.

My theory was that this would allow me to connect with each day, to recognize each day as unique, even if in small ways. I believed that by reflecting on each day I could more fully experience it, remember it better, and not let it pass me by. I also felt like it would help me cultivate positivity, gratitude, and mindfulness.

I stuck with it for awhile, and it really made me happy. But as frequently happens with habits, eventually my positivity journal lay abandoned. I revisited this concept multiple times but never with any real longevity.

The idea has always been in the back of my mind, and at the beginning of this year, I decided to return to it yet again.

On New Year’s Eve, I was at Powell’s (my favorite bookstore, ever), where I saw a beautiful Thich Nhat Hanh themed journal. The timing was serendipitous.As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been having a lot of thoughts and feelings, and at this time, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed (by both wonderful and less than wonderful things) and was actively seeking some kind of inner peace. I’ve considered myself Buddhist for nearly half my life at this point, and have admired Thich Nhat Hanh and his writings since college.

I bought that journal, and since January 1st, I’ve been using it to write down something positive every day. Sometimes I fall asleep or forget and miss a day, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I just take some time the next day to reflect on the day I’ve missed.

It’s only been a month and a half. I honestly don’t know if it’s made much of an impact on my life. I think it’s probably too soon to tell. But that’s a month and a half that I’ve stuck with it, and for that, I am proud of myself. And more importantly, it feels right and it makes me happy.

Photo Attribution: By Eddau (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

A Knot to Untangle

A Knot to Untangle

I read an article the other week called the “The Uncompromising Power of Daily Habits” and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

It’s not the first time I’ve been exposed to this concept. Many have preached about the value of daily practice, or daily habits. It’s easy to see the logic in it.

What made the article such an inspiration to me is the way he wrote about it. His argument is concise and logical and he provides his real life example as evidently, and he does it with a clear voice. But it’s his real life experience that stuck with me.

For the last few months, I’ve been teaching myself web development. It’s been my ongoing goal to spend some amount about time, no matter how small on my coding studies. And I don’t want to jinx it, but I’ve been doing a really good job of working a little every day.

It wasn’t a smooth route. I wasn’t always consistent in the beginning, but I’ve come a long way. I’ve even learned to recognize when I need a break and take a day off.

I understand the power of daily habits. I’ve been doing daily work. But it was the writer’s specific experience that stuck with me. He started to blog daily to get better at writing.

With so much going on in the world recently, there has been a lot going on in my mind lately. I have so many ideas jumbled in my brain that I can’t see where one ends and another starts. I need to sort them out. It’s a knotted mess. Somehow, I have to untangle this knot. Writing is how I sort through and process ideas.

These are two separate experiences of mine. One, the experience of feeling inspired by this article. The second of my internal conflict that I’ve been facing in light of a reality that has changed suddenly and dramatically. Two separate experiences, but they exist together.

For weeks, all of these thoughts have been stewing in my head. I knew I needed to get them out, to write them down. For so long I hadn’t wanted to split my focus, but now the need to write kept bubbling. I just didn’t know where to begin. I was so overwhelmed.

So here is where I try to sort it all out by keeping a daily blog.

My goal: to write something, anything, whether 50 words or 500, every day and publish it here, with as little disruption to my web development studies as possible. Good, bad or bizarre.

I don’t expect it to go smoothly, at first. I’m sure I won’t be very consistent to start. But no pressure. For now, this is just for me. Because I have a knot to untangle and writing is how I do that.

photo credit: http://www.ilkkajukarainen.fi IMG_0018 via photopin (license)