Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Habits and Procedures

A wise man once said there is a group of habits and procedures he does regardless of the way he feels on a daily basis. For him, "I don't feel like it" was no excuse. This I am hoping to make a part of my life. So far I have been eliminating substances which aren't good for me...meat, cigarettes, alcohol, diet soda and recently, dairy. I have also been adding in things that bring order to my life: making my bed, doing the dishes every morning before work and flossing. All good steps, but I must remember they are steps, and I must add or eliminate gradually. I know for sure that I am setting myself up for failure if I try to incorporate many healthy activities into my life at the same time. I will soon become overwhelmed and conveniently forget what I am trying to achieve.  In the book Thriveauthor Brendan Brazier suggests adding healthy habits gradually into one's life. He wrote that too much of a good thing creates stress on the body, just as toxins and bad habits stress out our fragile organisms. I have been heeding his advice. It has been almost ten months since I have adopted a vegan diet, the cheese was the last to go (I have been a vegetarian for at least ten years now). I am already feeling lighter and more energetic. Next up? I have to find a way to decrease clutter. Any suggestions of gradual life changing decluttering techniques would be appreciated. I have taken care of the body, it is now time to turn to the spirit. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bucket Lists

Creating a bucket list... I worked this summer with teens in a leadership program. We did different exercises on setting goals and even made bucket lists. The kids were amazing, some knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish, but others didn't and had to put effort into creating a list of future endeavors. Sitting here today on a Saturday afternoon with a YA novel in hand I realize that I do not have a list of goals myself. I spent the last few years working on my degrees both Bachelor and Master's. I am in the process of job hunting so that seems to be my focus. But what about other areas in my life? Sure I have signed up for another half marathon but it is something I can do and have done. What are my other goals, dreams etc. A student asked me what I like to do in free time the other day. It was hard to think of anything beside read. Or running. What are my heart's desires? To find gainful fulfilling creative employment, yes. But work only accounts for a certain number of hours per week. As I sit here on a Saturday afternoon I know that I need more, more to work for or towards. That is who I am. Yes I know that it is nice to sit and be, be aware of the present moment and all it has to offer. Yet I am a goal setter, a planner. I can sit but I also need to move. Today I will begin a list: dogsledding in Vermont, run another marathon or maybe a tough mudder, learn how to cook tofu well, travel to Florence get my Ph.D in medieval studies, learn and speak Italian fluently, hike the Cinque Terre. It is a start. Time to open my eyes and see what the world has to offer.

Monday, September 2, 2013

After The Storm

Sitting here after a rainstorm, the water is loud and falls from the mountain behind my house. Usually there is a small trickle but today the recent storm has turned this quiet section of woods into a powerful sight. I am sitting on a rock in the middle, wondering why I am so sad. There are obvious reasons, the school year has started, and I am still an unemployed English teacher, Sallie Mae has been calling and I am unsure what the future will bring. I watch students go back, teachers go back, and I would love to join them. But also I think it is a time of transition, the season is changing, bits of red and yellow dot the landscape now, summer is winding down and I am about to go into my first autumn without textbooks to buy; my first year without a degree to pursue. My son has made his way to his junior year of college on his own and I feel as if I don't have a direction, I don't have a clear cut goal. So I am sitting in the middle of a crazy directionless waterfall, its water spilling haphazardly over numerous rocks, unable to form a single path because of the sheer amount of water. The water makes its own path. Maybe I have choices; I don't have to just teach high school English, although I enjoy that. I am a teacher and a writer. I need to teach and I need to write, but maybe the form of my employment will be different than what is pictured in my head. The water is making its own path, maybe I should be as well. The answers are here in my church, in the power and strength of the falls, in the slippery rocks and the crazy act of climbing to get a better view (coming down was scary). I have made it this far, maybe what is around the bend will surprise me. Once I reached the "top" of these falls I saw they went higher than I had previously thought. I just don't know, and that is ok. The Universe knows, and that should be enough for today. All it takes is a step up or a step forward, hold on to a branch and hopefully enjoy the view.