I can feel it slipping away – or 4 ways I know this is happening
and what I plan on doing in order to hold on tightly
Remember that list? You know, the one I made about a week ago? The one about my amazing experience after true disconnection but even truer connection? Well, folks, I think it’s slipping away. All of it. Some of it. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it makes me sad.
Some of you may be thinking, ummm but isn’t this about the art of happiness? The answer? Well, yes. Most def. but in order to realize what gives us more happy, sometimes it’s useful to (identify) what detracts from our happy, or what brings us sad. No, not in the “let’s dwell on it and throw a glorious pity party” sorta way (not like I’d know anything about that). Instead, I sometimes like to call attention to what brings me sad so that I can actually do something about it. I’m all about doing these days…or at least talking about doing. I’m working on the whole execution part of it all, bear with me homies.
Aaanywho, the potential loss of the amazing obtained during that retreat makes me sad. And I don’t like it. I don’t have to like…if I’m willing to change it, that is. and I am.
So, here is a brief-not-so-brief-but-I-have-time-to-actually-write-so-I-will reflection on what I feel slipping and what I plan on to do about it. Partially because, come hell or high water, I don’t want to go back there, back to that place.
I can’t handle it again (I can handle it…I just don’t want to. and shouldn’t have to.). but Mostly, I hope this will help you in some way. help you reflect on what you don’t want to slip away. and what you’re willing to do about it. yeah, You. Who else am I writing this for?
So here it is; numbers tied to this list so click away if you missed that update. Or don’t and say you did. I know you’re busy. I won’t judge or be offended.
(#7) What’s slipping: learning to be “anxious about nothing and prayerful about everything.”
how I know and what I plan to do about it: I’m actually already doing but I am clinging on for dear life to this one. I have found myself recently allowing negative thoughts steal from my peace, steal from my happy. I can’t let them. I can’t let her. or him. or them. I can’t. not again. And so, I pray. I’ve been good about it. Really good. every morning and every night so far (minus those 2 interrupted late nights blended to early mornings…but I don’t wanna talk about those now…so I won’t). Today, I did so while walking my pup after a super early morning workout. Balance. It feels amazing. …although, truth be told, it is also actually really truly quite exhausting. I’m writing this on a notepad at one of my favorite coffee spots as I waste fill time between an 8 hour workday and the upcoming hour & a half choir practice. Exhaustion starts setting in at times like this. and bad decisions can creep into thought if i’m not careful, prayerful. Deciding between good over bad helpful over harmful seems to take much more effort when I’m tired. This is how I know it’s slipping away.
so, what will I do? Keep praying. Stop worrying. & maybe slow down a lil bit. At least til I feel stronger…physically. mentally. spiritually.
(#4) what’s slipping: my absence of the excuse of “busy”
how I know and what I plan to do about it: this one too is being worked on. And it’s kinda tied to the previous. But not. Lemme’splain. I’ve done a good job of doing and making more time for things I felt I had been neglecting over the years. Prayer. Family. Friends. Self. I’m learning, however, that there are actually only 24 hours in a day. Who would’ve thunk it?? Minus time spent sleeping (somewhat), grooming, eating (hopefully), and working, that doesn’t leave much time for…well, anything really. I’m managing though…sort of. I wake an hour earlier than early now for prayer and workout. I fill downtime or early days out of work with helping my family (at the moment it’s painting the house since my father in his stereotyped handyman Mexican father ways is redoing the siding on our entire casita…by himself. so i help). Evenings are spent talking/lounging/being with my siblings. Even a couple of emails/messages to friends, new and old, have been written (working on that whole real connection thing)! But there’s still a shit-ton more I need(?) want(?) wish(?) I were doing. [here’s a sample; maybe you can help me figure out which are needed and which should remain on that proverbial wish list: dissertation research and writing, manuscript edits for potential publication, use guitar lessons – which expire in January, create financial plan&budget…and stick to it, volunteer, grab a beer with you and him and her, hike & bike & run,, spend time with mi amiga who won’t be here long, catch up on all those unwatched movies and half-read books, go get a facial, spring cleaning and donating clothes & whatnot, write…].
I feel like I’m a bit off topic. Oh, yes, the slipping. So, with aaaaall that, I get overwhelmed (rightly so?) plus tired plus exhausted plus plus plus. And my easy escape, as always, are those bad decisions. but i’m doing better at better, making better decisions that is. With this one though, it’s the whole being connected to the superficial and wasting time which could be spend on any of the above mentioned that i find myself turning to. The last few days, I have found myself constantly checking my phone for messages that won’t come or facebook updates that won’t help. [trivial pursuit fun fact of the day: we, on average, check/use our phone about 150 x per day. Truth. …well, I didn’t do the research myself but I’m assuming the radio source I heard it from is credible enough /slash/ that’s just one more thing I’d have put on my list! <– see! Complaining. Slipping. Not being. Blah.
Anywho, my plan? Mmm…this one’s not as clear. But really, it kinda is (something I literally realized as wrote that last line). The answer is [[drum roll pleeease]]……..get.off.my.phone. duuuh! Put it away. Turn it off. Whatever is needed. Dooo it! Okay, in a less dramatic and drastic fashion, I can simply set limits. I still try to leave my phone in my bag while driving. And at the gym. But other than that, it’s by my side again. Or, more truthfully, in my hand. It’s at my bedside throughout the night. Newly-ish acquired bad habit? Waking randomly at 2am (not new) and browsing el Feisbuk or checking for messages (new) instead of reattempting sleep….yup, change is needed here. Fo’ sho.
(#2) what’s slipping: my service to others.
how I know and what I plan to do about it: I’m, again, working on this. it’s just that these changes are exhausting. Tiny, tiny, tiny thoughts of ingratitude and judgment begin to slip into my mind after my service to others feels unappreciated or unrecognized. Nowhere near like before. but I still don’t like it. Why? Well because I just don’t. okay, okay, there’s an actual reason. It’s because that, that reward/recognition/praise is not, should not be the driving force behind the action. Bottom line: service needs to ((continue)) to come from my heart & soul and not as means to serve an egotistical end. simple. done. boom.
& finally (#1) what’s slipping: recognition that He made me great.
how I know and what I plan to do about it: this one’s a doozy…yes, that just happened. I used the word doozy. …and you should too. try it.
but really, He did; I went a good week maybe really believing this. and I still do. Partially. No, mostly. yeah, mostly. I really do. It’s just that I can feel this one really slipping, my grip isn’t tight enough. Or it is but outside forces are making it harder to hold on as tightly as I’d like, as I know I’m capable of. (quick aside/related metaphor: you bikram, right? K, I’m gonna assume you do. Aaand if you don’t, go bikram, come back, and you’ll get the following). So there’s this standing leg posture where your legs “look like an upside down ‘L’ with your standing leg one piece, unbroken.” You know, that one. They always preface the posture with suggestion to wipe your hands (since you’re sweating and all) and grasp your foot tight. Well folks, this is great advice buuuut it’s effing hard if you’re sweating balls/bullets/whatever other comparison you wanna use). …yeah, that’s how I feel with this one. Eff you, sweat. Eff. You.
So, am I doing anything about it? Yeah. But not enough. I’ve put my scale away (for 1 month at least I hope/I will) – temptation to judge myself negatively on a number is made easier when you see those numbers daily. I joined a choir – singing makes me feel beautiful/loved/blessed/undeserving but in a great motivating way. I painted my toes – random but it helps lift my spirit, especially when they’re bright and happy colors. I listen to positive uplifting music – instead of a bunch of crap that (re)bruises my heart and makes me reflect and question my worth. Plusalsotoo, I smile. I love. I appreciate – although, these aren’t necessarily new, they’ve just always been helpful.
As you can see, I’ve got some work to do. We all do. But, I’ve already accomplished sooo much. We all have. Just gotta keep going, doing, being happy.
“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.” — R. L. Evans