Wednesday, October 19, 2011

cheerful

“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” G. K. Chesterton.

Have you ever noticed this? I am finishing a book called The Happiness Project. It's the memoir of the author's year of focusing on happiness in her life. Every single person who has seen me with it has picked it up and said, "Oh, what are you reading?" This is usually followed by them thumbing through the book and saying, "Wow, I really like this." or "This is pretty good." or "I should read this!"

Clearly it's striking a chord.

Sometimes I feel like being an adult is supposed to mean being sort of grouchy and responsible and gloomy. I think everyone has seen many adults like this. And for sure, I have been this way. A lot of people certainly have reasons for feeling sad or grouchy or gloomy, and I certainly don't want to minimize that.

But, fortunately, I don't have very many reasons for being emo. For my own sake, I think I need to list some of the reasons I have for NOT being emo: I really like my job. I love where I live. I have a stellar roommate. I like my family and they are close. I have a giant red mug that I'm drinking hot water out of right now. It used to be my brother's, but he gave it to me. Caleb. I generally have time to cook. My health is good. I get to hang out with some awesome bilingual children once a week. I just watched a Spanish novela thanks to the Internet. I have this sweet curtain in my room that reminds me of Turkey every time I see it (even though I've never been to Turkey). There are plants in my house. Like inside it. I have many close friends.

Wow. Once I got started on that, it was really easy to think of things. I could probably continue. But it seems so much easier and "default" to just be heavy and not light. Food for thought...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

in response to a bad gym experience...

I am learning what acceptance means. It is good. And sometimes, ironically, it means fighting other voices. Good is where I am now. And where you are now. There is nothing we are waiting for.

So I share here two poems:

The Call*
by Greta Schumm

We are
to be
the mannequins

thin, mute,
and haughty

set before windows
to be seen
marveled at
appreciated

locked
where spots of anchored light
will fall.

Somewhere alone
wanders
the woman in me
far away from the dollar toys
and dull of window eyes.

Come along,
come along
New-born.
I have room for you
in the soul of one person singing.

(Written with special affection for
Queen Vashti of Esther 1:10-22)


And

Pedestal
by Margaret House Rush

Even if a prison
Is called a pedestal
And is bedecked with flowers
and flattery,
It is no less confining,
or demeaning.

*I don't often feel this way. There aren't a lot of voices that send me these kinds of messages. This is perhaps one of the many reasons I'm glad I don't watch TV. Perhaps this is why I noticed so much.
The silence is deafening.

I sit in my quiet house, eating my morning cereal. The cereal sounds like a freight train compared to the silence. When I stop crunching, I hear the quiet hum of the refrigerator and nothing else. Sometimes I hear my roommate's little dog, Ruby, swallowing or sniffing. Oh! I just heard the breeze outside. Make that three sounds. Fridge, dog, breeze.

"It's so quiet." I think to myself, silently of course. "I wonder if I can hear my thoughts better."

First, I notice that it appears a four year old has been playing with my glasses. How did I see anything? I clean them on my t-shirt. Oh yeah. I'm still in my pajamas. At 10 am. This is late for me. Thankful point.

As an aside, exactly three weeks ago, my dear friend Stephanie got married. I was one out of two personal attendants. She verbally gave us P.A. points for each act of personal attending we did. I liked the constant affirmation so much that I decided to bestow points on things all the time.
  • Boyfriend point. Caleb gets a lot of those. Most of them I don't verbalize because I think it would get annoying.And I'm pretty sure he's not in it for the points...
  • Dog point. Ruby got one yesterday when Carolyn (my roommate) taught her how to play fetch.
  • Dog owner point. Carolyn got ten for the information above. Geez. Maybe Ruby should get more than one for that too... Ruby's getting another right now for snuggling with me.
  • Life point. I gave myself one when I made gluten free, vegan pumpkin cheesecake. Yeah.
Apparently I also just gave a thankful point. Where was I? Oh, in my silent house. Listening.

This week has been really full. I continue to be amazed, however at how much more creative, peaceful, and generally happy I am when I clear my calendar for a day and, well, don't do anything. If I get some cleaning done, cool, if I get some errands run, or laundry, or yoga, great. However, the best part is savoring the non-obligations of the day. I am trying to remind myself that, really, every day could be like this. The sun comes up and it starts the same way...