Commitment

Laying Like a Vegetable, Netflix, and Victorian England

Sometimes life knocks us down. Then, like the fighter who has just won a match, it places a foot on our back and crosses its arms in a stance of triumph and assumes a smug “I dare you to try to get up” expression.

In the hurry-scurry that is life, I’ve occasionally longed for a few days of doing nothing. Vegetable days it seems they may have been called. Days when I could just lie around like a vegetable and do nothing. I’m not sure why vegetables came to be associated like this. After all, why should we assume there’s nothing going on when a vegetable is lying around? They often get riper, change color. begin to shrivel or mold. At the least it seems they start attracting those pesky gnats.

My Mom told me the other day that if you place a small bowl of cider vinegar on the counter near fruits and vegetables it will keep those gnats away. I can understand that. There’s a powerful olfactory sensation that rises from a bowl of cider vinegar. I don’t know if gnats have nostrils. Maybe they just see the fumes rising from the bowl and steer clear of the contaminated air space. I can imagine them gathered off to the side in tiny gnat gas masks studying the effects of acidic pollution on gnat wings.

It’s easy to let your mind wander and wonder about miniscule things like this when you’re down for the count from life and laying like a vegetable. The shrinking and molding is easy to relate to as well. Especially after devoting hours to exercising only an elbow, wrist and thumb on the treadmill that is the remote control.

I’ve just come off a long string of “vegetable” days. Unable to concentrate to read, I filled the need for excitement by dialing in old BBC historical series on Netflix. The first qualification for selection was at least 13 episodes. The second, by default, became the historical time period of Victorian England.

I became Lillie Langtry fighting for survival and position in a Victorian box with faux morals, defined roles and strict distinctions of class. “Indeed.” “Alas.” “Oh, my dear.” “Certainly, my Prince, you may build me a house in the countryside away from your wife.”

King Edward VII

I empathized with Prince Edward who was blamed by his Mother, Queen Victoria, for the death of his Father, Prince Albert, and who had to wait until he was 59 to fulfill his destiny. Even so, through the 13 episodes, my patience grew thin and his lavish lifestyle lost its luster as I watched him overeat, over travel, and over indulge in court beauties on his way to finally becoming King Edward VII.

Fearing my own demise from inactivity, I feverishly worked my forearm up and down using the remote as a kind of mini-barbell and indulged a bit less in chocolate covered cranberries.

Next came the Forsyte Saga and finally Upstairs Downstairs where the Bellamy household presided as a precursor to the Crawley’s of Downton Abbey. Then, as my mind cleared of the anesthesia and antibiotics, I could read instead of watch the life of the Poldarks.

Time travel is questionable. But I have done it with the magic of Netflix, a remote control containing two new AA batteries, the archives of my local library, and an on-your-back, knock-you-down summer. I’m a bit like a squishy vegetable that has lain too long on the counter. But in my mind I’m not just regaining my strength. No, I’m elegantly dressed and dancing with royalty as the smell of cider vinegar waifs through the air. Life is good! Indeed!

Advertisements
Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three things I’ve learned about finding courage on 52 Dates with Myself

Dating myself often requires that I boldly go beyond my normal comfort zone.

Courage seems to come much more naturally with companionship. Sort of like an unspoken, “I double-dog dare you” between friends out for a good time. This can be especially true when the companion is a gregarious extrovert with dangling coat strings we introverts can ride.

But when you’re flying solo – and doing it 52 times – courage has to be brought along in different ways. In fact, not only does it have to be brought along, but it has to be let go. Freed, if you will, to do its work.

Along the way these last four months there’s three things I’ve found that have helped to bolster my courage for 52 Dates with Myself:

  1. Connect. 52 Dates with Myself is not about isolation. It’s about connection. Connection with myself and connection with others whom I encounter in the process of my dates. I’m also connecting with my environment, with history, and with a wide variety of experiences. All of these are providing me with opportunities to learn more about myself and my world.
  2. Smile. Not only does it make people wonder what I’m up to, it brightens my face, makes it much easier to make eye contact, and often makes it easier to start a simple conversation. Conversations lead to connection.
  3. Share my first name and get theirs. Maybe it’s my waiter, the tour guide, or a bench dweller in the park. Yes, I need to be cautious and trust my instincts. But, I also know that courage is sometimes the better judge of people. And, caution can sometimes bring unfounded fear and create unnecessary isolation.

There you have them. Connect. Smile. Share your first name and get theirs. Now that you have some tips for finding your courage, get out there and have date with yourself.

Ponder & Chat: What other ideas do you have that might help you have the courage to date yourself or just try a solo experience?  How might you commit to finding your courage to go on a solo date?

Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How My Dates are Connecting Me to the World

As I’m nearing a quarter of the way through this journey of 52 Dates with Myself and my 50th post, it seems appropriate to introduce you to some of my fellow bloggers who have encouraged me along the way. Whether you’re into poetry, gardening, painting, cooking, or the general beauty of life and community, you’ll find something special from each one. I’m grateful to these and others who’ve encouraged me along the way these past few months!

June 5, 2012 – Meet Liam Rainsford. My adventure in painting connected me to painter Liam Rainsford of Ireland. You’ll definitely want to visit his site and check out the beautiful time lapsed videos of his paintings. For those interested in painting, he offers an amazing art school for beginners right on his website. I’m honored that he would “Like” one of my posts and give me a chance to “meet” him.

May 22, 2012 – Meet Dan & Mindy Soulsby. This inspiring young couple have a thriving sustainable farm and have created a nonprofit called Project Garden Share that helps connect people who need food with those who grow it. Dan worked for a number of years at Disney in Los Angeles before returning to his home state of Ohio to “live his dream.” I’m honored that he would “Like” one of my posts on gardening and give me the chance to “meet” him.

May 22, 2012 – Meet Stephanie – A Modern Christian Woman who has one of the best recipe blogs going. I’m honored that she would “Like” one of my posts on gardening and give me the chance to “meet” her.

March 23, 2012 – Meet Preetam Nath and his Manipal”s Photo Blog. Showcasing the talent of photographers of Manipal University in India – you’ll love the variety, beauty and life captured in this wonderful site. I’m honored that Preetam would “Like” one of my posts and give me the chance to “meet” him and the wonderful photographers of Manipal U.

February 23, 2012 – Meet Angela Marie – One-in Creation. From the early days of my journey of 52 Dates with Myself Angela Marie has been there encouraging me, commenting, and liking. She shares beautiful, heartfelt poetry and art from her site. I’m honored to call her my friend, to dialogue with her and to receive her multiple “Likes” along the journey.

Categories: Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“I’ve done what I could…and my painting is open to criticism; that’s enough”

“I’ve done what I could as a painter and that seems to me to be sufficient. I don’t want to be compared to the great masters of the past, and my painting is open to criticism; that’s enough.” ~ Claude Monet

Thanks to Wine and Canvas for a great date night and first painting class.

With my version of Monet’s “Water Lillies, 1916” painted on one of 52 Dates with Myself

Ponder & Chat: What are you working on today that you’re ready to put out to the world?

Categories: Artistic Dates, Challenges, Commitment, Date Ideas, Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is what you do today important?

What you do with today

More wisdom from this week’s adventure in 52 Dates with Myself

Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outside My Own Ordinary

Recently, a friend said to me, “I always enjoy going to theater or concert events when you ask me, but I don’t ordinarily plan to do it myself.”

This got me asking myself what I might enjoy doing that I wouldn’t naturally think to do?

No doubt my natural preferences and my history of experiences inform, as well as limit, my creativity in planning my 52 Dates with Myself. I don’t naturally think to plan a date for a spectator-sporting event. I’d like to go dancing, but my lack of experience makes it a bit intimidating and has prevented it from making it to my calendar so far.

I’m thinking it’s time to move beyond myself here, to muster up my courage and create some new experiences. As Yul Brynner once said in the movie, The Ten Commandments, “So let it be written; so let it be done!”

Ponder & Chat: How do your natural preferences and experience history impact your recreation choices? How about your relationships?

Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four things my friends do for my relationship with myself

Sometimes even the best relationships need a break. Including, and perhaps especially, the one I have with myself.

Now, I’m not talking about a break-up like the one in my April Fool’s day post. But rather just a simple hiatus from the daily routine and sometimes narrow focus that happens in a long-term relationship.

This past weekend, I had just such a break from the relationship with myself at a mini-retreat with three life-long friends. Life has taken the four of us down unique paths, even as it has given us much to share and learn from each other.

For years we were only Christmas card friends, but a few years ago we reconnected and established a loose routine of an annual retreat. We know our early histories quite well, the families from which we spawned, the siblings, the parents, the school days, the church groups, some of the spouses.

Our first times together were filled with catching up on the long, yet somehow short, years of life when we were not so connected. The children, the loss of spouses, the loss of parents, careers, faith, health, struggles, joys, happiness. All the things that make a life.

Now, having added more history, we just enjoy being together. Sometimes we’ll throw in a show or a museum. We may seize the hot tub from the kids at the hotel. But more often than not we’re gathered in the hotel room, chairs encircled around a game of cards or our feet propped on that same table with laughter and tears flowing.

I love my friends and am grateful that they:

  • hear me out and give me other perspectives to consider;
  • love me and challenge my faulty assumptions;
  • laugh with me and never mind the tears that closely follow;
  • feed my soul then release me to fly re-nourished for my journey and reinvigorated with commitment for my other relationships.
Categories: Commitment, Pure Fun, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking Up!

That’s it!

I’ve had it!

It’s over!

I’m sick and tired of your neglect, your childish ways, your uncaring antics, your selfish choices!

We’re through!

 No, your “I’m sorry” is not going to do it this time.

I don’t know what I ever saw in you in the first place!

 Just go!

 Have a nice life!

 And don’t let that April Fool’s door hit you on your way out!

Categories: Breaking Up, Commitment, Pure Fun, Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unresolved

The same recurring theme keeps showing up in my dreams. These faces from my past, when life was different, and I was different. I am wanted. I am chosen. I am loved.

I see myself in these various scenes, and I’m not sure. Am I wanting? Am I choosing? Am I loving?

And what of today and this relationship I’m in with me? This wanting. This choosing. This loving.

Somewhere, like a seed planted deep within, grows knowledge that I am a chosen love, valued for who I was uniquely created to be, for who I am. Loved first.

The unresolved response is mine alone. I choose Love.

Categories: Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reprising the Question

Perhaps you recall a few weeks ago one of my friends asking me if dating myself kept me from dating other people.  We had some good conversation around that both here and on Facebook.

Actually, I think my friend makes a great point.

Several of my single friends of late have recently started dating someone exclusively. It’s been great fun watching their excitement and sharing in their newfound giddiness. Yet, sure enough, there are some differences in our interactions. For example, I’m noticing:

  • I don’t hear from them quite so much. Makes sense, when they have time for chats, they’re chatting with their new special someone.
  • I don’t do things with them quite as much. Makes sense, they have someone they’re busy doing things with and aren’t necessarily looking to make it a group event.
  • I don’t know what’s happening in their lives quite as much. Makes sense, we’re not interacting on as regular a basis or sharing our lives.

During my last dating relationship I noticed feeling as if some of my friends were backing away. No doubt I was less available, and they were less inclined to think I was available, but:

  • I didn’t hear from them quite so much. When I would talk with them, they would indicate that they thought I was probably otherwise engaged, too busy with my new relationship to connect with them.
  • I didn’t get invited to outings quite as much. Probably an assumption that I already had companionship.
  • I didn’t know what was happening in their lives quite as much. We weren’t doing the regular and natural sharing that we once had been doing. My sounding board was often my new friend. Friendships are built from mutual give-and-take.

So, what’s this got to do with dating myself? Just like being in any other relationship, there seem to be some things falling by the wayside as I commit to this one year of 52 Dates with Myself.

  • I’m not connecting with my friends quite so much. Like any relationship, this one with myself takes time. Time to reflect. Time to plan. Time to interact and discover. Time to be together with myself.
  • I’m not inviting others to do things with me quite as much. This one troubles me a lot, as so much of life seems better experiencing it with others. But a Date with Myself has that danged prepositional phrase in it.
  • I don’t know what’s happening in their lives quite as much. Losing contact with others is definitely not what I want to have happen here, but fewer talks and fewer shared experiences means it’s harder to stay connected.

Ponder and Chat: What do you notice that falls by the wayside as you make time for yourself? How are your other relationships impacted?

Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: