Posts Tagged With: Commitment challenges

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

7 Lessons from an Unexpected Date

I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better.  ~Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, 1903

Often surprises create positive emotions within us. Maybe like surprise birthday parties, surprise proposals, or surprise gifts.

Other times surprises wreak a bit of havoc on our emotions. Perhaps like a large cell phone bill or an unexpected break-up of a relationship. Or even like my recent unexpected date with the operating room and the subsequent longer-than-expected and longer-than-desired recovery period.

But, hey, I just happen to have this ongoing project of 52 Dates with Myself.  And, as the project leader and manager, I have full authority to determine what constitutes a date. So, yes, a surprise date in the OR most definitely gets counted!

Besides, look at just a few of the things I’ve learned so far: 

  • Wheel chair drivers really should have to take a driving test.
  • IV – doesn’t mean I have to give the same nurse 4″ times to get the intravenous drip set.
  • Pain pills often have acetaminophen, so be sure you do the math before the brain fog from the narcotics kicks in.
  • When you’re near the top of the emergency triage list, you get to witness and experience the full professionalism of the medical staff.
  • My capacity for exhaustion is much larger than I ever imagined.
  • My tolerance for pain not so much.
  • Recognition and gratitude for caregivers can never be overdone.

In spite of all this, I still prefer the dates I get to choose and plan.

Ponder & Chat: What lessons have you learned from one of your life’s surprises?

Categories: Challenges, Reflections, Uncategorized, Wisdom | 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

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

If you never did, you should…

Dr. Seuss Quote

Dr. Seuss wisdom discovered on one of my 52 Dates with Myself

Categories: 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

Conflicted

“Everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict” Seth Godin

I’m awake at 3:30 a.m. for the 4th day in a row. Like a tangled skein of yarn, my thoughts seem impossible to knit together into a useful or recognizable pattern. Conflict.

Somehow the word “priorities” escapes the twisted trap. It struggles past voices, “Won’t this get in the way of you dating others?” “Are we going to spice it up a bit?” “Are you really just trying to attract a guy through this?” “Get out there and make some big plans – just have fun!”

Opinions. Advice. Guidance. Suggestions. Judgments. Appreciation.

Watching. They’re watching.

Priorities.

“Everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict. Not a conflict between us and the world—a conflict between us and ourselves.” Seth Godin

Conflict. This journey is about my priorities. What do I want from my 52 Dates with Myself?

  • I want to experience ME – with intentional focus, noticing the things that happen as a result of this year of commitment.
  • I want to feel the tensions that show up – when, where, why?
  • I want to develop greater awareness of my habits – which ones support me, which sabotage me? 
  • I want to be attentive to what makes me happy and brings me joy.
  • I want to develop awareness of my disappointments and fears – what do they mean to me? When do I most feel them? How do they propel me on or stop me? 
  • I want to have fun doing things I love, yet — challenge myself to new adventures, give myself new experiences, step out of my comfort zone.
  • I want to be mindful of my values – what do I proclaim them to be? What do I demonstrate them to be?
  • I want 24/7 alertness to the gift that is my life, this journey that is uniquely my own.
  • I want to bring ME to my world – with a richer, fuller, consciousness of what that means to those I’m privileged to come into relationship with along the way.
  • I want to embrace the challenge of the conflict within — to live the story that is only mine to tell.
Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: