Monthly archives of “March 2011

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From fear to gratitude.



Today’s APW got me thinking really hard. Not that it doesn’t usually, but today’s topic broached on something I think about a lot – gratitude, and appreciating life.


I’ve been pondering a lot lately my struggle with the balance between gratitude and ambition, which is a whole post onto its own. But today, I thought about how to show up and live life with more gratitude and grace and with less fear and regret.


I have a secret I’m going to write here – something even the gentleman in question doesn’t really know about. Every morning, when my hunny leaves for work, my non-religious self says a prayer to whomever or whatever might be listening, to protect him and keep him safe from harm, and to just generally not let anything bad to happen to him, because on the inside I am almost always a complete mess about the potential of losing him.


Recently Kelsey‘s guest post on APW touched upon this and I felt like I finally GOT that I am NOT in control, even though sometimes my OCD likes to trick me into thinking I am, that if I just think, say, do or be a certain way everything will be OK. But I’m really NOT in charge. And I’m finally getting that.


And I think Shana Rae revealed this missing piece of the faith and grace puzzle to me today, and that there’s something I CAN do about it: From now on I’m going to make my morning prayer a “thank you” for his presence in my life, with a little wish thrown in.


After all, isn’t the fear of losing just another way of expressing appreciation? But this way, every day is begun from a place of gratitude—a powerful place, not a desperate cry coming out of fear.


I like it.

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2011 Syllabus: Midterm


Inspired by Whitney Arlene, in January I created a syllabus for myself to give some direction and focus to the quarter-life crisis/navel-gazing/figuring out I’ve been doing. I gave myself readings, writing assignments, projects, and several classes/courses and activities. Each month I write an update on my progress. Click here to view the syllabus.


2011-03-11 16.41.19 my computer 3/11/11


I’ve been procrastinating this “midterm.”


See, I even put it in quotes to devalue it.


It’s funny how I made keen observations last month about things like letting the “me” stuff slide before everyone else’s, and then managed to not do anything about it.


Not that that’s unusual really. Not doing things is the human default. But why do I not do things, from blogging, to exercising, to getting up in the morning? Because I am an approval-seeking, deadline-oriented, guilt-motivated pussy.


I’m a fucking powerhouse if someone is counting on me to be somewhere or get something done. I will literally move mountains to make things happen. But if it’s just for me—note the “just”—meh, I’d rather nap. And then feel guilty about it.


When I was a kid, before I had to work to support myself, I really used to like being sick.


This morning as I was walking to the train to work—miserably sick for the fifth day in a row (I’ve spent my whole working life at jobs without paid sick or vacation days)—I think I realized why. It’s the only time I would ever give myself to slow down. Quite literally. To walk slower, think slower… feel slower. Slower can be good.


But it’s fucking terrifying.


It means being aware. It means stopping to feel. Which is why it’s so easy to not even give myself sick days anymore.


The explanation of this fear of slowing down coupled with my zero integrity and paralysis around doing things for me came to me while reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Numbing.


I was resisting the hell out of the chapter as I was reading it, and I knew in my gut, even as I was resisting (numbing?!), that it was because the words were leaping off the page, pointing at me and screaming, “This is you!!!!!”


Brené’s work needs to be reread, and is a post all its own, but for the purpose of this essay, let me just begin with saying that I resist the hell out of the things that bring me joy.


Sure, there are the safe sources of joy—but there’s a higher flying capacity for loving things (and sure, people), that I don’t know how to bear. Writing and blogging, and all the pretty inspiration and thought-provoking musings of the world fall into that category.


The things that make my heart hurt, and my eyes well up. There are so many of them.


[I could make a great parallel to orgasms right now—and as an Erica Jong devotee, I feel I should. But maybe orgasms should be saved for published works and not given away for free. 😉 ]


So I’ve been working every other Friday this year, and my one boss, being out of town, had asked me to work tomorrow even though it’s my off Friday. Well in being sicker than sick, and soo behind in ALL my shit (even the basic things, like mountains of laundry strewn around the house), I KNOW I should be taking the day off so that next week doesn’t start off the same way. But you may as well have asked me to murder a baby, I feel so guilty about it.


Knowing, and doing, are so two very different things.


This no longer has much to do with my syllabus, does it?




Syllabus is good. I’m learning.