Drawing zentangles is a great way to make friends in the social security office.
Every year, my mom and I each take a photo a day. It’s an activity we started doing several years ago, and I think the idea came from friends of ours, but I don’t remember. Each year, she faithfully takes a snapshot of some activity of scene for each day, and then she posts the pictures on Facebook a month at a time. Her dedication and practice over the years are obvious, as her shots are beautiful and unexpected and carefully arranged. Since we are no longer living in the same town, her pictures seem a way for me to be included in daily life.
I do really well for a few months, courtesy of the 7:00pm alert I get on my phone to remind me every day, but round about July or August, I get distracted and give up. Again. I have yet to compete a whole year of 365 pictures. I keep trying, though. Every January, I tell myself this is the year, and every January, I mean it. Here we go again.
This year, a dear friend of mine invited me to engage in her February habit. For the month of February, she posts a photo a day with a description of thirty words or less to preserve mindfulness during a potentially dreary month. You can find her blog post about it here: Capturing Shadows: habit. Hers is not a year-round activity, although she does take beautiful photos. She invited me to participate and post my February pictures daily, as a way to develope the habit of blogging again, and I think it’s a great idea. So here is my first day in the collection of days. (Thirty-word description can be found below the picture.)
Healthy trailmix for happy trails.
Healthy trailmix for happy trails.
Welcome! Or, if you’ve been here before, welcome back!
I am, once again, starting to blog regularly; I’ve been practicing with scraps of notebook paper for the last two weeks. Blogging should be easier now that I have internet service in my apartment. I’ve been living without internet in my home for the last two years, and while the lack of internet was not the burden you might think, blogging will be more comfortable when I can sit on my own couch.
Instead of creating an entirely new blog, I want to revitalize this one from last year. The tagline use to be “The Questions I Ask And The Answers I Don’t Receive,” because that’s where I was when I was writing Words Run Together in 2014-2015. Looking back through the archives, I see myself searching through the months. Some of the searching was given up, some was put on hold, and some directed me to where I am today.
We are all products of our histories, and our past choices greatly impact us in the future. Habits we build or break help to determine how we spend our time. Words that have particular meanings to us resurface again and again, nudging our thinking. Friendships we take the time to nourish can shape us for years. I’m acknowledging where I’ve come from, and by remembering, I’m reminding myself that where I am now is not where I’ll always stay. Life is always changing.
Speaking of changing, you can expect things to shift around the blog in the next couple of months. I might try out some new themes, and I’m tossing around new title ideas. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the focus of the blog: life and growth. Exploring situations, following ideas, and experiencing as many adventures as I can. So stick around and let’s see what happens.
Lately, I’ve been listening to NPR on my twenty-minute commute to work (or Classical QED, if I’m not interested in the NPR bit). One morning, I heard this bit:
It’s an interview about how anonymous Syrian filmmakers create films to show the conflict in a different light. The piece is only around six minutes long; take a listen it you’ve got the time.
Now if only I could find some of the videos…
While looking through my poetry books to find some to send to my younger sister, I rediscovered this one from my favorite poet, Emily Dickinson.
We introduce ourselves
To Planets and to Flowers
But with ourselves
One of my goals this year is to post on my blog at least every two weeks. I have not succeeded in the last month and a half, as you may have noticed. Some of it is from lack of ideas of things to write about, some from being busy, and some from the fact that I do not have internet in my apartment, but honestly, those are all excuses.
So, in the interest of posting something, I would like to share this link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tabathaleggett/if-we-talked-about-men-the-way-we-talk-about-women#.dbRGeYg6Z I hope you look at the article, but if you won’t, it explores the idea of what people would say if they talked about and to men the same way they talked to women. (eg. “He must have slept his way into that job,” and “You’re really funny, for a boy.”)
The way we talk to people and about people displays clearly what we think of them, and it reinforces our perspectives of them, no matter if they are true or not. The more your thoughts travel down a certain pathway, the deeper it is dug in your brain.
When I read the article above, I was aware that the author was specifically pointing out the horrible way people look at and brush off and tear down women, but I don’t want to stop with just thinking about how we treat women. My mom quotes the verse in Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver,” as a reminder to us to speak carefully. I challenge you to consider what you say about anyone and everyone; it’s the first step in changing your thoughts.
New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays, and I am not a holiday person.
New Year’s Eve is that it is all about being right where you are. On New Year’s Eve, we think about the past year, but our focus isn’t on lamenting or praising or wishing for the things that happened in the last 365 days. New Year’s Eve isn’t actually about dreaming or worrying over the coming year. On New Year’s Eve, we are thinking and reveling in being in the very moments that are happening right then.
I was watching the activities in Times Square last night, and I was struck by a conversation that one of the reporters had with some spectators. The reporter asked a group of people from Virginia their wishes for the coming year. One said he wanted a part in his city’s theater troupe; another expressed the wish of being accepted to nursing school. But one of the friends had no wish. It struck me that he probably did have things he wanted out of 2015, but he was so focused on where he was that he couldn’t think of them.
On New Year’s Eve, we all count down together, marking seconds, until our calendars change, and people say it’s a special time, but that second of difference between December 31, 2014 and January 1, 2015 is no different than any other second in any other time of the year. The difference is that we notice it and mark it, and that gives it a different meaning.
What if we lived all year long with the same kind of presence that we do on New Year’s Eve? What would our lives look like if we lived every moment so wholly grateful for the present? And, of course, what could we accomplish, what could we grow into, if we lived every day with the intentionality we give to New Year’s resolutions?