Tag Archives: life

What Day Is It?

While it doesn’t happen too often (thankfully), today was a day when I woke up and realized I had no idea what day of the week it was. At some level it was amusing. At another it was frustrating. It could have been frightening. I began sleepily thinking about “what did I do yesterday?” 

Yesterday was an interesting day… it started with a meeting to discuss some new training oppo0rtunities  for solopreneurs*; continued with a fun and meaningful hour attending the S.A.D. 4 Annual Veteran’s Assembly and ended with facilitating a public speaking workshop. I suppose I could have posted each of those on Facebook along with an indepth report of my food intake and emotional state. Of course I did some other stuff too. If you are feeling deprived because I didn’t share everything, let me know and I’ll try to fill you in. I doubt the demand will be over-whelming.

Several hours and cups of coffee later, I’m pleased to report that I am now cognizant and coherent.  I know that it’s 11-11-11 and it’s Veterans’ Day. I even remember that later today I will have the distinct honor of  emceeing the Dedication Ceremony for the new Abbot Honor Roll. Maybe because it’s the first day in a while that I haven’t had to “hit the ground running,” it did take a while to get the wheels turning. (That might be another one of my mixed metaphors–it took a while to get my feet moving. No, wait, wheels here means the gears in my brain.) 

With the backdrop of Veterans’ Day activities yesterday and today, I had time to think about how fortunate I am. I get to do fun things.  I do work that I enjoy–at least mostly. I like that I live in a proud town. I really like that I share some traditional values–including a deep appreciation for our Veterans with my neighbors. I get to believe I’m part of something and I get to believe I matter.

During yesterday’s school assembly one point struck home hard. The sentiment was that those who gave their lives in battle are at peace. They did so that we might live in peace. One could almost think they are fortunate; they have found the peace we seek.

Perhaps we aren’t always looking in the right places. Being at peace with others can be challenging, being at peace with ourselves is always possible.

I believe when John McCrae penned he second stanza of that famous poem, he was challenging us to fully understand that peace and passion are so closely related they may be inseparable.

…To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The torch we’ve been thrown is about passion. Without passion there can be no peace. Let’s truly understand the debt we have to our Veterans–to have the same passion for those things that matter and to live in the peace their passion made possible.


*A solopreneur is an entrepreneur who works alone, “solo,” running their business single-handedly. You’ll be hearing more about this in the very near future!

One Small Thing…

 I’ve tried to “embed” a short TED presentation for you to consider… it’s only about three and half minutes long.

Many of us have heard that it takes thirty days to form a new habit. This is not about that. Well, not exactly.

What I love about this presentation is the simple elegance. We don’t need to do extreme makeovers in order to change. We just need to commit to trying something for thirty days. I found, for example, the presenter’s example of committing to take one photo every day for thirty days interesting, because I often find myself “whining” (to myself anyway) that I’m not using my camera more. Should I commit to taking one photo everyday for the next thirty?

 

Irene the Dream or Irene the Nightmare?

“I’ll see you in my dreams!” I suppose your age will affect whether the blog title reminds of a song or the current hurricane.

Fear is a powerful emotion. By their own admission many people are “freaking out” over the possibilities Irene is offering. 

On a somewhat analytical level it’s interesting to see how people are reacting to the threat. It’s reassuring when the reaction is relatively calm planning. It’s disconcerting when the reaction is “freaking out.”

First of all I’m really sure what “freaking out” is.  Apparently it has something to do with a “heightened emotional state” according to the Free Dictionary. I gather it can apply to different emotions: fear, anger, excitement.

Understand that I’m not making fun of people who are, perhaps, reacting strongly to this threat. (Notice I did not say “over-reacting.” I think folks are pretty much entitled to react as they please, up to and including freaking out.) I do think that ultimately it’s about perspective and I’m afraid I do not totally understand the value of freaking out.

I do understand the value of emotion. But as human beings we have a wonderful if mystical ability to balance emotion and logic.

How often do we say (or hear said) something about needing to accept things we can’t control? We certainly can’t control a hurricane; we can only control how we think about it–and what we do about it.

In the song about Irene the promise is “I’ll see you in my dreams.” While it wasn’t the intent of the song to imply that a dream-based visit to Irene was going to be better than a real one… well, suffice it to say there are some questions here–just as there are questions about the impending visit from Irene the hurricane.

It is easy (and in an odd way, fun) to be afraid. This Irene is not in our dreams, but we may find ourselves thinking she’s going to be our worst nightmare. Focusing on the dream or the nightmare moves us out of the natural order of things. This Irene is just a hurricane.

By the way, if you’d like to escape from worrying about Irene the Hurricane for a few minutes, you might try researching Irene the dream. I’ll bet you didn’t know (spoiler alert) that the song includes a component of using suicide as a coping mechanism.

Whatever the events taking place in our lives, there are plenty of options besides freaking out or considering suicide. We may not be able to control those events, but we sure can control how we think about them and what we do about them. Controling how we think and what we do has the power to create that balance between emotion and logic.

No dreams, no nightmares. It’s a nice place to be.

Lesson on the Mountain

        As I stopped to catch my breath, I found myself contemplating whether or not I was really having fun yet. It started out simply enough. A little walk in the woods while visiting my hometown. I was doing fine, ambling along the abandoned road until I saw a new sign. It marked a new trail and promised a number of wonderful vistas for those who hiked a mile up the mountain.

        I was feeling spontaneous and adventuresome. I had some time to kill. I chuckled a bit as I considered whether or not to “do” the trail. Mountain climbers are often quoted as explaining they climbed a mountain because it was there. I was alone. To whom did I need to explain my decision? I could, after all, just do it simply because I wanted to.

        Naturally, the box containing the “trail guide and map” was empty. I must have been feeling philosophical, too because I actually considered that something of a blessing. I’d have to discover things on my own rather than follow the numbers. Why do we so often need to have things ordered and mapped out? Why do we look at the things someone else has decided we should see?

        My first “breath catching” stop came a lot sooner than I’d hoped. As I pushed on, thoughts seemed to be rolling down the mountain, threatening to over take me. “No one knows where I am… This would not be a great place to have a heart attack… Continue reading Lesson on the Mountain