a look in the mirror

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I ran late to my dance troupe rehearsal this evening and was impatient to get to the studio because of it. So, while the car in front of me was traveling at a perfectly reasonable rate, I decided to pass. While passing, the vehicle began matching my speed, accelerating right along with me. “What a dick!” I said to myself. I wondered what kind of game he thought he was playing. He slowly returned to his previous rate of travel after I ratcheted up the acceleration. (Don’t be a bonehead like me, ok?)

Shortly after that, a driver maneuvered to pass me. When his vehicle seemed to hover next to me instead of advancing, I wondered what the hell kind of game he thought he was playing. “What a weirdo!” I thought to myself.

But then I looked down at the speedometer and saw that my rate of travel had increased significantly. Without realizing it or meaning to do it, I was matching this driver’s speed.

2018-ish resolutions progress

This will be quick. Writing a blog post every day is the only resolution I’ve come close to satisfying. I didn’t anticipate the enormous time suck of writing a blog. At least not the way I’ve gone about it. I’m not going to stop doing it but I do need to rethink my approach. As for the rest of the ginormous list:

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short story writing: I haven’t completed anything but I’ve consistently tortured myself about not completing anything. I wonder if that should count…

sewing: This is actually not so bad. I’ve sewn two pairs of pants, three tops, a dress, and a kimono cardigan. Plus, I’m almost done with another top. Still have a mountain of sewing to conquer though.

learning instruments: Practiced banjo a few times and even started learning classical guitar but I did this so few times it’s hardly worth mentioning. But I won’t let that stop me from mentioning it. I also practiced the piano.

learning French: I worked on this few days. Must make this a higher priority!

better health decisions: Nope. I recently started juicing. Every time I get the internal push to quit the junk food cold turkey, I find myself buying a bag of Doritos. Not that my diet is total crap. I mostly eat fruits, vegetables and grains but I am a cola and potato chip addict. Exercise is worse. I dance with my dance troupe and do some flexibility exercises when I think about it but that’s it. No progress with running or strength training. This is really bad news for someone my age who struggles just to maintain muscle mass.

art stuff: Meh. I painted a large sign for my uncle. No sculpture, no dollmaking, no portrait paintings, no jewelry. So sad.

house stuff: set up a new recycling system in our home, reorganized dog supplies, working on reorganizing a closet in the kitchen. Hardly stellar progress but progress nonetheless.

meditation/spirituality: Read one book on spirituality. Meditated many days.

reading: Short of my goal but I’ve averaged one book every two or three weeks. At least one book every month. I have to document this stuff better. Oh, wait! That’s partly what this blog is supposed to help me do!

Some folks have told me I’m nuts to try to tackle so many things simultaneously. That’s not entirely accurate actually. Mostly I think they worry I’ll crash and burn so they encourage me to only focus on one of the items. I don’t blame them.

But as crazy as the list might seem, I’m not staking my life on accomplishing all these things. They’re more like goals that I’m working toward. I hoped I’d be able to incorporate everything into my routine right out of the gate but that didn’t happen. Now, I see it will be take a while to incorporate all of these things into my routine on a consistent basis. My gut tells me it’s doable and that it’s important that I try. So that’s what I’m doing. I should emphasize that I don’t feel stressed out about it.

reminder to myself

It’s so easy to fall into despair when watching the news. I don’t know if it’s the news’ propensity to focus on doom and gloom or my tendency to ruminate over negativity that plunges me into dark places. Probably an unfortunate combination of the two.

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Either way, I end up scared, angry, or dispirited and diving into an emotional tailspin. (Because scared, angry, and dispirited are just the opening act.) Not that you’d know I’m in a tailspin by looking at me. On the surface, I’m as cool as a cucumber. It’s inside that I’m roiling in dark emotion.

I inevitably end up in a line of thinking/feeling that questions the purpose of life and people, including me. The emotional roads I travel in those moments take me into bleak places.

Then a strange thing happens. Out of nowhere that still inner voice takes hold, pulls me back from the abyss every time my brain dangles me over the precipice to hell. As corny as it sounds, that inner voice reminds me of the beauty people are capable of and that the planet is abundant in.

I remind myself that if I’m so dissatisfied with the world and myself, I need to find some way to make it a better place. To make myself a better person. Then, I remind myself that I need to spend at least as much time feeding my brain positivity as it does negativity.

Sometimes it’s as simple as just turning off the news and taking a walk outside.