Anything Can Be

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Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. ― Shel Silverstein

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Sunday Night Musings: Honest(ly) C

If I write out everything that my weekend entailed—or post all the azure-skied, blue-watered photos (see below)—it might just have the power to make you envious.

Boats, brunches, beers, buddies, belaying!  Que bella!

Yes! Overall it was a really, really good one. The weather was a Per-Fect 10 (seriously, SO sensational), and I got to see more friends in a 48-hour span than I sometimes see in weeks. Many parts of it were awesome.

At the same time, I may have built it up a bit too much (it’s always about the expectations, isn’t it?), and then I feel a bit let down/guilty by the few parts of the weekends that felt just so-so…The judging part of my mind tries to whisper: What? How was that not the best weekend of your entire life?!

For one thing, I know this about myself: I am so, so affected by others’ energy, and I realize I even sometimes pick up on the collective energy of a city when things are in high-gear. This has always been the case—whether detecting a gaggle of bagpipes from our hilltop Edinburgh apartment or hearing the clamor of White House rallies from my DC office ‘hood; if there is something going on, I feel I must be in the thick of it. I need to rush to the epicenter to sleuth out what’s going on—to immerse myself in it, too. (Even here, when I sit on my patio and soak in far-off notes from some concert or festival of which I am not aware, some evenings, it takes everything in my power to stay put on that balcony…)

This weekend, Seattle felt frenetic to me at times. It was oh-so-exciting, and I totally get what the fuss was all about. A joyful buzz permeated the entire town. People were rejoicing–for SUN!, for warmth, for spring, for food truck rodeos, for concerts, for the opening of boating season, for Cinco de Mayo, for anything and everything! Perhaps even for the simple glimpse at/promise of what’s to come. There were sundresses and bare chests and flip flops and cocktails….It was amazing. It was also a lot.

So tonight I’m actually (hallelujah) relishing some Sunday night solo quiet in my still apartment. I’m finishing up some story assignments….cos guess what? Tomorrow night means continued celebrations and an alfresco BBQ. I’m hoping that, with a good night’s sleep (and limited expectations:)), I’ll be raring to go.

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Word masters

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“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”~T.S. Eliot

Let the Journey Begin

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Come dress yourself in love, let the journey begin.
– Francesca da Rimini

Sending Out an SOS: Information/Connection Overload

Recently, my phone is driving me batty. It’s been building for awhile now and is only getting worse/more embarrassing with time. I think I’ve officially reached a point where an intervention (+ some action) is needed. Stat. I realize that it’s not my iPhone per se that’s gradually pushing me closer to the looney bin, but rather my dependence upon/addiction to it. (For the record, this was always my biggest fear as I held out on getting a smartphone far longer than the average Joe).

On certain days, my phone now has the tendency to make me feel anxious and sometimes completely, unjustifiably unhappy. This sounds so silly, I know. I also know that this is hardly a novel complaint–so many of us are suffering from social media overload and the overwhelm that comes along with being forever connected. I love that my phone allows me to feel closer to friends and family who are so far away. But I hate that it sometimes feels as though I’m light-years removed from the present…from the here and now. I fear it’s making me miss out on life.

So, how to remedy this situation? What changes can I realistically make (and more importantly keep) to break these pesky habits?

Yesterday, I conducted a little experiment in which I made myself keep my phone turned off throughout the duration of my 15-minute walk home from yoga. These are a few of the things I saw, sites that I realized I would’ve missed entirely, had I had my eyes turned downward and my head buried in my teeny-tiny scrolling screen:

~a kid’s charmingly scribbly, handmade Valentine’s sign hanging in the Italian cafe’s window

~a minuscule hummingbird buzzing about in the bushes

~a school playground (that I had never even noticed, despite walking this street on a near-daily basis) that was filled with entertaining kiddos like a wiggly, dancing ham of a kid in a Where’s Waldo tee and a youngster with the biggest fro I’ve seen in ages

~a landscaping van that read “Garden of Weedin'”

**This makes me think: what else have I been oblivious to in my path? What other opportunities might I be letting pass me by?

It’s time for action.

If you have any tips for me on how to effectively disconnect from time to time, I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, I’m thinking that these words of wisdom from the  zen habits blog (see below) are a great place to start. Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Here’s hoping we can all tune in to the magic right in front of our eyes.

“Single-task. I’ve written numerous times in the past about single-tasking vs. multitasking, but I think people multitask now more than ever. People text while on the train, while walking, while driving. They tweet and post to Facebook and Instagram, they email and read blogs and news, they watch videos while getting things done, they watch TV while eating, they plan their day while doing chores. This is a great way to cause a level of anxiety that runs through everything you do, because you’re always worried you should be doing more, doing something else. What if, instead, you just did one thing, and learned to trust that you shouldn’t be doing anything else? It takes practice: just eat. Just wash your bowl. Just walk. Just talk to someone. Just read one article or book, without switching. Just write. Just do your email, one at a time, until your inbox is empty. You’ll learn that there is peace in just doing one thing, and letting go of everything else.”

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{Spotted on today’s walk, taped to a drain pipe, in honor of yesterday’s holiday}

Hope smiles

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“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come / Whispering ‘It will be happier.'”~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Don’t worry, be happy

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The most astounding thing about children, I think, is how happy they are. How each morning, they open their eyes excited, unencumbered. Smiley, twinkly-eyed, giggly, present. Their joy is infectious. What can we learn from them? Clearly, so much.

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“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy

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