Sunday, March 15, 2015

In Gratitude

...for smiling faces.
...for birdsong.

...for glimpses of spring.
...for unique pottery that makes my morning granola that much better.

...for seeing the sun! (it never gets old)
...for shrinking snow banks.

...for the return of grass.
...for too many sweets.

 ...for cool buildings that mix new and old.
...for the belief that I can do too many things at once.

 ...for big ideas.
...for failure just being another word for opportunity.

...for silliness.
...for my studio mates and all their creative ideas.

 ...for having to question whether I'm in college or kindergarten.
...for rest after long days.

 ...for post prelim pancakes.
...for shoulders to cry on.

...for the thawing of the waterfall.
...for building new friendships.

...for dinner out with great people.
 ...for pizza.

...for impromptu evening tours of campus buildings.
...for movie nights.

...for meeting my friend's project...a robot named baxter.
...for hours long discussions about space and it's exploration.

...for homemade gnocchi.
...for delight.

 ...for generous friends who make meetings more delicious.
...for growth.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

In gratitude

…for friends.
…for knitting.

… for colors.
…for coffee.

 … for homework help and ice cream.
…for the particles that make up everything, but still seems to be incomprehensible.

 …for breaking things.
…for impromptu construction lessons.

 …for post prelim baking.
…for time off.

 …for flowers.
…for warm light.

 …for beautiful veggies.
…for time to cook.

 …for watching movies and making hot fudge.
…for going out in -4 degrees F. to get ice cream for the hot fudge.

 …for funky knitting projects.
…for knitting as homework.

 …for melting ice.
…for the the science and art inherent in art.

 …for surprise notes left on the bathroom mirror.
…for such caring housemates that any one of them could've writing these notes.

 …for my first voluntary walk in 6 weeks.
…for above freezing temperatures.

 …for whimsy.
…for inside jokes.

 …for forced bulbs.
…for sharing.

 …for sunsets.
…for nice architecture.

 …for being able to feed my housemates pound cake.
…for snippets of domesticity.

 …for interesting book finds.
…for chances to enter the mysterious realm of the city planners.

 …for Lemmy in snow.
…for laughter.

 …for Mocha Bean in snow.
…for non-absorbant floors.

 …for awkward bunny faces.
…for Netfix.

 …for public murals.
…for breaking out of my routine.

 …for opportunities.
…for new ideas.

 …for sunflowers!
…for sun.

 …for half-birthdays as an excuse for cake.
…for love and encouragement.


No, I did not forget to put a space in the title. Today I'd like to talk to you about what happened when I got super busy and stopped taking the time to note, and share, things I am grateful for. Firstly I learned that gratitude takes practice! Constant practice, not practicing gratitude for even a couple of days made me feel selfish, grumpy, and owed. Owed? Why would I feel owed? Because I blamed circumstances rather than myself for the lack of wonder, celebration and positive feelings in my life. I blamed my organic chemistry midterm which I was super stressed about, I blamed studio in which my responsibilities change every five minutes, I blamed extracurriculars that ate up my weekends and free time, and I blamed the people in my life even though I was the one willingly giving them my time and energy. In reality I put myself in the position to be stressed about my exam, my studio has always been and will always be that fluid but it is my choice as to how I respond it it, I am choosing to engage in those extracurriculars, am most importantly I chose to give out energy that it might have been better to hold on to. Notice a common word there? Choice. With choice comes control, even when you make bad choices, because if you can chose to do something you can also chose to stop doing it. The hard part in that process though is accepting the choices you have already made without letting guilt and shame weigh you down. That is the point I'm at right now.

I have chosen to sleep walk for the past three weeks, reacting to life not guiding it. Only waking up to pain not pleasure. But all the while I still had a semblance of gratitude and compassion, a holier that thou attitude in a way. While part of that I think was my inner self trying to make itself heard it got routed through my ego which wanted to be seen as being calm, grateful, and good not doing those things because they felt good. As a consequence I've felt hollow, gutted, like something has been taken away from me, but my ego was the one doing the taking.

Now that I've come to these realizations I'm trying to tame my ego and let true gratitude and compassion act in my life again. I'm in the process of forgiving myself for the harm I have done to myself and not causing more harm from the guilt that occurs in the process. It's time to…

Begin again.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

In gratitude

…for warm clothing.

…for the humor provided by the painfully obvious.
…for 8-10 more inches of snow in the next two days.

…for beautiful bridges I've admired my whole time here.
 …for the weather holding off long enough for my friend to fly to her interview.

…for frozen waterfalls.
 …for community.

…for blue sky.
 …for reminders to keep the faith when it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle.

…for pristine snow.
 …for constant learning about myself.

…for time to just hang out and chat with beloved studio friends.
 …for unexpected connections.

…for vitamin C during flu season.
 …for sitting on the kitchen floor chatting for hours.

…for inside jokes about fruit fly sex (housemate's genetics lab).
…for ice cream even in winter.

Monday, February 2, 2015

In need of silence

Evidence of my current disorganized state

It has been a crazy few days and promises to continue that way for the next week. While all the things that are making my life incredibly busy are good things; work, getting new projects underway, making new friends and getting together with old treasured ones. I wish I could say I take it all in my stride and am impervious to stress, frustration, and emotional exhaustion. However that would be a lie. Emotional exhaustion is the big one for me right now since I selfishly hoard my energy close and thus being a worse friend.

My schedule for this week

I know I am out of balance when I don't even have time to address my basic needs like cooking and when I can't remember when I last showered. I've been scarfing sandwiches and maybe had a shower on Sunday, but I'd have to double check. I need to find a moment, or several moments, to replenish my soul. Moments of silence. Moments of nesting while the snow blows. Moments of wonder. Moments of delight. Moments to remember who I am and why I do what I do.

The beautiful snowstorm we're having

Now to find moments to indulge in a warm cup of tea and some quiet contemplation. I invite you to join me.