The Edges of Prudence

natterings and musings of a girl just trying to "be good."


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An Open Letter to My Dear Friends, past present and future:

In loving memory of our dear friend, Palmira.

Dearest Friends,

Life has brought us together at different times, for different reasons, depths and periods.  Life has also moved us apart at different times, for different reasons, depths and periods.  Some of us have woven our lives together, like roots of neighbouring trees.  We intersect, lean, and hug one another all twisted and dependent for survival.  Some of us have moved together briefly, like birds flocking on the same gusty paths one season, but eventually blown apart, moving on different gusts of wind leading us in differing directions.  Some of us have yet to collide, but I can feel myself moving toward you like a magnet to metal and I can’t wait to connect.

To my sweet past friends:

Sometimes we’ve slowly and quietly drifted apart.  Sometimes we have pushed and pulled ever so forcefully apart.  We’ve fought apart.  We’ve let go, gently, harshly, purposefully, or even, accidentally.  We’ve shared laughter and tears as all friends do.  We’ve stumbled home arm in arm singing “Stand by Me” at the top of our lungs.  We’ve kissed on New Years.  We’ve kissed on every other day of the year – for love, for lust or just…because we could.  We’ve hugged and held each other through painful losses and fulfilling gains.  We’ve bruised each other.  We’ve walked hand-in-hand down corridors, hallways and streets.  We’ve pushed each other’s bruises, just for fun, asking “does it hurt when I push here?”  We’ve shared things and people – sometimes other friends, sometimes clothes, sometimes crushes and, even, lovers.  We’ve made horrendous mistakes with each other.  We’ve made horrendous mistakes to each other.  We’ve slung hurtful words like mud on each other’s faces.  We’ve spit in each others faces, then laughed, hurtfully and slowly, together and happily.  We’ve hurt each other, then bandaged ourselves up.  We’ve played dress-up together as children and adults.  We’ve been amazingly silly together.  We’ve laughed until we’ve peed.  We’ve cried until we’ve laughed.  We’ve taken out anguish on each other, because we thought it was a safe haven: our friendship was forever, you see.  We’ve nourished each other.  We’ve neglected each other.  Maybe one of us turned our back for a moment, distracted by something shiny and new, and suddenly the other was gone.  Maybe one of us purposely walked away, tired and weary for reasons unknown.  Or then, there are those of us who cut the cord openly.  We both knew it was goodbye.  But our connections remain despite time and distance, because we’ve broken bonds to protect each other from heartbreak, we’ve laid ourselves on train tracks for each other.  We’ve broken each other’s hearts.  We’ve taken contacts out of each others drunken eyes, even when those eyes have strayed.  We’ve ridden our bikes so fast we thought our lungs would burst.  We’ve shared paper-bagged lunches.  We’ve talked and talked and talked and talked.  Who knew people could talk SO much.  We’ve given each other our last Skittle, because that’s what friends do.  We’ve wiped sweat, tears and vomit for each other, from each other.  We’ve held pony-tailed heads out of toilets, we’ve rubbed backs and brows, kissed cheeks and lips.  We’ve loved at our most vulnerable.  We’ve had fun, damnit.  We’ve become ourselves despite of each other, with each other…because of each other.

Perhaps we are now so very far away from each other, living on different continents…in different worlds.  Perhaps you are just a quick jaunt away from me, but we move in and out of one another’s orbit now, without touching, laughing, talking.  But know this, dear friend: I am me because of you.  You have made my life so much sweeter.  You have taught me lessons no one else could have.  We’ve seen each other at our worst, but I only remember your best.  You are lovely and loved.  For you, I am grateful.  If I never see your smiling face, or hug your wonderful body again, know that you have made me, me.

To my present:

You are like presents to me.  Every day I get to see you brightens my life.  Friendship is no longer convenient, as it once was.  We have to work at it.  Life moves us on and on and on and on never leaving time, it seems, for a cup of tea and a long talk.  But we make time and is it ever worth it.  We’ve come to know friendship from the discerning eye of a landscaper.  We’re no longer wildflowers popping up in fields at will – we’ve been carefully chosen, pruned and fertilized.  We have grown together through the worst life has been able to throw our way.  We’ve weathered storms.  We’ve twisted our way around obstacles and strong gales, like arbutus trees, to thrive together, in spite of life’s unending hurricanes of challenges.  We spend less time playing dress-up and more time trudging through piles of laundry, but with broad smiles and open hearts, we’ve let life strip away the charades.  We embrace.  We laugh until we pee.  We talk it out – no matter what the topic.  You help me be a better version of myself.  We are our true authentic selves without fear of being judged.  We are stripped down and wide open.  We’ve learned the hard way how precious authentic friendships are.  We’ve chosen one another with care.  We will not let go easily.

Dearest future friend:

I don’t know when we will meet.  Perhaps it’ll be when one of us is at our worst.  Or maybe we’ll be at our best.  Regardless, I promise you this: I will be true.  I will be warm.  I will not always be easy.  I will not always say or do the right thing.  I may not agree with you all of the time.  You may not like some parts of me.  But I will love you honestly.  I will try to make you laugh until you pee.  I will do stupid things.  Some will make you laugh, others will make you mad.  We can talk and talk and talk and talk and wonder how anyone could talk for so long.  I don’t know how long we’ll be friends for, but I know this: I will be me and you will be you.  We will bring something, though there’s no telling what that something might be, into one another’s lives.  We will learn from each other in some way.  We will smile.  We will probably drink tea or wine or both.  We will become our future selves because of one another and it will be good.

To Palmira:

So many words have been said of you these past weeks.  Every single word is true.  I will not repeat them.  Although it’s been a very long time since we’ve hugged and laughed together, knowing I will not get this chance again leaves a broken place inside me.  It breaks me to think we take for granted that “next chance” to catch up with an old friend.  For us, that next time never came.  But every moment I become aware of this broken place, it is immediately filled with everything so wonderful that you brought into this world – as though it is you gently reminding me to see the light in the world, to shrug off the negative like you so often did.  You leave behind so many beautiful lessons for all who have known you.  What you’ve taught me should not be diminished by my inadequate command of language, but at its core is this: do not care what others think of you.  Love yourself.  Love everyone around you.  Smile.  HUG like you mean it.  Do things that make your heart sing.  Makes choices that make the world around you – immediately, mildly, or immensely – a better place.  Do not be afraid to have adventures.  Do not be afraid to be you.  Wear cardigans.  And finally, when you think of someone you care for: connect.  When you remember an old friend, send them a message so they know you think of them.  When you think something positive about someone: tell them.  Move forward, embrace the world in front of you, and always remember where you came from.

With love,

Darby


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Welcome Home

It’s been a while.  I guess you could say I’ve been busy.  Anything I could list here as a reason for my lack of posts would fall into the “excuse” category, although all would be legitimate and true.  None of it really matters…well, it ALL matters, I just know that writing about it here doesn’t.  I’ve been on hiatus for a variety of excellent reasons.  I remind myself my true intent in embarking into the blogisphere – to do whatever I want within these text boxes.  To expand, to shrink, to explore, to just be.  So in being absent, I’ve still been around in spirit – just focusing my energies elsewhere.

As we sit in our post-endoftheworldnotactuallyending lives, I see the focus shifting to New Year’s and all that comes with it – indulgence, review of the year just passed, taking stock, solidifying resolutions for the year to come – I find myself at peace with the moment.  I have adventures to come, I’ve had adventures this past year.  This coming year will be like no other – as each accumulated year is in its own right unique.

I tend to be overly planful.  If I have any resolution this year, it’s to languish in each and every moment for what it is and avoid spending too much time focusing on the past and the future.  To take it all in, be grateful for what I have, where I am, who I am with in each and every minute.  To recognize challenges as important lessons that will enrich and nourish me.  To be humbled and appreciative.  To laugh, to smile, and to drink it all in.  To, as much as possible, know how blessed I am and to pay it forward wherever and whenever possible.

 

 

 


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Just Be.

I’ve stopped to smell the roses.  To watch the sunset.  To breathe in life all around me.  To self-indulge in the healthiest of ways: sleep well, eat well, be well, be present.  Pause.  Let go of achievement. Let go of efforting toward a goal.  Let go of the need to please.  Just pause.

Stress has become the popularized curse-word of our society.  Stress-this.  Stress-that.  But stress is no joke and it is linked to nearly every unhealthy counterproductive high-risk behaviour out there.  Over-eating.  Under-eating.  Over-cleaning.  Under-cleaning.  Over & under exercising.  Over and under indulging…achieving…being.

We are goal oriented people in a goal oriented society.  We glamourize high risk behaviours such as addiction leading people to achieve via self-destruction.  We encourage obsession, leading to a world full of overly anxious, self-conscious, over-achieving individuals who never feel anything we do is quite enough.  We don’t feel we work hard enough, play hard enough, exercise hard enough, so we end up doing them all WAY TOO HARD, tear our bodies and minds apart in the process and wonder why we still feel crappy despite doing everything “right.”

We forget to just be.  Be in the process.  Accept the journey of life.  Be present.  Accept that as long as we keep running after arbitrary goals and achievements whose reward will be a mere fleeting moment of self-satisfaction before we launch ourselves into the oblivion of yet another achievement-focused path we will never ever get the opportunity to enjoy life as it is, right here and right now.

I am teaching myself to be.

This is much more complex than it may seem.  I’m pausing.  Soaking it in.  Remembering that the moments where I laugh until my belly hurts, hug a friend in need, snuggle with my love and my pooch are the moments that truly count.  These are the moments I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.  Not one of my achievements now or ever will measure up to the love, the friendship, and the laughter I have filled my life with.  Life is not the sum of our achievements, it is the matrix of moments we are truly present and appreciative of all we are blessed with.

Progress is received, not achieved, through surrendering to process, peace, and patience.

Just be.  You are perfect.

D


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Nostalgie

There are moments, I tell you.  These moments when the world falls away and we remember who we were before we became who we are.  There’s this impressive forward motion to humanity: we are encouraged to move forward, to progress, and to be present.  We are encouraged to avoid rumination over regrets of our past.  For some, this leads to the forward momentum of avoidance – of regrets, disappointments, embarrassment, heart-break.  You can see it like the quick dash of a rabbit avoiding a predator – zigging and zagging all over the place.

But then there are these beautiful and bittersweet moments where we are so happy where we are in the here and now, that we are able to feel the beautiful nostalgia of where we once were.  Regrets and grudges be gone, we are here because of where we were and true nostalgia allows us to pay respect.  I say, live in the moment, but leave a little room for nostalgia over the past and much hope for the future.

I’ve recently been propelled into my youth via the conduit of music.  Somehow, suddenly and without notice, I encountered music that holds a special place in my heart and reminds me of everything I was and hoped to be as a teenager.  That tumultuous time where we are so consumed with hormones, driven by emotion, and utterly and completely confused (despite the belief we “know it all,” quite literally).  I’ve spent the last 12 years distancing myself from my adolescence.  I’m not sure why.  I think we all feel confused and emotional during our adolescence.  I was so ready to move beyond that time in my life I fear I dashed out friendships and relationships too quickly.  I wanted to travel, to explore, and to break free of all of the cliched stereotypes engulfing me.

In any case, somehow moving beyond my 20’s into my 30’s has marked a significant forward movement for me.  A freeing, of sorts.  I didn’t know what to expect, but somehow, somewhere, I found peace.  I’ve heard this is common.  Here I am, a cliche yet again!  In any case,  I’m here, and I am me.  Somehow I’ve spent the last 20 years trying to get here.  I remember so many journal entries about wanting to be in a place feeling exactly as I am, with people around me who love me for all of me.  And here I am!  ME!  What a weird feeling after 20 years of struggling to be here, and to be me.  But I’ve come to learn that self-love is the only way to end up in a place where we are surrounded by people who are loving, kind, accepting, and love us unconditionally.  Self-love is truly the only way to be the people we want to be.

I suppose arriving at ourselves allows us to be grateful for the influences of those who propelled us forward, who shaped us, who challenged us (however painful the challenges may have been), and who hurt us.  All of the turmoil and (oft, self-inflicted) pain of youth and early adulthood teach us how to pick ourselves up and move forward.  By looking back with an open heart we can consider those we may have hurt and hope only they too have found themselves exactly where they want to be, looking back with fondness and nostalgia.

Here’s to looking back with a smile…

-D


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When the World Opens Itself to You

“LUCK: When preparation meets opportunity.”

This past month has been pretty stressful for me.  I’m not sure what it is about September, but it’s the time in my life when everything seems to come tumbling down around me and I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Everything happens in September.  I’m not kidding.  In 2006, I came home from Halifax because my aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  Exactly one year later, she died and I gained custody of her daughter.  In 2008, a friend and colleague was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was diagnosed with a mysterious tumour in my hip bone.   And every year since then something happens.  This year the “stuff” has been in the financial and personal realm.  Thank-you universe for keeping my loved ones healthy.

So this has been a hard month.  Yesterday, while it seemed yet one more thing was weighing on my shoulders, two possible solutions presented themselves.  Amazing!  Since I was young, I have always found that if I keep open to possibility, things just work out.  Some call it “luck” others call it “the secret” and others call it God.  I’ve just realized that when you want something to work out, and you believe in it working out, you believe there is a solution, you believe you have the ability to figure it out, things work out.  The first explicit incidence of this I can recall is when I was shopping for my first car.  I had saved up $1300, I was 17, and I wanted my own car.  My mom and I went car hunting one day.  By lunchtime, I was feeling dejected, disappointed, and frustrated with the lack of products that suited my idea of the “perfect first car.”  Over lunch, we chatted about what I envisioned and what we had already viewed.  My mom said simply, that I should realize I’m unlikely to find the exact car to fit my wish list on day one of shopping.  This was unsatisfactory to me.  I wanted the car, and I didn’t want to spend weeks looking for it.   My mom told me that’s not how the “real world” works.  And maybe she’s right,  however…

Later that day, I happened to have a conversation with the mother of an old friend from elementary school.  I can’t recall the reason we ended up on the telephone, but it had been a long time since I’d talked to this person and we were briefly chatting about what was occurring in our lives as of late.  I mentioned my search for a vehicle.  She immediately replied that her father, my friend’s grandfather, had a habit of buying old cars and fixing them up for his grandkids.  He had done just that with a car that fit my wish list perfectly, but all of his grandkids were already outfitted with cars.  I scheduled a meeting that evening, and by the next day, I was the proud owner of a little sporty hatchback!  It was a beater, and it was purple, but it fit my wish list perfectly!

After that day, my Mom started referring to these incidences as “Darby’s World” events.  She would quip “Only in Darby’s World” when something worked out in my favour.  After that, I started thinking about this phenomenon.  I did some reading, and came across one study (cannot for the life of me remember where or by whom) where they studied “luck.”  They divided people into two groups after putting them through a regimen of psychometric testing supposedly to measure how “lucky” these people were.  Then they randomly assigned the people into the “luck” category and the “unluck” category.  The participants believed this sorting was based on their performance on the testing, and that those in the lucky group actually were more lucky based on the measurements.  Then they followed these people for a period of time, keeping track of “lucky” events in their lives.  In the end, they found that the “lucky” group had more incidences of lucky events, such as winning the lottery and so on.  The explanation given for the phenomenon was not that there was something categorically more lucky about the lucky group, per se.  The explanation was that the people who believed themselves to be lucky were more likely to open themselves to opportunities.  If they felt lucky, they’d buy a lottery ticket.  On the other hand, the “unlucky” group were less likely to do things like buy lottery tickets because they thought “well I’m unlucky, I’ll never win, why would I waste my money?”  To me, this explains the “Darby’s World” phenomenon perfectly, and I think it can be anyone’s world.  You can’t win if you don’t play the game, right?

It’s not that I’m more lucky or lead some kind of blessed life.  Bad stuff happens.  I lose sometimes.  Things don’t always work out the way I planned.  But, because I have an understanding that opportunities can turn to luck simply by opening myself to them, when there is something in my life I desire, I open myself to solutions.  Some might see this as a simply optimism vs. pessimism viewpoint, but I think it’s more.  The world opens itself to us, and it’s up to us to step through those openings and make opportunity realities.  When you believe that things can work out in your favour, you are more likely to see past the barriers to the solutions.  Yesterday, I was stressed and worried about the weight of the burdens on my shoulders.  These things have been weighing on me for weeks.  I verbalized them to Scott and said “what are we going to do?”  Within hours two solutions presented themselves to us without our really doing anything.  The world opened itself to us.  We stepped through and we’ll see where these opportunities lead.  But what if we didn’t step through?  These opportunities may not yet be official solutions, but now they have the power to be.  If we hadn’t accepted what was being offered in opportunity, we’d still be back at square one.

The point of all this?  Be open to possibility, to opportunity, and to solutions.  Be one of the lucky ones.

-D


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What Did You Do Today?

I’ve started and stopped a post every day for the last couple of weeks.  There’s been a lot on my mind and I’ve been struggling to express it all.  I feel I’ve been overwhelmingly overflowing with thoughts and ideas, but have taken a step back to observe.  The words observe, process, and progress have stuck at the forefront of my brain for the last couple of weeks.  Then, I was listening to a talk by Gabrielle Bernstein and she was challenging the idea that personal self-growth is a time-limited event…some goal we reach for and attain at some point.  To those people saying “well I’ve done XYZ to grow spiritually and as a person, I’m done, I’ve grown, yay me!” Gabrielle says “What Did You Do Today?”  Bam.  That hit home and brought all these thoughts together.

On Process
In yoga, we are focused on the process NOT the goal.  The goal is the process.  To me, this is yet another perfect analogy of yoga to life.  Perfection in yoga is being present, focused, aware and respectful of exactly where we are at in this moment.  The old adage “it’s about the journey, not the destination” is true no matter how cliché it may be.  We get to our destinations by participating in the journey, there is just no way around it.  The lessons learned don’t come on the day we walk in our caps and gowns across a stage, “graduation” in all its various forms is simply a symbol of the process.

One of my yoga instructors last week said “forget the plan you showed up with today.  Where are you now, in this moment?”  This opened an opportunity for a personal breakthrough for me, because I had shown up with a plan.  I do show up with plans.  And when plans go astray, my biggest challenge is to let go and roll with it.  I always set my intentions for the class at its commencement.  Planning is a good thing, but the plans can take us over.  We can lose touch with our needs in each moment when we perseverate too deeply on the all powerful plan.  We obsess about things happening according to plan, and miss out on the lessons of the process.  In this moment, I realized I had misinterpreted the purpose behind “setting intentions” in yoga.  In setting my intentions, my ego was getting the better of me.  I would say to myself: “My intention for this class is to do every pose without falling out of any posture” or “My intention for class is to work as hard as I possibly can for the full 90 minutes.”  But when I became fatigued later in the class and my body was telling me to pull back slightly, my ego would berate me for losing touch with my intention.  But that’s counterproductive.  Being mean to myself about “failing” in the last posture certainly isn’t helping me focus in the moment on the next one.  Instead, a more helpful intention for me is to say “My intention for class is to be in each moment fully and listen to my body and allow it to do the work it needs to do.  Respect where I am in each moment.  Focus on my breath.  Be here now.”  Once my intention was set to be present here now in each and every moment, on and off the yoga mat, the process revealed itself to me and breakthroughs started to occur.

On Progress
The process becomes progress when we let go and observe.  Interestingly, in yoga as in life, the biggest bursts of my own progress seem to come immediately after a time when things didn’t go according to my plan.  The challenges and barriers arise in the process, and suddenly, we learn something.  In yoga, it always seems breakthroughs in postures (going deeper, for longer, reaching closer to the ideal form of the posture) come after a difficult class.  My body faces the challenges and opens itself to them.  Progress happens in challenge and process.  In life, it’s when I don’t perform well at something that I progress, because I am blessed with opportunities to learn (as long as I can see it for the opportunity it is and don’t fall into a pit of egotistic despair at how atrocious I am as a human being).

Competency is the opposite of progress.  In life, I’d rather receive the “most improved” ribbon than the “#1” ribbon.  Most improved means I’m progressing.  Fighting against the process, avoiding things that are difficult because we don’t want to look stupid, only doing things we are competent at, and being cruel to ourselves when we don’t “do the best” only serves to stall the progress of the process.  The challenge isn’t about improving, that part will happen naturally simply when we keep working at something.  The challenge comes from allowing  ourselves to be in the process.  It’s often the case that yoga students like to avoid postures that are particularly difficult because they “can’t do it right” and they look forward to the postures that come naturally or with ease.  But it’s the difficult postures that bring about the most progress in our health, well being, and yoga practice.  The same goes for life.  When I was in grade 3 we used “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing” to learn how to type.  This is way back when the internet didn’t exist in day-to-day life and we had computer labs that we visited once per week, not lap tops on each desk.   I stayed on the “home row” (asdfghjkl) for as long as I possibly could because I was good at it.  My speed was amazing.  I managed to get away with this for a number of weeks, looking as though I was really an amazing typist.  I felt great, but also a little like a cheat…because that’s what I was.  When I finally ventured beyond the “home row,” I didn’t look as awesome as I once did, but it wasn’t until I challenged myself to participate in the process and expand onto the harder keys that I improved my skills.

As another example, let’s take academia.  Students (myself included, at one point) will berate themselves when their thesis proposals or manuscripts come back with revisions.  I remember the first time I received a paper back chalk full of “track changes” and my undergrad supervisor’s comments and deletion/insertions all over the paper.  I was devastated.  Now I recognize the immense value of the red corrections all over my page.  It was part of the process.  I wasn’t a failure as a student, I was simply participating in the process.  No one becomes a tenured professor without participating in the process themselves.  We go to school to learn, but too often students confuse this with perform.  We are not in school to prove our perfection, we are in school to learn, which is a process that allows us to progress.  Yesterday, I received my thesis proposal draft back from my supervisor with quite a few comments and queries from him on areas for me to improve my writing.  8 years ago, this might have devastated me.  Today, it makes me thrilled at the opportunity to progress.

On Observation
Observation has been a theme for me these past few weeks.  On the mat, I’ve been focusing on calm observation of each moment as opposed to the emotional and psychophysiological turmoil that can sometimes occur when we are working hard or struggling with something.  Ego likes to mess us up and have our “monkey mind” work against us while we try to progress.  But instead of progress, we simply end up with struggle.  Once I was able to let go and detach, I’ve found myself progressing in areas of previous struggle in leaps and bounds.  In a particularly difficult posture in yoga, where I may have once become frustrated and upset with myself and my body, I now push myself to the limit and stay there, breathe, and stay calm.  I do not go beyond my limit no matter what my ego tells me to do.  It doesn’t matter that the person beside me is far deeper in the posture.  It doesn’t matter that I wish I was deeper in the posture.  None of that matters.  I simply stay where I am, and allow myself to be in this moment.  When we go beyond our limit, we often end up injuring ourselves or losing the benefit of the process because our bodies let us down (since we’ve let our body down by pushing it too hard.)  I think this works in life as well.  We must know what our limit is and go there, but stay there.  Do not go beyond it.  Simply observe our reactions, our feelings, our inner and outer struggles and stay here.  Work through the process toward progress.  It’s the observation and awareness of ourselves that allow us to do this.  Do not struggle and blame.  In yoga: the heat, the wrong towel or outfit, not having drank enough water, the instructor talking too fast, the annoying person beside us.  In life: the barista making our coffee wrong, the traffic, our spouses, our friends, our bosses, our workloads, etc.  The list of blame goes on and on and on.  Chaos happens, it’s a fact of life.  It’s also a fact that while planning and being organized can be a helpful coping mechanism to improve productivity, it does not control the chaos.  The difference between coping with chaos and allowing the chaos to take us over is the ability to observe each moment calmly and give in to the process.  Forget about the goals, and focus on the process.  One foot in front of the other, one tree stand per day.

What Did You Do Today?
Gabrielle Bernstein helped me pull together these thoughts on process, progress, and observation by reminding me that any kind of growth is not a goal, it’s a journey.  Sure, having goals and ideals and plans can be a helpful thing to keep us on track, but it’s today that matters.  Reminding ourselves to work each day to be our best selves is the best thing we can do.  Throw the plans out the window.  Or keep them, but remind yourself that it’s a guideline, not a rule book.  Be where you are in each moment and observe yourself, observe your environment, and do what you need to do in each moment to be your best self and care for yourself.  It’s not about what you did last year.  It’s not about what you are going to do next year.  What did you do today?  What are you doing right now?  It’s the process.  It’s progress.

We stand in awe of the perfection and beauty in the process of a sunset, without recognizing it as such. A simple process of life, the world turning, day becoming night. This is not a goal to achieve, but is perfection nonetheless.


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On Surrounding Ourselves with the Best.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of who we are surrounded by in our lives, and feeling overwhelming surges of gratitude at the diversity and wealth of the people surrounding me in my life.  I can be hard on people, which comes with the territory of being the kind of person who is very hard on herself.  Sometimes I forget and put my own perfectionism on others.  This isn’t fair, I know.  It’s one more thing added to the list of “D’s stuff to work on.”

So this week has gone as expected: partially as planned, and partially chaotic and unplanned.  That’s a good thing I think.  I’m working toward goals and structure in some areas of my life, but I’m also working toward being consciously freed from the confines of my own expectations.  As I’ve mentioned, September is historically a tough month for me.  It always seems to be a transitionary time for me: one with lots of possibility and opportunity for change, and also one with lots of challenge and life lessons.  This week has been filled with both.  In my less graceful moments, Scott is the one who bears the brunt of it.  He sees me at my worst, when I’m catastrophizing about the world falling apart in all my neuorticism.

He’s come up with all kinds of coping mechanisms, many of which I’ve learned a great deal from.  He has the uncanny ability to make me laugh when I’m one hot mess.  Haha.  This week, he’s developed a new strategy: baking!  He made me cookies on Tuesday when I was having a little mental breakdown (me?  mental breakdown?  never…).  Then I came home from dance class last night to the smell of warm brownies fresh out of the oven.  I’m notorious in our household for “health-nut baking” whereby I try to create delicious things like brownies using non-delicious ingredients so I can have guilt-free indulgence.  My experiments rarely result in the product I’m hoping for.  Scott got fed up with my brownie experiments and baked the real-deal.  All-purpose flour and sugar to boot.  Let me tell you, those were yummy.

The moral of the story?  Well, there’s few:

1) Sometimes a little all-purpose flour and sugar is exactly what you need.  Indulge now and again!

2) Surround yourself with people who will see you at your worst and love you all the same.

3) APPRECIATE those in your life who will make you laugh when the world is falling apart.  TELL them, SHOW them, HUG them.

4) People who make you brownies to sweeten your life are exactly the “best” kind of people I’m talking about.

5) Take a moment to stop and appreciate the small tokens and gestures and love that likely surround you daily, and you take for granted.  Say it out loud.  “I appreciate you.”