Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Get Uncomfortable!

Habits keep us comfortable. I don't think often about my habits, but today as I was making a sandwich for lunch I did something different. It was a small action, but it made me feel like a completely different person.

I cut my sandwich in half down the middle, rather than diagonally.
I know - it's borderline lame that I'm even writing about this. But seriously! After I did it, I stopped and wondered: "What on Earth made me do that?" I can't even remember the last time I did that. Why did I change my way of cutting my sandwich TODAY?
Anyway - I have no idea why, but it made me smile. I feel silly, but it made me happy to think that I can still surprise myself. With all this self reflection and learning I do, it's refreshing when things happen for no darn reason at all and capture your attention.

How to help?

Someone I love very much is about to embark on a long journey. This journey is sure to be one of the most challenging things she has ever done and she is bound to meet a few bumps in the road. I am here to support her with 100% of my efforts and will do anything I can to help.

But I've been struggling. How can I help her if I've never had to experience what she is going through? I can't truly relate to this challenge, and don't want to give the wrong kind of support. I've been thinking a lot about this, and something that I noticed is that most of the thoughts/fears/questions I had focused more on me! How do I do this or that? Will she be upset at ME if I say x, y, or z?

Her journey has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with her: by her, for her, and decided by her. I need to be HER support. Just because this is a specific journey that I haven't taken, doesn't mean that I can't be here at any time of the day or night to just listen, love, and give hugs!

This all came even more clear when the other night I was having a conversation with my husband about a frustration he was having at work. I got excited and worked up - I started fighting his fight for him and challenging him to "stand up" to this unfairness. He reacted in the opposite way I expected. He stopped talking, started arguing the other side and in the end said "I don't want to talk about this anymore". By this time, I was confused but wanting him to hear me and jump back on board with the "down with the man!" energy I was feeling. He wouldn't and we left the conversation feeling obviously confused with each other. After reflecting on this and my thoughts about what I mentioned above, I realized that sometimes what people need most is just an ear. Someone who will simply listen. I was doing the opposite of that in the conversation we had - I was trying to force him to hear me! His biggest frustration from work that day was that he wasn't being heard and felt bad about that. Without realizing it, I made him feel the same way at home. :(

So, goal? Listen, love, and hugs first! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Remember To Dream

Yesterday, as I got closer to work, I noticed that I started to drive slower and sink lower in my seat. When I parked my car, I took a minute before I opened the door, and inched my way up the hill toward my office. I didn't want to go in! It was sunny (although chilly!) outside and the last thing I wanted to do was sit at a desk and work.

As I slouched into my seat, I decided that this was no way to start my day! I needed a re-boot! So I set out for the bookstore. I wanted to spend some time in the sun to refresh myself, and I wanted to look through a magazine that made me happy. I decided to buy the March issue of Architectual Digest, because looking at the fabulous spaces and interesting ideas gives me inspiration and gets my imagination flowing. I also perused the calendars (which were 50% off!) and found a pretty one with beautifuly illustrated flowers - one for each month.

After a nice little breakfast in the sun with my fun mag, I walked back to work with a pep in my step that wasn't there on my first try. I opened my new calendar, dreaming of Spring, and posted it on my wall. To my surprise, a lovely quote goes along with each flower of the month. February's quote says just what I needed reminding of:

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.

~ Henry David Thoreau ~

For me, the goal is to open myself up to the signs that remind me that I have dreams to be working on, and exciting opportunities ahead. I need to focus on living the way I'm dreaming! There's little time for wallowing! I hope you are finding something to inspire and ignite you during this time when Winter can make us weary!