Wednesday, January 28, 2015

lessons from a storm cloud.

Yep. Life can be dull.
dull: (adjective) not lively or spirited, listless; causing boredom; tedious; uninteresting.
There are such things as flat spots in life. Quiet days, when Pinterest and tea suddenly lose their allure. Silent moments, when you realize that life is not a "roller coaster that only goes up". (Thank you, John Green and Augustus Waters).
Sometimes, life has to rest on the plains.
There are days when all I wish for is to travel. To see the world and buy trinkets to send back home. But I can't. I stay and sit at my desk. I marvel at how time flies when you are sitting still.
Let me clarify. Time doesn't fly when you are sitting still. It crawls, inching along like a pond full of molasses, wriggling and squirming and taking it's sweet little time getting somewhere interesting.
There are days when I am BORED.
And that is when I am reminded of storm clouds.
Yes, storm clouds. As in storms? As in, the calm before the storm?
Because they always come. There is always that breath before the rain comes pouring down, and the lull before the snow blocks out all vision beyond 20 feet. That pause when nature rests because its big moment is coming soon.
And I am reminded by these storm clouds that I, too, must rest before my storm.
Because in one week I have a photography class that I'm taking with Dani and my college class starts up this week which means homework and I work and I have to start practicing for the musical that starts in April (which really isn't that far away) and I have two dentist appointments in the next two weeks and a friend wants to have coffee andI'mtryingnottolosemymindandstillfindtimetoreadforpleasureandspendtimewithmyfamilyandmydogandmysisterandmynieceandholyfreakingcowI'mgoingtohyperventilate...
*inhale deeply*
Thus the reason why I'm grateful for storm clouds. And boring days. Because there will come a day when I will be busy again. And I will hate it and wish for nothing to do. And then the boring days will come, and I will wish for something, ANYTHING, to do.
But today is my calm day. My wishing day. And because they only come around every once in a while, I'm going to enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Perspective and New Year's Resolutions

Sometimes, I think I am the most cynical, sarcastic, pessimistic person on the face of this earth.

I start thinking of all the bad things: My back hurts. And my face. Today was REALLY boring at work. I feel dirty right now. I don’t want to have to go to Bible study tonight. My dog won’t leave me alone! Dinner is not made. I just want to go to bed.

The list continues. I find myself creating this dark sphere around myself that only holds in the bad things. I have to search – really search – to find the good things.

Then something will happen, and I snap out of it for a bit. Sometimes it’s my pastor telling me that I’m a little too sarcastic. Sometimes it’s my sister laughing at me. Sometimes it’s a random person on the sidewalk saying something that lifts my spirits.
And that’s when I remember that often it’s not anything that happens in my life that makes me cranky. It’s my perspective that is off, and it throws every other aspect of my life into confusion. All I have to do is fix my perspective (or sometimes, I can’t do it – God has to), and I remember that all those bad things? –they have a good side, too.

My back hurts because I went bowling with my friends a month ago and had a blast.

My face hurts because I accidentally ran into a wall with it. (IN MY DEFENSE: It was very dark and late at night.) My family got a good laugh out of it, anyway...

Today actually wasn’t that boring – I witnessed a very special act of kindness by a man that came into the office. He offered to fix a water-damaged picture and frame for one of the secretaries that wasn’t in that afternoon. No charge, he took the picture to his shop and re-matted it, so that she could keep on enjoying it for a lot longer than it was going to last originally. She doesn’t know who did it; he asked us not to tell her, just for us to hang the picture on the wall and wait for her to notice it.

I feel dirty – but do you know how incredible that hot shower is going to feel tonight? And, if I really wanted to feel clean today, I should have woken up when I was supposed to and not slept in.

Bible study always makes me feel better. It’s a good mid-week redirecting back towards God.

My dog won’t leave me alone because SHE LOVES ME!!!! I feel really bad about it usually, because I’m allergic to her, so I can’t touch her, but every morning she still tries to get me to pet her!

Dinner is halfway made, actually. All I have to do is get the salad ready and make a salsa.

Bed? BED?!? Sleep is for dead people. I can do it then.

(Okay, so the last one was really cynical, but hey... funny too!)

Perspective can change a lot of things. It can change our outlook, our goals, our plans, our opinions.

My New Year’s Resolutions this year? They are a little different for 2015, a little less like a to-do list 
and more like a “Jesus, please change this in me because it’s driving me CRAZY” list.

I added another one today. If I ever think a negative, sarcastic, cynical, or pessimistic thought, I have to counter it with a positive one. One that shines brightly like a child’s smile or the first star of the night. A thought that reminds me that there is a good side and a bad side to everything, but we have to choose which side to look at.

Because how we look at something, our perspective, changes everything.

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions
  1. Be “taken” by God. Make a Jesus-time routine. Do what Jesus would do. Spread the Light.
  2.  Live in the moment.
  3. Establish a regular, healthy workout program.
  4. Read more. (52 books in a year!)
  5. Blog twice a month.
  6. Learn photography. Take a picture a day for one year.
  7. Go somewhere I have never been before.
  8. Laugh and smile more. Say thank you. Give compliments.
  9. More sunrises (i.e. get up earlier).
  10. More music (listening and making).
  11. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” –Samuel Beckett.
  12. Counter negative thoughts with positive ones.