Archives for posts with tag: do your best

When I think over some of the repetitive things I say, (personal slogans, self-directed motivational battle-cries of various sorts, succinct aphorisms, that sort of thing) I’m aware that many have come and gone over the years – some healthy, some unhealthy, some… more than a bit misguided. One stands out for me, steadfast and true, like the sort of old and trusted friend that will tell hard truths; “begin again”. It’s not really about “do-overs”, you know; it’s about gathering the strength to just start something anew. It’s about first steps following hard falls, and taking an approach that skills require practice, and that there is value in an attempt, and yes, even in the failures. It’s about resolve. It’s about exerting a worthy effort, in the face of ennui, or a deep depression, or a lot of pain. It’s about insisting with myself that I live life, not just wait around to die.

…It’s definitely not about “easy”. There are so many verbs involved, so much will, and real (and repeated) effort. Isn’t that characteristic of living, generally?

It’s a Tuesday. An ordinary enough beginning to a new work day ahead. Meetings. Calls. Emails. Spreadsheets. Slide decks. Drafts of new processes. Improvements on old processes. The usual office-sorts of work things to do. I’ve done other jobs. Had other sorts of Tuesdays. I’ve been invested in a different quality of life than what I work for now, with varying degrees of success (this particular experience of life in these past handful of years has been by far most satisfying and emotionally healthy). I’ve been fortunate to explore other lives, other experiences of being human. New beginnings have long been required following the end of something else. 🙂

These days I don’t worry too much about failures; they are part of a learning and growth mindset. I embrace a new beginning and get after it. No, it’s not really that easy sometimes. I may get excited about shiny new boots, even eager to maintain that shine, and keep them lovely, but when the time comes, on a rainy Sunday evening, to set aside the next episode of some favored show, or put down my book, in order to shine those boots… that’s the hard bit. Taking the step. Doing the verbs. It’s not enough to “commit”, and – omg, I am so sorry to say these words – you can “manifest” shit 100% of all your days, and it’s still waaaay more likely that you will find yourself achieving whatever it is if you do the fucking verbs required for it. Yep. “Manifesting” your future is about as effective as daydreaming. 😉 Do the verbs. Make the effort. Or, an alternative, accept that your will isn’t up for the task at hand and let it go. Seriously. What do you really want, that you want enough to work for it?

I’m not saying it’s easy. Seriously not saying that at all. I sat around not shining those fucking boots all week, and then all day that Sunday, even in the face of my partner’s tender reminders that I said I wanted to shine my boots, and gently suggesting it as an activity when I may have seemed bored, and then again shortly before the evening ended; I wanted to wear them, shined, on Monday. lol Omg. I just… couldn’t didn’t. You know what else? Those fucking boots were not shining themselves. LOL My partner offered to do it for me… well, damn, that’s just kind of sad and a bit embarrassing for me. (He’s so sweet. He knew I wanted them to look great, and just cares that much.)

…So… I finally shined my boots. I was happy I did; they looked great. They even got noticed. Nice. 🙂 (Okay, okay, also a little vain. Small pleasure, though; I enjoyed the satisfaction of caring for something I like.)

There’s a lesson here somewhere. Not quite a parable, I guess… but maybe. No time for overthinking it, this morning, it’s already time to begin again. 😀

No matter what the challenge is, there’s probably a solution. Every puzzle piece fits somewhere in the puzzle. There’s a tool for every job – or the potential to make one. In the 21st century vernacular, “there’s an app for that” rings true.

Yesterday, in a moment that could have been filled with waiting, I found myself exploring solutions to problems, and seeking the right tool for a very specific task; my own fitness, and long-term wellness. 🙂

A very long time ago, when I once began the long journey toward better physical fitness (and wellness), I bought an inexpensive pedometer and found that it really did function well to help me keep my activity level up. I began to explore the most rudimentary gamification of my fitness challenges, and I made a ton of progress. It remains a journey with a lot of chances to begin again, and I’m not alone on this one; there’s an entire industry built on our dissatisfaction with our fitness and our physical appearance. I consulted with my traveling partner, who wears a fairly state-of-the-art wearable device. His experience proved valuable, when I went to shop in person, shortly afterward.

Although it was late in the evening, I got pretty excited about the idea of having a fitness tracker to support my progress toward my personal goals, and it actually worked immediately; I walked up to a retailer who stocks such things, even though it was later in the evening, adding about 2 miles to the days’ walking. 😀 I didn’t even have to buy a fitness tracker to benefit from the idea! (I’m still giggling about that, hours later.) I selected one that had the features I figure I’m most likely to use (and value) that is also aesthetically pleasing (it’s right there on my arm where I have to look at it all the time), and affordable. I took it home and stayed up far later than usual, charging it, and doing what minimal set up there was to sync it to my phone.

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This morning, again, I find value in it as I look down and notice how long I’ve actually been here at my desk, first thing, with my coffee, writing. It’s time to get up, time for a walk, time for more than sitting still… Today is a good day for something besides sitting still, isn’t it? Today is a good day to go, and to do. There is an entire world to explore! I smile over my coffee, enticed away from my writing by a new toy… It feels like a good fit. 🙂

(Incremental change over time is enough – there are still verbs involved.)

My view of the meadow, covered by morning mist rising from the marsh, is obscured by condensation on the window, left open during the night. My view is obscured by my perspective. Something to think about, generally.

Low mist on the meadow before sunrise.

Sometimes I have to change my perspective to enjoy the view…

Today my traveling partner [figuratively, metaphorically] becomes my literal traveling partner, headed to a favorite festival. I smile every time I think about him enjoying himself there. I come back to the thought frequently; I enjoy his joy. 🙂

I caught myself getting caught up in the news… the usual horror and tedium, frankly, and fairly dismal. Getting mired in it does no one any good, and doesn’t change things. I can change only those things that are precisely and specifically changeable by me. It’s entirely a worthwhile endeavor to be the best human being I can, without bothering with the day-to-day stress and drama of comparison, or competition. Yeah, life?  It’s so not a competition. What a lie I’d been sold there! When I allow myself to be distracted by how well you are doing, or how well that famous person over there is doing, or how well a motivational speaker suggests I could be doing, or any number of other frankly revenue-generating (for someone) bits of bamboozlement, I lose precious time on my own authentic journey. Sometimes the journey is difficult. It’s mine. Sometimes the journey is a disastrous maze of detours. It’s mine. Sometimes the journey is fraught with confusion, sorrow, or anger. It’s mine. Sometimes the journey is delightful, joyful, and fun. It’s mine. My journey to make on my own terms; I am my own cartographer, having my own experience. Sure – we’re all in this together, and that matters, too. Still my journey, on my terms, in my own time – and similarly, yours belongs to you. We don’t gain much when we try to use someone else’s map… and we lose a lot when we’re sold on someone else’s destination. Just saying. Do you.

The mist begins to lift, the sky to lighten. I hear crows discussing their plan for the morning. I see the earliest hints of autumn in the trees on the far side of the park; shades of yellow and orange beginning to show in the summer green foliage.

Today is a good day to wish the world well, and my traveling partner too; each of us having our own experience. Each of us on our own journey. Today is a good day to be authentic, genuine, and also the very best of who I am able to be. (Each of us doing so would change the world.) 🙂

I woke with my calendar on my mind today. It’s not quite so hot, and the thing most prominent in my thoughts is an interview scheduled a little later in the morning. The cool pre-dawn chill easily cooled off the apartment before the sun made its appearance.

A new day, a new beginning; each dawn potentially the cusp of an entirely different future.

A new day, a new beginning; each dawn potentially the cusp of an entirely different future.

My ‘to do list’ this morning looks very different than it has for some weeks. I already have butterflies in my stomach, and feel vaguely as if I am ‘waiting’ for the time to arrive, and then to be behind me. Good self-care practices serve me well this morning, and I go through the routine details of an ordinary work day with reliable comfort; it’s only an interview, but it is my work day as well. I feel prepared. There are last-minute things to fill my head with, like re-reading the details of the job posting itself, and reviewing interview notes from the prior interview call. My clothes are ready, my jewelry selected with care, my nails are done. I am entirely this person, and in this particular instance I am a person hoping to be a good fit – and not out of desperate need to be employed in this moment, but delightfully enough because the position itself looks like it may suit my nature, my skills, and be work I could be proud of, on a team providing a valued service to the community. That sounds pretty amazing… to potentially come home at the end of a long work day, feeling accomplished and proud of what I do, rather than exhausted and resentful of the drain on my physical resources, would be a remarkable (and welcome) thing.

Well…I could write all day to avoid the inevitable reality of getting my “work self” together for this interview I am actually eager to do. (What’s with the foot-dragging, Woman?) Delaying the tasks and activities supporting the morning and the day doesn’t really serve me well, and today I definitely need my best from me. 🙂 Wish me luck? I wonder where the day will take me? What does the future hold? Hang on… I’ll go find out. 😉

This morning was lovely. It’s enough to enjoy the moments, and linger on them in my recollection, later. The day begins well, and that is also enough for the moment I find myself in. Later will be here soon enough to matter when it gets here. Days old irritation with work is, for the moment, eased. It’s a comfortable moment, this one, characterized by contentment, and a certain comfort with the routine of the work day, modified by an early finish for a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, and by having completed a significant task with a few minutes in the day for writing a handful of words before moving on to the next significant task.  There’s not much more I would ask of this moment, it is quite enough.

This lovely morning, every moment enough.

This lovely morning, every moment enough.

I read an article this morning that tells readers somewhat alarmingly that ‘CBT is a scam!’. I move past the irritation with some humor, but I am irked by the tone of the article, which suggests that unscrupulous unnamed individuals have put one over on governments, care-providers, and patients with the suggestion that CBT (specifically) and other 3rd wave cognitive therapies (implied) are bullshit scams that don’t help anyone, leaving vulnerable people to continue to struggle with symptoms a couple of years down the road, no differently than similarly disordered peers who didn’t get any treatment at all. I’m annoyed because what is not being discussed is a fairly transparent thing, left unaddressed by the article; there are verbs involved. As with ‘dieting’ to lose weight; mental health treatment, however promising, requires practicing some practices. There are verbs involved. Stop doing the things that help, discontinue the practices that resulted in treatment efficacy, halt the growth and change initially being pursued when treatment began, and sure – the human being seeking wellness loses ground, potentially resulting in a return of all symptoms (and then some). That sucks. It sucks even more that a professional in the mental health care industry would overlook one potential root cause for treatment failure after two years; failure to continue practicing the practices that the patient found effective, initially. We do, however ill we may be, have some accountability for our growth and progress (unless we are so disordered that our impairments put choice and action out of our reach)! The suggestion that CBT itself is a wholesale failure without examining the effects of compliance/non-compliance is a little silly – as with switching from diet to diet to diet, without actually sticking with what worked long enough to see and hold onto the desired changes, it completely ignores the free agency of the person receiving treatment. There are verbs involved. There are choices to be made. Period. Do the verbs. (Reminder: the excuses we choose also communicate our choices –  to do, or not do, the necessary verbs involved in what we say we want from life.)

Better to pause for flowers than be immersed in borrowed stress.

Better to pause for flowers than be immersed in borrowed stress.

I finally shrug off my irritation; we each walk our own path, make our own choices, live our own experience, write our own narrative – my words are filtered through my own experiences, breaking like waves on distant conscious shores, sometimes soaking into the sand, sometimes splashing against the rocks. 😉

Isn't it enough to find balance?

Isn’t it enough to find balance?

Love, too, needs an investment in doing the verbs. Love isn’t a passive thing. This morning, I chose love over words, and a shared experience over solitary time writing. It was a worthy choice, and my mood is enhanced by the love I feel. I am carried through the morning on soft wings of enduring affection. There’s nothing much more to say about it for the moment; the experience is still very much ‘now’.  There will be time to contemplate it with broader perspective much later. Today, ‘now’ is more a doing than a thinking. This, too, is enough.