Archives for posts with tag: Mondays

It’s a Monday morning. This has only whatever significance I choose to give it. Does my choice to face Monday differently (than ‘Oh, damn, not another Monday’, for example) also determine the outcome? Will I most certainly enjoy a lovely calm Monday without any challenges or stress simply by changing my assumptions going into the day? Realistically, there are no guarantees – I might have a terrible Monday however positive I feel going into it.

When I started down this path, I held onto the fairly childlike notion that good choices, and being open to success and positive outcomes would be enough to ensure the successes and positive outcomes would occur. It was incredibly disappointing the first many times I had a straight up no bullshit bad day – I’d chosen so well! I’d been so positive! I’ve learned a lot more since then. I’ve learned that my will is not the only will that is involved in my outcome – and that whatever the outcome, itself, I still have opportunities to enjoy what is enjoyable, to savor things that nurture me, and to learn from what wasn’t so pleasant. Those good choices all still matter – even if the day goes sideways, or ends poorly – because they determine more than merely the outcome. They say something about who I am, and build memory and experience. All of that matters.

Yesterday I had planned to go for a solo hike in a nearby park I’ve never visited. I planned to get there on transit, and it looked pretty easy to do. I checked my route again on Friday. I woke ready to go, yesterday, and was out the door at the time I had intended to be. The day was beautiful. I got downtown to my transfer point, and checked the bus timing; there was just one bus listed as going to the park I had in mind. Right – Sunday. I had checked the bus schedule on a weekday and failed to account for Sundays. No matter, I check my map again and notice the Sunday bus would still get me within a half an hour’s walk of the park itself. Close enough…right? (Can I pause to observe how convenient this technology is? This powerful computer in the palm of my hand can do so much!) A closer look reveals the walking portion of my route is along a detour – with no pedestrian space. Well…that’s a plan changer, right there. I might walk a few feet along a busy road without a sidewalk or pedestrian easement, but doing so for half an hour, early in the morning seems foolish without at least wearing reflective gear of some kind – and I wasn’t prepared.

A change of plans requires a change in perspective.

A change of plans requires a change in perspective.

As little as 3 years ago, I might have been frustrated to the point of being sensitive and easily angered, and disappointment would likely have been a companion for some hours, at least. A year or two ago, I’d have taken a few minutes to let that go, and moved on with my day with acceptance – probably returning home to ‘start over’ somehow. Yesterday was different – and delightfully not at all ‘special’ in this regard – I was barely disappointed enough to register the emotion as being part of my experience, and took time to enjoy quite an exceptional coffee at a favorite cafe, and a well-chosen pastry to complement the coffee (ensuring the low blood sugar didn’t complicate disappointment; it was time for some calories). I didn’t waste time fussing that my plan had fallen apart – the park exists, there are more days in the future (as far as I know), and there is so much that can be done with a lovely Sunday. I sipped my coffee, munched my pastry, and watched people come and go while giving the day some thought, without stress or anxiety.

Taking care of me.

Taking care of me.

Back to the wonder of the technology in my hand…I used it while enjoying my coffee to determine what other area attractions of interest to me might be a good ‘plan B’ for my Sunday adventure. Thank you, Science! Thank you, HTC! Thank you, Android! Thank you, Google! Thank you, DARPA and all the contributing developers of the World Wide Web and the Internet! I don’t say thank you enough, but I do benefit every day from the device you have put in my hands.

I observed on the map that a short walk, followed by a short bus ride, would put me on a trail to the International Rose Test Garden located in Washington Park, and felt the excitement of surprise and delight that goes with discovering ‘a better way’ to get somewhere I really like to go. The Japanese Garden is located nearby, too…and miles and miles of the Wildwood Trail, which I have walked very little of in the years I’ve lived in the area…my Sunday quickly began to take on its new form. I’d take this new route to the Rose Garden, visit the Japanese Garden, too, and enjoy the trails to, from, and between, along the way.

New path, new perspective.

New path, new perspective.

I made good choices, and the outcome was pleasant and worthwhile. I’m not sure how connected our choices are to our outcomes, though – sometimes more than others, it would seem, and I admit to being a bit confused by that sometimes, even now.  Acceptance of change is a big piece of the contentment puzzle, and it surely helps to be flexible and adaptable in the face of change. Perspective has a say in my outcomes, too, providing me an opportunity to build a different understanding of my experience, and perhaps a moment of calm in the face of the turmoil of change or an experience of disappointment. My assumptions, and the way I define the elements of my experience, will also have a say in my perception of the outcome; we are creatures of both emotion and reason, and my will can be applied to my thinking as well as my choices. I think what I am getting at is that I have a new understanding of choice and outcome. There’s a gap between them, filled with opportunities to learn, grow, consider, observe, enjoy, adapt, accept…and that gap is a worthy moment to be present and engaged, and to savor life. Or something. Your results may vary.

Why, yes, I think I will, thanks. :-)

Why, yes, I think I will, thanks. 🙂

Today is a good day to make good choices, and roll with changes. Today is a good day to enjoy the journey. Today is a good day to be my own cartographer; perhaps a good map can change the way I see the world?

It’s the Monday before mid-term elections. I’m not sure what is the more important observation, that it is Monday, or that mid-term elections are tomorrow. Mondays are what they are, and the parents of the 50’s and 60’s dragging their hung over butts out of bed too early each Monday morning to drag themselves to jobs surrounded by chain-smoking coworkers, no doubt faced some nasty feeling Mondays back in the day. Considering the cultural changes – and there have been many, when I take a moment to look closely – result in the high likelihood that few Mondays these days are actually ‘that bad’ for most working adults; we still bitch about Mondays. It’s the first day back after the weekend for many folks, although not all, and I think if people were honest with themselves, Mondays are not really that big a deal – unless we’re making choices to make them suck, ourselves. I even know, first hand, a whole bunch of people who not only claim to enjoy their work – but actually no kidding seem to really dig what they do to earn a living, and approach it with great enthusiasm and a sense of fun. That’s pretty amazing – and certainly undercuts the whole ‘Mondays suck’ notion.

I work for a living. It’s a good job. I don’t mind it, generally, but in  principle I could take or leave ‘gainful’ employment. I’m a fan of the idea of ‘basic income‘, personally. Technology has come so far that it makes sense that there may be fewer ‘jobs’ – great! Ideally, couldn’t that mean that more people don’t have to work? More human beings could invest their time and effort in creative endeavors, in socially meaningful work that is often considered the sort of thing that ‘doesn’t pay the bills’, and even more thoughtful pursuits like research, philosophy, and writing could be undertaken by people who could not easily have dreamed so large before… a basic income socio-economic model could free humanity from the tyranny of struggling on minimum wage. Minimum wage jobs would become the ‘upgrade’ someone could take on – part-time, even – to improve their lot enough to be sufficient for them, personally, while writing that great American novel, or filming their movie, or getting their degree. Human beings would have a more level playing field in which to create, and grow, and thrive. It would make Mondays irrelevant, certainly. I’d love to see our culture mature to a point that it isn’t a loss of personal value to society to be without employment; to value people based on what they choose to do, themselves, with their time, and not put such high value on indentured servitude to the agenda of others.

Autumn raindrops

Autumn raindrops

Sorry. I’ll put the soapbox away now; it is, after all, a Monday. It’s also the day before election day. I hope you voted; it makes a difference, and although the difference you make with your one vote may be small (as small as one vote), it is significant beyond measure when you raise your voice, and make the effort. 🙂

Winners and losers abound in the discussion of the election drama unfolding this week. I’m bored with it already, not because I don’t value my role, and not because the measures up for consideration are without meaning or worth, themselves, but more because individual people so often tend to view elections through a lens of winners and losers. When a vote has a successful outcome – win or lose – the result is that life is better for more people than it was before. That’s it. Doesn’t matter if it is a ‘yes’ vote, or a ‘no’ vote, and it doesn’t matter whether a change is made – when it comes time to evaluate the win/lose of an election, only one things really matters to make that determination; is life better for more people? If not, I consider the election lost. Just my way of viewing it. I don’t find value in being emotionally invested in the specific yes/no outcome of an individual measure, much of the time. I definitely vote my values, and what matters to me – but I consider with great care the outcome for all. It matters.  Our laws ‘write the code’ for our social experience.

Patterns in nature and life

Patterns in nature and life

So much serious stuff. It’s Monday. Don’t be a dick. Don’t be a hater. Why invest the minutes of your precious mortal life in misery? Do you enjoy those feelings that much? It seems unlikely that you do. 😉

Yesterday was lovely. The travelers returned home much earlier than planned, and I welcomed them happily. We had a great time over an early supper, and watched a favorite movie. It was a chill fun evening, and a great homecoming experience. I love homecomings…they feel exciting, and connected, and joyful.

The occasional autumn flower

The occasional autumn flower

Today is a good day to relish a Monday. Today is a good day for perspective on what matters most, and that we are each having our own experience. Today is a good day for smiles, hope, and positive intentions. Today is a good day to feast our hearts on joy and delight, and to recognize the fundamental humanity of others around us. Today is a good day to change the world.