a girl and her boy

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Tag Archives: love

Rules to Live By

12 Rules to Live by Robert Louis Stevenson
Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Don’t let criticism worry you. You can’t please everybody.

Don’t let your neighbors set your standards; be yourself.

Do things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.

Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.

Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.

Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about places.

Don’t hold post-mortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.

Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

* * *

Just a little something extra for today. I hope you are having a fantastic day!

The Power of Intentions – Make Your Life Happen!

“Every morning is a fresh beginning. Every day is the world made new. Today is a new day. Today is my world made new. I have lived all my life up to this moment, to come to this day. This moment… this day… is as good as any moment in all eternity. I shall make of this day… each moment of this day… a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity.” Dan Custer.

I seem to have something to learn about the power of intentions and positive thinking as the universe has put opportunity after opportunity to think about it, engage in it, and learn from it in my path lately. The quotation at the beginning of this post was in my email inbox one morning earlier this week. On Sunday at church, the message was about harnessing your power and the power of the Universe to set and achieve intentions, and the chapter in my manual on writing just happens to be talking about intentions and goals as well. Okay, Universe, here we go.

I have made much progress in life. I’m very happy with where I am and what’s in my life, in general. I have two postsecondary degrees in areas I am passionate about. I have a comfortable home and plenty of possessions to keep me entertained, progressing, and developing. I have health, youth, and energy to make big things happen. I’ve overcome some huge obstacles and learned many lessons about love, forgiveness, and faith.

Life isn’t over yet, and won’t be for many years if I have it my way, which means there is plenty left to learn and achieve. (I tell Gabe often that I want to live to be 120. He says that with technology and health advancements that it’s quite possible.)

After doing some financial planning with Gabe, I turned the page in the notebook to a fresh sheet and wrote down in concrete terms the things I am going to do in life. That’s right, no “maybe” or “someday” or “it would be nice if I could.” It’s all about “I will.”

Here is what I intend:

I will be financially independent and responsible.

This one is huge for me. I grew up in a family where money was always an issue. There was never enough of it and it was often misused. When I went off to college, having no real concept of how money worked, I got myself into credit card debt and constantly lived beyond my meager means. It took a long time and many hard lessons before I got myself out of debt, stabilized my finances, and learned how to manage money effectively. While teaching, I did very well to support myself and my former husband on my salary and somehow managed to save enough to live on for the first six months or so of living in Salem when I ventured out on my own after the separation. Now I’m in a financially stable committed relationship, but I wake up worrying at night about what would happen if something happened to Gabe, or if there were an even bigger economic upset. I am actively working on getting myself and our relationship set up so that we are individually, and as a couple, financially stable. I want to know that no matter what happens that we are going to be okay.

I will be professionally successful and secure in a teaching/editing/publishing position.

I want it and I’m working for it. It’ll happen.

I will obtain and maintain good health.

I reworded my usual goals because they were too narrow and I found myself constricted and limited. I have learned that if I focus my goals too much and organize things too well, then I “rebel” and don’t do it. I need flexibility and freedom to achieve goals, especially health related.

One big change I’ve made to work towards a lifetime of good health and physical strength is my “minimum” rule: it doesn’t matter what it is or how much, but I must do something physical every day. I can go on a long walk. I can do few sets of crunches and push-ups. I can go to the gym and lift weights. The goal is to move my body every day. This way of thinking has helped me get up and move every day for the last 19 days. I’m close to the 21-days to form a habit!

Beyond that, I have some very specific running goals for the next 24 months. I had to put off my races this past year because of the health situation, but now that I’m on the mend, it’s training time again. So, my general goals as I haven’t set up a training schedule or found races yet is to run a handful of 5k races this spring and summer, and by fall run a 10k race. Then over the next fall and winter, pump it up to half-marathon distance for the late spring or early summer next year and keep pushing for my first marathon in the fall/winter of 2012. That gives me, I hope, a decent amount of time to build up miles and strength for a marathon. Running-readers, what do you think? Prior to the illness, I ran 4-6 miles a day 3 to 4 times a week and long runs of 7-10 miles at my best. Since then, I’ve managed to get in 7-12 miles a week. Not much, I know, but it’s been something.

 

I miss running outside! I can't wait until it warms up.

As far as food goes, I’ve had so many different ideas on how to achieve health through food and it’s brought me to extreme decisions in the past. My new and best idea yet: moderation! Oldies are the goodies. I do fairly well getting in a fair number of fruits in a day, and I’m getting better with veggies. I’ve been a whole grain person for years now and had a period where I thought I wanted to dump them from the diet completely. Then I had to go off them on doctor’s orders for a few weeks. Now that I’m healthier and feeling good without the dairy and gluten, and thinking long and hard about my needs, what I want, and about world health trends, I’ve decided to keep them. That’s for me. Everyone makes their own decisions based on their needs and how their body responds. Do the best by your own body, folks! Treat it well!

I’m also going to start yoga! Woo-hoo! I got a great deal on 7 classes in Cambridge through Yelp. I can’t wait to have a yoga booty.

I will live a long and happy life.

This whole post is about intentions. I intend to be happy every day to the best of my ability. I’m choosing it. The long part, well, I’m hoping that by a positive attitude, a fulfilling and invigorating career, and a healthy lifestyle, that comes with some luck.

I will write and publish at least one novel.

I’ve been tapping away at the keyboard for at least 30 minutes each day on a new novel idea this year. I don’t know how good it is, but it’s progressing. You gotta write a novel to publish a novel. The best writing is rewriting and revision. It’ll come.

* * * * *

So what about you? What are your intentions? What are you going to make happen with your life?

Happy Thursday, folks!

A thought for Wednesday.

words-speaking-blue

“A tree is known by it’s fruits; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindkess gathers love.” Saint Basil

Happy Wednesday!

Settling In

Oy! So, I have a story for you, but before I begin, let me go back and share the very beginning.

Read more of this post

dusting off the blog

It’s about time I dust off this blog and post again. Last post was about my renewed efforts on running and getting into top shape again. Unfortunately, that is on the back burner for now. When you feel like you are being stabbed with a serrated knife just below/under your ribs and can’t keep down food, you don’t much feel like running. But that’s a story for a little later.

Just a little on what I’ve been up to in the period since I last posted:  I’ve been working 30 hours a week at my therapeutic program, and 14 hours a week tutoring. Now, if you add those up, it equals 44 hours a week and you’re probably thinking, “pshhhhh, that’s not much at all.” But it actually is a lot because I do in-home tutoring and I have to drive to each of those appointments. So add 20-40 minutes to each of those one-hour tutoring appointments and you get a better sense of my weekly hours. I leave at 7:30 am and get home around 8 pm, sometimes a little earlier, but not often. I’m wiped most of the time. I haven’t been reading much. I’ve been nibbling on some books and poems, but that’s about it. I’ve put a few more rows on my Earth Angel cross stitch project, and made Gabe a hat in December/January. I’ve been working on my Massachusetts teaching certification (taking the MTELs). That’s about it.

Now, on to that stabbing pain. I’m going to withhold some details simply because I’m not ready to share everything yet, but here’s the gist of it:  Started feeling icky Sunday but didn’t think much of it because I work in a public school and bugs are par for the course. I was up all night throwing but went to work anyway. When I got home from the day job, I dropped to my knees in pain, began crying, and honestly felt like I was about to die. When the initial shock ebbed, I called Gabe who, of course, urged me to go to the ER. So I went. And sat. And sat. And sat. Six hours later I was finally seen. I was sent home jut a little before midnight with a script for antibiotics. I finished the antibiotics yesterday and was on drip antibiotics Monday. I’ve been in pain all week. Still not sure what is going on but you can be sure Gabe and I are on a mission to find out.

As I sat eating (nibbling on) breakfast this morning (a slice of sourdough and a few dried fruits), I realized that I have been doing some things that are worth noting on the blog, namely, changing the way I eat (adopting a veggie/raw/paleo-type diet slowly), they way I move (really thinking about how I move my body, how I expend energy, etc.), and the way I think (intentionality and positivity over fatalistic and negative). Over all, despite this recent snag in health, I’m feeling okay. Better than that, really. So I’m going to start weaving that into the narrative. My inspiration comes from Jen over at the Beautifully Strong Project and the community she is an active member of. And Gabe has been a huge inspiration, too, with his eating habits and inclinations.

So that’s everything in a nutshell. I’ll weave in details as I go.

This is what it's all about.

Sharing quiet moments with the one(s) you love.

One Goal. One Purpose. One Mind.

I spend a lot of time thinking about self-improvement, eco-ethical decisions, and how to best make every day better than the one before for me and those in my life and community. This past month, starting on my birthday, I began meditating and journaling on the year past and the year to come in preparation for my new year resolutions. And this year, I have just one goal. Just one.

Be mindful.

Of my emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well being. Of my relationships. Of my impact on my community. Of my impact on the planet.

One goal. Multiple beneficiaries.

This one goal breaks down into many little steps. I am taking one small step in January that I hope will be the foundation:  to meditate and stretch every morning before I do anything else. I haven’t thought out the steps for the rest of the year. I figure that will come with the meditation and daily mantras.

Phoebe in Wonderland

One of my favorite things to do is knit and watch films or anime. This past week I saw a film that had a profound effect on me:  Phoebe in Wonderland.

Phoebe in Wonderland tells the story of a girl who, later in the film, is diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. She uses her imagination to cope with her differences. The film is rich in visual color and script. This film hit me on several levels. One, as an educator, I have worked with students with Tourette syndrome, and although I knew the signs, I didn’t really understand how it changed a person’s world view. This film taught me that. Second, the mother struggles to balance her hectic home responsibilities with writing her PhD dissertation which she hopes to publish when complete while watching her husband get book deals.

At one point in the film, after some family strife where the father says something hurtful, but true, to Phoebe, the mother says to the father (and I’m cutting out some of the earlier bits in this dialogue):  I’m mad that I blame myself for the way she acts. I’m mad that I think of mothers as just mothers. And I’m mad that I care if I’m a good one. I’m mad that when you said that I knew you were right. I couldn’t take another one like her. I’m mad that I’m not writing. And I’m mad that some day I will be seventy and going on about my kids because I won’t have anything else because I didn’t do anything important. And I’m mad that sometimes I’m not scared of that at all. Because my children make me live. They make me live.

I paused the film at this point. The mother hit a nerve. Her words echoed my own struggle. This is exactly how I have been feeling about my relationship with writing lately. I’m so upset that I’m not writing (anything that I feel is worthy of being called “writing”) and at the same time, I’m not.

T. S. Eliot, one of the poets that has inspired me over and over, said, “Any poet, if he is to survive beyond his 25th year, must alter; he must seek new literary influences; he will have different emotions to express.” And that’s really where I’m stuck. My internal landscape has altered, my influences have altered, but I haven’t allowed the expression and the tone of my writing to alter. I still expect that my work will look and sound like it did in the “peak years” and I shouldn’t! My voice and my influences have matured, my writing should, too.

Back to the film. This film evoked the essence of childhood, the necessity of creativity, and the delicate and changing nature of family relationships. I highly recommend it to all. To go back to Eliot, “A play should give you something to think about. When I see a play and understand it the first time, then I know it can’t be much good.” I’m still digesting this one.

I am the luckiest.

As Ben Folds puts it, I’m the luckiest.

On my way home from tutoring last night, I called AT because I knew he’d probably be free, and would appreciate the story I had to share regarding a conversation I had with my student’s father after the session ended (short story there:  Me:  “This tool saves trees!”  Father:  “I don’t care about the trees, they’re a crop to make money off of,” and, “It must rankle you that global warming was disproved, huh.” *growl*) and we ended up on the phone for close to an hour. We talked just like we did before the separation, except we’re not “together” anymore. It was awesome.

It took a while for our communication to become free and easy after the separation, mostly because we feared hurting each other with news of our growth and adventures. We both moved on quickly, and began dating other people within a few months. Neither of us said anything about dating other people for a while because, well, we felt guilty about it. (Shouldn’t we? I mean, we were together for 6 years. Wouldn’t moving on quickly seem to say that it meant nothing?)

We both realized that though our relationship was *good*, and we were both content and committed, we weren’t as happy as we could be. And the love we gave each other was the most either of us had ever received from anyone before in our lives. When I woke up one morning last winter and realized that I needed something more and that I needed to move on, I thought I was being self-destructive “throwing away” the best thing I’ve ever had.

After our time apart, and growing as individuals, and dating others, we realized that we are both incredibly happy with our new lives. I am with a man that makes me incredibly happy. I feel fulfilled and enthusiastic about life. And AT found someone who makes him feel the same way. And we are still friends; not just friends, but best friends.

How many people can say that their ex-spouse is still one of their best friends?

Back to Blogging

That 2 month hiatus did me good, and saved this space from becoming LiveJournal-esque, y’know, uber-emo and whiny. Stepping away from the keyboard allowed me to put my head down and push hard to get through the blocks. In the last two months, I saw the last of my savings go with not nearly enough income to keep me in the black, and finalized my divorce. Just when I thought I was going to tumble into the abyss, everything snapped into place.

You gotta have faith.

At some point I may write about the emotional changes I underwent, but for now, I’m just glad that it’s OVER and I’m feeling better than I have in a long, long time.

So, presently, I am employed full-time (woot!), dating Gabe again (<3), and generally have my life the way I’ve wanted it for years. It’s been a long time coming and it feels good. And I turn 28 in a week. Wow.

I have much that I want to write about, interesting stuff, but for now, I’ll leave you with this:  It’s good to be back. =)