Thursday, February 9, 2012

Notes for the Universe

I got inspired by Kathleen at (you should all read her blog, by the way) when she posted yesterday about things she "explicitly need[ed] to put out into the universe".

I've been feeling that way lately, too. Lots of ideas, concepts and realizations drumming around in my head and no satisfying way to deposit them somewhere in an organized fashion. (Is anyone else as annoyed as me about the fact that I studied writing for 6 years because it calms my soul and brings order to my life but I can't seem to REMEMBER to do it when I'm frazzled?! It's so annoying. I need a sticky-note reminder: Write, you blithering idiot.)

Here's my list of things that I need to put out into the universe:

1. I GET IT, universe, oh wise teacher.
When I started my 30-Before-30 list, my main goal was to get movin' on some stuff that I'd been dreaming of and not pursuing. To put a deadline on it. One of those things was to come to terms with aging, but realize that I might not always meet milestones when I think I will (kind of a paradox, yes?). Well, the universe provided. In the form of an injury that has affected every facet of my life: physically, emotionally, socially, and financially. So I just want to let the universe know that I GET IT. INFORMATION RECEIVED. POINT TAKEN. Moral: Do the things you love because one day you might not be able to. (Like that 5k? Probably not going to happen.) Moral 2: When life "happens", change your course. (So you can't do the 5k. Become a swimmer.)

So, I get it. Lesson learned. Appreciate what you have and get things done. Pema Chodron says that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. I know that I've only learned the beginning of that lesson, but listen here, universe: I GET IT. Please heal me, thanks.

2. I'm grateful for my recent boost of gratitude.
(Is this post getting too meta?) I have always been a sentimental person and have cherished my relationships. But recently I've kind of put two and two together: You can appreciate the lovely things or people you have around you, but you can also take it a step further and actively ENJOY them. That's the step you have to take in order for it to be gratifying. You can't just feel grateful for people, you need to make it a verb. See them. Ask them how they are doing. Hug them. Write them a letter. Make them smile. Compliment them. Make them feel good about who they are. Interact, dumbo.

I've never been great at reaching out. It might be the phone anxiety. But recently I have reached out to a cousin, asked my grandparents to lunch and emailed an old friend. And I realized how good and blessed it makes me feel. If I haven't gotten to you yet, I will. This might also be a product of my recent injury, but it makes good sense: with things, your body, your people: you really use it or lose it.

3. I love cooking.
I've known this about myself for a long time, but after college I tended to make the excuse that it was "just for me" so why spend the time? This lead to some mediocre repetitive meals and too much take-out. Then I got with it and realized if not now, when? If not for me, the most important person in my life, then for who? Also, there is never "no one to cook for". I have TONS of people to cook for. People who love to be my guinea pig for a new recipe, people who forgive me when I get over-ambitious with the main course and have to wait an extra 20 minutes just to eat a cold side dish, people who graciously agree at the last minute to pick up an important ingredient on their way to my house. (You know, like the ground chicken for the chicken burgers... Thanks Anna!) I have tons of people to cook for, but it's also just as important to serve myself.

4. My creative side is knocking. And she's about to start hollering.
Oprah says that the universe will whisper, and if you don't listen it will get louder and louder until it is screaming in your ear. Well, my creative side is starting to get mad.

In fact, the more I feed her (with house projects, with small design projects at work), the louder she gets. Universe, we really need to appease her before she boils over, or worse, loses her voice.

5. Thanks for giving me Henley.
That big pile of slobber and brown fur is easily the best thing that has ever happened to me. She's my blood pressure medication, my cuddle buddy, my very own commedienne, and sometimes even my therapist. She's also a reminder to be specific and go after what I want, even if I have to drive to Po-dunk, Wisconsin to find it.

6. Life is good, universe. But it can always be better.
You've been good to me, universe. But I just wanted you to know that no matter how many messages you send telling me to enjoy what I've got or to slow down and be still, that I will always, always keep reaching. I will never be fully satisfied, and I quite like that about myself.