For when you can’t and still do…

This is a shout out to all those times you felt sick and still went anyway because you promised someone you would. This is for all the times you swallowed that mean remark and helped someone anyway. This is for the times when you were busy but you reached out your hand. This is for the love you gave when you didn’t feel like they deserved it. This is for letting go and wishing well.

Maybe you didn’t get to see a reward come of these moments. Maybe people passed by with just a thoughtless thank you, or maybe nothing at all. Maybe they were sarcastic and unappreciative. Maybe they still left. Maybe they just went on with their lives.

But the next time you are faced with such a situation, you have stre-e-etched your soul so you are able to do a bit more, to stand a little more. And maybe this time you will see payoff. But, if someone else’s life is made better, you don’t even need to see the payoff. You just need the ability to do well towards others, because whether you see it or not, it makes a difference. In a world that needs it, it makes a good difference.

So, I raise a glass to you and me: I went into work today and felt hella sick but am still putting on a good face. There is a party today and I said I would bring lemonade and ice tea (you know I am making an Arnold Palmer, don’t even mess with me). And I hope to at least bring a smile to someone’s face.

But at least I was here.

Loosing my power almost caused an existential crisis….

A week or so ago, we had an extremely intense lightening storm and rain in the ‘sunshine’ state. As I sat in my bed that night, reading my kindle, I thought about shutting off the lights and watching the lightening storm from the safety of my house.

Then, the electricity went out.

And instead of taking advantage of this and watching the lightning storm as I had planned to do. I sat in my room for another 5 minutes, unable to tear myself away from the one source of light in my room: my phone.

And my phone was about to die.

Cue beginning of existential crisis.

I need my phone. I need the knowledge that at each moment, I have the option of distracting myself from the world around me. And as I clutched unto my phone for dear life, it started getting warmer in my room, because the AC went out with the power. And panic really started setting in. Because I need the AC. I hate being hot, especially if I am trying to sleep. My body goes into overdrive in the heat. And then I left the comfort of my phone and I had to stumble around in my house with only the flashlights from my family’s emergency store to guide me. I need the light. With my eye condition, seeing isn’t easy even with good lighting.

And as we waited for the electricity to come on, I found myself questioning my attachment to things. Wanting light makes sense: darkness is no honest man’s friend. But AC and my phone? These are lesser necessities. These aren’t even necessities. These are luxuries that I can’t seem to get by without. I, a human, a person with a soul and infinite value, could not stand the thought of not having my phone at my disposal. I could not survive an hour without complaining and ordering people around because I was hot and my plan of going to sleep was ruined by an hour long power outage.

Who is this person, afraid to think apart from her phone? Who are any of us to allow a little discomfort and suffering to control how we feel, how we react?

So, since then, I have tried to put a little more distance between myself and my luxuries. I have taken to turning away from my phone as my only source of entertainment and even started bonding with my brothers again, by playing board games (remember those? I barely did)

I highly encourage you to branch out as well, and to see if you can cut out a little of the unnecessary. You might appreciate the necessary even more.

What my love of ballerinas and Vikings gave me

I am sorry if I have been writing a lot of posts lately on staying motivated. Well, I’m not sorry if you feel motivated because of them. But, I am currently discerning what is next for me in life. Right now, I am living at home, paying off loans, and getting my toes wet while I prepare to take the deep plunge into the next part of my life, away from what is familiar and into the unknown.

And in life, in order to stick to my dreams, I need motivation. I need the incentive to keep with my plans, even when they seem to go nowhere and I am in a horrible rut, sitting in the mud with a frown on my face like a kid whose mud pies surprised them by not tasting like chocolate. Nothing is easier than finding motivation and then losing it. And recently, listening to a podcast called “Catching Foxes (listen to it, you won’t regret it), they talked about how you should not only be persistent in your goals, but should constantly seek new ways of remaining motivated.

And hit me: I would always start something then I would loose my drive because I would forget why I am doing it. I would stop motivating myself. And why do something if you aren’t motivated to keep on keeping on?

So, for my exercise and healthy goals, motivation came to mean flexible superhumans and ancient invaders. I am not as flexible as a ballerina, nor am I am as dead-set on conquering foreign lands as the Vikings were. But they are the exact type of motivation I need to keep exercising and, one day, please Lord, do a split. I haven’t had the ability, let alone the desire, to commit to exercise since I had to stop running last year. I got kicked in the shins, TWICE, in a week. It wasn’t Fight Club; no, I just tried to play soccer without shin guards among FRIENDS and FAMILY and bruised my shin muscle so badly from being kicked that I had to step away from hard physical activity for almost 10 months. But after such a long time of not being able to do much, doing anything seemed like a lost cause. That’s when I listened to the podcast and searched for that motivation. And I found it in ballet documentaries and the History Channel show Vikings. In both, self-discipline and determination rule the day. There are insurmountable tasks and despite the hard days, the days when they had four AM wake up calls for ballet practice, after not doing well at their last recital, or they were lost in the middle of the sea in 700’s AD in a boat full of angry Vikings mad for being lead on a wild goose chase to die in the middle of nowhere, their training and determination helped them remain resolute and damaging things: land that pirouette or find England. They stuck with it and they made it, even if it wasn’t pretty or exactly how they planned.

And this is how I get through my workouts. This is part of how I keep going day to day.

My call to you? Go find those things that motivate you.