Today I had a colleague call me out for an error, which was fine, but they then threw me under the bus by highlighting the mistake to my boss. Yeah, whatevs, thankfully I have no real concerns there. I mean, I know my value and all that, but who needs more crap, right? So much bad news streaming through our stream. Always more fear. More despair. More bad shit for us all to endure. We search for that one light flickering in the shadows, desperate for one bright second in the dark. What to do? Head to the pool to shake it off the best way I know. Diving into the green and stroke after stroke letting all that cool water slide over my stream till I’m smoothed over again.
My students were a bit alarmed when I mentioned what a glorious Indian summer we were having this September. Yes, alarmed. They were concerned I was using a derogatory term. Perhaps they are right, but it was a term from my youth and I was only remarking on the extraordinary warm, gloriously warm, days we are experiencing. A glorious string of days that I am taking full advantage of by spending afternoons outdoors. As they sat in my classroom peering at the blue beyond the bank of windows I encouraged them to do the same once the last bell rings. Get out and breathe in the prana.
How many times have you stopped to say thank you to this spectacular earth? As I sailed along the smooth pavement and perfectly engineered bridges along the miles of bike path, I thought, how is this planet so so so so giving and available and wonderful and yet, still taken for granted? These days, these gifted days, are all opportunities to stop. Savor. Be appreciative.
Food too. Eat fresh and take advantage of seasonal delights. I carried two sweet lemons back from my last Los Angeles trip, plucked from my brother’s backyard trees, now squeezed over fresh eggs, local sausage and veggies, making for a fast and fabulous al fresco supper. A sweet lemon? Yes, there is a simplicity in such a miraculous delight.
Eat light. Eat local. Eat one ingredient foods. And bless your good fortune. Seriously great fortune if you eat half this deliciously.
Raise your glass and salute this splendid planet we inhabit. And revel in all it offers. Air. Water. Soil. Do what you can to keep it spinning without your footprint slowing it. If you have the great fortune of reveling in such a spectacular Indian summer, why not enjoy it to the very last? Let that golden orb perform its magic over your mood. Watch it sink beyond the treetops and spill into violet and crimson and never forget you are among the lucky. Never. Do let me know what Autumn joys you experience! xxoo
As 2015 stands in the doorway I reflect back on all that brought me here: we can’t change the past nor can we know what lies ahead, we can only determine how to live within this moment. In private I will review my shortcomings, but in this post I’ll relive the highlights, each memory bringing joy into my heart and soul, each worth a remembrance on the sweet possibilities gifted each day.
November can be a rut. A grey and dismal month, (thankfully with one grand meal to share). But you can combat November’s dreariness by making a simple plan. Keep your sanity. Your waistline. Your sense of adventure. With a plan you can stick to. One that feeds you. What am I referring to? Find a pool. Dive in!
Every January 1st “more than fifty per cent of Americans made some sort of resolution. After six months, only forty per cent had stuck with it” (Konnikova). I am within that 50%, listing resolutions that range from eating better to exercising more. There is something about the crest of a new year that propels us to believe, despite all the contrary evidence, this time change will be easy. Good will does its best to buoy us but often it is the very device that undermines us.
“Optimism, then, isn’t always constructive. If we’re too positive, we condemn ourselves to fail. Many backsliders relapse because they have overestimated their own abilities, underestimated the time and effort involved in staying the course, or have an exaggerated view of the effect that the change would have on their lives” (Konnikova).
Each new year or new month or new week we strive to follow a new regime, one that could, we fancy, lead us to an improved self. But this week, on the crest of the Chinese New Year, I suggest a shift away from this type of thinking. Instead, I dare say Fuck Off to Resolutions and Bring It On to Inspirations.