Belated Thanksgiving

Saturday, December 5, 2009 | 0 Comment(s)

[the pic is from]

So, I know that my recent entries have been trending toward the comedy end of the literary spectrum, but I wanted to "Wonder Years" it for a second and bring it down a notch to talk about this years thanks giving.  In my family we go around the table during dessert (WARNING: Do not attempt this on an empty stomach!) and say what we are actually thankful for in the past year.  It's a pretty intense experience that usually proves a combination of extremely meaningful and emotionally exhausting.  Since so much hilarious crap has been falling out of the sky and landing on me, I didn't get a chance to share with my blog what i was thankful for this year.  And if this blog is to keep any remnant of "online journal-ness" I think I should share.  Or over-share.  You decide.

Instead of micro-managing my thankfulness and telling you every individual thing im thankful for (been there done that -- this blog and swimming top the non-humans im thankful for btw), im going to go the more philosophical route and talk about my new perspective on life this year.  Cause it is the thing that I am most thankful for recently, and things like this blog and swimming all stem from it.

My new perspective: No more waiting.  As a type-A child brought up to get good grades to get into a good college.  To do well in college to get a good job.  Etc etc.  I have been trained to suffer now for future rewards.  And, unfortunately, after 30 some years of training I never learned how to be present and enjoy the now.  More than that though.  I never learned to think of 'the now' as important.  And it is vitally important.  It is truly all we ever have.  And I am newly committed to making the most of the now.  I am swimming now because I need to commit to my health in the now.  I am blogging now because I need a creative outlet now.  Not when I have more free time.  Not when I finish this or that project.  Now.  Because as the title of my blog implies, we need to be impact-full today to leave our essence for tomorrow (or something like that).

I am no longer accepting the idea of misery now for happiness later.  I'm pretty sure, after many years of practice, that this idea is akin to a carrot on a stick hanging just out of reach of the rabbit's mouth.  There will always be something to look forward to in the future, and some excuse to postpone our commitment to happiness in the present.  But i'm pretty sure that the best way to be happy (or content, as I prefer to strive for) in the future, is to commit to being happy in the present.  Since this mind-set shift, I have taken more risks, said yes to myself more, and found that i have only begun to explore the tip of my experiential iceberg.  By demanding I stay focused on my present i am tapping into new talents and new feelings of accomplishment.  It feels wonderful.

(this does not mean that i no longer feel that hard work is important to success.  As I am a graduate student, this is a given.)

And, at the risk of sounding like the charismatic leader of some new touchy-feely cult, i encourage you to try it as well.  Feel free to leave any experiences in the comments.  Things rolling (pun -- you'll see) around in my head for the next year: getting a tattoo (happening), male roller-derby (see ;))(this one would be really pushing my boundaries), stand-up comedy.  Who knows.  But I do know that until i started committing to today, these weren't even ideas I had.

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