Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Morning Intentions

I love the idea of writing down my intentions each morning, but it's not something I practice regularly. This morning, while trying to remain present during my shower instead of letting my insanely frantic mind run away with images of the past and future, I decided I'd write down my intentions in the kitchen before heading out the door... then totally forgot during my busied morning routine. So I thought, I'll blog them! I love blogging.

Then my typically one-hour commute turned into two hours because of what was likely a really bad accident. I stayed present with my impatience and sent out kind thoughts to all who were involved. I had to pee. Really, really badly. I thought about opening my car door and the back driver's side door and popping a squat between them. I thought about emptying my coffee cup and peeing in it and trying to dump it out the window enough times to drain my bladder. I thought about how horrible it made my body feel. I thought about how much I hate driving such a long distance to work, and how unfair it is that so many jobs I've applied for aren't giving me a chance, and how most of them are only posted for show anyways because they already know who they're going to hire because so-and-so knows so-and-so, and my blood boiled with anger and my eye started twitching and... you get the picture. I'm really hormonal this week, which isn't helping anything.

Then I got to work, late, which my boss is more than understanding about. He's a really good guy, and one of the few reasons I haven't just quit this job to work at Walmart until I find something in social work. Work has been insane. I can't even go into detail. Just insane. Maniacal laughter insane. In fact, I started on this blog entry two hours ago. And when the UPS guy just dropped off a next-day-air package, he told me that he's got more than twenty boxes for us at our regular delivery time. MANIACAL LAUGHTER INSANE.

But anyways, the point is this: I am now going to write down some daily intentions. To keep me focused. To sink my roots a little more deeply into today.

  • I intend to remain in the present moment, even the hormonally-charged, blood-boiling moments. I intent to meet all these emotions with an open heart and shine light on them, rather than trying to shove past them and keep them in the dark.
  • I intend to stretch my body out again at some point. Already did some yoga but my muscles are super sore. In a good way.
  • I intent to make at least five people smile today, and at least three people laugh.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Road Trip to Philly, Kayaking, and Missing Home

I took a road trip on my own to the Philadelphia area over this long weekend. My dad's side of the family lives up there, and I haven't been able to see them as often as I would like throughout my life. I was also craving a good, long car ride by myself and a little time away from home. I don't always feel great at home, because I'm constantly thinking of the ways that I should be more productive there, and imagining that I'm failing at keeping everything completely clean and well-kept. This is pretty delusional, because the house stays clean and my husband and I do a really good job at keeping everything up inside and outside. Anyways, so that was my motivation for heading out for a few days.

I had a blast! I truly enjoyed the drive up on Thursday. There weren't too many people traveling, and I took Route 301 through Maryland and over the Annapolis Bay Bridge, which I don't think I've done before. What a cool bridge! There were hundreds of sailboats out in the bay, which looked really pretty from so high on the bridge. I enjoyed a nice long lunch break at the funniest McDonalds on Kent Island, that has murals of carrots and tomatoes on the walls, because of course everyone wakes up and thinks, "I really want some carrots today, so I'm gonna head to McD's." My love for McDonalds does not falter, though. I forgive them.

I was able to head straight to my cousin's house for their cookout, complete with deliciously grilled meats, awesome slaws, ice cream cake, and lots of time in the sunshine. It was really nice catching up with everyone, and I made some plans with my aunt and uncle for the following day before heading home with Gramma for a quiet evening on the couch. We tried to stay up to watch the Philly fireworks, but who was I kidding? I was passed out on her awesomely firm guest mattress before ten.

Friday morning I woke up earlier than anyone should on a vacation and got ready to walk over to spend the day with my aunt and uncle. I decided I wanted some hot breakfast and looked up the nearest Wawa on my maps app before turning the phone off for the day. On my stroll through Lansdowne towards Wawa, I spotted the little breakfast cafe that Jeff and I had enjoyed on our last visit, and was able to get a delicious bacon and cheddar breakfast sandwich on sourdough with a gigantic coffee. I sat at the window and watched the folks walking by, trying to imagine their stories and honor their presence on the streets that morning. The rest of the walk was filled with interesting little birds flying around and taking delight in all the perfectly trimmed flowers in the yards.

We headed to the Schuylkill River so I could finally try kayaking! I'm glad I googled the river name, because I totally imagined it as "Skoogle." Haha. We paddled almost two miles against the current, which Uncle John kept saying was much stronger than usual since they'd had as much rain as we've had down here in VA. It was tough! I really enjoyed the meditative aspects, though. Not much time to think of anything else except for, is my paddle facing the right way? Why does it feel like my sunscreen wasn't sprayed on in certain places on my arms? How awesome is this swishy swishy noise? We turned and floated back to the landing, which took about a quarter of the time it took to get up the river. So peaceful.

The rest of the day was spent with Aunt Sue in her sewing room, learning little tips and admiring her works (and amazing machine!), reading for a bit on my Gramma's sunporch, and pigging out on delicious tilapia, veggies, and Aunt Sue's delicious baba ghanoush creation from her freshly picked eggplants. Another early night to bed, and I slept like a baby. I slipped in early Saturday to tell her goodbye and admired her little body, curled up in the tiniest ball while she slept. She's still really healthy for someone in their 80s but her body is nonetheless aging. It's beautiful, a little frightening, and reminded me of our connection even though we're normally so far from each other.

I stopped in MD on the way home to have breakfast with my dad and stepmom, which involved even more incredible food! They live on the bay, and it was great to be able to spend a few moments out next to the water before hopping in the car for a very tough ride back home. I'm pretty sure lots of other folks decided to try to beat the traffic by traveling on Saturday instead of Sunday. It was a great opportunity to practice patience and compassion, which I mostly did really poorly with haha, but it was practice.

I arrived home to perfectly cut grass, a powerwashed house and deck, and an amazing, handsome husband sitting in the living room floor doing his least favorite chore: folding laundry. I felt so much well up inside of me, from love and tenderness to a little bit of guilt for leaving him alone all weekend. I just hugged him. A lot. And promised myself I'd remember those feelings and the strong longing I had to be with him and with home while I was gone. I'll remember them when I'm frustrated that the grass is an inch higher than it is when it's freshly cut. I'll remember them when I'm cranky and whiny and just want to sit on the couch instead of straightening up or vacuuming. I'll remember them when I'm tired after a long day and just want to order pizza, but am fortunate enough to have fresh meats and veggies stocking the fridge. I'll remember that those feelings are so much stronger than the avoidance, dread, and frustration that all stem from fear that I'm less than something.