Every Day, and again tomorrow

Three years ago, I was in a bad place.  I was scared about a situation going on in our lives and I couldn’t see the end.  I was stuck in the mud and mire of not knowing.  Well, Yoda was right.

“Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

I was scared and angry, and my life suffered.  I think back to things I said, things I didn’t say …  I have moved on and yet, as I sit here thinking back to those spring days a few years ago, I can still feel a weight.  It’s a reminder of where I don’t want to be.

When you’re going through a hard time, you still talk, laugh, eat, eat again, live.  But there is always that weight.

What was my reason for the fear?  It won’t matter to you.  What matters to you is YOUR reason.  What matters to you is your fear and anger, your mud and mire.  Regardless of things you say, things you don’t say, what you do and the way people react to you and your situation, YOU MATTER.  That’s the first step out.

Sometimes what leads us to the first step is a light, and we find the light in so many different ways.  I remember my first glimpse of it.  I remember it exactly.  I remember the feeling of knowing again.  There would be an end.  And that was the beginning.

I held that light and it helped, but it took me months to figure out what to do with it, how to build it into something else.  Coming off a loss and a few hard lessons, it was nine months later when I launched into a personal happiness project.  There are many versions of it thanks to Gretchen Rubin – 30 days, 100 days, meditation, laugh therapy.  I decided that mine would be every day, no matter what.  I would think happy thoughts, create something, share it with the world, take it into my soul and believe it.  The next day, I would do it again.  It wasn’t full proof, but it worked for me.

Yes, I have slipped.  I am sorry for those times.  Happiness is a work in progress.  It’s a learning experience too.  My key was finding the light every day, and finding the light again when I slipped.

I want to share some of this journey with a few who might read this blog.  Share some thoughts and perhaps a rant or two, lessons learned.  There will be sunny, happy thoughts, a curse word or ten (you are warned), thankfulness, beauty, simplicity.  This is my project, a part of the simple adventure.  I truly hope you have found or will find yours too.

Part of my project were these photo creations that I shared on a Facebook page called The Simple Adventure.  They are still there, though I have stepped away from the page for a while to make changes to this blog.

The next part of my project is to change this blog a bit.  We’ll still share travel and stories, as well as life lessons from one who has found happiness in the world.  Read if you will.  Enjoy.

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Writing it down

For some, saying it out loud makes it better.  For me, writing it down.  And so I’ve been writing more and more this year.  To celebrate National Poetry Month, and my goal to see the positive, here is a contribution to the blogworld today.

Again, formerly titled The Assault

It lulls you in
bright lights
movement
noise
new
Wake at 3am and there, still, is a spinning world.

Eyes wide.
Wow. What. Why. How.
I can do this.
Look at that.  Photo. Photo. Photo.
Why are they staring?
(laugh) I can do this.

And then, I don’t remember the details.
Was it one thing?  A switch turned by the movement?
Or a beat down.

I can do this. This elephant.
One fascinating experience at a time.
One language conquering moment at a time.
One cheap electronic and copy handbag
or unbelievable deal at a time.

Some days you lose your way.
Some days the way is just gone.
One fascinating, story-telling experience at a time.

I want to go home.
wherever that is
I want easy.  Understand and be understood.  Hide.

Maybe it’s been eating me all along.
one bite at a time
the beat down
the assault on my senses
the gradual attack

Ahhh. Fresh air.  Light.
I can do this.  Get away.  Remember.  Smile.  Breathe.  Drive.
It lulls you back
Eyes wider.
A good day, a good choice, and you forget

So it’s me.  Is it me?  I let them in.  I did this.
Shut up, you.  (expletive)
Shut up, me.  Stop.

Stop.  Figure it out.
Leave it.  Again.
And again. Leave it.
Embrace that glorious, thick-skinned, floppy eared, dirty, wet, beautiful beast.  Every day.
Follow it home.
Find the way.

I can do this.

A new day

A little inspiration to begin this week.

Her father left his questions unasked.  But both knew, and for the same reason, that bad days go better without any questions at all.  

– Eudora Welty, The Optimist’s Daughter

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. 

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspiration

I want my life to be simple, happy, positive, drama-free.  I really do want that.  So every day, I look for inspiration.  Or create it.  Or listen to it.

It doesn’t always work.  In the words of the incomparable John Mayer, “Hey world, you ain’t seen nothing yet, Great, now it’s raining.”   Sometimes, you have the best of intentions.  You’re prepared to be positive, and then…  the proverbial rain.  On to another day. Time to stumble on a better place to be.  (Mark Bryan)

Like so many, I enjoy those ecard boxes with quotes and photos or pretty backgrounds.  George Takei has made this a Facebook art form.  I laugh openly at the ones with curse words that seem to know exactly how I’m feeling.  I decided to create some of my own, just for The Simple Adventure, and added a companion to this blog,  The Simple Adventure on Facebook.  See the gallery for a taste.  I post almost every day to help find my early morning inspiration.

I hope we can all be inspired in a positive way every day.  Smile and appreciate what’s out there.  Spread it around.  Listen.  Feel.  Just be.                                           

Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.  – Edith Wharton

 

In This Classroom…

I was having a bad morning.  It didn’t really have anything to do with China, in particular, just a blah day.  I hadn’t slept well.  I had things on my mind.  I missed the bus because I felt like changing my shoes at the last minute. I forgot my umbrella and had to go back for it.  Ugh.  But then, the taxi driver was nice.  He knew where the school is and I didn’t have to explain or show him the map or convince him this foreigner knows the way even though she isn’t allowed to drive in this country.  And I felt it starting to turn around.  No more shadow day.  I stumbled on a better place to be.

When I got to school, one thing after another made me smile and reaffirmed I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  Little Simon waved to me from the other side of the Kindergarten classroom and said, “Good Morning, Miss Julie.”  Perfect.  Tom re-enacted a tv commercial for me using part English-part charades.  Awesome.  My taobao order had been delivered to Miss Sunny and she gave me the new black and pink handbag we both loved.  Smile.  Our school staff got new name badges and, in my third year as a volunteer, guess who is now official?  Wow.  And Enoch, who, three weeks ago wouldn’t speak out loud, walked up behind me and read English words off the computer.  T-H-E  the.  All before noon.  Quite the turn-around.

At one point, I was working on the computer in the First Grade classroom, listening to the lesson.  Every day, they talk about their classroom oath, a code the teachers instill in them through repetition and excellent role modeling.  I was reminded that we could all use a lesson from First Grade once in a while.

In This Classroom…

We care about each other.

We share what we have.

We listen to each other.

When someone says stop, we stop.

We help each other learn.

We are kind to others when they make mistakes.

We always do these things, even when no one is watching.

And I’ll add one more.  We always do these things, even when others do not.

To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.  Thanks, Yoda.