How to Practice Uncomplicated Love (and even ease your road rage)

2012
05.25

Courtesy of Tigr

What if you could make it through a day without judging the people around you, and specifically the people you love.

Is it possible at the end of the day you might love yourself a little more, too?

I’ve always heard the adage that what drives us most crazy in others are characteristics that we ourselves possess.  I’ve recently been particularly discouraged by a family member who is always criticizing everything that other people do.  I try to explain that person’s point of view, even if only fabricated by my imagination, in a way that will make my loved one understand that the people she is condemning are fighting their own battles, and that they are ‘doing the best they can’.  Because aren’t we all just doing the best we can?  The irony is not lost on me that I’ve been particularly and relentlessly condemning this person for his (yes, this is pronoun redirection) relentless condemning of others.

I’ve been reading a lot about love and acceptance and how it relates to letting go of your perfectionism and in particular, I came across a blog today: how a simple loving-kindness meditation can transform your life, which describes how we all have the capacity for boundless love and kindness and that we need to let go of the fear that is getting in the way of experiencing the boundless love.  The post is way more complex than this one sentence, and it’s great.  The meditation that the article suggests is this:  ”Breathe in – cherish yourself, breathe out – cherish others.”  This got me to thinking about whether judgement of others gets in the way of the pure and uncomplicated love for myself, and whether the perfectionism that at times tortures me is getting in the way of my boundless love for others.   You must first breathe in in order to have the air to breathe out, but you also have to breathe out so that your lungs are empty to once again breathe in.  This organic and perfect cycle, which is present in all things, can be a model for practicing uncomplicated love.  Let go of your judgement of others in order to accept your own imperfection, and practicing boundless love for yourself will overflow into your love of others.

Now this is a grand idea that we can read and say, “Yes, actually, that would be quite nice, wouldn’t it?”  But the difficult part is how to put it into practice.  I think I have a good starting point.

Go back to repeating to yourself that “We are all doing the best that we can” and think of what the person might be going through that would cause them to do the thing that is driving you so crazy.  In other words, make excuses for them. For most of my life, I’ve been making excuses for the people I love, the people I know, and the people I don’t know but who just cut me off on the road.  I can’t claim that I do this 100% of the time, but I promise you that as soon as you’ve completed this task, which can also be an exercise in creative thinking, you feel a lot better than you do if you accelerate to try and not let the car in, then tailgate them when they make it through anyway.  I will get sucked into road rage from time to time, but at least 75% of the time, an alarm goes off in my head that asks, “Is it worth it to let this person who I don’t even know fill me with negativity??” And the answer is always the same.  No.
You can use this same technique for all kinds of things that drive you crazy about others.  Your husband left his wet towel on the floor, your friend cancelled your plans at the last minute, and on and on.  One way that you don’t even have to be creative is to think of a time that you did the same, because I’m sure if you haven’t left a wet towel on the floor, you have done something small that drives your significant other crazy.  You’ve probably cancelled plans at the last moment, and who hasn’t cut another driver off when they aren’t paying attention or are in a crazy hurry?

When you think about the reason why you make these insignificant transgressions, you can easily give the person doing so a break for doing the same.  When you forgive others for these little things, you know what?  You’re also letting yourself off the hook for being less than perfect, and allowing your love to shine through.  Love is way more important than whether or not my husband puts the correct pajamas on my 1 year old.  Love is way more important than whether I want to hear my loved one complain about her neighbor who just can’t get it together.  Loving myself means having a peaceful drive from here to there, and not caring if I have to slow down to let one (or even five) cars in because it’s Friday afternoon and they are ready to drink a margarita.  My margarita is waiting for me, and if it takes 30 more seconds to reach my lips, it won’t matter, because I rejected allowing the stress of getting there to define the 20 minute car ride.

I want to be clear that making excuses for the little things does not mean you make excuses for people who are deliberately or repeatedly hurtful to you.   I’m talking about the things that don’t really matter in life.  The things that you will forget in 5 minutes or a day or a week.  The things that you harp on yourself about when the perfectionist monster has your ear.
I wish I could say that I never judge, because obviously I do and any of my friends who are reading this and thinking about the last time we got together and I complained about this person or that knows that I am just as quick to vent as anyone else.  This is why I call this technique ‘practice’.

Breathe in – I am doing the best I can, breathe out, we are all doing the best we can.  Each breathe in makes breathing out possible and each time we empty our lungs, we are preparing them to be filled again with forgiving, healing, loving air.  When we accept others, we can more purely love ourselves, when we truly and uncomplicatedly love ourselves, there is nothing to get in the way of our boundless love for others.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Thank you, again, to Mary for inspiring this post.

The time I got dumped via ICQ.

2012
04.17

Memory Lane Post.  I just wanted an excuse to create a new blog category, and I figured my blog wasn’t random and purposeless enough already…

There was this time when I dated a guy at the end of the the school year.  In fact, I think we got together the night before graduation.  His graduation.  It was many many beers… I mean years… ago so I can’t remember how we got together or how many dates we went on, but somehow we decided we could still date while I went home (to Kansas City) for the summer and he stayed at school (in Emporia).  Of course by the time I would return to Emporia, he would be going to grad school at KU, which was an hour away from Emporia.  An hour’s drive isn’t really long distance by definition, but at the beginning of a relationship, it’s not exactly great.  None of this matters, because it never got off the ground, and that’s the point of the story.  After getting home from the bars one night, he wrote me a ‘break-up’ message and he did it over ICQ (an old instant messaging program that’s about as relevant as the dodo bird).  Anyone who ever used ICQ knows that, like twitter, there’s a limit on how many characters you can use in an offline message. 450 to be exact.  So over the course of his message to me, every few sentences, I’d have to press, “Read Next.”  After receiving his message, I quickly wrote a smarmy response… then e-mailed both to my best friend at the time, Julie.  Which is why I still have it, I’ve had the same e-mail address since high school (that’s my longest term relationship.  Husband will never catch up.)  I wrote to her that I could now be added to the “been dumped before” list.  Apparently this was the first time I had ever had a guy break up with me.  I think I took it rather well.  Note that this was in 2000.  It was a pre-9.11 world, everything was different… and my maturity level was… um… probably pretty much the same as now actually.  Without further ado, here’s his letter and then my response.  It kind of starts out of no where, I must have messaged him that Julie saw him out… “cuz he went out drinking”…

yeah, I saw julie tonight, cuz i went out drinking.
anyways, please do not be angry, but i really think
that it would be be best if we reverted to our old
friends mode. the only reason i say this is because i
never get to see you anymore, and i really do not want
you to feel like you have to come down and see me.
besides that, i am going to ku in the fall, and i
don’t do the long distance thing well…

READ NEXT

what you
deserve is a guy who can be there for you and treat
you right, and that isn’t me. I respect you too much
to play games about this. i figure you are probably
going to be real angry with me, but please don’t think
it is b/c i don’t like you. i just would rather take
care of this now than have it get messy and ugly for
me in two months. maybe i am scared of a good deal,
but at the same time i just think i can’t be the guy
you deserve.

READ NEXT

I am real sorry i dropped this bomb on
you, but i think it just saves us a lot of trouble
later. now mike* is grabbing my leg and screaming at
me about something, so i need to go to bed, before i
go to work in three hours. have lots of fun at KU,
and in colorado. again, do not hate me, but if you do
i understand. I let shit get way out of hand… I
think about what might have been had i been here for
another year,

READ NEXT

and i know that you are, in most
respects, the perfect girl for me. but, i just cant
deal with having to feel guilty about what happens to
you when i go to KU. Not saying you would take it
bad, or that we would even end it, but that i am a big
fear of commitment guy. thank sarah* and casey* for
that. i am going to work all summer, and lift, and
then go to KU… that is not fair to a girl of your
caliber.

READ NEXT

All i can say is that, yeah, i did this like
a puss, but this is the only way i had the heart to do
it, b/c it would break me up to do it either face to
face or on the phone. you deserve better than me, and
you will find it. Take care of yourself, and if you
want, come by anytime and we WILL hang out. I have to
go to bed now. I won’t be checking my e-mail or icq
for the nxt several days… so i wouldn’t bother
trying to get a hold of me.

READ NEXT

i have to work the state
2a softball tourney ALLLLLLL weekend. Like i said, i
am trying to do the honorable thing before it gets too
serious between us, and then shit really gets bad.
Have a good weekend, and a nice summer. You deserve
the best, and I know you’ll find it with somebody far
cooler than me. Besides, i am an old man, as you
always say.
Take care, and come by anytime.
Ryan D.*

And my response:

Ryan D.*

Upon reading your icq message, I have decided to give
you a 7.5 on the “breaking it off” process. This
score is out of 10. There are several reasons for why
I’ve chosen this score.

1. Form. The fact that it was done over icq will cost
you 1 pt. Now some people might claim that this sort
of thing is best handled in person, but I believe the
indirect method isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can
save a lot of akwardness for both parties involved.
But the fact that I had to push the “read next” button
a total of 5 times was a little disconcerting. Had
you done it over conventional e-mail, I probably would
have only docked you half a point.

2. Organization. Everything you said could have been
said in about two paragraphs, but you made it about
eight. At one time, you even made an attempt to end
it, but then kept going for a few more paragraphs.
You also repeated yourself often. This merely added
to the times I had to press “Read next”. For that, I
docked you half a point.

3. Mixed messages. You told me I was the perfect
girl, yet told me you couldn’t see me…in the same
sentence. I would definitely advise against doing
this next time. Basically, if you think a girl is
perfect, you don’t tell her this as you’re breaking it
off…actually, it kind of made me feel like shit.
For that, I docked a full point.
So that’s how I arrived at your score of 7.5. I know
this average work is highly uncharacteristic of a man
of YOUR caliber, but I think with practice, you could
master the art :)

However, being the “glass half FULL” type of girl that
I am, I want to point out some of the things you did
right.

1. The fact that you said “Let’s just be friends”
without ever using that cliche sentence. It’s often
hard to refrain from saying those 4 dreaded words, but
you pull it off nicely.

2. The way you made it seem like it’s absolutely
nothing I did wrong…the whole time, you said “It’s
not you, it’s me,” again, without ever using the
cliche.

3. And lastly, you made it sound like the whole
reason you are doing it is to save ME the trouble and
heartache…good move.

Thank you for taking the time to read my critique, and
I hope you can learn from this experience…I know I
have.

But seriously now, I’m not pissed at you at all…
don’t even think for a second that I am…I was just
having fun with your message. Although I can’t say I
exactly enjoyed your letter, I do understand. I also
understand that we can’t help the way we feel.
There’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, so why
should I be pissed off. I’ve been there, and I always
feel bad, but I can’t change the way I feel and I
don’t expect you to either. I don’t know what I
thought we would do, it was just wishful thinking.
You are way too great of a guy and I enjoy your
company way too much to let this fuck it up. We’ve
been down this road (though not as FAR down this road)
before, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t be
friends.

Have fun at work, and I’m sure I’ll run into you when
I’m in town next time. So have a good one, and don’t
lose any sleep over all this.

aly

 

*Names changed to protect the people who will (hopefully) never read this or care.

Crying it out.

2012
04.14

Was it C who had to cry it out or me?  Both, I think.

I finally decided that I need to let C cry at night.  I had fought it and hated the thought and was determined that he needed to feel like I respond when he was sad, etc.  I had thought that I would never let him cry for more than 15 minutes.  It finally got to the point where he was waking up 1 to 3 times a night and we couldn’t get him back to sleep without rocking him or nursing, which would completely interrupt one or both of our own sleep cycles, not to mention his.

I have read quite a bit of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and it stresses the importance of a good night sleep, although it does acknowledge alternate strategies to ‘crying it out’ (CIO), so I’ve known that the goal is even more important for C’s well being than for my own desire for 8 hours, uninterrupted, glorious, delicious and restorative sleep.  I had recently picked up Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman just for fun.   I do have to note that she makes these expansive claims that suggest that all French babies are well-behaved, independent, and good sleepers.  In a review I read by a Frenchman, he said that it’s not that black and white, that he knows lots of ‘brats’ in France and that her magical cure-all tone is inaccurate.  After that, I expected the book to be anecdotal rather than authoritative and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that she cites reputable studies and sources. One of the first sections is about sleeping.  The French term for sleeping through the night when directly translated is, “Doing their nights.”   French babies often start doing their nights by a month old because from the beginning, the typical French parent waits a few minutes when the baby cries in the night to allow them to self soothe.  The idea is that babies wake up every one to two hours at the end of each sleep cycle, and they need to be shown that they can fall back to sleep on their own.  When a parent rushes in and soothes or feeds them, it trains them to expect this behavior.  The book suggests (by way of other experts) that by 4 months, the short waiting will no longer be effective, and at that point, you’re going to need to let the baby CIO for a few nights to teach them this important skill.  I also have friends who began sleep training (aka CIO) before 3 months and they all have babies who sleep through the night.

As I’ve said, I had decided that CIO is not for me, and that C would just naturally learn to sleep through the night.  Finally, all of the voices in my head (in case you’re wondering, I’m not talking about my own psychosis induced voices that go along with being sleep deprived, at least I’m pretty sure…) started to sound a lot alike in suggesting that I rethink my decision.  They were the voices of the books I’ve read and the friends I have who have babies who sleep through the night.  I also have plenty of friends and acquaintances who feel CIO is not for them, but many of them have much younger babies than C.  I finally made the decision to try it for a few nights and see how it goes. Unfortunately, I timed the decision with my mom being in town for a week, and I didn’t want to wait a week to start.  C has gotten really smart and I worried that every night I continued to reenforce his bad behavior by rocking and feeding at 3 in the morning, the harder the CIO period would be.  I also have to note that my mom starts crying anytime she hears C cry for more than a minute (there was an unfortunate Bagel related incident in November).  The night before I decided to do this was mom’s first night in town.  C woke up at about midnight and mom heard him before we got to the room, and she picked him up to rock him.  When mere rocking wasn’t soothing him, we saw the light go on, and I heard her talking to him.  I didn’t realize what she was doing until I heard a distinct, “Hello, do you like my hat?”  She was reading GO DOG! GO to him with the lights on at midnight.  This may have been what pushed me over the edge to try some sleep training.

I thought that I had sufficiently explained to her that I was going to try to let him cry, that I had been reading, etc and decided the time is ripe to avoid worse habits from forming and that hopefully it would only take a few nights.  That first night he woke up at 4:30 am and cried until about 4:45 when mom went in and picked him up.  Adrian and I were laying in bed, feeling awful for his dispair, and then we heared her go in.  ”She just set us back 2 weeks!”  Says my (not at all dramatic) husband.  So I went into the room, made her put him back down – at which point he wailed – and stepped back out.  I explained to her that we are trying a night with minimal soothing.  She got a little upset but didn’t argue and went back to bed (and put her ear plugs in).  We went back to bed and I cried a bit, because C seemed so upset.  He cried for another 15 minutes and it slowly tappered off to whimpering then sleep.  He didn’t wake up again until 8am.  He never sleeps until 8.

The next night he woke up and cried for 15 minutes before going back to sleep and staying that way for the night.  For the next week, most nights he would wake up once for about 5 minutes.  It turned into a light whimper, and then to just babbling.  After about 10 days, he stopped waking up and we’ve been getting all of our sleep (except when I stay up too late reading) every single night, and I no longer feel like a zombie.

 

 

 

Athlete’s Junk

2012
03.28

C has had a diaper rash for almost 2 months. Sometimes, it would clear up mostly, and even stay away for a week or so, but it kept coming back. We were at his doctor last Monday for his 9 month visit and the doc said it looked like yeast rash. He told me to buy Lotrimin AF, which is athlete’s foot treatment. So what he was saying is my kid has athlete’s foot of the junk? Athlete’s Junk?

I’ve been using it for a week with no results. We woke up yesterday, and during breakfast C got really cranky and wouldn’t eat. So I took him out of his chair and Husband pointed out that he had poop all over his back. Husband took C in to de-diaper him, while I ran a bath, because it was that bad. So after the bath I realized his little butt was bleeding where the rash is. A friend suggested not using wipes and only using water to clean him after a diaper. Everything I’ve read says yeast needs to breathe to go away. So I decided he can crawl around naked for a little bit. First he peed on the hard wood. Not too bad. I got out the wood cleaning spray and I had to alternately keep C from trying to eat the spray (non-toxic) and get his pee cleaned up. A few minutes later, while I was dusting the living room, I walked through a wet spot on the rug. He’d peed on the rug. I got out the vinegar spray and had to alternately keep C from trying to eat the spray and get his pee cleaned up. I feel like I have a puppy again without the puppy cuteness.

I decided to call the doctor and see if they had additional instructions. She said I’m doing all good things. No wipes, air out as much as possible, and she’ll call in a prescription of 1234 ointment, only available at this mom-and-pop pharmacy (luckily very close). I googled 1234 ointment and found nothing about it, one random message board discussion about diaper rash with a member suggesting they find 1234 cream, no other explanation. At this point, I’m not even sure it’s a real thing. So we went to the pharmacy and they hadn’t gotten to it yet. While we were waiting, the pharmacy cashier proceeded to follow us around the store (for 20 minutes) talking to C and telling him how cute he is, barely acknowledging my presence, as if she was having a conversation with just him. He loved it.

When I got home, I took his diaper off, cleaned him with soap and water, and decided to take him outside in the backyard to give the rash some sun (also suggested for yeast murder). I couldn’t actually get him to sit still on my lap for optimum sunlight exposure, so I decided to nurse. Here I was, sitting in the backyard with a naked baby and my boob out to keep him still long enough to get UV rays to the junk and praying against pray that a.) he wouldn’t pee all over me (He didn’t) and b.) the next door neighbor wouldn’t walk onto his back deck (He didn’t). I took him in to administer the ointment, which has to be spread all over, front and back and ‘covered’ with vaseline. This is no small feat, because keeping him on the changing table for more than 30 seconds is like wrestling an alligator. It took 5 minutes, most of the time with him screaming while I held his legs up in the air and nearly dangled him to get the crap on his butt.

I’ve been really into “Draw Something” on the iPad this week. If I were to get “Wrestling an Alligator” as a word, this is what I would draw.

A little later, I was again letting him crawl around naked and I knew Husband was almost home. C likes to stand up against the front glass door and greet Husband when he gets home. This time Husband gets more than he bargained for: C, naked as a jaybird, pounding on the front door in excitement to see his Daddy. He walked in the door and asked me, “Do you think this is appropriate?” I think that anything that keeps C entertained at the end of this long, tiring, alligator wrestling day is absolutely one hundred percent appropriate. Who cares if our neighbors think we’re WT?

Luckily, I had to run off to yoga and Husband was in charge of the before-bed alligator wrestling.

Today, I’m watching a friend’s kiddo, so this morning when she brought him over, I explained why C was naked. She glanced over at him and said “Yeah, I think he’s splashing in his pee right now.” I looked over and sure enough, he’s in the corner, sitting in a puddle of his own urine and pounding it with an open hand to make it splash everywhere. I told her that I’d do my best today to make sure he doesn’t pee on her son.

Stop thinking… stop it… stop. Now.

2012
03.07

I wrote in an earlier post that I’m reading a book about reaching enlightenment through meditation… and then just now I read a Q&A by Neil Gaiman about writers block and even though I don’t have anything amazing and ground breaking to say, I did get some good advice from a friend earlier that seems to fit in to the reason I’m writing this post.

The reason I’m writing is because I need to Just. Do. It.  I was reading through the second post about the book on Enlightenment and I noticed 2 typos and I went and changed them… and then I noticed this:

“…Dzogchen meditation is a process of recognizing our true nature in every moment, not just by crossing our legs and paying attention to our breath, but by deep, penetrating insight and discriminating awareness that discerns the true nature of things as they are.”

I read this again and just felt completely overwhelmed.  I would love to start meditating.  I have these images in my mind of how great life would be if I sat down and cleared my brain for 15-90 minutes a day.  But I can’t clear my mind for 15 seconds, let alone 15 minutes.  While talking with a friend today, she mentioned meditation classes and I told her that I am so bad at meditating and that I can’t quiet the voices and it makes me anxious to meditate because I’m mad at myself and I start yelling at myself to Stop Thinking… stop it… stop.  She told me that it’s not about clearing the voices, and that I can expect it to take a year before the voices are quiet. Suddenly it doesn’t seem quite so scary, but I’ll have to report back after I’ve had a chance to field test it. And then in an unrelated conversation she told me about a friend of hers who writes the blog Living Lola.  She thought I might like her stuff, so I checked her out and found a great post with a picture that says “I am Perfect, imperfected” and I pinterested it because it is beautiful and true.  And then I read the article by Neil Gaiman where he scolds a writer for blaming his lack of writing on writers block.  He tells him that writers block is made up of laziness, perfectionism and Getting Stuck.  Perfectionism… there it is again.  I think my blog is supposed to be about fighting perfectionism… At least that’s what I have as the tagline from a mere three months ago when I decided to Just. Do. It. and publish my first very imperfect post.

So since the Universe seems to be telling me today to forget about being perfect and to not worry that I’ll hate the results, and that the very act of Just. Doing. It will put me one step closer to being where I want to be as an ‘Aly’ (not as a wife, mother, daughter, sister or freind… just an Aly):  Which is to be a wonderful and magical blogging meditating graceful non-wombatish yoggess who brings love and beauty to the world in ways no one ever expected.

And I might have set a record for ‘and’ to total words ratio… 29:508.  5.7% of my blog (before this sentence) is the word ‘and’.

So to whoever out there who has a million things that they want to learn, do, or become, whether it’s finally getting around to arranging your taxidermy collection into a scene from Wizard of Oz or just remembering to wash your face every night before bed, don’t worry about where the poppies for the poppy field scene are going to come from, and don’t think about washing your face EVERY night for the rest of time… Just. Do. It. tonight.

Enlightenment in a book: 35 pages later

2012
02.17

It’s been a while since I announced that I was going to read this book which is offering up Enlightenment to anyone who reads it.  I have to say that I was a little skeptical that the simple act of reading the book will bring about enlightenment… until I got to page 35, where it says, “Thus, Dzogchen meditation is not really doing anything…” So not only can I get there by reading the book, the practice it is teaching as the way to get there is to ‘not really do anything.’  Where has this book been all my life??  I am so good at not really doing anything.  I spend hours and hours a day not really doing anything besides keeping C alive and waiting for Adrian to get home from work.  Hell, I’ve even managed to figure out how to burn 640 calories every day (equivalent to walking almost 8 miles) by not doing anything… just putting C on the boob.

Seriously though, the quote then goes on to say,”…Dzogchen meditation is a process of recognizing our true nature in every moment, not just by crossing our legs and paying attention to our breath, but by deep, penetrating insight and discriminating awareness that discerns the true nature of things as they are.”  That seems a little more difficult.  It seems most people see the world through the filter of their personality, beliefs, experiences, fears, etc.  The essence of Dzogchen meditation is stripping those filters off and seeing things as they are – but how do we actually go about doing that?  I suppose if I knew the answer to that, I would be enlightened.

On a similar note, I’ve started yoga.  Yoga and I have had an on-again-off-again relationship for years, but I’ve always loved it.  I’m doing a beginners hot yoga, which is a pretty simple set of poses in a room that’s been heated to 100 degrees.  While I feel like a graceful and svelte tree nymph while doing yoga, I’m pretty sure I look like an awkward wombat (If you stick around, you’ll see I try to use wombats in as many analogies as I possibly can).  The class is totally manageable and I feel amazing at the end.  Also, since I gave birth I have had the ever increasing neck and back pains that go along the completely un-ergonomic activity that is parenthood.  Since I started yoga again, the pain has receded.  I’m feeling good, now to work on stripping the filters.

Image courtesy of Graham Soult

If I was to put a sticker…

2011
12.19

…on my car, this is what it’d be

I know that the work I did and extremely awesome circumstances made it possible, and I believe it is every bit as much of an accomplishment as marathons (26.2 stickers), half marathons (13.1 stickers), and letting people know where you live or vacation.   I also want to add that having a sticker that would just say “CB” would be awesome, too, because if you’ve brought a child into the world, whether by drug-free-old-fashioned-birth, epidural-old-fashioned, epidural-and-narcotic-pain-medication-old-fashioned, epidural-and-narcotic-pain-medication-and-tranquilizer-old-fashioned, epidural-and-cabernet-old-fashioned, cesarian-birth, or even jump-on-a-plane-and-pick-up-your-baby-after-someone-else-gave-birth-birth, you deserve a sticker for your car.  For making it through the numb first three weeks where you feel like your world has been picked up by the hand of God and twisted like a rubik’s cube (or was that just me?), for making it through the first fever and for constantly (or occasionally) worrying that something you are doing may be permanently damaging this baby/child/teenager, whether it’s feeding him food in the wrong sequence, letting him cry himself to sleep, making him get back on the bike that just flung him off, grounding him for not telling you where he’s going to be even though he wasn’t doing anything bad… and for all the things I don’t know yet because C is only 7 months old.  Anyone who has done / is doing this gets a sticker, too.  But this one is mine and I would wear it proudly… if I didn’t think other people would think I’m bragging or that I’m judging people who didn’t do it this way.

Enlightenment in a Book

2011
11.06

First sign I may not be ready for this book: I just misspelled Enlightenment.  I wrote Enlightentment.  Luckily it had a red dotted line under it indicating my error. I stared at it for 5 full seconds, trying to figure out what I got wrong.  This could also just mean that I need to get more than 5 hours of sleep.

Another sign: I lack focus.  Husband just told me to look at this great link, right now.  He says once I read it, he’ll be my hero forever, or I’ll love him forever; whatever it is, it’s going to be forever.  Challenge accepted – hopefully I’ll be back in a minute… okay I’m back. He was right, he is my hero forever and I love him forever.  But all that was true before I went to the link.  The reason he sent it is because it’s another example of a correct usage of “Begging the Question”.  I have some strange pet peeves and one of them is incorrect usage of “Begging the Question”.  Maybe I’ll write more about it someday.

Anyway, back to Enlightenment in a book.  Last year I was at a cafe slash open minded place of worship (worshiping many different things) slash alcoholics anonymous meeting center slash BOOKSTORE, and they had a sale for 50% off Natural Radiance: Awakening to your great perfection by Lama Surya Das.

I read the description and realized it’s suggesting the reader will reach enlightenment with it’s wisdom, and it was $10.  Who WOULDN’T pay $10 for Enlightenment?  Of COURSE I bought it.  I’ve had the book sitting on a shelf for probably a year now.  Imagine that: Enlightenment sitting on your book shelf.  So I’ve got that going for me.  Which is nice.

I decided to pick it up tonight, but before I do, I figure I’d announce that I’m picking it up.  Because that’s what bloggers do right?  And since I’m a blogger now, here I am.  Announcement made.

Bonus:  The hardback version comes with an Audio CD for guided meditations.  The book jacket indicates I shouldn’t listen to it until I’ve read the book.  I’ll probably listen anyway.  I’m a rebel like that.

All kidding aside, I think the book’s goal of helping me to see the perfection in things just as they are will help me to let go of the stupid societal perfection ideas that I seem to have lurking in the shadows of everything I do.

The journey of a thousand posts…

2011
11.04

I’ve decided I just need to start. My page isn’t as pretty as I’d like it to be- I have an awkward piece of shag carpeting at the top of my menu. I guess my ‘life’ isn’t as pretty as I’d like it to be either. I had a baby boy (he is a thousand times ‘prettier’ than I ever imagined) who is 5 months old, so my house is CHAOS. Before I gave birth, I had settled into a great little routine of keeping my great little house simplistic and tidy. We moved to a new home, which doubled our square footage, and my time seemed to shrink to 5 minutes a day. I have to admit it’s getting better– so I’m hoping to find some new routines. Of course, I can think of 20 daily routines off the top of my head, and I know that trying to form 20 new habits all at once is a flock of birds near La Guardia Airport (sure to cause me to crash and burn), so I just want to start with one- singing einsy weinsy spider to C every morning over breakfast. Getting a shower every day would be nice, too, but don’t let me get ahead of myself. So if you read this, pay no attention to my blog template, which is under construction… What I do want people to notice is that my life is under construction, and getting better all the time.

Update: Just getting the post up spurred me to get rid of the awful shag carpeting.  It was kinda starting to smell anyway.  I’ve replaced it with a watermarked window.  I always ‘test drive’ photos for purchase to make sure I’m going to like them.  I like this, but when I went back to purchase the photo, it saw it costs $22.50 because it’s a ‘vector image’.  I have no idea what that means.  I should probably figure it out since I’m the ‘Diet Coke’ of  Website Designers/Developers (Just one calorie, not quite designer/developer enough).  I’m not going to pay $22.50 for a picture of a window, especially when Enlightenment in a book only costs $10.  So now my illegal menu is hanging out until I get another measure of free time to work on its replacement.  At least that awful carpet is gone:

The previously mentioned 'awkward shag carpeting'