Saturday, April 27, 2013

Milestone

     A friend of mine explained time this way---the days seem to drag by, but the years are flying by now. That is often how I perceive time as well. The details of the every day stresses I encounter can bog me down if I let them. I often get caught up in day to day events either at work, at home, or in the news. This causes me to think that life is more difficult or that choices or opportunities are dwindling.
     But if I just calm down and look at the larger milestones of life, I realize how much has changed for the better or how much is up to the choices I make-whether of attitude or action.
     When I realized that this month marked the year anniversary of my keeping a blog, I was suddenly paralyzed and at a loss for words. I wondered what exactly I had learned from this process of publicily sharing my words. I suddenly felt the pressure of needing to say something profound to mark this moment.
     This only increased when I realized it would also be my 40th posting. That seems like such a serious number. Such a commitment. But what does it really say? What have I actually learned through this process, or in the last year for that matter?
     I have spent the last three weeks pondering this as I have been overwhelmed with the idea that I must search for some great truth to share. There must be something I have learned this past year that matters, to me, or to the reader I might be sharing with.
     Today, as the sun pours in my living room, I have decided to let myself off the hook. I may not have learned any great truths this year, but I have come to several small conclusions that have helped me out greatly.
     A former co-worker used to tell me to not worry about problems. If you step back and leave an issue alone, it will often sort itself out. I did not believe anything could be that easy. This year I decided to try this approach to work and life issues and happily discovered that it was true some of the time. The real root of that truth lies in my realizing what are actually my issues to do deal with and what issues I should just let go.
     Anxiety is insidious and can color how I feel about even day to day details. My way of finally dealing with this has been to embrace and enjoy the mundane moments of every day. At work, this meant finding the satisfaction and elegance in simple things. I have a colleague that is a capable and intuitive machinist. I am rather hopeless when it comes to mechanical repairs. It was hard for me to have to ask for help in problem solving. When I finally cornered my ego and was able to seek the help I needed, I could then appreciate the beauty in watching an expert set about their work, gathering the right tools for the job, laying out all the supplies, and delving into the working parts of the press or die.
     I was now able to understand the phrase about poetry in motion as I watched people engage in the every day around them. I found a new joy in watching a someone cook a meal, in watching my husband play with one of our cats. Slowing down my interactions with life allowed me to really see the beauty and joy that is abundant in every day if I calm myself enough to accept it.
     I also again learned the importance of not holding myself up to my perception of the achievements of others or to the trajectory that I have imagined my work or goals should be taking me. After spending years chasing dreams about writing and sharing my works with others, I was certain I had finally paid all my necessary dues and it would all be falling into place.
     Then I began to feel anxious that I wasn't meeting my self imposed goals and deadlines. I feared that I was not making any progress. Until a friend asked a simple question and that forced me to stop panicking and really reflect on what I have been doing the past several years.
     I keep taking steps forward. I keep learning. I keep sharing. I need to just keep my imagination and musings in check-and guide them so they work for me and don't overwhelm me. If I can just remember all the little things I have learned this past year and interject them into my every day, I will keep learning and growing and finding the happiness and beauty that surround me.



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