Thursday, January 13, 2011

11 things that made me feel alive

Very often, I am struck by the unique importance and beauty of each day. I try to savour every minute, each mundane task or challenging moment, and not only do it well, but with fervour and grace. I work hard not to let frustration, worry, anger, fear, or petty criticism steal any of these moments away from me. I don't always succeed, but I am getting better at it.

Here are some of my richest experiences in the past 24 hours. This list may not look especially momentous or impressive to anyone else, but even in the grand scheme of things, I can't think of anything else I would rather have been doing at these very moments.

1. Last night on my way to the theatre, I managed to miss two buses in the space of 20 minutes. I ran for at least a kilometre in the cold night air of Montreal between 3 different bus stops, and finally caught a bus at the third one. I tried to text the person I was meeting to let them know I would be late, but the texts refused to send for some unknown reason. Instead of getting frustrated with the horrible way everything was going wrong, I stayed focused, enjoyed the adventure, and arrived only 15 minutes later than agreed, still in plenty of time to catch the show. I felt like I had just won The Amazing Race!

2. A colleague from university invited me to the live theatre production mentioned above, and it was a most pleasant evening. The writing was witty, the acting sincere (though sometimes uneven), the conversation before and after, amiable and engaging, and the wine and cheese excellent! We were the last to leave the party! I love the combination of art, food, and meaningful conversation with genuine, interesting people. I am blessed to be surrounded by good quantities of all of the aforementioned.

3. I had a cleaning lady come and clean my floors today. I have never had a stranger come into my home and do this and had been quite hesitant to call someone, but it was a very positive experience. I was impressed by Martha's focus (yes, we have the same name!), her diligent work, and her constant smile. We joked about our struggles in learning French and about the abundance of fur that one cat could produce. I realised that paying someone to do a task that I don't enjoy and don't have the time or energy for is a smart move. I like sitting here in my clean house, working on the things I do love!

4. Dean called me from Los Angeles around noon (9 am his time) as he was walking to the trade show where he would be working all day. We didn't really talk about anything important (warm weather in LA, of course, and how everything was going at home), but I smiled the whole time I was talking to him. I love it when my best friend calls me for no particular reason!

5. Today, I spent some time reworking an assignment. I had handed it in a few weeks ago and knew that it might need some tweaking. Yesterday, my professor gave me some comments, a few points of critique, and some suggestions to improve it. To my amazement, I was not at all discouraged by any of it. I saw what he was saying as soon as he pointed it out. Yes, I can definitely make it better! I am so thankful for kind and knowledgeable people who are helping me to do better work by not only demanding more from me, but helping me through the process.

Some other random 'feeling alive' moments:

6. A good boxing workout.
7. Eating yummy yogurt with fruit and granola.
8. Running up and down the stairs countless times and feeling light on my feet.
9. Cutting Jazz's nails and for the first time, having her purr while I did it!
10. Striking 4 things off my TO DO list.
11. Taking the garbage outside (I love not having any garbage in my house!).

May your day be filled with life-giving moments and may nothing steal the joy of them away from you.
This is a picture of my clean floors and a gift from a friend.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

like! I love lists...maybe when I am too knotted up to write I should do something like this.
And it sounds like a good thing to put on the whiteboard in the staffroom at work: "what is the best thing that has happened to you in the last 24 hours?"

cool. glad I had time to catch this one. :)