I Don’t Think I Have Any Treasured Possessions…That’s Weird

I had a strange realization today, I don’t really have any treasured or prized possessions. I think that most people do though, right? I mean thinking about losing any of my possessions doesn’t really make me feel anything. It’s all just stuff. I can always just get new stuff, or live without stuff. Doesn’t matter much to me either way.

I think I feel this way because of the way my mother was when I was growing up. She didn’t tolerate any clutter in the house. Here definition of clutter was a bit harsh. We never bought many new things and she didn’t save much either. She didn’t even save any of my school papers or baby shoes like most mother’s do.

I think part of the reason she didn’t buy much was because we were poor, but thats what made throwing things away all the time so much harder. About once a month she would give me and my little sister a trash bag and make us go through all of our toys. The rule was if you haven’t played with it in the last two week then you had to throw it away. It was so hard! We didn’t have that many toys to begin with and she was making us throw them out all the time.

I didn’t know growing up that this wasn’t typical. When I met my girlfriend I remember going over to her house and thinking that her family had a lot of stuff. My girlfriend had many of her old toys from when she was a baby and lots of knick-knack type things she either bought herself or were gifts from others. It was about that time that I began holding on to things more things. Mostly stuff that held sentimental value. Movie tickets, birthday cards, programs from shows or events I went to. Most, if not all, of it had to do with my girlfriend. She was my first real love and I guess I didn’t want to throw any of our memories away.

I still have boxes of those papers but I think that was just a phase I went through. I wanted to see what it was like to keep things but I think growing up the way I did I just can’t get all that attached to objects. I could lose all of that stuff and it really wouldn’t upset me that much. At this point the only reason I hold on to all of it is in case something ever happened to me my girlfriend might want all those movie ticket and flyers to remind her of the things we did.

Just like my mother I don’t buy many new things either. Me and my girlfriend have been together for 12 years and we still have things from when we were first together simply because they are still useful. We don’t buy many things we want, we try to buy only what we need. I do tend to spend more when I buy something but only because quality is very important. We buy a thing and we use it until it falls apart, then I try to fix it, then we wait awhile to see if we really need that new thing or if we can just live without it.

We spend more money on experiences. Going out to dinner together, eating new foods, having drinks with friends, that is what we value in life. Hell, I’ll watch my spending just so that I can buy really good tequila and have amazing margaritas and laughs with my lady on a Friday night. I’m naturally sort of minimalistic I guess. I focus more on people and making memories than possessions. Memories and new expierences are what I treasure.

It is the last day of Writing 101 and I have to say, I’m actually really sad it’s over. I didn’t do all the assigments but I did post everyday and I really tried to read as many other blogs as I could. Thank you to all those who stopped by and took the time to comment. I appreciated it very much.

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Too Tired and Crabby for Free Writing

My mind is empty this morning and I don’t know what to write about. I’m usually a master at these free writing exercises. I mean I free write everyday. I have never really dealt with not having anything to write about. My secret is a quote I read once from Earnest Hemingway. He said “write hard and clear about what hurts”. If that fails I try to write as if I’m writing for someone I love. Those two ideas have gotten me through a lot of writers block but today even those strategies aren’t working.

I guess I am just tired. I woke up last night with a cough. The fit lasted for about an hour. The same thing happened the night before too. I don’t know what’s causing it but I suspect it has to do with a combination of allergies and smoking cigarettes. My girlfriend was sweet and got up to rub Vicks on me and make me a cup of tea. I was able to stop coughing after I’d finished the tea and I got back to sleep but the damage was already done. I knew I was not going to feel rested when it was time to get up for work.

Being tired like this is causing me to feel almost numb. Not good, not bad, just neutral and numb. I am uncaring, and that is what is causing writers block today. I guess you have to care about something in order to have something to express to the world. I admit that’s an interesting lesson to learn. How do you make yourself care when the mind is just too tired? While writing this I have paused multiple times to try to get inside my own mind. I’m trying to jump start it. I’m trying to get it riled up about something, anything! Every time I am met with nothing, just silence. I just want to sleep.

I am sure the weather is only making things worse. Today fall has decided to finally show it’s face and the clouds have rolled in. It’s dark and gloomy and a little chilly outside and we are expecting rain. Weather like this always saps my energy. I get a bit down and sleepy. Everyone is telling me to smile but I don’t have the energy. You ever notice how when your not in the mood to smile and people tell you to smile it makes you want to smile even less?

Everyone is also telling me that this is a beautiful time of year and I should be glad that the heat of the summer has passed. I don’t agree but I am tired of telling people that the clouds and cold depress me. I need sunshine and warm air to lift my spirits. They think I’m crazy. So now I just smile, nod, and agree. It’s less work that way and I save a little bit of the energy I need to make it through the day.

I think some food would be nice right now too. Something salty and greasy and not at all good for me! I had one of those Naked protien smoothie things for breakfast and while they do fill you up, they are not satisfying. I could really go for some potatoes, eggs, bacon, and cheese all piled up with maybe some peppers and a nice warm coffee. That would brighten my mood and get me writing! Oh now my mood has tipped just to the sad side of blah. I have nothing good to eat, I can’t take a nap, and the weather is not going to improve. I am stuck now.

But maybe not. I don’t want to feel like this, there has to be a way to cheer myself up. People always say that you choose your attitude everyday. I can’t change the things that are bringing me down but I might be able to do something. There is a Keurig in my bosses office, I could at least get a nice warm coffee. Maybe I could throw my headphones in and find some music to wake me up and get me moving. I might even try just wandering around my job and saying hi and good morning to everyone. Making others smile will definitely make me feel good.

For having nothing to write about I sure did type a whole lot of words. I already feel better just knowing I accomplished that. So now I’m off to cheer myself up, I hope you all have a beautiful day.

Free writing prompt came from both The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt and the Writing 101 course. I did write for more than 10 minutes but I didn’t edit except for obvious spelling errors I caught before hitting Publish.

I Didn’t Believe in “No Goals”, Until I Accidentally Started Living It

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I have been an avid follower of Leo Babauta’s blog, Zen Habits, for many years now. In fact, Zen Habits was one of the major inspirations behind me starting my own blog. If you’ve never read Zen Habits I encourage you to check it out. Leo encourages simple living, mindfulness, and having no goals. Yeah, you read that last one right. Leo Babauta says you should live life without goals.

When I first read some of Leo’s posts about no goals I almost immediately decided that “no goals” was a terrible idea. I believe the word that came to mind was “bullshit“. I loved everything else about Zen Habits but having no goals seemed to go against everything I have ever read anywhere. Everybody says you should set goals, but Leo didn’t even want me to have a to do list! This made no sense. How do you get anything done without goals or lists? I disregarded the whole idea until just recently when I realized that was exactly what I’ve been doing for most of this year. I wasn’t aware of it at first. I was just doing things that made me feel good and seeing what happens. I have to admit too, just like Leo said, I have never been happier or more productive.

I started out just wanting do have something to do outside of my day job. My work is often boring and repetitive but also very time consuming. I am thoroughly burned out on it but I’m not in a position to leave so I thought maybe some new hobbies would liven up my days.

I started by writing 750 words a day. That was nice and it helped wake up the brains cells but after awhile I realized there was no opportunity for feedback and improvement because no one could read what I had written. So then I came here to WordPress to set up this here blog. It has been an incredible experience so far and I know I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what can happen through blogging. I come here everyday and do my best to express myself and also connect with new people. The thing is, I have no goal for this blog.

Yeah it’s nice to get more views and followers, but the real reward is hearing from my readers and improving my writing. Those aren’t measurable goals and there is no one way to get there. All I do is follow certain principles and I move along the path without even meaning to. I went back yesterday and re-read Leo’s posts about no goals and I found his list of “Tips for Living Without Goals“. They are:

  1. Start Small.
  2. Grow.
  3. Not Just Work.
  4. Let Go of Plans
  5. Don’t Worry About Mistakes.
  6. It’s All Good.

I encourage you to head over there and read more about each item yourself, but the overall idea seems to be just do what feels good and you will end up somewhere. He uses the analogy of taking a walk with out a destination in mind. Not having a destination does not mean you do not walk. It means you go out and do things and enjoy the journey. You get up, you make things, you write stuff, you do what you love doing and see what happens. If you follow that path you cannot help but to end up in a place of happiness. With goals you predetermine the path and the destination and you may just miss out on something more beautiful because your focus and passion were in the wrong place.

I mentioned before that I follow a certain set of principles everyday and that has helped me to achieve more and grow without really setting out to do so. Leo also mentions this idea in another post on “Achieving Without Goals“. His 4 principles are:

  1. Love what you do.
  2. Help Others.
  3. Build Relationships and Trust.
  4. Be Curious.

By keeping these simple principles in mind and doing things that fit in with your principles rather than what moves you toward your goals you go on achieving and you may even surprise yourself. I have noticed that everything I achieve without goals is all the sweeter because it happened without me having to try so hard. It almost feels like I have earned it more because it feels so natural. I have a few more principles to add to Leo’s list. Most of them I have collected from Crystal Moody’s blog Year of Creative Habits and Austin Kleons book “Steal Like an Artist“.

  1. Stay Creative.
  2. Share Your Work With People.
  3. Try New Things.

These may sound like goals on the surface but the difference is there is no real plan or path and there are no measurable results. I just wake up everyday and try to do things that I love and that fit in with these principles. I still have lists but I do not stress about them. They are more like reminders than to-do lists. In addition to writing and posting here on this blog I am also taking small steps everyday to use my hands and make things. I hope to share that with all of you too very soon. I’m making time to read other blogs and connect with others. I want to read more, I want to learn more. I want to start traveling and seeing new places. I want to do these things because I have realized these are the things I love. These are the things that make me feel good! I look forward to the destination but the journey is the both surprising and beautiful.

I encourage all of you to try living without goals and see what happens. I’d also like to know what you all think? Goals or no goals? What principles do you apply to everything you do? Let me know in the comments :)

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My Worst Fears

Fear is a hard thing for me to write about. Not because of of a fear of talking about fear but because I have so many fears! I am secretly full of anxiety everyday but I try my best to mask it. Fake it til you make it right? My worst fears center around the meaning of my life and the impact of my death. Two sides of the same coin really. I have written about this before. I think about death a lot, just about everyday. I worry I will die soon and I worry my life means nothing.

I’m afraid that if I died my girlfriend would be left alone and depressed. I’m afraid she would never recover from the loss of me. She keeps to herself a lot and doesn’t reveal her feelings often. I’m afraid if she lost me she wouldn’t have anyone to talk to. I’m afraid for her emotionally on so many levels. She needs me just as much as I need her. We take care of each other and I have tasked myself with being the keeper of her secrets. I know her better than anyone and I fear that if I died I would be taking a part of her with me.

I’m afraid that if I died my family would fall apart too. I worry about all of them so much and I worry that if I wasn’t here there would be no one left to worry. I also do my best to help them out whenever I can. I’m there for them emotionally and financially, although they haven’t needed me as much recently. I’m still here though and I worry about what would happen to them if they needed me and I wasn’t here. I also try hard to be the peace keeper. In the past this has often backfired on me but in the end we almost always work it out. I try to act as a go between and talk to all parties involved and help them understand that we are family and we need each other.

I guess also afraid if I died I’d miss out on their lives. I’m also afraid to mourn anyone. I don’t want to miss out on my niece and nephew growing up. I don’t want to miss my little sisters wedding. I don’t even want to miss my parents funerals. I am afraid of them dying too but I want to be there for my siblings when it happens. I want to be there to see my soon-to-be wife grow old. I want to be there to experience all the joys of life in my old age.

I also fear of finding out there was no point in me being on this earth at all. I’m afraid the I am the epitome of insignificance. What if I do die and no one really cares? What if I die and it’s like I was never even here. I want to have some impact on the world. I want my family to remember me but I also hope that I have some affect of the world outside of my small circle of friends and family. Guess that is why I’m here and why one day I’d like to write a book. I want shout something to the world before I’m gone. My hope is someone will hear me, and maybe that person will even begin to think about the way they live and make a change. Maybe they will pass on my message and maybe a few people will change. That’s my hope, but my fear is I am talking to a void and my life will have meant nothing.

And finally, I am afraid that my life actually does mean something. This clearly contradicts my fear of being insignificant but we all know the human mind often makes no sense at all. The saying “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind a lot. What if what I think I want isn’t what I want at all? The drive to be something in this world is incredibly pressuring. If I mean something then I have to always be aware of what I say and do. My actions will live on after I am gone and I would hate to be remembered as anything less than good. If I mean something than I have to try hard everyday. If I mean something then I have to be something.

I deal with these fears everyday. I do my best to accept and overcome them. Worrying about things I cannot change doesn’t help me at all. I have to just do my best to be good and make the best of the time I have with my loved ones. I have to try to be true to myself and make an impact wherever and whenever I can. Maybe I will get to live the life I want. A life of happiness and meaning. Or maybe I won’t but I do think I have done enough good and seen enough joy that I could die happy.

Prompt via the Daily Post’s Writing 101 course. 

Monday Motivation and Goals

It’s Monday again and we all know transitioning from the weekend into the work week can be hard. I want to do my best today not to complain that it,s Monday and I want to try not to complain the rest of the week that it isn’t Friday. It seems like such a waste to be miserable for four days while waiting for one. Every other day of the week can be good, yes, even Monday.

This week should be less stressful than the last but there is still a lot of work to be done. I will have to step it up at my day job and really show my bosses I am motivated and taking initiative. I also want to help my team do the same. Hopefully we can all pull it together and get everything done. We might even be able to get some overtime pay out of it!

This week I also want to get back to going analog for a few minutes everyday. I was really enjoying it before work took over and I had no time. I had forgotten how good it felt to put pen on paper and use my hands to make something. I have started trying to do some newspaper poems and even bought some glue sticks to try collages. I feel like a kid doing craft time at school. All I need now are popsicle sticks and some dry macaroni :)

So yeah its Monday and that means a new start and another chance to do some good and grow. I hope you all have a great week. I hope you all get shit done. I hope you all remember to breathe and be mindful of every moment. It will be Friday again soon don’t worry. Until then though, love yourself and be happy.

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this past week was hard! I work in the training department of my job. The department is terribly short staffed and we hired a new class last Monday. That means me and my 4 fellow trainings did the work of 8 or 9 trainers in the same time period. Each of us worked at least 9 hours a day to get the class trained and ready to work. I am very proud of both myself and them for making it through the week.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that even though I am proud of my work at my day job, I am sad that it came at the sacrifice of my side projects. I was able to get the writing done but nothing else. No artsy stuff was accomplished and nothing in my art journal at all. I barley got any reading done either. Hell, I didn’t even have the 10 minutes to spare for meditation!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that at least the week ended on a good note. Yesterday me and my girl spent the day shopping and getting ready for a night out downtown. Oh, and what an awesome night it was. I have been feeling so alone lately but all my friends showed up and really let me know that I am truly loved. I was on the receiving end of many hugs and kisses and I was told many times that I am an amazing friend. I am smart and funny and caring and they are all so happy to know me. I cannot tell you how much I needed that!

Of course I feel the same way about all of them! They are all so fun and just as caring. I know if I needed anything they would all be there for me in an instant. I admit I had forgotten that. I admit I thought they had all forgotten me. I won’t make that mistake again. I know I am loved and I am grateful for all of them. I think I will plan another night out this weekend. I want to feel the love some more!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I hope so much that you had a good week too and I hope your upcoming week will be even better. Good luck to you all and thank you for reading :)

My Moonlight

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.” — Allen Ginsberg

I love this quote and the idea behind it has been on my mind for awhile. I have always had this drive to find a way to tell the world what I need it to know but the words have never been fully formed in my mind. The madness is there but I am frozen and panicked, not knowing where to go or how to begin.

I have always talked openly about the ways in which I think we all need to grow. This is what I have always told myself and my friends. The ideas come out sounding random and disconnected though. In my mind they are all bound together by a common thread but I cannot see what it is exactly. That is why I am here. I am trying to find out how to say the things I need to say. And I will say them even if no one is listening. That is my purpose, I know it.

This blog is a sort of stepping stone, a way to learn to speak to the world. I am doing my best to be open and real. I am also trying to have some fun too along the way. I definitely never want to hide my madness, and my focus will always be what it is I want to say. I don’t care who is listening, but at the same time I hope someone is.

Prompt via The Daily Post: Howl at the Moon