Three things I'm grateful for

It's the day for it. And while I try to live my life full of gratitude, I do feel that I spend more time than I'd like to admit being dissatisfied. Not exactly the opposite of grateful, but closer to its opposite than its ideal. At the moment I am very thankful for:

1. Opportunity
This year has been one where I seem to keep saying to myself "I can't believe I get to do this." Count it for travel (it's been a truly epic year for that); Count it for employment (I've been given a HUGE chance to learn in my current job, and get to do all sorts of fun things and meet interesting people through it.); Count it for generally being in a position where I could do anything I want if I want to (a sometimes paralyzing freedom I both appreciate and fear). I'm in a place where I'm usually caught deciding between good options, and I realize that not everyone has that luxury.

2. Cheerleaders and mentors
I'm at a place in my life where I am learning so much. I try to be as open as I can about learning and trying new things out, and luckily I've been blessed with people who quietly believe in me, actively tell me so, and talk me through some of the more challenging processes and decisions. It's maybe an innate thing to doubt oneself, and I recognize the value of having people around to pull me out of that.

3. Sleep
Or rather my ability to sleep. Maybe it's really my bed I appreciate. I wrote a paper in college once where we were assigned to write about a 'sacred space' in our lives. Some peers wrote about their grandpa's house or a mountain they hiked. I wrote about my bed. Growing up in a busy house, and always having shared space with roommates, my bed has always been my safe zone. It still is my space to rejuvenate. Sleeping, reading, staring at the ceiling in fetal position because I'm stressed out or annoyed, it's always there for me. (Methinks my bed needs a post of its own) And, probably tied to my almost religious opinion of my bed, I love sleep. And I've generally been pretty good at it. I'm rarely an insomniac, and can apparently hit rem sleep pretty quick.


3 Things I Can't Seem to Get Straight


1. Getting the right corner of my bedsheets on the mattress on the first try.
I've been counting lately and I'm not kidding, I'm 1 for 15. That means in the last 15 times I've made my bed, I have correctly put the sheets facing the right direction, in the right corner ONE TIME. I swear, I check seams and eyeball lengths for the the short end and long end.

2. Putting on tights without having on leg twisted backward.
Tights are stretchy, but they have their limit- like when one leg is turned entirely toward the back of the leg when the one on your body and up to your thigh (thus not prone to twist any further) is face forward. There ought to be some cheater markers on tights to make this easier.Get on it l'eggs, or Hanes, or whoever is at the forefront of tights and pantyhose technology

3. Keeping noon in the right M
9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm... Whose idea was that? I've got a better track record than with bedsheets, but I'm annoyed and embarrassed at how many noon meetings I've set for midnight.


3 Problems with Being Inspired

Every once in a while there's a moment where everything is crisp and clear. Where any self-doubt or external obstacle seems meaningless. Where you feel you can take over the world. That you will take over the world.


It's the pits.

I mean, it's pretty wonderful, feeling limitless and empowered and energized and in control and all the things you hope to feel every day when tackling a big project or working out life. But it also brings with it some problems:

1. When he pendulum swings from great to awful
I was at a professional conference recently where I had these little fireworks in my head about all the things I'm going to do and become in my professional life. My pen and notebook couldn't keep up with the inspiration as I thought out plans and made lofty goals. By 25 minutes after the conference, safely back at my office in the realm of reality, I looked over my notes, only to be filled with an overwhelming dread. The fireworks of possibility had burned out and had left singed in my psyche holes that weren't there before. You can't see the world the same way again, but the world is the way it was.

When I was in high school I volunteered with a program in Mexico and remember talking with the program director about how great it would be to take these kids who literally found their homes and meals out of the city dump to my hometown, just to give them a taste of potential. The program director kind of sighed and said something like 'And life would go on as normal' - a comment I didn't really understand, but can identify with a bit. Like, life wasn't so bad before I knew it could be better. But now I know it could be different, can I be satisfied with the not so bad now?

2. With the rise of expectation and possibility comes the increase in risk and disappointment
Great doers of the world say all the time (or at least they are quotes often on inspirational boards) that going big usually means failing big. Joseph Smith said that 'a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary until life and salvation.' Robert F Kennedy said that "only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." Oprah Winfrey says "This is your moment."

Roll 'em all up (along with a hundred other quotes about how important it is to jump off cliffs before you can fly and all that crap) and there's a theme you get: If you want to be amazing, you've got to trudge through some mud first. And by mud I mean (they mean): lose money, disappoint people, hate yourself, be told you're wrong, be told you're anything but what you're trying to be, lose hope, wonder if anything will ever pay off, give your heart and soul for very uncertain outcomes.

Misery. You want it?

3. It all comes down to you
I don't know if I'm particularly prone to needing validation, or if it's common in the age of the internet forum, but I ask Google everything. How do I make sure my pie is venting properly? How do I start a conversation with a very wealthy person that I've never met before? How do I ask a person of great wealth for a gift of $10,000 or more? What are all the reasons daylight savings should be abolished? What is the best way to make sure my butt doesn't get all saggy the closer I get to 30? How do I make sure my marriage will last? Why are people selfish? Why are people generous? Blah blah blah...

There's an answer for everything, except: I want to be this person and do these things but I don't know if I have it in me- the time, energy, and personal capacity - to really live to my potential. How do I make it happen? How do I find the balance between striving and satisfaction? How do I know where my priorities should be? What decisions in life will I regret?

There's something really wonderful about the individuality of inspiration, but it's also daunting and frankly, obnoxious to see what could be and know that the only thing keeping me from all that could be is me - my desires, my will, my dedication to that inspiration.

So I'll take my inspiration- personal, spiritual, professional, whatever. I'll take it and ask Google how to handle it (PS: Just asked and there's no answer to that question at the moment), and hopefully it propels me forward to something greater.