January 4th: Treat Yourself to Lunch

I started this journey two years ago on January 1st of 2017. The December coming up to that new year I compiled a list of 365 things that I had either never done, goals I wanted to accomplish or resolutions I wanted to set for the year. In that first year I accomplished just over 200 of them. It was hard some days… other days it was super easy.

Coming up onto 2018 I realized I was never going to cross them all off. So I added new ones and in some cases repeated ones that I wanted to make sure to repeat. 2018 was hectic. After crossing off “Buy a House” in 2017, 2018 became a lot about renovating and costly expenses, particularly mortgage costs. Through the year I only crossed off 60 things.

Now that 2019 is here I am restarting the list and hoping to spend the year concentrating on positive reinforcement things and goals. Continuing DIY projects for my house, garden and property will be a major part but I will also concentrate improving myself through month long resolutions, like purging one item a day for a month that I started on the first. But I also want to make sure to think about things I can do for myself that positively reinforce life. I do not want everyday to be about what I can do to improve or “fix” myself. I think it is also important at to do things that make me feel good or give me a sense of positivity.

So, really, that long wonder blog for the day just boils down to my thing for today- “Treat Yourself to Lunch”. I went out this afternoon and had a nice lunch at Buchi Cuban Cafe. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive- but a nice change up from either not even eating lunch or something thrown together at home. I went and had a delicious lunch by myself. I just set out from my house with no known destination and as I drive by Buchi’s (which I had been to before) I remember how much I enjoyed the establishment. It is owned by a Floridian and kind of reminds me home.

Nice how such a simple thing for the day gave me a positive feeling and put me in a good mood about having to go to work tonight.

April 26th: Watch the Sunset

Because of my work schedule it is not everyday I actually get to see the sunset. I am usually in work, inside, by the time the sun is going down…

I remember when I was in my late teens early 20s, still living in Florida, and would watch the sunset EVERYDAY. Even when I was working in a restaurant and we were getting slammed, we would all walk outside and watch the sun go down.

Living in New York, the college years, I often watched the sun come up. But that us all I will say about that… 😂☺️

Next, was living back in my hometown, where I worked as a sunset family photographer… I saw more sunsets that summer than was probably desirable. You get kind of jaded when you go down to the beach EVERY NIGHT to watch the sun set over the white sands and emerald green water of the Florida panhandle.

Before Colorado, I lived on Key West. They literally have a “SunsetCelebration” EVERYDAY. The sunset becomes part of your daily routine. You know exactly when it is going to happen, what the weather will be like, and how many people you will have to crowd with to see the “western most sunset on the east coast of the US”. 

Anyway, as you can see, nearly all my life has been centered around sunsets… enjoying them, working them, or just being present… I mean, we are all here, alive, and can watch the magnifigance that is our planet and solar system everyday, 

For some reason since I have been in Colorado, all that has gotten lost. Today, not even planned I happened to just watch the sunset over the mountains. It was a gorgeous sight. And strangely I isn’t even take s photo. Because really I was just there to enjoy it.

I hope everyone can find the time in there week, every once in a while to just sit and enjoy the sun go down.

January 14th: Answer 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

When I was making my list of 365 Things to do in 2017 I spent a lot of time online looking for events, special tasks, and the like. I came across this questionnaire and the title struck me, 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. So I added it to the list and today I take it on. Here goes:

1.  How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?

22-23. For those that don’t know, I am 32.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Never trying.

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

I think for the most part it is to make other people happy.

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

I hope not!

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

How people treat other people that have differing views in politics, religion… the big stuff. Help facilitate a more understanding world.

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Art!

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

I settle.

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I would travel more and not worry so much about debt, savings accounts or be financially responsible.

9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

I think I have had pretty good control over the course of my life. I have moved when I wanted to, but work wise I think I am too often a slave to money.

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

A healthy mix of both.

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?

Defend my friend.

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

So cliche, but “Life is short. Make decisions that lead to happiness.”

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Absolutely.

14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

I don’t think so.

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I think I hold my friends to a higher standard than most people. I have recently come to terms with the fact that not everyone is your friend or has your best interest at heart. I live my life in a way that honors those close to me but excludes those that are hurtful or negative. I used to think this was cynical, distrusting, or being a mean person, but now I see it as a way to be happier.

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

Everyone has a different idea of happiness and different things that make them happy. That’s no secret. So obviously, things that make me happy won’t necessarily make others happy.

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?

Start a career in art. I just haven’t found the right fit.

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

Yes. It’s a big one and hard to release. I work on it internally but it hasn’t gone away yet.

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

This is impossible to answer! There are so many places. I guess number one would be England. I was born there but left when I was three, so I don’t remember it at all. Reasons are endless: the culture, the ability to travel easily to other European countries, history, etc.

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

No.

21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

Hmmm. I think worried genius.

22. Why are you, “you”?

The way I was raised, the people I have come in contact with, but most importantly, events that have happened in my life.

23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

Sometimes.

24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

Losing touch with a good friend who lives near me. I have moved a lot so have learned to stay in touch with long distance friends. Sometimes it is harder to keep in touch with those in town because I always think… well, I can call them next week to get together and then time just passes and passes.

25. What are you most grateful for?

My family.

26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

This is intense! I think never be able to make new ones…

27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

No.

28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

No.

29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?

This question is too poignant. Yes, I remember. No, it does not.

30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?

I think it’s a cluster of memories. Playing in the woods, riding my bike, playing HORSE until the sun went down with my best friends… It’s special because it was so innocent yet meaningful.

31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Days that I get to be creative.

32. If not now, then when?

Soon. But I get the point. Now!

33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

Pride.

34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

Yes.

35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

Something I relish in everyday. I think it’s just a lack of understanding and compassion.

36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?

No.

37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

Yes.

38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

More work! I’m a workaholic. 

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

Some days.

40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

I can’t recall.

41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

My Mom.

42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

No.

43.  What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

Truly living is living a life that you want not what you think is needed.

44.  When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

I don’t know! I want to say NOW! But it’s hard to let go and just do it.

45.  If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

Because we don’t want to be seen as failures.

46.  What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Everything!

47.  When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?

A yoga class, at least a few years ago.

48.  What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?

My family, my friends, art. No, I don’t think they have.

49.  In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?

Sadly, probably not.

50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

I think I’m letting others make them for me.

Wow! That was intense. The questions are so simple but they make you pause and reflect. I hope to walk away from this more mindful. For the most part the questions almost seem rhetoric, as I felt answering them was like “DUH”. Yet, it is things I should be reflecting on daily but don’t. It opens you up. I hope to use this as motivation to live more fully.