Posts Tagged With: confetti

Day 321: The gift of mortality

When I was in my 20s, I was talking to a friend where we both worked, at a high tech company.

That day, we were talking about mortality.

He, who was also in his 20s, declared that people of our age could not possibly have a sense of our own mortality.  We could not  really understand, said he, that we would die some day.

I had heard that before, but that was not my personal experience.  I was born with a congenital heart problem, received my first cardiac pacemaker at age 10, and was definitely aware of mortality issues, in ways my friend was not.

This is my recollection of the rest of that conversation:

Me: Well, that’s probably true for lots of people. That’s not my experience. I’m very aware of mortality issues. I know I’m going to die, and I think about that a lot.

Him:  I don’t believe it. You might think you know you’re going to die, but you don’t really know that.

Me: (pause, not knowing what to say to THAT.)

Him: Look, if you really knew you were going to die, you wouldn’t show up to work here every day. You’d be doing things you REALLY want to do.

Me: (Laughing out loud)

Him: What’s so funny?

Me: I have a lot of trouble showing up here every day.

.

That conversation has always stuck with me, because it represents something important.

I have always had trouble spending time on something that doesn’t feel like a “good enough fit”, because I am sooooo aware that my time is limited.

I think that has served me very well.

It has guided me, continually, in improving my situation, at work (through career changes), in love, and at home.

I’m not saying my progress has been perfect or linear, in any way.  (See this post for more about that.)

However, increasingly as I’ve aged, my presence indicates an active choice to be there.*

Every day, when I post, I am choosing whole-heartedly to be here.

I may never know what form the post will ultimately take, but I trust in the process of creation.

That’s how I feel about life, too. I don’t know the course, and how it will end, but I am committed, as much as possible, to every moment.

Okay!  It’s time to choose an image, to end this post.

(Pause, while I check my iPhone for a photo that’s a “good enough fit”.)

Okay!

When people in therapy report progress, strengths, or anything worth celebrating, I sometimes say, “If I had some confetti, I would throw it.”

Here it is:

Image

Thank you for celebrating with me, here and now.

___________________

* With some exceptions, of course. I never want to be present when it’s time to do my taxes.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 185: Airing things out

I think it’s good to air things out — to be direct about feelings and thoughts. To get things out in the open.

That’s a lesson I’ve learned, over and over again.

If we keep things inside, they tend to expand in importance. If we keep things hidden away, they tend to breed shame.

I’ve been re-reading some of my own posts this morning, and, boy, do I see THAT as a recurring theme: Airing Things Out (especially things like stress, anxiety, and worry).

By re-reading this morning, I also see that I’ve really been stressed out this year. Duh. I knew I would be — because of the job I’d taken on, and the other random Acts of Courage I might be called on to perform.

I like the word “Courage.” I think it’s appropriate whenever any of us makes a change, ventures out, or risks rejection, failure, or any set-back.

In other words, whenever we go outside, speak our truth, or interact in any way.

I took these pictures yesterday, at work:

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They are airing out the lockers, because of the saw-toothed buggies that had found their way inside. (See here for more about that, in a post about Horror Stories and Non-Horror Stories.)

They got rid of the bugs, without pesticides. They emptied things out, left the doors open, for all to see inside.

(I love metaphors. Can you tell?)

When I walked by the lockers yesterday  I took these pictures, assuming I would use them in a post some day.

If not today, when?

I want to say this, right now: Going into work yesterday, where I saw and took these pictures, was an act of courage. It will be another courageous act, to return there tomorrow.

In addition to naming acts of courage, I think it helps to applaud them. I’ve used applause as a sound effect in posts this year (like here). I’ve also done groups (as a facilitator and a participant) where people have applauded when somebody did something courageous, new, or helpful in any way.

I think applauding helps.  It might seem hokey, or immodest, or awkward.

If so, that’s probably because it’s unfamiliar.

Yesterday, at work, several people spoke about progress they’ve made in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. At one point, I said, “I wish I had some confetti, because I feel like throwing some.”

Where I used to work, we did throw confetti, every once in a while, to celebrate acts of courage and progress people had made.

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That took some time to clean up, I must say.

More fun to clean up than bugs, though. Wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for reading. I hope you celebrate something today  (especially your own courage) (open up and look for it; it’s there).

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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