The Weight

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“The “primary consciousness,” the basic mind which knows reality rather than ideas about it, does not know the future. It lives completely in the present, and perceives nothing more than what is at this moment. The ingenious brain, however, looks at that part of present experience called memory, and by studying it is able to make predictions. These predictions are, relatively, so accurate and reliable (e.g., “everyone will die”) that the future assumes a high degree of reality — so high that the present loses its value.”  Alan Watts

 

I am (finally)ready to share what the first 100 days did for me. It has taken 100 more to process everything. Even now, I am discovering new things. Even so, one single aspect of the process had the greatest effect on me. Letting go.

The parlance , “Not giving a fuck,” has gained popularity. . Letting go is similar.

Years ago, someone told me that I was very good at letting go. I can’t remember what had occurred  that made them say that, but as I grew, that ability diminished. Why?  I was afraid. These were my pillows, my excuses, my crutches. If something went wrong I could hold them, like spiny, prickly, teddy bears, as the reason for everything.

Over the summer some friends and I wrote, on chinese paper lanterns, all the things we have held onto. We wrote the things we couldn’t control, people we have lost, the worries we carried, the people who have hurt us, and those we have hurt. It was an emotional but uplifting night.  Writing shit on a paper lantern doesn’t just make things go away. It was symbolic, but the moment is there now, a tangible memory of what I carried, being sent up into the air  and burned away. It was a fitting way to celebrate what I worked so hard on. That memory is always there as a reminder that I have moved on from so much that weighed me down.

Today, I am less afraid of the future and live more in the present…the now. My mind is quieter. My body is healthier. I am okay with my life.  Holding each day as a gift, as if it could be the last, has put a huge spin on what I allow into my life as well. There is some “not giving a fuck” involved, sure.  The distinction is that I haven’t forgotten or stopped caring. The  traumatic moments, the losses,  and  painful experiences, will forever live in me.  The difference is, I don’t feed or lean on them as I had before.

Things are noticeably easier. Life is better.

I want even more life.

Part 2, the real part 2 begins soon.

 

 

 

 

Week 1: Days 1-5: 100 Days of Awesome… Part 2!

 

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HOME!

100 Days of Awesome Part 2 is a completely different beast. We are traveling and visiting family and friends for the first 50. My goals are to keep up what I started in part 1, but also to relax, recharge my batteries, explore, and have quality time with the ones I love.

It’s been a great, somewhat hectic,  5 days. Days 1, 2, and 3 were just traveling and getting adjusted to the new time zone. Keeping my running schedule has made it easier.

The blessing/curse of being home is wanting to visit and spend time with so many people. I am doing my best to make plans!

Off to drink a coffee and listen to the birds in the backyard.

I am living and making each day count. 

 

DAY 100! This is Just the Beginning.

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It’s day 100. I feel no need to make a big deal out of it.

Thursday I ran 5.5 kilometers like a cheetah. Well, maybe not a cheetah, but faster than I have before. Later in the day I played in a soccer match between my daughter’s soccer team and the parents. All I thought, throughout the game, was ” I could never have done this last year.” It was fun too.   It really brought me back to my youth when I played soccer year round. It also reminded me of the time I played dodgeball against a bunch of ten year-olds and crushed them all. I think I have a picture of it somewhere, me standing there, ball in my hand, raised to the air in victory. KING!

Seriously. What have I accomplished in 100 Days? There is one simple answer. I made my life better, every damn day. I am better, inside and out, than I have been in years.

Now on to the next 100 days!

 

Day 93: Inch By Inch

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I just watched, “Any Given Sunday.” It’s been awhile since I have seen it.  Honestly, I just wanted to listen to Pacino’s speech about life, and football, being a game of inches. Very few can argue that it isn’t one of the best speeches in a movie. 93 Days ago, I decided to take my steps, inch-by-inch, towards a better life. I have found that watching movies like AGS and Rocky, give me that little push I need from time-to-time.

The last few days I have been , “Getting er done” . I hauled out a ton of garbage that I collected from my tidying up goal (which will continue once I get to the basement) . This place is finally coming together. Right now the kids are outside on the porch,  with their friends, listening to music and playing card games, all while enjoying some Friday candy. I hear lots of singing. When we moved in, that damn porch was awful. Now, it’s a little paradise with a great view.

Tomorrow, after my morning 5+k, I will continue my renovation of 28 very old windows, sanding, painting, and sealing. No way I will pay $500+ a month to heat this place next winter.

And yes, still meditating, writing,running, eating right… Getting better little by little.

I lived today. It was awesome.

 

 

 

 

Day 90: Vivid Man, Vivid.

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I am finally sitting in my bed, propped up by some pillows, and feeling very satisfied with my day. Outside, a rather annoying sounding bird has finally stopped his chirping. My early morning run wasn’t as difficult as it has been in the past. 5k came much “easier”.  Teaching and throwing the football with some students gave me no pain in my shoulder, something that was unbearable for me to do for the last three years. After dinner, when I needed some alone time, I put on my shoes and went for an hour walk. No music. I just listened to the birds, and  felt my legs and feet as they guided me down the tiny streets around where I live. I feel extremely satisfied and ready for a good rest.

I did not meditate this morning, because of time constraints, but plan on doing so before I go to sleep. I’ll tell ya, the meditation, before before bedtime, has led to some crazy, vivid dreams. I am one of those people who rarely, if ever, remembers his dreams, or if I even dreamt at all. Something is obviously changing in my brain. I feel more rested in the morning too.

Today marks 90 days in the 100 Days of Awesome Project. Just 10 days left, and 12 until I leave for vacation. The timing is perfect.

I am at peace this evening.

I lived today and it was awesome.

 

Day 89: Where the Heck Is Me?

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I haven’t been posting lately. It’s tough to write something meaningful, something worthy of  being read, everyday. I have also been struggling with expressing myself clearly. In this computer server sits many drafts I have written but never published. They were just crap, in my opinion.

My journal, however, is filled with thoughts and reflections, successes and failures written in a freer format. When I write for myself I feel completely unencumbered by the normal rules of writing, and write whatever is in my head. You, dear reader, are lucky I don’t share all those writings.

That doesn’t mean that Awesomeness has stopped. I have been living each day, all while loaded with single-parent responsibilities, personal goals, and work. The good news is that vacation is just 12 days away. The load on my shoulders will then become much lighter.

I am nearing the end of my first 100 days and feel, had I not embarked on this journey, I would not be doing as well as I am. I write a lot. I run 3 times a week. I’ve lost a lot of weight and have more energy than at any other time in the last 12 years. I practice, successfully and unsuccessfully, meditation often. I am reading more. The road was/is tough, but my goals have now become habits and routine. My life is better.

On the personal side, I am so proud of the work I have done. Closure, and letting go, is an amazing feeling.

I am already thinking and writing about my goals for the next 100 days. It’s becoming a list of things to do when I am unchained from my daily responsibilities. Old friends, family, relaxing, and trying new things are all on the list.  Writing, running, and mediation will continue!  I need to do them now.

 

So, as I prepare for a long vacation, I can’t help but think that the ultimate goal is to live each day, for the rest of my life, and turn this little project into a life of awesome.

I lived today. It was awesome. 

 

 

Days 77-81: Here Comes the Sun

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Everything takes time. I am not losing weight really quickly. I am not just suddenly calm in my mind. My life isn’t suddenly in order. Everything takes time. Keeping track of it, focusing on it, and working each day is what is making the difference. I run out of patience, sometimes, and have to repeat to myself  that everything doesn’t happen over night. Good things take work and time.

May and June are extremely busy months and I have made progress and have had many setbacks. The setbacks have been really tough. Many of them are too personal to share on this website. Let’s just say, I have had some days where the tears are rolling down my face and I have to wipe them off, put on my “game face” and get back to life. I can be extremely hard on myself and need to stop it! Last night, just to feel a little better,  I had remind myself how much I have accomplished in my life, the things I have had to endure, and that I am still here on this earth and more fortunate than most.

First, the setbacks I will share. Time is limited for me now. There are so many things I “have” to do that finding the time has been a challenge. I have been lucky enough to have had people around who have helped me. I have friends that drive the kids to soccer practice and games. I have also had friends who have watched the kids for me so I get a moment to breathe. That I am thankful for. What I have noticed, when I am feeling the pressure and stress, is that I like to eat more than I should. Now, I don’t binge on chocolate and cake. I tend to side with raiding the refrigerator for leftover meals. That has been a struggle for me, especially at night.

The progress. My mind is a chaotic mess when there is so much to do. I have been actively working on meditation, twice a day, for the last couple weeks. It’s really difficult. It takes time and patience. It is helping to calm my mind. The jogging is going well too. I can run 4 kilometers now, no problem. June will get me to my goal of 5.

So what have I learned?

1. Set a time to build a habit. I know most people don’t like running in the morning, but I always have time at the beginning of the day. Starting the day with a good run also boosts my mood. Meditation is the same thing. I do it when I wake up and close to bedtime.

2. Be patient! 

3. Stop being so damn hard on myself!

4, Keep moving forward!

Some days/weeks/months can be a challenge. I need to accept it and roll with it.

I am living. 

My favorite version of this song. Cheers me up all the time. Sorry for the Spanish subtitles.