Day 12

Other than wine, bad eating, bad TV, and other random acts of self-destruction, this is the first time in a long time that I’ve done something for 12 days straight. All this work, all this time, all the added frustrations that new daily tasks can bring, on top of tons of work and more social plans than I’m used to.  And what do I have to show for it?  Well I’ll tell you.  I have 30 pages of writing, a few pounds dropped, less fear of people, and a whole new community of encouraging and supportive friends.  I’d say that’s more progress than you can shake a gloom stick at.

I still don’t know how the hell I’m going to get through another 18 days of this, but today I’m going to do something I rarely do.  I’m going to pat myself on the back.  I normally hate doing things like that.  Self-loathing is far easier and a lot more fun (until the morning after), but one of the things I’m trying to adhere to in this project is to try on new ways.  So today I’m trying on a “yay for me” suit.  I feel uncomfortable and foolish in it, but willing to see how it fits.

Day 12

3 things I’m grateful for:

1)   The wonderful, kind, thoughtful, sweet, incredible person who anonymously sent a cactus to my office today.  It was a beautiful, prickly succulent that warmed my prickly heart (as well as my Spartan office).  Whoever you are, you made my day.  Thank you!

2)   A few hours of calm this evening when my soul can catch it’s breath.

3)   The patience of many people that I owe phone calls and emails to.  Thanks for staying with me; I’m almost there.

Random act of kindness

There’s a security guard that works on the first floor of our office building.  He sits at a small desk near the entrance alone all day and listens to opera on the radio and wears a goofy grin.  I see him in the mornings and he beams that grin at me, but I usually can’t do more than a head nod.

Today I got some cupcakes for my co-workers birthday, and there were two left.  I asked her if she would mind if I gave the leftovers to someone homeless and left with every intent of finding someone outside.  But as I was leaving, the security guard was sitting there alone, like he always is, and it occurred to me that it’s not only the homeless who can use a little kindness and buttercream frosting.  So I said, “Thanks for protecting us while we had our party upstairs,” and handed him the cupcakes.

Exercise

I came home today and did about 30 minutes of yoga.  I sweat so hard that when I got up, there was a human shape of salty water on the mat.

Meditation

Meditated for another 30 minutes after the yoga.  I used the drone thing again.  I’m trying to make sure that I experiment with a lot of different things as I do these tasks everyday, so I’ll try other ways, but I think this one really works for me.

Reflect on something good that happened

I haven’t delved into the past too much in writing my way through this project, mostly because I wanted to make an effort to look hopefully forward instead of shamefully back.  But suffice it to say that in the last year and a half things sometimes got dark.  No, I’m qualifying with the “sometimes.”  Let’s try that again—things were dark.  And in that darkness, I reached out for the wrong things and made some stupid mistakes.

On one particularly dark evening, drunk and angry I lashed out at someone that I didn’t know well, but someone my roommate did.  It damaged their relationship and put a fairly big dent in ours.  My roommate and I are incredibly close, and he’s been an amazing friend to me.  The shame that I have felt from this major screw-up has been a weight I’ve carried for a while, and a topic I try desperately to avoid.

I come out of my room this evening, feeling all glowy and proud after my meditation, and I see him frowning with a look of disapproval that I’ve learned is mixed with some Randy irritation.  He told me he saw the guy and that it brought it all up again.  It gutted my good vibes and brought me right back to the shame place.

But the reason it was good is that I saw it with new eyes; I understood that I had a choice and ability to see it differently, to focus on the work I’ve done to make things better, to make me better.  I owned it as a mistake and then I freed myself from it.  I would normally use it as another excuse to lash myself for all my evil doings, but I recognized my humanity in that moment—my fallible, protean, wonderful, forgivable humanity.  So on this day of back patting and wearing a suit of pride, I take off that particular boulder.  It’s dirtying my new suit.

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21 comments

  1. Daniela

    I think its more common for introverts to be super hard on ourselves.
    Practicing forgiveness is such a liberating feeling, specially when forgiving oneself.
    I really feel that all your posts qualify as random acts of kindness towards all your readers, so thanks for that.

  2. Jennifer

    You make me smile, you make me laugh, and you make me think. Thank you! You are doing such a great job! You will do the next 18 days the same way you did the first 12, one at a time. Can you believe you’re almost half way there! Woo hoo! Big ‘ol pat on the back for you!

  3. Tom Pyun

    Good for you for taking accountability for your roommate’s friend’s relationship. None of us are perfect and sometime we get angry and irrational :-). Per your comment about your potential boredom with the “drone noise,” I thought I would share these guided meditations that I love. My two favorite are: “Breath, Sound, Body Meditation” (12 minutes) and “Complete Meditation Instructions” (19 minutes). http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
    Give them a shot and let me know if what you think of them. I am addicted…in a good way. Hugs to you.

  4. Cindy del Valle

    Thank you for your honesty. Many articles about finding happiness leave out those difficult moments that can derail us. You provide insight to getting there in spite of obstacles.

    • randyscotthyde

      I feel like it’s the difficult moments that we should know the most about, so I’ve made a promise to myself not to hold back on those. Thank you for reassuring me that it’s the right way to go!

  5. Pamela

    Wow. I love this:

    I would normally use it as another excuse to lash myself for all my evil doings, but I recognized my humanity in that moment—my fallible, protean, wonderful, forgivable humanity.

    Thank you – I needed to hear that. Have a great Friday! A book you might like is “Meditations off The Mat,” by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. Very down to earth and practical meditations – 365 of them and very good for people without much time.

    Thank you again for sharing here. Each post here is a random act of kindness to all who read.

    • randyscotthyde

      I think we can both move on now. Thank God! I didn’t tell him that I was going to write about it, so I was nervous about his reaction. But he just came up to me without a word and hugged me. So I think we’re good now. Finally!

  6. deborah briskin

    yay!!!!!!
    i am so proud of you. i am learning so much from your experiment and can relate.
    don’t dirty your new suit! keep up the good work…..

  7. Margene

    From my dream studies at Berkeley…pick a random item that is often in your bad dreams (I picked my hand–which for me symbolized feelings). When you see that item in your dream, you can consciously say, “I’m dreaming this dream.” Then change your dream. Stand up to your demon, bad memory, bad feeling, whatever. If you can’t do it alone, call for a friend or two to help you. Once you conquer a bad dream, you will never have that one over again. And you will find yourself acting with more courage in your daily conscious life as well.

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