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.
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.
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.
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.