I took a few days off, you know, to let fifty sink in. The best part of my birthday week is that Michael always takes the week off from work; the entire week! We get to stay up late and sleep in together. Basically, the same thing that we always do but I don't have to leave him at noon and come back to an empty house in the evening.
I've been using my time to see what Photoshop Elements is all about. You need a morning or an afternoon to devote to it because it makes time dissolves and before you know it your stomach is inquiring about your next meal. It's amazing all the ways that a photo can be manipulated. It makes me wary to ever trust a photo again.
It makes me wonder about perception and about how we see the world. Never as it is, no doubt. More likely, we see what we are conditioned to see, what we want to see even. Do we see the best or the worst in people? What do we see when we look in the mirror? What if we could see nothing? Like Slip, my dog who navigates the hallway by lightly bumping the walls, like a bull through a chute.
I see a "me" that no one else can see. Some days I'm a failure, some days I'm a success. Some days I'm a hamster on a wheel chasing after who knows what? Life's most recent revelation has been that I need to be kinder to myself so I can be kinder to the world. I wish I could hug my six-year old self and tell her that she is loved and matters and she will make a difference however big or small. One of the cruelest and most profound things (in that it haunted me lifelong) was an employer's remark when I was all of twenty.
"You know you're expendable, don't you?"
I've always suffered the George Bailey syndrome when it comes to the larger world. In my own little world I feel grounded and purposeful. Maybe that's why I cling to it so. In the larger world I feel small and am ready to flee at the drop of a hat. And what would it matter?
I am taking the 100 Days Of LovingKindness Challenge. I thought, "Oh, I can do that", then I realized that 100 days was more than three months and I began to get a little worried that I wouldn't be able to do 100 consecutive days of meditation. I go easy on myself. I usually sit for 25 minutes. I've found that I can almost sit cross-legged 8 months after my knee surgery.
So far, I've learned that my mind will scamper off countless times and that I have to rein it in again and again. I've discovered that I can tune out the sound of a snoring beagle; that I am the kind of person who will ask daily, "What's the point?", I've found that I am the kind of person who wants desperately to see progress, who earnestly applies herself even if she doesn't see the aforementioned progress. I trust. I doubt. I persevere. I go forth unguided. I laugh at myself. But most importantly, I rock!
Fantabulous Fifty, you are due to arrive tomorrow. I've tidied up a little and unlatched the door. Come on in!