Starting Today

Okay, let’s talk about this 500 day commitment thing. I thought about it all last night and a little into this morning.  I kept on thinking about Brian’s and Alexandra’s commitments and my first thought was: “Yeah, if I was living in Bali that might work… but given that I have a whole life already in motion here,

AND, given that I don’t want to fail,

AND, given that I am a Vata and need my Crockpot potroast on cold January nights,

AND, given that I already have BIG ROCKS that I try to get in every day, I decided that I wasn’t going to go vegan (but I considered it) and I wasn’t going to do a hundred things that I would have to spend my whole effing day doing and then when they didn’t get done I would have to spend the next effing day self-flagellating myself about not doing them.

AND, as much as I truly get into self-flagellation (yum), I decided  not to commit to a dietary regime, plus a reading regime, plus a writing regime, plus an exercise regime, and instead just do 2 simple things for the next 500 days:

1.  Every day yoga.

2.  Every day meditation.

No time limits.

Everything counts.

Simple, easy.

Success? Virtually guaranteed.

But if I can actually pull this off over 500 days?

Monumental.

Who would you be if you did a yoga practice every day for 500 days?

Who would you be if you meditated every day for 500 days?

(Yeah, I know, right?)

If you want to be an expert at anything (according to Malcolm Gladwell) you have to practice your “thing” 3 hours a day for 10 years.  Seriously.  That’s 10, 000 hours.

Makes 500 days seem puny, doesn’t it?

Imagine it, though.

How old are you now?  (Me? 57) How old will you be in 10 years?  (Me? 67.)

What if you started doing something today and did it 3 hours a day for the next 10 years?  You would turn “x” years old and be an expert in piano or Spanish or architecture or yoga or …. in just 10 quick years.

Imagine.

Again. How old are you now?

How old were you 10 years ago?

How far have you come in those 10 years?

See?

Are you disappointed in the answer?  (I am.)

BUT….

You can totally change your life today if you want to.

If you are living a part that is too small, and if your movie is low budget and dumb?  You can re-write the the entire screenplay, change the location, and cast yourself in a completely different role if you want to!  It’s YOUR life!

You can transform the  WHOLE damned thing!

If

that’s what you want…

(is that what you want??)

That’s what I want.

Starting today.

Stay tuned.

500 Days

500 days from tomorrow will be the end of 2011.

I know this because I am a part of entheos.me, which is Brian and Alexandra Johnson’s new online community.  They both posted today about their intentions to keep their fundamentals going for the next 500 days without a miss.  For them, the next 500 days will involve veganism, meditation, exercise, and tending to their intellectual and spiritual practices. They are inviting  other people to consider a 500 day plan as well. You can check it out their posts here.  And here.

Oh boy.  Am I ever a sucker for this kind of thing.  It’s the perfect time for a  re-commitment to my practices, too.  With September looming (she throws up in a waste basket here) my “new school year” rash starts to itch.

September always feels like the time for a fresh start after the debaucheries of summer. Summer always knocks me off my game somewhat with its alluring long days, and its cold beer and its “hey, it’s summer!” attitude.

September is time to get back into saddle shoes and buy a new book bag.

I am thinking about re-dedicating to a daily yoga, writing and meditation schedule.  Do I really think I can keep a 500-Day streak going?

I dunno….

What about you?  Does this have any appeal? You want in on this?  What could you commit to for 500 days?

I’m going to sleep on this tonight and decide for sure tomorrow.  I’ll definitely let you know.

Still disoriented

Flew through the night. Tried to sleep on the plane from Portland to Newark and I may have actually succeeded, but I don’t remember. I woke up wearing an eye mask, noise-canceling headphones and a neck pillow.  Ate the worst breakfast of my life in the Newark airport, (with plastic cutlery no less) then boarded a prop jet for Rochester, and sat right over the prop.

A 2 hour drive home and I don’t even know my name.

How do frequent flyers do this shit?  I don’t even know what day it is. I took a 3 hour nap, a shower, ate some dinner, and I’m still dizzy.

I don’t care how convenient they are, from now on, no more red-eyes for me.

Really.

It’s so good to be home.

Oh, how I hate the red-eye

It’s 4:30 PM here in Portland, 7:30 PM back in Mansfield. If I wait to post on the plane I may miss my deadline, so I’ve decided to just post some pics, and do all the narrative tomorrow.

Tillamook Cheese Factory

Emily at Hoyt Arboretum

Emily with roots

Near Cape Falcon

Good Afternoon, Your Highness

Okay!  See you on the flippy!

It’s been faboo.  Where’s my tissues?

95 Degrees in Portland

So, it looks like Portland is trying to court me.  It has been in the 90s, without a cloud in the sky ever since we landed.  It’s being all, “See?  We can be warm and sunny, Kath. Stop all your “dreary, rainy, wet” talk. We just talk that jive so we don’t get every single schmoe from Pennsylvania movin’ in on our goodness.”

Today we are going to the coast for the day. Hitting up Tillamook cheese, Cannon Beach, Seaside, and Astoria. And we’re going to fly a kite.

So far, we’ve been to an incredible Farmer’s Market in Beaverton, gone wine shopping for my “win” of the March Madness B-ball pool, and had a “tasting” event that was beyond amazing: 5 reds from France (2), Spain, California, and Oregon. Emily and Scott recently spent a week in Provence, France learning about red wine and “terroir” and they have a whole new wine vocabulary that we now know too.  (Fun)

I don’t have any pics from that event (just as well, *smile*), but here are some quieter moments from our trip so far.

We stopped at Emily’s store where she is the assistant manager for “fuel” for the day’s events.  This is Scott at Starbucks:

Scott Brenny

From Starbucks we went to the Beaverton Farmers Market.  I don’t have any pics from the Market (they’re all on Ira’s camera) but I was entranced with these doggies:

We took lunch to a little park that Nia, their dog, really likes, and had a picnic:

Nia posing

Emily

Ira and Emily in April Hill Park

Blogging in a Plane

So before I begin, here’s the first question:

Am I blogging IN a plane? or ON a plane? or maybe FROM a plane???

I am ON a flight, but IN a plane?

Is the altitude making me stupid?  Or maybe it’s my reading material.

I don’t know. All I know is that I am sitting on Delta flight which is currently flying over Duluth, MN headed to Portland, Oregon.  Ira is sitting in the window seat, and I was ticketed into the middle seat.  But oh, holy miracle! the aisle seat was not filled!  Do you know how heavenly it is to have room to spread out??  Oh Em Gee!!  If this happens on the red-eye home, I might have to start believing in God.

So I sucked it up and bought the wireless so I could keep up my streak and blog today, that’s how serious I am about keeping this going.  Also, it is fun.  But even though I have wireless, I don’t have a power source and my battery life is going to be an issue, so I need to stop futzing around here an post already.

So Ira and I are on this trip together and we are the Laurel and Hardy of traveling companions.  Or maybe more like the Oscar and Felix.  Ira is Felix (in my view, ahem) neurotic and OCD.  He has alphabetized file folders filled with copies of all the documents he was sent by the airline, neatly paper clipped together with all the relevant info highlighted in yellow highlighter.  He pulls these out whenever we approach the check-in people.  He keeps asking for clarification. He asked the shuttle driver if he could  take a spin around the parking lot one time and then come back for us because he needed time to check the car 13 times.  He carries a raincoat everywhere, even though the weather in Portland is going to be 90 degrees and sunny for the next 5 days.

He reads very serious books on the plane:

Ira reads on the plane

This is what Ira reads

I am Oscar.  I kinda wing it.  My main goal is to find Starbucks, and oh look! that place has sushi! I people watch and chat it up with the TSA people.  I have a more stupid, go with the flow attitude.  You want to butt in front of me, lady wearing a blow up neck cushion?  Go for it!  It’s not the Amazing Race, I don’t think.

I prowl around Hudson News.  I look at chocolate covered goji berries but settle on mints that cost double what I would have paid had I bought them at CVS at home, but I forgot.  This morning I took my polar fleece and my raincoat out of my suitcase.

I read junky magazines on the plane.  They amuse me.

This is what I read on the plane

So now this plane is pitching like a tilt-a-whirl and my water almost spilled so maybe it’s a sign from god to hit “publish” and go to the bathroom and barf.

Portland, Here I Come.

This time tomorrow I will be with my daughter and son-in-law in Portland, Oregon where we will drink our Starbucks lattes in Em’s new store, drive out to the coast and fly kites on the beach, drink wine and eat tapas.  Scott will play his guitar, and I will pet Nia, their chihuahua  I will take lots of pictures and maybe some video too, and I will probably cry a little on the plane on the way home.

It’s a short visit–5 days, but something is better than nothing.  I miss my Emily a lot, and even more so after I’ve been with her for a few days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “vibe” lately, about how important it is for me to keep a good vibe going in myself, and how important a role other people play in either raising my vibe or dampening it.

Em really amps my vibe!  It’s not that she’s manic or really high energy, it’s that she’s unfailingly upbeat and optimistic. She not only sees the glass “half full,” for her it overflows, and she’s always looking for some empty glasses to catch the excess.

In contrast, I know people who spend a lot of  time “feeding the weeds” in their life by giving most of their energy and attention to negative stuff.  I think when you focus your attention on negatives, those negative things grow like weeds and crowd out all the flowers. When all your water is going to feeding the weeds,  there’s almost none left to feed the flowers.

I am going to Portland tomorrow to stay in my daughter’s house, where the “flowers” are watered, the “weeds” are few, and the “vibe” is strong and sweet.

Can’t wait!