Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Challenge Update

I'm day 15 into my 40 day challenge, and a challenge it has been! I won't say I'm failing, nope; I'm not going to say that. I will say that I have been struggling the most with getting off of the computer at 10pm. I like the night, and at night, it's quiet, it's just me, and that is when I like to research things on the Internet. It's the time of day that I like to click on links, read all the articles I have saved to my favorites, check out the pins I have pinned to Pinterest, and find topics to write about.

So I can say without a doubt, that when my 40 days is up, I will not be continuing on with that part of my challenge as a habit broken and a new one begun. I just don't like it! In fact, there have been many days that I have not been able to meet that challenge.

I have been quite successful in the other 2 parts of my challenge. I have been mindful in my kitchen, trying to find the gumption to keep on cooking some great meals. There was one night when I was very busy and I made pizza (and no not the healthier version of pizza I sometimes make). However, we did have a yummy spinach salad with it! When I am mindful of what I am putting into my mouth, and consistent with yoga, I feel better. I feel healthy, I feel strong, and I feel on the right track.

Lastly, and what has turned out to be my favorite, is being mindful throughout my day, and taking one of the moments in my day to write about. My challenge was to find something beautiful in each day and write about it. I started out wanting to write just a small stone about it, a poem, something short. I wanted it this way because I thought if I kept it shortl, I would be able to keep up, not get overwhelmed and stay committed to the challenge. Instead though, I have been amazed with where this has taken me that I've written quite a bit about it. I want to share some of that here in this post and in some future posts.
Day One: Today, I was to be mindful of something and create words to go with it. I should have been looking for something, finding purpose in something beautiful to write about. But something else happened instead. I found beauty in something I heard.
Haley wanted to cook dinner tonight. She likes to make pasta with veggies, and so I told her she could. I suggested that while she chopped veggies, she could listen to her music on her iPod touch. I went to spread out on my bed for a few minutes, or rather warm myself under the covers. As I lay still, I could hear her music. I may have groaned a bit when I heard her choice in music, but the music was no longer what I heard. It was the chopping, the knife cutting through the vegetables, hitting the cutting board. Click, click, and click. Then when her board was full, I would hear the thunk of the veggies being thrown into the strainer. Although we were two rooms apart, I could see her in my mind, and I could see this growing girl, full of pride for what she was doing, she was preparing a meal for us. Here she was being mindful in the kitchen, taking care to chop up the veggies, stirring them as she sautéed. Here she was, an extension of my 40 day challenge, being mindful in the kitchen. Here she was my extension of me!

Day Two: Covered in red blotches, her skin was completely dry. To the touch, it felt like very fine sand paper, the finest there is, right below my hand. Then there it was the sagging skin, visible in the crook of the back of her knee, a spot free of dryness and full of tiny wrinkles. Those wrinkles, are beautiful to me, they are so small and intricate, upon skin so delicate in places and so rough in others. Those wrinkles, each one of them, telling my mom’s story in a whisper I can barely hear.

Day Three: She is sitting beside me the first time she cries. Because I don't know her, and because I can't remember the last time I saw an elderly person cry, I don't recognize it before it happens. I see her eyes behind her glasses scrunch up, her face screwed up in a way that is unrecognizable to me. Then her soft, old, wrinkled hands begin to shake as she searches for a Kleenex in her bag. I touched her then, placing my hand on her hand, running my hand soothingly up and down her arm, wanting to hug her.
When the tears came next, I was watching for them. Grief came upon her quickly, sadness filling her eyes, mixed with tears, her shaking hand reaching once again for her Kleenex. Once again, I soothed her with my hands, awkwardly wondering if I could reach my arm around her tall, narrow frame. I know she trusts me, feels a kindness from me and towards me. Later, after she was gone, I wondered if I had handled her sorrow the correct way. Then I reminded myself, sometimes it's not words we need, just a human touch, warmth and kindness.

It really is just moments in our life, that our memory holds onto. Some good, some loving, some sad and some hurtful. Every day, I have made a point to see something beautiful, be present, be mindful of something around me. You know what? It makes life that much more colorful!
I would love to hear from you! Have you given yourself a challenge this New Year? What is it, and how is it going??

Thanks for stopping by.

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