Anticipation, and Standards of Normalcy

Two things, both brief:

1.  You know that feeling of waiting for something huge to happen, and you know it will happen quite soon, but you aren’t sure exactly when, and so your breathing is shallow and shortened, and it feels like a boulder is living inside your rib cage?  Feeling that right now.  Man.  Tonight is the night.  Tomorrow will be a different sort of life, starting at 10AM local time.  🙂

2.  A friend of mine told me that she wants me to write a book, specifically about my life.  When I suggested that no one would want to read it, she declared her desire to read such a book, as well as her hopes to learn more and more about my life, because I have such great stories to share.  I had never considered that to be the case about myself and/or my life.  However, I am starting to believe her.  I mean, come on – I’m living in Japan for a year just ’cause when I wanted to take a break from my last job.  I don’t see that as entirely standard for your average girl.  As I learned from my cousins last year, my idea of normal life is not equivalent to most people’s ideas of normal life.  (more on that another time!)

 

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Automatic Reactions taking over…?

I’ve been thinking lately a lot about automatic reactions.  Not just things like ducking when something comes flying at your face… I mean mentally, emotionally, and with words and such.  Like how  I automatically smile and am happy when I see a cute little kid laughing and having fun.  Or how I am filled with a sense of ease, calm, and peace when I feel that warm sunshine against my skin on a cool day, or that refreshing breeze on any day.

The one part of automatic reactions that has been most on my mind as of late had been physical discomfort.  I have been noticing how, if I am physically uncomfortable, I am automatically in a bad mood.

My morning started beautifully the other day, but the weather was much warmer than I understood it to be before leaving the house.  So, as I grew more and more sweaty underneath my coat and many layers, carrying my heavy bags (which were mostly heavy due to the water I’d brought to keep myself hydrated and thereby comfortable throughout the day), hiking up the large hill to work, and my wool sweater began to scratch me through my shirt, I grew increasingly more irritated, even to the point of starting to curse at my clothes and bags.  Now, I recognized how this all was automatically happening, and so caught myself before actually cursing, but I’m rather certain I had the words starting to roll out of my mouth when I did hit pause on the affair.

Another recent example is my everyday response to my work-empty (the opposite of work-filled) days at work.  At work, my desk and chair do not fit me, and it is uncomfortable to spend more than ten-ish minutes at my desk.  I get rather irritated whenever I spend time there, even if I started out working on something I enjoy.  Just thinking about having to sit at my desk all day with nothing else to do (as in somewhere else to go) gets me into a bad mood.  I’m not even in the chair, and my mood is already in that automatic reaction to the physical discomfort.

When I need to go to the bathroom, and people try talking to me and starting up conversation, no matter how I make the effort to be in the conversation, I cannot be.  My entire focus is on the thoughts of Would you please just shut up and leave me alone, so I can go to the bathroom?!  I am irritated, impatient, and sometimes even a bit rude out loud.

Now, this does not mean that I am always rude or mean to others when in physical discomfort.  Just this week, I was quite uncomfortable, and even somewhat concerned by my intense need for a bathroom while walking home with a friend.  I was aware of my discomfort, and my automatic response to the discomfort.  I remained kind and loving with the friend, however it was a strain.  I noticed how, underneath my skin, I was raving, almost screaming, I was so bothered.  The friend was even laughing at the goofiness I attempted to bring to the situation of my bathroom need, but I was not – I couldn’t find humor or ease in it, no matter what I did.

We are able to be angry, upset, and annoyed automatically and intentionally when we are not in physical discomfort, as well as we are able to be happy, calm, and joyful at those times.  I think we can have the same apply to when we are physically uncomfortable… I just haven’t yet figured out how.

How can I train myself, my brain, to react comfortably to physical discomfort?  When my pants are too tight or my shirt is itchy, when I need to pee or need water desperately, how can I set myself up to be not only okay but to be happy, joyful, or even just calm and at ease?  I guess the best way is to see what conversation is happening in my head whenever these discomforts happen, and inquire as to how to ease that conversation’s stress… and, over time, the conversation might disappear altogether, and the automatic negative response no longer occur… perhaps, anyway, but Imma go for it, just to see!

This is my goal right now.  Feel free to jump on board, and try it out for yourself; I think it’s an intriguing essay*, well worth the effort.

 


*Definition of ESSAY (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary)
transitive verb
1:  to put to a test
2:  to make an often tentative or experimental effort to perform :  try
essayer  noun

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Morning Breath

Ever notice how people in movies (and TV shows, too) just wake up in the morning and start kissing one another, as though they don’t have wretched breath?  I always notice, and so does my mom, who always comments on it as though it is the first time we’re seeing this sort of thing together.  Nonetheless, today at work, I discovered a movie that does not do this!

America’s Sweethearts, with Julia Roberts and John Cusack (among other greats), at about an hour eight minutes in, shows a perfect morning scene.  The two wake up in the bed next to one another, smile and chuckle briefly, and then Julia Roberts pulls the bed-sheet over her mouth.  As they end the brief scene with plans for breakfast, both of them have their mouths covered by the bed-sheet, and Julia Roberts’ character says that she’ll go brush her teeth before breakfast, and that he should go do the same.  😀

It was delightful. !!!!!  😀

Thank you for putting in real life, Director Joe Roth.  Thank you.  😀

 

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Tonight

I had something brilliant to share today.  I really did.  Honestly (I’m always honest, anyway, but still…)… it was quite good, and I was excited to share it.  Some memory of some sort…

I’ve completely lost it for the time being, though… perhaps I’ll remember in the morning, and write about it then.  Yes, perhaps.  (I certainly hope so, anyway.)  😀  Haha.  Oh, goodness.

 

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Songs for Friends and Self

First off,

😀   Merry Christmas!   😀


Via the natural flow of thoughts in my head, I found myself singing a song that a friend and I wrote (to the tune of another song) as a goodbye present to another friend of ours a few years back.  This other friend was heading to the US for a semester abroad, and so we set up a sort of going away surprise in which everyone could participate.

It was Sylvia’s idea, the song.  She picked one of Gunnar’s favorite songs, and decided to write new words to it.  About an hour-ish before we were supposed to head out to meet up with other friends to practice the song, she had gotten only a few sentences into it, and so I ended up taking over and putting the bulk of it together.

We threw a thumbs up on it, and rushed off to rehearse with other friends.  At rehearsal, we changed a word or two to make things easier for folks, and organized our plan of action to get out the lyrics to everyone after Mass that evening (the going away party was taking place right after the young-ish adults Mass where we all went together).  The song ended up going beautifully and being a total hit – it was just as we’d hoped, and all was well as we sent our good friend on his way.

Now, I completely meant the words when I wrote them for our friend Gunnar.  However, a few weeks later, as I, myself, was leaving the country to go back to the US, the song suddenly sounded like something I had actually written for myself.  To this day, the song gets stuck in my head (although I have no recording of it, and have not since that month looked at the lyrics), and it, somehow, is always comforting – I miss living in Vienna terribly, but this song somehow makes everything okay how it is right now.  I guess God’s just good at making things work out that way.  🙂  I have this dual feeling that 1) if I move back to Vienna, I’ll never want to leave again, and 2) if I even visit Vienna, I’ll be utterly disappointed with how it compares to having lived there before and loving it so much then.  I think that, no matter what, I have to go back, though.  I’ll try a visit first – maybe next year for Christmas – and see how that goes, huh?  Sounds good to me.  🙂  Anyway…

Enjoy.       (To the tune of “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling)

P.S.  BeFree is the name of the Mass we all attended, and which had brought most of us together as friends in Vienna


6. Jan 2013

VERSE 1

So lately, been wondering
Who will be there to take your place.
When you’re gone, we’ll need one
To play that music filled with grace.
If it really is God’s will,
Then we guess that you can go.
Just remember us back here
While you’re off in USA

CHORUS
If we could, then we would
Keep you  with us here in Wien.
But God sends you elsewhere,
So take care, have fun, and BeFree!

VERSE 2

Hopefully, you’ll find out
The way to make it back someday.
Until then, God bless you
And help you all throughout your days.
If it really is God’s will,
Then, Columbia, here he is!
And we hope that, while you’re out there,
The Lord’s grace still flows from you.

CHORUS

If we could, then we would
Keep you  with us here in Wien.
But God sends you elsewhere,
So take care, have fun, and BeFree!

BRIDGE

God give Gunnar your blessing.
Give him helping hands and friends.
Give him everything he needs!

CHORUS

If we could, then we would
Keep you  with us here in Wien.
But God sends you elsewhere,
So take care, have fun, and BeFree

VERSE 3

You’re leaving.  We’ll miss you,
but all our lives will still go on.
In your heart, in your mind,
May God be with you all the time.
If it really is God’s will,
Then we guess that you can go.
Just remember us back here
While you’re off in USA

CHORUS

If we could, then we would
Keep you  with us here in Wien
But God sends you elsewhere
So take care, have fun, and BeFree

If we could, then we would
Keep you  with us here in Wien
But God sends you elsewhere
So take care, have fun, and BeeeeFreeeeee

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A Memory

Shortly after I turned 18, my mom and I went to stay at my aunt’s house (perhaps for a weekend or something), which is in a small town about two hours outside of our city, and in the semi-middle-of-nowhere.

My cousin Shawn, who is not quite a year older than I am and was/is also my Confirmation sponsor, decided for us to go out for a bit, late one night.  He was reminded of the fact that I had recently turned 18, and so declared that we needed to have cigars to celebrate.  I shared my being not into it, but went along to the gas station, where he bought two small cigars (which smelled nice, actually).

We ended up at a park down the street, play complex and all, and I don’t remember if Shawn smoked his cigar or not, but I know that I did not smoke mine, and ended up just giving it back to him.  Nonetheless, we hung out at the park for a couple hours, I recall, just walking around, talking as we played on the various playsets.  I remember specifically mentioning how I loved that Jesus has fabulous grammar in the Bible (I think it was as I was walking across the shaky bridge thing, and then slid down a pole at the end).  Somewhere, I had been discussing with girlfriends the idea of husbands and boyfriends and such, and we had come to the idea that Jesus just needs to be a real person right now, so he can be one of our boyfriends.  And I just loved that he had perfect grammar (at least from what I recalled having read), making me wish even more that he could be my man.  Haha.

So these are the kinds of things I did with my cousins growing up.  Harmless, somewhat silly activities, filled with goofy yet incredibly honest and open conversation.  I miss Shawn a lot, and all the ridiculous love he has to share (and shares) with the world.

He’ll be in India for a while soon.  Just a fun fact.  🙂

 

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