I dated a Zen monk-in-training for a brief period when I lived in San Francisco. He was brilliant, hilarious, foul-mouthed yet eloquent and used phrases like “we are copacetic,” and I would tell him to knock it off with the pretension (and then I asked him what copacetic meant. It means “excellent”, in case you didn’t know either). We didn’t mesh as a couple, but I treasured the friendship, and I greatly admired his commitment to meditation. Like yoga, meditation is something I’ve tried and tried to do with little to no success. I remember how he rested his palm on my head once. “This brain,” he said, “it broods so much.”
I love to brood. Actually, no. If I were to get nit-picky, I love to mull since brood feels a little too negative to me. I use the end of the year and the beginning of the year and pretty much any time of the year as an excuse to ponder my life in all its glorious weirdness. My own kind of meditation involving a lot of writing, I suppose. I make list after list with all-caps titles like “LIFE GOALS” or “INTENTIONS FOR THIS YEAR” or “MONSTER TO-DO”. Take, for example, last year’s 2014 List. I had a grand old time thinking about that list. Executing it? Didn’t exactly nail it.
Out of a list of 14 so-called goals, I accomplished 3. Maybe 4 if I want to be generous. They were good ones though:
- Met with at least one friend a week
- Exercised at least 30 minutes every day
- Did something creative for at least 30 minutes every day
And I’m bummed that I technically can’t include “didn’t buy any clothes for me or K for the entire year” because of those darn t-shirts and capri pants that I keep mentioning. But I still feel like it deserves an honorable mention.
I want to do a whole separate post about these three things I did accomplish because they truly revolutionized my life — and I don’t use the word revolutionized lightly. In fact, it’s made me realize how vital it is to prioritize relationships, health and creating. Even though focusing on them is common sense, I’m always tempted to cast them aside for other, less important factors. I’m well aware that I’m prone to hyperbole, but I kid you not, the quality of my life improved a millionfold in 2014.
And so I’m going to focus on those three categories this year. No specific list. No bullet points or excessive analysis of the how and why. Just: relationships, health and creating. I can already feel the need to expound bubbling up, so I’m going to stop here for today…
By the way, I took the photos of the waterfall a couple of weeks ago. It’s this little known hidden park in the gritty/urban Pioneer Square neighborhood in Seattle. Built on the site that used to house the first ever UPS headquarters, from the outside, it’s a concrete structure that looks unsexy and governmental. Once inside, you’re suddenly surrounded by foliage and engulfed by the roar of water cascading mightily down the rocky walls. Magical and completely unexpected.
A couple of housekeeping notes:
1. Thank you for all the illustration requests from the Debt-Free Life giveaway! I am slowly organizing them all so I don’t end up sending the wrong illustrations out (e.g. there are multiple people with the same first name) and I am realizing that this may be a much longer-term project. I’m really looking forward to working on them and I appreciate your patience in advance!
2. We have had such an enthusiastic response to our second annual Secret Valentine Exchange! Excited emails have been zooming between Ute and me as the count keeps going up (60 and counting so far). It was such a delightful, non-traditional way of celebrating this holiday, we’re happy to be hosting it again!
It’s not too late yet
Join us for the SVE
Sign-ups end tonite
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!