Friday, December 30, 2011

The Evening Walk, as improved and documented by technology

As captured on my fabulous new GPS-enabled smartphone,  here in blue is the path of one of my two "normal" evening walks, a walk I haven't made in too many months.   The walk starts and ends at our house just under the grey bullseye.   Thanks to the free backpacking app I downloaded, I now officially know this walk I've been making since we moved here in 1996 is 2.6 miles long and it took me about 45 minutes.  I knew all that before, but somehow this latest technological validation makes it much more formal.

During fifteen years perambulating this circuit (and in the preceding decades of walking and musing), I have occasionally pondered the idea of "finding happiness", looking far out into the distance like happiness is a destination to be reached;  like it's a gleaming city whose glow can be seen just over the horizon--like Oz.  And like Oz, there would be no doubt in your mind when you got there.

It struck me tonight that this image of happiness is undoubtedly wrong and dangerously misleading.  The happiness I've always looked for is more likely already all around me, like jewels hidden in the long grass along my path, waiting to be discovered and plucked up.  It's ever-so-cliche, but it occurred to me that happiness should be the journey, not the destination.  You don't reach happiness--you find it.  But to find happiness, you have to be looking for it.  And you have to believe you deserve it.

Before every yoga practice, you are encouraged to set an intention for that practice--something you specifically want to focus on during your time on the mat.  Because practice can sometimes be challenging, I often set the intention of finding joy in every pose I attempt.   I find when I remember my intention I can smile even when my quads are screaming or when I'm falling again and again out of a balancing pose (any balancing pose).  I want to bring that concept off the mat and incorporate it more fully into the rest of my life.  Maybe that's my first resolution for 2012--find the joy.

Speaking of 2012, the little chime on my Casio G-Shock watch just told me that midnight is now in the rearview mirror, making these the first moments of the last day of 2011.  Let the journey continue.  Keep your eyes open.  Find the joy.

via mobile (then fixed via laptop)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays/Georgetown in December

Hi all.  Kim B. told me I have to start doing this again, so I will (I'm putty in her hands).  I'm constrained, because since I set up the blog, I've also added an account, and since Google has apparently appropriated Blogger, I had a hell of a time figuring out how to get to my blog.  I'll fix the mechanics tomorrow.

I went to Georgetown for my second checkup since finishing my last round of chemo.   The campus was almost deserted, with just a few students left taking finals.  I don't miss finals.  My first post-chemo checkup was back in October, two months after the end of the cycle.  Second checkup was two months after that (today).  Short version of today's checkup (and with a 6:00 a.m. yoga class tomorrow, there will be no long version):  my CLL, while not in remission, is still basically dormant.   I got three months before my next checkup.  So that is good news.

Robbie is out of school for the holidays and turned eight just last Friday.  Tomorrow is the second anniversary of Sunshine's departure.  We're pretty much staying put for the holidays, but may make a day trip or two.  I'll get into more detail and into more metaphysical musing later, but as I said I have a 6:00 am yoga class tomorrow, so that will wait.  Just wanted to write this to prove to myself that I still can.

I'll finally be buying a true smartphone next week, so hopefully I'll be able to include more photos in the blog.  Don't worry though--I plan to make very few of them of me.  Maybe I'll try a video blog (a Vlog?)

Anyway, a very Merry holiday season to you and yours, whether that holiday be Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus.  Thank you for reading.  If you're new to the blog, check out June 2009--that was when the real excitement happened.