Thursday, 27 November, 2014
#DailyWings: “”The aim of life is to live. And to live means to be aware. Joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” –Henry Miller
It takes only a couple seconds to say we’re thankful for our family, friends, neighbors and mentors – not to mention our education, our food and our jobs. But sometimes, when we’re stuck in traffic during rush hour or we’ve received a terrible grade on a standardized test or the garlic toast burned in the oven or our boss has just laid us off even with the gentlest of explanations, it can be difficult to remember to feel appreciative and to remind ourselves why we work as hard as we do. We forget to stop and take a deep breath.
If you ask me what my favorite part about Thanksgiving is, it’s not the Black Friday shopping or the traveling or even the food (though that comes as a close second, for delicious reasons). It’s being able to take a break from all of the stress and anxiety that come with day-to-day life. Sometimes, we just need space for practicing self-care, to spend time with the people we’re thankful for and to find something to laugh about. To remember why we’re grateful.
Whatever holiday stress or little (or big) anxieties or long-term worries you may have, I’m not here to tell you, “Things could be a lot worse” or “In the grand scheme of things, this won’t matter.” Bad days stink. You might even have a whole bad month, and whatever feelings you have are completely validated. But make yourself a promise that today you’re going to take some time and say, “I am thankful for my life, and I love myself.”
Today, I’ve compiled a list of 27 things that never fail to make me smile and remind me to find joy in the little things. I hope they make you feel the same way:
Wednesday, 01 January, 2014
: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
It’s really not going to be that long. Just give me two minutes. That’s all I need to virtually hug my readers and say, “You’re still here, then, after all this time?” Has it really been more than three months since my last published post?
If my blog still makes it to your news feed and you’re reading this, thank you for sticking with me. My queue has eight partially written drafts rotting away, forgotten and obsolete. Every time I sat down to write for myself (either on this blog or in my journal or as part of an unfinished piece of work) this semester, guilt weighed down in the pit of my stomach as I thought of all the “real writing” that needed to get done – feature stories for the newspaper, online articles and so forth. One of the most crucial lessons I have yet to learn is that writing for myself is just as important as writing for others.
You’ll read more about my new years resolutions (many of them are writing-related) tomorrow – I’m a big fan of themes, and thus 2014 has been dubbed the year of literary frenzy – but before that I need to give a proper recap of 2013. Here’s my annual…
Thursday, 03 January, 2013
#DailyWings: “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art–write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
One of my main new year’s resolutions from 2012 was to meditate every day for a certain amount of time either somewhere on campus or at home, and I’m excited to say that, for the most part, I succeeded. There’s nothing better than lying on the grass in the campus arboretum, your vision cloaked by an entire blanket of blue sky, and letting your mind wander.
There are two ways for me to engage in meditation — one in which I try to rid my mind of all thoughts and cognition, and only allow sensations and feelings to take over the present moment. The other way is to simply not fight any of the thoughts that come to mind, but rather let them come as they “flow.” Both are helpful for me when I want to re-organize my mind (as if it were a sock drawer!), and both are good for long hours of travel.
Saturday, 15 December, 2012
: “I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it. But I didn’t, not really. Only the smudgeness of it; the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. I didn’t realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it’s the halves that halve you in half. I didn’t know, don’t know, about the in-between bits; the gory bits of you, and the gory bits of me.”
Being done with finals is like breaking the surface of a very deep lake after having been underwater for much longer than your body can handle. And there you are, engulfing buckets of air and grasping desperately at nothing. Once you’re finally at peace with the waters again, you look around and realize you don’t know which direction to take next. You’re just glad you were able to swim to the top.
This is how I feel.
The weird thing about freedom is, after you get over the excitement of finally having time to do whatever the hell you want, there’s that moment when you really don’t know what to do first. Catch up on “Glee”? Bake cookies — and eat all of them just because it’s been days since you haven’t eaten anything not prepackaged? Write a blog post about being done with finals? Get back into reading that book you started three months ago?
Or maybe you’re like me, and you start writing a laundry list of all the things you’d like to do before the year is over and another begins (if the Mayans weren’t correct, that is). Let’s swap? Here’s mine:
Sunday, 14 February, 2010
The Chinese New Year Festival of 2010 was amazing! At the beginning, I had some troubles with helping friends find the location and had to miss a bit of the show, but it went well otherwise. It got especially fun at the end when I was able to spend time with my family and friends together.
Let me break the festival down:
Who: Anybody was invited to attend
What: Chinese New Year Festival 2010, Year of the Tiger Celebration
Where: The local university’s medical school–Auditorium and Library
When: February 13, 2010 from 5pm to 8:30pm
The Cost: Tickets were $5 for grownups and $3 for children and seniors
Why: To celebrate the Chinese New Year, of course!
The Food: There was a large Chinese buffet (catered by local restaurants) with green beans, lo mein, spring rolls, egg-fried rice, chocolate cake, and much more!
The Performances: There were several traditional dances and songs performed by the local Chinese School teachers and young students, college students, various parents and volunteers. Many of the performances merged China’s culture and the concept of love together. For instance, one of the songs that a young man sang was a typical Chinese song that, according to the commentator, was what a man would sing right before he proposed to his lady love.