Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Childish Epiphany

It's funny that when we're younger, we think we know everything. In contrast, as we grow older, we seem blown away by the simplest epiphanies. As a child, we used to be amazed at the bee buzzing in the flowers or we'd pounce through rain puddles and celebrate candy as a novelty. Now, we don't have time for such distractions for fear that they might steer us off path. In hitting the reset button in my life, I realized that the urgency that once drove me is what blinded me to those distractions. However, it takes some time to regain that sight again and I have to be honest, it's not always easy. Once you become accustom to a certain way, you see through those lenses. Unfortunately, that's clouded a lot of my early months here. I've been frustrated with the little things that aren't similar to my way of doing life--such as cars stopping right in the middle of the road for no reason when we're going 50 miles an hour.

It takes time to see things differently but I needed to take the first step. A few weeks ago, an older gentleman was loading my groceries in bags and proceeded to bring them out to the car. I thanked him and got in my car, as I usually would in the States, but he stood outside my car and waited. Then he knocked on my window and said "Propina". I didn't understand and there were several previous times where I went on my way so this time didn't seem any different. However, I later discovered from some friends that he was asking for a tip because the store doesn't pay him a salary. So today when I was at the store, instead of being annoyed at the differences that I don't understand, I returned to the same man and gave him his propina and apologized. His smile warmed his hardened face and my day was transformed. The childish amazement of the everyday details washed over me. In walking out of the store, I felt a change from the day before--a contrast of when the little things either way you down in frustration or they make you smile.

The things that made me smile today:
  • Cooking a new recipe with a friend
  • Continuing to learn a new language
  • Going to the theater with a friend
  • Hosting and getting to know new people
  • My dog
  • Reading
  • Finding my way through the city
Today I changed my mind. Today I changed my perspective. Today I'm going to choose to celebrate the little things...including driving.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I WAS TICKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yesterday we went for a hike through the rainforest. It was gorgeous and a great getaway from the city. Yet as we stopped to take a rest, we noticed there were ticks out. Throughout the hike, we all continued to check our feet, ankles and legs for ticks. We were able to flick off the ones we saw and managed to finish our hike unscathed.

However, when I got home last night and did one last check, my husband found a tick embedded in the back of my leg. The funny thing though about bugs is once you spot one, you start to think they are somehow multiplying all over your body. The imagination can do play some funny games! In order to remove the tick, my husband burned the area was the tick had bit me--yes, I said burn, as in full-on "light a match and burn my leg" to try to get the tick to naturally withdraw itself. After 3 times of unsuccessfully removing the tick"naturally" and burning his own shorts, my husband opted for using tweezers. How can one little tick be SO strong and do so much damage to two adults?!?

After being called "a big baby" (let's see how many times you can be lit with a match and not move!), I started to wonder why are we so resistant to God removing, even the little things, from our lives. Do we not trust that He sees the greater picture? Trust that He knows what damage can be done from those little things that embed and dig deep roots in our lives? I would hope from this small tangible reminder in my life that I would be open to letting God remove the "ticks" that I can't see.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Overhaul Training

Ok, so I went for my first official run at the military base this weekend. It's hard to change your habits after a long period of time and I need to be patient, knowing I won't see any immediate effects. I think becoming a dog owner will truly help me start to make some long-term changes though. Now, I don't have any lofty goals of doing Strongman training or anything like the photo, but I had to laugh when I was pulling away from the track and I saw a guy pulling his family in their car, just like the photo. So who knows, I may have some inspiration!
I guess for me, this season has been a lot more of the internal training and less of the external. The thing is, regardless of what type of training it is, it's still difficult and takes patience and discipline. I guess that's why everyone says "You have to experience it for yourself" because the truth is, no one can TELL you how hard it truly is to die to yourself. The more I really learn what that means, to truly let go of my pride and stubbornness, the more I will start to see results. I hope that I start to care more about my character than my I'm slowly training both!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Taxing Transition

It's that time of year season, and every year is the same, filled with dread and surprise at the quick arrival. I have yet to meet someone who looks forward to this time. Sure, we all like if there is a return on the other end, but it's the process we don't enjoy. Of course, we have our trusted accountants and easy-to-use software programs now to make life simpler but it still doesn't change the fact that we have to do them every year. I'm finding it's the same thing with transition. You can't avoid it, you can't have someone else experience it for you--you have to go through it.

I thought transition would be easier than taxes. I guess my point is that as I walk through this season, I realize that I have unrealistic that I'm entitled to a certain way of life or experience when in fact, no one ever told me that. So here I am wrestling through the reality that just like tax season, I need to sit down and reflect on last year--how I spent it, what I did with my time and resources--and see if there is a worthwhile return for what I did. Yet, I'm hoping that this time that I'm in now is one that I can learn to be fully in versus wait until next year to learn from it.