February 2013

Day 32 (Feb 1)

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I finally, finally have a couple of hours to myself today. All the activity and turbulence of the last 10 days has left me drained, and I welcome these few hours at home to catch my breath and reconnect with myself. Find out how I’m really doing. Home is where my feet are planted, and where I tap into the source of energy and peace and well-being.

Day 33 (Feb 2)

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I decide to reward myself today after a week of hard work and emotional intensity. My special treat is a chocolate cupcake–two, in fact. I eat both of them in one sitting (and don’t feel a lick of guilt), chewing slowly and savoring the delicious flavors. Yum-E!!!

Day 34 (Feb 3)

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It is a very long day at work. The tension and fatigue from adjusting to my new role is starting to catch up with me. I realize I need to take a break just to stop my thoughts from racing around, so I take a deep, soothing breath, and dive into my orange with Earth, Wind and Fire crooning “Boogie Wonderland” in the background. The music and the juices are like fuel to my spent soul!

Day 35 (Feb 4)

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Patience. Not only is it a virtue, it’s also a necessity in any effort towards growth. I see this with crystal clarity today as I stagger under this new mantle of “manager” at my job. I see that perfection is not the goal. Being ME is what matters, and being patient with myself as I learn and adjust is necessary and central to my growth.

Day 36 (Feb 5)

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There’s nothing like music to take you far away from the cares and concerns of this world. After coming within an inch of declining the invitation, I finally decide to attend a live music performance by a very talented young man. With all the weighty stuff I’ve been carrying around for the past ten days, his music lightens my burden and brings me one step closer to the equilibrium my soul needs.

Day 37 (Feb 6)

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For the first time in days it feels like the mental and emotional fatigue I’ve been living under is finally starting to clear. I can actually think more clearly and feel more cleanly–like seeing glimpses of blue sky peering through the clouds and fog. I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had this week to rest and recharge, restoring my sense of vision and direction.

Day 38 (Feb 7)

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Today I have several chances to do one of the things I love best: have engaging conversations with interesting people. And when I arrive home I have the best one yet–with my neighbor down the hall. For a brief moment of time our minds, hearts and spirits connect, right in the middle of a plain, stark hallway. It is a moment that inspires and uplifts me.

Day 39 (Feb 8)

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A ray of sunshine breaks briefly through the clouds today, bathing my surroundings in vibrant colors and hues. It catches my attention, and I have to get up from my desk and go outside to soak it in. A mirror image of this ray of light pierces my own heart, filling it with hope and optimism.

Day 40 (Feb 9)

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My alarm drags me out of sleep at 6am this morning, and I drag my tired body out of bed to get ready for work. I hate waking up early, but I love how early morning sunshine transforms everything in its path. Even an ugly concrete enclave turns into gold.

Day 41 (Feb 10)

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I have a full evening at home for the first time in more than a week, and I decide I will celebrate it with tea and romance. With my brain already saturated with other, heavier matters, I need to escape to the lighter, more entertaining world that a good romance novel provides me. So I sit, put my feet up and dive in!

Day 42 (Feb 11)

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Today starts out well enough, but by the end of the day I feel beat and beat down. Nothing out of the ordinary has occurred — I just find myself feeling overwhelmed by the littlest things as I make my way home. When I arrive home and sit in quiet for a while, I hear a voice telling me, “You’re not in this alone. When you stumble, when you make mistakes, when you struggle to find your way, you are never alone.”

Day 43 (Feb 12)

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Something about the brilliant sunshine today, combined with my melancholy mood, sets me to thinking about love. The romantic kind of love. It’s been a while since I’ve given it much thought — I’ve been too immersed in reinventing other aspects of my life. But as I read this paragraph in my novel today, it resonates deeply with me, capturing the essence of my thoughts and desires about love I want. I hope I’m lucky enough to find it.

Day 44 (Feb 13)

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It feels like the heat has been turned up in my life ever since I accepted my new position. I am being pushed and stretched and challenged in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. At the end of each day I feel an odd combination of worn out and eager: worn out because the transition process has been tricky and draining, and eager because I know I’m up to the challenge. I know I can meet these obstacles head on and emerge victorious. I feel this knowledge like a light shining in my spirit, infusing my weary mind and body with hope, vision and determination.

Day 45 (Feb 14)

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The first moment I have today to stop and take a deep breath. It’s 4:30pm, and I look out the window and see the late afternoon sunlight glistening on the leaves of the ivy, and casting a warm, golden glow over everything it touches. I hear the busy little birds tangling among the ivy leaves, and notice a squirrel on the porch, piercing me with his alert gaze. For this moment I step out of the sticky challenges inside the office, and into the warmth and vitality of life.

Day 46 (Feb 15)

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For the first time in 9 days, I get a full day off from work. My mind, body and spirit welcome this reprieve, the opportunity to be surrounded by quiet and peace. But the icing on this day is spending time with a good friend over a sushi dinner, and then topping off the night with this delectable tres leches cake. It is a day that feeds my mind, body and spirit.

Day 47 (Feb 16)

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I encounter a guest today who is furious that our rooms don’t have TVs. She is irate and wants me to know it — she keeps asking, “Who does that? I’ve never heard of any hotel or b&b not having TVs in the rooms!” I have enough presence of mind not to get drawn into her ire or try to fight back. I get in touch with my inner calm instead, and graciously and patiently walk through the steps with her to cancel her reservation. The encounter drains me, but I am happy that I am able to reflect calm and prevent her anger from consuming me and my space.

Day 48 (Feb 17)

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I have an epiphany as I sit here contemplating the state of my mind, body and spirit. A state that can only be described as tired. Drained. Fatigued. I realize that with the advent of this new position and new responsibilities, a new layer of my identity is being formed. Every cell in my body and brain is stretching and expanding to accommodate this newness, to prepare me to thrive, and this takes enormous amounts of energy. I tear up at the thought that my fatigue is actually a sign of resilience and strength.

Day 49 (Feb 18)

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I have another full day off from work, and I take advantage of it by remaining in my pajamas all day long. No urgency, no demands, no mental processing. Just me and my space.

Day 50 (Feb 19)

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These ominous clouds are billowing in the distance, and I take time out from my cooking and cleaning to marvel at them. They stir a strong sense of gratitude in me: for being safe and warm and protected from the elements in my home; for the fact that I’ve had two days of rest at home; for the tasks I’ve accomplished today–cooking, cleaning, laundry; and for the fact that I’m excited to go back to work tomorrow.

Day 51 (Feb 20)

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As I make my way home tonight, my heart lifts at the thought of going home. I think back to those times in my life when I didn’t have my own place, when I felt lost and homeless and adrift. I am so thankful now to have a home that I love, a place to lay my head, an anchor to ground me. Though small, humble and spare, my home is my refuge.

Day 52 (Feb 21)

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I am hungry as I head home tonight, and I’m tempted to pick up something to eat from one of the many fast food places along the way. But I choose to come straight home instead and prepare a healthy, very delicious meal for myself. I feel proud, full and at peace for having made that choice.

Day 53 (Feb 22)

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I make an effort to meditate on a daily basis, but some days I let myself get distracted away from the practice. I am glad today is NOT one of those days. As I run around today putting out fires and solving problems and taking care of people, with no time to take a break, I remember at various moments to stop and breathe, to stand in who I am and not who I think I should be. Meditation helps me to remember myself, to stay sane and focused and calm.

Day 54 (Feb 23)

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I rediscover the power and pleasure of music today. Even though I am at work, I turn the volume on the computer up loud and sing along (at a much lower volume), and do a little dance at my desk. I can be seen clearly through the window, but I don’t care. It has been far too long since I allowed music to generate a fun and lighthearted spirit in and around me.

Day 55 (Feb 24)

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The moon follows me home tonight. Walking to the metro station from work, its pale countenance smiles down on me in the still-light sky. It’s the first thing that catches my eye when I emerge from the metro station and walk to my apartment building. And a huge bright globe greets me from the nearly-dark sky just beyond my balcony when I get home. I feel blessed.

Day 56 (Feb 25)

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I am both starving and exhausted when I get home. I decide to throw caution and prudence to the wind and get some fast food. A burger and fries, to be exact. Then I sit back, put my feet up, turn on the TV and dive right into my fast food relaxation.

Day 57 (Feb 26)

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Today is a day off from work, but I spend the first hours of my morning checking and responding to emails. My body asserts itself, though, and reminds me that I need the rest. A mental break, if nothing else. So I close my email and spend the rest of the day lying around, watching TV, reading, and basically doing nothing. My brain is grateful for this break from all the extra processing it’s been experiencing of late.

Day 58 (Feb 27)

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It’s only February but today feels like a preview to spring. I wake up to the sound of a thousand birds chattering and chirping, and the sun glinting through my window. This guy here has perched himself atop the highest branch of the tree, and lures me out onto my balcony with his distinct, strident call. He makes me happy to be alive.

 

Day 59 (Feb 28)

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I’ve been manager-in-training for about five weeks now, but today I finally feel as if I’m starting to own it. I have a moment where I close my eyes and let the manager “suit” settle onto my shoulders, and it fits. I like it.

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