Myself, Writing


failureSo had my first nightmare in a long time. It was surreal as it started in the middle. I am sure I was dreaming of something else, but I see a guy passing by, and for some reason. I call him a pussy. He keeps walking, but I know he is going to come back, and sure enough he does. I am on some stairs, and he begins walking up, and I begin blubbering that I was kidding, and didn’t mean to say what I did but like in dreams, suddenly there are 3 more people, and one grabs my hand, trying to force my wedding ring off while another grabs my watch, and then third has a razor blade. The old school kind that my father used to use when he shaved. And I start mumbling that I really didn’t mean it, but the razor keeps coming towards my right eye. The only one with a contact, and I don’t want to be blind. I don’t want to be squinting out of left eye which sees mostly blurs lately. I knew instinctively that they wanted the good eye, and as I woke up, there was an immediate fading idea that if only I had a gun to equalize the unfairness of the situation (there goes my liberal card).

The weird part is that I didn’t know any of the men well except for the first guy who suspiciously looked like the Reading Rainbow Gentleman Levar Burton (chucking anti-racist card as we speak).  Yes, I did try to figure out the dream, and I am pretty sure the entire dream was an allegory of my recent in ability to read, write or do anything workout related the past few weeks. Each day, I have this vague goal of writing and running, and while some days I am successful in writing for 20 minutes and exercising for 15, I know that’s not going to get it done if I want to be published or be in any sort of shape for the Spartan Beast which is fast approaching in September.

But, and this is a big but, I know I am doing something which is still infinitely better than the nothing I was doing before. So thanks to the Zen Habits, I practice self-compassion. I am giving myself a break even if they give me nightmares.


Awake But Sleeping And Still Dreaming

This month’s Zen Habit of waking early has so far been a disaster. I am actually waking up LATER than my normal time, and it hit me that I am putting too much pressure on myself to wake up because I want to exercise, meditate, write, read, lean spanish and do Lumosity and then get to work and then at night do something cool with my wife as well as perhaps cook a nice meal. So the first two days of the past weeks, I was able to do most of the tasks, but then life happened and then next thing I knew work became crazy, and then I volunteered to submit a story. I kept adding when in reality I should have been subtracting. I felt overwhelmed for the past few days until Fathers Day and my niece’s graduation from UCLA made me realize that sometimes watching that little girl who grew up into front of you turn into an adult has more meaning than any other habit.  The structure is really just that, a framework, but it’s not the backbone. And so I let go of the anxiety, let go of the worry for the things I wanted to get done, and just was.

I struggle everyday with not getting caught up in the structure of my day, but what it actually contains. Each day, I look forward to holding my wife and just being, yet my OCD-like tendency to get everything done makes that difficult a lot of the times.  I have to remind myself that the habits are to help me realize my dreams, but they are not my dreams. Ultimately, I am reaching for the same thing all of us are which is happiness. And then I have to remind myself once again that it is not a destination but a journey. Watching my wife sleep, my niece graduate and hugging my dad Happy Fathers day meant just being.

And you know what, that was more than good enough. I was awake and present.


Scheduling My Life

So I have noticed a slipping away from the weekly postings that I had committed to myself on this blog. There’s a lot lately I have been slacking on, and frankly in some it’s a good thing, and in others, it has made life more difficult than it needs to be.  As much as I say that I don’t like bringing up my surgery, I now accept that it was a HUGE wake up call from me. I had become complacent in several key areas. I thought it OK to skip exercising or writing or even reading. I also struggled with waking up early and kept telling myself it alright to sleep in on the weekends, but deep inside I knew I was betraying myself.

The tough part of taking on a healthier lifestyle in any aspect of your life is that it doesn’t take vacations, it doesn’t care that you are tired or unmotivated.  It just resides in your mind nagging you, telling you what you could be. It’s tough to turn off that negative talk, except that it’s not negative. I gave strength to my dreams and aspirations. I gave power to the words that had collecting dust inside my soul. I began building muscles that had gotten so used to not being used that they had atrophied.

Change is hard, and it’s constant, and there are days I have failed. Yet, instead of berating myself, I chalk it up to as a lost opportunity as well as a lesson learned. I also noticed that it’s easier to start back up. I see now that some days I want to skip ahead to the part where I am a published writer, a marathoner. a peaceful husband as well as happy NOW. Yet all of these guys happen step by step, and are not destinations. They are journeys.

So like in Rocky 5 when Rocky goes down and then Mickey comes to him in his haze, and says “Get up, get up. Micky loves ya you son of a bitch” and then Rocky rises again. So I take the knocks, but I get back up.  That is my only option.