Thursday, October 10, 2013

Noticing Irony

I noticed I fooled around tonight until nearly midnight and didn't get my blog post written.

I ran an errand this evening and noticed something. I intended to get a picture on my way home but it was dusky dark and my phone probably would not have captured the scene very well.

But, imagine, if you will, an empty and faded yellow school bus on the side of a busy road, obviously broken down and waiting for a tow ride into the shop.

Now imagine the name of the company that is posted on the side of the broken down, empty, faded yellow school bus:

Dependable Student Transportation

Do you notice the irony? 

Bless Pat (an expression in my family, I do not know who "Pat" actually is), isn't it the truth that not everyone or everything that announces itself as "dependable" is actually dependable? Yeah, I've noticed that, too! 

But still, grateful for those around me who are dependable!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Noticing My Path

This evening I skipped working out at the gym and went to walk the labyrinth at one of the local churches. This is always a quieting experience for me. There was a slight problem with a woman who entered the labyrinth not long after I did and stayed on my rear much of the time. That's okay, my passive-aggressive self consciously slowed me down so I could breathe and since she didn't seem to think she could pass me, it slowed her down too.

As I was walking along, I noticed it was hard to tell who was behind me on the path and who was in front of me on the path (except for my "shadow" that stayed close behind me most of the time). And it really isn't important who is behind me or who is ahead of me. We all have our own pace on the path, and the we all eventually end up in the center, and then back out again. This spoke to me because I have the bad habit of comparing myself to others. And the majority of the time, I compare myself to others who I consider smarter or more spiritually astute or prettier or more together than my own self. That's not really a good thing to do. We each have our own journey. There is no comparison. We are only up against our selves on the path.

Ha! Maybe my "shadow" wanted to be me and that was why she was following so closely!

Then I came home and walked two miles. The night was slightly cool and I noticed how clear the sky was, and how bright the moon and stars were. I came home renewed.

And now must get to reading the second chapter of "The Artist's Rule."

Monday, October 07, 2013

Noticing Grumpiness

I've noticed habits are hard to break.

I've noticed there is a nip in the air that feels like fall.

I've noticed it irritates me for someone to interrupt me or butt in when I am on the phone and they are only hearing half of the conversation.

I've noticed, about every other time, my killer body sculpting class annoys me because I can't do it as well as I think I should.

I've noticed I've got a lot on my mind, I am discouraged, and I feel heavy.

I've noticed some of these complaints things I've noticed are based on feelings. I've learned that feelings are temporary.

I notice I am a lot better off than this poor guy (who I noticed on my Saturday walk in the country).

And now I notice I am a bit grumpy. Actually, I didn't just now notice it. I've noticed it all day long! I'm going to take a shower and put myself to bed at a decent hour tonight. For a change. Maybe tomorrow I will wake up in a better frame of mind.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Noticing Doodle Bugs and Mushrooms

I know, I missed Friday and Saturday. I was away from the internet, with my only connection being on my phone. I could have blogged but I didn't.

That does not mean I was not noticing things. I posted a video of a "doodlebug" at work on Facebook but I can't seem to save it to my computer to post here. The little bug swirled around in the sand like an ant. I could see sand being kicked up but never saw the bug that was doing all the kicking. Then I saw a small ant-like creature crawl into the hole and he kept sinking down and clawing his way back up but the unseen doodle bug finally pulled him under the sand.

I notice I am annoyed that I can't figure out how to post the video to my blog. It is an iPhone video and does not play well with Windows. Here is some information on them. I suppose they are officially known as Antlions.

I also noticed several different kinds of mushrooms this weekend. Here is a photo of one of the larger ones.

We were in our place in the country. The weather is starting to get a little cooler and it was very nice.

More later. 

(Perhaps this link will allow you to see the video. I am not sure it will work but it's worth a try.)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Noticing Determination


"All he ever wanted was to be outstanding in his field."

I've noticed some days require more determination than other days 
in order to stay on track and get things done.

I've hit a bit of a plateau with the weight loss. I haven't lost anything in a couple of weeks. When this happens, it is hard to keep on doing what you are doing. But I'm still exercising and watching what I eat. 


I've noticed it's what I need at this moment.

I just remembered, while reviewing my day, this photo I'd taken of something I noticed today at work.

In light of my plateau, I probably should have bypassed the elevator and walked the stairs (four flights), but if I had, I would not have noticed this teeny tiny humorous note. It's good to know the button has been ordered. While going up, I pondered what people who needed to be on the third floor might do...


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Noticing A Need for Grace, From Me, For Myself

Well now. Today I had a problem. I kept thinking of what I was noticing. And then I started thinking that it would be like yesterday and the "moment" would present itself to me.

But nothing really presented itself to me!

I did notice I was carrying an annoyed spirit around with me. My annoyed spirit was "riled up" when I had trouble doing some of the poses in yoga at lunchtime, when I kept losing my balance during the standing thigh stretch. I was supposed to watch my inner talk when I fell out of the pose, and not be critical. I was supposed to say, "I fell, let me begin again." I was supposed to extend myself some grace in this "failure". Fortunately my inability to hold the pose for very long did not trigger my inner critic. She is very harsh. Still, I was not altogether happy about having to "begin again!"

This afternoon, a friend was talking about the idea of extending grace to myself (the same grace I extend to others), and the sassy little girl inside me said to me, "No! You're supposed to live in such a way that you don't ever need grace."

The adult inside me said the sassy little girl needed a spanking, not grace. My friend said that even the little girl needs grace.

Extending grace to myself is apparently going to be one of my life-long tasks. 

So today I noticed a new mantra for myself. Simply spoken, it is "I fell, let me begin again." Or, possibly, I failed, let me begin again."

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Noticing Suffering

Today I noticed a discomfort I could not hold for very long and I backed away.
I was helping proctor an exam. In that room was the aunt of a 13 month old infant who was thrown across the room by the 24 YO boyfriend of the baby's mother, "out of frustration." The baby suffered a skull fracture and the boyfriend just put the baby back in the crib, telling no one what had he had done. The baby died yesterday after being taken off of life support. 
I thought about this as I walked around the room watching for signs of cheating. Following Buddhist tradition, I began the practice of breathing in the grief I imagine that family was suffering around the loss of this precious life. I thought about all the hopes and dreams the mother must have had for her child and how none of that will happen now. I thought of the ache in that mother's heart, the emptiness that she will carry. The second part of this exercise is to breath out whatever you think this mother and her family might need (for me this becomes a form of prayer). Comfort and peace were two of the things I thought of. There are so very few words you can say to someone in a situation like this. But my imagination of their suffering was too vivid and my eyes welled up with tears and I had to back away from my thoughts. I could not hold that pain. 
Lately I've noticed there is much suffering in the world. 
Another thing I've noticed today is that one doesn't always get to choose what one notices.