Monthly Archives: January 2010

TiLT: We’re All in the Dance

Since it’s the first time I’ve written one since I moved to wordpress, I’m going to yap really quickly about what TiLT is. TiLT stands for Things I Love Thursday, and it’s an idea created by the illustrious Gala Darling, spawned by a list she put one day on her site of all the things that made her happy/grateful. The idea is that every week on Thursday, she (and anyone else who wants to) writes a list of things that made their week. I think it’s a great idea and an awesome way to keep positive and appreciative, so I’m trying to implement it as much as I can…which means posting it here.

The things I’m loving on Thursday are…

♥ My schedule. I have an excellant schedule this semester…less classes, more time in between them, and pretty much perfection.

♥ New music. So I’ve rediscovered the livejournal of a girl who makes really great mixes, and I’m constantly listening to a lot of the songs she picked. Love!

“So army men, lift up your feet. We cannot settle for a quick defeat. Oh, don’t dare cry. So lose some battles but win all the war ’cause tears are selfish but you aren’t anymore. Oh, don’t dare cry.” -Charlotte Sometimes, Army Men

♥ Chair dancing. No, not the Flirty Girl Aerobics version. You know when you’re listening to music and sitting at your desk, and the time feels really inopportune for getting up to dance, but the music is really good? So you start tapping your feet…nodding your head…bouncing up and down a little…and then you find yourself headbanging toward your computer screen. You, my friend, are chair dancing. Isn’t it great?

My dorm room. I think leaving for a while and then seeing it again gave me a renewed sense of how happy I am with it. Now, if I learn to keep the floors cleaner, I’ll be even happier.

Peach Nectar. So there’s this drink at the coffee shop in our library that is slowly becoming an addiction. It has fruit juice, strawberries, bananas, peaches, pineapples…yum. I’ve tasted it at varying degrees of deliciousity, but it’s been especially good lately.

♥ Having a really good brunch in D-Hall. I’ll be the first to admit, cafeteria dining is not a high point of college. However, when I had brunch here on Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised by bacon, biscuits, gravy, grits, Parmesan chicken (!), blueberry muffins, and so on. We can has more good f00ds pls??

♥ Hot pink silky sheets. Okay, so these are on my bed at home, not in my dorm room, but they still make me feel happy. Maybe a bit too super!feminine, but happy. I couldn’t say why.

♥ Having a theme on my computer again. Sugary goodness!

♥ The weather. It’s been so much warmer lately, and that’s really, really good for me when I’m going to work in the mornings.

♥ Jokes about “having drinks and getting inked”.

♥ Feeling inspired.

♥ The thought of Ani DiFranco being so close to me. Okay, that sounds a little creepy, but she’s doing a concert in Chattanooga in March! Ani is at the top of my musical pedestal, and I’m bound and determined to see her live one day.

♥ Seeing one of my best friends and his sweet little puppy. Time with my Caleb is fantastic, even if we’re just chilling on the couch together. And, okay, his puppy isn’t really a puppy…he’s a year or more old. But he’s adorable!

♥ Wearing hats and scarves. If there’s a reason to love cold weather, it’s this.

♥ Having Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings off from work. Admittedly, it’s been this way since the school year started…but I’m really feeling the love today.

♥ Did I mention music? If so, I’ll mention it again.

“Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face? Do you realize that we’re floating in space? Do you realize that happiness makes you cry? Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die? And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast; it’s hard to make the good things last. You realize the sun doesn’t go down–it’s just an illusion ’caused by the world spinning ’round.” -The Flaming Lips, Do You Realize?

♥ Doing TiLT.

♥ The Buried Life being on MTV. I discovered the website for The Buried Life a while back, and I cannot wait to see more of it put on television.

That’s it for me. What things are you loving this Thursday?

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Lamed Vovniks (and Others Who Save The World)

from here

The other day, I finally finished reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Though I could write a book recommendation (and I do recommend it!), I’m skipping that today in favor of talking about a concept in mystical Judaism I was introduced to through the story: the idea of lamed vovniks, 36 people who carry the fate of the world on their shoulders.

“God tells us that He will allow the world to continue as long as at any given time there is a minimum of thirty-six good people in the human race. People who are capable of responding to the suffering that is part of the human condition. These thirty-six are are called the Lamed-Vov. If at any time, there are fewer than thirty-six such people alive, the world will come to an end.” -Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessing

Basically, no one knows who these people are. In some variations of the story, even a lamed vovnik does not realize who he is. They are compassionate for the sake of being compassionate, so they would not recognize themselves as special. Because the lamed vovniks don’t know who they are, nor does anyone else, it is important to always act as though one were a lamed vovnik and to treat others as if they might be. It is also possible that one of the lamed vovniks born in a generation could turn out to be the Messiah (and if you believe Jesus is the Messiah, it could also work in retrospect–that he was a lamed vovnik of his times).

There are a lot of other interesting points, such as the pain that lamed vovniks might feel at human suffering. Going by Schwarz-Bart’s Le denier des Justes, it seems to me that they would be very empathic; he even goes so far as to refer to them as “vessels for human suffering”.

“For the Lamed-Vov are the hearts of the world multiplied, and into them, as into one receptacle, pour all our griefs. … When an unknown Just rises to Heaven, a Hasidic story goes, he is so frozen that God must warm him for a thousand years between His fingers before his soul can open itself to Paradise.” -Schwarz-Bart, Le denier des Justes (The Last of the Justs)

I’ve also been thinking that it says a lot about God…that if He needs only 36 people in this big, wide world to be good enough for the rest of us to go on existing, it is obvious that He cares about us not only because we are human, but individually. Who we are, each and every one of us, matters and is integral for this life to work. People often hang back from doing the things they want to do because they feel like it’s too big for them, or that it’s just not enough. They think they’re useless because, well, what can they do? One person can’t change the world.

And it’s true. One person can’t change the world by working alone. But one person can set off a change of events that will change the world. After all, if only 36 people are needed for God to decide our planet is still doing well enough to exist, then think of what one person could do for mankind.

Final thought for today is this:

Do you have lamed vovniks in your life, people who keep everything from collapsing regardless of whether you recognize their efforts or not? Do you think they realize who they are? Are they friends, family, strangers? Can you name any of them?

I’ll post my answers in a comment. It would make my day if you could do the same! (:

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My 2010 New Year’s Resolutions

Last year, I came up with four resolutions: I will have a year of Big, Fun, Scary Adventures (thanks goes to the NaNoWriMo forum for this), I will be more myself, I will get healthier, and I will stop wasting so much of my time worrying about silly things. I think I accomplished some of the first one and the second, though I could have accomplished more. I touched on the third and failed epically at the fourth most of the time. This year, I’m going to try to be more specific about the things I want to accomplish so that I can evaluate my progress at the end of the year.

from here

In 2010, I Will…

1. Get Healthier

I know I poked fun at all those people who go on temporary only-mayo-and-lettuce diets at the beginning of a New Year, but don’t call me a hypocrite yet; I’m still not up for that. I am, however, up for becoming more healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Part One: Skin Care Regime

Here’s a secret: my complexion doesn’t always suck. Yes! It’s hard to believe, right? But using facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer on a regular basis usually keeps me looking…well, not like a porcelain skinned wondergirl, but also not like mountain range has been slapped onto my face. So I want to try to get into a morning routine with that via the Habit 21 project. According to the community on livejournal, some research suggests it takes around 21 days of repeated activity to make or break a habit. If you can do something (or not) for 21 days, you can probably keep it going. I started today in trying out this method for a view of my resolutions. If it works, I’ll blog about it around January 22nd.

Part Two: Slacking on Soda

College brought two new developments in my life, one good and one not so good. The good thing is that in my dorm room, while I do try to keep juice or lemonade and milk on hand, 99% of the time, I’m drinking bottled water. This isn’t really surprising, since water has always been my drink of choice. The bad thing is that when I’m eating in D-Hall or staying at home, water is for bathing and not much else. I have consumed more soda at home in the past few weeks than I drank through most of July and August. So, as of yesterday, I’m on a 21-day soda detox. I haven’t decided how I want to go about drinking it after the detox period, assuming I drink it at all, but I will be cutting down.

Part Three: Spiritual Journal

To me, spiritual well-being is a part of overall health. I started a journal for it last semester, but I haven’t kept up with it very well. I’m going to try to be better about that and mostly just attempt to get my thoughts going in general, whether it’s through this blog or talking to other people. I’m also going to look for online sermons and maybe set a regular “church-going” time for myself each week.

2. Get More Organized

In my writing, I am very character-focused, so it stands to reason that I like details. Forget not seeing the forest for the trees; I prefer to look at the leaf. In life, though, I can get caught up in the big sweep of plans. It scares me half to death to think of all I have to do to get the career I eventually want, and when I ponder that for too long, I’m too paralyzed to even imagine next semester. I’m also a cluttered person, which amounts to losing important papers that I need and never seeing things like, oh, say, the top of my desk. In 2010, this really, really needs to stop.

Part One: Chop It Up

My biggest issue with any project I undertake is thinking in long term. It’s good to be able to envision how something will affect me in the future. It’s bad to avoid doing anything until the last minute because I’m too focused on the enormity of the project. This year, I’m going to work on breaking things into parts and working on one part at a time, so that instead of thinking about the dissertation I’ll eventually have to do in graduate school, I can sit down and finish a worksheet for an introductory psych class.

Part Two: Stop Procrastinating

Problem? I need to clean my room. My whole room. The room I’ve lived in since elementary school that still has clothes in the drawers from that time. I need to put things away and organize and vacuum and wipe everything down and change my sheets and oh, wow, I’m thirsty…maybe I’ll just get a drink and then read for a couple of minutes and…

Solution? Shut up, make a checklist, and get to work.

3. Be(come) More Myself

I did it last year, and I want to do it again this year. I’m always hiding parts of myself from various people in my life, but college has brought a lot of freedom I haven’t had before. It’s no good knowing who I am if I can never show that person to anyone else.

Part One: Go Out

I am terrible, terrible, terrible about meeting people and doing things. Fortunately, working with children doesn’t give you the opportunity to be stoic. I’m going to work on being as friendly with my “grown-up friends” as I can be with the kids. I’m also going to start saying “yes!” way more often when someone asks me to go somewhere or do something with them. Why not? If it’s boring or I don’t like it, I’ll never have to do it again.

Part Two: School Clubs/Organizations

At the beginning of the school year, I joined a few clubs that I was very happy with, went to meetings, met some people who looked interested, had a good discussion or so…and then slowly dropped away from it all in favor of being a creature of solitude. Time to get back into that.

Part Three: Check Off More of My 101 List

There are things on that list I really want to do. There are things on that list that have a lot to do with becoming the person I want to be. I don’t have all that long to get them done in 2011, so I need to knock off as many as I can in 2010. I also need to finish writing the list this year.

4. Focus

It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t care about me; I have plenty of people who love me. It doesn’t matter if someone breaks plans or promises; I can make new plans. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like a particular class; I have my Psych degree to look forward to, and I need to get everything that’s in the way of that over with as soon as possible, so that means doing the work and doing it well. It doesn’t matter what someone thinks of me if they don’t know me unless I’m applying for a job or a school. It’s not a big deal if the machine in D-Hall gives me pink-tinted water instead of lemonade. It’s time to focus on what really matters in my life.

I’m not sure, but perhaps this was from PostSecret?

Ready..set…go!

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