Sunday, February 26, 2012

24 brand new hours


It will come as no surprise to those who know me well that I can be rather hard on myself. I tend to feel that I should already know how to do something, even if it's the first time. Sometimes I fuck up in some major (to me) way, but mostly I beat myself up over small things. Not enough of this, too much of that.

But the thing that keeps it all in perspective for me at the end of the day is knowing that tomorrow I begin again, with 24 brand new hours. There is so much freedom in the realization that the choices I made today don't have to be the choices I make tomorrow.

I should mention that this idea is not my own, but was introduced to me by the Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, and I wrote about it two years ago in this post.

A lot has been happening here since the last time I posted, and much of it deserves posts of their own. I'll give you some highlights and a teaser that there's some great stuff coming this summer. Can't quite blog about it yet, but soon!

It's been a year now since I started teaching after school art in my home. It's been an amazing experience. I regularly post photos of the beautiful (truly) work these kids do. Please take a moment and visit the photo gallery.

Last fall I found myself bored one afternoon (I don't handle boredom well), so I started looking online for volunteer opportunities. Within about a week I found myself as Site Coordinator for Sabin Elementary's SMART program. SMART is an amazing literacy program in many schools throughout Oregon and I work with about 30 children and 30 adult volunteers twice a week. Guess what? I'm not bored anymore!

I've started studying French again, with a vengeance. This is actually what prompted today's post about 24 brand new hours. I've been studying French off and on since I was 15 years old, and I haven't improved much. But I recently had a paradigm shift, which has changed everything. First of all, I realized that either I was in this for the long haul, or there was just no point in trying. I kept thinking that I could cram in a bunch of French for a few months and then be good at it. Or worse, that I should already be good at it. Now I finally realize that it's a lifelong undertaking. Realizing that has changed the way I'm approaching learning and, as a result, I've had lots of breakthroughs in the past few weeks. (Maybe I'll post some resources at some point. There's a lot of great ones out there).

I have a new favorite song. Ok, not a revelation, but it's replaced the song that was my favorite for about the past 15 years. I just love the way their voices sound together.

There's more to come.


LeisureGuy said...

For another and intriguing approach to this problem, I highly recommend Mindset, by Carol Dweck. Doubtless in the library and quite interesting.

Femme Francophile said...

Congratulations on your determination with your French. I too have found it is something that I need to constantly work at. Bon courage!