My very first skydive.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Very Bold Move

Today I did something very bold and mental carb-ish.

I canceled my Netflix subscription.

Wait, you're not impressed? Okay, let me explain.

When I finally moved off campus last summer I had to cut costs and one of the first things to go was cable. I like TV and goodness knows I'll watch it if it's there-it was free on campus but I couldn't justify $60-$100 a month for Comcast or Direct TV for the few hours I might squeeze in each week in between work, grad school and the small slice of a personal life I try to maintain. My concession was my Netflix subscription. I have a Wii so I can stream movies and old TV shows through it-and it was enough. (Well, mostly enough-I still miss my guilty pleasure of NCIS, but in the scheme of things, it was ok.)

Then we had this long, cold, snowy winter and I...ahem...becameabitofanaddict.

What? Oh, you didn't quite understand me. Let me try again.


Ok, fine.

I said- I. became. a. bit. of. an. addict. (You should know my head is hung,slightly, in shame and I am not making any eye contact as I type this.)

It's true-it was awful! I watched so much junk. I OD'd on Glee, Veronica Mars, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Battlestar Gallactica, Ken Burns' Civil War and Baseball and a lot of PBS' Masterpiece Theater. (Downton Abbey and Sherlock were actually quite excellent. You should check them out. Really good acting and good storylines...c'mon just try it. What-are you scared of little PBS? Everyone is doing it...oh wait, sorry about that-I'm only a couple of days into recovery.)

It started to become very apparent that TV had taken over my life, or at the very least, had become a huge obstacle to getting a lot of other important things done. Too much telly meant I didn't get enough exercise, I stopped being as creative, and I became more insular than I had before.

So I made the commitment to watch less and honestly, it was great. I tried Zumba for the first time, I started running again, and I spent more time with the people I love. In the end I discovered that with so many distractions in my life, perhaps Netflix is one I don't need-even a little bit. This feels like a bold choice, in part because I live in the sticks-I don't get cell phone service at my little farmhouse. I have internet but it isn't fast enough to allow me to watch movies or TV online. My DVD player died last year and I never replaced it. If it weren't for my beloved Mac I'd barely be living in the 21st century out here. Okay, that's a bit of a pretentious exaggeration. (My sister Jessica is saying out loud "A bit? I find it moderately ludicrous that you would whine about your Mac.")

And you might want to counter with the fact that I have a Wii, but the funny part is that my house is so old and small, I can't play most of my games without wreaking a bit of havoc.

Anyway, my point is-not a lot of ultra modern technology left here...but I'm finding it liberating. It was a cozy cocoon that served it's purpose for the long cold winter, and I just don't need it anymore.

Especially since this year I am actually learning to fly.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

You can't always get what you want...

Today I am reminded, once again, why attitude matters.

My dad used to share this little gem with me and my sisters. It's by Charles Swindoll.

My younger self often scoffed at it. Charles Swindoll is an evangelical minister which is already at odds with my personal philosophies and he is a white male so I tend to think it's easy to give attitude so much credit when you don't have a lot of barriers put in your way by society.

But my older self, the one who is not as much of a rebel as she used to be, who is sometimes too tired to pull out her soapbox-she has learned to appreciate the sentiment behind his words. "We cannot change the inevitable." It's just another way of saying "It is what it is" and I say that ALL the time.

Today I should be running the 20th Annual Covered Bridges Half Marathon but for the past five days I've been sick- fever, sore throat and complete and utter exhaustion.

It would have been a tough one as I didn't train well-but I could have finished it. It's a hard race to get into and this is the second year in a row I have had to bail at the last minute. So it is through gritted teeth and with a bit of sarcasm that I say, it is what it is.

But deep down I am pissed off. I'm not as flexible as I would like to be. Not this kind of flexible. The kind that allows to me to roll with the punches a little bit easier. I loathe not accomplishing that which I set my intention to do. In the past this has made me stubborn and way too loyal to only one outcome. Years ago I probably would have tried running anyway and then been sick for another three weeks.

Between the lack of jump-able weather (I have yet to make my A jump!), being sick and now not being able to run, I'm struggling to be nimble.

So to counter my rigid tendencies I'm working very hard at reminding myself how much attititude matters-it is my mental yoga. If I keep practicing, the pose is easier to maintain for longer periods of time.

Still, instead of Swindoll, I am much more likely to break out in song ala Sheryl Crow's beach-y, pop tune: "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you got."

Or better yet: The Stones. Because if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.

Time to happy-up and focus on what's next.