Sometimes stairs appear along the way. You can't really tell where they will lead you. You feel compelled to take them. And you do. One by one, you climb the stairs until you reach the top. What you find there is usually not what you imagined, but still changes your life forever. If you continue on, you may never look back. Or perhaps you will chose to go back down the stairs. No matter, though. Either way, your life will never be the change. With each step, you find you are not the same person any more. And no matter how you try, you cannot undo what you experienced there. Even if you never climb the stairs at all.
I read an article a while back about how the use of social media has made us, well, less social. Instead of making us more connected, it has caused us to be more isolated. I wish I could remember the source, but I cannot right now. But no matter, the observation has stayed with me.
As we move into an era where the President of the United States may be communicating directly with us and the world via Twitter, 164 characters at a time, it does give one pause. Just the idea of tweeting out policy rather than the old fashioned way in the Oval Office before a throng of reporters and pundants is rather disturbing. "No questions please, I'll let you know Tuesday or Wednesday." lt will take some getting used to.
I am not sure I am ready for tweets and posts to be the main mode of communication I guess. Don't get me wrong. I am a Facebook junkie. I am constantly checking in to see what's going on the world and with my friends on Facebook. I personally like to keep it light, post funny memes or places I'm visiting or even foods that I think are tasty or prepared myself. Since Ching and Miguelito aren't great conversationalists, I find it comforting, even affirming, to post to my wall and get "likes" and "comments" or even "emojis."
I have considered a more disciplined approach to Facebook. You know, scheduling one or two times a day when I "check-in". This might require deleting the app from my smart phone as I am constantly checking to see what's new. Perhaps I need to unplug more. And yet, I don't think it interferes with my activities of daily living. I still get things done and socialize when I feel the need.
Yet why to I feel the pangs of withdrawal if I leave my phone home or the battery dies? And what if the new President tweets something that requires us seeking immediate shelter? I don't know. I guess I'll "carry on and stay calm." Social media seems to be here to stay. Social or not, we have entered a brave new world and we must adapt or be left behind.
I hate to admit it, but I think I still believe in magic. Why else would I think that the hanging of a new calendar to mark the beginning of a new year will magically change everything? But I do. Every year. I think it is as if we are given a blank slate to start over a new life chance, you know. Just shuck the old habits and foibles and be the me I always wanted to be. Hmph.
It all boils down to those pesky expectations. They always rise up like a stain in the rug you think you erased with Miracle Magic Rug Renewing Foaming Cleanser (made up). It comes back. And then you think maybe its time to rip up the rug and put down tile. Change things up. You know, defy expectations.
I guess I'm saying it is January 2nd. What the heck hasn't my life changed? LOL.
It is another one of those Life Lessons I have to learn over and over again. Expectations. They just aren't helpful most of the time. They set things up for disappointment, or worse, failure. Give them up. Yep, I do remember learning this lesson. And here I am, once again, learning it again. Two days into 2017. It's not too late. (I crack myself up).
Let me know if you have a lock on how to give up expectations...permanently. I expect to hear from you. What'd you expect?
I recently saw a cartoon showing a funny looking woman standing on her left foot. The caption said, "The best way to start the new year on the right foot is to be standing on your left foot at midnight." Can't argue with that!
When I was growing up I think it was my grandmother who always said just before New Year's, "Whatever you are doing on New Year's Day, or even just at the beginning of the year, is what you will be doing the rest of the year." That never seemed quite right, but even now, I try to start the New Year by doing something I enjoy doing, just in case. I also remember she told my mom to not wear the new underwear and socks we got for Christmas until January 1. Something about starting fresh and with a clean slate.
In any case, I do tend to feel a little superstitous the first day of every year. So I set my intentions for the new year by doing something I really would like to do regularly for during the coming year. One of them is writing this blog, which, of course, I am doing. Another is working on images, capturing them with my camera, and processing them until they are subtly enhanced (if need by). I did that to.
One thing I did today was to set my intention into action by taking a hike at the Citrus Heritage Park here in Riverside. The park advertised a hike for the first day of the year. Perfect! I had been to the park for a couple events, but I had never actually walked the trails of the park. So I gathered up Miguelito and Ching Ching and off we went. I am so glad I did.
It was a glorious Riverside morning, cool, crisp, fresh from the rains of the past few days. The sky was a brilliant blue, the citrus trees and palms the most verdant green. The park rangers and docents were friendly and the other hikers were enthused and polite. It was a great way to begin the year with some exercise, fresh, fresh air, and going doing something I hadn't done before.
Funny thing, I almost talked myself our of going. I have been doing that a lot lately; talking myself our of doing things. It just seems easier to stay home. Afterall, there is laundry to be done, etc. And who wants to be around people any way? This time I didn't listen to that voice. I listened to the quieter one. And the dogs were glad I did. You should have seen how excited they were to go. And even I felt the stirrings of enthusiasm. It was grand.
So the year begins, with intention for a happy intentional new year.