Living in a moment of irony

Last Thursday afternoon was jam-packed – appointments back-to-back, barely time to eat dinner, and an evening class that was tough to make on time. I parked my car in the garage with a finely-tuned plan to walk the dog, meditate, eat something, and be out the door for my meditation class by 5:30 PM.

As my dog and I rounded the corner coming home, I noticed an injured sparrow on the road. I took my dog home and returned with some gloves and a box. The poor little bird rolled over when I tried to pick her up. She was trembling but clearly could not fly. My guess was a broken wing and, clearly, the sparrow needed prompt medical attention. By now it was 4:30 PM, the wildlife rehab facility was closing, and the nearest vet drop off was going to take me at least an hour.

Did I feel like a good Samaritan, happy to save (I hoped) the little bird’s life? Nope. I was annoyed that this non-planned vet trip meant I woudn’t have time to meditate and, to make matters worse, would be late for my meditation class.

And then the irony hit me. Part of my motivation for meditating is to become a more present, accepting and loving person – to do my part in making this a kinder and more loving world. Would Jesus, Buddha or the Dalai Lama choose meditation over saving a bird? Of course not! In this case, I was better to take immediate action to reduce suffering, even if it messed up my schedule. (PS: The sparrow was still alive when I reached the vet and was to be sent to wildlife rehab on Friday.)

Today, write about a time when you saw a moment of irony in your life. What was the event? Did recognizing the irony cause a behavior change?

Write about the clutter in your life

One of the best things about living in Arizona was that our house didn’t have a basement. That meant that we only had our garage for storage, which somewhat limited the amount of stuff that our family could amass. However when we moved to Long Island in 2007, we gained a full basement and no reason to clear out extra belongings. This is why we’ve held on to three portable microwaves and my kids’ bowling balls, among hundreds of other items that we will never use again.

Now that my son is home from college, we need additional storage for all of his possessions, which are currently being stored in our garage. This is the situation that motivated an all-hands-on-deck basement cleanout on Sunday.

Four people who spent four agonizing hours of sorting, purging and repacking.

I did well. I got boxed up the last of my homeschooling materials for donation to the local library. (My daughter got her GED four years ago and my son just graduated with his MBA, so it was time to put that period of life behind us.) We also got together a nice donation for a charity, including two of the three microwaves mentioned above. Unfortunately my son and husband didn’t make nearly as much headway, so we’re doing a second cleanup this weekend.

Today, write about clutter in your life. Is there something that you’ve recently let go of? How did it feel? Or is there an area of your living space that you need to clean out? What is holding you back?

Country line dancing keeps you young

This week, at the invitation of a friend, I took my first Country Line Dancing class. The first thing I learned is that I should have taken a beginner class, as I didn’t know any of the steps! I also learned that Country Line Dancing is hard! However the music is uplifting and the people were nice, plus it is great exercise. I’m definitely going to continue with the lessons.

One of my motivations was a recent study that showed that line dancing is great for the brain. In fact, it reduces the chance of dementia by 76 percent. This is attributed to the brain power needed to learn the steps, the exercise component, and the social community.

Today, write about something you do to stay young. It could be physical, emotional or spiritual. What do you do and what are the benefits?

The Value of an Expert

We’ve now been in our home for ten years and I still have a list of projects that we vowed would be fixed right after we moved in. Spoiler alert – they are still not done! My husband doesn’t love home improvement projects and – because I work from home – the problems bother me a lot more than him. Finally I found a contractor and, over the next five days, the issues are being addressed. Every. Single. One.

Best of all, the contractor is easy going and happy for the work. He arrived with a big smile and made more progress in 25 minutes than we’ve made in ten years. Such is the power of hiring an expert, even when you’re capable of doing something yourself.

Today, write about a time when you hired an expert. What did you have them do? How long had you been avoiding the project and how long did it take them to complete the job? Was it a good investment?