What have you done NOW?



Like you?

Recently I was pondering something. Let me start with an anecdote that may better explain what I’d like to get at with this post. We’ve all had things like this happen to us. You order something in a restaurant, and enjoy it so much that you offer some to the friend you are dining with. “Have a bite of this, it’s so tasty!” If your friend is not interested, often you feel disappointed. If your friend tells you he or she doesn’t like what you are offering, you may even feel disappointed that they are ‘missing out’ on the wonderful flavours that you are experiencing. Similarly, when we smell something bad – we instinctively say “Smell this, it’s awful!” and offer it to the nearest person to confirm. Who wants to smell something bad? And why do we need confirmation? ūüėČ

So I was pondering these behaviours and wondering why we do this. It’s a social thing! I think what it boils down to is that we very much want to express to others what we are¬† experiencing, whether it be good or bad. We’re constantly trying to put into words how things feel – whether they are enjoyable or painful. When we taste a new fruit that makes our senses tingle, we want others to be able to experience the same bliss that we are experiencing. When we stub our toe, we explain the throbbing pain to those around us so that they will better understand what we are feeling.

Something else I noticed? It’s all well and good to want others to experience the interesting, wonderful, and fantastic things you are experiencing, but being upset when their feelings don’t align with yours is not necessary. Example: Your brother doesn’t like mangoes. You *LOVE* them and can’t understand why he does not, and get disappointed when he refuses to try the mango you just cut up. Your boyfriend or girlfriend tries a new restaurant with you and hates it, and you are disappointed that they had a bad experience and didn’t like the dishes either of you ordered.

It’s ok for others to like or dislike things that are different from your likes and dislikes. It’s difficult, though, not to personalize these experiences and be upset by them. Just because important people in your life don’t enjoy everything that you do, doesn’t mean that you are not meant to be acquainted (in whatever way). It doesn’t mean that you can’t hang out any more.

Sure, you’d prefer it if you could share the amazing experience or taste or sight or smell or sound with people that are important to you – and have it affect them in the same way (awesome or not) but the fact that the people in our lives are different from us is what enriches our lives. Plus – I think that deep down we would like to fit in… by seeing if others like or dislike things the same way we do!

Don’t give up on sharing your experiences with those around you – whether it’s a terrible smell, or tasting some wonderfully ripe strawberries. Just try not to take it personally if the person you offer it to doesn’t react exactly the same way you do ūüôā Relish our differences! Like what you like, dislike what you dislike… and it’s all good if not everyone agrees with you.

A different commute

I took the train into the city a few days ago for a one-day workshop (for work). I loved being among the regular commuters, watching their behaviour. No one looks up. Most people sleep or read. There is one or two groups of people who know each other and chatter. Some people are texting or listening to their iPod. For the most part it is silent.

I managed to grab a copy of the Metro paper – mostly for the crossword and sudoku puzzle – but I’m interested to see the top news stories. I really should pay attention to the news more. And then I start thinking about getting a subscription to the paper.

Taking the train is really great. Someone else gets to drive you to your destination. No traffic – no rush – no stress.

As the train rolls from stop to stop, I look up occasionally from my paper to gaze out the window or around the train. The sun is up above the horizon and I could see the neighbourhoods and businesses waking up. People are out on the streets walking or cycling. Even though it is chilly outside, the sights outside my window seem to have a cozy feel.

I see grotty housing projects in neglected neighbourhoods that seem like home. I miss living in the city. I notice how much garbage there is everywhere – in parking lots, in backyards, in industrial lots. We are a dirty species – and it would take a lot of human-power to clean all of this up.

Before long, the train pulls into Union station and I sit in my seat, waiting as everyone else around me gets up to stand in the aisles so they can file slowly off the train. I am sitting comfortably, watching them. They are using their phones, folding their papers, fumbling for their metro-pass or change, all while balancing a coffee or pastry. For many of these people, the journey is not yet done. I miss being one of them.

Most of them still do not look up. They stay comfortably in their bubble of “no eye-contact.” The commuters shuffle along like well-trained cattle through a chute. They don’t need to look where they are going, because the path has been memorized from daily trips.

This makes me so glad I am me, and watching from where I am. Although I miss the city, and this experience – I don’t miss being a robotic, seemingly emotionless particle in this mass of people. Maybe they are all still half asleep?

They begin filing off the train, and when the aisles clear I finally get up to exit the train. I remember where to go – but I look up happily, enjoying how different today is from my normal working day. It’s nice to do something different.

Procrastinating or Prioritizing?

My friend Aurora brought up a good point today and got me thinking.

We often put things off until later, or tomorrow. We tell ourselves we don’t have time for this now, or that it can wait until next week. I can see that this is a sort of way of prioritizing things, but what if we are not going to be here next week? What if we knew that we only had a certain amount of time to get the most important things done – how would our priorities change?

My other good friend Dani also addressed this point with me. A few times, Dani called me a “gunna.” What she meant by this was that I was “gunna” do this or “gunna” do that… but did I ever get to those tasks? Sometimes yes, but sometimes no!

So what is it that makes us think this way? Is it laziness? Is it lack of motivation to get certain things done?

I suppose there should be a fair balance between cramming in too many tasks, activities, and priorities – I mean, we have to live our lives right? But what if we got hit by a bus tomorrow? What if the earth spun of its axis, throwing us all into the vacuum of space? What experiences would you want to have before that moment? And why aren’t you getting them done now!?!

This brings us back to the old saying:¬†Carpe Diem *Seize the Day!* How different would our lives be if we lived each day like it was our last? Our relationships would certainly be different… we’d be more forgiving and more accepting of each other, I bet! But things like survival get in the way.. the need to have a job and pay the bills. I am constantly struggling to find the balance between “getting things done” and “living life.” I would much prefer to simply live life and have experiences – but for that I think I may need to be¬†independently¬†wealthy.

So in terms of my every day life, I suppose I could practice simple things. Like being less judgmental of others, being more forgiving, showing and giving more love and compassion, and making an effort to follow my dreams!

Carpe Diem, people!!! *LOVE*

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