This morning I was in Pretty Neighbor's basement and we were starting our workout. She said, "I saw your sister's new blog post but I haven't had a chance to read it yet." I paused in mid lunge--or for the purposes of this story, let's say I paused in the middle of a one-handed pushup, yeah--and said, "Wait, Amy has a new post? I just checked it and nothing!" Then I realized I've been clicking through to the post I linked in my last post instead of refreshing her page. Oh, duh.
So Amy has a new post with a bit of good news, though as she says, one's definition of "good news" can be radically reshaped in a short time. She's also very funny. She's doing it again, being funny when I'm trying to stay mad.
On a related note, I was thinking the other day that I have these little mantras that I repeat to myself in certain situations, and they actually help me. Naturally I'm sharing them:
It is what it is.
I know, terrible, right? Terribly overused and supposedly drained of all meaning and what does it mean anyway?
My personal history with this phrase is that, several years ago when I was taking the qualifying exams for my doctoral program, I sat for hours in a room in the Literature department office and typed answers to two or three long essay questions. They were questions designed to both draw out my ideas for future dissertation writing and to test my knowledge of the field. If I succeeded in this part, I would get to take a multi-hour oral exam given by four smart professors. So it was a big deal. I wrote and wrote. Then my time was up, and the sweet, hippie, department assistant came to get me. She printed out my work and took it, telling me that she had placed magical crystals (!) around the doorway of my exam room to help channel energy or something. I thanked her, but I kept babbling a little bit about how I wasn't sure I said enough about X or I wasn't convincing on Y. She listened to me and she said, "Well, now it is what it is." And I thought, "Yes. It is. That is finished and I need to stop worrying about it."
And when this news about Amy having breast cancer arose, I was so lodged on the terrible coincidental unfairness of it. That feeling was like a rock in my shoe. And then I thought, "It is what it is." There's no need in striving for it to have been different, that thing in the past that is now fact. It just is. What it is. It was calming to me.
Do the thing and get the power.
Matt and I say this to each other sometimes. Usually it's when we're talking over something that is hard to do or that we need to do and don't necessarily want to. Its meaning is likewise vague. I don't think it will be engraved on a monument anytime soon, but somehow it resonates with me. I think I heard this from an eccentric professor I had who is renowned for his koan-like pronouncements. Seriously, his facebook status updates are OUTLANDISH. But he said, offhandedly of some grad-school obstacle, "Do the thing and get the power." I dunno, maybe these things can't be held up to strong light. But still. Just do the thing. That thing? Do it.
Let your body hurt.
This one I heard from Laura. She says her swim coach says it to them during practice. She takes it to mean, don't stop because you're uncomfortable, just keep swimming. I often think of it during my workouts--feeling strain and discomfort will not kill me, in fact it is necessary. But I kinda go deep with it sometimes. Like, pain is not alien to human life or unnatural. It's part of living and it's part of the world. Let your body hurt and see what happens after that.
Have I taken you to a weird place? I don't know. I'm going to collect up my magic crystals and go unload the dishwasher now.
Do you have any personal mantras? Things that help you out?