Tuesday, November 23, 2010

chasing daylight

I started writing this post a few weeks ago in a moment of downtime at work. Appropriately enough, it got lost in the shuffle until just now...

I remember one of the first CDs I ever purchased was Sister Hazel's somewhere more familiar album. I think my sister and I found it in some second-hand shop somewhere in NYC; probably got it for about $5 and figured it might be good.

Turns out some of Sister Hazel's earlier albums (somewhere more familiar, Fortress, Chasing Daylight) have gifted some of my favorite songs, which have remained real and alive for me over the years when all my other music seems old and worn.

One of my favorites from the Chasing Daylight album is "Life Got In The Way". I used to just happily sing along, not really giving the lyrics much thought. As I've gotten older, it's started to resonate with me more - in a general sense.

Our lives really are just a sequence of events. We hope these events are exciting and adventurous, that our interactions are ones of love and joy.

But real life often seems much less noteworthy.

Perhaps the challenge is finding the excitement and adventure, love and joy in these things we do every day. And then not letting the hiccups, the drudgery, the drama (the "life") get in the way.

As the Thanksgiving holiday is nearly upon us, I'm reminded of the simple joy of being at home with family - I'm so excited I'm scared to think about it (must focus on this presentation today!). But the point is, I need to keep these kinds of joys in my life - my daily life.

As the days, weeks, and months - well really, even years - keep zooming by, I realize more and more that I need to make space (and make sacred this space) for the small things I enjoy and the big possibilities that life presents. It's about finding that balance between savoring the moment and creating a future I'm excited to live. Otherwise, what's the point?

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Funny how it took a chic flick to remind me how much I love (and miss) reading. Maybe it's time I pick up a novel for the holidays.

A poem I've always loved:

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                              i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

-e.e. cummings

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

heigh-ho, heigh-ho

I generally try to avoid writing about work. I don't like feeling work dominates my life, although that is probably closer to a reality for me than I would like to admit.

Regardless, it would be a complete lie to say work doesn't affect me. It dictates where I physically am from day to day, how tired I am, to some extent what I wear, and even what / where I eat. It's difficult to not seem like I'm complaining about it, but work often (although certainly not always) dominates my life.

I periodically wonder why I'm doing what I do, and whether it's worth it. I am rapidly approaching my 4-year anniversary with the company. FOUR years. I can hardly believe I have been out of college for that long, much less at one place of employment for that long.

Yes, I feel like I am still learning and I am challenged daily. Without a doubt, these things are of utmost importance. But it's hard to trump a few things. Regardless of a career path and the actual material of one's work, I feel like it's about the time spent being worth it - and to me that comes down to three factors:

  1. Advancement: If there's no forward / upward mobility, no achievable professional goals within grasp, then what's the point?
  2. Compensation: Let's be real. If the pay doesn't justify the hours, if the strains on personal life aren't outbalanced (or at least balanced) by benefits, then what's the point?
  3. People: This can be debated, but at least for me, the people I work with impact my daily life and my personal state of being in a huge way. In fact, the people often make all of this worth it for me, trumping #1 and #2.
I guess all of this has been on my mind as I approach this anniversary - a stake in the ground that reminds me what I've been up to, how much of my life I have dedicated to it, and the unspoken question of how much longer I will stick around.

It's difficult to consider a new job and the associated new location, new surroundings, and new people, when a routine has been established, when relationships have grown, and when life already works the way it is. But when it comes down to it, I'd make life work regardless. There is no other option. And change is probably in order more often than not. So maybe it's time to face all the scary bits and think about what I really want.

The above #s 1, 2, and 3 can be found in a lot of places. It would be easiest for me to stay in Boston, particularly as I've put down roots here and the thought of moving again too soon makes me queasy.

As I've mulled over this in the past month or so, I had somewhat "decided" to stay for about another year. But that decision has left me still a little uneasy. Some things still aren't quite right, and I don't want to feel like I'm settling, just doing what's easiest.

Maybe it's time to push myself harder and step out of the comfortable cocoon I have made for myself here. I need to make a few (unreasonable?) requests and put things in motion to improve the quality of this life. This life needs change.