Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Time for reflection

Hello fellow sentient beings! I may not have written in a while, but I have not been idle. In addition to really buckling down and applying for jobs, I have been thinking about a lot of things- and taking action. I don't know if I will write about all these things in detail here at BCB, but here they are!

I've been thinking about . . .

. . . productivity. Using President Eisenhower's method (made famous by Stephen Covey), I have taken a look at my daily/weekly/monthly activities and determined both their urgency and importance. This has helped a lot, and has led to me making significant changes in my priorities and how I spend my time.

. . . what it means to be a good citizen, and more specifically, a good American. I have been spending a lot of time self-educating, becoming more informed, and more active in the community. I also have devoured several biographies of famous Americans, which has been both fascinating and worthwhile.  

. . . cleaning. Mundane activities. How to do less of them, but still enough. I don't want to neglect our home and live in a mess, but since re-prioritizing, I find that less cleaning is definitely more. Because hey, there are more important things in life! :)

. . . organizing and decluttering. Directly related to cleaning, but a little more proactive. Currently I am in the midst of an all-out paper war, attacking each stack with my hand scanner, uploading the images, then shredding and discarding old receipts and papers. It has also been useful in locating important documents and storing them in a more organized fashion. I hope that the result will be an efficient filing system, documents that are easier to find, and a less cluttered home. We shall see!

. . . finances. As you can imagine, living on one small income on the east coast is not easy. So, I am trying to find ways to save (and potentially make) money. This past month I made some changes in the way I shop, resulting in a $100+ decrease in our grocery bill. It is a great start, but, there is more to do. The goal my husband and I have made is that we can start actually saving money, rather than living hand-to-mouth. And since there is so little left to cut (we have a pretty simple lifestyle to begin with) we will have to be creative! (Any ideas you may have would be appreciated.)

. . . fitness. To be honest, I have always HATED going to the gym. But, after noticing that I have started looking a little squishy, I decided to give it another try. And you know what? I love it! Recently the gym in our apartment complex purchased new equipment with screens that show views of national parks, so it feels like I am actually moving through the park while exercising. Needless to say, using these machines is so much fun! Another thing I think was crucial to enjoying my workouts was easing into the routine. One day in mid-February, I promised myself that I would work out once that week. Each week I tried to fit in one more workout, and by week five I was doing cardio 4x a week! Now I don't want to miss a workout- something unimaginable to me just a few months ago. I look forward to making additional changes to my workouts, and to continue challenging myself. 

. . . spirituality and God. Sometimes people misunderstand that being a Buddhist means also being an atheist. This in fact is not the case, it is just that the wisdom that the Buddha gave us in the form of the Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path, Five Moral Precepts, etc., do not require belief in God or a higher power. But that certainly doesn't mean that Buddhism dictates that someone can't or shouldn't believe. To make a very long story short (and a long post not as long :), I have thought a lot about my relationship with God, especially the fact that recently I had not included Him in my life. I have finally determined that this was because I needed to distance myself, not from God, but from how I had previously related to Him. In short, I needed an attitude adjustment, and I believe that with greater maturity and insight, a new relationship with God has started to blossom. 

So that's about it- actually, I ended up writing a heck of a lot more than I thought I would! But thanks for bearing with me :) Although I abhor the fact that I am unemployed and feel that I am not contributing as much as I would like, there have been some blessings in disguise, like having the time to think about (and even act upon) other important aspects of my life. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post, despite its self-indulgent nature. I also hope that everything is well with you- As always feel free to share your thoughts and what is going on in your life in the comments below- I would love to hear from you!   

May all beings be happy!

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