Today's reading focused on refocusing your thoughts in a positive way. I didn't read the entire section, because I don't want to get ahead of myself. I have to pace my reading to about 5-6 pages a day to stretch the book over the whole month. That being said, the first and only step I read about was essentially observing your thoughts from an objective prospective. Stop your thoughts in their tracks and think, is this really the way I want this to go? Being aware of your thoughts before the form themselves into something negative.
This morning, I slept through Ben's alarm that he set to pay his parking meter. That's incredibly unlike me. I'm a pretty heavy sleeper, but it only happens once in a blue moon that I sleep through something as loud as an alarm. I also fell asleep quickly last night and slept through the night pretty soundly. I'm going to give credit where credit is due: last night for about five minutes before I went to bed, I sat in the dark, using my breathing exercises as a jumping off point, and I tried my best to meditate. Let me say this, meditating is uncomfortable as heck. The idea is to find the gap in between your thoughts, the silence, the blackness and focus on it. All I could focus on was counting in four counts, hold two counts, out four counts... and how my foot started cramping when I shifted positions. Either way, the deep breathing at least helped me to relax enough to fall asleep
and stay asleep. That part will definitely benefit me the more I do it.
Ben took me to Josie's, which is our favorite breakfast place in Lexington. The coffee was better today than it usually is-- not that it's usually bad. They also gave me a super cute mug. None of their mugs match, so it's always a fun guessing game to see what you're going to get. If you know me well, you know that a good omelet and a cup of coffee can cure all of my sorrows or worries. So, all in all it was a good morning.
In the last two weeks, I've applied for a fellowship on campus. I received an email on Wednesday that I made it to the next round of the application process, and that I got an interview! I'm very excited about that, and I scheduled my interview for next Wednesday morning. (Happy Valentine's Day to me!) They gave me a sheet of paper with the ins and outs of the interview, and as I was walking out the door, the head of the program caught me and introduced himself. I honestly had no idea he was talking to me, and had I known, I would've made a better, less deer-in-headlights sort of impression. But I still shook his hand and was as polite as an off-guard nineteen-year-old girl can be.
Ben left around 11:45 to head back to Oxford, and I want to thank him for helping me through the first few days of this challenge, calming me down when I need it (and taking all of my pictures.)
Yesterday, I heard from an old friend (hi, Harper!) and it made my day. I'm getting to the point of the year where I start to miss everyone and everything from home, and it really makes me smile to hear from someone I care so much about. Definitely a plus that made today better.
My Italian class was cancelled again today. That is wonderful news because we were supposed to have a quiz today, but I just couldn't find the time to learn restaurant vocab this weekend. I've had too many papers to write, and for some reason, papers trump tests in my mind. Now I'm just sitting in the living room with Lauryn while she watches Westworld. I'm reading primary sources for Civil War era women, and everything is really calm. Like a good night's sleep, calmness in my life is a rarity. I'll take it where I can get it.
Lauryn and I went to our creative writing class. We had a short story exercise due today, and there's another one due a week from today. We have a final short story, which is longer than you might think, due at the end of this month. I also hear back about an ambassador program I applied for tomorrow, and I have a paper due and a quiz tomorrow. I'm a little stressed. I'm trying to reframe those thoughts: This paper isn't so long. It's only one quiz, no big deal. The ambassador adviser liked me when we met, so that'll be fine.
Reframing thoughts isn't too hard in theory, but when you try to convince yourself that those things are true, it get's more complicated.
After Creative Writing, we went to the gym with a pit stop at the journalism building. One of my recent stories, covering the new Residential Life campaign Kentucky's running, was on the second page, and it was a full page story. My very first full page story. I'm so stinkin' excited! Anyway, that boosted my mood a lot. The subsequent three-mile elliptical session afterwards helped a little, too, but mostly just made my legs feel like jello.
Tonight I'll meditate to the best of my abilities before bed, hope for a good night's sleep, and crush tomorrow.
(The picture to above is of Ben before he left this morning.)
Honestly, this challenge is proving more and more difficult. I need to be more aware and work on integrating these concepts into my daily life. For instance, this afternoon I had a panicky feeling for about 20 minutes while I thought about all the things I have to do. I should've done my breathing, tried to reframe my thoughts, but instead, I just moved on to the next thing.
My next objective is to integrate these things more deeply into my everyday life.
Thanks for tuning in today!