Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Great Ice Storm of 2008...continued

It's been 4 weeks since the power was restored after the storm. Until yesterday, I was still counting my blessings and feeling as though the storm acted like a reset button on my life. I appreciated EVERYTHING; being warm, having lights to hold back the dark of night, and running water (HOT and cold) to flush toilets, take showers and wash clothes.
I felt an appreciation for the suffering of people in war-torn countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Israel. I felt a solidarity with the people of India who often only have access to water for a few hours a day. Hearing about such things and living them are totally different experiences.
I've heard experts say that social attitudes are pretty much formed by the time a person is seven years old. After that, the only way to really change an attitude is through experience. Telling someone a thing is right or wrong just doesn't have much impact...they have to live it.
I wanted to change my life, change my attitude, make a difference in the world.
Now, I feel that underlying sense of discontent creeping back into my life.
I don't feel motivated to do much of anything except complain.
I am unhappy with myself for all of my failures and shortcomings. There are many. I should have control over most of them, but I don't seem to be able to get it together enough to tackle these challenges.
I guess the upside (if there is one) to confronting the fact that I disappoint myself, is that I find it pretty easy to forgive the failings of others. Although...
A person I admire has scolded me for this; saying that accepting and forgiving another person's flaws is just a form of enabling. I'm still trying to sort this out. Am I so forgiving because I'm enabling myself to be less than I ought to be...everyone (including myself) is a disappointment in some way? Why should I be any different?
At this low moment, I try to remind myself of the things that all the wise people in life have told me:
1.) Try to be useful to someone...everyday.
2.) Perform an act of kindness...everyday.
3.) Take a step, no matter how small, in the direction you want to go.

So, today, I signed up for an activity in honor of the "National Day of Service" and supported some kids from Peterborough, NH who are selling "Obama Bread" to benefit "Free the Children."
I bought a low-flow shower head that I'm going to install today.
And, I will at least LOOK at my thesis project for two hours.