Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Srsly? Have you not seen my desk?

Ok, my desk is admittedly the exact opposite of most other spaces in my life. In my real life, my socks are segregated from panties and bras. My shoes are carefully organized. My t-shirts are neatly rolled. My workout clothes are catalogued by sport (run, bike, swim). My running shoes have a month and year of when I started wearing them written inside the footbed (so I know when they're close to done). My car is neat and clean. And based on how much I harass my children to pick up their shit, I think I value order pretty highly.

...where I have control of it, that is.

Monday, September 26, 2011


...in which, I suck at finding something meaningful to say, since I seem to be better at extremes.


To maintain a positive and optimistic outlook.

There's a story behind this swollen
ankle.  And it's a good one.
Over the years, I've learned that it's not if something bad might happen, but when.  I could be safe, and go out on a 2-mile run near home and turn my ankle like I’ve never turned it before.  Or i can go climb the mountain behind my house and see something I wouldn't have seen otherwise.   

Over the years, I lost my hope.  I used to be teased for my optimism, but I've become more fearful.  I don't want to live that way. I can’t change anything by worrying, so what’s the point?

I want to have hope again.  Nothing is as bad as I think it will be.  Worrying won't prevent what might happen, and it makes me me feel bad.

I want to go back to where I used to be, believing that no matter how badly things could be, they are never as bad as I imagine, and if things go wrong, well, I’ll have an interesting story to tell. 

So I'll sign up for something difficult, or impossible, and hope that I'm up to the task.  And if I'm not, well, then I'll know what to do differently next time, won't I?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Purpose - to have direction and meaning in my life

Sometimes when I struggle to think of why I'm here, or what I'm supposed to do (if anything), I remind myself that I have a job. I chose this one.

Parts of me that work. (Health)

As a little kid I did many things barefoot - gymnastics, climbing trees, running through thick, cool grass, wading in creeks.  I lost that sense of wonder for a while, until one night in South Dakota I ran outside barefoot in the snow.  I stopped, closed my eyes, and lived in the moment of shock and cold.

When I started running, I complained about how slow my feet were, until I noticed people with neuropathy, in wheelchairs, on crutches.

So I went on a spree and put together a whole kit just for them.
Twice a week I now devote time to caring for the part of me that takes me away when I'm sad, or anxious and makes me happy again.  It's easy to forget the lowest part of my body that covers not even a square foot of space, but does so much and takes me so many places.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Self-Knowledge, to have a deep and honest understanding of myself

I feel this is a place that I am constantly working on. When I'm not happy, or not quite 'there', it is usually related to a need to do further self-exploration to figure out why. What's really bothering me? Why does it bug me? What is it about me that I need to explore? For me, self-knowledge is a constant journey of exploration.

I find, sometimes, that the 'honesty' part of that is a struggle. It sometimes takes me awhile to admit to myself what's really going on, what I really feel, what my inner wise mind is telling me. I am sometimes afraid to acknowledge my inner self, for fear it may cause pain.

As I explore myself today, I need to remember to be fearless and not tie myself to any particular outcome, and to be OK with feeling my feelings. My fearlessness and honesty will help me explore myself most fully, and know and accept myself as deeply as I can. Without truly knowing myself I can't truly be happy. If I hold back on knowing and understanding myself, I hold back on finding and feeling deep happiness and self-acceptance.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wealth - to have plenty of money

I keep forgetting that I live an incredible life, with luxuries that some people will never know. I'm really lucky to live in a house, in a city I choose, to drive my car to my job and do basically whatever I want. I have plenty of money to eat, to live, to shop. To wear pretty clothes.

Today I'm thankful to have enough money to occasionally spoil myself and my family. Especially with shoes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tolerance - to accept and respect those who differ from me

The cats are a constant lesson in tolerance. I tolerate their litter digging. I tolerate the cat who digs to the bottom of every food bowl, leaving cat food everywhere. I tolerate my geriatric cat who leaves poo and vomit in odd places. The boyfriend tolerates their desire to perch in awkward places. I tolerate them because on the whole, I appreciate their companionship. Also, they crack my shit up. That's worth tolerating.

Tolerance - to accept and respect those who differ from me

Went for a ride today with some of the boyfriend's teammates. Although it was billed as a 'mellow easy' ride, I'm sure they tolerated my somewhat less than awesome speed and ability. I would tolerate the same in any ride companion.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Self acceptance - to accept myself as I am

After today's particular challenges (a three hour run that took most of the day to get done), I also accept that I'm not always efficient, I'm not as fast a runner as I wish I were. This is me, this is who I am. I may not be fast, but I can still run.

Self acceptance - to accept myself as I am

Got a very late start on my run today, laid around in bed and generally went lazy. I tend to be really hard on myself when I'm not doing, or going, or busy-ing. I'm going to accept myself for not getting everything done today. It's ok, those things will be there tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pleasure - to feel good

Favorite source of pleasure. My happy is here.

Pleasure - to feel good

Working out gives me a lot of pleasure, especially when I finish.

Pleasure - to feel good

Got an impressive pedicure. I feel good about my toes.

Loving - to give love to others

Made an awesome dessert for my family: sea salt brownies, limoncello sorbet, sugared strawberries.

My Project

This blog/photojournal is to document my exploration of my personal values, in an effort to get better acquainted with gratitude. I'm using the Personal Values cards (W. R. Miller, J. C'de Baca and D.B. Matthews, UNM) found in the attached link. Read about how the cards are used here. The first time I had the cards I sorted them into piles of "Important to me," "Very Important to me" and "Not Important to Me" which was, in itself, a very important exercise (I may label each value that I address here in a similar way). It was evident to me how little I acknowledged my values, and how very important they are to my personal being.

In this blog, I'm going to document an attempt at a Random Act to demonstrate (for myself) each value in the cards. I intend to do this daily, or weekly, or whenever I feel like it. I'll photograph the attempts where I can.  I feel that making a photograph is in itself an act of acknowledging gratitude. I may write a little bit about what I did and what it means to me, in whatever way I'm inspired to do so.

Where certain values are more important to me (like humour), I may elect to do it more than once.