28 January 2016

Lives of Passion - ?

I wonder how many people are passionate about what pays their bills, mainly because I've been wondering that myself. I am envious of those people who truly feel that their work/job defines them as a person. For example my boss would die a happy man if he could work in the lab late into his life. Most other people I know just see it as a means to an end.

My first boss in research was focused on making money, although he always pretended it was because he wanted to treat cancer but he was defined by his work. The next one was better and she was more dedicated to the "fun" of the research but in the end it really didn't define her. The one after her was confused about how he saw his career. I think he wanted fame and money but also was in "love" with the science, in the end it doesn't define him. The present boss is defined by his work, even on vacation he'll check in or dedicate some time to his work. None of these situations are bad or good, they're in-between.

Minion Hat for the nephew.
I think when we define ourselves by our work, what we are really saying is that it is something we are passionate about. Those above I think simply found what they are passionate about. A recurring theme for me is that - no passion. I always feel confused and frustrated when people ask me what my passion is. I do not feel I have a passion but I enjoy doing so much. Let's see, I like to knit, crochet, draw, paint, build things, renovate items/houses, honestly anything creative. Also when I'm helping people, whether teaching a technique or helping someone else with something.

What to do then to find something to be passionate about? First I want to look back over my past. If I had to pick a job that I truly enjoyed, it was when I was a student assistant at UTEP. I processed the applications for incoming international (foreign) students and helped validate their financial information. Believe it or not most universities have other students look at bank statements for foreign nationals, yeah I know sooooo responsible. It's not that I enjoyed looking at bank statements, more like I enjoyed the interaction with the incoming students and providing them with assistance. That is my favorite from my varied job history, which includes retail (Eddie Bauer & Best Buy), restaurants (McD's), teaching, research, and door-to-door sales of tamales/sundries. The sundries includes stuff I would sell during the summer from catalogs to get cool stuff. My parents weren't huge on allowances, you did chores because you lived there and that was a privilege.

Perhaps that is the answer, something that has paperwork to push but also gives me varied human interaction? What exactly falls under this that does not leave me responsible for 100+ kids? Well, teaching was my second favorite. Perhaps I should be a bureaucrat? No I have an issue with extreme inefficiency. More thought needs to go into this. Sigh.

Well off to rethink this passions thing.

21 January 2016

2016 - Year of Mindfulness

When I was in middle school, I discovered Anne of Green Gables. It became one of my favorite books and I loved that little girl so much! I loved the fact that she had a bosom friend, that she lived somewhere and in a time that you read poetry for pleasure. I dreamt of having a friend that I was so close with that we would die for each other, not literally but maybe a little. If it hadn't been for her I probably would never have picked up a book of poetry in my life! She was spunky, she fought for what was right but most of all she always loved unconditionally and was unconditionally kind; even when Gilbert pulled her hair. She also made mountains out of mole hills quite often but that is part of being 13 years old in my opinion.

Anne Shirley definitely had a positive influence in my life,I smile remembering her exploits and the sweetness of her life - even if it was fiction. I learned so many "big" words through her books because everything had to be amazing in her world. I actually gifted that book to a friends daughter and she enjoyed it as much as I did apparently.

Well, this year I have decided to revisit my past but in a positive manner. Sometimes we forget the good we did and only focus on the bad we had. This year my goals aren't going to be about more this, more that or just me, I want to expand the circle of action.

  • I want to teach and encourage my nephew to read more, something he's loving since he got to kindergarten. He has really enjoyed learning to read and constantly asks for help sounding out words. 
  • I would like to be unconditionally kind like Miss Shirley, towards my friends, my family and strangers. Anne didn't always remember but whenever she forgot, she did her best to make things right. I also don't plan on being stupid, I want to be kind not taken advantage of. Like Anne, I do want to rectify when I can. Kindness to me is mindfulness of our actions and words, I especially want to be kind towards myself, be mindful of what I say to myself and how I act towards myself.
  • I definitely want to work on my health, I started last year off with a cold and I ended with a cold. I really need to boost my immune system, eat better and exercise mindfully. I was so focused on losing weight that instead I lost health. Exercise without proper nutrition and mental health is good for nothing. FYI I did not lose weight, I ended up gaining weight instead. Thus this year will be dedicated to eating better and yummier, also to boosting my immune system.
  • I want to say "No" more often, at least to the things that don't matter in the long run. I spend too much time trying to please and be a "better" friend that I end up being a very half-assed friend most of the time. That means less of some things but more time to truly enjoy a moment or person. Less rushing to meet this friend and then running to the next obligation, friends are not obligations. Family is not an obligation either but I feel sometimes I treat them like one.
  • I would like to set goals for long term happiness. Such as finishing a Masters in something I am passionate about. I want to find something to be passionate about. Establish habits to enjoy in the future not activities to fill the now.
  • I would like to find a volunteer opportunity that is more my speed and liking. I think volunteering for a person and attempting to convince conservative west Texas to vote for a Democrat even a conservative Democrat was stretching it a lot. Perhaps focus on something I've always liked or am good at, don't know what that is but I'm sure I'm bound to find something.
  • I would like to read more books. I really do not make time for reading at all, I used to enjoy it so much and nowadays I'm lucky to get in 2 books per year.
  • This year I also want to face my fears. I'm not talking about heights or spiders, only one of these scares me, but of legitimate fears that most humans have. We fear the unknown, the what if's of life, such as losing our jobs or having a health emergency. This is why I want to address my health. Foremost in my mind this year is my health and my financial situation.
I will be proactive about pursuing work and life goals but what is accomplished will be done whole heartedly, what is not accomplished will be for future work. This  year I'm taking it easy and just relaxing, no high expectations. I will try and address fears, some financial worries that I have but I think those things are something that will evolve over time not within the span of 365 days. I want to enjoy my days but also provide balance in the time I dedicate to the future and the present. I guess I want to enjoy my present but not hinder my future, lets see how that works out.