Category Archives: .02 Choice

The Blog is Dead! Long Live the Blog!

In May 2006, I started a journey of personal transformation, a journey focused on getting rid of the word someday from my life. For the past two years, I have blogged about this journey, usually laughing, sometimes whining and even shedding a few tears. But I always learned something and passed that learning along to you through my Someday Lessons. Coming up with those lessons has made look at every experience as a personal growth opportunity.

And now my story is mostly told. I know what my dreams are, I’m actively pursuing them and I’ve cleared (for the most part) the emotional, mental and physical clutter from my life. I’ve opened up the path to success and now it’s just a matter of staying on track and working on my dreams step by step.

I’m not, however, the only one who suffered from Someday Syndrome. I believe that almost everyone at least at one point in their life has let the word someday block the path to his or her dreams.

So, as of tomorrow (or whenever the magic of the Internet decides to accept the switch) this blog will be available only at http://someday.typepad.com. The main domain, http://www.somedaysyndrome.com, will point to a brand new site, featuring Someday Syndrome interviews with people throughout the blogosphere and in my personal corner of the world. I’m also taking on three lab-rats who’ve agreed to run the maze of curing Someday Syndrome and to share their journeys with you on an ongoing basis. Plus, I’ll keep you updated on my own journey.

And as always, with each post you’ll still get the Someday Lessons – my own interpretation of what I see in the lives of others.

See you on the other side!

Someday Lessons:

  • Recognize when something has run its course and end it before it drags on too much.
  • Nothing ever really ends. It just evolves into something new and different.

P.S. For those subscribed via RSS Feeder, you should make the transfer no problem, but unfortunately for those subscribed via email, you will need to resubscribe at the new site. Once it is up and running, I’ll send you an email reminder.

What the Salmon Taught Me

So, where were we? Right. The salmon steaks were sizzling away and I was gagging on the smell.

Fortunately the gagging stopped pretty quickly. I guess my brain got used to the odor and tuned it out. Steaks cooked, Raul transferred them on to plates and put a jar of tartar sauce on the table (because we all know the real reason fish exists as food is for tartar sauce – or wasabe for sushi).

"Careful," he said (in Spanish, of course), "there are a lot of bones."

Damn! So much for wolfing it down in three unchewed bites! (Or would that be sharking it down since it’s fish?)

Tentatively, I peeled off a piece of salmon, dipped it in the tartar sauce and popped it into my mouth. As my tongue searched for bones, I noticed a distinct lack of nausea-inducing fish oils. I tried another piece, this time without tartar sauce. Hey, not bad!

Small piece by small piece I ate the whole steak, taking an unheard-of fifteen minutes to eat it. As a child, a neighbour had died on a chicken bone and small bones in food have freaked me out a bit ever since. I then realized I was doing something my naturopath had tried to get me to understand years ago. I was using food to live in the moment. My thoughts were wholly on the salmon. I was not just eating it, but savouring the texture, the way each flake melted off the morsel in my mouth, sometimes to reveal a thin sharp spine, other times to reveal just more salmon.

I’ve purposefully focused on living in the moment before but rarely do I come to it spontaneously. I was therefore totally thrilled that I was doing so and that it had been something I’d normally reject out of hand that got me there.

Someday Lessons:

  • If you’re not open to trying (and retrying) experiences, you’ll miss out on a lot of great moments.
  • Sometimes understanding comes sneaking up on you, revealing itself when you least expect it.

P.S. It took a day and a half to clear the apartment of the smell of fish.

Looking for a Lab-Rat

Last week in a comment to my post about rethinking the blog, James from Men With Pens suggested that I get myself a lab-rat – I mean volunteer – who would be interested in sharing their own Someday Journey on an ongoing basis. Always willing to steal – I mean acknowledge – good ideas when I see them, I’m going to implement this when I redevelop the blog in the coming weeks.

I’m therefore looking for someone who wants to start their own journey to get rid of the word someday from their life. You don’t need to want to go my extreme route of selling everything and moving to a different country. I just want someone who wants to make a conscious decision to pursue happiness and to share the journey with the world (the sharing can be anonymous).

Each week, I’ll give the lab-rat – oops! volunteer – a Someday Exercise related to one of the three Someday variants (Someday My Ship Will Come In, I’ll Get Around To It Someday, and I Might Need It Someday), then via email, you’ll tell me how the exercise went and I’ll comment on it in the blog.

If you’re interested send me an email to the link on the left-hand side of the blog briefly describing your current situation and why you believe you’re affected with Someday Syndrome.

Someday Lessons:

  • It’s not all about me.
  • Learning happens best when we get multiple perspectives on a subject.

My Apology to Booze

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how alcohol and I could no longer be friends – it just pissed me off too much. Well, I owe alcohol an apology. My foul mood had nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with me.

How do I know this? This past weekend, English friends who live in my old village in France came to visit. Over dinner we chatted and drank a couple of bottles of Lambrusco between the four of us – to no ill effect. No bad mood, no paranoia, no desire to run and hide from the world.

So what changed from the almost identical situation in June? Only the language. In June, the dinner guests spoke Spanish. This past weekend, English.

And what has that got to do with anything? Well, I’m a bit of a control freak and when I drink I work at not appearing tipsy. Doing so in English is easy because I’m already relaxed. In Spanish, however, I’m tense because I know I don’t understand everything and that frustrates me.

The solution? Get over myself. I spend my days writing in English. I speak Spanish a few hours a day. The language has been the number one stress in my Spanish life and it’s time to let it go. I’m here for the long haul. I’m doing what I love. The language will come and in the meantime, if I don’t understand, I don’t understand. No. Big. Deal.

Let’s just see how long I can remember that.

Someday Lessons:

  • Most of our perceptions are based on assumptions – be willing to change perceptions when assumptions prove false.
  • We are ever-evolving creatures – stay open for opportunities to learn something new about yourself.

Pause and Reflect

This weekend my mother sent me an email worried that I’m not as happy as I say I am. Given my many frustrations and my continual insistence that everything is great, I’m surprised she’s the only one who has challenged me on this so far.

The problem isn’t my happiness (or lack thereof); the problem is the blog itself. You see, I’ve dealt with the major changes in my life and now I’m simply continuing on, living a conscious life while pursuing my dreams. In trying to come up with five posts a week about my life, I end up mining the minute details, extracting tiny fragments of annoyance or fear then refining them and adding to them until they are presentable as Someday Lessons.

This email comes at just the right time. I’ve been questioning the role of this blog in my life. I don’t want to give it up, but it needs to change. My recently writings (to me) have felt forced and more than a little unauthentic. I’ve therefore decided to re-examine the blog and its purpose. So, over the next few weeks while I determine and develop the new direction, I’m going to cut back on the number of posts during the week.

Think of it as an anticipatory lull.

Someday Lessons:

  • When we try to force meaning we lose authenticity.
  • Everything has a life cycle – don’t push something back the point it should end or transform.

Wading Through Chueca

The party filled the streets for a ten block radius in Madrid’s gay barrio Chueca. The bars served mojitos, kalimotxos, and beer from their doorways. Dance beats fought with each other and with the revelers’ shouts for dominance of the available sound waves. Drunken partiers in apartments above the bars threw water down on the crowd, which threw ice cubes back up at the partiers.

When a popular song came on, everyone forgot their conversations and sang along, jumping up and down. Alcohol bounced out of cups onto bare skin or fashionable clothing. Down the centre of every street ran a small river of booze, water and piss. Those who’d worn sandals cursed themselves for fools and vowed to throw the sandals out the moment they got home.

Through all this the people moved, sometimes flowing as easily as the liquids under their feet. Most of the time, however, the movement occurred in spurts, two opposing currents crashes together allowing only the dedicated or supremely drunk to slip through the cracks.

I also moved through all this, increasingly tense and annoyed at the general level of public inebriation. I don’t like outdoor crowds, especially ones packed into narrow streets. In my head such crowds turn into mobs and I drown in a sea of people pummeled by the waves of feet pounding over me.

Usually I don’t put myself in this sort of situation, but I wanted to be with my friends, so had to accept the crowds as part of the deal. Since I couldn’t change the situation I decided to change my perceptions. Instead of fight the crowds, the noise, and the music, I merged with them. I use the changing beats to dance myself from tiny opening to tiny opening. I bounced off people pushing past me and I used the stumbling drunks to shield me from flying beverages.

I still didn’t like it and would rather have been somewhere where I could have watched the crowd without having to interact with it, but I didn’t let it ruin my night.

Someday Lessons:

  • When you can’t change your situation, change your attitude.
  • Don’t expect a one-time change in attitude to have lasting effects, but do enjoy the short term advantages.

Playing Make-Believe

As a child I had romanticized dreams of being a butler. It seemed like such a cool job – until I learned that having a life of your own as a butler is difficult. Although I don’t actively want to be one anymore, I still enjoy the idea of being in charge of making someone’s life super smooth.

While in Madrid this past weekend, I indulged this fantasy with Raul. When packing for the trip on Thursday, we’d discussed his various outfits so I knew what he was going to wear for each stage of the weekend. Therefore whenever we stopped by our friends’ apartment to change, I prepared his clothes for him, gathered together the accessories, laid out the towel and hinted at Raul when he needed to get ready.

And Raul triumphed in the role I’d cast him. Without knowing the game of pretend I was playing, he would thank me, but in an off-hand manner, as if it were my job, and not a favour. What might normally be a source of resentment became an essential part of the make-believe.

(Of course he knew how much I was doing for him, and gave me many un-butler like kisses in appreciation, but they existed outside the pretending.)

Someday Lessons:

  • With a little bit of imagination, take a trip outside your normal life and explore something new.
  • Use a different point of reference to view the people in your life – you’ll learn a lot about them, and yourself.