Monday, 4 January 2016

Week 52: Complete Multiple Acts of Service

As a final exercise, I offer you this one, designed to have you mindfully engage in multiple acts of service this week. Start this right away and make it a serious practice throughout the week. These do not have to be big at all.

By now, I hope you see that opportunities to do something kind, nice, generous and thoughtful are readily available to us. Complete some for family, for friends, for strangers. Perform them spontaneously and plan some in advance.

The key thing here, the absolutely most important thing, is that you perform these acts for the reward you get doing them, not as a down payment on future favors you expect to be performed for you.

As a final journal exercise, go back and read your entire journal with a highlighter pen in hand. Highlight the actions, thoughts, and expressions that stand out for you now. Review these regularly in the next 52 weeks, and for each 52 weeks that follow.

Sunday, 3 January 2016


It's the third day of the New Year and the first day I am updating this blog. Well, my year of updating every day is over. But I do want to write in this from time to time, to check in and tell y'all how I'm doing.

Today in the car, driving to pick up the cleaners and deposit them at my father's I had a revelation about certain resentments I had been harbouring. I realise that I have tunnel vision and when I'm feeling badly used, I forget or choose to ignore all the nice things those same people did for me. 

Anyway, today I woke up in time to take the dogs for a walk (or in the case of Sylvie and Stella, a run). So got some morning exercise, the dogs got some morning exercise...and I was in time to pick up Rose and Jane for once (rather than keeping them waiting; once I kept them waiting so long that Jane got a migraine).

So this year, I look at my bookshelf and despair. I have bought so many books because they were "good" and at some point I wanted to read them...this year I think I'll set myself targets for what to read during a particular month.

In the month of January for instance, I plan to read Joan Didion's White Album (I'm halfway through now), Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams, E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful, Milan Kundera's Art of the Novel, the biography of Flaubert (I have three biographies on hand - one on Flaubert, one on EF Schumacher and one on Charlotte Bronte - I do so want to know if she tried to have an affair with her French professor). I realise that my whole list consists of non-fiction. And I love fiction. Let's see...Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find. So there, that's my list. And as I complete them, I will write about the books here. And anything else I want to accomplish this year.

The kittens are creating a racket - they're hyper in the morning because I am here to watch them. I think they perform "naughty kitties" for my benefit. I need to clean up their litter. This morning I was careless, and Elliott ate their food up.

I need to give Elliott a bath, and spray the other two with Frontline. We are waging a war against ticks. They seem to have broken out with a glory suited for better things. 

I posted off four letters today. Because yesterday was quite a productive day; four letters written, cancelled my Maxis broadband (I had upgraded to Maxis fibre months ago, and continued to pay for both because I was too lazy to cancel my broadband - but I will get one last bill from them), bought a box of mineral water (yippee! I feel rich when I have lots of drinking water on-site), made address tags for my letters (finally!), bought some pens (of course), some broccoli (I am feeding the dogs vegetables along with their meat these days; which reminds me, I have to take their food out of the freezer to defrost).

So you can's off to a busy start.

I am glad that Rose and Jane are coming to clean this place today. It is in sore need of it.