Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Return to Amtrak in the Digital Age

I did not realize how much of a distraction this iPhone would become tonight. Something about having it along is making me see tonight as just another digital night. EXCEPT that the 3G signal disappeared around Harpers Ferry, and seems unlikely to return until Pittsburgh at the earliest. I now see how Internet dependent the phone is, as if I did not know that already. Unfortunately, the same situation is running rampant like a virus across the train - I see at least half of the passengers tangled up in their digital devices . People are still taking in the scenery, but now it is dark and some have already fallen asleep.

While the aforementioned digital issue has given this trip a different feel, it has certainly still been memorable. My second ever visit to Washington DC allowed more flexibility than the first, which was coincidentally the last time I did this train itinerary. The US Capitol building was within reach, though securely guarded, and I took it all in with some surprise at the scope of The District. Perhaps my close knit (native New Englander) geographic orientation also extends to my perception of the capital city. I am sure that is the case, where it is a similar scenario when 2 inches on a Massachusetts map does NOT equal 2 inches on a ... New Mexico map. The physical sensation of seeing more of DC was grandiose, and more about the WOW feeling than a question of melodrama.

Now the focus turns to the great state of Michigan, site of intense political scrutiny today and at least SOME fallout or backlash tomorrow. I have greatly enjoyed my previous stays in the state, especially this past August going from the distant lands of the UP all the way down to the Ohio border. This time the focus will return to the city of Ann Arbor and its immediate vicinity, and I am sure that being there with the University in full swing will be just as memorable with a Leap Day fresh spin.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The November Challenge closes early

I've brought my so-called "November Challenge" to an early close and will give myself a final grade of B-.

I had no idea it would be so much harder than last May to enforce this challenge. It quickly became clear that the presence of my back to back retreats (in May) was the key motivating factor in maintaining my focus. This time, there was no such motivating factor. In fact, it now seems in retrospect that I had a reverse effect from May, where I started the month with no regular work schedule and a certain loose schedule that enabled daily yoga practice and more flexibility.

By November 10th, the commitments started to come in like dominoes. Suddenly I was hired for a one-day film job, and then I was hired for a new full time job and slotted in to an intense fifty hours of training.

This new development meant that the Challenge had to put on the back burner, as my schedule quickly filled up at times when yoga classes are regularly offered. At the same time, I found myself walking in to the height of commercialism in the holiday festive season and spending too much time at a near to work coffee shop. This did provide opportunities for the power of restraint, as I declined opportunities to partake in caffeinated beverages, but definitely consumed a large amount of hot chocoloate... which does have a little caffeine in it.

The process of journaling also went to the shadows as my daily work schedule continued at a full pace. I was embarrassed to notice today that it had been a week since I last wrote in my personal journal, and hope to correct that today.

Finally, last night brought a visit to a local bar - and I'm sure I will go there again, as I appreciated the ambiance and small scale of the place. I didn't want to let an opportunity go by to not indulge in their plentiful, unusual beer list, and proceeded to enjoy a CALIFORNIA crafted, Belgian inspired dark brew with distinct pleasure.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not completely off track

Acquiring a 9-5 job schedule has made me put some aspects of the Challenge on the back burner. I had already downgraded the yoga work to every other day. Mostly for physical reasons. Now it is on pause until the end of this week. As far as the other stuff:

Journaling is also on every other day, and the rest... sorts itself out.

I do not feel like I am getting a failing grade here. I knew this would be more of a Real World Test than before, and now I know that is correct.

In December, I will run a tally.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

November Challenge, Week 1

I'll be chronicling my November Challenge of daily yoga and journaling combined with no caffeine or alcohol. It sounds simple, right? Not quite. These weekly posts will give a summary or commentary of how things are going...

Six months ago I did a variation on this challenge - cutting out caffeine and alcohol - in anticipation of my Mojave Desert Vision Quest, which took place during that month of May. I see now that the quest, and my subsequent Buddhist retreat that same month, was a helpful motivating factor. This time, I have no particular ulterior motive or final goal, and I find that to be more of a challenge!

Daily yoga practice is bringing it into perspective. It feels like a job to be going to the studio every day. But that same job is creating rewards to work with a variety of teachers and also gain more flexibility of the "Stationary Sequence". I'll be curious to see if my comfort level continues to improve!

Daily journaling has felt like more of an effort than it should. I also missed one day due to ___ (I don't remember) but made up for it with several pages on the next day. I'm intending to write more in the present tense to keep the energy high.

Even writing this entry seems to take a lot of effort. Whatever happened to the days when blogging was thoughtful and consistent and detailed, with no competition from micro-blogging? I miss those days.

Friday, November 04, 2011

My ideal Wilmington morning

6am: Yoga class at Empowered Yoga
730am: Walk around Rockford Park
830am: Pancake Breakfast at Angelos or Fresh Thymes

It can happen, and it will!