This post is a little out of my comfort zone so bear with me. One of my bad habits (which I’m doing as we speak), besides picking at my cuticles, is that I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself. I think to a certain extent this can be a good thing: it forces you to pushes yourself more than you usually would, forces you to do a little better at something than the average person, can help you stand out etc. I think it becomes a double edged sword when you forget to allow yourself the time to sit back and enjoy what all your hard work has gotten you, at least so far. As I think about it now though, I have definitely gotten much better about this over the last few years: I no longer am upset because I can’t run 7 miles anymore and by the end of my venture in architecture the little mistakes on a drawing or model didn’t irk me as much as they did when I first started. But I still need a reminder every once in a while to “stop and smell the roses,” enjoy life and give myself a pat on the back for what I’ve accomplished (so-far…I’m by no means done…I’m only 25)/what I am doing.
One moment that occurred the other night that made me stop for a moment and enjoy being proud of myself was when I received this text message from my friend. I had said something along the lines of “I’ll be downtown” and she responded:
She was right. I was downtown doing a reading program for kids at the UMOM crisis housing center (he knows me too well). But anyways, when I got that I was suddenly very proud of myself: that’s the first time I’ve seen my recent volunteer endeavors in one visual space(well technically one of them is an actual job but considering the Americorps pay rate it is basically volunteering). On a daily basis I try and find fulfilling jobs for adults with developmental disabilities (sounds boring but it’s a pretty entertaining environment), I’ve been doing other AmeriCorps volunteer activities like informing low income communities about the IRS VITA (free tax assistance) program, doing UMOM’s “Read to Me” program and I start my volunteer orientation for Hospice’s children’s branch (Ryan House) next month. It took a minute for that little text to really sink in but once it did I thought it was time to give myself some props. Honestly, not so much because of all these volunteer activities, but more so because these are things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time (after working in a very corporate and slightly uppity Scottsdale restaurant environment you kind of get the urge to do something that does some good for the world) and I finally recognized that I’ve put those “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” into motion.
So that’s my little moment to pat myself on the back. I feel a little weird putting that out there as a post but it’s something I’m realizing is important to do every once in a while (to keep the positive momentum going). I thought I’d throw it out there just in case anyone has that same difficulty as I do.
And in the spirit of looking on the bright side of things, I’ve decided to share my list of what I think are the best, what I call, “happy songs.” You know…those songs that are best to listen to while driving, with the windows down, the songs that can always induce a smile. You know what i mean 🙂
- Kodachrome-Simon and Garfunkel
- Wild Night-Van Morrison
- Magic Carpet Ride-Steppenwolf
- Dancing in the Moonlight-Toploader
- Running on Empty-Jackson Browne
- Normandie-Shout Out Louds
- Something in the Way She Moves, Copperline, How Sweet It Is, Mexico-James Taylor
- Phantom Limb-The Shins
- Just Got Started Loving You-James Otto
- Would You Go With Me-Josh Turner
- You are the Best Thing-Ray Lamontagne
- Here Comes the Sun-The Beatles
- MMMBop-Hanson (don’t judge)
- Lookin Out My Back Door-CCR
- New Shoes-Paulo Nutini
- Valerie-Amy Winehouse
- Dani California-Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Breakin Up-Rilo Kiley