Breaking Old Patterns

Today I had the perfect birthday. It included a healthy 45-minute walk, a meeting of the minds with a dear friend, having a fantastic Ghana mocha and tasting the most decadent, flavorful sorbetti (lemon, mango, coconut) at Linz and Vail Espresso Bar and Gelateria, sharing a flaky and tender chocolate croissant and a cherry danish from Tag’s Bakery, eating great Mexican food at Lupita’s, going to a used bookstore, taking a nap, and shaking my bon-bon at my Zumba class.

I realized a few things today. I forgot how much I really enjoy walking, which was something I used to do all the time when I was living in Boston/Cambridge. Being in the Midwest and especially in the suburbs, I’ve just gotten used to driving from place to place. But I am not bad as some people. I do draw a line at moving the car within a strip mall just to go from one store at one end to the other end.

I also forgot how much I really enjoy old bookstores—the smells of aging pages, the crackling of the binding as I open a book randomly to read what wisdom it has in store for me. Just being in the bookstore, The Bookman’s Alley, made me itch for a pen and notebook to jot down all the thoughts/story ideas that came to me just from titles alone. I picked up a copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast—a book that should belong to all foodies, aspiring writers, and people who just love life. I always meant to read it, especially after my friend, Ellen, talked about her favorite section (learning from Cezanne’s paintings, p.13), and also in the context of City of Angels, which is one of my favorite movies.

The other thing I realized is how much I need to challenge myself to try something new every day. Make myself break patterns, especially old thought patterns. For instance, in my mind Evanston always seemed so far away, but really it’s not that far and definitely worth a field trip for what it has to offer. My issue had been that I never liked driving, but I really need to get past that. Otherwise I end up missing out what’s practically in my backyard. Most importantly, I was reminded today how important it is to live with intention as well as treating oneself every now and then.

“Our life, our time, is limited. How we spend it matters.”—Min Jin Lee

“Only love and time are priceless—that’s the unstated oath that I try to live by: I try to spend my time doing what I love, which is love itself.”—Floyd Sales

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