Tuesday, March 6, 2012

If God is a DJ.

I found myself en route went to get ashes. I'm not sure if it's those four years spent in Catholic school or my fascination with St. Patrick's Cathedral and the ability to observe so many different types of people all joining together in the same pursuit. Perhaps it's just who I am. Regardless, I went.

The line wrapped all the way out of the church, down the steps and winded it's way back toward Madison Avenue by the time I joined it. For the next 40 minutes or so, I listened to the family behind me, the woman muttering to herself in front of me and the various passerby reactions of how they were not going in that line, no way, no how, this is crazy.

I decided to give up Starbucks for 40 days. Partially for selfish reasons as my bank account and my waistline will be highly benefitted, but also because it's an actual challenge for me. Admittedly, I spend way too much time there for reasons of comfort and sugar. I have that gold card that comes with your name printed on it and makes it all too easy to swipe it just once, twice, three times more.

More importantly though, I decided to give up being unkind to myself. In other words, to be aware of how I treat and speak to myself. The easiest way for me to do this seems to be to determine if I would say to one of my best friends what I'm saying to myself. For example, when thinking about my career, I would easily tell myself that I don't know what to do, it's never going to happen. When speaking to a pal, I'd be encouraging her, helping her make an action plan and sending her love notes to remind her she has someone who believes in her. It's an interesting thing to observe my own thoughts and behavior. I tend to be so fixated by observing the people around me, sometimes I forget that I'm even visible. My favorite people to observe are kids; they're so brave, so open, unaware of the silly societal rules we learn as adults. Sometimes I solve problems or determine how to spend my time by asking myself what I would do if I were six. Always seems to do the trick.

To be honest, two weeks in and I'm not yet sure what's harder: Starbucks or kindness.

As we finally climbed the stairs and made our way into the church, in an effort to quiet her young daughter, the mother in line behind me said: "Time to be quiet, we're in God's house now". Her daughter switched her voice into a hushed whisper and without a beat, replied,"Where does God keep his TV?" 

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