Sunday, February 7, 2010

No Can Without Will

I am sitting on the toilet in our bathroom, the only place in the apartment where my roommate and I can consistently "borrow" wireless Internet from our neighbors. After nearly two days, wallowing in my self-pity party, pouting at both jobs, and soliciting money with shameless plugs on Twitter [DONATE HERE], I am deciding here and now to drag myself out of the financial funk that I've been in all weekend. So what if I underestimated my cycling attire needs by nearly two grand or if I was off by another thousand for bicycle equipment? I've come a long way - and with a lot of love and support from family and friends - and that's too much to be proud of to focus on what's still lacking.

I cried once back in 2006, after surviving my second weekend with a second job at a casino in western North Carolina. Much like now, I had created a goal that required more than my single income could provide. It was the cry of frustration that often ensues when a single person enters into the exhausting world of dual employment. Even those of the heartiest character can have moments of weakness. The determining factor is what results from these moments.

Four years later, I didn't waste energy on tears this time. If I have learned anything about time, I've learned that it passes. It passes whether you throw a tantrum, wallow in self-pity or whine and complain. It doesn't wait for you to realize that you're wasting it. It doesn't allow a replay if you regret not taking a second to just be in the moment. The only thing you can control is what you do as it passes. Much like in 2006 - if not exactly - the sun still rises and sets, the moon continues through its phases, the seasons change. Whether I work my ass off at job #2 all weekend or spend it relaxing, another Monday morning at job #1 still comes. And I'd rather be a little bit closer to my goal each time it does.

Not too long ago, I played devil's advocate with a friend regarding a debate over disabled parking privileges. Imagine if you needed to use that permit, I had said to her, what would you give to not need it? What would you give to be able to just walk on your own from the last space at the very end of the lot?

I decided to take my own advice and appreciate the fact that I can. I can pleasantly answer phones, reply to emails, schedule meetings and manage endless piles of receipts to expense at job #1. I can smile and serve overpriced cocktails at job #2. I can gratefully work two jobs in an economy where many people are imagining what they'd give for just one. I can appreciate that I am in a position to finance frivolous dreams when there are others who just want to survive. Whenever I'm having a rough time, I eventually remember to try to search for some perspective.

If gratitude for what I do have and "glass half full" analogies just aren't cutting it or whenever I have a classic case of the "mean reds", Stiles Farmer's Market on West 52nd Street is my own version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Just the sight of all the fresh produce one can buy for a dollar can cheer most of my mild emotional ruts.

And in Bikram yoga, the instructor often talks about bringing yourself into the room, being in the moment, and moving onto the next pose, even if we are too tired, simply because we can.

And when I am too sore and exhausted to push my bicycle over another hill this summer, I will. Because I will know that I can.

5 comments:

Christine said...

Thank you for writing this because I was extremely offended by your tweet yesterday asking for donations to help you fund tweetbybike. As you stated you are lucky to have two jobs when others don't even have one. This is your personal goal and while i admire you for wanting to achieve such a huge goal, you have to remember you are doing this for you. You are not riding for charity and should not expect people to treat you like one.

MessageForce said...

Reading this blog has actually inspired me a lot to strengthen my will power in achieving my goals. I have now become more dedicated towards my goal.

Katie said...

Christine, I appreciate that you are a regular reader of my blog and care enough to leave me your thoughts and comments.

Anonymous said...

You could always take any shameless request for cash to Bank of Hollywood:

http://www.eonline.com/on/shows/bank_of_hollywood/index.jsp

http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/e!-orders-ryan-seacrest-bank-of-hollywood-series-debut-dec-14-9870.php

Monique said...

Ok i change my mind, this is my fave. And this part is so true: "And in Bikram yoga, the instructor often talks about bringing yourself into the room, being in the moment, and moving onto the next pose, even if we are too tired, simply because we can." So many times I complain b/c it's so easy to do so. You keep plugging away Katie, kudos to you! I will definitely forward some money to you soon & not b/c you "expect" people to treat u as a charity as Christine said, but b/c I WANT to donate. If this was a college graduation, baby shower or some other "milestone", we would celebrate your goal/accomplishment with gifts &/or money, so why not now? Besides, I will b/c I can & would love 2 help u do this. Love you :)