That thing that you do
When you feel like things are going wrong, I feel like part of the solution always lies in making your world both bigger and smaller. Bigger so you put things into perspective. And smaller so you take care of the fundamentals. Sleep, eat, take off your shoes, let your hair down, wrap yourself in something woolly, make some tea, reach out for a hug and take a break from beating yourself up about the million ways you feel you're not cutting it. Quality comes into the picture too. Too many consecutive days of vending machine food, watery coffee and vacuum tv drags down the overall quality of your body & mind in a "you are what you take in" effect. The bit of effort that goes into surrounding yourself with higher quality products (and people!) is more than worth it.
I got my fair share of quality this past weekend, having won two tickets for a visit to the Museum of Eastern Arts sprinkled with extras. It was a bit of a road trip to find the place thanks to confusing directions and poor planning. My friend and I ended up being given a ride by two cops in their police car: a guy with huge biceps and a woman with beautiful dark hair who obviously were happy to be partners, it was straight out of Third Watch and wicked cool. But once we got there, we were first in line for a free 15 minute shiatsu massage. A woman with beautiful wavy red hair took her sweet time to find "pressure points" and pull my back and shoulders in juxtaposed directions.
Another woman carefully prepared Japanese tea (handpicked in the mountains of Somewhere Divine and on the market for a whopping 150 Euro a tin) and pulled out all the stops: a tatami mat, a kimono, white socks, all sorts of nifty tools, and Japanese treats. The museum itself is stunning, and spending time in an oasis of zen (note: I'm sure the use of "zen" is historically and culturally entirely inappropriate here, and it's not simply a synonym of "chillax" as non-Easterners tend to assume, but...humor me) where competent people shared their skills with us was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Last week, I signed up for music lessons. It's funny walking back into the school I spent so many Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings as a young teen. It feels ridiculously familiar, I remember exactly where everything is. The only thing I've noticed that is very new are the security cameras. Hmz. Point is, I enjoy sitting next to a teacher on a piano stool, I enjoy listening to their know how, being corrected and guided to a higher level. They know what they're doing, I don't. But I get to be part of it, and that's not half bad.