All You Need is Tea, a Hammock, and a British Accent

I don’t really know what to write about today. I just know that if I waste this rare moment of attentiveness and energy, all hope will be lost for this post. I have no inspiration but, hey, sometimes you gotta do with no inspiration. You just inspire instead of expire, and there you go. You just got yourself an inspiration. (Life tricks 101 with Luci).

I’m kind of tired of talking about how tired I am (it’s just one vicious cycle) or how stressed I’ve been or how busy my days are blah blah blah yatta yatta yatta. Been there, done that. I mean, really, if you go to Bryn Mawr, you know a thing or two about basically trying to juggle a million things at once and keeping yourself healthy at the same time. (Are we trying to get into Guinness or something?) Anyway, it’s all we talk about! And I shall not tire you all with these shenanigans. After all, you’re probably here searching for something else. Your life purpose, for example. Haha no, no, not so deep. We want to lighten the load, not throw another couple of kilos (oh sorry, pounds) on there. But you’re probably looking for a break, for a moment of leisure, for a moment of breath. So inspire once more, and here we go.

Sooooo what shall we chat about today in this lovely but kinda weird virtual conversation we are having (well I sure hope we are having, otherwise I am talking crazy to a computer)? I think we first just need to create an appropriate atmosphere. Yeah, that’ll do the trick. How about, we are having tea, and it’s a beautiful August afternoon (perfect summer weather, aaand month of my bday. Sorry, I just had to pick that one!). We are outside sitting on a bench on the porch–no, lazily laying on a hammock between two big trees with the sunset on the horizon. Oh yeah, now we are getting there. I’m see a great Jane Austen novel–no, movie, arise here. It’s getting juicy, folks. Now, while we’re at it, why not put everything in a British accent? Yes, that will do the trick. We’re fancy people now, we’re going queen style. Oh yeah. (Not Mr. Mercury–I love Freddie, I do, but let’s hold the Bohemian Rhapsody for another time, shall we? Or, feel free to play it while reading this post. I’m sure it will give a very interesting effect, to say the least!) Ok, I guess with the hammock we will have to lose the delicate tea china. Oh well!

Ok, this might all sound a bit silly, but these moments are really important for our sanity. We need to get creative and paint a different picture than our reality in order to escape the chaos in our daily lives. It can get unbearable at times, but life won’t stop, we have to develop mechanisms in order to cope. Daydreaming, taking naps, watching your favorite tv show, or karaoke-ing like a crazy person and enjoying that moment of no shame whatsoever with your friends….does’t matter, whatever works for you! The important thing is just that we must must must give this as much importance as we do to our readings, problem sets, papers, etc. We are not machines–(this is not the bicentennial man movie. Although it would be very cool to have Robin Williams in my life. Constant laughter: check!) But this goes to say that we cannot work non-stop and with no break. Sometimes I come back to my room as late as 10:30pm with the mindset of still doing work. It’s 10:30pm. By that time, my only thought should be to get ready to sleep!

Prioritize. That’s the key. I think everything starts with the assumption that not only we will–sorry, not will, but have to get everything done, but that we also have to do it perfectly well, as well. Perfect is such a bad word. And I’m guilty to say this, but I’m a perfectionist. It’s weird because there is a kind pride in saying it, and this wow-effect from people who hear it, but it is not a good thing. We shouldn’t strive to be perfect, we should strive to be the best that we can be. Perfection is an illusion, and since illusions aren’t real, they involve expectations which are impossible to be met, and when the fantasy shatters we are left with nothing but a pool of disappointment. We should live life with simple and attainable expectations so that anything extra will give us joy we hadn’t foreseen, and those surprises are such a great gift.

It’s all about inner peace. It’s about saying stop. It’s about discipline. Disciplining yourself to give you what you need. We should always have as our goal to be happy, to be healthy. What is that biology grade when someone in your family gets sick? I am just saying we should have a favorable perspective on life. A perspective that leads us to hold on to those positivity bugs who might seem a bit small to see sometimes but who are nevertheless there strong and present. We just gotta know where to look, you know? Or sometimes, you know when you are looking for your glasses, and after searching everywhere you realize they were on your head all along?….it’s having the eyes to see what is right in front of you.

Hey, we do our best, right? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But life is made up of many don’ts–we just get caught up so much in the do’s, the rights, the yes’ that we forget that they aren’t the ones who will leave us with something learnt. They are actually the happy consequences of what we learned from all those dont’s, all those wrongs, all those mistakes. In these moments I always think of J.K. Rowling and something that she said that struck me so much. In an interview, after all of the questions about Harry Potter and how she felt about all of her success and her money blah blah she made sure to say that she wouldn’t have got it all if it weren’t for her failures. She emphasized on how important it was for her to fail. She said that people never talk about failure, and it’s something so crucial to life, so crucial for learning and growing. Now, isn’t that a beautiful way to look at life?

This also brings me to a great quote by Winston Churchill that I have on my wall (sorry I don’t mean for this to turn into a cheesy self-help hour, but I can’t help it!) which is really beautiful. He says

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to keep going that counts” — Winston Churchill

I mean, talk about wise words! Now, if we could only follow them….but we must! I urge us all to practice this: don’t fall after failure, and don’t cling to your successes. Strive to keep going, always learning, always growing. Learn from your mistakes and cherish your triumphs, but remember that in life everything passes. So live! Live today, live now. The past has passed and we never know of tomorrow until it becomes today. So let’s take it one day at a time, shall we?

Live well,

Luci 🙂