When The Clock Strikes Positive
This post was originally written for Clockwork Positive.com. A website committed to spreading positivity all the world over! Follow the link, and check out some of their cool stuff. Enjoy!
We woke up at 9am to the whispers of white streets and powdered slopes. It was a new year. Day one. 2016. Aspen, Colorado. We shrugged the morning groggy off our shoulders, and silenced the voices that rebelled against movement.
“Go back to sleep.”
My life was moving at a breakneck pace when I arrived in Aspen to visit friends for New Years. I was in school in San Diego, and they were scattered across the country. My fall semester had just ended on December 12th, marking the beginning of a momentary pause in schoolwork and a cue to start working to save money before the next semester.
I had 18 days before my flight to Aspen, and an obese To Do list. On top of having to make some money, I was also applying to graduate schools and applications were reaching their deadlines. Lots to do. Email professors. Submit obscene amounts of paperwork. Write lame cover letters about myself. I won’t bore you with details. Let’s just say I was under a lot of stress.
Such is life.
Yea, I know. Let’s move along with the story.
I had 18 days prior to going to Aspen. I worked 17 out of the 18 days, for 8-13 hours a day. I sent 20+ emails to professors, corresponded directly with 6 professors, completed and submitted 5 graduate applications, and reconnected with 3 old friends over coffee.(including @clockworkpositive =D).
By day 13, I had worked myself into a cold.
By day 15, I had lost my voice.
On day 19, I arrived in Aspen, completely exhausted, without a voice, and barely ready to swallow 4 days of OMG I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU GUYS IN 365 DAYS, AND IT’S NEW YEARS. Yikes.
It was non-stop. It was constant. I felt like a robot. It was daunting, and somehow, I thrived.
There’s something strange about our world, in that there are two: the world that happens to us, and the world which we choose to make of it. The first is out of our control. It happens to us. It’s that dog poop that I just stepped in, and the homeless guy’s fumes invading my nostrils on the subway.
The second is what makes life extraordinary. It’s our world. It isn’t the events but the way we choose to ingest them. It’s the light we caste; the colored film through which we choose to see a brighter world, or a darker.
Time passed slowly those 18 December days before the New Year of 2016. It was frustrating. But, I tried something new. Every time I found myself facing negative thoughts, I silenced them. I literally told myself to curb the bullshit; to shut the hell up. I said it aloud, I used mantras, I used breathing techniques. I did everything in my power to stay in the light; to shine a spotlight on the perverse or invasive that wasn’t beneficial to my situation. Nasty thoughts. I addressed them for what they were, and incinerated them.
We spent 4 days in Aspen. For 3 of the days, we skiied all day. The nights were filled with out on the town, each yielding about 1/10 of a nights sleep.
New Years Eve was extravagant, and fantastic. To this day, I’m surprised how much energy I had, and how I felt like the beating heart of my own fast-paced world. We slept for only a smidgen in the wee hours of the morning, and then we woke up at 9am to the whispers of white streets, and powdered slopes.
“We don’t control the experiences that life throws at us. We don’t control the emotions that life throws at us. But we do choose how we want to swallow the whole lot. We choose the light we cast on our past, the present and the future.” -Some Wise Guy
Take a moment and look at the nearest clock. Those are the numbers under which we write our lives. We count our actions with the rotations of arms on a wheel. That’s the world we don’t control. It tics. We go. Then we step in dog poo, or loose our job, or are blown away when an old friend says they’re in town for the night.
But the world is two, and in every moment is a summons of you to strike a positive note. A chance for you to shift the lighting, and make it all brighter. To take a new angle on your current perspective. Did you just step in dog poop? I’m sorry. That’s hilarious. I hope you’re laughing.
That clock you see is not going to stop ticking. But it’s up to you to decide if this will be a positive moment. If you will cherish it for all that it brings, or scald it for its lacking. It is up to you to make the clock strike positive.
OOLIN | Starbucks, Solana Beach, CA
Check out this awesome TED talk that validates everything I just mentioned! Awesome!
Happy Secret to Better Work – By Shawn Achor
“Struggle is an inherent aspect of living, but we have the choice to move headlong into adversity, or to avoid it. The past 22 days have been an accomplishment, a great feat demonstrating the interminable energy that lies within me, that lies within us. Have faith in it, for we are capable of great things.” –Oolin’s Journal, Post-Aspen, Colorado, 2016