October 2012

Four ways to make the most of your Sandy downtime

Distract yourself with these useful projects.

A lot of people are home this week as Hurricane Nor'easter Superstorm Sandy lumbers towards the East coast. Judging by Twitter, most people are planning to spend their time either getting drunk or high or both. And hey, those are valid options! But what if you want to use your time a little better? Here are some suggestions for useful time-killers that don't require electricity.

Learning to let go

Burn your problems with a traditional Chinese ritual.

The more I knock off travel destinations from my Bucket List, I find it starting to fill up more and more with personal growth items. This week, when having a lot of free time to think on an island in the Mekong River, I realized a new addition. I want to learn to let go.

Though I’m not a person to hold a grudge, I am a person who has a hard time forgetting things, and truly letting them go. I can forgive people quickly, but the remnants of someone wronging me, or experiencing past sorrow, seem to linger. I find myself becoming a bit scared history will repeat itself, which ends up holding power over me and my well-being.

I want to ride in a helicopter

Ultra cool people ride in choppers.

Let’s make one thing straight; riding in helicopters is by far the coolest form of transportation.  You know who rides in helicopters? The President of the United States rides in helicopters. European soccer players probably ride in helicopters. James Bond film villains ride in helicopters. This is just a small list of the lucky people who get the chance to quote the Governator and yell something about getting back to a chopper.

I’ve begun to weigh my options, and it seems there are only two ways this will happen. Option one: get rich! To follow through this option I will first have to either further my education, leading to years of paying off loans, while simultaneously working my up the corporate ladder, or else find some under the table, nitty gritty, get-rich-quick jobs. 

Becoming less of a head case

Finding focus through meditation

When most people think of living to do, and trying to achieve new things, they have tangible goals, I believe a large part of the equation is becoming a full person. For me, this involves looking introspectively at who I am, and what growths and changes I want to make to be the person I’m proud to be. Introspection in itself is a task, but when one masters this, the real fun begins.

One personal trait I posses and would like to work on is that I’m a complete head case. I tend to be in my head more often than I am in the real world, and this translates to not always speaking up, having trouble staying in the moment and a plethora of other issues.

Learning a new language

Immerse yourself in a culture that speaks your desired language.

Well my friends, this is something Americans aren’t known for doing well. This isn’t to say there aren’t some Americans who speak other languages flawlessly, but Americans, the Brits, Aussies and basically anyone with English as a mother tongue isn’t known for this particular skill. I would like to change this.

To be able to learn a new skill, as an English speaker, a person must truly put themselves in a place of immersion. I “speak,” French, but while meeting French people abroad, I always fall back on English because their grasp of my language is better than the opposite.  English is becoming a global language, so all too often, it’s easy to just be happy we were blessed with it as our mother tongue.