Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Super Powers

The classic question... "If you were a super hero, what would your superpower be?"
Of course, flight and mind-reading have long been deemed sexy. Ambitions of each have outlived the question.... and dreams of making these powers a reality have inspired inventions that have changed our lives every day. The Wright Bros weren't trying to be heroes when they launched their bi-plane. They were simply trying to achieve a dream that others perceived was the work of gods, out of the realm of human possibility.
I have thought of some clever responses. I've actually considered the question quite a bit.
My number one answer: the ability to remember everything I've ever learned. I think I would be much more willing to learn languages if I could store all that data up there....and no crazy equipment is necessary...we only use 0 or so percent of our brains as it is? Nevermind that we're on the cusp of artificial intelligence, and half robot-humanoids.
On a similar vein-- to be able to understand and communicate in any language, even dead ones, would be fascinating. 

But last night I had a new thought. Driving back from a friends house in the cold, a homeless-looking man passed in front of me. I always think about picking up hitch hikers, passersby, or anyone who needs help, but after remembering a horror story or two, decide that today won't be the day. I HATE that I am held back by fear to help another...when I have so much to give. ...I found myself thinking that a great super power would be some sort of force-field or immortality that would repel any that I could help those in need without fear.
Then I had a similar thought this morning. I can't remember now what power I was day dreaming of but it inspired a thought: "super powers" are just outrageous goals. ..if we can fine-tune them, and set some parameters, they COULD be achievable- at least in some fraction.
If I really want a better memory, I can work on that.  Flight? Well, as I type this I'm looking down 8000 feet at the city of Dallas below. I've been acknowledged for my ability to read minds, which I attribute to simply paying attention, and having care. Oh, another favorite super-power? That I could eat whatever I want and not gain weight... I'm getting better about eating a healthy (or reasonable portion) of foods I love...and teaching myself to love low-calorie foods that make me feel great, like kale, carrots and cabbage.
As I was boarding the plane this morning, this monologue running through my head, I asked a woman if I could sit in the empty window seat in the row she was sitting in. Her response to my simple request that she let me slip by her was a sour look and long sigh. I thought, she could use the power of grace- learning that to smile a bit and have a sense of humor/not take life too seriously will get you far (though she was probably 70, so she's clearly gotten pretty far along without it).  And I reliazed how attainable that goal would be...and that it didn't require some magic stone or strange goo for us to slowly gain these powers.
I'm starting my year with some new super powers... The power of clarity, for one... acquired by taking time to make decisions and envision the full picture. I'm also working on my power to focus, by creating incentives for achieving full tasks, and setting times for distractions like boyfriends and facebook. 
I think it is also important to recognize the powers I have worked on for years, that have taken years of practice. For years I made a goal of living in the present, and lately, as I reflect more than ever on my past, I've become aware at how good I have become at living Now.
This year, we can all attain super powers. They all start relatively week, but just as I work on my biceps or abs every morning, I will continue to strengthen my new skills...until by my own effort (or the help of a super computer of the future) I have developed a super power...and you can too. 

So, if you could have any super power, what would it be? And how are you going to attain it? 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 ~

I typically look forward to the end of each year as a moment of pause and reflection. As was indicative of this year, however, my reflection process for 2015 was slightly different. Nevertheless, for anyone who cares (probably just myself in 1-10 years), here was my 2015 in a slightly statistical summary. 

This has been a huge year of growth for me. I don’t think I’ve fully wrapped my head around it yet. I separated from my partner of 5 years, and I got my first full time job- but there were dozens of accomplishments in between. Most of them came in the form of a simple phrase that I waited years to hear, or a minute action that I doted on for days.
Not surprisingly, I’ve recapped one of the most dramatic years of my life with a series of lists.

Films I saw:
                 In Theaters
Merchants of Doubt
Mad Max: Fury Road
Jurassic World
Inside Out <3
The Hobbit
Into the Woods
                Online/On DVD
The Squid and the Whale
Brothers Karamazov
Horse Whisperer
Fault in our Stars
Woody Allen**
Some others I’ve forgotten

TV shows I started (Damn you people)
Sons of Anarchy
Idiot Abroad 
A bunch of others I only watched a few episodes of. Thank god I don't have a TV. 

Books I Read
Thanks to the tracker on Goodreads, I can tell that I only achieved 50% of my book goal to read 14 books. I read about 2,000 pages in many different genres...
Here they are in order of my favorite to least favorite. 

Lolita (re-read)
House of Leaves (re-read)
The Universe Within
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind
The Bean Trees
Shakespeare: The World as a Stage
Letters to a Young Scientist

States I visited
Twas a relatively limited nomadic year for me, but I did get to cross a new US state off the list (WA). New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona were visited or lived in by me this year.

(I lost count on these two, so I’m estimating…hoping to keep better track for my own nerdy knowledge in 2016.)
Total number of showers in 2015- approx. 75
Times I used the clothes washer: (not counting laundering ALL the tents for work): 26

Biggest Embarrassment: being forever known as Fan #12 …

Fitness Goals? 25 pushups (check—I did 31 in front of a group of high school boys this summer. Motivation!) 5 pull-ups (I did 6!), 100 burpees in under 8:00 (If I didn’t achieve this, I came really close. I’ll do a better job of keeping track in 2016.

Most Memorable Moment(s): Hiking Keet Seel, watching cicadas emerge, summiting Mt. Wheeler with CJ, talking about my future position while walking around the “other” perimeter with Kris, camping on the Mesa, Portland/Washington trip, reconnecting with old friends. 

I’m expecting 2016 to behold lots of long hours and hard work. Gut-busting laughter. Intimate weddings of people I love dearly, and some engagements of others. New tattoos (knuckles? forearms?), and continuing the transition into an entirely hooded wardrobe. And perhaps, but hopefully not, finding a new place of residence. One thing I am positive of, is that 2016 is going to be an expensive year. I intend to really strengthen myself in all aspects. Bring it, 2016!