From the Blog

There’s No Tomorrow

Live like there’s just this one moment. Feel it to the utmost, grab it and simply let it happen.

Don’t think too much of the future as it will come anyway and you cannot do anything about it.

Live here and now. This is what really matters.

I’ve come across these and the like pieces of advice when I’ve looked for the ideas to improve my life and become happier. There is much wisdom in them. I’ve discovered for myself that when I immerse myself in the present moment and don’t bother too much about what will happen next or what has already happened, I feel that this precious gift – the time I was given – is not wasted. Each second spent with one’s full attention on any activity, be it cooking, playing with children, cleaning, writing or walking, becomes sacred and thus extremely valuable. Every time I do something with my whole self, I feel as if I created a work of art. I’m not a very prolific artist, though. I’m working on it.

On the other hand, there is a great danger in the idea that there’s no future. I think it is often used in an immature and irresponsible way to make people believe that they can do anything they feel like doing because there are no consequences later on. And if you add to it this misconception that pleasure is the one and only facet of happiness, the real hell begins. I’ve met some people whose main aim is the momentary pleasure and fun. They call it living the fullness of life, but I think that it’s a trap. I’ve been in such a trap once or twice. I do not recommend it. I suppose, addicts are trapped in a cage of such moments of pleasure or relief provided by that thing, activity or substance they are addicted to. It’s nothing to be envious about.

I discovered for myself that an oversimplification of the “here and now” concept may be dangerous, when I examined my body yesterday. Well, for my body tomorrow matters. I mean, what I do to it today has its consequences tomorrow. And ten years later, too. And my body remembers. It remembers two pregnancies, all stressful situations I’ve encountered, very irregular exercise, too little sleep and all my other crimes and offences. Moreover, it remembers my “moments of pleasure”, such as innumerable coffees, cakes, cookies, etc. Whenever I am about to commit such a petty offence, I forget about my body and I think “oh, this is just a small coffee, nothing serious and I really want to drink it and it smells so lovely and it’s so delicious, who cares I’ve drunk three already”. Then I drink it – five or ten minutes of pleasure with thoughts like “oh, life is beautiful, coffee is delicious, I can immerse myself in that taste and feel it with all my senses, great!” – and a few hours later – a stomach ache. Body remembers.

Of course, it’s just a silly example, but what I want to stress is that one should take ones body into account, because it is affected by anything we do. So, while in many aspects of our life we can live here and now and it may be extremely beneficial to us, as far our bodies are concerned, we have to live in them here and now as well as there and tomorrow.

 

In Search of Free Time

There is always something to do. I cook, do the laundry, clean, vacuum, dust, wash up, prepare for the lessons, do the shopping, play with children, drive the older angel to kindergarten, feed the younger one and clean his tiny shitty bottom. And, eventually, I go to the lessons and tuitions.

Each of these activities is special to some extent and it can be even enjoyable if you approach it with an appropriate attitude. I’ve read somewhere that if you immerse yourself in each task so as to forget about anything else and focus your attention solely on this single activity, your life will become much richer. I think that can be true. If you treat each of your mundane chores as a kind of meditation and you take it up with concentration and calmness, the quality of your life will be much better. Every minute of your life spent on slicing bread or watering flowers will become meaningful. Such approach encourages relaxation and peace which have huge positive influence on your brain, body and soul. That sounds great, and I must admit I made some attempts to live this way. But somehow I cannot.

Everyday there is something extra on my unwritten list of chores and everyday I make a solemn promise to take down all the duties so as to prioritize them and not to forget anything. But I run out of time to make a list. And so I forget or do some things that could be done later and then have little time to do really important stuff. As a result I am in a hurry, which makes me upset. I don’t like rushing. I hate it. And I hate this feeling of being at the end of my tether, which, unfortunately, I sometimes encounter.

I’m constantly in search of free time. By free time I mean the time with myself for myself. It’s not that I am never alone, as I have no company for at least 4 hours a day. But I use this time for chores which I cannot cherish. And I cannot turn on some peaceful brainwaves that would enable me to be creative and grateful. When I finish all the housework and there is some time left, I act according to one of these scenarios:

  1. I panic that I’ve forgotten about something very important (If I find out what I’ve forgotten about, I do it)
  2. I eat (you never know when there will be the next moment to get some fuel – a very destructive way of thinking which makes you eat too much too often)
  3. I turn on the TV to make sure that there is the same crap as the day before (and I keep on making sure for the next hour or more, as the situation may suddenly change and I don’t want to miss that turning point)
  4. I take a nap (feeling guilty)

This has nothing to do with creativity, self-development or passion. It provides short-lasting pleasure, if any. And it leaves me with a sense of unworthiness and lost time. I cannot say I have no free time. This would be a lie. I have some free time which I have no courage and strength to use, so I waste it. Being conscious of that phenomenon makes me even a greater sinner. That’s an issue to work on.

 

Too Many Things in My Bag

First, some positive sides of the problem:

  • I have just one bag so I don’t suffer from the “I must have left it in my other bag” syndrome
  • I don’t use any make up accessories except for a lip balm
  • my bag is made of leather
  • following the minimalist trend, I try to keep it free of any unnecessary stuff
  • it is too small to hold A4 page

but still I was bewildered with what I found there yesterday, when I looked for my keys. This is an unabridged list of things that a 30-year-old teacher and mother of two holds in her bag:

  1. sun glasses (some day the sun will shine again)
  2. all weather cream for babies (you never know)
  3. a lip balm (indispensible)
  4. sore throat pills no. 1
  5. sore throat pills no .2 (in case sore throat pills no. 1 don't work)
  6. chewing gums
  7. plectrum no. 1 (softer)
  8. plectrum no. 2 (harder)
  9. 2gb stick (just in case)
  10. handkerchiefs
  11. a fine felt-tip pen (orange)
  12. a fine felt-tip pen (green)
  13. a fine felt-tip pen (blue)
  14. a fine felt-tip pen (red)
  15. a small leather pencil case (holding a pen and a pencil) (a present from my Husband)
  16. my notebook
  17. coins (the zip in my wallet has broken down)
  18. my wallet (no change inside)
  19. a pair of gloves
  20. a string that my son ripped out of my jacket at some point and which I haven’t fixed ever since (maybe some day…)
  21. a bundle of an embroidery floss (navy blue), which I bought around 3 months ago when I wanted to make a fancy dress for my son (for the record, I made a fancy dress, although I didn’t use that particular floss)
  22. a small linen bag with a few dices and pawns
  23. car licence
  24. the keys

This was the content of my bag yesterday, yet on many other occasions it can hold diapers, milk bottle, an apple or two, some cookies, a hat and other unexpected things.

What a mess! I am overwhelmed by the number of items, however, it seems that almost all of them are indispensible or, at least, useful. When I need to find something quickly, I usually get frustrated. Some things, such as dices and felt-tip pens are useful during classes. Others have to be there just in case. Several items are just rubbish that should have been got rid of a long time ago.

On Women’s Day – a woman’s bag and its secrets. I wonder what unexpected possssions you hold in you bags, ladies. 

Language Fitness

If you want to be good at playing the guitar, you have to play a lot. Music, like sport, doesn’t forgive longer breaks. The more you play the better (provided, you do it correctly); your hands become stronger and fingers – quicker, your body learns all movements so as to let your brain focus on the expressive part of the work. In this respect music is very physical. It requires fitness. Only then you can play without effort, which is indispensible to create art. Constant effort made while practicing, provides effortless performance.

“I won’t teach you to play the guitar, you have to learn it yourself,” said my teacher during our first lesson. This is what I want my students to understand. I won’t teach you English, you have to learn it yourself. Moreover, you cannot stop practicing after achieving a satisfactory level. If you stop, you lose. Only recently have I drawn this conclusion with respect to both my guitar and my English. I’ve realised that if I don’t take care of my skills, they slowly disappear. I hope I will manage to convey this idea to my students and motivate them to learn on their own.

Stop Dreaming – Start Doing

Here I am. A novice. I have never written a blog, I have never run a business, I have never had a website. But I’ve decided: STOP DREAMING – START DOING. And that’s what I’m doing. I’ve always wanted  to write so why not start right away.

I’ve observed that my English has been deteriorating ever since I completed  my studies. It is probably due to the fact that since that time I haven’t used English to express myself. The truth is, I haven’t had much to express even in my mother tongue let alone foreign languages. For several years now I have been trying to find out what I really think and who I am, as I cannot resist the impression that much of what has been happening in my head has been just a reflection of beliefs and assumptions of others. So now I shall write to discover my true self and, of course, to practice English.

Teaching English is not something completely new for me, yet I definitely cannot call myself an experienced teacher. And having no experience in running any serious business makes developing a language school (my dream) a huge challenge. Of course, I have this vision of a place with a lovely library, spacious classrooms, interactive boards, computers, smiling and resourceful teachers, happy and satisfied students, and the atmosphere of joyful learning plus an ingenuous and original methodology that sets the world on fire. But at the moment I am alone with little savings and a vague idea of how to start making a business plan. That will do.