Delimit My Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Hellen Keller

Archive for the tag “journeys”

Day 16 Know Yourself

Yesterday, I passed the half way mark on my thirty day cold shower challenge. The showers pretty much feel amazing now and I enjoy the new level of energy in the morning. However, I am even more ecstatic that I have kept up with my blogging promise, tackling my fear head on! The writing has been challenging and often frustrating but I have no regrets. It has given me the opportunity every day to think about something important and take the time to articulate my thoughts. Making me realize how thoughtful reflection gives me a clearer perspective on my life.

Consequently, I have recognized that I have become pretty comfortable with my cold showers. I do not fear them anymore so my comfort zone has expanded. This feels great because after finding a limit in my life I have been taking the steps to break past it. However, I want to delimit my life which means I need to figure out more limitations. I have been thinking about this since I started this blog and I haven’t found that many yet. I think it is because most people, me included, hide their limitation from themselves, denial being their biggest friend. So when trying to think about my fears, I freeze up and go blank. No one actually wants to admit they have fears at least to themselves. When I read about the cold shower challenge, I came face-to-face with a limitation, forcing me to confess my fear. Of course, I could have told myself a bunch of lies but I did not. I realized that I could never see myself taking cold showers for thirty days straight because at the time it seemed impossible. Now half way there, I know it’s possible and I feel crazy for ever thinking it wasn’t.

This is bad! Okay so you may be wondering why. It’s complacency, simply being a human means falling into this trap. Once you reach a solution that adequately solves a problem no further improvements will be made. So as I become comfortable with my cold showers, I will eventually fall back into a habit of not challenging myself. There is a similar problem with artificial evolution. An organism can only become as complex as the environment it lives in will allow. Thus, if I am going to continuing growing I need to add more complexity. Not in the sense of having a complicated life, simplicity is great, but in finding new challenges that will push my boundaries! In order to do this I need to understand what I fear and what I think is impossible!

This will of course take some time so my challenge is to find one limitation for the next ten posts. They will then be placed in my delimit list along with a challenge to get past them.

  1. Acrophobia, I have an irrational fear of heights. I get anxiety/panic, dizzy, and my hands get clammy.

The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer. ~ Adam Smith


Day 10 A New Cold Shower

Today was my first day in my new place which meant trying out the new shower. First, let me say, that all of the showers that I have used have one knob that turns in one direction towards heat. So somehow, irrational as it may seem, I always felt like I had no choice in the matter when turning on the shower and keeping it at cold. I wasn’t really choosing cold rather I am just stuck with less heat. However, today I found myself in front of a choice! I either move the knob to the left for heat or the right for cold. What shower actually gives you the option for making the shower colder? Anyways, I know my challenge so I had to move that freaking knob all the way to the right to no man’s land. Yes, I had to choose to make my shower as cold as possible. There was no hint or whisper of heat and I fully felt and appreciated the choice of choosing cold! And it was cold, I mean bone freezing, because I didn’t stop shaking until I was out of the shower. I can only compare it to my previous 4am shower which I remember as being icy cold.

My friend heard me since I probably let out a slight yelp but it was more me laughing at the height of the shower. Again, I am stuck with a shower head that is about a foot shorter than me. I told my friend about my challenge beforehand so it didn’t really surprise him. Also his reaction to my challenge was a little stronger than most since he said “I think people who take cold showers are stupid” (clean version). Not everyone understands my challenge which I think is a good thing. He had a good laugh at me and couldn’t understand why I was doing it. I of course went through the basics but what really caught my attention was that he said he would turn the shower cold at the end. I have been hearing this from numerous people, but I wonder how many of them actually do it. Its easy to say one thing but do another. They also seem to think that turning it cold after being hot is about the same as my challenge. This has made me come to realize that people won’t always understand my actions because they are looking through a narrow perspective. People love their hot showers, even adore them! To the extreme, that people can have bad days just because they were forced to take a cold shower by some unseen circumstance. I know it’s hard to take a cold shower but it shouldn’t ruin a person’s entire day.

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often. ~ Mark Twain

Day 9 A Long Day

Move in day for my college was today so I drove a good five hours and moved into my new place. I didn’t stop driving till I got to my campus so I had to push lunch to 4pm. I met up with my friend, and roommate, Will to go eat at Chipotle. My friend Keyes (nickname) arrived after us just by coincidence which was cool. Then Will and I went to move into our new place. This is where the fun began!

We stood in line to sign all of our agreements, but we happened to hear that we needed a receipt for some house payment. So we drove to the campus office just to find out that we had to pay at one of the table we were just at. We drove all the way back and finally got into the right line. They were down to just one credit card machine because the other ones broke; this just always seems to happen. We stood in a line of about five people, small size, yet it took us 45 minutes. During our idle time standing, we over heard that we had to pay a premium charge which I had no clue about. So I had to transfer from my phone all of my money into one account, not much to begin with, in order pay for my new place. I was living in stressville, and I still am slightly.

My place is actually really nice, and I think I am going to enjoying living here but there are some downfalls. Starting this year, my college made it mandatory for each house to have one single and one double room. So as a senior in college, I will be sharing a room with someone I don’t know. It really brings me back to freshman year, and I’m actually freaking out inside. Living with someone new is hard enough but having them sleep in the same room is almost ridiculous.  As a freshman, my schedule was much lighter and there wasn’t a huge worry about sleeping. But over the years, I have found that sleep is a necessity when it comes to college. I have gone through periods of poor sleep since I had insomnia growing up and I still get it when I am stressed out. It happened on that first night of my cold shower shower challenge. There is no pointing on worrying about it, at least that’s what I tell myself.

P.s Today’s cold shower had nothing on my long tiring day, felt routine to me.

*** It’s very late (about to pass out) but I wanted to complete my blog for the day. Since I haven’t gone to sleep I still count it as day 9 even though its past midnight for me.  Plus, I had to get the internet setup at my new place, which I did, but it takes some time.

Day 8 A Cold Shower Story

I thought it would be fun and a little challenging to write about one of my cold showers in the fashion of a story. This would be a first so I hope you enjoy.

Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Agh morning already, I reach over to turn off the phone. I lay in my warm and oh so cozy bed not wanting to move or get up. Whatever, I am awake now got to start the day sometime. I grab my towel, shampoo, and body wash and head over to the guest bathroom. The bathroom has fake wood panel flooring with a Native American theme for the decor. I place my towel on a bathroom counter and put my shampoo and body wash into the shower. It’s a long shower one of those bath tubs and showers combined with two glass sliding doors.

I turn the shower knob slightly to the left just enough to let cold water start rushing out. Then I pull up on a lever forcing the water to shoot out of the shower head. The water feels pretty cold as I stick my hand in stream to test it out. It reminds me of how I felt jumping over a sprinkler on a hot summer day. When that water first hit me as a child and I would let out a little scream of terror and enjoyment, mixed emotions that only seem like fun and excitement back then. But to a tired mind, the water only sends signals ice, pain, and panic. I ignore these thoughts and move on.

I like walking into the shower from the back, habit I guess, so I slide the glass door closed and open the back one. I undress and extend one leg into the shower. The feeling of the water sends a shiver crawling up my back. The worst part though is yet to come, and I even consider this feeling easy. Not stopping or freezing, I keep moving forward. I start moving towards the front of the shower and my thoughts tell that the “best” part is about to happen. When that cold water first hits my chest, it’s like someone pouring hundreds of ice cubes down my shirt. Except, I have to keep them there for a whole five minutes.

As the cold water hits my stomach, I immediately take a deep breath in. Otherwise, the shock will force a painful gasp. My entire body goes on alert and every little hair feels likes its standing awake, goose bumps ripping down my body. My skin tightens and my muscles quiver. I remind myself to breath normally and in controlled paces. This calms the initial panic and steadies my mind. Although this all happens in what could be seconds, it feels quite long. The skin remains tight but the panic fades. I turn around, grab the shampoo, and start cleaning my hair. Then I grab my luffa and body wash and start scrubbing clean. This actually hurts my skin a little, now that that the cold water has made it so inflexible.

With every movement the ice cold water hits another body part, and I feel the heat strip away from me. It’s funny how quickly one part of my body will get used to the feeling and another will forget. It seems like a never ending dance with the ice princess. Now and again, I have to let out a little whooh, and practically beat my chest to keep the motivation going. It’s primal, I know, but it really helps when you are freezing your ass off! The shower head is about a foot shorter than I am so I have to squat down and lean back to wash out my hair. It makes me laugh aloud at the awkwardness of my position, or it could be I’m being hysterical due the freezing cold water striking again my scalp and turning what’s left of my brain into an ice cube. Either way, it seems hilarious in my mind which only makes me feel a little insane.

I turn around and force my face into the stream of cold water. The feeling reinvigorate my entire body, and I start to wonder what a hot shower felt like. I remember warmth and relaxation but these only seem like words now. Why would I want to give up this feeling of being alive to something that relaxes and dulls my mind? Why wouldn’t someone want start the day feeling energize and powerful? Similar questions race inside my frozen head.  Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Wow has it been five minutes already? I turn the knob and step out of the shower. It still surprises my body when I feel warmer outside of the shower than inside.

I reach over and turn off the alarm. As I quickly dry off, one thought slowly creeps into my head, what the heck am I going to write about today?

The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. ~ Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

Day 7 A Week of Cold Showers

The hardest part of this past week has not been waking up each morning to a cold shower but writing about my experience. Don’t misunderstand me, the cold showers are still uncomfortable, but if you ever try the challenge you will realize quickly that the discomfort is short lived. On the other hand, writing can make some people, me included, feel very uneasy. I have read many articles on the benefits of writing, how to write, why I should write, and many more, all telling me the same information. Still, I could never start because I thought nothing I wrote would be good enough. I had come to believe this after years of educators telling me so along with their common misplaced jokes of how horrible my writing was. This was clearly one limit that I believe in and it was holding me back in life!

As you may know, I promised as part of my challenge to blog every day to keep myself motivated. It seemed like a crazy idea at the time, but my life was transitioning into a new chapter, and I let the crazy idea sink in. When I wrote that first post, excitement pumping through me, I was not thinking about the difficultly. Subconsciously, I believed that no one would even read my posts so I had nothing to worry about. Sadly, on my first night, when the realization of my challenge hit me, I started thinking about quitting. I’m not proud of those thoughts but they happened. Eventually, I ended up on my computer deciding if I should delete my blog and forget the whole thing. Then surprise, someone decided to follow my blog. It was like someone decided to tagging along with my challenging and was saying I’d like to see you complete your challenge. I was being held accountable and it gave me the motivation I needed, so my thanks go out to projectlighttolife for giving me that first push.

Today, I jumped into the cold shower and the only thing I could think was that I had completed my first week. Not long ago, I thought of a cold shower as a horrific experience. One in which only a crazy person would attempt each day, because true insanity is not enjoying a hot relaxing shower. Yet in less than a week, I have changed my perspective and given into this supposed insanity. Again in my life, I find out that insanity is purely objective.

Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage. ~ Ray Bradbury

What cage has someone locked you in?

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