Quite a long day with lots of opportunities to practice at least a certain level of curiosity–working with a new colleague, on a new program, with several new exercises, and a fairly long section on Inquiry. I took those opportunities and am now tired and on my way to bed. 😉
I was at a concert this evening, thanks to the generosity of a friend who couldn’t use her ticket. It had a lot of the right ingredients to transport me but didn’t, and, yes, I feel that is partly the fault of the singer–from the song choices on the first half of the program, to the almost total lack of diction, to her scooping and singing flat quite a bit of the time.
Ordinarily, I become incredibly judgmental, especially because she is world famous and singing on the greatest stages of the world. This time, because it is the Year of Living Curiously, I tried to turn that around. I told myself that she is world famous so there must be a reason, and I listened and watched to see if I could find the reason. Honestly, while the second half of the program suited her and her voice much better, I couldn’t figure it out. This approach felt different though. It felt as if I had been fair and as if I could try again, recognizing that perhaps she was having a bad night or is better on the opera stage. I won’t go out of my way to hear her again, but I won’t go out of my way to not hear her again either.
Today I tried something I’ve been curious about, but a bit wary of, for a number of years now–I went for a session of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). I don’t know if practicing curiosity for almost ten months helped me overcome the wariness, but overcome it I did.
I’m still making sense of what we worked on and how we worked on it. One thing I would like to say is that I’m very glad I did overcome my wariness and tried it out. It was refreshing and helpful. The other thing is that it has elements of River curiosity–you start out with one topic, but you don’t really know where you will end up. You are carried along by the flow of the session.
This morning on our dogwalk I saw another dog person whom I hadn’t seen in ages. From across the park she started waving her arms at me. I waved back. Then she became more agitated and was clearly trying to communicate something more to me than a simple “Good morning!” I was–with great curiosity ;-)–trying to figure out what she was trying to say and was focused on her to the extent that I did not see the police officer hiding in the bushes, waiting apparently for dog walkers who did not have their dogs on the leash.
Luckily, I did figure out in time that what she was mouthing was “Police!” and I was able to get my dog onto the leash before there was a fine to pay. What I discovered this morning was that when you focus all your curiosity on one point, it is easy to overlook something else.
Not much to report today, but on our dog walk this morning I remembered what I have written elsewhere about wraparound curiosity or being aware of what is going on behind me, too, and consciously checked that several times. It does broaden my experience for a brief time and in a small way. Better than nothing.
It turns out that you can practice curiosity not only when buying a laptop but also when setting one up. When I got my last laptop, the one that is still my main laptop, I actually invested in getting a techie in to set it up properly for me. Because I am only planning to use this one in a limited way I didn’t want to spend the money this time and so have been working on the set-up myself. (Luckily, it’s kind of cloudy today, a good day to be indoors and working on something like this.)
This computer has Windows 10 on it and my other one has some earlier program (that tells you how much I know about technology, I think it’s Windows XP, but I wouldn’t want to bet any money on it), which means it has taken some trial and correction* to get the volume set up the way I want and a free program downloaded to show videos and a few other things configured. Tomorrow I’ll work on getting the free version of Office I believe I’m entitled to through one of the universities where I teach. For today I have done enough searching and testing and so on.
* “Trial and correction” is the phrase Timothy Gallwey of The Inner Game fame uses. He feels, and I agree, that it is more accurate than “trial and error”.
Yesterday I set off for the second time to look at new laptops. What’s wrong with the one I have? A while ago it got dropped. It still works as well as it ever did, but because it landed on a corner and the hinge got damaged I can no longer open and close with any ease or confidence. Clearly, this rather gets in the way of its usefulness as a laptop, especially for someone like me who carries it around a lot, mainly to show PowerPoint presentations.
The above story means that I had a very specific idea of what I wanted. I don’t need a good computer for home. I have that, even if it is five years old. I was looking for something as inexpensive as possible to carry around. Nonetheless, I let the salesman, who (as far as I could tell) was very knowledgeable and helpful explain a few different models to me. I went home with the least expensive model that fit my needs, but being open to what he was telling me means that I feel good about the choice I made. I felt I was informed.