Zen and the Art of Friends

I once said that everything in life is relatable to a Friends episode. That more or less anything you are doing, will do, or have done can be directly tied back to a line, a plot, or a feeling from Friends. Some of these are obvious and wheedled their way into popular culture (Going Commando) and some are less obvious and pop into your head for no reason at all. And strangely, even if you never watched Friends, or were a fanatic like myself, your life is still easily traceable to something from some episode of Friends. Even if you don’t like it or agree it is so, this is a fact that not one person has been able to prove wrong.

For me right now, it is the episode where Joey does an infomercial where he essentially is too dumb to open a milk carton and proclaims with gusto “There’s got to be a better way!” to which the announcer replies, “There is Kevin!” That one line keeps popping up in my head There’s got to be a better way! As I drive home from a disappointing doctor visit for my son’s chronic illness, There’s got to be a better way! As I listen to my husband tell me his check engine light is on again, There’s got to be a better way! As I get frustrated and low blood sugary from planning my day poorly and realizing I have nothing to feed my children (one of whom can’t eat gluten so I don’t even have the luxury of killing them slowly with fast food) There’s got to be a better way! All day, every day that is all I can think of. I keep waiting for the booming voice to cut in and say “There is Wendy!” and then for the infomercial on how to live a better life would pop on and tell me how in just a few easy steps for  three small payments I too can learn the better way to live life and have all my problems solved. Sadly, this voice never comes, and I highly suspect at this point that it isn’t going to.

This had led me here to the written word where I do most of my best thinking, or at least where I find escape and insight into whatever ails me. And I thought, what if I challenge myself to find this better life, to find the better way to theoretically open that carton of milk that is my life so that I am happier, less stressed, not anxious and overall a better person, mother and wife? What if I challenge myself in a very open and public way (so I am held accountable) to find a new practice or method of living each week that will be “the better way” I’ve been searching for? Maybe if I take small steps it won’t seem so overwhelming. Maybe if I just change one thing a week I won’t feel burdened by the awesome task of overhauling my life.

Don’t get me wrong, there are several thing in my life that are great, that bring me no end of happiness and comfort (my husband and children being great examples) I feel lucky to have those three men in my life. But I feel I could give back more to them than the short tempered, hurried, frustrated, anxiety riddled woman they have come to know and still somehow remarkably love. Maybe just, maybe.

So the plan is simple, or at least it is starting out simple as all great plans should. I will explore a new possibility every week that should improve my quality of life without adding extra stress, burden, or monetary bleeding. The goal being that at the end of 52 weeks I have found The better way of living and truly gotten in touch with my inner Zen.

My influences from the ether: