Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snowed...

The call came in this morning at 6:00.

Snow day.

Sadly the weather in our part of the state did not live up to the hype, which has left our snow day feeling a little wasted. The chance to sleep in, catch up on Downton Abby episodes, and start the process of filing our taxes was much appreciated. Two cups of coffee were enjoyed. Cinnamon rolls (originally frozen) we baked. Sidewalks were shoveled.

I really don't mind shoveling the snow on snow days. (Well, most snow days.) Today was a warm, windless shoveling experience. The snow was wet and heavy and it didn't take long for the sidewalk and drive to melt down once I removed the layer of wet. What makes shoveling our sidewalks the most sucky is the long stretch, living on the corner, and the uneven state of our many years old walkways. But as a walker of dogs, even in winter, and a mother of kids who walk to and from school every day, shovel I will because I know what a pain in the ass those stretches are to walk that do not regularly get cleared after winter weather.  

Tomorrow I'm guessing life will return to it's normal hectic pace. But for the remainder of today I'm going to look at other people's amazing snow pictures on social media, dig through my yarn stash in search of my next knitting project, and sip another warm beverage or 2.

Stay warm friends!


peace

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Restless...

It's the best word I can come up with to describe how my spirit has been feeling as of late. I've been hitting the gym quite often to help sweat out some of that restlessness. Sweating seems to help in so many ways. But the feeling is still there.

Our family schedule is more full of activities and commitments than it has ever been for the winter months. The restlessness is not from a lack of things to keep me busy. If anything, I'd love a little more downtime than our current schedule allows.

This evening our family made a spur of the moment decision to head into the big city for dinner downtown followed by a stop at a new to us coffee and comics shop. As we walked down the cold city streets, past larger than life graffiti street art from an event held last year, into a space hosting independent art work alive with activity from events being held in the area, for a short bit that internal restlessness was quieted.



I am not a city girl. My heart will always live in the wide open spaces of the countryside. I'm always a bit amazed at how quickly a little visit to the city can help quiet the restlessness. Apparently there's more that connects the wide open spaces of the country side with the hustle and bustle of the city than we realize.

At least that seems to be what my spirit recognizes.


peace

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Darkness...

January is a dark month.

  • Days are short.
  • The weather is cold. Today was so cold my nose hairs immediately froze on my first breath each time I walked outside to travel to my next destination.

It's safe to say January and I are NOT friends.

This January seems to be proving to be a rougher ride for me emotionally. We've had many cloudy and grey days as of late. Our family schedule is chocked full of activities and commitments. I'm really trying to keep my eyes turned to the light. These past few days the darkness has been winning the battle. It's a reminder that I need to be better about telling those close to me what I need to help keep things light. Asking for help is not one of my strengths.

In October I took advantage of a special deal to rejoin our local gym. I'm thankful that spending 2-3 hours there a week has simply become a habit this winter. Even with the recent set back of shin splints, I know my gym time this winter has been an important part of keeping a more positive perspective on the temporary state of darkness that January, and winter in general, drapes over life.

Only 67 days until spring...


peace

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Cultivate...

I have lost count of the number of team building, moral boosting, personality testing opportunities I have been asked to participate in by various employers. I've team built in nature. Read about moving cheese. Figured out my personality color. My strengths. My Myers Briggs type. I've been asked to get on the energy bus. To fill people's buckets. How many many others I have forgotten?

Mind you, I'm not totally against all of these various motivational activities as the whole process very much plays into my nerdy side. I will admit, it's hard for me to pass up taking those highly scientific look-at-this-picture-click-the radio-dot-you-most-agree-with personality "tests" found sprinkled around ever corner of the internet like glitter infects your home after 1 tiny sparkly craft project.  I can get as wrapped up in the hype and excitement of it all as much as anyone. Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a self-help, self-discovery junkie.

While my nerdy side kinda likes all those tests and evaluations, my practical, plain and simple side gets a little tired of the gimmickiness of the whole motivational, team building industry. Do we REALLY need 1 more label to show us how yes, we are all different types of people; and yes, we all excel at different things; and yes, some of us are naturally drawn to work well with each other while some of us would like to stab some of the others in our group in the eye with a plastic spoon; and yes, even with all of those similarities and differences, likes and dislikes, we all have to figure out how to put on our big girl panties, get along, and move the overall mission of our organization forward in a meaningful and positive way. It's called adulting.

(Surprise! Aren't you glad you wasted so much of your carefree youthfulness wishing you could grow up and become an adult just a little bit faster than time was turning because being an adult was going to be the MOST awesome thing in the world? Stupid youthful naivety.)

The most recent culture improvement/motivational activity I've been asked to participate in is choosing my ONE WORD for the coming year. Choosing one guiding word is kinda the current thing, as you can read about in this book, or this book. Or by searching #oneword on any social media platform.

Actually this is the 2nd year that I've been asked to chose a word for the year. My word for 2015 was inspire. It is a word that has always spoke to me, and will continue to do so as long as I am serving others on this earth. I hope to inspire my girls to be strong, independent, caring women. I hope to inspire my kids at school to wonder about the world around us. I hope to inspire those in my community to offer up their unique abilities to the world move us towards a healthier, more peaceful society. Just because 2015 has passed, my intention to inspire, and to be inspired, has not.

Choosing my word for 2016 was actually a pretty easy process. I've had lots of internal conversations going on lately about the current state of affairs in many areas of my life, so when the request came to my email inbox for me to have MY word for the year ready to share at not 1, but 2 different staff meetings this week it took me only a matter of minutes to decide on a word.

My #oneword for 2016 is: cultivate.

I am naturally a dreamer. An eternal optimist. A hopeless romantic. A believer that any thing IS possible. Even with my struggles with depression/anxiety, having an optimistically dreamy outlook on life is still a pretty sparkly way to live, and I can't imagine living without the bright, warm light that is created by having hopes and dreams.

That being said, I realize that one of the downsides of being a dreamer is the tendency to get easily distracted by the next sparkly glimmer of possibility without giving one's full attention to the life situations at hand. Cultivating requires careful, planned, extended care. Whether that be a garden. Or a professional pursuit. Or a relationship. Or a dream. It requires one to stand the course even when a new shiny distraction pops up and tries to pull attentions in a new direction. I am, admittedly, not always good at cultivation of many of those gardens of life over the long haul. I can easily get distracted from doing the work necessary to take the next step, or to make a more full commitment, or to find contentment in my current stand in life. It's so easy for me to instead dream about the what ifs. The what could bes. The if onlies.

Does that mean I'm giving up dreaming in 2016?

Hell no!

But it does mean that as I think about planning new gardens, I need to take a look at those that I've already planted and go about doing some work to weed and feed them all, the old and the new.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how one goes about such a task. How one continues to dream and plan for new directions while honoring and enjoying the current path. Luckily there's still 350 some days left in the year for me to wrestle with my #oneword.


peace

Sunday, January 3, 2016

52 in 2016...

My internal dialog is my constant companion. Constant I tell you.

Very little of that dialog ever escapes my thoughts through spoken word. I often think about sharing some of that dialog here on the blog, but looking back at 2015's posts only 2 discussions ever made it to your digital screen. Four other posts were started, but never finished. A posts about giving less fucks. (Ironically written almost exactly a year ago.) A post about celebrating 20 years of marital union. (Written in the sunny days of summer) A post about my struggles with depression. (Written at the start of fall when I struggle the most keeping my emotions on somewhat of an even keel.) A post about my dear great grandma Mary. (Written just after her passing.)

As I've mentioned before, I'm not a resolution maker. But I've been thinking a lot about just what this little spot's purpose is living out on the world wide web. I have often thought of simply taking this blog down, but each time I do that I start to look back at all the bright moments of life (and darker inner thoughts) I've shared here over the years. It's helped me log my knitting journey. It's seen the growth and fading of my yoga business. It's how we shared with loved ones near the ups and downs of parenting, kids and pets. It's been a place for me to share my love of the visual world around me.

This spot may not mean much to others, but when it comes down to it, I realize it means a great deal to me. The process means something to me. The memories recorded here are important to me. So it's time for me to sit back down in my writing chair on a more regular basis. I've said that before, and just SAYING it has never seemed to turn into me actually DOING more writing. So it's time to set a goal. A goal that is specific, measurable, and attainable.

In 2016 I will write 52 posts, 1 per week, to record our lives, our joys, our sorrows, and my inner dialog for whom ever cares to read and for the good that comes from the process of documenting life.

The goal has been set.

The goal has been shared.

Thank you to those who choose to read along on my 2016 journey.


peace