Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: birthday

Big Three Oh List – Update

Last year, I made a Big Three Oh List. In my last week at 30, I thought we’d check in.

Spoiler alert – I only accomplished 1/2 of the list, and that’s being generous – but I still had an awesome year.

Learn to make a latte at home, or a cold brew, or something fun with delish coffee. Sort of. We didn’t buy a fancy glass pour-over or start grinding our own beans, but H and I are making coffee at home more & more. He likes vanilla powder from Coffee Bean and I’ve become obsessed with hot chocolate spiked with coffee. Not sure if I want to expand or just leave this as is.

Host a story bowl. Sadly no, but I am considering one soon.

Bake bread. Again, no. Not even once. I don’t know why this stays on my list when I never make the effort to actually do it, but my friend Jo sent me a recipe that I will get to eventually.

Take a trip alone. Attend a retreat. Technically, no, but I did start monthly Day Alone trips, and I plan to continue that ritual.

Visit friends in Chicago, visit friends in NYC, visit Denver. Well, yes, in fact, I did make it to Denver. Woot! I made it to New Hampshire, Joshua Tree (more than once), and Vegas. And I traveled to Boston 3x, which is almost too much.

Create a second income stream / Launch an e-course or e-deliverable. Not yet, but the seeds of ideas are planted. Also, I did a 30 day challenge on the blog (sort of a first) and learned I do not like 30-day challenges.

Rock climb outdoors. Yes, yes and yes. Also, yes and yes. Rock climbing, hiking and being outdoors were a large part of my 30th year. Dubbing 2014 the “year of gear” (only half joking).

Hang plants in the apartment. Gah. Why is something so simple, so difficult? I walk into Home Depot and freeze. My succulents in the window are dying. Maybe I am not meant to have plants.

Make a photo collage on a wall in my apartment. Also, hang twinkle lights, preferably in a cute shape. Nope, again. It’s seems that when I have a super cute our-apartment-NEEDS-this idea, I should execute it within 2 weeks or forget about it entirely. Otherwise, not happening. We did get new floors though downstairs, thanks to H, and they are life-changing

Get the hang of Pinterest. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. Can’t I just stay on Instagram forever?

Write a song. just one. No, but please note that I did pick up the guitar a few times. Just a few.

Get a tattoo. Another for the “No” column, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. A lot.

Write a letter to my parents thanking them. Working on this now.

See the LA Phil. I mean, come on, who was I when I made this list?? Great idea, but it didn’t happen. I did, however, see Jimmy Eat World 2x (Ventura and Los Angeles) and go to Stage Coach.

Do a juice cleanse. Hahahahahahaha. ::sigh:: No, but I do make juice at home a lot, and I’m much happier ordering fresh juice over alcohol when we eat out anytime.

Visit Alaska. OH EM GEE – YAAAASSSSS. It was magical, beautiful and everything I dreamed it would be, all the way back to my 2011 post about it.

Celebrate two lovely friends at their wedding. Yay! This also involved laying out underneath the night sky with friends, looking for shooting stars. Awesome weekend.

Learn to give myself a manicure. No, but I did paint my own nails a bit more. I made it to the nail salon a total of zero times. Clearly, not a priority, especially with all of that rock climbing.

Create a meditation practice. While I didn’t create & sustain a practice, I did have a few golden streaks during the year, thanks to Susannah Conway’s meditations from her Sacred Alone class. Can’t wait till she releases an album of more.

Get a blogging mentor or writing group or something related to this. Boy, do I feel like I’m failing at this left and right. No group. No mentor. Not yet, anyways.

Create a mini-book. I wrote this hoping to make one for my sister. Instead, I ordered her Sticky9 magnets from our StageCoach weekend and called it a day. I did, however, make a few scrapbook pages and I looooovvveeedddd them.

Learn more about tarot. Yes to this one. I use this deck, which is both gorgeous and scary depending on what you pull.

Run a 5k. Maybe even a 10k. Or that elusive 1/2 marathon. Nah. Lately it seems rock climbing is the end to the means of the rest of my physical activity. Running takes it’s toll on my body, but I run 2m 3-4x per week. Also, HIIT is super fun.

Put myself, and creativity, first. More and more, yes. More and more, a habit, not a goal.

Switch to natural products. Ummm… I did stop wearing anti-aspirant and bought some Burt’s Bees face lotion, which is lovely. Close enough.

Change our floors or move to a new apartment. H took care of this for me back in April mostly by himself. Again, life changing. I never did write a blog post about it. You can see them in this picture (one of my favs) though they’re blond, so yes, the floor matches the dog.

Ride a horse. Just never made plans for this. I did, however, go stand-up paddle boarding for the first time. Not the same at all, but another new, cool activity we tried out.

Visit somewhere outside of the country. No, but we have tickets booked for a trip soon!! ::insert heart-eye emoji::

Go kayaking. Yes! In Alaska, we sea kayaked and I loved every second of it.

Advertisements

Welcoming December

November was a month full of travel – leaving home for work once and fun twice.

December is home-bound all the way.

We got back from our Thanksgiving trip to Joshua Tree yesterday afternoon – driving home in the rain that visited SoCal (gosh, we need it). We spent the later afternoon reading (me) and napping (H & Carter Cash). It was a very active, fun, adventurous weekend. I plan on writing more about it this week.

This morning I welcomed in December with a quick trip to Starbucks to write out all of the swirling ToDos in my head. Getting things down on paper is not only a relief, but also gives me a solid way to keep track of the next thing I want to / need to work on.

The season of red cups, Christmas music and gift-list making is upon us. We have family visiting in T-2.5 weeks and we’re hosting everyone for Christmas, officially, for the first time this year.

After work I am going to pack up the Thanksgiving decorations and pull out the Christmas ones. The weather plus end of daylight savings time has made the evenings dark and long. I think it’s 6pm when it’s only 4pm. I think it’s time for bed around 7pm. We’re asleep most night by 9:30pm, and sleep 8hrs straight. We wake before the sunrise, moving through the dark apartment by 5:30am.

But it’s part of the season, part of the change, part of the flow. I can’t believe we’re in the last month of 2014, I’m holding on to every last bit of it as the days go by.

The photo above is for day 1 of December Reflections, hosted by Susannah Conway. I don’t plan on sharing the photos here in that exact capacity, but feel free to follow / join over on Instagram.

And lastly, a happy 50th birthday to my awesome MIL who embodies the spirit of the (Sagittarius) with her enthusiasm for life. xo

Move-A-Body Friend

I’ve been waiting patiently for months for today.

The day where I wish my friend Chelsea a happy birthday, and explain to you what a move-a-body friend is.

This is not my term. Brene Brown coined it:

When we’re looking for compassion, we need someone who is deeply rooted, is able to bend and, most of all, embraces us for our strengths and struggles. We need to honor our struggle by sharing it with someone who has earned the right to hear it. When we’re looking for compassion, it’s about connecting with the right person at the right time about the right issue.

We need a move-a-body friend.

(She continues to tell a story about a friend needing help moving her passed out alcoholic mother off the sofa before the kids get home from school)

“I’d call you because you would come right away, give me a hug, never look judgmental or disapproving or disgusted. And then you’d say, ‘Let’s do this.’

And that’s what I’ve decided Chelsea is for me. Someone who embraces my strengths and struggles and continually shows up for me as a friend.

I feel utterly responsible for so many people. People naturally trust me and share their honest and weighty experiences with me (many times without my prompting). This is part of my superpower, part of the service I bring to the world, but damn, if it doesn’t get tiring.

I was just talking to Chelsea the other day and said that it seems I don’t have a need for physically close friendships. Maybe because I’m an introvert, or spent so many years without best friends, or am close with my siblings, or have Henry, or because talking is my love language…

I have many female friends. Loving, deep, important, close, supportive – these are all words that come to mind for the friendships I keep.

But, while I need and love my female friendships, I don’t need them to be in my physical presence. I go to work and call one of them. While I’m driving I call another. We Skype, we text, we write emails and letters and Gchat all day long… but I don’t see many of them in person often.

And I haven’t seen Chelsea in years. So it’s only fitting that, at the strongest our friendship has ever been (at least, I think), I booked a plane ticket to see her this month. To visit her in the city she’s made a life for herself, meet her boyfriend and cat (though you could argue order of importance there haha #joking), and spend quality time with her.

Y’know, make her laugh in person. It’s gonna be awesome.

We met working retail in Boston. It was my first and only retail job. Our boss was a fucking nutcase, one rude comment away from full on sexual harassment. Chels and I bonded instantly with sarcasm, high levels of work and ridiculous chocolate chip cookies from the mall food court.

She quit. Then I quit. She left Boston. I left Boston. Maybe I left first…? And we stayed in touch.

I moved to LA. She moved to Denver. We stayed in touch but somehow had a fight, then a falling out.

And then, after some long cooling off period, we got back together. She is one of two friends ever that I’ve had more than one fight with and yet we continue to stay friends.

Lately, we talk multiple times per week for hours at a time, text every day, rely and depend on each other the way only close friends do. I can be my full, real, honest self with her. She shows up for me. And I hope I do for her.

I don’t think I have ever felt so fiercely about a friendship.

So, here’s to you Chelsea. Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to celebrate it with you in person in a few weeks xoxo

Up

That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.
~ Russell from the movie “Up“.

Sunday we celebrated H’s 30th birthday (which is actually today) with a surprise lunch at a beer tavern and then hanging at a friends’ house, watching the dogs swim in the pool, learning line-dances and singing along to H playing guitar.

It wasn’t the most eventful birthday considering it’s a milestone one, but we’re not great at making extravagant deals out of things. In fact, I’m very under the radar and he’s not really a planner, so that makes for less-than-exciting celebrations… but I think this day, of spending time with friends basically doing nothing special but having drinks around a pool for someone’s birthday, was not only exactly what we needed, but *exactly* what it’s all about.

Like the hokey-pokey but with margaritas & line-dancing & two giant dogs sopping wet with pool water.

When I snapped this picture, I was delighted – it reminded me of the movie “Up” (my dad thought so too as he shared an image from the movie on my FB status). And then I found the quote above…

Because, yeah – celebrating a 30th birthday as if it were any other Sunday hang with friends does sound boring… but I think it was perfect.

I’ve been with H now since we were 18 and just starting college. This year we’re 30, living 3,000 miles from where we met, with our jobs and apartment and dog… together 12 years, married 2. Time freakin’ flies and I can’t seem to do anything to hold it – capture it – brand it into my brain.

We’re different people than when we first met. Better. Watching him play along to 90s songs, jamming out on an acoustic guitar, laughing about the similarities between a Rage Against the Machine song and a Jason Aldean song – my heart just swelled. Like it does when I look at this picture.

I don’t really have the right words to sum it up, so I’ll just say this… the “boring” stuff is what I remember but it’s also what I cherish. If I could live 100 years of just spooning in bed, or taking the dog to the park together, or sitting side by side at a bar counter, eating melt-in-your-mouth burgers — I would be the luckiest.

And I am the luckiest since we’ve gotten so much time already…

Happy Birthday – cheers to many more. xo

 

30 Things I Love Right Now

  1. My husband. Because at 11+ years together, being able to call him my husband is so awesome.
  2. Carter Cash. I mean, really. Nugget.
  3. My siblings living in the same state as me. Seeing my sister multiple times per week.
  4. My job. Autonomy, flexibility and made for me.
  5. Having enough income – not stressing about bills. Not wanting for anything.
  6. Living so close to the ocean. Biked there just the other day.
  7. All of the awesome people I get to call friends.
  8. My amazing coworkers.
  9. Spotify & Pandora – streaming music, especially playlists created by other people.
  10. Making juice at home – kale, ginger, lemon, apple.
  11. Binge-watching shows on Netflix. Oh Em Geeeeeeeeee House of Cards, Season 2.
  12. Coworking with friends, especially one in particular who has a hot tub (you know who you are haha).
  13. Lattes without sugar. Coffee with milk & sugar.
  14. My shorter hair cut, while still missing my long hair.
  15. Essie nail polish.
  16. Rock climbing.
  17. Choosing juice over alcohol.
  18. Wearing dresses.
  19. Navy blue, gold, teal and dark pink.
  20. Hockey.
  21. Being off birth control.
  22. Buying and reading books on my Kindle.
  23. Our apartment (location, light and layout).
  24. My relationship with my parents.
  25. Technology – taking classes online, social media connections & information, and…
  26. This blog.
  27. My practice of taking photos and sharing them. Writing and sharing. Talking and sharing.
  28. Good conversation. Not sure if I’ll ever not love good conversation.
  29. The gold and amethyst ring my grandmother let me pick out for my communion that I started wearing again on my right ring finger.
  30. Me. With 30 spins around the sun under my belt, I’m pretty fucking proud of who I am, who I’ve become and the life that I’m living.

Flow: Month Two

I think the most important thing about February was that I gave in and, schedule-wise, went with the flow. There was no week that went the same way, Mercury was retrograde, I was hibernating and exhausted, the weather was hot or rainy. We were busy.

It was an odd month for sure and I’m glad it was short.

There were two highlights of the month: learning to rock climb and my 30th birthday.

Rock climbing  is now something H and I do together, at least once a week. We’re still learning, trying different indoor gyms and have yet to climb outside. I’m addicted. H even bought me a harness for my birthday!

My birthday was also wonderful. We went out of town for a ski trip and the next weekend celebrated with a dinner. It was awesome to get some much love the day of and also to feel the fog was lifted and I was back to my self, even if that self was now a year older.

I slept in some, acknowledging that the lack of sunlight in the mornings makes it harder to rise. (Just noticed how bright it was when this morning’s alarm went off – and also realizing Daylight Savings time starts this weekend so it’ll be back to dark in the morning).

We’ve been (binge) watching House of Cards, The Walking Dead and seen a few 3+ hour movies. We saw the Flyers play the Kings at Staples Center. We were both sick for over two weeks with some weird cold that wouldn’t leave. I read The Goldfinch. I cut way back on my alcohol consumption. Not sure I see a difference yet, but I certainly don’t feel worse.

I had more meetings than I possibly could’ve ever wanted, a some frustrations with work, but they all just led me back to the same idea again and again: I have to put my own creativity, my own work, first.

While I forgot about flow a bunch over the weeks, I also noticed it pop up in moments. Like in the pure thrill of a cancelled meeting or the perfect timing of thinking I’m late but it all working out. It seems that life does have an order to it, and if I’m not too busy trying to drive my own order with how things should be, then life shows up and gives me a much grander adventure.

This month was about resting, tucking in and refilling the reserves. I think I accomplished that. And in the past week I’ve found my energy coming back, my drive revving up, ideas flowing again. Ready to move and live this new (astrological) year.

The Big Three Oh List

I wanted to create a list of things I wanted to do in my 30th year*, without melting under the pressure. All about lowering the bar lately, but I jotted down a bunch of stuff one evening last week, and it all felt good. So, I figured I’ll go with it and see how it all ends up. I’m sure it totally helps that I’m sharing this on the Pisces new moon xo

  1. Learn to make a latte at home, or a cold brew, or something fun with delish coffee
  2. Host a story bowl
  3. Bake bread, enough that I have a fav “go to” loaf, unless I absolutely hate the process
  4. Take a trip alone. Attend a retreat.
  5. Visit friends in Chicago, visit friends in NYC, visit Denver (I’ll take any and all)
  6. Create a second income stream / Launch an e-course or e-deliverable
  7. Rock climb outdoors
  8. Hang plants in the apartment
  9. Make a photo collage on a wall in my apartment. Also, hang twinkle lights, preferably in a cute shape
  10. Get the hang of Pinterest
  11. Write a song. just one.
  12. Get a tattoo
  13. Write a letter to my parents thanking them
  14. See the LA Phil
  15. Do a juice cleanse
  16. Visit Alaska. omg
  17. Celebrate two lovely friends at their wedding
  18. Learn to give myself a manicure
  19. Create a meditation practice
  20. Get a blogging mentor or writing group or something related to this
  21. (This one is private)
  22. Create a mini-book
  23. Learn more about tarot
  24. Run a 5k. Maybe even a 10k. Or that elusive 1/2 marathon.
  25. Put myself, and creativity, first
  26. Switch to natural products
  27. Change our floors or move to a new apartment
  28. Ride a horse (a friend’s offered to take me)
  29. Visit somewhere outside of the country
  30. Go kayaking
  31. And one for good luck – Spend more time staring at the ocean – Finish Year of Ocean

*Idea credit: Kelly Purkey

And just, begin

When it comes to tarot, I have no idea what I’m doing…but I decided to pull a few cards on my birthday to see what little bits of wisdom would shine.

The gist of what I could decipher was a message for me, about me.

As I say goodbye to twenty-nine, I’m moving on and forgiving myself for restlessness and lack of progress. Or I’m restless b/c of a lack of progress. Burnt-out even. That maybe I’ve been too passive which has led to stagnation.

As I say hello to 30, I’m welcoming creative projects, messages in dreams (which are vivid lately), my own trust and intuition. I’m embracing a sense of freedom – living how I want to live. This is about renewal and beginnings.

At the same time, there are warnings of lack of foresight and obstacles to long-term goals. Recommendations of breaking down plans into smaller tasks.

Looking even more forward, there is a tone of wishes fulfilled, bliss, happiness, personal integrity and completion. Balancing ideas with action. And again a note of lack of progress or planning, short-term focus, must create plans to pursue goals. A possible recommittal, focusing on the long-term more, moving beyond material satisfaction. And hey – a note to relax, lighten up and give myself space around frustrations.

To me, this little path speaks volumes – I have not been giving myself priority, and that if I want to really achieve anything for myself, outside of my day job, I’m going to have to have goals + actions, and then follow through. I see all of this in relation to my own drive to be creative, to grow my own community, to expand my reach in this world.

And then today – less than a week into being thirty – I pull The Fool. A card of potential, beginnings, and free spirits “…represents the beginning of all creativity and a desire to accomplish new goals (or to, at least, start the process of working towards those goals). The Fool indicates that anything can happen and the opportunities are just waiting to be taken advantage of.”

Which feels about right as I just want to sit with a cup of tea and a notebook and jot down all of the ideas swirling in my head. To really have goals but also a road map. To get the ball rolling, as they say. To acknowledge I am just starting out, but to actually, also, begin.

6 of 52: Year of Ocean

Biked down to Venice Beach alone. Went to Menotti’s Coffee Shop for a latte. Walked down to the water, snapping photos along the way. Sat myself down on a beach towel, ate a peanut butter sandwich, and wrote my morning pages.

I welcomed this year by swimming in the waves. And I can see that this visit was a way to welcome in my thirtieth year, but I didn’t do anything symbolic.

In my writing, I noted that I am feeling better: Like I finally caught a wave after sitting on my board for a while. I have ideas, inklings, things I want to do + feel I have the energy for it.

And then I wrote:

It’s not that the fuzziness is gone, not that I’ve reached clarity or a higher consciousness. And def haven’t heard from God, but it’s as if I was in a dark and musty room. Cobwebs of regret strung between walls hung with failures and x-marks the spot of where I could’ve done better (can’t we always? but it’s not productive to dwell) It’s actually as if a door cracked open. That there is now a beam of sun, however weak, but warm, reaching through to guide me out. Beckoning me, that this time of darkness is almost over. And I will soon be able to see.

Cheers to the ocean, to writing, and to feeling lighter. Being able to see again.

*See all of my Year of Ocean

Thirty

I admit, I am quite apprehensive about this milestone birthday, but today has been a normal day off at home. In fact, I probably “wasted” it by sitting at the kitchen table, scrolling through blogs, Instagram and Twitter, sipping tea and reading The Goldfinch (which I still can’t get enough of).

But as my sister texted – it’s not a waste if I’m happy.

Amen to that.

I also received many a Facebook posts, text messages, phone calls, IG comments and tweets. My awesome colleagues used Facetime to sing me happy birthday complete with inflatable instruments, and another had his entire office sing happy birthday to me over speaker phone. A few friends sent videos of well-wishes and H left me notes all over the apartment this morning.

Tonight I’m headed out with 15 of my friends to all-you-can-eat-sushi and then a dive bar. Considering I haven’t drank any alcohol in 3+ weeks, I don’t plan on going out in a blaze of glory. It will be fun nonetheless.

I’m grateful for this time alone – finally starting to feel my energy coming back, the sun moving into Pisces, and the internal wheels of project ideas and plans spinning once again. If anything, I am at least grateful to have better perspective this year after all of those events, and understanding my own cycles is helping immensely. By not fighting how I feel, it all seems to be flowing through me eventually.

More to come, but for now, I’m off to the usual routine of taking the dog out for a walk. Birthday or not, some things still need tending to.