Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: holiday

Powering Down

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I haven’t been posting as much lately. I’m super grateful for this space and for you, dear reader. And I find the holiday season sweeps me up and carries me into it’s darker, festive days.

So, I’m going to power-down this space for the next few weeks in order to finish up work, enjoy time with my family and gear up for the new year.

Here are a few things I have going on:

– Moving this blog over to it’s own URL, hosting and tweaking a new layout. It’s going to be all sorts of revamped (I hope).

– Napping. A lot. Sometimes I just need more rest than other months.

– Hosting Christmas at our place, for my family, for the first time ever.

– Enjoying having my husband, parents and siblings all together on Christmas morning for the first time in the 12 years H and I have been together.

– Promoting a big work event (the one that usually steamrolls me in January) and trying not to lose my shit.

– Writing Christmas cards. Shopping for gifts online. Panicking ever so slightly we won’t have it all done in time.

– Celebrating my sister and good friend’s birthdays.

– Going to the movies! I’ve seen Gone Girl, Interstellar, Nightcrawler, Hunger Games and Exodus in the past 2 months.

– Scrapbooking, aka putting words and pictures together on paper.

– Savoring time with H, walks with Carter Cash and coffee dates with friends.

– Generally feeling great about life and the awesomeness of 2014.

– Working my way through the Unraveling 2015 workbook. Get yours here.

Cheers to your holiday and a happy new year to you! xo

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Living For The Love

Life is moving at lightening speed, with work event hosting and planning, trying to get as much work done as possible in the few business days before the Christmas vacation.

And yet, days goes slowly. My energy is low again, the darker evenings bring on a sleepiness I can’t battle, and I feel like tucking in – to needlepoint, to books, to hockey on TV, to bed with flannel sheets and night walks with the dog.

This morning, I read Yes by Jillian at The Noisy Plume:

…life is short.  It becomes more and more apparent to me as I watch my grandparents in the twilight of their wonderful lives, as I watch my parents age, as I see our siblings and friends having babies and growing the next generation, as I see the lines of a life well lived begin to pepper my face.  I’m not going to live forever.  Neither are you.  I am concerned that when I lay in the quiet of a failing heartbeat on my deathbed that I will regret how much time I spent worrying, how much time I spent on my computer hitting a “like” button, how many days I sacrificed making memories with the people I love on the land I adore for a small job I didn’t pour my heart and soul into.  When I realized all of this, I decided to say yes as often as possible to the people closest to me, even if there were 100 unanswered and festering emails in my inbox, even if I was straddling a deadline in the studio, even if I was running late on photo submissions for freelance work — I started setting those things aside and doing a better job of living for love, living for the love of life, living for the love of experiences.

Her words wrap around the feelings I have about the panic that sets in about events, unanswered emails, the general piles of stuff that spring up around the house and the to-do lists. In the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the time I’ve spent with people “living for the love of experiences”.

———

Rest keeps coming up for me too, from tweets, to blog posts, to friend’s emails. Like, OK Universe, I hear you.

November saw me travel to Boston, to Denver, to Joshua Tree. I haven’t blogged about any of it yet, and I’m not sure why. I know there is some type of flow that happens between living / experiencing life the writing / reflecting I do… and I think I may need to do even more of that to really grasp what that flow is. To articulate it to you in words.

It’s so hard to revel in this season when everything seems to be so busy busy busy. I am taking time out each day to post a photo for December Reflections. I turn the Christmas lights on at night. I’m sipping a lot of hot chocolate and letting the holiday music blast through speakers while I work. The to-do list is focused, albeit shorter and shorter to cope with my lack of energy, but even in my weariness, things are getting done.

And then this by David Whyte:

To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal not to an inner bulls eye, an imagined state of perfect stillness, but to an inner state of natural exchange.

Again – to move from a place of outward productivity to a place of inward enjoyment. Reflection. A different type of giving and receiving. Especially being open to receiving.

If that’s what I focus on in the the next few weeks – receiving – I should be able to sing sink* right into the holiday spirit.

*Originally I wrote sing which I thought was a wonderful slip as music seems to move me much more lately, and singing is an excellent way to move into the holiday spirit. xo

Literally, the walking dead

Happy Halloween from us, the literal walking dead.

We’re kind of obsessed with AMC’s The Walking Dead so when H found a zombie bar crawl, I was all for it.

Cue the fake blood, slashed clothes from the thrift shop and white make-up.

I think we did a damn good job, especially since so many people who attended this ZOMBIE bar crawl didn’t dress as zombies, or even anything.

(Why do people go out on Halloween sans-costume?)

We now have enough fake blood for costumes for ourselves and future kids for the next 5 years. Sheesh.

Fav moments of the night:

Dancing with H at one bar, standing outside under heat lamps chatting with T at another. H pretending to zombie attack our friends while I snapped a photo (major photoboming abilities) Best costumes were fully suited up ghost busters and I spotted more than one Mary Poppins (I’m thinking zombie Mary Poppins is a great outfit for my future costumes list). All four of us eating nachos at the last bar. The downpour of rain. Running back to the car in the rain (it never rains here – this was a big deal!).

Halloween Edition

 

 

Halloween 2013 is in the books!

We bar-crawled our way through Santa Monica. H was a viking (his beard was hand-made by his sister), my sister was a volleyball player who’d been hit in the face with the ball, our friends were Axl Rose and Slash and a Jack & Coke couples’ costume, and I was Piper Chapman, neurotic inmate and star of Orange Is The New Black. (Which is hilarious and I recommend you get on it now.)

Even Carter was dressed up in a gold cape my sister let him borrow.

Sometimes I dread these social outings – the costumes, the crowds, drinking on a school night – but this morning I realized (as I do again and again) that life is short. This could very well be the first time I bar crawl with my sister on Halloween, and the last. Not in a dramatic way, but in a life change’s way. Next year we may not dress up, may not be into partying, may not have friends available to hang out with us. It’s important to enjoy these chances we get to spend time with the people we love.

And mark those holidays with costumes and shots of whiskey 😉

Friday, again

I’ve been absent here. I do miss it, but life ebbs and flows, and there’s only so much time I can spend typing on a laptop.

Still doing much better than last year with the whole back-to-school transition. Spent today co-working with a friend. Want to do that more often. It really helps the loneliness to, y’know, not actually be alone.

And because this was a 4-day work week, we’re back to the weekend again. We’ve begun watching Homeland (which is awesome) and still running the a/c with this SoCal heatwave. Thumbs down. I started another online class (I know, I know) and I really want to post some new stories here and dig deeper into those classes in the next two days.

Even though I was down Tuesday and Wednesday (blame the dark-of-the-moon cycle, especially with it being in Virgo), I am proud of myself for taking charge of my happiness, doing what I needed to do to make the days work.

Hope you’re off to a grand weekend as well, even if you don’t have any plans xo

Girls’ Happy Hour

As I mentioned, I am feeling pretty good this week. I’ve had energy, been super productive at work, exercised, chatted with friends, cleaned a bunch and cooked at home.

Yesterday was a hot one in the Valley – in fact, it’s been hot all week, but last night involved sitting outside with some girlfriends, enjoying happy hour.

One friend is moving, one doesn’t love her job, another is a great source of work advice, and my sister joined us too. So the conversations flowed around employers valuing their employees, how much easier it is to work with straight-forward people, why people don’t value networking skills, and how we’re all pretty darn good at what we do. We drank margaritas and ice water and split appetizers.

So fun.

And considering I spent the entire day in my windowless office, processing work, all alone, it was magnificent to get out and spend some quality time with my friends. Nothing beats that, I tell ya.

Headed out for some dancing tonight, a hang with a different friend tomorrow, and day-drinking on Sunday. It’s shaping up to be an awesome 3-day weekend.

Hope you enjoy yours xo

The 4th

 

 

Happy 4th of July weekend.

The 4th holds many memories for me: driving from Long Island to Philly in traffic after our engagement party. That could’ve been the year H’s grandpa passed away suddenly. Another visit to Philly had us laid out on blankets in a park, in walking distance from his other grandparents’ home, watching fireworks. One year H went back East and I stayed here at this same apartment, walking miles with a friend to see the same firework show I saw tonight. Some years we didn’t see fireworks at all, like when my cousin got married and it was pouring rain. Or last year before our wedding, when the fireworks were scheduled for a day that wasn’t the 4th.

Back in high school, we’d all go down to Pirate’s Cove and camp… dragging supplies of grills, tents, beer and food in backpacks and via little boats. Walking, we had to beat the tide or else we wouldn’t be able to get around. I remember someone had a portable grill with a griddle and was frying eggs the next morning. I don’t remember sleeping, ever. It seems like a dream now, those nights. Walking the dunes, making out with a boyfriend, peeing in bushes…

There was one 4th that I fell hard for a guy that was all wrong for me. It’s so long ago, sometimes it feels like it didn’t happen. But it did.

And yesterday was the most normal July 4th I’ve had in forever. We slept in, took the dog to the park. We went out to our favorite breakfast place and ate pancakes and french toast and sipped coffee that was mostly creamer. We cleaned up and packed up and drove to the beach. Somehow received a parking miracle and found a patch of sand. It was crowded. We met my sister and some friends, but for a while, it was just H and I. He surfed. I read a book. Friends arrived and there were drinks. We left to go back home to feed and walk the dog, shower, and then biked back. It felt so good to be flying through the streets on my cruiser. We hung out in a bar, walked a ways to the firework show, and made it just in time.

They were huge, and magical, and loud. H kissed me with excitement. At the prettiest ones, the big golden ones that seem to shimmer and wave into the darkness, I would hear a small sound come out of my mouth – an actual “ohh” or “ahh”. They are so wonderful. I wish we had them at other times in the year. Checking that off the summer manifesto list.

I love fireworks. And I love July for all of its summer loving.

xo.

Wrote this very early this morning, up with a sick pup. It’s working out though, since I’m not very tired anyways. 

Recent Obsessions

In my attempt to do more of what I need (and living the SoCal life), I’ve been trying to relax this week. It’s a 3-day week due to July 4th tomorrow (yay vacation!).

I started Battlestar Galactica on a whim. I know, right? Nerd. But it was just what I was looking for. Action, suspense, good story-lines and pretty good acting… like reading a fantasy novel. Great break from everything lately. Plus, H is into it, so we’ve watched 8 in the past 3 days. Sshh – don’t tell. #nojudging

Then today, I stumbled upon Rhonna Farrer‘s new app and I am obsessed. It’s tiny digital scrap-booking. I’ve already made two and I have ideas for more. Hoping I can add it on the iPad, since my iPhone screen feels too small to really get into the app. And there are sooooo many options. I love it. Love, love, love.

And thirdly, avocado, kiwi, cucumber salad. Delish. I basically made this up from a homemade version I tasted at a bridal shower a few weeks ago and this recipe online. I went for fresh vs strong, so I added cucumber, left out all of the spicy stuff, and added ginger. Freakin’ yum.

So that’s what I’m obsessing about, here on the even of the 4th of July. How’s your week going? xo

St. Patty’s

 

Love Is In The Air

Our Valentine’s Day plans were actually for Saturday, though H made a good display of it on Thursday evening, it being our 7.7 anniversary.

Since I’ve started running again, Saturdays are my long run day. I went out on my own with a Paperclipping Roundtable episode loaded on my phone for the hour+ run. It turned out perfectly, as I went 6 miles total, .5 farther than I planned (Woo!!)

So I was in a pretty awesome mood when I got back home, even before I spotted the HEART-SHAPED PANCAKES!

Yes – as I said the other day – H really is getting to be quite the romantic as we get older. There he was, pancake mold, bacon and berries, being all cooked up in our kitchen. Glorious.

But wait – there was even more…

He’d bought us a scavenger hunt from Urbanquest to take us through Venice beach. We headed out for our afternoon, parking near Abbot Kinney, and stopping by the Warby Parker school bus before starting near Market Street.

It took us from a mural on Market to a side-street near the water to the beach path. It was never too hard, so it always felt fun. The worst part ended up being the combination of 80* weather, 3-day weekend and the fact that Venice is a tourist trap – it was so crowded!

Still, with a pit-stop for ice cream, we completed our quest in a little under 2 hours. Afterwards, we enjoyed the weather some more by walking down to the Venice pier to meet friends for beers. Then it was on to our favorite restaurant for Mexican food, where I promptly consumed a 26 oz margarita, jalapeno poppers and a combination plate, and then felt way too drunk to walk back to the car.

It was an adventure. And considering this was our first Valentine’s day as a married couple, I’d say my husband hit it out of the park. Love him.