Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: project

Year of Ocean

The ocean is sacred to me.

Since growing up on Long Island, I feel it when I’m far from the water. The semester I lived in Nashville, I knew I was land-locked. My love of Los Angeles increased the closer we moved to the Pacific. Spending even a half-hour staring at the waves brightens my spirits and calms my mind.

This idea came to me before I chose my One Little Word for the year, so it seems only appropriate I chose flow. (more on this soon…)

I wanted another year long project (like Project Life). I wanted something that would be a challenge, but nourishing for my soul. Something I “had to do” that was good for me. Something that would inspire me and make me take advantage of how close we live to the beach. If / when we buy a house, this will cease to be our norm. I may never live this close to the ocean again (though, secretly, I doubt that, you never know).

And so here is my project: a year of ocean. 52 weekly posts of pictures and words about a trip to water. The weather, the company, and certainly whatever comes up. I think it’ll keep my one little word at the forefront of my mind and allow me clear space, which is something that’s come up since the retreat in October.

And speaking of that retreat – I read this post On Patience by Laurie the other day and she spoke right to me (also my experience of her in person). As I’m moving into this new year, I have my hopes but I’m feeling a bit whiplashed.

She mentions two things that give me permission: a practice of not doing anything (what I’ve been craving) and a friend who rests in his self-care habits (what I’ve been practicing).

Space and self-care… flow. Year of Ocean seems like a perfect way to declare, track, and record my experience of both of those things.

**I’ll be using a tag Year of Ocean here and on Instagram if you wanted to follow along. Better yet, start your own thing and let me know so I can follow you.

If Nothing Is Permanent, Then Anything Is Possible

If nothing is permanent than anything is possible.

This concept came to me via the podcast How She Really Does It where Koren Motekaitis interviewed Kelly Rae Roberts. Kelly Rae was exactly my age when two major things came into her life – a running program for a 1/2 marathon and being swept up in art making. At the time she was a social worker, burning out on the job and in the past 7 years has left that career for one where she is a full-time artist.

Now I know there’s no silver bullet, but don’t you think that’s interesting the Universe popped that podcast into my ears this week?

Because I’ve been thinking about my job and my life. I am feeling like I’ve grown too big, like my shell is too tight and it’s time to find a new home. Like I want to do something new. And I feel like I’m suffering from “impostor syndrome“. Did I dupe everybody? How could I want to move on from a job that I basically fell into? Do I ever deserve this gig? And aren’t I being horribly ungrateful to look this gift horse in the mouth…?

I mean, the pay, the flexibility and the network I’ve built – that would be a lot to give away to start over. Starting to feel a scarcity approach from myself – like I need to hold on to this position in almost a desperate way, because what else would ever beat it? What if it disappears?

At the retreat, someone mentioned that that you can grow up (bigger) or down (deeper). I’d never heard it put this way, but it resonated with the images I had for my year – that I not only wanted to grow tall like a tree, but I wanted to grow roots, a solid foundation.

Then a colleague called me up with an idea for responsibilities I could take off his plate. Responsibilities that could expand my role. And I thought up a very simple series I could create to spotlight my clients, which I started on today.

So, maybe it’s not about going bigger but deeper.

And as Kelly Rae said in the podcast – if nothing is permanent, then anything is possible.

Have you ever thought about growing *down*? Is there a place in your life you’ve gone deeper instead of bigger?

Not Your Momma’s Scrapbook

So, all of a sudden, I have a small scrapbooking hobby. It seems a natural progression – journal, take photos, combine writing + pictures = scrapbooking.

But this ain’t your momma’s scrapbook.

There are no cheesy stickers of soccer balls for soccer-themed photos, no cutting photos out into odd shapes, and certainly not just a bunch of bits and pieces glued down in a book (though that can still work).

Now it’s less theme-y and yet still all about capturing our lives. It’s about preserving stories, showcasing gorgeous photos and playing with paper.

I still haven’t found my groove yet. One reason is that I’m hesitant to dive into this hobby full-force. What if it becomes a pile of unused supplies? And where the hell am I going to store the final products when H already has nightmares of my journals overtaking our living room???

My entry point was some combination of Project Life, reading Elise’s blog and listening to a scrapbooking podcast without actually scrapbooking. I’ve been doing Project Life since January and I’m about 8 weeks behind. I am OK with this. (Apparently many people start to freak out they’re “behind”. I am just impressed I still care about this project).

I’m enrolled in Ali Edwards’ Hello Story class – and while I’m loving the IDEAS, I’m still hitting resistance in actually making anything. I’m confident this will work itself out.

Asking myself these questions:

  1. why do I want to tell stories?
  2. how do I want to tell them?
  3. how do I want to share them?

That is all.

Just a quick marker for where I’m at, and a list below of the sites that I now visit since I care about this niche. Also note that I am super-duper trying to not fall into the consumer panic of new products / over-shopping / hoarding. Instead, I’m hoping I can get creative and make what I need rather than buying it.

We’ll see.

My style is potentially some combination of these:

Project Life (Becky Higgins)

Elise Blaha Cripe

Ali Edwards

Marcy Penner

 

Minimalist & gorgeous:

Pink Ronnie (Rhonda Mason)

Paislee Press (Liz Tamanaha)

 

Much brighter / busier in design but so FUN:

Amy Tangerine

Kelly Purkey

Ann-Marie Morris

 

Other resources:

Paperclipping Round Table podcast

Big Picture Classes

This Grateful Season – New Project

Today a really great work opportunity moved forward with a YES from those above me.

I’m still nervous that it’ll get snagged by red tape or shut down, but I am enjoying this moment while I have it. Success. A new project. Work supporting my bigger ideas.

And I am feeling the inkling of longer-term projects – this one today, writing for another site, training for a 1/2 marathon and doing 2013 Project Life. H is so busy with grad school + work, I need to fill my own time. Having my sister with us is really awesome (she cooks, she cleans, she walks the dog and she entertains me) but eventually she’ll move out (fingers crossed).

Mercury went direct on Monday. This is a good thing. I can feel the upswing, the movement, the energy churning again.

I tweeted this before, but I’ll write it again here: Today was a good day.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Sundays Are For (Week 10)

 

 

Being back home is wonderful, but it also brings back the sludge from 2 weeks ago. Traveling, running from work meeting to meeting, and seeing friends kept my mind engaged and my anxiety to a minimum. Friday I was too jet-lagged to comprehend emotional frustrations, but they came barreling back Saturday morning.

Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom in a rage, hair stuck out from steam,looking like a crazy lunatic. Our apartment feels more and more filthy, disorganized and overheated the longer we stay here. I desperately want new carpet and to repaint the living room just to freshen things up, but H never pulled the trigger on any of it in August when we had the time.

Writing morning pages is such a help. I tried to at least acknowledge these issues and then work through them. What matras do I need? What self-care am I aching for? What will truly make me feel better?

It’s a line of broken promises to myself again. I see that. So today I did yoga, restocked the fridge and finally put contact paper down in our kitchen cabinets. I know this seems like the silliest thing, but I’m the one in control of myself & these projects I think I want to do – so I’m the one who actually can do them.

I still have to clean the kitchen – maybe that won’t happen until tomorrow night, but each layer of contact paper that went down made me feel better and better. I’m still struggling with these moods and learning to let them pass through me as opposed to stooping and analyzing them for too long. Can’t say I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow (especially with a forecast of 102* at my office) but I feel I made a small bit of progress today. That’s all I can ask for, I guess.

What did your Sunday teach you…? xo

PTO

This is what a day off looks like… and since I never take them just for me, I made sure anything I did was purely for me. A-maz-ing.

Sleeping in till 7am. Waking up without an alarm.

Writing morning pages with the doggie sleepily looking on. 3 pages of long-hand, snapping a few pictures in the quiet. Exhibit A:

Feeding and watering both myself and the pup. Then out for a 3 mile run with lots of stops for him to sniff and pee and me to catch my breath. Listened to “Fresh Air” interview with Louis C.K. It did not disappoint.

Then on to a real breakfast, now that we have a kitchen full of groceries. Not since Thanksgiving has the fridge been this full. Fruit, eggs, spinach and a few corn tortillas. And lots and lots of reading.

I spent most of the morning reading – blogs, Harry Potter 4 (which I finished!), and few other books on the e-reader. I spent it cuddled up in an arm chair with this guy:

I didn’t check email, Twitter or Facebook. No TV or phone calls. Hell, I didn’t even leave the house. I showered around 1pm with the intention of taking myself out for writing and coffee, but just didn’t want to go. Lunch was eaten in too:

It involved a whole avocado, an entire tomato and more tea. Literally, wholes foods.

I perused Liz Lamoreux’s blog, especially her journalling videos, Chookooloonks’ blog, and got lost in the depths of Nothing But Bonfires‘ site before fiance was home and I was cooking dinner. Then it was crafty time, which is so-not-me normally but what can I say? I’m pretty inspired by Elise Joy’s blog lately, and I figured, I feel better when I make things, so why deprive myself of this tiny pleasure?

They’re going to be valentines. I’ve sent Christmas cards for the past 5+ years, but this past year it became something that needed to fall off the list to make room for things like work events, wedding planning and, um, sleep… so when I saw this adorable pack at Paper Source, I just had to have ’em.

Not sure how many hours it’s supposed to take, but I hope to get them out in the next few days. Luckily, this week is wide open in the evenings, so I’ll be making my way through the project. It’s important to note that this type of thing can so quickly become a “to do” that I’m working to keep it a “project” and not a “have to”. Something fun and relaxing, not torture. Something that will make other people happy, but is filling my well at the same time.

I don’t know why I didn’t just take a day off last week, when I needed it. Wasn’t acknowledging it somehow. That old “knuckle down” habit. So glad I did. I can feel another day would just be amazing, but tomorrow I’ll be able to return to work with energy, knowing that I took care of myself today.