Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: quote

Making Our Own Happiness

Took Carter down to the beach for a walk this morning – it was already getting busy. Surfers were out riding the waves, runners were flying by us beaded with sweat. We sat on a bench at the end of this new path with a pair of older women, one in a wheel chair. They were going through little rehabilitation exercises in some other language than English. Carter was frustrated we weren’t walking and howled.

We wanted to eat at a restaurant we like with patio seating, but all the outdoor seats were full. Each place we stopped seemed to be not quite right. One had no outdoor seating, another wouldn’t let Carter on the patio, and one place I suggested was closed, gone completely.

It felt frustrating enough that we gave up and headed home, where I cooked us over-easy eggs on buttered toast with English Breakfast tea. I have mine with milk and sugar, he takes his with lemon and honey.

Now H is napping (we partied hard yesterday) before we head up to the Valley for another small BBQ at a friend’s house.

I just read this quote on Brainpickings:

This is where we run into trouble in terms of being fulfilled… You have to make your own happiness, wherever you are. Your job isn’t going to make you happy, your spouse isn’t going to make you happy, the weather isn’t going to make you happy… You have to decide what you want, and you have to find that way of doing it, whether or not the outside circumstances are going to participate in your success… You have to be able to create your own happiness, period. And if you can’t, then you need to find a good shrink who can help you figure out what it’s going to take. ~Debbie Millman

And thought – yes. Yes, I want to go to a friend’s house instead of napping, yes I want to be outside, yes I want to post a little blog here… b/c I want to create my own happiness, lame breakfast places or not.

I hope you’re having a lovely 3-day weekend if you’re here in the US – enjoying the start of summer after that crazy-long east coast winter. And obviously, a special thank you to all the service men and women who serve our country, keep us safe and protect our freedoms.

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

 

An $8 juice, and being walked home

January is never fun for me. No matter if the holidays are crazy or restful, I feel launched, unprepared, back into a month where work is demanding and stressful. This year, this month, it’s 5 events in 19 days, four of which come in a row at the end of the month.

Tuesday night was the first event of the month, and technically also the easiest, but I spent the day ragged with anxiety. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins, this cold and tight feeling in my chest, and my heart racing like it was experiencing a caffeine overload. For the life of me, I could not shake it.

I tried rationalizing: Nothing is wrong. I am fine. I am not in danger.  I tried deep breathing, closing my eyes and waiting, a 3m run with the dog, a hot shower and even a fancy, delicious and pricey juice.

Nothing worked.

And while that feeling didn’t leave my body until I slept it off… I wanted to leave a marker here for myself for three reasons:

1. I trusted that this was some combo of panic and pms, and that I could lay low, do what work needed to be done, and know that I would mostly likely feel better after a night of sleep (which I did).

2. That there was no rationalizing or doing to be done. No fixing. I just had to go through my self-care practices and wait it out.

3. That connection is what actually helped.

It’s the third point that makes this so awesome for me now, a few days later. I shared my anxiety on Facebook and a friend commented “Look at the sky and remember you’re a blonde monkey floating in space and none of this stuff actually matters. Works for me every time.” A phone call with a former colleague & current friend let me vent. She said, “You’re a rockstar. Your event will be amazing. The end.” Lindsey sent me a lovely comment about my one little word post on Twitter and Jamie said that my word (~flow~) sounded like the perfect approach to the day we were both having. A friend was photographing the event, and she is such a quiet presence, it’s nice to have her there when I’m talking my head off to 100+ people I don’t know. And lastly, the woman who managed the bar is snazzy, sends plates of food over to my check-in table, hands me giant bottles of water and says things like, “don’t worry mama, we got this”.

As the day went on, I could feel the love I was being sent, and I did my best to soak it in, and say yes to each offering… because striving the way we do sometimes, sets us up to feel intense panic about if we’re doing the right things and if we’re working hard enough.

This day reminded me that not only was I for sure going to rock my job, but that people like working with me. I am loved regardless if the event is a success or not.

And it reminded me of this quote… which I’m pretty sure is becoming a guiding principle for how I live my life: “We’re all just walking each other home.” ~Ram Dass.

On this day, I had a lot of people walking with me, and for that, I am grateful.

 

 

What I Really Need

Received a newsletter from Michele at Hot Love Revolution. In closing, she writes, “So please, get on board with your own needs, even if you’ve been judging yourself for having them.”

Even if you judge yourself for having them.

And I realized that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

The past few days, I’ve been laying low. I’ve read, exercised, worked on Project Life and journaled. Oh, I’ve journaled more than I have in a while, and soaked up this alone time in all its deliciousness.

I’ve needed this. Creativity and time alone. And then I wrote this:

I am craving living a life a little deeper and more meaningful than the one that exists when I’m running on steam, doing an excellent job at my career, but not spending any time on myself. I do spend a good bit of time on self-care – exercise and morning pages and lowering the bar…

But I’ve lost a drive for something that’s MINE. For my own creativity and for my own expression. I believe in my existence – I believe it matters and I’m doing well by the time I have here – but I feel there could be more.

There could be… ART.

This is not the first time I’ve come to this conclusion.

I keep circling this feeling, this topic, this mood – like a lion paces the border of his fences at the zoo – knowing that he’s trapped.

I do not know what it is that I can offer the world. What I do know is, I need to offer something. I am searching for my place, my community, my own art manifested. Mind you, this all feels like a bunch of BS when it comes to the part of me that shows up dutifully for work every day, but to my soul… it’s there.

And I thought about another blogger, Esme Wang, who’s website has grown in gorgeousness since I first found it and I think, “I have so not turned pro yet”. She’s raised the bar on her own work. It’s sincere, real and creative. And basically, I’m jealous, in the best way. She’s doing it. I’m not.

Energy and hours have brought me to a place where I can take time for myself without judging. But taking time for creative pursuits? For work that isn’t “work”? Creating for the process of it?

Haven’t made it to that yet.

But that’s what I really need.

– – – – – – –

How about you? What do you really need? xo

 

day 10: red

 

 

 

“Losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark grey all along
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
But loving him was red
Loving him was red”
Taylor Swift Red

– – –

See all of my August Break 2013 posts here

day 5: close up

 

If you notice anything,
it leads you to notice
more
and more.

– mary oliver poem the moths

– – –

See all of my August Break 2013 posts here

I don’t care where I die, I care where I live…

Charlie: You know what made me ready?

Jude: No. What?

Charlie: The body on the heath. I told you about it, didn’t I? I watched them digging around in the muck and the rain for two days and I kept thinking, What a fucking life this is! No way out except feet first. I was ready to slip my wrists, and I probably would have done it except that you appeared, and I remembered the way I felt about you when I first saw you. I remembered feeling as though something miraculous was happening, as though I was reclaiming something I’d lost. And I thought, If I believe in one miracle I may as well believe in them all. Even Oscar’s. Even his talk about the Imajica, and the Dominions in the Imajica, and the people there, and the cities. I just thought, Why not… embrace it all before I lose the chance? Before I’m a body lying out in the rain.

Jude: You won’t die in the rain.

Charlie: I don’t care where I die, Jude, I care where I live, and I want to live in some kind of hope. I want to live with you.

Excerpt from Imajica by Clive Barker pg 196 in the 2002 soft-cover edition.

Life Isn’t a Support System for Art

Last week, before I left for my road trip, I finished Stephen King’s On Writing. I’d borrowed it from friends a few weeks before. Somehow I started reading it without any intentions to and it grabbed a hold of me again. This is one of only a few books (less than 5) that I’ve read more than once.

I’ve noticed my tolerance for crappy books is down and my need for reading is up ergo I have permission to quit books. Gasp. This used to not be granted to me by me. Oddly, at the same time my interest in rereading books increased. Tried and true, I guess?

King draws you in with the bits of his growing up, being a younger brother, writing at his desk in High School. This time around his whole near-death experience went by in only a few pages. Poof. In my memory of the last time I read it… and when was that… the description of his pain and recovery dominates. It’s conversational. It’s funny. And it’s educational. I learned practical advice that I don’t get by writing here in my room, alone. Like, how to delete as many adverbs as possible. But also advice you can apply to any pursuit – life, really – of starting small and being smart and working hard.

He also seems wildly in love with his wife, which I just adore.

Note that I’ve never read a single Stephen King novel, but I like this book. It makes me want to read his novels, but I do feel a class issue there for me as a reader – that his novels are somehow unworthy of my reading time – which you’d think is an opinion this memoir would alter, being so well written, but no…not yet anyways.

Maybe I just need to start with the right one…  Any suggestions?

____________

p.s. After I published this, the space on the side of the “published” bar had a Stephen King quote – I kid you not! Funny universe, really funny.

Almost Worship

But along with this pain, Adam brought with him a sweetness that surpasses anything I ever felt before he was conceived. It comes from looking at the heart of things, from stopping to smell not only the roses but the bushes as well.

It is a quality of attention to ordinary life that is so loving and intimate it is almost worship.

From Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth and Everyday Magic 

by Martha Beck

Tweet Tuesday – Byron Katie #2

I should tattoo this on my face.

Or, I guess, on my arm where I’ll see it. Y’know, like when you were in High School and it was cool to write things on your skin. Notes, phone numbers, little doodles. Do kids still do that or do they just dump the info into their smart phone?

I still do it, usually before bed, and I use a sharpie to make sure the message isn’t lost between my morning shower and my office arrival. So then, I guess the quote above would work.

Speaking of, my little sister just got her first tattoo – rib cage – song lyric from her fav The Fray. Now I’m the only sib without a tat. Not sure how I feel about that, but being that her tattoo serves as a reminder, it fits in my blog post. Also, I’m suffering from a major pms headache and this is about all the blogging I can do before I head to bed.

p.s.

(Byron Katie Tweet Tuesday #1)