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November 2012
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January 2013

2013 one little word : soar.

Soarbanner
My 2012 One Little Word came to me while stopped at a red light. I thought that my 2013 One Little Word was delivered to me in the form of a beautiful journal, gifted to me by a beautiful friend. The journal - Courage Every Day - features lovely blank pages, and quotes about courage on every page. Courage, it seemed, was destined to be my word. And then the universe started to whisper...

Soar. 

I was tentative about it, and the first couple of friends that I told didn't like it. Always being one to thoroughly research my options, I looked up the definitions of both words. 

Courage - the quality of spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain w/o fear. 

Soar - to rise or aspire to a higher or more exalted level. 

And that basically settled it. I felt that choosing courage would say to the universe that I was expecting difficulty, danger, and pain. On the other hand - aspiring to a higher level? Sign me up! The final deciding factor was when I discovered that I had a series of photos from Costa Rica of a bird soaring through the sky (ie, the banner above). Sometimes the universe says "like, DUH." 

The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly. - Friedrich Nietzsche


looking back & leaning forward.

20122013Oh heeeyyy, last weekend of twenty-twelve! My days tend to blur together at this time of the year, thanks to days off, short workdays, and (let's be honest) wine & sugar indulgence. My big plans of having daily Reverb posts and really deep reflection...well, yeah.

So, I'm taking stock of where I've been, and making plans for where I'm going...

2012 : Twelve Practices - My twelve practices ebbed & flowed A LOT. The bread-making was replaced with the local bread option through my CSA. My exercise practice was consistently derailed by back pain, BUT I still managed to clock enough gym time to satisfy my work-sponsored wellness plan. I still struggle with the calendar practice (which is SO WEIRD for a project manager to say). 

Project Life - I'm finishing up December, and then closing the books on 2012. I am so very, very glad that I kept up with this project. It turned the-year-with-lots-of-challenges into the-year-with-lots-of-memories. I'm super anxious to get started on 2013's albums. 

OLW - I wrote about this on my Reverb blog - here. SHIFT was an amazing one little word experience. 

2012 : Manifesto - This was an awesome guide for the year. I'm planning on making a new one for 2013. 

In the category of "where I'm going"...

Project Life and One Little Word - for sure

A Happiness Project - I read The Happiness Project in 2010, and hosted an online book club for it. I loved the book, and the resulting discussions. For 2013, I'm going to be playing with my own Happiness Project as a way of capturing resolutions, goals, & practices. I'm pretty much forcing Barb to join me. I'm also thinking of starting a local "meet-up" group for it...need to get brave for that! 

Book Turn - A new blog! I mentioned a while back that I was thinking about dedicating some virtual space to book reviews. Book Turn begins!

I'm spending the next few days revamping vision boards, working on Project Life, drinking a lot of hot tea, and watching the snow fall. What are you up to? 


ventage tuesday : peace on earth.

Ventagetuesdays
Happy Ventage Tuesday Christmas! It's bound to be an abbreviated sort of day, given that 3 of the 5 Ventage Girls have littles underfoot. My "littles" have driven themselves over to their Dad's house for a Christmas dinner, so I have some quiet keyboard time. Barb suggested that today's topic be "things that make you feel peaceful." Seems like a fitting theme for the day...

1. Knowing that my kids are loved. We were joined for brunch today by Hope & Austin's Dad, and then said "Merry Christmas" via Skype to Hope's father. We are choosing kindness...and that brings me great peace. 

2. The first cup of coffee. I've made more space for gentle mornings this year (even when they make me late for work). I'm not always successful, but when I do manage to really savor that first cup of coffee? Insta-peace.

3. Meditation. It sounds funny to say that this one is hard-won, but it is. Meditation isn't easy. Monkey mind derails me all the freakin' time. I'm still not confident enough to say that I have a regular practice, but I'm getting more & more consistent. Sitting = peace.

4. Writing. One of my intentions for 2013 is to write more. I'm firing my critic, and rewriting my censor's guidelines. I want to blog more, journal more, contribute more, tweet more, and (yes, Katherine!) maybe finally start writing a book. Words bring peace. 

5. Alone time. I am, and forever will be, an introvert. I crave my alone time, and often spend it in silence. Thanks to Gabrielle Bernstein's writing/teaching, I'm learning so much about finding peace within myself. 

I hope that this holiday has brought you moments of great joy, and so much peace. 


melancholy & merriment.

Latte
The ominous Dec 21st has passed - and we're still standing. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. More relevant to me is that winter has officially begun, and we're still waiting for our usual blanket of white. As you all know, I'm not a fan of the winter thing, but this year I'd welcome a few inches to cover up the piles of leaves that are still scattered across the yard. I'm sure I'll regret that in the spring...but we all have to pick our battles, right? 

The Christmas rush is almost over. So much build-up for one day! It's funny how much doesn't change with older kids. There's still the anticipation & the excitement. To be honest, there's also a bit of apathy. I've been quizzing the kids about appetizers for Christmas Eve, and dishes for Christmas Day...and I'm answered with "I don't know" or the infuriating "I don't care." I suppose that I've spoiled them a bit, being a decent (and sometimes creative) cook. They just assume that I'll come up with something. And, of course, I will. If I'm being honest, I'm not feeling the joy in it today. Instead, I'm feeling the weight of having to be the one - the one who plans, the one who executes, the one who is responsible. This was true even before my "single" status, so it's a familiar frustration. 

The year will come to an end before we know it, and really, before we're ready. I'm anxious and excited and impatient. I think that 2013 is going to be pretty epic. 

So, that's where I am today. A mix of melancholy & merriment. Where are you? 


there's nothing left to do.

Holiday-candles(source)

My yoga teacher often begins class by asking us to gently let go of the day as we come to our mat. "There's nothing left to do," she instructs. I've always found it so calming that she starts the class with that sentiment, instead of ending with it. 

As I stare down the last few days before Christmas, I'm trying to remind myself of that teaching.

There's nothing left to do. Yes, I just mailed the last of my Christmas cards today, so some (hi Chloe!) won't arrive until after the 25th. I put a box in the mail to my parents - but their "real" gift won't arrive for a week or so (it's tradition, right Mom?). I still have someone's (hi Barb!) birthday present sitting in my office. There are gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and menus to plan. The lights that are hanging on the back of a chair in the kitchen might never make it to the window. The poinsettas that I planned to purchase will probably be skipped. 

There's nothing left to do. Hope is home. I snuggled up next to her before I left for work this morning. Austin & I will fold her into our "new" daily routines. I am so very, very grateful that I have both of my kids to hold tight. Safe. Healthy. 

There's nothing left to do. I've been pondering all of my 2012 goals, practices, OLW, etc. I've been Reverb-ing, just not writing it down. I've been starting to form plans & intentions for 2013. I've been tossing around what projects I want to commit to (Project Life is a definite), and constructing ways to keep myself accountable. 

There's nothing left to do. December 25 will be here (the Mayans be damned) soon, and we'll collectively exhale. Here's to slowing down, if only for a moment. 


ventage tuesday : rockin' around the christmas tree.


Ventagetuesdays

Today's topic is brought to you by the marvelous & musical Miss Em...5 fave Christmas songs! 

                

Baby It's Cold Outside - the Glee cast version. 

Straight No Chaser - the 12 Days of Christmas

Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas

U2 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

SheDaisy - Deck the Halls

I'll be listening to Christmas carols on my drive to Montreal today - it's time for things to get HOPEful around here. :) 

*Be sure to check out Angie, Em, Steph, and Barb...I'm hoping that one of them leaves me a Xmas carol voice mail. Hint, hint.


hello monday : hello reverb12

Hellomonday
Hello Reverb12
- So, when I pretty much shouted YES! to Lee's Reverb12 challenge, I didn't factor in the fact that I was leaving on Nov 30th for a solid week of travel. Oops. I'm now in the process of catching up (ugh. If it's not one thing, it's another!). I set up a new blog to capture my responses. I hope you'll visit....and maybe comment. Pretty please? 

Hello cocktail party - I'm hosting my work team at my house on Wed. Really looking forward to relaxing with the people that I spend so much time stressing out with. 

Hello chocolate covered cherries - confession: they contain HFCS. I know. I know!! I simply cannot resist them. If you know of a natural alternative (that I don't have to add to my "to make" list), please clue me in. 

Hello Christmas cards - after wasting way too much time deliberating, and deciding that I simply didn't want to "invest" in high-end cards....I am the proud owner of 75 Costco photo cards. Shift your expectations, people.

Hello Scandal - oh. my. goodness. Must watch last week's episode again. Hot. Totally hot.

Hello never-ending kitchen clean-up - sigh. It's the bane of my existence. Austin said "well, I guess we could stop eating?" 

What did you say hello to today? 

Hello Monday is a Lisa Leonard inspired practice. 

 


ventage tuesday : on thursday.

TuesdaygraphicI missed Ventage Tuesday this week due to travel, so I'm just going to rewind - 

One of our Ventage Girls celebrated a birthday this week, so our theme this week is "Ode to Barb." Miss Barb is the ripe old age of 33. Barb is my travel companion, my Thursday night skype date, my Taylor Swift dealer, my un-paid therapist, and my fellow dreamer. It's funny to me that we're a decade apart in age b/c we have so much in common - and this year, we (unfortunately) shared a common journey through divorce. She is stronger than she realizes. She is funny. She is wicked smart. She has awesome style. She is well-read & well-spoken. She is creative. She is a part of my life that I can't imagine being without. 

Crazy love for you, my awesome friend. Crazy love.