2015 One Little Word® : magic.

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(source : WhiteCellarDoor on Etsy...and yes, I'll be ordering the print)

Before Dan & I left for Florida in mid-December, I signed up for Susannah Conway's Find Your Word e-course. I knew that it was unlikely that I'd actively participate...one, b/c I am a bit of an e-course dropout, and two, b/c FLORIDA. So. I read each email, glanced at the posts in the FB group, and generally just tried to stay open to finding a word. I read through a few archives of OLW posts on my own blog, and on Ali's. At one point, I thought that my word *might* be miracles, but it just didn't feel exactly right. And then, the Universe kind of whispered...


Okay, listen. I was in Florida, but I was NOT at the Magic Kingdom, nor was I picking out a wand at Harry Potter world (or whatever that is called). I tried to brush it off. It's NOT a Katrina word. It's so unicorns & fairy dust. I wanted a word that had more substance. Something that I could gauge progress against, set goals around. Oh, and did I mention that a hugely-more-popular-than-me blogger had magic as her OLW a few years ago? I didn't want a me-too word. Sigh. I decided to just wait & see if magic faded, and/or another word appeared...

As the Universe would have it, magic has kept coming up...so I'm just going with it. I'm getting comfortable with it. I've started a Pinterest board for it. I'm starting to think of ways that I can embrace it. I still feel a little silly saying it, but maybe that's part of the magic

What's your One Little Word® for 2015?

My past words - 2014 Forward, 2013 Soar, 2012 Shift, 2011 Abundance, 2010 Mindful. 

#reverb14 - still more reverb-ing.

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On writing | Chances are, if you’re participating in #reverb it’s because you like writing. Or at least want to like writing. Writing is like a muscle. Use it or lose it. What do you do every day to hone your craft? Or, what would you like to do each day to contribute to your writing?

Writing has always been a practice for me. I still don't write as often as I'd like. I often feel scattered - writing in notebooks, using 750words.com, drafting random emails to myself, etc. I feel like I should be more disciplined. I play with morning pages every so often. I fall in & out of habits around words. I guess the short answer to "what do you do every day to hone your craft?" is...not much of anything. I'd like to be more intentional, and to an extent...more open.

One Word | The original prompt is "what one word could describe your 2014?" Changing it up to reflect on my One Little Word - FORWARD. 

I've written before about FORWARD being a foundation this year, rather than a daily call to action. I think that I did move forward in many areas of my life...and my OLW helped me to recognize that progress, however small, was/is still important. Overall, I think that FORWARD was the right word (not that any word is right or wrong) for 2014. I'm ready for closure with that word, and looking forward (see what I did there?) to working with my 2015 word. 

Soul food | What food did you discover this year? Or maybe you discovered a new way to prepare your favorite food. Or a new cookbook. Or a new restaurant. Tell us about your culinary adventures.

I bought a slew of new cookbooks in the first part of 2014, thanks to a generous giftcard from my employer (in recognition of my 15 year work anniversary). To be honest, I'm much better at looking at the cookbooks than actually cooking from them. I cooked/ate a lot of "hippie hash" (Dan's term) this year - basically just a compilation of greens, veggies, and protein (eggs, seitan, tofu) sauteed with grass-fed butter or olive oil. In the category of "culinary adventures"...there was that time that Barb and I ate our way through New Orleans (the shrimp was unbelievable!), the multiple scoops of Humphrey Slocombe ice cream while in San Francisco, and a handful of interesting business dinners in various cities. 

Challenges | What did you wrestle with in 2014?  What did you learn?  What challenges do you foresee in 2015?

I wrestled with frustration around my house not selling. I wrestled with a few relationships that faded away. I wrestled with changes at work. I wrestled with feeling like I wasn't doing enough to create the life that I want. Through all of this, I learned that kindness & grace are hard, but worth it. I learned that patience is a skill that takes constant practice. And most of all, I learned that it's okay to begin again...and again...and again...and again. For 2015, I think change will be the challenge - putting the house on the market again, Hope's university graduation, Austin's high school graduation, Austin's (still undecided) university move - it's destined to be an ever-moving year. 

Stuff and Things | What products have you discovered this year that you love?  Tell us all about them, and why you love them.  Become the celebrity spokesperson of whatever it is you like!

I've made a conscious effort to pare down stuff, so it's a pretty small list! I finally tried Everlane, and LOVE the quality. I am crazy over this drugstore find - Go Curlier. I really can't think of anything else! 

Purging | What did you get rid of this year? Physical things you tossed out or donated? Or did you purge a bad relationship, job, etc…? 

Short answer - SO MUCH. We did a huge purge when we first put the house on the market. I think that we took 3 carloads to Goodwill. I've still got a bunch of scrapbooking stuff to get rid of (who doesn't??). I've been ruthless about purging clothes (oh hey, capsule wardrobe!). I did purge a couple of relationships (soooo hard for a people collector)...and worked on purging a lot of self-judgement (still in progress). 

Home | Tell us about what home meant to you this year. Are you a homebody? Did you do a renovation? Move? Redecorate? 

Are you tired of this story yet? #truth - I didn't expect to be sitting in this very room, typing a blog post, in December. I was SURE that I would be in a new apartment. For me, home meant letting go of outcomes...trusting that there's a plan.

Thanks and Gratitude | What are you so grateful for? How did you count your blessings in 2014? 

So. Very. Much. I am thankful that I got to spend the 1st three two months of the year with my brother (miss him so). I am thankful that I was surrounded by family as we said goodbye to my grandfather. I am (always) thankful for my amazing kids. I am (always) thankful for my friends - they are the family that I choose, each & every day. I am thankful for coffee and red wine. I am thankful for texts from the girls (Angie, Em, Steph, Barb, Josie, Gabby). I am thankful for the #hothipster that I met at a business dinner that I almost didn't go to. I am thankful for the opportunity to travel for work and pleasure. I am thankful for acupuncture & low-pain days. I am thankful for Sunday coffees with MaryBeth. I am thankful for forgiveness, kindness, and grace. 

Energy | What gave you energy this year? What took away your energy?

I had the opportunity to facilitate several workshops over the course of this year - all part of a "culture change" initiative at work. Each and every session renewed my commitment to living my best life, to learning, and to making choices. THAT is what gives me energy. I became more aware of my lean toward super empathy - taking on the energy (especially negative energy) from those around me. It's draining. 

I think that's the end of my #reverb posts for this year. I'm headed back to work tomorrow, which is actually okay. I'm craving a return to routine. I'll be back with a few more end-of-2014 posts, but I'm mostly just looking forward to kicking off 2015. I'm excited about my One Little Word®. I'm excited to document the year with Project Life® (or something close to it). I'm even excited to turn 44 in a few days. 

Thank you, as always, for reading!

2014 Project Life : weeks 40-42


I will finish this project. I will finish this project. I will finish this project. I will....


Week 40. Austin turned 18 (what??). I didn't include any journaling for these weeks, which feels okay right now. 


Week 41. Funny how calm the color scheme ended up in this one. (This is how we roll is a Kelly Purkey digital stamp that I modified a bit.)


Week 42. These weeks were filled with stories. Let's be honest...it's unlikely that I'll go back and add journaling, but it's possible.

My goal in the next few days is simply finish this album. It doesn't have to be pretty. It definitely won't be perfect. But...it will be done. And for a year where I fought Project Life? That feels like victory. 

#reverb14 | so much reverb-ing

Revised reverb bannerMerry Christmas! We've had a lovely holiday - Christmas Eve with Dan, and Christmas Day with Rob (+ a phone call with Hope's Dad). I had a moment of "uhm, is this all just weird?" today...and then I realized that we're just really fortunate. We choose love...even when it's awkward, and hard, and weird. Love wins.

I'm going to spend the next few days cleaning, organizing, planning, reflecting, and (yes) reverb-ing. #truth - this is one of my favorite times of the year. The week between Christmas & New Years (which is also the week leading up to my birthday) lacks the pressure of the holidays, but holds the promise of new beginnings. And oh how I love a new beginning. Anyway. I'm pondering #reverb14 today, and plan to work on the prompts over the long weekend. Unnecessary note - if a prompt simply doesn't speak to me, I'm skipping it. Thanks for reading! 

Money | Where did you spend your money this year?  Did you save it instead?  What, if anything, would you like to do with your finances this year?

I had a relative sense of calm around money this year. I spent it on the usual things - bills, groceries, ordinary life. I relied on my emergency fund for a sudden trip to OK, and failed brakes. At the end of the year, I got a little fast & loose about money - too many fancy coffees, too much eating out. I'm already looking forward to tightening the belt in the new year - paying off debt, and viewing money as a tool that helps me to live the life that I want to live. As a part of my New Year routine, I'll be re-reading Money: A Love Story

Victory Laps | What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

Hmmm...this is a tough one. I had a few minor victories at work. I had a small victory in health/weight. I think that overall, I feel like my biggest accomplisment is that I'm happy. It's a feeling that is hard fought/hard won. 

The Plank | It has been said that you must learn to take care of yourself before you can be effective at taking care of others.  How did you take care of yourself in 2014?  How will you take care of yourself in 2015? 

I really did prioritize taking care of myself this year. I was unapologetic about sleeping in, celebrating with friends, saying no to things that didn't interest me, and seeking out solutions for self-care. I did barre sculpt at the beginning of the year. I went to acupuncture regularly. I ate (and drank) well. I cried when I needed to, and laughed as often as I could. I adopted the questions/answers of "not mine to manage" and "not about me"...and created boundaries between my lean toward super-empathy, and the draining effect that it can have. In 2015, I plan to continue to play with diet & exercise to find a balance that works for me. I will definitely sleep in (often). I will laugh & cry, and celebrate along the way. 

Leap of faith | What decision did you make this year that was a leap of faith? Did it work out? Or not?

I put my house on the market in the spring with visions of selling, closing, and moving over the summer. It's now December, and I'm still in the house. We came off the market in Oct. I took a leap of faith that moving out of this house was meant to be...and it didn't work out. A disappointment, for sure. But. I learned along the way, and I'll try again. 

Small Pleasures | What small pleasures did you discover this year?

Burrata. Satin-y sheets. Slow sunday mornings. French press coffee (which I'm sure has something to do with the boy making it). Perfectly fried eggs. Going to the movies alone. Being a "regular" at a hipster coffee shop. Really big scarves. 

celebrating the Solstice...

It's the official start of winter - the shortest day & the longest night - but from this day forward, we're headed toward the light. We celebrated with an impromptu (homemade) pizza dinner, a bottle of wine, and logs in the fireplace. After dinner, we both wrote down a list of things/emotions/reactions that we're releasing...and then tossed the papers into the fire. Although not exactly ceremonial, it felt good to honor the day with a ritual. We then settled onto the couch to get a little work done...honoring the intentions that we've both made to get shit done.

I'm spending the next two days in NYC, and then coming home for an extra-long holiday weekend. I'll carve out time to finish up #reverb14, December Daily, and Project Life. So ready for a creative clean slate. 

Happy Solstice, friends! 

glad tidings. comfort. joy.

It seems that after 20 years in New England, I've become conditioned to think of December as cold & snowy...so I'm a bit disoriented (happily so) to be in Florida during the holiday season. It has been the perfect way to hit pause on busy-ness and chaos. Great company, delicious food, sunshine, and laughter...that's what comfort & joy look like right now



feeling a sense of disbelief that it's December 10th. 

reeling (a bit) from the non-stop schedule that my calendar shows right now.

drinking Califia Farms Almond Milk Holiday Nog as a rare mid-week treat.

listening to Pentatonix's That's Christmas to Me.  

getting excited about leaving for Florida on Sunday. 

getting even more excited that Hope will be home when we get back.

figuring out how to get all the work done when I'm not in the office again until after the holidays.

jotting down notes for December Daily® and #reverb14. 

listening for my 2015 One Little Word®. 

taking the time to sit in meditation each & every day. 

eating a slow carb, high protein plan that is making a real difference.

enjoying Trader Joe's Peppermint Joe-Joes on "cheat" days.

going to bed early because I know that sleep is essential with this schedule.

trying to make a list & check it ONCE in order to get it crossed off.

#reverb14 | letting go.

Revised reverb bannerletting go | For next year, I’m letting go of… 



Much of the "self-work" that I do is around letting go of fear & negativity, and choosing love. I don't think that there is ANY aspect of my life that hasn't been marred by fear in the past few years (and many...for my entire life). A simple example from today...

I've been losing weight at a fairly steady pace. I'm down 20lbs from the beginning of the year. Some of my jeans are pretty much falling off of me. I tried on a few smaller sizes at Old Navy today, and got in line to pay for one pair. It was a minor purchase of $15 (on sale) jeans. While I was standing in the queue, fear was SHOUTING at me. What if I stopped losing weight? What if I gained it back? Why was I buying something for myself during the holiday season? What if I'm feeling too much pride in my efforts? The steady drone of fear caused me to bolt out of the line, put the jeans on a folding cart, and race out of the store. No purchase. Sigh. 

I have frequent conversations with my besties about my tendency to lean toward dark & twisty. I can write a tragic ending like no one's business. That's not a writing skill, it's a fear-based practice. 

So, in 2015...I'm letting that go. I will remind myself that fear is false evidence appearing real. Fear is my ego-voice trying to sabotage my higher self. Fear is soooo 2014.

Project Reverb | #reverb14 (b/c i dig reflecting & manifesting)


#reverb14 | do over.

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Do Over | Hindsight is the one thing we never benefit from in the present.  Is there one moment you wish that you could do-over?

I surprised myself with this one - in past years, I probably could have come up with a looooong list of situations that fall into the "do-over" category. I've loosened my grip, and I'm always practicing the ability to begin again. I mean, sure, I've had moments of "well, THAT could have gone differently"...but I'm not dwelling on them. Many of those are incidents where I didn't advocate for myself very effectively, and felt like it was easier to simply remain silent. It's a hard line to walk...being assertive while still showing kindness & grace. All part of moving forward...

Project Reverb | #reverb14 (b/c i dig reflecting & manifesting)