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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

" How Big Is Your Bowl? "


December 27 – Ordinary Joy

Prompt: "Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?"

There are many ordinary moments in my daily life as a mama on the move that bring me profound joy, but the most recent one happened during breakfast. As a family we don't sit around the kitchen table together much, meals can be broken up, my toddler eats on go a lot, snagging bites from our plates like a magpie.

But the other morning I was sitting at the kitchen table, making my daily to do list, or shopping list, or maybe I was eating , I can't remember. But I do recall that boys were there as well, having breakfast cereal. And what made this ordinary moment profoundly- joyful was when Roman turned the box around and started reading from the back, while at the same time, Ryan was spooning perfect, spoonfuls of cereal into his own mouth.

Roman is reading to me and Ryan is feeding himself!

I had this feeling of riding in a bus, like a tourist in my own life and witnessing this minute transformations of " big-boyhood" coming into play at the same time. Who are these big boys? One minute I am catching cheerios off the chin of Ryan while helping Roman sound out the letters in a word, the next I am witnessing huge feats of independence!

Had I gotten up to do something, or been off in my own world I could have missed it. But the calmness and rightness and ordinary-ness of the moment turned out to be joyful.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Out with the old in with the new.

"Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful." William Morris.


Prompt for December 11 – 11 Things

"What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?"

I'm pretty much a constant "purger" I don't hoard much, but on the flip side I am somewhat frugal and practical and try not to chuck things "just because". But then it comes to a point when all the things I hold on to look shabby, get worn out, no longer fit and no longer make me happy to see. When I sigh or cringe every time I whip out an old scratched up plate or use a tattered towel, it wears at me, be it ever so slight.

A lot of these things I want to eliminate are going to end up as "projects" take #9 for example, I will most likely sort all my recipe clippings and then decide I want to try a few, or sort and organize by type, or perhaps store in a proper folder. I have to be brutal and recycle like mad .Other things are pretty straight forward elimination and are just costing money / creating mental clutter and / or are not really getting used.

I can go room to room, cupboard to cupboard, closet to closet to spruce things up. Donating, recycling, swapping as appropriate. I feel like these things I want to eliminate are in fact mostly just "things" and will take time and money to weed through and replace. The mental clutter will be the easiest to eliminate, MySpace is a simple account delete, subscriptions can be eliminated as they flow into my inbox- my husband calls it going on an anti-spam campaign.

However, with the case of #1, red meat, it will involve more of a lifestyle change, recipe modification and friend and family wrangling, too.

I don't know how my life will change by eliminating these items, maybe I will be in a better mood, be more confident about having guests over, and feel healthier in body, mind and home.

11. Discontinue Netflix membership

10. Delete My Space Page

9. Old recipes clippings and cookbooks I never use

8. Recycle plastic containers with missing lids

7. Framed art I put on walls because it kinda went with the room at the time, or was put up because I needed to fill a blank space, but doesn't really do much for the room.

6. Subscriptions to e-mail generated newsletters, store advertisements

5. Out of focus pictures, and poor videos on my computer and phone

4. Worn out, ripped, stained and otherwise ugly linens and towels.

3. Mismatched, dinged up and scratched plates, cups, glassware, etc. -

2. Enriched bread products, if a whole grain choice is not available, do without.

1. Red meat

So there it is, I'll check in with this list at the turn of the new year, and I hope to get through most of this list by summer!

Friday, December 3, 2010

" I worry that if people saw me " normal " they would ask " what the hell are you on?"

Reverb10 for December 3rd. Yea I'm a little behind. Let's move on.

The Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year.

This is me at Red Rocks. A pretty standard " proof that you were there" picture and I bet a lot of people have the same kind of snap shot taken pre concert at Red Rocks. Perfect Colorado summer nite, no wind, no clouds, the aroma of marijuana blowing through the crowd. As nite fell, the lights of Denver could be seen flickering.
But it's not really the picture, but the story behind this picture that made me feel so alive. I have been wanting to write about this moment for awhile and I did touch on it a bit on my summer recap. The actual moment however was a week long visit by my friend Tiffany. She got her passport and was allowed to visit me from another country called California. She is one of my longest lasting friendships, since first grade. We have lasted and weathered plentiful storms thru elementary school, middle school, and even a freshmen year out of town move ( she moved I stayed) . And we still managed to stay in touch, thank god we both got cars!! We were roommates for 2 years in our very early-squirly 20's. She was in my wedding, and I visit her every time I go back to California. On this past summers visit to CA She mentioned that she was going to be getting a little time off and had some money burning in her pocket to travel and wanted to come visit me in CO.
Come again? Really? You want to spend your mommy freedom time with me???? I was so excited, but kept my guard up, so that I would not be too disappointed if she couldn't swing it. But alas I got a phone call a few weeks later and she was on the interent looking at plane tix!

A few weeks after that I was picking her up at DIA and swooping her off for a fun filled vacation along the front range, my home now, for almost 10 years!

She made me fall in love with and appreciate where I live all over again, Estes Park, Boulder, my own back yard. She was smitten by the little critters that live in the open space behind my house, the buffalo that roam a mile away and she fell in love with Pearl St. Snarfs and of course Red Rocks Amphitheater, where I took her to trudge up the side of the mountain ( she in flip flops no less )to see her favorite musician Michael Franti.

She taught me some new moves at the gym with the bosu ball. She bonded with my boys. She never called my house small. She called me artsy, and creative and nobody ever calls me artsy and creative anymore. And that helped a lot to remind me that yea, before I sold my soul to motherhood, I did have a me, in side me. It's always good to remember who you were to know who you want to be.

We laughed so hard my face hurt, which has not happened in a very long, long time.I am fairly certain that she in the only person other than my husband that can get me laughing so hard that I have to lay down to recover! Her and Aaron got some good laughs on my behalf, kvetching on the perils ( and joys) of living with some one like me. Darn it those cupboards just won't stay shut, I say!

Her visit made me feel better about my decision to move to CO in the first place, which I always felt was under a banner of " WTF " and after my wedding in 2003 no one other than my parents came out to visit me. She reminded me of how far we have come, 15 years ago our mornings were certainly not spent jogging or at the gym! It was great to see her so healthy and vibrant and to to feel the same as well. If they could only see us now, we laughed at the bullies from Cloverdale. We laughed at the poor boy friend choices. We cackeled at the outfits and hair dos we tried to pull off. Her visit put a bee in my bonnet to reconnect with another old friend which was a catalyst for my trip to Crestone / New Mexico and I was able to tell her how much I admire and how proud I am of her.
I was able to show her my life and in return I was able to see my life for what it was, simply beautiful just like our friendship!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ready? Set? Write!

My friend Mel shared a link to this project called Reverb10. It will give me one new writing prompt a day for a month, starting today. (They have a fancy blog button I can't figure out how to pit on my blog, but I will keep trying)

Oh goodie, just what I need to get the words down and out into the universe. And I thought this seemed like a fun idea when I promptly signed on and, I mean I do still think it's a good idea. But then I remembered I don't like homework, or feeeling pressured to "produce" work. And here I am already a day late, and one prompt behind. But there really is no pressure here just good intentions and maybe I might even make some new writer friends like me, who have been stuck, traumatized by a fancy English Lit degree and the writing I had to do, or risk 40 lashes from a Domincan Nun.

So The first prompt hit my inbox yesterday, of course I am already behind - see I knew it !

Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you're choosing that word. Now, imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

2010 has been all about: Balance

I think a lot about it, how to get it, how to maintain it- how do others do it? Kids + Work+ Fun+ Self. The checkbook.
I do a lot of balancing physically and have gotten really good at balancing on a fit ball on just my knees, and I like to stand on the bosu balance ball and do upper body exercises. I have mastered plank, side plank and real push ups on an inverted bosu.
I have been undergoing accupunture which within in Chinese medicine is all about balance, yin yang, dark/ light, wet/dry. I have some issues and accupunturist Anne and a slew of herbs is helping me out with tremendously.

So there that was easy.

The second half of the prompt- what word do I wan to encapsulate next year? Can it be "balance" again?

But going back to Chinese medicine. I want 2011 to be all :Energy.

I want more of it. Positive flow within my physical and mental being. I want to waste less of it, through worry, stress, and encounters with "bad" energy people.

I am a firm believer in the idea that we manifest our own reality, that we consciously / unconsciously make our intentions known to the the universe and then universe gives us what we " ask " for.

I think I still have a lot of work to do in the balance part of life, but I am excited to work on the energy side, let's go 2011