Saturday, December 31, 2011

a tinge of sadness. a bear hug to the new year. and some hope.

I did these things: got a job, learned to row crew, went to two NBA Thunder playoff games, came back to yoga, lived alone, learned to be a d-word, made some new friends, sold some stuff, bought some stuff, got in a wreck, got my first speeding ticket in 10 years, said too many unwanted goodbyes, cried gallons of tears, laughed to the point of exhaustion.  

I went to these places: Hawaii, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Washington DC, Memphis TN, North Carolina.

I got to see: friends become parents. strangers become friends. family come together. marriages get stronger. people change.

I was: weak. tired. sad. confused.

I am: strong. resilient. healing. growing. happy.

I have: hope.  and lots of it.

Today has been an emotional day. More emotional than I expected if I'm completely honest. There was a lot I wanted to say about this year, but after much reflection, I've realized none of it matters anymore. It's over. This year is 7 hours from being behind me. That's all that matters. I think we all know I've been looking forward to a new year. A fresh start. A beginning that's not tainted with the sting of the d-word.

And it's finally here.

I greet you with a smile, a couple of tears, an excited laugh, a nervous twitch, and big 'ole bear hug. It's so nice to meet you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Year Report Card

I made a list of efforts last December for the new year. Since there's only 10 days left, I think it's time for a final grade.

1. Be nicer. (React slower, keep your mouth shut, be stingy with your opinions.). Final Grade: B+ I think I've learned how to respond vs react, act with dignity, be more free with grace and keep my feelings to myself. Still room for improvement and I don't act the way I wish I did 7 days a week...but I'm different than I was. And that's what's important.

2. Honk less. (Be a nicer driver in general.) Final Grade: A- I've had a few moments that weren't my finest, but don't really honk anymore!

3. Volunteer at a local non-profit. Currently considering Infant Crisis Services, Citizens Caring for Children, and CASA. Final Grade: D- I get to volunteer some, but not nearly what I had in mind. Let's remember I also wasn't working full- time when I made this list!

4. Show my face and get to know students at Destiny Urban Academy on a regular basis. (I'm on the board of this school and have only visited the students once in almost a year. Not acceptable!) Final Grade: D- I suck.

5. Send more mail. I think I've sent a total of 5 cards this year. (Not counting xmas cards.) It's always fun to get mail!
Final Grade: A! I tried to send birthday cards, anniversary cards and just because cards. It feels good to send and receive mail.

6. Play some music on a semi-regular basis. (Meaning, an instrument. That guitar is collecting dust!) Final Grade: B- Open Mic has become a favorite time in my empty bedroom.

7. Be vigilant about date nights with your husband. Pick a night and guard it like Fort Knox. Final Grade: Disqualified due to ineligibility.

8. Get serious about your health! Stop watching Biggest Loser and start making changes! Final Grade: B+ I started strong, fell off for a couple of months, then came back really strong. Feeling great and loving yoga! (And I did stop watching Biggest Loser.)

9. Get involved on some level at church. Join a small group, go to a class or bible study. Dare I say Sunday School??? Final Grade: A! I joined a SS class. I even attended the class Xmas party.

10. Take your friendships to the next level. (Remember special times (bdays, anniversaries) LISTEN, be thoughtful, and be REAL.) Final Grade: you'll have to ask my friends...but I think/hope I've been a better friend. B+

11. Take more pictures of your life. Final Grade: A- I actually have recent pictures with friends and family now!
Some are even framed.

I'm working on a list of things for 2012! Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Music: part II

I told you I would put together a list of heavy-hitter songs for you that have been especially powerful to me. This is not everything, but it's enough to get you started. Some of them have everything and nothing to do with this year. You're welcome.

1. "Keep Breathing" by Ingrid Michaelson (This version from "Live at the Artists Den is my fave.)
2. "Poison & Wine" by The Civil Wars
3. "Northern Lights" by Bowerbirds
4. "New York to California" by Mat Kearney
5. "The Weight" by Joe Cocker
6. "Rise" by Eddie Vedder (This song inspired me to learn the mandolin.)
7. "Dublin Boys" by Antje Duvekot
8. "Angel From Montgomery" by John Prine (sung by Bonnie Raitt)
9. "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" by Ramblin' Jack Elliot (and it has to be that version.)
10. "Paranoia in B Major" by The Avett Brothers

This is just a sampling. I'd love to hear what you think of these songs and how they hit you.

In yoga tonight, Mandy said, "Strength is not typically gained from things that are easy." I really like that. (And I know she's right.)

30 more days

30 days after today, I get to say goodbye to 2011. I have all kinds of emotions about it, but mostly I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited to start a new year that won't be overcast with the direct shadow of divorce.

I'm also looking forward to my first travels of the year. My first stop is Pennsylvania. Hopefully the next stop is Seattle and the train to Wenatchee, WA. I'm sure there will be a trip to DC at some point in the Spring. And already on the books is Sloppy Sober Tour 2012 to Aspen, CO.

Just 30 more days. Newness awaits me. I am eager to give it a bear hug and say, "It's so nice to finally meet you."