12.31.2011

getting it out of the way.

I'm nursing my 2012 hangover a day early. 

I had pretty big plans for today. A nine mile run with Melissa, some grocery shopping and tidying, and an informal dinner at home with neighbors and friends to usher in 2012. It's a similar plan to last year's, which worked out quite well.

What's that saying? The best-laid plans of mice and men yada yada yada.... 

Yesterday, 1.30.11. I had my last personal training appointment with Lisa at 11, so I stopped en route to a homeware store to pick up some necessities. You know, dish sponges, toothpaste, cake pans and an offset spatula, extra champagne flutes...things one simply cannot function without. I ran into my neighbor, and we made some loose plans to meet up after dinner at a local restaurant. I sent some texts to the hubs and some other neighbors, and headed to the gym...where my ass was soundly handed to me by my trainer. (Funny, how I can run for miles but I can't hold a plank anymore...looks like someone needs to round out her workouts.)

Cleaning. Grocery-ing. 6 o'clock rolled around and I headed over to JM's house to see their renovations and meet the pup they were babysitting. We headed to Maplewood Grille sometime after 7:30, and met hubs and some other neighbors there.

And that's when it starts to get fuzzy. Too many glasses of merlot. Some well-intentioned prodding. A very kind pianist. And all of a sudden yours truly has a microphone in her hand, and is trying to remember lyrics and negotiate a very large break in her voice. Yep. Singing. In public. Shameful. And also? Really fun. 

Walking home with a tipsy hubby sometime after 1am, just like old times. 


Waking up at 7am. Even with gatorade and advil, this morning was pretty rough...and made even more so by the weather being achingly gorgeous; warm, sunny, late-spring weather in December. This evening's festivities have been cancelled, as I feel sure that I won't be making it much past 10pm. (that's an optimistic guess...)

So I'm honoring a crazy 2011 with a residual headache, sore muscles, and a throat that's scratchtastic. I'm making lists in a small black notebook of things I'm grateful for, things I want to rid myself of, things and people and experiences that I want to invite into my 2012. I'm starting to plan some month-long projects. And I'm thinking about tomorrow, about the ways in which I want to start my 2012. 

But mostly I'm sitting in a comfy chair with a cat on my lap, listening to my hubs and the dog (both!) snore, and feeling pretty lucky. 

Wishing you the very best of everything for 2012. 

12.29.2011

back, back, back into time

So, I just spent a little time going my archives, and found that this weird, lazy+melancholy+restless feeling? Is just what my brain does on this week between Christmas and New Years. (I have to admit, it's both reassuring and discouraging to know that this feeling is as much a tradition as anything else this time of year.)

I'm restless, feeling like I'm lacking forward movement. But a good solid look through some old emails and blog posts reassures me that it's more perception than reality. Just in case, though, I have some shows and projects awaiting me in January that should shake things up a little bit, and am looking forward to talking to TC about some ways to re-prioritize and light a fire.

I'm kinda wanting that fire.

I've written here much less than I have in the last several years, and that makes me sad...sad that I'm not taking care of the people who actually like to read my drivel (in other news, you poor people need hobbies...), as well as sad to feel censored. I'm rethinking it...and may go back to being public in 2012.

But mostly what I'm doing is asking questions...lots and lots of questions. Am I where I want to be? (And really, what IS the answer to that question? "Yes." Well, good for you. "No," Well, sucks to be you.) What do I need that I'm not getting? How can I give back to my family/friends/community? What makes me excited? What gives me that semi-queasy, excited feeling and how can I find it again? Really, I think we all have a mental image of where we're be at different points in our lives...what we'll have, what will make us whole. And I guess I'm at the point where I'm trying to decide whether what I have, and where it differs from that vision, is right for me. I think that I have a lot of pals who made choices because they were 'supposed' to...or maybe that's just what I thought they were doing...but sitting barely on this side of 40, not having started a family yet, it makes me question who I am, who I wanted to be, whether this is OK. My mom has had very strong opinions of childless women ('selfish' being her descriptor of choice), and I don't want to be that, but I have to accept that, regardless of the cute house and good schedule and loving man and the desire to make it work, it may not work for us.

And so, in light of that? How does a girl rethink herself into her next incarnation?

That, my friends, is what I'm working on. And while I know that 2012 will answer a million questions for me, I'm a little nervous about those answers.  Part of my journey is that I'm keeping a physical notebook...writing questions at the top of the page, and then responding/making lists on the page. So, my sweet readers, a question for you:

What questions SHOULD I be asking? (Comments or emails appreciated.)

My five:

  1. Traditions.
  2. Room to think.
  3. Good music.
  4. Comedic pets.
  5. Glitter nail polish. (only on 3 fingers...I am an adult, after all....)

12.20.2011

Everyday magic.

I saw this picture on Indexed.
Which made me think of Hermione Grainger.
Who, in turn, made me think of Mary Poppins.

And it made sense that I can't make myself clean out my purses or bags.

Because if I do? I might misplace the magic.

Hoping the next week-and-change is filled with magic for you...ordinary, every-day, Parking Angel, Everlasting Green Light magic. Calm, serene, wintery magic. Crazy people walking back into your life at perfect moments magic. The conjuring magic of families and holidays past. That perfect pair of socks under the tree magic.

The kind of magic that makes you believe that maybe, just maybe, that you are a little bit magic.

12.18.2011

December is a bad neighborhood. In my head, that is...

So, I'm in the middle of the usual holiday paradox. Lots of fun Christmas parties coupled with job stress (not mine, thankfully, but someone whose stress I tend to wear like a bad wig.) equals lots of home stress and foregone invitations. 

i know...our faces are gonna freeze that way...
Actually, December is not being terribly friendly, on the whole. Difficult work situations (with managers and tenors...shocker!), insufficient daylight, a lingering almost-cold that allows me enough energy to go to work, but then makes me fall into bed as soon as is seemly. (8:30pm is seemly, right? Pretend I'm 8...it works.)  And 4am? I know we're now besties, but I'd love to quit you for a few days. When I do sleep, I'm having crazy, CRAZY, (like whoa crazy) dreams. I remember them vividly, but can't figure out the through-line or if there even IS a through-line. And today? My plumbing BLEW UP. I now have zero usable showers in my home. (Although on the flip side, I'm glad we have a gym membership with good showers and good product. You don't have to give me as wide of a perimeter...) Plus, my gifting creativity has totally dried up, and my Christmas gifts totally stink. Aaaand I'm not even finished shopping. Boooooooooo.

On the positive side, I'm running like it's going out of style. 8 miles this Saturday morning, and that's before 9am. (EIGHT MILES. My heart rate monitor said I burned over a thousand calories. Why yes, I WILL have an ice cream sundae! Or FIVE! And don't be stingy with the caramel....) I'm pretty proud of it, even though I'm ashamed to say that I can't keep up with my usual gym workouts because I'm officially too wimpy. Weird paradox, that. I've been trying to do nice, random things for people. And, to be honest, it totally makes me feel better. I'm also lucky to have some really great folks who let me bitch and whine to them. I'm super grateful to have them.

But I'm not feeling like work or life are things I'm excelling at recently. And I feel like I'm saying no, spewing more toxicity into the world than I want to. 

This must needs stop. 

But how?

Rather than just trusting that, when the calendar rolls to 2012, it'll all be better, I'm trying to suss out what changes I want to make. I'm trying to take an honest look at where I am, what I have, what I want, and where it all intersects. 

It'll be a Venn diagram of epic (well, to me at least) proportion. 

Now if I only have the courage to start...

My five:

  1. Fleece- and feather-lined everything. As much as I love wool, it's not really my pal.
  2. Meeting mom's new neighbors - can't wait! 
  3. Great stories. This one was wonderful. And I'm loving this one, too. 
  4. Hats. I can hear my neighborhood sigh in relief when I cover up my bedhead before walking the dog in the morning. 
  5. Christmas lights. And even though the taste police (ahem.) have dictated that we only have white lights, please know, colored-light-people, that your houses and trees look the best BY FAR.

12.11.2011

procrastinating? or way ahead of the curve?

Can this be our Christmas tree?
I'm sitting down to write this as one of my rewards: a 10 minute break for focused housework. I find that if I just put the time aside to clean (which, let's be honest, I totally hate. Love the result, don't get me wrong, but I hate doing it. The decision fatigue occurs WAY earlier than it should. And by the way, when will they make self-folding laundry, for Pete's sake?) I end up doing a few things and then getting totally distracted. But, if I clean for an hour and then get some putter-around time? Well, I generally get more done.

(Huh...it's kinda the way I'm training for this half-marathon, too... walk a minute for every mile. Guess if something works in one arena, chances are it'll work in another?)

We've cancelled the cleaners for the next several months (until summer madness kicks back in), so cleaning is firmly back on my radar. This would normally be a huge problem, except that, inexplicably, I'm totally in the "We have too much stuff" mindset.

This mindset? Almost NEVER happens. Those close to me can speak of my cluttery, pack-rat tendencies. Hell, just stop by my office someday and see it for yourself firsthand!  I keep all kinds of things, in the event that I might need them/be able to do something cool with them one day. But today? I'm finding the urge to purge. To lighten up. To have fewer things.

Now, I acknowledge that this might be my sneaky mind clearing out old things to make way for new things. But that's not the way the holidays so much work for us anymore, and most of the things I'm tossing are expired...in many different senses of the word. Skirts that are too sort? Goodwill. Magazines? To their next owner. Old nail polishes are tossed. Expired prescriptions are set aside for disposal. I'm taking pictures of my bookshelves: if you Kindle-y folks want a real book with a cover and binding and everything for Christmas, email me and I'll send you one from the stash!

But really, I think it's my mind making room for some new things. My dreams have been vivid, beautiful and challenging lately, and while 2011 has been a pretty amazing year, there's a large part of me who is ready to bid it adieu and look forward. I'm hoping that, rather than collecting things as I have been for the last several years, that I'll be collecting experiences and good friends over the next year.

Good people. Great times. Two reasons to happily make some room.

My five:

  1. Challenges.
  2. Cheesy music.
  3. Comfort.
  4. Clean laundry. (...wonder if it's folded yet...)
  5. Hope.

12.03.2011

this is not going to turn into a running blog, i promise

...but i'm feeling the need to crow a little bit. 7 miles this morning, after running 3.5 last night. So, in 18 hours, 10.5 miles.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

The coolest thing about this morning? Was that I felt really good up until the end. I've been giving myself walking breaks every mile/10 minutes, and it really helps me feel less punished. By mile 6, though, I was wishing I had brought some water/gatorade with me...I just needed a little bit of something to keep going.

Since I didn't have that little bit of something? I headed home. And this tune came on, which somehow made the last few blocks totally doable.



Two weird things:

  1. I started to talk to my muscles, and they started replying...kinda in the voice I use when I'm narrating for Boo. It was a little weird.
  2. When I got home, my lower body felt like it could just keep going and going and going, like I was a robot from the hips down. Crazytown. (Of course, I will likely not be able to walk tomorrow. Which will be three shades of awesome. Cue the whining...)
In short, running has been proven to cause hallucinations and a flat affect from the waist down. If you've ever needed an excuse to not start, here you go!

In other 'news':
  • I upgraded my computer's operating system, and now it does all kinds of weird things, and the scroll functions are opposite. I'm having adjustment issues.
  • My music is in the Cloud...whatever that means. I'm a little nervous.
  • I have 6 overripe bananas. There is banana bread in EVERYONE's future. You're welcome.
  • Heading to NYC for a very quick trip (to see a performance in the afternoon). Train up in the morning, train back in the evening. Lots of reading and computer-ing and such in between. Should be a good day. That being said, if you've been trying to get ahold of me? Tomorrow is a FANTASTIC day to do so!
  • I am not in the holiday spirit. I do not want to shop. I do not want to make pierogies. I want to hear stories and laugh and wear bright lipstick. Someone please un-Ebenezer me.  
My five:
  1. Sunshine. Boy, with the days so short it's in limited supply.
  2. Spellcheck. How did I ever live without it?
  3. Dinner plans. I love not having to wash dishes...
  4. Heart rate monitor. Because now I know that I burnt off X amount of calories, I can ingest them in their most chocolaty, decadent form, right? That's the whole reason FOR running, I thought...
  5. Naps. And if you'll excuse me... :)