1.30.2015

Friday Night Bullets

It's 10pm on the last Friday in January, and I'm happily snuggled into the couch, the puppy (who turns one next week, so maybe technically not so much a puppy?) tucked between my tuckus and the back of the couch. He snores and farts, but he's toasty warm... on a night like this I'll take toasty & loud over quiet & cold.

It's been a week. A good week, but a week nonetheless.
  • Chamber music. So many emails to set the 15-16 season. Almost there, but "almost there" can turn into "gone" as often as "booked." Trying to let things work out, rather than force them.
  • Celebrated a classmate's promotion, and laughed my fool head off. LFI, thank you for putting together the best team ever - especially when there's no pesky work involved! 
  • Had a meeting with a designer at our outdoor venue...in the cold. Short meeting!
  • Lunched with a wonderful mentor, and with a young staffer. Both are whip-smart, and I was happy just to keep up.
  • Went to this new spot (they don't even have a website yet! does that make me trendy and cool? please say it does...) with two artsy pals. Tasty old-fashioneds and nibbles, great conversation, and a charming French bartender. It's not easy to make pals as an adult, and these new friendships are something for which I'm super grateful.
In less-than-awesome news? My office temperature hovered around 65 degrees for most of the week.
I have a gajillion things to do, and my motivation is strangely absent. I started the week strong as far as eating and working out, and only made it to Wednesday. And I have ignored the dust bunnies for internet surfing and the Outlander books. (Trashy and wonderful JUST LIKE ME.)

There is, as always, room for improvement.

But January has brought some really interesting people & projects into my life, and I'm feeling a very cool sense of momentum. I hadn't realized the depth of my 2014 rut until things started to feel better/more interesting...and they are, in fact, feeling much better. (Giving a shit is ALWAYS better than not giving a shit, I'm finding.)

Tomorrow I'm running a virtual 5k (most likely on a treadmill, because it's supposed to be reeeeeally cold in the AM), and then donating blood. And, if I can get my butt off the couch in the afternoon, meeting some artsy ladies for nibbles in town. 

January was watercolor month. February is yoga month. My motto for 2015 might be "an overabundance of mojo." It's working so far.

1.09.2015

well, then.

We're not yet 10 days into 2015. But I feel like my inner Pollyanna has been resuscitated, and whether that's optimism or naïveté I'm not sure. I'm rolling with it, regardless...I've missed her.

I spent the end of 2014 coughing my brains out, wondering how Mimi and Violetta ever made it through their damn third act arias. Really, if I had to characterize 2014, it would be "the year Rahree gave up" - not "gave up sugar" or "gave up all of her bad habits" but more like "gave up giving a crap about how she feels or what she looks like or what she's able to do." Not my finest showing 2014, but she's set the bar low for some significant improvement, which is great.

I cleaned house. 17 bags of garbage, 4 boxes to the Vets. Freezer and fridge purged. I bought a journal. And then I found another I'd been keeping. And I started making plans and writing. Vowed to exercise 31 times in January. (I'm 8 out of 9 as of today, which is a decent start I feel!) 

Granted, it's not been all sunshine and roses. I woke up at 3am Monday morning because the cat has jumped off the headboard onto my face and split my lip. Work seemed super easy for 2 days, and then well nigh insurmountable the other 3. 

But I'm making things again - paintings and photos and songs. And it feels really good. I'm getting back into touch with folks I love, and am trying to talk more. (Always a struggle unless I'm tipsy. And then the struggle is wholly the opposite...) I'm trying to do random nice things for folks, and to surprise people positively with little things.

It's been really fun. And easy enough to be sustainable, I think.

To put things into perspective, I was watching the conclusion of the Parisian/Charlie Hebdo situation from the dreadmill at the gym. And it struck me that interpretation was the issue. The Koran tells people that murder is against the will of God (full disclosure: I've not read it in its entirety, and only a translation, Allow me this educated guess, and then please educate me in the comments.) but some trusted interpreters of that text twist the rhetoric enough to justify their actions.

Is there no better reason to go back to the source material, to dig for the truth, than those recent lives lost? And lost because they pointed out discrepancies in a lighthearted manner?Humour has always been the method to talk about difficult things - it's an entré to loaded topics, whether intimate or global. Silencing those voices is unforgivable...and in their wake, are we not called to scrutinize flaws in our system more thoroughly? More importantly, are we not called to find more joy, to love more fully, to be braver and more open and more generous?

I think we are. I am.

Here's to giving as much as possible, to surprising people with tiny kindnesses, to screwing up the finish on the dining room table in pursuit of art projects, to ditching solitaire for scrabble. Here's to fewer generalizations and more deep connections, to more listening and less sounding off, to moving more and standing still less frequently. (In every sense of the phrase.) And to shoring up those of us who need more support, more perspective, more understanding.

Here's to a 2015 that is crazy good - better than we ever could've expected. 

1.01.2015

Welcome, 2015!

I'm happy to see 2015 arrive.

Don't get me wrong - 2014 had its good parts! New puppy at the house; a kickin', high-profile season at work; a few new initiatives that seemed to work around our chamber music series; a raise!; seeing my niece and nephew both doing well, and my mom positively thriving.

But it was a struggle, 2014 was.  If I had to assign a food to 2014, it'd probably be something like Cheese Curls - something that is initially delicious and tastes like nostalgia, but is upon further contemplation full of air and emptiness, and a little bit gross. I was blue for a good part of the year. In many ways, I gave up on a lot of things that really mattered to me, and embraced things that didn't really do much for me. I let go of some friendships, and burrowed inward...became more self-centered and lazy. We got hit with several large bills (broken puppies and trees and sheds oh my!), but mostly the year was just kinda blah...like we were treading water. And I spent most of December sick with a nasty, stubborn case of bronchitis...I aver that Mimi and Violetta couldn't have sung a LICK if they were coughing like that. Unless they were singing baritone...or being payed by Harvey Fierstein.

Really, nothing tragic, but simply not my finest year.

So I'm trying to ward off the twin demons of apathy and sloth by making lists and plans. Physical Health. Mental Health. Creativity. Relationships. Giving back. Personal Challenges. And - here's the big difference - I'm not trying to do them ALL RIGHT NOW. But I'm scheduling rotations to focus on different things during different parts of the year. Working mostly on either a monthly or quarterly basis.

Hopping hardcore - like the rest of my fellow chubby first world denizens - onto the health and fitness bandwagon, because the support is so pervasive this time of year. I have 30-day challenges for January, February and March planned out, plotted out what I'll do when I inevitably fail so I can get back on the wagon, and have a reward planned for April 1 should I succeed. I started week 4 of Couch to 5k training today, which is a feat after all that bronchitis. And I'm sucking down water tonight to prepare for my first bikram yoga class -  will I be smitten, or smacked down? We'll find out tomorrow!

I'm feeling optimistic. It's been a while...it feels good.

Wishing you a 2015 that answers that small prayer in your heart, that you didn't realize that you were carrying around.