Monday, December 6, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 6

Today's prompt for Reverb 10 was: What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

A few weeks ago I made the yummy mini-cupcakes that you see above (from Oh She Glows). They are amazingly delicious. In fact, it was the second time in just a few weeks that I had made a batch. I highly recommend that you give them a try since anything that involves chocolate cinnamon cake, spiced buttercream icing and candied walnuts is bound to be good! That same week I also made a veggie chili from scratch so that Jesse would have some food to take for lunch.

There are so many things I want to make! For starters, I'd love to make an apple pie from scratch and crochet a blanket. These are my next two projects and since my last day of work for the year is this coming Friday, I think I just might be able to clear some time to make these two!

Reverb Catch-Up: Days 4 and 5

The prompt for day 4 of Reverb 10 was: How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

The honest answer is that I didn't do this enough, so I wanted to make a list of the small moments with the hope that 2011 will contain many more of them. Whenever I observe Shabbat, I feel a sense of wonder. There's nothing like lighting shabbat candles and having a meal with those you love. I wonder at how time seems to stop and relaxation sets in. The noise of day-to-day life seems quieter and I appreciate life so much more during this day.

I also feel a sense of wonder when traveling. Meeting new people, seeing new sights and experiencing new things broadens both my sense of self and my sense of connection to everything else in the world.

Lastly, I feel a sense of wonder when surrounded by close family or friends. This past weekend Jesse and I attended the wedding of someone that I have known since I was four years old. It was incredible. Over Thanksgiving, we spent time with his extended family and it was perfect. I wonder over how on earth I got to this amazing place in my life.

The prompt for day 5 of Reverb 10 was: What (or whom) did you let go of this year?

I let go of some of my basic requirements for self-care. With work, grad school, a long-distance boyfriend (till May) and settling into living with Jesse, I haven't made myself as much of a priority as I would like. I need more sleep, a LOT more yoga, more sweating, more veggies, more meditation and more writing. I am heading in that direction and I can't wait to for 2011 to safeguard these practices so that I can be a better me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 3

The prompt for today for Reverb 10 is: Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (textures, smells, voices, noises, colors).

I would have to say I felt most alive during my graduate school graduation ceremony. The ceremony itself was hot, especially under the weight of our dark blue gowns combined with the bright lights shining on us. It was also boring, since they let everyone and their mother add their two cents in about what it means to graduate and "head out into the real world". The sound system was squeaky and I was nearly blinded as everyone's family members snapped picture after picture. By all accounts, I probably should have hated it.

However, I remember having the sudden realization that I was done. And it was like a giant weight was lifted off of my shoulders. For the first time since I was 15 years old, I would now only have one full-time job instead of either two jobs or a full-time job and school. It nearly brought tears to my eyes to think that I would now be able to experience free time for the first time in 13 years (though I am still working at being able to just relax). I could read whatever books I wanted instead of those that were assigned. I could come home from work, cook dinner and watch television if I wanted to. I could sleep in on weekends and even take vacations. And after three years of class, I now had earned a master's degree.

It was an incredible feeling.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 2

The prompt for day two of Reverb 10 is: What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing--and how can you eliminate it?

I loved this prompt because the truthful answer came to the surface immediately: me. I get in my own way. I am the problem.

I don't make the time to write, which is often the case of so many people who want to be published authors. I have to make writing a priority or I will never advance in it. Unfortunately, when other obligations and procrastinations pop up, this is often one of the first things to go. Could I live my life without spending time watching competing chefs, the Kardashian sisters and a high school singing group on tv? Sure. I could also stop surfing the web for books and clothes I don't need at night. And get more sleep so that I am not too tired when I get home from work to do a little writing before bed. So I need to just do it.

One of my goals in 2011 is to eliminate the noise, clutter and distraction so that I can set aside dedicated time to write. If I make a date with myself and block off the time in my calendar, it will happen. A good first start is getting back into daily journal writing. So thanks, Prompt #2, for giving me goal #1 for this coming year.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 1

I've very much wanted to get back into blogging on a regular basis, so with that in mind, I decided to participate in Reverb 10. The purpose of Reverb 10, in the creators' words, is "to reflect on your year and manifest what's next." Each day in December, a prompt with be posted and I will respond to it here. If you would like to participate, you can sign up here.

The prompt for today, December 1st, is:

One word. Encapsulate the year in one word. Explain why you are choosing that word. Now, imagine it is one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

The first word that came to mind for 2010 was completion. I completed my master's degree--after three years!-- in May. Jesse and I completed the long-distance portion of our relationship (hopefully forever!) when he moved down to DC in the spring. We moved in together and completed making a home together. I feel more settled and calm. While I know it is a never-ending process, in so many ways, I feel much more complete than I did at this time last year. It's a great feeling.

The word that resonates most for me for 2011 is movement. Both the literal and figurative kind. I'd like to find physical activity that I like and want to do often. I want to get back into a regular yoga practice. I need to move forward on figuring out what I want to do professionally, or at least the next couple of career steps. I want to learn to value micromovements , as well as the slow, gentle, be-good-to-your-body-and-soul-type movements, in all areas of my life and see the beauty in them instead of simply obssessing over the large ones that may produce quicker or more visible results.