Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blog Move!

Hi! This blog has moved! Packed up and MOVED! Check it out over at . Safe travels, friends! <3

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It Deserves a Post

I've been having some really fantastic conversations with a new friend lately. A big theme in our most recent conversations has been slowing down. We're incredibly similar people, and it's really interesting to have conversations with her, because I'm feeling like I'm getting things out of my own head (I talk to myself a lot when I hike) and getting feedback from someone else, infusion of different ideas and a different perspective, which can be totally helpful. I probably still need to go on a solitary hike to hash all of it out in my own brain, but I like the infusion of outside perspective building on concepts I'm already working on.

So anyways, this slowing down thing: SO IMPORTANT. For so long, I've been rushing from place to place, idea to idea, job to job, rush rush rush rush rush. I'm known for making full on 180 degree turns in my life direction at the drop of a hat. So much so that a friend exclaimed when she saw me after a few months and many life changes on my parts (Yes, many life changes in a few months. Long story.) "I can't believe the way you change directions. It's incredible. One minute you're heading in one direction and the next it's a completely different one!" This is an old habit. I enjoy it, but it's stressful.

So, part of a long process of changing habits has been being out here at Point Reyes working. It started with "I need to get out of Oakland". It progressed to "I want to live somewhere beautiful where I can see and smell trees every day.". From there, Point Reyes. Here, I've been working on all kinds of things: Confidence. Health, physical and emotional. Music. Courage to play and sing in front of people. Friendships. Slowly, ever so slowly, romantic relationships. Being happy.

I'm embracing slow as part of my happiness program. It's something I was begging for last year in the height of my stressed out moments. It's something I swore I'd ask for in my next romance. It's something I promised myself. It's something I'm feeling I'm getting to.

My new friend is being a great example. She's taken note, and I'm watching her really slow down her thought process and take time to consider things. I think a really important part of this slowing down thing is to remember to experiment with actions in the midst of this slowing. To try certain things I've tried before in different circumstances that might work better, and to try new things, and in between all of it, take time to process what's going on, what I'm feeling, figure out what to keep and what to throw away.

Note to readers: My health insurance kicks in just a week from now, and I plan on starting therapy up again right away to work through some stuff I'm not sure I can totally get through on my own but that has been recently brought to my attention. I'm pretty excited about it.

Also, one of my all time favorite quotes is "Don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away." It was something John Steinbeck said in a letter to his son about love. I had no idea until today. We get full pictures when we're ready I suppose, and everything happens for a reason. I love this. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Well Hey There Sunshine

So I was standing in line getting my groceries rung up at Palace Market today, and it came up to something like $75. Remember back about four months ago when I was counting change to see if I could buy food that day and going without so that I could afford something else almost more important? Yeah. Me too. So I handed the guy my card, calculating in my head how much I had in my bank account, which was, decidedly, on the right side of more than enough.

I got in my co-worker's car, and sat in silence most of the way home. My first thought was that in two pay periods I will have ten times the money I've had in my bank account at any one time in the last 29 years of my life. My second thought was a little bit of a tear jerking blast of pure gratitude. My life is, for the first time, full of abundance. And not fleeting abundance, but true, steady abundance. Anyone who says money can't buy happiness, has obviously never lived in poverty, because when you work your ass off and still can't pay all your bills, there's no time for feeding yourself well and no money to buy clothes that look good, no room for joy because the stress of making it day to day trumps out any other emotion.

Thinking all of this I stopped, and I said a little gratitude prayer:

Dear universe, Please don't let me forget what it felt like to be poor so that when my bank account has more money than I need I can be generous. Please don't let me forget what it felt like to be homeless and hungry, so that now, when I have a roof over my head and food in my belly, I remember to share it. Please let me remember illness, so that when I am as healthy as I am now, I remember that life is a precious thing, that public health care kept me alive, and that every struggle, every surgery, every scar, attachment, modification, and curve of my body is precious, a source of strength, and the reason I am still alive today. Please let me remember how hard, heart breaking, lonely, joyful and fun being single can be, so that when the right person comes along, I will carry with me the joy and the fun, leave the rest behind, and never take them for granted. Thank you for this abundance.

Six months ago I couldn't have dreamed this level of good in my life was even possible. Still soaking it up.

One Word For The Year 2012

It's 1:18 in the morning, after my Monday, and I have three more days to go. My Tuesday is going to be a 14 hour day. I should be asleep.

Problem is, I'm a night person. I do all my best thinking after work.

Brene Brown is a hero of mine. She set upon me a challenge in a recent blog post: Choose one word for the year. Unknowingly, last year I had chosen Vulnerable, like I have done for years. Vulnerable is a hard lesson to learn for someone like me, and no doubt, it's a life long challenge.

But this year is different. This year I decided to go with something else. For the first time in a long time, in fact, maybe as long as I can remember, I am healthy, and more importantly happy, and was through the entire holiday season. This is not the norm. It started in November. And This year, I went into New Year's with an attitude of peace, and joy, and love, and happiness.

When I read the post by Brene, and subsequent posts by some other people, I decided I needed to figure out what my word was. I've tossed around a few, and I think "happy" is really MY word for this year. I've already had to make a couple of really hard decisions, that are pretty hard to stick to considering my free and impulsive nature, but the thing is, those choices were based on what was going to make me happy, not in the moment, but in the long run. And the universe is conspiring to keep those decisions solid. I can't argue with that. I mean, it's pretty hard to fight the universe.

So what does happy mean for me? Well, I think it means taking care of myself. Doing things as if I deserve the things I want (Note: Deserving something is different than feeling entitled to it.). It means being brutally honest with people about who I am, what I want, what I like, what I can offer, what I can't, and what I don't like. It means being ok with it when I trip, or when I pause, or when I take a step or two backwards. It means being courageous in certain ways I'm not used to. It means being patient in ways I'm not used to. It means admitting how bad I am at certain things, to myself and others, laughing about it, and continuing to try in spite of it. (It's funny how certain friends can encourage you in ways they don't even realize. I have a friend who's been saying "We're real bad at this" for the last few months in a joking way, but still kind of serious. It makes it easier to admit it when it's true.) I've always been so good at loving the awkwardness and missteps of other people, or loving them through their awkward and graceless moments, and yet I've always been so hard on myself for the same things. I want to love my missteps, trip ups, and awkwardness as much as I love other people's. I think that is key to my happiness.

Big important thing about happiness: It means setting boundaries that are good for me, and adhering to them.

So many things are tied up in this thing with boundaries: boundaries with my money (now that I have it, I'm prone to giving it away) boundaries with my time, my energy, my heart. I'm very intentionally making choices that are basically forcing me to be conscious about these things. Tonight I'm obviously violating a boundary with my time and energy by staying up far too late to write this, but it's been on my mind all day.

The final thing about this post: Last year I read a book that helped me tremendously in my vulnerability quest, and it was given to me by a friend. It made me cry. Hard. And it expanded my world and my wisdom. This year I have a book I need to read to. It's called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben. I've been avoiding it like the plague since I heard about it. I can't really tell you why, but I think it's time. It's sitting on the shelf in the staff housing. I start reading it in the afternoon. I'm nervous, and I'm not going to lie, I'm still resisting it a little. I'll do a full book report when I'm done. Ok, maybe just a quick summary. And with that, the rain has stopped and I must go sleep.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spirit Things

As the old saying goes: When it rains it pours and it's raining down cold and hard out here at Point Reyes today. We had a big group of Boy Scouts that basically took over the whole place, and they were super adorable in the way that well behaved gangly teenagers are really fun to watch be excited about things. Talked to a guest for a while about why I left the hectic life of the city and sales and marketing, and what he does out in Silicon Valley, after having spent a life traveling and being relatively outdoorsy. As a matter of fact, he actually is starting up a pretty cool website for families who want an online guide for outdoor centered travel with kids, called Let's Go Exploring. He also runs workshops and does reviews of pretty cool places that are family friendly and makes some pretty great kids packs. He goes by Glyph Guy. We'll let him keep that trail name. :)

My best bay friend was up visiting last night. We had a day of excellent food and great conversation, as always. She was a little off put by my window sill decorations. Mostly it's sticks and driftwood and rocks I've picked up from around the beaches here and other places I've been in the last few months, but there are some bones, particularly, a skull and a couple of feathers of a cormorant bird, a deer spine, a sand dollar, some pieces of mussel and abalone shells, vertebrae of a seal, and a bird femur. She asked me why I had them, and I told her they were my "Spirit Things". You know, because I live in nature and stuff. At some point she asked me what kinds of dreams they were sending me. I'm not very superstitious or fruity, I don't think, and so I told her they weren't those kinds of spirit things. I do like having them around though. Maybe it's that they make me feel more grounded or connected to something larger than myself. I don't know. And then I had a dream last night that was pretty vivid and kind of related to my spirit things. Ah the power of suggestion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quotes of 2011

"Riffle Rabble!" (Said to Matty, as I woke up, in a tent, in Yosemite, in May)

"Sometimes a bridge is just a highway in disguise." (A joke off of a joke)

"This too shall pass."

"We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." Charles Bukowski

"The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski. I mean the whole poem.

"I shall have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love, love, love, above all. Love as there has never been in a play. Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot in the heart and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture." —Tom Stoppard

"#11. Destruction is a variant of done." The Cult of Done Manifesto

‘Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger,
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket to protect you.’ --Hafiz

"When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed." - Fred Rogers

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next." —Gilda Radner, 'Delicious Ambiguity'

"Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionaries." Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." Walt Whitman

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yeah Girl. Get It.

So, I'm such an incredible bike nerd, and Hark, A Vagrant, which is one of my favorite webcomics of all time, has posted this awesomeness for the new year.

I'm shamelessly stealing all of her links, because I love them. Indeed Kate, there is nothing better than cartoons. Especially ones about bikes, and even better, ones about ladies rebelling by riding bikes. Thank you for 331, it's officially my favorite, though that one with the duck saying "Aw Yiss, some mothafuckin' bread crumbs" is still pretty good. 

Also, free books on Google! Velocipede book for free especially? Especially. Punctuation issues today. Too much excitement.