Monthly Archives: December 2010

Reverb10: Achieve

I’m a day late, but it still counts, right? Who says deadlines mean anything anyway?

Yesterday’s reverb10 prompt was:

Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it?

So. What do I want to achieve in 2011?

A fresh start.

At some point in the next few weeks/months, I imagine I’ll be writing much more in depth on this fresh start and the why’s and how’s and when’s of it all.  At this point, there’s a lot up in the air and a lot that’s on the down low — even to me. What I can say is that this fresh start needs to be more than a turn of the calendar page.

As I stare 30 in the face and embark on the next decade, I’m thinking a lot about where I want to be.

I want to be married.

I want a family.

I want to enjoy my job and be challenged by it.

I want to make a home.

I want to increase and deepen my social circle with the people who mean most to me.

If your 20s are about finding yourself, then shouldn’t your 30s be about living with yourself? In my 20s, I rode the roller coaster of love. I spent time at the same job that has challenged me, bored me, crushed me, and lifted me up depending on the day of the week or the month of the year. I made friends, moved away from friends, made new ones again. I made several homes, each one taking on an increasing level of adulthood and homieness.

2011 — the year I turn 30 — will be the first of a new decade. A decade of promise, stability, and change if all of those are possible. It has the potential to bring about a lot of fresh starts. I’m on the precipice of marriage. I’m at a point in my career where it’s time to take a leap. I’ve got lots of new friendships, just ripe for deepening connections.

There’s so much room to grow and start anew in 2011. I just hope I’m up to the challenge.

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Dear Santa

As I’ve gotten older, I’m not nearly into the gift part of Christmas that I was as a child. In fact, every November, the requests for my Christmas list start coming in and I have no idea what to ask for.

This year, I sat down and came up with a few odds and ends.

It wasn’t my favorite, but I still feel the need to have a full collection of SATC.

 

I’m not technically a vegetarian, but I don’t really enjoy cooking meat. This leaves me with lots of pasta in my diet, which, while yummy, isn’t nutritious. I’d like to learn some great meatless recipes that don’t involve all the carbs that pasta has.

 

My yoga pants are all pretty old. I could use some newer ones, and maybe a cropped pair or two. I’m a bit picky when it comes to this stuff, so in this case, a gift card would work too!

 

If my yoga pants are out of date, my sports bras are really out of date. These are a necessity for yoga. They cover more skin than a regular sports bra, but they don’t bulge out and block my breathing when I’m in an inversion.

 

OK. I know. I’m about 5 years behind the Ugg trend. The thing is, I live in Michigan. Where we have things like snow. And mud. And slush. So I need boots that can handle the snow, mud and slush without crumbling at the mere thought. For the longest time I’ve felt that while Uggs were fashionable, they weren’t practical. And I still think that. But, I also think that I deserve to be fashionable. My question to the Ugg owners out there: do they stand up to weather? Can you weatherproof them? And does that even work?!

I like to cook, but hate dealing with it after a long day at work. Hence, the slow cooker. And maybe a recipe book to get me started?

 

An infinity scarf. In any color in the rainbow.

 

And finally…

The thing on everyone’s list. The iPad. Truthfully, this isn’t actually on my list. I refuse to allow anyone to spend $500 on any one Christmas gift for me. But, I’ve got my sights on it and it’s possible I’ll take the plunge and get one soon. It’s the only thing that will make me consider reading an eBook.

 

All in all, not a bad list. Lots of things I need, a few things I want. We’ll see what Santa brings!

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Filed under glass half full, list mania, Y is for Yoga

reverb10: Party, party

Continuing on the occasional reverb10 train, today’s prompt was all about the parties of 2010:

What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

For me, the biggest party of the year — and thus the one that “rocked my socks off”, was DD’s birthday party.

He celebrated the big 3-0 in October, so I threw a shindig at my house. At first I was going to do appetizers and beer/wine, but at the last minute, I decided to embrace the fall season and serve up some spiced (and spiked) cider, two kinds of chili with all the fixin’s, and, of course, some appetizers. I outsourced most of the cooking to my mom and dad, which was a pretty smart idea.

It was great to have DD and his friends over to celebrate the start of another decade in his life. It’s a decade that will be about us and creating a family of our own. (Or at least I hope it will be!) It’s a decade that will probably bring a few trials and tribulations. But, it’s a decade that I’m looking forward to.

Aside from the obvious party choice, my favorite parties are those that involve family. As I looked over my calendar, I remembered the 4th of July barbecue that DD’s aunt hosted. I thought about the quiet Thanksgiving evening we spent with my parents. It’s the stuff like this that mean the most.

I’ve never been a big party gal. I love a glass of wine as much as the next girl, but staying out late and downing shot after shot just ain’t my style. So, it’s the quiet parties that I tend to enjoy most. The ones when I can connect with people I care about and relax. The ones where I don’t have to yell over the din of music. The ones where I don’t have to sidle up to a bar and stand for hours on end.

Plus, DD’s aunt makes some pretty awesome appetizers.

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Filed under blogging rocks!, DD (aka My Man), family values, glass half full, loft style living

My Obituary

A few weeks back, my boss and I were having one of our not-so-regular professional development conversations. For me, these are torturous; akin to watching an episode of Skating with the Stars. I have trouble thinking much past next month, so don’t even try getting me to make a five year plan.

But, there we were, talking about my future. About next steps. As the conversation evolved — with me fighting it every step of the way — my boss suggested I write my obituary.

Yes. My obituary.

After getting over the general skeeviness of it, I realize it actually is an interesting assignment. The point is to get you to think about what you want to be remembered for. Though I haven’t completed the assignment yet, I can assume that it’s an exercise to get those thoughts on paper, which should ultimately help you determine a path for both your career and your life as a whole.

Sounds easy.

Except. Well, who am I and what is it that I want to be remembered for? As I thought about that, everything that came to mind was personal.

Who am I?

A lover of books.

A lover of people.

A lover of dogs.

A lover of good writing.

A lover of travel.

What do I want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as a good person.

A good wife.

A good mom.

A scintillating conversationalist.

While these things are all well and good, they offer no insight into a future career. Wups?

So, after the initial brainstorm, I’ve stalled out. For the past few weeks I’ve avoided the assignment like the plague. I’m sure it’s given my boss just another reason to lose faith in me because I haven’t completed yet another professional development task. It’s been both a contributor and a casualty to that pesky writer’s block.

See, right before I got this assignment, I got all high and mighty on the writing thing. It was about the time work was really starting to tank my self-esteem. I was getting lots of criticism on my writing and was beginning to feel like I’d taken a complete wrong turn by making a career out of it since, clearly, I was awful at it.

To overcome the voices in my head (and my Inbox), I decided I was going to make my personal writing more of a priority. I thought that if I could get back to my own writing, it would make me hate my job — and the writing it requires — less. Heck, it might even make me better at the on-the-job writing.

To get back on the bandwagon, I’d also decided I was going to take my writing offline and start journaling. I was going to use the writing prompts offered by Writer’s Digest and go back to my roots with some good ol’ pen and paper.

It was going to be great.

Until I was told to write my obituary. The empty journal sat on my nightstand for weeks. I felt like I couldn’t start on my personal writing until I accomplished this actual assignment.

(It should be noted that who I am also includes a huge procrastinator and excuse-maker. Because even I know that’s a lame excuse.)

I finally sat down one night a drafted my obit, but instantly hated it. And I haven’t touched it — or the journal — since.

I’m stuck. Not only do I need to finish the assignment, but I also need to get jazzed about writing again. I think about the days when I used to love creative writing. When I had ideas for a book floating in my head. When I could sit down and just write for hours.

I haven’t done that, or even had the urge to do that, in years. And it really scares me. It scares me that after growing up with stories in my head, the real world has sullied me. The writing career that I worked so hard for has ruined me and taken away my imagination, my creativity, my voice. It scares me that the writing career has taken away the writing passion.

Because something else I want to be known for? Is being a great writer.

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reverb10: Community

Why not go balls to the wall with this whole blogging thing and do one of those awesome meme’s everyone keeps raving about?

Truth be told, I probably won’t follow through on every reverb post (I’m already 7 days late to the party anyway), but I think it will help me get back into regular posting when there’s a particularly good topic or I don’t have anything more exciting to share.

So, Day 7. Community.

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

2010 (and part of 2009 while we’re at it) has allowed me to explore the community where I lay my head. Detroit. Downtown to be specific, but most importantly, the city proper. I’m proud to say my driver’s license has boasted a Detroit address for a year and a half now.

One of the main reasons I moved into the city was to be closer to DD and a community of people like me. For those of you who only hear about Detroit from national news stories, you may be surprised to find out that a young, white, single, successful woman would move into the city to find a like-minded community, but it’s true.

I have close friends just two blocks away from me. I can see my gym from my apartment window. I walk to work and some of my favorite restaurants and bars. A short bike ride gets me to some fabulous parks, grocery stores, and boutiques. I may pass a few abandoned buildings on my way, but damn if it ain’t the best community I’ve lived in.

Last week, I went to the grand opening of a pop up shop. It’s open just for the holidays and it offers a variety of classy housewares and other fun decor. I made sure to bring a friend just in case I didn’t know anyone at the party, but I don’t know why I was so worried. Upon walking in, I saw no less than three other friends, all Detroiters, all interested in supporting a local business and checking out the scene on a random Thursday night.

It’s just one of many examples of the community Detroit gives me. During the cold months, my neighbors and I schedule game nights and dinners out. In the summer, we take walks and go for bike rides. It’s like the neighborhood I lived in as a kid, but with booze and parent-free.

This community of mine is probably short lived. It’s great for singles and newlyweds, and even folks with young kids. But the desire for a house and a yard and good schools for our children will probably have many of us headed for the suburbs at some point. All I can hope for is that if and when I do settle in the suburbs, I’m able to find a neighborhood that offers the same community I feel every day in Detroit.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, loft style living

A blockage

So, now that NaBloPoMo is done, I thought it’d be a good idea to start blogging again. Ironic, no?

Really, though. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this whole writing thing and well, I’ve been dealing with a pretty intense case of writer’s block. And I’d say it’s still a long way from being cured.

But, here I am. Taking the first step.

As bad as writer’s block is for the blog, it’s even worse for the 9 to 5. You know, where I get paid to write? Let me tell you, it’s been rough coming up with corporate-speak on demand the past few months.

To be honest, it’s more than writer’s block. In fact, the stuff at the 9 to 5 is really more than I can even get into here. But, it’s been a big factor in dragging me down for the last few months. Increasingly I feel undervalued, and often, unnecessary. For a girl who strives to be busy and be an integral part of the team, it’s been really hard for me to watch the world spin without any help from me. It’s been really hard figuring out what exactly my role is on a team I’ve been a part of for nearly four years at a company I’ve been at for over six years.

But, I’m persevering. Enjoying the quiet and taking time off. Taking advantage of a normal work day and indulging in yoga and other personal activities that just didn’t fit in when I was working 50+ hour weeks. Working on overcoming some of my weaknesses. Taking a lot of deep breaths.

A lot of deep breaths.

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Filed under career, writing, Y is for Yoga