Roll With The Punches

Life

2017 was such a shitty year for me that I decided that my mantra for 2018 would be “Roll With The Punches.” It turned out to serve me very well. To be honest, I didn’t get punched very much in 2018. Or if I did, I don’t remember the sting. In which case, the mantra really did serve me very well.

I feel like I learned and grew a lot this year as a human. I was very introspective and did a lot of self reflection via the Tarot and journaling. I enjoyed sketching everyday.

So what exactly does “Roll with the punches” mean for me, after a year of living it? It means acceptance. It means acceptance of everything, good or bad. Just lean into everything. Don’t ignore the bad stuff. Don’t ignore the anger, the grief, the sadness, or the pain, just because it’s an uncomfortable experience. Invite it in and ask it what it has to teach you.

I think the biggest example of this lesson for me this year was when I sprained my knee. It was very tempting to be angry with the turn of events and get down on myself for not being able to exercise. But when it happened I decided that I was just going to accept the circumstances. So instead of getting angry and upset I kind of enjoyed moving around the world more slowly and noticing things I wouldn’t normally notice because I’m usually rushing around. I don’t want to say that hurting my knee has been a blessing but in a way it kind of has. It shook things up and changed my world for awhile.

I feel like, learning this lesson, I’ve unlocked an achievement (if life was a video game). I feel happier than I’ve been in ages. I have learned that I can be happy even when I’m sad. That’s kind of a neat trick.

Here is my 1 Second Everyday video for 2018. Happy New Year! I hope 2019 brings happiness and peace to all of your lives.

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Goodbye 2016

Life

Last month, after the devastating election results, I had dinner with a couple of wonderful women at a friend’s house. After dinner my friend wanted to do an activity. She had this fun paper with a rainbow printed on it as background decoration. She wanted us to make a list of all of the good things that happened this past year. She thought this was a great way to get our minds off of the possibly terrifying future.  It totally worked. As soon as I started writing I could think of dozens of really great things that I experienced in 2016.

Starting with the death of David Bowie and ending with the death of Princess Leia, with Brexit and Trump in between, we have all been through a lot of bad stuff.  If I can be honest, this is probably only the beginning of our troubles since we are facing 4 years of god knows what. However, instead of reliving the awful things (as our brains are biologically programmed to do) I would prefer to rise up against my lizard brain and look at the positive.

So  here we go. The good parts of 2016, with pictures. (It probably goes without saying, but click the photo for details)

Other highlights not pictured:

There. I feel better already.

Here’s hoping 2017 will be equally as great, if not a million times better.

Happy New Year, friends! May you be peaceful, well, safe, and happy in the new year.

There are good years and bad years. This was a very good year.

Life

It is that time of year. Yes. it is time for the “end of the year reflect on the past year” blog post.

Up front, I have to say that 2014 was just so excellently good. I honestly can’t think of a bad thing from this past year. It was good in so many ways. Here is a list of some of my favorite moments and things that happened.

Goodbye 2013

Life

Last night I had a nightmare.  I was passenger in a black Volkswagen Bug, my Uncle Will was driving.  We drove into the driveway of my grandparent’s beloved yellow house. When we pulled up I could feel that something was wrong. I got out of the car and my uncle sped away, leaving me alone. I paced in front of the house for a while, afraid. Then I opened the door to go inside. There were two kids sitting inside, one girl and one boy. There were familiar to me in the dream but unfamiliar to me in my waking life. I asked them if they were alone and they said yes. I asked them what happened and they said, “He killed them all.” I said, “let’s get the fuck out of here” out loud because this is when my husband woke me up.

This dream about the slaughter of my family stems from a conversation I had with my mom earlier that evening where we decided that 2013 was the Year Of Death for our family.

So yeah. Not a good year in that way. It was a very difficult year full of lots of suffering and sadness. A very challenging year. But I also think there was a lot of soul growth too.

However, there were some very happy moments and some bright spots. I am going to just copy here what I wrote on my photography blog because I think it says it all:

While 2013 hasn’t been the best for me personally and for my family, it has been a fantastic year for photography. Photography was the light in my life, the thing that kept me together through the tough times. I have met some really wonderful people all over the world because of my passion for film photography and I couldn’t be more grateful. This past year I have collaborated creatively with other photographers, learned how todevelop my own film, learned how to make prints in the darkroom, and became obsessed with pinhole photography. When I look at all of these wonderful things I truly can say that, while it was challenging, it was also a great year.

There are many great things in store for me in the coming year and I am looking forward to it.  I hope you are yours also have a great year. Here’s to 2014!

2012

Life

Me and Paris

Visiting Paris = The highlight of my life.

I had an amazing year. Finally. A year that was all good. I can’t think of anything to complain about regarding the past year, and for this I am grateful (’cause the past several years have been kinda painful. Thanks for the break, Universe!)

Travel. If someone had told me a year ago that I would visit France in the coming year I would have called them a liar. But I DID IT! I went to France! And I loved it! And now I want to go back. And I want to visit ALL THE PLACES.

Photography. I had a lot of fun this year with it. I always do but exploring film photography was super fun. I will be doing more of it in the coming year. First on the list of things to do: develop my own film already! (taking it in to be developed is breaking the bank. I need my money to visit ALL THE PLACES.)

Running. I have had an on again/off again relationship with running for most of my life. Regardless, It is my favorite form of exercise and it is important to me. My big running goal has been to run 5 miles. This goal, for whatever reason, had eluded me. Not anymore! This past summer I finally reached that milestone and even surpassed it! Yay me!

Blogging. I moved my blog to WordPress.com about a year ago and in the process have been plugged into an amazing blogging community, the likes of which I haven’t seen in years. I have seriously enjoyed “meeting” and getting to know all of you! And I continue to enjoy being introduced to many amazing and inspiring blogs. Also, I managed to blog everyday this year! Well except for that one day in August. But it’s JUST ONE. Hmm. It appears missed a day in June as well. so two days. I missed TWO DAYS out of an entire year. Do I get a medal? No? oh well. It was nice to check in everyday here. For the most part, it was a very positive experience. I might do it again next year. Or I might take a tiny break. We’ll see.

Favorites of 2012.

Two favorite books:

Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins

Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art

Read them both. They are excellent.

Three favorite albums

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: The Heist

Caravan Palace: Panic

Grimes: Visions 

Happy new year!!!