Tag Archives: Relish12

Relish12.27, 12.28, 12.29, 12.30 & 12.31!

8 Feb

Last one!

Relish12 Day Twenty Seven: What we choose…

This is what I chose, where I chose to fall and I thought it might have been the curved walls and the curved doorways but really it was this, the curved branches that spoke of shelter and softness even in the roar of winter’s empty spaces.  This is what I chose when I could have chosen anything.  This is what I choose when the vast array of choices opens up to me and whispers that this is now my life.  This year I embraced this neighbourhood, this street and the trees that envelope me as whispered leaves remind me in their quiet sway that this … this.  This is all I ever need. Show me the beauty of your choosing, what it is that you have embraced this year that made you feel gratitude for your life.

I chose not to give up.

In a year of breaking, it would be easy to just let go of everything important. It would be easy to allow all of my relationships to degrade to an un-repairable point. It would be easy to wither away and become a haunted wraith.

I chose not to give up. There were important, outside catalysts heavily involved in that choice, but I still made the final choice. I have hurt people I care about and I have been hurt this year, but no insurmountable damage has been done. It happens with breaking, sometimes the pieces are just too small to put back together properly. You will come back together, if you want to, but it’ll never be the same. Something’s gotta give.

 

Relish12 Day Twenty Eight: Favourite flavour….

Sometimes I get started thinking about food while lying in bed, though I am no cook, and I literally can’t sleep at night. There is something about experiencing it all; the textures, the scents, the satisfaction… it’s a magic that defies explanation really. Torture me now with tales of the foods you’ve savoured this year… What were your favourite flavours? Why?

The portabella tagliolini from local Mediterranean restaurant Cimo will always be a favourite. Homemade pasta, prosciutto, peas, and portabella mushrooms in a bath of creamy, rich white sauce, topped with pea shoots. It’s one of those perfect comfort foods. I always go into this meal thinking that I will only eat half of it, because the serving is a perfect size for two meals, and I almost always leave without a doggy bag, because it’s sinfully amazing and just too awesome not to eat in one sitting.

That cupcake I mentioned earlier, too. Chocolate cake with a mocha icing, caramel drizzle and a sprinkle of sea salt. I had always scoffed at the notion of salt on dessert, but I figured I should give it a try before completely condemning it. Again: Wow! Oh Universe, you are a savvy host.

 

Relish12 Day Twenty Nine: See yourself differently…

I couldn’t agree more with the little bit of art. How you see yourself is everything. Where this year did you begin to see yourself differently? What are the words you’d no longer use to describe yourself? What are your new favourite descriptors?

It has only been in the last few months, this year, that I have begun to see myself differently. After I made the choice to get better and to let it go.

I no longer want to use doormat, weak, bitch (okay MAYBE I’ll keep that one), procrastinator, irrational or unattractive to describe myself. I no longer want to think of myself so negatively. I no longer want to hold myself back because I’ve made mistakes and feel I need to be punished for them. I want to use words like: creative, dynamic, motivated, alive and happy. I’d also like to use the phrase: I [am] a badass mother who won’t take no crap off of nobody.

 

Relish12 Day Thirty: Up your game…

If you don’t take risks, you can’t reap rewards. If you don’t stretch, you don’t grow. If you don’t challenge yourself, you can never realize just how powerful, capable, and incredible you are. Where in the last twelve months did you up your game? And if looking back now you don’t really feel you have, that’s ok. You’ve got a clean slate coming up: what risks & challenges will you choose for yourself next year?

Just as I have started to see myself in a different light, I have upped my game in the last few, very recent months. It has upped in terms of my trying harder for self-acceptance. I have started to relax a bit more about a few things. And, because of that (I think), I have been having more creative ideas in the last few weeks than I had all of last year, despite my successful artistic endeavours.

And now, I intend to up it further. I want to implement that morning schedule that does not include Facebook and Netflix. I want to pursue my 2013 goal of having at least half of something substantial (read: novel-sized) written. I want to continue to walk away from anyone or anything that no longer serves me, grows me, or makes me happy.

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(Image @ Laws of Modern Man)

Relish12 Day Thirty One: What’s the reason?

Through each meander of my life I have always been able to look back and deduce what benefit I reaped from that period of time, the decisions I made, the experiences that found me. Sometimes it was a cherished new friendship, valuable new skills, or simply the inspiration of it all that changed me, and this path I’m on, forever. There is simply no waste or mistake in this life; we can harvest from every part of it some aspect to be grateful for. There is always a reason for what we endure, sometimes we just have to dig a little to find it. What was your “reason” for this year? When you look back in twenty years what will stand out as the reason you had to live this year before you could embark on all the rest?

Knowledge. This is another “let’s not beat a dead horse, Vyx” moment, but I live to seek knowledge.

I had to live this year before I could embark on the rest of my life because I had to recognize my own importance. To myself.

I am worth it. My feelings are valid. Some events and relationships are not worth the heartache and that’s okay. I deserve to experience my dreams, to really live and to be happy.

I had to question my relationships, my career, my creative desires and accomplishments and then I had to doubt just about everything in my life before I could take that first step forward. Before I could believe in myself, I had to lose all faith in myself. This isn’t everyone’s route, but I’m a big fan of throwing all my chips on the table. It’s just not as much fun if you don’t have absolutely everything to lose.

It was a good gamble.

Meatloaf – You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth

UNT.

Relish12.22, 12.23, 12.24, 12.25 & 12.26

28 Jan

Relish12 Day Twenty Two: Inspiration…

Whether we actively seek it out, trolling the streets or pages for it, or it finds us, entirely unprepared, soaking wet in the shower and without a darn thing to write on, we need inspiration to grace us. It’s what gives heart to our work, colour to our lives, and is the plaything of our soul. What, where, or whom inspired you this year? And better still, what did you do with it?

To find proper inspiration, I have to leave my house. I have to get out and spend time with the people in my life, sip a coffee and break the regularity of my home and work life. I am a stagnant creature of habit when I am at home: cooking, cleaning, procrastinating. When I face the world, I get shit done.

The people in my life inspire me the most. I am surrounded by such a rich array of spectacular folks. They have experienced incredible highs and lows, have learned so many lessons that they share enthusiastically. They have lived. They inspire me to live, to make the most of my life, and to do what it is I love to do.

 

Relish12 Day Twenty Three: Omission…

We all have them; moments we’d rather not remember, let alone have lived through in the first place. Though real life won’t let us, imagine you had the power, just for today, to edit your own history of this year. What would you choose to omit? What would you burn from the record? And what would you gain or lose by doing so?

On a level, I desperately want to go back in time and scratch out the catalyst to some of my brokenness. I want not to have that weight on my soul.

But. I wouldn’t  If given the opportunity, I would leave things the way they were and the way they are. Despite the bitterness and hurt, all of my breaking has brought me to a new plane. If I were to omit that pockmark, I may regain some ignorant bliss, but I would lose a lot of insight. I would lose ground. I strongly feel that you need to make a terrible mess before you can properly clean something up.

 

Relish12 Day Twenty Four: Sense Memory…

I don’t know about any of you, but 2012 was a doozy for me! When I woke up on January 1st of this year, I literally had no idea where I would find myself on December 31st. But here I am, in a new state, with a new job, a new dog, new friends, and lots and lots of new memories. While it was sad to leave so many friends and places behind in my last move, I never would have been able to get through it if I didn’t focus on the positive. Lately I’ve really been thinking about the senses and how they influence memory and our perceptions. When I think back about all of my favourite times in California earlier this year, they all have this golden, glowing hue about them.  For me, California will always be about the warm, glowing sun; how it looked as it glinted off the fields of the Central Valley, how warm my skin felt on countless mornings spent strolling around our neighbourhood. Our senses have such a powerful hold over how we re-experience our past. Catching hold of how things felt or smelled is an amazing way of re-capturing those same wonderful feelings!

For today’s prompt, think about one of your favourite days from this last year that you’d never want to forget. What physical feelings or sensations can you recall? Were there any scents that were present? What did it look like – were any colours more prominent than others? Any special sounds that you’d like to hold on to? Did you enjoy any special tastes that day? Spend some time exploring the little details of what you remember. After you’ve identified a couple of senses that stand out to you about that day, you can access how great that experience was at any time by conjuring up those associations.

I took a chance on an old relationship this year. I had a coffee date with a gentleman I had spent almost no one-on-one time with before. He is a very good, old friend of mephy’s and was a close acquaintance of mine.

The coffee date was spawned of a desire to distract from heartbreak and I had no idea how it was going to go. I am no stranger to epic coffee (or dinner, lunch, drinks and appies, coffee and dessert) dates and have been known to discuss life, love and philosophy for eight hours over a quiet restaurant table. But those dates were with people I had well-established relationships with. This date was with someone I knew just as well as I didn’t know.

As this prompt is about favourite memories, it’s not a surprise that the date went well. Surprisingly and wonderfully well. Of course we talked about the heartache, because it’s an unavoidable topic, even when you try to avoid it. But we also discovered many similar passions in literature and film. I can’t recall all of what was discussed, but from that (epic) coffee date came a couple of spin-off events and even a handful of writing dates.

I’m not huge on sense memory, but I won’t soon forget the smooth warmth of my latté, the cozy ambiance provided by the café’s gas fireplace, the bustle of our fellow coffee shop attendees, or the easy posture and smiles taken by me and my date for the evening.

 

Relish12 Day Twenty Five: Sweet Surprise…

Granted, this prompt might need to wait until today is over for its response, but thinking on this whole year what was the sweetest surprise you were treated to? Is there someone specific to blame, or was it the Universe at large that brought about this unforeseen delight? Tell us or show us.

On a literal level: I discovered the joy of a local cupcake baker, this year. Knowing that I was hosting a tea date after work one evening and feeling no motivation to bake for it, I visited our university campus’s farmer’s market and picked up a small collection of different cupcakes. In this selection, I met a salted caramel mocha delicacy. Wow. Just wow.

I’ve gone back for more. More than once. (Don’t judge me, you would too. In fact, you really should.)

Salted caramel cupcake

 

(Image @ Pink Lady Cupz & Cakes) 

Relish12 Day Twenty Six: Let yourself dream…

While plotting our lives and carrying on our routines it’s easy to lose track of when the last time was we let our minds run amok, let our imaginations run wild, and really let ourselves off the hook for wanting the things we want. Whether it’s a trip around the world, the man of your dreams, or a job that finally feels fulfilling to YOU: where did you let yourself dream this year? And if you realize now that you haven’t perhaps today is a good time to schedule it in. 

I have two friends I meet with for dinner every once in a while. While there is never a lull in conversation, one of these friends decided that these dates would be a great forum for Random Question Time.

Most noteworthy for me: if money, time and age were not restrictions, what would you do with your life? This is a wildest dreams situation.

When considering my answer to this question, I got to evaluate my life and the enjoyment I get out of it. As is common with most (hopefully all) people I know, my work life isn’t as fulfilling as my home life. Now it’s not that I want my enjoyment of work to supersede the joy I find in my personal life, but I do want to find something that’s more satisfying to me (than retail work). So – what would I do if I didn’t have roadblocks? I’d open a book store  Off and on, this has always been a dream of mine. Now more than ever. I love the atmosphere, promise and culture of an independent bookshop. I want to live in that world. After establishment, and the hiring of the perfect manager, I want to operate a book store and write simultaneously.

My favourite dream of the year was to own a book store. A quirky, independent book store, with attached culinary experience (of course). And I want to write. Preferably while in my book store.

AC/DC – Gone Shootin’

UNT.

Relish12.17, 12.8, 12.19, 12.20 &12.21

27 Jan

Relish12 Day Seventeen: The Details…

Life is made up of the big moments and the little details. The big moments tend to stick in our memories but the details can fade away over time. Which little detail — something you saw… a look… a touch… a fleeting moment — from 2012 would you like to remember in the years to come?

The morning of December 1st, 2012. In that morning lives a tiny, fleeting moment that I will hold on to. Forever.

 

Relish12 Day Eighteen: Colour…

We are surrounded by it and yet its interpretation always remains individual. Sometimes we lack works to describe it, and that’s ok; it’s better when life is filled with MORE than we can distill and transmit, no? Think back on where you’ve been, what you’ve seen. Where in your year were you captured by color? Can you show it to us? What did it make you feel?

There was a perfect mid-Autumn day that held me in thrall.

It was the leaves. Sure, they crunched just right as I strode over them, tempting me to jump on them with the delight of a child, but it was their color that hit me. They were caught between gold and that brilliant Halo Space Marine orange that Bob loved so much. The color of the leaves that day, that Fall, reminded me of my friend.

 

Relish12 Day Nineteen: Art…

Some people think they aren’t creative, they’d certainly never call themselves “artistic”. Gasp! But I have always firmly believed that we each make ART in our lives, it just takes shapes and forms that might not come to mind right away. Maybe it’s a colorful, delicious omlet, or a perfectly lined lawn, or sand castles you never want to see wash away. What art did you make this year?

This year’s art all stands as personal triumphs. Most amusingly, I made Christmas ornaments for my mom and sister this year. (Sadly, no pictures.) I am not a crafty person by any stretch of anyone’s imagination, despite my collection of lofty Pinterest projects, but when the Second Annual Mom, Sisty and Vyx Ornament Exchange was being discussed, I had it in my head that creating my own ornaments was a great idea. It was. They certainly wouldn’t sell on the shelves of any store and they tested my patience, but they were fun and they’re special.

I also wrote a small series of pieces I am hugely proud of. They’re not amazing, but they are small pieces of something much, much bigger and were fun to write. More importantly, I sent them to my favourite victim critic and he didn’t hate them. He very kindly complimented the story so far and proceeded to offer advice for changes that would make for more clarity and ease of reading.

It’s been a good year for art.

 

Relish12 Day Twenty: Body map…

Imagine mapping your year on your body. What does your body hold from 2012? Where did your feet walk? What did your hands hold? What did you tuck gently into your heart?Capture this topography in some journalling or even in a poem. You might want to begin with a phrase like “These hands held…” or “This heart knows…”

These feet saw some miles. They were used on a successful mission to shed some extra pounds and gain some much needed perspective. The walking I did was calming and the in-line skating was nostalgic soul food.

These fingers tap, tap, tapped a few thousand new words. They wrote blog posts, reviewed books and films, and created new worlds.

These arms hugged many very important people. To hug a friend is my favourite way to say hello or bid fond farewell.

These lips have kissed. With these kisses I have shown passionate love to my Angel of Evil and fond affection to my favourite little people in the world.

These eyes . . . are cryin’. These eyes have seen a lotta loves, but they’re never gonna see another one like I had with you!

 

Relish12 Day Twenty One: Favourite photo…

There are few things on earth that can bring back memories, whole events, like a photograph can. Even blurry, faded, cracked and broken, these still records act like master keys to the visual parts of our brains and unlock the events in such a real way that we can slip back into them effortlessly. Even shots we weren’t present for can grant us that sense of participation that hearing stories third hand never can. Take a gander at the images you’ve made this year and, if you can, choose the one that means the most to you. Share it with us, if you’d like. Why that photo?

When she visited us this passed summer, my aunt snapped a photo of me and my mom. We were caught in a quick, easy embrace and sporting big grins. Never mind 2012, this will be one of my favourite photos of all time. One of those memories I never have to lose.

I love my mom. I love that this photo captured some of my awe of her.

Imelda May – Johnny Got A Boom Boom

UNT.

Relish12.12, 12.13, 12.14, 12.15 &12.16!

26 Jan

Okay! First of a few spam catch-up posts for the Relish series from Rebecca Murphy.

Relish12 Day Twelve: Morning ritual…

Just as each new day holds unforeseen promise, so too does the way we greet that new day reveal bits of truth about ourselves. When we greet the morning the same way, day upon day, that routine can evolve into something akin to a ritual; distinctive, private, personal. And year by year the way these rituals grow and change reflects similar shifts going on within us. So, did you have a morning ritual this year? What did it consist of? Whether it stayed the same or changed as the year went on, what meaning do you think it holds?

My regular morning routine is one of decompression and stress relief. I like to get up before the alarm rings at 0600h. The Pup and I usually go for a 20-30 minute walk after that (though, to be honest, I’ve really slowed on that recently. A few setbacks late last year have seen a lapse in my dog-walking responsibilities. I hope to see this all go back to normal soon – I need those morning excursions as much as the crazy hellhound does). When we get home, I feed her and then jump in the shower. After a shower I have breakfast, check The Internet for inevitable drama, and then lose some self-respect watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix.

Every time I think about this morning routine, I feel a little guilty. The walk with Dogness is important, as are breakfast and a shower, but the time I spend with Netflix turned on could be spent differently. The time I spend online could also be spent differently. Productively. I feel that I need to work on a new morning routine that sees a walk, breakfast, a shower and then twenty to thirty minutes of writing (any writing). Netflix isn’t necessary and Facebook is an enormous waste of my time.

Projected routine:

6:00 – 6:30am: walk with Ayla
6:30 – 7:00am: dog breakfast, human shower, human breakfast
7:00 – 7:45am: write (with coffee, or tea)
7:45 – 8:15am: get all prettied up for work
8:15am: leave for work

Doesn’t look too difficult. I think I’ll give ‘er a whirl and maybe I’ll let you know how it goes.

Relish12 Day Thirteen: In your own skin…

In 2012, when did you feel the most yourself, the most in your skin, the most comfortable, the most YOU? Write about that experience and what it felt like, if you were with others or alone, and why or how you came to feel that comfort in exactly who you are. And if you have a photo from that day/experience, share it with your story.

To be honest, the only time I ever feel (almost) completely comfortable with who I am is when I am behind a keyboard. These are moments when nothing matters but the words circling ‘round my restless mind. The physical self I constantly struggle with doesn’t matter. My social ineptitudes don’t matter. What people think of me doesn’t matter. I’d like to say that the world disappears when I’m behind a computer screen or scrawling messily in a notebook, but it doesn’t. It can’t. The world is still there, it just becomes more forgiving and less complex. Theories and ideas mask judgements and social discord.

When I write, I am a superhero. I challenge the world and ask that it start to think a little differently. When I write, I am myself. I am not my body, my social status, or my relationship misunderstandings unless I become those things in order to evaluate and work through them.

You’d think I’d sit down and put pen to paper more often.

Relish12 Day Fourteen: Favourite view…

It could be out your office window, into your child’s eyes, or from a plane at 35,000 feet. What was your favourite view this year? Can you share a photo of it with us?

The dining room window, and sun deck (in the non-winter months) of my in-laws’ home. A spectacular mountain backdrop, a lush forest lining the perimeter of a mottled field and an immediate yard of lazily rolling hills, thick copses of trees and flocks of morning songbirds (and, in the summer, the most dense hummingbird population I have ever seen). It’s inspiring and relaxing. I love few things more than sitting out on the deck (in the summer) with a cup of coffee (or gin) and a good conversation.

Relish12 Day Fifteen: Words of wisdom

Perhaps it feels like they found you, or you were meant to discover them right when you did, but often over the course of a year we are treated to tidbits of inspiration, insight and encouragement. We find them in books, on twitter, under bottle caps, on fortune cookies and tea bags, on bumper stickers, or on lemonade bottles… What were the words of wisdom that came to aid and engage you this year? (Bonus points if you can share them visually with us.)

This above all: to thine own self be true.

ttosbt

Relish12 Day Sixteen: Broken…

Sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes it’s gut wrenching and horrible. In time it will heal, and it’s likely we’ll be stronger for it. But in the meantime it can be wince inducing to think back on it. Do it anyway… What broke this year? How are you better for it having broken? And if you can’t see that part yet, what good would you LIKE to see come from it?

I did. This year, I broke.

Gaiman on Hell

(Image @ tumblr)

It is a blessing. It was gut-wrenching and horrible. I am healing.

This is going to come across in a broken record kind of way, but I learned a lot in falling to pieces. I learned how easy it is to give up and stop caring. I learned how important it is to communicate and not completely clam up. I learned that there are things in my life that are more worth saying goodbye to than fighting to maintain.

I am learning to take each day as it comes and to find the blessings therein. I am learning to make time for the important things in my life and not take time for granted. I am learning that I am important. I am learning to stop, breathe, and keep taking steps forward.

Matt Dusk – Back In Town

UNT.

Relish12.9

9 Dec

Relish12 Day Nine: New Beginnings…

The only constant in this life is change. That’s it. Change can come in all forms; some brilliant, some downright painful. We grow each and every time we navigate change, exposing more strength, wisdom, and courage the deeper we let it do it’s work within us. Some change comes as an ending, some as a fresh start to something totally different. What was one new thing that started for you this year? What was one new beginning in your life?

This was a year of positivity.

I had a bit of a rough go of the end of last year and I wanted to try to move forward. So, I sincerely flattered a friend and imitated her.

I started a gratitude journal. Every night before bed, usually in the tub, I reflect on my day and I choose at least five things a day that I am thankful for. It’s not always easy, sometimes I’m frustrated or just having a bad day, but I always do it.

This began as a New Year’s Resolution. Not something I was too familiar with, not getting caught up in the “I’m going to join a gym” or “I’m going to read one hundred pieces of classic literature this year.” I wanted to start something and see it through – so far, so good.

While I didn’t expect the bad days to disappear (and they haven’t), I knew that there was a silver lining in each one of them (there is. There always is). It’s the silver lining I’m after. A well-made latté, husband hugs after a long day, conversations about character creation and world building, the way my nephew sounds like a dolphin when he laughs and how his sister is picking that habit up, or the way the world looks when it’s being covered in a blanket of big ol’ fluffy snowflakes. Big things, little things . . . everything.

This new beginning opened a door of insight. I haven’t always liked what I’ve seen (of myself and others), but I’ve seen a lot and those things have always been well worth observing. The gratitude journal has made me a different person, and I can dig that.

Matthew Good Band – Alabama Motel Room

UNT

Relish12.7 & Relish12.8

8 Dec

Relish12 Day Seven: Favourite read…

Before Twitter, before Instagram, yes, even before Facebook there were these things calls BOOKS. They were the best way we had for spreading ideas, information, and inspiration to the masses. Sure, today we have Youtube, but I’m holding out hope that books still play a role in your like (even if they are on your kindle!) What books did you read this year? Which were your favourites? Why did they mean so much to you?

Books this year, you say?

Well, I was lucky enough to read one of my all-time favourites for book club this year. That’s right! Neil Gaiman’s work of art, American Gods, has been challenged by schools and libraries. This one reads like chocolate tastes. It’s a rich, smooth lick-your-lips Love Potion #9.

But that wasn’t my favourite read this year. de Vries’s Missing Sarah was. Why is simple: it’s well written, it’s honest and it puts a human face onto the archetypes of drug addict and sex trade worker. Missing Sarah makes you put the stereotype away and see the person behind the lifestyle. It gives you insight into the reasons some folks have for living the way they live and doing the things they do. It makes you want to fight harder for their rights and safety.

I really do adore this book and I really do highly recommend it.

Relish12 Day Eight: Rest & replenish…

Whether we want to admit it or not, whether we give in or deny it, whether we listen, honour  & respect it or not, there is simply NO getting around the fact that part of our lives must include resting & replenishing. Try as we might to ignore, suppress, or push past our pause point, it will always be there, just waiting for us to accept it. In a society aimed so strictly at achievement it can be hard to stop long enough to refill our tanks. But when we sojourn on without that necessary fuel we are always treated to the truth of just how vital it is to our joy, our creativity, our attention, and our efforts in all we do. So, this year how well did you allow for resting and replenishing? Where, when and how did you fill up your tank? Can you show us an image of a restful spot that you loved this year?

Books & Co.(Image © Michael Rawluk)

I have two favourite resting spots: home and Books & Co.

At home I tend to get my lazy on. I pull on PJs, mix up some hot chocolate (or tea) and snuggle under a big squishy blanket with Netflix or a DVD. This is extreme R&R. This is what happens when I want to decompress and turn everything off.

The “fill up my tank” kind of replenishing usually includes some creativity. Now I can get my creative on at home, but it’s not always easy to ignore the siren song of dishes that need washing or cookies that are just itching to be baked. So, if I want to get down to it, I pack up my things and I go to my local indie coffeebar (and bookstore). Books & Co. (and it’s adjoining Café Voltaire) is sort of like Cheers, not everyone knows my name, but there’s always at least one person there who does. You can’t deny that there’s a lot of comfort in that.

So, I bid hearty hello to my friendly neighbourhood barista (and bookster), grab a chai tea latté and set up in a quiet corner. On a Saturday morning I’ll chat with some of my favourite regulars and on weekday evenings I enjoy a sparsely populated utopia. The best part? Even if I get nothing written, I still head home with a calmer heart and more organized thoughts.

Metric – Help I’m Alive (Accoustic)

UNT.

Relish12.6 Light Bulb Moments…

6 Dec

Relish12.6: Light bulb moments…

Insight and inspiration know no schedule and worry not about convenience. We consider ourselves lucky when they strike us at all, ill-timing aside. What light bulb moments did you have this year?

I do not want to work, full-time, for someone else for the rest of my life.

I have two dream end games:

1) I work part-time for someone else (preferably maintaining health benefits and a pension) and spend the rest of my time freelancing and dabbling in long-narrative* writing.

2) I own a bookstore.

What it comes down to is that I can’t work a limited-creativity job for the rest of my life. I can’t. It’s killing me.

With great discovery comes great responsibility. Now that I know this, I need to change it. I need to change it.

So I am. I’m practising writing every day. I’m allowing ideas, no matter how silly they seem, to be explored “on paper.” I’m researching my way through the world of the freelance writer. I even have a first-reader, someone I’ve been sending my silly ideas to, who’s giving me awesome, honest feedback (which I am very excited to address in re-writes).

These are shuffling baby steps, but they’re making me a bit happier. Day by day.

My “light bulb moment” is that I do not want to work, full-time, for someone else for the rest of my life. I want to work, at least part-time, for myself. It’s a moment of inspiration that adds as much pressure as it relieves. On one hand I have the excitement of passionate discovery and planning. On the other hand, I still have a mortgage to pay. Now I get to figure out how to balance my make believe world with reality. I get to figure out how to make unicorns comfortable behind a white picket fence.

Arkells – On Paper (Accoustic)

UNT.

*Novels. I want to write novels. I just don’t like calling them novels, it seems pretentious when all I have are a few random paragraphs slapped together from bizarre, stray thoughts.

Relish12.4 & Relish12.5

5 Dec

Again – this is Rebecca Murphy‘s close-of-the-year project: Relish12.

Relish12 Day Four: Magnify…

If you could select one moment, one instant, from the last year and magnify it, which would you choose? What would you focus on? Where would you go in closer? What would you make bigger…why?

Okay. I’ve been thinking about this a great deal. I have had some pretty wonderful days, some terrible days and some mediocre days. There is one that stands out, but I don’t want to blog about, not in detail. In that day was a moment I would go back to in an instant. I would relive it in a heartbeat.

I would focus on the overwhelming sense of wonder. I would close in on the joy. I would make bigger the sense of . . . everything.

But I’m not going to talk about it. Not in detail. Suffice to say? Best day of my year.

Relish12 Day Five: A soft place to land…

Over any twelve months there are bound to be bumps in the road, rough patches, and bruises to bear. The other side of these scrapes and hazards is the place you find where there is solace and healing and home. If we’re lucky we always find ourselves with a soft place to land. Who, what, or where was yours this year?

mephy. My soft place is mephy. Most specifically, his arms. mephy is the single best hugger I will ever encounter.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the best day of my life, or the worst, there is so much comfort, support, encouragement and love in mephy’s arms.

I love him.

Volbeat – A Warrior’s Call

UNT.

Relish. Everything.

4 Dec

Hi guys,

Long time no chat.

I’m sure we’ll talk about that, but right now I’m not interested – I have no good reason for being quiet, just too little time on my hands recently. I needed what (time) I had for non-blog-y things. I’m sure you understand.

Okay. So long-winded bullshit (you’ve all read a thousand times before) short: I need to write. I need to write daily. I’m not really a theme kind of gal, but I recently stumbled upon Rebecca Murphy‘s Relish12 project and I want to try it. I have some days to catch up, so bear with me for a bit until I get this all sorted.

All right – let’s get going.

Relish12 Day One: Your Mountain

We all face challenges during the year; some we meet, some we don’t. What was your mountain to climb this year? Did you reach the top?

My biggest stumbling block this year has been personal understanding and happiness. I have struggled with this, more than I have words to describe. Some days are better than others, some days make me want to stay curled up under my blankets and never, ever get out of bed again.

On the bright side? It’s getting easier to breathe. Things are getting better. I’ve had conversations with the right people and have more people lined up for more conversations and more work. It’s a process.

My mountain is self-acceptance and I have not reached the top. I’m still at the foothill stage of this climb, but I’m moving upward. One day at a time, one lesson at a time. Things are coming together and I know that I have one of the most amazing, encouraging support systems in the world. If I can keep moving, I’ll get to the top.

(Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to keep nudging me to continue. It’s so easy to stop and sit down, but the rest isn’t what I need. The agony of the journey and the reward that is seeing life from the top of this mountain is.)

Relish 12 Day Two: Sweet Treat…

Life is littered with sweetness, of all kinds. What was the sweetest treat you enjoyed this year?

Anyone who really knows me knows that sweets are not the way to my heart. I’m a savoury (read: cheese) girl, through and through. However! It makes my heart sing when the weather turns and the leaves change.

You can guess, I know you can.

Beyond the astounding, inspiring beauty of autumn is the Pumpkin Spice Latté. Oh yes, that wonderful, aromatic, perfect, smooth, amazing treat. That first PSL order of the year tickles me. It’s one part favourite season, one part amazing drink and one part wonderful memories of coffee dates long passed. It’s kind of neat how so many experiences and feelings can be wrapped up in one single, little drink.

Relish12 Day Three: Let Go…

What did you let go of this year? This could be a specific belief, or a relationship, or something else in your life.

Relationships. I (started to) let go of relationships, this year.

See, I completely (rationally) understand that people grow apart. I accept it and celebrate the idea of learning from every experience I have.

But.

I have a problem with “losing” friends. It makes me feel as though I haven’t tried hard enough or that I’ve done something terribly wrong. Truth is? Sometimes friendships just run their course – and that’s okay.

In climbing my mountain, I am working on letting go of relationships that are toxic to me. One-sided endeavours from which I garner nothing but heartache. This is not okay. It’s not healthy, and it’s just not the way life is supposed to be lived. It also doesn’t make the other side of this relationship a bad person any more than I am a bad person. We just aren’t a successful pair. Our interests, needs, wants and experiences just don’t jive. And that’s okay.

I am working on letting go of relationships that do not see me thrive. It’s a great, great thing. A bit painful, but the lesson is pretty exquisite.

Respect yourself(Image @ Women’s Rights News on Facebook)

While I understand that Day Four is actually today, I am going to leave you here. Day four is a great prompt and I want to take some time to properly consider my answer.

Thanks for hanging out, folks – I hope everything is coming up lollipops and unicorns for you all.

The Piano Guys – Carol of the Bells

(You need to listen to this. It’s freaking beautiful. Amazing. Wonderful.)

UNT.