2013 Progress

Hard at work!

Well, we’ve all made it through the first quarter of 2013 together. From my view it’s been a bit hectic, but that’s how I like things.

I’ve been participating in a variety of wellness focused challenges over the last few months, and one of them asked me this morning about my bucket list. Of course, I posted one in January for the whole year so instead of making one I took the opportunity to review where I’m at with my list. I’ve copied and pasted it below and crossed off the items that are already complete:

2013 Bucket List

  • Reiki Level 2 Certification 3/10
  • Excel Level 2 Certification
  • Make Friends
  • Start a writers group that meets mostly monthly 2/17
  • Write a book
  • Publish a book
  • Acquire a massage table
  • Learn Scottrade with my dad 5/9
  • Take at least one long-weekend trip locally 4/18
  • Meditate Daily
  • Try something new in exercise 5/6
  • Spend a day on a farm
  • Take Rhy horseback riding with Darian
  • Encourage others to advance in their lives
  • Tour a local brewery with a friend
  • Take James to see Coheed and Cambria 3/14
  • Host a backyard bonfire and barbecue

I’d say all in all not too shabby for the first quarter. Some of the items are in progress but won’t be crossed off as complete for quite some time.

In other new, the office project I posted about a few months ago is well underway. I absolutely think I’ll be able to finish it by my target goal of July 27th.

So how is the first quarter of 2013 treating you? Bumpy ride? Smooth sailing? I’d love to hear about it!

The Year of the Snake

Hey, it’s my year!  The year of the snake.  In making this year’s bucket list I had a few different goals, well ok that’s2013 redundant.  But seriously I’ve done this enough times now that I have a basic sense for what I can realistically do in a year and how to push a little further.

So this year I wanted to have a few activities that I made public from the beginning.  What you see is only the public version, I think we should all keep a little something just for ourselves.  I also wanted to have a few activities that could easily include others.  Biggest challenge there, I don’t really include others in much and have a limited circle of nearby friends.  Enter bucket list item – make friends.

Without further ado, I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes of 2013 and what surprises I encounter along the way.

2013 Bucket List

  • Reiki Level 2 Certification
  • Excel Level 2 Certification
  • Make Friends
  • Start a writers group that meets mostly monthly
  • Write a book
  • Publish a book
  • Acquire a massage table
  • Learn Scottrade with my dad
  • Take at least one long-weekend trip locally
  • Meditate Daily
  • Try something new in exercise
  • Spend a day on a farm
  • Take Rhy horseback riding with Darian
  • Encourage others to advance in their lives
  • Tour a local brewery with a friend
  • Take James to see Coheed and Cambria
  • Host a backyard bonfire and barbecue

Did you make a bucket list or go with traditional resolutions?  Either way – I’d love for you to share!

Bucket List Experiment & 2012 Summary

A few years ago I started playing with the idea of making bucket lists instead of resolutions.  Somewhere along the way I heard something about focusing on the positive and one New Year tied that to how resolutions never made me feel very good.  I had stopped making them years before because I had faced the fact I was never going to actually do any of them.

My first annual bucket list was a meager attempt.  I was a bit frightened by the idea, how big should I go?  I didn’t want to put down everything I could do in a lifetime just some things I could realistically accomplish that year – finances and everything being part of the equation.  It was clear I wasn’t going to do a world tour.  But it was a success and it made me happy.  I looked forward to little things on my list that were scheduled and those that I did on a whim.

As I prepare for 2013 I’ve been taking a hard look at my life.  What brings me joy?  Some of those things are really obvious and others not so much.  Sometimes you don’t know what those things are until you do them.  Last year I had a friend participate (you know who you are) because he thought the idea was cool and I loved hearing about the things that he did that were on the list.  This year I’ve decided to invite people into the annual bucket list journey with me.

So to kick this off I’m going to share some of the items from last years list (some of them are private as I’m sure some of yours would be too).  If you feel inspired to make a list and join me, message me, post in the comments, or do whatever you feel like.  I’m not big on rules. Last but not least – and this isn’t as cheesy as it sounds – I just want us all to have the coolest year we can think of.  And make it more awesome as we go.

2012 Bucket List

  • Meet James’s family
  • Take Rhy to the West Coast and really experience Seattle, 6 year old style
  • Make stronger connections with my family
  • Appreciate what I have, consciously
  • Take control of my financial future – invest more, invest better
  • Do more yoga
  • Buy a new family car (I almost didn’t think this was going to happen, but it did!)
  • Buy Darian’s first car (hadn’t planned on the second but we did that too… lol)
  • Uncover the allergy mystery (yes we all knew i was allergic to a lot of stuff but i cannot tell you how much different life is when you actually know what sets you off)
  • Give, give a lot.  Give randomly.  Give whenever you can and whenever you feel it’s the right thing to do no matter how any body looks at you.
  • Go to the beach, even if it’s cold
  • Meditate
  • Make one new fruit preserve (strawberry!)
  • Bake and share – i’d say the stuffed cupcake experiment that came out of this was a TON of fun for everyone!
  • Move to a HOME
  • Take all my vacation time (and I used it well too!)

And one of the coolest things I did this year that I hadn’t planned – I got my level 1 Reiki certification and made some wonderful new friends in the process.  It came out of some of the other activities on the list and is a wonderful addition to my life and my happiness.

I will be posting my public list shortly after the start of the new year.  I look forward to hearing about the things that make you happy too.

An Excerpt; NaNoWriMo Day 4 November 2012

As many of you know all of my writing focus is going toward NaNoWriMo this month. 

Today’s post is an excerpt from whatever this thing is that’s being created over the next thirty days.  Are you writing for NaNoWriMo too?  Share your experiences with  me!

Character: Johnny

…I put the daisies down next to her headstone, like I have every year since I was a small child.  Accompanied by a rock and a note from Gram.  She’s getting to old to come out here on her own.  I sit down and toy with the grass, stroking it like an abandoned dog.  Plucking the random weed here or there.  Digging the dirt from between the words, polishing without polish.  It’s a ritual that helps me come to that place where I feel like it’s ok to talk to the dead.  If I just wanted to talk to her I could do that, but today is different.  Today I need to see the truth of what he did with the evidence buried beneath my feet.

I lie back, stretched on her grave, arms forming a pillow beneath my head, and look up into the bright sky.  They tell me she died at midnight.  To me it always felt like morning.  Morning is when my mother died in my memory.  Morning is when they told me.  So I always come at the same time, ritual.

Feeling for her memory deep inside of me, the way she used to hold me, the sound of her voice.  I close my eyes and extract it until she’s sitting next to me.  Johnny boy, she’d call me, stroking my hair.  Johnny boy tell me what’s on your mind?  Bantering back and forth at such a young age I try to recall the words she used, the inflection of her voice, things I never thought to think of until they became more creations and dreams than actual memories.  The creation of my mother’s voice echoes in my head…

30 Days Makes A Habit

Today we write.  We write for freedom and for love.  We write for the song that’s buried in our soul.  We write for our mothers and our fathers, sisters and brothers.  We write to be forced to turn off the touch pad that becomes a nuisance.  We write for our aching bodies and bleeding hearts.  We write because we can.  We write because we’re alive.

It never felt so good to be in a place like this.  Chasing a dream, ending up in a better place than you had aimed for.  I look around me and all I see is love.  I see manifestation of the possible.  I see focus and drive.  I see me.

What do you see?

It’s time for NaNoWriMo to begin in less than 24 hours.  For the first time I will participate.  Not only will I participate but I will throw myself into this in unimaginable ways.  Ways that I cannot yet tell you about because, well, they are unimaginable.

I’m posting this mini blog for self inspiration.  For a reminder of my commitment.  For the thought of public humiliation as a muse for days where writing will feel like a curse.  I’m also posting this for you, members of the blogiverse; readers and writers alike.  What challenge can you or will you take on and conquer during the month of November?  30 days makes a habit.  Let’s form new ones together.

I’ll end this one with my favorite quote from the NaNoWriMo team, “In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.”

I Don’t Care Too Much About The Weather

The car from my presently past future.

The weight of the weather hangs heavy on my shoulders and I look to the past, the future, the place in between; always so uncomfortable, in the here and now.  Sick of reading about how life is what you make it.  Too many inspirational messages have become cliché by the powers of Facebook and trend-of-the-minute social media outlets.  Checking in to check out.  Spreading the love/hate.

Tell me one more time everything will be alright, one door closes another one opens, or my personal favorite, “everything happens for a reason”, and I’m likely to try and take my own eye out with a pencil.  Only the blind survive this mass media world, spared the harsh imagery and tactical planning of the mysterious “they”.

The curve comes up on me like a crashing tidal wave and I slip, spilling my coffee on freshly pressed pleated pants.  Cursing under my breath for keeping two wardrobes.  For selling out.  For being anything less than me.  In a past life I’d be happy my old battered wreck of a ride was still intact.  Today I look at my Porsche and curse it for its smooth handling.  For allowing myself to daydream.  Where was I before all of this?