Sunday, December 26, 2010

perfect storm

When I was in 5th grade, my teacher at the time had put together a fabulous unit on weather systems and hurricanes for our science class. We tracked hurricanes, made barometers, predicted damage, and also went cloud watching. We talked about what made hurricanes so intense and unique in terms of weather. When I was immersed in this science unit, I thought the coolest thing was that the eye of the storm was the calmest area inside a hurricane system. Chaos surrounded everything else but the center was completely at peace. Hmmmm. Wouldn't it be cool to have my life operate internally and externally like a hurricane? There can be chaos all around but I stand in the center calm and at peace. Now, I know that is sometimes not attainable. What I do know is that we are responsible for 90% of our storms. Procrastination, overworking, neglect of self-care strategies, lack of nutrients and water, lack of planning, lack of reflection, speed, etc., all contribute to our storms.

Well, here I am making a declaration: I am in a perfect storm right now.

I sit here on a very dark Sunday morning with the post-Christmas bliss across my face and I think about what is upcoming for me. Transition. Lots of transition. In the next two weeks, I am moving in with Charlie and Ginger and then we head to Maine for vacation with my family. Yep. Christmas was just a kickoff for the upcoming race. I want to bury my head in the beautiful down throw I got from The Man's sister yesterday and snap my fingers so everything will get done on it's own.

#1: Christmas
This year was my second time in my entire life I was not with my family for Christmas. It was my first real "Adult" Christmas. (Not an X-Rated Christmas).

The Man and I picked out a Christmas tree together, decorated it with lights and his ornaments mostly, we decorated the fireplace, I made my own gift lists and shopped on my own, sent Christmas cards and packages to the East Coast and I cooked. Yep. I embraced my inner Italian and made 9 dozen cookies, which included my Great Grandmother's brownies, and I made a batch of Italian Wedding Soup complete with homemade meatballs completely on my own.

I can say two things about all of that:
1. It was a lot of work and I wanted to give up at some points.
2. I would do it again in an instant.

#2: Moving
A year ago, I was in crisis and I moved into an apartment by myself. One of the best things I did for myself to facilitate healing, both physically and emotionally. I have worked to make a space for myself that is sacred, relaxing, and an expression of me. I have cooked yummy meals, did lots of yoga, listened to my favorite music, and have had some solo dance parties as well.

January 18th will be the end of my lease on my 1 bedroom apartment in Edmonds. Charlie and I will be moving in together in the next couple weeks before we head to the East Coast to see my parents and enjoy a much needed break. There are boxes to pack, furniture to sell, clothes to donate, etc. It is scary for sure. We are both surrendering a small bit of our independence which we both value so much. I am excited and sad, anxious and scared. My hope is that we will be our best for each other and make this move intentional and graceful.

#3: Vacation
The light at the end of the tunnel. We are heading to Maine on January 12th and we still have so much work to do in such little time. My hope is that we can give each other the support to get through the next couple weeks and get on that plane and breathe. I am so excited for him to experience my home and my family. The town where I grew up and the people who helped raise me. Then, we come back and start a life together in Seattle, getting through the winter and anticipating the spring and summer.

This "perfect storm" of sorts is teaching me more about my default operating style than any work situation ever has. I must be strict with myself in terms of taking care of #1 through sleep, rest, exercise, and down time. I know my triggers at this point and I work everyday to manage them. I am embracing the possibility of balance and grace, and Sparkle, my theme for 2011. I am happy and in love and I know that this storm will cease and I will take off my gore tex and boots and get cozy again in my new home with my amazing partner who lights me up from the inside out.

My goal is to keep you posted with "Storm Updates."

Sparkle on!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

on Sparkle

Yikes! I just realized that this is my first December post and it is going to be short and sweet...very opposite how the month of December feels at this very moment :)

So, today as I was unloading my very full car (firewood, borrowed mixer, tree stand, bags, more wood, etc.) the word Sparkle hit me like a ton of bricks. That is my word for the rest of 2010 into the Holidays and for 2011. My theme for my life is sparkle. Yep. That's right, sparkle it is and sparkle it shall be.

I am sure you are all rushing around, getting into the holiday spirit and wondering how next year should be less stressful. While you are trying to entertain, trying to get everything packed in before the year end, trying to hit the sales and save money, trying to keep your sanity, think about sparkle.

Pain Memories Blue Sparkle
Take a minute to pause in all of the commotion. Enjoy the smiles those little kids have when they walk out of seeing Santa. Wake up next to your loved one on a weekend morning and make them muffins for them before they wake up. Enjoy the beauty appears all around us this time of year. Hang your favorite ornaments. Make a phone call to a family member on the opposite side of the country. Make cookies. Stay in your pajamas. Use your fireplace. Hug more. Enjoy hot drinks. Don't beat yourself up over eating chocolate. Wear sweaters. Keep exercising. Sleep for more than 8 hours since it is hibernation time. Don't get too drunk. Don't get mad. Don't live from a to-do list. Watch movies. Buy egg nog. Wear wool socks. Be lazy on the weekend for 1 hour. Get outside with the dog. Write and meditate daily. Decorate when you feel the urge. Listen to the Christmas radio station. Say yes. Say no. Make time for you.

I am loving this holiday season so much more than last year. I think about how a year ago, I was in a completely different space, both physically, mentally, and emotionally and I have been reflecting on how thankful and grateful I am that I was so incredibly supported by my loved ones including friends and family. My hope is that I will bring grace and joy to those around me this holiday season and know that I get to choose how I create my holiday moments and my sparkle moments.

Here's to sparkle.