Monday, January 14, 2013


Despite needing to stay away from the intense brightness of my computer screen, I am here writing to you dear readers. I have been struggling with a migraine on and off today, but I had an experience on my drive home from work this afternoon that I swore to myself I would record so that a) I remembered it and b) I don't become a hypocrite, preaching about doing the things our inner creative child tells us to do yet not doing them. So here goes...
I was driving home this evening and staring at the sky. The sun had set only a half hour earlier so despite being almost dark, the sky was still a pale blue where it mixed with the remaining light of the sun. I looked out my driver's side window to see the sliver of a crescent moon. At that moment, everything seemed to collide. I got goosebumps all over as the road seemed to smooth, the sky darkened, and the radio played exactly the words I needed to hear. All I heard was a voice in my head saying, "You're exactly where you need to be right now." And despite the multitude of questions I ask to myself on a daily basis concerning my job, my bills, where I want to be, who I want to be, and what I'm doing with my life, I believed that voice. 
As I continued to sit in silence, I thought of all the people whose voices make up that one thought I had. I know that there are multiple people watching over me. Now, whether you believe in heaven or a higher power is up to you. I can't say to know for sure, but I most certainly believe that there is place from which the loved ones in my life who have passed on sit watching over me. The message I heard came from my grandfather, my nana, my grandma, and possibly others, maybe even God himself. The moment lasted just that, for only a moment, and it was gone. I shed a few tears as my head became delightfully numb, most likely due both to the experience and the migraine which is still brewing.
But I felt it was important to write this down, whether or not you can relate. Have you ever had a moment when everything comes together? You don't know why, and you certainly don't have any of the answers you have been seeking, yet out of nowhere, it smacks you in the face. Every once in a while, for some reason, everything aligns just right so that we can be reminded that we're on the right track. 
I've been questioning a lot of things lately, and I need to remind myself that by letting go and not expecting things, the answers will follow. Even if I'm not sure what those answers are. Even if my moment of clarity is actually quite obscure.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Simplicity Says It All

I am spending this quiet, gloomy Saturday alone. And it's perfect. Now this is not to say that the company I currently keep is boring or annoying or overrated, no. But he was called into work today, and I find myself alone with an attractively vacant apartment full of neglected journals, dirty dishes and a checkbook I haven't balanced in weeks; it is glorious. To any other person, the list I have just created may sound like a bunch of chores, but to me they are challenges that I happily accept. 
I know I have posted before about making time for yourself in a relationship or even in your own busy life. This morning alone has given me the time and space to do exactly that. I was able to sleep in, journal with a mug of coffee in hand (a practice that has become foreign to me since taking a new full-time job two months ago), take a long shower, and embrace the pile of dirty dishes with a smile... all before noon! I know I am forever preaching about alone time, but when you live with someone, be it a significant other or an entire family, this point often becomes void. Both my boyfriend and I struggle to find things to do on our own because when you live in a tiny one bedroom apartment, it becomes exactly that- a struggle. 
Lately, I have become so wrapped up in the "daily grind," I'm too tired to invest any quality time in myself. It is sleep, work, eat, repeat times five. Then the weekends become a time devoted to chores- doing laundry, washing dishes, grocery shopping. It never ends. Where is the alone time? Where is the relaxation? Sure, there is time to watch television and hang out with friends, but it often becomes lost in the other things that have to get done before Monday hits and work begins for the five day stretch. We never relax. We never allow ourselves to have a break, to take a vacation. We live in a society that is all work and no play. For me, this means I give up my writing, my creativity. It becomes stifled in the lists I make of chores to do and people to see. It remains dormant, trying to grab my attention on my rides to work alone in the car or in the shower when I stop to think for a few minutes. I push my creative thoughts aside, forgetting the lines of poetry I had been writing or the idea for a blog post I had been formulating, and instead I merely walk through the front door of the office or get out of the shower, dry off and plop myself in front of the television. 
But we have to acknowledge our creative process, have to recognize what it desperately is trying to tell us, and do it. Often on my rides to work I think "I would love to go for a long walk right now while the sun is still low in the sky and the snow is sparkling," but I never get up early enough to do so. Often when I'm on the couch watching television or standing at the sink tackling the infamous pile of dishes, I think of the beginning to a new poem or remember a dream I wanted to journal about, but I don't make the effort to stop what I'm doing and write. I'm working on finding the motivation to accomplish the tasks my inner creative child is pleading with me to tackle. Several minutes ago as I was finishing up my shower, I had the thought for this blog post. I made myself come straight to the computer afterwards and start typing; and believe me, putting on my sweatpants and watching another episode of Parenthood sounded a lot better after my fleeting thoughts of writing. 
So I urge you to listen. Listen to your thoughts, your dreams, the words your subconscious often repeats to you on a daily basis, and do them. I know that it is a lot easier said than done. Nine times out of ten, I choose to sit on the couch and pick up the remote instead of sitting at the desk and picking up the pen. But I wrote in my journal for the first time this year this morning, and it made me happy. It made me miss the look and feel of my words pressed against the page, glinting ever so slightly between the light blue lines. It made me miss the moment of peace I often have with the warmth of my mug between my fingers, sipping my morning cup of coffee, and just writing, just being. Often simplicity is underrated in our busy lives; I ask you not to let it be.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's Slump Season... What are you going to do about it?

January is my slump month. Actually, I should clarify... Winter is my slump season. Right after New Years is when it begins for me- the binge eating, the lazy days, the lack of motivation, the need to stay glued to the couch with remote in hand. I think winter is the downfall for a lot of people. Others have made fun of me for saying so, but I swear I have that Seasonal Affective Disorder. I go into a hibernation coma and wait not so patiently for spring to arrive and along with it my motivation. Well this year, I refuse to do so. I am rolling my eyes at myself right now because I know I've said these words in years before, but this time I have a little motivator. I stepped on a scale. 
Now, I'm not massively overweight or utterly immobile from lack of incentives, but stepping on the scale last night confirmed my greatest fear- I've gained almost ten pounds from last year. I have done a fantastic job of avoiding scales- pretending they don't exist, running away from them, admitting that the camera really does add ten pounds, but last night I stood on one and I was not happy with the number I saw. Like most of the population, some of my standing New Years resolutions have been to eat better and exercise. Most years I fail quite miserably. 
It was easier in high school when I was taking and teaching martial arts. I didn't have to think, the weight just stayed off and was replaced by constant muscle. However, when college came along, scheduled exercise went out the window to be replaced by frantic late nights, stressful study sessions, late night interventions, all of which were accompanied with loaded nachos and mocha frappes. After college, I briefly joined a zumba class for a summer but failed to keep that commitment due to my varying schedule. Instead, I got my mom hooked and now she is the most fit she's ever been. I am so proud of her for that, but in return I get to wear all of the clothes in which she now seemingly swims.
I guess I've gotten side tracked in my original mission statement here, but the point is that I have to do better this year. One of my coworkers just downloaded a new fitness app on her phone and is now tracking calories and eating better. Yesterday afternoon, I did the same thing, and after an amazingly satisfying yet simultaneously fattening meal at Friendly's last night, I have decided that today marks the turning point. I know it won't be easy; I have the world's largest sweet tooth thanks to my mother, the world's tiniest person, but I have to give it a shot. I think the only way to kick my yearly winter depression is to actually do something about it. I know that I will be giving in to bad TV at least once in a while, but if I can occupy my days with something other than lounging and snacking, I think it will only be beneficial to me. 
I made a promise to myself in my last post that writing would be more of a priority this year and I believe that with eating right, exercising, and staying away from the television, I can become more focused on this blog and on writing in general. My goals will continue to remain untouched unless I start making strides toward accomplishing them. The only person who can do that is me. It starts with step one. Are you in?