Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Letter to My Sister

Dear Sister,

It's possible in the sea of love you'll undoubtedly receive today, you'll miss this message.  That's okay, I know you'll come across it later if not sooner.  It's no less true tomorrow than today. In fact, I actually started writing this letter in 2012. Better than never :)

Even though I may not get to celebrate your special day with you in person, I still honor the fact that you are present in my life.  Many moon seasons ago, you came into this world, the first child of the two quirkiest adults (if one could really call them that) I will ever have the pleasure of knowing.

The first lesson you taught me was to represent myself accurately to the world. I wasn't quite five years old yet like you and all my other peers at La Petite, but I was still closer to five than four. You distinguished me as four and three quarters, and from that moment on I always held myself to be more mature than I was, even to this day.

The second lesson you taught me was to see the humor in...everything...and not take the world so personally (I'm not sure I'll really ever get this one, but at least it's rattling around in there somewhere). From the first, "Hey, BITCH!" (I can't remember who even started this), I have always and will always remember that remarks that are meant to be offensive aren't always personal, and to choose to laugh where others choose to react with something less enjoyable.

The third lesson you taught me was to ask for help. There are times I look back regretfully at the scary things I would say to you when I was in my darkest moments. You had the courage to get me help. Even though it angered me at the time, I appreciate it even to this day. I owe every happy memory I have possessed since to your courage. Thank you for letting me be vulnerable and putting up with my shit.

The fourth lesson you taught me was to make no apology for being me, whoever or whatever that may be in the moment. In my eyes, you will always be a Goddess of freedom, freedom from the judgement of others and freedom from the judgement of self...even though I know you struggle at times, too.

We both have our own lives now, as I always suspected we would when we were children. I don't get to see you as much as I'd like. I don't get to play with your girls as often as I'd like. And yet I don't feel so far separated from you. I know you'll always be there for me, and I hope you know I am always here for you whatever the real or imagined distance may be. I will always love you, and you will always be my Sister.

Happy birthday, Debbie.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Under Construction

Ten days ago I made a promise I couldn't keep. That's not to say I won't deliver. I just didn't consider how time consuming it would be. Everything always seems so fleshed out in the realm of the mind, but when you start to make things manifest, you can find a lot of pot holes.

I spent several hours last week outlining where I wanted to take the series, how I wanted those thoughts organized, how much of my own experiences I should inject, even how many words the blasted posts should be. I had to battle creeping cats, desperate for snuggles as my days before returning to the office grew numbered. Speaking of the devil...

It wouldn't be so bad if the cat didn't stretch on top of my arms and then mash her face into my hands and the keyboard while pressing her backside up into my face.   Anyway....

Does that mean I'm giving up? Oh hell no! I have pages of content, but I'm realizing that I need to test out some ideas at least a little while in advance before I can just drop them out into the world.  I plan on relaunching the first Sunday of February, but don't hold your breath! I still have some work yet to do. I don't want to start half-cocked (again).

It's worth mentioning that this blog is one of a personal nature, first and foremost. It will always revolve around me, my life, and my interests, whatever flavor of the week any of those may be. But the only constant in my life is that of self-improvement. Anything I can do, I can do better. I may never achieve perfection, but that doesn't mean I won't aspire for it.

So while I have a series running once a week (a series which desperately needs a snappy name!) I'll be interspersing personal updates and thoughts just as I have in the past.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Opening Scene: 2013

winding road, forest, trees, slow, bend in the road

As I usually do during the latter half of December, I pondered all the wishful goals my little heart could ponder. The list never changed. Ideals and desires flipped by in my mind's eye like a spinning Rolodex.

Mostly, I reminisced about the excitement I felt at the beginning of last year. I had just been through tragedy, then an adventure. It was like the archetypal hero's quest with the journey (or two) across the mysterious body of water to a place of sacredness. Joseph Campbell, be proud.

And then my perfectly arranged executables dissolved like sugar cubes in hot water. A project at work came to a head earlier than expected, and so we hit the road sprinting and half-cocked. When the first phase closed, the second phase launched, nearly colliding and overlapping each other if it wasn't for our numerous protests begging for sanity.

From February through to early September, I spent most of my days on the road, working irregular hours, and staying up much later than I should. Though it was exhausting and unpredictable, I enjoyed the experience. I visited places I wouldn't have seen otherwise and treated to working with people who I technically work for every day, getting to know them, and being enriched because of it. And, despite the tediously long hours, we had a lot of laughs along the way. Most importantly, I loved being out of a cubicle and teaching others, empowering them as much as I was able and as much as they were willing to open their minds.

But when I started, I had no idea how long I would be on the road. It was months into it before I thought to create positive habits inline with my various goals. In fact, I lost all semblance of control, of will, flung around by the whims of what was thrown at me. I made little effort to even try, I had completely given up, lost sight of my dreams.

The malady of inertia possessed me for a long while. I didn't even know what I wanted from life as all my goals seemed to contradict each other, even though they had scarcely changed. I had changed. I wanted things I told myself could not be achieved. I tortured myself, convinced there was little, if anything, I could really do nothing to touch my dreams. For months.

Last week, I decided I had enough of myself. If I wasn't happy with myself, I decided I would change.

And so, I'm going to start an experiment. For the remainder of the year, I'm going to explore different themes each month, every week a new topic pertaining to that theme. I hope to encourage others to play along in transforming their lives into something more meaningful (to them, at least) and happier.

January is dedicated to the self, from inside to out, personality to style. I'll be offering questions for self-reflection, ideas for task-setting, and review of the results of previous week's experiments. You can expect posts related to this experiment every Wednesday, excepting the first Wednesday in January and July.

Each month will be independent of the next, so anyone can jump in at any time. If you decide to participate, I hope you share your thoughts and experiences in the comments, or I invite you to email me by clicking on "View My Complete Profile" to the right, then click "Contact Me".

Until next time, I wish everyone a happy and successful New Year!