Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 31 of reverb11 - Reflect

So this is it. The last day of reverb11.  I'm happy and sad at the same time. Posting (almost) every day has been a challenge that I'm glad I stuck with. And I have been lucky enough to find some really amazing new people on this adventure so you really can't ask for more than that.

Day 31: Reflect - Take a moment to think back on your reverb11 responses.  Have you learned anything?  What surprised you about this experience?  Which of your responses was your favourite?

Looking back on my responses to all of the many and varied reverb11 prompts, I can confidently say that at this moment in time, I am exactly where I am supposed to be in my life.  I also realize that I truly am open to opportunity, ready to action, and pretty much over complacency in general.  That's an exciting place to be. 

Over the course of this last year, I have discovered great friends, made some mistakes, and had a hell of a good time doing it all. Thank you for sharing in my shenanigans, offering your advice, and just sharing life with me. 

So to you, my friends, I raise a glass in a celebration toast to all that lies ahead! I hope you have the happiest of New Years! Big Randy Kisses to all of you! *MWAH!*

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 30 of reverb11 - 3 Wishes

Well, here we are at day 30 of reverb11. Almost done. And this is the first thing I can say I have really almost totally stuck to for the full duration of all the writing things I have played with this year. It's been fun and I'm glad I jumped into it.

Day 30: 3 Wishes - If a genie could grant you 3 wishes for 2012, what would they be? (Author: @amanda_hirsch )
Oh genie, you don't want to give this girl 3 wishes.... that could be dangerous! 
However, if by some far off chance I did stumble upon said genie and he did choose to grant me 3 wishes, I'm guessing there would be all sorts of rules around them like I can't wish for more wishes, bring dead people back, or talk with Jesus which really just takes all the fun right out of it huh?? I know, I am complaining about getting wishes... I never said things were easy with me did I?

So for the sake of fun and in light of me having a very small window of time to play on the interwebz tonight, here goes! 
Wish 1: I wish for unlimited financial resources (almost like wishing for more wishes but not totally so I think I can get away with it)
Wish 2: I wish for good health for myself and anyone else I choose to let in on my wish benefit.
And because I can't be totally selfish and feel obligated to use one wish for the greater good, 
Wish 3: I wish to stop all crimes against children. 

There you have it get on it!  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 28 & Day 29 of #reverb11 - Forgiving myself and Shaking it Up

It's hard to believe that there are only two more days to go in the reverb11 has been an awesome thing to be a part of and I'm so glad that my sunshine Rita sold me on it. That girl has some great ideas!

Day 28: Forgiveness - What one thing do you need to forgive yourself for this year?
I am far from perfect. I can be selfish, clueless, and more than a little abrasive at times. I know all of this. But I do hate to hurt people's feelings with my words or my actions. 

You all know how much I enjoy my shenanigans and all, but there are times when I will take it there for selfish reasons knowing that ultimately, it will end up hurting the person on the other side of the equation. And yes, I know we are all consenting adults and no one is requiring arm twisting to get tangled up with me, but I do regret my situation with my friend I refer to as "long-suffering T". Here's the story on him in case you need a refresher or weren't along for the ride at that point. 

I still hold a pretty decent pile of guilt over creating that situation because I knew that it couldn't be a casual or simple thing with us and I knew his feelings were already involved and I would be creating a more complicated situation that just would not end well. But I did it anyways. 

I guess now is as good as time as anyways to own it, accept it, forgive myself for it, and let it go. 

Day 29: Shaking Things Up - Looking towards 2012, what can you do to shake things up a little next year?
This question has me thinking up all sorts of fun and devious things that I could employ to just flip the script on my regular not-super-exciting situation.In reality though, I will probably explore some more practical ways to make things look different in 2012 than they did in the current year. 

Most likely, 2012 will see me pursuing an opportunity that will take me in a new direction with my career, and may come with a relocation requirement at some point. There are many unknowns still and any type of change, especially one that require a move of any distance, would be especially tricky but I'm finally excited again about my prospects and the chance to change my story a bit. 

Bring it on 2012, bring it on!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 27 of reverb11 - What book?

Oh if only every Tuesday could start like this... sleeping in, coffee in bed, leisurely reading blog posts and taking my sweet time getting up and around for the day. This is my idea of luxury!

Day 27: Author! Author! - Share with us the title and inside jacket cover of the book you'd most like to write.

This is kind of a tough one for me. Unlike many people in the blog world, I don't have great aspirations of being published or creating the next great American novel. Nope, I just like to write, share my thoughts, and see what other people are up to and that's what I use my blog for. It's a springboard to nothing, no sneak peek of bigger and better things I'm working on, it just is what it is at face value. 

I used to think I wanted to write a book. I have a pretty solid outline and a rough draft of a project. But looking at it now, I realize that I have used a lot of the concepts as blog posts already and the outline and draft were more like my journal of what I was going through at the time disguised as an attempt to write a book. The stories were much more non-fiction that I like to admit but I guess I'll check it up to a cheap form of therapy and some brainstorming for Random Girl posts. 

Someday, maybe I'll find something I'm in love with enough to develop into a full blown book. Someday.... 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 25 & 26 of reverb11 - So done with Christmas and Ready for a Great Song

Yes, finally!!! Christmas is over! Yahoo!

Don't get me wrong, it was truly quite a joy to watch the Princess's delight on Christmas morning, catch up with family (at least the members I like) and to put another in the books as blessed and happy. And with the ex-hubs safely back to being several hours away, my annoyance level has greatly decreased.  But enough. Really. I could not get my decorations put away and my house back to normal fast enough today. Be gone!

I do still have to revert back to a little Christmas, just enough to cover the reverb11 prompt
Day 25: The reason for the seasonWhat's the most memorable gift you've ever received?

I'm not super big into the whole gift thing and I have never been one to snoop, even as a little kid. So when my then boyfriend decided to get clever and put my engagement ring in my stocking a week before Christmas,  he finally got frustrated with waiting for me to come upon it on my own time, and made me dig into my stocking to find the ring box so he could propose to me.

He did the whole "down on one knee" thing and we went to Christmas Eve dinner with a little more sparkle in tow than I had anticipated. It was certainly a memorable moment at the time. Now it's just a little annoying to remember around the holidays. Oh well.... 

And now we get to move on to more interesting things.... 

Day 26: Music is powerful - Think of one song that you turn to time and again, and describe why it's important to you.

I love this prompt. Mainly because there is a constant soundtrack running in my head. Pretty much every memory I have is set to a song.  In fact, my most vivid memories are still triggered by hearing certain songs, otherwise they would be lost and forgotten in my brain somewhere. 

One of the songs that has struck me with a really almost unexplainable impact since the first I heard it is "Lost" by Coldplay 
The lyrics that perfectly capture the feeling of no matter how hard you try, you just can't quite get there.But the point is you just keep going. That's all you can do. So true. 
The opening line gets right to it: "Just because I'm losing, doesn't mean I'm lost..." 
And then this one: "Just because I'm hurting, doesn't mean I'm hurt...doesn't mean I didn't get what I deserved, no better and no worse" 
I hope you take a minute and listen...really listen. There are several different arrangements to this song but this is one of my favorite. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 23 & 24 of Reverb11 - Short & Sweet

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! This is the time of year for forced family niceties, too many calories, and if you're lucky, a decent amount of alcohol to make it all more manageable.

Part of my holiday tradition for the past three years has been having the ex-hubs move in to my house for a few days, 3 and a half days this year to be exact, to do our family Christmas thing. I know, it's anything but conventional, but we both decided we didn't want to be without the Princess for the holiday and as long as we still like each other's families and can tolerate each other that we would do Christmas together for as long as we could make it work. Thus the copious amounts of alcohol. Merry Christmas to me!

Today I'm covering days 23 and 24 for reverb11. They will be short and sweet as I have stuff in the oven that will require my attention momentarily.

Day 23: Travel Did you visit anywhere new this year?  Any plans to travel next year?
Let's see, where all did I go this year...hmm... it's been a long year but I know for sure I spent time in Dallas, Las Vegas, Chicago, Disney World, Colorado, and a few random road trips in between. I love to travel and have friends just about anywhere my heart desires to go so any chance I get, I'm gone. 

As for plans for 2012, I will be heading back to Vegas in February to rock it out with Blog Boy in the city of sin...I. Can't. Wait! I'm sure I'll have to head back to Dallas a time or two for work, probably do Disney with the Princess, and hopefully back to the mountains a few times as well. I would love to hit NYC in the Fall if I can swing it, it's high on my list of favorite places. 

Who knows what adventures 2012 will send my way but I'm ready to go and I can pack quickly!

Day 24: Somebody Has to Say It…
Given the fact that I got up and sat across the table from my ex hubs as he enjoyed the bacon and waffles I made for breakfast bright and early this lovely Christmas Eve, this one is easy. 
"Nothing like going to all the trouble and expense to get divorced just to have to play family again at the Holidays"

Yep, that's my one thing, and it had to be said. 

Merry Christmas kids!!! Hope you have a very blessed holiday and nothing but joy in the next few days. And for your gift from me?? Big RANDY KISSES for everyone!! **MWAH!!** 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 22 of #reverb11 - Passion

You have to love the good ol' hypothetical question of "if money didn't matter, how would you spend your time to make the world a better place?" Or at least that's what it usually is, but this prompt doesn't specify that you should use your time in any productive way so that is an interesting twist.

Day 22: Passion - If you could quit your day job and your quality of life wouldn't change, what would you do?

This is actually one of the trickiest prompts yet for me. It seems like an easy enough question at it's core: what do I want to do?  But I really don't know. I gave up the idea of just getting to spend my time however I please quite a long time ago so I don't have a list at the ready. 

I'm sure I could find a worthy cause to throw myself into. I do quite enjoy my long-standing volunteer gig that I squeeze in among my required work now so maybe I would be able to take that to the next level and really invest my time working on that. 

Or I could go the route of doing what I like to, like getting certified to teach yoga classes or some other type of fitness-oriented position. That would kill two birds with one stone, staying in shape while helping other people to adopt a healthier lifestyle at the same time. 

Perhaps I would just spend my time doing something I like to do but isn't really sufficient for supporting myself if money is a question, like running a coffee shop again. In my former life, I had several and really loved being in the shops, getting to know my customers, and helping their days start a little better by getting a great shot of espresso or cup of perfectly brewed coffee. There was just something special about that space and I never got tired of being there. Yes, I think I would quite enjoy going back to that at some point. 

I guess the moral of this story is that I don't have one burning passion that I would pursue with all my heart and soul if I didn't have to worry about doing something just to make money. But the list of things I would enjoy doing? It's pretty long and varied. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 21 of reverb11 - Party On

It's day 21 of #reverb11 goodness. Day 3 of my vacation.

I'm not quite as bored as I have been making good on my "lunching with friends" initiative I talked about in my previous reverb11 post, taking advantage of "afternoon delight" time with Twin,  and clocking some extra time and new classes at the gym as to pro-actively ward off the effects of the insane amount of junk and perhaps alcohol I'm sure I'll be consuming over the course of the holiday. All in all, I'm enjoying my down time quite a bit now.

Day 21: Party Time - Tell us about the "best" party you attended this year.

It sounds cliche', the best parties really are in Vegas. I have proven this theory time and time again over the years and this year was no exception. 

I was lucky enough to get to spend Memorial Day weekend in Vegas with my best (although fading) gf, the one I referenced in my friend post yesterday. I think it was a bittersweet weekend as it kind of felt like the last hoorah of our super-close friendship as we transitioned into a different phase. But we went down swinging and made the most of it. 

Memorial Day is the second craziest weekend in Vegas, second only to NYE, we learned upon arriving. Every club and restaurant was sold out, cover charges for guys were commonly $50 - $1000 just to get in the door of most places. It was out of control! Luckily, we are chicks and I plan ahead so we had free VIP access into almost everywhere. We spent a good portion of our time at The Palms, as it historically has the best scene if you're into that kind of thing. 

Our VIP access was good for the whole weekend and meant not only were we guaranteed to get into the clubs, we got let in through the velvet ropes, past the hours-long line of waiting people and, and got in for free.    We saw concerts, world-class DJs, and just a general mob scene of fun and craziness everywhere we went. It was like stumbling into the world of make believe for a few days, with nothing but memories and few pictures that we can only hope never surface to prove it happened. 

The clubs and parties and craziness were fun but it was getting to live it all with my girl that made it the perfect party for me. I hope we get a chance to do it again but I'm not sure it's in the cards for us which makes me a little sad to think of. We have had weekends in Vegas, NYC, Tampa, and Dallas, and a few other places over the last few years and we have maximized our fun in all of those locations. No regrets, just great memories! Here's to hoping for a few more.... 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 20 of #reverb11 - Can't we all just be friends?

Today is day 20 of #reverb11. It is also my second day of vacation. I'm bored already. What can I say? I'm one of those weird people that like to work. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something on most days. Most... not all.

Friendship What kind of a friend were you in 2011? What kind of a friend do you want to be in 2012? (Author: @amanda_hirsch )

I'm not sure that this is a question really for me to answer. I would think that answer would be a little more legit coming from those people whose friend I have been this year, they would tell you the truth I'm sure. 

What I can tell you is what I have attempted to do well as a friend this year and what I think I have failed at as a friend this year. 

This year has seen a lot of new friendships form in my life. It has been while since I have made new friends. I have been in the same career for quite a while, still have my life long friends from school that I'm close with, and have a  number of other people that I have had in my life for quite a while. I value all of those friendships and try to maintain and grow them the best I can. 

The excitement of those new friendships has been a nice change of pace for me though. Learning about someone new, being introduced into their life, getting to create new memories and "inside jokes" has really reminded me of how great new friendships can be for my spirit. 

As for what I have not done so well as a friend this year, I wish this there was nothing to mention here.  Unfortunately, that's not the case. I have let a really close friendship all but slide away this year. We were really as close as we could be, surviving some really major hardships, leaning on each other and lifting each other up, allowing each other to be as scandalous as we wanted and never judging each other. 

She was much closer to me than my own sister. But things have changed.  From my perspective, when she found herself happy again and in a good relationship, she no longer needed me. It hurts. But I am happy for her and her happiness and still have nothing but love for her and value the times we do still spend together catching up. 

My hope for me as a friend in 2012 is to remain steadfast to those friends that I have invested in and be open to sharing myself with new friends without reservation. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 19 of reverb11 - Moved by Generosity

Happy Monday kids! It is a happy Monday for me because I am on vacation. Woohoo!

I still have to get up to get the princess to school and all but now the rest of the day is pretty much mine to do which what I please. I believe today will be coffee, kickboxing class, an overly long shower, lunch, and perhaps a stroll through the mall because I'm thinking Monday afternoon will be my best bet to avoid the last minute crazies that are trying to start their Christmas shopping. That theory may be off, I'll let you know tomorrow.

But now it's time to get back to the reverb11 goodness.

Day 19: Being Moved - tell us about a time this year that you were moved by the generosity of another.
There were a lot of generous moments that I was lucky to witness this year but I'm going with the one that I personally received the most generous gesture from someone that owes me nothing and really benefited in no way other that to get stuck entertaining me for a weekend. 

I have talked off and on this year about my fabulous friend Blog Boy. This is the prime example of meeting someone interesting and genuine through the blogosphere and taking the time to invest in each other outside of the interwebz. It started with us having a similar sense of humor and smart-assery in common on our blogs and we actually found that we really are both the same in person and decided that was pretty cool. 

I posted about our adventures, our first meet up over the summer and then my trip to annoy him on his territory this fall. The trip this fall would have never happened had he not cleared his schedule and made it possible for me to get on the plane and rock it out for a few days. 

He knew shenanigans would be in total "dial it back mode" as I was newly involved with Twin and wanted to not fuck that up right away with doing my usual naughtiness and he totally respected that situation and just made it an awesome, pressure-free weekend for me. There's generosity in several layers going on with that situation and it was really truly touching and appreciated. 

I'm lucky enough to have him as a real-deal friend in my life now. We talk several times a week, text frequently, and just stay in touch as I do with all of my good friends. We are doing life together now and it's pretty awesome if you ask me! 

So, to Blog Boy, I say again...thank you for your generosity and just being so darn awesome! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

reverb11 Day 18 - Doing Lunch

Imagine that... me actually posting a reverb11 post on the actual day it was sent?? Progress people, it's progress I tell you!

Let's Do Lunch! If you could have lunch with anybody, who would it be and what would you like to discuss?

I will be honest, this is not my favorite prompt. I hate that I instantly jump to the cliche' answers like choosing Jesus to get all my burning questions answered. Or several other "historically significant/interesting" people that everyone says they would like to have lunch with. Not that it wouldn't be cool to have a little Q&A time with someone that everyone says I should think is important, but I tend to shy away from anything deemed too popular, I don't trust the masses. 

This prompt was effective for me in one way though. When I thought about who I would enjoy spending lunch with and what we would talk about, it's people that are still alive and close to me and that taking time to have lunch with them and really talk, like get into some important questions and hear their stories first hand, is totally possible. And I need to do it. 

So, in that spirit, I really liked this prompt after all. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some lunch dates to schedule! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another pile of reverb11 - Gratitude, teachers, community, and a little loathing to round it out

Yep, I did it to you kids again! Here I am, disappearing for a few days, and then dumping all of my reverb11 words on you in one grand swoop! No excuses for me other than to say that this week certainly did not go as I expected but I'm catching up now and will try to do better going forward.

Ready? Good! Onward we go....

Day 14: Gratitude - What five (5) things are you most grateful for from 2011?
Having things to be thankful for is not something I take lightly. I'm blessed and have a list way longer than 5 but here are a few things I have the most gratitude for.

  1. My Princess. Really no explanation needed but she is awesome and smart and funny and healthy and brings me more joy than any other thing in the world. 
  2. My health. I'm lucky that I can do pretty much anything I want to do unhindered 
  3. My family. Not the same as my daughter because although she is included, she stands alone, but the rest of my family is always there when I need them and I'm lucky to have that 
  4. Resources. Not just financial resources that I work my ass off for, but also support, opportunity, and options 
  5. My schedule. I have a lot of flexibility to make my days look how I want them to most of the time. That's not something a lot of people can say and it wasn't always the case for me so I am doubly aware of how lucky I am to have that now. 

Day 15: Teaching Moment - Sometimes we find teachers in the most unexpected places. Who surprised you as a teacher this year, and what did you learn? 

The Princess has really been the biggest teacher for me this year. She is learning things for the very first time and is SO excited to share what she has learned with me. Seeing her figure things out, connect the dots on concepts, and grow so much confidence from what she is learning that it has made me want to step up my game and keep learning new things myself. 

Day 16: A Community I Love - Online & IRL we're all part of a multitude of communities.  Tell us about one that moves you

As my sunshine Rita so eloquently spoke to in her comment on one of my recent reverb11 posts, I am the same with  my online community as I am to my three dimensional communities that there is really very little distinction between the two at this point. 

I will willingly and joyfully admit that being part of this blogging community has moved me. I have gotten so much more out of the relationships, and yes I do consider them relationships, that have come from meeting and doing life with the people that follow my blog and who's blogs I follow in return, that it has enhanced my life in awesome ways. 

As I have written before, I have taken more than a few of these relationships offline and am fostering them three-dimensionally and it has been awesome. Phone calls, visits, traveling together... it has all been an awesome extension of what started as simple admiration or entertainment from a person's words. That's some sort of magic if you ask me! 

Day 17: Loathing - Who or what do you loathe and how have you expressed that in 2011?
It was mentioned that we could use this one to have a little fun so that's what I'm going to do. I think most people can literally see a person's face in their mind's eye when they hear the word "wet blanket". You know what I'm talking about? That one person that no matter how awesome something is, free concert tickets, an expense paid trip, an award given to honor them, they can still find some reason to complain about it. It's not enough, not good, not what they want, etc etc. 

Kind of makes you want to punch them in the face right? Or maybe it's just me. That is the one thing I have loathed the most this year, people that act like they just can't be happy no matter what. Get over yourself already!!! Life is what you make it and if you want to make sure yours sucks than rock on with that, just don't think it is necessary to piss in my cheerios too ok??? 

Whew!! I feel better now!! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

reverb11 Day 13 - Fear Not

And here we are at day 13 of reverb11. I'm going to try to stay on the daily track now so I don't have to pile on 4 at once like I did yesterday. You kids are good sports though, thanks for reading through it all and commenting. Much appreciated!

Day 13: Fear What scared you this year more than anything else? Did you learn anything new about yourself
Fear. I even hate the word. It's my 2nd least favorite feeling, coming in barely behind being betrayed and only slight ahead of being cold. I really really hate to feel afraid. 

Most of things that scare me are things that I have no control over. Being a victim of crime, having a car accident, catastrophic asteroid hitting the earth, you know.. those types of things. Not a damn thing I can do about any of those things besides being careful and using common sense to help avoid a few, but ultimately, if it's going to happen, I can' do much about it. 

Sneakier fears are what keep me up at night though... those things that creep in and F with your head when you try to quiet your mind. What if I can't protect my daughter from someone who has bad intentions towards her? What if I lose my job and can't support us, her dad will take her from me. What if I am making the wrong decision by being in this relationship? By ending this one? By not starting this one?  What if, what if, what if.... two of the worst, most unproductive, words in our language and they are driven not by logic or concern, but totally by fear. 

I guess my biggest fear is letting "What if..." ruin my joy. That would suck. So I try to fear not, and make the best possible decisions I can with the information and resources I have and not to worry about those things which I have no control over. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

reverb11 catch up - Days 9-12 Disappointment, Beauty, and things that won't be coming with me into 2012

I took a few days off to play and enjoy some real life so I'm playing catch up today as to not be deemed the "reverb11 slacker" as that would just suck. Here is the quick and dirty on days 9-12.

Day 9: Disappointment - What was the one disappointment that has turned out to be a blessing in the last 12 months? How will this affect how you deal with disappointment in the future?
One of my goals for this year was to move back to the city I was living in prior to ending up where I am now. I had all the plans in place for a move to, and then it fell apart right before the move was supposed to happen. 

For a minute, I let all of the other hopes I had pinned on being contingent on the move happening fall apart too. Luckily I realized that the other things I wanted weren't tied to a new location, they were tied to me having a new perspective on where I was right now. I'm still working on it, but I know it's more about my outlook than the view out my window, at least for the time being. 

Day 10: Beauty - Describe a moment of beauty that you witnessed this year.
This year, I have tried to take a moment in each day to find something beautiful. It has come in many forms and some have surprised me. Some days it's something expected like a beautiful sunset or a perfect blue sky. Other days it has been a song with really amazing lyrics that has struck me. Still other days have been the words that other people have shared with me, either in a post, a telephone conversation, or in a book. It's been awesome to realize how much beauty is around me when I really started paying attention to it. 

Day 11: What do you wish you had done more of in 2011?
I can honestly say that there are few things that I feel I left undone in 2011. Pretty much everything on my "wish list" has been checked off. If there was one thing I wish I would have done more of though it would probably be to spend more time really talking with my friends face-to-face. I have a few really cherished friends that live too far away to meet for coffee or even do an overnight visit with and I miss seeing their smiling faces dearly! Email is good, the phone serves it's purpose, but being able to see them live and in person just can't be beat! 

Day 12: 12 Things - What are 12 things your life doesn’t need in 2012? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 12 things change your life? (Props to original Author: Sam Davidson)  If you did Reverb10, how are you making out on your 11 Things from last year?
1. drama with the ex hubs: There has been an uptick in this area since the intro of Twin into the situation. I'm done talking about it, it's not his business. 
2.  More stuff for my closets, cupboards, storage: I have too much stuff and not enough room. I need to sort, filter, and remove, not replace with more stuff. 
3. Caffeine: this is a tough one for me but I have already cut way back on caffeine intake this year and hope to eliminate it all together for next year. 
4. Cable news: too much anxiety and depressing news to have in my face all the time. The 24 hour news cycle is highly overrated
5. Politics: this won't be easy with an election year but I think getting rid of #4 will help me keep from getting buried in rhetoric and mud slinging
6. Groupon & Living Social: as much as I love getting a good deal and trying new things, I have spent way too much on things I really don't need just because they are conveniently sent to my inbox each morning
7. Feeling guilty for enjoying myself: enough said. This goes for anything from cupcakes to travel to sex. If I am enjoying myself, I done feeling guilty or second guessing myself. 
8. Investing more than I get in return: whether it's relationships with a man, my family, or an organization, I'm doing running myself ragged to please someone when I don't get the same (or any) effort in return. 
9. Jealousy: especially when it comes to wanting what other people have because I feel like they are doing it right and I'm behind the curve on something. I'm competitive in the wrong way sometimes. I need to be content with my situation as it is. 
I'm going to leave the last 3 open as "TBD" because I'm sure that I will have a few more moments of clarity for items that need to be gone from my life for 2012 between now and the end of the year. 
10. TBD
11. TBD
12. TBD

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 8 reverb11 - Joy in a Moment

It's good to remember the joys as well as recall the troubles. Day 8 of reverb11 asks us to do just that.

Joy - Take us back to a moment this year when you experienced pure, unadulterated joy.

I'm a lucky girl. I have many moments of joy in my life, it's a regular occurrence. There are times when I really will just stop myself in a moment and try to force a mental note upon myself, to remember this exactly as it happens, the feeling, the details, the happiness, forever. 

I know that someday it will be forgotten, overshadowed by a different moment, or buried under another memory. It always happens that way. But for now, this is the moment that brought me pure joy. 

The princess and I have our best quality time while getting ready to read stories before bed. I usually will cave and let her jump in my bed for story time instead of making her go to her own. On a recent evening, she was pretty wound up after her bath and decided she was going to put on a concert for me which consisted of her singing at the top of her lungs while jumping on my bed and then dissolving into a pile of giggles and attempting to tickle me. 

We were both laughing so hard we were red faced and out of breath. And then she calmed down and decided it was just as nice to crawl under the covers and snuggle with me for a while. And that too was lovely. 

That was one of the moments where I willed my memory to capture every second. To remember the smiles, and the silliness, the giggles, and the snuggling just exactly as it happened. 

I hope that memory sticks around a while because it was truly a joyous moment and I feel so lucky to have lived it. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 7 of reverb11 - Forgiveness

Day 7 of reverb11 is here. A week down already!

Forgiveness - Who have you forgiven this year and what was the journey like that brought you to forgive them?

I have a hard time holding a grudge. Maybe I should try to stay mad longer and withhold forgiveness in certain circumstances when someone does something deserving of such treatment but I don't. I used to. And then I figured it out. 

When I am eaten up with anger and refusing to forgive someone for something, it is me that suffers from that, not them. They go about their business not really impacted by my anger or grudge, while I on the other hand let it steal my joy and preoccupy my mind with negativity when I could be using that time and energy to enjoy something positive instead. 

I didn't figure this out gracefully or on my own accord. I used to really dig in my heels, cross my arms defiantly, and refuse to forgive someone until they showed the proper level of repentance and remorse to meet  my expectation. It was exhausting. And it did far more damage than good. 

So I just quit taking that approach. Now, when someone asks forgiveness from me, they get it. I hope that I am treated in the same manner because Lord knows that I do my share of hurtful things and nothing makes me feel worse than genuinely asking for someone's forgiveness and them refusing me. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 6 of reverb11: what made me laugh this year

This will be short and sweet because I'm on a bus with my entire office after many many cocktails and am facing a 4 hour drive but i really want to stay on track w reverb11.

Today's prompt is: what made me laugh on 2011

Beyond a doubt it was the princess. That girl is silly beyond measure and is not afraid to act a fool to make her mama laugh.

Monday, December 5, 2011

reverb11 Day 5 - Guilty Pleasures

It's day 5 already of reverb11. Today's topic made me smile:

5 Things - Describe 5 guilty pleasures

You kids know how much I enjoy my guilty pleasures! I am someone that revels in the joy of all sorts of guilty pleasures from bad television to too much chocolate to bedroom shenanigans and I do so very apologetically because let's face it, we all deserve a few guilty pleasures for having to put up with so much not-so-fun crap on a daily basis. I'll take an escape from time to time for sure! 
So in no particular order here are 5 of my guiltiest pleasures for 2011
1) my weekend in Vegas over Memorial day with my best, shenanigan-loving girlfriend
2) my many rounds of incredibly hot sex. Honorable mentions for Fireman, Secret Agent Man, and the Twin
3) a few amazingly rich and delicious meals in one of my favorite cities enjoyed over several weekend trips 
4) Lil Wayne. Yep, you read it right. I can't explain it but I love his swagga' and his music makes me happy, even the songs that should offend me. There is no way to logically justify it so I just embrace it. 
5) Tosh.0 . Another one that makes no sense but I love that show, and that guy. I think maybe it's just all the people doing incredibly stupid/dangerous things that end up injured and/or embarrassed and then lovingly share it on TV with all of us. Plus his commentary is hilarious and I like to laugh so it works for me. 

So there you have it, my short list of guilty pleasures for the year thus far.. we still have a few more days so I'm sure I'll find a few more to indulge in! 

I probably won't be posting for Day 6 as I will be spending 7+ hours driving too and from a 4 hour meeting for work tomorrow, and it's only 7 hours if it doesn't snow and there's no traffic. Fingers crossed! 

Check out twitter #reverb11 for links to all the great reverb11 posts! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

reverb11 Day 4 - Addition through Subtraction

Yep, even a Sunday post. That's how you know I'm serious about this.

It's day 4 of reverb11: Addition through Subtraction - What have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?

I've given up a few things this year, and dialed back on a few other areas of my shenanigan-filled life, but those things were really neither profound or life changing. They simply were me making a different decision at the time from what I normally would. 

One thing I let go of this year was the excuse that I'm not a writer therefore I shouldn't write. I decided early this year that I was kind of done with that thinking and although I'm still don't consider myself "a writer", I started writing. And I did so with some amount of consistency and with as much honesty as I could muster. I have really loved it and by giving up my excuses and just putting my words out there, I have gained some amazing friends, a few fun writing gigs, and a greater knowledge of who I am and what is important to me. 

I don't have aspiration of getting published and I don't have a desire to write a novel any time soon. I am just feeling fulfilled by sharing my words with my friends, getting my thoughts out there for discussion and in many cases, advice (free therapy??), and hopefully entertaining or helping a few people along the way. It's a pretty simple goal and all it requires is a little bit of my time and a willingness to keep being honest and open. I'm OK with both of those things so I intend to keep at it as long as it continues to be something that enhances my life and doesn't interfere with me actually living it. 

Thank you for reading my craziness and coming back for more. A good adventure is always made better by having great company along for the ride! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

reverb11 Day 3 - A Moment in Time

I don't usually post on the weekend but for reverb11, I will.

Day 3: A Moment in Time - Tell us about one moment that you lived in 2011 that you will never forget.

I like this prompt. It made me stop and think. There were a lot of moments in 2011 that I took and respected them for what they were, something that I am experiencing for only that moment in time and that wouldn't be recreated or replicated or ever experienced in exactly the same way ever again. Some were good, some were not so good.  Either way, I'm glad I finally have some awareness of that fact. 

I could go with the heartfelt, tragic moment when my grandmother almost passed away while I was standing beside her holding her hand in the emergency room late one night.  I could go with silly, when the princess and I were singing our hearts out to Lady Gaga with the windows down and the stereo blasting on a gorgeous, sunny summer afternoon. I could go the shenanigans route, when Fireman and I had the hottest, anything goes, hours long sex where we pushed boundaries and left no area unexplored. I have so many currently memorable  moments, all are treasured but most will be forgotten sooner rather than later. 

Instead of singling out one moment and writing a long dissertation on it, I am going to remember the small, but poignant moments collectively and be glad for the year I have been lucky to have. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Soft-Core Friday" - So now I'm a Girlfriend & Day 2 of Reverb11

Happy "Soft-Core Friday" (and day 2 of reverb11) kids!

I realized today that I only have 2 more weeks of work for this year so it is indeed a good Friday! This is going to be a bit of a mixed post because I can't let a SCF slide by but I really want to keep playing with reverb11 so you get both in one post: bonus!

I'm finding myself on this "Soft-Core Friday" with the official title of "Girlfriend" to the Twin. It kind of came out of nowhere and I guess I shouldn't be surprised because, well, I have been playing the roll of gf for some time now but hadn't actually had him say it until last night.

Last night we attended a swank giant holiday event downtown. All the movers and shakers were there. Twin was truly in his element. The man knows everyone and from what I observed, he seems genuinely liked by everyone he engaged with on the three floors of fa-la-laing fun we wandered through last night.  I was watching him interact with ease and when he walked away, there were genuine smiles, no eye rolling or "geesh, what a tool" comments from the group he left so that's a good sign.

He has social skills. And possible political aspirations. We joked about that on the way back to the car, he told me I needed to clean up my past if I was going to be the First Lady. I think he was only half joking though.

I was introduced to many people last night, always as "this is my girlfriend..." It was weird, but I kind of liked it. So it looks like I have a boyfriend now. Hmmm...  that's usually where things go awry but we shall see.
This is the song that has been playing in my head since... so this is your SCF song. An oldie but goodie. If I'm going to be a gf, I want to be this kind. Enjoy!

But enough about my bf/gf stuff. Onto reverb11

Day 2: My Children Will Do it Differently 
If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?

Wow, this is a good prompt for today. I only have one child, the princess, but I have many things that I hope she does and experiences differently than I did. My biggest wish for her is that she always knows who she truly is and that she is loved and worthy exactly how she is. I hope she never lets anyone make her question that or doubt herself and her worth. 

My parents really did their best to always make me feel that way. I can't fault them for anything. It was me letting other people override what I knew to be true about myself. I let negative comments chip away at what I thought I knew about myself, let doubt creep in over time and started to think that maybe what I thought about myself was wrong, that others saw me more clearly and that what they saw was truer than what I perceived myself to be. 

I think everyone goes through a period of time of self-doubt. I am sure that the princess will hear mean comments or have her feelings hurt, it's inevitable as some people just live to put other people down. I want her to rise above. To KNOW in her heart and in her head that she is not what someone else says she is, but that she is loved and worthy and exactly who God intended her to be when she was created. And I hope that is enough for her. 

I hope she is strong enough to not compromise herself to fit in or be accepted. I fell into that too many times and paid the price for not being true to myself and acting in a way that was not authentic to who I was at my core. I've written about that in previous posts, I hope she never experiences the pain and regret that I brought on to myself through those decisions. 

She will have to face tough times in her life, I know that no one is exempt from that pain, I just hope that it's not self-inflicted through bad decisions made in an effort to make someone else happy with who she is. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And so it begins: Reverb11 day 1: 1 Word

Every once in a while, I jump into some fun little writing prompt group and have found some of my favorite posts have come from getting a chance to share myself while participating in them, like 30 Days of Shamelessness for instance. I didn't do all 30 days in order or as intended (or at all, I guess I did more like 20 or so) but I wrote and you read and I appreciated that more than you know.

I'm going to end the year in reflection and I'm going to use Reverb11 to do that because from what I hear from my sunshine Rita, it's awesome and I really should get on board. So I am. Here goes.

  • December 1 - One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?
2011: Looking
I have spent most of 2011 looking. Looking for direction, love, adventure... but always looking. Sometimes I would look with intention, with full knowledge that if I found what I was after, I would be taking action on it without question or hesitation. Sometimes I would look passively, more out of curiosity to see what was out there for me or see how someone else was living/loving/making it and just observe from a distance. 
I changed looking to doing in many cases and that enriched my life over the past year in ways I never thought possible. I have met some of the most amazing people and had some fantastic adventures because after I spent time looking and decided I liked what I saw, I quit saying "no" and being practical and started saying "yes" and doing things and meeting people I normally wouldn't because it was inconvenient or I was uncertain or it took effort. I moved excuses out of the way and just did it. And there were some great rewards that came from that. 
I also missed some opportunities because I was complacent and content to just look from afar instead of jumping in and experiencing it firsthand. I am still living in a place I don't love because I was busy looking at other places and deciding it would take too much effort to move myself from point A to point B. I let a friendship grow cold because I was busy looking back on how many great times we had and how close we used to be instead of fostering the relationship that it had evolved to be as our circumstances changed. I am still safely in the career that has become so mundane that it presents no challenge to me now because I have been scared to really go after some of the opportunities I have been satisfied to just look at instead of aggressively pursue. 
As I look forward to 2012 and what I want to be able to claim as my "1 word" at the end of that year, I know for certain that I want to be able to say that I changed "looking" to "moving" during the course of 2012. It's time. 

Thanks in advance for riding along with me for Reverb11. Hopefully you will want to join in the fun as well. Let me know if you do so I can follow your posts daily and show you some love!