hello 2018.

I align myself with peace and calm, not stress.
I am aligned with the joy and light of my highest self

The last couple of years have been rough on a general, worldly scale. I’m hoping 2018 brings some big, positive changes for good people trying to do good things.

I hope I am a good person and that I keep focus on doing good things.

The year started off with me setting intentions, meditating, and writing. Tonight’s dinner menu is pork loin, green beans, and macaroni and cheese. I plan to spend the day sleeping in, writing, relaxing, hanging with the kid, and enjoying my last day off before having to jump back into the fray of work and life and the bone chilling cold weather, which I will avoid as much as I can. This evening, I have a date with my writer group on Google Hangouts. Excited to chat with everyone!

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t really do resolutions. Rather, I like to set goals. Actually, intentions might be a better word. Things I want to accomplish, changes I’d like to make, but not necessarily within the confines of the 365 days. Some of these goals are recycled, because let’s face it. I am who I am and the same things I’ve been working on all this time are probably the same things I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. But it’s OK. I’m a work in progress, and that’s fine.

Intentions for 2018:
– I want a joyful, energetic body.
– I want a loving, compassionate heart.
– I want a restful, alert mind.
– I want lightness of being.

In 2018, I NEED to:
– DRINK LESS SODA (And only ginger ale if I *do* have it. I’m talking no more than once or twice a month.)
– DRINK MORE WATER
– exercise more
– do more yoga (I say this every year. I haven’t been to a real yoga class in months. That needs to change. I know it won’t any time soon with this COLD ASS WEATHER, but once it warms up, it’s go time.)
– walk more (I want to take more walks around the neighborhood once it gets warmer out.)
– write more (I really want to draft the novel that’s been knocking around my head the past 18 months or so, but I’ll take anything the muse wants to give me.)
– make more money (I like to buy things. I like to travel. I like to donate to charities, and I like to give lots of gifts. I need money to do those things. So, I need to make more money.)
– pay off at least one big credit card
– spend less time on social media
– spend more time working toward my goals
– spend more time with my loved ones
– declutter and clean my bedroom
– take more pictures!!

In 2018, I hope to:
– read at least 25 new books (at least 10 by POC)
– do a better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– travel to at least one place, domestic or international
– have financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want, within reason, of course, and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– have more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– eat less fast food
– get in better physical shape
– make new friends and appreciate the friends I already have even more
– have so many work-from-home projects that I am more than comfortable financially
– do more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)
– journal more
– save money
– be more brave with my writing
– write more snail mail letters
– maintain a work-life balance that also sustains my lifestyle
– keep up with my Self Love planner

In My Dreams for 2018:
– a publishing contract
– my creative well running over
– discipline to complement and honor the creative well
– happiness and health for me and my loved ones

Looking Forward To:
– summer
– new books and music discoveries
– writing this novel (or whatever novel comes out of me)
– trying to grow my hair longer
– seeing the A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet
– Jekyll Island in June
– writing retreat in July
– seeing where my writing takes me!

Here’s hoping that 2018 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. Be willing to let go of what does not serve you to make room for that which does. Sending it to me and all of you.

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year in review: 2017

Was 2017 a good year for you?
On a personal level, I cannot complain. Yes, I had some ups and downs, but that’s normal, right? When I look back through my photos, I feel immense gratitude at the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, and the stuff I got to experience.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
– went ziplining!
– stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
– rode Avatar: Rite of Passage
– watched a solar eclipse
– rode a chairlift
– visited Utah
– flew business class on an intercontinental flight
– attended a gala
– hired a life coach
– attended the Once Upon a Time convention
– had a spa day

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Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a close friend of mine is expecting!

Did anyone close to you die?
I lost my sweet Helena.

What countries did you visit?
Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
(with layovers in Iceland and Germany)

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 10, 2017—the day I got all my girlie plumbing removed
February 17, 2017—the day I got an offer of rep from my agent Caitie Flum!
May 25, 2017—the day I brought Charlotte home
September 5, 2017—the day I left Chicago for a month abroad with my BFF Jennifer Niven
September 18, 2017—the day I visited Copenhagen, Denmark and FELL IN LOVE
September 26, 2017—the day I visited the ABBA museum and became a fan
October 1, 2017—the day I few into Iceland and saw rainbows upon rainbows
November 9, 2017—the day I met Jason Segel
December 6, 2017—the day I saw Hamilton

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What was your biggest achievement of the year?
1. signing with a literary agent!!
2. spending almost a month abroad!!

What was your biggest failure?
1. keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.
2. not keeping up with my gratitude journal as regularly as I’d have liked.
3. not eating enough leafy greens.
4. not doing enough yoga or barre.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
got a couple of colds

Where did most of your money go?
travel, clothes, purses, makeup, toys, books, and gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017?
– Just Say—Extreme Music
– How Far I’ll Go—Auli’i Cravalho
– This Night Is Ours—The Funshiners
– Issues—Julia Michaels
– The Louvre—Lorde

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What do you wish you’d done more of?

– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends
– spending time with my mommy

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– eating junk food
– procrastinating
– being afraid
– wasting time on twitter

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– The Moana soundtrack

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip abroad
– an agent
– a Fjållråven backpack
– a (mini) home office

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What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a visit to Morton Arboretum
– a book deal

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 43. (bish whet) I slept in, then spent the afternoon getting pampered at The Spa at The Four Seasons. Then I had dinner at a French restaurant that didn’t have great service but the food was amazing! Adam gave me a Tiffany bracelet.

What kept you sane?
– therapy
– friends

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
*angry face emoji*

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Sometimes you just have to say “yes” and make it work. You never know what amazingness is waiting on the other side of it!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
skinny jeans, cute tops

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
getting a book deal

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? in the middle
ii. thinner or fatter? a bit fatter (thanks, Italy)
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2018, I’m looking forward to:
So much! But that’s for another post!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

a look back at 2016.

Was 2016 a good year for you?

The world had a rough 2016. A lot of sadness, loss, and pain. I grieve with the rest of us over the hard things that have happened, and hope for healing and love. Sadly, I have a lot of fear for what’s to come, but since this post is about looking back, I won’t go into it here.

For me personally, I cannot complain. I worked a lot, but I never worried about money. I was able to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences (although I’d like to, and plan to, make some of them happen a lot more!), and I got to travel to New York City, Disney World, and Scotland, make new friends, and improve my writing.

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
– flew first class
– attended a red (black) carpet event
– attended a movie premiere
– attended a celebrity-studded after party
– attended the New York City Teen Author Festival
– traveled out of the United States
– visited a castle (other than Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, although I did visit Cinderella Castle this year as well)
– slept in a mansion
– went on a writing retreat
– got hypnotized
– attended a con party
– spoke on a con panel
– attended chambanacon
– got a mammogram
– ROLL PODS!

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Well, I don’t know her that well yet, but the new wife of my cousin gave birth to the most adorable baby boy.

Did anyone close to you die?
No. Thank God.

What countries did you visit?
– Ireland (for a layover, 2x)
– Scotland

What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 14: I got to talk to Theo James I got to talk to Theo James I got to talk to Theo James!!!!
Ronni asks Theo a question (AOL Build)

March 14: I met Jordan Rodrigues!!! I loved him on Dance Academy and on The Fosters, and he was sooo amazingly nice and great to talk to. He’s a really cool guy and I wish him the very best.
Me and Jordan Rodrigues

March 14: I attended a movie premiere and all sorts of cool stuff came with that experience
The Divergent Series: Allegiant World Premiere, Red Carpet, and After Party

May 13: I finally made it out of the United States
Off to the UK on Aer Lingus

August 15: Got to fly first class for the first time and loved it, of course
#firstclassflight

October 8: The day I met the lovely Jennifer Niven and we discovered we were friend soulmates forever. My world shines brighter because she’s in it.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally making it to another country! And I did it all by myself, only had one panic attack and got lost once, but I survived and loved it. So excited to do it again someday soon.

What was your biggest failure?
Keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
– got a couple of colds, but they didn’t last very long
– depression and anxiety got a bit out of control, so I started therapy and being much better about taking my meds
– fibroids grew a lot, necessitating the need to schedule a surgery (for early 2017)
– anemia (due to the fibroids)

Where did most of your money go?
travel, clothes, purses, toys, books, and gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2016?
Sorry – Beyonce
Formation – Beyonce
The Greatest – Sia
Revolution – Diplo
Gasoline – Halsey

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending time on social media. It’s a great way to network and make friends, but it also takes away from my writing and productivity. I need to find a better balance.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– Halsey
– Låpsley

What did you want and get?
– to talk to Theo James :)
– a trip to New York City
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip to Scotland
– a new Prada purse
– a Kate Spade bag (I got 2 actually)
– LuLaRoe leggings
– a new computer
– new writer friends, near and far

ChiYA December 2016
(I love the striped sweater OK?)

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– to talk MORE to Theo James
– to see the Statue of Liberty, the Cloisters, and the High Line in NYC
– a major book deal
– a visit to Morton Arboretum

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 42. (Seriously, how am I 42?) I spent the day working, then I went out to dinner at Sakura with Adam and Aidan.
If the rest of 42 (oh god how am I 42) is like today, I'm gonna have a great year!! #yay #happy 😊🌈⭐

What kept you sane?
– writing
– therapy
– friends

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
– Black Lives Matter
– the election
– the Dakota Access Pipeline

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Change comes slowly and painfully, and resistance is real and strong, especially when some people think they’ll benefit more from the status quo no matter how much it’s actually hurting everyone.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
– Yoga clothes: leggings, tanks. The brighter the better.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– Denim jackets, yes please.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Signing with an amazing literary agent

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? the same
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2017, I’m looking forward to:
– being recovered from my surgery
– the Writing Cross-Culturally Workshop
– domestic travel (mostly to visit friends)
– international travel
– another Disney trip
– writing a new book
– more yoga, and getting back to barre
– new music and books
– seeing Aladdin on stage
– seeing The Nutcracker for Christmas
Beauty and the Beast in theatres
Everything, Everything in theatres

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

my hopes for the next 4 years….

Spectacular Sun

– that I have the bravery to speak up if/when I see injustice, and if/when it happens to me
– that I don’t become complacent
– that I stay vigilant, awake, and strong
– that I survive
– that my friends survive
– that right and good prevail

gearing up.

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Today is the autumnal equinox. Sometimes, a change of seasons is a big deal to me. Other times, not so much. This one though? It feels different. I can’t put my finger on why. It just does. Things feel unsettled, in limbo, suspended. Like I’m on the precipice of something. But I have no idea what.

I’m not sure if I like it. It’s anxious-making and scary-making and exciting all at once.

And it’s confusing. I don’t know if these feelings are real, or if they’re the result of meds, caffeine, delusion, or all of the above. There’s certainly nothing currently pending in my life to warrant this feeling of edge. :(

{gear up.}

Starting today, I have a new contract with one of my favorite clients. The scope of the work is immense, which means long, long days for the next month. In addition, it’ll be AEP time at Humana, which means nonstop editing all day every day. Plus, Aidan is visiting for a long Columbus Day weekend, my friend Sun is coming for a visit, and there is the YA Lit Conference. I feel like I’m forgetting something(s).

Fall’s going to be busy. I was up from 3–5am, worrying about how I’m going to juggle all the stuff coming at me the next few weeks. It’s hard for me to say ‘no’ to a paying client, so I’m kinda hoping no one else asks me until October has passed!

{create.}

Writing/revising is definitely on the back burner. Novel is off hopefully being read and garnering feedback. I will brainstorm and stuff, but nothing serious right now. It’s a lot of work with little payoff at the moment, and let’s be real, I gotta do the paying work first. Because I like having a place to live and I like buying things. I will likely go on a Twitter break so I can spend time focusing instead of mindlessly scrolling.

Writing is the one thing that makes me so super happy, yet also so very devastated. Wait, scratch that. Writing is great. Revising is better. The publication journey is what hurts. So very much.

{deliver.}

In August, I posted my lists of fall To Dos and Goals.

Here is my progress so far:

To Dos
– get car jumped
– get emissions test
– register for Anderson’s YA Lit Conference
– massive laundry
– various medical things
– trip report blog post
– process photos

Goals
– write a short story
– read at least 6 new books (to make my goal of 15 for the year) – note: I’ve read 5, so only 1 more to go!
– start writing a new novel
– go to yoga at least 10 times – note: I’ve been doing weekly private yoga therapy sessions at Room to Breathe with sweet Serena. They’ve been going great. I may not get up to 10, but I’m doing *something* at least.
– pay off 2 credit cards
– visit the arboretum (I missed it last year)

{now.}

October is busy for Adam too. It’s his ghost/historian month, so he has tours and speaking engagements and God knows what else. He also began driving Lyft, and he LOVES it. It really is the perfect job for him.

The apartment is kind of a mess. I’m about ready to buy 4839584950 crates and fill them with all the things and put all those crates of all the things into the garage. I’m overwhelmed by clutter. I still haven’t completely unpacked from Disney World OR my cousin’s wedding. Helena had a trip to the vet because she refuses to pee in the litter box. And naturally all her blood work came out clean…but she is still pooping right next to the litter box and picking random places to pee—and that will be her spot for several weeks until she picks something new. Basically, she’s just a bad cat and that’s our cross to bear for now.

I’ve been watching House Hunters on Netflix. I finished the latest collection last night. Some of the people are infuriating with the silly things they get fixated on, which are most likely “quirks” assigned by the producers to create drama. But I enjoyed seeing some of the couples. The diversity is great. And I like that they show a variety of incomes. I’ll likely never be able to own property in Chicago, and I’m OK with that, because I’m not trying to live here forever anyway. The show does make me dream about owning a big house again someday. I miss the house in Pataskala a lot. Just a place to fit all my stuff, and room to put in more stuff. I’m a homebody, I like to have everything I need and want at home.

I wake up every morning about 4 or 5am to use the bathroom—then I climb back into bed and proceed to toss and turn for at least an hour with a racing heart and mind. Anything and everything creeping in, pushing out sleep, and making me worry. Monday, my therapist said something about me taking time to process thoughts instead of watching them float away (like they tell us to do in yoga all the time), but I think my problem is that I process them too much and too long, and that’s why I’m up in the middle of the night like, “Sleep, dammit, you can’t do anything about [various dilemmas and such] now so just go to sleep already.”

I am so tired.

I just got an email with the subject: Feel Better in Your Body With Probiotics
And it made me realize how very rare it is for me to feel good in my body. Ongoing medical issues not withstanding (and which I’m waiting for test results for), a lot of times, I just feel wrong. Like I want to rip my skin off. I know I’ve posted about this before. It keeps happening. It’s physical, emotional, and psychological. I want to climb into bed and hide under the covers and burrow. And it doesn’t help that there was cilantro in my lunch today and now I have that taste stuck in my mouth.

Anyway, wrapping this up because it’s over 1000 words of nothing. Maybe soon I’ll get up the Disney pictures.

Till next time…..

Morton Arboretum Autumn 2012

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