reflection

looking ahead.

2015a

The year started off with me staying up until an ungodly hour writing, and then sleeping in until about noon or so. I ate pork and avoided chicken, and I read and relaxed. It’s crazy that it’s 2015, the start of ordinary time, and the start of a brand new year.

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t do resolutions per se. I know myself too well, and to resolve to do things that I will most likely give up on within a couple of weeks gets depressing. But I always make some loose goals for the year, not necessarily resolutions, but things I hope to accomplish or make happen. I looked at last year’s list and was pleasantly surprised at the number of things in the “Need to Happen” section that actually did happen! :)

Things that Need to Happen in 2015
– LESS SODA (And only ginger ale if I *do* have it. I’m talking no more than once or twice a month. I went crazy in December, drinking ALL the ginger ale and pineapple soda, just to get it out of my system.)
– MORE WATER
– more exercise (This includes barre classes at The Dailey Method. I earn eight credits a month working in the kids room, so I need to take advantage. And I will. I love those barre classes so much.)
– 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 the winter settling in, but once it warms up, it’s go time.)
– more walking (I want to take more walks around the neighborhood once it gets warmer out. It’s too easy for me to get sucked into the comfort of the bed or the couch, and that’s no good. My life is passing by in a haze of dreams, and not the good kind!)
– more writing (I really want to finish this novel I’m working on and get it ready for submission. I can’t believe that it was ten years ago that I seriously dipped my toes into the publishing pool for the first time. I know now that I was not ready for publication then. I am ready now, and thirsting for success.)
– making 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 of the Visa cards
– less time on social media, more time working toward my goals
– taking more pictures!!

Hopes for 2015
– read at least 75 new books (I have 55 listed in my Goodreads challenge, but I like to go over if I can)
– better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– more driving (My poor car is rotting in this city. I need to use her more.)
– travel to at least one new place, domestic or international
– visiting and spending time with friends who are not local
– more background acting work, but as core rather than a pedestrian
– financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want–within reason, of course–and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– better physical shape
– making new friends and appreciating the friends I already have even more
– so many work-from-home projects that I am more than comfortable financially
– more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)
– more journaling
– more time at Stonehouse Farm, or in nature in general
– saving money

In My Dreams for 2015
– getting a publishing contract
– meeting a certain actor (if you don’t know by now then whose blog have you been reading all this time?)

Looking Forward To
– my mother-son trip to Disney World with Aidan this summer
– visiting Legoland in Florida with Aidan, and my friends Joey & CeeCee
– acting classes at Chicago Actors Studio (the Saturday classes this time)
– barre classes at The Dailey Method
– summer in general
– new books and music discoveries
– starting a new novel

Here’s hoping that 2015 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. No fear, go for your dreams, leap, and a net will appear. 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.

Happy Monday night. ????????
Let’s do this thing!

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action. my word for 2014.

New York City 2013

When I was in high school, it was hard for me to get engaged enough to care about homework and schoolwork. I hated my school, I didn’t care about most of the people I went to school with, and I didn’t fit in with them anyway. I had to write all over my assignments “JUST DO IT” so I’d actually get the work done.

I spend a lot of time thinking of the things I want to do, or thinking of things I feel that I should do, but then I don’t do them. I burrow deeper under the covers. I make up excuses. “It’s too cold out.” “I am too tired.” “I’ll do it tomorrow. Or Friday. Or next week.”

Then the days go by, and I look back like “Wow, I really haven’t a lot to show for that, have I?”

2014wishes

I spend a lot of time dreaming. A LOT. Many of them are fantastical things. Incredible daydreams that keep me up at night with their sheer ridiculousness. Some of them are actually within reach, if I would just act on them.

those ‘holy grail’ yoga poses?
I can totally do them someday, if I’d just get and stay regular in my practice.

a completed novel?
Keep writing every day. Revise. Find honest but gentle critique partners. Workshop workshop workshop.

travel?
OK, the trip to New Orleans is already booked. But what about booking those trips to NYC and the Land of Medicine Buddha for the Writing & Yoga retreat?

cleaning/organizing my room? (and maybe keeping it clean?)
Yeah… I jut need to DO IT. UFYH says to do it in 20-10 (twenty minutes of cleaning, ten minutes break), but I know myself. My ten minute break will turn into an hour break surfing tumblr. Nope. Nope. Nope. I have to marathon or else I won’t get it done.

spending less time on social media?
Close the computer. Engage in real life. I miss doing paper crafts. Taking a lot of photos.

getting in better shape?
Easy. I just have to do it. Put on the loud music and dance. Utilize the many workout DVDs I have (including an oldie but goodie I used to have on VHS and now on DVD: Paula Abdul’s Get Up and Dance!). Yoga. Use the exercise bike.

1497573_391504970985345_1919645010_n

My word for 2014 is action. Instead of letting the days speed by, thinking “Wow, I should have gone to…” or “Wow, I should have done…”, I am going to act on all the things I want to do and can do within reason. And I’ll blog about it when I do. Maybe.

capable

Linking up here.

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another day, another year.

2014
source

Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot.
Seek the path that demands your whole being. — Rumi

Holy cow. That quote is speaking to me right now. Rumi, ladies and gentlemen.

You see, I spend most of my life not really present. It’s really weird those moments I am present because things are so bright and vivid. It’s overwhelming sometimes, which is why, after a lot of social interaction, I run and hide for a few days. I’m used to seeing everything through this haze that lives permanently in my brain. When I think of my past, I see it through that same haze, and I always wonder what was going through my mind for me to make the choices I did, good or bad.

This year, I am going to do something that will break things wide open for me. It will pull me out of that comfortable haze and force me to be present and push myself in ways I haven’t in years. I am scared and insecure and freaking out about it. But I’m going to go for it because if not now, when? I have the time. I have the money. I have the fear–but not the paralyzing kind. It’s the “I’m out of fucks to give so what the hell?” kind. I may as well… what have I got to lose? I have the support for it–a surprising amount–from friends and those closest to me. So… why not do this? I will always regret it if I don’t. I regret that I let people talk me out of it sooner. But then, I wouldn’t have Aidan. So there’s that.

(That’s one good thing about Adam. He’s remarkably supportive of all the harebrained ideas I come up with, knowing that there is a chance things might not pan out. I daresay HE’S more supportive of me than I am of myself in these endeavors. It’s like with the yoga teacher training–I still don’t know if I ever want to teach yoga full time, but I have absolutely no regrets for doing the training, and I would do it all over again.)

Truthfully, I’m writing this post while I am feeling a bit down. It’s been a hard few weeks for me, so I’m dealing with that. Having Aidan here is a huge help, though. He’s hilarious and kind and I hope he stays that way when the hormones start driving him crazy.

Even though I’m feeling kinda down for a bunch of reasons I’d rather not go into on here (thank you baby Jesus for a certain friend who gets it and is gentle with me because of it), I’m not going to let it keep me from having hopes and dreams for 2014. I always start the year like this even though I don’t officially make resolutions.

So, with that said…

Things that Need to Happen in 2014
– a trip to New Orleans (already planned)
– a trip to Jekyll Island (Thanksmas at the beach!)
– a trip to Disney World (trying to figure out the timing for this)
– acting classes (if at Second City, will sign up January 31, when the early bird registration for Spring session opens, if elsewhere, will sign up whenever that early bird registration for Spring session opens)
– more yoga (I need it. Truly.)
– more exercising (time to dust off the ole stationary bike)
– better financial decisions
– NO MORE SODA
– complete and revise novel for submission
– less time on social media (already failing at this)
– more time with my mommy
– more time with Aidan

Hopes for 2014
– more travel (New York City to see Wanda and T, California for the Candles in the Window and also to visit friends, Arkansas to visit friends and get into some serious nature, Sukhava Bodhe for at least two days….)
– more background acting work (Insurgent, please please please, and maybe not as Abnegation this time, but I’ll take what I can get and I will like it!)
– financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want–within reason, of course–and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– better physical shape
– the guts to audition for real acting roles, small or large
– serious decluttering on a literal and a figurative level
– making new friends and appreciating the friends I already have even more
– have enough work-from-home projects so I am comfortable financially
– keep the place cleaner
– more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)

In My Dreams for 2014
– landing actual acting roles, small or large
– getting a publishing contract
– meeting a certain actor (if you don’t know by now then whose blog have you been reading all this time?)
– a trip to Paris (I want to sit on that lawn by the Eiffel Tower and stare at it while eating macarons from Laduree…oh and I guess visit some of the other sites and museums and things I mean I might as well while I’m there)

There are a bunch of new books coming out this year that I’m excited about, a certain movie that my face may or may not actually show up in, Betsy Tinney’s CD will be here sooooon, and I’m so looking forward to that. Of course, I’m looking forward to new music, new experiences, new everything. Here’s hoping that 2014 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. No fear, go for your dreams, leap, and a net will appear. Be willing to let go of what does not serve you to make room for that which does. All that la di da stuff. Sending it to me and all of you.

Happy New Year!

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a look back at 2013.

2013a

Was 2013 a good year for you?
For the most part, yes! Especially the first nine months. I was busy, productive, learning, making friends and being with friends, doing new things. The last three months, I dropped the ball, though. I started hiding, and breaking down. Still trying to climb back up from that….

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
– was a movie extra in a feature film
– camped out in a tent
– became a certified yoga teacher (CYT-200)
– got sick from a fair ride
– rang in Christmas with friends and chosen family at a pancake party
– visited the Bahai Temple
– many sites in NYC: Columbus Circle, certain parts of Central Park, Grand Central Station, and more
– went to Six Flags
– rode X-Flight and Superman while at Six Flags
– rode rides at Disney World that I’d never ridden before (Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl, Voyage of The Little Mermaid)
– ALA conference
– beat LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 and 5-7 multiple times. I cheated but still.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
I wouldn’t say anyone close to me gave birth, but a lot of people I adore did have babies and that’s always fun to see.

Did anyone close to you die?
Adam’s friend from middle school passed away. It was an eye opener because she was younger than me. She was a peer. I’m at the age where my peers are dying and it’s not necessarily because of a disease or an accident. It’s scary and sad.

What countries did you visit?
None. Dammit. I have GOT to fix this.

What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don’t have particular dates in my head. Just lots of general memories.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
– I got my certification to teach yoga. I am a certified yoga teacher.
– I survived two long days on the set of Divergent, in uncomfortable conditions, and still decided I wanted to do more of that.
– I had a goal to read 75 new books. I read 96 new books.

What was your biggest failure?
– I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. I had some colds and a pretty icky virus during the summer. Also had a trip to the ER in late July. Eventually I will need surgery. I’m trying to put that off as long as I can.

Where did most of your money go?
Disney trips, clothes, books, and gifts.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2013?
Royals – Lorde
Grins – Charli XCX
Lies – Marina & The Diamonds
Send Me Down – HAIM
Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) – Flight Facilities
Perfume – Britney Spears
I See You – Luke Brian
Claire de Lune – Flight Facilities
anything by The Piano Guys or Lindsey Stirling

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– writing
– yoga
– riding my exercise bike
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– acting
– interpersonal interaction
– personal reflection
– journaling

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– being afraid
– hiding
– wasting time on social media (tumblr and facebook especially)
– messing around on the computer/ipad/iphone

What was your greatest musical discovery?
This kind of music that’s sometimes called “chill step.” It’s dub step, but not as intense or fast. I love it. Blackmill is a great example of really good chill step. I also fell in love with Charli XCX, Haim, Lorde, and more. I really like female vocalists, and if they’re a little different? Even better.

What did you want and get?
– macarons from Laduree
– a trip to New York City
– to take my mom to Disney World
– to be an extra in Divergent
– to meet Gaston at Disney World
– new jewelry from Tiffany

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a flat stomach
– a trip out of the country
– to meet Theo James
– to see the Statue of Liberty, the Cloisters, and the High Line in NYC

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 39. (Seriously, how am I 39?) I hung out with Aidan. I got really cool gifts, and ate Harold’s chicken for dinner. It was a pretty good day.

What kept you sane?
– books, books, books
– yoga
– as much sleep as possible

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

What political issue stirred you the most?
The Affordable Care Act

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
– a feeling of terrified excitement in relation to a new experience usually means that whatever’s coming is going to be amazing and epic
– depression has a much stronger and scarier hold on me than I realized
– taking a job below my skill set and pay grade when I don’t have to will make me resentful and sad
– giving generously is very liberating
– having too much stuff is making me feel claustrophobic and weighed down. it’s time to seriously declutter.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
– Yoga clothes: leggings, capris, tanks, legwarmers. The brighter the better.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– Denim jackets, yes please.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to spend more time on the Divergent set. Being able to do more acting in general.

In 2014, I am looking forward to traveling, taking photos, learning new things, amazing new experiences, visiting friends, meeting new people and making new friends, discovering new music, reading new books, and just living life. BRING IT! :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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chill.

Morton Arboretum 2013

Chicago had a crazy night of wind and rain, and I think that the high in the upper 40s today means that the part of autumn I’m not a fan of is settling in. The part when all the pretty leaves are falling off the trees with a vengeance and it’s just rain and cold and grey… until all that rain turns to snow. I think the Christians were on to something, tossing Christmas where they did. If I didn’t have the holiday season to look forward to, I don’t know what sort of shape I’d be in. I guess mourning for the true loss of summer, jeans shorts, sandals, and tank tops.

But. Moving on from that. I had a really neat October. There was my trip to New York City, which was amazing and awesome and will be blogged about for sure because a little blurb in a potluck post won’t be able to cover everything. But I’m not completely cruel, so here’s a photo of me laughing in Times Square.

New York City 2013

There was an afternoon spent at Morton Arboretum to capture the beautiful fall colors. I visited Graceland Cemetery, where I always get a little bit maudlin. I start freaking out about mortality and letting my mind go to dark places. Maybe I shouldn’t visit cemeteries anymore. But then, how could I get photos like this?

Graceland Cemetary

There was my trip to Columbus, Ohio, where I hadn’t been for three years. Things just fell into place for me to attend the Ohio Valley Filk Fest this year. I’m not even *that* into filk, but a lot of people I adored was going to be there. Someone offered me a ride. And I made hotel arrangements with Belinda and Patrick. And with all that working in my favor, plus a chance to see Aidan? It was a no brainer. Aidan had no idea, so when his dad pulled up to the hotel, Aidan was not impressed. Then he saw me and his little face lit up like the sun. It was so awesome to see! I’d missed that little guy and scheduling this year has made it hard to see him. Last weekend was the first time I’d seen him since he left in August.

Surprise Weekend with Aidan
i was so happy to hug him again!

It was so nice to spend the weekend with him, and with some other friends in the sci-fi/con community.

Belinda, S00j, and Me
belinda, s00j, and me
so blessed to know those two beautiful women
and of course i had to represent my alma mater

I got to eat at my beloved Bob Evans with my friend Angelo, who I’ve known since college and who I adore. Even though I really enjoy the Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, there is no sausage better than the Bob Evans patties.

Now that November is here, all of my shop emails are turning to holiday themes. Which I’m usually OK with but this year, I feel like it’s rushing me a bit. Probably because the place isn’t holiday ready, what with Lena’s litter box habits being very out of whack and the constant cleanup because of that. Also because we need to just do a serious deep cleaning anyway and I have zero motivation to do it any time soon. There’s cat hair everywhere. The kitchen counters need a good scrub down. I need to sanitize the bathroom again. And I will. Truly. A lovely pixie named s00j is coming to spend the night in a couple of weeks and I want to make sure that the place is spic and span for her.

Crookshanks has plopped on to my lap and is purring like a purring thing. He’s also putting his paw on my hands every time I start typing, so I think that means it’s time to sign off for now. Tonight’s plan is to kick off my weekend Singing Myself Awake. Third year in a row I get to study with Suzanne Sterling. I’m a bit nervous about the asana practices. She kicked my butt last year and that was when I had a regular and strong practice. Now my practice is weak and sporadic. I’m going to be hurting by the time this weekend is over. But it’s my fault for letting my practice slip so much. I’m also worried because I have health issues this year that weren’t as severe last year. This year they could be a hindrance, but I know that I can always modify. Maybe this weekend will kick me back into gear.

Anyway, I’m off for now. Need to shower and eat something to prepare for the asana kicking I will surely experience tonight. And Crookshanks really does mean business.

Till next time….

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