Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Joyful all Ye Nations.

(Anyone else feeling like this lately? No? Just me then? 2016 has blown goats.)

On Christmas night we all gathered together for a post-Christmas-yay-it’s over let’s eat party at Mama Joye’s. After stuffing our faces with all the holiday sweets my mom in an effort to keep every one’s phones in their pants asked us to gather around campfire style and talk about their strongest Christmas memory.

My first thought was shit. My second thought was if I hide out in the bathroom would anyone notice?

Listening to everyone’s strongest memory it was my turn. This is what I said/wrote:

“The Christmas in which I remember most was Christmas 2013. It was the last Christmas that Emily was able to come home she was pregnant with Thea, everyone was home and it was the last Christmas we had Grandma before we lost her a month later.”

As I sat up late Christmas night I realized would I have done anything different if I had known that was my last* Christmas? (*When I say last I mean the last Christmas of my childhood.)
Which makes me wonder am I prepared for things to be my last? I’m in good health and I’m relatively young but life changes in the ordinary instant. Which means I’m building up the memories of my last.
First off. My last meal. Realistically my last meal will be one that I’m too sick to eat/and/or be one that I will throw up. So I have decided that my last meal so to speak will be all the family dinners, the wonderful meals eaten in cities which none of friends live, and tasting things for the first time.
After having that morbid thought I thought to myself what are the things I most enjoy in life? What are sixteen things I can look forward to next year?

Here’s my list:

11.My family.
22. Spontaneous trips to cities I’ve never been.

33. Driving over the bridge to the house in Sun Valley in Fall and seeing the trees lit up in the various hues of red, gold and amber.

44. Spring. Mainly that magical moment when it is finally warm enough to open your windows and air out all the despair and stale air of winter. Also after finishing your spring cleaning and reading a new book and smelling spring come.

55. A bottle of regular coke and floating in the pool in Summer reading People magazine.

66. Eating dinner with friends in cities we don’t live and probably will never be in again.

77. Fresh clean sheets. Oh is there nothing more delicious than when you finally are able to get all comfortable in your bed after a long day of cleaning and enjoying a freshly made bed that’s your own?

88. Taking a bath with a really good story.

89. Sitting on the beach in the late afternoon in Maui under an umbrella and watching the sun play on the ocean.

110.         My grandpa’s stories.**blogpost coming soon on where I learned the art of story**.

111.         Flying in a double or single prop plane and looking out over the mountains, people, and that sense of being in the middle between sky and earth. It’s a rare feeling and it’s hard to describe.

112.         Thanksgiving dinner.
113.         Ice cream.

114.         Rain.

115.         The quiet hush of the first real snow fall. Walking out late at night when no one is around, traffic is quiet and listening to that peaceful quiet. The rare quiet of nature. No phones, no dings, no loud music, just absolute and peaceful quiet.

116.         Laughter.

What are your sixteen things you look forward to? Or sixteen things that have been positive in this last year? 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Winter 1

“How much can a heart and a troubled mind take?
       Where is that fine line before it all breaks?”
              -Dolly Parton 

I hate winter.

I’ve tried making peace with it. Yet as I’m writing this I can’t feel my toes, which for a fat person causes a great amount of panic because you start worrying that the diabetus has finally appeared.
Winter is my least favorite season because everything dies. All color gets sucked out and for us Utahans the inversion hits and it becomes nothing but grey.

I’ve been feeling a little disconnected and frustrated so I went out for a walk in the mountains to reconnect. I had my I-pod on shuffle as one does and Max Richter’s Recomposed Vivaldi’s Four Season Spring 0 and One came on. I relate to this album because on how it came about. From an interview with Classic FM

How did the idea for the piece come about?
When I was a young child I fell in love with Vivaldi's original, but over the years, hearing it principally in shopping centres, advertising jingles, on telephone hold systems and similar places, I stopped being able to hear it as music; it had become an irritant - much to my dismay! So I set out to try to find a new way to engage with this wonderful material, by writing through it anew - similarly to how scribes once illuminated manuscripts - and thus rediscovering it for myself. I deliberately didn't want to give it a modernist imprint but to remain in sympathy and in keeping with Vivaldi's own musical language.

How does this relate to winter? Because I’m choosing to look at it a new perspective. 2016 was the year that I started laying the ground work for change. If I had known that I would be spending so much money on self-help books in my thirties I would have joined Amazon prime years ago.

I am tired of spinning the story of how damaged I am and what I want, what I’m not getting, why certain situations are impossible, what I wish would happen, why it’s too late etc..and I usually end with I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!
Which why this winter as I was starting my usual story of damage this voice yelled at me from deep within me.START KNOWING.

Start knowing? Start knowing what? So I wrote it down in my journal. I gave the sentence a voice. What it said to me was: Look stop pretending you don’t know what to do. You’ve read so many self-help books, attended classes and exhausted your friends with the same boring sob story. Either you really want to change or you want to martyr to your story of I can’t but you know what to do. Start knowing! 

As Max said when he had stopped hearing the music and found it as irritation so have I become with wanting to change my life. What I wanted and what I was doing were two different things. With all the self help books I've read this last year I've noticed a trend that most people have the solution within themselves but are too afraid or have become attached to the feeling of they can't to move forward. I want to move forward.Cause I'm tired of martyring.  It's boring and people tend to give me odd looks at parties. 

So 2017's theme is to Start Knowing. This winter is going to give way to a beautiful spring. Both outside and physically. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I'd Like To Be You For A Day

 “And the Moon’s never seen me before..
          But I’m reflecting light.”
                        -Sam Philips

I’ve been absent from social media. (**This is not one of those self-righteous posts where I bemoan social media and then go on a major liking cat pictures on Facebook spree and clog up your wall post. **) I’ve had to go in hiding because A. So much ranting. B. So much Trump. Oh gosh. So much Trump. C. I couldn’t take another round of I’m thankful for post.

I needed a moment to reflect on myself and see myself truthfully without a shiny Instagram filter to project a false sense of togetherness. By togetherness I mean that my life is together and that I had answers.

Cause in reality I’m a big broken mess. But so are you. So is everyone. Even Oprah. Heck I’m sure that when Martha Stewart was knitting ponchos in a federal prison felt a little low. It’s that lowness that messiness that proves the proof of our creation. The only absolute truth I know right now is that I’m child of God. I’m flawed. I’m imperfect. Yet I know I made of the same matter that made stars, mountains, trees, and water. The foundation of life. This is the label that I’m choosing to define me only. Earlier this year I was drowning in a mass of who am I? What am I? How am I doing? And where am I going?

To find my answer I sat down at two thirty in the morning and wrote out all the labels I had thought of and labels that had been applied to me on note cards. Just simple words. Brother, son, fat, angry, tired, hard worker etc. I dug deep. At the end of this activity I took all 400 cards and I laid them in a spiral with me in the middle. Standing up and looking at all these cards I found myself drowning in ideas, misconceptions and outdated ideas. After looking at all of them the only one that glowed that made me feel at peace was I’m a child of God.

Why just this label? Cause it’s the label I was born into when I came into this life and it is the label I will carry with me on the way out.  
I’ve wasted so much time judging myself, comparing myself to others, worrying about what I was doing where the world is going etc. I felt as if I had been baptized again. Wiped clean.

There have been four different endings to this post. Each one sounding more and more self-righteous. Here’s the best way I can sum this up. Clean out your labels, find one that resonates with you and start fresh. Oh and #lightoftheworld.