No One Likes a Quitter

And yet… I’m afraid that I’m quitting Reverb 10, just one week in.  Rather than a thoughtful look back on 2010, it felt to me like an obligation and a chore. I don’t feel like I’m putting the energy into it that it requires and I fear that I may be disrespecting Reverb 10 and all of the wonderful people participating.  With that in mind, I’ll be humbly stepping away.

But don’t cry! Instead of following the daily Reverb 10 prompts, I’ll do my bet to give you something else.  Before the end of 2010, I’d like to talk about the following:

  • this year’s trip to St. Maarten (from October!)
  • the crazy pushpin project I’m working on
  • my new favorite TV show
  • the chickens (a winter update)
  • some of the new things I’ve been sewing
  • my new, new camera (can you believe I haven’t told you about that yet?)
  • a couple of new recipes I’ve been enjoying
  • my favorite websites of 2010
  • and HOPEFULLY, if I’m on top of things, I’d love to end the year with my 2010 in Pictures video. We’ll have to wait and see about that one…

So what do you think?  Will you forgive me for being a quitter?

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Reverb 10: Beautifully Different

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

Can I just start with a big ‘ol “UGH”.  Seriously, you’re going to make me brag about myself?  OK, you asked for it.

The biggest thing that I believe makes me different is the same irritating thing that drives me to distraction and makes my husband crazy when we’re out in public.  I notice the details.  All of the details.  Little details from your pictures hanging crooked to the subtle clues you’re giving off telling me that you’re unhappy or uncomfortable.  Sometimes this makes me that crazy lady straightening the coffee display at Starbucks while she waits for her latte, but mostly I try to use my super detail-noticing powers for good.

I remember when you mention that you like peonies and the color purple. I see that you keep shifting your eyes toward the stereo, silently telling me that the music is too loud.  I remember when you mention that you want someone to send you and Edible Arrangement someday.  I notice when you’re trying to be discreet about not eating something I served and try to offer you something else instead.  Basically, I try to be a kind and supportive friend/sister/daughter/coworker by noticing what makes you beautifully different.

But I also straighten the bottles of soap and hand lotion on your bathroom counter because that really drives me crazy.

So what do you think?  Do my powers of noticing “light you up”?

Reverb 10: Community

December 7: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I know that I sound like I’m mocking Reverb 10, but please understand that I am not. I’m just not typically the inner-gaze, reflecting-on-the-magic-of-my-year type of person. I am trying my best to respond to the prompts honestly, but sometimes it’s just not a subject that I can (or want) to talk about.  For instance, today…

I can’t say that I have discovered any sort of community in 2010, but in all honesty, I haven’t been looking. I tend to be a loner; groups scare me, they make me feel inferior and so very uncool.  I’m sure this is some sort of high school insecurity that I should work through, but honestly, I enjoy my company so I’m not in a hurry to change everything and start joining groups anytime soon.

Facebook is the largest group that I’m a part of and even Facebook gives me the hives.  Worrying about joining a virtual online community of former classmates and somewhat friends who I haven’t connected with in nearly 13 years makes me anxious, so why would I try to join a group where people can look me in the face and turn me down? (Clearly I need medication.)

Despite that, the is one community that I do want to be a part of, and that is hoopers.  Hula hoopers.  I’ve written about my love for hula hoops before, and Santa-willing, I might actually get an adult-sized hula hoop under (around?) the Christmas tree this year.  But I’ll be hooping alone in my house.  I’ll join the hooping community in my mind because truly, I prefer it that way.

Check out this video from hooping.org.  I’ll be like this guy hooping out on the streets alone (minus the stipping down to my undies – although that’s impressive skill to be able to walk, dance, hoop, and take off a pair of pants at the same time).

So how about you?  Join any communities this year?  Have any to recommend to an anxiety-prone shut-in with a love for hula hoops?

Reverb 10 Roundup: Moment/Wonder/Let Go/Make

This post is from the Reverb 10 series, you can learn more about it and why I’m participating by reading this post.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

(sigh…) Not to sound cynical, but I feel alive every day.  I can’t point to a time I felt more or less “alive”.  Can I say “at peace” instead?  Looking through my Flickr pictures (which is really the only way I can remember my year at all) I think I felt most at peace on the early morning in April that Luke and I woke up at the Union Bluff Hotel in Maine, grabbed cups of coffee and our warm clothes, and went for a walk on York Beach while the sun came up.  It was cold and crisp and the wind was blowing in off the ocean. My feet were freezing and our coffees got cold quickly, but the view was amazing.  Except for a passing local or two, we were alone on the beach and it was just glorious.  Here’s the picture.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I don’t want to be a Reverb 10 downer, but I can’t answer a question like this.  The motivational, self-help speak makes my skin crawl. The word “wonder” goes into the allergy category along with “manifest”.  I’m sorry.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I let go of this blog once or three times.  There were several times this year when the internet felt like a very judgmental, unkind place and I wasn’t interested in sharing my life and investing my time in something that wasn’t making me feel very good about the world.  I’m still not sure I feel like sharing to the extent that I used to, as can be seen in these somewhat pathetic answers to the Reverb 10 questions, but I’m trying.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Hahahaha…I’m sorry, this is funny to me because I’ve been making around the clock in preparation for last weekend’s Holiday Sale.  I’ve been making instead of sleeping (hence the crazy-laughing).  I can tell you exactly, that the last thing I made was a tiny tissue pack cover made with camouflage fabric and I finished sewing it at 1:40am on Saturday.  There are a few things that I want to make for Christmas presents this year and I was just waiting for the holiday sale to be over with in order to make them.  I’d tell you about them but then I might ruin the surprise.

OK, fine.

This would be Amanda’s fault.  She’s been badgering me to blog more and she’s been all joiny and show-offy lately, just having completed NaBloPoMo, and now starting Reverb 10.  Since I want to be cool like Amanda (who doesn’t?) I decided to throw my hat into the Reverb 10 game, too.  (Is that even a proper idiom? I think I’m mixing my sayings. Oh well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.)

So…dum da da duuuummm!  I am joining Reverb 10.  (Although I’m allergic to the word “manifest”) the goal of Reverb 10 is, “…to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we’ll do both.”  Each day a new prompt is posted on the Reverb 10 site, a subject to blog about, tweet, or otherwise respond to.  I will do my best to respond to them all, and since I missed yesterday, I’ll do double duty today.

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 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 2011 for you?

2010’s word would be CHANGE.  Holy smokes did everything change in 2010 – and not just for me, but for everyone I know.  My job changed immensely, Luke’s job changed back to 3rd shift, and then back to whatever you call the crazy shift he’s on now.  My sister had to buy two new cars, we bought two motorcycles and two quads (then sold one quad), I got chickens, several friends lost their jobs, I pierced my nose, other friends had new babies, and so many other minute, little changes happened that all added up to a giant shift in everything.  It’s been a weird, slightly uncomfortable year, trying to get used to all of the change, but so far, so good.

I would like for 2011’s word to be HAPPINESS.  Not the sappy, vapid, greeting card happy.  The big, contented sigh happy.  I’d like to be happy with where I am, with how things are, with the way I look, with what I do, and with the things I have.  I want to stop fighting for more and just be happy with this.  This is enough.

December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

Can I cop out and just say “not writing”?  Honestly, I’m not trying to be a writer or improve my writing and I write so much at work with the press releases and grant proposals and Facebook posts and Twitter updates that I’m all worded out most days.  Sadly, no, I cannot eliminate this, but I suppose that Reverb 10 will encourage (or force) me to write more for and about me, so I suppose that’s good.

So there you go – days one and two.  Check back for more, and consider joining Reverb 10 yourself.  Are you happy now, AMANDA?