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I know that I haven’t done much posting in the last year or so, but something is compelling me to write today. (Stolen from Rhi.)

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I got laid off. I bought a car all by myself. I got a dog. I drank Chartreuse (I think I’ve had 7 shots this year… bleeccccch). I went to a Braves’ playoff game. I went skiing in Park City. I went to baseball Spring Training in Orlando.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t really remember my New Year’s resolutions, save for not drinking myself into oblivion on New Year’s Day… oh, and staying far, far away from Pine Sol (which I am apparently allergic to).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my coworkers had her first baby, and within a week, another was pregnant. But no one in my close circle of friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?
No new countries this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you didn’t have in 2010?
Less money spent on my house and more in savings.

7. What dates from 2010 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
My 30th birthday. My nephew’s 1st birthday. Buying my car and driving it to Athens, convertible top down and two friends partying with me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
After being laid off, having the confidence to go after a job I really wanted and really enjoy. And also standing up for myself in a very difficult relationship situation.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting the high school-ness of my old job get to me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Found out I was allergic to pine oil. A couple bouts of stomach flu. And a surprise root canal.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My dog, Sophie. She is the light of my life and keeps me centered. (It’s hard to let your ego run too far when you’re the one cleaning up dog poo.)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My girls… Lana, Rhonda and Sara. They have gotten me through some very trying situations.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My dad’s mother and sister. They managed to cut him out of the will in a way that almost kept my dad from having a relationship with his brother. The sister, in particular, is a total manipulative bitch, and she would do well to avoid me, as there are things that I want to say to her (and my dad is too nice to do so).

14. Where did most your money go?
My house, my car, and probably clothes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My 30th birthday!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” – it was my birthday song. And “Get Low” by Lil’ Jon – if you’ve never heard it in bluegrass form, you’re missing out!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Happier. I know who I am, and I like this person.
b) Probably about the same. Though I’d like that to go towards the thinner side in the very near future.
c) Richer in total net worth, but poorer with discretionary funds.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising. I miss the feeling of accomplishment that I got from working out.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Drinking. Though it’s been fun the last few months, it has definitely derailed my exercising efforts.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve was dinner and presents at my parents’ house, then Christmas Day was at my sister and her boyfriend’s house. I came home early Christmas Day to avoid the snow/ice, and ordered Chinese and watched “Easy A”.

21. Did you fall in love with 2010?
With my puppy. And I might be falling again… but 2011 will be telling.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Top Chef All Stars. And Grey’s Anatomy… I can’t quit that show. And Walking Dead.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I hate my dad’s sister more than I did previously.

24. What was the best book you read?
I didn’t really spend that much time reading this year. Which is sad, and unlike me.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My buddy Wes Cook’s album “New Ground” was the perfect music for Labor Day weekend at the lake.

26. What did you want and get?
A puppy, a new car, a Keurig coffee maker, more time with my grandfather.

27. What did you want and not get?
My dad’s family to treat him (and us) better. A certain someone to figure his shit out.

28. What was your favorite film of 2010?
The Town.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was the big 30th birthday. Week-long celebration, with highlights:
– Crazy-bitch Bingo with my coworkers
– Official celebration at Diesel, then Metalsome Karaoke, where I debuted a new song for the list (“You Oughta Know”), then running around Kroger and a birthday cake at 4am
– Celebration the day before/wee-hours into the morning with an ice cream cake at Diesel, a ridiculous amount of shots, and making it home around 5am before a 9am massage

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My travel time. Starting the new job kinda put a damper on traveling.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2010?
Didn’t really have a personal fashion concept. I wear what I feel is comfortable and looks good on me. I probably started wearing more dresses at work. (And thanks to Slynnro for some fabulous shoes!)

32. What kept you sane?
My friends. Particularly Lana, Rhonda and Sara.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Thank goodness it’s gone. And healthcare reform. That has sparked a lot of conversation in my family.

34. Who did you miss?
My grandmother, every day.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
My new coworkers, particularly my boss.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Stay true to myself. Don’t compromise on what is truly important to me.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“You’ve Got a Friend” – because I am so thankful to have amazing ones.

When your down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
And you know whereever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby
To see you again.
Winter, spring , summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You’ve got a freind.

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
And soon I will be knocking upon your door.

You just call out my name and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, Spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?

People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you.
Well they’ll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don’t you know that,
Winter Spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you’ve got to do is call.
Lord, I’ll be there, yes I will.
You’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend.

Day 04: Something You Have to Forgive Someone For

I sat down to write this on my original subject, and realized, as I wrote it out, I wasn’t ready to forgive. Even though the objective of this series isn’t to fix it, but to reflect, I just know that I’m not ready to put it all out there.

In lieu of that, here are those things I have to forgive that I am ready:

  • I need to forgive my parents for my sister being so much younger, forcing me to be the built-in babysitter, and therefore, forced to grow up and be responsible much earlier than I was ready for.
  • I need to forgive my best friend for our major fight when we were in Auburn. We were both wrong, we both know that, and I am truly sorry for my contribution to that.
  • I need to forgive my sister for not calling and hanging out with me more often – she is in college, and I quickly forget how much I wanted to be off on my own at that age.
  • I need to forgive my body for not being perfect – even though I have spine ailments that most people don’t deal with until they’re in their 60s, it still works hard for me.

Day 03: Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For

I have 11 years of guilt stored up in my heart. And that is a long time to carry guilt of any kind.

On July 11, 1999, I was getting ready to go to work. I was in a rush. And when my grandfather called to talk to me, and ask me about the family vacation to the beach we had just returned home from, I told him I was really busy and asked if I could call him later. “Of course,” he said, “Love you.” I hung up without another thought and went about my day.

The next morning, I walked into the kitchen to grab a banana and head out for work, when I saw my mom on the phone, pale with worry. I raised an eyebrow to her. And as she placed her palm over the receiver to mouth “Papa has had a heart attack; he’s in the hospital,” the guilt set in.

I immediately regretted not spending the time on the phone with him the day prior. I made myself a promise that, as soon as he was out of the hospital, I would spend the first available moment to just sit with him, talk with him, give him some of my time.

That chance never came. He passed away before we made it to the hospital. He was one week shy of his 72nd birthday. And one week post a clean bill of health from his doctor. The only blessing I can take from it all was that he died doing one of his favorite things – working on the farm.

And it also reminded me that there is nothing in this world you can take for granted. As cheesy as it is, every moment that you have with your loved ones is one to treasure.

Seven years later, I was given a do-over, of sorts. My mom called me on a Friday afternoon to let me know that my grandmother (her mother) was in hospice and not doing very well. Without hesitating, I told my boss that I was leaving town, went home, packed, and jumped on the first available flight at 5am the next morning.

I got to her bedside that Saturday afternoon. I immediately told her that I loved her. She looked up at me, smiled and said, “I love you too, sweetheart.” Those were the last words she said. And every day, I am thankful that I had that moment with her – she knew, that no matter what, I loved her.

I have to forgive myself.

Day 02: Something You Love About Yourself

While the subject for yesterday’s post wasn’t difficult to come up with, today’s isn’t coming as naturally. (Considering how much I complain, it makes sense, right?)

But here goes: I love my faith in my own creative process.

Be it baking, painting, writing, cooking, whatever, I always believe that I can execute it amazingly. Even if the end result doesn’t reflect that. But going into the process, I’m excited to start and plan and think about how I’m going to bring life to the project. I write down all of the steps, the materials that I need, I can envision how it is all going to play out, and then sketch it on various papers, napkins, etc. My enthusiasm to start any given project is unwavering, and inspiring, and exciting, and contagious…

Of course, the antithesis to this is that I love the planning process, but I don’t always follow-through. In fact, I have two unfinished paintings sitting in my living room as we speak. And a list of recipes that I cannot wait to try, but haven’t yet.

Either way, I love that I’m always excited for something new.

I was reading kdiddy’s post on this today, and it inspired me to just start typing. One of my biggest challenges is if I don’t write on a regular basis, I let it slip. So, with that, here is the first post. (The other days are at the bottom of this post, should you want to participate as well.)

Day 01: Something You Hate About Yourself.

It is actually hard for me to write something in this space. And don’t take that in the “I’m-so-awesome-I’m-perfect” kind of way… because it is not at all the case. And I’m not going to say that there are so many things that I hate about myself – while my self esteem isn’t always the best, it certainly isn’t that tenuous.

Really, it comes down to the fact that admitting something here makes it real. Permanent. Out there for the worldfew readers I have to see. And that is scary.

But here it is: I am a complainer. I complain. A LOT.

There are a lot of things that piss me off in life. I can get irritated easily. And it is not only seemingly the preferred method of communication within groups of my friends, but of my generation. We call it bitching. Venting. But ultimately, it is complaining. Whining.

And it gets annoying.

I’m not going to sit here and say that I have nothing to bitch about. Traffic in Atlanta sucks. There will always be bills to pay. The bad guy doesn’t always get his due. And unfortunate shit happens, yes, even to the best of people.

But at the end of the day, I have so much more to be thankful for in my life. When I’m down, I can allow myself the moment of irritation/wallowing/venting/whathaveyou, but I need to learn to get over it quickly, rather than feeling the urge to tell EVERYONE about it, thereby extending my complaining phase far beyond it’s statute of limitations.

I need to celebrate what I do have – amazing friends and family, an adorable puppy, a beautiful home, and a job that allows me to enjoy a lot of things in life.

—–

Day 01 Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Once.

Once was a time when
I beamed when I saw you.
My heart leapt to hear yours beating near.
My skin tingled with possibility.

Once was a place where
I felt safe in your arms.
My fears went away for awhile.
My love was reciprocated.

Once was a time when
You told me you loved me.
Your promises were forever.
Your heart was my everything.

Once was a place where
You protected my heart.
Your arms held me with passion.
Your love wrapped around me.

Now
Once is not a time I recognize.
Once is not a place I can find.

I’m not the most enthusiastic person when it comes to Valentine’s Day. CB and I don’t do anything of particular importance, as we both hate crowds, overpriced food and cheesy attempts at fake romance (or “faux-mance” as we call it). But we do honor the holiday in our own special way. I cook at home.

Now, for those who know me, that isn’t something particularly ground-breaking. I cook a lot.

But for Valentine’s Day, I try to step it up a bit and put my own twist on everything.

Tonight on the menu?
– Roasted salmon (currently marinating in the fridge)
– Lemon risotto with shallots
– Roasted asparagus
– Tiramisu, layered with heart-shaped strawberries

Now, the funny thing during this was making the tiramisu. One of my (and CB’s) favorite desserts, and so easy to put together. I grabbed everything out of the fridge/pantry for assembly, and realized I was out of instant coffee. (I don’t own a coffee-maker, so I keep instant coffee on hand for the few uses I need coffee for cooking. I don’t drink the stuff.)

Fortunately, I needed a few other things at the grocery store anyway, so it was no big deal for me to run and get it.

Upon returning, I poured cold water into my measuring cup, popped the top off the coffee, spooned in a few heaping teaspoons… and realized I had purchased coffee grounds. NOT instant coffee crystals.

FAIL.

But! I am an ingenious little bugger, and was determined to make it work without another trip to the grocery store.

I stirred the coffee into the water, stuck it in the microwave for a few minutes, let it steep… and then I realized that coffee grounds in tiramisu was not a pleasing thought.

You’d think I would just throw my hands up and grab my keys. But no. Recalling a technique from the holiday limoncello, I grabbed a thin kitchen towel, suspended it over another bowl, and used that as a makeshift filter.

Because I? Am awesome.

I hope CB understands how much work went into his dinner tonight. Otherwise, I might have to eat the tiramisu all by myself.

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