Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Better Self

Last year, at this time, I decided I had lost me.  So I really put some thought into what I could do to find me again.

In case you are wondering, or if you have lost yourself in all your other roles, let me tell you something.  More than a few tears were shed trying to find myself again.  It required an honest look into reality, a realization of all the things that I easily dismissed, and it was outrageously a little scary, putting myself out there like that, even if it was only to myself.

But the other end is fun and exciting and full of tremendous possibilities beyond what I had ever dreamed. 

Last year's resolutions for me were summed up in one word - LOVE.

I told myself I was going to do what I loved.  I was going to remember what I had loved before and do that again.  I was going to make the most of the time I had with those I loved.  And I was going to figure out how to love myself.

Best. Resolution. Ever.

So now what?  I was thinking about that when I found this quote by Neil Gaiman and decided it was my new motto for 2012.

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

I hope this happens for you too.
What are your plans to make next year better than last?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tis the Season

Recently on Twitter, people have been talking about their Christmas favorites - songs, books, movies, etc.  So, I thought it would be fun to share a few of mine. 

I like this one so much, you get to hear my two favorite versions.

Favorite Christmas movies are Little Women (maybe it's cheating, but I don't care)


Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Polar Express

And I still laugh over this one

Finally - books.

What are yours?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's Important

What are you?  I mean, when you sit down and think about how you would describe yourself, what would you say?  And how do you feel about your answer? 

I have a couple answers to that question.  These are not in order of importance in my life - probably more in the order of how much time is spent with them.

1.  I am a teacher.  I love my job.  I get to work with teens who are on the precipice of the rest of their lives, many trying to decide how to best prepare themselves for the adventure ahead.  I push them, encourage them, teach them responsibility and have a grand time laughing and teasing with them in the process.  I have really enjoyed the group of kids I have this year, inspite of some of their decisions, the new challenges thrown at teachers in our district and everything.

2.  I am a mom.  I'm having so much fun with my kids.  They are getting old enough where my role isn't as much the daily hands-on survival thing and more the encourage, motivate, assist, discuss phase.  We cang et out and do fun things, and since we moved into town, I have seen these kids develop social skills and friendships that I wondered if they could ever truly have.  I have seen the joy in their lives from successes in a school where they are thriving, developing their individual talents, realizing life isn't always playing but that happiness can still be found through the work.

3.  I am a writer.  I recently read that saying I was an aspiring writer was basically shooting myself in the foot.  It's like being an aspiring mom or wife or teacher - if it is something just aspired to, it is given the opportunity to stay a wish or a dream.  I am attending a conference in May where I signed up to have experienced authors assist in improving my current novel, pitch it to a literary agent and take two days of classes that will help improve my writing, take it to the next level both in what I am able to write and getting it out of my hands and into the hands of readers.  I aspired for three years - no more.

4.  I am a wife.  I ADORE my husband.  We are connecting, figuring things out, improving our communication and have both reprioritized our lives with the intent to make each other more importnat.  Yes, we still have our individual pursuits, but in some ways, I think that is what has helped strengthen our relationship.  I can honestly say that in my marriage, I am the happiest I have ever been (12 1/2 years if you are wondering).

That's it.  I am for things.  Do I do other tasks, have other jobs, etc?  Of course - we all do.  But if any of those things are getting in the way of these four, I cut frivolous things to take care of that ASAP and get back to these four.  I quit trying to be everything to everyone - it's just not feasible - really.  If you don't believe me - trust her...

“We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.” -Marjorie Hinckley

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Doing Better

It has been brought to my attention (okay I already knew) that I have been neglecting this blog in favor of the other one.  Funny thing - it's actually another two.  There is my writing/author blog and then my critique group has a writing blog too.  I post on mine M/W/F and the group one every other Tuesday, but I can do better over here.

I am going to shoot to write on this one Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I think that is manageable and I have lots of things that I have thought I needed to blog about but just didn't quite get to, so please know I plan to follow through with my promise. 

In the meantime...

Some of you may have heard of The Piano Guys - lots of people have heard of Jon Schmidt, but he teamed up with Steven Sharp Nelson in the recent future and they make lots of cool videos. 

This one has been circulating the internet and is well worth the time.  I hope that the enjoyment you get from this will make up for the neglect.