Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Reverb10 - Project Finished

Since 2010 is officially over I'll post my full entry for the reverb10 project. Reverb10 was to write every day a little something on a topic that was supplied by other writers. Here is everything I wrote in December.

(sorry if some of the questions are messed up but the tool I used doesn't always export correctly)
December 1, One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you‚ are choosing that word. Now, imagine it‚ is one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

2010's word would have to be FIRE. I know that to most people having a house fire might seem like something about stuff. But, for us the house fire was about change. It brought into perspective the things that are important. What we really care about, and really how little things mean. It made us both thinks that we can do without a lot and we can and will focus on living a simpler life. I always turn back to the difference of living well versus better. Better meaning more things and well meaning with the things you have but enjoying everything in its turn. I hope that the world fire drops from our vocabulary as we move into 2011. I hope that 2011's word is growth. I hope that we can look back on 2010 and realize all the things we have accomplished, what we have learned and how we have changed.

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

To write I have to focus. I have to sit at the computer or with pen and paper and have nothing else going on. No music. No tv. No talking. Really no noise. It is as if I need a little bubble for my creative juices to come out. I must eliminate distractions if I am to write.

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

I could easily pick the moment I entered out house to find it filled with soot and smoke - but that wouldn't been when I felt most alive or something that brings the strongest positive emotion. When we got off the train in the small college town in South Korea and Mike jumped onto a bus. I was standing there. No maps, no idea of where anything was and no way to communicate with anyone. I had no idea what direction to walk or even where to find the simplest of things. I felt my nerve ending prick. My hair felt heavy even though I could see my breath. It was cold out. My stomach felt upset with nerves and I thought, "How will I ever find my way around." I decided to pick a direction and start walking. I picked the exact opposite direction from where I needed to be. I found this out once I finally ran into a person and spoke with her about where the city center was. The smell of fast food, Korean style, was over powering to my nervous stomach. I thought for a moment I might be sick. But, it passed. Once I had a general direction I just started walking. What was nerves turned into excitement and happiness. Finding what you are looking for without having your hand held is so liberating.

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

Wonder is something that as I child I had a ton of and I'm not sure it has ever gone away. I let the world around me surprise me. The kindness of strangers, neighbors, blogger buddies. The love of my spouse. I let wonder be something that is cherished and never abandoned. When it rains here in the high mountains of the Southwest I go up to our ski hill, which is forested, and run on the trails. I do it because of wonder. The smells of the damp ground. The mushrooms emerging from under leafs. I take it all in and let it wash over me with it drizzly hand. I've been told that I act like a child sometimes and I will always take it as a complement. Wonder at the world around you!

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

This year I let go of a great amount of fear. I would never admit it to the outside world openly. But, there has always been a bit of honest that I keep to myself. I am outgoing, straightforward and maybe even a bit abrasive. But, there are a few things about me that I hold in tight because of fear. Fear that I can't move forward with them. Fear that I'll be judged. I decided this past year to just let go and move on. The feeling of acceptance has been overwhelming. I now feel like my path, my road is on track.

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?

The last thing I made was a neck warmer for a dear friend. I enjoy making things with my hands. Working with fibers and fabrics. I'm a very tactile person and the feel of even paper or pen on paper will either inspire me to create or block me completely. I have been making some wonderful progress on cleaning out my stash of fabrics and yarn this year. I hope to continue it into 2011.

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?

In 2010 I have become more active on Ravelry and with Twitter. I always thought Twitter was just for quick statements about ones self, but I now see that there is a community of people from all over the world that are nice, friendly and caring. On Ravelry I've started a few groups and have met and befriended people who I now call dear friends. I'm not sure for 2011. We'll have to see what the new year holds. Maybe Flickr?

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‚Would find they‚ what make you beautiful.

I'm a very outgoing person and have the ability to create conversations where maybe one doesn't exist. Just this past week at a Christmas party there was a post-doc who was standing off by himself eating alone. I just walked up to him and started chatting. Sometime I think people can find it a bit abrasive but it is just how I am. I'm not sure I know anyone else that feels this need to make everyone feel a part of a community.

December 9 ‚ Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

While living in the ghetto this past summer we had a wine tasting party. The small apartment was filled with all of our friends and some family. The wines were interesting and they were paired with foods. In particular I remember a luscious red that we paired with ginger snap cookies. The combination was incredible. The small kitchen was so full that you couldn't move. The temperature was well over 90 degrees and we were all dripping with sweat as we moved from wine to wine. The party was incredible because of the diversity of the people and the conversations. As we opened the 14 bottle I remember smiling and thinking that no evening could be better.

December 10 ‚ Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Wisest decision? This is a hard question. I don't normally think about the choices I make after I make them. I normally just make them and go, seems like an easier way to live. So far I could say that getting chickens has been a great decision. They are calming, fun and more relaxing than you would think.

December 11 ‚ 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

11 things I don't need. Wow, what a good question. #1. Negativity. I think that there is just too much negativity at work. In 2011 I will try to only see positive aspects of co-workers. #2. Sweets at work. I'm a stress eater. If I have something due or I'm really under the gun I will eat chocolate. I need a healthier approach to stress. I'll try stretching instead of eating in 2011. #3. More stuff. I really don't need more stuff. As a matter of fact I need a lot less. I'm going to do 333 and also try to decrease our household carbon-footprint. #4. High maintenance friends. I have a few and I think I will just be unavailable this year. #5. Wasted Evenings. After a hard day I normally just want to put my feet up and sit on the couch. In 2011 I'll work to make the most of each evening. I can't find 11 - so my five will have to do.

December 12 ‚ Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

I also feel most integrated with my body while rock climbing or biking. Rock climbing because each move is thought out and might push my physical form past what I normally can do. Biking because I love the fast feeling of the world outside me and I have to be on my toes to remember that there are cars everywhere. I love the burning in my lungs when it is cold out and I peddle fast and hard.

December 13 ‚ Action. When it comes to aspirations, it‚ is not about ideas. It‚ is about making ideas happen. What‚ is your next step?

I find action to be pretty easy. I get an idea and move with it, what I find hard is the follow through. Maybe my action need tuning or tweaking to make it perfect. This follow on action is what I really should be focused on.

December 14 ‚ Appreciate. What‚ is the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

Mike. Flat out it would be Mike. We both work and stay focused on not loosing our appreciation for the other. I believe that once you do, things go south. One person feels like they are doing more. One person feels less than valued. These are things that you should never feel in a relationship - but that you must work on to make sure that the other person does know that you are grateful for all the things they do.

December 15 ‚ 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Things I want to remember about 2010? There aren't events if that is what the world is thinking. I will not list out the top 10 things that we did or saw or read. 2010 was a struggle. A tough year that made both Mike and I see things in a different light. Most people who talked to us day in and day out as we rebuilt our life noticed that there was a calm about us. This calm did not come easily. It didn't stick day to day. It was something that we had to reaffirm to each other most evenings while we laid in bed pissed about the floors or windows or whatever. I had friends tell me that they would have just gotten divorced instead of dealing with the insurance, construction, and permitting hell that we had to deal with. We decided to embrace the shittyness of the situation and have it be us slowing walking towards the finish line, instead of a battle. 2010 made us stronger people.

December 16 ‚ Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

When I was in high school I had pen-pals. I love them. I had one in Japan and one in Germany. I liked hearing about their world through letters. Over time pen-pals fall to the side. But, this past year I've found blog-pals. Blog-pals are the modern definition of a pen-pal. Someone you haven't meet but that you know and you are friends with because of blogs or something online that pulls you together. I have found that blog-pals are always there. They are online just like me. They think like me and we have more in common than a lot of people whom I see every day. I'm not saying that blog-pals can replace friends or friendship in the real world, but that they serve a purpose and fill a gap that needs filling. I'm very grateful for all of my blog-pals and the friendship they give!

December 17 ‚ Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I really have learned that less is more. From March 8 - July 8 we lived with a few outfits, some books, the cats and our love. What more does a person need? NOTHING is what I learned. Nothing at all.

December 18 ‚ Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

In 2010 I wanted to try and run more. I did get a lot more running in, although none of the races I wanted to do did I get in. In 2011 I'm taking a wider approach. In 2011 I want to focus on a sound body and soul. I want to be strong and healthy for all the right reasons.

December 19 ‚ Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

This is an interesting question. I can only think of one thing that was healed in 2010. A small scare that finally went away. It isn't something I would talk about to anyone out there. Only Mike knows about it and we keep it that way. It was a slow healing process. I find that healing of any kind seems to take forever. I see the scab each day and want to pick it off but know that if I do it will take twice as long to heal. I'm not the most patient person and healing is one of those things that takes patience!

December 20 ‚ Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing?

This past year I made a change that I've always wanted. Always secretly wanted and never told anyone, not even Mike. I told Mike, changed and haven't looked back. I finally admitted what it was and just did it. It wasn't easy. It was something I hid and didn't share with anyone. I finally realized that if I really wanted to make the change I couldn't do it alone. I feel more open and freer. I had never noticed that I kept it locked up or that I didn't share it with Mike. It was just there. Always in the back of my mind. Sharing something like this has made me realize how much I love and need Mike.

December 21 ‚ Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?

My advice would be pay attention. Details matter and are important. All the little things add up to big things. PAY ATTENTION!

December 22 ‚ Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

2010 was a fun year for travel. We went to Korea, Japan at the start of the year and a little work travel. In 2011 I'd like to spend more time with Mike traveling. My plan will be to spend more time with him.

December 23 ‚ New Name Let‚ is meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

Abigael. It is an old family name and I've always loved it. I think I could be a good Abigael.

December 24 Prompt ‚Is Everything‚ OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

I've started noticing and paying close attention to the little moments. The moments when we are sitting in the hot tub after a long hard day and relaxing. The moments where nothing is happening and yet everything is perfect. I've started to take notice of them. I mentally note the perfect ness of the moment. I think life might be made up more of these than of larger moments.

December 25, Photo ‚is a present to yourself Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words.

I'll have to dig through the photos to find one of me. I'm sure in any photo I pick I'm making a strange face or doing something odd. Why? Because being serious on film has always been an issue for me. I rather make a face than just smile.

December 26 ‚Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

BeBimBop (or however you spell it). Korean leftovers is really what it is. The flavor is delicious and can be made to create whatever you are feeling. The food is spicy, delicious and interesting. It makes me feel like you can create anything with a little bebimbop in my stomach.

December 27 ‚ Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Most joyful ordinary moment this year would be snuggling on the sofa with my honey. Snuggling in front of the fire with not a worry in the world. The perfect way for a cold day to end.

December 28 ‚ Achieve What‚ is the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you‚would feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

In this next year I would like to create something. I'd like to create something that is new and interesting. I'd like to think about it and create it from the inside out. I'm sure the feeling will not be whatever I think it should be. If I think I should feel excited maybe I feel more let down. But, I think that overall it will be invigorating.

December 29 ‚ Defining Moment Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

Defining moment. Hmm, this is a hard one. I'm not sure I have one for this past year. I'm not sure I even have defining moments. This year has been a blur of speed, crazed chaos and unconditional love. I think those things would have to be my defining bits and in whatever moment they happened.

December 30 ‚ Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What‚ is the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

A dear friend created a quilt to replace one that burnt. She picked colors and designs that I love. The quilt is the perfect size, shape and color. It is perfect in all ways and so thoughtful. She started it right after our house fire and spent months working on it. The amount of thought that went into it is incredible!

December 31 ‚ Core Story What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?

Core story for me and how do I share it with the world? Well first off I blog. I post things and people read them or do not read them. My core story for 2010 would be that less is more, time is better than almost anything else, and with love you can do anything. Cheesy? Maybe, but very true!

HAPPY 2011 Everyone!!!!

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