To write is to write

I fear the possibility that the blog is going to fall victim to writer’s block. My brain has been pretty tired the last two weeks trying to comprehend scholarly articles about business ethics. What I really want to know is… at what point in an education does one learn to write so that no one can understand your words without reading i n c r e d i b l y   s l o w l y ???? Once I figure out what they are trying to say, I just get annoyed because I feel they could have said it much more succinctly and I probably wouldn’t have accidently dozed off in the middle of their article.  It’s really a catch 22 for me… because I love books… like… actual tangible books… but it seems that they put me to sleep (another reason those 7 books I was suppose to read this summer are still sitting on my shelf). And I can’t really buy e-books because if I stare at my computer any more than I already do I think I’ll develop a tumor.

At any rate, today I heard about this thing called National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November, and basically your goal is to write an entire 50,000 word novel within the confines of 1/12 of the Gregorian Calender. The idea is that you just write; you forget about what you think you should be writing about, how you think it should sound, the minutia of coherence and so on. This is a novel idea (you see what I did there?!) in that I think it can sort of break people of the biggest thing that holds them back from writing- their brain. To meet the 50,000 word goal you have to write an average of 1,667 words per day, which means you need to write like your life depends on it and stop fighting yourself while trying to find the “right” words. I’ve always heard it said that the best way to become a writer is to simply write… everyday… many argue that it doesn’t have to even make too much sense… the point is that if you write everyday… eventually the words will come to you.

The second I read the description of this event I was filled with the most extreme forms of excitement and terror I could imagine. The idea of writing that much scares the bejeezus out of me, but I feel like, even if the end product was complete gibberish, the fact that I actually did it would be a great step in the right direction for my “writing career”. I’d really love to participate in this event in November, but I fear that it might drive me slightly mad if I’m trying to write a novel and take a writing class at the same time. So… I was thinking about doing this in January as my first post-baccalaureate attempt to pursue this dream of mine that snuck up on me- to become a published writer.

So…… thoughts?

 

PS- click the picture to check out some amazing quotes about writing from some amazing writers.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

So it seems I took an accidental hiatus from blogging. It also seems that I took an accidental hiatus from watching what I eat. I did very little to limit the food going into my mouth over the holiday weekend; but these are the sort of things that happen when family comes to visit, the french bakery you walk into has fresh baguettes and macaroons and and the fish mongers at Pike Place are handing out samples of smoked salmon. I can say without  a doubt though, that everything I ate was delicious, and I had a blast.

With all that being said, deviations from my normal routine have a tendency to derail me for what is longer than necessary. I dwell on every pound I think I’ve gained (still avoiding my scale as much as possible so I’m not too sure of a number… nor do I care to know); I dread not getting to go to the farmer’s market and eating an organic corn-dog simply because there are organic corn-dogs (it was awesome btw); a small piece of me dies every time I see an add for the local cupcake bakery; I could go on, but I won’t.. because I’m making myself hungry. The point is, not caring about every morsel that goes in your mouth is fun and delicious, and going back to calorie counting can be kind of a downer after a week of dining out and Godiva truffles.

It’s times like this that I ask myself “why do you stop watching what you eat if going back to your routine is such a drag?” The short answer is “because I love cupcakes and refuse to live a life they are not a part of”. And the long answer is “because this is a life” (it’s get’s longer.. gimmie a sec). As much as the allure of my potentially smokin’ hot bod compels me to eat better and exercise, I also know my limits. In order for my new found lifestyle to continue long-term I have to find ways for it to work for me… and if I couldn’t sit down to tea and a scone with my sister-in-law because I was too worried about how many calories were in that scone… this lifestyle would not work for me.

The truth is… not eating like a saint constantly will likely slow down my fitness progress, but the rest of that truth is that as long as I don’t go on a food bender on a regular basis, and as long as I get back to my regular routine and put in the hard work, any damage I might have done will be reversed and I will still be moving toward my goal.

So the same goes for you. Taking the day, the week, or the month off from your normal habits will only ruin your progress if you let it. Just get back into your food and workout regimen… kick some ass… and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy body and healthy mind… cupcakes included!

What Do You Live For?

Last week, fellow blogger at A La Modeand my best friend since sixth grade, Baille, attended a Shoot For Change  event in the DC Metro area. The theme for fundraiser was “What I Live For”, which allowed attendees to portray their life’s passions in professional photographs. In a participatory spirit, everyone brought something with them that represented their passion in life; the photos were put on display along with short essays about what each attendee’s passion meant for them.

Had I not been clear across the country trying to teach myself how to run, I would have loved to have the opportunity to attend such an event. Not only because proceeds went to a great cause, but I love to getting to know other people and what they are passionate about.

Passion is a powerful force that can will you to do things beyond what you thought was possible. When you find something that you brain finds so amazing that it lights a fire inside of you, it can lift you from the deepest of funks and pull you away from the brink complacency.

I could easily say that I am a human of many passions. I love cooking. I love dancing. I love music.I love getting to know people very well (I also love figuring them out before they think they’ve revealed themselves). I love movies. I love exploring new places. I love taking pictures. I love hugging people.I love being philosophical. I love watching shows on Discovery Health about rare genetic diseases and 200 pound tumors. I could go on for days. But really… as I have come to discover quite recently… all of these things stem from what is apparently my true passion: learning.

Who would have thought? The girl who has been dragging her feet through her undergrad years kicking and screaming and changing majors several times, as it turns out, loves learning (this actually could explain the numerous major changing). I can’t get enough of it. I love learning new things about people, places, things, life, myself, the old hippie that hangs out in Pike Place… everything. If I ever get to a point in my life where I feel as though I have nothing more to learn and no more growing to do.. I might as well end it right there.

And this is how I know that learning is my passion… because my longing to learn new and more awesome things prevents me from becoming complacent. It influences my actions without me even realizing it. It causes me to put my body and mind in new and interesting situations and I long to gather meaning from those experiences. I love finding new and different ways to view the world around me and everything that is in it. And I never want to stop.

So what is your passion? What do you live for?

A Couple’s Bucket List

In an earlier post I talked about my personal bucket list . When my husband and I started dating we started couples bucket list based on the idea that we are hellbent on never becoming stagnant in life or in our relationship. As we experience new things our list continues to grow, but I thought I would share what we have so far!

1. Volunteer in a foreign country

2. Cook everything is Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”

3. See Radiohead live

Because we love Thom Yorke’s dance moves!

4. Eat frog’s legs

5. Take a cruise

6. Visit Europe

7. Learn how to make sushi (we have a kit and dvd.. just gotta get around to it!)

8. Go camping (He’s been. I haven’t. He’s convinced it’ll traumatize me)

9. Learn to speak Korean (we really want to learn as many languages as possible, but Korean is at the top of the list)

10. Ride a camel

11. Ride every ride at Six Flags

12. Go golfing together (we’ve been to a driving range… but I gave myself “golfer’s elbow”.. whoops!)

13. Swim naked in the ocean… once young… once after we’re 60

14. Get arrested when we are elderly

15. Revisit Hawaii for a second honeymoon

16. Embarrass our kids on their first dates (we’re open to suggestions for how to go about this)

17. Smoke pot together

18. Kiss every time we are on an elevator ✔

19. Jump off the rock in Waimea Bay together (he’s done it alone, but we didn’t get a chance to jump together before we moved because the giant waves (I mean GIANT) started coming in before we had a chance to get to the beach)

20. Buy fancy clothes (because we both feel weird dressed up)

21. Eat at a gourmet restaurant for our anniversary each year.

22. If shit ever gets so bad in our relationship that we can’t fix it… we have no choice but to conclude that there is no hope for love in the world… and we have to destroy the planet

23. Be the greatest couple in the history of mankind ✔

24. Have director based movie marathons ✔ (So far we’ve done Terry Gilliam and the Coen Brothers. Michael Mann and Stanley Kubrick are next)

25. Buy two male beta fish just to watch them fight.  Loser has to cook dinner for a week wearing only an apron and chef’s hat

26.  Take an aerial tour of Oahu

32. Urbanspoon day once a month (this entails using the “shake” feature on the Urbanspoon app and eating at where ever it tells us. Price point and neighborhood can be set, and you can skip chain restaurants… but other than that.. you eat where it tells you) (We’re starting this month!)

33. Go to the zoo ✔ (we went to the one in Honolulu… but really it’s just “go to as many zoos possible”)

 

Do you and your other half have a bucket list? What would you want to be on it?

 

Revisiting a Bucket List

In 2009 I had a blog that served very little purpose except for me to ramble on about random things. It was entertaining, for sure, but it lacked direction… as did I at the time. One day I composed a bucket list for the blog full of absolutely random goals and things I wanted to accomplish. Today I looked at that list and chuckled. Some of it was pretty solid, but other goals seem silly now.

I’ve always loved the idea of a bucket list to keep track of the things one would want to do with their life. As we get older, and as we grow as people it’s not uncommon for our idea of happiness to change, and with that the things on the bucket list will change. And that’s perfectly fine. The significance of this list it to give your life a place to aim so that you can achieve happiness along the way. Happiness is not the goal… it’s not the end.. it’s the means. So this is my revised bucket list.

From 2009

1. Get married ✔✔

2. Have children (putting this one off for a bit)

3. Choreograph a decent dance and post it on YouTube

4. See the ruins of Pompeii

5. Drink a can of beer without hating every second of it ✔ (it was a raspberry lambic in a glass.. that technically came from a bottle… but a beer nonetheless)

6. Decorate a house so well the people think I hired someone (slowly but surely working on this one)

7. Own a Volkswagon Bus  it would still be cool… but it’s not a priority

8. successfully grow a tree

9. Grow, harvest and roast my own sunflower seeds

10. Have my parents owe me money rather than the other way around (this has slowly become more difficult to obtain)

11. See a professional Nutcracker

12. Create my own cookie recipe to pass on to my children

13. Visit Iceland not a priority

14. Write a memoir… or a piece of fiction loosely based on reality

15. Make photography a hobby… but be really good (I sort of achieved this… then lost access to a camera… so it’s staying on the list)

16. See the LaBrea Tar Pits

New Editions in 2012

17. Complete a 5k and a mud run (someone PLEASE do a mud run with me!!!!!)

18. Do this epic yoga pose

from yogajournal.com 

19. Go on a cruise

20. Do some volunteer work

21. Have someone want to pay me for a photo I’ve taken

22. Eat at a fancy gourmet restaurant

23. Cook food that looks/tastes like a fancy gourmet restaurant

24. Raise children that are comfortable in their skin and proud of who they are.

My husband and I have a joint bucket list we complied.. I’d share it but it’s somewhere on his computer. But I do think it includes getting arrested as elderly folk and destroying the world if we let our relationship fail…

I have no clue if I will achieve all of these things. Maybe in three years I’ll go back and get rid of a few of them again. Who knows. But honestly, looking at my list… it looks like if I even attempt any of them, I’ll be living a fun and happy life.. and that’s the real goal.

So what’s on your bucket list?