for breaths in and breaths out,
for a pillar of support without whom I'd be severely lost and confused,
for a camera that does so much more than capture photos,
for a practice that leaves my body feeling worthy and capable,
for learned knowledge,
for the trees and the sun and the moon and earth,
for connections with like-minded souls over the internet,
for my own little space in the corner of my parents' house,
and for finally being able to, slowly, find support within.
Wishing you a weekend of inspiration, gratitude, and wellness!
There was a visit home from Jana for a Thanksgiving/birthday celebration and an opportune blank wall for a photo shoot, a morning of slow errands and cuddling with the cat, a last-minute trip to Northampton for tea at Haymarket and lots of staring at the full moon.
1. Watching little kids jump into leaf piles. I remember when I was one of them.
2. Going from just a mattress, to a mattress topped with a (too-small) piece of memory foam that seriously improves your sleeping conditions all the same (and makes it ten times harder to get up in the mornings) (thanks, Lauren!).
3. Brand new fleece jackets that are your greatest idea all winter.
4. Realizing you had more money than you thought.
5. When Stella sleeps right on top of me at night, and keeps me warm.
I saw a new view through the trees as I neared the greenhouses through the woods, found a tree full of berries (which made a very cute arrangement when I carried some branches home with me), realized that the photo of the leaves would turn into hearts when rotated upside down (Melanie, are we on the same page again?), and got close enough to the biggest trees to actually touch them.
Sometimes it's good to wander off the beaten path, to awaken the senses with new sights and sounds, to get out of your own way and meander a bit.
Perhaps the most important thing I did this weekend: string Christmas lights around my bedroom. Since they're white, they don't technically have to be Christmas decorations, right?
Perhaps the most boring thing I did this weekend: rake leaves. As a kid, I always hated it. And you know what? I still hate it. I lasted half an hour.
Perhaps the most exciting thing I did this weekend: went shopping. Leisurely. I wanted my weekend to be plenty quiet, and it sure was. Long shopping trips were the most exhausting thing I did all weekend. Perfect.
I thought some about blogging this weekend, too. Lately, I just can't think of the words to write or even the sentiments I want to evoke and just end up completely frustrated and hating the posts I do put up. I thought it was just a mood and I'd get over it, but I can't shake it. Sometimes, I think maybe I just need a blogging break.
Yesterday during my lunch break I finally braved it and went to the park by myself. There was only one other car when I pulled up and I tried to quell any imaginative fears and just walked. I was there for the exercise, after all. I slung my camera bag across my side and stopped only for the important photo ops.
I've never been so scared of walking in the woods by myself. Maybe I've just grown too spoiled having acres of woods in my backyard, but it was a strange feeling, being in this beautiful wildlife preservation and wanting to get the fresh air and stopping to take pictures, but being so fearful of what might happen. I'm sure it's all just imagination-getting-the-better of me, but in the moment--it feels so insanely real.
But I did it, and had a glorious lunch break before I had to go back to wiping snotty noses and changing poopy diapers and reading board books to toddlers. Carmella and I talked recently about knowing the difference between unhappiness and fear--something I've been thinking about a lot lately.
At least being scared out of my mind and having limited time for my break made me power walk, though.
::I'm sick. So sick. My head feels like a brick and I can't breathe through my nose and my throat hurts from all the coughing and I'm pretty sure my swollen glands must be protruding from my neck. And you know that terrible, horrible feeling you get when you're about to sneeze but can't? ALL DAY LONG.
::Since I've quit my second job as a barista, I've taken on more hours at daycare (see above for a glimpse of my working conditions this week). This comes with a daily one-hour break during which I've got to find a way to entertain myself (there's no break room and I'm half an hour from home). Yesterday I found a series of walking trails winding up hills and around ponds about ten minutes away from work, but I turned back five minutes into the pond loop after a chilling remembrance of stories like Chelsea King's came to mind. I was too scared to go back today. Isn't that weird? I don't usually let my imagination get the better of me like that. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow, and bring my camera with me.
::I have no plans this weekend, besides babysitting on Sunday night. I think I'm going to keep it this way.
::I went into the grocery store today (on said too-scared break) and, although I came out with $15 dollars worth of food, all I really wanted was the bottle of tonic water I need to balance out my bottle of gin at home. (And now it's 8:30pm, and very well worth it.)
My birthday has come and gone and I feel it hardly stayed at all. The day itself was wondrous though, and I wanted to share it with you.
In past years, my birthday has almost always been a let-down. At first it just seemed that birthdays were no longer exciting, not like they were when you turn ten and get a special cake for double digits and loads of presents and the whole day feels like you're on cloud nine. No, as I've gotten older I've found that birthdays are hardly as exciting. Lately though, people I'd counted on to be there for my birthday (both literally and energetically speaking) seemed to be letting me down all-too-often. My birthdays always ended up feeling more depressing than uplifting.
So this year, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I saved up my money (I have been working my butt off!) and took myself to the spa for the day. I wanted nothing more than to be completely by myself for the day--at first I thought this strange, but then realized it was exactly what I wanted for my birthday, and decided to honor that. The dark, rainy weather on Thursday was a bit dismal, but I didn't let that get in my way. I drove leisurely through the back woods of Connecticut and found myself at the most amazing spa I'd ever seen. (A body temple, they call it--how much do you love that?) I stayed for hours and was practically in a zen-like state from the moment I stepped in the door. And, I tasted the most delicious tea I've ever tasted and bought a whole canister to bring home. It was truly the best idea I've ever had.
After the spa, I went home for a family dinner and birthday pie. We listened to music that always reminds me of my thirteenth birthday and opened presents by candlelight. It was just right.
And I got a new lens! I'm still figuring it out, but it's so much fun to have something new.
Thank you all for your birthday wishes and making me feel special on such a hyped-up day. I'm sending you all positive thoughts as well!