Monday, December 24, 2012

Relish 15-21

Continuing to Relish 2012 with Rebecca @ Finding Freedom in the Leaping.

15 December:
Perhaps it feels like they found you, or you were meant to discover them right when you did, but often over the course of a year we are treated to tidbits of inspiration, insight and encouragement. We find them in books, on twitter, under bottle caps, on fortune cookies and tea bags, on bumper stickers, or on lemonade bottles… What were the words of wisdom that came to aid and engage you this year? (Bonus points if you can share them visually with us.)

This year, the most significant words to me were "Be still and know."  This is actually a verse from the Bible, Psalms 46:10:  "Be still, and know that I am God..."  One of the churches that I pass regularly had "be still and know" posted on one side of their sign... One day in particular, I was passing it and read it.  I'd probably passed by this sign for weeks and not noticed.  This day, I needed it.  I was frustrated at the person who had been going significantly under the speed limit, the radio wasn't playing anything good, nothing seemed to be going my way.  After reading it, I paused.  I breathed.  I was still.  In that moment, a sense of peace came over me.  The radio didn't matter, I wasn't going anywhere that wasn't forgiving of being a minute or two late, my day was going exactly how I let it.  I was still and knew that I wasn't in control and it made me feel completely content.

This also led to my next (potentially final) tattoo idea:

16 December:
Sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes it’s gut wrenching and horrible. In time it will heal, and it’s likely we’ll be stronger for it. But in the meantime it can be wince inducing to think back on it. Do it anyway… What broke this year? How are you better for it having broken? And if you can’t see that part yet, what good would you LIKE to see come from it?

Physically, my body was broken, but now it's better, lol.  I've had endometrosis for a long time and I found out I was "full o' stones" (my gallbladder).  After 2 surgeries, I'm almost like new.

As for mentally broken..  I'm still struggling with the fact that Teh Bear is still not in MD.  Usually, coupled with extreme PMS, I get very down about this fact.  I try extremely hard to ignore this, but sometimes it just spills out and I get sulky and nasty and Teh Bear has to deal with down Teh Megan and no one likes that.  After a few heart-to-hearts pep talks, lots of reassurances, and some brain refocusing, things got significantly better (at least for this month).

17 December:
Life is made up of the big moments and the little details. The big moments tend to stick in our memories but the details can fade away over time. Which little detail — something you saw… a look… a touch… a fleeting moment — from 2012 would you like to remember in the years to come?

I have a feeling that as I'm in the US for longer and longer, the thrill of all the things that I was so excited about in the past year will become less and less exciting.  The flowers will still bloom in the spring, a cool breeze will still be refreshing on a 90°F day, the leaves will still put on an art show in the fall, and the snow will continue to fall in the winter..  but this past year, each time these things happened, I held my breath for a second because the excitement about these little changes made me feel like I might burst.

So, I hope that when next fall rolls around, I still appreciate how awesome the leaves are.  That when Christmas #3 in the States happens, that I don't forget that one Christmas, I didn't have a tree to put up, I didn't have my decorations and I had to start fresh.  Mostly, I want to remember the feeling of excitement, like I would burst, and the immediate gratitude to God for all the wonderful things that I'm blessed with, the leaves and the snow and the cool days and remembering to breathe when its all so wonderful and overwhelming.

18 December:
We are surrounded by it and yet its interpretation always remains individual. Sometimes we lack works to describe it, and that’s ok; it’s better when life is filled with MORE than we can distill and transmit, no? Think back on where you’ve been, what you’ve seen. Where in your year were you captured by color? Can you show it to us? What did it make you feel?

Christmas lights above the bed was something that happened last February when Teh Bear came to MD to visit for my birthday.  They weren't in this pattern, but I didn't take a photo of the lights, so that photo will have to suffice.  I worked for part of his visit, but did take some vacation.  There would be days that we'd just take a break from watching TV or playing on the computers to go and snuggle under the lights.  I remember the feeling of contentment in just snuggling with Teh Bear whenever I wanted to.  And yes, we just snuggled, get your dirty minds out of the gutter.

19 December:
Some people think they aren’t creative, they’d certainly never call themselves “artistic”. Gasp! But I have always firmly believed that we each make ART in our lives, it just takes shapes and forms that might not come to mind right away. Maybe it’s a colorful, delicious omlet, or a perfectly lined lawn, or sand castles you never want to see wash away. What art did you make this year?

This year I did a lot of home decorating.  I made the apartment MINE.  Teh Bear and I decided on a color scheme so that way I wouldn't get out of control with the decorating colors (because when you don't have a favorite color and like ALL colors, you love all things).  I made wall hangings even.  Since I finally had a place of my own, I cooked so much delicious noms.  I made Pinterest recipes.  I visited the Grand Canyon and took photos so I could share them later.  Also, I learned to appreciate (more than I already did) karaoke in the car on 8 hour drives and since music is art, I sang and sang and sang.  I'm sure Phil was just like, stfu.

20 December:
Imagine mapping your year on your body. What does your body hold from 2012? Where did your feet walk? What did your hands hold? What did you tuck gently into your heart?  Capture this topography in some journaling or even in a poem. You might want to begin with a phrase like “These hands held…” or “This heart knows…”

My body now has 6 distinctive scars on my belly from 2 surgeries.  My feet got new blisters from starting to walk then moving on to running.  My feet got some new dents from Phil stretching and his claws digging into the tops of my feet.  My left hand middle finger got a bigger dent in it from signing so much paperwork due to my job as an assistant command security manager.  My wrists got leash burned from Phil trying to chase squirrels.  My feet got even more blisters when I broke in my new hiking boots for our November vacation.  I got drenched several times from running out in the rain with Phil.  I held hands with Teh Bear for longer than I have any other year.  I got snuggles from Teh Bear more than any other year.

My heart has been fulfilled with travel to Australia and Scotland and Florida and Colorado and Arizona and North Carolina.  I weathered frustration when I felt like the distance wasn't making me stronger.  My heart was fulfilled when Phil entered my life, even though there were moments where I was sure that Phil was tempting fate.  I felt relief at knowing that after enduring 2 surgeries, my body was more healed and better than it had been in a long time.  I felt great relief the first time I got to go to medical and tell them I was on NO medication.  My heart felt love every time I met Teh Bear at the airport and sadness every time we left each other.  I was proud when Teh Sister graduated from college and Teh Stepsister joined the Army.

21 December:
There are few things on earth that can bring back memories, whole events, like a photograph can. Even blurry, faded, cracked and broken, these still records act like master keys to the visual parts of our brains and unlock the events in such a real way that we can slip back into them effortlessly. Even shots we weren’t present for can grant us that sense of participation that hearing stories third hand never can. Take a gander at the images you’ve made this year and, if you can, choose the one that means the most to you. Share it with us, if you’d like. Why that photo?

This panoramic represents many things:
Photography, a hobby that I love.
Dreams accomplished, I always wanted to visit Australia, but never thought I'd actually go... and then I did.
Sunrise, the start of a new day, holding new things.
Passion, for my hobby.
Devotion, for getting up before the sun rose to get this photo.
Skill, for learning to do panoramic photos and editing photos.
Companionship, for the company I was in when I took this photo.
Community, for the desire to share this photo (and all the other photos) with Gentle Readers/family/friends/etc.

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