Saturday, December 8, 2012

Relish12 1-7

Since I'm starting a few days late, I'm going to combine the first few days together!

1 December:
We all face challenges during the year; some we meet, some we don’t. What was your mountain to climb this year? Did you reach the top?

My mountain this year..  Wow, I don't even know.  I think I might have had 2 mountains.  1 was a mini-mountain.  It was to enjoy all the things that I missed about America while I was in GTMO and Bahrain.    My big mountain would be to have Teh Bear move up to MD with me.

I guess having 2 mountains seems silly, but I do what I wawnt!

For my mini-mountain, there were so many days in the beginning of 2012 when it was cold that I'd walk into work with a smile because it was COLD.  Every time it would snow, even if it was just ONE flurry, I was the most excited, thankful person.  In the spring when the flowers were blooming, it was like I'd rediscovered something.  During the summer when it was miserable becuase of the heat, I'd remind myself, at least it's not Ramadan in Bahrain where I had to wear long sleeves and pants no matter what the temps were.  When fall came and the leaves started changing, I would literally stop and just stare at the trees.  I'd missed fall the most.  The colors of the leaves, the sound of leaves crunching under my shoes, the distinct smell of fall.  I'd be so overwhelmed sometimes it would bring tears to my eyes.  Now winter is coming.  I haven't seen any snow yet, but I've seen other people's photos on FB.  I'm ready for that joy again.  The silence that snow brings as the earth is blanketed and quiet.  I'm excited to see how Teh Phil reacts to the snow (I've heard Greyhounds really love it).

For my big mountain... the final result is still not achieved.  Teh Bear is still in FL and the MD job searches are still happening, but to little avail.  There was some significant progress made on this front in terms of technicalities, but that was also extremely painful.  I often have to step back and tell myself that despite the end result not yet happening, significant progress was made, and that is very difficult for me to do.  I want to just whine and pitch a fit that I didn't get what I wanted and I give up, but there is a lot that goes into getting Teh Bear to MD and often I feel myself giving up the fight, which is pretty hard to admit.   As each day goes by a smaller bit of acceptance creeps in and I let go of the dream of having Teh Bear with me in MD.  In my darkest moments, this also leads to other, even darker thoughts.

Mini-mountain = reached the top in terms of being grateful for all things.
Big-mountain = significant progress achieved, but the top of the mountain isn't attainable anytime soon.

2 December:
Life is littered with sweetness, of all kinds. What was the sweetest treat you enjoyed this year?

This year the sweetest treat I enjoyed was getting to go on a real vacation with Teh Bear.  I haven't been on a real vacation in a very long time, so it was nice to have adventures and go places we'd never been and see friends we hadn't seen in a while and visit my family and do NC stuffs and then come back to MD and just hang out for a few days.  It sounds pretty exhausting busy, but in reality, it wasn't that bad and we didn't do anything we didn't want to do.  Except for that one time that we gave each other the silent treatment for about 3 hours when we started our drive back to MD.  I didn't want to do that, but I also didn't want to say anything extremely nasty, which I would have.  We had so much fun and I wouldn't change anything about the trip.. except for the events that led up to the silent treatment....

3 December:
What did you let go of this year? This could be a specific belief, or a relationship, or something else in your life.

I let go of the fact that "I can't do it."  The only person that holds me back, is me.  I started working out and enjoying it, realizing that I can do it.  I started going back to church with intention, knowing that  I can do it.  I quit letting the fact that I'm alone make me believe that I couldn't do things.  I built chairs, I moved the dresser, I hung a picture frame on the wall.  Granted, Teh Bear did most of the building and hanging, but there were times that I couldn't wait for him to be here to get stuff done, so I did it myself.  Not a lot of things, but enough to call them baby steps.  My work outs have gotten longer and continued through having to rebuild my strength and stamina after 2 surgeries this year.  Letting go of the "I can'ts" and embracing the "I cans" has gotten me through 2012.

4 December:
If you could select one moment, one instant, from the last year and magnify it, which would you choose? What would you focus on? Where would you go in closer? What would you make bigger…why?

Despite the end results, I'd focus in on the day that I went up for the Junior Sailor of the Year.  I was still on vacation, so I went in when I didn't have to.  Teh Bear shined my shoes, I sewed a patch onto my uniform, I showed up and looked good and said my Sailor's Creed in a way that would have moved John Paul Jones and answered almost every question with confidence.

I would go in closer on myself.  I'd make my feelings bigger.  I was confident, I was proud, I was there when I didn't have to be, I had done great things to get there.  Rarely do I give myself enough credit for things I've done.  I don't applaud myself for doing my job and doing it well, because it's my job and doing it well should just happen.  It's nice to be recognized for that.  No, I didn't win the award, and yes, I was disappointed.  I would focus on the fact that I was there.  I'd done enough to get there and I showed up even when I didn't have to.  Because that's who I am.  I might not like it, but I'll do it.

5 December:
Over any twelve months there are bound to be bumps on the road, rough patches, and bruises to bear. The other side of these scrapes and hazards is the place you find where there is solace and healing and home. If we’re lucky we always find ourselves with a soft place to land. Who, what, or where was yours this year?

This is the first year I've ever felt "at home" in a place I've been able to call my own.  Slowly, my apartment has come together as each piece of furniture arrived month after month (almost literally).  I built a bookcase without a hammer, but with a towel holder.  I bought a tablecloth for each season (that I change regularly .  Teh Bear built chairs and end tables and hung stuff on the walls.  I bought pillows for my couch.  The place I live is enitrely my own.  I picked it, I designed it, I built it (with some help), I filled it.  I have my spot on the couch.  I have Teh Phil.  A neighbor walked in and commented, "It's so cozy."  I loved it, because it describes how I want my home to feel.  A cozy, inviting place.  Somewhere you'd want to grab a hot drink and snuggle up on the couch with a book.  Home.

6 December:
Insight and inspiration know no schedule and worry not about convenience. We consider ourselves lucky when they strike us at all, ill-timing aside. What light bulb moments did you have this year?

That sometimes, things will work out for the best.  Example:  When we arrived in Sydney on our way back to the US after being in Australia for 3 weeks, we got unbelievably lucky and had a driver offer to give us a tour of Sydney, including stopping at all the best photography places for me.  Those photos might not be the best quality stuff I'll ever do/have done, but I remember standing across the harbor from the Sydney Opera House not being able to breathe because I was so excited about the experience I was having.  I was in Australia, in Sydney, taking photos of a place I'd only ever dreamed of taking photos of.  Of course Sydney was a place to visit on my bucket list, but actually having/taking the opportunity... eh.  When you least expect it, things will work out.  When you don't expect to go on travel with work, you will.  When you don't expect to visit a place you'd dreamed of, you will.  When you are trying to figure out how to plan the dream of visiting the city and seeing the sights, some one might over hear your conversation (and quickly realize via your accent that you're not from these parts) and offer to chauffeur you around for the night....  when you least expect it.

7 December:
Before Twitter, before Instagram, yes, even before Facebook there were these things calls BOOKS. They were the best way we had for spreading ideas, information, and inspiration to the masses. Sure, today we have Youtube, but I’m holding out hope that books still play a role in your like (even if they are on your kindle!) What books did you read this year? Which were your favorites? Why did they mean so much to you?

The Harsh Cry of the Heron - Liam Hearn
This was the final book of the Tales of the Otori series that I'd started rereading while in Bahrain.

Tanequil and Straken by Terry Brooks
I picked up the first book (Jarka Ruus) at the NEX in Bahrain because I wanted something to read while I was working out in the gym and after an extremely slow beginning (mostly because I was unaware there were 6 million other books before this one with the main character), I finally got interested and finished the series when I got back to the US.

Books 1-4 of A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows) by George R. R. Martin
I actually haven't finished A Feast for Crows, I'm about halfway through it with no real motivation to speed through it since the paperback version of the 5th book (A Dance with Dragons) won't be released until March 2013.  Teh Bear started me on reading these, in addition to my wanting to read the books before I watched the HBO series, which I'd heard was good.  Teh Bear picked up the 1st book at the airport for one of his flights to visit me and then I borrowed it from him.  I was ahead of him for a while, but he finished the 3rd book and I wasn't quite halfway through the 4th.  Lucky for me, he ended up getting a Nook and purchased the 4th book for the Nook, so I didn't have to send him the 4th book in the middle of reading it.. AND I didn't have to get him the Nook Book for Cmas...... (grumble grumble grumble).

The Bible
In November, I started rereading the Bible.  I've always owned a Bible, and I started reading my Bible (my goal was from beginning to end) back in college and when I hit the book of Numbers it was like I hit a wall and after a few million begats, I gave it up and it has taken me over 5 years to start again.  I'm still in Numbers, but when we get to the 3 sheep, 5 goats, 1 bull, 9 oxen, 5 3/4 eggs, 5 sheckles of grain, a first born of every Israelite, I just skip ahead.  So obviously, they could count in the Old Testament time period.  Check.  I haven't set a deadline, but I try to read at least a chapter per night.  Sometimes, I read more because its interesting when God is all like, SMITE YE PEOPLE!  Sometimes (last night), I'm exhausted so I read one full page turn and call it a night.  God knows I'm trying, that's what counts!

YAY days 1-7 of the Relish 2012!!!!!!!!!!!

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