Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Relish 22-31

Finishing up the last of the Relish 2012 posts.  Sorry for boring you with tales of convalescent leave and overseas trips and Teh Bear and my baggage.. but I mean..  this saved me from vacation recaps!!!  :)

22 December:
Whether we actively seek it out, trolling the streets or pages for it, or it finds us, entirely unprepared, soaking wet in the shower and without a darn thing to write on, we need inspiration to grace us. It’s what gives heart to our work, color to our lives, and is the plaything of our soul. What, where, or whom inspired you this year? And better still, what did you do with it?

Usually, I get most inspired to write when I'm feeling angsty or ranty.  I'm, apparently, very good at being snarky.  As for inspiration for other things..  well, it just depends.  Inspiration to clean usually comes from the fact that when something is dirty, it irritates me.  It's constantly on my mind.  How easy it would be to just take care of the chore that is plaguing me.  Then I do it and feel like a weight has been lifted.  It's crazy.  Lub inspiration comes from watching cheesy movies or reading cheesy books.  I'm not sure if anyone else is like this, but watching a TV show (ok, Grey's Anatomy or How I Met Your Mother usually) or movie (romantic comedy because sometimes even Teh Megan is a walking cliche') can put me in a more lovey mood.  Teh Bear has noticed this.  I'm not sure if it scares him or if he appreciates it, he hasn't really complained either way.  That said, the only reason I get "lovey" while watching Lord of the Rings is because I just want it to end faster...

23 December:
We all have them; moments we’d rather not remember, let alone have lived through in the first place. Though real life won’t let us, imagine you had the power, just for today, to edit your own history of this year. What would you choose to omit? What would you burn from the record? And what would you gain or lose by doing so?

I feel like this is a trick question.  I honestly don't wish I could omit anything..  Do I have things that happened that I wish I could change?  Yes.  But omit?  No.  Outcomes would be so much different if things were changed, but omission doesn't really do anything but hide a situation in my opinion.  If I had anything I wish I didn't have to remember it would be all the times that I've gotten down about still being in a long distance relationship.  Sometimes, I'm on FB and see people posting that they're moving in together or engaged or married or having kids (seriously, though, if you're a Fertile Myrtle, maybe more on the birth control?) or any number of life events like seeing Teh Humanitarian and Teh Coast Guardian kiss while making dinner or while playing games on the wii, big or little things with a significant other that I feel like I'm missing out on.  I wish I could omit these moments of jealousy that bring me down and poison my attitude, which usually gets taken out on Teh Bear.  Hopefully, it would lead me to a more positive perspective.  To include the fact that I have a pretty sweet life that probably makes some people jealous.  Not that, that is what my intentions are, but I'm also sure that's not the intentions of the FB posts I'm seeing from my FB friends.

24 December:
For today’s prompt, think about one of your favorite days from this last year that you’d never want to forget. What physical feelings or sensations can you recall? Were there any scents that were present? What did it look like – were any colors more prominent than others? Any special sounds that you’d like to hold on to? Did you enjoy any special tastes that day? Spend some time exploring the little details of what you remember. After you’ve identified a couple of senses that stand out to you about that day, you can access how great that experience was at any time by conjuring up those associations.

For the first time this year, Teh Bear and I flew together.  This isn't really a momentous event, but usually we are flying to each other, not flying together, so in the fact that it was out of the norm, it was special.

I had arranged for our flights to actually meet in at the Minneapolis (MSP) airport so we could fly the rest of the way to Denver together.  Teh Bear was all like, "Rawr, free baggage on Southwest!"  While I was all like, "WAAAHHH, holding my hand on American!"  I won.  :)

I remember hurrying through the day, rushing at RDU even though I had enough time to check in and make it through security with more than ample time.  I was impatient with boarding and waiting on the plane to take off.  I was fidgity, distracted, and knew that vacation, vacation wouldn't start until I was with Teh Bear.  Once we finally landed at MSP, I was anxious and excited and felt lost almost.  Because I was looking for Teh Bear.  I knew he was there somewhere.  I went to our concourse and he wasn't there and then I set out looking for him (since our concourse was at the very end of the terminal).  As I was walking away from the terminal I spotted Teh Bear... and then I tried to hide behind the very tall dude I was walking behind to see if Teh Bear would see me.  There was a lot of people traffic and I'm pretty little, so I didn't want him to miss me and I side-stepped directly into Teh Bear's walking path.  He was looking down at his iPod for just a second and looked up and then I was there, he almost ran into me.  Being little means being good at being sneaky.

We hugged.  Note: hugging with backpacks on is hard.  It's like, where do you put your arms?  Ok, maybe its hard for me because for Teh Bear, he can just set his arms on my backpack, but I either have to reach around his backpack (with my midget arms, not happening) or just awkwardly try to slip them under his backpack, which doesn't usually work out so well.  So backpack hugging = awkward/hard.

At that same moment, vacation, vacation had started.  There was no more hurry or rush.  There was hand holding and kisses and shared flying stories.  The people of the terminal had been so loud before and now they were quiet.

We did learn that we have very different plane boarding priorities.  I based it off the fact that I'm short and he's tall because Teh Bear's reasoning for trying to board ASAP (yep, he's one of those people that stands in front of the door until his zone is called) is so that way he doesn't get stuck having to put his carry-on under the seat so he has leg room.  "I fly economy for all the leg room," said no one ever.  I'm more like, "Well, I got a seat number and it will be there when I get there, so I'm going to let all these fools go ahead of me and I'll just continue sitting here and enjoying the free wi-fi while they stand there for 20 minutes."

25 December:
Granted, this prompt might need to wait until today is over for its response, but thinking on this whole year what was the sweetest surprise you were treated to? Is there someone specific to blame, or was it the Universe at large that brought about this unforeseen delight? Tell us or show us.

For Teh Sister's graduation, Teh Bear and I went to NC for the celebrations.  This was Teh Bear's first time meeting Teh Family.  My (not really) surprise was that Teh Family welcomed Teh Bear immediately.  I like to believe that Teh Family isn't really that hard to fit in to, but we do seem to have a certain dynamic that some prior boyfriends struggled to fit in to.  They just didn't feel fully comfortable, etc.  With Teh Bear, it was like he'd been there for a long time.  There was no awkwardness (to me at least, maybe there was for him).  Teh Dad was even "normal."  In the past, Teh Dad has sometimes tried a little too hard and things would start to feel awkward.  He always claimed that the "man bond" made it ok, but it was awkward.  Really.  For everyone.  Ok, me.  But that's what matters here.  :)

26 December:
While plotting our lives and carrying on our routines it’s easy to lose track of when the last time was we let our minds run amok, let our imaginations run wild, and really let ourselves off the hook for wanting the things we want. Whether it’s a trip around the world, the man of your dreams, or a job that finally feels fulfilling to YOU: where did you let yourself dream this year? And if you realize now that you haven’t perhaps today is a good time to schedule it in.

When it came to vacation, vacation.. I did everything I/we desired to do.  There was little consideration to cost (which I haven't really regretted like I normally do) and my goal was just to enjoy myself with Teh Bear for two weeks.  No, I'm still not done with vacation recaps, because I really just needed some down time and photo editing really lost all joy when it came down to it.  Working with a handful of photos is fun, but working with 300 photos, it all just starts to blend together and then you just apply the same settings to each one and try to tweak them and then it's almost midnight and you need to go to bed but you just want to finish one more but you're too tired and they all look the same and they aren't even that good and who even cares and you should just go to bed because you have to work/do something in the morning and you can just start photo editing again the next day.. even though you'd rather vacuum and mop the entire apartment and even clean the bathrooms than photo editing, so you don't ever get back to it and then you feel guilty that you're a bad blogger and someone might have wanted to see your Grand Canyon photos except that you are lazy and have no motivation and every time you open Lightroom part of you dreads even having the icon on the taskbar...  
Oops, that got out of control.  Relishing.

I told Teh Bear that we could do anything we wanted and we did.  In the planning stages we hit some roadblocks, but once we got past those everything panned out exactly how it was supposed to, which I knew it would.  It was nice to be able to see the vacation vision come together so nicely.

27 December:
Show me the beauty of your choosing, what it is that you have embraced this year that made you feel gratitude for your life.

Biltmore house orchid

What I have embraced:
-Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
-Beauty isn't always physical.
-I have skills that I don't believe are as awesome as they probably are.
-I often underestimate myself.
-I'm not actually as much of a bitch as I'd like people to believe.
-I may not be where I thought I was going to be, but here isn't so bad.
-Purple isn't my favorite color, but all my best flower pics from 2012 seem to be purple.

28 December:
Sometimes I get started thinking about food while lying in bed, though I am no cook, and I literally can’t sleep at night. There is something about experiencing it all; the textures, the scents, the satisfaction… it’s a magic that defies explanation really. Torture me now with tales of the foods you’ve savored this year… What were your favorite flavors? Why?

Sweet stuff is the best.  Like pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing.. which I made 3 times this year.  The pumpkin brings that taste of fall and the cream cheese gives you the sweetness of Christmas to come.  It makes you feel like snuggling up with a blanket and a book in front of a fire.


29 December:
I couldn’t agree more with the little bit of art. How you see yourself is everything. Where this year did you begin to see yourself differently? What are the words you’d no longer use to describe yourself? What are your new favorite descriptors?

I've seen a lot of change in myself over the past few years.  Where in my early 20s I was a snarky, mean, cold-hearted, bitch.. Now I'm just a snarky, cold-hearted, woman.  I'm still sarcastic, but I'm no longer viciously sarcastic towards people.  As I've reached my late 20s, I've realized that friendships are stronger when you have good intentions and are good on your word.  Saying "we should hang out" is different than saying "Hey, tomorrow, let's have lunch."  I've realized the difference and I'm more pointed in my relationships with others because of it.

Also, maybe I'm not as cold-hearted as I want to be because I've realized more and more as of late that I'm quicker to tear up about sad/lovey/depressing stuff and I used to be that stonewall of emotion.  I'm becoming Teh Dad and Teh Gramps...  oh noes.  Sometimes though, it's still hard for me to express my feelings to Teh Bear when I want to be cheesy or have hard to discuss with him.  It's easier to be nonchalant than upset over something, which I've realized doesn't really help the situation like I wish it did.  Emotionless Teh Megan is just a hard contender to deal with.

30 December:
If you don’t take risks, you can’t reap rewards. If you don’t stretch, you don’t grow. If you don’t challenge yourself, you can never realize just how powerful, capable, and incredible you are.Where in the last twelve months did you up your game? And if looking back now you don’t really feel you have, that’s ok. You’ve got a clean slate coming up: what risks & challenges will you choose for yourself next year?

When 2012 started, I was feeling very overwhelmed with being back in America again and with having a new job that I'd never done or trained for.  I was feeling like I was going to fail at work and that they would never respect me for who I am as a person and the work that I had done before (which didn't even apply to this job).

At some point, everything just came together.  One day, I realized that people were asking me questions I could answer.  That flowers were blooming and it wasn't 100°F outside and I could go take pictures without being miserable.  That I was drive-able hours away from my family if I needed to go home.  That I could be there again.  That I'd get to see Teh Bear more than 2 weeks a year.  That work was rewarding because I knew enough to get through and started to impress people because I am a hard worker and do know what I'm doing and I'm responsible and I don't sneak around to avoid work.

I really think the tipping point was right before I left for Scotland when people were worried that I was going to get to go on the DET and that I was needed.  I mean, I was just standing watch, which isn't all that impressive, but I was needed.  Sometimes, that alone is empowerment enough for me to step it up.  When I came back to MD, every thing had clicked into place.  Work just worked.  I didn't feel lost as much, and eventually, I didn't feel lost at all.  Soon enough, I didn't care about any judgement I received from asking questions because most questions I answered on my own.

Sometimes, I just have to struggle for a bit to realize that I am doing just fine.. and once I make that realization, stepping up isn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be.

31 December:
Through each meander of my life I have always been able to look back and deduce what benefit I reaped from that period of time, the decisions I made, the experiences that found me. Sometimes it was a cherished new friendship, valuable new skills, or simply the inspiration of it all that changed me, and this path I’m on, forever. There is simply no waste or mistake in this life; we can harvest from every part of it some aspect to be grateful for. There is always a reason for what we endure, sometimes we just have to dig a little to find it. What was your “reason” for this year? When you look back in twenty years what will stand out as the reason you had to live this year before you could embark on all the rest?

This year, my "reason" was to learn to be grateful.  Being back in America for the first full year was overwhelming and delightful.  I realized while being overseas all the things that I had taken for granted.  I hope there are still days in 2024 that I still stop, look around me, take a deep breath, and thank God for where I am and what I'm doing and all that has been provided for me.  I learned this year that I don't have to do it on my own and there are great things all around me, most of the time that I don't even notice.  But when I do notice the tiny details, a weight is lifted and I can breathe easier for a few moments because nothing on my to-do list really matters, all that matters is the moment.

Merry 2013!

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