My First Post of 2015

Hi, all.  I guess this post has been a long time coming.  For those of you who follow along here regularly, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything since, ahem… early November.  Originally, it was due to a bad case of the holiday hustle and bustle.  Between a nightmarishly snowy Thanksgiving drive to Ohio and back, condo issues, friend get-togethers, holiday parties, corporate gatherings, and Christmas shopping, I could hardly find time to breathe – let alone, write.  And then, smack dab in the middle of December, I came down with a nasty cold that knocked me on my a$$ for a while.  I think it was my body’s way of saying “enough already.”

As I started to prepare for my first post of 2015, however, I began to feel a level of uncertainty that hasn’t hit me as hard before.  Suddenly, my inbox was flooded with eerie email names like “Is blogging dead?” and “How I plan to stay sane on the internet in 2015.”

What the heck?

In all honesty, these feelings were not foreign to me.  I wasn’t exactly at the point of claiming that blogging had keeled over in its sleep, but perhaps my voice on this blog was struggling a bit, and still struggling, to stay alive.  As with all complex emotions, this revelation caused me to look inwardly, to reflect on the original purpose for writing in this space.

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I’m sure it will come as no surprise that this blog was born from a break up.  Yes, like many life events, I needed a boy to stomp on my heart to learn about the deepest parts of my self  He and I split in February of 2011 – about 7 months before my first blog post.  It was actually on Valentine’s day; he came home from work, and claimed it was over.  Nice guy, eh?

The break up was a long time coming, but I struggled with the finality of it.  I also struggled with the fact that I had recently accepted a new job, officially changed my address from Ohio to Arlington, VA, and knew close to no one within 200 miles.

This blog was an outlet for me.  It was a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings without a critical or belittling sounding board – something that was all too prevalent in the course of that relationship.  During late nights over ice cream and glasses of red wine, I wrote to clear my head, to unravel complex emotions into simplified words, and to tell fond and sometimes embarrassing stories.

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Similarly, the beginning of this year has been a challenge for me - not much different than the initial days of that 2011 break up except, at this point in time, the critical and belittlingly sounding board is coming from within my own head.  Overwhelmed by professional and personal obligations, I am ashamed by my inability to juggle everything.  It is most disheartening that I am wrestling with the utilization of this space on the internet.  I’m conflicted by the need to remove daily commitments and expectations from my life, and the need to explore the vast landscapes of my mind through writing.

I’ve been wrestling with this conflict for the past four months – until I finally made up my mind.  Despite my hectic schedule and the difficult balances of life, I need to continue to have a place to share my most vulnerable and complex moments – even if 2015 is a year of minimalism for me.

To be clear, I plan for the next eight months to be full of unsubscribing, decompressing, and saying “no” a lot more than saying “yes.”. This means that words will still be posted here and tell stories of love and pain, humor and humility –  but may come sparingly or in small bursts.  I promise to respect the need to outpour my emotions and engage in conversation with this community of readers, but also entertain my need to be quiet at times.

No matter where your life is taking you in 2015, I hope that you’ll forgive my struggle with posting regularly, but most importantly -  I hope that you’ll be along to share your ride.

31 Random Acts – Second Recap

Hi y’all.  Apologize for the delay in providing an update on 31 Random Acts on the blog.  Have you been following along on Instagram?

For this recap, I want to continue to thank our strong and mighty group of *now* nine participants with 51 total acts completed thus far!   If you’re interested in participating, it is never too late to jump in and spread some good around this month.  Here is the link to the how-to post if you want some more information on how to get started.

As for my challenge, I hope to finish my ten remaining acts in the next week or so.  But, for now, here is a flashback to my favorite acts during the second recap.

A big thanks to my cousin, Megan, who devoted a big chunk of her weekend visiting D.C. to helping me complete random acts.  Here is one of our favorites from that weekend - a drop off of Halloween fun for patients at a local children’s hospital.

Megan and I also enjoyed giving Subway sandwiches to the homeless.  Most were very grateful for the food!

I left flowers and a little note on a car in the parking lot of a church hosting an AA meeting.  I have no idea if the person was actually participating in the meeting, but I hope that he/she enjoyed the flowers and encouraging words anyways!

Here is a reminder image of my random acts.  I still have #2, #6, #11, #17, #19, #20, #21, #22, #26, and #28 left.  A surprisingly hard one: “Compliment the first five people you encounter one day.” Any ideas on how to complete my acts are greatly appreciated! :)

“Never forget that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead