Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Year. In Review.

It will be a quiet close to a relatively quiet year.
Some years are packed with adventures, some are a bit more calm.
2013 was on the calmer side of the spectrum. 
Sure, there are some things I would've done differently. 
The usual things, mostly.
I meant to read more books,
and spend less time in front of the computer.
I didn't ride my bike as much as I daydreamed about, 
or keep as many appointments at the gym that I intended too. 
I continued to throw out dishes that I didn't feel like washing when they piled up. 
Probably should have flossed more regularly also.
The good news is, those are all habits that can be remedied
once I throw them on the ol' resolutions list.
 And for the instances that I had less control over,
the unexpected loss of a job,
the unimaginable compromise of a friend's safety,
the hanging around,waiting too long for someone to realize how amazing I thought they were... 
to realize, how amazing they think I am...
Those situations made my heart ache.
But then,
there were the moments that caused it to swell.
I swam in a lot of rivers,
and I hiked a whole bunch of mountains.
I hugged the biggest redwood tree I ever saw,
counted endless shooting stars as they streaked the night sky.
I got a new job, representing a company that I love.
I danced to some really good music.
I made some new friends, and I tried some new foods.
I saw my first bald eagle circle above me on a crisp fall day.
 I watched my hard work unfold as an entire city and all of it's citizens
came together for the ultimate act of kindness,
in helping a little boy's wish come true.
And so it is.
I'll plot more adventures for 2014,
but I chalk this year up to being 'pretty darn good.'
Happy Christmas.
Happy year end, friends.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snooty Tuesday, on Wednesday.

Yesterday I was in a mood. And let me tell you - not even an adorable puppy could drag me out of it. 
I wanted to punch and fling things. 
A friend and I call this the 'Snooty Tuesdays,' 
regardless of the day of the week.
And then, when someone told me I made their heart smile, 
I just felt like an asshole.
So it was by the grace of good friends, the grinning heart comment and a very thin veil of pragmatism, 
that I resisted the urge to do the following:
  • Dramatically swipe all of the contents on my desk from its’ surface, sending a flurry of office supplies and energy bars into the air to the shock and bewilderment of coworkers.
  • Buy a gigantic, extra-thick strawberry milkshake, remove the cover and splash it directly into a very specific person’s face.  (Basically, reenacting the scene from Grease except that this action would be premeditated on my part, not an impulsive reaction by Rizzo.)
  • Smash my cell phone with a hammer with one swift blow.
(72 min. creation, by me)

I didn't do any of those things…so that’s good. 
Things I did instead:
  • Re-watched a bunch of David Blaine YouTube videos from his celebrity TV special and settled on the conclusion that yes, Woody Allen probably does make his own malteds – which is adorable – and second,  that I need some DB ‘merch’ for Christmas. I proclaimed this need to the entire office. It was received with uncomfortable laughter and shifty eyes.
  • Spent 72 minutes trying to figure out/remember how to insert text on top of a photo in power point. I do not know how to bill this hour and 12 minutes. It should be noted that the determination to succeed here was driven by self-serving reasons, as the project was personal and not client related.
  • Invented a brand spanking new rendition of my popular workout series, “living room interval training,” where I do a bunch of weird, made-up exercises inspired by stuff I vaguely remember from my high school gym class elective: weight room. So, basically I gossiped to myself as I did calf raises and leg lifts. 
Today's better. Tomorrow's Friday.
I head home for Thanksgiving early next week. 
Things are looking up! 
Here's to smiling hearts and a weekend full of gratitude. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

So Long, October

How is it already the end of October? 
I swear, time ticks by faster on the west coast. 
It's been a mix of calm and chaos - without much of a middle ground. 
Some months are like that I suppose, 
but all I wanted for fall is for things to hold steady. 
Did you know that autumn represent wisdom and maturity? 
 I don't feel either of those things at all really. 
My feelings have been mixed up all month,
 making me feel a little confused and foolish.
photo is my own
I think it's tied to the notion of letting go.
Letting go of pain points at work. 
Letting go of circumstances that don't pan out as planned.
Letting go of the questions without answers...
That's hard for me. 
I'm no good with the act of releasing.
I cling to the things that I invest in,
and fiercely 'miss' the expectations that fall flat. 
I bless and let go and then er, I take it all back and try it again. 
You can't say I'm not persistent! 
But there comes a time when one has to step forward and move on. 
In November, I'll do better. 
Have a wonderful weekend my friends. 
Enjoy these last few days of October,
 both the calm and the chaotic. 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chasing Sunsets

Last night, after I got home from work I had a lot on my mind. 
I could have easily sunk onto the couch 
but I needed fresh air and went out for a run.
Rather than run along the water, I decided to take the upper route through a neighborhood of big old rambling houses and sidewalks lined with trees with knotted branches and hot pink blooms.
The sky was starting to show signs of a beautiful sunset, 
and I wanted to chase it.
About halfway to the sky, I stopped to look out towards the bay and watch the clouds turn sorbet peach, pink and orange. 
A guy about my age was admiring the view too.
He was handsome. Settled in his stance. 
 He stepped towards me, explaining he had flown into San Francisco earlier that afternoon, 
but had to get to Humboldt County 
and was in need of directions to the train.
What he was doing – high above the city in this quiet, sleepy neighborhood – I don’t know. 
I talked him through his route. 
I explained that it was simple enough but would take him awhile, and dusk was quickly escaping into dark.  
His disposition was confident and kind with a soft-spoken voice.
The type of temperament that someone who relies on the guidance and help from strangers would have.  
When I told him it might take a bit of time to make his way downtown for the next leg of his journey, 
he responded that he had to walk, and that he didn't mind the dark or the cool air – his only degree of accountability was that he had to be at the next spot at six am.
And I loved him for that response.
And I envied him for his freedom to roam the open road.
Nothing to do but walk and watch and explore – 
all through the night with the simple task of getting to the next destination.
And then doing it all over again.
Happy trails to you, stranger. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

On Letting Go...

There is something recently that I am having a little difficulty letting go.
I wish I could, but I just haven't been able to fully.
I feel silly because the answer is right there and yet, 
I still read a million different meanings in the messages delievered. 
image is my own
It is troubling me, because I am not one to shake my fist at the universe.
I am deserving of more, and capable of better...
...but acceptance can be hard. 
Here's to the deliberate practice of letting go. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

On Wishes

Next week, I turn another year older. 
Honestly, I blinked and a year went by.
Last year was the absolute tops - I really mean it. 
It was a sun chasing, rocky mounting climbing, perfect ten of a year. 
And so next week, with a whole new number attached to my name,
and a candle to wish upon, 
I wish for the same. 
To continue to feel too much and express too freely.
To take chances and to make choices that aren't fully thought through.
To keep my head high and my heart strong.
To speak openly, even if the truth can be a little scary.
image unknown
To work hard but play a little harder.
To pursue adventure and try new things.
To tell people when I miss them. 
To continue to hope and believe and subscribe to the notion 
that the whole wide world is on our side.
To remember that although there are times we might not get the answers we think we need,
the kind that leave us stumped and scratching our heads, 
there's a reason for that too. 
Things take time. 
Here's to another banner year, friends! 
Thank you, 
for making it so. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

... To Make Everything Okay Again

When I was little and something was troubling me,
I would seek comfort outside.
Our backyard borders a pretty big forest,
and although I wouldn't go far,
I'd walk far enough to feel the coolness of the shade
 and to find a soft cushion of moss upon which to sit.
When I felt that the quiet of the woods had calmed me,
I'd turn around and head back to the house.
Something happened this past week that rattled me, big time. 
It brought on a surge of emotion: panic, angst, confusion, sadness, guilt and regret.
It stirred up some nerves that I didn't even know were there, 
deep down,
 in the core of my core.
And then, as the uncertainty started to uncloud, 
and the unknown began to piece together into the known,
came relief, hope and gratitude. 
A lot of the initial nerves have dissolved,
in part because I know where I am heading.
It's off to the mountains I go.
To get a little distance from the week- in both miles and memory.
To surround myself with good friends and happy thoughts.
To fill my lungs with fresh air
and to let the sun and the stars and the sierras,
make everything okay again.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happiness Happens!

In it's final days, I waved goodbye to July gently, and sweetly.
The last couple of weeks of July had been a mash-up of highs and lows.
It left me with a funny tummy and a brain daze.
So. Goodbye to July, and hello to August!
August, where I begin to settle into renewed consistency
and start a whole new set of  adventures!
August, most especially,
I have always been fond of you. 
And did you know that August 8th is Happiness Happens Day? 
The number eight is regarded as highly lucky - it signifies prosperity and abundance.
So here's to you, Crazy Eights!
May we all be blessed with an abundance of happiness.
That means baby goats and bare feet and ice cream - all day long.
High fives all around: happiness is contagious!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Secret of Sweet Dreams...

The truest words of summer...
first penned by author Barbara Kingsolver
and since adapted by me. 
Life has been sweet lately indeed.
Filled with barbecues and bikes rides,
weddings and babies,
 workplace accolades and personal milestones - 
the type of milestones reached by pure and honest sticktoitness and discipline.
The sweetness of summer has elicited flexibility, 
the kind that develops solely from a little more life experience, 
a couple more years tucked under our belts...
what a magical thing to finally understand. 
But often, it is the not-so-gentle or subtle reminders that make life so.
It's a toggle. A balance. 
The sweet also comes from the reassuring shoulder squeeze,
the encouraging coaxing, 
and the simple reminder for friends that although we are not invincible,
we love and we support, and in doing so,
we are loved and supported. 
Wishing you all continued and renewed sweetness in the second half of summer.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pardon the Pause...

Life has been pretty wild these past few weeks. 
I've been making a conscience effort to peg that 'work life balance' bit once and for all. 
I think I've developed a fairly nice rhythm for the time being. 
(image is my own.)
By week's end, two big events that have required months of planning, time and attention will be executed and done with.I will celebrate with a big, dramatic sigh of relief. 
June has been pleasantly sunny, warm and clear, 
and has brought unexpected surprises.
More to come...
Have a wonderful Monday, friends.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

If I Had My Life to Live Over...

I am long overdue to give some attention to Big Moon.
It's been quite busy in my world as of late.
With what - I couldn't tell you. 
It's been this and that, and hither and thither,
 and it seems lately, that any time I sit down to put thoughts to paper, well...
I'd just assume go for a run or curl up on the couch, or get laundry done instead. 
Wild times here in my world, I know. 
Simple is good. Routine is comforting. 
But goodness.
I am feeling the itch for a big adventure.
A challenge for both body and spirit. 
I leave you with wise thoughts from Nadine Star.
Here's to swimming more rivers, and eating more ice cream. 
Speak soon, friends.
image unknown

Friday, April 19, 2013

Focus on Love. Send out Love.

After September 11, 
I remember walking around the paved pathways of my college campus aimlessly,
sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, but always in the quiet.
 My mind was flooded with thoughts, but I was unsure about what, exactly.
I was young, and the world wasn’t quite so scary back then.
I knew there were things to be worried about -  feelings to be felt - but it was confusing 
and hard, and sometimes
 I felt ashamed for grieving for people I didn’t know.
 I felt as if I didn’t deserve to feel the same sadness as people more closely impacted by the terrorist attacks. 
image is my own
I know now, that there is  no gauge to measure sadness. 
The events in Boston this week bring the return of that empty feeling, with a lot of tears welling up and uncertainty as to where to direct my grief. 
 Similar to those early evenings back on campus, 
this week I've been going on slow, steady runs through the pathways of San Francisco. 
My eyes on the horizon, my thoughts pointed east. 
There is no gauge to measure sadness… but the same can be said for love. 
And so, I choose to fight fear with love. 
Focus on love. Send out love.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Moon Gazing

I used to think homesick was a feeling 
reserved for rainy days at summer camp, 
or long lonely weekends in a zip code still new to me.
But here I am, happier than a clam and feeling quite content
and that old distant feeling has snuck right up on me, 
like a mosquito to my neck. 
I suppose you can feel homesick when things go right too.
I'll be walking along, minding my thoughts 
and I'll see something completely ordinary to others,
but to me its anything but. 
A speckled feather on a path, a magnolia in bloom, 
a smoothed over river stone. 
I'll cross the street 
and my eye will catch a cat sunning itself in a window, 
or a ginkgo leaf laying in the shadows on the sidewalk.
image is my own
An op-ed in the paper, a funny spoof on tv, a sketch on a postcard or a chuckle at work.
And every so often, on a rare clear night,
 I'll look up to a full, plump moon.
Lately all of these simple
 daily discoveries make me miss my family. 
I feel settled and happy and excited and inspired,
and suddenly it seems a little strange to feel these things 
without my family close by to share it all with me.
This feeling will pass. 
But until then, 
I'll keep staring up, 
at that big old moon,
in that big old sky,
and think of you. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Promise Yourself

My sister introduced me to the cheerful words of Christian D. Larson.
I've shared a snippet of one of his pieces below.
Isn't that something? 
I think so. 
Because the whole world truly IS on your side.
Get out there and absolutely ace your day tomorrow, friends! 
And when the last email is sent, 
and the final conference call had, 
you can reward yourself with the beauty of the changing night sky. 
image is my own
"To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” 

- Christian D. Larson- 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rise Free

It's been a while since last I posted.
For that, forgive me.
I've got thunder in my heart, and I'm heading north
where the mountains will echo my triumphant shrieks of glee.
And so, in the meantime,
I leave you with a simple thought for Thursday.
Be well, my friends, and do as Thoreau says.

"Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures."
-Henry David Thoreau- 

Monday, February 11, 2013


The past few weeks were tremendously challenging for me.
I felt like my brain had been hijacked.
I couldn't manage my thoughts, or articulate my feelings.
I couldn't possibly know, or convince myself, that things would be okay.
I couldn't find the right words to express my emotions,
and for someone who gains solace from writing,
this was probably the most frustrating challenge of all.
I'd smile and shrug and try my best to assure my friends and family
that I believed them when they'd tell me
that everything was going to work out.
I tried to convince them I accepted the notion
that when one door closes another will open.
At the time, I didn't.
But the power of hindsight is pretty incredible,
and now I can breath the deep sigh of relief
I was wishing for every night before bed.
With challenges, often come lessons.
And the exercise of looking backward
reveals the learnings of those lessons.
image is my own
On a surface level, the challenges of the past three weeks
alerted me to the changes I need to make
related to how I manage my budget,
and rebuild a nest egg, and all of that grown-up,
logistical mumbo jumbo.
But really, the more impactful revelation from weeks past is the following:
That all my gentle heart requires
is to be surrounded by people who are kind, 
who are sincere,
and who are well-intended.
That's all I ask.
And I'll do my best to make good on
weeding out the weasels from the winners; I promise.
I choose to see the good in everyone.
I believe in the benefit of the doubt- likely to a fault-
and I would never compromise that trait within me.
I'm proud of that.
But now more than ever,
I appreciate the notion that good things happen when you surround yourself with good people.
I now subscribe to this philosophy professionally,
 but this lesson also applies to my personal life.
Here's to a fresh start in February,
new adventures ahead,
and the power of hindsight.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On Perspective...

A week ago, I lost my job. 
I was blindsided by the news- completely floored.
A slap in the face, a punch in the gut, a push into icy cold water- head first.
And it's taken me a full week to fumble through my clumsy thoughts,
although I am still sifting through various emotions.
Tempering my anger, calming my nerves, 
grieving the separation from a team I genuinely cared about.
I'm a worrier, that's a given. 
But rather than focus on the scary,
I want to tell the story of the support. 
Because the truth of it is, 
complaining feels a little trite.
image is my own
I live a pretty exceptional life,
 surrounded by some pretty amazing people,
in a city that has completely captured my heart. 
This past week most especially,
I feel tremendously overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity 
from my colleagues, family and friends. 
It's... it's too much. Too much love. 
Too much kindness. 
Goodness knows, there have been a lot of lessons learned this week.
And there will continue to be a lot of tough days, filled with doubts.
But, in one of the most unfortunate circumstances I have faced, 
I feel like one of the most fortunate women in the world. 
And so today, 
I feel grateful.

Monday, January 14, 2013

On Resolutions

It’s been a while since I shared a tale or two. 
My, how quickly the back half of the year seemed to go.

In an instant, confetti and noise makers signaled a New Year.   
And just like that, we were all granted the chance at a do-over. 
There is something methodical and calming about listing out the actions we pledge to carry out. 
Those that will make us, maybe, a little bit kinder, or a little bit stronger.
 And while some of my resolutions are only for me, too delicate and special to share,  below are a handful of behaviors I would like to enhance in 2013.   
Here’s to continuing to do the things that you give you pleasure with the people that bring you joy.

Happy New Year, my friends.

Speak soon.

image is my own; New Year's Day sunrise
  • To drink more green and to read more books.
  • To write more letters. And, when asking how someone is feeling, really listen to their answer.
  • To recommit to cooking my meals and understanding where the foods I nourish my body with come from.
  • To plan at least one epic and awesome adventure this year. Anyone for rafting the Colorado?
  • To be mindful that skipping on some ‘spends’ so that I can contribute to a rainy day fund will be the best investment in myself that I make.
  • To remember the feeling I have when I run. The fresh, cold air against my face, and how my legs feel strong and my heart feels fierce. To remember that feeling often, and to act on it.
  • To be aware of the people around me, and when they might need a gentle nudge, a nurturing hug, or a celebratory high-five.