August 26, 2010


Thankfully, this week has brought with it some much needed downtime, of which I have taken full advantage. Sunday, I FINALLY made it to see Inception -- I give it four stars -- and Monday I enjoyed my first free evening in many weeks.

Tuesday was a fantastic day, spent traveling to Pueblo West, where I savored a delicious sushi lunch with one of my favorite co-op people. On the return trip, I stopped by the outlets in Castle Rock and discovered some great "deals," including a replacement for my favorite pair of running capris, which have definitely seen their better days. As one who enjoys driving, I found myself appreciative of the time spend behind the wheel -- new scenery, minimal traffic, time to think. Although I spend adequate windshield team every day, traveling to and from work and various events, the experience is the same, day-in and day-out. Tuesday's trip provided relief from the mundane and for that, I am grateful. 

Last night was another theater evening, this time spent viewing Eat, Pray, Love. I am a big fan of the book from which the movie was adapted, so was excited to see the big-screen version of the story. And, as was the case with most movies I see after reading the book, it paled in comparison to its source. However, in this case, I still enjoyed the rendition, even if I did spend a large portion of the time criticizing the adaptation.

After the movie ended, I found myself wishing I could follow in the steps of author, Elizabeth Gilbert, -- taking a one-year hiatus from my everyday life to explore myself and the world. I'm certain I'm not the only person to feel this way, whether this follows a viewing of this movie or reading the book, but it doesn't alleviate my desire to pick up and spend a year traveling.

As the concept continued to brood, I recognized that while I may not have spent a year jet setting around foreign countries, my AmeriCorps experience provided a similar result. I packed up all of my belongings and drove across the country to a place I had only visited once, for a few days, to work for free (okay, technically we received $800/month, but that's hardly a sustainable wage).

Although I did volunteer for the year, my reasons for taking the journey were not sole altruistic. I made the decision shortly after the end of a seven-year relationship, to get away, to attempt to discover the self I had lost during those years and for some much-needed time to heal from the ending of the long and craggy relationship. And, while the scenery may have been vastly different -- Italy, India and Bali vs Delaware -- and the experience not entirely what I had hoped for, I am grateful for the opportunity, all the same. And, as I walked away from the theater last night, I found myself smiling, feeling truly indebted.

I suppose the moral of the story is to not take for granted those experiences you are able to have, regardless of if they are or are not the "dream" adventure. And, to not hold your breath for an Eat-Pray-Love opportunity to come around and "save" you. Take time each day, no matter where you are -- physically or emotionally -- to save yourself, whatever this may mean to you.

My dear friend Brenna, without whom my Delaware experience would not have been the same (or bearable, honestly).

August 20, 2010


Perhaps it's because I have a burning desire (no pun intended) to to bring out my pumpkin- and apple-scented candles from their hibernation. Or, maybe green leaves are becoming boring and my eyes are seeking a bit of color in the foliage. Possibly, my subconscious is seeking a change. Whatever the reason, I'm ready to say goodbye and welcome fall. Summer, in all its glory, has begun to annoy me with its incessant high temperatures and my personal need to be going, going, going while the weather is desirable.

Truth be told, I'm pining for colder days, when I won't feel guilty for not taking advantage of the warm weather, and I can relax and just be for a while. I realize decreased temps shouldn't dictate when I can take a day to hole up in my apartment, dismissing all that is happening outside my doors. However, my personal logic would disagree.

It will be a few months until I can fully enjoy the new season, as my September calendar is chock full of activities. I'm reserving October, however, for plenty of R&R&R (rest, relaxation and reflection). It will be quite appropriate as it will be the first full month of my 30s (which I still haven't come to terms with yet) and many of our bigger Jaycees projects will be complete at that time. Needless to say, I am looking forward to October.

In the meantime, I continue to live my insanely busy life. This week involved an afternoon in Boulder with a dear friend; a painting class, through which I discovered a new-found love for acrylics; and enjoyed the musical talents of Weezer, Phoenix and Jack Johnson, among others, at the Miler High Music Festival.

The week also involved a goodbye celebration for a coworker, who I am extremely sad to see leave. She has been an inspiration, a mentor and a cherished friend, and I will miss her guidance and spirited nature. As I prepare to say my goodbyes to Karli, I am again reminded of how great of an impact others make on our lives and that we seldom realize this until they are gone. This quote, which I stole from Karli's goodbye e-mail, says it best: "We are all part of everyone we meet."

So, today, I challenge you to make time to tell a friend, family member or another know how much you appreciate them. Don't wait for the day they are packing up their reference books and Ristras, do it today, tomorrow and often.

August 12, 2010

mud & mountains

Last weekend was spent getting very, very muddy and then cleaning off in the mountains, via whitewater rafting. Although it was a busy weekend, I enjoyed the new adventures and spending time with friends whom I hadn't seen in a while, as well as new friends.
The business has continued into the week with Jaycees events and multiple concerts, with my apartment showing the effects -- clothes scattered everywhere, an unmade bed and other various piles of items throughout. I was able to spend a few minutes this morning tidying up -- thanks to my now short hair, which spares me about 15 minutes of a.m. prep -- but am still feeling unkempt. I suppose that is the price paid for a busy lifestyle.

The upcoming weekend will be more time spent away from home, enjoying live music at the Mile High Music Festival. I'm looking forward to seeing some of my favorite musicians, including Weezer, Phoenix, Keane, Cypress Hill and Jack Johnson.

Also happening this week is the initiation of my time tracking plan, which basically involves me documenting how I spend every hour during the week. The exercise stems from the book, "168 Hours" which was recommended as part of the e-course I recently completed. So far, time tracking has been an interesting experience and a bit of an eye opener (I spend WAY more time than I thought watching TV, which can probably be attributed to my newly discovered love of 30 Rock. How did I not know about this show?! Hilarious!).

At times I have been frustrated by the tediousness of writing down every activity, but it's already proven beneficial as far as completing weekly goals (which I've also started setting this week) and evaluating how I spend my time. I have already made changes based on the results and it's only day four. Although I'm not planning on making the time tracking a weekly occurrence, I do plan to complete it once a month. I highly recommend giving it a try, especially if you find yourself, at the end of day, wondering where all your time went.
For more mud & mountains photos, check out my Flickr page.

August 2, 2010

minor hiatus

At the beginning of the year, I vowed to post at least once per week. However, as with most plans, life got in the way. And, here we are, nearly three weeks and no posts (with the exception of one Wordless Wednesday).

Part of the blame can be attributed to the fact that I was at youth camp a few weeks ago and had very limited access to the internets for the duration. Beyond that, the Jaycees, the tranquilista e-course, other various projects and training for a half-marathon have swallowed the majority of my free time. I can't complain though as the work I've been doing for the e-course has been very enjoyable and enabled me to grow  -- introspectively and spiritually. I am sad to see it end and hope to continue with the practices I developed as part of the course, some of which may turn into a new business venture (more later on that).

As for the Jaycees, all I can say is that I've made it past the halfway point and am definitely counting down the months until my presidency is complete. I don't mean to be negative regarding the Jaycees, but I can honestly say I am burnt out. It's been a long, busy, stressful year thus far. I am grateful for the experience and all it has taught me, but am looking forward to handing over the reins in January.

Additionally, I've been continuing in my quest to morph into a good cook -- or, a cook, at the very least. My most recent delicious creation was dinner last night -- roasted butternut squash and onion. Yum! I've been toying with the idea of taking a cooking course, but my current schedule just doesn't allow for such. I had to choose between cooking and a photography class, and the latter won. Although, I do enjoy photography as well, and taking additional classes in the subject has been on my to-do list for at least a year, so it's definitely not a bad choice. And, the fact that work is picking up the tab doesn't hurt either.

After this week, with the completion of the e-course and wrapping up a few other projects, things should get back on track for the blog. Oh, and for those who are curious, the training is going okay. My knees have been bothering me quite a bit and Ibuprofen and ice are vying for the position of my new best friend.

Looking ahead, I am excited for a few adventures that will be occurring this weekend -- mud volleyball (where I will be a participant, as opposed to a spectator, as was the case the past three years) and whitewater rafting. I'm taking advantage of the summer months before fall creeps in and then winter is upon us because, as we all know, the snowy months will be here before we know it.

 I, along with other members of the Denver Jaycees and Cherry Creek Jaycees, participated in Relay for Life at Wash Park in July -- walking 10 miles throughout the night. Thanks to all who donated for the cause. And, above, my fellow co-op communicator, Becky, and me enjoying a swim in the Colorado River during a rafting trip at Youth Leadership Camp.