#reverb10 – gifts

{For the month of December I’m participating in #reverb10 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 30 – Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

To be honest I’ve purposely skipped some of these prompts, like the one for yesterday. To have written about that one would have felt like beating a dead horse. So I apologize for dropping the ball here and there, but sometimes it’s okay to let that sucker bounce.

Aside from the amazing gift I gave myself (ahem) and the other lovely tangible gifts I was bestowed by my friends and family, my favorite gift was spending time with my family. As mentioned just a few days ago, we had a blast – did a lot of laughing and a lot of harassing each other as only close family members can do. My little brother, one of my most favorite people in the whole world, can annoy me to the brink of hysterics in about 15 minutes. It’s simultaneously hilarious an annoying as hell. If I didn’t love him so much, I’d kick his ass. I’d bet on him, though, if I were you, which makes the scenario even more annoying. ARGH!

What I’ve found is that the gift of an experience almost always trumps a material gift. Years from now I’ll likely not remember who gave me what, but I’ll have the memories. It also helps that I have the memory of an elephant – I’m like a steel trap, people!

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#reverb10 – ordinary joy

{For the month of December I’m participating in #reverb10 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 27 – Ordinary Joy: Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: Brené Brown)

I’m not sure if there’s ever anything ordinary about joy, but that’s another topic.

My most joyful moment of Christmas this year would have to be playing Put and Take Jacks with my sister, my brother and my dad. My nephew was alternating between lending a hand to those playing the game (he’s pretty good, actually) and running around like a wild banshee, my mom was cooking dinner and buzzing around us filling up our glasses with Grand Marnier, and we were laughing and having a blast.

For about five games in a row, my dad would be one play away from winning the game and my sister, whose turn was before my dad’s, would either trump him by winning the game first or block his game winning move. The hilarity that came from that was just too much. His mouth would drop open each time, his eyes bulging, while she and my little brother just howled.

I felt kinda bad for my mom in the kitchen slaving away, but I know she’s at her happiest when all her chitlins are home laughing and enjoying themselves. She’s selfless like that.

Writing all this makes me realize that some of the moments when I’ve laughed the hardest in my entire life have been with these people. I’m a lucky girl and glad that some of my most favoritest people in the world are my family members.

#reverb10 – they just keep coming!

{For the month of December I’m participating in #reverb10 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

Ack! How can anyone keep up?

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK: What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

I’ve had several of these moments over the course of the year. They usually come when I pause, lift my head from whatever is overwhelming me at the moment, take a deep breath and think, “Everything is good. Everything will be just fine.” I really believe in our power to manifest what we want in the world through positive, affirming thoughts and actions. I guess the take away is to take more time in 2011 to take that deep breath and put out there what I want in my life.

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself: sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

This photo was taken by the manfriend in early August. We were camped up at Camp Dick (keep the jokes to yourselves, juveniles!) and took a hike along the St. Vrain River towards Sawtooth peak. This picture shows me doing something I love, which is getting out in nature away from a ton of people, computers, the phone – basically anything that resembles my regular week. In 2011 I strive to do a ton more of this – camping and hiking. It revives my spirit!

December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

We went down to Colorado Springs in October before I started my new job. One of my older brothers cooked up the best steak I’ve had in a long time. He grilled this filet to perfection and then topped it with this lemon, basil butter concoction he had whipped up. I can taste it now, the flavors melting over my tongue. It was epic!

#reverb10 – say my name!

{For the month of December I’m participating in #reverb10 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 23 – New Name: Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

I would choose Evan. That would have been my name if I’d been a boy. And now with people like Evan Rachel Wood blurring the lines between gender and name, why the hell not? Annie, a name I love, is very feminine. It might be fun to go with something more masculine for a day.

#reverb10 – hard to stay caught up!

{For the month of December I’m participating in #reverb10 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

I’ve got two to catch up here! Sorry for slacking! Tis the season, you know?

December 21 – Future Self: Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

Keeping in the theme of five (i.e. five years from now), I would tell myself these five things:

  • Try as hard as possible to live in the moment. Worrying about the future does you no good.
  • Work hard to manifest and invoke the things you want. Therefore, be careful about the juju you put out in the world – focus on the positive and know that good things are coming your way and that you deserve them.
  • Spend as much time as you can with your family. Time is precious.
  • Be good to your body. It’s the only one you have. Be a good steward of your own health, treat your body like a temple, be forgiving of the things you can not change.
  • Let go of expectations. They just get you into trouble.

Keeping the theme of 10 (i.e. a letter to myself 10 years ago), I would have told myself these 10 things:

  • It’s not your job to fix other people and it’s not okay to allow them to victimize you because they are victims themselves.
  • You’re life will look nothing like you imagine it will 10 years from now and that’s okay because it’s better than you think.
  • Food is not a coping mechanism – stop turning to it for the wrong reasons.
  • Yes, you are clumsy. It’s okay. It can be endearing if you let it be.
  • Some day soon your sister will be one of your best friends. Neat, huh?
  • Some day soon you will realize that your parents are not infallible and that’s okay and will alter your relationships with them in good ways.
  • Don’t settle. Don’t ever settle.
  • Any change worth making in your life needs to come from your own desire to change. You can’t do it for someone else.
  • Show appreciation. You get pretty good at doing that, but if you start now, all the better.
  • You’re going to make some really good friends in your 30’s. Be excited and value them!

December 22 – Travel: How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

We went to Mexico! This was my first real vacation in YEARS. Like eight or nine. By real vacation I  mean a vacation where you get on a plane and wind up in a place so unknown and different from your day-to-day that there’s no doubt you’re on vacation. I’ve taken time off in those eight or nine years but for staycations, which don’t seem to count sometimes. We spent most of our Mexico trip on the beach, sitting on our asses, drinking Corona and reading. It was blissful.

In 2011 I have two travel goals:

1. Go to Tennessee to visit my little brother and his wife. He’s in the Army and I’ve yet to visit him since he enlisted eight years ago. He’s been home to see us, but I’ve not been out to see him. Inexcusable!
2. Take an Alaskan cruise. This was initially the manfriend’s idea and he seems to be rethinking this option, but I’m committed to getting him passionate about it again.

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