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Category Archives: dancing

Getting ready to start again

A new adventure!

I’m always amazed when I first get to a new country.  There are so many things to learn, look at, eat, and know.  Once I arrived, I knew I had found a place I could stay a while.

Along with a few ESL classes, I am the new Science teacher at an International School.  I’m spending my Winter Break creating science units and lessons for grades 3-8.  It’s So, So, SO much fun!   That is not sarcastic.  I’m really enjoying it.

My classes are truly international, with students from Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, Asia, and the Americas.  I’ve been welcomed in from the first day and have met many other expats as well.  What a fun place I’m living in!

Dancing on the weekends never disappoints!  And, I have a new puppy, Zoe.  Technically, she’s not mine, my bestie rescued her, but I get to claim her while I live here 🙂  Zoe’s about 7 months old and had been hit by a car when very young.  She’s got a funny little gait, but she keeps up on our walks.  Getting to know how to be a good doggie second mommy has had its ups and downs, but mostly ups!  Yeah for conquering fears a little more every day.

I’m grateful for a good job, in a good city, with good people.  It’s the season to show our love for humanity.  And so, I will also be doing some volunteer work at the local orphanage hospital.  Holding and comforting tiny newborns and infants sounds like a pretty sweet way to celebrate the Season well.  I will let you know how that goes, because I expect pure, exuberant awesomeness to come from those days.

I need to get back to planning for a semester of science, but I wanted to check in with everyone and say Hi!  Go be awesome.

Tell ’em Ms. McKahsum told you to!

 

 

 

 

I keep on dancing.

When I arrived back in the US, I began eating everything!  I was eating full meals 5-6 times a day.  I have been eating steak, burgers, bacon, burritos, chile, cakes, chocolate, real – delicious – amazing – wonderful FOOD. 

I finally weigh a healthy weight of 123 pounds!!  120 is the lowest number I should be at, so I’m grateful to finally have crossed it.  6 weeks of stuffing myself like a pig getting ready for Christmas and I’m finally there! Thank you mama for being such an amazing cook. 

Now, it is time to start getting my healthy weight into a healthy state.

While I’ve got a few things burning on the back burner, up front I’m recovering by restoring myself to general health.  It feels good. 

As a former personal trainer,  you would think I could train myself, yes?  

I can, but we all need external motivation to get started.  I don’t care who you are.  If you are having to start over from square one, it is infinitely more difficult to do it on merely your own will power.  I thought, ok, now that I’m back in the world of way too much, I’ll use my smartphone and give myself a little boost with one of these new-fangled apps.

I found about a million different exercise and fitness apps when I searched.   Aye, how is a girl supposed to know which one?

AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS WHEN I DECIDED ON MY NEW CHALLENGE!

Mouth curled in, head turned, eyes squinting, fingers typing anyway. I admit, I am not, so far, very good at finishing my challenges.    I am working on it already….  It’s a challenge. 

For 3 weeks I am going to try 6 apps.  Then I’ll try a different set for 3 weeks.  I’m only committing to twice for now.  Trying to keep it real here.

But I’m going to post my thoughts and progress about the apps I try. 

Nope, I am not turning into a fitness blog.  It’s still my life.  I try to be fit amongst all the other things I do. 

OK you ready?   Here are the apps I’m trying for the next 3 weeks.

 

s_health 

S Health came with my Samsung super phone, so it seems right to check it out first.  My phone has a heart rate sensor!   Who the freak knew?  I didn’t when I bought it, but hey, I’m psyched about it now!  It uses the GPS, the heart rate monitor and who knows whatever other cool gadgets are in there to track my steps, knows when I’m running vs. walking, and keeps me posted on my heart rate.

I need to be more active apparently.  I started it this morning with my little walk/run.  But I know I’m starting easy, so I’m ok with the 20% of daily activity.  Besides it’s only noon.

7Min 

This is the 7 Minute Workout, by Abishkking.  It has a calendar, a classic (full body) workout option, an ab workout option, and a soon to come butt workout option.  I looked at the 13 exercises listed, jumping jacks, wall sit, push ups, crunches, step ups, squats, tricep dips, plank, high knees, lunges, push up with alternating rotations, and side plank, and think, this might just be pretty good. 

I can set up reminders throughout the day as I choose.  I decided each morning, post run. 

PushUpsSitUpssquat  

Each of these apps, by NorthPark.Android, create a program based on where you start.  I haven’t started yet, so I can’t tell you what my program is…   But I got a pretty good laugh when I realized that my push up trainer expects me to touch my phone with my nose or chin to count how many I’ve done.  Hehe  that makes me giggle for some reason. 

These I’m going to do in the evening to keep life rounded out ‘round here.

Water 

Water Your Body is also by NorthPark.Android

This one asks my weight and sets a goal for how much I should drink each day.  It let me set the perimeters for when to start and stop each day and the increments of water.  I chose 5am to 7pm and 9 oz glasses.  It says it only gives me a reminder if I haven’t checked in that I’ve drunk enough water.  

Seems like it might be labor intensive with keeping up, but, we’ll see.  I foresee a lot of toilet visits in the next couple weeks.   I know it only takes a little while to get used to it, but, in the meantime, I’ll keep the tp in plentiful supply.  Smile

Nothing keeps me down too long.  There are some interesting things coming up in my future.  Lots of changes happening slowly.  I’m grateful all the time for how lucky I am.  Life keeps me on my toes.

So I keep on dancing. 

I love the music of life. 

 

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It’s 8 days until Christmas

It’s 8 days until Christmas

I’m not necessarily religious anymore as you know.  But Christmas for me is about the tradition of decorating, lighting, candles, gathering people, gift giving, baking, cooking, laughing, and being with my children.

This will be the 3rd Christmas away from them.

I miss those moments with them.

Cori and I would have already started on our annual bake-a-palooza.  The boys and I would be soon starting our gingerbread houses.  No one would be allowed to look any where for any thing without first making the general announcement question if such place was OK to look in.

Someone would usually say no and have to go hunt for the needed item themselves.

The Harry Potter marathons, the traditional movies on TV, the stupid silly song-fests as we sing and dance around and cook.

The typical family nonsense.

Taking gifts to friends, wishing everyone happiness.

I miss those moments.

And, snuggling with them.  Yep even as grown up kidittos, they always snuggle with me.  And I love it.  It’s my favorite.

Hot chocolate or cider a big blanket, a book, and my favorite people all puppy piled in.

I hope that never changes, but I suppose it might.

Tonight, I am missing my babies.

My first Christmas away this is what my Sweetpea wrote me:

 

“This is the first year I haven’t been with you for the holidays. The first year we didn’t bake holiday treats for a week straight. The first year we didn’t go into a sugar coma from baking those treats. The first year we didn’t set up the tree together. The first year we didn’t get into a fight about how long we can leave the Christmas decorations up before it gets tacky. The first year we didn’t tunelessly sing Christmas carols to annoy the boys until they finally joined in. The first year that we didn’t get obnoxious Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. The first year we haven’t unsuccessfully attempted to take decent Christmas pictures. This first year I haven’t been with my mom for Christmas. I’m proud of you for everything you are doing, but around this time I just kinda wish you here for the holidays. Christmas kinda isn’t the same with you half way around the world. I love you mommy, Merry Christmas”

I read this all the time, not just at Christmas.

Over my birthday my Boo wrote this:

“well, just don’t internalize it mama your an amazing person. You don’t need a man in your life ‘ Find yourself a good woman, they’ll love you more haha  ‘ it is hard but your such a strong person, we all know it. I owe so much of my strength to seeing you mom and I love you so much for it. I know you’ll get through this. You’ve gone through worse”

And my Monkeysan, well, he just makes me happy with this one:

“well i don’t care what day it is i just wanna hang out with my mamma”

They were so little not so long ago!  And freakishly cute fyi

They were so little not so long ago! And freakishly cute fyi

 

 

 Best Christmas Present Gift faces EVER!!   Unplanned and in the moment awesomeNESS

Best Christmas Present Gift faces EVER!! Unplanned and in the moment awesomeNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aboard our only (so far) family cruise in May of ’12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I make good humans, I can’t lie…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sweetpea made us Christmas Baking Headbands! Oh I love this girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At David’s graduation this summer….. They’re turning into good, good people.

 

 They keep me strong even when we’re apart.  So this week, in tribute to my amazing children, who are becoming amazing adults, I am going to put on stupid Christmas songs, sing and dance around my apartment, make a few goodies, and spread some general cheer to a few people.  Whether they like it or not.

I can handle one week of this without going too nuts  🙂

Peace and happiness everyone

 

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My first holidays in Turkey

My first holidays in Turkey

Halloween has always, ALWAYS been my favorite holiday.

Maybe it’s the secret actress in me but I love dressing up and getting to be someone else for a night.

Halloween is not really celebrated outside of the US. In fact, it’s pretty much only “celebrated” in other countries where there are concentrations of Americans that will make it happen whether or not it’s recognized.

Luckily for us here, a few establishments and another US expat held Halloween parties, so Wendi, Robin, and I got to dress up a couple times. First, we went to a house party as 3 Bad Ass Biker Babes!


 


 


 


 


Dunno who he was, but he kept asking me about serious, so we got his photo!

 

Then on actual Halloween, we went to a local bar for a little dancing fun. There really aren’t any dance clubs here, so going out dancing is more like finding a space by your table to dance if you want to. And since we bring our friends along, and our friends dance, we danced like we came from out of this world ………until it was time to go get food.


 


 


 

I really like how the colors of the lantern, the flower, and the wine looked together, so here’s a little artsy photo just because.

 


 

In between Halloween outings, there was Republic Day. Adana held its first Oktoberfest at one local “pub”, so of course we had to check that out before going dancing.

 


 


 


 


 




 


 


 


 


 


 

All in all a good week of first holidays here in Turkey. Now to start planning teaching stuff for November. I’m thinking Gingerbread…..


 

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The picture post I’ve been promising

The picture post I’ve been promising

The Best Saturday Fundraiser I’ve ever been to!

Great Job Minke Mari!!!

Check out her page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/MiNkE/101063613308741

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Chubby’s in Jhubei, eat there.

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Life is about relationships/interactions

The topic, as suggested in a comment,

I think life is all about relationships/interactions , no matter how brief or seeming insignificant they may seem at the moment.

I’m not sure I think life is ALL about relationships and interactions, but I would definitely say 85% of it is.

The other 15% I think has to be completely about self.  Simply and solely about self.  The 85% is about self and others, but, that 15% is really important.  Without it, how we interact with others wouldn’t be the same.

That said, our relationships and interactions are extremely important.  They shape who we are, how we think, and react.  They help us decide how and when to begin acting instead of reacting.  They teach us how to be us.

Every face we see, every action we notice, every person that accidentally brushes us, they all mold us.  How many happy faces do we see each day vs how many angry or sad ones.  How many people do we see sitting quietly or animatedly reciting something to the person next to them.  I think these glimpses into other peoples lives help shape our lives.   We instinctively make decisions and judgments and run scenarios through our heads about it.

Once upon a time a long time ago, some one told me, “Never talk about something you don’t have personal experience about.  If you haven’t been part of an event you can’t really know what it’s about.”   I can’t really remember what spurred it on, but I’m sure I made some hasty decision about something and got called out on it.   I was young, maybe 10 or 11, but that has stuck with me.  HARD.  It made a profound, subconscious effect that I still can’t shake even though it can actually cause problems.

Cause problems you ask?  How can that cause problems?  Quite frankly, people can get thrown off because apparently it can sound as if I only want to talk about myself.   This is really not the case, I’m just thoroughly unable to talk about a subject I haven’t had something to do with in case I get the whole thing wrong.

Now, I have learned how to talk about subjects I have only experienced through reading, watching, etc, so it’s getting better, but the point is that, that one brief moment made a HUGE impact.

I have met so many people along my path, that I have only known briefly, that really have significantly impacted my life, in ways they will never know.

For example, for a short time I was training a couple in their home.  I had some car issues come up and was strapped for cash to get them fixed.  Never ever expecting it, this couple gave me a check to help fix the car problems on their last appointment.  All this happened at a very personally difficult time.  A friend was able to help me fix the car myself, saving hundreds of dollars.  After a singularly difficult evening with the personal issues I had at the time, I made a split second decision to buy a ticket to San Diego and go meditate at my Ocean.

I needed to clear my head, figure out how to get through what was happening, and how to take the next steps.  I needed my ocean to do that.  Living in New Mexico, thousands of miles from ANY ocean, was difficult.  I needed to sit by the ocean and hear the sounds, smell the smells, and let her work her magic on my crazy life.

I never saw that couple again, but, that trip was the pivotal moment in an extremely important time in my life.

I’ve always been a people watcher.  My parents were hardly an example of how to parent.  In fact growing up the best examples I had for parenting were the TV parents.  I began running away early, I knew it wasn’t healthy for me to be there.  Most of my early teen years were spent in several institutions, so really after about 12 or so, I didn’t have any example of parenting.

It has been all the many amazing, terrible, wonderful, average parents out there, that I’ve watched and asked, and read about, that helped me become a good parent.  All the interactions with other parents helped shape the parent I was becoming.  I never shied away from asking or listening to advice.  I would gauge it against what I knew or had seen or had tried already.

Every parent I saw, every where I went, great, terrible, and everything in between, knowingly or oblivious, helped me decide how to act during situations with my children as they came up.  Hells bells I screwed stuff up!  And yet, I know that in spite of their dad’s influence, I raised three really great kids.

I have lived in so many places……  and I have met people who changed my life in every one.  The neighbors in WA that came to look after me when Cori was born.  My old housemates when the ex and I were first married.  The couple we shared Christmas with in CT.  The teacher in NJ.  The many people at the dinners we attended at Princeton.  The other wives from the submarine days.  The dear friends I’ve made that have stayed my friends for so many years, and the momentary friends that helped me understand me and my world better.  The woman who taught me to belly dance in order to avoid being put on bed rest.  The guy who drove me to get my tire fixed.  The guy who told me to “just open the lid and pour it in”.  My classmates in college and university.  My amazing amazing instructors and professors.  The new friends I am making as I go around the world.

The guy who told me I had a nice smile.  The lady who stopped and picked up something I had dropped and gave it back to me.  The girl who moved over on the bus so I could sit down.  The man who politely gave me directions.  The woman who stared in amazement as I asked for directions from two black boys without reservation.  The girl confidently reading a book by herself at a crowded restaurant who still gives me strength to do things by myself even today.

I could go on with this list for HOURS!

These seemingly insignificant interactions shape how I choose to behave.  I try to make sure there is room on the bus.  I try to help people smile.  I return things to their owners.  I share anything I can.  I try to be gracious.  I try to be a good friend.

I know that I can be someone’s example of how to be polite, or unafraid, or unbiased because so many people have been mine.

Every interaction you have affects your life.  Large or small, they affect who you become, they affect how you see the world.  These interactions, no matter how fleeting can later become the thing you look back on and think about the most.

That 15%  of self is important because

You decide if it’s for negative or positive.

You decide if you are going to harp or heed.

You decide if you move backward, stay in limbo, or move forward.

You decide if you are going to blame or learn.

But once those decisions are made:

Life really is about the relationships and interactions you have with the inhabitants of planet Earth.

 

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41 things to do before you’re 41

First a little rant

There’s been a lot of craze about the 23 things to do except get married blog.  I have mixed feelings.

I started college after my children were older.  I have seen the countless girls that go to college to find a husband, with their degree being a secondary consideration, (though they will say and possibly believe otherwise).  There are astounding social boundaries put around these young high school and college girls to marry right away.

I think the blog was written with a need to break free, by someone trying to let loose of boundaries that are far more commonplace than we’d like to acknowledge.

That’s fair.

I also think it was written with a little too much severity towards those that choose to get married earlier in life rather than later.  It’s true you shouldn’t do it just because it’s the norm, just because there’s pressure in the ideal that you’re only whole when you’re with someone. 

That does NOT mean that there is an age boundary in which to or not to get married exists.  Marriage should be about love, commitment, and hope.  

I know lots of women that have married at a young age and have been happily married for decades.  I know young women now that truly have found someone special and perfect for them and they are happy.  They didn’t choose to get married because of societal pressures.  And that’s also fair.

My list will not include marriage at all, because hopefully along the way, each of us will find that someone, and whether or not it’s our choice to create a (joyous) legally binding contract with them, is a matter of personal taste.

And Now for My List

And so, at 41, this list includes things I wish I had done, things I have done and hope that everyone does, and things that just belong on the list.

1)   Stop worrying about what others say or do.  

If you can end each day able to say you did your best with what you knew and what you had, then nothing anybody says or does changes that.  It’s none of your business, even if they are trying to make your business their business, it’s their enterprise in futility unless you engage.  So don’t.

2)   Find a hobby.

Or three.  Do something on a regular basis that just makes your soul sing.  I love to make art.  I don’t do it nearly enough.  But when I do, it’s like something else takes over me and I sit back and enjoy watching my soul dance to the song that plays in the background.  Find that something and do it, often.

3)    Grow a plant.

There is one kind of plant that will grow for you.  As a general brown thumb I know there are also lots of plants that won’t grow, but keep looking until you find that one that has the same rhythm as you, then talk to it every day.  Yep, it’s ok if you look stupid talking to your plant.  It will do you both good, so do it any way.

4)    Travel.

A)   It doesn’t have to be around the world.  I never realized until I started travelling out of the US, how few Americans travel within our country!  Or how many people I’ve met who have done little to no travelling inside their own countries!  Yes, it’s completely, totally, amazingly awesome to see other countries, but don’t let it stop you from seeing your own.   America is really a whole lot of little countries.  I’ve been to all 49 Continental states, and I can tell you from experience that no region is like another other than national pride stuff.

B)   Go to as many countries as you can.  When they say life changing, they are not kidding.  Do it.  Go somewhere at least once.  It’s worth the sacrifices to get there.

5)    Do something so outside of your comfort zone that the people you know and love would never believe it was you except you brought photographic evidence.

Take one giant leap out of your imposed boundaries.  And take pictures of all of it.  Then, try something else too.  Why stop at once?

6)    Believe in yourself.  Love yourself.

  • If even for just one day, every single time you hear those self-doubts creeping in – push them back and stand tall.  Believe in you.  It’s always amazing to me to find out how many people believe in me, but yet I still find it hard to believe in myself.  But I’m starting to.  And so should you.
  • Love yourself.  I feel as though this should have happened long before 41, so put this high on your list.  Look at and learn from, then let go of the negatives in your past.  Be who you are today with the understanding that it is what it is at this point.  Let yourself relish in all you’ve overcome and accomplished to be who you are today and then love yourself.

7)    Be a self promoter.

Maybe not the pushy lobbyist type, but when you talk to yourself or to others, talk about your good points.  Leave your bad points out of general conversation.  Accept compliments graciously and give them freely.  Don’t talk bad about others because it makes you look bad.  Self-promote your positivity and positive will float back to you.

8)    Don’t hunt for your special someone.

It really is true that love comes along when you least expect it.  So stop looking, wishing, waiting etc.  Just live your great life and one day BAM.  My BAM hasn’t happened yet, and I’m 41.  But I’m not out there with my love harpoon; I’m just living my life. I have shared and learned about love along the way.  And I am learning to love me.

(*if you already have a special someone, you can hunt for them.  Hunt for their dinner, hunt for their socks, or make them dress up and then hunt them down, that’s ok)

9)    Complete a 30 day challenge.

It doesn’t matter what your choice of challenge is, but complete a full 30 day, every day, challenge that pushes you out of your comfortable zone.  It doesn’t have to push you out of your comfort zone, but at least your comfortable zone.  Ie, reading a poem everyday isn’t out of my comfort zone, but it’s not something I’m used to so it would be out of my comfortable zone, whereas making my bed every morning is well within my comfort and comfortable zone, I just don’t always do it.  Be courageous, pull up your gumption, exercise your will power for 30 days.  Then see how much easier it can be to take on the little tasks of life!

10)    Go to college.

You don’t have to take on a full degree program if you can’t afford it, but take a class every year.  Even if it’s a how to fix stuff around your house class.  Keep learning and interacting with other learners.  It’s important. Just do it.

11)    Read Les Miserables.

Don’t just watch the movies or see the musical; read the book.  It will change your life, you will be amazed.  Yes, the first 200 pages are kind of long and slow, and will make you want to abandon the mission.  But I promise it’s a worthwhile understanding of the characters as they transition into the rest of the story.  Even if it takes you a year to read it.  Read it.

12)   Learn how to ride a scooter, motorbike, motorcycle, etc.

It’s so cool.  It’s fun.  It’s energy efficient.  It’s fun.  And it will help you empathize and be more aware of cyclists on the road.  Did I mention a cool and fun it is??

13)   Be involved in a child’s life for at least one school year.

School is tough.  Give your time to help a child or children get through a school year the most successful they can be.  The reward is priceless.

14)   Get to know a teacher.

If you are not a teacher, get to know one.   Be their friend, listen to their stories.  I would personally suggest not having this be your child’s teacher if you are a parent.  But get to know a teacher and see all that is involved.  Appreciate everything that teachers put into teaching.

15)   Dance.

Just do it.  It doesn’t matter if you’re good or have rhythm, just get out on a dance floor and dance.  If you’re a guy, I sincerely promise that a girl will not care about the moves as much as she will appreciate that you got out there and danced with her.  If you’re a girl, think less, feel more and just dance.

16)   Know how money works. 

Understand what it is and how credit works for and against you.  Figure out how to live within your means.  Appreciate the work involved in making money, and how it depreciates as soon as something is purchased.  Be wise in your purchases.  Understand money.

17)    Wear color.

Put a splash of color in your outfits.  Be bold, love it.  Wear a crazy color and don’t give a rat’s ass what anybody thinks.  You’ll be surprised at how many compliments you get.

18)   Walk around naked. 

I was in my thirties before I felt comfortable walking around naked outside of my bathroom.  I’m not necessarily saying become a nudist, do that if you want to, but be comfortable in your skin.  If you have to make sure all your curtains are closed first, do that, but take command of your home commando style.  It is liberating. 

19)   Make a collaborative art piece.  

Find some people willing to sit down for an hour and take turns putting something new into the piece.  Let each of your own creative inspirations fall onto the same place and see what comes out.  It’s a magical experience.

20) Learn how to do basic car maintenance.

It’s not just a car guy thing, it’s a driver thing.  Know your vehicle, what it sounds like, what it feels like when it’s running well so that you  know when it’s not.  Know how to check your oil and what different colors mean.  Learn where all the basic engine parts are, what they are, and what they do.  Learn how to change a tire, a spark plug and when it needs to go to a mechanic.

21)   Play lots of board and card games.

They’re FUN.  Have fun, play for fun, enjoy the time with the people you play with.  Bring one with you when you travel.  They are great time consumers that keep you interacting with people.  Heck, invite random airport strangers to a game of go fish.

22)   Get to know your neighbors.

Have block parties and bbq’s.  Invite them for dinner or drinks.  My neighbors throughout my life have been such a blessing.  We look out for each other, burglars beware.  Take them a little plate of something and introduce yourself.  We’ve lost a lot of community by not asking for that proverbial cup of sugar.  So go ask for it.

23)   Love the holiday, not the commercialism.

No matter what the holiday is, be about the holiday.  I have spent too much time forgetting about many holidays as I let my bitter emotions get in the way.  Get the stuff you want, when you want, not when the stores dictate.  Give homemade stuff, be with the people, live in the moment of it all.

24)   Be in a theater production.  

Be a tree if that’s all your comfort level can handle, but go be part of a production.  It’s an amazing feeling.  Theater people are amazing people.  Don’t blame me if you start making a habit of it!

25)   Move house at least once.  

It really helps you see how much unnecessary stuff we can accumulate just by being stationary.  At the very, very least, pack up like you were moving and change something in your house.  Make it necessary to box up your life, then make sure you keep what’s necessary, and start sorting through what’s not.

26)  Have an emergency plan and bag.

It may sound crazy but, emergencies by definition rarely have a time frame to prepare for it in.  So be prepared before hand.  How prepared is up to you, a full year of survival food, water, clothing, first aid, etc.;  or a few days worth of basic minimum’s.  Make sure the people you will want to know where they are, know where to look for or find you too.  Nothing makes an emergency more difficult than the fear of not knowing the whereabouts of the people you love.

27)   Climb a tree.

You can hug it once you’re there if you want to, but just find the joy that we used to know and climb a tree.  If you can’t right now, do what it takes to get able to, because it’s just a fun thing to do and you will be so happy.

28)   Make a bucket list.  

Watch the movie, check out The Buried Life guys, and make your own list.  Then look at it every day.  Remind yourself that you have goals so that you can live today in preparation for them.

29)   Kill a mosquito.

Ok this may not sound like the best idea, but it will make me personally really REALLY happy.  Just squash one for me.

30)   Get your face painted.

Just do it, it’s fun, and as an adult you can appreciate how nice a brush feels against your skin in a way you never could as a kid.

31)   Try really hard to learn a new language.

As a still monolingual language learner myself, I am not going to say you have to learn it in order to gain the experience, but try as hard as you can.  It’s so cool to communicate with a stranger in a different language.

32)   Make a silly, just for tonight, bucket list.

I think you can also call it a scavenger hunt or any number of things, but get some friends to help you make a list of some silly things you have to do, get a picture of you doing it, or a signature, or something to show you accomplished it.  IT IS SO MUCH FUN.

33)   Write a blog.

It’s kind of cool to see that people you couldn’t possibly know are reading your thoughts.  Mine started out as a way to keep family and friends, that refused to use facebook, up to date with the happenings of my life.  But it’s become a thing I just do now, just because it feels good to do.  And who knows?  Maybe, you’ll be the next super blogger!

34)   Make your bed first thing every morning.

If the bed is made, even the messiest rooms look better.  And clean rooms look messy if the bed isn’t made.  It gives a sense of accomplishment to the start of the day.  I mean, you’ve barely gotten out of bed and VOILA, instant success.  Who doesn’t want to start their day that way?

35)   Literally laugh out loud.

Don’t hold back, don’t just giggle, laugh.  For that matter, cry out loud, feel peace out loud, be anxious out loud, express yourself.

36)   Have a heart to heart with people at least a decade younger and older than you for the purpose of hearing their story.

Listen, ask questions, be a receiver, a learner.  None of us know any more truth than what we’ve learned, and there is SO MUCH MORE out there to learn!  Take relationship advice from the younger generations as well as the older generations.  Find out about political views and dance moves.  Vast stores of wonderful thought is out there, be open to it.

37)   Participate in an activity that makes you the master of your body.

Join a sports team, start cycling, train for a marathon, learn how to swim, sign up for an amateur body building competition, start a fitness video challenge, but get out there and discover your weaknesses and strengths.  You’ll find you can do so much more than you thought!

38)   Volunteer.

Help those less fortunate, even if you are in unfortunate circumstances yourself.  There is always a way you can help someone, even if you need help.   Trade services with someone, join a soup kitchen for a month, mow your neighbors lawn for no reason, check with a religious institution if there is any need you can fulfill, read aloud at a local childrens’ library or retirement home.  Be a positive force and positivity will find you.

39)   Have someone else wash your hair.

OH MY GOD does it feel good to have your hair washed for you.  It’s most awesome if you’re both in the shower, just saying, but if right now, the best you got is the local hair dresser, well, honey, pay the $10 bucks and ask for a 15 minute shampooing.

40)   Learn about the sky.

The clouds, the moon, the stars, they are our history, our present, and our future all wrapped in one beautiful eyeful.  You can be just as good a predictor of the weather as any TV weather man with very simple knowledge.  It’s amazing to just watch the clouds, but to have enough knowledge about them to truly be wowed by how remarkable they are is a feeling that is indescribable.

41)   Run/ Walk a marathon.

I haven’t done this yet, but I want to.  So, I can’t give a lot of insight, except it seems to be one of the most commonly suggested things by people I’ve asked what they would put on a list like this.

Bonus)   Hug and Kiss the people you love more.

Be affectionate and caring and say you love them.  It’s funny how living abroad everybody does the cheek kissing.  And it’s wonderful how much of a bond you make with people because they are open, hug and kissy friends.  If you’re one of my friends back home, be prepared, I hug and kiss a lot more now and I LOVE it.

There it is, my list of 41 things to do before 41.  I hope you do them all.  Peace and Love to each of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beer Run Repost

I wrote this originally in August of 2009…   So funny for today I had to repost!

 

Iforgot about this song until last summer, when I got to meet Todd in person (OK YES he is That handsome!) in Telluride.  Then I saw him again this summer here in Alb, and I still love this song……  Here are the lyrics and I’m going to try and figure out a way to get the song and maybe?? a video

I’m not sure how though, but here are the lyrics of Todd Snider‘s ever popular

Beer Run

B-double E double R U-N beer run
B-double E double R U-N beer run

all we need is a ten and five-er,
a car and key and a sober driver.

B-double E double R U-N beer run

A couple of frat guys from Abilene
drove out all night to see Robert Earl Keen
at the KPIG Swine and Sworea Dance.
They wore baseball caps and khaki pants.
They wanted cigarettes, so to save a little money they bought one off this hippie that smelled kinda funny.
And next thing they knew they were both pretty hungry and pretty thirsty too

B-double E double R U-N beer run
B-double E double R U-N beer ru-unn

All we need is a ten and five-er,
car and key and an able driver.

B-double E double R U-N beer run

They found a store with a sign that said
their beer was coldest.
So they sent in Brad ’cause he looked the oldest.
He got a case of beer and a candy bar, walked over to where all the registers are
laid his fake I.D. on the counter top.
The clerk looked, and turned to look back up and stopped.
He said “Son, I ain’t gonna call the cops, but I’m gonna have to keep this card”
the guys both took it pretty hard.

B-double E double R U-N beer run
B-double E double R U-N beer ru-un

oh how happy we would be-
had we only brought a better fake I.D.

B-double E double R U-N-beer run

They met another old hippie named
Sleepy John, claimed to be the one from the Robert Earl song.
So they gave him all their cash-he bought em some brews.
Was a beautiful day out in Santa Cruz
They were feelin’ so good it shoulda been a crime.
The crowd was cool, and the band was prime.
They made it back up front to their seats just in time to they could sing with all their friends “the road goes on forever
and the party never ends”.

B-double E double R U-N beer run

all we need is a ten and a five-er
car and key and a sober driver.

B-double E double R U-N beer run
B-double E double R U-N beer run

HELL ALMIGHTY  IT”S TIME FOR A COLD BEEEER

 

 
 

Bangers for Breakfast

I’m wishing I had been able to get my Wicked Tinkers CS’s downloaded before I left.   Missing my bagpipes today.  Weird, but true.

I accomplished a few firsts this last week!

First week since my fall that I’ve been able to go to the gym 4 days in a week.

First time since the fall, that I did weighted squats WITH the squat bar!!!  Heck yeah!

First time I ran past my goal time without even realizing I had, until I looked down, and I had past by 5 min already and I wasn’t even really ready to stop!!

First time I drove the scooter outside of my little area here…  AND drove it all over northwestern Taiwan in search of a beach.  I may not have found a beach yet, but I can add a lot of scooter time and sight seeing onto my “ta done” list.

First time I killed a freshly satisfied mosquito that was INSIDE my mosquito net.  sigh.

First time I made plans to go to a Latin Carnival!!

First time since I’ve been here that I can share the newness of it all with someone thanks to my new friend Jennifer.  It really does make such a huge difference.

I didn’t have bangers for breakfast this morning, but, maybe I can find The Wicked Tinkers online and listen to some amazing bagpipe and didgeridoo, feel good, toe tapping, awesomeness this evening.

 

 

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Things 7 through12 of 2012

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what things really changed me or helped me or stopped me.  Here is the 2nd set of 6 of 12 things I learned in 2012.

7. Language may change, culture may change, style may change, but wherever you are humans really don’t.

Babies still cry when they want something, toddlers still want toys, school children still hate homework, teenagers still rebel to create their own space, new grown ups still walk the line between wanting to be a kid and dealing with the realities of adulthood, and old grown up still look at the youth with longing, pity, and hope.   Humanity remains no matter the location.

8. I had to begin accepting myself for who I am and that began with remembering that I am not set in stone but what has been carved so far cannot be changed.

Who I Was has great influence over Who I Am but almost none over Who I Become unless Who I Am chooses that to be so.  By accepting Who I Am, with all of my flaws and fabulousness, I have the power to choose what I do, what I learn, and Who I Become.  I choose happiness, I choose the light over the dark, I choose positivity and I choose to try and remember all that I have suppressed.

Those things, those parts of my life that I put into little boxes and have been storing on little shelves in my brain vault, are still influencing my life. I can only choose how they affect me if I can look at them out in the daylight.  I am strong enough, I have enough tools to bring my hidden boxes out of hiding and see what’s inside them.  Who I Become will be a force to be reckoned with.

9.  In order to find my own voice I have begun learning how to be silent.

I’m still learning how effective silence can be, but I have begun to understand that “being in the moment” is a quiet mental process not a need to “make the most of every second like it’s the last second”.

I have goals and plans and desires, but I keep getting in my own way by cluttering the path with mental noise and emotional crack.  I am learning how to create silence inside.  Thank you 2012 for giving me that awareness.

10. Learning a language is fracking tough.

But each time I try it gets a little easier.  Each new set of sounds and meanings make learning the next set a little easier.  The human mind is an amazing thing.

11. Parenting doesn’t ever get easier. 

I don’t know how to do it all right I suppose, but I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job.  I would consider myself a very good parent.  I still screw stuff  up on a regular basis though. I don’t say the right thing, or react the right way.  I ask them to be too grown up, ask them to let me leave.

They’re adults now, and yet still they need me to be mom.  I am here in Taiwan, and it is not easy for them to be without mom.

They will grow and this will stretch them, they will have the chance to be better than ever, every day.  Though this was the right choice, it is hard to be away.  It’s not any easier to let go than it is to hold on.

12.  I am too easily swayed from myself.

This is my biggest, most obvious truth I’ve learned.  I stray from my true self.  I forget to keep watch of where I am at while looking back or at where I want to go.  I’ve heard that you have to be where you are, don’t look back, don’t look ahead.  I don’t believe that.  I think I need to try to keep all 3 places in view.

When I dream, the movements I make are those I am physically able to make when I am awake.  Even when I fly or swim in my dreams I picture myself in movements that I have experienced.  I’ve jumped on a trampoline, I know what it feels like to fly for just a second.  So my brain takes that feeling and extends it indefinitely while I am sleeping. But I can imagine it because I’ve experienced the sensation.

Whenever I try to imagine looking at my past, my present, and my possible futures, I keep finding myself feeling stuck because I picture looking in mirrors or turning my head or some other way of looking at separate things.  This year I began realizing that I need to “see” that all three are one and the same.

I stray from myself because I get caught up at looking at one or the other, the past, the present, the future.  I step out of me almost as I try to figure out how to knot them together.  But they are already together, my problem is that I keep separating them.

I am swayed by others because I give too much control of my here and now to them as I try to figure out my past and future.  I forget to listen to my own voice.  Sometimes I choose not to listen to my own voice because I am scared that I will be the one responsible for the mistakes that could happen.  But, I am still responsible for those mistakes and also for the burden I put on someone else to make the decision for me.

In 2013, I will strive to be true to myself, to look at myself as an ongoing creation that is who it is and has only greatness to look forward to.

I challenge each of you to do the same.

 

 
 
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