Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday 1.5.11

Today's question from Jamie is

What do you wish to say yes to?

I wish to say yes to myself.  To my needs and desires and dreams.

I spent several years in survival mode.  There were car accidents, and sick parents and siblings, funerals, a friend becoming paralyzed, a friend getting divorced, working way too much to try to survive financially, so much crisis.  When things settled down, it took me quite a while to realize "it's okay now" -- to even think about the possibility of trying to remember what normal felt like.

Much of 2010 was about processing the "it's okay now" of it all.  About imagining a path back to liking my life.  About trying to remember the last time things were going smoothly and how on earth I had made that happen.

For a long time, I felt completely crazy for believing that those times of crisis had literally changed my brain, but since I've learned a couple of things about neural pathways, I'm thinking that I was absolutely right.  Research on the possibility of undoing the damage is in progress.

I need to take this year and focus on healing and getting my life back.  That's what I need, and I'm saying yes to it.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve? Really?

This is an odd, odd time of the year.  Or at least it is for me.  So much pressure.  We've barely recovered from the trauma that is Pretty Tree Day -- the rushing, the shopping, the wrapping, the travel, and of course the crazy relatives -- and we're expected to figure out what we need to do to become perfect.  Starting at midnight.  And what if we forget to be perfect next Tuesday?  Well that's it.  Whole year down the drain.  Better luck in 2012.

I'm sorry, but I'm bowing out.

Not of having things that I want to accomplish next year, because there are a lot of them.  But I'm done being mean to myself.  I'm done with the idea that I have to do something every single day for the next 365 days to be able to call it a success.  So if I forget to moisturize next Tuesday, I'll just do it on Wednesday (or Thursday, lol), and forgive myself and move on and end the year with nicer skin than I have here at the beginning.

And if there are some things I don't get started on right away, that's okay too.  If some things on my list turn out to be lovely thoughts that absolutely refuse to be wedged into my actual life?  I'm going to let them go, at least for now.  Maybe I'll try again another time when my life is different.  

In short, I'm aiming for progress not perfection.  I'm aiming for gentle, flexible progress -- not the kind that gets you to your goal but you're crazed the whole time and exhausted and cranky when you finally get there.

Remind me of this when I forget, will you?

I wish you the 2011 that your heart most deeply desires.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday 12.29.10

Wow.  It seems like it has been forever since I've done Wishcasting Wednesday, but, as Charlie's mom notes in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, sometimes when adults say "forever" they mean a very, very long time.

Nevertheless, it is Wednesday and today the prompt is

What do you wish for the New Year?

It's probably breaking some Big Important Rule of the Universe to follow a kids' movie quote with a Godsmack quote, but I'm gonna do it anyway.  "I need Serenity"

That's my wish for the New Year.  Of course I have about a thousand and one things I'd love to accomplish in 2011.  But my deep need, and therefore my wish, is for serenity.

What do YOU wish for the New Year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

About the Book of Taryn

It seems that every time I mention my Book of Me on Twitter, at least two or three people ask what on earth it is.  Generally, I just refer them to this post at The Fluent Self, but today it occurred to me to ask @LaVonneEllis if she wanted the link or wanted to hear more about my personal Book of Me.  She wanted to hear about mine. Soooooo....  for LaVonne and everyone else who has wondered about it, here is a description:

The Book of Taryn is my guidebook to the proper care and feeding of the best version of myself.  It is a book of reminders of the things that I learn about myself (because I can't count the number of times I've forgotten that when I feel really, really run down, the only thing that helps is B12).

It's just a little baby book of me at the moment, but eventually I'll have an amazing resource that I sincerely hope I'll remember to read.

The front section of the bright pink Moleskine is for general information (like the aforementioned tidbit about the B12).  Then in the back, I've used sticky tabs to make sections for special lists.  Yes, bright pink.  Because I'm really gothy.  Except for all the pink stuff.

First, the Dammit List.  (You can read the posts that inspired this here and here.) This includes my non-negotiables. These are either so essential to who I am that I couldn't change them even for witness protection or so necessary for my health and happiness that I've drawn a line in the sand.  It has entries like:

  •  "Family gatherings require stompy boots.  And extra eyeliner.  Always.  Dammit."  
  •  "Yes, 95% of my clothes are black, and bats the way I like it.  Dammit."
  •  "No, as a matter of fact I don't have any 'normal' socks, and I wouldn't like any for my birthday, thank you very much."
Next is what was originally titled the Big Girl Panties list.  It has recently been renamed the Serenity List (as in "grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change") because I realized that the former title reminded me too much of something my mother would say and therefore made me grumpy.  It obviously contains notes about things that are not within my power to change, like the fact that my mother is the Queen of the Guilt Trip and an aunt is the head Drama Queen.  They are 75 and 85.  I see no legitimate possibility that they might change, and even if they do, it isn't something that I can make happen.

The List of Lies recently got its first entry.  I knew I needed one, but Lies can be tough to recognize because, well, it's stuff I believe.  Thanks again to @NaturalWrite and @AEIGratitude for helping me realize that my uncoolness was a Lie.  Each entry in this section includes the Lie, who sez, and the evidence for the defense (in this case, evidence that I am in fact reasonably cool).

I have a tab made for a Purple Kangaroo List, but haven't worked on it yet.  You can read about purple kangaroos here on the Owning Pink site.

And now that I think about it, I need a soundtrack section and a space for quotes and mottos (like "Redheads.  Totally worth the challenge!")

So that's my Book of Me.  Questions?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Better Living through Twitter

Wait, what?

Ok, I'll understand if you look at the title of this post, decide that I'm bat shit crazy, and leave.  But I hope you won't until you've read the very cool story of how Twitter changed two lives last night.

It all started very innocently.  I checked my followers list for people to follow back.  I noticed Twitter's 'Similar to You" list and took a look.  Surprised by the fabulous company they placed me in, I tweeted "Just checked out my "similar to you" list. Wow. Twitter thinks I'm way cooler than I really am!"  

@NaturalWrite promptly replied that I had it all backwards -- That Twitter knows I'm cooler than I think I am.  And then @AEIGratitude tweeted that she was calling Bullshit on the idea that I'm not cool.  These are people whose opinions I've come to value.  

So, for some reason, rather than following my normal MO of dismissing compliments with the thought, “oh, they're just being nice,” I looked around at my life. Ok, I don't have it all together yet. But in October, I bought a black glittery skeleton and dressed her in a tutu and a little fur jacket. I've learned to put beads in my hair. I know a thing or three about feng shui. Objectively, I think I have to say that I'm not completely UNcool.

And then I realized – it was the mean kids. You know the ones. The kids in school who say that you're ugly and your mom dresses you funny. They were still there. Mumble mumble years after Junior High, their voices were still in my head, convincing me that I'm a loser.

And that really pissed me off. How dare they live in my head, rent free, for mumble mumble years, poisoning my thoughts?

So I evicted them!

And I feel sooo much better!

Even more spectacular, @AEIGratitude decided that some voices in her head needed to go too.  So she fired them!

Is there a voice in YOUR head that needs an eviction notice (or a pink slip)?

Kick 'em out!

And I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Reverb 10 -- Four posts down, twenty-seven to go.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

Hmmm....I don't think I did a very good job with that this year.  

*consults dictionary to try and get some ideas going*
1.  a person, thing, or event causing astonishment and admiration; marvel
2. the feeling aroused by something strange, unexpected, etc.
1.  to be filled with wonder; marvel
2. to have curiosity, sometimes mingled with doubt
to have curiosity or doubt about

I marveled at the beauty of several natural places this year -- the big cat rescue in Eureka, the trees and the wolf rescue in Olympia, the Old Mill

Strange, unexpected, curiosity mingled with doubt -- that pretty much describes my experience of the Crescent.  

I can't really say any of that was deliberate cultivation though, and I'm not sure I have a clear idea of how one would cultivate wonder.  Maybe some of the other reverb10 entries have good ideas.....

Friday, December 3, 2010


Day Three.  So far so good.

Today's prompt however seems to credit me with a better memory than I actually have.

December 3 – Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
(Author: Ali Edwards)
The highlight of my year was a trip we took to Olympia, Washington in August.  I came back to life there.  I've been chasing that feeling ever since.
Maybe it was the ocean air.  Or the perfect weather.  Or being hours away from all responsibility.  Maybe it was the complete lack of any agenda.  Whatever it was, the trip was a magical experience. 
That's when I felt most alive this year.