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Reverb 2012

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Reverb12 | Prompt 31 | Clean slate

Prompt for December 31:  Clean slate.  Tomorrow begins a new year.  What will you do with your new beginning?

I believe you can have a fresh start any time you need one.  Whether it’s a Monday and you need to start anew with a fresh week or it’s a Thursday at 4:58 p.m. and you want a new beginning.  You can give yourself a restart whenever you want one.

But there is something magical about a new year.  A total blank slate.  365 clean days spread blank and open, waiting for you to color them in.

I hope I don’t have to do any more painting.

Seriously, I’m about to cry over here about painting.

Anyway.  In all seriousness, I’m excited to get going on 2013.  And I’ve got a couple things in the works I am excited to share this week about some goals, ideas, and one little word I plan to focus on in 2013.

So here’s to a fresh start.

Confused by Reverb12?  For the month of December Meredith, Kat, and I are answering a prompt a day.  Learn about the project here and join along.

Reverb12 | Prompt 30 | Undone

Prompt for December 30:  Undone.   Bucket Lists, To Do Lists.  Always crossing things off.  2012 is almost over, what is still left standing?

Last year, we painted all of the upstairs living areas.

This year, we are painting the bedrooms.

As of today, all that’s left is to paint the trim.

And then I don’t want to see another can of paint for at least another year.

Confused by Reverb12?  For the month of December Meredith, Kat, and I are answering a prompt a day.  Learn about the project here and join along.

Reverb12 | Prompt 29 | Try

Prompt for December 29:  Try.  What do you want to try this coming year?  Is it something that has been on the bucket list for a while, or is it something you swore up and down to others you’d never, ever do?  What new waters – those uncharted or those well-navigated – will you dip your toes into this year?

My best girlfriend, Marie, and I reconnected a couple of weeks ago.  She and I have been friends since high school, and the best part about having a friend like Marie is, no matter how many days or weeks we’ve been apart, we can reconnect like no time passed between us.

And when we reconnect, magically we both seem to be struggling with a similar issue.  We spent hours sitting at my kitchen table talking about how we don’t do things for fun.  When we have a minute of free time, we’re unloading the dishwasher, tossing in more laundry, pricing out a home improvement project, meal planning.  If we take time to do something simple because it’s pleasurable, well, then we aren’t making good use of our limited time.

But then we got to talking about how all that drudgery stuff can break a girl down.  All work and no play makes Sarah and Marie dull.  So what if we went into cohoots with each other?  We got together to do these simply for fun activities?  That way, in our must-be-working-all-the-time brains, we are doing something productive (catching up and counseling each other) while also doing something for fun.

Genius, no?

So, what are we going to do?

We talked about working on our Project Life pages together, baking some complicated bread, various craft projects, anything that seems like fun.  And if it’s a bust, then we still spent time together, so it will always be a win.

What are you going to try this year?  Are you going to do something just for fun?

Confused by Reverb12?  For the month of December Meredith, Kat, and I are answering a prompt a day.  Learn about the project here and join along.

Reverb12 | Prompt 28 | All grown up

Prompt for December 28:  All grown up.  What did you want to be when you grew up?  Are you that thing?  If not, are you working to become it, or have you chosen a completely different path?

I graduated from U.Va. in three years because I wanted to move on to a Masters degree.  Finished that in under two years and moved my way up the ranks and departments at the local government where I worked for years in between college breaks and while I earned my Masters.

I thought I’d work for local government forever.  Because that’s what people with Government BAs and Public Policy MAs do.  Plugging in my 40 hours a week, working my way through the red tape and bureaucracy, making spreadsheets that slowly (or not so slowly) sucked the life out of me.

When I found out I was pregnant with Kate, I figured I’d go back to work.  But when the options for day care ranged from using up my entire salary to scary to inconvient to a combination of all three, we decided it would be for the best for me to leave my job.

Since I realized that I wasn’t made for cubicle work, I didn’t experience heartache about leaving my job.  But I never saw myself as a stay-at-home mom.  And, really, even now, two-and-a-half years later, it’s not something I really see for myself.  I do it.  But I don’t feel it entirely matches my person.

While Kate’s needs and taking care of a home require more time and energy than all the other jobs I’ve ever had, cleaning the house and making hundreds of toddler snacks a day isn’t the most fullfilling.

Since I can’t just live to put away my family’s wash or play another brain numbing game of eat-pretend-food or block stacking, I started looking for an outlet.  And that’s how I started teaching group fitness.

That girl who took high level political theory classes and inputted and analyzed data into statistics programs now encourages people to shake it! in step classes.

Hmmm…

So life turned out different than I thought.  But isn’t that the way?  In some ways, portions of this life don’t suit me.  But in other ways, cobbling blogging and freelance work and group fitness classes together into a job of sorts that allows me to be involved at Kate’s preschool and take care of the house and spend mornings at the park watching Kate have fun is the closet to the best of all worlds at this moment.

Confused by Reverb12?  For the month of December Meredith, Kat, and I are answering a prompt a day.  Learn about the project here and join along.

Reverb12 | Prompt 27 | Hidden talent

Prompt for December 27:  Hidden talent.  Do you have a hidden talent?  Dazzle us.

When I first learned how to drive, I couldn’t figure out how to turn the wheel when I was backing up.  I’d always get my wheels going in the wrong direction and have to pull back into the driveway and try to pull the car out again and again.

Tiring of my in and out and in and out, my dad said enough was enough and took me to a large, empty parking lot.  He had me put our giant, gray Dodge Grand Caravan in reverse and make large, backwards circles in a loop around and around and around the parking lot until I thought I was going to throw up.

That day I learned which way to turn the wheel.

And, to this day, I am an excellent backer inner.  I back my Ford Escape SUV into parking spots like it’s no thing.  I can do it on the first try.  I never pull straight in.  Always the back up.  I get the angles correct on my first try and swiftly back myself into the tightest spots.  I’m so good, when I’m in a friend’s car and she needs to back in, we change seats and I back in her car.

Thanks, Dad, for making me perform all those loops until I mastered the art of The Back In.  I never fear the parking lot because I know I can get myself into any spot.  And when it’s time for Kate to learn to drive, I know just the place to go.

Confused by Reverb12?  For the month of December Meredith, Kat, and I are answering a prompt a day.  Learn about the project here and join along.

 

Reverb12 | Prompt 26 | Typical day

Prompt for December 26:  Typical day.  Describe a typical day in your life.  What do you think would surprise most people about your ordinary day?  How do you cherish and appreciate the everyday?

Everyday life can be boring.

Workout.  Breakfast and coffee.  Conjole Kate into clothes.  Walk the dog.  Errands and chores.  Driving around.  Writing.  Blogging.  Tweeting.  Facebooking.  Instagramming.  Pinning.  Making lunch and snacks.  Cleaning up.  Laundry, laundry, and more laundry.  Emails.  Phone calls.  Take the dog out.  Feed the dog.  Think about what to make for dinner.  Make dinner.  Clean up.  Bath and stories.  Kate to bed.  Collapse.

I love a good routine.  But sometimes that routine gets me down.  It can feel all same-old, same-old.

So one of the things I loved doing this year was making my weekly Project Life pages.  Each week, knowing that I was going to put together two pages at the end of the week, I encouraged myself to snap pictures of all those every day things we do.  The samples we ate at our weekly Harris Teeter shopping trips, our daily walking route, the piles of laundry, a new recipe we tried, Kate finally learning how to push the pedals on her tricyle.

When I flip through the pictures at the end of the week, I always think about how full my life is.  Sure, we do mundane daily task stuff.  Who really cares about all the pictures I took of my growing tomato plants?  Maybe no one else but me.

But these pictures and weekly layouts showed me all that seemingly boring daily stuff is the stuff life’s made of.  Some of life stuff is boring – all that laundry and meal making – but that’s just part of the story.  It’s up to me to fill all those in between times with memories, even small memories that add up to make everyday life so special.

Confused by Reverb12?  For the month of December Meredith, Kat, and I are answering a prompt a day.  Learn about the project here and join along.