Diary? Nothing that I wouldn't tell a client. Not everything that is written pertains to me or my life.
The things I see, hear...the people I talk to, all influence or impact my thoughts. Just saying!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bittersweet

Off to go meet the New 2012 Year! 
It's almost bittersweet...
Goodbye 2011!

Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

It Is As It Should Be

This year has been epic on so many levels, in so many aspects, in all spheres of my life! It's not only about me, but that's a completely separate subject... So many things, all in one little year. A perfect time. It's all so vivid! It all makes sense...Simple. Clear.
 Every time I start thinking how could I possibly describe, where do I even start, I get overwhelmed and decide that it's OK if I'm the only one who sees it at all! I end up just being happy, grinning to myself, content with the fact that I know God knows, and I understand, and that's all that matters! Because if I even begin to tell one thing to someone who doesn't understand that part of my life, I realize it's futile because that part of my life ties in with the other parts of my life...There's no way to begin...It's worse to start telling something to someone that you're excited about and get a blank look on their face. Then, at that moment, I wish I hadn't even started...
I tell people I'm just loving life. They ask if I have a new boyfriend. (I'm never surprised. But I should stop telling people, "I knew you were going to say that...") And I understand. It's easy to  think someone is happy when they say, "I bought a house! I got a new car! I'm getting married! I got a promotion! I went to Europe!" Those are all visible, tangible things. It's harder for people to get it, when the things that make you happy aren't visibly seen by the physical eye or felt with the touch of a hand. When it's not just the typical thing most people exclaim their happiness about...
Well rounded. Balanced. Challenged. Peaceful. Satisfied.

So. What do I want to do? I want to do everything better. Weather I'm with my girls in the mentoring program, playing piano at my choir accompaniment job, studying God's word,  or leading one of the groups, working at the salon and everything else that comes with it, as well as things I will keep unsaid, I want to do them well and better than before! Everything I do, I touch, I come in contact with, I want to do it well! I'm not racing. I'm not competing. It is because I want to at the time that I should...It doesn't matter what anybody else is doing. It's not for anybody else.
I'm super excited. SUPER excited for the upcoming year and can't believe it's right here! I mean, if you think about it, it's just another day that rolls into another day, but yet it's something new! A brand new year. Expecting the unexpected. Taking it as it comes. As a different person, with a different approach to life,  and with new eyes. I have tons of ideas, and desires, and things I wish to accomplish.  I have nothing set in stone. I don't know what will come up. Because it's like the game of Monopoly. What a great board game it is. You think you have nothing and all of a sudden everybody pays you rent. You think you have thousands and houses and hotels and all of a sudden you get dealt the chance card that says you have to pay taxes, rent, etc...So. It can be given when not expected. It can be taken when not expected.
I could be fired or not needed anymore. I might get sick or something. I could die. I might have to be steered in a different direction in life. I might have to give up what I love. Or. I could just keep growing, excelling, doing what I should be doing. Going where I'm meant to go. And it could be all of it together.
But it is life and it is wonderful!
So many choices and opportunities. All I have to be is very flexible. Open. Aware.
Basically, I am just so, so thankful for God's blessings and for the most wonderful past year and am excited and in anticipation of what will come in the new year!


So, Wishing You, a truly 
Happy New Year!!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Integrated

Everybody is happy. Each 'party' gets what they want. 

Everything is integrated. All the things I do, as much as they can be separate, are so well intertwined. It's incredible and so beneficial to me. 


 I am so obsessed. My new little coffee bean grinder and espresso maker. Tomorrow, I will steam milk, and make coffee in this new little contraption! Ah!
 I have a lot to say. It will all end up in the last post for the month. That will probably be long. 
Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Observe

The Observer.

We see the choices people make. We hear the words. We see the actions. But we don't see the thought behind the choice. We don't know the reasoning. How? Why? What? How long? When?  We only see the result. And we don't see any of the decisions not to do, not to say...Those are also choices but who will ever know? Or maybe we put our own meaning to what is done. We assume it was because of this or that...
Who runs around telling and yelling, "I just totally did not ..." or, "I just totally didn't call you this and that even though I wanted to..."??  Many of the biggest, most impact-full things are because of the choice -not to ____ (fill in the blank.)

It's easy to be flashy, harder to be discreet.

Just because I mention it now for the first time, or you hear it just now, doesn't mean it wasn't thought about before...It's because I just now decided to mention it, that you hear it for the first time.

Nice doesn't mean naive. Quiet isn't always passive.


Hydroplaning. One moment there are huge water puddles, and a couple hours later, the wind has dried it all up.
I could feel the force of the wind as I drove home tonight...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Black Lacquer


I'm not the best sight reader, but that's because I don't practice it enough. I loved getting out some music I haven't played in awhile and just sat there tinkering on the piano. David Lanz, Tchaikovsky's Seasons, Shindler's List songs...There's something beautiful about the Christmas tree lights reflecting, and shimmering, off of the the black lacquered piano. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twisty Green Straw

It's actually quite past midnight...Actually, it's 1:30am. But it counts for Christmas Day. 
It feels like it's been a very long Christmas day. In fact, while driving home, I had already forgot it was the 25th. I thought we were going into January 1st!
I was so happy all the cousins got together tonight. Even had the little nephews. 
~Laughter is truly the best thing~
 Here's the oldest one. He's a cutie!! He asked me to teach him to play Mancala. So I did and he's the sweetest thing. He says, "Thank you for teaching me," in the middle of the game...Just so precious. Those moments melt your heart.
This is the funnest straw ever. Call me a kid, I won't care!
And for our white elephant gift exchange, I got the coolest book! Guinness World Records 2012!
Pretty neat.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Monopoly

What a perfect little day!
As I'm sitting here in my favorite outfit ever- thermal print top and sweats, with sheepskin slippers- and  think over today...
Perfect timing for white, fluffy snowflakes. On Christmas eve! Steamed milk over mini marshmallows and crushed peppermint candy canes, with coffee. 
A stop for a peppermint steamer with a friend. 
A great Christmas eve service.


~You'd think the streets are just fine. But I hit a bump and my car was thrown into oncoming traffic, coming down the hill. Right as soon as a car had passed! And then as soon as I made it back into my lane, the next car was already coming head on. So I made it in just in time...Can be scary in the dark on icy roads!~

And a game of monopoly...
I haven't played monopoly in a very long time. My opponent was very competitive, as she stated. 
I had hotels....and eventually, after two hours,  I won.

And then, there's all that's unsaid...
*
I wish to say Merry Christmas to ones I won't see face to face. Won't personally greet.
So, once again, Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Aroma Of Coffee Beans

 A lengthy, wonderful day!
I went to work early, so I could leave a little early to make it to the Slavic Baptist Church's Christmas Celebration at the Opera house. 
So it was busy, all day long! I love days like this. There's no time wasted. 
And what's wonderful?
Tomorrow is Saturday the 24th,  and the salon is closed, so that means I get a Saturday off!
So onto a four day Christmas weekend. 
*
I need to buy a coffee bean grinder. Because I have beans...and they smell amazing!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mandarin Walnut Sugar Cookie

It's been a pretty lazy day. My sister and I celebrated her final steps in finishing with her Masters Degree.  We went and got a very late breakfast and watched a movie. Tintin. How cute and funny. (I'm not going to elaborate...)

I have a fascination with chandeliers. (There were chandeliers in the movie.) My sister said she wants a dog. I said I miss my cat. Then said I want a dog and a cat. Maybe I just want a sidekick? 
 But won't have any. Nope.

It's interesting. I could do this every night. Write what I watched. What I made, ate, read, saw, got, bought. 
Seems that sometimes, relationships and conversations with certain people, get that way....
And you'd think I only watch movies, eat, and write a silly blog...

 My sister made brownies and I made cookies. Surprisingly, I wanted none of it to eat! 
One of the songs I listened today was Celine Dion's, So This Is Christmas. 
It's sad in a way...
-
Christmas is coming up!
 And the only reason we even have a Christmas is because Jesus was born!
So everyone can shop all they want. Decorate, put up a tree, feast, give and receive gifts. I like it all...Splurge or do nothing at all. Celebrate with family, friends, or with no one. Be a scrooge or be jolly. 
Be good for a short season and be giving or give back...Go to holiday parties, or Christmas parties. Go to one service, five, or none...
However you celebrate. You might not even celebrate in December. You might hate all of it. 
But the truth is, Christmas is about Jesus. 
Everything else comes behind...


So here's me telling you, Merry Christmas! 
С Рождеством Христовым!
I like it in Russian. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Impress

This morning, I thought I could do the usual trick and pour lukewarm water over the windshield to de-freeze,  and be on my way. But. I didn't think nor look at what was on the windshield, and with the little amount of water I actually poured, it turned out to be a mushy frozen mess on my windshield. That did not speed things up! 
Eh. 
-
Meet The Robinsons. 
Such a sweet and positive story! About a boy who gets a glimpse into the future...
*
What impresses you, others, doesn't impress me much. 
-
Oh, the things that amuse me!
*
I don't like when I forget or don't take my camera, or cell phone camera, with me. Seems that when I don't have either is when I miss something. When I need it the most!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pacing

So here's the danger. You step out into the street knowing you have the timing right to make it out in front of the speeding oncoming cars. You can pass through, sprinting if need be. But then you look back and see the elderly lady following you, thinking that since you've walked out, it must be OK for her to walk out. If you're walking must mean the 'walk' light is on. There's the realization that she followed your footsteps without even checking, not looking for herself. She thought that if you did it, she could too... It was 'OK' for you to walk only because you're young and fast and capable. You know you'll make it safe...Sadly, her timing's off, she's too slow, and it wasn't 'OK' for her to follow you.

Sometimes we're like the old ladies. Thinking that what is right for one is right for all. She did it, so can I.
Well what's 'right' for one isn't right for all.

Sometimes we're like the ones who walk when the 'walk' light isn't really on yet.  And we don't realize there's more to our choices and how it affects us. How it affects the ones 'following' without looking...

So who's responsibility is it? The old lady's, who should've looked? Or the one that ran ahead?
I guess it might just depend if you know you're being followed. You can pretend you don't see. You don't know...
And perhaps, you're ignorant of the fact all together. You might see it later...You might never know.

You can't tell people to stop following you. You can't make other people's choices. And if you think 'no one's following me', well, at least one is. Even if one.
Looking at the little world around me, most people 'follow'. And sometimes, they don't even know it!

If you're a leader, who are you leading? Where are you leading them? If you're a follower, who are you following? Do you know where you're following them to? Do you know you even follow?!

And if you step off the curb, know that it's your time to step off the curb. Even if a crowd moves and makes it, you might step off and be smashed. Literally or figuratively.  And sometimes you won't see it until later. Perhaps a generation later...And you won't even know when, and where, and why it started...

***
The lack of understanding from those you would expect to have experience and the eye to see, is made up by those that you wouldn't know or expect it from. They see, they understand. And it gives enough encouragement and peace knowing someone does. It doesn't matter who it is. As long as there is

**
How can someone say, 'this is just like you' when they've never had a conversation with you about your life? How can they possibly think, 'it's like your life,' when they've never asked you how it actually is? Who's ideas, stories, and opinions do they base it off?  
And I paced. I truly paced because I've been given hard, physical proof of how people can be so wrong.
Over and over...Was I surprised?! Not one bit. But I was deeply saddened. Because what do people do? They form their own version of whatever they want to see and that is what they believe. Without ever trying to find out for themselves.
Will I run to explain? Nope. That would be me five years ago. The Irina now doesn't need to explain. All I need to do is just live daily knowing many people have no clue. And it's OK.
*




Monday, December 19, 2011

Witty

Another wonderful movie! 
Sherlock Holmes
A Game of Shadows
I love their friendship, their manner of conversation, language, the visuals, the humor...etc, etc...
So witty. 
In Europe. 
This movie reminds me of things. I like it for my own personal reasons. 
Those two characters together, ha! And 'Sherlock' is hilarious!!
Spoken game of chess. The dance floor. Sacrifice. Calculations and methods. And how funny is the little booklet with the fish and hook! 
I watched some interviews in waiting for it to come out. I like what goes into the making of a movie. The replication of the time period. The costumes, characters, and actors. 
It's quite fascinating to know!

I wonder why theaters don't use smell as a method of making the movie more realistic? For whatever reason, when watching Sherlock, there were moments when I could almost 'smell' what I watched. It was weird I have to say...

-what do you see?
-everything. that is my curse.

*
My little nephews are a comedy. Love watching them interact!







Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Man Conversation

I know I am stalling. Putting it off. Dismissing. Filling it with empty meaningless things.
*
You find a song you like and suddenly it's being replayed over and over...

*

You have it all planned out. The way you're going to say it. You have the conversation in your head. It seems like everything you want to say will come out just the way you want, and it will be understood exactly how you want it to. 
And then when you have the perfect moment, the time, you stand still, silent. And nothing comes out. 
Nothing is said at all.
 A one man conversation. 
Why? 
I have done it too many times and each time saying, it's not worth it...and all the various reasons seem just enough of a cause not to say anything at all.
How many 'it's not worth it' will there be?

*

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gold Dust Powder

I stepped into my workplace a little later than everybody else,  and it was bustling and full and felt like a perfect day! My clients have been too kind this season and very generous! And today was busy, and clients are nice, and who needs a lunch anyway! And on top of it all, it was foggy! My favorite!

I kept saying I'm excited for our Christmas party. Basically, I was excited to wear my sparkly heels and my twenty dollar New York dress!! Because I don't normally buy sparkly. So. Excited I was to put them on, show up and disappear. Typical.  Bahaha. 

I am just so blessed. I have the best break this holiday season. Monday nights are free, early Saturday mornings are free, and Wednesday nights are free until break is over. Three days of work, and we have the 24th closed! Too lucky. So enjoy it I will!!!

I learned something today. Little things you notice that can make a big impact. And nobody had to say or do anything. And what will I do? I will act on it...Makes me smile. I'm getting smarter with every day. 
Bahaha. *wink*

It was an amazing day and now I'll sip some tea to soothe my throat. 
Cheerio!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Belt

I actually wore a belt today. What an amazing thing, a belt! 
Didn't have to hike up my pants every so often!

There's a lot I could say today. 

But I'll just stick to -goodnight!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just Girls

We had our little Christmas party with the group of girls from the big brother, big sister mentoring program.      Basically we had a lot of sugar tonight! Goodness!
They're a great bunch.

It makes me think of when I was growing up...And I think that if anything was ever different, I wouldn't be exactly who I am today...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peppermint Bark

I always like knowing that when I go to bed on nights like these, that the following day, I don't have an alarm that will wake me up, no set schedule to follow. I can wake up and have my coffee leisurely. Just love it. It's always something to look forward to. 

It's been a very pleasant day. Good clients. Good coffee. Good food. A short practice. A good movie. Well, a very funny movie, actually. 
Peppermint tea. Peppermint bark...
and now, just melt into my bed...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hole Punch And String

What do Pier1, Mel's Nursery, and World Market have in common? 
They are great for all sorts of ideas! And they look awesome during this season. I love it.
 I went into them just to look. 

Who says you need expensive packaging for presents? 
My secret Santa present for our work Christmas party.

*
Homemade popcorn with white cheddar flavoring sprinkled on top. Bacon. Hot chocolate in perfectly frothy milk and peppermint white chocolate candy. 
Yes, bacon is just so delicious!
And it finally snowed again...
*
By the way, this is nothing I was actually going to write about! As it is every night. It's faster when it's a spur of the moment, on a whim kind of thing... Gotta laugh at myself.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blank

If I could, I would like to leave this post blank...
blank...
Disregard and skip.
I wait until it's too late and then I have no desire to write it out. I just want to get comfy and empty out my brain of any thoughts...so, 
Goodnight.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Words

*
It's just connecting the dots...
*
 The warmth, fragrance, and glow of the candle makes any winter night cozy and comfortable.

 Up on five mile, everything was covered in beautiful frost. White. Frigid. Frost.
 Can you feel the cold?

*
Faith. Something very strong. 
I Believe.
*



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Peppermint Vanilla

Snooze button.
 Lunar eclipse. 
Leaders meeting. 
Christmas story. 
Work. 
Chocolates with coffee. 
Target. 
Fragrant candles and peppermint sticks.
Striped cardigans. 
It's been a very nice day. 
Need to hang up those ornaments...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Magical Time Of Year

Drip coffee topped with heavy whipped cream and sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon!  With an old fashioned donut. That's my morning today.

I love Christmas decorations. I love this time. Everything is sparkling, and so magical. I don't care if a lot of it is about marketing and sales. It's all pretty. Commercials are pretty. Stores are pretty. Houses are pretty. Love it.


The trees in the Davenport Hotel are so pretty. Hehe. How many 'pretty' is that?  But Seriously. I went after work, and the crowds and hustle and bustle in that  hotel was immense. I, of course, went against traffic. Against all the people coming one way around the balcony, just to meet my sister. I was wondering why they were all going the same direction? At least I didn't see a sign that said, 'one way'...

It's been a long day. So, goodnight.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Everything Else

I know I am good at one thing.
 Everything else, I fail one way or another. 
*
Good thing I don't dwell on the past moment too long. It's not because you forget. You just don't get consumed. That moment is passed. Gone. It's past...
I've simplified a lot. Makes life easy. Wonderful.
*
Feels so good to come home. 'Strip' off everything of the day, crawl into comfy, loose, warm clothing, and get cozy!
I'm craving a book. And to finish a Krispy Kreme donut. Yes, at this hour...
On to finding a book to read...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Panache

We were once asked, "Why do people like quotes so much?" in a teaching class at work.
Because that's what we relate to, we identify with! At least I do.
Recently, I watched a couple of movies that I liked. To me, very much inspiring perhaps. And the thing is, as much as one of the movies was beautiful, from everything that I saw and heard, just one single phrase stood out. It caught my attention. Therefore, if for nothing else, it was worth that one phrase- the phrase that spoke to me!
*
Today I saw the most beautiful, wonderful movie! Hugo. I could go forever on all the little things that meant something to me, that stood out to me for my own reasons, but I can't. There's too much and my excitement can't be expressed!
Somehow, it contains everything I ever loved!!! 
The themes, the story, imagery, sound, time period! 
Themes of time, opportunity, dreams, purpose. Adventure. Illusion. Inspiration.
Clocks, doors, trains. Illustration. Snow. Books! 
The fancy vocabulary. Love it.
 Beautiful hair. Those haircuts! I've always loved that time period and style.
The sweaters and tweed jackets. Beautiful scenes. Beautiful actors. 
It's in Paris, France! 
 The music. Ah, the music! I looked up a little about the soundtrack. That end credit song is just so beautiful, I fell in love! And I love that piano and French accordion sound! There was even a metronome in one of the scenes! 
All of it was just wonderful!! All the little details in all aspects!
I don't buy a lot of movies, but I know I will own this one.
French culture of the 1930's. My favorite. 









How it was so much and so many details that I just love, and it all fit together! I was drawn in...and I'm sure I'll be quoting this one a lot.
Something so wonderful!
I have a great appreciation and love for the arts!!! 
(And am grateful I can understand it and even be in it!)
(It's hard to step out of something so amazing and into what seems so bland and simple. Makes you start to look for the beauty all over again, in the normal daily surroundings. Like it felt after coming back from Europe. Don't get me wrong, I love Spokane. And I find it beautiful. In fact I was upset that my camera died, because the sky was the perfect pastel rainbow against the dimming light and city surroundings, as we walked through the park to our car.)
If there is ever a time, 
The Time is Now.
*
It's been a wonderful day. My sister and I skated at the ice rink. I didn't fall! And of course the first time we went in a long time, it happened to be a day where Comcast was filming and photographing. If you happen to see me, I wore a red hat and had two skates with different laces!
We ate a soft pretzel and looked at the Christmas trees in the mall.
I ate at the Nordsrtom cafe for the first time. I loved how you order and pay and then sit down and they bring your food. And as soon as you're done, you can disappear! Cool system.
Watched Hugo. Once again, stunning! 
And hung out with my brothers family. 
Those darling boys, my nephews!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Reflection

I have a lot on my mind. A lot I'm excited about. So I won't go into it right now...
 But then again, if I told you what I am excited about, you could say, "What?! That's what you're excited about?!"
*
I love Monday nights. I'm always challenged, excited to hear, learning, and just happy to be there, at the bible study! 

It's late. Therefore I am lazy to actually put my thoughts together. 

 I'm glad the Christmas tree is up being pretty and sparkly. I call it 'Russian' because that's what it reminds me of. The hanging tinsel we call 'rain', the assortment of Christmas toys (ornaments) all colors, shapes, and forms. I could stare at it for a long time...


Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Quiet Evening To Myself

*
Glittery lights. Prickly pine needles. Ornaments.
 Lemon tea. Chocolates. Sugar cookies.
 Boiling pasta. 
Love quiet evenings like this.

*




*
Looking forward to French toast in the morning!
(i think 'food' a lot!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pleasing To Our Ears

Ah. My nineteen hour day. How wonderful you were. And I wondered why I wanted to crash after work- I forgot when I got up! And to end the day, we went to Toy Story 3 on ice! From where we sat, the skaters looked totally like toys. I even heard my friend's son ask if they were real...of course they were real. Ham was real. Soldier was real. Woody was real. They skated. They had to be real. Hehe...

Frigid air, the bells playing Silent Night, and sparse snow flakes falling. That was my walk to get my latte and lunch.  I sat at Rocky Rococo's, eating my huge salad, and wondered if there were any businesses that don't put up lights, trees, or some form of Christmas decorations, at all. It's just interesting that as we go through the years, we pull out the things for each season, and do our motions. Each year, one after another. I also thought it was nice that any other music you can hear anytime of the year, but Christmas songs are just for Christmas. (most of the time.)
*
I think. So many times we want to hear what is pleasing to our ears. The feel good words. The things we already believe. The things we think or say ourselves. And many times, that's what we'll 'hear'. We get told what we want to hear, what we prefer...We don't like to listen, nor hear, the things that don't please us. That don't sound too good. Perhaps don't make us look good, or point out our faults. The things that correct or convict. It's easy to hear, "Perfect!" and be all smiles. Or just be agreed with. That's easy.  It's harder to hear a different opinion, what's wrong, and maybe needs fixing.
But what if we would hear the unpleasant things and instead of defending, arguing, or getting upset, we'd listen to what is being said and do something about it. Say, "You know, they're right. Maybe I should look at it that way. Maybe I do need to work on that." Or just see the other side. Or just 'hear' why it's even being said in the first place...
It's never comfortable nor pleasant to hear things we don't 'like'. But a lot of times, those things are the most true and most likely should be taken in account. It could be for your own benefit. Or it could be for the benefit of the other...
Yeah...It can be uncomfortable.
(I tell myself!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Excel

I love days like this! Busy, busy. Work, work, work. Lunch break. Work, work, work! No time for messing around, sitting around, doing nothing. Filled my gas tank after work. The car was already having trouble starting. Goodness, I push it too far! And driving to the gas station, I thought what my FB status would say. I haven't been too active there lately, but what has the world come to? Thinking about a FB status about something that hasn't even happened yet!
And now, I'll write a little, finish last minute things for tomorrow's leader's meeting in BSF early in the morning, and sleep! One of my clients asked me if I was going on a date tonight.  Haha. I wanted to laugh. Well, no dates for me on any Friday nights these days. My Friday nights are not the typical person's Friday nights!

I just can't believe it! A few more weeks and we'll be in the new year! 2012 already!!! And for whatever reason, this month seems like it's going to be a flurry of excitement and so festive! And the Christmas tree is up. Poor tree's been sitting against the fence since after Thanksgiving! Oh, I love trees and can't wait to decorate!

So what do I really want to say?
Excel versus Compete. I put myself under excel. Why? Because what I do has nothing to do with what anybody else is doing. In fact I don't care how someone else does it.  I want to do what I do wonderfully because I have a standard and I know what I am capable of. It's not to prove that I am better. It is not to outdo someone else. It's just how I do it!  I believe that if you take away the one next to you, everyone, and just leave yourself with what you're doing, that whatever it is you are doing should be done well, no matter. It's not like, 'oh, no one's watching, I don't have to do this well today'. For some, competing pushes them to farther, to better, because of that competitive spirit. Which, I'm pretty sure is useful that way. If that's what it takes, then so be it. But, that's not how I work. Setting me up against anyone won't work. That's not what motivates me.  And I love it. I do it, first of all, how it should be done,  as if it were for me, as it were to be done for Jesus, and then of course because I'm a recovering perfectionist, it's just because I want it to be 'perfect'. (Recovering? Because I've learned to let go, to step away, to say 'it's ok',  to not be hard on myself -as much...It's amazing when you get to that point.)
Perhaps you pour coffee. Then pour coffee like no other. Housekeeper? Host? Wiping tables? Working in drive-thru? Cleaning bowls, washing dishes, taking care of others, preaching, leading, mentoring, performing, playing piano, cooking, doing your makeup, your appearance... Nurse, hairdresser, speaker, mother...etc. Be the best you can be in whatever it is. It won't start later when you get to the top. It starts with the smallest things. Weather noticeable or not. And perhaps no one is checking your work, or even sees your work. Or knows that you did that work. Still do it well. It's your name, your face, you. Whatever you do is a reflection of you.
And so, my standards for myself are high. Because I know what I am capable of. Lot's of things affect and play into it, but I want to do great things because that's who I am! Make others happy with your work done well. Make yourself happy.
Don't compete to prove something. Unless it's for yourself. Do it because you just want to do it.
(Why do I talk about competition? Because I've seen it make people bitter, frustrate, hurt...It can be good, but sadly, many times it makes things ugly.)
But, I won't argue if you say, there's competition involved no matter what you say. Because I've been wrong many times, and sometimes that source can be hidden well...

There will always be someone who is better. It doesn't matter what. It's good to be able to acknowledge it. And I love that I can say, that person does it way better. Perhaps learn from them...That's why we have all these different capabilities. One man can't do it all. It's not intended like that. And even if you can, it doesn't mean you should. I love telling myself that! Makes my life simpler. Easier. I choose certain things that I prefer, and let others do what they are good at. And I can say, that person does it well!

I have a lot to learn. And I love that. 
Love witnessing all sorts of things.  Learning each day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Musings

They say, 'know your audience'! Who's they? Well, they...Such a great statement. It works for so many aspects. Writing, speaking, teaching, etc...Basically, anything. But. Does it always work??? I would say, there's always a curve ball somewhere. Because knowing the audience doesn't guarantee anything.
-
Within a short time frame, I heard something said, that I know to be true. But because it was two drastically different sources and in such a close time range, I'll just heed it as a warning. For myself.
Written word carries heavy weight. Yes, it does. For so many reasons. (I've made mistakes with written word too many times. I know.) So, like I said, I'll take it as a precaution in some ways. Although, mostly, I always wish to talk about sensitive matter and taboo topics. And things like superficial friendships or tactics people try to  use on each other to get things done (ugh).  Oh, well...The web is a fascinating thing. Scary thing. But I look through all my social media and think, how empty and vague. If it were truly (or perhaps fully) personal, what would that really look like! Ah!
-
So I'm like this sponge, absorbing everything, anywhere, everywhere. But with the biggest filter ever! I love that word. Filter. And we have to filter. What comes in, what comes out. Assess, analyze. Take the best parts, and throw out the excess. It happens naturally. Sometimes subconsciously. Lately, it's been what people say. They might have their reasons behind it all, their purposes in what they say. How and when. And so, I find myself dismissing a lot of it. (So here's the danger. If you read this, don't start asking yourself if you might have said something that I dismissed. It's not gonna work that way.) But anyway,  I find that to be very important. I am surrounded by many varying types of people from all aspects of life. Because I hear, see, feel so much coming at me... And then, what is it that I let out?
-
This year has not ended yet, but I just want to say, it has been fantastic! And I am excited and looking forward to what's coming next! Today was the first day of December and what a wonderful beginning to a new month. I say, I should remember today, for days when perhaps I am not inspired as much, or not in the greatest mood, or when things aren't going as well. Remember these feelings. These kind of days. The mindset, the state of the heart, the feelings, and emotions. And just cherish it.
_
I have had a lot on my mind. (As if there are times when I don't.) And I find myself sometimes thinking in 'script' or 'captions' or quotes...funny thing it is. 
But one great thing I've managed to work out is compartmentalizing. Like what men do. Haha. I can totally separate all the things I am doing, now in life, and manage them one at a time. It's quite a skill! And I'm realizing how much can be done. And how little I am still using of all the things I could be doing. To think I've not even tapped into all the potential I know I have! (More on that later.)
_
What's something new I did today? I went to see the lights in Coeur d'Alene on the little cruise boat. And had amazing pizza from a place called Fire Artisan Pizza! So good. So fast. And such a cool space. 
_
Language is an awesome thing. My mom had told me that a big, black woman asked why I don't sing anymore. I said, I don't know any big, black women. It would be cool if I did. Well, she said it in Russian, and what she really meant was a tall, dark haired woman asked why I'm not singing anymore. (Not that I know who that woman is, by that description.) Oh, the things we can say. Which words are used and how we perceive them in our mind. Very fascinating. <- That seems to be 'today's word'. 
(Well, on singing. I am actually singing on the 18th. Just not where I would normally or where anybody would expect me to. I just love it! Heheh.)

So, I've finally got back into blogging. (Sorry for the lack of images. All those go to photobucket. This is just a different kind of blog.)
 And today is enough. 
Goodnight and cheerio!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Focus

Focus. Irina, FOCUS.
I had a very hard time focusing after I got back from New York City. I felt like my mind was still there for awhile, but it's wearing off now.
Perspective changes. And for me, I decided I needed to step up a bit. To use more of my abilities, to take opportunities. I've been 'idle' for too long. Like Rowan Atkinson had said in an interview about why it took so many years for his sequel to come out. It was just being idle. (By the way, I think that person would be the coolest to meet! I'd probably giggle a lot!)

I find that there is a fine line between pride and confidence. I feel that you should be aware, confident, yet not proud. And, confidence should not turn into arrogance! That false humility is a way of being proud. Pride in hiding. And so many times they all cross...So what do I do? I step back and assess. Analyze myself. Because that fine line can be crossed rather quickly!
*
There are people in this world you meet, and you're instantly drawn to them. As if you are like minded. There's an instance recognition, as if you've known each other for longer than you have. As if you understand each other from the moment you meet without having even spoken. I feel like those types of interactions are to be cherished. They are unique yet mind baffling!
And sometimes you meet people that are too much like yourself, and it clashes. That is mind baffling as well!
*
I find it interesting that 'knowledge' and 'wisdom' can not be measured physically. How can anyone truly know how much one knows. When you look at a person, their head, how impossible it is to measure how much it can store. How much capacity is there?

___ ___ ___

Here is a string of (some)thoughts I extracted, from the last few months of daily postings, in random order. I should have expanded on some, but my 'idleness' gets the best of me. (hehe)

~Biggest pet peeve of 'this time'? When people go about finding out information about me in sneaky ways, or through other people! Ask me to my face, and you'll get more than you asked for. Sums it up pretty well I think ~felt really special and touched. chosen. Favored. ~sometimes i wish i could tell every person i speak to: the things i say are in regards to myself. i apply to myself. it is not that i am trying to 'tell' you something with underlying meaning. ~What is this cycle. never ending cycle. day to day. week to week. year after year. It's all becoming a blur. One day is so much that i completely forget last day before that, and it seems like it flies by, and recent events feel like ancient happenings. yet, it was last week, or a month ago, or just this year! wow.  ~i disappoint myself.~if people were truly what they showed to others ~never understood why people are one way to your face and as soon as there are people around, they change the way they look, treat you...what a sad thing that they care too much about what they look like  to others, than how they treat a person...~who does what for who. who needs acknowledgment. who doesn't get it.~The things that soften someone's heart...~I keep remembering embarrassing things I have done or said. I drive, and start laughing out of shame. I cringe in thought at how I must have sounded or looked at that moment. ~We are to think of others, even if they never think of us. We are to serves others, even if never served. To notice others even if not noticed. ~Our fickle feelings. Emotions. ~What I'm good at? Waiting it out. I can also play dumb, very well! For a long time. I no longer have that desire for everyone to know that get it! That I'm not as dumb as you think I am! It's a funny thing. ~ Sometimes I feel like there is a never ending flow of ideas, inspirations, etc... Like the flow of water at my parent's property, where water never stops coming to the pump. You'd think it would end at some point...yet it flows, and flows...~There is beauty and craft in the art of language. To be able to discern. When to say and how much. When not to say. With friends, family, coworkers, strangers. In relationships, in casual conversation, in teaching, in speaking to a crowd. What to share, what to keep private. I think of this a lot about many aspects. Sometimes people try to get something out of you. How much do you share? What are the reasons behind what you share? That is one reason, I like the phrase, wise as serpents, gentle as doves...To be intriguing enough, funny enough, serious enough, intellectual enough, casual enough. Enough to effect, but not to hurt. Discernment. What a skill. Sad, how sometimes we forget. We don't think that sometimes somethings don't need to be said at a certain point, or to a certain person. We forget how it will affect...~I pass people. I see people. I hear.  And many times it touches my heart. Something will go through my mind and I say a prayer. And I think, this person doesn't even know that someone cares this much. And if I in my human capacity care, about some stranger, how much more does God care! And I believe that the prayers aren't meaningless. They are heard and do have effect! I believe. ~Seems everybody 'tests' everybody. Even your close ones. Sad...~You can't run away from problems. The solution won't be with the new house, the new boyfriend/spouse, more money, better church, better things, more belongings, change of scenery...The solution is in the heart. Only there do things change. And it is possible. It takes work, time, will, God's help, strength. But it is possible. And with that change in you own heart, no matter where you are, where you go, where life takes you, you can change the things around you.~"Are you Irina?! Oh, I thought you had dark hair..."Yes, I am still the same Irina. And I used to have dark hair." ~There are certain looks on people's faces, that need no words. They speak more than words...A brief second, not noticed by many, perhaps. But when you catch that look, you know...you don't need anyone to tell you. You just know. ~So how do you treat the soul next to you? There is nothing more important than humans. Are they like precious jewels or just something replaceable, exchangeable to you? ~I don't think there is anyone as happy and content as me. Just because. Apart from things and people. Just one with God. Anything else will just be a gift. This time is the best in life. And I am enjoying it.
It's a season of peace and calmness. 
No stress. No worry. No fear.
All the glory to God

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time

So it's Thursday, my day off, and I think I will finish what I started to write on Tuesday.  And then I'm taking time off from all this blogging and posting photos everywhere. I'm thinking I don't want people to start thinking they know me because they've read a 'phrase' of mine.  Just like I don't think you can get a feel for a city or place with one photo, I don't think you can know a person, get a 'feel' for them because of one conversation, one phrase, or maybe some blog posts...I really liked my time in Germany without Internet, without my phone, without the social media blah. (And I'm not talking about people who 'look' like they don't use facebook but really sit and stare and stalk behind the screen! I'm talking about really not going on facebook every hour or so.) I'm not saying I won't use it or that it's not necessary or that it's bad. I'm just saying I like not having it on my mind, being distracted by it, or it being used so much. 
Laundry's in the washer, dishes in the washer. Cleaning, thinking, listening to music. 


This pianist is great. I haven't listened to him in awhile until someone mentioned his name just recently...One of his videos called 'Sad Angel' reminds me of myself. The way he 'plays' piano keys as he sits at the table, being inspired by the things he sees...Sometimes I imagine playing, or I see someone play, like the Spokane Symphony's conductor lightly touch the keys, another pianist maybe playing somewhere, a music video of a musician I love, and I can feel my fingers melt into the keys. It's just like watching amazing hairdressers cut hair. Makes me want to cut hair! I can feel the movements, the feeling of it. It's almost just a natural reflex now. Well, this pianist also creates music with one of the greatest voices ever, Lara Fabian. I love her voice. What a combination.





Cunning and clever. I believe these to be great characteristics, yet somehow, at the same time, very scary. Because what's behind that cunning, clever face? You never know.


I know I'm drawn to challenge. When I'm presented with a challenge, I welcome it. (Actually, I'm speaking of a certain type of challenge. Not just any challenge)  When it's too easy, it's just that. Easy. And taken for granted. But when it's something that picks at my brain, something new, fresh, unexpected, for some reason, I get drawn in. As if I have to overcome it, figure it out, like a puzzle. 


Despicable Me. That's the movie of the month. "Oh, poop." 
And that song. "I'm havin' a bad, bad day..." So funny. Well, I think I've felt that way before...But as strange as those yellow thingy's were, I really liked the story line. And his accent. And his grouchiness. And his change of heart...


Before I left for Germany, I had told someone, life will be different when I return. I was thinking of one thing. And truthfully, life has been completely different, but because of completely other things. Different, but not the way I thought. Not in a bad way. (Even the fact that I came back six pounds lighter. Nice start for summer.) It's just God's way of directing me...


Speaking of how God directs. My life verse I go by, once again, is 
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9. 
If you don't believe it, maybe one day you will. I believed it before, I've lived it, I see it happening in front of my eyes now, and know it will always be true!
As well as, 
Psalm 37:5
Only I like how it sounds in Russian.
Предай Господу путь твой и уповай на Него, и Он совершит. 
Псалом 36:5
About a year ago, I thought I could work more, make more money since I had nothing better to do. Pick up some hours. Since I love my job, had no serious obligations, no kids or husband to 'think' about...What a great idea.
My tendon inflamed. I freaked out at my hand hurting so bad. The coldness, the pain.  And what are the first thoughts? I chose the wrong profession! What am I going to do? Well, that's the doubts and worry only darkness sends. The pointing fingers. The pointing fingers aren't always right.
 But God says, this is the perfect profession for you. It was from the beginning. And it is now! It's everything you need. It's everything you love, and watch where it will take you.
That because an ailment comes, and obstacle occurs, a problem happens, doesn't mean the choice was wrong. 
In fact, if something happens to a child, doesn't mean you shouldn't have had kids, if you have marital problems, doesn't mean you chose the wrong husband/wife. That just because something bad happened, you made a mistake. Making the right choice doesn't mean a perfect life without problems, arguments, sadness. And it doesn't mean you run away. That you panic and jump into all directions searching for a way out.
So I told my management that I would like to keep working longer but not as much. I would rather work less, but for a longer time span...
 So now I work only three days a week. 
Because God knew. He knew that my desires weren't to be a 'career' woman at this time. That my desires weren't to create a name for myself, to be famous, to be known, and to be rich. (Although, I believe it's not me who creates a name for myself, but people.) And all the things I once thought I could do and wished to do at some point in my life, but didn't know when and how they would happen, they were laid out in front of me, to say 'yes' to. God given desires, instilled in me. The things that truly were important and matter to me. I didn't have to push my way in, pursue, beg, ask. It wasn't me trying to do something that maybe wasn't for me or my time. It was given to me. In and unexpected way. It's always like that. Unexpected. And God's way. 
So now I am doing all sorts of things in all aspects of life and variety! Busy, challenged, happy as ever, but still free. Nothing is too overwhelming or smothering. Now I have time, I have ability, desire, and I'm not spreading myself too thin. Because I believe if you are to do something you do it will all your heart. And if you're just putting in a little here, a little there, halfhearted, then you might as well do less but fully. I have time for God, for people, for work. And for myself! That one is important! 
There are so many opportunities. So many options and choices. People say, "Why don't you open up your own salon?" "Come here, go there." "Check this out, do this, do that..."
What kind of person would I be if I just jumped at everything anybody just told me?
I know I have ability, will, drive, opportunity. In fact God has blessed me abundantly. He will also ask more, because of that. But the choices made aren't just because I can or I want to. Yes, to have the desire is important, but also know where you want your life to head? Where does God want me to go? At what time, and where? What is more important?  And to weigh it all before I make a choice...
My work is very gratifying. There are so many outlets and so many directions I can go, in just my profession and work place. (Not to mention the abundance in other spheres of life!)
And because the payment ways have changed, my salary hasn't changed. In fact it's better. And I just got a raise. And in the fall, I might be going to New York for an academy, all expenses paid! Now that is going to be awesome, if it happens!!

And who knows, maybe one day I will have to drop everything and give it all up. You never know. 
*
About five years ago, we were told, "Work smarter, not harder."
What a great statement. It actually works for many things in life, apart from business aspects.
And I understand it now.
I had to be able to say no. To learn to say no. If it's not something I want to do, or need to do, I can say no and not feel guilty. I stick to my own rule, that I don't do hair at home. And I no longer do wedding hair at four am. I can easily refer people to other hairdressers. I have no problem with that.  I'm not a better hairdresser if I do 'all' the brides. It doesn't make me a better person. I don't need that money or the 'fame'. I am content.
*
I have peace, because there was a promise!
*
Spineless. Ugh. 
Learn to form your own opinion and stand behind it. 
Do you laugh because  everyone laughs or do you actually think it's funny?
Do you believe because you are told to believe or truly do in your heart?
Do you like it only because others like it? 
Can you disagree and not feel like you are wrong or stand out?
It doesn't make you wrong or the other side wrong. It just means you have your own opinion. Your own likes and dislikes. Your own mind.
*
I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks to God.
*
So I've thought about this so many times in my life. Why have I felt too many times, that if I don't say 'hi', smile, start talking, call, text, come up to talk, first, then the other person might never do so themselves? I know many people have told me I'm intimidating. Scary. Why? Is it because of how I look? My facial expression? The way I stand? Who I am or my presence in general? Is my 'thinking' face too serious? (hehe)
Why is it that I have to work extra hard to show, I'm really just a silly girl. Someone who really loves to laugh and have a good time. ( And, have very intense conversations too. And yes, I am complicated. I've heard that too, but it's really not that complicated. I just happen to see and think in a very broad spectrum. I just happen to notice everything and think in all aspects all at once.) I have to show that I am open and inviting to make them comfortable weather I am actually comfortable or not! But, knowing and seeing that, it makes it so much harder for me. That no matter what I feel inside, I have to portray myself as confident, free, secure, and bold. To come up to people on my own. Weather I'm feeling shy, or scared, or insecure at that moment. To start talking to them first. To overcome my fears or rejection, and no's, and just go for it. Because we only live once, so I might as well, even if I make a fool of myself more often. At least I try and make an effort! And there's only one way to find out. By asking, by coming up, by calling, or being the first to initiate! 
But I guess people can't see into me. They can't read my mind. And what they see on me, doesn't always reflect what's inside. I look one way when I'm really just quiet and shy at that moment. (I am not shy.) It might look like I'm just stuck up because it doesn't 'fit' me. That it doesn't matter what's inside, it's the outside that is taken into account. And too many times, as soon as I make that move, the person opens up. It's as if they need reassurance that I want to talk. 
But what if it's me who needs that reassurance? What if it's me who doesn't want to always be the first to make the moves? In fact, before, I've always been on the side where I always made excuses of why someone might not want to talk to me. Or if they actually did, they wanted something from me. I had to learn, that really, sometimes all that people want to do is be your friend and just talk. 
So I ask myself, if I hadn't started, would they have? If I hadn't called, would they? If I hadn't written, come up, invited, would they? Am I always going to be the initiator, the pursuer? 
It doesn't matter now. I already know I should smile more, look people in their eyes, say their names, invite, love, be friendly, and say hi, no matter if they do or not!! Weather they accept or not. Rejected? Oh well. Someone else may say yes. 
The person who pursues wins. 
(This is about all people, men and women. There's the other kind of pursue. When a guy pursues a girl. Then I think it should be his job to really pursue. Not the other way around. I believe I could easily take that role, which is dangerous, and I don't like it.)
*
Tschüss







Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In And Around Spokane

















The grass is not greener on the other side! 
In short,
I've personally discovered that sometimes I have wished to have something I admired in someone else's life.  Because what I had was not good enough. Because what I had was flawed. Because what someone else had was better. But it's not true. And once I listened and watched I realized that, maybe that which I wished for, had the same problems, the same flaws, the same issues. It was no better than what I had. In God's grace, he showed me that you have to appreciate what you have. You love what you have. And what I have, in all aspects of life, is wonderful. Different, unique, special. That which shaped me, defined me, made me what I am today. Strengthened or perhaps softened me up. The good and the bad, all God's gifts to me.