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!
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...
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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!
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!
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.
I love their friendship, their manner of conversation, language, the visuals, the humor...etc, etc...
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!
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.
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.
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.
It was an amazing day and now I'll sip some tea to soothe my throat.
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.
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'...
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.
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...
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!)
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!
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.)