Monday, December 6, 2010

Joining Reverb

A number of blogs that I follow have joined Reverb
and they have me hooked.
It's 31 days of prompts to reflect on the year that has passed
and focus on what you wish for the year ahead.
I wasn't sure I wanted to join.
Time crunch being the main reason.
Especially since I am considerably behind!
After much consideration, I realized I need this.
For me!
Here's my attempt to catch up!

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?  The word I chose at the beginning of the year was positivity. Reflecting back I thought to myself, "There has been some positivity, but overall it was NOT a positive year." Then I thought further and realized that by working so hard at the beginning of the year to keep a positive outlook and attitude, it certainly served me through this challenging year. The word to describe this year is CHALLENGING. For next year, I thought about PEACE as it is one of the most important words to me. Something in me clicked and the word COMPASSION rose above peace. I thought that was rather fitting since you cannot have peace without compassion. For now, my word for the new year will be COMPASSION.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?  Too much of everything! I honestly was going to blame it on having four kids, a daycare child, lack of funds which causes me to do any odd anything to bring in some cash, but then I realized. I watch the news, I surf the web, I put others needs before my own, I procrastinate, I wallow, I fear, I ....   Yup. I guess I get in my own way. There is definitely room for improvement. Example? Reading my local paper online for news is not bad. Reading all the ridiculous, frustrating and negative comments people leave? Not productive. Quite the contrary.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).  The moment that first pops in my mind is the moment I was standing in the oncologist office with my (step)father and they used the words stage four and terminal. They also used descriptive words such as "prolong life", "keep you comfortable", "there will come a time". In the tiny room were two docs (his doc and the head doc), a long time family friend who is an RN at the hospital who was there for support and to interpret anything we might not understand, he and I. It was white and cold and sterile in the room. I was feeling so dehydrated and anxious before the doc came in I feared I would fall flat on my face. When the diagnosis came across the lips of the first doc, emotions washed through me so quickly they tangled and caught in my core leaving me numb. I instantly went into survival mode. "Stay strong, stay focused, stay present." My mind wandered and I removed myself from the situation. Stepping out of that hospital was like breathing fresh air for the first time. The ride home was surreal. I kept composed. I had to for him. There he was, sitting by my side. I felt alive, so very alive and I felt his aliveness and the fear of loss hung in the air, gripping what we have, what we don't want to lose.  This feeling of being alive was different than any other as it felt so fragile. The precious, fleeting life we are each given. It is hard not to feel fully alive when faced with loss of life. I felt painfully alive. That feeling of life was not so much filled with descriptive characteristics. At least not of the five senses. More a feeling from the heart and soul. A desperation to hang on to what we have in this life. I don't know if I'm describing this well at all. I don't care to relive it so I am writing quite surface. I have felt plenty alive in many good ways this year as well. This was just the moment that smacked me in the face. Hard.  

I am thankful every day that I am alive and I don't take life for granted. I am thankful for those I love and their life spent with me.

(p.s. none of the treatments were working throughout the year. they found him to be a match to a trial drug which he started taking. there is no cure, but the cancer has stopped growing. no moment taken for granted. every memory made a blessing. every day a reminder of just how precious life is.)

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?  Oh how terribly easy this is to answer! I simply watch my children. I watch how they interact with life. Full of curiosity, thirst for knowledge, how they innocently interact with the world. I feel their wonder and join them. (That makes me feel alive in a very, very good way!)

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?  Stuff. I let go of stuff this year. I have purged closets, the basement, files, boxes, bedrooms. Stuff overwhelms. I am not materialistic but I tend to be overly practical. "What if I decide to use that some day? What if that would be fun for the nephews to play with? That still has parts of good use. I could make money selling that." HOGWASH!!! Physical clutter causes me mental clutter and with six of us in the house, there's always clutter! I have been donating and throwing and recycling and purging and purging and purging. There will always be "stuff" but it will be manageable or it will be gone.  ;)

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?  The last thing I made (besides the omelet for my husband) was a crochet washcloth for my daughter. I have purchased a different color yarn for every family member so we would each have our own set of washcloths. Everyone picked their own yarn. I am teaching my two youngest how to crochet in the process. And yes!!!! I absolutely have to clear more time for my creativity. Part of the reason I don't create more is due to my harsh judgment of what I create. I don't create often because my inner critic can be quite the bitch! If she would just see that the more I create, the better I'll get, maybe she would back off and let me have some creative time so I can come up with some creations that are up to her par. Then again, she's about as critical as they come. Maybe I should just create whatever to spite her! Take that, inner critic bitch! tee hee! That felt good!


John said...

What a wonderful writer you are, it is just like having a convesration that comes from the heart and soul.

Caroline said...

Oh my goodness. What an incredible and insightful exercise. I should really do this. Might give me a bit of perspective.

Funny my word for 2010 was bloom...but really I can wrap up this year in another word: CHAOS!!!


I think I might do this exercise tonight.

meghan e. said...

I love that idea of the washcloths. Might have to implement that one in our household. Cute. Also, keep giving it to your inner critic. Sounds like she deserves it!
PS I read some of your older posts. You are a beautiful writer.

julochka said...

i am really enjoying these reverb posts i'm seeing everywhere. they are making me think, for sure. but i think the first one stops word? i can't narrow to one word!

loved reading yours!

Ellen aka Ella said...

You did a great job catching up; so many wonderful ways to see things.
I need this, too~ Purging, i need to do that! Children always provide wonder~

julochka said...

i have the same sense of wonder you do, but oddly, it's not what came out when i wrote it...funny how that works sometimes. :-)

Jaime said...

I loved looking into this little window of your soul...learning a bit more about who you are.
I wish I had known about this reverb thing a little earlier...I feel like it is too late now. Maybe next year. But I do want to think of a word for the coming year. I missed the train on that one last year, and I need to do it. I will put my thinking cap on.
Wishing your stepfather the best. I'm glad they found something to at least stop the cancer. That is a victory!
Life truly is precious.

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