Monday, January 31, 2011

...something I miss

That would be yoga.

One of my favorite posessource

I started doing yoga in high school.  I would do it randomly once and awhile when I was bored, and I took an evening class with a friend when we were in grade 9 or 10.  At that point though, we spent most of the hour long class giggling over how our instructor talked about our breath moving through our muscles (maybe we weren't the most mature participants at that point).

In university, yoga became a life saver for me.  Stress and anxiety attacks started taking over my well-being, and I remembered the deep breathing that would end each yoga session.  So one day, I bought a simple tape from wal-mart and gave it a try.  I could barely do half of the poses at that point, since most of my days were spent sitting in hard desks at school, or behind a desk typing at my part-time job.  But within a few weeks, I noticed a drastic improvement.  I didn't feel like I was suffocating on the bus on the way to school anymore, and I could deep breathe my way into a good night's sleep for the first time in years.

After university, I stopped practicing as much.  I joined a gym and did a lot more cardio and weights, only going to the yoga class offered there once a month or so.  Then two years ago, a pinched nerve basically sidelined me from any sort of physical activity.  It's still healing (so very very slowly), and I've attempted yoga a few times recently, but my hip just isn't ready.

But I do miss it so.  The breathing.  The stretching.  The pushing your body to move and reach just a little bit further than it did the time before.  The elation when you realize that you did not bend that far a week ago, but now your body can do it with ease.  The peace of a quiet mind.  The calm that comes afterward.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

...something that I'm learning to do


When I was younger, the only pieces of store bought clothes that I owned were socks, underwear, and winter gear.  Literally everything else was handmade.  My grandmother sewed everything that I wore from the time I was a baby...pants, shirts, dresses, shorts, sweatshirts, the whole nine.  In fact, it was really weird for me to start trying on clothes in stores, because I wasn't used to things not fitting "just right".  I thought that once you found your size, it would fit you perfectly everywhere.  Ha.

Then at some point in elementary school, handmade clothes weren't cool anymore - no matter how nicely they fit - and I started shopping for my clothes and my grandma moved on to sewing aprons (like....amazing aprons, full of little details and ribbons and lace and specially sized pockets).

When my grandmother went into a personal care home a few years ago, she owned three sewing machines - a very old one that weighed a ton, her favorite one that had broke five years earlier, and a newer model that she never quite got used to.  I took the newer model home, along with a bunch of accessories for it that I had no idea how to use, and it proceeded to sit in the box for almost a year.

Last fall, the ridiculously talented Leigh-Ann at Freckled Nest offered an online sewing course (which I think she's offering again in the future).  I immediately signed up, thinking I was finally going to put this machine to use.  But life and work got in the way, and after buying a bunch of fabric, I still didn't know how to even thread the machine.

Thankfully, the lessons are online until this coming summer, and a few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon just learning how to load the machine with thread and sew a simple straight line.  I literally remembered nothing from sewing class in grade 7....but I still have the boxer shorts that prove I could do this once.

Anyways, today I worked on making two double-sided napkins. They aren't perfect, but they work.  And I'm getting better with each one.  There's such a sense of accomplishment when you finish making something, even when it's as simple as a napkin.  And I cannot wait to show them to my grandma this week :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

...some things that I love about winter

When in the midst of this really long season, sometimes it's good to be reminded of the positives...

1. big, fluffy, romantic snowflakes

2. cuddling up under a heavy blanket

3. cuddling up under that heavy blanket with someone

4. hearing the snow crunch under your feet

5. hot chocolate; especially the peppermint/candy cane kind

6. movie nights

7. not feeling guilty for staying inside and watching movies for an entire day/night while it's cold

8. warm afternoon naps

9. cute matching sets of mitts and scarves

10. how good a hot bowl of soup feels at the end of the day

Monday, January 24, 2011

...something that made me think

"Do not deny the sadness of moving on.  Instead sit in it with a whole lot of love for yourself and the situation.  Not matter how much you may wish that life could be different, accept that this is what's true for today.

There is a jewel within the melancholy of letting go.  The jewel is the beginning of a new awareness within yourself and a new life.  Each relationship, business venture, job and phase of our lives serve as platforms for us to grow.

Joy comes to those who are able to sit in the in between, the space between what was and what will be.  Joy comes to those who do not run from their feelings but courageously embrace them n search of the new jewel of awareness.

Remember, for a new day to begin the darkness of night must fall.  Each is a natural part of the cycle of life.  Embrace the dark moments and remember that just before dawn is the darkest of night.

Just be with it - the dawn will break."

-Mastin Kipp
The Daily Love

(Iphone pic from a very early drive home)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

...something new

A new decade that is.

I turned 30 this week.  And even though I had been dreading this birthday since the day I turned 29, when the time actually came, I was pretty excited.

Almost everyone that I have talked to who is either in their 30s or beyond, has said that this is THE decade.  This is when you finally come into your own; when you are most comfortable with yourself; when you really start to have the time of your life.

So I'm choosing to believe them all.

I can definitely say that I learned a lot throughout my 20s.  What I will and won't stand for, for both myself and those who are close to me.  What I will and won't apologize for.  What I want to do for the rest of my (working) life.  What I want to accomplish.  What I want to try and explore.  Maybe that means that my 30s will be the time to put all of those things into action.

I saw Jane Fonda on a talk show in the fall (maybe Oprah?) and she spoke of her 30s being the beginning of her second act; her 60s then being the start of her third.  I really liked this idea.

I'm ready for this act.