Friday, December 19, 2014

Mindful Self Indulgence

I found this list of Year in review questions on a new blog which I'm loving called Into-mind. The blogger, Anushka, lives in Berlin and offers practical advice on fashion and minimalism. I've been poring over her archives but her latest post is a prompt  to reflect on the year 2014, which is rapidly coming to close.

Its a 50 questions long so I'm breaking it into two parts so you don't choke too hard on my navel-gazing.

YOUR 2014

1.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about? Moving to Denver
2. If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be? Cleveland to Colorado. 

3.What new things did you discover about yourself? I have more confidence in myself than ever before.
4.What single achievement are you most proud of? Receiving multiple job offers after ages of applying and hearing nothing.
5.What was the best news you received? You're Hired. 
6.What was your favourite place that you visited in 2014? Austin. 
7.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?  My ability to just accept that stress happens. Bad things happen, and there's no sense in getting worked up over it.
8.Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on? Dara at Work, Raisa in Personal life. 
9.Which new skills did you learn? Hmm, I am really having to think hard about this one. I think I went mountain biking for the first time, so I learned how to do that. Definitely not done learning, but I learned a few tricks.
10.What, or who, are you most thankful for? My amazing friends and family. They are the most supportive group of people. I owe all of my success in life to them.

11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else? Probably a slapstick comedy. I am forever falling down, bumping into things and otherwise injuring myself.

12.What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014? Don’t give mental space to ideas/people/problems that do not serve you. 
13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome? Hmmm. Really don't know about this one. I feel like I'm still fighting with a lot of the same old problems. Although, last night I went to a Capoeira class, only the third one I've ever gone to. I still feel super self-conscious at these classes because I'm really uncoordinated and there's a lot of footwork to memorize, so I have not overcome that. But at the end of each class there's a Roda where you "play" your classmates and show what you know. At the last two classes I always just watched because I was too embarrassed to participate, last night I actually did it. Well I was basically pushed in (gently and politely) by the instructor but I still did it. And I think it means for next time I will be ok to participate without the push.
14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with? My work crew in Cleveland (Dara, Harvey, Roman) and outside of work Chris and Raisa.
15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise? Have I mentioned I got a new job?
16.How did your relationship to your family evolve? I'd say we grew closer. I was able to spend a good chunk of time with them the week leading up to my sisters wedding;  its been so interesting to get to know my siblings as adults.
17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way? I did not read as much as I would have liked to this year. But I am Malala was thought provoking. I read the Goldfinch and HATED it. Hate can be profound, right?
18.What was your favourite compliment that you received this year? Twice this year I was mistaken for a lawyer. I take it as a compliment because I think in order to be a lawyer you have to be a pretty sharp tack. Or maybe I come across as an uppity bitch. Who knows.
19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life? Blogging, decorating my home
20.What cool things did you create this year? a blog…its cool, right?
21.What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)? I had a lot of fun this year, but I also had a lot of stress. So I’m gonna go with stressed. 
22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year? Gave a speech at a wedding (gritted teeth emoji)
23.What was your favourite moment spent with your friends? So many options: my trip to Austin, my How I Met Your Mother Finale Party, Brittany’s wedding, My going Away party…I honestly can’t pick. 

24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for? I applied for jobs like a mad man, which laid the foundation for where I am now in my career.
25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary? In total contradiction to #7:  was really freaking out before the packers came to box all of my stuff. I thought everything had to be just so or they wouldn't pack it so I spent days organizing. Turned out it didn't matter, they would have packed it no matter what. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Everything Must Go

Lets do a visualization: you're sitting at your desk (imagine you have a desk job) it is cold outside so you're wearing a pair of black tights under a skirt.  Your feet are snuggled into a pair of boots. But your tights have ripped on one foot, right over the big toe so it pokes out, hobo-style . So you unzip your boot and pull your stockings back over your toe. Five minutes later, your toe wriggles its way out again. And you fix it again, to the same end, over and over.  This is my day.

There is also a run in the tights, but it's always covered by my skirt. However, this toe situation will not stand. I momentarily considered stapling the toe shut but me thinks that will cause more harm than good. #bloodytoes?

Perhaps it's time to let these babies go. In fact, I am really tempted to throw out all of the clothes I don't wear. I did some purging before I moved, but judging by the large quantities of crap heaped about my apartment, I was not aggressive enough. I still have stacks of cardigans I haven't worn in years and several hangers of pants I'd only fit into again if I
       a. started working out for three hours a day again* or
       b. developed an eating disorder. Neither option is desirable.

I am contemplating playing a round of The Minimalist Game, where you get rid of an increasing amount of junk over the course of a month.  Possible New Years resolution for January? I'm sorry,  too soon to talk about resolutions? All I know is I feel buried under JUNK in my apartment. I don't have a basement to squirrel away miscellanea like I used to and I WANT IT OUT OF MY SIGHT.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to soothe myself by gawking at minimalist Scandinavian homes and day dream about selling all of my belongings and living in a tiny home.

*I hasten to point out I did not work out three hours a day because of a body dysmorphia issue. I was a competitive swimmer!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The End of the Line: The Cleveland Bucket List

A large feature of this blog has been Cleveland. Things to do, see, and eat all about town.  And now I've moved away from Cleveland, leaving my bucket list quest somewhat unceremoniously and decidedly unfinished. I prefer to think of it as on-hold. I'll be back for you someday, CLE.

Nevertheless, before I moved I checked a few more off my list.  Here is my roundup of the final Cleveland Bucket List actions:

28. See a show at the Grog Shop: A dirty, windowless bar with a stage just two-or-so feet off the ground. It is not ideal if you are short to average height like I am. But the Grog Shop consistently books bands I want to see so I will jostle for a spot with a view of the stage and then call upon my training in Yoga to feel centered while I'm crammed in the same square foot as a sweaty teenager on ecstasy who experiences music through interpretive dance.

 I have yet to attend a concert at the much larger Quicken Loans Arena (the much larger stadium usually home to the Cleveland Cavaliers) because the Grog Shop gets bands like Yelle (pictured below and wrote about here) and Fun. 

84. Eat a Bialy's bagel. I expected a Dunkin Donuts or Bruggers Bagels type of experience, more of a cafe, if you will. Not so at Bialy's. No seating, no coffee just place your order and skedaddle. In fact, the only cream cheese they had were individual servings you had to, and I'm warning you this is a real first world problem, put on the bagel yourself.  This is not to say the employees there weren't nice. Nor is it to say that the bagels weren't delicious because goodness me, they were great. They bake all of their goods on site throughout the day. My Everything bagel was still warm when I ate it (in my car, after doing all the bagel prep myself.)

48. Enjoy a Panini's sandwich. Meh, I say. Just meh. Panini's is a local institution, but they are going to have to step up their culinary game if they want to stay relevant in this town.

60. Go to Ingenuity festival. Science, music and art all come together on the North Coast to put on a show. Art installations, live bands, inventors, technology demonstrations, food trucks, local vendors all set against the back drop of Lake Erie. Admission is free, you'd be a fool not to check it out.

17. Tailgate in the Muni Lot: We we weren't actually in the Muni Lot, but the Pit. To which I say, close enough! I have actually tailgated in Muni prior to this bucket list so I speak with authority when I say: It's basically the same. Long lines for port-a-potties, spirited drunks be-decked in orange and brown, and rousing games of corn hole in every lane of traffic.

All told I accomplished 40 out of 100. A miserable failing grade that High School Shelly would have sobbed and sobbed over. I give myself some leeway because I moved out of the state so I could have accomplished a few more, but if we're totally honest: there was no way I was going to finish them all this year. But it was fun trying! And maybe I'll be able to tick a few more off the list yet: I'll be back in Cleveland for New Years Eve!