repurpose!

What do you do with hundreds of extra race t-shirts? Make tote bags from them of course!

A local non-profit held a 5k that essentially got rained out and lots of racers didn’t show. Result? Gazillions of extra shirts sitting in boxes in a back office. I was looking for a volunteer project for January and viola, say hello to my new gig as a Master T-Shirt Bag Maker. The organization will useTshirt Bags the bags for thank you gifts and goodie bags for sponsors, clients, etc. I think its a really unique idea and cool way to repurpose shirts when original plans for them went awry!

Volunteers are using this tutorial to make the bags and after a couple of practice runs using old shirts of my own, I got the hang of it and whipped out twenty of them. I delivered them today and came home with twenty more shirts to make into more bags. This is a no sew project, or else I wouldn’t be able to help because my crafty skills do NOT extend to needle, thread, or sewing machine.

Mad crafty skills y’all.

I love this

REVERSE LIVING

Life is tough.
It takes a lot of your time,
all your weekends,
and what do you get at the end of it?
Death, a great reward.
I think that the life cycle is all backwards.

You should die first, get it out of the way.
Then you live twenty years in an old-age home.
You are kicked out when you are too young.
You get a gold watch, you go to work.
You work forty years until you’re
young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You go to college,
you party until you’re ready for high school.
You become a little kid, you play,
you have no responsibilities,
you become a little boy or girl,
you go back into the womb,
you spend your last nine months floating.
And you finish off as a gleam in someone’s eye.

Norman Glass

meditation and mindfulness

I haven’t yet made meditation a daily habit, which is my goal, but I have incorporated it into my life on a semi-regular basis and even that is pretty amazing so far. I’ve been doing a ton of reading and listening to talks but there’s no substitute for the actual doing. In a way, I think I’m a bit apprehensive about committing to sitting every day becausMeditationSpacee I know it is going to change me substantially. I love change, but when it’s an internal, personal, spiritual one like this is/will be, that seems scarier to me. Perhaps that makes no sense to anyone but me and my therapist, but I get it.

Its not just the physical act of meditation that I’m finding useful, but the act of mindfulness in general and being aware, accepting things without resistance, and so many other principles of being in mindful presence that I’m finding to be applicable in every aspect of life.

I’m so pleased with the sitting space I’ve created in my closet and it is working really well. I found myself in a bit of a restless, panicky, weird place late last night and I went in and did a guided meditation and came out feeling much better and was able to go to sleep.

So here’s to making it a daily habit and embracing personal growth. And keeping my closet clean and clutter free. That may be my biggest challenge.

The you that goes in one side of the meditation experience is not the same you that comes out the other side. ~Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

books and movies and a post

Sup internet? I’m finally feeling better and minus a kinda gross cough, am back to normal. And officially on Christmas vacation for a couple of weeks, so that’s a nice feeling. It will be busy, as this time of year always is but I always feel like its a good time to reset myself in a way.

Kiddo’s dance recital was cute but two shows in one day made for a long one. It was The Nutcracker and she did really well; in the first show as a Polichinelle and in the second show as a Candy Cane. I wonder how long she’ll stick with dance. Occasionally she mentions trying gymnastics again but we’ll see. Personally, I’m pulling for some sort of sport like basketball or soccer but won’t push it. I’m not sure that fits her personality anyway.

I finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane and it was fantastic! I have a list of other Gaiman’s to check out on my next trip to the libraryScreen Shot 2014-12-20 at 9.20.25 PM. I’m still slowly making my way through Buddhism: A Concise Introduction and want to finish it before I start The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale. THEN more Gaiman. And Brach. And Strayed. And Coelho. ALL THE BOOKS.

Today was spent wrapping presents, making out with Papa John’s, and being a bit crafty with a couple of handmade gifts I’m attempting. I am a complete dork sometimes. Kiddo and I were going to go see Annie but she passed out so we’ll do that another day. Pretty sure it’s going to be bad but she’s 6, so who cares. Quvenzhané Wallis was so great in Beasts of the Southern Wild but my hopes are minimal for her in this little diddy. I am going to treat myself to going to see Wild and Birdman at some point during my time off though.

That’s it for tonight folks.

-me

miscellany

Sick. I really wish someone would bring me some warm gooey chocolate chip cookies today. I’m home sick with a fever, cough, etc etc and I say screw the chicken noodle soup, cookies are where its at. Anyway, mutter mutter growl. At least I should be over it in plenty of time to enjoy the holidays. Bright spot.

Ugly. The news these days y’all. People are so inScreen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.14.13 PMcredibly evil. Of course, the media skews things like crazy but there is no denying that people are asshats to the extreme. The girl in MS who was burned alive…I can’t even. The parole hearing that recently brought the horrific kidnapping, torture, and murders of a Knoxville couple back into the news. And so many other things that happen every day. Racism, riots, chaos. People are so very angry. :( It is so easy to get consumed by it all if you let it. Countering all of this with the positive/good/beautiful things in life is a must.

Kid. Alright, on to happier topics. My kid of course. Heh. She has a Christmas dance recital this weekend which should be fun. I have no idea what her costumes are or what songs she’s dancing to so this will be a nice surprise for momma. Speaking of surprises, I thought we were going to escape it but kiddo mournfully asked The Accountant the other day why the Elf on the Shelf hadn’t visited her house yet. Apparently ALL her friends have elves and even her classroom at school. Grrrrr. I have an unreasonable hatred for that thing but she was SO bummed and we were at risk of having the whole Santa thing come crashing down, so I caved and we have now been invaded by Snowy the Elf. I am not proud of this. But kiddo thinks it fabulous and so here we are. I have put my foot down somewhat and am just moving it around the house. None of this time consuming clever elf scenario crap or posting its antics on social media. Ok ok, the first night I DID make an elf snow angel on the counter in sugar, but that is IT. So there.

Friends. I had a really good friend back in high school and college who I’d lost touch with over the past few years. We went to different high schools but attended the same church and would have sleepovers at each others houses and go on shopping trips, lots of teenage cruising around town, scoping out boys…all of that fun stuff. I moved away and we each got married. We kept in touch until the babies came and then life got busy. I sent her a Christmas card last year which got returned, so this year I made a point to hunt her down. I found her via some internet stalking research and we’ve been emailing this week! Its so great to reconnect! Keep your friends close and make them a priority because they are one of the best things in life and it sucks to lose them. I’m SO happy I found her again! Totally made my week.

Books. I’m reading some really good books lately. I have a list going on Goodreads of ones recommended by friends and some I just want to read for myself. Apparently I am missing out by not reading Neil Gaiman, according to a few friends. I’m not too far into The Ocean at the End of the Lane but so far I am really liking it. Also throwing in some Buddhism, some self help, some health related, and lots more fiction. Reading is good for the soul I say.

Bed. Ok, its back to bed for this sick girl.

29 and holding. Plus 10.

So, I turned 39 today. I’m trying to feel positive about this and embrace the moment and all that jazz, but Ima keep it real and just say that it kind of sucks. I have a case of the birthday blues and feel pretty stupid and petty about it. And if anyone says “its better than the alternative”, I will punch you in the face. Because old ladies are grumpy.

The day itself was good and my friends and family were awesome with the cards and texts and posts, etc. I was treated to a sweet “work meeting” at Starbucks and went to lunch at my favorite dive diner with a favorite friend. The Accountant sent sweet flowers and kiddo gifted me the cutest drawing in a card and a Barnes and Noble giftcard which I spent on the same day because giftcards are like FIAH in my pocket.

In other news, Thanksgiving was really nice. The three of us went to my family’s and did the holiday up right. And by doing the holiday up right, I mean that I now need new pants because food baby. Christmas prep is in full swing and is stress free so far thanks to artificial trees, a set budget, and online shopping.

I’m trying to get kiddo to focus on things other than presents and to realize that she is a fortunate little bugger and that this is not everyone’s reality. She’s got several projects in the works; donating her bike to a local organization that refurbishes them for others, Soles for Souls shoe drive, shopping for gifts for a family her class is supporting. Great things for sure but I don’t think she “gets it” yet. All part of the journey I guess.

There was an excellent Tara Brach talk on serving. I’ll have to find it and link because it was so pertinent, even though the gist was pretty obvious and nothing novel or new. Yet something we tend to forget. She discussed how depressed people are selfish, in that they can be completely focused on self. I can’t speak as eloquently about it as she does but the basic premise is that by serving others and taking away that focus on self, we counter this “selfishness”. No brainer, right? I think what stuck with me was how she framed it. Because depressed people ARE selfish, at some base level, but putting yourself outside your own issues and mental quagmire is mind-clearing in many ways. And yeah, it’s 3 in the morning and I am butchering this but you get the idea.

Which reminds me, the meditation space is coming along. It’s been cleaned out and just needs some final touches and I will be omming with the best of them. Haha. Not that you need the perfect space to meditate but I’ll be glad to have a home base of sorts. And if meditation means face-planting into your keyboard in Cubicle Nation tomorrow, I’ll gonna be spot on because it’s late and sleep has eluded me, until now.

Peas ‘n Carrots.