Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Resolutions...fresh and early PART 2

Here's a continuation of all my hopes and dreams and wishes and schemes for 2012, started yesterday. Okay, not all of them. Not even close. But these, at least, can be lumped together as resolutions.  And so here they are:

9. Send more snail mail.

I used to be so good at sending hand written letters and cards. What happened to me? This year I'm going to be more on the ball with that. Graciously, all my friends have moved away,  so I've got a lot of opportunities to send love across the miles.

10. Start writing down what moves me in the books I read.

Okay so this one is kind of a cheat. I've already started a little project for this, last month. but I want to keep doing it. Start giving more of myself to it. I come away with so much after I read a book and too often all the wisdom and lessons get swept away in the shuffling of life and new books. I'm starting a catalogue of sorts.

11. Sing more.

This is perhaps a bit silly, but I LOVE to sing. I'm by no means on track to make a living from my stellar vocal abilities or try out for x factor, but singing out loud, really belting out a song, gives me so much joy. It's such a release for me. So, in 2012, I will sing more. I'll sing every chance I get. I'll sing in the shower, in the car, entire conversations with people, while I'm getting ready for my day. Could potentially be very embarrassing. Will be very joyful.

12. Focus my energy.

I'm all over the place. This is probably because I'm curious like a cat and interested in EVERYTHING. I by no means want to lose that, but I think it's time to spend my time more focused so that I'm more efficient with what I'm learning. I've always got a million projects going, books started, chapters half-written. Time to focus it a little. Try to finish some things, maybe pursue some interests further. Focus some of that mad, mad energy.

13. Be more unabashed about being a bitch- aka feel less guilty for being who I am.

At the end of the day, I have a pretty good relationship with myself. I'm not a pushover, I'm not out to hurt people, and I strive to make people laugh above all else. I like myself, I feel I'm a decent person, and a good friend. So why is it that so often, I feel like I have to contain parts of myself for some people and other parts for others? Keeping track of it all is making me miserable and dizzy. If folks aren't willing to take what I have to give them on any given day, I'll find new folks that will. I'm not fighting with myself over it anymore. I am at peace and everyone gets one Sara. I can only be the best me possible if it's the real me all the time. I'm done trying to be a shape shifter to fit into boxes and jump through hoops. 


14. Quit my job.

I suppose this goes in conjunction with #6. I've only stayed this long out of fear, really. Fear of the leap, of the fall, of the crash and burn. Of not having that steady paycheck. But I realized recently that the crash and burn is here and now, I am crashed and almost burned to bits. I've got to walk away from the fire or burn alive. This time next year, if I'm not in grad school, I'll at least be earning my livelihood somewhere else. That's a promise, self.

15. Spend every second I can outside.

It makes me happy, more than almost anything else, to be outside. This year, I'll know that and make sure I'm mindful of that when I decide what to do with my precious free time. I hate, hate, hate sitting around, waiting, feeling like I"m wasting my time. I'm going to take back my time in 2012, and I'm going to spend it out of doors.

16. Pay my parents $3000. Like, 4 months ago.

Earlier this year, my parents were able to bail me completely out of credit card debt in one fell swoop, which is lucky because I'm pretty sure the constant worry and anxiety was giving me an ulcer.  I can't even begin to express how much this helped my attitude toward life and how fortunate I am that they were able to do that.  If only paying them back was just as swift. Not only am I bad with my money, but this year has been full of unexpected expenses and necessary purchases. I have not been able to pay them back in full yet, and it feels like tiny ants eating me from the inside out every time I think about it. Their phone calls are much nicer than the credit card company's, and I'm not paying 30% interest anymore, but still, it weights heavily on my conscience. I know if I buckle down I can have them paid back in a few months. By 2013, hopefully I'll have that amount in my savings account again.

17. If it takes less than a minute, do it now.

I read this in The Happiness Project and it's a genius little piece of advice. Less than a minute? Do it NOW. For instance, it makes me so so so fucking mad when no one changes the toilet paper roll or refills the hand soap when those things run out. In the past I'd make myself miserable, testing to see how long it would take someone to do it, since I had done it the last time. I'd be furious every time I sat to pee or went to wash my hands. WHY? Why? I don't need that negative energy. It takes less than 30 seconds to do both, so now, I'm just going to do it. I'm so glad it's done that my frustration doesn't even last that long. This goes for other tasks too, like taking off my pants when I get home to put on sweats. I just throw them on the ground in my haste and then at the end of the week I'm tripping over a pile of pant legs and frowning at the mess. Why not just hang them up right now, avoid the fuss? Less than a minute? Do it now.

So there you go. My 2012 resolutions.

I hope you all have a safe and magical New Years Eve... really I'll take any excuse to get all dressed up, drink copious amounts of champagne, and pull my dress over my head at the end of the night.

Maybe not the last part.

Then again, gotta bring the new year in right.

Be safe, be well.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Resolutions... fresh and early

Matt lavished me with gifts this Christmas and I'm not going to gloat about it, butttttttt... let's just say I'm going to see the Black Keys in March. Among other gifts of clothes, scarves, 4 bottles of my favo champagne, and an owl necklace.

I reeeeeeeeally hope since he's gotten me an owl necklace the past two years that this becomes a tradition.

OK, I'm done.

 Let's reflect on the past year for a sec.

Here are my 2011 resolutions, which were both very tardy and very, very lofty.

I'm in a equally lofty mood going into this year but I'm also at the resolution-making early, maybe because 2011 wasn't that good or bad. It just happened. It's over? Okay. Bring on the next one.

2012 is going to be good, better, but this year it's time to make some resolutions I can actually get behind. Because really, the only one I saw through completely was the book a week goal. Go me! Reading is cool though, that one was pretty important.  I'm doing pretty well at paying my bills on time, too. Just saying.

So here's what I've come up with for the new year at hand and before you roll your eyes, I know there are a lot of items. I don't expect to accomplish all of them.  Okay. that was a lie. I fully believe I can handle this entire list. Go ahead and challenge me.

I'm going to explain everything as I go, so this may be a two parter. On a side note, aren't two-part gifts the best? I love them. All tied together because they're from the same person, but it's really two separate wrap jobs. Awesome. I love getting gifts, especially two parters.

Please bear in mind that these are in no particular order, otherwise 14 and 16 would be at the top, but they're pretty boring so I figure most people won't make it that far in the reading. But they're tomorrow anyway, so fahhhhgetttaaaabouuuutittttt.

Without further ado:


1.  Drink more champagne.

Um, duh. Now this is some shit I can get on board with. I love bubbly. But like, LOVE it. Will not share a bottle with Matt love it. Now, champagne is typically brought out for celebration purposes. I want to celebrate a whole lot more in 2012. Not just the cool shit that happens, but the mundane- I made it through Tuesday! stuff too. I want my attitude to be one of more enthusiam for my life. For how great it's shaping up to be, for my ability to find a reason to celebrate more of it. Thus, champagne will be a staple for 2012.

2. Stalk people less on facebook.

Why is it that I can log onto facebook and skim the statuses and automatically click on any picture posted and find myself actually feeling an emotion toward it? Even if it's someone I haven't seen or talked to in three years. Even if it's a person I didn't like. ESPECIALLY if it someone I didn't like. Why do I have a five or so person rotation that I check up on, just to make sure I'm still skinnier/happier/better traveled/less pregnant/ less annoying than them? What the fuck is wrong with me? I mean, I know I'm bitchy at times, but why am I expending energy on people I have no relationship with? Facebook, I love you so hard, but we're spending less time together in 2012.

3. Wear more black.

It's slimming and it never goes out of style. No, I'm not gothic or anything. Wearing black makes me feel confident and powerful. Who couldn't do with more of those two things? I guess this is also incentive to get my dandruff situation under control. Ugh, relax, it's not that disgusting! It's just dry skin. I think.

4. Waste less food.

This is a big one. I am genuinely embarrassed by the amount of food that Matt and I waste. To an extent Matt is not as bad as I am, at least he doesn't walk into the grocery store with totally unrealistic healthy eating expectations for himself and walk out with three bags of veggies that end up slimey and thrown away. He goes for what he knows he will eat. However, the leftovers ratio of consumed to thrown away is totally skewed to the latter also. Mostly because I'll look down at the little foil wrapped containers and frown then try to find something else because I require a lot of variety. I need to buckle down and eat them! I'm going to force myself to actually eat the food I buy this year. Novel idea.

5. Wear less makeup. Yeah right. Find a way to shrink my pores until my skin looks like Olivia Palerno.

Okay okay. I know I'm not a richy rich celeb and so I don't have the resources at my disposal that they have when it comes to flawlessly smooth and creamy skin. Pus I smoked cigs for years which certainly didn't do me any favors. But I lust after skin with tiny little invisible pores so badly that I've started going to great financial lengths to get there. At this point I'd consider clubbing a baby seal and slathering its pure, virginal blubber all over myself  for perfect skin. Ok maybe not, but I will find the perfect skincare routine this year.

6. Take more leaps/ Be less of a pussy.

I've been standing in the exact same spot with my life for the past two years. I reeeeeeeeally need to bust loose with it and just start throwing myself out there. I know I have a strong support system that will help me up if I fall down and hurt myself or cheer me up if failure is the result. I need to stop being such a pussy about life. It's not waiting. the days keep coming in quick succession and if I'm not going to seize them, someone else will. In 2012, I'm going to go after whatever I dream up. Perhaps not fearlessly, but despite the near-crippling anxiety, I'm going to push through and go forth. Or at least make the effort.

7. Take a second before judging. AKA CHECK MYSELF.

Ok. I like to think I'm pretty open minded with people and pretty accepting. Note that I said 'Like to think." However, sometimes I snap my head back at myself and think 'Self, where did that nasty thought come from? You don't even know her/him!" It's embarrassing, internally scolding myself. So I'm going to try to slow my roll for a second before I jump to conclusions about that woman dressed like a lady of the night who just obviously cut me in line at Target. I don't know everything that's going on with her. I don't know everything that's going on with ANYONE. Before I assume they are just nasty people, I need to remind myself that every one has their own reasons for the things that they do, and most people aren't doing things just to be nasty. I need to chill, retract my mental claws/daggers/bitchy commentary. Heartwarming, I know.

8. Meditate.

I know this sounds kind of hippie-dipppie and you know what? I don't care. I LIKE hippies. I need to work on being more centered. Whatever that means. I've got a million things going on in my head at any given moment because I'm so goddamn intense, and most of the time it's worrying about other people and how to make everyone happy. I need to stop it. I need to take some time alone and just breathe. Take my own emotional temperature. Let myself work through things. and I need to be alone to do it. Surprise, surprise that this one makes the list again, under the guise of another name. But I found out this year that just because I take time for myself doesn't mean I use it wisely. So now that I am taking time for myself, I'm going to try to make it worthwhile.

PART 2 TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

merry merry

Oh, I am spoiled.

Yes, that is The West Wing... the entire series. 154 episodes on 45 discs. Looks like I've got a Winter survival plan. Boom. 

And now I'm off to the theater to see New Years Eve with my gent... and more importantly, to stuff my face with popcorn until my lips go numb, since I'm kinda allergic. 

A jolly holiday indeed. 

Hope yours was equally as merry!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

growing up is nearly impossible...for me

Sometimes if I go like two whole weeks without showing up to work even moderately hungover, even one time.... I classify myself as an adult.

It's like getting a mushroom and doubling your size in Mario Brothers. I'M BIG!

Yeah, I know. That statement doesn't really speak much for my maturity or responsibility levels.

But I think that may have something to do with the fact that I never really feel like an adult.

Sure, I've mostly paid my bills on time for the past six or so years, I usually don't forget to take out my contacts before I fall asleep at night, and I'm basically 1/2 responsible for a giant dog monster who makes messes that I HAVE TO CLEAN UP and sometimes ruins my things and then I HAVE TO FORGIVE HER. So yeah, I've come a long way.

Still, I feel like I've got some kind of Peter Pan complex or something at times. Or I wonder if certain things about me are just me not being grown up yet and I'll mature my way right out of them when the magical day comes, or if this is it, this is just my personality and I'm going to be this way forever.

This is sort of vague, but that's because it's sort of general. It's never one specific thing, but sometimes it manifests itself as me spending all of my remaining 'wiggle room' money for the next two weeks on dinner and a movie for two. Or sometimes it rears its head as 'forgetting' to brush my teeth one night because my toothbrush is all the way out in my car and zzzzzzzomg it's cold outside and I'm already in bed and sooo comfy and warm and I don't have pants on so obviously I'll just brush them in the morning. And don't even mention flossing. Shit.

I swear I'm done disgusting you with my oral hygiene now.

It's just that there's no guide. I am a reader. I average five books and week and you can verify that with my disgruntled boyfriend because that's not even an exaggeration. I read. All. the. time. There are guides to help you grow up. To help you get healthy. To help you get happy. To help you land an interview. To help you land a job. There are guides for navigating your health insurance and benefits and guides to help you cope with the blows life will inevitably hurl at you from point blank while you're totally unaware, living your life, trying to find the corresponding guide for whatever situation you're in. As someone who often feels totally inept at living, I have read these guides.

And they're useful.

But none of them teach you how not to lose your shit in your car on that asshole that just pulled out in front of you because they, in fact, may be the person interviewing you for that dream job for which you thought you were a shoe-in. They don't tell you that flossing five times in the 24 hours before you go to the dentist after totally neglecting to do so since your last visit isn't going to fool that fucking doctor. (Sorry, I guess I'm really fixated on teeth today.) Or that even though you can totally wake up on time and drag yourself to work hungover, you are not fooling anyone and will basically serving as a walking billboard for AA for the rest of the day.

Nope, those are lessons you have to learn on your own. Lessons I have learned. Along with many more. Humiliation is a good teacher.

And every time I think I've mastered one and dodged the embarrassment of that "Oh Christ, who is this immature clown in our midst?" moment, about four more surround and ambush me.

So maybe I don't rely on my bar receipts to tell me the story of if I have enough money left in my account to fill up my car with gas anymore, but I wish I could say those days were further back in the rear view then they actually are.

I guess, at my age, I am an adult. I'm certainly not a teenager anymore. But it's about time since I'm closer to 30 than my teen years. I want to be treated like an adult by society. I want to reap the benefits that come with being able to handle the responsibilties of being a contributing member of society... if there are any. I want to look at my bank account and not instantly think "Okay, I get paid in ___ days, Marie Calendar $1 meals, welcome to my kitchen. I want to someday muster the courage and funds to purchase a home.

I'm clawing and crawling my way slooooowly in that general direction. I'm trying to be an adult. I've even mastered business casual, even though I sometimes try to push the casual as far as it will go. Like today.
I rarely ever go buy new underwear to avoid doing laundry anymore.

But note that was 'rarely' and not 'never,' so while I may be an adult, no, I'm not grown up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

family tradition.

My family has many very weird and borderline awkward traditions that, at this point, are absolutely crucial to life running smoothly. Like, some people having very specific coffee cups. And our parents always deliver really bad news in sketchy McDonald's. It's like "Count your blessings, at least your life isn't as bad as most of the other patrons here." Tactical strategy. Although now the golden arches kind of set me into panic sweats. Except when the fries are really hot, because DAMN, are they delicious.

In my opinion these family quirks are really the most pronounced during this, the most wonderful time of the year. Honestly, I wouldn't trade our weird and zany for caroling, trips to Steamboat or all the peppermint ice cream in the world.

Okay, maybe the ski trip, but since none are being offered that's not a decision I'll be forced to make. Unfortunately. Thankfully.

Whatever. So last Saturday we partook in my FAVORITE family Christmas tradition, the procuring of The Tree. This year Matt and Angelo, my sister's new husband, joined us for the first time. My dad gets all Clark Griswald up in the tree farm's biz, my mom makes copious amount of cocoa, and my brothers strive to every year choose a larger, more challenging tree to cart home. Heartwarming.

That's right, we rolled in a three vehicle caravan to murder us some Christmas trees.

Ok, murder probably isn't the right word. It's honest to god a pretty heartwarming tradition that I get schoolgirl gleeful about, but I do sort of have a guilt complex about chopping down trees for sport, only to discard them like three weeks later like garbage.

Que sera sera.

yes. a trailer is required. this is about to get REAL.

Just know I feel guilty about what you're about to see.

But not guilty enough to stop doing it once a year. For the duration.

Okay cool.

Also, nothing is in order. I tried, and then I got frustrated and gave up. Sue me.
the brothers decided on this tree early, but we still walked around the entire farm three times.

matt murdering preparing our tree to ride home with us.

this is just sad. that tree was probably older than I am.

matt and I dragging our tree to the car. a true bonding experience.
yep. that's in my parent's home now.

victory was ours.

wandering through fields of pine and chopping down trees can be exhausting.

i promse we didn't let him ride all the way home in the trailer. although my parents have grown a little lax when it comes to safety, in my opinon.

hot cocoa from the kitchen of mama drake.

newlyweds. they must still be in honeymoon phase because they didn't argue about which tree they wanted NEARLY as much as matt and me.

he's probably trying to see the top of the tree my dad and brothers are about to chop down. it was that tall.

my mom assisting on the carry on account of my sister being in the family way and all.
we found one that we thought was prickly enough to deter our dog monster.

we love each other sometimes.

yeah mom and dad, this 16 footer is totally the one.

moms and pops debating about whether or not this tree will actually fit in the foyer.

guys doing manly things.

the ten year old gets some saw action.

sis and brother in law christening their first tree.

errrrrrrbody getting in on this one.
nice clean cut matt, no one would know you've had fake trees your whole life.

the bounty has been secured. my dad looks a bit smug about it if you ask me.

too bad there's no shots of my climbing on top of my car to secure our tree. it stayed on... pretty well.

being the artist I was born to be.
hally already chewed the outlet plug-in off of the light cord. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

to come.

Yesterday was, hands down, the most anxiety ridden day of my life. Which was then remedied with a bourbon cocktail strong enough to raise the dead and a VERY long shower.

And that is why I haven't yet posted my exciting Saturday adventure explaining how I got into the spirit of the upcoming holiday..... Christmas.

But let it be known, such a story is coming.

As are pictures of Montana.

And other ridiculousness.

Hold tight! I will not let you down!

Until then behold the shoes I spray painted for this weekend's coming wedding at my beloved Alma mater, thus marking the end of wedding season and (hopefully) my last bridesmaid post for a long while.

Behold my dancing shoes:

This pair of heels I've had FOREVER and they were at the very end of their life due to scuffs, but behold, they've been revived!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

back to flat.

Last night just shy of 10 pm, my plane touched down from Montana, marking the end of my whirlwind vacation. Well, really Minneapolis, and before that was Salt Lake city, before that came Montana.

It was a long fucking day of travel feeling like death warmed over, so when I finally hauled my heavy-ass carry-on with the non-functioning extendable handle to the curb where Matt was waiting to see my smiling face, I was very, VERY relieved to be home. And dead tired. And someplace that didn't smell like airport. And you know, within actual arms-length of my boyfriend.

But today, I'm not quite as thrilled to be back in the Midwest.

Actually, I'm pretty pissed about it.

I miss the mountains.

I had an exceptional visit, despite a bit of altitude sickness and it being winter in one of the coldest places in the country.

So today, I'm back in corn country. Where it's flat. And there are no mountains in ANY direction, let alone EVERY- at any distance my eyes see. And it's kind of a drag. 

Here's to hoping the mountains are part of my future again real soon.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

weeeeeeee december!

Today is December 1st and despite what the calendar hanging on the wall says, I've always seen this day as the marker for the start of Winter.

Last year around this time, I decided to put my knowledge and advice for the winter months out into the universe here. Minus the canoodling with strangers in hot tubs, it was really more of a reminder for myself to stay positive.

I always get a really bad attitude this time of year. And by that I mean, I become cripplingly depressive until I can comfortably roll around town with my windows down and the wind whipping my face and hair in a non-abrasive way once again.

The driving to work in darkness and getting home to darkness is really hard on me. The past two winters have been especially trying since I don't have to freedom in my current job to set my own hours and enjoy the daylight, save a one-hour span where I generally wolf down my lunch and spend the rest of the time tearing through whichever book is currently monopolizing my interest. Whatever problems I have going into Winter usually become magnified to the point where I can't focus on literally anything else.

However. This time around, I'm in markedly higher spirits than usual. I don't feel as heavy.

I'm staying up past 9pm. I'm actually blow-drying my hair in the morning. I haven't punched the seek button when a Christmas song comes on. I haven't even gained my annual winter weight. Times, let's hope they are a changin'.

I don't know the cause of this lovely lull from the winter doldrums, but I'll take it.