Hey Guys! I’ve just started a new project as of last weekend. I decided it’s time to stop dwelling on my grief and to focus on the positive. I’ve been through a lot of personal changes as I’ve gone through one of the hardest experiences of my life. It’s time for something new. A new direction. A new focus. The new project is called The Joy Blog. Stop by sometime and check it out. I’d love to have you there. The web address for it is http://www.thejoyblog.net.
I’ll still post here from time to time because this blog has been my baby for the past 6 or 7 years, but this new one will get more of my focus. I’m so excited about it and can’t wait to see what comes of it.
(Also, the image above is available as a desktop wallpaper download at my new site, so stop by and get yourself one!)
I just finished reading Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann. He has incredible ways with words. I loved the book. I rated it 4 stars on my Goodreads page. I’m not going to ruin the book for anyone except to say that it is written similarly to the way the movie Crash is setup. All these people’s lives intertwine and each chapter is told from a new perspective.
Favorite excerpts from the book:
“We stumble on… bring a little noise into the silence, find in others the ongoing of ourselves. it is almost enough.”
“The world spins. We stumble on. It is enough.”
“What Corrigan wanted was a fully believable God, one you could find in the grime of the everyday. The comfort he got from the hard, cold truth — the filth, the war, the poverty — was that life could be capable of small beauties. He wasn’t interested in the glorious tales of the afterlife or the notions of a honey-soaked heaven. To him that was a dressing room for hell. Rather he consoled himself with the fact that, in the real world, when he looked closely into the darkness he might find the presence of a light, damaged and bruised, but a little light all the same. he wanted, quite simply, for the world to be a better place, and he was in the habit of hoping for it. Out of that came some sort of triumph that went beyond theological proof, a cause for optimism against all the evidence.”
Have you read this book? What was your favorite part, if so? If you haven’t, is it on your list to read? Share with me your thoughts in the comments below!
I don’t know if you’re all like me, but I love having a good soundtrack for whatever I’m doing. This one seems to go well with a good old fashioned hang out session, whether it’s just you and your laptop, you and a good book, or you and some friends, this is a great playlist for your background music. Some of it is easy listening, and some will make you want to tap your toes to the beat.
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman // Coffee – Sylvan Esso // Watching The Wheels – John Lennon // Southern Sun – Boy & Bear // Speed Of Dark – Emiliana Torrini // Lake Michigan – Rogue Wave // Don’t Swallow the Cap – The National // Lonesome – Dr. Dog // Siren’s Song – Rogue Wave // Into The Wild – Lewis Watson // Isn’t This World Enough? – Admiral Fallow // Shake – The Head And The Heart // The Big Bang – Rock Mafia // This Head I Hold – Electric Guest // I’m Not The Only One – Sam Smith // She’s Got You High – Mumm-ra // Left Hand Free – alt-J // Award Tour – A Tribe Called Quest // Shake, Shake, Shake – Bronze Radio Return // Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkel // Ooh La La – Faces // Easy To Love – Ivan & Alyosha
Happy listening! Like the playlist? Let me know in the comments below.
I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff. I LOVE personality tests, and having people guess my age, hobbies, life direction. I love analyzing people. I was a behavioral science major. It’s my thing. I’ve always found the fact that people can become profilers as a form of employment to be fascinating. I’d love to spend 20 minutes with a profiler and have them guess everything about me. I am getting better at my non-existent poker face, so I think it would be a fun little game.
I’ve always wanted to try handwriting analysis and see if it is as legit of a practice as I hope it is. To me it’s like magic. A person that can look at your handwriting and figure out who you are is just as cool as a person that can guess the card you’re holding when you’re a kid.
I did a little digging and found this on Pinterest and wanted to give it a test. So, let’s see if it’s accurate, shall we?
Using the above guidelines, let’s see what the experts have to say about me! (This could be bad.) Here’s a picture of some recent writing from my Italian language lesson book:
1. Letter size: Mine are large. I’ve never been a tiny writer. According to the info above, I’m egocentric and believe the world revolves around me. (Hmmm… you say that like it’s a bad thing.)
2. Slant: I’m a little straight up or slanted left. So, I keep to myself and don’t reveal my emotions, and/or react more logically while holding back emotions. Uh… has anyone ever met me? I’m the complete opposite of this. This blog is ALL ABOUT FEELINGS. But then again, my husband does say I’m an emotional/logical person. He said it’s weird and doesn’t make sense to his logical man brain that I can think logically with my emotions. I’m an enigma, folks.
3. Spacing: Narrow and wide. So, maybe at times I’m close to people and other times I’m isolated? I’d say that makes sense. I’m an extroverted introvert, or an introverted extrovert. I love people and being around them, but after a while I HAVE to be alone to recharge. Once again, E-N-I-G-M-A. And we wonder why I have generalized anxiety? (Fun fact: I don’t wonder, I know it’s because I’m full of oppositional things.)
4. My Signature Style: You can’t see it in the photo but it’s the big circles one. So I guess I’m very protective of myself and very private? This is just so wrong. I’m a BLOGGER. We are not private people. We share our lives and feelings on a world stage. Whoever wrote this analysis must have been having an off day.
While searching through these on Pinterest I found a few more that had different analysis points. One said that slanting to the left meant you were acting on rebellion in your life. I guess I’ll use that one too. I am rebelling, so much rebellion that my Saturday nights involve Netflix and home cooked food. In what way is that rebellion? Rebellion from cultural norms? Oh wait… I live in America, we love TV and food.
Well, as you can see, this analysis was way off. Or… maybe it was spot on because I’m so good at hiding the real me the analysis couldn’t even do its job properly? Guess we’ll never know.
What does this tell you about you? I’d love to hear it below in the comments. Happy analyzing, friends!
Today I would like to start a new project. We can call it The Positive Memory Project (if we’re naming it, but I don’t know if it needs one). I’ve been doing this thing, where my brain will flash through my head vivid images that are attached to strong negative emotions. It will happen at the most random times, and feels like a punch in the gut followed by hours of a low mood that I have to ignore or wallow through. The images are of my mother on her death bed, struggling through her last couple days of life. And every single time they flash through my head it makes me sick and sad. Sick and sad, sick and sad, I’m so tired of being that way. So, I’ve decided to counteract this happening by focusing on all the awesome memories of the coolest mom there ever was.
There are so many, I’ll just pick a few for today. Let’s get this memory party started, shall we?
Memory 1: I couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven years old when our washing machine flooded sudsy water across our kitchen floor. There must have been an inch of water covering most of the kitchen floor, and while my mom left the room to gather cleaning supplies to fix the flood, I discovered the sudsy water made for excellent ice skating-like conditions. I skated, or hydroplaned, my way around the soapy wet kitchen floor, knowing full well that I’d be in trouble when she came back. She took one look at a crappy situation being made worse, and started laughing and let me continue to skate and slip my way around the kitchen for a little while until she could get the water to stop leaking.
Memory 2: My brother and I liked to make potions, and by potions I mean concoctions made from everything we could find in the kitchen cabinets that would mix up with liquids. Even though it wasted her spices and baking needs, made huge messes in the kitchen, and possibly could’ve poisoned us, she let us do this a few times a year.
Memory 3: The park near our house had swings with dirt underneath them. On rainy days, or hot days with the sprinklers on, we’d head over to the park to play in the puddles that would form under the swings. One particular day, we were swinging and dragging our feet through the puddles and discovered that we could splash the water from the puddles up over our heads completely soaking ourselves from head to toe. Any other mom would’ve freaked out about her kids soaking themselves in dirty muddy water, but she just laughed and let us do it. From then on the rule was, “You can swing through the mud puddles, if you hose off outside before coming in the house.” You mean, we can play and get muddy and then run through the sprinklers and play with the hose? BEST MOM EVER!
What did I learn from all these memories? My mom valued experiences and fun over a clean house and clean kids. She let us explore and get dirty, and laugh a lot. She taught me to get out there and have fun because this life is for laughter and swinging through mud puddles. I was lucky, guys, I knew it the whole time she was alive, and I still do. I fully intend to swing through mud puddles when I have kids. I might even let them have special, magical, potion-making classes with me in the kitchen from time to time.
Did your parents teach you how to have fun? If so, what ways did they show you life was for laughter?
So, I won’t lie. This week I kind of back tracked and watched a lot of TV and moped. For whatever reason, it had to happen, I guess. BUT… now I’m on the cusp of a three day weekend, and it’s supposed to be sunny and 60+ degrees. It’s really rare to have this weather in February in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains, but I think I’ll just be grateful for this crazy warm Winter. I need some vitamin D, and I need some exercise. I plan to get both of those tomorrow. Also, while I’ve been working today, I’ve stumbled onto some stuff that I think everybody would benefit from. We all need some positivity in our lives right?
This link contains some amazing TED talks, and we could all benefit from inspiring people. My favorite so far? The first one about being born to run. Motivation and positive vibes are what I need right now. Give them a listen. I sure will be all day while I’m at work.
HAPPY FRIDAY! Enjoy your weekend! Which of these talks do you connect with?
To change gears from my last post, I was gifted a very lovely bookstore giftcard for Christmas and I have been putting it to use. My Goodreads list is 200+ books long so I’ve purchased quite a few of my list items to read this year. I’m in love with reading again, and am excited to dive into the books I’ve chosen.
Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann. This is the overview from the Barnes & Noble website.
In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in Colum McCann’s intricate portrait of a city and its people.” “Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.” Weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence.
Winner of the 2009 National Book Award for Fiction
Winner of the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
You can get it HERE for under $10 right now. I love the way the story jumps from perspective to perspective. The story is told by several different people instead of one point of view.
- Gone Girl
- Animal Farm
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Lovely Bones
If I get through all of these, I have 200+ other books on deck just waiting to be read. It’s gonna be a good year for reading. I’ve missed out on a lot by not reading much for the past several years.