Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Boring Year in Review

Oh, I was going to start this whole post off with my lofty New Years Resolutions, but let's be honest here. I suck at keeping them ... so, I'm going to think about what I think I can really accomplish, and put some lame, easy to meet resolutions ... possibly tomorrow ... if I feel like it.

In the meantime, the other day, I caught myself thinking about how boring Year 2010 was. After a brief glance at my blog posts, I've realized, 2010 actually was boring, but sprinkled with some pretty life-changing moments as well. And so, without further adieu ...
YEAR 2010 ... IN REVIEW!

January ....
  • Well, I'm considering December 31, 2009, in this because, at 4 p.m. that day, I found out that the nodules formerly known as Ted and Ned were benign! Yay me! Yay God!
  • I made the goal of reading 50 Books in 12 Months again and promptly failed at it. I'm blaming that on ....
  • I started graduate school at Georgetown College ... a Teacher Leader MA in Reading and Writing.
  • One of our SSS own, Miss Monde, was trapped in her homeland, Haiti, after the devastating earthquake there. Great opportunity to teach our kiddos about selflessly giving.
  • Snow in January meant snow days for Miss Murray
February ...
  • Another snow day or two or three ...
  • I threw a birthday party for myself at The Penguin Bar in Lexington ... Yay #38 for me!
  • I ate at Claudia Sanders ... wife of Colonel Sanders. She's knows how to cook!
March ...
  • I began the apartment search in earnest.
  • I did NOTHING on Spring Break!
April ...
  • SPRING came to the Bluegrass!!! I started sneezing again.
  • I cut my hair SUPER short ... well, I didn't cut it, but ... well, you get the point.
May ...
  • End of another school year winding down ...
  • BIG flood of 2010 ... the stench ... the devastation for some. Whew!
June ...
  • Summer break begins as does an all-out HOUSE search -- scrap the apartment search idea.
  • Summer classes begin after I earned my first 4.0 of my master's program.
July ...
  • Family visit with trips to the Cumberland Gap and Pine Mountain, the Louisville Zoo, The Lexington Legends, and just plain hang-out time.
  • The beginning of another school year (the craziest one yet!), the ending of a set of summer classes, many TO DO lists written, and much sweat equity in my classroom after a MAJOR HVAC reno at school.
August ...
  • A new school year
  • House shopping ... OY VEY!!! Stepping out on my own to make the BIGGEST purchase of my life.
  • Grad school started up again ... I was already tired of it before it had even begun ...
  • Continued to hear about the oil spill in the Gulf as well as in my home county back in Michigan.
September ...
  • I began the process of actually making an offer on a house. GULP!
  • I agreed to be a part of a Writing Project fellowship using technology.
  • I went to my very first Honky Tonk.
  • I fell waaaaay behind on my grad school work.
October ...
  • I packed up a townhouse.
  • I moved to the new house.
  • I organized ... and organized ... and organized ...
  • I became a frequent shopper at Lowe's.
  • Watched 33 miners being rescued from a Chilean mine via CNN ... incredible!
November ...
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving my own home.
  • Enjoyed the first snow fall of the season ... two month early.
December ...
  • Celebrated Christmas in my own home ... with my family!!!
  • Enjoyed (begrudgingly) two snow days in December ... a month too early.
I've decided I need to look for more exciting things to do this coming year ... I've lived boringly this past year ... of course, there was that whole Grad School thing ... maybe I'm just in a season of Boring right now.

Which ever way I choose to look at it though, 2010 was a year for stepping out in faith for me! And I must admit, I am looking forward to all that 2011 has in store for me! Out with the old, in with the new!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fred Astaire - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town

Currently, Emmy the Cat has no hope of redeeming herself in time for Santa's arrival. Ahh...but do I remember these old Rankin Bass specials ... LOVED them as a child! I used to get so excited when one came on tv!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pampering ....

I won a day of pampering at my salon. I can't even begin to tell you just how excited I was about this day of complete and total bliss. I know a lot of people that are regularly treated to days of pampering, and while I was always envious of the attention (not to mention the finances available to do such a thing), I couldn't help but feel a bit of superiority. Superiority in that I knew I wasn't frivolously throwing good money away on something that really has no lasting power. But it's been a really rough school year ... they seem to get rougher each year ... and the idea of spending the better part of a day surrendering myself to the capable hands of the girls responsible for facials, massages, pedicures, and manicures, was more than I could begin to articulate.

Only, I couldn't relax!! For the first half of the day, I kept thinking that there was something I needed to do ... somewhere I needed to be ... these people can't all be waiting on me!?!? Why would they want to wait on me? It was just plain ridiculous!

Thankfully, mid-way through the pampering session, I finally settled down and allowed myself to relax and just enjoy it ... BUT ONLY after I realized that for whatever reason, we women ... single and married ... mothers and childless ... can't seem to take the time to really take care of ourselves. Oh sure, we can plunk down in front of the television, but when it comes to true, good, appropriate ways to treat ourselves healthfully and well, for some reason, we can't seem to bring ourselves to do it. It feels unnatural ... unnecessary ... unwarranted.

Therefore, I have resolved to change that thought process in my own mind. I will attempt to figure out a way to make time for healthy pursuits. I need to be willing to pamper myself, and that pampering must be more than spending a day watching HGTV marathons.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Social Network Christmas

And just like that! My bad mood melted away!!!!

Trying to feel un-blue for Christmas

Today has been a discouraging day for me.

It might be that we've not seen sun for any good length of time.

Or maybe it's because I was really looking forward to a FULL week of vacation before Christmas (to soak up a bit of Christmas cheer), but now we're paying back snow days ... and well ... blah ....

It might be due to the general lack of common decency and respect for each other as professionals.

Perhaps it's because I can't fit into my pants.

All these could be a contributing factor to the general feeling of BLAHs going on today. I'm fighting the urge to just say BAH HUMBUG to it all. I find myself watching WHITE CHRISTMAS and wondering if the life portrayed on that movie was, indeed, a simpler, kinder time. Were people just as rude and nasty then as they are now?

I have to find something to get me out of my funk ...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Flash Mob of Handel's Messiah at Joseph-Beth in Lexington, KY 12/17/2010

This flash mob was right in my back yard ... sorta! Lexington Green at Joseph Beth Bookseller ... a way cool place to go and shop for books.

Linus Christmas Monologue

After all, isn't THIS really what Christmas is all about? It is for me!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

The Hallelujah Chorus always brings me to tears ... I imagine the joyful noise in Heaven being just so inspiring. Obviously, I wept watching this flash mob performance. I mean, come on! How can you not be moved and inspired by this??!?!!??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cleaning out the fridge

I just finished cleaning out my refrigerator. I've owned the thing for a grand total of two months and one day, and I'm both appalled and amazed (in an appalled sort of way) at how disgusting this thing got so very quickly. Not that I had stuff splashed every where in there. No, I'm pretty good about not letting that happen. It's just all the "stuff" I had in various plastic containers were like ... well, like bio-hazardous pools of ick.

Which leads me to the reason I'm even writing about this, because, let's be honest here. No one really wants to read about the moldy culinary creations lurking in the dark corners of my refrigerator. No, the entire reason I am even dwelling on the grossness is because, as I was cleaning it out (and berating myself for being such a pig), it occurred to me that I really should have done this sooner, and wow! Doesn't this seem to be an analogy for life?

Oh yes, I did! Yes, I did just make a analogous connection between cleaning out the refrigerator and cleaning out our lives. I mean, really! Don't we all hang on to a lot of stuff that just plain clutters our lives?

I've been doing my annual reflection of my year, and it occurs to me that, once again, I have let the outside world clutter me .. my being, which, if I allow myself to be honest, is robbing me of joy. And it's not just the over-abundant stresses of my job, which seem to have tripled in number this year alone. No, this clutter is more than that. It's the outside forces that worm their way into my life on a daily basis. Things like media -- computer, Facebook, TV, text messages -- and bills and papers and research projects and .... and, well, before I know it, a full year has passed, and what do I have to show for it?

I'm not sure ... other than a permanent crick in my neck, more extra weight on my body, wrinkles, gray hair, and exhaustion.

So, how do I break the cycle?

Cleaning out the clutter. It's going to be my goal to try to shave the amount of time I spend on fruitless efforts down and begin to spend time on things that have meaning and purpose. I can avoid a lot of moldy, bio-hazardous plastic containers of ick that way.

It's an on-going battle that isn't going away anytime soon, and it will be an uphill battle. But if I don't at least attempt to battle it, I'll have no room in the fridge to store the good stuff ... you know what I mean?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

In my fat pants

Currently, my belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly, while visions of chocolate men are dancing in my head. Of course, they are burly, muscled, handsome chocolate men ... but chocolate men nonetheless.

January will be here much too fast, and I'm not looking forward to it either, because, I am going to have to do something about the jelly belly.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Swirling thoughts like a good wine

Sooooooo ... I've had a lot on my mind lately. Most of it, I've wanted to write down. Some how, though, it just never happened.

Because, maybe, I wimped out and watched a cheesy Christmas movie on Lifetime instead ...

Or I just became apathetic and sullen ...

Or I cleaned a toilet or two ...

Or I ignored the great piles of laundry that I can now shut in a closet and pretend isn't there ...

What ever the reason (read: excuse), I've not written, and my head is fairly close to exploding from all the "bottling up" action going on up there.

We've had snow ... lots of it for our area. Like five inches of it. With the snow has come some pretty frigid temperatures. Of course, I have been complaining about how cold it is, and how much it's going to cost me to heat my house, and then last night, I found out about a man that is, essentially, living in his car. Suddenly, my money spent on the heating of my house seemed insignificant.

In the not so distant past, something was dumped in my lap. Something that I had no ownership of ... that I had absolutely no control of ... something that had nothing to do with me, but for which I was assigned blame. It left me questioning my loyalties, my alliances, my allegiances, and my ability to appropriately judge character. It left me hurt ... annoyed ... saddened ... despondent ... on edge ... distrustful. And then if by magic, I was surrounded by these amazing, wise-beyond-their-years girlfriends that poured on me love and grace and kindness.

I realized something.

I'm blessed.

I'm ridiculously blessed. To be showered with so much and so often, it really does seem like more than I deserve. And yet, here I am so richly blessed, while so many aren't.

I'm not sure how the blessings shake out ... I'm not sure why some get showered with so much and some do not. Perhaps we all get showered with the same amount, and some of us just recognize them as what they are ... and some of us don't.

Whatever the case may be, these blessing swirl in my mind and heart like good wine in a glass. I'm exceedingly full ... intoxicatingly full ... my cup runneth over.

And so I inhale my good fortunes and hope and pray that I share generously and often with those around me ...