Tag Archives: Happiness

150

Well, I had hoped to make my 150th post a BIG CELEBRATORY DEAL!

 

With lots of thoughts and maybe some food, and talk about life down here in New Zealand.  Instead, I’m going to end up making this, a monumental post indeed, short and sweet and happy.

 

This is where I take a bit of time out of my life and wish my friends, my family, my readers, and my soon to be readers who will flock to my brilliance very soon, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Yule, And every other holiday you can think of.  Including Festivus.  And if you’re feeling particularly grumpy, a Happy Sunday!

 

I hope you are all having a fantastic time with your loved ones wherever you are in the world, and I hope you are all as happy and content as I am.

 

This year has been full of ups and downs, more Ups than downs, and I think next week I’ll have a more comprehensive wrap up post in honor of the New Year, but at the moment, I am simply going to wish you all a Happy New Year, and then go and enjoy some time with my closest and best friend.

 

Happy New Year, Love you all!

Liberated Woman… Or Not

“I am liberated enough to know that I like to stay at home.”

 

I said that to myself, and maybe other people, a few months back. I think I might have even put it up on facebook as a status, who can remember.  But I’ve been thinking about it recently.

 

Do I want a job?  Yes.  Can I get one at this exact moment in time? No, because my visa status is currently nebulous and ‘wonky’.  Have I worked for my living before? Yes. Have I worked and cleaned and cared for another person? Yes.  Did I enjoy it? Not in the slightest.  I have been in the workforce and I have been a stay-at-home-something.  And to be honest, I think I know myself enough to realize that I like a balance of both.

 

I do enjoy having a job, going to work and being with coworkers that are not completely crazy.  That is enjoyable.  But I also like a lazy rainy afternoon at home, cleaning the kitchen so that I can attempt a new recipe.

 

For my 30th Birthday this year, E and I went halves on some brand new kitchen goodies. A dutch oven, pie dish, quiche pan, etc.  I was ecstatic!  We’ve bought a new set of dishes, new silverware, and just recently I was gifted n electric hand mixer for hannukah.  I can’t even tell you how super excited I was! I giggled like a little girl when we got into the car with my new present!  And then today, I decided to bust it out of it’s confining box and whip up something delicious!

 

So today I was in my kitchen, barefoot, complete with an awesome apron that I bought from Andrea’s  OpenSky shop about a year ago.  I was not in a skirt or a dress, and there was not a string of pearls around my neck either.  But I was humming and happy and boiling up sweet potatoes and sifting together flour and baking soda, all to make a delicious (I hope!) sweet potato bread.  It’s in the oven now so I can’t quite give you guys a verdict, but I can say that the apartment smells fantastic!

 

After a weekend of cleaning the apartment top to bottom, rearranging furniture, and having friends over for boardgames, a nice relaxing day today spent in the kitchen is just how I wanted my day to go.

 

I read some forums online and I see all these people, mostly men, talking about how a woman needs to be treated equal to a man in all ways.  And I like the sentiment, but sometimes things can get a bit overzealous.  Of course, there are others who say that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.  And while I like my kitchen, I prefer to think that I can be other places as well.

 

I think, and this is probably going to get me some crazy thoughts, but I think that in most “Western” societies a woman’s place is wherever she damn well wants it to be.

 

For me?  I like being home. I like being in the kitchen. I like cooking up meals and watching E eat them and enjoy them.  I actually like cleaning the house, some times. And yes, I like going out and earning my own money.  The two do not have to be mutually exclusive. I can be a strong liberated woman while baking a cake.

 

Those are just my thoughts of the day so far.  Now I’m going to go curl up with a hot mug of tea and play some violent video games while waiting for my baking project to come out of the oven.

My November

Man, what a month.

 

To start with, there was Nanowrimo.  National Novel Writing Month.  Although I’m starting to wonder if it shouldn’t be called something like ‘InNaNoWriMo”, Because the project has gone global.  Ooh, There we go, “GloNaNoWriMo”.

 

Now, for those of you that are reading this and have no idea what Nanowrimo is, I will gladly point you towards their page, there are links over there –>.  But allow me to attempt to define it for you.  Nanowrimo, affection called Nano in short, is a month long torture session in the name of literacy.  The idea is that starting on Midnight November 1, through til Midnight November 30th, participants will write a 50,000 word novel.  Yes. 50,000 words.  Take a moment and pause here.  Think about it.  That’s a lot of words, yeah?  But how many?  I mean, some people will look at that and think to themselves, that can’t be all that much.  Allow me to put it into perspective for you a little bit.

 

Remember back in school, when you had to do those reports and write papers for classes?  Remember how the teachers would usually give an arbitrary length of pages, say 3-5.  Well, I just did a quick calculation and 4 pages of my novel this year is just about 2500 words.   Ok you math majors and thinkers out there, c’mon.  Yes.  So essentially what you’re doing when you participate in Nano is writing 20 4 page papers.    Want something more?  OK.  Remember back in 11th grade, doing that first research paper?  It had to be over 10 pages but no more than 13, remember?  My research paper was 11 pages.  The first 11 pages in my Nano novel comes in just over 6600 words.  So how long, in page length, is my novel this year? Well, in size 11 font, single spaced (which no report ever would be when getting turned in at school) my novel is 87 pages long.

 

Yes.  Eighty-seven.  Want to know something dramatic now?  I finished my writing on the 13th of November.  Take a few deep breaths, put your eyes back in your head.  Better?  Yes, I wrote 50,119 words in just under 2 weeks.  Now mind, I did not do much of anything else those two weeks.  I do not have a job, or school, or anything else really to take my focus away from writing.  But there you go.  Still think it can’t be done?  It can.

 

If you want to know more about this program, or the parent Non-Profit organization that runs it and other programs throughout the year, go check out http://www.nanowrimo.org  and you can find out all about the program, the Office of Letters and Light and more importantly their Your Writers Program.

 

Now, Nanowrimo was not the only race that I was going through this month.  I had something else happening as well.  Trying to get my visa application finished and into immigration before the end of the month.  And I am happy to report that it has been done!  The visa application for the next step in the process has been submitted to the Immigration new Zealand officials and now, we wait.  Four to six weeks we wait.

 

What else has happened this month?

 

Oh right!  E and I had our anniversary!  It’s been two years and life honestly couldn’t be better!  Two years.  Holy crap.  Time has flown on by.  We went out to dinner to a place we’ve been meaning to go (mongolian barbecue, nothing too fancy shmancy) and just spent the night in together.

 

We got invited to a wedding, which was absolutely fantastic!  Such a beautiful day, a gorgeous couple, and a perfect wedding. And a great day out with friends afterwards.

 

Oh, and Skyrim came out!  Heart this game so much.  So very very much.  Hehehe.

 

And one other thing…

 

Oh, right, Thanksgiving.

 

Now, as you might be aware there is no Thanksgiving down here in Kiwiland.  In fact Turkey is not one of the easier/cheaper to purchase meats.  And since we weren’t having a huge gathering of people, instead just the two of us, we went with a chicken.  One whole chicken.  Now, I did a few searches online and found some people suggesting butter under the skin of the chicken.  I had seen the cooks on Masterchef do this as well.  So if they’re doing this, and the cooks online are doing this, then why not, right?

 

So I took some butter, maybe 3-4 tablespoons worth, and softened it to room temperature.  I mixed into this butter herbs and spices (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and nutmeg) and then stuffed it into the chicken, just under the skin that covers and coats the breasts.  I then took another 3 tablespoons of butter and shoved them into the cavity of the chicken, along with fresh rosemary and marjoram.  And then, because I felt there was simply not enough calories, I shoved another tablespoon of butter under the skin again.  One tablespoom on each breast.  Then, your hands are coated in spiced herbed butter, and you rub them all over the outside of the chicken.  All over.  Coat it in the thick creamy yellow goop.  Then salt and pepper on the skin.  Then into the oven it went!

 

Let me tell you, this chicken was the most scrumptious, delicious, juicy chicken.  Even the leftovers 2 days later were still moist and juicy and so flavorful.  I had to do some serious work at the gym, but let me tell you, so worth it.   So very very worth it.

 

Now, I’ve seen other posters with their posts of ‘what I’m Thankful for’ all month.  And I’ve been trying to figure out the answerto that question all month long.  I really have.  And It’s hard to really come up with anything that warrants a post.  Because to be honest, the best answer I can give is, “I am thankful for my life.”  And I am.  I am thankful for everything I’ve been through to get to this point.  I am thankful for the hardships, the heartaches, the ups and downs, everything.  I am in such a good place right now, in such a happy spot and blissful state of being that there is little else that I want, need, or crave.  This is my life, and I am happy.  So for all of that, I am thankful.

 

 

So, quite a month, eh?  So what’s happening next month for me?  Well, the first sunday in December I have a race!  That’s right, a 6k walk/run through the city.  Should be fun!  It’s my first time doing anything like this ever ever, so who knows what will happen.  But I do know that I will enjoy myself thoroughly.  Hannukah starts on the 20th this year, and then Christmas to follow.  And on top of all of that, I should be hearing back about my visa application by the end of the year and then, finding a job.

 

Hope everything is well with you and yours!  Have a great holiday season, I’m sure I’ll be back at some point!

Insomnia

So here I am. 1am on tuesday morning.  And I’m still awake.

 

What could possibly be bothering me?

 

My Nanowrimo is done (unofficially and more about that later), my FBI paperwork came back clean and healthy (like there was really any doubt), I have a game plan for where and when and how to go through and finish up this visa application (ugh tediousness).  There really is nothing overly heavy weighing on my mind.

 

Except.

 

Well, I’m still unemployed. Which granted at this point is planned until after I get my new visa and then I can look for things that are not ‘temporary’ or ‘contract’ but I can actually get full time work.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am ok with being unemployed.    And I still have no idea what it is I would like to do.  Call centers, retail, go back to school?  Maybe a bit of this and a bit of that?  But all of that requires some soul searching.  And I just am not good at soul searching.  Especially if it involves any form of meditation.  My brain just refuses to slow down.

 

Also, I am thinking about the whole ‘what next’ part of my writing.  I have no done my 6th Nanowrimo. I have now hit my 6th mark of 50,000 words in so many years.  My world and my plot are coming together better now than they ever have before.  So what next?  Do I move on? do I try to finish up? Do I gather all of my previous writing and notes and details on this subject and scour them for details, information, bits and pieces and then put that all into notes on Scrivener (awesome program btw), and actually honestly attempt to write this book?  Or books?  Do I have the willpower to sit through, sift through, all of my writing over the years, trash what is crap and keep what is good, build on the rest and actually come out ahead with a story that maybe somebody somewhere will want to read?   Do I have this willpower?

 

Do I have the willpower to keep up with the weight loss?  I can tell that I’m losing weight because my pants are slowly starting to come off around my waist.  But my hips are still the same size they were, so no real loss there.  Also means no new pants.  Just have to keep fiddling with the old pants.  Can I really keep up with this? Can I lose enough weight so that when I head back to the States next year to visit, mom and I can go shopping for new clothes for me and I can actually maybe not wear the ‘fat girl clothes’?  How much willpower do I really have stored up?

 

And is it even willpower that I need? Perhaps what I really need is ambition.  I don’t really seem to have any of that.  Ambition.  It’s a funny word.  In some cases it is a strong, positive, encouraging term. In others it’s dirty, nasty, unkind.  And it seems to be difficult to balance the two levels perfectly.  What is a good level of ambition? And how do I get there?  Now that I think about it, Ambition seems to be the core of most of my problems.  Yeah, I know, First world problems and all that.

 

But really.  I never had many ambitions as a kid, or even as a young adult.  To be happy and to be loved for who I was were about the only things I was ever determined to secure for myself.  And, well, now I have those.  And I’m lost.  I have no real ambitions.  Dreams, sure I have those aplenty, but ambitions?  To be a writer who can tell her stories and have people want to read them.  That could be one.  That’s about as close to an ambition as I have.  But I am still very unsure of how to necessarily achieve that goal.

 

I’ll have to do some more thinking on this.  I’ll get back to you.

 

But for now, It’s almost 130.  My mint tea is just warm enough to drink while still being hot enough to be soothing to the rather unhappy stomach that I have now (i think it doesn’t like peanut butter anymore), and I’m hoping that a few minutes of window shopping for a new menorah is going to be enough to settle my brain and calm my whatever it is that’s keeping me awake.

 

So good night, good morning, and have a pleasant day.

Backing Black

I have never been more determined to become a part of this country and its culture than I was on Sunday night.

 

First off, let me say that my time in Queenstown was massively awesome and there will be a further post on that, and the whole experience to come later.  But for now, I have to talk about Sunday night.

 

For those of you that don’t live in the world of sports, or actually in New Zealand or any of the other ‘major’ team countries, this year was the Rugby World Cup.  And it is a huge huge huge thing down here.  I don’t think I could even come up with a comparison that would make sense in the US levels of huge.  Possibly Huge like ice hockey is huge in Michigan.  Or high school football in Texas.  But even that can’t quite cover the obsessiveness that has come about over Rugby down here.

 

Now, I am not an expert, or even a beginner expert.  I know that there are different levels of play, different leagues, and I know that there are ways to divide the country (like canterbury versus auckland or something), but I’m still learning the ropes.  I can very well, and probably will, say something completely wrong about this but I’m giving my observations and opinions on a short window of exposure.  So, bear with me.

 

The Overall attitude down here during this World Cup has been astounding.  Teams from around the world came here (including the USA! Go Eagles!) to play in pool challenges.  And then after the Pool stages were over (the US didn’t get past the Pools, but we did beat Russia!), we got into the really exciting games.  The semis and the quarters and the final.

 

And let me tell you, as the weeks got closer and closer to the end of the Pools and the start of the actual ‘tournament’ part of it, this country got more and more united.  Black signs everywhere.  People with those flags flying from their cars with the NZ flag and the All Blacks flag, and pretty much everything else all became about the Rugby.  Everybody was ‘Backing Black’ in some way or another and the energy in this country was astounding.  There really is no way to explain an entire country coming together behind one team.

 

And no, the Olympis don’t really count.  Well, Maybe for the Dream Team.  I would say that it was close to the 1980 US Hockey team, but they were the underdogs.  The All Blacks are definitely not the underdogs.  They are supposed to be the best rugby (of this league) team in the world.  So, yeah, let’s go with Dream Team for US Basketball as an analogy.  But even that analogy doesn’t quite work.  The Dream Team had national backing, but only if you cared about basketball, and only if you cared about the Olympics.  And frankly, not enough of the US does either of those at all.

 

No, this is close to the Dream Team but amplified on a scale well past it.  Well past it.  The Semi-final game against Australia was billed as “The Final” because there was no way that France should have beaten Wales.  They had played so sloppily all tournament, there was no way that they could be a match for the mighty mighty All Blacks.   But France did beat Wales, and the ABs got past the Wallabies, and here you have it, The Final.

 

New Zealand vs France

 

Now, there are some rather epic backstories to this rivalry, and I can’t even begin to explain them all.  I’m sure that somebody else is more than happy to fill them in, but the relations between France and NZ have been strained at times in the past.  There was a Rugby match sometime back in the 90s that NZ was expected to win handily, but the French came out victorious.  Then there’s the Rainbow Warrior incident, and I’m fairly sure that there was another incident that was explained to me this weekend, but in all of the excitement, some of it has gotten lost in memory of wine and lack of sleep.

 

Suffice to say, emotions were running high for this match.  It’s a holiday weekend down here, with monday being a national holiday and pretty much everybody in the country having the day off.  So the Final was on Sunday night, and we were on holiday with some friends down in Queenstown.  One of our friends is a huge rugby fan and was insisting that we go to the pub to watch the game. Any pub.

 

At first, I resisted, but my god am I glad that I didn’t.

 

A bit more background, this a bit more personal.  I don’t usually like pubs. Or loud places. Or places with people drinking.  Or loud places with people drinking.  So being in a pub for a sporting event that was going to be loud and rowdy at first did not seem appealing to me in the slightest.  But, I want to know what it is to be a Kiwi, to really be somebody from New Zealand.  And part of that is going to be being around the loud, the drinking, and the rugby.  So what the hell.

 

I will tell you, I have never seen or been a part of something more epic, inspiring, and breathtaking than being in that pub watching the game.  We got their early, got a table, and had dinner (which was cheap bar food and not particularly good), and then sat and waited.  And waited.  And the pub slowly started to fill up around us.  And then, at around 830 or 845, suddenly, the pub around us was packed.  The French anthem was sung and people politely sang along (I think there were a few French supporters in the pub, but they were downstairs).  And then the NZ Anthem came on.  Everybody that I could see stood up and sang along.  And I don’t mean the polite singing along that we Americans do at a baseball game.  Or the way that we use the national anthem on TV as a means of having just three more minutes to get the gang settled and the food passed out. Everybody sang along to their national anthem (in both maori and english! with sign translation too!) in as full throated and fullbodied manner as they could.  The room was buzzing, the excitement was so palpable you could feel it against your skin like an electric current.  Everybody at back down (or remained standing if you didn’t have a seat) and got ready for the next big thing. The Haka.

 

One more pause here.  The Haka, or rather more properly it should be stated as being ‘a haka’, is a war dance done by native tribes around the southern pacific islands as a means of intimidation.  The All Blacks are not the only teams to perform a Haka, in fact most of the island national teams down here (Tonga, Samoa, Fiji) also perform their own.  But when we’re talking Rugby, and the All Blacks, then I believe it is appropriate to use the full on capitalized “The Haka”, because nearly everybody down here will know what you mean.

 

Now, the bar is full, lets say about 200-300 people, all buzzing and bubbling with Excitement.  The All Blacks line up for the Haka.  The French line up across the field from them in a flying V pattern (Yay Mighty Ducks!), and Piri Weepu starts the chant.  The entire bar goes silent.  The kind of anticipatory silence that crawls up your neck and settles at the base of your skull.  Speculation over which Haka (the ABs have several that they do, but there was strong anticipation for two of them, one being Kamate, and the other being Kapa O Pango) flittered around the room as the Haka leader, Piri Weepu, began the chant.  And the All Blacks performed Kapa O Pango (my favorite of the two).  The first lines were met with cheers in the pub, and then the French flying V flew up and formed in a line directly across from the All Blacks, accepting the challenge.  And the Pub went crazy.

 

The game was intense, seriously intense.  It was not one of the better played games, but it was still heart-wrenching.  There were a few missed kicks from both teams, and then a playbook perfect try (score) from the ABs and then halftime.  After halftime, the French scored and the game was at 8-7 New Zealand.  And that was where the game would stay.  For the next 40 minutes until the end of the game.

 

Intense.  The last two minutes of play amounted to essentially the AB’s wasting the clock, taking a knee, running out the clock as best they could and holding onto the ball for dear life.  Everybody in the pub is screaming, pounding on tables, clapping and shouting at the screen.  Rugby plays 80 minute games.  If there was a stop in play for any reason (like decapitation being a reason to stop play) then however long the stoppage was, was added onto the end of the game.  There was a total of almost 2 minutes of stopped play, so everybody was watching the play clock, watching it count up to 82 minutes.  Holding their breaths while shouting at the same time, and then the collective inhale at 82 minutes, the Referee blowing his whistle to signal the end of the game, and then the cheering. The screaming, the jumping around and hugging people who only an hour before you didn’t know and are pretty sure spilled their beer on you as they walked past.  There was shouting and screaming and absolute insanity.

 

There were tears and screams of joy.  And I’ll admit that I teared up a bit.  It was seriously the most intense thing, the most outstanding thing.  It will be a night that I will probably hold in my memory for as long as I can. Friends, atmosphere, and an entire country taking in a sigh of relief and then letting it out in one huge long exultant scream.  I had never experienced a live sporting event in a pub before, and I strongly doubt that I will ever experience another one quite like this ever again.

 

Last night was one of those moments that completely solidified something in my mind that I already knew.  I want to be a Kiwi.  I want to know this culture, live this culture, embrace this country and it’s people, and just be a part of it all.  I love this country, I love these people.  And I love the All Blacks!

Canon in D

Nearly every little girl that I know, or have known, has had some idea or fantasy about their wedding.  And most have got it planned out long before they even meet the man that they want to marry.

 

Lord knows that I did.  At least twenty times.

 

I can’t even begin to think about how many times my mother bought me bridal magazines so that I could look through the pictures and gaze lovingly and longingly at the dresses, and the cakes, and the rings.  I watched hours upon hours of the shows on TLC about women and their weddings.  And weddings on a budget.  Somewhere at the house in the states my mom has a folder of ideas that I started saving for my wedding.  Lord knows how many years ago.

 

And for the most part, my dream wedding didn’t change from about the age of 18 until around about… now.  It would be a small family and friends gathering, and the colors (as everybody who plans a wedding knows, having the right colors is important) were going to be white, dark blue, dark green, and silver.  But mostly white.  Everything white. White on white on white with accents of blue and green and silver.   My dress was going to be white and silver, my flowers were going to be mostly white with little blue flowers or gems here and there and a cascade of ivy over my arms and hands.  My bridesmaid were going to be in white with blue satin sashes, and my husband was going to be in a kilt. Yes a kilt.  I am attached to my family’s scottish heritage.

 

The dream reception is in a room covered in white fabric, the tables are covered in white linen, and everywhere there are white trees, pure white with silver, blue and green metallic shimmery things in them, and candles everywhere.  The cake would be a white cake, flavored so craftily with vanilla, and an earl grey mousse inside, and covered with a white thick frosting, that is not sweet at all.  The music would be everything I could think of that would make me happy, make people dance and smile, and make my mother cry.  And the last song of the night would be Stairway to Heaven, because that’s just the way it goes.

 

The honeymoon was ideally imagined about being spent in Australia, when that was on the other side of the world. And in my head, all of this could be done for less than two thousand dollars. Well, except for the honeymoon.

 

But now?  What would the dream wedding look like now?  A small gathering of friends, in a park or field or backyard, with a handful of flowers, in a sensible dress that can be worn again in theory.  Dinner would be almost like a potluck, with dessert being tea treats and sweets baked the day before.  And the honeymoon?  Wherever the dream took me.

 

What got me thinking about all this today?  Has something in my life changed? Is there a secret that nobody knows about yet?

 

No.  I just get crazy ideas in my head and have to put them on paper.  Also, one of the songs on the ‘bedtime’ cd that we’ve been listening to at night now (a requirement for me to sleep easily is some form of noise, or pure exhaustion) has the Canon in D on it.  You know that song.  It’s everywhere.  All around you.  In nearly everything romantic or wedding related, you’ve heard that song.

 

I hate that song.

 

If I am planning my wedding and anybody ever wants to suggest help with the music or anything, please rest assured that your help will be greatly appreciated.  So long as you leave that song completely and totally out of any suggestions.

 

So, while reviewing my music that I have in my head, I got stuck on the Canon in D.  And that spurred this post.

 

And now for something completely different, a question for my reader, whoever you may be.

 

Do you/did you have your dream wedding planned long before it was a reality?

The Long Way Around

It seems like my entire life I’ve taken the Long way around.

 

Well ok, let me fix that, my entire adult life I’ve taken the long way around.  I went to University like I was supposed to, but in the end, it took me 10 years almost to finish my degree.  I just had to take the long road that led me through hardship, pain, and misery in order to get to the place that I could finish that degree.  I had to try life out first, to see the world as I wanted it to be, and to find out that it really wasn’t, in order to appreciate just how much I wanted that degree, needed the degree.

 

Even in love, I’ve taken the long route.  I went out with just about every single guy that ever showed interest in me.  From one night flings before homecoming to seven years long.   All of that to just get me to this point in my life, and my mind, where I can accept the love of a man who has nearly everything I’d ever day dreamed about, but never believed I could have.  It took me years, so many many years, to accept not only the love of another person at face value, but also realize that lust is not love, and that I am deserving of love. It took me a long time to get to those lessons, and to accept and understand them, but I did, and I do.

 

And today, another example of me taking the long way around.  I had to head down to the store to pick up some medicine for the house, and to get some soap for our trip this weekend.  Now the walk to the store isn’t very long at all, in fact it’s only about .5km.  So just about a mile.  Up hills and stuff.  But today I decided that I wanted to do a bit more.  So, I took the long way around.  What could have been an easy 1km round trip turned into a 3.25km walk.  With hills and flats and everything in between.  All because I made the conscious decision to take the long way around.  And for once in my life, it was a positive thing!

 

Even my health has been the long way around.  I’m 30, and only just now starting to realize, and care, that there is so much more life ahead of me, I shouldn’t be throwing it away on being fat, having a bad diet, no physical activity, and smoking.  Granted, I quit smoking almost 2 years ago now, but the rest of that stuff, it took me finding love, and hitting 30 to realize that I have so much more to do.  Again, the long way around.

 

Even in my writing!  I have a fantasy world in my head and have had it there for going on six years now, and I start to work on it bit by bit by bit every November, chipping away at just a little bit more of the information, the facade, the details, and never actually getting to the story that I want to tell!  I have to figure out the background first, the characters, and all the details in between before I can even put the story down on paper. Another Long Way Around.

 

But, I am who I am.  And if Slow and Steady is how I need to work in my life in order to achieve the happiness that I’m at, then Slow and Steady is where I will be.  And who I will be.  Because after all this time of wandering the Long Way Around, I’ve found where I’m supposed to be.

who am I?

I started thinking about this recently, like yesterday, and I realized, I have no idea anymore.

I mean, I thought I knew who I was. But that was before I strapped on my shoes and went for a walk to the store.

Wait what? I walked to the store? Who the hell is this person?

Me, Sarah, would have just jumped into the car and driven to the store. got what she needed, put it in the car and driven back home.

Nope, I walked to the store, got what I needed, tossed it into my reusable shopping bag, and then walked home. And then today, I decided I wanted sushi for lunch. So, I strapped on the shoes, tossed on the coat and walked to the sushi place, and then walked back.

So my question becomes, who am I?

The Me that I knew back in the states would never do this, ‘walking’ thing. And then follow it up by going to the gym. The US Me would never have even thought about maybe attempting rock climbing. The US Me went everywhere in her car, even if it was only a mile away.

The Kiwi Me? Well the Kiwi Me for the first part says ‘only a mile’ as if that’s not a big deal anymore. The Kiwi Me eats chinese cabbage and wasabi. The Kiwi Me is thinking of ways to talk to pretty much everywhere. The Kiwi Me has entered into a 6k walk and is damned sure that she will not only complete it, but she will do so in a good amount of time. The Kiwi Me is excited to go out for nature walks, to see new things that the US Me would have been uncertain about. The Kiwi Me is starting to come around to the idea of rock climbing. And conquering fears. The Kiwi Me likes to drink water! And hasn’t had a can of soda in months!

I’m not sure who this Kiwi Me is, but I Like her. and I think that my Kiwi Me and I are going to get very friendly as time goes on.

Damn Straight.

My Boyfriends Friends

What great people.

 

I mean it.

 

I am so fortunate in life to be not only in this place and in this time, but to be blessed with such beautiful wonderful people around me.

 

They are caring, warm, loving, polite, and respectful.  They are brilliant, insightful, glamorous, and interesting.

 

I could not, in my life, have imagined myself in a better place than I am right now.  happy, loved, and with a slowly growing group of friends that are absolutely fantastic.

 

What brings this on? Simple.  We went on a picnic yesterday with some of Ee’s friends and basically all ended up at the last minute grocery run together, because nobody was really prepared for a picnic.  Cheese and salami and fruits, and bread, and salads.  And without saying anything, or making a statement at all, they picked up smoked salmon and some shaved roast beef because they knew I didn’t eat pork products and they wanted me to have something to eat other than just bread and cheese.

 

We went out for lunch with another friend to dim sum, and she made sure that there were options on the table for me that weren’t pork.

 

I am so very blessed to be surrounded by these people, and so very amazed and even humbled by their overwhelming kindness, generosity, and their acceptance of me.  At a time in my life when I could very much feel so very alone and lost, they have made it possible for me to not be so homesick.

 

My boyfriend’s friends have found a way to make me feel at home, and for that, I can never thank them enough.

 

Love you guys.

Rollercoaster

Man.

Life can be such a downer sometimes.

No really.

I start feeling like I can move up and on with things and life just pushes me back down with a firm hand.

sucks.

really.

but what can you do?

Get back up, off your ass, dust yourself off, and push back.

There can be tears, it’s ok to cry.

But don’t let yourself be kept down.

Fight.

Stand.

Win.

Ok, so this post started off to be just a normal post and then I started thinking about a roller coaster and I wanted to do a ‘typing format’ experiment, so I forwent my usual doubletap enter button and only single tapped it in order to attempt to give that first bit the look of a roller coaster. Up and down. Up and down. Not sure if it worked or not, but there you go.  e.e. cummings i am not.

But no, emotional roller coasters are a thing.  They happen.  You don’t have to be depressed to go through them. You don’t even have to be female.  Everybody has their good days, their great days, and their bad days. And their really bad days.   Last sunday was a really really bad day for me.  It actually started saturday night and just evolved into a massive mess on sunday.  My brain started focusing on everything that could go wrong. My visa application being denied. Getting hurt. Staying unemployed. Not finding a job that I enjoy. E coming to resent me because I’m not working. Losing focus on this weight loss.  Being overweight to begin with. being thirty and not having a clear sense of anything that I like other than cooking, american politics, and writing.  Also, classical music.  But what can you make all of that into?  A cookbook about american politics?  How would that even work?

But, slowly I got out of it. After bouts of just sitting down and crying for no reason, I slowly fixed myself.  And that happens.  To everybody.  Nobody is perfectly happy all the time. If they were, they’d probably be dead bone of the rest of us poor people would have shot them by now.  I am, in my life now, the happiest I have ever been.  I have a man who loves me, I have some goals that I’m working towards, and I have friends.  I am in so many ways ecstatically happy.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel sad at times.  That I don’t give into those voices in my head on bad days.  That I can’t curl up in a ball and cry for no real reason.  Crying is good for the soul. It cleanses.

What I’m saying is, it’s ok to have a bad day.  You need to have one every now and then.

And then, you need to get your ass back up off the ground, look those bad moods in the eyes, punch them into the oblivion, and focus on getting back to where you were before.   It’s ok to have a bad day. It’s not ok to let one bad day derail everything.

Also, Happy New Year!