Monday, May 25, 2015

Listen, Watch, Read

I love other people's media recommendations, and I think it's interesting to look back and see what I enjoyed at a certain point in my life. So here are a few of the things I've been listening to, watching, and reading lately:

1. Chef Soundtrack. I love the eclectic mix of songs, and especially the Cuban beats.
2. Eat Pray Love. I'm just beginning this one. I love to do all three of these things, so I am surprised I haven't read this one before now.
3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. This is a delightful little read. I think it's especially interesting considering the population I work around every day, but everyone can enjoy and learn from this tail told from the viewpoint of an intelligent and interesting young man.
4. Everything I Never Told You. It made me think. I liked it, and I didn't like it. But I enjoy having to consider a book, to see why I liked it, and why I didn't like other parts of it.
5. Maidentrip. Gotta love an awesome documentary like this. I love that it's mostly filmed by Laura, and that we get to hear her speak (and curse haha ;) in Dutch. Her personal growth on this incredible journey is lovely to watch, and her innate inner strength, is fascinating.
6. Mozart in the Jungle. Currently Obsessed. I feel like this show was made for me haha. Think about it- Sexy, passionate Mexican musician, tells about the lives and drama of members of a major orchestra, fantastic music, top notch cast, funny, etc... Those are all things I like and are pertinent to my life ;)  I can't give this a blanket recommend this to everyone because of the language and innuendos, but I will say that I thought it was pretty tame compared to some similar shows (if that sounds like I am making excuses, I am. But you've been warned on content. I still love it.)
7. Indie Folk. There's a broad genre recc for ya. I am talking specifically about the Indie Folk "channel" on Spotify, which I can put on at anytime and always love it. I can listen to this type of music longer than almost any other kind.
8. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Job and I have been making big strides towards getting rid of a lot, trying to live very simply, and "tidying up" our lives. I am hoping to get to a gentle form of minimalism (though that's not necessarily the lifestyle the author is touting, so this applies to everyone and not just weirdos like me ;). I learned some really good tips from this book, especially regarding how to store the few things we have.
9. Savior Redeemer of My Soul (Rob Gardner arrangement). This has been on repeat for a few weeks. It brings me peace, touches my heart, and centers me.

Kind of a weird mix of media, but that's me. I'll be starting a whole new group soon, and love recommendations. I keep a list on my phone of recommendations from people; from books, to restaurants, to trip locations. What have you been enjoying lately? I'll add ya to the list.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spring is nature’s way of saying, "Let’s party!" ~Robin Williams

Spring was a little late to the party here in Massachusetts, but it was worth the wait. Perhaps it is just from coming out of an Epic Winter, but this Spring seems extra idyllic. There have been stages as it's unfurled, and each stage has been enchanting.

The little bulbs that peek out are one of the most exciting things after a long Winter, and when those tulips and daffodils bloomed it was like the city was one big garden party.

Then the tree blooms. Oh the blooms! Popcorn popping, natural confetti petals sprinkling the sidewalks, bright pink, white, purple, and yellow trees! This was one of my favorite chapters of Spring. I stopped to photograph almost every tree I passed for a while, as if that could help them last longer. At least in my camera roll they will live on.

After that, the tiny fresh light green leaves on trees came out, and as they grew larger and darker green they created a canopy over the streets, lending a soft shade just begging to be walked under. I irrationally feel safe walking under these trees. They feel comforting, and welcoming.

But let's really talk about the scent of Spring. Every day as I walk to and from the bus I get heady with glee as I take huge inhales of the fresh air. It so perfumed with floral notes, and the soft wind only makes the scent stronger. I pass no fewer than 6 lilac bushes on my way home from work every day, and I stop to stick my nose in each and every one. And each and every one makes me smile, thank God for Spring, and love Massachusetts (and the earth in general) that much more. This state knows how to do seasons. It doesn't hold back. We get strong, bold seasons, and I adore it.

Spring still has lots of good life left in her that I am trying to savor and enjoy. Any favorite activities that are a "must" in Spring that I should add to my list?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Breath in, Strum out

I had a few of "those" days last week. Like we all do from time to time. When anxiety and stress just seem to squish your poor little heart, and you can't catch your breath. I tried a few relaxation methods when I was in the thick of things, but they would last for 2.5 seconds before I remembered something else and had to jump up and attend to it right then (or so I told myself). That's not very relaxing.

Finally I tried just sitting down with a ukelele. I have never played the ukelele, and have just a very basic understanding of the guitar. But I thought I'd try strumming a few chords to see if it brought me some repose from the anxiety. Oooooh boy. My body immediately relaxed and my heart slowed to a regular beat as I (poorly) plucked out a few songs. It kept me interested enough so I didn't abandon it quickly to do something else "more important", and the music itself just brought a lot of comfort.

I am not good at the ukelele, or at playing music at all, on any instrument. But that doesn't matter one bit. The act of creating a little bit of music, just for me and just for those moments, was what I needed to center a bit each evening. I probably never will be excellent at playing music, I'll leave that to the experts, but if I can harness the power of music for my own health and wellness I'd say I have an excellent thing going.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Living the Long Distance Relationship life.

As my close friends, and anyone who peeks through my instagram, knows--I am apart from my Jobito. We are separated this summer as he is working on some amazing projects in Mexico and I am holding down the fort here in Boston. It's an interesting feeling to not have him here. Interesting meaning, a bit sad. I love that guy, ya know? I was so young when we got married that I hadn't been on my own for that long. I guess just a few years in college, and some of that time we were dating. It's been the absolute best to have Job moving along in life with me during the 5 1/2 years we've been married.

But for all my whining and dramatics about missing Job, I also am a capable, competent women, and have been doing fine "on my own"*. I don't know if I was worried about that, but all the same, it's good to know. Job has been doing fine "on his own" as well. We are both working a lot, spending time with friends and family, exploring some hobbies, and kicking some goals of ours in the booty (translation: that's a good thing). Do we miss each other? HELL TO THE YES! Are you crazy? Why would you even ask that? ;) But I also am appreciating this time apart. I am learning to appreciate Job more, I am building stronger relationships with some of my other friends, I am becoming even more independent in good ways, and reunions are just so good, if currently not often enough. It also is possible to get more done when Job is gone because I don't have the most adorable distraction around. Now let me make sure I make this clear, I would rather be together, distractions and all (come on, I really like the distractions), but I am trying to see the good in this situation this summer.

There are a few things we try to do to keep in good contact, and I am always trying to think of new ways to connect a country apart. Currently our emoji game back and forth each day is strong, sooo...we have that.

Along with our big overarching goals, I have a few things I want to experience solo this summer. Things that I think will put me out of my comfort zone a bit, and stretch me in a good way. I think it's good for people to learn to enjoy spending time with themselves. I am hoping to grow in this way, and by doing so will hopefully become a more interesting and dynamic person for Job to hang out with when we are reunited. I'll post some of my ideas here in a future post, so feel free to give me your ideas as well (think, going to a movie alone, dinner alone, etc.).

Here's to lovely husbands, strong women, reunions, and emojis!

*quotations because I am not really alone. I have the most amazing friends around me who have been such a support and help. They deserve a post of their own some time.