Let’s Talk: Mindfulness

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11-12-13 mindfulness

Yesterday, I was on a track to have a very, very bad day. It was a Monday, which was already hard enough, but it was my first Monday at work while my boss is out of the country (meaning many of his responsibilities fall on me while he’s gone). I don’t mind the extra responsibility, but I have to say…it seems that every time my boss is in a halfway-around-the-world time zone, something (or many things) go wrong. Well, that was my Monday.

I had a situation on my hands that didn’t seem to have a solution. We needed 13,000 envelopes to mail a customer letter by the end of this week and, at most, we had 5,000 of our most-expensive-to-print envelopes on hand. It is not my responsibility to monitor how many envelopes we have or to order them when we run out, and here I was needing a lot of envelopes that we didn’t have. I was realized that this situation, which was wholly not my fault, was quickly becoming my problem and I was likely to be given the blame if the letter wasn’t out on deadline. If I really had to, I could contact my boss and explain the situation, but there wasn’t really anything he could do. It’s not like he was hoarding 13,000 envelopes over in Europe or something.

Then, something miraculous happened. I listened to some “hold” music while on the phone with one of our vendors.

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Let’s Talk – Identity

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lets talk identityvia (no time to take photos this week!)

I’m learning that most fads and styles are just counter-styles of some other style, as though you are either an example of a particular style or some antithesis of that that style. Classic vs. Modern. Modern vs. Post-Modern. Grunge vs. Metal. Prep vs. Goth. Realism led to Impressionism led to Post-Impressionism. Sometimes life seems less about finding your own identity and more about deciding which societal identity you decide you want to imitate.

This all started when I really started delving deep into the identity of Lorde, one of my favorite artists right now. I mean, putting aside her age (which I think we are all obviously blown away by), the girl is straight-up talented. She gets it. She cuts through the BS injected into our bloodstreams by big brands, celebrities, Hollywood glamour…and it works. It reaches people, and we are suddenly thinking, “Yeah, girl! That’s it! We don’t need that materialistic stuff and pop music, because we’re rocking to our own jam.” Continue reading

Mo’ Thoughts – Morning Routines

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10-13-13 morning routines

Lately, I’ve been straight-up imagining the morning routines of people that I totally can’t even come close to imagining, and try to visualize what they’re doing or seeing without even having an inkling of where they are. Some mornings it’s George Clooney, other mornings Kate Middleton, or just some random person who slips into my mind. Maybe it’s the extravagance and mystery of their lives that makes it so much fun to pretend that I am them, seeing the world the way they see it, trying to figure out if they are the people in private that we see in public. What kind of coffee mug do they use? Do they make toast? Juice? Are they in pajamas? What’s the pace of their morning? In my mind, I walk through their morning the way they see it.

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The person I spend the most amount of time imagining I am, for whatever reason, is Justin Timberlake. I think it’s because he’s spent so much of his life in the limelight and he always seems so comfortable with himself and confident in everything he does that I believe the person I see is who he really is. He just seems like a very genuine, sensitive, intuitive person; I have always been fascinated with him (although what girl who grew up in the late 90s isn’t?), and I just feel like I know who he is. I know, it is total bull, but it is a lot of fun and a creative test. Continue reading

Anatomy of – A Bike Commuter, Autumn Edition

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10-5-13 anatomy biker

One of the major criteria for us when looking for our first home was how bikeable our home was from our jobs (and the city, for that matter). When we couldn’t find anything inside the city limits, we starting looking just outside the limits…which in the case of Traverse City means you’re going to go up a hill. All roads lead down into TC and the waterfront…the ancient glaciers that gave us all this beautiful water also carved up some pretty steep slopes on the edges of the lakes.

So, while I only live about 2.5 miles away from where I work, commuting on my bike isn’t always a simple task. Going into work is great: it’s basically all downhill and I arrive in ten minutes. Coming back home, however, isn’t quite as easy. I have to scale the hill home, and my commute easily doubles in time.

10-5-13 bike handles

Just because my commute takes twice as long on the way home, though, it doesn’t mean I should drive. The past few days I’ve counted the cars I’ve seen stopped at a major intersection on my way home as I bike right by them: I biked past 38 cars one day and 43 the next. Can you believe that? This is not a big city at all and it’s not even summer-busy-season, but rush hour is still pretty fierce. I would need to wait at that stoplight at least 4 cycles before getting through via car, but on my bike I can breeze right up to the front and cross with the cross walk signal. I don’t technically know if it would take me longer to drive or bike home, but I do know that I’d rather be doing something I love (biking) than something I hate (sitting in a car, idling with no purpose).  Continue reading

Mo’ Thoughts – Certainty & Uncertainty

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9-24-13 certainty and uncertainty 9-24-13 birch bark

I feel that there is a big change coming in my life. There is an energy and motion inside me that I can’t ignore right now, because I feel there is a force at work that is moving me towards the person that I am meant to be and the responsibility that I am meant to hold.

I have spent much of my life in a certain state of uncertainty. I went to college without a direction or target, but I was filled with ambition and determination to engulf everything in the world around me. I graduated with History of Art degree with the certainty of knowing that I will likely never use my degree in a practical application and uncertain if this was some big mistake and I should choose something more reasonable and safe to study (engineering, medicine, etc.). I was certain about my passions and extracurricular activities outside of class, but I was uncertain about how much I could handle and if I was passionate about any of these extracurriculars enough to make them into a career. Continue reading

On Grounding and Growing

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9-13-13 feet shotNow that we are officially into our new house, we get to start doing all kinds of fun homeowner-y type things. The inside of our house remains a cluttered mess filled with boxes, which should drive me crazy, but I’m learning to be patient in putting everything away. It will happen, piece by piece, so in the meantime I’m not going to full-out stress about it.

However, the outside of the house is where we are focusing a lot of our efforts. Perhaps it’s because the lot holds so much potential, but I think the real reason is just that Sam and I love being outside and are so proud of the land we own. Sure, right now it’s got a ton of weeds and is completely overgrown, but it’s ours and we love it. Plus, I feel partially gypped out of my summer after all the wedding planning and coordinating so now that we have the time to be outside, we are soaking it in. Continue reading

What I Learned at Our Wedding

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Sam would be all too glad to point out that I’ve not blogged since August 30, a testament to how I’ve once again said I’d do something and yet then failed to do so. I, however, would like to use the excuse that we got eff-ing MARRIED, which took up quite a bit of time, energy, effort, and concentration. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I gave all my time, energy, effort, and concentration to nothing other than the wedding for two weeks leading up to it. I don’t really think anyone can give me crap about that.

Plus, we are in our new house without internet (except during rare times like this, where somehow we can steal it from a friendly neighbor with an unsecured connection), which makes it very difficult to blog.

While I’d love to bore you all with the details from the wedding, I won’t do that at the moment. I think it deserves a few special posts summarizing different events and emotions from the weekend (if only for the sake of my own memory years down the road), but I’ll throw in some pretty pictures for the sake of appeasing and teasing my (lack of) audience.

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(We don’t have our official pictures from our photographer yet, so all these come from the owners of our venue, Campobello Farm. How lucky we are to have so many different people capture our day!)

What I will say about the wedding is this: Continue reading