Oh the Weather Outside is Freaking Frightful!

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So, this is me at the beginning of the winter.

A few things you should know about me if you don’t already:

–>I have renaulds phenomena (sp?) which means that I have smaller capillaries which means that my hands have turned blue in a slightly over air-conditioned room.

–>I am darker skinned (if you couldn’t already tell from my pictures) and need sunlight in order to be happy.

–>That I am that kind of wonderfully talented person who can trip over flat surfaces so snow takes life to a whole new level of coordinated acts. All in all, I am not like Elsa. I love the snow because it is pretty but I hate the cold (almost more than anything else in the world). The cold always bothered me…

How do you feel about the snow? How did you feel about it as a kid? When I was a kid I made a promise to myself that I would never be like those whiny adults who always started to groan when it got a little snowy. I was going to love life even if it was an icy white life! Then I started driving. Basically sums that part of my life up. Driving in snow happens to suck. And for about a year, I hated snow and winter and all things cold with pretty much every fiber of my being. IMG_3751.JPG

 

Then the winter after I decided I was going to try to love the snow. I did. I thought it was pretty. Snow is sparkly and I like sparkly. But I still didn’t like the cold. Or rather, I can’t handle the cold very well. (Why am I living in Minnesota? It’s a very long story…)

So what is my point? Is this a “let me vent about the cold” post or a very enthusiastic “I love my life and its the best day every” post? Well, yes. I have decided to change my outlook: I don’t have to like the cold. It hurts. And it makes me sick. But I can still enjoy life because they say that you can choose how your day goes, how your life goes. I am going to look at the positive side of the winter. Yay, come at me winter! I am going to not whine because whining is annoying. I am going to love the winter and look for the good things about snow. Honestly… I am curious how long I can last. I want to like the winter; I made a promise to myself that I would like it, but despite my best efforts I am going to have to admit to myself once in a while that it sucks and that I have to simply endure whatever tortures that arctic frozen crystals slamming in my face can create. But here’s to trying, right? Here is to trying:)

Happy first day of snow!

 

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The Montage Before Victory

You know that part in every inspirational movie where the hero is working out all sweaty in the gym before he wins the boxing match or that one most important game? Or you know that scene where she keeps falling on the ice over and over before she gets that perfect performance in front of thousands? I’m not referring to an exact movie, I am just saying in general. There is always that montage in the movie that is super important because it is when all the hard work happens but we see all that repetitive struggle that is eventually going to pay off in an epic win at the end.

Well, if you are wondering how I am doing with my November goals, the answer is I’m having my ups and downs but over all I am starting to slowly tell a difference! I can do my workouts harder, I have a good word count on my novel already, I have been praying every day, and my head is exploding with spanish verbs. I’m not exactly living the craziest of adventures at this exact moment but these are the moments that are going to make the craziest adventures possible, not to mention the most epic wining. So I’m pretty happy.

Living the montage. It’s all about keeping the goals in mind and living in the moment of transformation.

Beauty That Makes You Cry

Is this just me?

There is something you have seen a hundred times, something powerfully beautiful, or maybe even subtly beautiful but it is something you have only seen on a page or screen.  It is something that makes you think about things differently like the spires of a gothic cathedral that makes you look up or the soft colors in an impressionist painting or the stretching line of the ocean. It makes you feel different just by looking at it on the page but you have never actually seen it in physical form. Perhaps you have an art book or a travel guide for that trip you will take “some day” or you have seen the place in your favorite tv show…There is something you hold dear about that particular thing, that particular piece of beauty…And yet you have never even seen it.

I have so many places like this. It’s really magical knowing that there are whole new worlds of beauty just outside my finger tips that I can’t quite reach.

But perhaps… I can. I remember the first time that I saw St. Peters. The incredible columns were ones that I had seen hundreds of times before in my life when watching papal events or reading art books about the Vatican. I walked between the pillars and suddenly realized I was standing in the beautiful pictures that had already captured my heart.

It is an odd sensation to suddenly realize you are at home when you have never yet been to a place. And yet… it is possible

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Coming back to America, I have found that my life is filled with less of these awe filled moments. I am too busy working to be a tourist here and I am focused on what I need to do more than the moments that need to be. But yesterday I went the museum with a friend who shares my passion for art and far surpasses me in my knowledge of it.

At one point she told me to close my eyes and moved me through the gallery. Some how, miraculously,  I didn’t trip but finally paused. She told me to open my eyes.

Van Gogh’s painting of the Olive Trees were right before me.

It’s random, I know… but not for me. Olive trees say Rome, beautiful memories, the sense of peace and home that came with resting in Italian country side. I have loved this painting before I saw it because of all the memories it had for me. We had often talked about Van Gogh–how the pain in his life had ended up bearing fruit of loveliness. Suffering often results in despair or beauty like nothing seen before (sometimes both).

It is hard to capture all that the painting or the moment meant to me but it meant a lot and it was so perfect that my eyes stung with tears.medium

Crying with beauty. It doesn’t happen very often. Perhaps for some, it never happens at all. But for me, it is one of those rare moments in life where everything seems to come into clearer focus. Its a moment where I am completely at home.

 

The New November

So now that I have made some pretty big long term goals, it’s important that I start with smaller goals. It’s the beginning of a new month, it is the perfect time to start. Ordinarily when I think about November, I think no more lovely fall colors, frigid cold without the sparkle of snow, and gray days. I’ve decided to rethink this November. This November is a time for new beginnings. For starting to achieve all those big goals I have set before me.

So this November I am going to Write a BookNanowrimo is an amazing community for writers who want to complete a novel, meet other writers, and get amazing rewards for all their hard work. I did it last year and it was completely awesome. I am pretty exited to start it again this year! So breaking it down day by day: I will type roughly 1,700 words a day.

This month I am going to get a Whole Lot Stronger. This website has some incredible challenges for every level.  I have picked out the core challenge and the burpee challenge.  One top of these challenges I am planning on boxing when I have a little extra time and learning some new dance moves. However, day to day my goal will be: complete one day of both of the challenges.

This month I am also going to Pray More. My Catholic faith is incredibly important to me and I want to make sure that I am taking time no matter how busy my schedule gets to really think about the things that really matter to me. So every day I play on praying for 1/2 hour as well as either going to mass or praying a rosary every day.

This month I am going to reach a Conversational Level of Spanish. I plan on going through books that I have, memorizing verbs and grammar rules, hanging up vocab signs and phrases in my bathroom, and reading through some spanish books and practicing with my brother. Breaking it down day by day: I will be practicing spanish for an hour a day but on top of that I will be practicing it whenever I go into the bathroom.

Let November begin! 🙂