Success!

I did it. I followed my heart all day. That’s really what this is about, I realized. It’s not so much about what I’m doing, but the spirit in which I’m doing it.

The day started off like this:

Tea & a book

I spent an hour reading and sipping my tea in my pajamas. Heaven! I will be doing this more often. The morning felt so leisurely and expansive without the distractions of my to-do list, email, and Facebook.

Pear Havarti Pie at Helser's on Alberta

Then I had the most delicious brunch and wonderful conversation with my dear cousin. Pear & Havarti Pie at Helser’s is my new obsession and I love how familiar old relationships continue to grow and deepen.

Instead of rushing onto my next task, I sat down after breakfast, put in a sweet Beatles musical that was recommended by my lovah, and folded some clothes. Hanging out on the couch in broad daylight for the second time in one day still felt very odd and luxurious, but I was starting to get used to it.

Sleepy Hank

When Bekah got home we snuggled on the couch and watched Hank falling asleep sitting up in his chair–highly entertaining.

Bre & Bekah hand-holding

My kids are going out of town with Rich for Thanksgiving, and so we planned a special family dinner for the evening. When I picked them up, all three decided Chuck E. Cheese’s was the very best choice–and because my kids so rarely agree on anything all at the same time I didn’t argue. Bekah was feeling adventurous and jumped on. So we all 5 drove to SE Portland, dancing and singing to the van party songs Bekah was playing for us, and had a seriously fun evening together. My favorite moment was when we were all lined up elbow-to-elbow playing skeeball together. Priceless.

Family skeeball at chuck e cheese

When we got home, all hopped up on soda & fun, Bekah and I snuggled up on the couch once more while the kids took turns performing for us. It was the best ending to the most fun & relaxing day I’ve had in a long time.

I think I could get used to this “doing nothing” stuff…

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Doing Nothing

I am contemplating doing nothing for a whole day. This takes some serious consideration.

When I told Bekah, she said: “Will you do it on a day when you don’t work and you don’t have kids?”

(Incredulously) “No!”

She shook her head and rolled her eyes, silently ridiculing me — “You don’t get it,” she sighed.

I am a person who is so viscerally compelled by the things I want to do, and by the things I do in the name of keeping my life running smoothly. Mostly I feel really good about this. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m happy with whatever I actually accomplish–I don’t usually feel disappointed if every item on my list isn’t crossed off, but I haven’t yet gotten to the place where I completely set aside everything I ‘could be’ doing and just do nothing. Nothing productive, anyway.

My body and mind have become so accustomed to moving from one thing to the next and the next that it feels compulsive sometimes. I catch myself dreaming of a slow, quiet life with lots of alone time–just about as close as I could get to the opposite of my current life.

So I want to stretch this advice into a longer experiment. Can I do it for a whole day? Take a breath? Do the next right thing? Don’t look at the to-do list? Don’t consult the iPhone or the calendar or distract myself with Facebook? Let the seated breathing position be the default, and then move when it’s right? I’m considering scheduling this for next Saturday. 🙂

Do you have any tips for me? How do you do nothing?

Taking the Next Right Step

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If you are like me, you are busy and have a to-do list a mile long. There are the “This Week” to-dos of grocery shopping and buying socks for your kid, there are the “Must Get Done In April” tasks of birthday shopping for your partner’s gift and planting spring seeds in the garden. There are the 6-month goals which for me include cleaning out the basement and attending the 9 day School of the Work, and then there are the big dreams like traveling to Thailand, or getting out of your corporate job and into full-time work that you’re passionate about.

…Read the full post here.

8 (Possibly) Little Known Facts About Me

There’s a meme going around Facebook right now, asking you to share a certain number of things about yourself. I was given the number 8 by my friend Ellie.

1. I hate black pepper. I know that hate is a strong word, and still, I hate it. I think the flavor is disgusting, like it ruins the whole dish, but I’ve gotten better at ignoring it in my food and pretending it’s not there.

2. I often have night terrors. Recently I stayed in a cabin with two friends. In the morning I woke from what felt like a good night’s sleep and I asked the other two how they slept. They looked at each other, then looked at me with a look of horror as if I had worms crawling out my ears and one said, “You don’t remember bolting upright in the middle of the night and screaming ‘OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!’ and then proceeding to argue when I told you everything was alright?” Nope…I sure don’t. Bekah experiences my nighttime outbursts and subsequent arguing on a regular basis–luckily she has a finely honed sense of humor. I need to start warning the new people that I sleep with, though.

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3. In high school I was on the dance team, in the marching band, a cheerleader, and the prom queen. Go ahead and laugh.

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4. When I was a kid I wanted to be a professional baseball player.

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5. I didn’t learn to cook macaroni and cheese (or anything else for that matter) until I was a freshman in college, living in the dorms. My mom cooked for me my whole life up until that point. Thanks, Mom!

6. I have lived in Oregon for all of my life except: 1999-2000 when I did my internship and then worked my first year as an interpreter at CSUN, and then for 4 months in 2000 when I lived and worked at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. I love the memories from living in new places and at the same time I’m so happy to live in Portland and raise my kids here.

7. I won 3 character awards during high school: Sweetest, Friendliest, and Social Butterfly. I bet you’re surprised…

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8. I have kept a journal since the 4th grade, and I fill about a book every month or two these days. I wonder how best to utilize all of the epiphanies, ideas, and confessions that I have stored up in their pages, and what to have done with them when I die. Currently they take up several shelves & boxes in our house…someday I’d like to have a dedicated book case for them and a letter explaining my wishes for them.

HUMP!

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Although I was born and raised in the city of roses, tonight held an initiation deeper into the sexy, nerdy, DIY culture of Portland:

HUMP!2013

This amateur sexy film festival started in Seattle and has been around since 2005, making its way to our liberal kinky city in, I think, 2010.

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It seems that every year brings a different flavor to the screen, and while I’ll spare you the details of this year’s (you can ask me in person) I so appreciate the diversity of films shown. I went in prepared to see a bunch of sex, and came out with a whole new view into people’s fantasies and quirks. There were several submissions that were sexual but purely humorous. A couple that involved zero sex and instead centered around desire/fetish/play. There were the obligatory straight-up porns. And then there were a few hilarious (and wierd!) animated features. Truly something for everyone!

I loved the atmosphere of the whole event, dirty without being creepy, fun and light and completely open-minded. At the conclusion we cast our votes for 4 categories: Best Humor, Best Kink, Best Sex, and Best in Show. I did not hear one derogatory comment the entire evening, and I left feeling like I had just taken part in a special ritual of Portland culture.

I will definitely be back in 2014!

See people’s reactions to Hump!

Hear Dan Savage‘s explanation of the kinky film festival (less appropriate for delicate ears)