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Archive for the ‘Wild’ Category

Third Beer Wild

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Okay, so technically this is coffee. With a shot of vanilla bourbon (DO IT.) But beer is sold at this place (Harvest House, Denton TX)…so…close enough?

When I think of country – particularly the patch of country where I grew up – several words come to mind. I think open. I think chaos and hierarchy, both at the same time. I think free.

I think wild.

Wild is what happens when a west Texas wind meets no resistance. When it goes and goes, and stopping is not even a thought because there’s nothing in its way to make stopping a necessity.

I love that wild. I love moments when I can be wild like that – my unencumbered self, embodying all I’ve learned and all that I’ve taken from those lessons. Not what I’ve had to be (for whatever reason), but what I am.

I originally wrote this rambly post when I was on my third beer. The third beer is my favorite beer, when I’ve pushed past the sleepy of one and the mellow of two and landed on the open wild of three.

Of course, I cannot always be on my third beer. That’s called alcoholism, and I’m neither willing nor financially able to sustain that sort of lifestyle. Having always to have help from a beverage to get to this coveted wild would mean that despite my best intentions to embrace wild, I’ve settled for my comfort zone instead.

Being comfortable and being myself are not the same thing. I sometimes confuse one for the other, though. Usually when I’m seeking out something that is comfortable to me, it’s not out of freedom but out of fear or as a result from outside pressure – because it would be easier to go along than go forward.

  • When I over-schedule myself so that I can not only feel productive but have a full calendar to prove that I am working hard toward the things I care about *cough* to absolutely no one because no one has ever asked to see my calendar to explain myself *cough*
  • When I say yes to things because they are good ideas without stopping to think about whether they’re actually mine to do or whether they’d be better accomplished by someone else
  • When I don’t do something I really want to do – something that would be mine – because I’ve hyper-committed to everything else (see above)

Part of my year of wild is rediscovering where the boundary lies between mere habit and real vision and learning to land on the latter side.

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2017 Resolutions

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I have a stocking that’s mine (on the right) and a stocking that’s a reminder that I’m not alone in the world. This is the first decoration I put up every year, and it’s my favorite. I like starting the season with the hope that  life will not inevitably always be the way it’s always been.

I love this time of year. I love the invigoration of setting new goals. I am nervous about this year because of the political climate, but I am refusing to give up hope. I am anxious, but I am determined. I am sad, but I am unwilling to settle for wallowing.

My goals for 2017 are pretty simple. Most of them are a continuation of things I’ve already started to do. Some of them are specific, but most of them are unruly, because the main goal is to embrace the wild.

  1. Wild is my word for the year, and I want it to spread throughout my world like fire. I want to burn away all that is not true, beautiful, just, and good. I realize that’s a tall order, but I can’t very well start my year of wild by taming my expectations.
  2. Read 100 books.
  3. Learn conversational Spanish.
  4. Continue to make my home a place that is welcoming and does not hinder the life I create. This life looks like cozy nooks and a well-stocked kitchen, pantry, and bar for spontaneous hospitality. This life looks like flowers on the table and blankets on the couch. This life looks like finally getting the last of the boxes unpacked from the move last summer.
  5. Continue to improve my health and well-being. This will probably look like a significant weight loss. I have 22 more pounds to go to reach my birthday goal, but as – much to my chagrin – I no longer have the metabolism I had when I was twenty, this will probably look more like 15 pounds, which is still pretty great. This will also look like pearls in my ears, red on my lips, and cute shoes on my feet, as emotional well-being is often manifested in how I care for myself physically.
  6. Finish at least one manuscript and publish a 2018 calendar.
  7. Run a 5K.
  8. Go on a writing retreat (can be alone or an official one with a group).
  9. Get paid for writing in some way. This can be as simple as submitting a piece for publication and having someone say yes, but I want to see tangible proof that it’s something I can do.
  10. Continue/establish beloved traditions. I want to have baking weekends. I want to have parties that people come to expect every year. I want to have traditions that are just mine – that embrace the single life I have now instead of waiting on other people to have traditions.

Do you make resolutions? If so, what are they?

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Reading Wild

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“The best way to save coffee is to save what’s wild.” From Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi

Reading is the main way through which ideas and action are loosed for me. Many of the books I’ve read this year have revealed truths long buried in my soul and have reminded me of why I do some of the things that I do.

In 2017, I am going to set my goal to read 100 books (a goal that I have not met in the last few years, but we’re going to ignore that. Hope springs eternal). In addition to books I enjoy with my book clubs and books I read just for fun, I am going to read more of the following:

  1. Books like A Man Called Ove that remind me that love is meant to be wild and scandalously extravagant and helpful and generous.
  2. Books like Bread, Wine, Chocolate that help me focus on the why (fighting oppressive food systems that leave people in poverty and destroy biodiversity) behind the what (loving coffee and food and talking about it a lot) of my passions.
  3. Books like Between the World and Me that continue my education on justice issues.

I also want to continue to read my daily news, except I want to read with more intention of finding quality (i.e., well-researched, well-written, lacking in tactics such as clickbait that give the impression that they are more fluff than substance, etc.) information to share with others.

Do you set reading goals? If so, what are your goals for 2017?

 

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This is my favorite running shirt. I approve of anything that is simultaneously a Firefly fandom squee and a notification that I aim to kick ass.

As my one word for 2016, true has been brutal. Part of this brutality is that I thought it would be easy.

I’ll just pause a moment for everyone who knew better to stop laughing.

It hasn’t all been terrible. I have fine-tuned my life significantly to form it into something that is truer to who I am. That part has been invigorating. In some ways, I am significantly more at home in my life than I was a year ago.

All this change has been uncomfortable, however. I have discovered the sharp edges of certain aspects of myself that were only hazy forms in the back of my mind before, and they’re not all pretty. Some are upsetting. I’m not as honest with myself as I would have liked to think I was. Admitting that things are true about me that I desperately want not to be true is disheartening. And the process of deciding what to do with these realizations has been excruciating. It’s not finished, but I wish it were.

I’ve been reading through The Road Back to You for the last couple of months, and I wish I’d read it at the beginning of the year. I’m a One. I am a perfectionist and pretty hard on myself. True is the calling of the Ones – for our principles to 1) be high and right and 2) be congruent with our behavior/life/outcomes. The cognitive dissonance often created by this pursuit (as, alas, we are not perfect) is very stressful to us.

Stress is anger-making (although we prefer to call it “frustration”). It’s no wonder, therefore, that Ones are part of the Anger Triad (or as a friend affectionately calls it, the Chaos Trio). Rather than feeling the guilt I would have expected when I read this, I felt relief. It offered an explanation for my anger rather than the condemnation I’m used to receiving for it. It also confirmed my choice for my one word for 2017 – wild.

This coming year, I’m going to embrace the wild.

Wild is a natural progression from the last few years of beauty and fun and true. Wild encompasses them all and sets them free. That is exactly the kind of year I’d like to have. That is exactly the kind of year I insist on having, despite whatever effort the world might have to squelch it.

Wild abandon – I want to learn to hold resources, such as money and time, more loosely. I don’t want to treat them irresponsibly or in a way that is destructive, but  I could stand to regard them less fearfully. I want to develop a practice of derailment. Half of what stresses me out when the news is especially terrible is how it derails my whole life. I even toyed momentarily with the notion of not reading so much news, but then I promptly dismissed said notion, because I know I’d be doing so in order to hide, thus thwarting my ability to be informed about how to pursue justice. So instead I want to embrace the derailment. To thrive within it. To stop worrying so much about it. And to definitely stop apologizing for it.

Wild survival – Wild things are obsessed with staying alive. They are acutely aware of dangers and how to avoid them. I want to pay closer attention to my survival instinct. I want to resist laziness and continue pursuing my health goals that I set last March. I want to take care of myself emotionally instead of ignoring warning signs until they become so tangible that they become a detriment to my well-being and productivity.

Wild liberation – My word for the year could just as easily be “free.” With all that threatens to oppress in this world, I want to be a force pushing in the opposite direction. I imagine this upcoming year will present many opportunities to do so.

This is just the beginning, but I am excited (and also terrified…three parts excited to one part terrified isn’t a bad ratio) to see what this year of wild brings.

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