Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Girl on the Other Coast: November 24, 2012

G's turn to pick our co-blogging project prompt! It was a good one: not as simple as it appeared at first glance. It really made me think!

Curious how many of our answers were similar, despite not knowing what the other was saying? (Humor me. Pretend you're curious.) Take a virtual voyage to Little Italy and find out!
8 Things

Things I'm Passionate About
1. My Career. I’ve wanted to teach since I was 7 years old. I worked incredibly hard to put myself through graduate school (and was lucky to meet some amazing people in the process). I’m extremely dedicated to my profession and being the best I can be for my students. I want to make a difference in their lives that goes beyond the classroom.
2. Being a good friend. I have been blessed with some amazing people in my life. I have also encountered (many) not so amazing people. The older I get, the better I am at determining which category you fall into. I’ve found that there are quite a few individuals who claim to want what’s best for you when really all they are doing are making empty promises or attending to their own needs. I’m learning to accept only the behavior that I would allow from myself.
3. Learning to relax. It’s a constant battle. With a job like mine, it’s very easy to allow yourself to get burnt out. The other problem? I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I want to get everything done right now! It’s just not feasible. And I’ve recently learned that if you don’t listen to your body and slow down, it will make you! Do I follow my own advice (or that of others?)? Not always. But I’m getting much better at it. And that’s saying something.
4. Being creative. I’ve always had a desire to do something creative whether it’s in the form of singing, scrapbooking, or (as of late) blogging. My best friend and I love to get together and just make stuff. I really need to carve out more time to do this since it really gives me such a sense of accomplishment when I’m done. I love to look at something, smile, and know that I did that myself. I think something I need to keep in mind is that creativity can take many different shapes and I should dabble in what is making me happy at that time. J
5. Saving. My father instilled in me while I was young the importance of “saving for a rainy day”. I must be honest, I just can’t understand how people live outside of their means. Do I have bills that I have to pay? Yes. Do I use credit cards? Yes. But I’ve never pushed my limit to a point where I couldn’t get back. I don’t need  things to make me happy. I need people to make me happy. And thankfully, I don’t have to purchase that! Plus, I sleep WAY better knowing that God forbid something were to happen I have a little nest egg to fall back on.
6. Reading. I grew up an only child and would spend hours on end reading. I remember being about 5 years old and going to my first book store. For some reason, books just hold magic for me. It’s amazing when you can get lost in a story and find yourself hours later looking around and realizing you aren’t actually participating in the book you’re reading.
7. Organization. I’m obsessed. Am I organized? I feel like that’s always a work in progress. But boy do I LOVE the feeling of finishing an organizational project. Getting rid of things, putting away what I keep, and being able to find it easily? Bliss.
8. Lists. (I had to copy Dawn on this one!) They are everywhere. On the coffee table, stuck to binders, in my phone. Mr. Smith made a good point…”Why stress yourself out trying to remember everything when you can just write it down and relax?” 100% agreed. Plus, crossing things off just make me happy.

Things I Say Often
1. You’re my favorite. (Reserved for Mr. Smith only.)
2. Seriously? (I’m pretty sure I say this at least once a day at school.)
3. Are you kidding? (My 2nd most popular saying at school. This is high school people. There’s many a strange thing happening with these crazy teenagers.)
4. I feel like,… I picked this up from my friend Jen. She says it all the time and I started saying it too. It just stuck.
5. It’s too good.
6. I love you. (And when I say it, I mean it.)
7. No, but really… (because clearly you didn’t get it the first time I tried telling you!)
8. See how I’m not looking at you right now? That means I’m not listening. (Again, teenagers firmly believe the world revolves solely around them. I’m sure what they have to say is important. Just let me finish what I’m doing first so I can pay attention to you.)

Books I've (Tried To) Read Recently
1. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
2. Happier at Home – Gretchen Rubin
3. The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life – Maria Menounos
4. The Emotionally Destructive Relationship – Leslie Vernick
5. Ugh…I can’t even come up with 8. Sad.

Songs I Can Listen to Over and Over
1. "I Won't Give Up," Jason Mraz
2. "Beautiful,” Barlow Girls
3. “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz
4. “Ave Maria,” by almost anyone
5. "Blessed,” Brett Dennen
6. "Don’t Stop Believing,” Journey
7. "It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” Celine Dion
8. The Big Bang Thoery theme song…does that count?

Things I am Grateful For
1. Mr. Smith
2. My friends
3. My co-workers
4. A place we love to live in
5. My family
6. My health
7. Faith
8. The opportunity to travel

Things I Want to do Before I Die
1. Travel the world with Mr. Smith
2. Go to Walt Disney World
3. Fly without fear
4. Have children
5. Learn to speak Italian
6. Become better at cooking – where it doesn’t stress me out so much!
7. Be comfortable in my own skin
8. Learn to swim. Seriously. It’s embarrassing to date a competitive swimmer-state champion-could have competed in the olymipics-and I can keep myself afloat. Barely.

(edit to add mine)

8 Things

Things I'm Passionate About
1. Taking photos. Of things. Of places. Of events. Of people. Of food. Of tiny, often-overlooked everyday details. Some of my most prized possessions are the old photos my Gram gave me about six months before she died. They weren't all perfectly composed. Some were dark or blurry. But they were life, as she and my Gramp saw it. They are concrete reminders of days I cherish. Photos are time machines for me.
2. The Red Sox. The "joke" in New England is that everyone has two religions: the one related to a church and the one that plays at Fenway Park. I rarely miss a game (we buy the Extra Innings package on cable so we have access to almost every game, even though we live out-of-market) and I may or may not attempt to communicate with the players through our tv.
3. Balance. I firmly believe in and defend my internal sense of balance. I don't appreciate people who intentionally shove my world out of balance. While circumstances can be out of my control, I adhere to the principle that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when some unavoidable change occurs in my world, I actively seek out what it will take to make things balanced again to accommodate it. When I am balanced, I am a much better person to be around.
4. Fiscal responsibility. I don't believe that anything comes free. If you get something that you didn't work for and earn in your own right, that means someone else did. And they are now not seeing the fruits of their own labor. I was raised to work hard and save up for what I want, only after my needs and responsibilities were met. Gifts may be bestowed but they were at the grace and unbidden generosity of the giver, never by demand. I don't understand living beyond one's means, not making good on financial obligations, or expecting anyone else to bail me out of my inability to adhere to a proper budget.
5. Being a good friend. It's really easy to be a "well-drainer." It takes effort and awareness to replenish at least as much as you take from the well. Going the extra mile doesn't have to be a grand gesture. In fact, it is the cumulative "little things" that often have the greatest impact on brightening the lives of those who make *your* life brighter.
6. Optimism. The world is full of darkness. It's far easier to succumb to complaints and bitterness than to choose a more positive attitude. I prefer the extra work of being cheerful, grateful, light.
7. Down time. Bodies need time to restore, recharge, rest. While activity is both beneficial and necessary, both physically and mentally, so, too, is the time spent relaxing. When I take the time to be still, to read or enjoy a tv show, I have more energy reserves to use for motion, for work, for tackling the everyday.
8. Lists. Things I want to remember. Ideas for gifts. Wish lists. To-do lists. Grocery lists. I've never met a list I didn't like!

Things I Say Often
1. I don't care.
2. Crap ton (as in "We have a crap ton of napkins in the cabinet, so why do I keep buying more?")
3. Seriously (followed by any one of the following: question mark, period, exclamation point, or used as an adjective)
4. If you aren't useful or don't bring me joy, why are you cluttering up my world? (This can apply to people as easily as to objects.)
5. "There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and The Great Pumpkin."
6. My 30s have been the best decade of my life.
7. I better write that down.
8. I love you. (Three small words. None more important for the people you love to hear.)

Books I've Read Recently
1. The Gunslinger (Stephen King) (currently reading)
2. Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch (Tim Wakefield with Tony Massarotti) (currently reading)
3. Murder in the White House (Margaret Truman)
4. While My Pretty One Sleeps (Mary Higgins Clark)
5. If Books Could Kill (Kate Carlisle)
6. Ghost of a Chance (Amy Patricia Meade)
7. The Murderer's Daughters (Randy Susan Meyers)
8. Homicide in Hardcover (Kate Carlisle)

Songs I Can Listen to Over and Over
1. "The Shape of Us," by Ian Britt (our wedding song)
2. "Overwhelmed," by Tim McMorris
3. "I Won't Give Up," by Jason Mraz
4. "The Way I Am," by Ingrid Michaelson
5. "She's Everything," by Brad Paisley
6. "Come Away With Me," by Norah Jones
7. "Edge of Desire," John Mayer
8. "Her Eyes," by Pat Monahan
I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it was to pick only 8! My "favorites" playlist includes well over 100 songs.

Things I am Grateful For
1. My husband.
2. My friends.
3. My home.
4. My faith.
5. My sense of self.
6. My upbringing.
7. My values.
8. My Annual Pass to Walt Disney World (sounds silly and frivolous, but it's my ultimate happy place, and to be able to go any time I need or want to is a blessing).

Things I Want to do Before I Die
1. Visit Washington DC as an adult. (I went in 7th grade, and I loved it, but I know I wasn't able to fully appreciate what I was seeing.)
2. Visit all the Disney Parks.
3. See a home game for every Major League Baseball team.
4. Go on a real sleigh ride.
5. Visit all fifty states.
6. Visit historical sites from the birth of this country: walk the Freedom Trail in Boston, explore battle sites in Virginia.
7. See the great sites of the United States - to name a few: the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Gettysburg, Old Faithful.
8. Get through my stack of magazines. (Seriously. OMG.)

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