-how did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?-
i didn’t visit the seven wonders of the world or ride the wonder wheel. i didn’t wear a wonderbra or eat wonderbread. i didn’t listen to stevie wonder, louis armstrong’s wonderful world or john mayer’s your body is a wonderland. i did heard oasis’ wonderwall a few times. i also watched wonder pets while while watching my wily nephew. i didn’t catch any reruns of wonder woman, the wonder years or small wonder. i didn’t see some kind of wonderful either, although it’s one of my all time favorite john hughes’ films. i saw tim burton’s alice in wonderland, but i found i prefer the book or cartoon classic. i haven’t even been inundated with it’s a wonderful life and walking in a winter wonderland this holiday season.
wow, with all of the wonderful things i didn’t do this year, it’s a wonder i experienced any wonder at all!
-pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. describe it in vivid detail.-
i’ve felt dead for most of the year, left out of life. i was cut off from the camaraderie of my coworkers when i was no longer working. while on an intense medical fast i was deprived of simple pleasures, like tasting food, making it impossible to enjoy lunch dates, dinner parties and celebratory cakes. i did not have an exhilarating existence; much of the time i was just going through the motions.
but then the seasons started to change. summer turned to fall with the chill of winter creeping in. having lost a lot of my insulation, i began to feel it in my body. that’s how it was that cold, bright morning. we were taking a trip to the organic tree farm, our annual family tradition. as i emerged from the vehicle, i felt the frosty air enter my lungs. boots left their imprint in the soft soil, muddy from yesterday’s rain. all around was a fresh pine scent and firs as far as the eye could see. we made our way down the gravel road, crushed rocks crunching under our feet. my four year old nephew ran ahead. i could hear him calling to us. we followed him into a grove of grands where he eagerly examined the trunks he longed to log. i descended the steep, slippery slope and told myself to focus on my footing. just as i was contemplating my fear of falling, it happened. in a mini mudslide, the ground at my feet gave way. my ass made quick contact with the earth. i sat there stunned. then i took inventory. my bum may be bruised, but i had no broken bones. my husband helped me up. i stood for a moment, still shocked that i had actually taken a tumble… feeling wet, feeling wounded and feeling absolutely alive.
-what do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing and can you eliminate it?-
i think negative thoughts. i fear that i have nothing interesting to say, or that when i do, i won’t be able to say it well. i judge not only the words i have written, but my capacity and capability for being a writer.
it’s why i could never keep a journal. i was too critical of each day’s entry. before digital diaries, when consciousness streamed into composition notebooks, i hated the way my handwriting seemed to slant. i didn’t like how i had phrased this or stated that. i obsessed over misspellings (and still do).
can our inner censor ever be eliminated? no. but we can learn that we don’t always have to listen to ourselves.
-encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. explain why you’re choosing that word.
now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?-
lost and found.
i lost my job. for over a decade, i was largely defined by where i worked.
i lost my health. as the number on the scale continued to climb, so did my blood sugars.
i lost my way. i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do with my life.
then i started to find things.
i found a medical weight management program.
i found the strength and determination to begin losing again.
i lost over 60 pounds and more than 20 inches.
i found that as the number on the scale went down, so did my blood sugars.
i found that i could lose my diabetes medications.
i want to continue finding things.
i would like to find more confidence in my creativity, perhaps even use it in a career.
i would like to find financial security.
i would like to find success and happiness in my endeavors.
in 2010 i found that i didn’t need to be afraid of losing.
in 2011 i look forward to finding more of myself.
i did it. i signed the contract. i accepted the challenge. i am now officially participating in reverb10, the online initiative to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next.
i’ll be prompted to post each day in december, which is why i’ve begun this blog. although i’ve been asked about blogging before, this particular project provides some focus and requires an inspired response. it’s an assignment i’ve given myself. hopefully i’ll turn my work in on time.