Entry 64: Of Love and Ash

Forewarning, this entry is a bit religious… because it’s Ash Wednesday and kind of a big deal for Catholics/Christians who see this as the beginning of a month and a half of spiritual prep for Easter.

It’s also Valentines day.

You better believe I got my ashes on this morning…and then later tonight when husband gets home, I’m going to give him a DIY card, sushi, and Jack Daniels fudge, and then we’re going to have a dance party. ūüėČ

Many Catholics have probably already contemplated the coincidence of Ash Wednesday and Valentines falling on the same day. Or maybe they haven’t and I could be the only one. It seems befitting that these two holidays should be one in the same day. True, dwelling on Jesus’ death for a month a half can kind of be depressing, and combined with the infusion of a few more Catholic rules of what you can and cannot eat and do, I can understand why people might gloss over Lent in general and skip to coloring eggs and taking pictures with the Easter bunny.

But to me, Jesus’ death is the ultimate act of love, even more so than that $10-$20 box of chocolates and my DIY card; Lent is just a reminder of that love.

This reminder couldn’t have come at a better time for me. These past few days I’ve been doing a lot of self-contemplation and reflection, looking at myself in the bareness of my vulnerabilities and (if I can be honest) I’ve been kind of lost and wandering aimlessly trying to find out who I am and what I should be doing with my life in order to find some purpose or meaning. Sure, I get that life happens and often changes what plans you had for yourself 10 years ago, but thinking about all this has brought me face to face with the following truth: I have not cared for myself as well as I should.

Maybe you’re surprised that this is the case (which means I’m really good at creating a facade). Or maybe it’s something you could have told me based on the fact that I have really bad posture, but it’s a mental block that I’ve struggled to find a way out of since I was kid and which I’m starting to realize the negatives effects of. It’s the voice that has continually told myself I cant, or that something wasn’t worth trying because I wasn’t worth the chance of failing. It is the thing that has ultimately brought me to this state of limbo.

I know, these are super depressing realizations, and you’re probably like you’re so valuable and have so much potential, you don’t even know. I have had many people tell me this on many occassion, it’s just that when a negative mentality has been so engrained for so long, it becomes the truth you believe, and sometimes the truth you believe makes all the difference, not what people tell you.

But like I said, that’s where the combo of Lent and Valentine’s seemingly has its perfect timing: to break through that stupid mental limbo wall of low self-opinion and remind me that despite whatever thoughts or feelings or sinfulness I might have, I am worth it, because why else would Jesus have died?

Anyways, I hope everyone has a blessed Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s day, and day in general. I’m still trying to figure out what to give up, but my priest did shed some light on the fact that it should be personal and we shouldn’t just go through the motions. In whatever we give up, should wake up hungry, go through the day hungry, and go to bed even more hungry for Jesus.

Until next time….

Entry 64: Of Love and Ash

Entry 63 : Take Me With Yoooou

Have you read travel blogs or scrolled through pictures depicting all the places that people have gone? One moment they’re in Spain, the next moment South Africa, then Dubai. Usually, I’m sitting on the shit can or on the couch drinking my after workout shake, jealously thinking, how do these people afford to go everywhere?

Now I’m not talking about those people who go on vacation because they saved up money and vacation time; I’m talking about the people who – this is what they do. They spend the majority of the year going from place to place, eating local foods, shopping at local markets, and looking at picturesque scenery most people only see on the travel channel.

Maybe their work takes them all over the place, maybe they’re trust fund babies, or maybe they saved up a bunch of money, sold everything they had and financially planned the next 5 years to be a nomad with nothing except whatever is in their Eddie Bauer backpack.

Or maybe they married someone whose job requires them to travel everywhere, and they just tag along for the ride.

Like the blogger from The Everywhereist.

If you’ve never read this blog, give it a try – it’s packed with wit and stories about sometimes the most random of places and experiences. And… the writer (Geraldine) is from Seattle.

(Random story – I swear to God I saw Geraldine in Portland once. I was crossing a street and we crossed paths. After which, I turned around and saw the side of her face, then I turned to my husband and whispered I think that’s Geraldine! From the blog that I like!!! I was tempted to follow her and ask her for a picture)

I bring travel up since husband is starting a new job soon at a company that is building this telescope in Chile. To be specific : A Large Synoptic Space Telescope. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds smart, and large.

This new job will mean husband will be travelling more often than not (in fact he’s already got 2 trips lined up next month) which will be completely new thing for us. But I think it’ll be fine, it’ll just mean I eat dinners by myself, I’ll be alone in the house with my dogs, and will be blogging more about my feelings on being alone. That’s all.

::insert guilt trip::

Naah, I’m totally just kidding. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I’m just really proud of him for being so hardworking and smart, and that really cool places are head hunting him. But, if he goes to someplace awesome he should totally take me with him … you know, for support. ūüėČ

And he should totally let me decorate his office. I know for a lot of people having an office isn’t a big deal, but when he told me I was like ::gasp:: does it have a window? do you get blinds? will it have your name plated on the door? Are you going to get a lamp? To which he looked at me like I don’t know… I haven’t even started working there yet.

Anyways, things going on this week – today is Mardi Gras, and tomorrow is the beginning of Lent. What to give up….Last year I gave up social media; this year I was thinking alcohol, but then realized I bought this ‘special’ Chilean wine that me and husband are supposed to drink on Thursday in celebration of his new job. I don’t really know if it’s special or not, but I did forage through the wine aisles at Total Wine for 10 minutes looking specifically for a Chilean wine. Usually I buy wines if the bottle looks cool, or if the name sounds intriguing, but this time I was like… No! it needs to be from Chile! So I don’t know, I have another 24 hours to figure out what to do for Lent.

I’ll end this with some blogs I like besides Everywhereist, you know… just in case you were looking for something. Forewarning, these are food blogs:

Week of Menus

The woman who writes this blog is a Korean mom and with each recepe she posts, she writes a story (if you will) of stuff going with her life and kids. I find it heartwarming and entertaining. I’ve made her mochi cake, green tea mochi cake, and her twice baked wings on a regular basis

I am a Food Blog

I just love the photography and the creativeness in some of the dishes that this blogger’s posts. It has made me want to cook more and step-up my food photography game when posting on social media.

Let me know what blogs or people you follow. I literally spent an hour last week before bed trying to find some new good people to follow and read, but couldn’t find anything that I wanted to commit to.

…Until next time.

Entry 63 : Take Me With Yoooou

Entry 36: Now that Lent is Over….

Easter is over, and so is my fast from social media. I’m sure you all were wondering¬†why I hadn’t been posting constant status updates or instagram posts on the happenings of my life (Because my life is so interesting), but rest assured – I am alive and everything is okay. ¬†I had just given up social media for Lent.

I know what you’re probably thinking,¬†social media? really?¬†Jesus died on a cross and you chose to give up facebook for 40 days? Geez,¬†¬†well, ¬†now that I say it in my head, it sounds really lame because the two could never equate in suffering, but at the time I thought it was a great idea… and before I get judged – its my Lenten journey ! I do what I want!

At first it was pretty hard. My daily instinct was to usually go on social media, see what so-and-so was up to, or see where so-and-so went (because everyone leads such interesting lives)  To not have the ability to go on social media created a sense of anxiety that needed to be distracted by other stimulation.

A few weeks into Lent, I watched this Anderson Pooper¬†60 minutes piece on the effects of being on mobile devices for too long. He interestingly goes into the science of how you become anxious when not on the mobile device and how ‘checking-in’ releases this chemical in your brain to ease anxiety.

Holy shit, I said while I watched this episode. Luckily I hadn’t given up swearing.¬†This is me!

Towards the end of Lent, I definitely felt less of a need to check my phone on a constant basis, less of a need to see that so-and-so checked in on Facebook to let everyone know they had to take shit in the bathroom of their own house, less of a need to let other people know what was going on with me, and less a need to figure right then and there the answer to whatever obscure question popped up in my head. Like,¬†How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal.¬†There was a time where we would ask these questions, and just be like….¬†huh, I don’t know.¬† and that would be that.

Sidetrack : If you really want to know the answer to this question of tall Jake Gyllenhaal is, there’s this awesome podcast called¬†Mystery Show where the hosts investigates random questions, including this one. It’s super funny, and from what I remember she ends up actally talking to Jake Gyllenhaal (Jake Gyllenhaal is like “why does everyone keep asking me this!?!) and finding out how tall he is.

I definitely more focused on the here and now. And now that Lent is over, I’m trying to be more careful about not letting myself become as consumed as I once was and ¬†I’m much more cynical over what I post. I mean, I think it’s great to share things about the cool stuff one experiences in life, but for me – my life isn’t really¬†that¬†cool. I’m not curing cancer or saving babies in Africa. I’m just in bed, with my glasses on, crusty’s in the eyes. ¬†I don’t have deodorant on (yet). I plan to like meal plan today…. and then..yeah, ¬†not that interesting or relevant.

But anyways… Until next time…

Entry 36: Now that Lent is Over….