Friday, December 31, 2010

Daze Thirty One December

Core story. 
What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.) (Molly O'Neill)

And so the reverb10 challenge comes to an end with the year and so does my capacity to deal with some of the prompts they have provided us with. However I did what Molly O'Neill suggested and looked back over the month to find my core story and what I found was "thinking" is at the core of me.
I often tend to over think things and that gets me into a burbling mess as it did last night- not going through that one.
Loving to spend time thinking is about "stuff" is at the core of my attempts at a blog.   And it is what I really like to do... looking at something from a different angle or just finding meaning in the things I see and hear.
The last day of the year was spent preparing to see the year out.
Michele and I prepared te maki sushi for the guests at Kate's apartment so we could comfortably whil away the hours until the ball dropped.
We took the makings to Kate's and then went to Columbus Circle to have lunch and then browse the bookshop.

 We went to the Italian restaurant for a lovely lunch and chatted about our goals for the coming year.

 A glimpse of our party- the food on the table in the background is the sushi- we were too busy eating for me to take a photo of the food itself!

 At some point in the evening everyone made their way to the window to locate the ball before it had dropped
Chatting, eating and drinking and then watching and singing along to Mamma Mia filled the evening and finally cheers and hugs all round and 2011 has begun.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Daze Thirty December

 We walked in Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

 Pristine snow
 Icy paths

 Lost gloves

 Ten lunch in Manhattan and views of the Empire State Building
 And snowmen.

This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What's the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

The year has had its ebbs and flows and there have been a number of gifts that are truly memorable and they are...
The gift of love given to me by a  number of people (you know who you are) but particularly Michele (my sister) she has tolerated and supported my financial incompetence, renovated our home in Footscray without very much support other than financial from me. She has come to visit over the Christmas New Year holiday, journeyed with me in France, shared the household and put up with the strange and disruptive working arrangements when I was home in July August, provided emotional support and an ear listening to my gripes and pettiness as well as offering wise counsel. I hope she understands that this is a gift that is returned in full measure.
The gift of friendship, which I return in full measure to my friends here in NYC, around the country on Get It Scrapped, in Brussels and Australia- the laughter, conversation and warmth given to me via those friendships I truly appreciate.
The tangible gift of the photography course from Sue is one that continues giving- thank you Sue I really love  what it has provided me with in terms of skills, interest and excuses to take photos!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Daze Twenty Nine December

 It was a walk in the park...

 We started at 72nd Street

Some people didn't even know the memorial was there or to look for it but others knew to clear it a little.

 We walked single file along tracks in the snow

 The sun came out

 Fluffed up sparrows sat quietly in shrubs

 The view to the Boathouse with the lake frozen

 There was even a concert y four snowmen in the band shell

 They were accompanied by a lone saxophonist

 A very proud stick carrier who as he passed looked you in the eye as if to say either "Look what I've got" or "I can't talk now I have a sick in my mouth." (Thanks Bernadette for the latter inspiring quote)

 Sally spotted the hawk in the tree

 The first of the lost gloves for the day

 Another sparrow

 Another lost glove

 Then lunch at Columbus Circle

 The third lost glove of the day

 A bigger struggle to make a call!

 You'll be sure of getting your Metro paper from outside Zabars

And so to today's prompt..

Defining moment. 
Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

Some of my response to this has been hinted at in other blog entries and I won't refer to that here. But other defining moment and the series of events that followed was... the offer of work in Victoria.
The defining moment I think was my acceptance of the offer to do reviews and the events that affected my life this year and beyond were the trips to and from Australia. Not only did I get to see people at home more and in different ways but I built up frequent flyer points and now have great benefits for future flights. How superficial is this! But it will make traveling even more luxurious.
The work also gave me greater confidence in my capacity to write and analyze and move through and between situations.
The financial remuneration of the work has meant I could say yes to travel with friends in April next year and can manage other aspects of my life in Australia.
So as far as defining moments go I reckon that could be one.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daze Twenty Eight December

  Not long now!

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

This prompt seems like hard work...cos it is I guess. I couldn't make too much sense of why this was a thing that I should do given that I do an elaborate goal setting for each year that both Michele and I invented for ourselves umpty dump years ago...with this in mind I decided to explore the person who actually provided the prompt and to see what prompted her to formulate the prompt in the way she did. Below is a synopsis of her blog entry explaining and promoting Tara Sophia Mohr's ideas and here is a link to her blog.

Underneath every goal, there is a desired feeling. Why do you want to run the marathon? Because you think you’ll have a certain feeling when you do, that you’ll feel strong or triumphant, or whatever it may be.
Our goals are instruments. Our brains say, “To get that feeling, go do x. Be y. Acquire z. Complete this. Win at that. That thing out there – that experience or credential or moment will give you that feeling.
The problem: Experiences rarely change how we feel. Psychology research now shows what most of us have experienced anecdotally: life satisfaction cannot be correlated with external achievement, and we humans are very bad at predicting what will make us happy.
Want to feel healthy, and think that being in tip top shape will help you feel that? Fine, get in shape, but also start feeling healthy today. Yup, today. What would you need to do, what would you need to think, what kind of choices would you need to make, to feel healthy right now? 
Whatever feeling you think your long term goals are going to give you, what if you got really serious about experiencing those feelings week? Today? In this moment?
  Of course, there’s a reason why we don’t do this: it pushes us to take full responsibility for our state of being. It means letting go of the safety that comes with feeling dis-empowered, insecure, trapped, bored, stuck, and instead stepping into the more vulnerable territory of finding love, choice, aliveness in this moment. A part of us wants to run for the hills. And another part knows this is where real freedom and real peace lie.

 Having read all this I decided it was even harder work than first anticipated. I can't think of any one thing I want to achieve next year... other than the year itself. Perhaps this has to do with not being in my 30's any more and not needing to achieve a lot more as I feel I have done a lot and don't have the room for driving ambition. 

The feeling I would like to achieve in 2011 is the feeling happiness. So here is the 10 things brainstorm..
  1.  Project development. This past year our happiness project had a process to it but the wheels fell off along the way, at least near the end so I think getting that running again will help the exploration of happiness. Today I should revisit our Happiness blog and contact the team
  2. Visiting- plan and visit of family, friends and places both virtually and really.  I'll skype family later today
  3. Photography- take and publish photos via blog, scrapbooking or the walls. Post the photos from the blizzard here.
  4. Projects- keep those projects of mine up to date- so better sort out the "creating space" today- it got moved to accommodate the Christmas Eve dinner.
  5. Take purposeful walks to commune with nature and my environment. Weather permitting head to Central Park later and this will link in very nicely with #3 and #4!
  6. Order in my life and environment...tidying up the place does make me happy so perhaps once I have got the tings back to my creative space I will feel better about the state of my room.
  7. Kindness- this I think is going to be my mantra for the year 2011 and so I want to develop ways in which I can be kind to others both in thought, word and action- sounds a bit like my first confession really- Tara Sophia talks about silencing your inner critic- I don't think I have listened to my inner critic frequently enough at times and at other times I listen far too often getting that mix right is the challenge.
  8. Food makes me happy it also makes me unhappy- so eliminating the unhappy food (the junk and the comfort food) and eating at the right times will help ensure mood balance. I was given a great couple of cook books for Christmas so being serious about cooking with them is a good plan I think- and so to today... select and organize the ingredients for one such recipe.
  9. Challenge and achievement- thinking things through- writing about stuff either with my writing buddy, or my blog or my art journal- this is getting one piece of that done today and I feel happy about that but is feeling happy happiness?
  10. Taking a shower! Simple and easy to achieve.
I'd better get cracking today looks like a busy one! But first the blizzard aftermath shots from yesterday mornings very brief walk around the block

 Hurley's across the road from our building

 Miguel and the snow blower outside our building

 Looking up Broadway from 48th Street

 The sign above the doorway at Colony

 Who ya gonna call?

 A bus stuck on 8th Avenue- do idea how long it had been there but there were icicles on the back and the driver inside with the engine running. Michele quipped perhaps the driver had to "go down" with the vehicle?

 Looking along 49th Street- no idea who the person is

 No deliveries, no bread... one of the reasons I ventured out was for eggs, milk and bread- luckily I could get all of them despite these empty shelves. 

Michele and I watched from the window and the warmth as these poor souls tried to get this car into the parking at the Crowne Plaza- it got stuck as it tried to turn into the parking area. We got bored but they worked hard and had even more incentive when other cars began hassling them as they wanted to travel along 48th Street and couldn't with this car sticking out over the "drivable" area. 

One thing towards feeling happy down another 9 to go.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Daze Twenty Seven December

 A day spent watching movies while the storm built and the snow fell was a true example of ordinary joy within the past 24 hours. However our prompt for the day on reverb10 has asked us to think a little mre broadly than the last 24 hours. The prompt said...

Ordinary joy.
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Imagine narrowing it down to one moment of ordinariness and/or joy? So here I go ....

 Art journaling at the dining  table

 The love bud given by a teacher and it traveled the city and country during February

 The old gum trees in the school yard in Melbourne, their size and quantity was amazing

 The street theatre that is NYC in this case a piano accordionist in Central Park
 The washing drying on the line in Footscray- it ends up being sunsoaked warm and fresh.

 The serendipitous colour conbinsaions of person scooter and wall and then there is the fashion choice

 The ever changing reflections in the building around us

 The "time keeper" at the crossing in the Bronx- he has a kitchen clock around his neck

 The cup cake cart in the street in NYC

 Spiderman posing on the Harley with the Harley riders clustered around taking a photo

 A far from ordinary person , Cheryl, from Manahattan Scrapbooking where chatting over our work at a crop brings great joy from the discussion of the ordinary, everday things in our lives.

 The changing seasons

 The enthusiasm with which the changing seasons are acknowledged and celebrated

 A boy played with the plasticine on the table in his mother (the principal)'s office and she left it there until he came back the next day and made something else with it.

 Walking through the Treasury Gardens in Melbourne

 The appearance of street vendors outside schools when there is a glimpse of sun or warmth a sure sign of spring

 The man dressed as a banana on the corner of 42nd St and 7th Ave at 7:30am- some people get the fun jobs?!

 The red devil on a mobile phone and next to a phone booth- calling for back up perhaps?

The parades that seem to be constant in the city from April through to November

All these moments happened just this past year... so how could I have narrowed it down to one.