Saturday, December 31, 2016

You are '16, going on '17

Looking back it's clear I left a lot on the table in 2016, at least when my year is laid next to the goals I set for myself last year.  I didn't send a single card to a friend.  My Spanish limped along in Nicaragua, and certainly belly-flopped in Spain.  And while I did 14er it with some new hiking buddies, I was not responsible for anyone's first 14er summit.  However, the year was not without merit.  I achieved some goals with gusto and style to spare, and accomplished other things that weren't even on my radar when the year began.  Lest I despair at ending the year where I started, I present my 2016 in review:
  • Cheered the Broncos on to a Super Bowl victory
  • Cross-country skied for the first time since fifth-grade PE class
  • Presented at a fairly major regional nursing conference on a topic that terrifies me
  • Pushed my hiking skills to the edge of my comfort zone

  • **Walked over 100 miles on the Camino de Santiago, and actually enjoyed our daily mass-produced pale lager (guess they make 'em better in Spain)

  • Reunited with my Nicaragua family: Nola, Doña Carmen, Zindy
  • **Figured out what the big deal was about Telluride (I actually liked Ouray better)
  • Rode horseback on the beach (I know, I did this last year too, but this year's version was really more how I imagined it, paying a kid twenty bucks to take his horse up and down the sandy shoreline in my swimsuit)
  • **Gave a killer Maid-of-Honor toast, if I do say so myself (I actually don't have to say so myself since everyone else keeps telling me)
  • Rocked out an entire year of nursing education (with enough success that we're just repeating in 2017, and rolling out to additional sites)
  • Hit over a dozen new breweries and tried almost a hundred new beers
  • Won free donuts for life! (I had my first one yesterday, and it was fabulous)
  • Ice skated on a frozen lake for the first time...didn't fall but it was close
  • Built a really awesome fort
  • **Ate pulpo and my first raw oyster on the half shell
**My three things outside my comfort zone and one new place, New Year's Resolution, check!

I think by now, y'all can figure out my 2017 resolution.  But I think what I really want out of the year is to pay more attention to the things that matter.  It's not until I've looked back through an entire year of photos and facebook posts that I realize that the things that made me smile the most were spending time with my friends' kids, making up stupid games with my family, taking a chance on a new adventure with new friends and having it exceed expectations, cuddling with my dog, and counting my blessings.  May 2017 bring more of that, and may I not be too preoccupied to appreciate it.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Where the numb meets the lonely...

There's something about song lyrics that have the power to lift your mood, give you solace, meet you in your sadness, release your fears, magnify your joy, warm your heart, voice your burdens, and generally just bring a little beauty, truth, and goodness to the world.  Song lyrics have haunted me and inspired me for years, prompting and guiding my own carefully hidden amateur attempts at songwriting.  There is a respect that I hold for songwriters, particularly those who manage to capture and craft that elusive line that hits me deep in my soul.  Those words resonate long after the melody disappears, and speak to the reality that humanity shares more than it differs.  It doesn't have to be some melancholic deconstruction of heartbreak or yearning; it could be a witty self-deprecation or a freeing declaration of love.  It could be rhyming "kitchen sink" with "diesel tank."  There's nothing that I can put my finger on, but I know there are lyrics that have changed me.  Here are a few of my favorites, as I listen to the background genius of Miranda Lambert's The Weight of These Wings:

"By the way there Mr. Tin Man
If you don't mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart"

"I could be the shine that's in your eyes
The firmness of your grip
The promise you won't slip upon this road
You could be my heart when I can't start
Turn this fist into a kiss
My mind when I am blind with my own fear"

"I've been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again"

"I never tried to cross the line
But in my mind did several times
I turn the page and slam the door
But you still linger even more"

"If it can't make you cry
Make you mad or get you high
It's just a waste of time
Any old fool can go as far
Dress it up and play the part
But it ain't love if it can't break your heart"

"I still believe in miracles
I still believe in wedding rings and Bibles
I still believe the best walk you will ever take
Is walking down the aisle"

"She's my needle in a haystack
Shiny diamond in the rough
She's my five-leaf clover
Cause four ain't lucky enough"

"I've always been afraid of flying
But you can't blame a girl for trying"

"I'm walking talking drinking proof
A cliche in a corner booth
Ain't nothing new"

"Yeah I'd pound fear to a pile of sand
Choke lonely out with my bare hands
I'd hang hate so that it can't be heard
If I could only kill a word"

"So I like to fantasize
And watch the sunrise like it's a big surprise"

"I could use a love song
That takes me back just like that when it comes on
To a time when I wouldn't roll my eyes
At a guy and a girl who make it work in a world
That for me so far just seems to go so wrong"

"There are ghosts from my past that own more of my soul
Than I thought I had given away
They linger in closets and under my bed
And in pictures less proudly displayed"

"Well it's always a risk and it's always a dare
But it's a far more dangerous thing to listen to fear
But it's a beautiful thing to known and be known
Yeah there's a whole lot of life outside my comfort zone"

"Part of the beauty of falling in love with you
Is the fear you won't fall"

And one of my favorites from my own repertoire:
"But there's a price to pay for reckless
For blowing past the warning signs
A conscience saying you'll regret this
There's no turning back this time"

Happy listening!

I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.