January 16, 2019

A Personal Revolution

Each year, like millions of others, I try to embark upon some new journey. To strive towards some new goal. To improve the life I'm already living in some novel way.

Some people do this by choosing a word to define their year.
Others do it by paying entrance fees to races they are determined to run or by buying new calendars and to-do lists.
I know people who don't necessarily mark the occasion with anything so concrete, but nonetheless make steady vows to themselves every time the ball drops.

I've been all of these people at one point or another.
I will be again. Perhaps I am now.

Like most, I think there is something refreshing about a new year; it's a new opportunity, a clean slate, and all that jazz. And while in truth there is never a perfect time to start a new journey, there is something whimsical about declaring one in conjunction with another turn around our favorite star.

In years past I've proclaimed to the world that I planned to focus on Intention and Effort. And while I indeed did just that, at least for a while, I would be lying if I claimed not to still struggle with both. Daily. Oftentimes by the hour.

Perhaps that's why this year, I've been a little slower to jump on the resolution bandwagon.
I'm not anti-resolution you see, it's just, well... I'm craving (and have been for some time) something greater than a resolution.
I need a revolution.
A personal revolution.

And truly, I can say that I'm in the midst of one. It began before January 1st though I couldn't tell you an exact time or place. It may have come from a place of self-love or self-loathing. I'm not entirely sure nor do I feel compelled to be. Either way, it pressed itself upon me before I had time to notice that I was stumbling towards it, not halfheartedly, but in dire need of it altogether.

My revolution is both grand and insignificant.
Some may notice changes while others perceive nothing out of the ordinary.
But me? I'm noticing.

Let's start with obvious changes: I've given up Diet Pepsi, a long-held favorite since the moment my lips took their first sugary, carbonated sip. I've also discovered a new, more holistic attitude towards self-care that has resulted in me being more consistent in the gym than I've been in my entire adult life. Perhaps most strangely of all, I've found this time to be not only rewarding, but wildly liberating in a sense I never expected. I've also begun reorganizing our home with a fervor and insistence that I don't think I have previously been capable of -- finding myself easily parting with things that a year ago I would never have parted with without substantial tears.

But those are just the obvious things.

The subtle changes are much less perceptible. They are, so intangible in fact, that I even find myself struggling to find words for them at all. It's been, if anything, a mindset shift that perhaps only I can truly feel though I still won't purport to fully understand it myself. It is ongoing. Evolving.

If I'm being honest (and it's my blog so I will), I've found myself taxed in recent years - not by life necessarily, but by myself. By the weight of the things that I've taken from others or that I've put on myself. These burdens are based on both inner and worldly expectations. I've done this willingly. Sometimes even happily. But it always ends in the same place and I'm discovered this simple fact: I don't want to live in that place any more. 

So yes, this revolution of mine is personal. I'm dropping perceived notions of myself that I've held for decades and shedding the weight of opinion, judgment and skepticism of others. I'm taking a stand for what works best for me and being unapologetic when that doesn't align where others think it should. I'm rediscovering my life and how I relate to it in all aspects... emotionally, physically, spirituality, and mentally. It's like meeting myself for the first time and learning about my actual needs, desires, and interests.

In recent years, it's become more difficult to ignore the world around me. I embraced this fact and dived in unapologetically and head first. But I've discovered that life is both cruel and kind. It is shockingly just and still terrifyingly unfair. The pain and the elation of it all is overwhelming and yet, oddly serene. With these discoveries I've found an odd question burning on my lips: What about me?

Each day is unpromised yet it's impossible to live each as if it is our last.
What if, instead then, we just live each striving towards ourselves.
Not our best-selves. Just ourselves.
Towards inner-peace. Towards self-reflection. Towards those monstrously subtle delights that make this revolution around the sun worth the ride.

Viva la revoluciĆ³n.   

December 21, 2018

Family Photocall

It has been awhile since I shared any family photos on the blog. When I was pregnant with Holland, someone told me that kids change the most in the first two years. I decided then and there that, for the first two years, we'd do family photos every 6-months just to document how much she changed. She was the sweetest little newborn (here) and the chunkiest 6-month old! By one, she was fiercely independent and determine not to stay still for photo shoots any longer. (I didn't share the 6-month or 1-year photos on the blog, but I did drop some on Instagram --> here, herehere, and here). By 18-months Holland had decided that zero-photo cooperation was the appropriate amount of cooperation to provide much to my chagrin. The fates must have been in my favor though because by the time her second birthday rolled around, #LittleLadyHolland had decided that hamming it up for the camera was literally the best thing in the world.

I love having these five separate photoshoots to look back on -- people were right! Holland changed an unbelievable amount in just two years. She went from this tiny bundle to this fiercely funny little girl. The journey itself was full of ups and downs, but the photos will forever be priceless.

It's been over a year since we last had professional photos as a family and as someone who has admittedly developed a bit of an obsession with family photos, that was far too long for me. So we recently called back up our favorite family photographer (Niki Zimmerman Images) and set out for mischief and ice cream.

I hope you enjoy both!
All photo credit to the amazing Niki Zimmerman Images