All kinds of things are coming together these days. I’m starting to feel more settled, somehow. Maybe from moving, maybe from other things.

The major coming together of the month was my brother’s wedding! I realized I never wrote about that. Everything about it was beautiful and perfect. I’ve never seen two people so much in love. Maybe I’ve just never been in a wedding, so didn’t get to see everything up front, but wow. These two. Add to that a beach in Hawaii, and you’re golden. It was stunning.

The first day became a beach day, which was lovely. Spread out, chill out, read, nap, check out the water and fish. And with nearly all my favorite people. My other brother and his family (super cool sister-in-law, two precious nieces), parents, boyfriend and his family, my new sister-in-law, aunt, cousin…

There were chill days, adventure days around the island, rehearsals and dinners, volcanoes, the wedding itself. Getting ready. I’m so excited to see pictures! There were some precious moments: getting “Bridesmaid” shirts from the bride, figuring out hair and makeup, my dad coming in and out – I think the photographer got one of both him and the bride fixing hair in the mirror -, the first look at her in her dress, helping her get her train into the pickup truck she drove to the wedding (oh man. Amazing). Watching her watch my brother, my brother sitting faced away from her at the front. Distracting her when she kept saying, “I look at [him] and I’m gonna start crying.” For goodness, sake, I almost started crying then! Walking in with my other brother, the ring they both bought me for my 18th on my hand. Listening to them say their vows, watching them just be so, so in love. The delicious food, the hilarity of the dancing.

Pololū Valley

lava

lava

So that trip was amazing. In every way. Took a day to run around practically the whole island, then slowed down to one of the most delicious meals out I’ve ever had, with this guy who continues to make me happy.

Things are coming together.

Today, for example. I was finally able to go to a yoga class this evening, for the first time since realizing there were classes my company would pay for through a gym membership. I’ve been wanting to go for a month or more. Tonight managed to open up enough that I went. I’m pretty intimidated by gyms, so it was nice to go in, be pointed in the right direction, and join others who were learning – getting direction for a workout. That’s the other thing about yoga. It’s hard, but it doesn’t quite feel like working out. And it’s a nice balance of workout and meditation for me, my own getaway from the madness. It was a pretty small class tonight, and for the most part I didn’t feel judged. Though there was that time I was stretching the opposite side as everyone else…

Then there is the continuous, seemingly-in-vain attempt at getting into a morning routine that I like. Ideally, it includes meditation, eating breakfast, writing my novel, showering, and making some try to look nice rather than running out the door. ONE of those things might start to happen, which might spur on the others. Baby steps. There is a local writing group, and some members also either write early or would like to. So it’s looking like some of us are going to create a kind of phone/e-mail tree to wake the others up when they want. If we all want to get up around 6am, then one has to and then calls the others. Maybe they call three times every five minutes and then stop. Or something. But that could be really awesome.

I also recently discovered and then tried out a super fast breakfast-making operation. You can bake eggs into hard-boiled-ness. Requires a muffin tin and eggs. Sunday night I bake-boiled a dozen eggs at once, leaving me an easy breakfast of 2 eggs each morning. If you keep the shells on, they’ll last about a week. Take them off, and it’s 2 days. Ready? Pre-heat oven to 325F (350 if your oven runs a touch cool), put one egg per muffin space (this prevents them from moving around too much), and then bake for 25-30 minutes. So far, I’ve found the yokes tend towards one side when you’re done, and there are some pinprick brown dots when you peel them. Neither is reason for concern. Between that and the occasional Instant Breakfast (provided I both have milk and it’s not gone bad), I might start eating breakfasts. The bagel place by work will still tempt me on occasion, I’m sure, but I’m trying to get away from the intake of carbs in the morning. The Internet* says it’s not good for your day energy. So there. So…there…toasted bagel with cream cheese. :-/

* Side note, my morning goals have been set for a long time before I saw an article like that. I already know TM, or transcendental meditation and love it. Etc. Carry on.

Writing, breakfast, meditation is sure to follow. As long as I don’t go back to sleep. I’ve gotta finish this novel before I leave for my hike, and time is decreasing rather more rapidly than I’d prefer!  That, and maybe weekly yoga, and then maybe weekly writing group (evening). Ohmygosh. Keep breathing. But that would be really great. This could be really great.

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Well, here it is. The end of one glorious year and the start of another. Since lists seem to be the “in” thing these days, I’ve compiled a fun list of events (focused on perks) of 2012 and what I’m planning resolutions-wise and event-wise in 2013.

2012

  • Steampunk-themed contra dance party with fantastic costumes, goggles c/o la boyfriend (now of nearly 2 years)
  • Vacation to Seattle to visit cousins and play tourist
  • Finding out Dad had prostate cancer, supporting him from far away, and then having an “Adios, Cancer!” party when we found out he was cancer-free (44 radiation treatments later)
  • Incredible women’s climbing weekend in West Virginia
  • Interesting, if amusing, debates followed by re-election of President Obama (phew!)
  • Friends-filled college “reunion” going-away party
  • Vacation and travel through Peru, catching 15K heights and Machu Picchu
  • Maryland Renaissance Festival and dress-up
  • Started second novel
  • Joined/helped form an independent author’s collective/publishing imprint
  • Sent over 30 letters to Sandy Hook Elementary School
  • Spent first holiday with boyfriend’s family

2013

Resolutions:

  • Eat breakfast every morning
  • Spend 1 hour before work writing and/or editing
  • Meditate twice a day
  • Still arrive at work at sane hour
  • Make more home-cooked meals (cheaper and healthier!)

Events to Look Forward To:

  • Time-travel-themed contra dance party with boyfriend (yay more dress-up)
  • Parents visiting DC
  • Seeing more old college friends
  • First time going to Las Vegas (conference)
  • Seattle visit with cousins
  • Saturday classes for project management
  • possible Hunger Games food/watching event
  • I turn 25 (woo rental cars!)
  • Attending brother’s wedding in Hawai’i as bridesmaid
  • <Possibilities!>

You know those times when, you swear, you’re really going to get into a rhythm, a schedule? For real this time, I’m going to start getting up on time. I’m going to start going to bed earlier. I’m going to…

Yeah. I’m in one. For the past several nights, my bedtime has been around midnight. Now, you normal people might say, “Yeah, and?” but in fact I can’t often do that anymore. Well, obviously, I can, but I don’t like to. It totally messes with me. So, after finishing a lovely DVD marathon of Boy Meets World Season 1, around midnight, I decided: yeah! This time I’ll do it! I’ll just force myself to get up early, suck it up, and..stuff! Yeah! I even meditated last night (this morning?).

I practice transcendental meditation (TM). TM is unlike other meditation methods in that I’m not forced to clear my mind. Because that’s ridiculous. Our brains work all the time. You can’t just turn it on and off, like a lightbulb. I’ve tried. TM, when you learn it, aims to let you be calm, to let thoughts pass in, and then pass out, and gradually penetrate that deep part of your brain that you almost never use (you don’t use most of it, actually). It relieves the stress (or attempts to) from the surface down. Several studies prove a number of things about it, most of which are positive. Better, less-stressed, more intellectual. All sorts of cool things I won’t bore you with. It’s just 20 minutes, twice a day, repeating a mantra over and over. The mantra is particular to each person, private, your own. I learned TM my senior year of college, and absolutely loved it. After several weeks of regular practice, I started getting at that deep part of myself. I’d repeat the mantra, everything would fade, and all of a sudden my timer would go off. Almost every day, many of us also went to the same space to meditate as a group. I got better meditations with other people and good energy in the room.

Balancing two majors, weekend nights as an EMT, a job at the library, and directing or managing several plays, I was somewhat relieved to be able to learn how to meditate. I was able to keep it up most of the summer, since I interned near home and not crazy hours. It slipped off, and now I rarely remember. And it’s not a save-all anytime: you don’t benefit from just a random session, here or there. So, every once in awhile, I think, Yeah! This time! Tomorrow! This week! On Monday!

This morning, my plan was to get up at 5:30, meditate, ease into the day, shower, make tea, heat up a home-made cinnamon roll for a sweet breakfast, and slide out, arriving at work by about 7.

This morning, in reality, consisted of approximately:

5:30 – hear music, see post-it note past-me had placed over the alarm time change buttons, feel the correct ones anyway, reset for 6am.

6:00 – hear music, see post-it note, reset for 6:15

6:15 – hear music, see post-it note, cringe, reset for 6:35

6:35 – hear music, see post-it note, reset for 6:50

6:50 – hear music, see post-it note, sigh, reset for 7:15

7:15 – hear music, see post-it note, reset for 7:30

7:30 – hear music, see post-it note, go to reset, and realize I have a meeting and have to actually get up this time; speed through a shower, put work back in bag, realize I have no time to actually make a lunch, make tea, grab rainjacket, run downstairs with shoes half pulled on.

So, you see my dilemma. Of course I was useless for the better part of the morning until the tea kicked in. I know what I need to do, I just have trouble doing it.

This time, really, I’ll do it. I’ll even set my alarm to reveille to have it blast me out of bed. I’m not military, but my summer camp used bugle songs as a sort of time-keeper, like bells in a school, and there were consequences for missing flag-raising. There wasn’t actually a lot of time between reveille and flag-raising, and the bathroom was always crowded. It was in your best interest to go, and be seen there on time.

I’m a dork, I know. It got me back, though: the other week I was riding the train with my iPod on shuffle, and wouldn’t you know but reveille came on and about scared me out of my seat. Go figure.

PS: please try not to spell “meditate” as “mediate.” They’re so not the same thing. <cough>news writers<cough>