Thursday, December 30, 2010


I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold
I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good

End of 2010, end of a decade

It's hard to believe that I began this decade still in high school. In fact, I rang in 2000 downtown with DP and RF. Drinking from a bottle because we were too young to get into a bar. I remember it was freezing cold.

I rang in 2001, lying on my couch unable to walk as I had been thrown out of a car in a horrible accident the night before.

The rest of the NYE's were pretty standard. Bars or house parties, kissing randoms on cheeks at midnight, years that I had a boyfriend I would get to kiss him on the lips.

It feels like as I get older, New Year's Eve has begun to lose its luster. It just seems like another night and I know that not too much will be different on Saturday. I can make the usual list of things I want to change about myself and my life. I can have a drink and toast midnight with the hope that 2011 will be better than 2010. I just feel very ennui about the entire thing this year. The entire build up to one night that is never truly as amazing as I imagine it's going to be is kind of mentally draining.

Maybe something will magically happen over night and tomorrow I will feel more excited about it all.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dexter Season 5

*** Warning, this is going to contain spoilers****

I finished watching season five this afternoon. And I feel like Dexter is getting sloppier and sloppier. For example, he is at the scene of one murder, steals a car and crashes it at the scene of another. The police should see that as highly suspicious, no?

Also, Jordan Chase's motive for being the ringleader and instigator is never really explained. I get that he gets off on telling people what to do, but I don't understand how this equated to controlling a group of four men in the rape of a did it all start? what clicked in his head and when? And being as Jordan was originally a fat kid who seemed friendless with no charisma, why would the other kids listen to him to begin with?

I thought I would miss Rita more. But I don't. And all of my theories from the season 4 ending didn't pan out. And will the FBI continuously probe the Kyle Butler angle -- that seemed to be dropped pretty quick and Dexter was not at all concerned. Which one would think he would be. Also, everyone all season recognized Dexter as the guy who's wife was killed by the Trinity killer. Wouldn't Trinity's family have read or heard about this and recognized Dexter as Kyle Butler?

Finally, as much as I read that I would hate Julia Stiles added to the cast, I actually loved her and was sad when she left. And I have developed a secret crush on Joseph Quinn. Don't let Peter Petrelli know.

Did you watch Season 5? Thoughts??

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve...

...and the cafe at work is out of milk. I can only assume it's due to the supply and demand of the milk industry that takes place this time of year, making sure some jolly fellow from way up North gets his yearly intake.

And this means I am having a soy latte. Things I learned about myself this morning include I really only like soy when it is flavored. And I should have asked for a shot of vanilla or something in this.

I also was up before the world today (my usual m.o. it seems lately) and so spent this day before festive days watching the first few episodes of Dexter's season 5. A perfect way to start a day :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I just wrote my midterm for my 20th Century English Lit course. And although I missed reading two novels (they were not included in the study manual, but were add-ons that I missed seeing in the box), I think I did well.

And now, I enjoy this lovely glass of wine. Christmas break goal is to read the next 2 novels. In between crazy carpeting down a mountain and lots of ice skating.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Eclipse of My...


Last night to celebrate Winter Solstice, the Earth, Moon and Sun decided to line up just right to create a lunar eclipse. It started at about 11:30 pm (mountain time, my time) and by 12:41 am there was complete eclipse. It was the usual below freezing weather here, but I lucked out with a perfect view of the moon from my bedroom window! SCORE!

And, to make this event even more penguin-awesome, the skies were perfectly clear. I could make out Orion just South-West of the moon and I knew that if any crazy shenanigans took place, my little hunter would protect me.

The coolest thing ever was that just as we reached total eclipse, the clouds blew in and covered the sky. It was the neatest thing to see the moon covered with just a sliver showing and clouds rolling over top slightly. Straight out of a movie (but not that stupid Eclipse movie, I refuse to promote anything to do with that franchise).

And now, days start getting longer again. Pretty awesome way to celebrate, Celestial Spheres! Thanks :)

PS.Santa Baby, how about putting a telescope under the tree, for me?

Monday, December 20, 2010


I read today's prompt. And I am beginning to feel like I am repeating myself. I feel like I keep being asked the same question from different angles to really over-analyze my year. And I am bored with it. And I already think too much and analyze the things I could of, would of, should of from so many angles. And then I feel like I am still stuck in the past, in this darker place where I was struggling to get out.

So, I am not answering anymore Reverb10 prompts in the next 11 days unless they feel really different and I don't think the issue has already been covered.

Last year's prompts were different. They asked what I thought was the year's best laugh, best website, best discovered band, etc. I liked looking back over the year at all of the positive stuff (maybe I just feel like this was a more negative year because of one significant event?). I was looking more for something like that this year.

Here are a few things (and a person!) that I do want to give a shout out to:

1. Best new person in your life in 2010? She-ra hands down. She helped the summer hours fly by in our cubicles, is great for advice, and (inadvertently) crashed a wake with me.

2. Best discovered song of 2010? MSTRKRFT "Heartbreaker." I ♥ this song.

3. Best discovered band of 2010? The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. "Heads will roll" opened the door for me to this group and I have yet to be disappointed.

4.Best discovered website of 2010? This is a tie. Grooveshark is amazing. I love that I can search any word in the world and find a playlist named that. This then leads me to discovering lots of new music. Stumbledupon is also absolutely awesome and keeps me on top of penguin-awesome links to share with my friends.

5.Best purchase of 2010? My car is pretty awesome. Other than my car, I spent a lot of mad money on shoes again this year. I am not upset with that at all.

6.Best discovered wine of 2010? Little Penguin. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. Plus the corks have little penguin feet. I am collecting them.

7.Best read book of 2010? Another tie and neither book is written in 2010. Phillip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was fabulous. As was Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I am also reading Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust right now and it has quickly won my heart.

8.Best discovered television show of 2010? Mad Men. After hearing so much, I downloaded the first few seasons and haven't looked back.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 19 – Healing

What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

I am only going to answer the second part of this prompt. Why? Because it's my world and I can do what I want.

In 2011, I would like my heart to feel whole again. I would like incessant thinking until all hours of the night to either cease or just be wonderful, happy, excited thoughts. I would like to be able to trust with all of my being. I would like my confidence to regain and my insecurities to begin to lie dormant until they completely fade away.

Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17 – Lesson Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

The best thing I have learned about myself this year is that is okay to be single and on my own. And that the best thing I can take away from all of this "alone" time is to really enjoy that I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want.

After I first broke up with A, I felt like I had already wasted so much time chasing a dream that was never going to happen. And I thought it would be great to just meet that man waiting for me and start the rest of my life. But, I am not ready for this man yet. I have a lot of sadness and anger still about my lost dreams (and that anger is mostly at myself for letting my time be wasted) and it wouldn't be fair to any man to come into my life now with all of this baggage I am carrying.

As soon as I was honest with myself about this, I started to feel much better (albeit I am suffering from lack of sleep these days due to thinking way too much).

Last Saturday, someone double parked behind me blocking me in at the local historical park. The park was still open for another two hours and, although security did call a tow truck, I was stuck waiting. I spent the time listening to music, thinking, texting and telling myself that things could really be worse. The other choice I had was to be irate and complain, but it wasn't going to move this car so what was the point? In my thinking, I realized that my life right now is a similar situation. And I have to be patient to get out of the place I feel stuck in right now. I can either do it with a smile on my face and realizing that even though it sucks, there isn't any point in lamenting about the situation OR I can bitch, complain, cry and throw myself a pity party. And then not only will I still be stuck, but I'll feel horrible about myself too. I believe in fate and I think the Heritage Park parking lot incident happened to me to teach me a lesson about patience and being patient with grace.

I have a great heart and I am fun, kind, smart and not too shabby to look at. Everything I want in life is going to work out for me. I just have to wait till it's the right time for it to all happen. Best lesson learned of 2010.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16 – Friendship

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

I have a wonderful friend and I sadly don't get to see him all of the time. When we did get to hang out this year, it was one of the best times of my life. We laughed, he gave great hugs, he listened to all of my stories and added some details of his own. We got to see the ocean together and we played a game of cat and mouse with the waves. We blasted tunes in his car as we raced around little back roads and explored little bay communities.

We had serious discussions about life and love. We had silly discussions fueled by liquor. We had moments of random high-fiving.

I met this friend a few years ago when I came home from a vacation and he had moved in as a new room mate. We seemed to click right away. He taught me to alligator crawl and air guitar. I shared with him the magic awesome sauce of Ween's "Bananas and Blow" and would lend him my Goonies DVD. He would "razz" me all of the time and quickly became the brother I never wanted, but would never give up for all of the world. He was the best room mate I ever had.

I wish every day that he lived closer so we could hang out more. Getting to fly out and see him and his province was an amazing adventure. I realized that he is one of the awesome people in my life and I was stupid to allow an ex's jealousy of our friendship cause distance.

I learned a lot from my little trip to the East Coast about myself and Kerker was a great friend for harboring me. I hope I am as good as friend to him as I think he is to me. Hanging out with him this year was good for my soul. I would give him the Friend Award of 2010.

I have a lot of great friends in my world. The fact that Kerker took a week of his life to drive me around and explore Newfoundland with me is so unbelievably appreciated. I think the way he changed my perspective was his kind gesture actually really opened my eyes to how many great people are in my life and I am very thankful every day for the amazing people that want to have me included in their lives. When I returned from Newfoundland, I really feel that I started appreciating all of my friends a little more. The ones who live close because you never know when circumstances may cause them to move across the country and the ones who live far because every minute you do get to hang out with them is more precious.

Best Road Trip EVER

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


After much contemplation and careful consideration, I have decided not to privatize my blog. I don't really write anything here that is mean or harmful. And I am not really a gossip monger using my blog to discuss the ins and outs of others' lives.

I write about me here. My thoughts, my feelings, my day-to-day adventures, my goals and my dreams. And there are many reasons I write here. One of them is to foster and cultivate my writing - a hobby I have always loved. Another reason is because maybe someone out there is living a mirrored life to mine and needs to know that he or she is not alone. I know I have counted on the Internet to assure me that there are others just like me and in the same space as me. It's only fair that I reciprocate.

I guess it comes down that if you want to lurk and quietly read, then you have my permission. I would be even more ecstatic, after you are finished reading these little pieces of the Internet that I contribute to, if you commented and shared your ideas and thoughts too.

December 15 – 5 Minutes

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

Ready, set, go!

I learned how to snowboard.
Went to Edmonton, Spokane, Blairmore, Nanton, Newfoundland.
I bought a brand new car.
I rode 220km on my bicycle.
I raised over $3000 on my own and over $20000 with a team for cancer research.
I was a maid of honour.
I witnessed my childhood friend get married.
I broke up with A for the final time.
My friends and I spent an afternoon on a home made slip and slide.
I was co-owner of a company.
I started tweeting for work.
I learned exciting news recently that I would love to share, but I am sworn to secrecy (it's not my story to tell anyway).
I slept over at the zoo.
I learned how to make chocolate.
I won an iPad.


It's hard to capture an entire year in 5 minutes. It goes by quickly.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14 – Appreciate

What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

I was actually sort of formulating this kind of post in my head yesterday. Mostly in list form as I do love the lists and not exactly a specific thing, but more a list of everything wonderful I participated in in 2010. And thinking about these accomplishments, I guess what I am most grateful for is the time I have in my life to go and do the things I want to do, when I want to do them.

This year I appreciate that I had time to take snowboarding lessons, meet some great new friends and learn a skill that I want to continue cultivating

This year I appreciate that I had time to put towards helping my friend pull off her dream wedding

This year I appreciate that I had time for bike rides, rock hunting adventures, road trips, fire works, board games, slurpees, and shared bottles of wine

This year I appreciate that I had time to visit Newfoundland, hang out with one of my favorite people while exploring the most beautiful place ever -- and checking out the Atlantic Ocean

This year I appreciate that I had time to reflect back on all decisions I made that have led me to where I am now and the time to just be with myself while I learn to forgive myself for wasting time previously

This year I appreciate that I am in a place where I have more time to continue doing the things I love to do, the things I need to do, and the things I want to do

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let's file this one under "Thanks Tips"

Found this on Distractible Jane's blog.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

December 13 – Action

When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

WOW! Today's prompt is exactly what I need to talk about today. All of this recent reflecting has me up to all hours of the night thinking about the past which is ridiculous as there is nothing I can do to change the past. And I was thinking about quitting Reverb10 because reflecting was actually kind of playing havoc on my emotions these days.

So, having someone prompt me to write my action plan is exciting. And so far what I have learned from the past 13 days is that I want 2011 to be better than 2010 (who doesn't?), I want to participate more in life, and I would like next year's word to be love. The big question is, how do I encompass these elements into an action plan?

As I have mentioned before, I am going to be 30 in 453 days. And I have been creating a 30 things to do before I turn 30 list. These are 30 activities that fall into the either the "always wanted to do that" category or "this will help my life move forward" category or "that sounds just plain awesome!" category. I need just a few more items to complete the list, but with creating each and every item I think about how these items will allow me to participate more in life and will definitely make 2011 a year to remember.

The experience parts of my plan of action I have already started setting dates for. I am excited for all of the fun things I am going to be doing and instead of waiting till 2011, I already have plans set for my Christmas break. I am ready to go now -- to start scratching items off of my list of to-dos. It's the love part that I am finding difficulty implementing. But I have faith that as long as I am nice to myself and others and treat everyone with kindness, then 2011 will be a year that meets all of my expectations.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12 – Body Integration

This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

The final leg of the Ride to Conquer Cancer was the moment I was one - body, mind and soul. Everything came together to let me finish that last little bit. I also felt this riding up each hill when I would look out at the beauty surrounding me, focusing on trees, valleys, mountains and sky so that I could get up to the top of the hill without thinking about how much work it was and how much my legs were aching.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

December 11 – 11 Things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

1.Self-inflicted drama
There will always be drama. There will always be people, things, events in life that That is what life is. But I don't want or need to be part of he-said, she-said games. I don't want to always look at events and think (or know) they were personally created by me. And when life does happen, I don't want to look at it negatively anymore. I want to have this outlook that shit happens, make the best of it. Getting rid of self-inflicted drama is going to create an entire new perception of life for me. One that is super positive. It will take a lot of work to change the mind set though.

2.Time Wasted
Hi! Have you met me? Queen of Procrastination. In fact, right now I should be completing some homework and maybe washing dishes (and even throwing a load of laundry in the machine), yet here I am catching up on blogging and facebook and twitter. There are so many hours in a day that I waste. Changing this and becoming more productive will allow me to create the life I want.

I have way too much crap. And everyone knows: Messy bed, messy head. I need to purge and keep only things I love. I will feel less weighed down if I can achieve this.

4.Unnecessary stress for missed deadlines
Remember number two where I stated I am fantastic at wasting times? This then causes me to panic at the last minute and increase my caffeine intake to get projects done. Which in turn means that I am not completing projects to the best of my ability because I left them to the last minute. Which then plays on my confidence and self esteem levels. Changing this would be good for my soul, heart and mind.

5.Fast food
I never enjoy it when I have it. I am not sure why I even bother with it. So see you later Colonel McBurgerQueen. My tastebuds will thank me the most for eliminating this thing.

6.Missed opportunities
I am human. And second guess myself a lot. And sometimes don't think I am good enough for whatever might come my way. And I get worried about what other people might think if I go after something that might not be deemed "cool." I would like to increase my confidence and know that I am clever, bright and adaptable. And reach for stars. And know that even if I failed, at least I will never regret not trying.

For the last couple months I have been dealing with some self-inflicted drama and have been flaking on my friends a little bit. In 2011, I am determined to be accountable and show up when I say I will and when I know they need my support the most.

8.More tears than laughs
Who wants to be sad? No one. Sadness will be a part of life. But crying over spilled milk and situations I can't control is ridiculous. Those are times when I just have to laugh.

This has to do with drinking more than my body weight can handle and not allowing my short term memories to feed into the long term memory bank thus not remembering most of the evening. I'm lucky that I have never been in a serious situation where something horrible has happened. The real point though, is what's the point of going out if you can't remember it?

10.Things I don't love
I plan on only having things in 2011 that I absolutely love. I love nice things and I will no longer settle for second best. That means no more adding to my collection of things I don't love.

11.Weight gain
I'm at a healthy, average weight for my height. I would like to stay here for health reasons obviously. And I needed an 11th item for this list.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

December 10 – Wisdom

What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Dear Reverb,

Can we please stop addressing that time in my life? It did affect everything in my year and some days I am not sure it was the wisest decision. I keep trying to move on, but all of this reflecting on that pivotal moment is really playing with my heart these days. And I keep having moments of only remembering great times with him and forgetting the not-so-great times.

That said, second wisest decision I made in 2010 was making the goal of obtaining my degree a priority again. I will have completed this goal in 2011.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This just in

I just found out some hella exciting news!! I have the biggest smile on my face and want to high five every one around me. And hand out hugs. I feel unbelievably happy right now!!! :)

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

December 9 – Party

Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

I love to party. I love to pretend I am a rockstar. I really love this prompt. Even though it is hard to pinpoint THE party of 2010.

There was the 10 day long party celebrating the birth of me. That was fabulous. So many different events and so many friends to show they loved me. From hitting up First Thursday downtown and soaking up the art and fashion and wine and jazz, to the road trip to Edmonton, to a night of Punk Rock Bingo, and finally ending with a surprise birthday party thrown for me from the girl I have adopted as my soul sister.

Speaking of that girl, she married her other best friend this year. And I was part of that special day and all the preparations and parties leading up to it. Her stagette was filled with yummy sangria and a quick pole dancing lesson. Her shower was held over a tea party where dress code demanded hats and gloves. Her actual wedding day was non-stop laughs and filled with love.

Halloween was an amazing party weekend too. First up was my childhood friend's stag. Where I witnessed first hand how mean boys are to each other on stags. The next day, I switched up costumes and learned how to two step the night away at the local country bar. And the following week, I celebrated my childhood friend's union with a beautiful woman who I am excited to have as part of my life now too.

This weekend is their housewarming party and dress code demands the tacky Christmas sweater. I'm super stoked! Last night I worked on my sweater and remembered how much I love my hot glue gun to really jazz things up! I hope I win a prize or at least win at pictionary!

A year of celebrating. A perfect prompt to remember that 2010 was mostly sparkler awesome with only a few fizzled fire works. I also realize that I barely described the sights, sounds, etc. that this prompt called for....but my blog, my way.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8 – Beautifully Different

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

I would like to say there is a lot about me that makes me different and special. But there really isn't. Any question I have ever had where I think "why me? why my life?" I can guarantee that someone else has already asked it on yahoo answers. And Google has made it apparent to me that as different as I feel, there are millions of people out there who think and feel and act just like me. Which, I kind of love. It's nice to realize that you aren't that different even when you have been called weirdo on more than one occasion.

Why have I been called a weirdo you ask?

I am quirky. I am in my late 20s, but I don't always act grown up. When the situation calls for me to be serious, I am serious. And responsible. And my bills are always paid on time. But, I still love partaking in all of those activities we did as children that gave us pure joy. An afternoon of colouring while watching cartoons? Sounds amazing! Swamp water Slurpee's picked up after a bike ride around the neighbourhood? Absolutely! Pulling out a Slip-and-slide on a hot afternoon to cool off? Awesome! Action shots while jumping on a trampoline? Count me in!

I think my love of fun makes others around me let go of the notions that once you are a grown up you have to be boring. And then we have adventures. Or just awesome moments of playing. Where is the written rule that says you have to stop playing when you get to a certain age? And all bright colours need to be replaced with muted tones that reflect a show home designers dream? But the issue comes from these other "grown ups" I meet in my life who have been brainwashed to believe they need to be serious all of the time. When we hang out and I suggest creating an awesome chalk mural or explain a new art project I have thought about, I get the strange looks and the joking jabs of "okay weirdo."

I tried being the typical grown up. And I wasn't happy. When I do the things that I loved as a kid, I am happy. And the best part is, no one tells me I have to come home when it gets dark out now. And remember how I wrote earlier this month about wanting to get out and experience more? I think it's the people I am around who are typical grown ups that make me hold back. You know what I may have just realized? That I need to stop dating serious adults. They think I'm weird and I think they're boring. We would never work out.

Also, is this even tied into the prompt topic anymore? Meh *shrugs*

So, I am working on my 30 things to do before I am 30 list and I need 5 more items. Looking for inspiration so please feel free to leave a comment and tell me one thing you would like to do next year.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7 – Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

I have been part of many communities this year. For each one I am very grateful.

I have my work community -- a department of strong, independent, take charge people who work amazingly well under pressure. I have learned so many things from this supportive group and feel myself growing and developing my career path every day.

I was part of GirlTalk Events at the beginning of this year (and unfortunately, due to time constraints, had to let it go) and this was a community of amazing women who all came out to create a strong support group while enjoying lives. I had amazing times with this community and was able to partake in many things I "always wanted to try."

The Ride to Conquer Cancer was a community where we joined together for a weekend. I did not know many peoples's names as I rode alongside them, but the sense of belonging was felt by all.

My friends, or (as I like to think of them) my chosen family, are my favorite community. Each individual reflects parts of me and I adore so much about all of my friends. From #90sdanceparties on twitter to mass cooking (and gossiping) nights to crashing wakes, dancing on speakers, snowboarding, road trips, movie marathons,etc. etc.,I have the best soldiers of support ever. You all rock!

My online community is pretty fabulous too. There are many of you I don't know except through facebook, blogger or twitter. When a scrabble game is needed for distraction or kind words are needed to be read or when a surprise care package or a quick postcard arrive in the mail, I can always count on my online community. You guys lift my spirits. Thanks. Some day I think it would be fabulous to actually meet some of you.

In 2011, I want to continue developing the connections I have with the communities I am already part of. I also hope to join a few more with the 200 hours of volunteer work I have pledge to donate next year and through developing my social media skills for my career. And I am sure many of those people I meet in those communities will become part of the groups I am already part of. It's exciting to think about the six degrees of separation we already have and how we can make that separation less, creating groups of people we can learn and lean from. A smaller world can only become a better world.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6 – Make

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

Can I start this off by saying I am kind of excited that Gretchen authored today's prompt? I have been reading her Happiness Project blog since I read about it in a magazine a few years back and was super excited when her book came out. Which I haven't had time to read yet, but the intent is there! I also read earlier this year that she is getting a show based on her blog/book and the lovely Kristen Davis (aka sweet Charlotte of SATC fame) will be playing Gretchen! What an amazing year Gretchen must have had.

I love being in the kitchen. I'm meticulous at following recipes so I am a much better baker than I am a cook. The last thing I made was probably the cake for
She-ra's birthday and before that my cute little spider cupcakes for Halloween. Right now I am preparing for 12 days of cookies where I will be baking a different kind of cookie every day starting on the 13th of December leading up to Christmas. Baking is a fantastic way for me to entertain myself, be creative and continuously have the people in my life happy with me as they are gifted with cookies, cupcakes, muffins, etc. etc.

What I would love to have time for would be to finish the collage I have been working on for the last couple of years. It's a dark scene in the middle of the woods and all of the leaves on the trees are eyes I have been cutting out of magazines. It is going to be super creepy when it's finished. But cutting eyes out of a magazine can be very time consuming and I get distracted easily with reading the magazine. And every time I start working on it, I get ideas on how to make it creepier and get pulled in a different direction. Plus, having all of these eyes staring at me can be a little unnerving.

When I learned about collage art in a Modern Art History class, I fell in love with the art form. I think that life is a collage...all of these different parts coming together to make the whole. And even though on their own, each part is beautiful, the full impact is truly felt when it has all come together.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5 – Let Go

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I'm not going to lie, today's prompt makes me sad. I let go of someone very important to me this year. And I know it was the right decision. And I know that by letting go, I will open more doors in my future, but right now it is still very scary to think of a future with out him.

That's all.

And I just read Le Love and it is exactly what I needed to read today.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December 4 – Wonder

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

won·der: –verb (used without object)
1. to think or speculate curiously
2. to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel
3. to doubt

Today's prompt caused me to pause and realize that I did not make a collective effort to cultivate a sense of wonder in my life every day, but based on the dictionary meaning, I did have a year full of wonder.

If you know me, you know that I think too much. I speculate all of the time and imagine all sorts of outcomes to every possible situation. I believe I do it to try and protect myself, but my imagination is very strong and I start to believe some of my outcomes to be the truth. Which in turn has caused major headaches in my life. Self-inflicted drama one might say.

I do try to look for the bright sides of life. And at times I look at the simple, small things in life and realize how awesome life really is. Have you ever heard of the website 1000 Awesome Things? My mom happened to be in Chapters one day when the author was there signing his book. She picked it up for me and I love flipping through it. I find I agree with so many of the awesome things in this book and you really do start realizing that every day life is filled with amazing. Taking a minute or two to marvel at the little things can really change one's outlook on life. Thus I started the "sparkler party" for every time I came across something awesome (for example, first bud of Spring on a tree, celebrating Hulk Hogan's birthday and spending copious amounts of time watching old WWE clips on youtube, holding a live starfish in the palm of my hand). Often, they aren't real sparklers, but I make a point of doing a little "Sparklers!" dance.

The third definition of wonder is where I excelled this year. Every decision I made I would be filled with doubt. And sometimes it would paralyze me to not making any decision at all. Which would go back to the speculating aspect of the word.

In 2011 (and beyond) I would like to have more "sparkler parties" and less doubt. I do wonder how I can go about implementing that intent.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3 – Moment

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

My legs ached as I struggled to pedal with the wind pushing against me. There was only 10 km left to go and I would catch glimpses of the city skyline every time I reached a peak of a hill. Tears welled up in the corner of my eye and I continued on, pedaling and fighting against the wind. The tears were of joy. I was going to make it. I was going to reach the end of this 220 km ride and knowing this was a little bit overwhelming.

My skin was toasted by the sun and, although it caused difficulty, the wind was welcome as it cooled down my body. Cars raced by me and honked encouragement as I continued to cycle along the narrow shoulder of the highway. Fellow cyclists would pass me and tell me to keep going. We were a team, cheering each other on; reaching the end of two long days that seemed to be an uphill battle, together. Comradeship was felt by all.

I reached the beginning of the end and could make out the finish line. I wanted to shout and smile while I was looking around for family and friends who had made the final leg to cheer me on. An announcer called my name out as I crossed over the 220th km.

I felt more than alive in this moment. Not only had I completed an amazing expedition, but I did it for those who have lost lives to cancer and to help others keep alive. I looked back over the months of training and fundraising, and thought about each km I had cycled. I was one person who wanted to make a difference. That day there were over 1800 participants and together we raised $7.3 Million. We were all individuals who came together to make a difference.

Tears, sweat and laughter mixed together in me and created the greatest sense of pride I have ever known.

In 2011, I have already signed up to volunteer with this ride. So I can cheer for others to reach that final point where they can be overwhelmed with that same sense of greatness.

This ride takes place in many provinces in Canada, so if you can, I encourage you to sign up. Not only do you help make a difference in others lives, but you definitely create a difference in your own.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2: Writing

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?(Author: Leo Babauta)

Human nature fascinates me and by paying attention I satiate my imagination, nourish my need for inspiration and conceive creative ideas. I often get lost in the social networks which might take away from my writing time, but it's looking at the connections I have with people (and strangers) and the insights they have that contribute to my brainstorm sessions. I can then extrapolate to construct and shape my own view of this world.

I read somewhere that not only to be a great writer should one voraciously read, but one should also experience as much as possible. The reading part is no issue for me. Since I learned the magic that letters pulled together fashion words that form concepts, I have been a gluttonous reader. From starting my day reading cereal boxes, to newspapers, to blogs, tweets, status updates, novels, poetry, fiction and non-fiction I am a logophile. What I would like to see transpire in 2011 (which I have been working on a lot in 2010 already) is to get out and experience more. To be that person who attends all of the quirky events, the girl who knows the greatest places to eat, drink and be merry, the one who never says no to spending afternoons jumping in leaves, sledding, puddle jumping or other moments of pure joy.

So, to answer today's prompt, the thing I do every day that may be taking away from my writing is telling myself there is always tomorrow. And letting experiences pass me by. And watching other people's experiences wishing they could be my own.

2011, I want to experience more. So that my writing evokes all senses genuinely.

As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1: One Word

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

The word I have chosen for 2010 is growth. I chose this word because my year was made of many elements, many amazing things happened, many choices were made and I am a stronger person for all of them.

The year started out rough. After quite a few years, I made the choice to walk away from a relationship that was wearing me down. There are days I still miss him. A lot. We wanted different things and I let him go because I loved him enough to do so. It didn't make it hurt any less.

After this negative element, positive things started to come to fruit: I completed the ride to conquer cancer as well as exceeded the fundraising needed, pushed myself to get ahead in school, faced the challenges given to me at work. I feel more and more confident every day.

This time next year, I would like to say that the best word to describe 2011 is love. Not just romance with a boy, but I want to learn to truly love every aspect of myself in 2011 as well as look for rays of love in every day life.