Archive | Reverb11 RSS feed for this section

Reverb11: “Well, you’re where you should be all the time.”

3 Dec
Secret Message Envelope

From sweetie pie press on Etsy

How Did I Have Fun In 2011?

When I thought about this question, I started to list specific events that I had enjoyed throughout the year.  It’s always nice to review fond memories, and it’s interesting to note that things that don’t seem fun in the moment can be remembered as fun, and vice versa.  However, creating a list wasn’t really the spirit of the question; the full question could have been written:

How did I have fun in 2011, and how can I have more fun in 2011.

Reverb isn’t just a review of 2011, it’s also a way to plan for an incredible 2012.  Something that will make next year better is recognizing that planning and anticipation are huge parts of having fun for me.  Gretchen Rubin frequently talks about how to have fun and how important it is to take the time to anticipate the good things.  Start enjoying them before they even occur.  As an example, I anticipated Thanksgiving by planning a menu; I enjoyed the process, so I was having fun with Thanksgiving a full week ahead of the actual holiday.  Unfortunately my roommate wound up with a concussion on Thanksgiving (she is now fine), so the holiday was not the fun I had anticipated.  However, the enjoyment I felt the week before was real, even if the event itself turned out very differently than anticipated.

So how can I leverage planning and anticipation into more fun?  Havi Brooks talks about leaving little surprises and gifts to be found by yourself at a later time, and I love that idea.  I’m going to spend the weekend coming up with a few ideas and putting them into practice.  I also planned out several artist’s dates so I can anticipate them and have fun with them instead of skipping them because I feel uninspired.

* * *

How do you have fun?  What are you anticipating right now?

Reverb11: How did your passion inspire you?

2 Dec

The Ood (Doctor Who)How did your passion inspire you?

It’s almost a cliche  to talk about find your passion or living your dreams, but in 2011 people who have chosen to follow their passion, wherever it leads them were my biggest sources of inspiration.

For people guided by their passion, their dreams are their priority, and that is reflected in every decision they make.  In Doctor Who there is a race called the Ood.  The Ood have two brains: the typical brain that resides in the head, and an auxiliary brain that they hold in one hand.  Holding part of your brain in your hand tends to make you vulnerable, which may make the Ood the patron race for living your passion.  Your dream is out there, being held in your hand, for everyone to see.  You’re leaving that passion open to the scrutiny and criticism of anyone who cares to look.  It’s a scary, scary thing.

However, living in pursuit of your dream means you always have a joyful guide.  If your actions will bring you closer to that dream, that’s all it takes to know you’re on the right path.  Priorities become clear and life simplifies itself.  (Which is not to imply that it becomes easy.)  The Ood do not have names because they are one; living your dream will help you find and recognize where you belong, leading you to the people you are already one with.

It’s easier to be guided by what we “should” do rather than what we’re passionate about.  It’s easier to pursue “should” instead of our dreams.  It’s easier to let what we think we “should” do write our core story than it is to rewrite it ourselves.  What are you passionate about?  What’s first step to living that dream?

Reverb11: Yours, Mine, Ours

1 Dec

To the surprise of no one, Gwen Bell announced that there would be no official Reverb11 this year.  I’m disappointed — that was an excellent exercise for me.  However, it was an excellent exercise for me, so I’m going to do it again this year.  I wrote 31 prompts and I’m excited to start ending 2011.

Despite writing new prompts for myself, I want to begin this project with a nod to Reverb10.  Today’s prompt comes from Kaileen Elise:

Where did 2011 begin?

Skiing is my big passion, so every year I eagerly wait for cold weather and snow so I can gleefully slide down a mountain.  The year never really feels complete until the ski season ends, and this year that was especially true.

This year I was working as a ski instructor in the morning and cooking at night, leading to 60-70 hour work weeks, so the first third of 2011 is largely a sleep-deprived blur.  However, by May the weather was finally too warm for the snow to hold up and Tahoe’s amazing 2010/2011 season came to an end.  My year began a week later when I performed my end-of-season ritual with my roommate.  That ritual pushed us from roommates to friends and hit the reset button for me, so my year began.  I moved to Spokane within the week.

I’ve spent this year working to find my place here, trying to define my identity so clearly that I can take it anywhere without feeling like I’m starting over.  I’m re-evaluating and rebuilding my core story, examining my beliefs and making room for a little more faith in myself, a little more self-compassion.  It has not been an easy year, but last December I recognized that I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to change my life.

I’m not sure when 2012 will begin or how 2011 will end, but I do hope that I end 2011 with copious amounts of gleefully sliding down a mountain and begin 2012 feeling love and compassion for a new friend.

* * *

How do you end the year?  Are you participating in a reincarnation of Reverb or some other project?  Share the links in the comments.