Thursday, January 28, 2010

Distance and Distantness

Last week, Donald arrived home from his job-away-from-home after a very long week. His parents were going out that night, so I was making dinner and I was excited to cook for my man again. It was going to be a night on our own and we were looking forward to it.

The night crashed and burned.

When Donald pulled into the driveway, I went out to greet him. I stopped partway to the car however, realizing that the dinner I had started was still cooking away on the stove and I needed to go right back inside to tend to it. So instead of enjoying a proper greeting, Donald went to change his clothes and I went back to the kitchen with no contact and only a few words exchanged.

I was focused on preparing the meal (something I hadn't made before), so when Donald came through the kitchen, he didn't stop. He caught up with his dad in another room. I noticed this, and realizing that we hadn't greeted each other, I went into the room and gave him a big sideways hug so as not to interrupt their conversation. Not really satisfying for either of us.

The meal turned out well and we even played footsie under the table as we ate. I was distracted, however, because earlier in the day, I had been brainstorming about how I was worried that our differing choices about how we each spend our free time might mean that we don't have as much in common as I thought we should. I wanted to share my thoughts with Donald and I knew that I should bring it up as soon as I could so that we could figure it out together.

I seriously misjudged. Donald hadn't been home long enough to unwind. I started the conversation in a round-about and indirect way. I didn't couch the situation as something to figure out - Donald heard it as something I had decided, not something for discussion. I was thinking about me and how I need to make sure that I'm spending my time doing things for ME so I don't end up like my mother, yet I wanted to make sure that our interests still overlapped so that we were still spending quality time together.

The entire evening really threw Donald off. I hadn't thought about what I wanted to say, which created a very confused conversation that was potentially very scary. I mean, what do you say to your spouse when they seem to be telling you that you don't have enough in common? I was too wrapped up in my head to see how it came across until the stress hit a high point.

We see-sawed between being argumentative and snuggling in front of the TV (I'm not sure how) and we went to bed with a high level of stress and distance between us. I could tell that Donald was upset and instead of trying to comfort him and reassure him, I gave him space and silence so he could tell me what he was thinking. I was distant, physically and emotionally. That wasn't what he needed.

My "giving him space" came across as though I didn't want to touch him, didn't want to interact with him. This only exacerbated the stress between us. We worked it out that night, in the dark, trying to figure out how our communication could have gone so badly off the rails.

After some reflection, I'm wondering about what has changed. Perhaps the physical distance between us while he is back and forth to his job has created emotional distance? Perhaps I have adopted a more independent mind-set so that while he is gone I am still functional and productive? Perhaps the fact that Donald is working again has thrown off my balance in terms of my role and his expectations?

Even though I understand the circumstances that lead to our tiff, and I think that many of them can be avoided in the future, it's important to me to learn more from this experience than the surface things.

I know that I need to be clearer when I talk to Donald about our relationship, especially when my thoughts are scary. I need to phrase things better so he knows that we're still on the same team and that we will work things out together.

I know that when Donald is upset, he needs comforting and reassurance. Even though his words might say "give me space" he wants a hug and for me to show him that I love him no matter what. This will also get me to stop thinking about myself in that moment and to remember that he needs me.

I know that we're still in a phase of transition and that Donald and I need to keep talking about our expectations and roles in our marriage. I need to balance being independent and remembering that even when he is not physically present, that I am not alone. My walls need to come down, not get reinforced.

I know that spending our free time differently doesn't matter. Right now, we don't have as many opportunities to spend time together, so it seems like we're not doing as much together, but when we're living in our own place again, we will have these opportunities again and I know that we will find a new balance.

I know that in addition to being more aware of Donald's love for me and the ways he shows me that he loves me, I need to do the same for him. This means supporting his interests and learning more about him and what makes him tick. It means showing him that I appreciate what he does for me. I don't have to do everything he likes all the time and he doesn't have to do that for me either. It's about making the effort, like wearing a piece of jewelry he bought you that you haven't worn much, or reminding him that you play video games because he got you to try something new and that he pushes you to be a better person.

Two of the blogs I read gave me some important marriage advice that I wish I had read before I poked Donald at a low energy moment. Kate and Newlywed & Unemployed wrote "How to Motivate a Man" and Corey at Simple Marriage wrote "Marriage Made Easy Before It Begins". I'm sure I'll be sharing more about what I learn about the difficulties (and triumphs) of marriage and I hope you'll join me and share your experiences too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blog Awards #2 and #3!

Mindy of The Suburban Life was more than generous when she awarded me not one but two blog awards last week. She has bestowed the Lemonade Award and the Best Blog Award upon me and I only hope that I continue to be worthy of such blog love.

I'm going to shamelessly copy Mindy and bestow both of these awards to the same blogs.

For the Lemonade Award:

- Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post. (check!)
- Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude. (see below)
- Link the nominees within your post. (check!)
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog. (check!)
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award. (check!)

For the Best Blog Award:
The rules for this award require me to nominate up to 15 blogs to share in my acclaim. (again, see below)

The awardees (in alphabetical order):
(1) booshy - Jessica (not Jess) is funny and open and I think just starting to embark on discovering more about who she is and what she wants to do with her life.
(2) communicatrix - Colleen is diving deep and producing wonderful, raw and honest posts about her journey.
(3) Dreamin' the Life - Karen is new to her journey as a recovering alcoholic and I love how much she shares with her readers about the struggles she encounters along the way.
(4) Ethereal Joy - Joy writes often about her process in becoming more connected to Light and God and she lives on a boat with her two kids.
(5) Joy Discovered - Jodi shares her experiences with love and life with a lovely writing style and I have learned so much from her.
(6) Just My Thoughts - Jill is so open about her exploration of her own life, raising six children, and finding her way to a more peaceful existence.
(7) Confessions of a Young Married Couple - Katie is up for Weblog of the Year and I have loved reading about her journeys through motherhood and marriage.
(8) Newlywed & Unemployed - Kate is one of my biggest supporters on my blog these days and writes wonderfully about her new marriage and her daily life experiences. Her husband, Gary, also contributes some wonderful insights into the male perspective, or as they term it, "mansight".
(9) Thinking Out Loud - Kim was one of my first supporters and she writes such amazing, creative, poignant posts about her experiences and her journey through life.
(10) Wilma's Blog - Wilma and Ann-Marie write thought-provoking and eye-opening posts, incorporating the comments from their readers into following posts, creating a strong sense of community and encouraging personal development as they share their own experiences and listen to those of others.
Please visit them and congratulate them on winning their awards! Thanks again to Mindy for her kindness!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I See You

I saw the movie, Avatar, recently. Now, whatever you think about the movie and plot as a whole, and whether you are able to suspend your disbelief about it or not, I can say that it affected me deeply.

I didn't expect anything of the movie except significant visual impact. We saw the 3-D version. It did not disappoint. It was beautiful and breathtaking. What I didn't expect was to feel truly inspired by the lead Na'vi female character, named Neytiri.

She is strong, mentally, physically and emotionally. She is connected with nature and respects and appreciates the animals that are killed for food. She shows compassion. She has grace. She expresses a strong sense of faith and belief. She is respected in her community and she is aware of her peoples' history and memories. She is daring and brave and happy.

Since seeing the movie, I hold her image in my mind, asking myself "What would she do?". This question pushes me to try harder, to complain less, to try new things, to express what I think, to be loyal to my values.

The movie also reinforced my need for more peace in my life. I need to carve out physical space to do yoga, to write, to meditate, to think, somewhere quiet without technology or interruptions. I want to connect more with nature, to heighten my awareness of the beauty around me, even in the dead of winter. I want to improve my connection with memory and ancestors and stories and identity.

The Na'vi greet each other by saying "I see you." Joy wrote about this on her blog recently, too. Susan Scott in Fierce Conversations (p.92) notes this phrase in use by tribes in South Africa who say "sawu bona" (I see you) and respond with "sikhona" (I am here). Scott says "The order of the exchange is important: until you see me, I do not exist. It's as if, when you see me, it brings me into existence." It emphasizes the need for presentness and connection. I need to remember this, to focus on being present and on seeing people more clearly, to truly listen and connect.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Am Truly Loved

This might sound completely off the wall and ridiculous, and I'm going to share it with all of you anyway.

I'm playing a video game called Dragon Age: Origins. In the game, you meet different characters as you go and you can develop relationships with them, speaking to them about their experiences and learning about who they are. The character development is my favorite part of the game.

Romantic relationships are also an option in this game, leading up to a cheesy/lovely sexual cut scene that doesn't show nudity, but implies plenty of... er... enjoyment. <Ahem.> The point is, when I developed my character's relationship with a character in the game to this point, I was very surprised at how much this "development" affected me.

It wasn't just the cut scene being sexy. It was the (fantasy) relationship itself. I was all smiles and giggles and it made me feel happy. I realized how strange this was (so did Donald) and I wanted to understand why I reacted this way to a fantasy relationship in a video game.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that what made me feel happy was the sense of being loved. I thought about my relationship with Donald and why I haven't reacted in the same way to my relationship with him, recently at least. It slowly dawned on me that I have not been present enough in my relationship with Donald to see all of the things that show me that he loves me. I believe that he loves me, yet I have not opened myself up fully enough to truly see it, to truly feel it.

In my dating life, I was always looking for "the one". I tried to make each and every guy I dated a possible match. I did everything I could to tweak my own behavior and preferences to be desirable to them (within boundaries). Most of the time, my interest in forever scared them off (I can't imagine why!), so I think I learned to protect myself from rejection. I think this backfired, however, and meant that when I did find real and true love in Donald, I wasn't able to open up completely to this reality.

Donald has been so patient. I cannot count the number of times that I have asked him to show more affection, to touch me more, to connect with me more. And all the time, now clear looking back, he was doing these things. Somehow I did not register them. My protectiveness blinded me to many things he does to show how much he loves me.

I'm still trying to understand this in myself. I'm somewhat embarassed that I have spent the first five years of our marriage in a state that didn't allow me to experience the full happiness of being loved by my husband. I'm working hard to pull down the protective wall and to truly see my husband and his feelings for me.

At this point, I think it is mostly about being present and aware. I will appreciate Donald more and tell him that I do. I will thank him and be grateful. It's about slowing down. It's about making eye contact. It's about opening my heart to something I have always wanted.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Goals and Progress

Progress has been made in some of my goals and I needed a reminder to keep moving forward on some others. I got a little push from Laura Neff who guest posted at Lance's The Jungle of Life earlier this week, who reminded Lance's readers that we need to move forward on our goals a step at a time and keep moving forward.

I remembered my word of the year, Clarity, and realized that there is more I can be doing to keep that my focus. I have planned in my calendar to call members of my family every other week, switching between my mom and sister one week and my dad and brother another week. This weekend it's my mom and sister. The conversation with my mom will be challenging and hopefully good.

I'm going to follow up with her about how I feel about her seemingly judgmental and assuming attitude towards my marriage and how I am not going to explain and defend myself/us anymore. I'll let you know how it goes.

I started doing a little exercise when I get home from work, before I get distracted by other evening activities. I'm using the wonderful little workouts outlined in Real Simple magazine every month. Yesterday, I spent 20 minutes doing exercises to strengthen my shoulders. They have nice short workouts for specific areas of the body and for a general all-body workout. My goal is to exercise for at least 20 minutes for 5 days a week. I'm already back to yoga once a week (for 1.5 hours each time!) and it makes me SO happy.

Donald surprised me yesterday by starting to use the iPhone application LoseIt! again. It's a calorie counting application that helped us lose weight last year. We both stopped using it - Donald because I think he was discouraged, me because I figured I had learned to keep the weight off - and I am so proud that Donald wants to start using it again. It has a Friends feature that allows you to share your goals and progress with people you know, which sounds scary and can also add a degree of accountability, much like sharing one's progress on a blog. I'm going to start using the app again simply to make sure that I'm on track and to help me maintain my weight, which I'm happy with.

His job continues to go really well. He is pretty confident these days that his job will become permanent, we just don't know exactly when yet. My boss at my current job is aware of the situation and I told him that I would let him know as we had more information. I feel loyalty to my current job, yet I know that if I can work full-time for the non-profit with which I currently volunteer, I would prefer to do that. At the moment, I'm content to see what happens. I have a feeling that my choices will become clear soon.

I'm finding lately that when I think about my "Happy Wish List" (some call this a bucket list or daisy list), I'm interested in adding more and more things that involve risky activities. Things like learning to barrel ride, driving on a stunt driving course, and rock climbing (maybe on a wall). I should tell you that I didn't exactly have a teenage period, not in the typical way at least. While I did bend the rules when it came to dating guys, I was otherwise very straight-laced, following my parents rules and generally trying my best not to worry them. I grew up constantly aware of consequences, always wanting to be responsible and being unwilling to take many risks.

So for me to want to do these things now I see as progress, too. I don't want to be reckless, I just want to live a little more than I have before. I want to try something that scares me. I want to accomplish something challenging and difficult and come through on the other side even more confident and skilled. I want to prove to myself that I can hold my own and face down my fears and win. And I want to do it for me.

It all has to do with the question "What would I do if I was not afraid?". What is your answer?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Forgiveness and Conflict

During the holiday season this past year, several bloggers wrote posts about forgiveness. Tess at The Bold Life posted wonderful suggestions about how to get through the holiday season with grace, including the suggestion to “Forgive your past and everyone in it.” Albert at Urban Monk wrote about the healing purpose of forgiveness and Daphne at Joyful Days wrote about forgiveness as a gift.

I took their messages to heart and managed to enter potentially stressful family situations almost with a blank slate. Dani at positively present inspired this with her snowflakes post. I wanted to approach my family members with completely clear eyes, trying to see them as though we had just met and I couldn’t wait to get to know them. I let go of the baggage.

I think this is what helped me enjoy the holidays as much as I did. It also helped me to turn the baggage between my mom and me into useful questions and conversations that will hopefully enhance our relationship.

I read several posts about relationships in the past few months that I’m sure have informed my actions recently. Danielle at White Hot Truth wrote about how focused she was about sending her love outward towards many important world causes and realizing that she had been neglecting her love at home.

Corey at Simple Marriage writes about relationships all the time and a few have jumped out at me in particular. The first one is from back in November when he wrote about how much he loves others, which connects to some questions I raised in my marriage post about truly asking someone “How are you?”. This month, he has been delving into the idea of our lives as a story and our responsibility to our happiness to write the stories we want to be in.

In “A Simple Marriage in 2010” Corey got me thinking about the conflicts I have been avoiding in my relationships. The follow up to that, called “Move Into the Conflict and Live a Great Story”, encouraged me to identify the conflict and then move into it. As I have written before, conflict terrifies me and I would much rather smooth things over than face it head on. We’ll see how this goes.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I accompanied Donald to his job away from home this week, which was a real treat for me and for him. While the visit itself was full of learning more about our possible future home, I learned so much more from a conversation we had in the car on the way there.

At the dinner table sometime last week, something about materialism came up and Donald launched into how my mom is so anti-materialistic. All I could do was shoot him a look and change the subject, which his parents may or may not have noticed. I was mortified and embarrassed and a little hurt. One of the things we learned during our pre-marital counseling was that I'm responsible for handling my family and he's responsible for handling his. I felt like that rule had been a bit forgotten.

I didn't bring it up until our car ride a few days later. I didn't want to address him about it at the dinner table in front of his parents. I started by reminding him of the event and expressing that I thought he shouldn't bring up my mom in a negative light like that, especially when he didn't have first-hand information. I reminded him of the pre-marital counseling. I was calm and asked Donald not to talk about my mom like that anymore.

He resisted a bit, understanding my perspective and also wanting to be able to express his own frustration about the choices my mom has made. I felt stuck in the middle of them, trying to defend my mom and being angry that she didn't simply accept Donald, and feeling protective of Donald. Then, it dawned on me.

With a quivering voice, I changed the direction of the conversation slightly. This was actually about me. I explained that I am ashamed that my mom cannot embrace Donald into her family the way his parents have included me. I am embarassed that my mom cannot support our marriage the way Donald's family has. I see the disparity between the way our families have accepted us as a married couple.

Donald immediately understood my perspective. He didn't want me to feel ashamed; I am not responsible for my mom's actions. At the same time, I want so badly to give him a wonderful family-in-law and I'm not completely able to do that. I think my mom will come around and luckily the rest of my family is wonderfully accepting, in their own understated way, even my dad.

So Donald and I are both more connected about this now. I don't really have any action items on this; it may just take time for my mom to sort out her life enough that she can see what is most important. It may be that she never stops judging. Donald and I know, at least, that we are on the same page together, and that we will come up with ways to respond to her judging attitude in ways that open the door for conversation and also stay in alignment with our own values.

We also know that now is the time to practice, before children become yet another thing that potentially incurs disapproval. To think that I spent so much of my childhood seeking my parents approval and had it, and now, when I have stopped seeking that so much, I don't have it from my mother anymore, at least not in everything that matters to me.

I just wish it weren't quite so painful.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Explaining Myself

When someone asks me a question, sometimes I assume that it comes weighted with a judgment. When I respond to heavy questions like these, I include in my answer some kind of explanation of myself, some kind of justification for my actions.

It’s a very defensive response. Even if I am right in perceiving judgment, why should I have to explain myself?

I find that this happens most often with my mom and my mother-in-law. Clearly, these are complicated relationships and I don’t think that should be enough of a reason for me to pre-empt further questions by selling myself down the river on a boat of explanations.

I need to start being more aware of my responses before I say them, to respond with the simple answer and to wait and see whether justification is requested. Then, if it is, don’t give one.

(Most of the time these explanations are about mundane or banal things, like why I wore long-johns under my jeans all day when I spent most of my time inside. Who cares? Did it hurt anyone?)

No more explaining. I just do what I do. I take responsibility for it. If it isn’t affecting anyone else, I don’t need to tell you why.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Following and Balancing Passion

In early December 2009, Lisis at Quest for Balance wrote a very popular and controversial post called “Net Worth Vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox”. Several other bloggers wrote responses, one of whom was David at Raptitude in “What Passion Will Buy You”.

At the time, while I wrote detailed comments on both posts, I hadn’t yet formulated my thoughts well enough for a post of my own. Now I have, in my own fashion.

I think that passion can be a worthwhile pursuit when it is couched in the knowledge that this discovery and search is life-long, not something that a book or a blog can tell you right away.

Donald and I approach success and passion differently. I have always encouraged him to find a job that he loves (even during his year of unemployment). He wants a job with a good enough income that he can support his family. While these two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive, they do sometimes cause conflict over what is most important to us. We both want to be happy and to support our family.

Jeffrey’s post at The Art of Great Things called “In Defense of Work-Life Balance” woke me up to the fact that typical 9-5 jobs are not inherently evil. They serve many purposes, including the ones Donald has. My role then, is not to constantly push Donald to find a job he loves. My role is to help him balance his work and life and to make sure that his non-work time is what he wants it to be. My role is also to remind him every once in a while of his passions and dreams and help him find ways to realize them.

As Donald reminds me, he has the same role for me and I need to keep paying attention to my own needs. For some reason this is really hard for me. Right now, I am so focused on gearing up for having a family, especially after reading Katie’s post about 7 months of motherhood at Confessions of a Young Married Couple.

I am also acutely aware of the fact that it’s quite possible to lose myself in motherhood, when it happens, and that I desperately want to avoid the realization after 30 years of marriage that I have neglected important things, as my mother has experienced.

And so I consider the things that ignite my own passion. It is so tempting to believe that wandering off the beaten path is to be rewarded with financial success and happiness. While I don’t want to make my passions into money, I do see the value in bringing passion to the work I do, no matter what it is.

I highly recommend going through the Finding My Passion questions at Blogging Without A Blog. Donald and I went through them together, for each of us, and I learned so much about us as a couple and as individuals. The more we each express our values and priorities, the better life we can create together.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Break Out of the Box

Seth Godin at Seth’s Blog has posted a couple of thoughts this week that have me itching to break out of the box. I love the part in “Without Them” when he says “People are rarely willing to step up and stop you, and often just waiting to follow someone crazy enough to actually do something.” In “Why Ask Why?” he reminds me that breaking out of the box often leads to improvements.

I tend to push the status quo at work, asking questions about why we do things the way we do and chafing at the rules trying to find more efficient and productive ways to do things. Perhaps it’s time to do this more, in all contexts, not simply to fluster rule-followers, but to provoke original thought and positive change.

Lisis' post called “Net Worth Vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox” at Quest for Balance gave me the sense that quitting the rat race might mean that we aren’t participating in trying to improve it. Is it possible that the changes we want at work might actually be needed and that we are the motivated, intelligent, and passionate people who can help improve a workplace environment? What if all we need to do is to ask for the change we seek? There are probably others who want the same things. How can we apply our passion to these kinds of things?

In response to my comment on her post, Lisis said, “What if we poured our passion and creativity into improving the rat race experience for ourselves and for others? ... More and more businesses are realizing the importance of overall wellness and creating a positive work/ life balance (happy workers earn more and cost less than unhappy, sickly, or quitting workers)… Those who just wish their rat race experience was a little more exciting, fulfilling, and interesting don’t need to run off and try to be entrepreneurs. ... Finding ways to improve the workplace environment would benefit FAR more people than finding ways to help individuals go off on their own.”

How can you improve your context? What do you do every day without knowing why? (think paperwork, approval processes, red tape) What would happen if you asked?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Word of the Year

As an afterthought to a recent post, I picked a word of the year for 2010. Unfortunately, the word I picked has some mental connotations for me that are less than inspirational.

I picked the word "CLEANSE". Does your junk email box come to mind, perhaps coupled with the word "colon"?


So, I looked through my trusty thesaurus for a better, less burdened word.

My new word for the year is CLARITY. It still works with the explanations I gave in my first choice of words, thusly:

I will declutter and organize, clearing my space. I will breathe deeply and intentionally, clearing my body. I will reaffirm my faith and gratitude and present-ness, clearing my soul.

Clarity also works wonderfully well with communication, another biggie I'm emphasizing in my life these days.

There, I feel better now. Lighter, even.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Faith and Gratitude

When I was in grade school, I read a book by Leonard Baskin called Imps, Demons, Hobgoblins, Witches, Fairies & Elves. The author is primarily known as an artist and the poems he wrote to accompany his images are fun and interesting to read.

One of these creatures in particular had a significant impact on me and my development of faith and gratitude. It is The Witch of Secret Good Deeds, her image is on the book cover if you click on the link above and her poem is this:

Sometimes there are
people who feel that
nobody cares about
them. They want
people to love them
but nobody does. On
the outside they look
ugly and witchlike.
They are witches, but
they are good, and
you never know it.
They make you see
your watch when
you have lost it. They
put another cookie in
the bag when you thought
it was empty. They
get you home safely
on dark nights and
do other good deeds.
But no one knows of these
good things. No one loves
them, and they are
very, very sad.

This poem and image was the beginning of my habit of whispering "thank you" when something goes right. My little heart broke when I thought of these poor witches who are so sad and crying and are unloved. I have definitely found another cookie in the bag when I thought they were gone. I resolved then and there to never take that for granted again.

There are so many times when things have gone well when the chances that they would were very low. I would put these witches and guardian angels on the same level - I think they do their best to help us live safely and happily and I thank them for their part in my life.

What has inspired you to be grateful?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rocking 2010

Happy New Year everyone! I am amazed to report that I have been incredibly productive since the beginning of the year and I think I owe much of it to all of you!

January 1 - Donald and I went through all of his clothing (just like I did in my Great Clothing Clean-out Project), removing three large bags of clothes. I started cleaning out our file cabinet (motivated by Unclutterer) - it was cheap and buckled when we moved, so we need to get rid of it, a perfect opportunity to get rid of some paper.

January 2 - I finished cleaning out our file cabinet, reducing four file drawers to three small square boxes of files. I overflowed our recycling basket there was so much unneeded paper. I also filled a garbage bag with shredded paper from documents with sensitive information on them.

January 3 - I got up and went to yoga class. I ran errands, including recycling all of the paper I removed from our filing cabinet, donating the clothing from Donald, and picking up a book from the library. I spent some time doing some research for the Veterans organization I support.

I have a feeling that being at work will impede further progress at the same pace. It's probably good, though, for me to slow down a little and enjoy the progress I have made so far.

How have all of you been doing with your new year so far?

I'm planning blog posts soon with updates on my mom conversations, my thoughts on faith and gratitude, and more thoughts on marriage. Are there topics you'd like to hear about from me?

I'm editing my post to add the following:
Hayden and Lance both wrote about their new theme words for 2010 and as I was reading Hayden's post, my word struck me suddenly, clearly illustrated by the progress I have already made this year - CLEANSE. I will declutter and organize, cleansing my space. I will breathe deeply and intentionally, cleansing my body. I will reaffirm my faith and gratitude and present-ness, cleansing my soul.

Do you have a word for the year?

I wish you the best in 2010!