Tuesday, February 28, 2012

100 Things That I Like

Long ago I came across a wonderful website: Learning To Love You More

Somewhere on there I found this wonderful prompt:

List 100 things that you like.

Make a list of 100 things you like in no particular order. Avoid the obvious (significant other, cake...) and be completely honest with yourself. If you try to think of things that you are curious about and inspired by, you'll end up discovering a lot about yourself and in doing so developing a sort of bank of your interests and ideas.

In March 2005, I came up with my own list, which I just found.

I totally love it. I'm going to work on another list. But for now, here's that old list.

1. the word "emerge"
2. crazy yarn
3. dystopic future science fiction
4. moonshadows
5. windchimes
6. the dark areas underneath freeways
7. glam rock
8. women wearing lots of jewelry
9. driving alongside trains
10. the words "liminal" and "threshold"
11. unaccompanied cello
12. men playing guitar and singing
13. driving at night through dark winding roads with the windows down
14. wind
15. stuffed animal bunnies
16. Fiji Natural Artesian Water
17. sending birthday cards in the mail
18. playa dust in my hair
19. moon calendars
20. cutting my own hair
21. brushing people's hair
22. white pitchers
23. anything silvery or glittery
24. crazy shower curtains
25. the sensation of tears running down my cheeks
26. fancy soap
27. singing with people
28. makeup color names
29. visionary art
30. insanity
31. dancing by myself in my living room
32. spirals and swirly lines
33. colored lights
34. touching people's faces
35. sitting on a porch swing during a thunderstorm
36. scissors
37. stabbing things with paring knives
38. red shoes
39. listening to stories
40. neat and organized address books
41. weddings, especially the ceremony
42. arranging music for voice only
43. books arranged by color
44. song covers
45. emails that make me cry
46. the internet
47. tv shows on dvd
48. girls dressed like boys
49. swing music
50. magical realism
51. snuggling
52. kissing
53. world religions
54. monastic life
55. books about regular people living regular lives
56. lists
57. etymology
58. made-up words
59. spooning
60. intuition
61. video/dvd stores
62. bathrooms that have art in them
63. mosaics
64. remembering dreams when I wake up
65. exploring grocery stores
66. kundalini yoga
67. two tone nail polish
68. late night phone conversations
69. random handmade gifts
70. analyzing and discussing movies
71. Pollyanna-type stories
72. hands
73. the window seat on airplanes
74. driving for hours at a time
75. unexpected and sincere compliments
76. spirals
77. turkey vultures
78. walking along busy gray urban streets
79. ferns
80. flower arranging
81. interpreting life like it's a dream
82. wisteria
83. books about crazy fantasy worlds
84. feeling inspired to write
85. monologues in plays
86. curtain calls
87. temporal art
88. photography
89. purses
90. the word "mystery"
91. metaphors involving butterflies
92. walking to the grocery store
93. naivete
94. sacred spaces
95. feeling understood
96. empathy
97. grammar
98. surprising people
99. loungey spaces
100. stars

Make your own list and share it with me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm Doing It My Way

The first time I ever heard "My Way" by Frank Sinatra was in Houston at the fantastic laundromat in the old brick building with the high ceilings.

The best thing about this laundromat was that instead of the usual Tejano and/or pop music that played too loudly at other laundromats, a radio station that featured easy listening and big band music was always on. Hence, I heard a lot of Sinatra while I did my laundry in my early 20's.

But back to "My Way." That first time I heard it, much like every subsequent time it's been my pleasure to listen to it, it made me pause and pay attention, it hit me somewhere deep in my chest and made me kind of misty.

If you are somehow unfamiliar with this song (or even if you're not), I insist you take a listen right now: http://youtu.be/egY8rUpxqcE

The performance is outstanding, but the lyrics alone are pretty powerful stuff.

In recent months I've been thinking a lot about the way I do things, the "how," as a good friend put it.

Right now, I don't feel like I can stand up and really say, "I did it my way." I think I've spent a lot of energy in my life focused on how others are perceiving me. I've spent a lot of time and effort trying to figure out the "right" way to do things. I've tried hard to make myself do things the "right" way. I feel mostly this has resulted in me not doing much.

And you know what? I'm done with that.

My way often feels really different from other people's ways. But I get it now, that it's mine. It's what's right for me. And focusing on it might be the most important thing I can do right now.

I've recently been inspired by The Happiness Project and in particular her personal First Commandment to "Be Gretchen." That's really doing it her way.

One of the places I've really gotten bogged down in doing something the "right"way is this blog that I haven't posted to in a year.

I had this notion that this blog needed to have a theme, and I started with the idea of posting about Big Things [tm]. But then I'd feel like I wanted to write about my kids or write a movie review or some other non-Big Thing topic. But that didn't fit in with my original idea, and isn't your blog supposed to have a theme or something?

Well, obviously that resulted in me just posting nothing, so forget it. Forget the supposed to. I'm doing it my way.

So in the future here, I might have more pondering of Big Things, but also look for those kid stories and movie reviews. And you're also likely to see book recommendations, feng shui observations, personal reflections, and ramblings about Jane Austen and Doctor Who. This is my own kind of playground here.

So I'm declaring that I am Emerald, and I'm going to BE Emerald.

And that's what you'll see in this blog.

And just to bring it all around, this whole thing flashed in my mind when "My Way" came up in my ipod recently.

Thanks for the reminder, Frankie.