Reverb 10 – December 14th

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 appreciate my family. Despite all the down times we have experienced and continue to experience through each year, there’s no substitution for family. My mom has always been there for me and I don’t know what I would do if she wasn’t there on the other end of the phone when I needed her. We may not always agree or get along, but they are my family.

Reverb 10 – December 13th

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)

My next step is to push myself harder in getting myself back to Asheville. While I’ve been looking for work in that area, I know that I could be trying a lot harder. To achieve my goal of moving back to my favorite mountain town, I need to do everything that I can do make that goal a reality.

If I do everything that I can possibly do to make my dream happen, it’s in God’s hands from that point on. He can and will make things happen for me, but I need to do my part. It does no good to just sit back and ask Him to give you what you want when you are not willing to work hard yourself. I know that with my hard work and His guidance, I my aspiration will become a reality very soon.

As far as other aspirations, I am also going to stop procrastinating and start doing. My stories cannot write themselves. It’s up to me, and me alone to create my life.

Reverb 10 – December 12th

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)

Immediately, running came to mind when I read this prompt. I felt most alive when I was running. It didn’t happen right away, but once I really got into the longer running intervals with the C25k plan, I recall feeling amazing both mentally and physically. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

I have yet to be able to duplicate that feeling with my power walking, but I’ve come close. It’s so great just being out there doing your thing alone. I play some motivational music and I just go. It’s my time to just relax and let my mind and body go. I can just admire my surroundings or think about a story I’ve been writing. No matter what I do with that time mentally, it’s a freeing experience for me. That’s a big reason why I look forward to my morning workouts each day.

Reverb 10 – December 11th

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)

This was another prompt that required some time to really think. Making a list is a good thing, I make lists all the time for even simple things like what I need to get at the store. Lists not only help organize things, but they aid me in making sure I know what needs to get done. That said, here are the eleven things my life doesn’t need in 2011.

1. Florida. I can’t wait for the day to come when I can move back to Asheville and escape Florida for good. Of course, my family is here, so I’ll come back for visits, but nothing more than that.

2. Procrastination. I need to stop procrastinating with my writing and start submitting to publishers next year. It’s so easy to make excuse after excuse, but that doesn’t get my work out there.

3. Not writing enough. This sort of goes hand in hand with #2. I need to make more time to do more writing. I used to write a lot more than I have been and need to return to that again.

4. Negativity. I’ve done a lot better with this in 2010, but I need to continue to think more positively in the new year.

5. Clutter. Again, I’ve done better with this since I was forced to move back to Florida and in doing so getting rid of a lot of things I owned. But, I still tend to pile up papers and mail and just let things slide by like that and not simply go through it and discard or do whatever needs to get done with it.

6. Unnecessary purchases. This is another thing I’m slowly but surely improving on, but want to do even better on in 2011. Thinking more before I buy something that I not only don’t need, but really can’t afford.

7. Lack of a church home. I was going to this great church about 30 minutes from home and just stopped going for a few reasons. Of course, when it comes right down to it, none of them were really very good reasons. I need to find a church home that I’m willing to give my all to and that I feel comfortable in.

8. Negative self-image. Another thing I’m a lot better at since I’ve lost weight, but that needs more improvement. I think it’s an everyday struggle sometimes to be nice to you. Loving who you are is very important, no matter what.

9. Being single. I’m tired of being single all of these years. I’d like to find someone who loves me for me and who I want to spend the rest of my life with and start a family with.

10. Anxiety over finances. It’s really not worth the potential ulcer I could be causing myself when I fear what might happen if this occurred, or what if that… bottom line, I need to work on not worrying so much about money. Better planning will definitely help this a lot.

11. Not going out enough. I spend a good deal of my free time alone doing my own thing. Usually, I’m quite content with that, but I do need to get out more often socially. Meet new people and make new friends, always a good thing.

Reverb 10 – December 10th

December 10. Wisdom.
Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
(Author: Susannah Conway)

You know, this was a difficult prompt for me to respond to. I guess you either know right out the door your response to this one or you really have to step back and consider your year from start until today. I had to do the latter of the two.

That said, the only thing that really stood out to me was giving up running. The only reason I say this is because if I had not come to the sad realization that giving up running was in my best interest health-wise, I could do myself more harm and pain.

Don’t get me wrong, giving up running has been one of the hardest things for me to do since I had to leave North Carolina due to my lay off in 2008. I fell deeply in love with the sport of running in the short time I took it on. Running and I were developing a love/hate sort of relationship between the end of 2009 and the first few months of 2010. I struggled to take on the challenge of the C25k training program and was immensely proud of myself for doing so.

So, learning this past April that I had herniated my back was heartbreaking. My doctor told me right out of the gate that my running days were over. It took me about two months to completely accept that she was right. Even when I was going through all the pain and discomfort that my injury brought on, I wasn’t willing to admit to myself that it was over. I remember it being a very emotional time for me. I will say however, that while I have accepted that I’m no longer a runner at this time, I still retain hope that someone might one day come up with a surgery that is a definite fix for my injury.

There you have it, the wisest, or at least one of the wisest decisions I made in 2010. A tough one, and one that I find myself thinking about almost daily. It goes to show that sometimes the wisest and smartest decisions in life are the roughest ones. I believe though, that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t understand that reason for a very long time (or maybe ever).

Reverb 10 – December 9th

December 9. Party.
Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

I’m definitely not a big partier, nope not in the least. However, I do go to the occasional gathering of friends at their homes during the year. I suppose some of those are probably considered parties, but I think of them more as gatherings.

In 2010, I didn’t do many gatherings at all. I know that will change in 2011 once I move back to Asheville, since I used to go to a number of gatherings when I lived in North Carolina. It was usually just a group of three or four friends having dinner and playing volleyball or something outside having a good time.
The only thing that I would consider to be a gathering that highlights my 2010 would be my trip to Asheville in July. I drove up to visit my friends and to just enjoy my favorite mountain town. I had a few nights and times where I was just hanging out with my friends. To me, those are memories I enjoy.

One evening, I went to the local second run movie theater (Asheville Pizza & Brewery Co.) which is also a food/beer restaurant with two of my good friends and their parents. It was a great time. I enjoyed seeing Iron Man 2 again, having soy cheese pizza and just spending some time with some of my favorite people. Definitely a highlight of my vacation.

Two other nights in “The Paris of the South” were big high points for me. One evening, I huddled up on the couch with another friend enjoying chips and salsa and we watched Fight Club. The other night was my final one in Asheville, my friends and I ordered in rice cheese pizza for delivery and watched another movie, G-Force. It’s all about spending quality time with friends for me.

Reverb 10 – December 8th

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 am a very out of the box kind of thinker. My way of thinking and how I approach life has been questioned by others. I’ve been asked many a time why I ask “random” questions and talk about seemingly unrelated topics. I attribute that to being a creative thinker. As a writer and photographer, I’m one to always be considering many things at once. I suppose to some that is odd, but I love the way my mind works. I can see beauty and promise in things that others cannot.

Also, I have a good sense of humor. While my journey to lose weight and get healthy has altered that a bit, it is still very present in me. I think that we all go through times in our lives where we grow up more and my weight loss journey proved to be one of those times. However, I still enjoy making people laugh or smile on a regular basis. I don’t necessarily joke around like I used to, but I still find that humor makes the day brighter for everyone.

I’ve never been one that is big on outer beauty. Sure, I want to look nice when I head out the door (even my workout clothes down to my socks need to match and look cute), but I have never overdone it. I believe in inner beauty and personality over things like makeup and jewelry. I wear both of those things, but I choose to let my personality shine more brightly than those material things. In my mind, our true self is what makes us who we are.

Reverb 10 – December 7th

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’m a big fan of online communities. I’ve been on Facebook and Twitter for quite a while now. I tweet numerous times each day via my twitter account. I’ve met many great folks through twitter and Facebook. It’s so great having easy access like that to meet people that share your interests and goals in life.

As far as off the internet, I am a member of a few local meet-up groups. They are based online through a site called Meet-up, but they contain all local people who work together to organize events and gatherings. There are two groups that I have been most active through meet-up, those are the local Animal Rights group and the Central Florida Vegetarians.

Finally, but definitely not considered last in any way would be NaNoWriMo. The challenge to write a 50k novel in a month has helped me find many other writer friends throughout Central Florida and Western North Carolina. During the month of Nano, there are numerous write-ins scheduled so that you can not only have a set time and place to work on your novel, but you can meet other novelists.

Looking back though, I’d say most of my communities are somehow based online. I suppose that is the way most folks tend to meet others and organize events now-a-days. It’s definitely an easy and quick way to communicate and get things done.

Reverb 10 – December 6th

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)

The last thing I made were great photographs. In fact, I just went out with my Nikon DSLR in hand yesterday with my best friend and her two-year-old. We had a great time at EPCOT Center. I not only used my creativity to shoot things inside of the park, but I also was able to capture some great mom and daughter memories of my friend and her little one.

I love shooting photos of people, but I tend to end up shooting more scenic and landscape types of things, so being able to take pictures of my friend and her daughter was a great experience. I’ve been a photographer now for over fifteen years, but there is never a time, never a photography outing that I don’t learn something new. I love that about both photography and writing, there is never a dull moment,
nor is there ever a time when you can’t experience new things and incorporate them into your craft.

Reverb 10 – December 5th

December 5. Let Go.
What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
(Author: Alice Bradley)

I’m learning to let go of my fears and let God guide me. I learning how to relax more and take things easier. No, it’s not easy to do every day, but I’m slowly but surely learning how to leave it to Him.

Of course, I have to do my part of the work, but fearing things only compounds those tough and difficult times I’ve learned. God knows my dreams and hopes for my life and He is going to get me through my journey to get where I need to be, but in His time. Yes, it is hard sometimes to be patient, but I’m through my walk with God, I’m trying to learn to be more patient. We can’t have everything that we want in life, nor do things always happen in the way that we’d like them to.

Sometimes, one door closes so a better one down the hall opens for us. There is a reason for everything that happens. He has a plan, and I’m letting go of my fears and letting Him lead me through the doors he has unlocked and opened for me because I want to experience all the great things He has planned for me.