I always think about doing a fabulous year end post but I never get around to doing it - at least I am consistent.
<--- my Target find - Yes, I know!
So, this year was.... alright? I wasn't a huge fan of it but it had some nice points to it so I don't want to write it off completely. But 2018 felt heavy to me. Dense, sad, angry, unsettled. I am hoping 2019 has a lighter feel with more compassion and better energy.
(As I write this my neighbors have completed their party tent, which they were building last night around 11 PM - the Mariachi music has just started and I have a feeling this New Years will be both loud and festive - mostly, loud. )
A stomach bug lurks, so far I have dodged it - I x my fingers on this one. So I send wishes of a healthy New Year to everyone! I have a tendency to assume everyone around me has ebola, so I am pretty anal retentive about the germs around me and I hope this helps guard me against all evil germs.
My card for 2019 is the Devil. Interesting. Last year was Temperance and was to be about balance - which is funny since I mostly felt off balance - but that was full of lessons and I learned them. The Devil is about looking at what is unhealthy and unproductive in life. Things I find myself addicted to, like my evil procrastination issues. I need to work on finding and ridding myself of things that no longer serve me well. Seems like a good way to find that light and positive energy I was talking about up there.
So, letting go of 2018 and setting off into 2019. I wish everyone enough in your journey!
So today I thought it would be a good time to run to Barnes and Noble to use my member coupon with a holiday gift card I received. I was excited as I really want to get a new planner/journal for next year. I figured, if I left early - store first open early - it would be crowded but not lethally crowded.
It was heinous - the parking lot was a zoo and just walking into B & N had lines of people. But I persevered and headed to the magazines to browse. The way the store was set up was magazines against one wall and the first row of bookshelves had the spiritual books - where I could find tarot decks and dream dictionaries as well as the mindfulness stuff.
Apparently in the few months since the last time I was there, they changed... A LOT.
The spiritual aisle is now "bibles," and more bibles. The next 4 rows are now, "christian living." 4. Rows. *blink blink*
Curious as to where, if anywhere, the spiritual aisle was banished to, I meandered. Right on the edge of non-fiction you can now find.... "Supernatural and Mystical" I was so flabbergasted I didn't even bother to take a photo of this. And it's not even A WHOLE ROW.
That is when it hit me, kinda like one of those Magic Eye pictures, where you don't see it until you finally blur your eyes a bit - most of the store was um... biblical themed?
*note* I don't care about who believes what - everyone can believe whatever blah blah disclaimer*
What I do care about is that my book store is now pretty much a Christian Bookstore and Other Stuff.
At this point I had found a journal but the line was 45 people long and I just wasn't in the mood to wait anymore, so I put it down and left.
Let me be very clear here.... spiritual and supernatural are NOT THE SAME THING. That is kind of offensive, close-minded things Trump and his ilk promote - Pretty much cancelling the membership. And moving on. I rarely shop there anymore anyway so it isn't a loss.
To.... THE EUGE in space!
See, a long time ago I made up a story about my hippo, Eugene aka The Euge, about where he came from, which was outer space. He flies in a Euge-A-Fo (ufo) get it?? Haha.
Anyway... read this from NASA
A close approach by a large, near-Earth asteroid has provided astronomers the opportunity to obtain details as it flies safely past Earth on Saturday, Dec. 22, at a distance of about 1.8 million miles (2.9 million km). Take a closer look at this holiday visitor: https://go.nasa.gov/2EMhnkK
That more than made up for any supernatural crap at the bookstore. Happy Holidays!
Have you seen this big ass photo?
Clicky for direct link
Clicky for article
I spent 2 hours looking at this photo. It's like Where's Waldo or something. Here are some of the fun things my friend and I found... a very productive day was had!
This plant is just nuts LOL
I rescued it from a dying situation and it has bounced back and forth in health for awhile. Then it just decided to sprout 7 blooms and go for it. It is quite lovely and makes me very happy.
In other news:
I finished this lovely paint by numbers and I think it's one of my favorites. The colors are so nice and the paint that came with the kit was perfect. Sometimes it gets manky and dry, but all the colors were smooth and fun to work with.
I need another kit now please.
And in the making Christmas department:
This year everyone is getting homemade stuffs. And by that I mean embroidered by me! These are a few works in progress and when I posted this on my IG site, everyone LOVED the fatty bird. I do too LOL
The Deathly Hallows symbol is for a friend of mine who loves Harry Potter like I do. I even found a wee silver charm to add to the top of the embroidery hoop to go with it.
I have some other WIPs but can't really post them right now - I don't want the recipients to see them yet!
And this made me giggle:
I had been wanting to read this book since it came out 2 years ago and finally got to it yesterday. I knew the outcome - and still, I sobbed at the end. His words just sang - they were poetry and prose and so beautiful.
I have been reading a lot about the end of life and how the body dies - I am studying to be a death doula or something in that arena. Books like Body of Work by Christine Montross and The Death Class by Norma Bowe really helped open that topic up. Death seems to be relegated to the "do not discuss in polite society," arena and that is quite sad.
If one does not look at death... how does one live?
But I had only really been looking at that one side of it, the after the body dies, what happens part. Sam Parnia's AWARE studies totally grabbed my attention - you should look at his work with NDEs. I was fascinated by the whole thing. But it wasn't until I finished When Breath Becomes Air that it really hit me - the "how does one live" part - or even why does one live?
To live a meaningful life.
Paul Kalanithi lived one his entire life - always searching and always learning - and he put all that he learned into his book. He died before he could finish it - his wife did an excellent job in the afterword of giving the book and the life of Paul, closure, but even though he didn't "finish," it, his words and his emotions, told the story perfectly.
What I kept coming back to over and over was what makes a life meaningful? And how do we live in a meaningful way?
Some quotes from the book and there are so many good ones - you should read the book:
“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”
“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”
“Years ago, it had occurred to me that Darwin and Nietzsche agreed on one thing: the defining characteristic of the organism is striving.”
When faced with his coming death - this is what was asked - in how he wanted to live and what his main focus would be in living during his illness - “What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?”
He was a brilliant surgeon, did he want to continue that life as he dealt with his cancer - or was there another path he wanted to try? And when did he want to stop... at what point would he say this is enough?
And then this:
To his daughter, who was only months old when he died - “That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
I guess, for me, I need to find something to bring meaning, not just to me, but to leave behind me. We all strive, but for what? To what end? What gives each of us a meaningful life? I think that is why we are here. To use this one life to find meaning and to make the world we share a better place.
Dear God in Heaven... WTF was that this morning????!!!!
Admittedly, I haven't been in a IKEA in about 20 years and I probably should have left it that way. I just need a rocking chair. Which I am having the worst trouble finding. Do people not rock anymore???
First it took forever to get there. Too much traffic but a decent parking spot was found. Then I am not really sure what happened in the next hour. I remember going through the doors and then it was like being at first gate at Disneyland. Only instead of running me over to get to Space Mountain first, I was trampled so people could grab soft plushie toys and bounce on really low to the ground beds and chairs.
Walking around and around and around - a never ending spiral of running people and no visible exits. I was feeling very crazed and twitchy by this point. Finally spotted a bright yellow shirted IKEA worker and he must have seen the twitchy in my eyes because I demanded to know where the exit was - the actual, real exit - to the door - OUTSIDE world, not another spiral of hell. He gave very succinct directions - to an emergency exit.
I am pretty sure I am still walking around, trapped forever in dim lighting and crap furniture. I just don't know it yet. *twitch*
(also, no rocking chair)
Not vicious or malicious
Just de-lovely and delicious