Sunday, January 1, 2017

December Wrap-Up

We are at the end of 2016!



What a weird fucking year. Excuse my language.

But, Wow. I wanted this year to be the best year of my life, being that it was my wedding year and all. But it was....something.

It was a mix of the BEST moments of my life and some of the WORST.

This was one of the best moments
of the year.


However....

December was a pretty good month.

My theme for #LifeProject2016, was to "Be the Light."

I have no clue if I did this, but I tried.

I tried being pleasant to every person I came in contact with. I tried my hardest not to get on Lucas' nerves or he on mine. I tried to tip big, give compliments, show love, and give affection. I tried to spend time with people who love me. I tried to be a good mood all month. I tried to let small things go.

I tried.....

So, I guess now is the time that I sum up my year, and #LifeProject.

2016 was weird. I already said that, but it really was. I started my career teaching Yoga, and that was an amazing way to start the year. And, we got married on our 13th anniversary. We had a beautiful, simple, elegant wedding and we have lived happily ever after, since then.

But.....

At the beginning of the year I dealt with a lot of stress from wedding planning, moving out of our house, finding dependable renters, and planning a year long honeymoon. I was stressed for most of the year. And that stress eventually made its way to anxiety. And anxiety slowly took over. It eventually got to a point when I was saying to myself "I can not live like this." So, I took it upon myself to treat my anxiety, naturally and therapeutically, and succeeded in getting rid of about 98% of that ugly disease. That in itself, was one of the most rewarding things, all year!



However, when I look back over the year, I can't really look with fondness. I look back with dark clouds, regret, hurt, stress, with a little pocket of 3-4 amazing months.

So, did the #LifeProject help this year?

I think, for the first time I am going to have to say "no."

Of coarse, there were moments that I came to some grand realizations about myself, and the project definitely kept me busy and working toward a more healthy mentality, but it did not cause magic to happen in my life. The first year working on these projects, my life changed exponentially. Everything good was always happening and over the top! But as the years have worn on, things change. My motivation staggers. My inspiration fell off. My drive dwindled. Without those qualities, working on these projects becomes more of an "acting out the motions," rather than actually feeling the inspiration that it was meant to produce.

So, as I have been trying to shine my light, this month, I have realized I need to take a better look at where I put my energy. When I am being spread too thin, I start to stress, become anxious and lose my creativity and inevitably my "inner light" begins to dull. I realized that cutting out activities from my life that are no longer serving any purpose is the first step in simplifying my life. Eventually, I will begin to allow my inner light to shine brighter than it ever has before.



I am not complaining about this year, or the stresses that I have had throughout. I am actually extremely grateful for another year, anxiety or not. I learned SO much from surviving 2016. And in retrospect, maybe the #LifeProject didn't make me happier or better in any way, but it taught me more about myself than it ever has before. It taught me my strengths and weaknesses. I taught me how to overcome the downfalls of life. It taught me how to handle stress- or moreso how NOT to handle stress. It taught me so much about myself.

This #LifeProject taught me how to distinguish between what I think I need and what I actually need.

In all, the project had its ups and downs, just like 2016.

Just like life.

For 2017, I will no be partaking in another Life Project. I have decided to take the energy put forth throughout the project and aim it at something else that has been calling to me. I will continue to blog throughout the year about various topics- yoga, meditation, travel related, hippie shit- but all project stuff is done. Stay tuned for other fun stuff. Just because I am not working on a #LifeProject does not mean that I am done working on myself!

I am #alwaysstriving!

Anyway, I am SO happy to see 2016 go.



 Peace out!

Love, Rosi(e)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Travel Update #5: Southern Texas

Ok, so I stiiiilllllllll trying to catch up on the traveling stories.

I'd say I have about 2 more to write. Here goes the first:

So, I left off when we were driving through Denver for the last time. We were headed south from there.

Our first stop was in Blanca, Colorado. Random, I know. But we read there was "free camping-" thank you freecampsites.org. Let me tell you, this was out in the middle of nowhere. And the night sky was to DIE for! 

We ended up "camping" in a pull-off right outside of the Great Sand Dunes. It was national forest, so we were good. No cops came knocking at the wee small hours of the night. 

Anyway, the night sky. O. M. G. It was probably the best- still- night sky that I have ever seen. I only say "still" because I have experienced several phenomenal meteor showers in South Dakota- circa 2015, my Sturgis peeps know what I'm talking about. Anyway, this was the best view of the Milky Way that I have ever seen. Also, there were more stars than I think I have ever seen!

Then we woke up to desert. Ha. Not much to look at. But, 15 miles down the road we had the Great Sand Dunes. Those guys were a beautiful sight to see.




Unfortunately, this was one of those National Parks that costs money. We have a NP Pass, but it didn't cover the cost to slide down those suckers. Apparently you can rent a sandboard or sand sled that will rocket you down those dunes. Being that we didn't have the extra cash and we were totting a furry four legged friend, we skipped the sand sled. But we drove through the park and enjoyed the views.

After that, we pretty much just drove all day.
We made it to Roswell, New Mexico. That was fun!
We spent the night there hoping to see some UFO activity, but unfortunately it was a cloudy night and we didn't see shit.

But the next day, we had fun checking the town out.




After Roswell, we were headed to Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountain range.

But first we stopped for a hike. We needed to stretch our legs. 










I honestly have no clue where we were. I know that the hike was highlighting how the Natives used the desert land to survive. 

I think we were somewhere in southern New Mexico.

Then, Carlsbad Caverns!!!

It was so amazing. Beautiful. Breath-taking!
One of my favorite National Parks so far.









It was about a 2 hour hike. It was so cool. 
For the first 5 years that I had a job, I worked for Marengo Cave. I was a tour guide. I learned SO much about caves, and it has never left me. I still know how a stalagmite is formed, or how cave draperies are formed. I know the names of most of the formations. I was like a kid in a candy store. I loved it.

But, so did Lucas! He loved it just as much, if not MORE! He was enthralled. I wasn't sure how he would react or if he would be as enthusiastic as I knew I would be, but he really surprised me. He enjoyed our time just as much as I did. We were both in awe for about 2 hours.






Next, we had the Guadalupe Mountain National Park. It was just a drive-thru park. Beautiful, but probably one of my least favorite parks. The mountains were beautiful, but they just do not compare to the Rockies, or really even the Smokies or Blue Ridge Mountains.

Here ya go, from the car. 





We made it down to Marfa, Texas. where we stayed at a "Mystery Lights" rest area. This was a place that there are lights that show up at dawn, out in the middle of the desert. There are many theories as to what they are, but scientists have yet to prove anything. The lights would blink, move, dash, and change colors. It was pretty trippy, actually. Super cool.

However that night, the aliens shining their lazers in the desert (haha!) kept me up all night. Lucas fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. I sat up for 6 hours. Honestly, that has been known to happen, back in our home state. Sometimes I get so inspired and can stay up all night! But when you have a home/TV/wifi, its no big deal. I had none of those things when I was sitting up front of our RV van. And I wasn't inspired. All I had was the night sky (7 shooting stars), and a dead phone. It was a weird night. I didn't want to get out because its scary in the desert at night, alone. I didn't want to get into bed because I did not want to wake up Lucas. I had the front seat. It was eerie. And uncomfortable. But I survived. Eventually at around 5am I started to get so tired that my eyes were heavy. I crawled back into bed with Lucas and had a nice 3 hour nap. 

The next morning we were headed to Big Bend National Park. 








We couldn't do much in this park because, of course, no dogs. Apparently there are these little asshole pigs called Javelina's that will murder your dog. You could take your dog to the campgrounds, but being that P-nut is just a little snack, we weren't going to take that chance. 



Plus it was MAD hot. We were dehydrated and SICK of the desert at this point. We had been in the desert for 3 or 4 days, hadn't seen a body of water in just as long and the sun was burning us through the windows of our van as we were driving. We were done.

We left the park without really seeing even half of it. We didn't care. We really just wanted to get out of Texas at this point. So, that's what we did.

Along the way we got stopped by Border Patrol THREE times! That was a new experience. Nothing to hide. No drugs, nothing illegal, no human trafficking. We continued along our way.

We followed the Mexican border the entire length of Texas. I can't say that I ever want to do that again. The "towns" were so sparse and usually only included a gas station and liquor store or bar- but only if you are lucky. Most of the "towns" were abandoned houses with broken out windows and graffiti. Not sure how anyone can live in southern Texas. At the end, Lucas and I were craving water- even just to see it!- trees, and people.

We decided to truck it across the state as quickly as possible. Eventually we crossed an outlet of the Rio Grand. We were so excited to see water that we stopped our van, got out and took pictures! Haha! 



We made a couple of stops along the way. One stop we made was to grab some fast food at a local, independent restaurant in a small unkown town. I ordered a "grilled cheese," something you normally don't see on a burger joint's menu. This "grilled cheese" was a bun with a slap of American cheese on it, and microwaved. Hahaha! It was actually pretty good, tho. I ain't hatin'.

Eventually we made it to San Antonio and called it a night. The next day we were on a mission to make it to North Padre Island. 

We stayed there on our last bout of travels, circa 2013, and we vowed to make it back someday. Once we got there, all our troubles and stresses melted away. I did Yoga, Meditated and Lucas found a "rare" sea bean. The beach was quiet.

We set up camp and spent the night on that beach. It. Was. Wonderful. So wonderful that I literally forgot to take any photos. I was too busy being present and loving life! It never even crossed my mind to break out the camera. I kinda like that, tho. I'm kinda proud of myself. Living life outside of the camera lens or in front of a screen. Living in the present moment. Living life to the fullest.

Anyway, we didn't stay long- we were still on a time limit. Truckin' it to NOLA for Halloween. That'll be the next post.

Later, loves. Peace. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

November Wrap-Up

The end of November marked the end of another theme within the #LifeProject2016. This theme was "Relationships," and it was actually the second time I had worked on this particular topic. The first time I attempted at making "Relationships" a monthly theme, I tanked. We were planning a wedding and another bout in traveling, so my project, the blog, and all creativity (other than wedding crafting) went out the window. So, for November I revisited the theme because I thought that it was an important one.



I am glad I went back to redo this project theme. It was worth it.

My traveling blog posts haven't quite caught up to present day, but most of y'all know we were back in Indiana for Thanksgiving. We were in Indiana for the entire month of November. We were just hanging out, trying to make ourselves busy, make some money and visit our loved ones. 



Being that we are near most of our family and friends, it made the theme easy!

November's goals and how I did:

-I spent SO much time with family and friends. Lucas' family, OC friends, my Mom and Dad, our nieces and nephews (we even babysat our 3, 5 and 10 year old nephews), Indy friends, and pretty much any friend that showed any interest in seeing us.

-Nurture mine and Lucas' relationship. Hmmm, I can't say that I did anything above average here. Though we have a pretty stellar relationship, I also believe that every relationship needs work. Unfortunately, I did not put forth any effort above and beyond. Goals for this month, I suppose.

-Love on P-nut relentlessly, uh....yeah. I drive him crazy. Love on other dogs/animals relentlessly, yep. And take P-nut for long walks? Eh, I did Ok on this one. Its kinda hard to take him for a walk when we were constantly out in the country. He ran free all month. No need for walks. No need for his harness. But we did go for a couple of hikes. He loves those.



-I didn't send out that many cards or thoughtful notes, but I did make sure that the people in my life know that I love them. I told 'em. Lots.

-I took time for myself. Specifically I can remember about 4 or 5 days that Lucas took off and spent time with his friends while I did Yoga, Meditated, went for a run, went for a hike, took a nap, etc. All those things this introvert loves to do, those things that regenerate my energy.



-Flirt with Lucas. I DID this! It was fun. Lucas and I flirt with each other a lot, but becoming aware of it only multiplied it. A smack on the booty, a smile, a cat call. We flirt. We're good at that. Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to have a husband that I have been around (at my worst and best) for 13+ years, and he still thinks I'm the shit. He shows it. I love that. I am super lucky.



-And, my last two goals were to make people feel better after being around me and to shine my light. I can't say that I did either of these things because, I just don't know how other people feel or think. I only know how I feel and think. I believe that I made an effort. Did the effort fall short? Who knows?! But, does it even matter? I don't think so. I think that the effort is what matters. 'A' for effort!


Now, grade-wise, for the month, I did about 47%. On my jacked up, subjective grading scale, that's about a 'C.' A 50% is an A, so each percentage down is a letter grade.....
Yea, the grading system is silly. But it actually does keep me accountable.

In conclusion, I did a really great job this month! Maybe not grade-wise, but I felt SO successful in spending time with the people that I love. As selfish as this seems, it was extremely rewarding.

It really was a great month.



Love and Peace.

*Disclaimer: So, there are some of you who slipped through my time and energy. We didn't hang out. It might seem weird that I'm writing about all the friends and family that I spent time with, when we didn't hang out at all. But let me explain: mostly, you live in a different town than what I was staying in and I just didn't feel like driving to you, but also maybe because I was working (for 3 weeks!) and spreading my time VERY thin. I apologize. I love you, I hope it doesn't take a visit from me for you to know that you mean a lot to me. Let's get together when Lucas and I come back to the area for Christmas.