Dec 31, 2011

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Phew!  Between Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Jack's graduation party last night, I am all partied out.  So my New Year's Eve celebration tonight will be a quiet night in, I think.  A couple of movies, some drinks, watch the ball drop, and get my midnight kiss.  Sounds good to me!

Hope everyone has a fabulous New Year!

Dec 29, 2011

30 before 31

I've been inpsired by a number of bloggers this year who came up with goal lists for the upcoming year - sort of like New Year's resolutions, but based around goals to finish before your birthday instead.  I liked Elizabeth's post about coming up with a 25 before 26 goal list (she also posted a 23 before 24 list a couple of years ago), and Jen's 30 by 30 list.  I just turned 30 earlier this month (ACK!  Sorry, I'm still not quite over the shock of that one yet).  I thought it would be a great idea to start off my 30s on a positive note by creating my own list of goals to finish before I turn 31 - they're meant to be easy to accomplish in the space of a year, though some are more serious and life-impacting than others.

So here it is - my 30 before 31 list!

  1. Make my blog more awesome and increase readership - Always working on this! :)  I moved to a better blogging platform, started a weekly feature to share pagan music, and I've now found a focus for my blog that most inspires me.  I also participated in Bloggiesta in March, which was super helpful.
  2. Get my 1st degree initiation - as it turns out, I was denied initiation and I was released from my coven as of March 24.  I'm still regrouping from that.
  3. Clean out my old room at my parents’ house - I made a big dent the last time I went home!
  4. Get a tattoo to commemorate finishing my 1st degree of the mark given to me by Gwynn Ap Nudd
  5. Take a real vacation with Jack (even if it’s only a weekend getaway)
  6. Get a new primary care physician - I had an appointment on 7/11.
  7. Get a rheumatologist
  8. Get back on migraine meds
  9. Talk to a doctor about getting on anxiety meds
  10. Take at least one creative writing class
  11. Break into freelance writing and/or editing
  12. Create a kick-ass writing portfolio
  13. Get a better, more fulfilling job
  14. Meet Jack’s parents
  15. Sell/donate more of my unwanted books, clothes, etc.
  16. Finish my British Columbia scrapbook
  17. Look into acupuncture - I found out my health insurance covers it now.  Score! 
  18. Get my college diploma framed
  19. Visit Gettysburg again
  20. Visit a museum that I’ve never visited before
  21. Organize a reunion for high school classmates in the DC area
  22. Sit down to cross-stitch once a week
  23. Learn a new craft
  24. Cook Thai-style chicken curry from scratch
  25. Get back into yoga
  26. Learn how to use my new camera to take better photos
  27. Grow my hair long again - well, it's growing.  Slowly.
  28. Learn new hairstyles for said long hair (other than braided or in a ponytail)
  29. Start an indoor herb garden - I have a kit and planted it a couple of months ago.  Unfortunately it's looking pretty sad, I don't think there will be many plants that mature.
  30. Go on a photoshoot in the park with Sha-na-na

Have you come up with a similar list?  Post it in the comments!

Dec 16, 2011

The Zen of cross-stitch

I just found out there is a Joann Fabric right across the street from my neighborhood, and they have cross-stitch supplies.

You guys, how did I not know this?? Now I can buy lots of cross-stitch thread and use all of my cross-stitch-ready towels and such, and fulfill my dreams of stitching up towels with silly and snarky messages a-la Subversive Cross Stitch.

But seriously, I love counted cross-stitch. It's so zen - so calming to the mind and body, to just relax into the rhythm of counting and stitching. It's really good for my anxiety since it helps quiet the mind. My Mom used to cross-stitch when I was a kid, which is how I got it in my head to try it. I need to do more of it, but my lack of access to supplies had limited me to kits that came with everything needed to complete a project. The kits are good, though, because they provide easy instructions on how to start, how to make the stitches needed for the project, etc. My first project was a colorful and relatively simple kit that taught me 3 basic stitches. The back is a mess, but I really like the result!

Tak Time cross-stitch 
Right now I'm working on a kit that, when finished, will show a puppy sleeping on a blanket with the words "Never underestimate the power of a nap." I've been working on this one for... well, let's just say I started it a long time ago :)

sleepy puppy cross-stitch 

So which crafts do you do to relax - what is your crafting zen? Let me know in the comments!

Dec 14, 2011

New camera

Last May, my trusty Olympus subcompact camera went missing at a party - it's likely that someone walked off with it, though it's anyone's guess if it was accidental or intentional. So I asked my parents to help out with the cost of a new, better camera as my birthday and Yule gift.

I tested out my new camera by taking photos of my altar, newly set up for the winter sabbats. The lit candle in the center is my Yule candle from last winter. As you can see from what little is left of it, it's been a rough year.

My altar, December 2011
Yes, my crystals asked to be arranged in the shape of a wave. Perhaps I was channeling the god of radio signals?

Also on my altar are (clockwise from bottom) 2 pieces of sacred jewelry, candles dedicated to the Goddess of Reflections and Mama Cocha, my tools, a stuffed tiger "fetish" of sorts protecting my chant journal and several tarot decks, and a flute gifted to me recently by a coven mate.

Hope everyone is having a good December. The solstice will be here in just a week, and then the days will start getting lighter again - hurray!

Dec 2, 2011

Sorry for my month-long disappearance. Honestly, too depressed and/or stressed to feel inspired enough to write.

I've also been re-evaluating the purpose of this blog. Perhaps it's too narrowly focused, and would benefit from being more broad in what I post here - like, being more about spirituality in general (with posts about depression/anxiety from a pagan perspective), rather than *just* depression/anxiety from a pagan perspective.

While I ponder that, have a funny but very poignant look at the cycle of depression from Hyperbole and a Half:
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