Saturday, January 25, 2020

Artists Way Week 2...

Here I am   beginning week 2 like a good little student.  I have a pretty freed up weekend which is nice, so I had plenty of time this morning to sit down and start the Week 2 tasks.  I plan to check in with my other 2 friends doing this later today.

One thing I found interesting was I was to list 20 things I like to do then put the date of the last time I did them.  Here's the weird thing - I had a really hard time coming up with 20 things!  Why was that so hard!?  Do I not like to do 20 things?  I'm so curious what I wrote before, but I have no idea where my previous 2 times of Artists Way homework lives.  So - I want to list these things here because it was so strange to me that this was a hard list to come up with.  Now this is not the order I prefer - just a list of 20 things I enjoy:
Eating Out
Adventure/Scavenger Hunts
Photo Play Days
San Clemente Stays
Playing Tennis
Doing a show I'm excited about
Sunbathing/Relaxing by water (Lake, Beach, Pool)
Cooking with someone
Hanging with Family/Boyfriend/Friends (This one is like my priority but I don't know if it's an "activity")
Wine Tasting
Halloween/Horror stuff
Seeing a show - music or theater usually
Enjoying a quiet morning drinking coffee
Going to a sports game
Taking a fun class

That should not have been as hard of a list to come up with.  I don't know what that says about me but I guess I need to really pay more attention to what brings me joy.

In Week 1 we were to list 5 lives we'd love to have, then this week it said 3 more.  I find some of my choices interesting:  A Writer, A Camp Counselor (Really?!), A Photographer, An Actress, A Lead of an Animal Sanctuary, A Teacher, A Sommelier, A Food Critic.    Hmmmm....I'm so in the wrong field of work but I don't know how to make money on any of these things and now I'm

We then drew a pie consisting of Spirituality, Adventure, Work, Family/Friends, Exercise, Romance.  Where do you lack?  These were not surprise at all.  I need a new fucking job.

Then we list 10 tiny changes.  "I would like to..."  I'm not sure if mine were so tiny, but a lot of them are good goals to aspire too.  So we'll see where that leads.

I was supposed to do one of my 20 things I enjoy items and I knew I had planned to cook with Pat on Wednesday night.  We started trying to cook together when it started getting dark earlier and we couldn't hike after work.  We fell off it a bit but were going to get back on this week.  We had an appointment that evening so unfortunately it was rushed and we didn't have that moment of wow look at the neat thing we cooked together, but it was still nice.  I really do enjoy cooking with him and we were working together pretty well in my tiny kitchen.  Hopefully next time we won't be rushed.  If you're interested here's what we made!  It was yummy!
Shrimp with Spinach

I did notice something one night I wanted to mention.  So I have a Gratitude Journal I try to write in every morning.  It's got a bit pushed to the side due to the morning pages, but last night I found myself wanting to write.  To Journal.  I thought I'm going to go ahead and do a couple of pages in my Gratitude Journal tonight.  This went against my OCD nature (because that journal is supposed to be part of my morning routine!) and is the 1st time in a long time I found myself actually wanting to write out of the blue.  So there's something!  Let's see if it happens more often!

So for my Artists Date this week I got up early and walked over to the Orange Circle to have my own mini Photo Play Day.  Hey look - one of my 20 things I enjoy!  Got a great walk (7K steps!) and got to play with my camera.  You can see the results of that here.  I really enjoyed the morning.  It wasn't too busy down there and I just wandered.  I ended up really taking in the Circle since I'm going to be moving soon and won't be walking distance from here anymore.  My walks to and fro were slower and I tried to take it all in.  It really was a lovely date.

I did the morning pages every morning this week!  Yay me!  I only meditated though 2 days this week but I'm not going to get discouraged - will still really try to put forth a better effort there.

The only real revelations this week were I was actually really looking forward to my Artists Date and what I mentioned above about wanting to write.  So that's good!  Maybe there's a little ember starting to catch...oooooo let's hope!!

I'm hoping to hit up my Week 3 chapter and tasks tonight and/or tomorrow night.  Will also check in with my girls tomorrow! 

So Week 2 - Check!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Artists Way Week One...

Have any of ya'll heard of The Artists Way?  I'm sure a bunch of you have.  It does seem a pretty popular book amongst the folks I know.  Some people have only done it once.  Some people come back to it over and over.  Some keep it on hand as a handy reference to come back to.

Welp - I'm hitting it up for a third time.  I did it once by myself, back in the early theatre days when I first heard about it.  Then I did it a while later with a group of friends.  We did weekly check ins with each other.  Now it's been sitting in one of my chests for who knows how long.  I was chatting about it with a friend of mine and she exclaimed "That sounds amazing!  Let's do it!".  She immediately ordered it on Amazon and I dug mine out and dusted it off.

I'm in a big ol' rut right now.  Super unhappy at my job.  About to make a big life change and move in with the boyfriend and his kid and his dog which is causing me all kinds of anxiety.  (Please don't let my cat freak out) I'm out of shape and battling some injuries which are not helping me get back in shape.  And I have NO creative ANYTHING going on right now it seems.  I'm unmotivated, uninspired, exhausted from all the BS going on in our world - I'm quite stuck and fighting off depression with what energy I have left.

Figured this is a great time to give this a go.  I mean - I'm in a totally different place than I was both times I did it before.  Maybe I won't hate the morning pages as much (Doubtful), or maybe I'll get something more out of it, who knows but it can't hurt.  My friend and I plan to check in with each other every Sunday via text or phone call.  I even have another friend of mine who saw my post on Insta (@jamikat1976) is joining in as well, so I'll be checking in with 2 people!  Better not slack off Jami.

I decided to write 12 blogs as well - as kind of a check in for myself.  And to hold myself accountable and any of you out there reading are also holding me accountable.  Plus - this is the only really creative thing I got going for myself right now.  Whether a bunch of people I don't know read this, or just my sweet friends and family - it's for me.  I need it.  And who knows - maybe someone may find some inspiration, or hopefully at least some humor.  So here we go!

Week One:

I re-read the week one chapter over the weekend.  It's mainly about how negative we can be to ourselves from fear, from people knocking our dreams, etc.  We're asked to write down 3 "Monsters" and 3 "Champions".  My monsters ended up being 3 people who bullied me in Elementary School and Middle School.  I couldn't think of anyone currently whose necessarily stifling me, but those 3 certainly live bright in my memories.  Assholes.  My 3 Champions were much nicer to write about.  In fact - I decided to write them all a thank you note.  It may seem corny, but who doesn't like getting mail saying thanks for not thinking I'm insane and believing in me!  Right?!  Practice Gratitude.  I'm working on doing that more.

It also touches on "Blurts".  These are negative thoughts such as "No one reads this damn blog. It's lame."  I need to fight that Blurt with an Affirmation - "Who fucking cares, it makes you laugh Jami."...Hmmm maybe that's not a good one - more like "You write this blog because you love to and it helps you be creative in expressing yourself."  Better?  This is a work in progress.

I'm also supposed to take a 20 minute walk.  Do people have to be told to do that?  I do that every day.  I have to move.  Even if it's just walking.  But maybe with a friend - I'm walking with April on Tuesday night.  Done.

The 2 things we have to do weekly on this journey is the Morning Pages and Artists Date.  Today is Monday and I begrudgingly got up 15 minutes earlier to write them.  You're supposed to write 3 pages.  I know these are going to be challenging for me, so I'm altering the rules slightly and writing for 15 minutes.  I get the point.  I've done them before. I can get the same benefit (if I even get one) with 15 min vs 3 pages.  Fight me.

So we've begun.
I like that I'm going to add a weekly blog to this.  I really do hope this kicks some kind of fire into me or at least brings me some sort of joy while I try to battle my way through this tough time.

I'll come back to this blog later this week and update you on my Week One Progress!!

So, I'm at the end of my week and I've also been trying incorporate meditation back into my life.  I did pretty good!  I meditated Sun - Thur night this week!  Yay! I also did my morning pages every morning except this morning because I stayed the night over at Pats, which is also why I didn't mediate Fri night.  But, we did a really nice hike this morning so I figure that makes up for missing the morning pages.

Starting Saturday off right!

Hi little snake friend we almost stepped on!

 For my Artists Date I took myself out for a pedicure, grabbed myself a quick cache then went to Joann's and bought some little trinket boxes that Pat, Elise and I can paint!  I thought that was a pretty good little date for myself.

I haven't had an revelations this week, but I do feel like I dedicated alot of time to myself and really have made an effort to put time into this.  It is kind of hard, because I'm social, have a relationship and am always going it seems.  This is helping me force myself to not just slow down but to not be lazy with my time but rather work on myself.

So - Week 1 - I'd say thumbs up!  I'll check in with Janna and Christine tomorrow and gear up for Week 2!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Urban Adventure Quest at The Getty...

I love Justin.
I love The Getty.
I love Scavenger Hunts...I mean...HALLO GEOCACHER!
So today was all that combined into one!

Justin and I try to get together once a month at least, and have what we call a Play Day.  Sometimes we just hang and wander but sometimes we plan little adventures.  Today was an adventure!

Justin got a deal for one of those Urban Quest Scavenger Hunts.  We've done a few different ones but we both prefer the ones like today's that have a puzzle quality to them and make them a bit more challenging.  We had so much fun!

We rolled into the Getty just after it opened and Justin started the "Quest".  17 questions.  "That's it?!" I say.  We chuckle, then not long after we started realized that 17 was more than enough! Ha ha ha ha!!

I tried to document best I could - so come along on our Scavenger Adventure!

So due to my head thing we had to walk up the Getty Hill.  Do you know what that is?  Do you realize it was just after the holiday?  Do you know how hard it is to try to read directions out loud to each other while walking and wheezing up the hill?  We started out our day in our usual humorous self deprecating fashion.

Our starting point - then we had to walk 11 tiles..10 tiles...etc and enter the word behind you.

Well that's not very exciting.

Next task took us out to the outside map.  We had to decipher some words, through braille then figure out two words out of the collection of words...or something...Ha!  It took us a minute but we got it!

My map ended up being a main thing we used for notes figuring things out

About this time we already were realizing that 17 questions was going to take us a while.  We also realized between the hill and all the damn steps we were going up and down, we might die.

OMG what question are on?
Next led us to a painting that we had to stare at and find the 2 differences in the app from the Painting.  This took us way longer than it should have - but Justin found then both.

"Where the fuck are the differences?!?!?" is basically what I was whispering angrily over and over again

The next task took us to another room full of paintings.  We had to go from painting to painting finding a certain 5 last names then find them in this word search that would then lead us to the final painting that we'd get our answer to submit.  The museum guards were watching us closely wandering what the hell we were doing....

Our final painting

Justin got all fancy with his photo app

The next task had us looking for a certain 4 clocks.  We then had to put the time in order.  Let me tell you....there's a shit ton of clocks in this building.

The clock with the Asian Men and children playing

The one with the golden donkey

The Monkey and Dragon clock

The sunflower clock

There were also bonus questions every now and again.  One of these led us to the cactus garden and we had to find out the name of the round cacti.

FYI these are called Barrell Cacti

Now - here's just a couple of pictures because I like this area of The Getty.

I love this shot
I love us

About this time we got side tracked needing snacks and fluid.

Back at it we were sent to this painting and had to find the person with the blue tall hat (they almost all have fucking tall blue hats) with the red base and report the color of the scarf.  We stared at this damn thing forever.  I whipped out my glasses.  Stared.  Stared.  Justin finally found the damn thing after we broke down and took a hint.

F this one

The next task pissed us off, because there was supposed to be a phone number on this plaque and there wasn't.  We did report it to the app people but dammit we totally would have got this right but it wasn't our fault so we had to skip.  Lame.

There was no phone number you bitches!!!

The next few tasks brought us down to the garden area which I looooove!

We had to count how many posts went into the ground on these trees

Ok, we had to count 90 degree angles getting through the maze.  We did not do very well on this one.....

I really do love this friggin garden!

Find the message in the stone....
 We got to wander over to this outside sculpture garden which I actually have never made it too.  We basically had to again find last names, do some word scrambles and figuring things out and what not.  We nailed it.

My notes helping us figure out the answers

There was another bonus question around this time which I got right!  Let's just say when I said the TV Show Friends after 10 minutes Justin realized I was right. Ha!

We then walked up the zig zag path and had to find the right numbered bridge to match this boulder...yet the boulder pictures kept disappearing.  Sigh.  I also forgot to take a picture because we were so hell bent trying to figure it out.

After a bunch of clues the answer was what is fossilized in the ground!  A leaf!

Our resting place after finishing!
We plopped down after probably about 2 1/2 hours or so.  We checked out the leader board of the last 30 days and we were 3rd place!!!!!  Now - we both agree we would have been 2nd (based on the point total) had that damn phone task not been bunk.  But we kicked ass!!!!  So proud of us!

There was then a Virtual Cache which I of course had to score - which I did and we headed out.

We landed at a new Chinese Restaurant near his place and had a wonderful late lunch/early dinner.

I really am finding I love doing stuff like this!  Justin and I had so much fun!!  It was a perfectly lovely Sunday Funday!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Meditating again...

This is one of those things I keep coming back to and trying again.
And again.
And again. get the point.

I know there are many ways to meditate.  There's yoga.  There's Tai Chi.  There's so many different options.  I kept thinking, well I just haven't found the right one. No.  The fact of the matter is I need to meditate the way you meditate - you sit your ass down, close your eyes and clear your mind.  That's the one I've noticed improvement when I do it.  I can't deny it.  I just don't want to.

So - here we go again.  It's 2020.  I'm in a rut.  I'm quite stressed out and having a lot of losing battles with anxiety.  Let's fucking do this.  It's only going to help.  I need to stop making excuses (I'm tired, I was drinking, blah blah) and just do it.

I'm always open to finding anything that can help me get going and I read about this particular app in a magazine.  So far I like it!  I can set a timer for 10 min.  That's my goal.  To meditate for 10 minutes.

10 minutes Jami.

You can do it.

If you all recall this is how my meditation usually goes - blog.

I'm 8 days into the new year and have only missed one night and that was a night I stayed over at my boyfriends house and thought it would be weird if I told him and his daughter "Be right back...gonna go meditate."

There are different ways to do this kind of meditation - Guided, which is what I like.  You have music or sounds or something and then a bell that signifies the end.  You can just sit in silence.  You can (My boyfriend has tried this one) sit and stare at like a wall or something and try to clear your mind.  You can chant.  Etc. Etc.

Unfortunately these nights have basically gone like so:

Start app.
Try to get comfortable in my crossed legged position on my chair.  This takes the 1st 2 minutes of the meditation.
Close my eyes.  Take deep breaths and try to focus.
I don't think I like this sound choice.  I'll have to try the birds tomorrow.
Why does my refrigerator make so much goddamn noise.
I don't want to go to work tomorrow.  I'm so miserable.
Shit I have to make sure to email that documentation to Finance.
Ugh, why does work cause me so much stress.  I really need to find another job.  I can't remember the last time I had this much anxiety due to work.  Oh yes I do - my last job.  Pacific Symphony.
I mean I used to like working at Chapman.  I hate that it's gotten so bad.
Deep breath.
Is this guitar sound just repeating the same chord over and over again?  That's annoying.  Defiantly going to try the bird sounds tomorrow.  Or maybe the waterfall.
Deep Breath.
Oh crap I have to sneeze.  Hold it in.  Not going to hold it in.
Now sniffling and trying to focus.
Should I get a kleenex?  No then you'll have to start all over.  Just snarfle.
I wonder what my Dr. is going to say when I bring up my post nasal drip next week.
Why is this so fucking hard.  Just sit here and quiet your mind.  Shut the fuck up mind!  Maybe I shouldn't be swearing at myself.  That probably defeats the purpose of trying to find peace.
Deep breath.
I remember when Michele told me to count my breath in and out, that should help.  1...2...3...I'm so damn full though.  Ugh, it kind hurts to take too deep of a breath.  Why did I eat that 2nd fish taco.
I wonder if I should eat my fish tacos again tomorrow or maybe have that soup instead.
Why are my neighbors so noisy.  That woman is seriously screeching at something.
Am I thinking?  I'm thinking.  Stop thinking Jami.  Hmmmm.  I seem to be thinking of my thinking.  Well that's new.
A text message comes through my phone.  Goddammit.  That's the downfall of using my phone.  I wonder who it is?  Should I stop and check.  Of course you shouldn't!  You're meditating!!!  MEDITATE FOR CHRISTS SAKE.
Man it's cold in here.  When did it get cold again?  It wasn't too bad the last few nights.
Bell rings.


Monday, January 6, 2020

Snow Play Day...

I got another one!!!
That's 2 now!!!

Pat mentioned that over break we should hit Wrightwood again.  Remember this?

So it seemed every day we were trying kept falling through for some reason, but then - The Hernandez Clan mentioned they were staying up in Green Valley for a weekend and why don't we come up for the day.  Yay!!

Wrightwood was a lot of fun last year but this time it was like actual legit poofy snow!!!!  Green Valley lives in between Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead.  It's a bit of a windy way up there but Pat had me go the least windy of the two and I did ok! Yay!  It was an absolutely beautiful day.  I kept shooting random things because the contrast of the snow was so awesome!!

We rolled out about 7:30am and headed up.  We chilled at the cabin with them for a while then when her other friends arrived we all walked over to the sledding area Mandy had mentioned.  It was so cool!!!  Just a total random area.  Not somewhere you have to pay and they make fake snow but real actual snow!!!  I will say though - my tailbone is screaming today because it's not as smooth as a man made one but it was so damn fun! 

First up is just shots of me ooooing and aaaahing at the snow.

The corner of the cabin

So pretty!!!

I love the contrast!


Check out those massive icicles!

Just gorgeous

Then we headed out to sled!

Our sledding area

Heading out to sled!

Love us!

The ladies!

I totally look like a pro!

Then I made a sad little snowman

 Then a few of us went across the way to a fluffy area and Mandy made a real snowman and we made snow angels and played in the fluff!

Mandy Angel

Finished Angels

Brenda Angel

Photographing the good snowman

Me Angel
Then we walked down and I saw my very 1st frozen lake!!!

The kiddos

Dude it's a frozen lake!!!!
Then back to the cabin to inhale some lunch and visit. 

We headed back down the mountain about 4pm.  Unfortunately did hit some traffic but it was well worth it.

Such a wonderful day of snow play!!!!

I shall end this blog with the fabulous 80's photo hanging in the cabin.  It's fabulous.

Can you even?