1. I was born and raised in Western Washington, in the Seattle area. I've never lived anywhere else, and I never want to!
2. I am a highly sensitive introvert. I prefer being alone to being in a room full of people, I have very few friends, and I live a magical life inside my head. I can't stand loud noises, crowds, and don't much like being touched.
3. My boyfriend and I have been together almost 16 years. Our secret? We make each other laugh every day.
4. I love the water, but I can barely swim (which always struck me as funny, having grown up on an island).
5. I prefer tea over coffee.
6. I love, love, love pizza, but I really only like it with plain cheese and extra sauce, and sometimes pepperoni. I'm essentially a very picky eater.
7. I hate to fly. I have a business trip coming up in over two months that requires a one-hour flight across the state, and I'm already wracked with anxiety over it!
8. I don't want children. And I'm 34, so don't tell me I'll change my mind. I love children, but I don't want to be a mom.
9. My favorite sound is birdsong. I've been bird watching once before, and I really want to do it again!
10. My ultimate goal is to be a librarian.
11. I love manga and anime.
12. I love breakfast food.
13. I work for a non-profit and I love it!
14. I binge-watch shows that I like. Right now, it's Community.
15. I'm passionate about a lot of issues, from LGBT rights, to women's rights, protection of the environment, animal rights, and freedom of expression.
16. My family is Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, German, and Swiss-Italian.
17. Technically, I'm an agnostic, but I have a deep reverence for the spiritual side of nature.
18. I can't afford to travel much, but I indulge in lavish travel dreams...I would love to visit Ireland, Japan, Scandinavia, Italy, India, and Alaska.
19. I love to read!
20. I love making lists.
In my neck of the woods, everything is a dull shade of gray or brown. Just...blah. While we've been lucky to have escaped the bone-chilling deep freeze suffered by the rest of the country, the utter absence of snow has left me feeling a bit chilled inside. The winter blahs have severely taken over. My mind is a reflection of the dullness outside. But here are some tricks that I use to beat back the winter blahs:
1. Filling my home with fresh flowers, especially spring blooms like daffodils, tulips, and daisies.
2. Doing a winter "spring clean", clearing out junk, scrubbing down the kitchen and bathroom, and dusting and wiping down every surface in the house.
3. Indulging in something fruity. Whether it's a simple banana at my desk at work, or a glass of raspberry lambic at home, the taste of fruit always brightens up my mind.
4. Watching a "feel-good" movie. My personal favorite is Enchanted April, which is based on the equally divine book by Elizabeth Von Arnim.
5. Taking a drive. I'm lucky to live in a beautiful area, surrounded by forests, mountains, and water. But no matter where you live, venturing outside and driving out to the country is a great way to refresh your mind.
6. If it's stormy out, I love to indulge in a cup of hot tea and a favorite book.
7. And if you're into this sort of thing, cook up a new dish. I'm not into cooking, but even I like to try something new in the kitchen once in a while!
What are your favorite ways to beat back the winter blahs? I'd love to read some of your suggestions!
I hate the idea of New Year's resolutions. There's something so contrived about the idea of resolutions for the new year, as if we're all jumping onto a sort of self-improvement bandwagon, all the while knowing full well that we're all going to fail. Of course, this isn't to say that I think that all attempts at self-improvement are doomed to fail. I just think that New Year's resolutions put too much pressure on us. What I prefer are New Year's intentions.
Intentions are honest. Intentions aren't set in stone. Intentions are changeable.
Here are my New Year's intentions for 2014:
- I intend to be more open with others, including myself.
- I intend to indulge more in my favorite hobbies, and maybe even learn some new ones.
- I intend to let go of the past and of my fears for the future.
- I intend to live more in the present moment.
- I intend to be kinder to myself - mentally, emotionally, and physically.
What are your intentions for 2014?