The Final Push | Reverb 11

Consider this my final push to finish #Reverb11. I officially stink at posting daily but at least you get the short and sweet version of my Reverb 11. Thanks to the Modchik for introducing and inspiring me to complete this. I’m actually looking forward to Reverb12 where I’ll vow to write daily!

If you didn’t catch my first three editions you can find them here, here, and here.

21. What would you change?

A little bit of everything. As much I usually resist change, I do like it. I’m hoping 2012 is full of change.

22. What was your favorite new song?

This is a hard question. I like a lot of music. But, hands down “Wasting Light” by Foo Fighters was this year’s best album in my opinion (and apparently the Grammy people thought the same as it was nominated for best album). Every song from top to bottom is good, if not great. So my favorite new song comes from this album: track 5, “Arlandria.”

23. How do you relax?

I’m queen vegetable. Mrs. Couch Potato. I have no problem relaxing. All I have to do is turn the telly onto some cheesy reality TV, Lifetime movie, or a repeats of Beverly Hills, 90210 and I’m jelly. Jelly in front of the telly.

24. Did you take any risk this year?

Hmm. Yes, a couple of small little risks. I went to BlogHer – a blogging convention in San Diego – which was so out of my comfort zone. Introducing myself to new people, talking to random people, companies, and PR firms about what I blog about and trying to not feel embarrassed about it. We tried buying a new home this year in this risky, unstable economy and failed. It turned out to be OK though because we ended up doing work to our current house that we love so we’ll stay put for a while. These aren’t major, I know. I’m hoping that changes in 2012.

25. Do you consider yourself in good health?

No. Cancer aside, I could be doing so much more for my mind, body, and soul. The cancer stuff is always lurking. Just one stupid cancerous cell could be floating around my blood stream looking for a new organ to occupy. But, October marked three years of being cancer free and that feels good. Staying cancer free requires far more effort than I’ve been doing and that is going to change too next year.

26. What steps are you taking to be healthier in 2012?

One of my resolutions is to treat my body better. I want to focus on eating mostly a plant based diet and occasionally eating only organic and hormone-free meat products. No more cow’s milk. Use spices that have shown to reduce a cancer risk. Eliminate sugars, artificial sugars, and other chemicals. Use products free of parabens. Eat breakfast daily. Start a supplement regimen. Stop taking anti-depressants (I take one to control hot flashes caused by menopause and the other to treat my mild case of depression). Continue with my visits to the chiropractor and start seeing my acupuncturist again (to help manage the hot flashes and joint pain I have from the other estrogen blocking meds I have to take). I want to manage my free time better and be certain to carve time out for exercise. Weight training and cardio. Swimming. Pilates, yoga, dance, barre classes, Wii Fit, hiking, biking, chasing my kid on her scooter, jumping rope – I’m determined to find something that I love to do.

27. What food did you try this year?

I can’t think of anything significantly out of the ordinary I tried this year. I’m a creature of habit – especially when it comes to food. I’ve got nothing. Sorry I’m so boring!

28. What places would you like to visit in 2012?

My husband and I have been talking about going back to Kauai for at least two years now and our travel agent (me) really sucks at making the arrangements. So, I hope to visit the sands of Poipu beach sometime in May. I’d also like to visit New York for the 2012 BlogHer convention. I’ve never been to NYC because the big city scares this suburban girl. A trip to wine country with my husband would be fab for our eleventh wedding anniversary. Another trip to wine country with girlfriends would be equally fab.

29. What’s on your vision board for 2012?

I’m currently making a vision board on pinterest but haven’t made one that I can hang and see every morning, noon, and night. I’m going to tear through some magazines in the coming days because I definitely need the constant reminder. As for the pinterest board, currently I have pinned photos of The Today Show logo, nice tight abs, and an ad for the 2012 3-day walk in San Francisco.

30. How will you mark the end of 2011?

Quietly.

31. Where do you want to be in 2013?

Happy.

Happy New Year!

Reverb 11 | Reflecting on Goals, Movies, and Peace

Another set of Reverb 11 prompts and responses for your enjoyment.

Day 13
What Goals Have You Achieved?

I wrote before about not having set any goals this year and sitting here without anything significant to tell you about is really depressing. 2012 is all about goal setting for me so I’m hoping to shout from the rooftops about all the wonderful things I set out and achieved next year! I will say though that I did commit to not committing to the Race for the Cure this year. I had organized and walked it the two years after my diagnosis and a part of me did so because I felt if I didn’t then something bad would happen. I walked out of fear. Not strength or pride. I’m glad I’ve put Team McLovin to rest, for now.

Day 14
What Soothes Your Soul?

Music soothed my soul as a teenager. Night after night, rotating Morrissey, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, George Michael, Bonnie Raitt, and Eric Clapton behind my closed bedroom door. When I finally got a car, I’d play the same CDs – now throwing Pink Floyd and Guns ‘n Roses into the mix – driving past a particular boy’s house or stopping in on a friend at work at the mall. Hearing those same CDs conjures up many memories and still very much soothes my soul today.

Day 15
What Movies Have You Seen?

Movie dates are few and far between these days. We were in a rhythm of renting movies on demand on Saturday nights for a while so even though these weren’t seen at a theater this is my list:

Crazy Stupid Love (one of the best, Ryan Gossling = perfection)

Ryan Gosling wearing sunglasses

Hangover 2 (a couple of funny moments but otherwise terrible)
Lincoln Lawyer (not a bad Matthew McConaughey flick for *I think* going straight to video)
The Dilemma (when did ‘Nona become so unlikable? She was at her best in Heathers – a true favorite of mine)
Happy Feet Two (seen at the theater and was downright awful – three year old in tow, obviously)
The Switch (looked funny is so different from being funny)
Take Me Home Tonight (’80’s themed, hilarious. Loved Dan Fogler in this movie!)
Something Borrowed (Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin were so incredible unlikable)
The Help (really, really good. “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”)

Seriously, rent Crazy Stupid Love if you haven’t seen it. And The Help.

Day 16
What Accomplishments Were Made?

I’m not sure how this is different than “What goals have you achieved?” I simply have no answers for questions like these. It’s kind of like when my dad calls and asks “What’s new?” and I don’t have an answer. I’m not setting out to accomplish anything significant on a day-to-day basis with the exception of my to-do list. But picking up a prescription and getting groceries are not interesting discussion topics. Thus, 2012 = lots of little short term goals and a few biggies that are worthy of talking about.

Day 17
What Are you Most Grateful For?

I am most grateful for making it to October 23, 2011. It was my three year anniversary of being cancer-free. Three years is a significant mark. Now if I can just stay NED for another two years I’ll be really grateful.

Day 18
What Scares You?

Not staying cancer-free. Almost daily I read an article or a blog post or a message in a thread that someone has just been diagnosed with mets. Mets is short for metastatic cancer. It’s when your original cancer has now been found somewhere else in your body – spine, lungs, brain, bones. Cancer cells that survived chemo have occupied a new organ. Mets is incurable and cancer always wins. That shit haunts me.

Day 19
What Brings You Peace?

The thing that makes me the most peaceful is seeing the sun dance on the ocean. Where the water looks like it’s been sprinkled with glitter. I love those moment and long for them.

Day 20
What Makes You Smile

That kid of mine makes me smile. She pushes my buttons, hits, asks a million questions, backtalks and fibs but she can make me smile in a hot second. And melt my heart even quicker.

11 days left!

Reverb 11 | Reflections of 2011 Days 2 thru 12

I give you my abbreviated version of Reverb 11 hosted by the Modchik.

I really aspire to finish this exercise but I’m already 10 days behind. Bear with me, readers.

Reverb 11 – Day 2
What would you do with more free time?

The question asks what I would do with more “free time” – meaning sans preschooler – and I feel all sorts of guilty when I dream of alone time. Will I ever be alone again? I miss those days when it was just me. The days when I would accomplish all the things on the daily to-do list. Days without repeatedly telling someone to put their shoes on and that “we gotta go.” But those days were often lonely. So, I’m glad to have my little one tagging along. But, if I did have a few extra minutes of free time I would simply love to be alone in my house. Shuffling around the house, organizing things, shifting things into near perfection, quiet time to be with my thoughts, quiet time to read a book, lounging around with my feet snuggled under a warm blanket. These things I dream for.

Reverb 11 – Day 3
What projects have you started?

A vegetable garden. Remains incomplete.
Window treatments for the downstairs. Remains incomplete.
This blog. Ongoing.
Me. Ongoing.

Reverb 11 – Day 4
What projects have you finished?

I would have never imagined that we would have renovated our kitchen this year. It really wasn’t on the major to-do list until we decided we were going to stay put in this house. I love it. My dream kitchen.

Reverb 11 – Day 5
Highlight of 2011

When: October 13, 2011
Where: The Forum, Inglewood, CA
Who: Foo Fighters
Why: To hear Dave Grohl sing the words I have been feeling for the last three years was pretty f’ing amazing.

Reverb 11 – Day 6
What was a difficult part of 2011?

I made a really stupid and lame mistake this year that will bother me for a life time. I know what I did was silly and childish and I feel all sorts of regret. And I must pay the consequences. Enough said.

Reverb 11 – Day 7
What was a lesson learned in 2011?

See Day 6.

Reverb 11 – Day 8
When were you proud?

I’m a proud mama, hands down.
In terms of being proud of myself – that takes a little more reflection.

Reverb 11 – Day 9
Who or what inspires you?

I have really great role models in my life who I draw inspiration from all the time. And then there is Oprah, of course. But, I will forever have the image of LeBron James after he shoots and makes a last second shot in Game 2 of the 2009 NBA playoffs against the Orlando Magic. Now hear me…I”m not a basketball fan. I’m not a LeBron fan. Or a Cavs fan. But the emotion on LeBron’s face after he sinks that three-pointer is something I could just drink in. I’d die to feel that kind of elation. I’m inspired by his determination that yields those kinds of results. I want that for me.

Reverb 11 – Day 10
How do you fill the void?

Simply, I eat. I’m certain I have some kind of eating disorder.

Reverb 11- Day 11
Holiday traditions

My mom’s peanut butter chocolate blossom cookies.

peanut butter cookies with chocolate Hershey kisses in the middle

Reverb 11 – Day 12
What books did you read?

Yikes. I haven’t read a lot this year. And it will be something I set out to change in 2012. I do have waiting for me “The Help”, “Room”, and I have to finish “The Happiness Project.” I’ve read a lot of preschool-age books, if that counts.

the book cover of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project

Reverb 11 | Describe 2011 in One Word

I’m joining up in Reverb 11 hosted by the Modchik. It’s basically a month-long-question-of-the-day-reflection of 2011. Yep, I’m already behind but apparently the rules are kind of loose on how much you are required to participate. So, prompt number one is:

Describe 2011 in One Word.

pro·ceed 
verb (used without object)
1. to move or go forward or onward, especially after stopping.
2. to carry on or continue any action or process.
3. to go on to do something.
4. to continue one’s discourse.

For the better part of the last two-and-a-half-years I have been afraid to proceed with life. My feet have been stuck in a pair of damn cement cinder blocks that are so last season. I keep revving up to go but keep allowing myself to get sidetracked and distracted by the “what if.” Or the “I can’t because…” And I’m so sick and tired of it. But, reflecting back over the year I can see a few instances where I cast my fears aside and proceeded in normal fashion. And I liked it.