Bye bye ’08

image via Flickr by motleypixel

2008 was a pretty good year for me. I got married. We got a dog. Our financial situation is pretty secure despite the crumbling economy. I got to go to Hawaii. All in all, I can’t really complain. And I must say, I’m looking forward to 2009. I will likely begin a school program that will lead me to a new and interesting career–one with greater flexibility that will allow me the time and energy to work on my writing. I’m feeling good about writing, as something I want to continue pursuing and investing more time in. I’ve got set goals for running. I’m going to train for a 10k and then a half-marathon, and just thinking about those goals makes me feel healthy and strong. I definitely think I’m happier than I was a year ago. More fit and more at peace as well. I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions because they are often too hard to keep and who wants to start a new year thinking about how you’ll fail to achieve all the things you set out to do? But this year is different, I feel confident in my goals for 2009: to apply myself to training for massage therapy certification, to run more, to worry less, to get a library card and read lots of books, to write when ideas come to me and sometimes even when they don’t,  and to take greater joy in simple pleasures, like cooking dinner with my husband, or walking the dog.

Here’s to 2009. May it be a successful year.

Inspiration Friday

image via flickr by cdglove2fish

I used to be a lot tougher than I am today. I’ve always been quick-witted and more cynical than I probably should be, but I’ve lost some of my toughness over the years. When I was younger, I didn’t get embarrassed all that easily and I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind. I was blunt, to put it bluntly; sometimes for worse. I was far less worried about appearing foolish, or offending others. Even though my middle and early high school years were plagued with worries about social status, there was a more significant part of me that didn’t care what other people thought–friends, strangers, boys. I was more confident. I can recall many instances where I became the spokesperson for my group of friends–the one who asked questions in class or at customer service counters when no one else seemed willing. I used to be just fine when it came to searching out new information, no matter how much my ignorance on certain topics showed. 

I think being in a relationship has made me lazy or hermetic. I willing defer to Dan for things I used to easily handle on my own. Setting up appointments: for some reason, I’m too embarrassed to call. Trouble with my car: I can’t figure out how to properly explain the issue to a mechanic and the difficulty embarrasses me to no end. I don’t like asking questions of strangers any more. I feel iffy about sticking up for myself. 

It’s not Dan’s fault. Together, we discuss any and all topics openly. I can argue with him confidently. I stand up for my opinions and ideas, even on subjects for which I know he is far more knowledgeable. I am creative and inventive and openly share new projects and stories with him. I tell him about what I’m feeling, problems I’m having at work or with friends, the responses I’d like to give in certain situations if I only had the courage to do so. But more often than not, it seems that courage is gone. 

Perhaps this is a common thing in relationships and I just don’t know it because I’ve always surrounded myself with very strong women. Women who have the kind of strength that I used to pride myself in. The kind of strength that Dan has told me is a big part of why he is attracted to me. Maybe this is the sort of thing that happens when you spend your college years living with six men and your post college years working in an all-male office. Men have a way of determinedly and resolutely stating their opinions and ignoring all dissent. Perhaps after a while, I just subconsciously decided to stop offering mine, and my confidence followed my outspokenness right down the tubes.

I’ve decided that I’m going to work on getting that kind of strength back. I’m not going to defer to Dan when I can just as easily find the answer and solve the problem. I’m going to try to publicly show the same confidence that I so willingly display in private. I know that I am a capable woman. It’s time I start acting like it. 

Snowball Fight!

This game is seriously addictive.

Photos I Adore: Hawaii Honeymoon Wrap Up

Hiking Diamond Head (Aka, My Feet Are Sore)

img_3086View of Diamond Head Crater from the beach outside our hotel. It is rather massive.

We woke up at 5 am to hike to the summit of Diamond Head in time to catch the sunrise at 7. Dan said it would be an approximately two mile walk to the entrance of the trail leading up the crater. He was wrong. I think it was closer to four–we ended up running a portion of it to ensure we made it to the top on time, and we did.

The view was stunning. Many times in my life, I’ve been awake before the sun was up, and though I was aware of the gradual shift from night to day, I’m not sure I’ve ever really seen the sun creep up above the horizon. It was certainly one of those experiences that you have from time to time that makes you realize how fantastic it is to be alive. How wonderful it is to witness such natural beauty. I looked at Dan as we stood at the very top of the now dormant volcano and thought, “today will be a good day.”

I was right.

A little info about Diamond Head:

Diamond Head is known in Hawaiian as Le’ahi meaning “brow (lea) of the yellowfin tuna (ahi).” It got its English name in the late 1700’s when British seamen saw calcite crystals sparkling in the sunshine and thought they had found diamonds. Geologically it is a cinder cone formed by a series of explosive eruptions over 150,000 years ago.

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img_31361img_3136img_3218img_3237This one is looking out over Waikiki

Here we are at the top!

Here we are at the top!

And here's one small glimpse of what it took to get there!

And here's one small glimpse of what it took to get there!

Hawaiian Honeymoon, Day 1

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After what ended up being a hellish day of travel–we arrived in the Denver airport to find our flight to Honolulu canceled, got booked on a new flight that added an extra 7 hours to our travel time, only to have our original flight reinstated so that we had to rebook again and run to the gate to make it in time for takeoff–we arrived in Hawaii last night, exceptionally tired, but overwhelmingly happy.

It is 7 in the morning, Hawaii Standard Time, but for us it feels like noon. We are up, drinking Kona coffee and watching the sun come up over the water. The pictures I’ve posted are both views from our balcony. We have an ocean view room, looking out over the Waikiki Beach.

In the distance, I can see a group of people surfing. The air is cool, the water is beautiful. Day 1 has started off fantastically.

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The Hour is Drawing Near

image by cosmic_kid99

image by cosmic_kid99

Dan and I leave for the airport at 6:45 tomorrow morning. Hawaii, here we come!