Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Sentimental (Anxiety-Producing ) Journey

"Gonna set my heart at ease..."

My mom is a very talented piano player.  As a little girl, I would lay on the creaky hardwood floors in our dining room in our brownstone two-flat in Chicago, usually with a sleepy dog or two by my side, and sing with her as she played.

Sentimental Journey, sung by Doris Day in the 1940's, was one of my favorite tunes that mom would play.  Here's a quick glimpse if you're not familiar:

Well, the holidays are upon us, and it's no surprise to me that I've been feeling quite nostalgic and reminiscent lately.  Instead of delving into a whirlwind of deep reflections on holidays past (you're welcome), I simply wanted to just "be here."  Yup.  Post something, even if it's not the next part of my "If you really knew me" series, or a NaBloPoMo fulfillment requirement.

So, I'm here. I'm here now.
Ta aki awor

Over the past few weeks, I've been finding it so very difficult to simply live in the moment.  So here I am, publicly reminding myself to simply "stop" and ta aki awor.  "Ta aki awor," my not-so-subtle inner-wrist tattoo, means "be here now" in Papiamento (the language spoken in Aruba).  A few years ago when my husband and I were on our honeymoon there, I felt the need to remind myself, for the rest of my life, to embrace each moment and simply be "here."  Be present.  Be focused.  Be here now.

Lately, I haven't really paid much attention to the meaning of that tattoo.  I've realized that as much as I long for the excitement that "newness" brings, I often find it so difficult to stop and take the time to process change and focus on what it means for my life and the lives of others.  That inability to simply stop and think makes me anxious, which in turn, sparks the need in me to create more change in my life in an attempt to escape said anxiety for the short term.  Such a journey, I create for myself...

Tumble leaf, now

Denver's Tumbling Leaf was created a few years ago because I knew I'd always be the type of person who was not ashamed to "turn a new leaf" and start over.  Twist, turn, tumble and fumble, actually.  Well, thanks to the not-so-mysterious magic of Facebook, I've been trying to tumble in a direction away from my "live in the moment" anxiety, so I can truly enjoy my sentimental journey.  I have recently reconnected with some great friends from the past who I have been thinking about for quite some time.  I've dug through boxes of old photos, righted some wrongs, and relived some pretty kick-ass memories.

Some pretty kick-ass memories.  To really "set my heart at ease."


Monday, November 8, 2010

If you have to cry...

go outside.

 At least that's the advice that noted fashion publicist, Kelly Cutrone, gives in her book titled, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. Well, I've read her book.  I get her point.  But I realized that her advice doesn't necessarily translate to some aspects of childcare. 

For example...

I was smack dab in the middle of an informal job interview this evening.  The interviewer said the standard, "Tell me a little bit about yourself..."  Surprisingly, before I could even mutter a word, tears began streaming down my cheeks.

As I sat there on the comfy living room couch, crying like a school girl, I cradled the interviewer's sleeping three-month-old boy in my arms. At that moment, I thought to myself, "This has GOT to be one of the only professions in which crying in the middle of an interview is actually a GOOD thing."


This morning I learned that one of the families in my nanny share will be making alternative arrangements for childcare in the near future (for personal reasons beyond their control).  Sure, I've only been working with their toddler for a few months now, but as silly as it sounds, I have already formed a special bond with her.  I am heartbroken that I won't have much more time to watch her learn, discover and grow.  And aside from being heartbroken, I agreed to meeting a prospective replacement family just hours after learning the news of the change.  (Way to give yourself time to process and make sense of things, Chrissy...ugh.)

So tonight...when this lovely mom of the baby in my arms asked me about myself, I really wanted to rattle off my professional experience, proudly speak of my hobbies, and more or less, with all my might, impress her.

All I could think of at that moment though, was the little girl I was leaving behind.  Her parents, who, over the past few months, have taken such good care of me.  And that special bond with the quirky, chubby, gorgeous little toddler whose future will soon be in the hands of a stranger.


Was I embarrassed about my sudden tearful outburst?  Yup.  Did I want to immediately hide under a rock?  Absolutely.  But deep down, though I wish I wouldn't have let my emotions get the best of me, I knew it would end up being okay. 

The new family loved that I was sad over the change because it showed that I was emotionally invested in the job and truly cared about the children, and happily agreed to take take over for the current family and be a part of the nanny share.

Sorry, Kelly Cutrone.  This time, when I cried, I stayed inside.


My Favorite Nephew

I have two nieces, on Mark's side.

But no nephews.

If I did have a nephew, however, he would be this kid, right here:

He's my best friend's son, who I absolutely adore.  (Technically, I adore both of them...)  He is my favorite seven-year old, and if you ever had the chance to meet him, I'm sure he'd be yours too.

Case in point:  When he was told that I would be babysitting for him this past weekend, he got so excited about hanging out with me, that he added this to his calendar so he wouldn't forget:

Talk about a confidence booster!  Thanks, buddy...

If there's anyone else out there who would like to pencil me in, please don't hesitate.

Hee hee...



Well, I didn't even make it through the weekend for NaBloPoMo.  I certainly didn't realize how difficult it would be to post on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  It was a lofty goal, but at least I tried!

I'm not going to scrap the idea all together.  I'm behind by 3 posts, so I will make them up.  I realize it is against the official NaBloPoMo rules, but the point is to be motivated to write, and I still am.  I think I'll try 30 blogs in 30 days instead.

(My bestie Jill did it successfully just last month, so I will channel her energy and commitment and try my hardest!)

Time for this leaf to tumble yet again (read my profile description and you'll totally get it) and start fresh.  Ready...



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Falling Slowly

I feel like this at the moment:

(Yep, that's me.  1984-ish)

I'm just exhausted, and it's time for bed.  Hoping for a more substantial post tomorrow.  

Until then, enjoy these lovely lyrics to Falling Slowly (one of my favorite songs), by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova:

 (photo credit:  http://www.last.fm/music/Glen%2BHansard%2B%2526%2BMark%25C3%25A9ta%2BIrglov%25C3%25A1/+images/3258245)

Falling Slowly

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that

Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You'll make it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"If You Really Knew Me" Part 3: Denver Arts Week

If you really knew me, you'd know that...

...for as much as I try to publicly make sense of the "tough stuff" in my life, I also thrive on celebrating and sharing my adventures and experiences with the creative process.

...although my creativity often stems from feelings of inadequacy, I would never think of trading the artistic side of me (if I were ever given the chance) for even a glimpse of a slightly easier journey. 

...just because maintaining a sense of balance is a daily struggle for me, it doesn't mean that I don't value the concept.

That said, the first few parts of this series were rather serious in nature.  Therapeutic?  Yes.  Balanced?  Not quite.  I believe it's time to lighten the mood a bit and pass along a link to an amazing celebration of passion and creativity, taking place right here in my own backyard.

Check out this fabulous list of events going on during Denver Arts Week (next week!).  If you don't live in Denver...well, sorry about your luck.  If you do, and are interested in checking out an event with me, let me know.  I'll see what I can do.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"If You Really Knew Me" Part 2: Note-to-Self (-Doubt)

NaBloPoMo - Day 2!  
(How's THAT for momentum?)

Speaking of momentum, I realize that a "series" of blog posts is quite possibly the most effective if less than two months pass between posts.  I get that.  What can I say?  It is what it is, my friends.  Meh.

Credit Limit

So.  Let's just say that if I had a nickel for every time I have heard, "You really need to give yourself more credit," I would probably be able to retire at the ripe old age of 32 (yikes...2 months from now).  The words "not good enough"seem to have been permanently tattooed on the back of my brain, and I believe their harsh significance, despite how often people tell me, "Chrissy, you are such a positive and creative person."

Why, thank you, random compliment-givers.  I try my best to be positive.  And I feel the need to be creative to compensate for not quite measuring up.  Case in point:  my teaching career.  I spent two years of my life as a full-time graduate student at UC Denver for elementary education.  I completed my student teaching.  I completed ALMOST all of my required coursework for my teaching license.  Almost.  Almost.  almost.

The word "almost" has become the yin to my self-doubt's yang.  The pod for its peas.  The dark night to MY bright, shiny day.

Since there are 28 more NaBloPoMo days to go, I'll save my explanation on how I've been working toward turning my "almost" moments to "always" triumphs for future November posts.  Stay tuned...

Extra Credit

In an attempt at giving myself props, I'll give myself credit for my note-to-self in Part 1 of "If You Really Knew Me."  In true Chrissy fashion, when I sat down to write this post, I couldn't quite remember what I wanted to focus on in Part 2.  So...I referenced Part 1 and there it was, plain as day.  "Note-to-self (-doubt)".  Great work, Mrs. Richter.  You know yourself well enough to give yourself blatant reminders in an attempt to stay on track.  Numerous other parts of my life might seem completely off-track at the moment (who am I kidding...ALWAYS), but Part 2 of this series?




Monday, November 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo - Day 1!

I promise...I really haven't forgotten about my "If You Really Knew Me" series.  I have plenty of Thingportants to share this month, including the continuation of the series I began a few months ago.

Yup, I said "this month."  November, 2010.  I've decided to participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), which means I have committed to posting every day for an entire month.  Read about it here if you're not familiar...

Anyway - I know it's not going to be an easy feat, but I've been itching to write lately to process some recent thoughts and experiences, so committing to doing NaBloPoMo this month gave me the perfect excuse to get on it!

NaBloPoM-OH MY...  What have I gotten myself into?  Wish me luck...  (thanks for your support in advance!)

(I realize this logo is from 2009...can't find a 2010, and seriously, I don't care enough to find one.  Ha!)

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