Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Au revoir...

{Photo credit: weheartit}
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Christian holy season of Lent. I realize that you may not be religious, be Christian, celebrate Lent, but that is the reason behind this post -- although not the subject of this post.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Lent, it is 40 days of prayer, sacrifice and fasting leading up to Easter -- the celebration of Christ's resurrection. It is common practice to "give up" something for Lent to facilitate a deepening in faith. In the past I have both given up something (nagging Jed last year) and added something (praying the Rosary daily, meditating on the Bible, attending daily Mass). I tend to take my Lenten sacrifice seriously and choose to devote myself to something that will help me be a better Christian; I don't give up chocolate, in other words -- even if it would help my health.

When I realized that Ash Wednesday was this week on Sunday, I started wondering what I could do for Lent, other than the standard meat fast on Fridays. After listening to the priest's sermon at church, it came to me, maybe at God's suggestion.

I am going on a blogging fast for the next 40 days.

That's right, I am giving up blogging: writing, reading, commenting. All of it. There are a couple of reasons behind this decision that I'd like to share with you all -- my readers, who obviously find value in this blog.

The priest mentioned a digital/electronic fast: leaving the cell phone at home one day a week, not going online and spending the time in prayer or with family, giving up TV to some extent. While I cannot see myself doing any of that, pausing my life in blog world felt like the right thing to do.

I've mentioned struggling with my purpose for Nifer Musings, and I think stepping away for a bit will help me clarify that without the pressure of posting every day.

What I haven't mentioned is the nagging that blogging is slowly taking over my life. Jed sometimes complains that I spend so much time blogging and reading blogs. I do spend hours daily catching up on all your blogs and more -- careful to leave thoughtful comments when I can. I need to find a realistic, positive space for blogging in my life.

So, what am I going to do during those hours that would be spent in bloggy land? Well, I'll certainly be thinking about what I would be writing if I were blogging: developing ideas, creating a strategy for my blog, realizing which blogs I miss reading every day and those I don't notice their absence. I'll also be reading, spending time with friends, praying, living a full life offline.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I truly believe that applies to this place for me.

I hope you all understand my reason for this fast, and I hope you will all be here after Easter when I return. I can assure you that I will miss writing and reading all of your blogs. I can also say with most certainty that I will be back; I am not giving up on blogging, and my intent in doing this is not to quit.

I wish you all the best over the next month and a half. Feel free to email me and let me know what you're up to; I will not be giving up email!
{Image credit: weheartit}

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Finally Shows... with Some Blanks

Happy Friday! I don't know about you, but I am so grateful Friday is finally here (and a sunny one at that!). This is my first five-day workweek in a while, and I've been busting it out overtime because work has been crazy, so I am exhausted. Looking forward to some fun this weekend painting our guest room and seeing a favorite cover band tomorrow night.

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Everyone is jumping on Lauren's "Fill in the Blank Friday" wagon, so I'm jumping back on and bring back and oldie but goodie. 

Courtesy of Lauren

1.   The phrase or punctuation I overuse most is       Jed just told me this week that I say "um" a lot when I am presenting for work. Embarrassing. I also use ellipsis and dashes a lot in my writing, I think...  

2.  Today I am thankful for    Friday! See above   .

3.  My best friend is    so fantastic. I love her to pieces, and I don't know what I would do without her. I am over-the-moon happy for her right now   .

4.  A quirky thing about me is     my OCD tics. I've become more aware of them, and man, they are WEIRD  .

5.  This weekend I     am checking out a new gym, painting the guest room, seeing a cover band with Jed, my sister and my ladies, going to church and doing whatever else the weekend brings   .

6.  Something that worries me is       money. Really stresses me out sometimes. Like I woke up at 3:30 this morning and felt the urge to go check my account balance because I was scared I didn't have enough (thankfully I resisted the urge)   .

7.  On my night stand you would find       alarm clock, lotion, pillow spray, scented tealight candle, cell phone charger, decorative vase with sea grass, wooden sea turtle and the teddy bear Jed gave me for Valentine's Day two years ago. I also usually have some sort of hair elastic or clip there that I was wearing that day and/or the book I am currently reading    .

If you don't link up at Lauren's, tell me in the comments your answer to one of the seven questions above! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do the Shuffle

{Photo credit: weheartit}
I promised Micaela I would do this post because I absolutely loved hers, in which she landed upon one of my all-time favorite songs (feel free to guess what it is in the comments).

When poking around my iTunes library, I was a bit conflicted how to come up with this 25 songs list. Do I just do the shuffle, or do I pull my top 25 most played songs? Since my most played don't really reflect my current music tastes (although there are some really great songs in there), I decided to just do the shuffle.

That determined, here are my 25 "shuffle" songs:

  1. Wild Women Do -- Natalie Cole
  2. No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems -- Kenny Chesney
  3. Brown Eyed Girl -- Van Morrison
  4. Old Blue Chair -- Kenny Chesney
  5. Laughing Out Loud -- The Wallflowers
  6. Heartburn -- Alicia Keys
  7. Higher -- Creed
  8. I Want to Come Over -- Melissa Ethridge
  9. Neon -- John Mayer
  10. What I Need To Do -- Kenny Chesney
  11. Feelings -- The Offspring
  12. I Touch Myself -- The Divinyls
  13. Before I Met You -- Usher
  14. So Right -- DMB
  15. Get This Party Started -- Pink
  16. Forever December -- Tabitha's Secret
  17. Two Step -- DMB
  18. Ticket To Heaven -- 3 Doors Down
  19. The General -- Dispatch
  20. The Life Of A... (Gangsta) -- N.O.R.E.
  21. Someday -- Rob Thomas
  22. Better As A Memory -- Kenny Chesney
  23. Pig -- DMB
  24. Light in Your Eyes -- Sheryl Crow
  25. Truth -- Janet Jackson
Wow, I'm really pleased with what came up in that little experiment! As you can see, I have some pretty diverse music tastes, but the constants seem to be Kenny Chesney (love) and DMB (love) -- two acts I'll always see live when given the opportunity. I just might know almost every song by heart. Also falling into that category are Tabitha's Secret, morphed into Matchbox 20, whittled down to Rob Thomas (love).

There's also some songs in this list that really speak to my life and my personality: I Touch Myself is a BFF anthem, as is Get This Party Started. Old Blue Chair and No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems are inspirations for my dream lifestyle. Higher, Neon, Forever December and Two Step bring me back to some low points, while The Life Of A... (Gangsta) might be a highlight.

I really believe that our music choices can say a lot about us. What would we see if we peeked into your iTunes library?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesday

{one} do you wear holey jeans? if so, do you buy them that way?
There aren't any holes in any of my jeans currently, but if an old pair happened to get some, I would still wear them around the house, grocery shopping, working in the yard, etc.

{two} do you get a full 8 hours of sleep per night?
Eh, more like 7-7.5. I am usually in bed 8 hours before I have to get up, but then it takes me a while to fall asleep.

{three} what’s your favorite way to eat an oreo?
Straight up. None of that dunking, separating stuff.

{four} do you wear shoes in your house?
Rarely, except for slippers. Try as I might not to be, I'm pretty anal about dirty floors.

{five} who would you call first if you won the lottery?

{six} have you ever been in a food fight?
Yeah, back in elementary and high school. Nothing crazy though.

{seven} do you snore?
When I'm sick and congested, yes. Normally, no, not that I know of.

{eight} do you know how fast you type?
Probably between 80 and 90 wph. It's been a while since I've timed it.

{nine} can you do a headstand (without using a wall)?
No. I can barely do headstands -- blame it on a soft head. :)

{ten} how do you like your popcorn?
Salted and buttered. In moderation.

ps. if you want to play along, visit Leigh Ashley and link up!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Easy as ABC

I need some easy posts. I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to create more quality content on here, but sometimes my brain is just too fried for that. 

Side note: I'm putting a project on my to-do list to clean up my labels and try to really structure content around here, so if you're looking for something specific here or really love something you read here, let me know so I can be sure to include it. Whoa run-on sentence!

This post is courtesy of Amber at Girl With The Red Hair -- a blog I discovered recently and absolutely love. Amber's focus is mostly on a healthy lifestyle, using her own as an example -- fitness, recipes, running, Yoga, all that good stuff.

Now... my ABC's...

Age: 29
Bed size: Queen. Definitely need to upgrade to a king in the next house though (our current bedroom is too small for a king).
Chore you dislike: Cleaning the shower/bathtub. I'm not really sure why, but I'll clean the toilet before I clean the shower!
Dogs: Yes, one. An almost three-year-old Lhasa Apso named Morris Arthur. I love my pup.
Morris walking through the fresh snow in our driveway, Jan. 2011
Essential start to your day: Coffee. It is not a compromise.
Favorite color: Blue. Doesn't matter what shade or tone. I'll take them all!
Gold or silver: Silver... or white gold, but gold is just so expensive these days.
Height: Somewhere between 5″4 and 5″5 :) (keeping Amber's answer here as it applies)
Instruments you play(ed): None. I learned the basics on the recorder in high school. Tried a bit of piano. Notes confound me. I'm better with my feet -- I was a dancer.
Job title: Marketing Professional, Content & Events, during the day and correspondent by night (aka freelance reporter)
Kids: None, but I'm a great "aunt" and cousin. Kids are definitely in my five-year plan though.
Live: Rhode Island, but my heart will forever reside in Boston.
Mom’s name: Debbie... really Deborah, but she's not such a fan.
Nicknames: Jen, Nifer, Howie, J.Ho, Superstar, J Babe
Overnight hospital stays: My birth obviously, plus two, both for sinus surgeries when I was in high school.
Pet peeve: Bad drivers. That's a good umbrella for all those who don't use blinkers, can't merge, drive the speed limit in the left lane, can't grasp the concept of a travel lane, stop unnecessarily, think yellow means stop, etc.
Quote from a movie: I've gotten awful at remembering good quotes from movies, so I got nothing here. So sorry.
Righty or Lefty: Righty
Siblings: One younger sister, La. She just turned 24.
Time you wake up: Anywhere between 6 and 11 a.m.
Underwear: Yes? LOL... All Victoria's Secret. ALL.OF.IT. That's what happens when you work there for a year...
Vegetables you don’t like: There's a few: cabbage, spinach (except in rare situations where I can't really taste it), turnips... that's all I can think of right now.
What makes you run late: Blogging! LOL I'm late right now... :(
X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth, sinuses, right forearm, left foot/ankle.
Yummy food you make: I made an excellent marsala pasta dish last Thursday (I've been awful about posting my new recipes!) that even Jed gave four stars to. It's going into the rotation.
Zoo animal favorite: Large felines, especially tigers. I could stand there and watch them for HOURS.
(Sorry for the weird font and spacing... ugh Blogger)