Archives for the month of: January, 2014

I used to say I was happiest when I am busy but that is not strictly true. I think instead when I can throw myself into something and become really involved and engaged with a group of like minded(ish) people  then I am happiest.

And I haven’t had that in while.

Last semester was plenty busy but also  plenty miserable. While I really do enjoy teaching , outside the classroom I felt very lonely.  My colleagues are nice enough and my employers are usually fair but that sense of being part of a team, of being in this together, of being excited together, is totally lacking.  For the first year I made many a futile attempt to build a sense of community and common purpose(s) but I was mostly left feeling foolish and let down. Maybe work is sadly not going to provide that sense of involvement and community that I crave.

Making peace with that realization was greatly helped by recently being asked to join the board of a local NGO that provides services and advocacy for nuns in Bhutan. I just spent part of last week on a beginning of the year retreat with them planning for 2014 and felt that familiar rush of emotion and connection. I am so excited because I ❤ ❤ ❤ that feeling…..

The photo was taken on a field trip that we took to a nearby nunnery during the retreat.

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This I really really ❤

 

 

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Last Saturday we woke up to the first snow of the year. Here is Rocklee considering the snow fall from our back door…
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The snow fall was not very heavy but it was the first snow of 2014.  Here is our patio with a dusting of snow.
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We decided this was the perfect excuse to stay indoors,light a fire and watch movies. Here is my sister, Rocklee and Kitty taking a nap in the warmest room of the house.
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Rocklee did spend some time outdoors getting wet and so he came back in smelling not so great. Here he is climbing on the couch for some family time while everyone else is covering their nose!

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After several years of mild Arizona winters I most definitely do not love winter cold but the excuse the snow gave us to slow down and relax and just hang out, I do ❤  that, I ❤ that a lot.

My little sister is a filmmaker. Her most recent project is a beautiful and sad short film called ” The Heart in the Mandala.” ( You can check out the Kickstarter project page for it here)

While she was editing her final version of the film she was listening a lot to one of her favorite bands,  Grandhallway particularly their song ” Little Sister.” Her film is centered around a sibling relationship so the song felt particularly right. She would be sitting in her office, editing and singing along. At some point she decided to write to Grandhallway and ask them if she could not only use the song but re-record it Dzongkha. She wrote to them via facebook. I thought she was nuts! She shrugged– it never hurts to ask.

And guess what? They said yes!

So she re-recording with a local singer, the amazing Dechen Zam ( who rewrote the song in Dzongkha)  at M-studio  and the result is beautiful and haunting.

I ❤ that she asked to use the song, I ❤ that Grandhallway said yes but I think I would ❤ this song even without the great back story!

 

In a beautiful gesture at Christmas, a friend of mine who knows what a tough year I've had gave me a candle of St. Jude -- the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes. She said that she hoped it would bring me better luck and guidance in the coming year. The same day I got this fortune.

In a beautiful gesture at Christmas, a friend of mine who knows what a tough year I’ve had gave me a candle of St. Jude — the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes. She said that she hoped it would bring me better luck and guidance in the coming year. The same day I got this fortune.

It’s no secret that the last few years have been rough for both these blog authors. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons we started the blog. But this year for the first time in a long time, I found that I didn’t have to convince myself to be optimistic  about the new year — it just kind of happened. I’ve been working really hard lately to try to make good things happen and move my career forward and spend time with people I love (and not feel obligated to spend time with people I don’t). And I’ve been fortunate that the last couple months have kept me busy with a lot of work and new opportunities. So I guess between that and the incredible people I’m so fortunate to have in my life, it’s all added up. And I’m ready for 2014.

New hair color. New smile. New Year.

Some developers in DC bought a building in Chinatown with three really great restaurants in it, and for a while it looked like our favorite one was going to be forced to close. So Dan and I went for one last hurrah on Christmas Eve, and found out that they are staying open after all! This I <3.

Some developers in DC bought a building in Chinatown with three really great restaurants in it, and for a while it looked like our favorite one was going to be forced to close. So Dan and I went for one last hurrah on Christmas Eve, and found out that they are staying open after all! This I <3.