Encouraged by tweets and blog posts by Tracey Clark and Ali Edwards, I joined Reverb10.

Why? What really got me was the tagline that reads: “reflect on this year & manifest what’s next.” Manifest what's next. SOLD. Count me in.

For the month of December, this will be my home away from home, a little borrowed space on the www to participate in what promises to be an enlightening journey. Join me?

31 December 2010

day thirty-one | core story

prompt: core story
What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?
(Author: Molly O’Neill)

In my house my mantle is filled with the word "believe". It is the guiding word I chose for our family, years ago, in 2003, when Caden nearly drown and the effect it had on everyone in my home. (It's alternative would be resilience.) You can't go through the day in my house without seeing this word. It is positive, upbeat, and encouraging. It is the start and the end of all things.

Like everyone, I've had some huge events in my life and I've learned that I have a choice: react well or react badly. I can choose to be a negative person: which is easy, as it comes naturally; or work, daily, at being a positive and upbeat person who attempts looking for the bright side, even when that light is dim and distant.

I choose to believe in, encourage and embrace positive energy, positive curiosity, positive chances, positive projects, positive thoughts, positive ideas, positive inspiration. I choose to do that with photos + words which I share with the world in the form of blogs, galleries, facebook, conversations, albums, journals, relationships and choices.

My core story? In spite of it all, I choose to believe in the good, the kind, the positive, the light.

day thirty | gift

prompt: gift
This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?
(Author: Holly Root)

The most lovely gift I received this year was the gift of love and support.

I went through a spirit shattering June and suffered through a devastating, complete emotional tailspin, as a result. Most of July and August are a blur to me. Some residual gunk continues to reverberate through my being and I don't think I'll ever be quite the same again. (Note to self: when you think things can't get any worse, think again.)

The gift? Though most were utterly oblivious to what was going on, my friends through love and support, kept me grounded, confident and peaceful. My children, equally oblivious, continue to be my reason for being and the focus of all good things in my life. I am grateful for the laughter, love, support  and hugs shared with me in the nadir of my year.

day twenty-nine | defining moment

prompt: defining moment
Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.
(Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

Validation is a wonderful thing. My autumn was filled with creative encouragement from a number of inspiring sources, so many I admire.

As a direct result of "what the hell - just go for it", I sent in my resume and received an incredible note to my inbox: I was asked to join the tremendous ladies at Ella Publishing Co. on their creative team; totally out of the blue I was chosen to participate in the Passport to Creativity section of the Winter Issue of Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine and was published for the first time ever in this Canadian-only magazine; I was chosen to join the talented ladies over at Paper Issues; as a huge fan of the Log Your Memory system, I submitted some layouts one of which was chosen for the 2011 edition - and I was asked to join the challenge team for the first six months of 2011, as well! To top it all off, I received kind notes to my e-mail, on my blog, on facebook and on twitter from creative women I admire, emulate and provide daily inspiration for me.


2010 was a hell of a defining creative moment!

28 December 2010

day twenty-eight | achieve

prompt: achieve
What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.
(Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

I want to achieve less in order to appreciate more.

I imagine, above all, I will feel a sense of relief. 

I want less of me.
I want less to organize.
I want less to launder.
I want less to cook. Or, less ingredients. Less complicated, surely.
I want less on my to-do lists.
I want less "should"
I want less gossip.
I want less frustration and anger.
I want less noise and confusion.
I want less meaningless stuff surrounding me.

Less is sounding better and better! I didn't just start today, I've been thinking on less for a while - now it's time to work on less.

27 December 2010

day twenty-seven | ordinary joy

prompt: ordinary joy
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?
(Author: BrenĂ© Brown)

My life is all about the ordinary - though I have discovered that my ordinary day is a bit busy for most people to consider low-key or mundane! Every day around here is an adventure of some kind with my four children going in four different directions, often at one time. My greatest joy is when all of them are in the family room watching a movie, playing a card game (cribbage is the latest favourite) or just horsing around - you know that couple of joyful minutes before it gets completely out of hand? That is a great time. I enjoy when I hear my kids engaging with each other, with no interference from anyone, when they choose to be with each other.

26 December 2010

day twenty-six | soul food

prompt: soul food
What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
(Author: Elise Marie Collins)

Located in our local mall, a dingy, half-empty, unwelcoming place, I found a tiny little Moroccan restaurant that opened a little while back. Louis had been there a couple of times as he's all about the gastronomical adventure; in general, I am not. We went over for lunch one day while the kids were in school. Earlier this year I had discovered my violent intolerance of cheese, I was having a terrible time trying to find a replacement for that savoury, rich, textural experience.

I found it: BBQ Calamari Al Andalusia. Savoury. Rich. Hearty.

Heaven in a bowl.

25 December 2010

day twenty-five | photo

prompt | photo – a present to yourself
Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.
(Author: Tracey Clark)

This shot was taken by my daughter Claire when my sister came into town for a baby shower in November. It was a nice change to have her come visit with us as she normally chooses to be in downtown (I live in the burbs) which is more convenient for her to visit with her friends. I was grateful for the change! This captures me (maybe a bit more of me than I'd like) at my most unguarded. It was a fun evening, the type of relaxed and easygoing time of which I'd like to enjoy more. I'm very comfortable in my solitude, too comfortable by some accounts, and every once in a while I should make more of an effort to engage and socialize. I'm glad my sister gave me that kick in the pants!