For those of you that have read Random Olio over the last couple of years, you may remember that I am not big on holidays. Most likely a product of my childhood, they have never really been my thing. My dad was overzealous about Christmas, and so there are things that make me nostalgic, as there are memories I have where he seemed happy and completely into the moment. Yet most of those moments were things I witnessed not really things he taught me or I learned from his example.
He was all about Santa, in the decorate-your-house kind of way. Not as much as a kid but when I was in high school and college and no longer lived with him I would usually see him for part of Christmas day. His house, with haphazard furnishings throughout the year, would transform into a showcase for Santa and Father Christmas decorations. Some of them actually creeped me out in a wizard-like or scary old man way. Somehow as he got older, he would wait until after Christmas to purchase a Santa or two on clearance. Only to pack them away and bring them out for a few weeks the next year.
In any case, I am all for change and a new look on things. So when I heard about Fashion Santa I thought “why not!” He hails not from the North Pole, but from a shopping mall in Toronto, Canada. He is styled in clothes from stores in the mall in a lumber jack meets metrosexual St. Nick way. Along the way he is raising money for a charity that helps sick kids. So all in all the 2015 looking Santa is doing good.
Next I would be curious how the stylist would upgrade Mrs. Claus. Anyone up for the task?
Every year I seem to forget my birthday (not really) but I am fine to let it pass by. This past week was CRAZY and I completely looked past the fact that January 8th (last Thursday) was Random Olio’s third birthday. It is hard to believe that I have been writing every weekday for the past three years.
There have been many times over the course of the year where I have questioned whether I should keep posting a blog every day. I contemplate the time it takes to brainstorm, be inspired, write, edit, write, edit, and sometimes throw stuff away. In the end I do it for you and I do it for me. Random Olio makes me think outside myself. I have to be “on” for work in a certain way each day. Random Olio is the outlet that allows me to put myself out into the world with my ideas, inspiration, and questions. It has nothing to do with being “on” at work, but instead allows me to be free and speak what is on my mind. I wonder at times if I did not write if I would be consumed by work or if in some ways my voice would be quieter.
Thank you to each and every one of you that takes the time to read Random Olio. With close to 800 posts in 3 years, I have had a lot to say. While I do not know how long I will continue, I appreciate each day and post you read and commented on. Keep coming back, tell me what you think, and speak your mind.
It has been a full year. I traveled to Shanghai, Chicago, Oakland a few times, to LA, Bend, oh the list goes on. I went to a few weddings, luckily no funerals. I worked countless hours in the office, and at home on my couch. I visited my niece, Facetimed with her and my sister, and missed them in between. We saw family, friends, and played on our own a bit in other parts of the country and the world. I went No Poo in 2014, and then started using loo poo shampoo and wash my hair a lot less often.
We tried new things, thought about the past, and planned and brainstormed the future. We laughed, cuddled, giggled, listened, gave advice, learned a lot, and cherished each other more. Like I said, it was a full year. Here is my list of favorite random olio posts of 2014. In no specific oder:
I hope you enjoyed all you read on random olio this year. Be grateful for all that you have done, all that you have, and all that you have learned. Life is good, we just have to see what is right in front of us. Thank you for continuing to read random olio. Here is to a full, alive, and adventurous 2015!
Three things that are constants in my life on an almost daily basis are: exercise, vegetables, and writing. An odd amalgamation of things, but all critical for a bit of balance and inspiration in my life. You might wonder how these three have anything remotely in common. Their only commonality is that they ground me. On the days when I have the opportunity to run, eat a good amount of vegetables, and take the time to write, life just feels better. It may not mean that I have had an amazing day. Lots of shit could have happened, but these three stable aspects of my life help me to get through the shitty days and make the good days even better. Call me crazy, but it is true.
The ironic thing is that all three require discipline and none of them happened for me overnight. Consistent exercise was a gradual habit that happened over many years. My craving to run each day is the euphoria of pushing myself to the limits, having an hour that is just for myself, and the feeling at the end of a run when I am dripping in sweat and knowing I got through it. There is nothing else in my life that gives me that feeling and my day does not feel complete without my run.
How I feel when I run matters and, often, I can tell that if I feel horrible while running it has to do with some crap I ate earlier in the day. I am usually an evening/after work runner, so what I had for lunch and any snacks or junk food I ingest during the day matters. Which is why I have become a fanatic of eating vegetables. I have them in my green smoothie in the morning (usually spinach, kale, carrots), a salad for lunch, then for dinner, a vegetable, protein, and brown rice. Some sort of yummy concoction, but there is always a vegetable go with it. How far I have come from trying to get away with no vegetables as a kid and little to none in high school and college. Why have I become such an addict? I can now tell the difference in my body when I do not have these natural nutrients. More sugar + less vegetables and my body shuts down earlier in the day. More sugar = more exhausted. Since I know this about myself I do all I can to eat my veggies.
Writing. The final aspect to balance in my life. I write five blog posts each week and used to write in a journal too. My journal writing has waned in the past few months. It felt like work and I was not inspired to do it so I stopped. I know I will pick it up again, as that has been the ebb and flow of my life. There have been times when I needed to write, and write, and write to figure out my thoughts and unravel my world. Writing random olio keeps my mind open and aware. When you know that you are going to write a blog five days in a row you look at the world differently. It makes me more creative, have more wonder, and investigate the world.
What is not to love about my three life disciplines? A random olio of balance that is the core of who I am today.