Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Joy of Cooking?

This morning some buddies from high school came over and we made pancakes.

It was more of an attempt on my part.  You see... I'm not the best at cooking.  In fact that is way to kind; I am horrible at cooking!  It cooking endeavors usually end in the fire alarm going off, melting a pan of some sort, and a phone call to my Mom.

After I couldn't find any pancake batter mix in my house I found a recipe online.  Everything was going great.  We had all of the ingredients in my kitchen and I started to mix them as the recipe instructed.

Then disaster struck.

As I was attempting to pour flour into a cup measurer over my sink, all of the flour fell out of the bag.  There was flour everywhere.  I had to scrape flour off of all of the dirty dishes, off of the counter, off of the floor, and off of myself.

Fortunately my friend finished making the pancakes for me and they ended up being delicious.

Cooking is not a pretty puddle for me.  I make a splash, but it always turns into a big mess rather than a beautiful cascade of water.

I think its good that I figure this out about myself.  I can either learn how to have sense in a kitchen, or avoid them like the plague.

There are always puddles that are too big to jump into.  You aren't ready for every puddle.

Cooking is my big puddle.  It just isn't a good idea for me to go jumping in expecting fun and beauty.

Cooking gets my socks wet.  I just need to make sure I have a dry pair, or a pretty powerful hair dryer to deal with the aftermath.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jumping Buddies

Have you ever had a friend that just knows you?

These friends are very rare.  I think in your entire life you may have maybe three or four if you're lucky.

I am so incredibly fortunate to have two of these people in my life.  They know me inside and out.  They know when I need to be left alone and when I need someone to talk to.  They know what I am thinking without me even having to open my mouth.

I just visited one of these friends.  My Thanksgiving Break started before his did, so I drove to visit him, and some other great friends, at his school.

Now I hadn't seen him since August and we had a great time being reunited.  But there was no catching up that you normally have with friends you haven't seen in a while.

It was as if nothing had ever changed.  We were just hanging out together, talking about things that only the other would understand, and having so much fun.

These special friends, these best friends, allow you to not even think... and truly be yourself.  And you do the same for them.

The entire weekend I was jumping from puddle to puddle with this friend.  I was not even thinking about the puddle, the jump, or the splash.  I was simply living and loving every second of it.

I also think that the splashes I made were better because I was jumping with them.  And think about it... if you have two people jumping into the same puddle at the same time... you are going to see a bigger and a more beautiful splash.

I am so thankful for these best friends that I have in my life...  they are my jumping buddies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time for a Break


There are tests to pass, papers to write, meetings to go to, rehearsals, performances, study dates, actual dates, new workouts, new classes, new plans...  And the list goes on.

I feel like all I've been doing for the past three months is jumping from puddle to puddle... trying to make as many splashes as possible.

While this is fun and exciting, and what college is all about, it can get tiring.

Then two glorious words enter my life: Thanksgiving Break.

This is a week devoted to eating and relaxing.  I get to see my family, my grandparents, my cat, and my friends that I grew up with.

Thanksgiving Break always comes at the perfect time every year.  It comes right after "I feel like I'm loosing my mind" and right before "Oh gosh! I feel like Jack from The Shining."

I'm excited for warm smells of pumpkin pie, delicious turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and the feeling of being on a break.

I think the thing that excites me the most is getting to feel like a kid again.

My mother, the perfect woman that she is, will do my laundry, cook for me, clean up after me, listen to my problems, make me smile, and allow me to feel the calmest I've felt in a long time.  She will dry my socks and put my wet feet in front of a crackling fire to warm them up after jumping in too many puddles.

Moms have that effect.  Thanksgiving Break has that effect.  Turkey has that effect.  Thank goodness it's finally here!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Unknown Puddle

Open water.  The night sky.  The bottom of a dark well.  Tomorrow.

All of those have something in common.  You don't know what's there.

This makes each of these things intriguing, exciting, intimidating, and kind of scary.

What about the puddles you know nothing about?  You don't know how deep it is.  You don't know what kind of splash you will make.   You don't know if it will be fun or just a big muddy mess.

That's kind of how college life is like.  You have no idea what tomorrow is going to be like.  Let alone tomorrow, you have no idea what your life will be like.  It can be so exciting.  It can also be terrifying.

I have a friend who is about to take the GRE's.  This singular test pretty much determines if she will get into graduate school.  She has tomorrow waiting with a lot of outcomes... a lot of different splashes that could happen.

How do you prepare for such an unknown splash?  Do you wear extra socks?  Do you practice running up to the puddle?  Or do you just go for it with all that you have?

I think it's a combination of all three.

Wear extra socks.  In case the splash is too great, you have some security.  Have backup plans.

Practice running up to the puddle.  Don't encounter any surprises.  Be as prepared as you can be.

Go for it with all that you got.  Don't hold anything back.  Take a giant leap and make a splash.

While you don't know how a splash may turn out, and while it might not be the splash you were expecting... you never know what your splash may do.  How exciting is that?

So for every person fearing tomorrow, the couple of years after college, the rest of your life, or even the GREs, go for it!  Jump as big as you can... knowing that you have prepared as much as you possibly could.

And know that even if you fall on your ass, get your feet soaked, or miss the puddle altogether, you still have people all around you to pick up, dry you off, and get you ready for your next splash.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It Smells Like Snow

Every fall - when it gets cold - there comes a night when you smell snow.

There is a crisp feeling in the air.  Your nose wrinkles with the first bits of freezing air crawling into them.  You pull your jacket around you tight and you start craving hot chocolate.

Then you breathe in a scent: you smell snow.

There is no clear way to describe the smell of snow.  It smells like Christmas, pine trees, warm mittens, cookies, hot cider, and so much more all combined.

 It is a smell of the anticipation of a renewal.  A blanket of white will soon fall allowing you to feel even more snug under your covers.  There's something about snow...

For me it means feeling like a kid again.  The world around you completely changes and allows a kind of ulterior world for you to discover for the first time.

The anticipation of the first snow... of a brand new season... of Christmas morning...   The anticipation helps make the actual destination - the splash - even more impacting.

The first snow of the winter is like a frosty, freezing, and refreshing puddle.  It's not directly in front of you... but when November hits you can see it down the path.

The run to this puddle is so full of anticipation that the splash - the first snow - is the greatest one of all.

So tonight started the sprint to the first snow.  And I'm going to love every step.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Running Start

"How are you doing?"

This is a question that you get asked every day at least once.  Today I found myself responding, "tired." to every single person who asked me.

Throughout my entire day I was just kind of walking through.  I fell asleep in class, looked at the ground when I was walking outside, and avoided really making a splash anywhere.

I was kind of slopping from puddle to puddle.  I was stepping over puddles that I could avoid and dragging my feet through the ones that were impassible: like classes or rehearsals.

There was no great jump into any of my puddles.  If I look at my day as one giant puddle, there was no grand entry that would produce any kind of a splash.  Instead I muddled through creating a lame kind of slosh.

Is there some preparation needed to truly make a jump into a puddle?  Do you need to be prepared to make an impact on your day?

The answer is yes.

I was tired, groggy, and cranky.  I missed out on learning new things in my classes.  I missed out on actually seeing the world around me.

Before I get ready to start my day I need to make sure that I have taken care of myself.  Sleep, which is such a simple and easily attainable thing, is something that I need to give to myself, so that I can enjoy all of my splashes the next day.

If you want to run a marathon you stretch out before.  If you want to sing an aria you warm-up your voice.  If you want to make a splash you leap into the puddle.

The beauty of the outcome relies on your preparation.

If you want to enjoy your day, and live in the moment... then you need to be physically and mentally ready to take a running start.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Drying Off My Socks

I think I realized what this blog is for me.  I figured out the role it plays in my life.

Throughout my day I go from puddle to puddle, jumping and splashing.  I also avoid some puddles, hop over others, and completely miss some too.  There are problems and situations that I embrace and face head on and there are others that I shy away from.

This blog is a chance for me to wring out my socks and remember the splash.

Through writing about my experiences I can think deeper about the way I approach the problems and circumstances that are my life.

You can't go throughout life jumping from puddle to puddle without any thought about it.

Eventually you need to dry off your socks and remember the awesome splashes that you made during your day.

That's what this blog is for me... a way for me to dry off my socks and evaluate the situations I face daily.

I think that everyone needs to think about the way they are living their lives from time to time.

Jumping into puddles is exhilarating, but you can't always walk around with wet socks.