Widening the Margins

Thursday, September 26, 2019

My last season of life, I was choosing margin. 

Choosing to have few connections, few responsibilities, so that my heart could feel at peace. So I wasn't over working. Or over performing. Or over doing everything. I wrote about it HERE in February.

But after every quiet season - usually comes the season of what you've been preparing for.

And I have felt that in every minute of the day. It's the season I am in now. AND IT IS SO FULL I MISS HAVING A BORING LIFE. It’s a cycle, inhale and exhale years…and I swear they alternate every other year.

This Summer meant widening the margins back in my life. Opening the curtain, getting back to reality from my soul/mind/heart vacation. 

And LOL…Actually nervous laughing…

It's been an adjustment, and that adjustment came into full effect this Summer. Starting off with officiating a friend's wedding who I met at Church Camp from 2000, getting to room with my other friend from camp who I also met 19 years ago, and then getting to meet Aaron's sweet relatives in Southern California on this same trip.



I finally got to go to a new city – Toronto, for a conference and it was one of the most diverse cities I’ve ever visited. My heart felt so full there, and maybe my stomach too ;)

Because this year has been so different for me, not familiar, completely new territory, that I am glad I got to keep some sacred traditions like going back to South Dakota for the 4th of July. There is nothing like the 4th in small town South Dakota. Rodeo, fireworks, bar life, carnival, four wheeling, gravel roads, starry skies...it’s everything a Summer has always been to me. Aaron got to meet my parents, my family, and friends I’ve had since grade school.

We were also lucky this year to have my niece come back and live with us for a month! Living away from my family, the worst part is being a long distance Aunt. So, having her come with us for an entire month made me so happy, and we finished Summer with my brother, his wife, and kids visiting…the first time in 12 years that my brother came to visit me where I lived – Ike, I know you love me :D


Then, came August…Notoriously known in higher ed / Housing that I don’t exist until SEPT. DigiPen has been such a blessing in multiple ways, but I appreciate working there because of the students and people. I also feel heard and advocated for. Enough so that I was promoted.

I feel like I am typing a Holiday Card recapping my year, but I am just reiterating that if life seems slow, quiet, and forcing you to calm down…Maybe you should listen to it. Normally, I’d ignore it. I’d busy my life up so much to the point I’d be exhausted before I got started.

Now? I am so happy I listened to my gut for the first time, and took the calm season to actually relax. It helped regulate my pace for this season of busy and full. I arrived in WA last year, unsure if I made the right move, sad from a break up, never thought I’d be a Mom or a Wife because I was so over relationships and people, didn’t want to take any risks, or talk ever again to anyone….and a year later….this is where I am.

Planning a wedding in Mexico, learning Spanish to speak with my Significant Other’s family, converting to Catholicism, making new connections, and y’all…even keeping some plants alive!


Even though I’ve widened the margins, and allowed life to surprise me - I couldn’t widen the margins without choosing margin first. I am content that I took my unsure season as a time to train, rest, and believe whatever I’m training for, was to widen the margins of life – to gain what I’d been praying and throwing out to the universe. I hope if you are in that season, you do too. It’s not easy living in a culture where we are told to do MORE, be MORE, learn MORE, MORE MORE MORE. And just step back and say no, this is what I need and this is what I don’t need. To prepare intentionally, to break unproductive habits, and bad cycles.


Solace in Seattle

Friday, October 5, 2018

I have seasons of wild, chaos, or slow.

But this season is none of the above.

This season is about finding middle ground.

Finding middle ground habits I've been enjoying:

Being okay with night's IN...I know, I know.

Using a paper planner for personal life and digital planner for work and not mixing it.

Work doesn't come home with me, or as often.

Writing.

Reading more.

Slow walks downtown and watching the leaves change colors.

Making the right friends and saying yes to the right things.

Mini road trips.

Saying positive things out loud about the people around me, often.

Texting my parents more often

Listening to podcasts each week.


Writing more gratitude & thank you cards.

Learning to take my time.

Opening my window to listen to the rain...the closest sound I have to waves of the ocean. 

Collages and art.

Playing with my new tarot card set.


It's been nice. Nice finding some solace in Seattle.

A beautiful Fall night

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The extent of my Fall decorating: 3 pumpkins & Fallish flowers.

Nights like tonight are rare and beautiful in my world.

Before 7pm, I was curled up in my soft comforter under my twinkle lights drinking hot chocolate and breathing in the crisp fall air flowing through my windows. The breeze picked up and filtered in some chimney bonfire-like smoke that reminded me it was my favorite season of all: FALL.

I read. I watched tv. I baked cookies. I caught up with an old, but good friend. Sweet and savory moments in my new home.

AND

it is because I don't know how to relax when I am sick and I felt if I was productive (baking, reading academia, still responding to emails, and catching up on my phone list) that I'd feel better about being sick. I have issues. No, definitely still have issues ;)

None the less, a beautiful fall night. 

Providence, Rhode Island

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I spent last weekend in Providence, Rhode Island for a conference. Although it was work related, the trip revealed so many positive relationships and things that are going on in my life. It's in these moments I felt loved, appreciated, and worthy of everything God has given me and given me the opportunity to earn.

--

After 8 years, I was reunited with this friend who I met through pageants as a pre-teen. Although 8 years had passed, we spent the morning touring where she goes to school (Brown University), drinking coffee, and catching up over delicious crepes. She is such an enthusiastic and positive force, only good things to come for this girl! Here we are in front of the famous Van Wickle Gates!

Last year I spent my time working for this guy! He was like my 2nd Dad. I was fortunate we just both happened to be going to the same conference that normally not many people attend in our profession. My first and second supervisor in graduate school were Asian Pacific Islander...growing up in the Midwest I never saw people like me in Leadership. He along with my first year supervisor played a critical role in my ethnic and racial development as an adult.

Finally. This girl. This girl drove 400+ miles to spend 5 hours with me where we drank well crafted beer, ate good food, and explored the city of Providence together as much as we could. I met her during my Interview days at my graduate school my senior year of college. She ended up becoming one of my best friends at graduate school and I am grateful to have a daily relationship with her. I felt so incredibly loved by her. Everyone needs a friendship that would spend the time, money, and effort just to see someone for 5 hours!!!

Then, there was FALL :) Oh boy...how I miss the crisp fall air, the turning colors of the leaves, and layering in sweaters/scarves/boots! Providence was such a compact city that walking around was easy. So, when I went to visit my friend at Brown, I made sure to snap a few photos of the city. In addition, Providence does this event called WaterFire and they literally put little mini bonfires on the river. It's a beautiful event and you could sense the strong sense of a re-vitalized downtown community. Enjoy my taste of New England Fall:









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