Baby, it’s cold outside!

Crazy and utterly insane temperatures here in Central Florida this winter. It has dipped into the 20s during the nights and early mornings the last few days. The days have been in the 30s to 50s tops. While I enjoy the cooler weather, the 20s and 30s are definitely not the temps I like at all. Now, if it was in the 50s and 60s, that would be another story…of course, unless that darn wind chill was making it feel like it was even colder.

To keep warm during these cold days, I have been going with lots of layers and hot tea. I already have been loving a good cup of tea and now more than ever do I appreciate how great it is to have a hot cup to warm you up in the morning.

December 17th – Word or phrase

A word that encapsulates your year. “2009 was _____.”

2009 was full of changes. Yeah, just can’t go with just one word there. This was a year that started off as a roller coaster of a ride and has continued to go through the ups and downs of the track along the way.

At the start of 2009, I was unemployed and in all honesty, desperate for work of some kind, anything. I had returned to Central Florida from the beautiful mountains and all I wanted was a paycheck every week or two that would pay the bills and help me get back on my own two feet. Thankfully, my prayers were answered not long after the New Year’s ball dropped. On February 2nd, I started my current call center job.

My weight loss journey was still at the forefront of my mind back in January. I had only just begun my weight loss about three months prior, so I still had a ways to go. By April and my birthday, I was close to where I hoped to be, but was seriously struggling with self-image issues. A great support system aided me in getting over that mountain of a challenge and by the summer, I was 70lbs lighter than I was when I began the journey to better health.

Creatively, I’ve gone through good and bad this year. Thanks to Debbie & Joe’s wedding last year, my excitement for photography had returned while I was still in Asheville. After getting my tax refund, I was able to purchase my first DSLR in late April. It quickly began my new “baby.” I was more than excited about showing it off to anyone who would listen to me ramble about it’s awesomeness. In early May, the camera came with me to Asheville for a quick in-and-out trip to collect the remainder of my belongings that another friend was holding for me in her basement. It was a good feeling walking around downtown Asheville with my new camera firmly in hand, even if it was only for a few hours that sunny Sunday afternoon.

Writing-wise, I’ve been through a number of highs and lows this year. When I first got back down to Florida, I told myself that it was a good time to really sit down and write. That I not only had a lot to write about, but that I need to utilize the free time I would now have until I found a job to do just that. Unfortunately, I did not do this. Instead, I found myself depressed and uninspired. I was waiting for inspiration to walk up to me and punch me in the nose. I now know that not only will inspiration not do this, but that I was naive to even think that it might happen in that way. Inspiration usually does not just jump out in front of your car in the road ahead waving its arms wildly. It comes as you are working and doing all that you can. You need to be open to inspiration, not just sitting there calling out its name. So, after months of excuses and not writing more than I absolutely had to, I had nothing but notebooks full of blank pages. Gradually, I got back on the writing wagon and got my butt in gear. While I had been writing prior to NaNoWriMo, it was this event in November that really got my writing ignited again. I now write something everyday again like I had been doing and I feel like I’m not that lazy, procrastinating writer that I was most of 2009.

Another big change in my life this year is that I went vegetarian in October. After having considered this option in the past, never did I seriously think I could or would do it. But, I decided to give it a go for health reasons. I felt that cutting out meat and making myself try new veggie meals would better my health and maybe help me lose the last few pounds that I had been trying to get rid of. After just a few weeks in, I then educated myself about the treatment of animals in regards to dairy cows and chickens, as I was still consuming milk and eggs. As soon as I took in the reality of how free-range was not the free-range I had believed it to be as well as considering my lactose-intolerance situation, I gave up anything animal derived. I am now a vegan. Admittingly, I am still working on the lifestyle part of being a vegan (getting rid of leather shoes and what have you), but I no longer eat anything that comes from an animal. I am happy about my choice to become vegan and feel better than ever for it. Definitely no regrets in the slightest.

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This blog post is in response to Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge.

Celebration Walking

On Saturday afternoon, I drove up to Celebration, FL to take in the beautiful day there. Celebration is a little town here in Central Florida near Disney. The town celebrates holidays a bit like “the old days,” and has all sorts of fun events going on year-round.

We were having a beautiful weather day here in Florida and so I decided that taking in the town along with a long walk at their walking trail would be a great part of my day. I ended up walking for almost an hour just taking in the fresh air and surroundings. I love taking walks, not only is it a good cardio workout if you keep moving, but it gives you a chance to clear your head and think. Really calms the mind as well.

So, what happened to Nano?

Job loss and having to move back to Florida happened basically.  I was all gung ho about writing “Blood in the Sky” when my former boss sprung the “your job is going to be gone” thing at me.  That said, November 2008’s Nanowrimo came to a screeching halt. I had to deal with the insanity of life and it’s curveballs.

“Blood in the Sky” is being worked on, it’s my novel “baby” and will get completed. I’ve got a lot invested into it, including hours upon hours of research,  so it’s a work in progress. 🙂