Monday, October 21, 2013

The Responsibility of a Brain Steward

As I write this I sit on my couch. It's 5:47. If I want to make it to spin class, I should have had my nerdy bike shorts on 10 minutes ago. Every week I write down my exercise schedule in my planner as some sort of atonement for my shape and form; as if the space that I occupy is soiled by my lack of (fill in the blank) or my too much (fill in the blank).

I attended a Gottman relationship seminar yesterday and I learned that for 1 negative thing said in a relationship, 20 positives must be made to reconcile the pain that the 1 negative caused. I made a correlation to our own self-talk and came to a depressing self-realization. The score is as follows: Healthy relationship 1:20, Julie Babka and her brain 10,000: a number significantly less than 10,000. 

No wonder I am such a mess, no wonder everything that I am is lined with fear and anxiety, no wonder the down comforter of my bed deems a much better world than the one outside. 
The negatives going on inside my mind far outweigh the positives, in such a way that the negatives are multiplying like the cursed cup of Hufflepuff in the seventh Harry Potter book, burning every part of my brain, while the positives drown in their sting. (And yes, I did just use a Harry Potter reference.)

It's 6:02. I should have made it to spin class tonight, but I didn't. What does this mean for me? Am I allowed to feed myself? Did I earn the right to nourish my body? Too often exercise is used as a way to atone for my existence, as if I am a constant apology. 

I will say it again, as if I am a constant apology. I  have found that I live my life between apologies and defenses, between "I'm sorry's" and "How dare you's." It has been hard to find the middle, the balance, the responsibility, the tolerance and respect. It has been hard to discover that things are not black and white, that what we deserve is not a mathematical formula derived from how much "good" we put out. 

If I buy that dress that says it is slimming then I will feel like a whole and complete human being. 
If I exercise this many times a week, I can eat this much, and then I will feel like a whole and complete human being. 
If I make my bed every morning, do yoga, and drink kale in the form of juice, then I will feel like a whole and complete human being.

This has been my struggle, my vice, my "thorn in the flesh" if you will. 
Good thing I believe in a God who defies if, then statements like its nobodies business. 
I am not an apology. I do not need to shrink who I am to make up for what I am not. I am a human being, made of a rambunctious self will that sometimes trips over things and forgets to clean out her car; yet all the while, I am stitched together with Grace.  

The reality is that I have hurt my brain. I have made the process harder than it may be for some other people. That's what happens when your 10,000 negatives have almost no positives to cease the chatter between your synapses and neurons. The truth is that I don't need to apologize and I don't need to get defensive. I just need to take responsibility and explore what that means. 

I fear responsibility because that could mean blame, which could then mean guilt, which could then mean feeling really bad about eating a cookie. Responsibility does not have to be blame. In fact, a few synonyms to responsibility are authority, control, maturity, and duty. I have been given one heck of a brain and it is my duty  to take control of my thoughts. Perhaps, just as God wants us to be stewards of the earth and the environment, he desires that we be stewards of our brains; loving ourselves and nourishing our bodies, never apologizing for being alive. 

Well, my friends, it's 6:53 and I shouldn't be anywhere but here. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pinspiration: Autumn

Here is some autumn inspiration that I have found on Pinterest. Apples, boots, tea, and pumpkins; Oh my!
(1) Patterned Leaves (2) Cozy House (3) Foxy (4) Basket of Apples

 (1) Lantern (2) Blanket (3) Warm Tea (4) Bean Boots

(1) Sweater Breakfast (2) Woodland Treasures (3) Yellow Chair (4) Pumpkin Patch

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hello October

It is becoming blustery up here in Seattle and I love it.  There is frost on my car in the morning, there is a crunch in my step as I walk over fallen tree stars, and I officially have to wear socks for the next six months, huzzah! 
I've been enjoying my new clogs and pumpkin tea. Bliss.
 I've been enjoying our last stretch of 60 degree weather. I am not ready to say goodbye; up here we have to wait till May to get it back. Shot taken on the ferry from Southworth back to West Seattle.
This week I was blessed with the time, the gas in my car, and the weather to enjoy this beautiful hike. One of the reasons I love living in Seattle is that I can get to the mountains in under an hour. Its great when you are feeling impulsive and you need to clear some serious thoughts from your noggin.

(Left): Fig+maple scone from one of my favorite cafes in the city
(Right): Homemade pumpkin scones and a cup of coffee, yum.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wedding Palettes

So now that I am engaged, I guess that means I am planning a wedding. For quite some time now I have been into interior design, art, and decorating, yet I have had very little opportunity to turn my inspiration into real life. I don't draw, paint, or sew and I don't own a house to decorate, not to mention I have been living on a college budget for the past four years. I have this lovely event called a wedding to plan and I could not be more excited. So far, I have come to learn that I love the creative aspects of wedding planning, but not the realistic parts. 

I love looking at pretty food but I don't want to deal with corresponding with caterers.
I love putting together color pallets and inspiration boards but I have a hard time actually turning them into reality. 
I want to have all the people I love and care about surround Mike and I on out big day but man, making a guest list is stressful. 
In the end, planning this event is going to be so good for me. It is going to keep my creative juices flowing and help me (mostly force me) to put those dreams into a reality. 

A lot of this inspiration comes from our venue (which I will post about later). It is rustic, woodsy, and involves lots of tall tress, ferns, wood, and water. 

These pictures and their sources can all be found here on my pinterest.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

San Juan Island Engagement

We drove north and hopped on a ferry
in one of the heaviest rain storms of the year
We planned to camp, but due to the weather we had to glamp (oh shucks.)
The red head made me a leather pouch, I thought "how cute, a pouch!"
Little did I know inside that leather pouch was a shiny ring.
The proposal was a simple affair. He popped the question when we were huddled under blankets looking at a map of the island while it was pouring rain outside; it was perfect.
We explored the island and watched for orca whales. We went to a few bookstores and ate clam chowder. We played checkers by a fireplace and had breakfast for dinner. We spent a whole 24 hours being engaged before anyone else knew, it was lovely. 

Being with Mike has been quite the journey. It was about two years ago that this tall red head walked up to me in the backstage of a symphony hall and introduced himself, all for the sake of having to talk to the beautiful girl with the crazy hair (which, to my great disbelief, was me). Even though he was a complete stranger, I knew our first introduction was the start of something life changing.  
By God's grace we have made it to this point and we are so grateful. This relationship has been humbling, full of joy, frustrating at times, and oh so beautiful. 

Here's to our next step, engagement!