Yes. No. Commitment of 2016.

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” I hope that in this New Year to come, YOU make mistakes, if your out making mistakes then you are: making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.” – Neil Gaiman

For those of you that don’t know where we are located let me give you a quick heads up, well okay, a full detailed heads up. Boyfriend and I are located smack dab in the middle of Seahawk country. Enough said? No. We live on an island surrounded by the blue/green sea that takes on a very dark grey scary looking color in the winter time but there is blue and green splattered everywhere one looks. Our little island is branded with the colors of the Hawks, people are branding themselves as 12’s and wearing their hearts on their sleeves dedicating their mere existence to the team of their dreams, cars and trucks drive down Spring Street ( the main street through town ) with flags flying branded in those very same colors and of course that infamous Seahawk face. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not a hater. I understand the obsession probably a little bit more than most. I get that they are a team that has been playing well but … do we really have to have clothes for every day of the week that supports the team?

Here it is the beginning of a new year, so it started 12 days ago and I am just now getting around to writing something on the blog, I don’t want to be like everyone else that post on New Years Day about their wishes, their dreams, or their resolutions … so I won’t. You wont find that here. You can find that blog back in November when our planning takes place. What I will write about is something that has been tugging at my heart.

IMG_4221Our New Year rolled around with the harsh heavy frost that we are hoping  killed every rat in the neighborhood. Please God, pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaase kill them little rodents. Our garden is looking a little pitiful since there isn’t really anything left after the last rampage from the rats during the fall. Our beds are looking dreary, the leaf mulch is decaying nicely and the sad reminders of left over plants are still doing their best to stay on the green side of life. The Blood Beets on the other hand are doing amazing! Pulled a couple out the other day and scarfed them down like candy! Yum!

The rest of the landscape took on the crystalized look of frost that you can see in the pictures. Now that the frost has melted and frosty has released his icy grip on our island the soil is thawing and the ground seems a little bit happier. At least the soil is now workable and the weeds are a little easier to pull. But this isn’t really what I want to talk about.

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Most of the frozen hours of winter were nice to witness and it shows that we really can or are capable of having a winter but there have been times that we were just buried under snow. For someone who works outside sitting in the recliner pinning on Pinterest can get old very quickly, even if the pins are garden related. Winter is a nice break from the heavy gardening chores but time stands still for no one in this business. Yup, two weeks off is nice this time of year but the reality of pruning kicks in right on the heels of the New Year. The slower time of the year leaves me plenty of time to observe my surroundings. Is that a good thing? Probably not. I have been called a wallflower before and it only made me smile.

I have heard that life can be chaotic at the waterline and this is so true for the things I am witnessing and the things that are tugging on me pretty heavily. A couple of days ago I posted a statement on Facebook that didn’t get very many people tagging that like button but yet again, I really didn’t think all that many people would. Here is what I commented with:

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“Could you imagine what the world would look like if we all put out as much energy on love that is spent on being a Seahawks fan!? Just think of the wardrobe, the selfies and the swag that could go along with it!! Heck, we could even have our own gang name too!! Not a hater, just thinking out loud.”

Well since I wrote that brief observation thoughts that have been running through my mind never seem to end. Looking around town the pictures I gather for my memory banks are flooded with blue and green images. Soul crushing? Yeah, kinda. As for some one who is not a professional football fan and who never watches a stitch of any games on television it’s really difficult to get behind the hype. I have no clothes that screams my favorite team, I have no stickers tagged across the bumper of my car or my coffee cups are not printed with the … you get my drift. It almost breaks my heart to think that we humans could go so far as to defend the rights of the kicker then it is to defend the rights of kindness or even love.

On #PFWChat last Tuesday  there were 8 or 9 questions posed asking what or how our 2016 will look. I must say they were damn good questions and they really got me thinking and yes, I had to answer all of them. Here are a few of the questions with some of my answers:

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Q1: What are you most excited about for 2016?
A1: New lessons! Life Lessons, school lessons, growing into the person I am meant to be! One thing about a blog, I get to explain my answers! 😉 Well ( insert pause … big heavy sigh kinda pause ) I can see one of my new life lessons is upon me. There is a sense of seriousness that happens when I watch the devoted Seahawks fans. What is very fascinating to me is the facts like these: a lot of these people who occupy this island have been here for yeeeears! So with that being said and me being the being the wallflower that I am I have witnessed these people go from average everyday people to fanatics in every sense of the word in one full win of the Super Bowl. No scientific proof needed here folks. There were a few stragglers that held out until the second attempt at the Super Bowl but the tide clearly changed after that second hard loss. The people of our community lost their freakin’ minds. People are now desperate for their Sunday fix. Each play is not only watched, scrutinized but played out on the facebook news feed for three days after the win or loss. Oh, oh, oh, even church services are being shortened so that the 80% of the church goers can get home for the game. Commitment. Sheer commitment from the 12.

Q2: If 2016 were THE year you truly stepped into becoming your “best you”, what would be happening? (go on, don’t be shy)
A2: 2016 will be the year that will bring me into my best self once I understand deeply; commitment. In one understanding of the word commitment. I am clearly getting the idea that it takes every ounce of my being to follow hard to what I believe is good or right. Using my beloved Seahawks fans as the perfect example. So if I were to gather my commitment efforts and energies into … say … something like the thoughts, feelings and actions of truth and love it could look something like this: my daily actions would be surrounded by displaying everything I do on a banner that could be flown from the back of the Burb for all to see! Or I could change my entire wardrobe to two specific colors that represent love and we all know from Valentines Day that those two colors would be red and pink. Oh wait! I could go as far as even changing my Facebook profile to stripes of red and pink, branding myself in the colors of love. Ok. Got it. Check that box, clearly understand that point.

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Q4: It’s December 31st, 2016. How would you like the sentence to be completed: “For me, 2016 was the year of _____.
A4: Commitment. Solidly committed to my goals and purpose. Understanding what commitment really means will take a while, I get this. It took almost 8 months to truly grasp the depths of the word freedom last year and let me tell you that is one word that will never be forgotten in my vocabulary. Not only the workings of the word but the feelings, the devastation, the rebirth, the soul crushing moments that brought out the true champion in me. No doubt that 2016 will treat me the same way with the word of commitment. Luckily, I have the best example in front of me.

Q5: What will you say “NO” to in order to make that statement coms to pass?
A5: Saying no to the “squirrel” moments that take me off track from the adventure that I am on. A few years ago I let go of the idea that I was going to be rich! That I was going to live in the massive house of my dreams that I was going to drive the most expensive cars and live the traveling vagabond lifestyle bouncing my way from country to country and eating my way through India and Thailand. I decided that a simple life suited me better. Being a crab by nature the hiding behind my shell or hiding in my house seemed to be the safest bet. Really, it does agree with me more than one would think.

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So the mission has been to lead a simpler life. Love the fact that  the biggest drama I contend with are the rats that feast on my veggies. So what will I say NO to this year? I will say NO to falling into the traps that looks so shiny. You know the traps I am talking about, those traps that take us from our destination to our pit stops. In this case I can see that falling into a fanatic trap could cause my adventure to come to a complete stop. Falling into the idea that I need to fit in with the crowd and push my church going experience to a downgraded level because it is being cut short for the next two weeks because 80% of the people in the service are branded with jerseys and anxiously watching their smart phone for pre-game stats and fidgeting during communion and needing to leave by game time kick off at 10! Needless to say I wont be attending that church anymore. Well let’s just say it will take an act of God to get me back in there. This alone brings up a whole other topic that chaps my hide.

I will say NO to committing to the acts of conformity you could say. I will say NO to traveling with a Seahawks flag to anywhere and making sure I take a selfie with myself and the flag. Please don’t get me wrong, if you have seen this then I am not being a hater to those that have traveled to Europe in their Seahawks wearables and their flags hanging off the Eiffel Tower to show their support. No I will not be hanging my heart out on the Facebook news feed when or if the team loses or wins. I will NOT allow myself to fall into that trap. But I WILL allow myself to learn from that energy.

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Q6: What will you say “YES” to?
A6: Yes, belongs to the seriousness of me and sticking to my no’s as NO! YES, I will commit to the simple life that looks pretty darn good through my rose-hued glasses. I will continue to say YES to the freedom that I have found from 2015 and YES I will look forward to the lessons that lay ahead for 2016 when it comes to commitment.

You see I don’t just randomly pick these words to live by each year. I would not do that to myself on purpose. Picking these simple yet complicated-deeply-driven-heart-changing words is like paying a dentist to rip out all your teeth. You pay to have them ripped out. I repeat you pay your hard-earned money to have your teeth ripped out. Hopefully, I am not the only one that thinks this is just a silly concept. Yes, I get that if those teeth hurt you need to take care of them but to pay that much money for it? Crazy talk. I do not wish to impart that this is a challenge each year that I choose for myself, no this is a challenge that comes in like a breath of fresh air that I choose to accept and know in my heart of hearts that this is a challenge that will push me to my breaking point and beyond, yet coming out the other side smelling like 3 dozen long stemmed roses crammed under ones face! I am a sucker for the thorns, the hard projects, the complicated missions that destroy me yet build me into something greater. Guess that’s why I am a home body.

So I will say YES to allowing those same Seahawks fans to teach me a thing or two about commitment, devotion and whatever word the dictionary can spout out for a description of them but I will grow in my commitment to truth and love. As for going out and changing my wardrobe? I will wait a little longer on that. Pink is not that flattering.

I will say YES to learning the life lessons that are laid out ahead of me, clearly they are waiting for me, clearly I will adventure through all of them but in the meantime I will say YES to the reminders of blue and green splashed all over town and the next game being broadcast outside, downtown over the sidewalks from the local restaurant. Only because it will remind me of the road that I am traveling the road that will lead me to the fuller understanding of the word commitment.

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Q8: In ONE word – how do you feel about your 2016 plans/goals?
A8: Committed.
  You had to know that answer was coming, right!? So it looks as if 2016 has not let me down in any sort of way if I am learning to commit. Really didn’t think that it would. Now the next question I have is this: “How do I get the masses of people to turn their energies towards a cause such as truth and love rather than surrounding themselves with their models that where the blue and green?” Ok, that is not a question or action that I need to take but it is a good question! Could you imagine a world where truth and love could be branded such as the seriousness in commitment of the 12!? Oh … the wonder of it all.

On another note this is the time that artichokes and asparagus get planted, the seed catalogs start rolling in and the seeds that were left over from last year get started all in hopes for a pantry full of yummies for the next winter. Yes, this is the time of year that the citrus is on sale at the local market and the time to stock up on orange marmalade and lemon curd but really, honestly, we have run out of room. Our small pantry is stocked full and then stocked again. Seriously if you were to walk over to the pantry door and tried to open it the piles of preserved goodness would fall out all over your feet. Scary I know. One of our projects this spring is to relocate the massive supply to another location. Pruning is in full swing of the many fruit trees at all of our landscapes and the deciduous trees take on a new shape. Guess January really does bring out the best in everyone and everything at what ever level we allow. What do you think the word commitment looks like for you? Would love to hear! Go ahead and post your comment!

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