Friday, December 20, 2019

Official goals for 2020!

So, last week I mentioned wanting to create some goals for the new year, and I enjoy doing this on an annual basis. This year, I'm all into themed lists, as I suppose this appeals to my very ordered sort of a personality. ;-) It's the way God made me, I can't help myself! And I also wanted to select a new patron saint for the blog, and a new word for the year. Lots to do!

Let's start with patronage. I use the Patron Saint Name generator to select a new saint for our little community each year, and really appreciate having this tool at our disposal. And so, big announcement time. Our blog patron for 2020 is...St. Catherine Laboure!


This is the saint responsible for the Miraculous Medal image (she's also the patron of pigeon fanciers, always something fascinating! :-0), and I couldn't be more pleased to have her and our Blessed Mother watching over our blog for next year. :) Maybe I should procure a new Miraculous Medal necklace in commemoration? 🤔 So much yay! I also used a similar tool to select a word for the year, but let's come back round to that at the conclusion. :-)

So I ended up coming up with 2 goal lists: dance and faith/family. To me, the faith and family stuff very much went together, so I combined them. And without further ado!

Dance Goals 2020

  1. Take online class with Aziza - Aziza is an internationally known dancer who now teaches online classes out of her home base in Montreal, and I've been wanting to study with her for years. I actually can already check this one off of the list, because these past 2 Wednesdays I've attended her online classes, so yay! She is *incredibly* nice, and extremely approachable, and I absolutely loved the classes. I will say that I was just the weensiest bit nervous to meet her because of her fame within my dance community, but she put everyone at ease right away. *beams*
  2. List used costumes for sale - Ugh. :-0 Swap meets are big in the belly dance community, as costumes are expensive, and after a time you want new stuff. I need to photograph my older costumes and list them for sale, but the financial motivation just has not been high enough to get over my fear of interacting with strangers online. This is definitely a goal for the new year!
  3. Buy new costumes - And this one is way easier. 😂 Once I sell my old costumes, I'll have the money to buy new ones! It's good to rotate through costumes if you perform professionally, as I do, but I tend to buy a new one or two each year yet still not sell old ones. I buy them used in the swap meets to keep costs down, ;-) but all the same. 
  4. Find new workshops - I love doing this, so it's hardly a hardship! Last year, I took some workshops about an hour from me with a fantastic Turkish style dancer, and so this year I'd like to find a different focus to keep on branching out from my comfort zone.
  5. Cross-training - I took a modern dance workshop this past November, and it kicked my you-know-where, LOL! It was HARD. I've been studying the style of dance that I perform for a long time now, and so I'm not used to feeling uncomfortable in a dance class. But you *need* to make yourself uncomfortable sometimes in order to grow. Ballet and modern are on my list!
  6. Have pro photos taken and look into creating website - I don't know about this one, but it's on my list for a reason. No reason to not look into something before you have a slew of information to base your decision on. So, we'll see.
  7. Expand Instagram presence - I have a dance IG account that I really love, and it's a budding project, to be sure. I've been trying to use hashtags more frequently to find additional dancers to follow and vice versa, and will continue to work on this. 
Faith and Family Goals 2020

  1. Continue praying a daily rosary - This has been going well and I'm so pleased. I love praying my rosary in the car, and I've developed a new habit whereby I reach for my rosary whenever I'm in the car by myself. Loving it, and I'd really like to keep it up!
  2. Work with Anne in Magnifikid - Anne is going through that "church is boring" phase, and I'd like to experiment with a few ways to help her to understand and enjoy it more. She has a subscription to Magnifikid that she uses sporadically, but she's gotten back into it more lately. 
  3. Anne First Communion prep - This is coming up in 2020, can you even believe it?! I'm not sure what I'd like to do with her yet in terms of prep at home, but I'm looking for ideas. 
  4. Henry and Lent - With Henry being the age that he is right now, he's not exactly chomping at the bit to talk about spiritual stuff. Or anything else, for that matter. ;-) In the past, I've used Lent as an opportunity to have one-on-one time to spend with him and share a spiritual experience (Adoration, Stations of the Cross, etc). 
  5. Family Lent project - Lent will be big this year. ;-) But I'd like to come up with an almsgivng activity that we could all participate in.
  6. Not worry so much! - Easier said than done. I might as well just put this on every goal list from now until the year that I die.
This was a productive exercise for me. Did you create lists as well? Looking to share?

And finally, I'm all excited about my word for the year. I used the Word of the Year generator and said my usual little prayer about wanting to receive whatever word God wanted me to have. Are you ready? My Word of the Year is...

I LOVE THIS. It just fits so well with what I have coming up in 2020! I actually squealed when the result appeared on my screen. :-0

All right, this will be our last post until the new year, as I (and you as well!) will be busy over the holidays visiting with family and friends. I'll see you all in January, and I hope that you have a WONDERFUL Christmas and New Year's! *hugging*

Friday, December 13, 2019

Goals, dance-related and otherwise, for the new year...

When the new year approaches, I get all excited about setting goals and making a fresh approach to the things that I enjoy or wish to reignite. This year, the approaching holidays have really snuck up me, with Thanksgiving having been as late as it could possibly be. And so Christmas shopping is barely happening as of yet, and New Year's resolutions were not really at the forefront of all of the things I was trying to juggle in my little brain.

But this past week they came to mind again. I usually write every year about my adventures being hired to dance at restaurants on New Year's Eve. This year, many of the restaurants that often hire dancers are cutting back a bit budget-wise, and so I don't have a New Year's eve gig lined up like I usually do, which I'm super sad about. I look forward to those gigs all year, they're lovely. But we don't accept less than the going professional rate for our area (especially on a holiday!) and so sometimes you don't have a gig even though you'd otherwise love to have one. But it's part of the business, to be sure. So that got me to thinking that I'd like to create a list for myself of some dance-oriented goals for the new year, to cheer myself up a bit. And that got me to thinking that I'd love to also create a list of other goals for the new year: faith-related, fitness-related, family-related. I love lists, they make me feel very organized and in control, even when that is not actually the case. ;-) How about you? Do you enjoy making lists? Do you create a list of New Year's resolutions for yourself?

And so I'm creating a deadline for myself via this blog: by the end of next week, I will create these lists and share them with you. I'll also select a new patron saint for the blog for 2020, and announce that then, too. That's saint, dance, fitness, faith and family. Perhaps these correspond with lists you'd like to make as well, and we could give each other some ideas. I'm planning to post them next Thursday, so be on the lookout! If you'll be creating your own lists, leave a comment below. :)

Friday, December 6, 2019

A wintertime hygge reading list...

Hello all, and I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! (or just a nice week, if the holiday does not apply to your geographic location ;-)). Getting back into my routine coming off of the week-long vacation, I was feeling a bit melancholy on Monday morning, and setting up a strict to-do list for myself to keep on task. One of the things that I needed to do was write my monthly piece for Catholic Mom, and as would be expected given my sunken spirits, I was having a difficult time coming up with an idea for a topic.


So, yes, I had to think on it for a few days. 😁By Wednesday, I was *really* up against the deadline for the next day, and so inspiration was truly needed at that point.


That day, my team at work (those of us who are primarily teaching librarians) was putting together a few baskets for the annual auction to benefit a university-wide charitable effort. One of them had a "warm and cozy theme" and included things like fuzzy slippers, tea, big campfire mugs, and a copy of a book on hygge. Inspiration struck!


I'm familiar with the Danish concept of hygge from reading a memoir last year (recommended by my colleague who came up with the hygge basket idea!) and I absolutely loved it. That memoir is this one:

Hygge is the idea of enjoying cozy indoor time, spending time with the people you love. There are a lot of other ideas that go into this overall philosophy of happiness, including having an inviting living space and enjoying good food and drinks, but essentially it focuses on ways to thrive while being mostly indoors for the long winter months. And in Denmark, as you can imagine given it's location near the Arctic Circle, has a very long winter with significantly reduced sunlight. Yet, they are rated as the happiest country in the world! Intriguing, yes? I had been thinking about writing my Catholic Mom piece with a winter theme, and knew that a hygge tie-in would be perfect.

So, that's what I did, including a spiritual angle with a winter rosary connection, yay, and that piece will be published next week (I'll link it in the comments when it is live :)). In the meantime, I thought it would be pleasant to include a little hygge reading list here on the blog. I haven't done that in awhile! And the librarian loves her readers advisory, it must be said.

The book that was in our basket is this one:

Popped that right onto my Amazon wish list. I mean, look at that cover imagery. Makes me want to dive right onto my couch in my fleecy robe and slippers! As well as this one:

The cover art on this book also makes my heart so happy. Those blues, alpine green, snowy white, and the brown from the log cabin. In fact, looking at this picture gives me an idea for a blanket that I could make for one of our bedrooms! A hygge themed blanket. This stuff makes me so happy! 🤗

This book was also recommended quite a bit as I navigated my way through this happy rabbit hole:

As I read some articles online about hygge, this was the book I saw discussed the most, interestingly. I kinda want all three. Hoping for some Amazon love this Christmas, for sure. 😁 I've already set up a project page on Ravelry for the hygge blanket, ha! I don't even have the yarn for it yet. WHAT AN OUTSTANDING PROBLEM TO HAVE! 😃

This reading lists barely brushes the surface, but I think it gives us a nice place to start! Have you read any books on hygge or Denmark? Leave them in the comments to continue on with our list!