Friday, January 31, 2014

The Emerald City Gets Beastly Love

Magic was in the air this morning as I boarded my bus, then my ferry, then into my office, up the elevator, and into my group. A smile crossed my face each and every time I passed someone, and a soft but determined "Go Hawks" was uttered.  Every tee shirt, hat and jersey I saw, every friend that posted... Im not into football, but look at my blue and green roses, check out my shirt, we're having an office party.
Even the manager that moved here from Denver sported a Seahawks shirt. "when in Rome.." She'd say.
Im not a football fan either. Ive not been much into professional sports excepting MLS soccer, and major events involving professionals such as the World Cup, and the Olympics for well over a decade.
The last time I cared at all about an NFL game of any kind was when Steve Young was in the Superbowl. That was a long long time ago.
Surprised? Those of you following me on Facebook may be, because Ive been loud and proud about my Seahawks for oh, maybe a month now.

In 1997, John Stockton sent the Utah Jazz to the NBA finals. They lost, but they came back in 1998, and we thought they had it, but they lost it again. No one ever expected the Utah Jazz to be as good as they were. A team from Utah couldn't possibly be that awesome. But they were, and it was magic that changed a community, and brought people together. Even though they lost again the second time, they always were the true champions in my heart.

In the summer of 1998, I got on a plane and flew to France. The World cup was happening at that time IN FRANCE. I liked soccer, but i didn't really "get it" until I watched World Cup games with my French family night after night, and finally "saw" on home turf, on a tiny TV that was being watched by 200 french campers and that magical moment when the beloved Zezou, and team pulled off a miracle and beat Brazil to win the World Cup.

For a small moment, just as I had seen in Utah, just as I've seen with multiple Olympics, but especially 2002 (because I was there), just as I see now magic descended and that time, an entire nation was changed, united in brotherhood, and oneness.

As I worked get my Bachelors degree in French about a decade after that magical summer, that moment in time stood out in my head. So I did a paper on it. On the belief the French had had that that moment would unite them and end the infighting between the "French" French and "Les Beurres" immigrant, Muslim French families.

It did for a time, but it didn't last, because it was only a starting point, not a magic bullet. The same is true for any of these big events that bring us together for a moment, and give us such joy and community. They are great, and we never forget them, but permanent change and unity is up to us. I think girls camp was like that for me with the young women and leaders when I was growing up, eventually clicks came back, and it made me sad, but for a time we were all friends and it was great
I love that feeling, and I jump on every chance to be a part of those moments, because the more of them I can have in this life the happier I feel.

Seattle is a dark and depressing place in the winter, but right now you wouldn't know that by looking on any of our faces, or talking to us. The mood has lifted, and we are one, or 12, you choose.

I hope Seattle wins Sunday, because they are my team and this is my city. I hope they win because our people and economy need the lift. I hope we win because I think we have a deserving team full of highly talented players that play and win as a team, not just one big star everyone thinks is amazing. We have many amazings.

I hope we win because we never have before, and we might not get another chance for a long long time again.

But win or loose, we already have won. Win or loose, we got here and that's quite a miracle, two years ago we wouldn't have dreamed it.

But win or loose, we already have something far better than a ring, or a title, we have that magic, that community, that oneness, that love.

We wear our jerseys, and our shirts, and our twelves and we say Go Hawks! and it means "Hello friend, I love you, I love our home. Have hope. Believe. Miracles can happen, magic can happen.
I hope my friends in Denver are experiencing this same thing, I hope, that even though they frequent the Super Bowl more than us, that they feel that and recognize how special that feeling of togetherness is.

If they have, then they too have one. As Pierre De Corbetain, founder of the modern Olympics said, "The important thing is not to win, but to take part... The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well... To build these precepts is to build a more generous humanity" 

I love, and live by those words, its what the Olympic games, World Cups, 1997/8 NBA championships and 2014 Super Bowl mean to me. Its why I spent money on a jersey, but you don't have to spend a dime to feel it, to be a part of it, you just have to let that magic into your heart. Just say it! GO HAWKS!!

If you cant do that for the Super Bowl, try it a few days later for the Olympics, let Go USA! Or wherever you live feel your heart, but remember to love your enemies, and you'll get ever more magic from a go World!

If the Winter Olympics are too cold to thaw your frozen heart, summer will give you one more chance to heat it up, with the 2014 world cup in Brazil in June/July.

No matter where you are, or who you root for, may that peace, love, and unity feel your heart. I think we all long for that, to be a part of something, to feel united, and to have hope in things that seem unlikely, especially these days.    So one more time, just for you,  remember what it really means  Go Hawks!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cold War

 I am currently having a big debate in my head. Tomorrow is Saturday, I have zero plans, and as I am getting over a cold that is probably for the best.

 Today wasn't Saturday, it was Friday, and last night, Thursday, I decided to be a "responsible" sick adult and take cold medicine, so I could get better quicker.  For me, its always a debate if that is really the responsible thing to do. Even daytime versions of things like Theraflu make me super loopy. The night time version guarantee I will not be making it to work or anywhere the next day.

Last night I took daytime cold medicine in the hopes that I would be able to make it in to work today.  About an hour after that, I had no doubt I had just lost that battle, as I set out on a night of some of the trippiest combination dreams I have ever had, including one where my life was candy crush, and every decision I made exploded my dreams into candy bits.  (I may have a candy crush addiction?)  I also had one about never ending piles of case files at work and lots of file folder paper cuts. Right before I went to sleep, I had one of the worst, and most random nosebleeds of my life. I didn't even sneeze, I thought my nose was just suddenly being runny. Next thing I know, my hands are covered in my own blood. Im pretty sure I had one or two more nightmares about that too. It was a horrible night, My dreams led to waking up a lot, and not a lot of restful sleep until it was about 4 am, then I seemed to be paralyzed with fatigue and dizziness, which is usually what happens when I take coldmeds.

 I avoided the temptation to text my friends last night, thankfully, while still in a good place, I completely shut my phone down. I've been known in the past to text my friends some pretty hilarious stuff when I am on cold meds,  Forget prescription cough syrup, that's never happening again. I've taken it twice.  The first time, in college, I some how ended up sleeping in my closet, apparently of my own choice. I don't remember most of it, but I think it scared my roommate.

Last time I took it, I "drunk text"ed several of my friends who first checked to make sure I wasn't alone and that someone could help me, and then advised me to shut my phone off. Prescription cough medicines are not worth it to me EVER.

but tonight's debate is this,  my throat hurts. I know between the feeling of rawness, and the feeling of phleminess, I'm just going to feel like I'm choking if I try to sleep sans cold meds.  However, all I have left at this point is the Night time Theraflu. If I take that, forget last nights bizarre dreams, I will not even know where I am for the next day. I hate how I feel when I take that stuff, its almost worse than how I feel when I have a cold.

 But, I do want to get better.  I have been drinking/eating plenty of clear liquids. I've pretty much had a home made vegetable barley and chicken broth soup to eat five times today, as well as numerous cups of  ginger snapish herbal tea, and probably a few gallons of water.  ok maybe one gallon.  Which was another thing that made last night tricky, because I was being such a good water drinker I had to wake up from those crazy dreams and try not to die stumbling to the bathroom to pee a million times last night. Not really wanting to do that again.

I've done a decent job of resting today. I know I should sleep, sleep is key right?  If I try to sleep, I wont, because of the aforementioned throat issues, or the also mentioned cold med issues. so now I'm in the middle of this "cold war" and I have no battle strategy at all.  This really isn't the worst cold I've ever had, so it should be easily defeated, but no matter what I still can't see an option tonight where I win.

 Perhaps I will loose this battle, take the cold meds, again. and hope and pray that I wake up and its all gone. I suppose that's the best thing I can come up with at this point. I apologize in advance to any friends I text crazy things to. I do love you, but probably not as much as I'm going to say I do in an hour or so. =(

I should probably add in that im am feeling kind of lonely. It sucks being sick, single and roommateless. There is no time you want someone around to take care of you more, and also no time when it would be really horrible of you to ask someone over and share your germs, if you could get them to come.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My New Years Regeneration

 Last night, while scrolling down my Facebook news feed, I saw this Steven Spielberg quote posted by a friend:
                      “All of us every single year, we're a different person. I don't think we're the same person all our lives.”

As a very big Whovian (fan of Doctor Who), this reminded me of something Matt Smiths Doctor said in the Christmas episode right before his Doctor regenerated.

  "we all change, we are all different people all through our lives, and that's ok, that's good, you've got to keep moving, as long as you remember the people you used to be."   

 I think that for me last year was such a year, that I don't want just a New Year's resolution, I want a New Year's regeneration. I want this year to be a truly fresh start. So that is how I am treating it. I've taken no baggage with me from last year. In fact, I made a point yesterday of saying anything I had to say about unresolved issues from last year. I have nothing more to add to it, I feel resolved.

I am a new person this year. Last year, I think I could call my "War Doctor" year, and what I did, I did in the name of peace and sanity, but now that its done, I'd rather try to forget most of it, and just take the lessons I learned and move forward.

 I loved my trip to Europe last year, and I will always treasure that, it was a reward for the rest of the year that I had to get through. I feel my decisions I made last year were difficult decisions, that I mostly chose correctly, and handled decently well with an exception or two,  but it was such a difficult year, so full of hard decisions and moments that I'd like to step forward and be a bit different from that this year. So, today I did.

 I followed the David Tenant approach to today. I slept in, and rested. But when I got up I was full of energy and ready to go. Then it was time to figure out who this Mandi is, because I don't know yet who I'm going to be this year, but from my first day I can tell you  this Mandi wants things cleaned and organized.

I woke up to a pile of last nights party mess all over my house. Its no longer there. Everything is clean and nice again. I did a lot of laundry and dishes today.

I also woke up and took a shower and took time to do my hair and makeup  and choose my clothes carefully, even though I didn't go anywhere today. Last year, Mandi was a bit of a rock star and a rebel in her dress choices, this year there may still be an element of that, but it looks as there will be more of a softer feminine  twist to my look.

 Then, its always important to decided what your "regeneration" is going to like to eat this year. I did healthier twists such as salmon on home made biscuits and country gravy for lunch, and stir-fry bok choy and veggies for dinner.  This years Mandi may be a bigger food snob than ever before- but on a budget, and healthily.

 I didn't really feel like exercising today, but I did some stretching, so I feel like that means I'm going to at least make an effort. I'm still defining the me of this year. We don't know if a companion might not come along and change it all, this year is still before us, but I'm excited to find out, and not be defined by my past, but also to remember the past, the people I was, and the lessons I have learned.  I think I like this approach much better than a resolution, just deciding who I really want to be.

This Mandi has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ, but this Mandi also would like to take a more quiet approach to life, and opinions, and stuff.

Last year, one of the greatest things I gained from that tough year was a true love of myself, independent of the opinions of others. That battle was hard fought, and took the entire year to win, and some outside help. I will not forget that last year I learned there are people in my life who love me for who I really am, and who I can become. I will not forget that my Heavenly Father loves me completely. I love me, and I'm ready to face a year where that doesn't have to be such a battle any more. Last year I faced all my demons within, so I feel I can face everything without with greater confidence and faith, not fear.

 I'm still not ginger, but I died my hair red once and that was a bad idea, so we wont repeat that, but I am excited to see what comes of this new approach to a new year. Its kind of like baptism in some ways, an opportunity to start life with new eyes, a clean slate, unburdened and free.

    ALLONS-Y!  Geronimo!

nah, I think my phrase is just
                                 Let's go!