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Monday, February 10, 2014

Another Chosen Day

I've mentioned Chosen Day in the past, created by John's family to celebrate his arrival from Korea in February 1985. I look forward to it every year. It's a day to honor John and what a gift he's been to all of us.

We often marvel at the twists and turns that brought us together, and there were many. John went from Korea to Atlanta to Nashville to New Haven to Oklahoma, where I was waiting to meet him. Meanwhile, I started in Aiken and went to Spartanburg which took me to Pennsylvania and Baltimore and Oklahoma. And there he was.

Music was a key player. After John got to Atlanta, it dictated both of the paths described above. At any point, one of us could have made a tiny decision that would've prevented our lives from intersecting. John almost won two big gigs that at the time, seemed like his dream, but they would have kept him from Oklahoma and in the end, our marriage. His career would look different right now, but isn't that funny? The thing that looked devastating at the time now looks serendipitous.

We're so thankful for the moments - even the bad ones - that brought us this partnership.

Happy Chosen Day, John.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Greeting 2014 & Looking Ahead

I recently asked John what word best described our 2013. Unfortunately he didn't hear "our" and said "twerk" without hesitation.

At the New Year, I shy away from hard, fast resolutions and opt instead for adjectives. Words I hope will paint my decisions over the next year. Concepts that describe my intentions and might eventually bridge the gap between what I want to happen and what actually happens.

When I asked John again for 2013 words, he gave momentum, change, challenge. 

I agree. I was scrappy, working hard, searching for answers, and he was, too. But on the other side, we realize now that we did gain momentum. It feels good, like we got some answers and have a plan.

The words I've chosen for 2014 all invoke a sense of calm. I'm letting anxiety related to career and future go and trusting the path that's emerging.

On New Year's Day, we did 108 Sun Salutations to welcome the beautiful new year. 108 symbolizes many things, but for me, it meant 108 physical prayers, or meditations, for 2014. The words became my mantra.

John described our hopes for this year nicely: in 2013, we worked hard to build our ship and cast our sails. Now, we just have to let the wind carry us.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Maxwell-Concklin Christmas IV

Hello and Happy New Year! I can't believe it's come and gone. I hope you had a beautiful holiday season.

Flee to the Cleve has been quieter than ever these past few months, thanks to my two jobs. I've been burning the midnight oil in many ways, but things are shifting. More on that soon.

In the name of tradition, I have to pay homage to one of our favorite days, Private Christmas. We did it again this year and loved every second. True to form, we took a night before family holiday travels to shut everything else out, cook a great meal together, and exchange gifts.

We had less time to prepare this year, having both been stretched pretty thin recently, but that made it all the more lovely to take a night out to celebrate together.

After that, we made whirlwind trips to Atlanta and Aiken before returning to Greenville to see some of our closest friends. And now, suddenly, it's a brand new year.

Here's to success, happiness, and growth in 2014.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lessons Learned & Progress Made

Whew, you guys. It's been a crazy three months. In a great way.

I've learned a lot. There's a thing where you learn some stuff and another thing where your life actually changes, and mine was the latter. The second I insisted on positive energy was the moment I realized I was manifesting change.

We've made so many friends, and they're wonderful. Our view of the social landscape in our city has transformed, for the better. The way better. We were ready to leave at a moment's notice, but now we love Greenville. It's amazing the difference finding your people can make.

I've been working harder than ever. I've learned a lot about burning the candle at both ends and switching careers. When you leave something you chose at 16, and get to know yourself again as an adult, it takes some time to figure out where you want to land. For me, it took 1.5 years to discover where I want to be, with the help of some serendipitous landmarks and road signs. I've seen rewards, but I'm still working like a madwoman to make it happen. Though I'm not quite there yet, I feel close enough to stop for a second and write this post.

I've learned professional lessons. I understand that as disingenuous as I considered it to be, "networking" is indeed the way to go. And instead of a weird popularity contest, sometimes it's just nice people who want to help each other. Social media makes it easier, but it's time-consuming. I've learned that thinking outside the box and being resourceful - and finding others willing to do the same - is my best bet.

I've realized that being open, asking for help, letting my go-to reaction be "yes," and taking time to stop, smile, say hello makes all the difference. Inviting positive energy into your life, or believing you deserve it, can be half the battle.

Another transformative thing was yoga every day. Okay, almost every day. I used to be a twice a week person. This summer proved that finding physical activity that makes you wildly happy and sticking to it has great rewards. It also provides a sense of community. And I've consumed the coconut water of 500 coconuts.

It's normal for twenty-somethings to be asking questions. John and I have been wondering where we'll end up, what we'll do, how we'll contribute something to this crazy world. And perhaps for the first time ever, I'm enjoying the process instead of demanding an answer.

In the midst of a time filled with change, questions, and excitement, two things remain: John and Herbie. I'm grateful as ever.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What is Marriage: Gin Rosemary Lemonade

Apparently this is the week I abandon all former waltzes with vegetarianism and cook things in bacon fat, because I can, and because it proves my southern heritage in a way that no paprika-roasted chickpea ever will.

I'm okay with it. Things feel a bit more sluggish than when my diet is plant-based, but have you ever tasted potatoes fried in bacon fat and turned into summer hash? It's indulgent, comforting, and delicious. This week has been a respite from an otherwise frantic summer - a husband and wife taking refuge from the professional rat race, and instead, cooking meals, watching thunderstorms beside our dog.

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