Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You Capture - Week #1

Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry is sponsoring a fun photography challenge - You Capture. This week's assignment was to photograph something you love without using your flash.

Next week's assignment is Perspective.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Write Away

There's an awesome contest going on over here. The following post, "A Thousand Miles," is my entry.

My beautiful, black bike has helped me "let go" of 49 pounds. I'm working on letting go of another 61 pounds and celebrating in Disneyland! My bike and I are partners in this endeavor and my goal is to bike 1000 miles this year. Those flying lessons are coming along nicely...

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Thousand Miles

Who knew that a beautiful turquoise blue bike, complete with banana seat, white plastic weave basket with magenta, yellow and turquoise flowers, streamers and training wheels could provide such a profound life lesson?

My best friend was a year older than me and had two older brothers. There was no way I could hang out with them on a bike with training wheels! If I wanted to keep up, I had to be brave. I had to let go of the comfort of the training wheels. I had to let go of the fear of falling, the fear of failing. I had to let go of my control and trust that the laws of inertia would work for me, too.

It took me quite a while to decide that I really did want to ride my bike with my friend and her brothers. I was able to fool myself into thinking that I was too cool to do something just because everyone else was doing it. But deep down I knew that I wasn't really happy with that decision. So, I sucked it up and tried. And-


That rushing feeling of joy--of soaring!--changed everything. I was now "grown-up" because I could fly! The wind hitting my face and snatching my breath away was the most exhilarating feeling I had ever felt--pure joy.

Fifteen years later, that exhilaration for life was snatched away. In it's place was a bleak monster weighing me down. Fibromyalgia. Depression. Infection after infection. Pain. Brain Fog. Each new medication added pounds (and pounds, and pounds...) Each new infection stole hope. Until I couldn't even remember joy. For nine years.

Ironically, my best friend, who had inspired me to let go of my training wheels, was sick, too. She was diagnosed a year before I was. She took me to my first Rheumatologist. She comforted and commiserated. And now she was ready to help me heal. She had found a new way to approach health--Energy Medicine. But to follow her, I had to be brave. I had to let go of the comfort of Western Medicine. I had to let go of the fear of falling further into the illness, the fear of failing to heal. I had to let go of my control and trust there were options other than being sick the rest of my life. So, I sucked it up and tried. And--

It was hard. But also brilliant.

Three years later I'm ready to get back on the bike. This bike isn't turquoise with magenta flowers; it's black and gray. I won't ever feel the wind rushing past me when riding this bike; it will stay in a corner in my family room. This bike comes with it's own set of training wheels. And I'm okay with that. Because someday I'll be able to ride a real bike again. Someday I'll feel that wind rush past me and snatch my breath away because my grin is just too big. Yes, this bike is beautiful. This bike means that I have hope. This bike gives me the opportunity to let go of what has been weighing me down. This bike offers me the chance to fly again.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Split Personality Mosaic

My sisters have posted these fun mosaics on their blogs and I wanted to play, too. However, as usual, I couldn't decide which pictures I liked the best! So, I decided to make two.

Here are the rules:

Type your answer to each of the questions below into a Flickr search. Using only the first page, choose your favorite image (or in my case, favorite two images - I didn't do two searches, I picked my favorite two images from the original search), then copy and paste each of the URLs into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows.) Leave me a comment if you play so I can check it out!

The questions:
  1. What is your first name? (Julie)
  2. What is your favorite food? (cheese)
  3. What high school did you attend? (Hillcrest)
  4. What is your favorite color? (green)
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Tom Hanks)
  6. What is your favorite drink? (juice)
  7. What is your dream vacation? (Holland)
  8. What is your favorite dessert? (mock-chocolate eclair - nothing showed up so I used "eclair")
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (Mom)
  10. What do you love most in life? (Wow, I just realized I read this wrong. I thought it said "What do you want most in life?" And I responded "joy." I wonder how it would have turned out if I had read that correctly. My response would have been "family.")
  11. One word to describe you? (weird)
  12. Your Flickr name. (HoboJo3 - nothing showed up so I used "Hobo Jo")

1. julie's garden, 2. Day 158/365: Grilled cheese - yummm, 3. Picture Perfect, 4. Green Dreams, 5. Foto&Cinema: Il miglio verde, 6. ripe, 7. into the light, 8. Thunder above Madeira waters, 9. The moon above a lake of digital water, 10. The Earth & the Heaven, 11. Persistence, 12. Hobo Jo

1. SOTTS clone (Julie), 2. Say Cheese, 3. A game of Tetris, 4. Splash in a Drop, 5. Tam Hanks and the piano scene from Big, 6. frog closeup, 7. Mill in motion, 8. Help yourself ....., 9. blush and bashful, 10. I'm singing in the rain...Just singing in the rain...What a glorious feeling!!!I`m happy again!, 11. Yes! It's My Birthday! And It's My Footprint :D, 12. Hobo Jo Drinks Juice