December Reflections

I thought since I utterly failed on the Instagram challenge for the December reflections, I thought I might try to do a quick one or two lines here for each one, (and try not to make them all about Costa Rica), maybe a photo or two if it merits it. Ready? Let’s go!

  1. My smile: I did post about this one on Instagram. I posted a collage of me smiling in Costa Rica with this caption: I’ve never always liked my smile, I have this tooth that looked like a fang when I was younger that always made me self-conscious. Now I’ve either grown around it, or I just don’t worry about it much. But I almost always have a smile when a) I’m on vacation b) I’m with my mom and/or sister c) any combination of a & b 
  2. Gold: The first thing I thought of when I saw this was the title of one of my all-time favorite songs, “Gold to Me,” by Ben Harper. Check it out and groove into 2022:
  3. Best Day of 2021: This one was pretty easy. My best day was October 10, 2021. I was in Costa Rica. I woke up to see the Arenal volcano shrouded in clouds. At breakfast, we saw a toucan in a tree. Then I ziplined through the rain forest as it rained, which was so spectacular. Then we took a taxi to the Rio Fortuna waterfall, walked down 500+ steps, stood in awe for a while, then climbed back up the 500+ steps, and went back to the hotel. We then sat by the pool for many hours drinking beers and staring at Arenal. We ate at the pool, and probably that night we went to the thermal pools. A truly amazing day.
  4. Reindeer: The only thing that comes to mind with this one is that a little bit before Christmas I saw a tweet from a woman who said something like, “I was today years old when I learned that reindeer are real.” Haha
  5. Sacred space: Did this one on Insta, my reflection was being out in nature on a hike was sacred space.
  6. Best book of 2021: My favorite book I read this year was The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade. It was deeply real and difficult, and the characters were so magnificently rendered.
  7. Leaves: This would be a good one for a photo, haha. Actually, this prompt today reminds me to let you know that a poem I wrote that features two leaves called “Quiet Place” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize this year. It’s one of those things for a poet that is very meaningful and significant. I later learned that the leaves I wrote about were gingko leaves.
  8. 5 Things about me: Let’s see, I’ve done these before, so let’s see if I can come up with some different items. 1. I was Athlete of the Year my senior year of high school. I’m long past those days, but I finally enjoy being active again. 2. I’m good at public speaking (especially if I have something prepared). 3. I cherish my friends and family, but I am an introvert. 4. I love to travel. 5. I have a nice collection of signed books (mostly poets that few people know but some others that are more well-known.
  9. Fave photo of 2021: Instead of a single photo, I’ll say that any of the photos that feature any combination of me, my mom, and my sister are my favorites. After these last two years, it’s become even more apparent how precious those moments are.
  10. Socks: It’s winter time so I almost always have socks on these days, even in bed. When I wear socks every day, I think about how it never feels like I won’t wear them. The opposite is also true.
  11. New discovery: This one’s probably the same as my sister, and it’s certainly not new, but we’ve both started brewing coffee at home, and it has been a nice addition to my mornings.
  12. Best decision of 2021: It’s got to be the decision to vacation in Costa Rica.
  13. Share a recipe: Last year, our neighbor brought us some cookies around Christmas time. We loved them so we asked for the recipe. I made them and they were great. I decided to make them for us again this year. I made two batches, and they both just came out weird. They were okay, but they were really hard to work with. We looked up recipes but couldn’t find any that was exactly like them but close enough, and everything looked fine. Then I was making some cookies from a package and had a realization. I hadn’t used enough butter! That explains it! Now I’ll take another shot at making them in the next week or two. The recipe I used was from a photo, but here’s the closest recipe I could find of the cookies: rosemary butter cookies
  14. Proud of myself for…: Hmmm, I’m proud for my accomplishments with my poetry this year. I had five pieces published this year (two were commissioned). Two of them were selected for an anthology that was outside of San Diego which was one of my goals this year. My poem that I wrote for the Star of India was well-received. And the aforementioned Pushcart Prize nomination was the perfect way to end the year.
  15. Fave film of 2021: I honestly have no idea. I saw five movies in the theater, but none of them were favorites, though I liked them. I watched various films and TV shows on multiple streaming services. Some standouts were “Mare of Easttown” and “Rutherford Falls.”
  16. I said hello to…: My co-workers in person for the first time in a year and a half!
  17. Artsy photo of scissors: pass haha
  18. Feathers: I like feathers. I have a small box that has a few that I’ve collected over the years though I don’t know from where they come.
  19. I said goodbye to…: my 40s
  20. Look up: This phrase makes me think of the last time we went to Spain in 2015. I don’t know if I’d read this phrase somewhere or if someone said it to me, but it was, don’t forget to look up. It’s good advice.
  21. Brings me joy: Without fail, it’s Lulu the dog. She’s silly and her own dog, but when she gets up on my bed every morning and gives me kisses or jumps around for her dinner or a treat, I can’t help but smile.
  22. Sunset: My mom loves sunsets. I like them too. They’re lovely. I’d like to take her to see more sunsets next year.
  23. Delicious: I’ve had the pleasure to eat many delicious things this year. But honestly, one of the best things I get to eat is my mom’s potato omelets. They’re divine.
  24. One year ago: In looking for what I did on December 24, 2020, I discovered that I did this same thing (all the December reflections in one post) last year, also on the 31st! Haha
  25. Love is…: a doorway to compassion
  26. Real life: After my mom’s birthday every year for the past four years are almost always difficult as I am flooded with memories of the hospice bubble, and I oscillate through varying degrees of depression.
  27. 2021 taught me…: that the phrase “avoid it like the plague” is not really a true thing that people will do
  28. A wish for 2022: I mean, that COVID is eradicated, that the climate crisis gets the attention it deserves, that so many other things get prioritized. For me personally, I hope I’m able to travel to new places.
  29. Home: La Mirada is home, and I’m happy to be here.
  30. Thank you for…: reading this blog!
  31. My word for 2022: I haven’t settled on it yet.

Happy new year, friends!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandy says:


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