A few years ago I started a practice that I call “my favorite things notebook.” Lately I haven’t been keeping up with it as religiously as I did at the beginning. I am committing to you, my readers and friends that I will be abandoning the favorite things notebook in exchange for posting here more often. I have started keeping track of all the things that happen in my week so that at the end of the week I can present the best of times and the most challenging lessons to
The “My favorite moment every day book” was actually really key to overcoming depression and helping me see my life differently. I recommend it to anyone who needs to be reminded to appreciate what they have. Not sure what makes you happy? Start writing it down when you are and you’ll have some idea at the end of a month.
So with that brief intro here are some of my favorite moments this week:
My favorite thing on Sunday was getting so many compliments on dressing “Haight street”
Sunday was the Haight Street Fair in San Francisco and I came to work dressed more “hippy” than usually. It was a really fun day over all.
Realizing I get to enjoy minus the bear again.
When I was younger and less sure of myself I let an old relationship ruin a great band for me. A friend here invited me to their show and I got to associate new friendships and new memories with the music. Lesson learned: you pick what you associate with something and you control if its a negative thing or not.
How much better shows got when I started remembering to wear earplugs.
Related to the previous point, Remembering to bring earplugs to a show is SO wonderful. My ears not hurting during or after the show, and being able to hear the next day just makes it so much more pleasant.
Making time to enjoy my breakfast in the morning came up twice:
Deciding to have breakfast and coffee outside while burning incense even if I’m running late.
Having coffee and cereal outside. Arranging things for the week. Enjoying just being.
Drinking my protein shake in the shower after a long challenging training session.
The taste of sweet powered chocolate, peanut butter, and turmeric success!
The importance of having a rest day in your fitness schedule and also in life in general.
Last session (three month period) at the Circus Center I was really over doing it and didn’t include enough rest days in my training schedule. Since including more recovery time I have seen much better performance over all in the gym and I just feel better in my whole life.
Classic San Francisco Park day with Julia.
A friend of mine from NYC came here for work and stayed with me this week. We met in elementary school forever ago and it was incredibly magically that we could manage to both have a day off just to enjoy being together and reconnect as adults. I am so grateful for the time we were able to spend together.
Made 50 more copies of the first Text Messages to Myself Zine contact me if you would like a paper copy mailed to you!
In an effort to get this done I found out that there is a small copy and postal shop close to my house.
What some of your favorite moments this week? What makes you content and happy? How can you share that joy with the people around you?
The following is something I wrote up for a friend when they told me they would be moving from San Francisco to Brooklyn, NY after she asked me “You’ve moved across the country before, how can I be more prepared.” It was something I didn’t think of as a valuable knowledge or a life skill until she asked me.
1 – Get everything packed and purge:
Pro Tip: start MONTHS in advance of your large move.
You can get shipping quality boxes and tape at staples, office max, or other office supply stores. There is a difference between storage quality, moving quality, and shipping quality boxes.
Use your clothes as padding for fragile things so you can ship more actual stuff you want instead of shipping packing material.
If you 1) don’t use it all the time 2) need it where you are going 3) could re-purchase it easily 3) It’s not financially or sentimentally valuable, get rid of it.
I like to start by putting the “things I cannot live without” in one pile and “things I definitely don’t need/want” in another until the quality of things left is an amount I can actually move.
When I pack boxes to ship I number the boxes and put a list of the things in the box inside with the items. I keep a spreadsheet with the corresponding information so I know where to look for my necklace, wacky socks, favorite sweater, that one book you really want to share with the cool new friend you just made, etc. This also helps in case a box is damaged or something is missing.
2 – Make a list of service providers you see in your current life on a regular basis:
Hair stylist/Aesthetician (ask people like this for a list of products they usually use or methods)
Yoga/Pilates Instructor/ Class (What kind of yoga is it? What does your instructor specialize in?)
etc. – Anything you do often that makes you feel like you are at home. The sooner you find this in your new place the sooner you will be happy and comfortable there.
3 – See you doctors and/or collect your medical records (at the very least have their contact info handy) Here are some common ones:
Gynecologist (if this applies to you)
4 – Gather anything you have borrowed from friends and put it in one place so you can return it easily.
5 – Make a list of places you will need to change your address:
9 – If you are putting anything in storage be sure to keep the information about that space somewhere safe
Unit address and number
Location of physical key and the keypad code
Size of unit
Cost per month
List of what you put inside or what boxes are inside.
Its worth noting here that by the time you get back to that storage unit half of the stuff will probably be worthless to you. Think about this when you pack it up so you don’t end up like me: drinking wine in your friends living room in your college town surrounded by things you saved asking yourself “Why did I pay to store this?!” every 5 minutes.
10 – Update Resume to remove address and list new location on job search sites, make any other changes you need to to find a job in your new home if you haven’t already.
What tips do you swear by for big moves? Did I miss anything you think is super important or helpful?
Clown and Punishment was a entertaining and heady show that attempted to address current events and social issues in america through the clown theatre medium. The six students graduating from the SF Circus Center Clown Conservatory did an awesome job illustrating all the clowning skills they learned or polished in the program. The show had me in fits of laughter even if the social commentary was hard to grasp at some points.
Every Clown Concervatory performance I’ve seen has been a treat and I can’t recconend it enough.
Last fall I went through crisis hotline and advocacy training with The Turning Point Rape Crisis Center of Collin County Texas. This has been and continues to be an incredible organization to work with and I really cannot say enough good things about them. The Turning Point is focused on the treatment and prevention of bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault. They do this predominantly with the help of volunteers and a few very dedicated staff members. Together we run a crisis hotline and provide resources such as Individual, Group and, Friends and Family counseling, yoga therapy, crisis, hospital, and legal advocacy for survivors of sexual assault and their friends or family as well as education programs for the community.
If you want to know more about this organization or if you would like to donate time by volunteering, or some other type of support you can check us out here http://www.theturningpoint.org/
As impending springtime draws near, the newness in the air condensates. I find that manifesting in my life as the reallocation of time to address things to have been issues or challenges for a long time. Such as my new year’s resolution from last year that never happened, without feeling the pressure to get it done on any timeline. By removing the pressure to finish things by a certain time and instead focusing on doing “a little bit each day” I have found both more progress and more peace with these activities and within myself.
The writing community I have been working to develop with Alicia at the Roanoke Public Library is growing steadily which fills me with delight. I have started posting daily writing prompts on my personal twitter (@theonlykenna) and on my Facebook account as well as the writing group on Facebook. Our next meeting is on March 12, 2016 at the Roanoke Public Library 2 PM – 4 PM. I hope to see you there!
When I was at RIT I took a course called Women’s Stories Women’s Films, I took many courses as a part of my Gender studies minor that changed the way I thought about life and the world around me but I feel that this class was particularly relevant. I remember a reading assignment that we had about labyrinths. This reading implied that we all walk a labyrinth of life, and that as time progresses we just walk in the same patterns time and time again. The corridors of life remaining eerily familiar but the people or situations we encounter in them changing. The simple way to express this poetic illustration is ‘everything changes but everything stays the same.’I often find myself coming back to this visual in life and I say, bring on the spring, bring on the change, bring on the challenges, and the goals, and the endeavors. The learning experiences, the smiles and tears, I can’t wait.
Aside from my new year’s resolutions I have started a journal where I write down my favorite moment from each day. This has been an awesome practice because it keeps me focused on and looking for my favorite moments instead of stuck thinking about the less enjoyable parts of being a biped carbon based life form that calls this pale blue dot home.
Some of my favorite moments from January were:
“Eating chocolate cake and red wine for breakfast in celebration of mine and my best friends birthday while she was in town, at 2 pm”
“Putting on the completed dinosaur costume that my mom and I designed and made, then going to my birthday party and having an absolute blast.”
“Successfully taking a few steps on the slackline while hula hooping around my waist”
Happy New Year Friends and Fans! This year is sure to be full of adventure and growth for me, I wish all of you the same!
Some of my new years resolutions include things as simple as flossing every day (I’m really bad about that) and writing every day and more complicated stuff like being more on top of life in general.
I have added some new videos to the video section of the site from my involvement with Open Stage in Dallas, Texas which was produced by the lovely people at www.circusfreaks.org
In November last year I started teaching a book binding and book arts workshop at the Roanoke Public Library (http://www.roanoketexas.com/166/Library) and we have kicked off the new year with a Creative Nonfiction writing workshop as well. Both of these classes are happening monthly and are open and free to the public, I would love to see you there. We have plans in the works to get a zine off the ground through those two groups and I will keep you updated on that as it progresses.
I am also still working with Alexis Lerhman to get my Photo book produced through indigo-go.
Since moving back to Texas and getting connected with Open Stage and the Circus Freaks I have become really interested in circus arts and theatrical performance as an expressive medium and I cannot wait to show you all what comes of that. I have dipped my toe in the water of skills such as juggling, contact juggling, and slack lining. This coming year I hope to get more involved with acrobatic practice, at the very least for fun exercise but it would be really cool for that to turn into a performance skill one day.
I have been reading the book Impro by Keith Johnstone at the recommendation of Russ Sharek of the Circus Freaks and I gotta say it is a really solid read for anyone who is interested in improvisation or life in general.
Finally I want to address some important realizations that I have come to in the last few months. In photography school we talked a lot about how photographers create one view of the world or of a situation by determining what is inside the frame and what the exclude. I am really starting to understand that this really applies everywhere in life and not just to the images we make. The people one decided to include in their life, and make a part of their story can effect so much about where you go and what happens. Also much like creating a photograph the perspective we take on what happens is really more important than what happens; I have been choosing to end my day by focusing on the most enjoyable or positive thing that happened that day and this practice has really made all the difference for my outlook. I don’t think I understood that you can choose happiness regardless of what is around you in most circumstances until recently.
We all have more (and less) control over our lives than we ever imagined, but that’s okay, and no matter what happens it’s going to keep being okay.
Look for more updates here soon, I’m excited to keep in better touch with all of you.
I’m really excited to introduce you to the currently untitled project I am working on that involves all the images I have been producing since moving back to Dallas Texas in 2013. This project will manifest as both a book (let me know if you are interested in having a copy of your own.) and as an online edit. I have been working with the fabulous Alexis Lehrman as the Editor for the project.
So here I find myself about two years out of college and I think I am finally starting to get my footing in the non academic world. Right now my biggest personal project has been collecting all of my data onto one computer so that I can set up the raspberry pi I received last year for Christmas and begin playing with it as a server.
I am most excited about this because it means being able to have all my data organized and accessible from pretty much whatever computer I am using.
My best tip to anyone who is starting school right now or any major undertaking. Organize from the start and as go you because its a nightmare to do it later. When I worked in a kitchen we called it “mise en place.”
Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French phrase which means “putting in place”, as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components) that a cook will require for the menu items that are expected to be prepared during a shift. The practice is also effective in home kitchens.
I have found time and time again that reading all the directions before you begin, and having taken the time to get everything you will need in order first, really saves a lot of headaches in the future.