Dec 212012
 

Time for another look at what I’m hoping for this weekend:Weekend Cravings!  [If you don't know Katy, the lovely lady behind the Weekend Cravings craze, check out her blog.  She's a darling woman with a heart threaded in kindness and gentleness, and a soul moved by beautiful noise and inspirational stories.  I cherish her, and I bet you'll dig her, too!]

I’m currently typing in the dark of a hotel room in downtown Chicago, my sister Melissa asleep in the bed next to me.  [I’m sure she’s loving the pitter patter of the keys – it’s like white noise, right?] 

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I’m uber excited to be in Chicago with my sister and parents for the weekend! [am also v. excited for the upcoming trip to Dallas to spend Christmas with my parents, Melissa, and my little brother, Rob, in Denton. I haven’t been home for the holidays the past two years, which makes this one feel extra special! ]

Here’s what I’m craving while we’re here in sweet home Chicago.

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  • Early morning light outside our window reminded me that the world has yet to end.  I’m thinking another photo walk focusing on light may be a fun weekend activity!
  • Time with the Shugarmans! Today we’re going to celebrate at my Grandparents house in southern Wisconsin.  [in which I am guessing there is tons of snow!] On the agenda: eat, drink, be merry, take lots of photos, eat more, drink more, etc.
  • Tomorrow is the Burton Christmas; the annual celebration that my Maternal Grandfather, my Great Uncle and their Cousins put together each year; It’s three generations [I’m the oldest of the youngest generation] and it’s always so much fun hanging out with such a large group of Burtons.  We play games, eat great food, share cocktails and stories, and do a-whole-lot of laughing.  It’s been a decade since I’ve been to one of these gatherings and I’m super excited to get to see everyone.  Especially the “kids” in my generation who are all now mini-adults :)

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  • A visit with Miss Judi, my mom’s best friend. She’s one of my most favorite people on the planet and it’s been way too long since I’ve hugged that woman!! [as a matter of fact, it was in September 2011, the last family trip to Chicago!]
  • List making for next weekend’s meals. For Nick’s birthday, he asked that we watch all three original Star Wars movies with our friends Emma and Andrei. [note: I have seen none of them.] I’m making a menu of lots of Nick’s favorite dishes for us to enjoy throughout our movie marathon – breakfast pizza, lots of snacks and dips, buffalo chicken mac and cheese, peanut butter banana crème pie… I need to get organized, make grocery shopping lists, a cooking schedule, and the like.

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  • Great Chicago food.  Since my parents grew up in Chicago, and we lived here until I was 12, my family has a SERIOUS love for certain dishes popular in the area.  We had pizza last night [deep dish AND thin crust, thank you very much] and I’ve got a little check list all set for my “musts!” before we leave.

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  • A smooth flight to Dallas come 9:30 PM, Sunday night. :)

What about you? What are you craving this weekend?

Change Takes Time

 Posted by at 4:00 am  Inspirational
Nov 012011
 

While I was in Gettysburg, I went on a run.

Early on a Monday morning, on very little sleep, I arose before the sun and put on my gear.  I headed down the hall, down the elevator, and through the lobby before the briskness of morning met me at the front door. 

I didn’t have a plan, which is my favorite kind of running these days, as I made my way through the picturesque town rumored to be filled with ghosts and spooks.

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The sky was barely visible as I set out from the hotel porch, headed towards the historic battlefields.  I continued block by block, past spooky old houses left creaking at dawn. Sunlight had just started to peak through the distance, leaving a sort of a haze throughout town as the streets full of small businesses began their day. Slowly. Quietly.  

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After a few minutes, I felt the urge to change my route, and turned around to head back towards Lincoln Square.  I don’t know exactly what it was that caused me to turn around, but as soon as I hit the square, I quickly realized that I was now running towards the rising sun.    

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This would be the moment that America the Beautiful officially began playing in my head, on repeat.

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After taking a few moments for meditation and deep breathing, sending wishes out onto the start of day, I decided to continue on to the Lincoln Cemetery, several blocks away. 

I started running towards the historic spot, thinking about all that happened in the streets where I was currently jogging.  I thought about Abraham Lincoln and all he could have been thinking as he prepared to give the Gettysburg Address that November day, in 1863.

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Was it “just another day” for him?  Did he have a hunch of the impact?  Did he know that school children would be reading of, being inspired by, and reenacting his words for years and years to come?  He couldn’t possibly have imagined the impact his speech would have on the lives of American’s today, or the number of times the words “Four score and seven years ago” have been uttered, punned on, or misunderstood.  And I’m absolutely positive that the famous scene in Kindergarten Cop was never on his radar. 

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The Lincoln Cemetery is not the site of the Gettysburg Address; Lincoln gave the famous speech just a short walk away, at the dedication of Soldier’s National Cemetery, the resting place of veterans of the American Civil War – as long as they were white.

A group called “The Sons of Goodwill” established the Lincoln Cemetery to help ensure a proper place of final rest for the brave African American veterans who fought for complete citizenship and equality, yet remained regulated to a segregated burial ground than the National Cemetery for several years following.

The Lincoln Cemetery is the final resting place for over 30 Civil War veterans of the United States Colored Troops, who served without reservation in a segregated army.  The first African American wasn’t buried in the Soldier’s National Cemetery until 1884, 21 years after Lincoln’s sharing of the Gettysburg Address, and 19 years after he was killed. 

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It got me thinking about change; and more specifically, the time it takes for change to take place.  Our country has certainly come a long way since 1884, but whispers of hatred do exist in our communities today.  Practices ingrained in inequality can be found in various classifications our society feeds on, and I, myself, am guilty of making judgments based on all the wrong reasons.  Race, gender, orientation, size, location, class, religion, career and more.  I have not yet mastered the set of eyes I long for – those that do not see difference, but celebrate uniqueness, though I try and try and try again.  It takes time for the paradigm to shift in my eyes, just as it does and will for the country as a whole.

These thoughts of change have also helped me to remember that change in other areas of my life take time, too.  When I first started eating healthier, it took several weeks of making healthy decisions before it became a sense of second nature. [and sometimes, even now, I need to be more conscious of what I’m choosing and why, than others.]  The same for any other “healthy decision” I’ve tried to make for myself; getting more sleep, sticking to a running plan, drinking water throughout the day.  These good habits take my giving extra effort at the start, before the change has officially been made complete.  Perhaps, then, we shouldn’t expect change to take place over night. 

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I am definitely guilty of the following:

  • I decide I am unhappy with a certain part of my life.
  • I figure out what needs to happen in order to make a change.
  • I try to put these into effect.
  • I get frustrated when I make a poor decision or am unable to keep up with my own demands.
  • In essence, I am pissed off that I’m not perfect and can’t instantly change my life with little effort.

Why can’t I remember that change takes time?  Paradigms shift more slowly than we often deem necessary and it takes sticking through the difficult times, hanging on when it gets rough, and not being deterred by imperfection to see the change through.

What changes have you tried to make stick in your life this year, which you’ve been disappointed by the outcome?  Is it possible that you, too, had forgotten change takes time?  Would you be willing to rededicate some energy to giving it a try again?