Monday, September 30, 2013

What I'm Into :: September 2013


I've been internet friends with Leigh for years now and she was actually one of the first Nashville people I met "in real life" after I moved here in January 2012 (see #42 on my list). She does a fun monthly link-up post called What I'm Into and this month I'm joining in. No promises that I'll be consistent next month but here's what caught my attention in September.

On the Page
September was Month 2 of my broken ankle recovery and I was just beginning to work my way off crutches. That meant plenty of time with my leg up to read. The only books I read were fiction which is a huge departure for me! I read:

At First Sight (Nicholas Sparks), The Confession (John Grisham), and The Broker (John Grisham)

I'm currently reading: Discerning the Voice of God (Priscilla Shirer) and An Army at Dawn (Rick Atkinson)

On the Small Screen
Fall TV hasn't meant much to me in nearly 10 years. I can't remember the last time I intentionally structured my week to sit and watch a show as it aired on television. Much of that stems from not having cable and never, in my life, having a DVR. That said. I love TV shows! I just watch them on Netflix and Hulu+ :)

I'm currently binging on:
Law & Order SVU, Parenthood, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Master Chef, and the Biggest Loser

On the Web
I have been adding blogs to my Feedly like nobody's business. When Google Reader died (sob) I started with a blank slate. I know that there are still blogs that I used to read devotedly that have fallen through the cracks, but it's been fun to discover new little internet places. Here are the last 3 posts I "saved for later" which I guess is my new version of starring something in GR:
- Want to ROCK your day-to-day? Do what you know. (The Small Change Project)
This is a new (to me) blog and I love the concept and intentionality behind it. I think it's easy to overcomplicate solutions to life's difficult seasons, but I'm going to be doing some analysis to figure out what I know works for me.
- Anything but Not Everything. (Michael Hyatt)
Great quote. Harder to remember every day.
- Stuff I Want to Do While the Air Is Crisp. (Arkansassy)
Ty is a long time blog friend and her fall bucket list reminded me a) to share with you my Summer Bravery Bucket List and b) to write one for fall.

On My iPhone
I have yet to make the switch the marveled and despised iOs7. The reason is simple: there isn't enough room on my phone until I switch over all my photos. Whoops. Because 12,000 pictures of my ankle swelling (to track my healing progress!) need to be saved. This one's worth it though!


On the "Radio"
One of my new daily practices (have I mentioned those? No?) is to listen to music somehow, some way, at least once a day. I live in Music City after all!

Lately I've been "spinning" an awful lot of Sara Bareilles. Old school, though. I don't have the new album yet. If any of you want to give it to me, I will not say no.

On My Calendar
Being homebound for most of this month meant that I didn't have a whole lot of excitement going on. I did however have to delete something off of my calendar and it nearly broke my heart. I had to give up my tickets to see Maroon 5 in Atlanta :(
On This Blog
This post marks my NINTH post this month here at NextPageNash. That's a record since this blog was born, in case you wondered. I'm sure you were. Here's a peek at what went on:

Most Viewed Posts:
Twitterature::September 2013 & navigating my new "normal" - the first two weeks

Most Conversation in the Comments:
on being goal oriented & a legal fiction

On My Mind
I've been thinking a lot about brokenness and healing. For obvious reasons and the not-so-obvious. Being literally knocked down by physical brokenness and watching and waiting for my ankle to heal gave me a lot of time to examine some other areas of my life I didn't realize were broken (or just how broken they were) and think about what the healing process would require. Not quite there yet, or able to put it into concise words, but it's been a huge season of growth. Painful, but worth it.



What do you have to say for your September?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Introducing the 101 in 1,001

From this day onward I will no longer be making promises about blog posts appearing on a certain date as I'm clearly incapable of following through on that. That said, it's time to enter the world of the 101 in 1,001 list. This is my second list (as I mentioned). I began it almost two years ago and only have about 9 months left. Yikes!

As you can see, it was last updated in early March and has been completely neglected for nearly 7 months. I'm hoping I can still put forward some solid progress in the months remaining but I realize I'm going to have to start prioritizing this. Just so you can see where I was the last time I worked on this, I'm sharing the March 2013 version. I'll do an update soon about what, if any, inadvertent progress I made this year.

Below is the list, as it stood when the challenge ended on June 28, 2014.



101 Goals :: 1,001 Days - Round Two
{October 01, 2011 - June 28, 2014}

Last updated: June 28, 2014
Key: Completed

{home}
(01) Move into a "big girl" house DONE 02.08.13
(02) Menu plan every week
(03) Buy a new cookbook DONE 12.24.13
(04) Try 50 new recipes
(05 ) Craft something for my house
(06) Create a cleaning schedule and stick with it DONE 05.30.12
(07) Every 6 months, donate clothes that haven't been worn DONE 06.14.14
(08) Get all photos into albums
(09) Decorate my own Christmas tree DONE 12.16.12
(10) Can something

{inspiration}
(11) Compile a list of my favorite inspiring quotes DONE 06.28.14
(12) Swim with dolphins
(13) Watch the sun rise over the ocean
(14) Have a twice-a-month coffee shop date with myself DONE 06.28.14
(15) Greet every day with a smile: no snooze button for a month DONE 01.31.12
(16) Go to the opera
(17) Listen to the symphony DONE 04.12.12
(18) Watch a ballet
(19) Attend the theater DONE 03.26.14
(20) Go to a comedy club
(21) Ride in a hot air balloon
(22) Watch 15 foreign films 
(23) Watch all the Oscar "Best Picture" films one year
(24) Visit 5 museums 
(25) Go to 3 concerts DONE 05.26.12

{words}
(26) Sign up for a refresher French class
(27) Begin formally learning a 3rd language
(28) Read 75 new-to-me books
(29) Read the entire Bible 
(30) Memorize Scripture DONE 06.28.14
(31) Read the Complete Works of Shakespeare
(32) Read every book on my bookshelves
(33) Read a book of poems

{on the map}
(34) Visit 3 states in the US I've never been to before DONE
01.03.12-01.04.12 :: Arizona. New Mexico. Arkansas. Tennessee.
05.03.12 :: Kentucky
08.17.12 :: Georgia
(35) Take a cruise
(36) Get another stamp in my passport
(37) Visit 3 national parks
(38) Go on a roadtrip DONE 01.02.12-01.05.12
(39) Go camping
(40) Climb a mountain
(41) Take a trip by plane DONE 04.26.12
(42) Meet a blog/twitter friend DONE
San (11.11.11)
 Katherine (12.30.11)
 Brittany (01.02.12)
Lora (01.07.12)
 Tracee (01.15.12)
 Katie (01.20.12)
Leigh (01.21.12) 
Alece (02.16.12)
Amanda (01.04.13)
Stephanie (09.13.13)
Linda (12.28.13)
(43) Attend a conference in a different state DONE 01.18.13
(44) Go on vacation by myself
(45) Buy something from the SkyMall
(46) Visit 10 historical markers

{community}
(47) Attend a community event every month DONE 06.28.14
(48) Participate in ten acts of community service DONE 06.28.14
(49) Join the Junior League
(50) Join the D.A.R.
(51) Discover 40 new local restaurants DONE
(52) Buy a tourist guidebook for my city and explore DONE 04.02.14
(53) Attend a professional sporting event DONE 08.17.12

{connections}
(54) College Roommate reunion DONE 12.28.11
(55) Attend my 5 year college reunion
(56) Attend my 10 year high school reunion
(57) Catch up with a friend each week DONE
(58) Send 20 handwritten letters 
(59) Make a list of my friends' birthdays and send each of them a card on time for a year
(60) Give a "just because" gift DONE
(61) Babysit for a friend with kids so they can have the day off DONE 10.04.12

{career}
(62) Pass the Bar Exam DONE 11.18.11
(63) Set up budget to pay back student loans DONE 01.16.12
(64) Attend one professional development or networking event each quarter
(65) Read 42 new books or articles in my field 
(66) Volunteer as a mentor for undergraduate or law students DONE 12.18.11

{body}
(67) Complete the Couch-to-5K program
(68) Run a 5K
(69) Sign up for yoga classes
(70) Play a game of kickball
(71) Learn a new sport
(72) Set a weight loss goal and meet it DONE 12.30.11
(73) Give up soda for at least one month DONE 02.09.12
(74) Give up sugar for at least one month DONE 02.09.12
(75) Get my wisdom teeth pulled
(76) Get a pedicure
(77) Get a massage
(78) Sign up for a CSA box

{finances}
(79) Put $5 in Paris account for every goal completed - $210
(80) Put $10 in savings for every goal that goes uncompleted - $580
(81) Be {consumer}debt free
(82) Buy a new (to me) car
(83) Donate money to my college(s) DONE
(84) Sponsor a missionary DONE
(85) Choose 3 organizations to contribute to financially DONE

{amusement}
(86) Play a round of miniature golf DONE 12.20.11
(87) Play bingo
(88) Go to the drive-in
(89) Ride a horse
(90) Pick some fruit
(91) Go on a sailboat
(92) Discover 10 new (to me) musicians (2/10) DONE
(93) Learn to drive a stick shift
(94) Finish Oman study abroad photo book
(95) Buy something at a garage sale DONE 09.01.12
(96) Watch The West Wing from start to finish DONE 07.01.13
(97) Buy 25 things off of Etsy
(98) Do something spontaneous DONE 05.30.13
(99) Do something out of my comfort zone DONE 10.30.12
(100) Complete a goal I didn't even know I had DONE 05.03.12
(101) Document the completion/progress of each goal DONE

Stats 
Completed: 43 (42.57%)

Two questions for you:

  1. Which goal(s) on this list would you be most interested in hearing about (completed or still in progress)?
  2. What's one item on your list (whatever it's called - bucket list, goals, new year's resolutions, etc.)?


Sunday, September 22, 2013

on being goal oriented

I have been setting goals for myself for as long as I can remember. Whether it was how many boxes of Girl Scout cookies to sell or how many books to read in an elementary school read-a-thon, I've always loved having a measurable goal to reach.


I made my first bucket list (not a term I use - I prefer "life list") when I was in 9th grade. It was a class assignment and I came across it again last year for the first time in over a decade. What a trip to see exactly what 15 year old Amanda hoped and dreamed she would achieve. Some items on there are still dear to my heart, some are completely irrelevant, and a few have been achieved.

In 2008, I came across the concept of The Day Zero Project, also known as 101 in 1,001. I started my first list on January 1st, 2009 and it carried me through my entire law school career. When it ended in the fall of 2011 I had completed about 60% of my goals. I promptly created a second list which "expires" next summer. It has fallen by the wayside during a year which found me with a great deal of tunnel vision, but I'm determined in the 9 months remaining to accomplish as many items as possible.

That's not where my goal setting self let it rest. When I failed to complete my first Day Zero Project, I took a hard look at the items that went untouched. Some I had ceased valuing, but quite a few were things I still hoped - someday - to achieve. So I started on another list: a combination of my high school list, my Day Zero Projects, and some other ideas I had about the life I wanted to look back on. That list is enormous, and equally values "big ticket" items with ordinary, everyday accomplishments. I don't plan on writing out that list for you (it's mine) but I'm sure now and again items on it will be subjects of conversation here.

Tomorrow I'm going to post up my current 101 in 1,001 list. But today I want to know:

What goal are you actively pursuing this fall? Do you have a "life list"?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Twitterature :: September 2013

I've loved Anne @ The Modern Mrs. Darcy for a long time and thought that today I would finally link up with her short-and-sweet book review round-up, Twitterature.



Here's what I've been dabbling in, in 140 characters or less (or close to it).

The Broker by John Grisham


Presidential pardons. CIA intrigue. Witness protection as a love letter to Italy. Not too shabby.

Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer


Digging into the book version of a study I did in 2011. Couldn't come at a better time. Step 1 to hear from God: learn to stop talking & listen.

The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn



Only one chapter in but already impressed. Challenging the idea that the Christian life requires being miserable. Better to find joy by working out of our unique gifts & calling.

An Army at Dawn by Rich Atkinson


A nearly minute by minute account of WWII as it unfolded in North Africa. Impeccably researched. No wonder he won the Pulitzer. Part of a trilogy, can't wait to get my hands on the others.

Oh, and the August issue of Cooking Light. That counts.

\
What have you been reading this month?

Friday, September 13, 2013

state of the blog - Y1Q1

I realized this week that it's been about 4 months since I started this blog. Time flies! Almost half of that time I have spent the better portion of my days with my left ankle elevated, wrapped, iced...keeping my eye on swelling and bruising and counting the hours between Motrin doses.

Not exactly how I foresaw Summer 2013 back in May.

I thought I'd take a moment and look at the past season on the blog and perhaps do some thinking about the next quarter (which, by my calculation, will put us into 2014).

Beginnings
This wee blog officially launched on May 10, 2013. F. Scott Fitzgerald's observation that "there is just so much to read, for one thing" resonated with me and gave me a bit of structure for my re-entry into the sphere of blogging. I wanted this to be a place to share what stuck out to me from the pages I was reading. A place to process some bigger questions, and also to rejoin the ranks of a community I was beginning to miss very much. I've been blogging with varying degrees of intensity since 2005. While we've gotten off to a slow start this first quarter (due largely to events in my personal life I have been debating about writing about), I'm still hopeful for this place.

Reading
We've talked about quite a few books over the past few months, and you can see a list of anything I discussed in any detail (not simply a link) by visiting the My Bookshelf page above. Not every book mentioned is something I would recommend, but there you go. Check out Goodreads to see my constantly expanding "to-read" list.

The only books I've finished have been novels, which I find completely fascinating given my disinterest in fiction. I can't say any were necessarily "better" than the rest, but if I were going to recommend something it would probably be The American Heiress.

The book I've started, not finished, and am most looking forward to picking back up is Lean In. Quiet is a close second.

Themes
I think the big theme from the past few months has been a lack of focus. I've felt scattered and noncommittal on several fronts, which is ironic given my word for the year is Rooted and I'm supposed to be digging deeper. This has manifested in start-stop blogging, or just a total lack of writing at all.

Nashville
I put Nashville in the name of this blog primarily because it is, itself, a character in this "page" of my life. I love this city more than I've loved any other, save Paris (and really, that's not a fair contest). While Music City hasn't featured incredibly prominently on these pages this summer, the outing to Shakespeare in the Park was a prime example of what I love so much about this place. It definitely inspired me to give you more frequent glimpses into one of America's best towns.

Coming Up for Q2
-You can expect more posting in the next four months, this I feel confident in promising. I imagine that the vision and theme of the blog will take on some more definition as I interact here more regularly.

-In addition to continued musings inspired by what I'm reading, I'm going to be introducing back into the mix my Day Zero Project, goal-orientedness in general, and some focused thought on "next pages" in life, not just in literature.

-Thoughts on the Summer of Brene Brown will continue, but it will likely be the Year of Brene Brown at the rate I am going.

-I want to use this space to document daily life a bit more intentionally, while still leaving some things for life off the screen. I have chosen to keep things simple around here and I don't think that will change.

Thank you for reading (and commenting/emailing) - here's to a new page!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

a legal fiction

I'm not sure how I completed my legal education without ever reading even one John Grisham novel. I didn't read many novels at all in those 3 years, but this seems like a fairly glaring omission given his popularity.

A legal fiction is a court's assumption that a fact exists (when it does not) which enables the court to apply a legal rule or settle a matter before it. That's not the legal fiction we're talking about today, but it's not so far off.

In The Confession, Grisham tackles the topic of the death penalty (in Texas, where else). I thought that for a clearly fictional work he did a fairly even handed job of bringing out most of the legal and ethical conflicts surrounding the issue on both sides.


I've opined more than once that I'm not a big fiction reader in general, but I enjoyed this book. It still felt like it required some brain power to read, which helped me. I will say that it was difficult for me to take off my lawyer glasses and just enjoy the book for what it was. I may not be practicing law right now but it is still my training and it's hard to suspend reality and grant artistic license. My friend lent me this and one other Grisham book to read during my broken ankle recovery and I'll certainly read that. Not sure I will be hitting the bookstore for his latest, but it captured my attention for a few days which is really all I'm asking for, given my lack of focus at the moment.

Do you ever have trouble reading books or watching tv/film about your field?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

I read my first Shakespeare in 5th grade and I have been hooked ever since. My paternal grandfather was a nut for him and passed that love on to me as soon as he could.

A quick weekend trip to London while I was living in Paris in 2008 mandated a stop at Shakespeare's Globe Theater.

On Saturday night the girls in my old community group and I met up to go see Shakespeare in the Park. Another friend of ours works for the Nashville Shakespeare Company and it was an added benefit to see her. This was my first foray into the world without my crutches and while I paid with swelling later, it was totally worth it.
Bandshell. Hilarious play. Nutella Banana crepe from one of Nashville's amazing food trucks.
Perfection

They performed A Midsummer Night's Dream under the stars and twinkle lights and it was beyond perfect.

I'm obsessed with twinkle lights + Nashville skies.
Let me just say that I completely adore the people of Nashville. I love that on a warm September night 1,500 people (you read that right!) gathered for music, food trucks, and the words of the bard.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

If you find my focus...

...please ship it back to Nashville. Thanks.

I've been working out some thoughts about how the past 5 weeks have done a number on me mentally, but as of right now we're going on 16 days of thinking/writing and sitting at about one paragraph.

So until I can put my finger back on that, I'll use my reading taste to paint the picture. The only book I've been able to read?

At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks.

Look, I'm not going to knock on Mr. Sparks if you love him (as long as you read other things too). In fact, up until a few years ago I possessed quite a few of his books. It started in 10th grade with A Walk to Remember, the book that made our entire Language Arts class cry. But when I had to downsize my library a couple years ago to move here, they didn't make the cut.

Every time I read one of his books I feel like I've allowed myself to be emotionally manipulated. I know it's coming. It just is. He could not write a book and not punch us in the heart.

But I bought this at a vulnerable moment at the start of the summer. At the grocery store. Alongside a pint of ice cream.

Ice cream for my tummy and ice cream for my brain.

What was the last book you read that falls into the "ice cream" category?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

navigating my new "normal" - the first two weeks

Where did we leave off? Ah, yes. Day 3, the day The Boot entered my life.

The Boot is heavy. Like, the first couple days it took both hands to lift my leg up onto its pillow perch from the ground kind of heavy. The Boot is ugly. The Boot is inconvenient.

And every time I wanted to pull it off my leg those first two weeks and set it on fire, I kept reminding myself that The Boot represented the best case scenario. The Boot is not a hard cast. The Boot means I didn't break my leg clean through. The Boot means I will not need surgery.

I'm grateful to be in The Boot.

Ice is magic.
Best advice doctor gave me? Use crushed ice. 

The first two weeks of life in The Boot were excruciating. My ankle started to feel better as soon as The Boot went on (it wanted to be all wrapped up tight, snug and cozy. Clearly, my ankle), but it was certainly not pain free. For the first portion of this broken ankle saga, I was completely non-weight bearing. Or NWB as they say on the internet forums, which I know I shouldn't have looked at, but they were my only source of knowledge about what happens when you break an ankle bone. Being NWB meant that every time I moved, I kept my bad leg off the floor.

Do you know what's difficult? Trying to get up off of a couch without putting any weight on one leg, and perching yourself securely on crutches once you manage to stand up. I was grateful these days that I had strong legs, but wanted to smack myself across the face for my glaring lack of upper body strength. Do you know why you need upper body strength? To use crutches.

It took me a little while to be brave enough to face our stairs. The stairs that tried to kill me less than a week before. Internet research showed me how I was "supposed" to climb the stairs using my crutches, but it swiftly became clear that wouldn't be happening. You see, to climb stairs on crutches, you go up the stairs good leg first. You step up on your good foot, and bring the crutches and the bad foot up to meet you. Rinse and repeat. The catch? A normal step up requires you to, however momentarily, have ALL of your weight on one foot while the other lifts. That means if good goes up, bad bears the weight. If bad has to remain off the floor, it means that to step up you have to have no feet on the floor and your entire weight balanced on the crutches. With our steps, that was over a 5" jump straight up and trying to land squarely on a step that is the exact same width as my foot.

I'm not a genius y'all but even I knew that this scenario was the perfect recipe for me to fall down the stairs. Again. And so I did the next best thing and scooted myself up the stairs backward, lifting myself with my shoulders. Fun times. I timed myself, and the first time it took me over 15 minutes to get up the stairs. 15 minutes.

So for the first week or so, I tried to strategically minimize my trips up and downstairs. It was not easy.

Then the bruising came. My foot went from merely swollen to a rainbow color of purple, red, green and yellow. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about bruising and how it heals and what it represents in the body. I panicked, sure that I had somehow injured myself further.

Beyond late onset ankle hypochondria, I was more frustrated than I have ever been in my life. I have always been fiercely independent. FIERCELY. I do not like to ask for help, and I do not ever expect anybody to help me. This isn't something I'm proud of, but it's who I am. So finding myself in a situation where I can't do so much as carry a glass of milk 3 feet, or leave my house to buy that milk, or even drink that glass of milk without having to sit down first, was infuriating. I had to rely on the kindness of friends to go to the store and get me groceries, to come visit me. To get me to the doctor, or carry anything more than about a foot. Crutches mean that not only is your leg out of commission, so are both of your hands because you need them to remain upright.

My sweet friend brought me a gallon of milk (doctor's orders) and added in some chocolate.
If the bottle says it's fortified with extra calcium, that makes it healthy. Right?
Everything was hard. I tweeted this a week in: "I'll be doing awesome and then the smallest thing will thwart me. Today: dropping the milk cap on the floor. #brokenankle"

But if there was anything those first weeks taught me it was who my real friends are. Who was there for me, who took initiative to reach out to me. Who I felt comfortable reaching out to for help. Because here's the deal - if you are seriously injured and you feel like you can't ask someone to help you with a small task? They are not a close friend. The hardest part of the first few weeks was this kind of thing, not the pain in my foot.

It was way more than 50% mental, let me tell you. Well, I'll tell you about that later.

Have you ever had a season where it became clear who was a true friend and who was just a friendly acquaintance?
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