things to be thankful for today:
  • it is friday!
  • morning yoga
  • penny-sized snowflakes falling in the morning
  • blue skies and warmth in the afternoon- an open window in my office, even
  • gumbo for breakfast
  • a bagel for lunch
  • the most wonderful invitation (made by a most wonderful friend) to the wedding of one of my dearest friends. 5.22.10 = i cannot wait.
  • two gorgeous hand-knit hats in the mail from a camp friend
  • quiet day in the office
  • looking forward to hosting dinner with Brett, Ken & Carol and Rob & Anita before the Steamboat Dance Theatre showcase tonight
  • free yoga and skiing tomorrow!


Paul Sawyer's Advice.

Ten Lessons for Living a Good Life, From Camp:

1. Spend most of every day outdoors, no matter what you have to do, and no matter the weather.

Outdoors Every Day. Even in the rain. There is no bad weather at camp. We are meant to be outdoors, especially in the summer. Walk around a good camp even on a rainy day and you’ll see kids and adults outdoors—playing sports, taking swim lessons, hiking, shooting, painting, eating, building fires, dancing and just running around. Your clothes will dry, I promise. Your soul soars outdoors.
2. Swim every day.

A corollary of #1 above. In a natural body of water—often in a beautiful clean lake, sometimes in a freezing cold mountain stream, and whenever you can, in the sea. Learn how to swim. Always respect the water. Never freak out about it. Always have a buddy in the water, and a responsible adult watching from the land or a stable boat. If it’s warm enough, you don’t even need a towel. You can drip dry in the sun.
3. Eat every meal sitting down with other people.

Thousands of books have been written on the topic of healthy and mindful eating. They could all be replaced by the list of rules in the dining hall at camp. Hold hands for a reading at the beginning. Wait until everyone is served before you start eating. Have a little of everything, even if you don’t like it—especially if it is green. Ask politely for anything you need. Keep the conversation pleasant and focused on the people at your table, not on some TV show you saw, or even some book you read some while ago. Sort the scraps for composting. Clean up all your dishes before you get dessert. Don’t rush. Stay at the table until everyone is done. Then play a quick table game. Then, and only then, go on with the day.
4. Live the truth that everyone can make music, everyone can sing.

Recorded music is wonderful. Love your iPod and your collection of old LP’s. But remember that music is something that you create, not something you consume. We spend years at camp re-educating kids who were told at some point by some numbskull (well meaning, I’m sure) that they couldn’t sing. Baloney. All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir. Everybody can sing. Learn songs that speak to you or that just make you laugh. Learn them by heart. Learn an instrument, learn to drum, or just learn to tap your foot in time. And sing, sing, sing!
5. Know that bugles and bells are better markers of the day than clocks.

Good camps have real bugles played by real buglers. You don’t wear watches, and there’s no clock in the dining hall. (Maybe I’m biased because I was and am a camp bugler.) The day starts when Reveille plays. It ends with Taps. In between there are calls to meals and activities, for raising and lowering the flag. If bugler oversleeps, everyone oversleeps, and even then, for the most part—does it really matter? It doesn’t.—s long as something marks the time we all need to be in the same place. Activities don’t end at 11:45. They end when you hear the bugle call.
6. Write at least one real, handwritten, letter to someone you love every week.

‘Nuff said. The benefits are obvious and sure. Don’t have time? See #9 below.
7. Wear clothes based on what you want to do, not by how they look.

I’ve worked at camps with uniforms and without, and I prefer uniforms for all sorts of reasons. But I know not everyone can live with that. So here’s what’s really important. Wear rugged clothes you can get dirty in and that are easy to clean. Wear shoes that you can run around in. Carry a hat and an extra layer all the time. Lightweight long sleeve shirts and pants are way better at keeping off bugs than spray (I never touch the stuff!). Wool and fleece will keep you warm even when they’re wet. Never—never!—decide not to do something fun you want to because you’re worried about your clothes.
8. Cultivate the ability to do what must be done.

The ancient Greeks called this phronesis—the ability to do what must be done. It ranges from little things—like picking up trash when you see it by the side of the road, even if it’s inconvenient—to bigger and more important events. One of the most impressive displays of this ability I ever saw was on a long canoe trip with a group of 12-year-old boys. One day it just poured—all day and most of the night. In the morning we leaders woke up early, and were surprised to find a sleeping bag hanging, dripping, from a clothesline that wasn’t there the night before. Turns out in the rain one of the boys had woken up in a puddle in his tent. While he strung a line and hung the wet bag outside, the other 2 boys in the tent pulled their sleeping bags into blankets and the three pulled the two bags together and went back to sleep. They didn’t freak out, and they didn’t even make any noise. “Why didn’t you wake us up to help?” We asked. “Oh, we knew what to do,” they said, without any drama at all, “It was all fine.” That’s phronesis—the ability to do what must be done.
9. Honor Rest Hour as the most sacred and important part of the day.

In the true Perfect World, everyone takes an hour off after lunch (how many times do we even take an hour for lunch these days!?). The rules are the same as they are at camp: You don’t have to sleep, but you do have to rest. One hour. On your own bunk. With your shoes off. Doing something restful—napping, writing a letter (see #6), meditating, praying, reading, playing solitaire. One hour. On your bunk. Even if you don’t have time. Especially if you don’t have time.
10. Understand that how you treat other people is more important that what you know how to do.

It doesn’t matter at camp how smart you are if you’re a jerk. It doesn’t matter how often you’re right if you’re not willing to help out. No one remembers what you know. Everyone remembers, forever, how you make them feel.

creating intentions

i went to a wonderful yoga class yesterday. it was challenging yet nourishing. as we closed our practice, the instructor explained that she tries to pull from all religions and had been thinking about lent. she said that she was not very good at depriving herself, but that she was taking the time of lent to focus on setting intentions for each day. she used the examples of taking her dog for a longer walk, or trying to smile more.
so, yesterday as i ended my practice, i set the intention of contacting three friends who i have not spoken with recently. last night i emailed two of my longest time friends, kate and lexie waite. and then i emailed my dear vassar friend, emma. it felt lovely.
today i have set the intention of writing notes to both of my grandmothers.
what will tomorrow have in store?

it all ties in nicely with the book i've just started. it is called "the happiness project" and it is written by a woman who set a one year plan for herself to increase her happiness. she isn't unhappy with her life, she just believes that setting personal goals for each month will help her to be even more satisfied with her life. she comes up with 12 themes and focuses on one for each month.
i bought the book because i once did my own happiness project. it only lasted a few months, during the fall of my final year at vassar. it was somewhat more retroactive, but at the end of each day i would write down one thing i had done for myself, or for someone else, each day. i called it my "purposeful joy" plan and loved it. it included bike rides on the farm, making dinner for my roommates, practicing yoga, writing letters, and on.

so perhaps my daily intentions will be my short term happiness project.

oh happy day!
“don't forget simplicity. simplicity. simplicity. or the beauty of a good conversation, laughter, the company of real friends, a good nights sleep, a meaningful embrace, a common past, new friends, long drives, dirt roads, the peak of a mountain, exhaustion through exertion, a carried through crush, an accidental compliment, a goal accomplished, a bond unbroken by time, family, a sunset that melts into a sky full of stars, campfires, hand holding, a good book, a sleeping bag, cuddling, hand written letters, cross continental emails that inspire, memories new or old, and a night that ends like this one. no matter what, there will always be a night like this somewhere, sometime, tucked away and popping up unexpectedly at just the right moment. don't let go.”

–kate waite, 2005


Have I mentioned how much I love the Olympics?





It's been somewhat tumultuous week for me, and watching the Olympics in the evening has been my go-to sanity. My love for the Olympics began with the 1992 & 1994 Olympics when I became Nancy Kerrigan's #1 fan and my five year figure skating passion began. I was certain that the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics would be my moment of glory. I spent many a day skating in my socks on the kitchen floor, rollerblading in the street, and of course taking figure skating lessons. Despite my "late" beginning in 5th grade, I fully believed I was on my way. HA.

The Olympics are particularly exciting this year as there are 17 Olympians who have connections to Steamboat. Particularly the Nordic Combined team, where three of the members grew up in Steamboat and another trained here extensively. The silver medal win last week by Johnny Spillane has the entire town jumping for joy!

I love the "spotlights" or as my mom and I call them, "Violin Moments." I love the commercials, I love the interviews, I love the anticipation and the excitement. I love the fierce compeition, and the dedication of the athletes. I love the families, I love the stories.


"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world... a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Steamboat has lost one of it's shining stars. Jenna Gruben died in a car accident on Saturday night. I only knew her a little bit- through shared yoga classes and many reciprocal smiles around the gym and town. I always had a "friend crush" on her and hoped to get to know her better. Sadly, that chance has passed. It's a strong reminder of how quickly life can change, or end. Remember to tell your loved ones how you feel. I love you each, oh so much.


"There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain & remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself." -storypeople

a lovely community awareness yoga class at the library, and now heading up to play in seven new inches of fresh powder on the slopes.

happy saturday.


“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”― Oprah Winfrey


2010, or the year Eliza is 26, has been deemed "the year to take care of myself." Which is not to say that any of my other years have not-- I fully recognize that many aspects of my world and lifestyle are in fact fairly selfish or at least self-focused. And I know it may not always be that way, so I may as well enjoy it while I can. But despite that, I know I can do more to be kind to myself, and to treat myself the best that I can. Taking good care of me needs to be a priority. Whether that means a yoga class, a massage, a bouquet of tulips, a lazy sleep-in, a whole day reading on the couch, or a delicious meal- I deserve it. You only live once after all!

Today taking care of me means calling my beloved grandmother, going to spin class & eating burritos with Brett.