13. Snorkel with an underwater camera (video – and an added bonus)

I feel like I’ve been blowing through my 31 Things list. I haven’t really, but I have been working through it at a steady pace.

But #13? Oh yeah baby. Simply. Amazing.

We swam with #Jesus! Apparently that walking on water trick didn't work out so well for him here.  Can't wait to share all the video we took. @justinplayswithballs even swam with a school of fish. #epic #bucketlist #thebigchill13 #keylargo #pennekamp #chr

One of my favorite pics of the day. It's the simple things after all. #bubbles #underwater #snorkeling #mamaocean #ocean #water #blue #turquoise

Captain Zeb. #boat #ocean #diving #snorkeling

We couldn't go out with the entire crew! @heathermattern @calebabc  You guys were totes there! #thebigchill13 @caylaanngirl @bluesparklejoy @Isaiahchasingdanger

I can’t describe what it’s like to be doing things I never saw myself doing. It’s like trying to picture yourself as breaking mach speed…just not really on your radar until one day it is and you can’t believe you’re making it happen.

We went out in Key Largo, rented a boat from John Pennekamp State Park, and dove in with friends. Zeb didn’t stay for long – cold and wet and over-his-head are not really his thing.

It! Was! Amazing!

The reef was gorgeous and the fish spectacular, but what took me by surprise by the Christ of the Abyss statue. Many, many jokes were had at old Jesus’ expense, but to see it was still pretty wicked cool – way more wicked cool than you would assume.

I didn’t know how I would do snorkeling. My HSP nature makes a lot of things challenging, like cold water and strong currents that cause a sense of panic to seep in. My back and joints make it easy to hurt myself. Plus I’m just the right size to not be able to float but not be able to dive down easily either (I tend to hang just below the water – safe!).

But there comes a point in self-awareness when you can acknowledge these things about yourself and also acknowledge where you can ask for support. It’s a surprisingly sweet and wonderful point.

Enter Justin. Strong swimmer. Scuba certified. Tenderly compassionate when he understands what I need.

This man.  @justinplayswithballs

And he pretty much made me fall in love with him all over. He held my hand when the current was too overwhelming, grounding me with his presence. He pulled me through the water so I didn’t have to swim, so we could spend more time in the water before my body had had enough. He was by my side, pointing things out, making sure it was WE that had fun. He even helped me find a wetsuit a few weeks before so I wouldn’t freeze (as much).

It took us many years to get to the place of my being okay to ask for support and his giving it in the most amazing way (aware of my limits, not pushy too much and not letting me quit too soon). I’ve gone through periods of just sitting out, periods of wanting to join and wanting help but wanting him to anticipate my needs, periods of refusing all support and fighting with the reality of what is my body and its limitations.

It was kind of a wakeup call when I realized just how blessed I am to have a man who is so tender, so gentle, so eager to give. (So sexy doesn’t hurt either.)

It’s been a lesson in love – self-love but also love for him – to lean on him more.

So not only was #13 on my 31 Things list a totally amazing experience. It was a deep reminder of who this amazing man is.

 him. I would've drown out the today. Instead I had a blast. Every time I asked him to help he was there to make sure we both had fun.  @justinplayswithballs #ocean #diving #snorkeling #keylargo

Oh! And we took video! Cuz that was kinda the whole point of #13 – to capture some fun stuff. ♥

And An Added Bonus

This one may not have been on my list, but when Zeb and I got here and saw the parasailing we made a pinky-swear with one another to make it happen before we left the Keys.

And today, just him and me, we made it happen.

Best Mother-Son date ever.

Getting ready for parasailing!

This totally happened! #parasailing #keylargo #ocean #zeb

Capturing this was the best part. #zeb #parasailing #keylargo #ocean #smile #joy #fun

So much fun! I wanted to never come down. #parasailing #keylargo #zeb #laugh #smile #joy #flying

 him. #zeb #parasailing #keylargo

#Rainbow in the #sky. #colorful #keylargo #parasailing #sun

It’s late January and I hope your New Years dreams and lists are still going strong. ♥

31 Things Before I’m 32

Today is my 31st birthday. I’ve been celebrating all weekend with art, music, writing…basically quiet, creative space with myself. And it’s been divine.

Before I forget, I’m also celebrating with a Pay-What-You-Can Day on Digging Deep {today and tomorrow only}.

I’ve always wanted to do a Pay-What-You-Can Day and for some reason it just never came together. Lame, I know. But I also know the holidays can be tough, financially, and I know that to make 2013 beyond amazing it takes some tools to overcome our obstacles to amazing. And it’s just fun to do it on my birthday. 🙂

My birthday’s always leave me reflective.

I think it’s the passing-of-time + holiday nostalgia + upcoming New Year’s all rolled into one.

The past few months have been especially reflective for me – lots of reexamining, realigning, rediscovery.

Lots of asking myself, “Is this the Life you want? Are you making choices that will become regrets?”

Is it just our 30’s? Or is it just me?

The question that has been on my mind constantly: Will you let this be something you later regret?

It first came up in my conversation with Mama Ocean…and yes, it’s what got me to strip down and jump in the freezing water.

It happened again in San Diego at Wide Sky Days. Having a “disability” almost kept me from jumping off a cliff. But I couldn’t let it.

Guess who jumped off a cliff? THIS GIRL!  #badasssista #wideskydays

Dude. I jumped off a fucking cliff. Fist bump to that.

It happened again when Justin asked if I wanted to boogie board – freaking exhilarating – and again when I was ogling this sidecut on Pinterest and said “Fuck it, let’s do it” the day before Thanksgiving.

Cold is the water, it freezes your already cold mind...but you are not alone in this. #mumfordandsons

Yup, the question has been on my mind near constant.

But I almost didn’t write this list.

See, I’ve written two other like it {here and here} and although I got stuff crossed off I discovered that A) some of it needs time to percolate – more than one year, B) some of it is a lifelong process, and C) how the hell can I possibly predict what I’ll be able to – or actually WANT to – do in a year and why would I want to kick myself for what I didn’t get done, instead of acknowledge all I did?

But I’m writing it anyway, because

A) I’m a sucker for lists,
B) I’m okay if it doesn’t all get done in a year, and
C) I’m 31 today. And time is going to keep flying by unless I’m intentional with what I do with it.

So here you go, my things to do this year (or soon after):

31 Things to Do, Start or Consider Before I’m 32

{With permission to edit as I see fit. Because my list, my rules, yo.}

Ditched my other one. Doodled this one instead. Meh. #artjournal In other news Zeb is decorating the RV with snowflakes and Justin is making me an epic birthday cake for tomorrow.

  1. Finish my first art journal
  2. Finish and publish my Bucket List on this website
  3. Update/finish our travel journal
  4. Make our Family Recipe book (started!)
  5. Read Fahrenheit 451
  6. Complete The Artist’s Way
  7. Read Atlas Shrugged {this should count for like, 5 books}
  8. Read Women Who Run With Wolves (couldn’t get into it)
  9. Write my first book
  10. Start a 365
  11. Complete 12 monthly challenges
  12. Start learning Espanol, have an entire conversation with a Spanish speaking stranger
  13. Snorkel with an underwater camera {January!}
  14. Visit NYC
  15. Eat something delicious in Deleware
  16. Do something radical in Rhode Island
  17. Do some vigorous in Vermont (snort – I typo-ed that as Vermount)
  18. Get my passport {working on it, they are making it difficult}
  19. Attend a Rocky Horror Picture Show
  20. Plan a weekend with girlfriends
  21. Re-pierce my nose
  22. Leave 12 love notes in 12 random places
  23. Send 12 pieces of Happy Mail
  24. Knit those damn socks already (been on this list for THREE YEARS)
  25. Get at least 6 massages
  26. Master Uttanasana
  27. Redo my business plan{s}
  28. Redo this website design
  29. Setup a charity program
  30. Keep saying “Yes” where I would normally say no
  31. FLY A PLANE, BITCHES! (next spring!)

In case you can’t tell, I’m ridiculously excited and feeling seriously badass about that last one. My Ithaca girlfriend, Miranda, said she can help out {her hubby is a licensed pilot!}. I am going to fly a plane. I’m going to FLY A PLANE before I turn 32. If I do nothing else on this list but that one, I’m a woman vindicated.

Side note: It becomes increasingly more difficult to write these lists and come up with 30-something new things to do in a year. 😉 So #2 will probably take the lead next year.

{P.S. If you can help me out with any of these, please let me know!}