ss: in training two year olds

•May 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hello sweet world. The fireflies are treading and toddling along. We’re TWO years old, FOUR months and TWO days old TODAY.  And I’m keenly aware that I miss writing so…. HERE I AM.

We stumbled through a brief dark spell of uncertainty during the winter, then tumbled into a crazy spring period of rehearsals and auditions; little sleep and LOTS of activity followed by…..injury.

I introduced my firefly to my chiropractor and he introduced me to his acupuncturist. Yay to our extended world of awesome people. I can now walk on high heels without looking like a pained zombie and he can wear a shirt without feeling annoyed that either he or the shirt is on crooked. Who knew that playing pin cushion and cracking bones would be so remarkable?

What does the firefly world look like today?

I’m falling asleep a lot earlier so to join my firefly at the gym at 6am to workout. (No late night writing routine.)  I WAS doing weight training before I got injured. I have since been on a modified regime as I rehabilitate myself. As for him, he’s counting calories and weighing his food like mad. Even a Porto’s pastry cannot sway him. He waits until cheat day.

He’s got a new job. I’ve been working on a friend’s short films and book trailers. And we’ve both taken a break from dancing and it feels kind of nice to spend a lot more time able to relax and visit my family and see friends. Or simply stay in and watch a movie or game.

We watched ALL of “Breaking Bad” (stressful for me – watching dysfunctional people is not relaxing) and am now working our way watching Marvel films in proper succession (much more fun and inspiring) and for laughs and giggles watching MLP.

Our first year was a lot of OOOOHH AAAAH discovery…. and in our second year we’re in a new space that’s a lot more goofy and cheesy with some moments where we feel like real grown ups. We don’t know what we’re doing but we’re happy. It’s been a time of moving on from uninspiring jobs and people, paring down activities and things to create new habits.

And find new strength. Physically, mentally and spiritually.

Latest sweet memory..

We arrived visiting a newly renovated church at the wrong time and caught the tail end of service. Instead of leaving to arrive at our other church late, he said.

“Let’s stay here after everyone leaves to pray for a bit.”

Yup. He’s the nicest calorie counting, food weighing, sports fan man I know. Even though he’s going through a phase of trying to gross me out a lot.  Details to NOT follow.

jnet

minding the castle

•December 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes certain souls walk through the halls of your world, champion your shadows beside you, and help you realize lessons on perception, love and loyalty that change you forever.

It’s nice to find you’re not as big of a loner than you think are.

From mind numbing routines that  carve out daily time to the occasional explosions within activity and interactions; its easy to feel alone and on a treadmill.   But every once in a while, you find yourself standing next to someone who lets you know that they see you and wakes you up from the ordinary.

I’d like to think that everyone is having a relatively amazing life.    I’d like to think that everyone understands struggle and knows the taste of bitterness yet knows the flavor of goodness.  And I’d like to think that everyone feels an intrinsic sense of awe and respect over the beauty of being human.

But I know there are many who don’t give a toss about thinking.  Period.    They were given different eyes to view the world.  And if you listen to them long enough, you may become convinced that there is nothing to believe that is beautiful and real.

That even your own reflection will disappoint you.

Still, I would like to think that certain souls have walked through the halls of your world, championed your shadows beside you, and helped you realize how worthy  you are.

That when you are alone, reflecting on life, you see how beautiful it is.

JNET

jnetsworld turned 8 and then 9

•December 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

A friend once told me that if she had a dozen essays on her desk, she would know which one was mine.  It was the best compliment I could ever hope for from a writer and friend that I respected.  I’ve received many encouragements to continue writing.  And its in re-reading those encouragements that bring this quiet soul back to writing.

Lest my soul harden.

So here I am to declare that you can return to something you love even though you feel like you are sputtering through a season or two or three or four trying to remember your voice.  Here I am even though two birthdays went un-noted —- jnetsworld turned 8 and then 9.   Life has been profoundly heart breaking and heart building these past couple of years.   I’ve cleared out house, sat in the silent space, had friends visit bearing gifts and pails of paint.

Thank you for your voice.  It’s what brings me back.

JNET

Favorite hellos:

My favorite hellos throughout the years.

UMA:  “A blog with a soul!!!!!!!!”

DOCTORMATE:  “Presence …A superb diarist resides here … jnet writes with calming power and silken insight …”

DAWNBLUE:  “Beautiful artwork along with beautiful words as to what the importance is to this person. I spent time stumbling Jnet and found myself lost in her world of music and art and could spend an eternity.”

IFIKNEWBETTER:  “i enjoyed her blog… lots of neat quotes… wonderful lasting images… lasting thoughts… a rainbow of ideas… “Beauty, the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.” “Don’t go through life, grow through life.”

QUHQUH:  “JNET is an explorer on the frontiers of her self and her trail is worth sharing. Thanks, JNET.”

COOLBUS:  “this is my second review of a stumbler that has a beautiful blog. it’s full of excellent writing and more. her writings always tickle my mind. visit here. spend time, and come away the better for it. 200 thumbs up for this neato person!”

SWEETMELISSA2005:  “JNET’s way with words.., WOW. If she is not a writer or does not plan to become a writer, well then too bad for us because she does it so eloquently. I am truly in awe.”

PAULFRANK:  “I think I am in love.”

DESTINYSFATE:  “Different in each & every way possible yet so much in which she shares….I’m in awe of how I can honestly concur & relate to the 100th degree. Unique virtual boutique of expressions and suggestions”

JAMES:  “Jnet, I love the way you write…such beauty.”

LITBITOFSONSHINE:  “I loved her creative writing on her stumbleupon and her wordpress.   She rocks and rolls and has such a open and sharing and caring understanding soul; one I even marked to read again as I will also visit her pages.  Its nice to learn about families from her point of view as well as so many other mind expanding things – just wowzers.”

DAVE:  “I loved your “loving like an athlete.”  Keep up your good writing….”

ALAN:  “You inspired me to change my blogs look as well, alas, my change was not as stunningly successful as yours. This is to be expected though, since your talent shines through everything you do here.  My compliments!”

DESTINY:  “Love your world and thanks to you, I can now define myself in all the diversity and unique(ness) that I possess as a person…as a woman. Just saying Hello and wanted to share that..nothing more.  I enjoy the substance of your blogs.”

METALT:  “Very impressive blog about life and I might add – balanced life. jnetsworld is a place I want to visit often and I deeply appreciate her for sharing with us.”

RICHARD:  “My beautiful and talented friend.  Again, I must tell you how well you write, but of much more importance than that, how very proud I am to “know” someone like you. You have such fine judgment, your values are impeccable and you seem dedicated to your art. As you know, choosing a life of creativity is not without its pitfalls. However, you do not need my advice and will find your way.  You know I wish you well, Richard.”

noteworth: the family room

•May 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Their piano room is not unlike the one I enjoyed growing up in; a sunny room where board games and books had a home.  It is a room of comfy couches and framed family photos. It is where people gather to talk, play tournaments of Scrabble, watch television, play video games and of course listen and play music. Their piano room feels like home to me; full of life and memories.

I can tell within 5 minutes, if a practice environment will inspire or not.   If no one including the family cat or dog doesn’t know of a spot to relax near the piano, chances are naming that particular spot the music room will not be a place to think and practice.  If only dust bunnies feel welcome in the room while everyone else socializes in another room, chances are practice will feel as lonely as a book forgotten in a corner.

For a young learner, will it not be against their best interest to have the piano in an active space? Shouldn’t the piano be in a more formal and quiet space away from the distraction of family life?

I’ve taught in a home where a beautiful baby grand Steinway graced a formal gathering part of the home. It was austere with not a dust bunny in sight. A beautiful place to have a family concert. Still, it was not an easy place for little boys to naturally bring themselves. My students were the youngest boys of a large family. The tumbling and full of energy sort. They literally came into their piano lesson each week through the back garden,  breathless from playing outside.  They were fine and full of cheer during our piano time together but I am not quite sure they entered the room in the same spirit when I wasn’t there.

I never had a quiet formal room to practice.  

I had a small keyboard that I played in my room but it never got the kind of love that I had for the piano in the family room.  I didn’t mind the bustle.   The piano rooms at school lent some solitude but not quiet.   The reality of life was that absolute quiet and privacy was a treat and not the norm.

And so I survived having a piano, television AND family computer in the same room.  Sometimes my piano competed against video game music as my brothers played across the room.  Sometimes I enjoyed the luxury of having the room to myself while they played outside. Most of the time my brothers and I exercised some form of social diplomacy.  

A piano isn’t LOUD LOUD.  Conversations and television programs can still continue and share sound space. I know playing didn’t always refrain my mom from wanting to start a conversation asking me if I’d eaten or done all my homework.

I managed sharing practice space.

Conquering distraction is a daily exercise; a good one for young people to learn and perhaps easier for a young person to consider than feelings of isolation or missing out feelings.  Put them in a room where they are out of earshot of all family activity; it may feel too much like their punitive time outs.

A place to relax, to think and to share…and feel very much at home.

K:  “I just need a little table next to my piano so I can have a snack and glass of water nearby.  That would be perfect.”

I like hearing how my students set up camp to practice.

JNET

ss: coach firefly

•May 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

R opened a brand new world of sports to me. I never paid attention before, not knowing when playoffs were going on let alone knowing when Superbowl weekend was.

Sitting down to sports was my punishment when I was little; a several hours of timeout time whenever I did something naughty.

I grew up keeping a busy distance from all things sports that it is ironic that I am dating someone that is very very fond of sports. R’s fondness for sports had me unsure during the beginning of our relationship. Watching sports was punishment to me, not a happy bonding time. I had a head full of “what ifs” that my girlfriends helped me de-clutter so I may have perspective.

Football season was in the horizon as well as plans to take a break from dance classes.

JNET: ”What if sports is more important than me? What if his fondness for sports trumps taking part in family events? Will he ignore conversations and get swallowed up in innings and quarters? I remember spending hours with my dad to watch a game but I can’t remember ever talking.”

N: ”JNET, there are other vices. R is good to you. I wouldn’t worry.”

Still I had other what-if’s…

What if sports becomes this terrible reason to not relate to each other and he wishes he had a girlfriend that wouldn’t get the teams’ names confused and who knows how to throw the perfect Superbowl party? What if sports opens up a monster in him and the sweet man I know turns into an angry, violent man that screams at the television or at me?

These are the thoughts that weighed upon my mind last year. And yes, I realize that I make up funny stuff to lose sleep over.

We made it through football season, I’m following the basketball playoffs and I even know that baseball season is still at its beginning. I’ve even earned coolness status points with my piano students that take part and have a love for sports. Random trivia for you – Did you know that Kobe Bryant knows how to play Beethoven and that Jeremy Lin practices the piano regularly?????

R made sports time fun even if it was just a party of us two. Our abs exercise regime went on off-season though. OMG….CARBS!!! We celebrated with pizza and fried chicken and relaxed. We took a break from dance practices but we attended church each week. We never missed a day at church due to a game. Sometimes we cuddled in the couch, sometimes I disappeared to do my own thing and sometimes i played the piano while he watched (setting the television volume very low). And always, he would pat the couch and invite me to return.

I didn’t turn into SPORTS WIDOW!

We attended a few games this past year, enjoying a couple of Dodger Stadium dates and my first ever basketball game. To get me ready for our sports dates, Roland would surprise me with a cute tee to wear for the special night out. The fun memories make for a good list: learning about different leagues; American versus National, learning the rules of the games, packing picnics, cute tees, a pullover and hello kitty night at Dodger Stadium.

We’ve also been enjoying movies and documentaries on sports figures. So many inspiring lives; athletes that press themselves past great odds, coaches that inspire greatness.

Coach Firefly taught me a lot this year and made it fun. I never felt ignored or forgotten. He did yell at the television a couple of times though. But I never for a moment felt less than loved.

jnet

muscle memory

•April 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk,

if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are at least half a dozen ways to crawl.

My pace at writing is slower than other seasons and it frustrates me.   I find myself getting lost in measures of silence; a habit that I would like to break.  I’m fine when I dance and when I teach my students; doing activities where I have great confidence.

But writing and being succinctly expressive in finding choice words and even carrying on an eloquent conversation has me feeling wobbly.   What was my affirmation again?  I have it written on a mirror that I keep in my patio garden.

“I am the possibility of unstoppable love, courage, self-expression and transformation.”

Though silence has been my gold these past couple of years; it has atrophied aspects of me.  I suppose it would be easy to simply fade away and get absorbed by the noise of life.  But I have a voice; a signature that wants to defy invisibility.  And so I crawl, sometimes flopping around on my belly, sometimes on one leg while I drag my body…only wishing to move forward despite my awkwardness.

I’ve committed to pod-casting, hosting a half-hour show with my friend D, each week. We’ve had our share of technical blunders and bloopers managing to laugh  our way past them.  Despite slips and awkward moments, D says she looks forward to our weekly podcast conversation.  She encourages me.   I’m notorious for not lasting two minutes on a phone conversation without feeling annoyed.  Lasting thirty minutes in good cheer has been a weekly miracle.

Hosting a podcast in the morning while still in my pajamas is a world different from standing in front of a room of real people…  Oh yeah…. I’ve also returned to toastmasters this year but in a dipping my toe in the pool sort of way; visiting a new club every week or so.

I recently enjoyed a fleeting moment of words and ideas leaving my mouth in good order.  People got on their feet and applauded at a recent visit while doing an impromptu speech at the podium.    I was scared and was shaking but no one seemed to notice.  It felt good to know I moved my audience.  Someone admitted that they started taking notes.  And my boyfriend was very proud.   I guess I actually “stood up” for the moment.

I feel like I’m still crawling but my “legs” are feeling stronger.   I hope to not feel as stiff in my movements or choice of words in expressing myself as time goes by.  Perhaps it is all muscle memory….to be freely self-expressive and eloquent takes practice.

Here’s to practicing.

JNET

i won’t give up

•February 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hello rugged angels.

How old is your soul?

Navigating the world and wanting to make one’s life count is not an easy task.  I’ve had to learn how to bend without caving in and showing up to love, to live, to write, to play is for the tough and strong.  Not giving up… is what makes one strong.

I give you my love.

Enjoy the music video.  Sending a hug from my corner of the internet universe.

jnet

 

 
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