On that note, I'm going to continue to give short shrift to the happenings of the last couple weeks and sum it up as the following:
More dancing lessons, more work, less stress, trip to visit friends in St. Louis, Washington, D.C., scuba certification with Robert and Julia, recession but I'm still employed, phew.
Also, Janet told me not to post again with "So Janet came to lunch at Google today," otherwise it would sound like that was the only thing she ever did with me. Which, Janet, it actually IS. But she didn't come today, she came last week.
It is Christmas Eve, which even if you aren't the religious type, is a special day for the pure energy of it. Seems like most people are out and about, enjoying their day off. The highways were definitely busy today, but everyone seemed to be feeling pretty courteous. The sky was gray, but there were moments of great beauty (which I will cover later).
I woke up early and Ravi and I hit up the mall to finish some last-minute shopping. Turns out there's a lot of spaces available at 8:30a. w00t. Afterwards I had lunch at a ramen house with Evan, a recent law school grad whom I met at the APA|5 Leadership conference last year. We had a nice time waffling around downtown San Mateo until our meters ran out, checking out the holiday displays and catching up a little.
Afterward I got that funny dissatisfied feeling that usually means I really, really need to go dance. So I drove alll the way to Campbell to do some waltzing. When I got there, I realized I had forgotten my shoes. So I did my waltzing in Skechers flats. It was nice to just be there and zone out a little, relaxing and feeling the music. I tried not to worry tooo much about technique and body parts being certain places at certain times.
Being at Spectrum with no Derrick reminds me of not having a partner about this same time last year, and being motivated enough to keep going to the studio to practice, and taking lessons on my own with Mr. Ikaika. Also, I had forgotten this, but apparently I spend a lot more of my time socializing with random people (as opposed to socializing with Derrick) when I'm by myself, and way less time actually dancing :P This year though, it feels good to work on my own stuff, knowing that it'll make the partnership stronger when he gets back!
Intending to take 280 home, I ended up purposely overshooting my exit and getting off on Alpine Road instead. I took it eastwards, up into the hills and basically tried to drive as high as I could. Surprisingly, I didn't get lost. And I found a beautiful view coming down one of the streets of the entire bay - turns out the air today was so clear that UNDER the cloud cover I could see all the way out to the city where it was sitting blue and sharp above the silvery water. I stopped and took some pictures, and hoped nobody would come up behind me and hit my butt. Between that, and the fall leaves hanging like stars on the branches, and the damp mossy tree trunks lining the roads, well.. I was full up on beautiful things.
Now here I am. Having wrapped the last of my presents, I'm happily relaxing in my room while my dad strums his guitar, mom cooks, and Robert does his computering.
While driving, I thought a lot about all the different little choices I've made to send my life off in one direction or another. Everytime I start up this train of thought, I usually begin to consider how so many people in my life continue to put up with me, and care for me, and generally do things to make me smile, even though I can be a high-strung spaz. I like those moments, when I can just sit and be appreciative for a while. In my mind, it's like throwing a big net of Jen-lovin' over all the amazing people in my life, and holding them nice and near (but not suffocatingly near). And if you're sitting there thinking right now "Is that me?" well it probably is.
Once I post this, I think I'll do a little cleaning, clean up the stacks of paper that inevitably begin to accumulate over time, and then head off to Julia's parent's place for her birthday party. After that.. I'm not sure what my plans will be. For some reason this year, I actually want to go to mass with my mom. It's been a few years since I've last gone, but I've got this nostalgic feeling for communion today. Weird, I know. So I'll probably do that tonight.