LETTER TO OCTOBER

unnamedDear October,

Now, October, I really wanted to be annoyed with you.  I mean all of the “PSL-this and boots-with-leaves-selfie-that“– I just about couldn’t take it.  Let’s be real: I started to think if I saw one more baby posed next to a scarecrow in a pumpkin patch I just may lose it.  Sure, they are adorable and all, but still that stuff can just wear on you.

Everyone was pretty jacked about you October, and it made me resent you just a bit.

And I should probably apologize for that.  Once I got of my I-don’t-want-to-love-everything-that-everyone-else-loves-because-I’m-not-hipster-but-kind-of-like-the-idea-of-pretending-to-be-one horse, I actually really enjoyed you.  Who cares if I’m not the first person on the planet to appreciate bright gold leaves and blanket scarves and curling up with hot tea?  I still like it!  And so does everyone else, and I’m not bitter about that (any more).

So, there, I’m sorry.

Oh, and, uh, another thing that made me like you just a bit more… You have been absolutely beautiful.

And I know that may sound a bit shallow, like I’m supposed to focus more on how you made me feel and what you bring to the table (and I ate A LOT– as you can see here).  But I don’t care.  You are ridiculously gorgeous and I want everyone to know it.

Wyoming can get a seriously rough wrap.  And I don’t exactly help that by complaining about the cold/wind for a good 80% of the year.  So sorry about that, because it is completely not fair.  Our falls are completely breathtaking, and a large part of that is thanks to you, October.  You were full of bright yellow trees and warm sunshine and crisp breezes.  There was really nothing to complain about, which is hardly ever the case with Wyoming weather.

I guess you were kind of like that popular girl in high school that I really wanted to dislike because everyone liked her, but then it turns out she’s really pretty and nice and funny and shares her snack in math class with me… Yeah, you were like that.  Sorry I got all judgey at the beginning, October.  You’re pretty neat.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO SEPTEMBER


Dear September,

September,  I always have ridiculously high expectations for you.  I want you to be perfect.  Bring me balance after summer, but not make me feel like I’m in a rut.  Bring me crisp fall weather, but not get too chilly.  Bring me endless fall beers and cinnamon coffee, but not extra weight.  Bring me bundling in a blanket, but not freezing my toes off.  It’s really not fair. At all.  And I do apologize for that.  I’ve got to quit doing that.  It’s just too much for you to live up to.

But, I have to admit: September, you completely nailed it.

You were practically perfect.

Thank goodness, because crummy months can lead to seriously crummy and repetitive letters… And sometimes they make me swear and that leads to a less-than-impressed mother of mine.  So, thank you for sending me ALL the good vibes, September.  And my mom thanks you, too.  Oh, and Brady, because he is the one that has to deal with my crummy month moods.

September, you are a  g o o d  month.  That’s the only way to explain it.  You get to bring new beginnings without the obnoxious pressure– and hangover– that comes with January.  You keep it simple.

Oh, and you are full of stellar stuff.  The fresh new round of seasonal beers.  Crisp days, that are still full of sunshine.  My Papha’s birthday.  Squash recipes for every, stinkin’ meal.  Fresh notebooks, pen, planners, and binder clips (yeah, this whole teaching gig has its’ perks).  PSLs that a lot of people seem to really enjoy, so I’m happy for them–and thankful that you still have cinnamon coffee fore me.  The acceptability of wearing leggings and crewnecks every, single minute that I’m not at work.  College football (oh, yes and trips to Chicago and Notre Dame fore me…), and all of the nachos that go along with it.  You really lucked out on all this stuff.

You pretty much give all of the feels that come with holiday season, without the traveling and stress zits.

So, I want to thank you for living up to all of my ridiculous September hopes.  October just needs to be prepared that I am doing the only healthy thing, and pushing my unbelievably, unrealistically high expectations right on to it.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO AUGUST 

Dear August,

Thank you!

Thank you for not rushing by like the rest of this summer (really this entire year so far).  Thank you for bringing me adventure AND routine.  Thank you for giving me a taste of that Laramie Summer that I was missing in June and July.  Thank you for giving me time with family, friends, and myself.  Thank you for not letting me fall back into a rut.

August, you were a real MVP this summer.  I needed you.  You brought a lot of balance into my life.  Things seemed to be piling on.  July had me feeling overwhelmed, stressed, incapable, needy, and frustrated.  You slowed stuff down.

It seems like every time I sit down to write to a month, I have the hardest time coming up with what to say.  Not because I’m a quiet person, but because each month goes by so crazy fast!  It’s impossible to think back and remember what I did or how I felt.  It all just smooshes together into a general emotion blob– I look back and think: “Oh, yeah I was generally happy and don’t remember any epic bouts of heart-racing-stress-about-everything-that-is-absolutely-out-of-my-control emotions,” or “Oh, yeah I can’t think back on this month because the entire thing is just covered with a fuzzy cloud of anxiety,” or (most often) “Dang.  I remember A LOT of Netflix and couch time… How do I turn that into a letter?”

But, I actually remember you.  I had trips.  I had matching t-shirts (yes, we were that family in Disney World).  I had family celebrations.  I had fishing.  I had reading.  I had wine with Mom. I had unrealistic, but incredibly real visions of me making the Olympics.  I had Farmer’s Market dates.  I had minor amounts of stress.  I had much larger amounts of laughs.

August, you did a perfect job.  You have me all excited about fall and football and bundling in blankets.  But, you didn’t leave me feeling like you tried to steal the end of my summer.  Thanks for that.

In short: thank you, August.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

P.S. You should have helped me fit in camping.  I know that seems a bit greedy, but that really would have cemented you as THE month of the year– just sayin’.

LETTER TO JULY


Dear July,

I’m not sure how I feel about saying goodbye to you. Part of me is sad that this summer just seems to be rushing past. And the other part of me is ready to kick your hiney out the door.

Now, July, you did let me check a few things off my Summer Adventure To-Do List: get home to Montana, spend time with Brady’s family, hike Medicine Bow Peak, catch more fish than Brady (I’m counting the world’s smallest fish that I caught on our last outting for this one). But, few is the operative word here. 

July, you had your fair share of ups and downs that put a pause on some of the adventures I wanted to get done. You were especially stressful and emotional (both things I am very familiar with and don’t blame you for–but I like to do minimal make up in the summer and stres breakout/puffy eyes made that a little more difficult). Granted everything that was super stressful and emotional will be good in the long run and was for the best. People always say that, and I know it down in my heart. But, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t totally suck at the time. 

And that’s okay. July, you did provide some delicious ice cream and seasonal brews to help out with that. 

So, I would like a do-over. Summer is going way too quickly, and frankly you just wasted a whole month being a medium level of shitty. But, I’m not going to be bitter about it. I would just like more time, thank you very much. 

If that doesn’t happen, I just have tons to cram into August!

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO JUNE


Dear June,

You went way too fast. 

Seriously. 

Putting that aside, you were a pretty great month and maybe that’s why I’m sad to see you go, June. I appreciate you letting me feel like a totally in-control adult one day. Like a junior high kid enjoying summer break with no responsibilities the next. Then, like a hot mess 20-something that can’t even begin to handle any of this. And like a grandma who is tucked into bed at 8:30 each night. All in one month. 

And I actually loved it. You helped me avoid falling into my summer rut, June. Of course, I love being able to relax all day (I have an exceptionally mellow, or lazy, soul), but I have learned that I am definitely one of those people that needs structure. You gave me that: walks with Teton (and coffee) to start the day, semi-productive mornings, lazy afternoons, ice cream way more often than I should, and early bed-times. It’s simple and low-maintenance and keeps me from going crazy. 

There have been a few rough spots. Not because I lead an exceptionally challenging life or feel the need to fit in a complaint here, basically because I’m a normal person and everyone has that stuff. But, I am feeling better about how I handle it. Usually, my initial reaction is too harsh and overly-emotional… however, the important part is that I realize this–first step–and can generally improve it–second step. So, you weren’t perfect, June; I don’t want you getting a big head. But, we made a pretty darn good team. 

I’ll end by saying you were H O T. And while that was fun and all for the start of summer, I’m ready for things to fizzle a bit and really settle in with a comfortable month like July. Don’t take it personally– it’s not you, it’s me. I’m just ready to move on. 

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO MAY

Image-1Dear May,

It’s funny, but I really feel like you were the most eeehhhhh blogging month for me, so far.  And, I actually think that was a good thing.  You opened my eyes to the importance of taking time for myself and prioritizing my needs.

It sound very cliche and I do believe it is the most first-world of first-world-problems-that-I-create-for-myself, but I am just not good at putting myself first.  My mind just tends to work in a very task oriented, or To-Do list-ish, way. My success is based on a checklist.  Thankfully, May, you allowed me to take a step back from that (as much as my control-freak personality would allow).  So, thanks for that.  Like, thanks a lot for that. I know myself well enough to know that I truly need those reminders every so often.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m fixed, or whatever weird way you want to phrase that; you just taught me that I may miss a post during the week or I may post something that I don’t necessarily believe is Pulitzer Prize worthy… and the world will keep spinning.

And you know, May, even if you weren’t a stellar blogging month you were still a pretty good month, overall. When I do these reflections I tend to look at the blog and forget about most everything else.  And that is completely crazy.  MGG is my outlet.  It’s fun.  I do it in my free time.  I love it.  I really love it a lot.  But, I am also a teacher, and I’m in a relationship, and I’m keeping my dog alive/not running through windows, and I am trying to keep in touch with my spread-out family, and I’m staying up-to-date on Game of Thrones, and I’m trying to learn to cast while avoiding wind knots.  There’s a lot more than what I write here.  All important stuff.

So, thanks for letting me slip up a bit, May.  I needed to let go.

I’m ready for some serious June adventures, though.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO APRIL

Dear April,

April, I ended my letter to March saying I was ready to tackle you head on!  I was all sorts of fired up and poised to attack!  But, it didn’t really end up being a battle did it?  It’s not like I let you run me over.  And I didn’t show you who was boss.  We both sort of just went through the motions, I guess.

So, I’m not sad at all to see you go. You were a very, very BLEH month.  You were basically just a place holder month between Spring Break and May when I can really start to count down until summer. Basically, April, you were the cracker (or lately: entire tub of Rainbowchip Frosting…) that I snack on to keep myself from starving before dinner; you’re not terrible, but you’re not great either.

Usually when I go to write these letters, it’s helpful for me to think about what has changed during this month.  And, honestly, just about nothing has changed.  March threw me for a loop a bit, so I think you may have been trying to throw me a bone.  And while I do appreciate that, it got to be a little boring.

In my first edition of this letter my paragraph here was a challenge to May to really bring it so I could really show my stuff.  But, I actually think it’s on me to “bring it.”  If I’m bored I need to push it and challenge myself and get out there.  Yes, I am a creature of habit and I love routine to a curled-up-in-a-ball-and-rocking-in-the-corner-if-it-is-changed fault, but that doesn’t mean I need to be   b o r i n g   (honestly the most exciting thing from this month was me discovering how cool the s p a c e d   o u t   t e x t could be).  That’s what I am going to focus on for May.  Thanks for the break April, but now I’m ready to rock it.

Finally…

Stop snowing. I’ve tried to be all good natured and jovial about these spring snow storms. “I’ll miss this in August when I’m sweating profusely just attempting to put my hair in a ponytail,” right? But this is getting ridiculous. Stop it.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO MARCH


Dear March,

You kind of came in like a lion, had a bit of that lamb business in the middle, and went out like a lion. And yes, that is pretty fitting for the Wyoming spring/winter we’ve been having (snow up to my knees, then days where I can run with the dogs outside wearing shorts, then snow so heavy I can hardly open my gate–pretty standard spring in Laradise), but it also fits for you in general, March.

It seemed like you started with a real “let’s see how far we can push Sydney” mentality. Attempting to stay positive with standardized testing and kids dying for Spring Break as much as the teachers? Check. Realizing no matter how on top of my debt-management/savings I am, my money still can’t stretch quite enough each month? Done.  Really making the extra effort to stay in touch with old friends, spend time with new ones, have dates with Brady, get up to visit my family, and try to enjoy this unique time of living alone? Got it. Oh, and let’s take away sleep; I love waking up bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed at 2 am a few times a week for no reason at all.  Nailed it.

Yeah, March, I’m not a fan of any of that. In fact, just writing it has my blood boiling. Luckily, with all that insanity you also brought some springtime seasonal brews. So, I’m grabbing one of those to calm down as I finish this letter.

Ok. Slightly better.

And, I guess, new beers weren’t the only bright spot about you March. You did give me a break in the middle. I guess, technically, my job gave me that break with the whole week-off-from-school thing, but I’m not too picky about how it happened. That time off and time with friends allowed me to slow down. To smother Brady with countless hours watching Game Of Thrones. To breathe. To start stressing (and force myself to stop) about planning summer trips to visit my family. To get outside. To play intense wire-balancing-Jenga-type-games with a 4 year old.

All things I desperately needed.

Then, it was back to the grind. But, I’m feeling good about you going out like a lion, March. The exit seems like more of a team thing– as opposed to the beginning which felt like a “bowl Sydney over and watch her try to survive” thing. This time I’m right with you.

I’m ready to tackle April. I’m not going to rush it away in hopes for summer. I’m going to keep this whole lion thing going (and seriously beat this metaphor to death) and really make April a month I’m proud of.

Seems like you lit a fire under me, March. So thanks for that.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney 

LETTER TO FEBRUARY

IMG_3888Dear February,

You were a bit of a challenge for me. And I don’t really feel like it has ended or I have succeeded. Surprisingly enough though, you weren’t a bad month, February. I’m letting you know that because I am sure you already have some sort of complex being the shortest month, so I don’t want to add to that by making you think you were a “bad” month.

Actually, if I were able to leave out a few things you would have been one of my favorite months ever. Seriously.  I am feeling good about where mountaingirlygirl is going. I feel caught up at work (well, actually just like I am keeping my head solidly above water—so I’ll take it!). I was able to visit Stetson in his new home and spend time with my mom. And I ate a lot of chocolate.  Overall, I’m pretty darn happy.

But, February you were out of control.  And not like my-dance-moves-whenever-Madonna’s-Like a Prayer-comes-on-good-kind-of-out-of-control.  The  stressful whatever-happens-is-out-of-my-hands-out-of-control.  I really hate that kind of out of control.  No matter how much planning I do or work I put into something, I just have to deal with what comes.  The controlling, over-planning, type-A part of me is not a fan of that.

I’m so sure that this is supposed to be a lesson for me, February. Or something to help me grow as a person. Or something else lovely and philosophical like that. But, I’m not quite feeling it yet. Maybe March will help me get there.  Yeah.  Let’s leave that job to March.

February, maybe you treated others like this too.  I know I’m not the only one with ‘stuff.’  The older I get the more I realize everyone has their ‘stuff.’  So, I’ve been trying to think about advice I would give someone if they were ragging on you, because of all the ‘stuff’ (okay, let’s be honest a lot of times the ‘stuff’ feels more like ‘shit’) you dropped on them.  And I would tell them to focus on the positive– because I’m generic like that and get uncomfortable when people ask me for advice.  But, I really think it’s true.

So, I’ll remember you for walks on the beach next to the Golden Gate Bridge.  And discovering my new favorite desert with Brady.  And finally having the time to start my adult coloring book (yes, I am one of those 20-something girls with a blog and an adult coloring book and wine).  And spending time reconnecting with old friends.  And waiting 2 hours to have the best brunch of my life.  February, that’s what I’ll focus on.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO JANUARY

DSC00513Dear January,
As I was looking back over a few of my other letters, I noticed a definite pattern. It seemed as if one month I was super overwhelmed, then the next I was settled back into routine, then I was overwhelmed, then I was settled, and on and on and on. 2016 will be the year of balancing that out, I hope.

January, you get a lot of pressure put on you with the New Year and all. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I put a bit of pressure on you, as well. There have been many years where I expected you to magically make me quit eating chocolate in the middle of the night, banish all blemishes from my face, force me to finally finish knitting that one scarf I started, and get me into the gym twice a day everyday.  But, I think I did a better job of keeping it realistic this year. You can’t fix everything I’m unhappy with in my life, and I don’t expect you to. Thankfully, you did bring in a bit of a jolt to help push me through the drag that can come with these last few months of winter.

I made a few positive changes with mountaingirlygirl, where I feel more confident and inspired (for lack of better and/or less cheesy word) with the topics I choose to write about. Of course, I still have lots I want to work on, but I’ve taken steps to make those changes happen– rather than my former preferred method of strictly worrying and hoping. I’ve been working on connecting more with the family and friends that I love. I’m absolutely not perfect with that yet, but I have been improving, and each phone call leaves me with a smile on my face.  I didn’t make any massive, life-changing, earth-shattering resolutions though, January, and you’re welcome for that.

Really, I’m just happy. So I’d say you did a pretty good job, January. I’m a little sad to see you go so quickly, but it’s safe to say I’ll be ready for you again next year.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney