Haggis and Holidays

If you look at the archives for this blog from October 2012, you will see that I blogged every day that month.

It was a lot of writing, not all of it good, not all of it bad. It was part of a 31 Amazing Days Challenge, inspired by the book This Ordinary Adventure by Christine and Adam Jeske.

Amazing days are defined by them as “anything that made a day unusual, silly, daring, faithful, wacky, or bold.” Amazing Days “drew us out of the mundane ruts of life and into small (and large) attempts to make the most of life.” (This Ordinary Adventure, p. 9-10)

Intentionally creating amazing days gets difficult after a while.

And for me, it’s probably about to get harder.

Next Tuesday, I start a full-time job as a publicist at a publishing house.

It will be a learning curve, in more ways than I’m probably aware of even right now.

40 hours a week, maybe more sometimes.

Big changes.

I’m confident I can learn what I may not know about how to do the job.

But something I can’t learn from a boss, coworkers, or Google is how to make sure my life outside of work does not become so routine, usual, and rut-esque that I become hopelessly bored.


The idea started with a calendar I got when I was in Edinburgh last May. It has pictures of landscapes of the city and landmarks, and its dates are marked with many holidays that aren’t celebrated in the U.S.

Like Burns Day, in celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. It takes place on his birthday, January 25, so I talked 2 friends into celebrating with me last Friday.

We had a very nontraditional Burns Supper. Not personally knowing many people who actually celebrate this holiday, Wikipedia became the best source available.

The traditional meal consists of haggis, mashed potatoes (tatties), and mashed turnips (neeps). There are several speeches and toasts, and guests take turns reading poems by Burns.

Photo Credit: Flickr User zoonabar, Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Flickr User zoonabar, Creative Commons

We had mashed potatoes and a dessert similar to one I had on my visit to Edinburgh. Haggis isn’t readily available in this area, nor do I imagine I’d like it, but I stumbled through “Address to a Haggis” anyway. The evening ended with Braveheart, which is at least set in Scotland.

It was by no means a perfect or traditional Burns Supper, but that’s not really the point.

It was unusual.

It was fun.

It was different.

It was amazing.

And so as I work my full-time job, I’m going to continue to celebrate holidays I find on my calendar. I haven’t yet decided what the next one I celebrate will be, but again, it will not be a perfect celebration. And again, that’s ok.

Perfection is not the point.

Days don’t need perfection to be amazing. Instead, these are the imperfections, the oddities, the random celebrations that will keep life interesting. And a little amazing.

Til next time…


p.s. Do you know of any other random holidays I might be able to celebrate this year?

Life is Now

Today I’m honored to be guest posting at Into the Mud, the blog of Christine Jeske. She and her husband Adam wrote the book This Ordinary Adventure, which is where the 31 Amazing Days Challenge idea came from. Here’s an excerpt from my piece:


Throughout the month of October, I’ve been learning to be more aware of what I do throughout my day. I’ve been searching for bits of amazing, partly to write about, but also to glean more appreciation for my life.

Often though, I’ve found myself making excuses for why I haven’t been more intentional about creating amazing moments. I’ve graduated from college, so in theory I’m equipped to be an active participant in the adult world, at least when it comes to the workplace. But it doesn’t always feel that way for the rest of life. This phase of life feels like an in-between time.

I catch myself thinking, “Once this next thing happens, that’s when my real life will start.” Whether it’s moving out of my parents’ house, finding a boyfriend, getting a full-time job—one of those things will be the catalyst for “real life” beginning. Where I am now is not the story I would have written if I had authored my own life. Sometimes, I am sure that once God gives me the go ahead to move on to the “next thing,” that’s when things will get better, and my “real life” will begin. Where I am now? It’s just a holding pattern, a temporary stop on my way to real life.

read the rest here.

And tomorrow brings October to a close, and an end to my 31 days of blogging. Reflections to come.


Til next time…


31 Amazing Days

Perhaps you flipped the calendar yesterday, or otherwise acknowledged the beginning of a new month. I wrote about expectations vs. reality, and how this October is shaping up to look differently than I would have predicted in years gone by.

I also made a decision. Took on a self-imposed challenge. And it affects you, in this space.


For the month of October, I will post every. day. To the very best of my ability.


It’s a bit terrifying to put that down in writing–once this is out there, it suddenly becomes more real.

I’m going to warn you right now: Not every post will be pretty. They may be short, not overly eloquent, or a bit too raw at times.

Then again, maybe I’ll surprise myself.


After deciding to post every day, I found out about The 31 Amazing Days Challenge. Being determined to live a life that doesn’t suck sounds like a pretty good goal to me, so here goes my attempt at 31 amazing days of sometimes less-than-amazing writing. It’s inspired by the book This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling, which I haven’t read yet but fully intend to.

For the month of October, I will be forced to be more observant, because to write means first and foremost to observe. It is only by observing that I have anything to say.

So here we go. And I do mean “we,” if you’ll join me. On the right side of the page you can enter your email address to be notified of new posts, or you can just stop by frequently to see what’s up. That’s cool too.

Here’s to living a life that doesn’t suck–and writing about it.


Til next time…