Monthly Archives: December 2009

New Year’s Resolutions

Let’s talk New Year’s resolutions. Are you for them? Do you make them? And, more convictively, do you stick with them?

While I enjoy challenging myself and therefore have no trouble coming up with resolution material, I do not make official New Year’s resolutions. Or at least I choose not to call them that. Instead, I prefer to take stock of the year behind me and find ways to improve upon it in the upcoming one. I look at the turning of the calendar as a chance to start fresh with new hope and possibility. While I believe any day is a great day to make a change (what are you waiting for?!), there’s something so refreshing about a blank calendar and 365 untouched days stretched across it. I envision what I want to do differently, better, and new; what I want my character to look like; and how I am going to make that happen. Some of my areas of focus include (and this is by no means all-inclusive, as I am perpetually in a state of self-improvement) participating in more community service projects, running more races, improving my domestic skills, uncovering new adventures, and beyond.

As we welcome 2010 with open arms and a champagne toast, take a moment to consider what you want your next year to look like.


MELodies | Volume One

After an inspiring conversation with good friends one night this past summer, I was challenged to create a soundtrack of my life, which turns out to be a much more daunting task than it may originally seem. I dug deep and stretched my mind into memories that I had intentionally tucked away, to those that I am deeply fond of, and to those that make my heart smile, break, and cling to hope. And through this journey, I bring you MELodies: Volume One.

1) Sweet Melissa – The Allman Brothers. Naturally.

2) Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison. At first glance this song may appear to be cliché, but I assure you it is not on my album only in reference to my eye color, but because it brings back such fond memories of my childhood. I can vividly recall dancing and twirling on the beach with my dad while the band strummed this tune in the background. Sha la la la la la la la la la la ti da….

3) Wide Open Spaces – The Dixie Chicks. Slightly embarrassing, but these lyrics of newly embarked-upon independence were sung loudly and passionately by my friends and I as we straddled the line between childhood and adolescence. We loudly identified with the lyrics as our personal declaration of growing into our own uniqueness. What can I say? We were young.

4) ATLiens – Outkast. I was determined not to include this song, but if I’m going to be honest, it belongs. It takes me straight back to my rebellious teenage years, to being young and naïve and carefree.

5) Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty. Throughout high school, I blasted this song at inhumane levels in my car, shouting the words as a reminder to stand my ground, to stay true to myself, and to uphold my convictions when faced with resistance. Admittedly it didn’t always work, but it surely kept me grounded at times.

6) Breathe or Time – Pink Floyd. The first time I listened to Dark Side of the Moon, I was babysitting my cousins, randomly picked up the CD, and then played it on repeat the rest of the afternoon. I consider that my initiation into good music; I was mesmerized. And so began a love affair.

7) You Had Me From Hello – Kenny Chesney. This was Josh’s song for me. I didn’t realize its worth, or really even like it, until he was gone. Josh was my best friend who tragically died in September 2007, something from which I will never fully recover. My comfort lies in the fact that he is spending eternity in Heaven, where we will one day laugh together again.

8) Amazing Grace – Various Artists. This song is me; this is my story: I once was lost but now I’m found. This is the story of anyone who knows their inadequacy in living this life without a Savior and has discovered redeeming love through the grace of God. In the past year, I have been blessed with many beautiful, strong, inspirational men and women in my life who have made the path to the cross so incredibly real and so desirable. This song was also played at both Josh’s and my grandfather’s funerals, both of whom left unspeakably impactful footprints on my heart.

9) Jesus, Etc. – Wilco. This song reminds me of my best friend and boyfriend, who introduced me to the beauty of growing a relationship from friendship: You can rely on me honey, you can come by any time you want.

10) What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love – Burt Buchanan. This is just true. No explanation necessary.

11) Til Kingdom Come – Coldplay. This song is love, true love. Despite the times it hurts, the hearts I’ve broken, and the hearts that have injured mine, I am thankful for love. It’s the sweetest thing…

12) Slow Dance or What Else Would You Have Me Be – Lucero. It is much too hard to choose just one Lucero song. Not only has the band provided me with motive to attend countless festivals and shows, but their songs tell the stories my heart feels but can’t put into words.

13) Forever Young – Bob Dylan. This song is everything I want, my personal anthem. I listen to it to keep me on track, to stay focused on the important things in life.

14) Leaving on a Jet Plane – Chantel Kreviazuk. This song represents all the goodbyes I’ve said in my life. I instinctively turn to this song when my heart hurts over a goodbye; there is something so haunting yet soothing in these words. To boyfriends past, during forced apartness due to distance, farewells to old friends, and to the end of chapters in my life.

Give it a try! And let me know if you do, as I would love to read some other life soundtracks. If you would like to own this compilation in audio form, I’m sure we can arrange something.

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Goodnight Christmas

It’s a bit past midnight and Christmas is over. Mine was exactly what I needed: thoughtful gifts were given, family time was enjoyed, delectable food was consumed, fireside book reading was savored, an afternoon slumber was taken, and a much needed run with a good friend was jogged. My heart is happy. I hope you can say the same.

As  sad as I am to see the Christmas season come to an end, I am very much looking forward to the beginning of the new year and all the potential and possibility it brings. More on that in upcoming days.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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mel*lif*lu*ous [muh-lif-loo-uh s]– adjective 1. Sweetly or smoothly flowing; sweet-sounding 2. Flowing with honey; sweetened with or as if with honey.

I feel like this word was made specifically for me. 

After college, my friends took it upon themselves to shorten my name from Melissa to Mel. Originally I thought it was too masculine and didn’t care for it, but over the years I have embraced it. It has become a running joke among our crew to cleverly incorporate my name into common expressions, such as smelly Melly (after a sweaty workout), peanut butter and Melly, Jack-o-Melon, the mind of a Melephant, and, according to my boyfriend, on a scale of one to ten, I’m a Meleven.

So the fact that mellifluous starts with my signature three letters immediately attracted me to it. In addition, Melissa means honey bee, and the etymology of mellifluous is as follows:  from Latin, mellifluus (“flowing like honey”), from mel (“honey”) + fluo (“flow”). Bonus points. And if that’s not enough, the word mellifluous is often used to describe a person’s writing style. How perfect!

Combine this fitting synchronicity with my initials, MMM (the 3M girl, M3, M-cubed, Triple M, M&M), and there you have the story of how came to be.


Did the Beatles say it best?

The love you take is equal to the love you make.

Did the Beatles really say it best 40 years ago with the closing lyrics of Abbey Road? We live in a world that is me-centric. Please me, love me, give me, want me, appease me, humor me, notice me, compliment me, entertain me. But what if we were to pop our bubbles of self-absorption and adopt the mentality that ME is not the center of all things created, and that we have a whole lotta love to share. The more you actively love your environment, your neighbors, your family, your friends, strangers, acquaintances, and anyone else your day places in front of you, the more abundant and blessed your life will ultimately be.  It’s not necessarily the people you are bestowing love on who will reciprocate, but somewhere, someone, or even something, will tickle your heart and remind you of the fulfillment that comes with benevolent, selfless love.  It seems the rocking quartet may have been on to something after all. 

So go spread the love! I suspect it will find its way back to you…

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Blogging Debut

I have pondered becoming a blogger for a long time, always coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t. Isn’t blogging in itself an act of vanity? What do I have to say that is so important it’s worth other people taking the time to read? Aren’t there already millions of blogs out there? But, with persistent encouragement from those near and dear to me, I have decided to join this online world of writing, for I can also think of several reasons why I should begin blogging. Firstly, I have a passion for reading, writing, and editing, and blogging will give me an outlet to do so. Secondly, this seems like a more organized way of recording my thoughts than my current cluttered method of jotting them down on scraps of paper, napkins, and notepads. And most importantly, maybe something I say will spark a reaction in you. Touch a life. Begin a revolution. Who knows?

So here I am. This blog is as much for you as it is for me. I sense the beginning of a beautiful friendship.