Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top 10 Posts From 2014

2014 is already long gone.  I don't even know how that happens.  I remember watching the clock tick over to the year 2000 like it was yesterday and how we all kind of held our breath because a tiny piece of us thought that just maybe the crazy people who thought the whole world would shut down because computers didn't understand the year 00 we're right and we'd be facing a future in the darkness.  

That was fifteen years ago.  

Time flies.  

It's strange.  I'm already writing 2015 on documents without even thinking about it...

Top 10 Posts From 2014 - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

To honor the great year I had sharing my life and spilling my thoughts out into the internet ether I've decided to look back through all of my 2014 posts, find the most popular based on views received and share them here.  Because maybe you missed one.  And because it's fun to look back at memories made over a twelve month span and realize that they still matter all these months later...


The Conversation Every Couple Needs To Have - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak"What's your passion?" he asked me. "You aren't allowed to say family or your work.  What are five other things you're passionate about." 

We were driving somewhere, that yellow lined highway dashing by and my head spinning circles with the question out of nowhere.  Because really it's a question of Who Am I? Stripped down to the core. What makes me tick? What stirs my blood into a fury of passionate pursuit?

He'd listened to an interview on CBC, a man who posed this question and it had stirred something in him.  "It's hard, isn't it?" And it was because society dictates and expects your response to be family and career - that's what every good Canadian would say.  So he modified the rules to make it a little easier.  "Okay...how about three things? Just name three things."  {keep reading...}


take me back, mr. time machine to anti-Vietnam America and I'll kiss the first twenty boys I see - Alanna RusnakHe smiled at me when I came through the doors of the coffee shop - this man as big as a house and beard all white and wise - smiled like he knew me though I had no idea under heaven.

"You don't remember me, do you?" he asked, having left his coffee on the table by the window to approach me as I stood in line.

"Sorry," I said.

"Ha! Not a worry! You still singing?"

"When the mood strikes," I tell him, still without a clue to his identity.  {keep reading...}


How To Pack For A Writers Conference - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak Writing is a private affair. It's a locked-in-a-closet, introspective exercise most often engaged in by textbook introverts who dream in colour, compose better than they speak, and birth their darlings upon pages only to weep over their death-by-edit later.

To take the writing creature and plop her down in a crowd of like-minded beings is to invite anxiety and excitement and fear and hope and a whole plethora of other emotions.  {keep reading...}




Blog Guilt {3 things to tell youself when you just don't have the time} - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak
I have found myself struggling to fit in the time to blog recently. We have been so busy. Summer is crazy. I am exhausted. Evening comes and all I want to do is catch up on True Blood and eat peanuts.

Blogger's Guilt is a funny thing. {Ridiculous actually, if you're like me and aren't doing it to feed your family.} Still, I've built up a following of faithful readers and I feel this profound obligation to continue to provide them with the content they've come to expect. Plus it's fun. I really like it. It fulfills some unnamed need within me.  {keep reading...}

#6. My Missing Computer Gave Me Phantom Limb Syndrome

My Missing Computer Gave Me Phantom Limb Syndrome - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna RusnakWhen you've been together long enough you become that beautiful kind of union that people write songs about. You may be a full entity on your own but when you find yourself without the other you suddenly recognize your dependence and think, for a moment, that perhaps Tom Cruise really had it right when he stood before his love with his heart leaking out his eyes and said, "you complete me."

My computer and I, we've been through some hard times. I've known the benefit of her therapeutic keys while she sat and listened and spell-checked and never grew too tired.

Until she got too tired.  {keep reading...}

The Things I Forgot About Babies {Reminders For Care-Takers Who Have Been Out Of The Baby Game For Too Long} - Alanna Rusnak, SelfBinding Retrospect#5. The Things I Forgot About Babies

Some people are made for babies. I am not one of them. There has been no harder stage of life for me than when I had mini people in my house. A seeming endless forever of waiting for them to become complete humans*; for vibrant personalities and meaningful conversations and for thinking myself more than a frumpy, bouncing milk machine. It was never a question of loving them or not but there were days {years?} of questioning whether I loved myself...of even knowing myself.  {keep reading...}



Compliments may affirm me but insults will not define me - Alanna Rusnak, SelfBinding Retrospect
When my parenting post received international recognition I was thrilled.  Trying to break into a writing world that's already so noisy is not easy and any little crack that lets you whisper through is a huge victory as far as I'm concerned. 

But recognition means more people. 

And not all of them are nice.   {keep reading...}


I have a recurring dream about roller skating:
roller skating, fear of falling, fear of missed chances
I am in the halls of my high school.  Lights are bright and there is no ceiling.  I am screaming at people to get out of my way, waving my hands frantically, jumping the stairs, whipping past the office.  I am a comedy bit that ends poorly.  Always in a pile in front of the library.  And then my mouth fills with the taste of onion...
I don't know where the dream comes from. I hadn't put on a pair of roller skates since I was 17 when I used to go to The Forum and wait for boys to ask me to 'couple skate' to Guardian's Never Gonna Say Goodbye.

Needless to say, when my sister invited us to the free Family Day roller skating at the ancient rink beside her house, I was a little apprehensive.  {keep reading...}

#2. Repurposed Sentimental Stained Glass Window

make it monday, stained glass, diy, repurpose, vinyl lettering, sign
When I was four the big white moving truck rumbled up the driveway through the shadow of that massive apple tree and parked in front of the trailer.  Red brake lights still dotted the back end of the house and dark paneled walls decorated every surface and I would have sworn that it was Mary and the sweet Baby Jesus peeking out from a certain stain in the bathroom veneer - oh, that gorgeous green porcelain that stood so proud for so long!  Every room was carpeted and in the (carpeted) kitchen, a skinny little room divider held a piece of yellow glass that was probably pretty in 1964. {keep reading...}

#1. Dear Walmart Father
"Children are like flowers; tend to them and they will grow into something beautiful, step on them and they will wither." Alanna Rusnak, SelfBinding Retrospect
I understand that you've probably had a tough day. The dirt on your jeans and the stains on your hands tell me that you've worked hard. The slant of your eyebrows and the furrow of your forehead tell me that you are tired, that you'd rather be at home watching Storage Wars, that this is the last place on earth you want to be: here with your lovely wife and two beautiful children.

How old is your son? Four? Five? He oozes a bright curiosity that reminds me of my own. 

The questions are exasperating. Believe me, I know. You think they won't end. That there's no finale to the answering. That nothing can ever happen where he won't demand "Why??!!"

I'm here to tell you, it does end. And when it does, your heart will shudder and you'll find yourself begging him to talk to you, to ask questions, to wonder about the world beyond Minecraft, to hug you, to say "I love you, too."  {keep reading...}


And there you have it - my top ten posts of 2014.  Here's to a New Year, new adventure, and new stories!  Thanks for being part of my journey!

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