Day #49

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself. Today I had several opportunities to walk. I did not take them because it was below freezing pretty much all day and I didn’t want to freeze my tail.

There I said it … I’m a cold weather pansy.

Rationally I know I will warm up as my blood starts pumping. I know I will feel better if I set myself in motion. I know I would not regret doing it because I never do.
But it’s just so hard to push through the initial shock of cold. The pain in my ears. The stiffening of my back as I shiver.

And today, my cowardliness won. The fear of the uncomfortableness kept me frozen to my chair. I could not see past my immediate pain to see the possibility of future reward.
And as my Love and I sat in a warm coffee shop drinking hot tea, we discussed future decisions. How to move toward certain goals.

And I realized life is so much like taking a walk; it’s hard to get the momentum started. It’s difficult to push past the pain of complacency. I often get stuck in my idea of things, finding it difficult to make the decision and just DO something for fear of doing the wrong thing.

We talk ourselves in circles, my Love and I, but today we decided on some doing. And it felt good.

Tomorrow, I will decide to walk. Cold, or no cold.

A sundog visibile in the icy clouds on a crisp January morning in Arkansas.

Day #48

Stolen moments…

Even just the sound of the them makes me lick my lips in anticipation.
It’s those silly, romantic, or deeply personal moments that make the day.
The space between the ordinary.
Where Love dances to music while I cook breakfast.
Where I get to sit in his lap and get ️snuggles before my next appointment.
Where I sneak away for a tea and some chocolate mid-afternoon.
Where I take a walk around a park next door to a school I work at, before heading back to the office.
As I walk, I think, “These are the moments I build alters on, this is my sacred.”

And the ducks and the sun and the trees seem to whisper their agreement.

Close up image of manga salsa, beef lettuce wraps.
Mango salsa beef wrap for lunch.

Day #47

Just turtle…

It’s Monday after two weeks off. It’s cold out here. I’m exhausted. I’m readjusting to a job where I have to be “on” for people all day.

So I feel shell shocked by 7pm when we take a walk around the block in the dark.
I bundle up in mismatched clothes and just want to find a place to hermit.

So the lesson for today is everyone needs to be a “turtle” now and then.

New Year Week (Days #40-46)

Second week of no school … no work … it has been busy nonetheless and all of our schedules are so off.

Therefore, I am writing another week long summary…starting tomorrow it is back to our regular scheduled programming … which means a walk a day, a post a day … pinky promise.

This week has been amazing though …visiting friends, getting stuff done for classes, overnight trips to Hot Springs, and ringing in the New Year with my Love and other important people in my life … and being away from the grinding block of work this week as reminded of a few things:

  1. It is not my identity
  2. A career is nice but it is not everything
  3. If it matters this little to me now, it probably always will; so I shouldn’t invest so much thought and worry in to it

Here’s what I do know after this week:

I love my life. I love the people in it. I love the experiences I have. I love who I am. I love my little family. I am one happy individual.

Man in an orange sweatshirt petting a brindle- and white-colored dog on a walking path with a river in the background.

Damn … it’s a good place to be.

The piece that fell together for me today is, if I feel this way about myself and my life NOW, I will probably feel this way down the road. I try so hard to plan my future. By nature, I am a planner, a list maker, a doer above all else. But I would have never dreamed, more-or-less planned that my life would look this way right now and I LOVE it. I haven’t enjoyed every part of the journey or been comfortable with myself every step of the way. But I have learned to flow, adapt, re-evaluate, and begin again. I have learned that life is not stagnant or rigid and the more I can embrace it and be flexible, the more I get from it.

So I have resolved not to resolve this New Year’s. Because let’s face it, resolutions are too rigid and nobody can hold themselves to their own standards anyway. I have intentioned some experiences I would like to have this year, though, and recognize in order to do so I will need to make decisions to move forward in those areas:

  1.  I want to run a half-marathon this year…this is not entirely true…because I have a love/hate relationship with running…but I want the experience of crossing that finish line…of knowing I did something I did know for sure I could accomplish…and I like the structure of training and want to buy a cool 13.1 sticker…so there is the real story…
  2.  I want to finish this project strong while adding more to our blog…this is a creative outlet for me…I am a better person when I am being purposeful in my analysis of self…plus I sometimes lose interest in things and I want to feel that feeling on day 365 that I actually finished this project!
  3.  I want to experience premium health through nutrition. I am a big believer in the power of food to give life to our bodies. I want to plant more, grow more, cook more, Farmer’s market more, read more, can more, and eat more this year. Because who doesn’t want to eat more…

And these are a few of my “goals” for 2015. I am never short on dreams or desires for a new experience so I am sure others will come up as the year progresses.

But for me, gentle readers, this is what it all boils down to: I love my life because I am free to seek out the experiences I desire … if my desire changes, my experience changes … and that’s okay, because I can flow like that.

Where do you want your life to flow this year?

A yellow lab looking out across the Arkansas River with leaves on the ground between the dog and river.

Christmas Week (Days #32-39)

Forgive my silence … it has been a very busy week of Christmas festivities. We are now 5 Christmas celebrations, 10 hours of road time, and 3 exhausted people done with it all.

All the presents under the tree are gone. All the toys rifled through. Ella, our elf, has hightailed it back to the North Pole. And the tree, whereas it used to gleam with anticipation, now seems to be glaring at me from the corner of the room. And now comes the true test of will as everything must be put away and organized for all the new to come.

The after-Christmas let down is always hard for me. Because once the warmth of holidays is over, it seems that all that is left is the cold of winter. It’s so bare and drab and yuck …

We did go for a walk on Christmas Day at my dad’s house. It sits on a very tranquil piece of land. Small pond, thick woods, and horses. The sun was out for the first time in several weeks. I felt as if it were melting the ice from my veins. The wind was crisp and made me feel so alive. It was the perfect moment to clear your head of the busy cobwebs that always seem to take up residence during long winter months. We walked the loop of the property and lingered with the horses.Man in a black hat sunglasses touching the nose of a red horse with a white fence and white barn in the background.

They were beautiful and affectionate and so “grounding” for me. In the insanity of gifts, activities, family, and food, it was the quiet moment I needed with the universe. To remember I was just a part of a sum, to feel connected to the energy all around, to embrace love for love’s sake.

It was my moment in the sun.

And now, as the winter blues threaten to overshadow my days and disrupt my nights, I hold that moment sacred–as a shield to sullen thoughts and plastic feelings. And I remind myself that every season teaches, and then it passes, and it’s my own thinking on it all that causes me to swim or drown. I am learning to choose to embrace this ebb and flow of life.

I am hoping to swim…

A woman kissing a horse on the nose on a sunny winter day, with a white fence trailing off into the distance.