celebrations, challenges, dare to be different

Sidetracked

I got sidetracked today. I was going one place and got stuck in traffic for 2 hours going 7.9 miles. I had enough of not moving. It was kind of shitty but I was riding topless, in my Jeep, making me able to work on my tan while jamming to music and people watching from a slightly perched view.

While waiting patiently, I voiced my frustrations to my co-pilot who clearly didn’t check the map adjustments before we got locked on a highway in gridlock with no exit in sight. I could have continued, but instead of hovering in the annoyed phase my mind drifted to an alternate plan. I got sidetracked. My mind wandered. A new plan was in motion.

A quick picnic in the park. A short hike. A spontaneous visit with grandma. The plan was on a whim but it turned out to be magical. Lots of giggles. A little sweat in the heat. Smiles for hours. Funny photos. Tons of memories.

This is a story of how to turn a lemon of a day into to a sparkling lemonade kind of day. On a whim. On a shoe string budget. All I needed was a little time. A new perspective. A fresh look on the same day. Sometimes U-turns are the best turns to make. 

Sidetracked on a Saturday was one for the record books. It might have been the longest 7.9 miles of my life, in terms of how long it took me to go the distance. It might also be one of my favorite spontaneous excursions mainly because grandma was my co-pilot. The hike was one I have done before but this time I did pushing a wheelchair. I got my exercise for sure but it was a pleasure ride for my sweet passenger.

She smelled the pine trees. She enjoyed the fresh smell of honeysuckle. She saw some deers in the distance. She listened to the stream flow below the embankment. Her change of scenery and enjoyment of nature is one I will remember. Reflecting on how I got sidetracked makes me giggle. I guess I was really meant to go to point b instead point a. It just took a major traffic jam for me to realize this. 2 hours later mind you.

Never underestimate the fun going off course can be. Try the long route some days. If you don’t have a Jeep or a convertible, rent one for a day or a few hours. Riding topless gives you new perspective. The fresh breeze. The smells in the air. The freedom while you move from point a to point b.

I also got ducked in my Jeep today. A little boy ducked me and he was so happy he got to meet me when he ducked me. Another benefit of Jeep life outside of how often I can say I rode topless today.

balance

Mayhem

The month of May this year is summed up to me in one word: chaos or mayhem as the post is titled.

End of year banquets for school-related programs. Warmer weather. Busy business month. Graduations. Lots of graduations both in state and out of state. Summer-itis which is defined as almost summer but not quite. Vacations on the horizon but only anticipated at the moment.

Many extra duties to plan ahead for the chaos. Lots of extra budget dollars spent on gifts, travel and necessities like bathing suits. Wink wink. Not to mention gas prices are through the roof and groceries are equally painful on the price scale.

Mayhem. Chaos. Both words seem to sum up my month of May. I didn’t even mention the crazy news headlines of violence near and far. Insanity on the home front with guns in school and parents going crazy over this that and the other.

What was more celebratory in May? I circled back to reading my few pages a day of my current book that was put to the side temporarily. I caught up on some much needed rest. My sick dog made a miraculous recovery when odds were against her. I spent time with some of my favorite crazies. I took a dance lesson. I made time for fancy show downtown with friends. Many other fun and spontaneous events took place that created memories and happiness for me.

Despite the mayhem of May, I found my joy. I rededicated time to myself. I made the most of May. It was very important to settle amidst the mayhem of May as June and July are full-blown travel months for me. Gone more days than most. Living life to the fullest but knowing the homefront is handled while absent is equally important. The gentle balancing act.

What is hot and happening for you this summer? A new vacation spot? A new mode of travel? A staycation? A budgetcation? A new adventure? A big purchase?

Will you try anything new this summer? A hot new dance class? A theatre show? A comedy act? A farm experience? Skydiving? Learning a new hobby like knitting?

If you survived the mayhem in May, what can you challenge yourself with for June and July to make your summer memorable? Get your thinking cap on. I gave you plenty of ideas above. Share your stories of you do soemthing spectacular. I know I plan to dip my toes in the sand and ocean at least once this summer.

Happy summer to all our readers in blog land.

dare to be different, inspire

Creative Pop

Today was a creative day. A vision appeared. An interest was sparked. The expo marker was nearby as was the whiteboard.

Columns. Words. Colors. Ideas. A plan. A little commingling. A dream. The wheels are turning. The key players are engaged. The spark is ignited. Now it’s time to make it happen.

First is time. How to balance the new with what’s already on your plate. How to back into the time deadline. How to logistically make a-z happen with style, grace and of course a wow factor. So many details. So little time. Is it worth a shot? Should you take the plunge?

Nobody can ever answer this question because nobody has a crystal ball that works all the time. That means risk is involved. Hard work is needed. Maybe even some elbow grease and good luck. Here we grow again. What will be sprouting? Does it matter if you grow big or stay small?

I know I’m flipping ideas around daily. Looking for that nugget of inspiration. Seeking my next big move or small discovery. My adventurous ways always begin with pen and paper. Somewhere there is a shift into digital form. Paper. Pen. Ink. Color. Keyboard. Time to discover new shades of my abilities.

Hope you are along for the journey.

author moments

Writing Prompts

Sometimes it’s nice to have a writing prompt to provoke thoughts or to spur your creativity. This year I have chosen to write for inspiration. Maybe it’s to inspire myself maybe it’s to inspire others. As part of this journey I listen to podcasts, people, encounter new surroundings, and read to find something or anything that inspires me to write.

Here I am today with a writing prompt from a journal book I’m working on. Where will I go? Such a funny question for me as I’m planning my next trip or trips for the months ahead. Some trips are for work. Some for pleasure. Others for have to’s and so on. None of which is my dream beach vacation due to current conditions. Let’s also acknowledge the lack of international travel the past couple of years while we are on the subject. However this exercise or prompt gave me a different view of where will I go. It was all about my creativity. My visions. My desires. No rules. No financial constraints. 

I am taking a virtual trip of sorts. A mental vacation. A new method of travel. A new destination. I’m not physically going anywhere rather I’m taking a trip in my mind. I’m charting my own path. Writing my own itinerary. For me this was perfect. 

My trip begins with a plane ride on a private jet to the mainland. A short boat ride to my small island oasis. No cars only bicycles are allowed beyond the airport fence. Sandy beaches on all sides await. Waterfront views from every bungalow. Kayaks for exercise. Snorkeling for fun. Hammocks for naps. Cocktails for kicks. Waterfalls to explore.

The smell of salt is in the air. Sunshine is the only report for days on the weather. Fresh fruits available in abundance. The sounds of ocean waves and island music add to the ambience. No cell service which means no work. No kids complaining. Nobody needing me for an emergency. Ah the sweet smell of coconut bliss, suntan lotion and island cooking.

Rest. Relaxation. Time away. No regrets. My island paradise trip was free as well. It could have lasted five minutes or five days. The duration doesn’t matter it was the experience I committed to that I did. For now I know that I can escape to a new destination any time I so desire. This alone can be a fun and meaningful activity when many can’t reach their tropical paradise for whatever travel restrictions form barriers in today’s world. 

The free price tag is also a great option for those who can’t travel due to limited means or physical restrictions. A picture is worth a thousand words and a virtual picture of your paradise may be worth so much more.

This post goes out to my dear friend who gifted me my special activity journal this past holiday. I am putting it to good use and sharing my thoughts with others in hopes somebody in cyber world can benefit themselves.

celebrations

32 from Chick 2

Over the last few years, one of the Chicks has made a tradition of a “31 list” at the end of each January. She recaps things large and small that she did in the first month of the year. This year, she went bigger and switched it up to a 49 list in anticipation of her upcoming 50th birthday. Not wanting to break totally with tradition, she asked me to write a list of 32 to recap my January. I’ll try to do it justice! Here goes nothin’.

1.) I saw my daughter play flag football on an NFL field. She was part of a touchdown play.

2.) I rang in the new year asleep, again. A great start for my year of rest.

3.) I took a family member to the emergency room.

4.) I started a new daily journal. So far I’m on the fence about it, leaning toward not liking it.

5.) I committed to a new stretching program.

6.) I made plans for a beach vacation.

7.) I watched my alma mater in the National Championship college football game…at least until the third quarter started. (Being the early-to-bed gal that I am, I couldn’t stay up to see them win.)

8.) I joined another Street Parking challenge with the goal of reducing sugar and stress while maintaining consistency.

9.) I made a decision about where I want to work for my 8-4 job next year.

10.) I survived a car breakin without having a complete mental meltdown.

11.) I planned and replanned a celebration for a high school team.

12.) I wrapped up my primary duties as a booster club president.

13.) I decided not to register for this year’s CrossFit Open.

14.) I bought new CrossFit shoes.

15.) I got my COVID booster shot. Felt crappier after it than the first two.

16.) I lit my stove and did meal prep by candlelight during a snowstorm power outage.

17.) I went kinda off the nutritional rails with fries and chocolate and other sweets after an extremely prolonged holiday season.

18.) I connected with and cheered for some of my favorite high school athletes.

19.) I took a friend to brunch at a new-to-me spot to celebrate her 50th plus a half birthday. I missed the big party last year.

20.) I started a 52 week endurance program on the erg bike.

21.) I went for my first swim of the year.

22.) I started winter sowing flowers to see if our flower season can begin a little earlier this year.

23.) I did a loved one’s laundry and delivered it to him in the hospital.

24.) I attended a funeral for a twenty year old.

25.) I sat back and watched rumors fly about several topics. I chose to just listen and stay out of it.

26.) I spent more time pausing and meditating.

27.) I returned a bunch of gifts that didn’t fit.

28.) I started planning a mountain vacation.

29.) I got a massage for the first time in years. It was as amazing as I hoped it would be.

30.) I continued my move / watch streak, which stands at well over 600 days.

31.) I wrote thank you notes for my holiday gifts.

32.) I celebrated Christmas with my family on January 31 after many delays.

It was a month of big decisions, small moments, and everything in between. Thanks to my friend and fellow chick for lending me her list idea this year. It makes me think I need to write more list posts!