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.

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!

author moments, dare to be different

Island Life

I am not on a tropical island in the Caribbean but I am on an island off the eastern coast of the United States. Just a short drive over a long bridge gets you to this quaint little area. A peaceful spot surrounded by water and simple beauty. Island time is the best time no matter what island you are playing on.

My perch where I write this post is simply amazing. An old house converted into a coffee shop with sweets, desserts and of course custard. But it’s not just what they sell it’s the ambience they supply. An outdoor area with tables / chairs / umbrellas for those who want a little shade. The fire pit for those who want to socialize in a small group by the warmth of the fire. A nice play space with corn hole and shuffle board for a little entertainment. And who could forget the kiddie castle. Yes a two story castle with a rock wall, slide and other neat spots for kids to stay occupied while their adult humans enjoy this unique spot in their own way. So many details.

Palm trees. Sandy beaches. Shady spots. Local dining spots with individual flair. Beach bikes galore. An easier pace of life. The dinner spots open at 5pm while local shops close up early in the evening. Warm days and cool nights this time of year. A perfect escape not too far for me to get a taste of island life.

For now I must go to find the perfect spot to catch the sun setting on this gorgeous evening. Tonight I’m walking to each spot I visit. Partly to get my steps in but also to make sure I don’t miss any of the fine details in and around my new island destination.

I hope you enjoyed my short island life post to help you mentally escape from whatever crazy you are in the midst of.

mental health

Unplugged

I recently took three days and unplugged a bit. I put up the three laptops I use and let them go. Microsoft could go do their updates and it wouldn’t halt my productivity. 

Unless a building was burning down, anything on those computers could wait a few days. I am happy to report no fires arose and I was able to minimize my technical needs.

The good news is I survived. I didn’t have any visible scratches or lost revenue when I unplugged. I delegated a bit and I enjoyed a different view of my surroundings. I engaged with new faces. I opted outside even if the weather was not cooperating. I just enjoyed the limited technology.

I didn’t actually put up my phone which means I was still some what connected but that’s a next step and the first step is always the hardest. I did need my phone for purposes such as maps, tickets, touchless payments and so on but that only confirmed how much society revolves around technology. 

Our eyes need a break now and again. On the flip side of the break I am glad I had my phone to capture memories and photos of the beautiful scenery I was in the midst of.

For this unplugged episode I focused on limiting the distractions on the work front. Minimizing the stress. Putting off til tomorrow. Others may choose to be plugged in 24/7 but that doesn’t mean I need to be on always. I can break away. I have a choice.

I got into a few books during this time as well. I gathered thoughts. I generally learned a few new tidbits. I enjoyed a walk or two. I even got swarmed/serenaded by cicadas. The cicadas I could do without though!

Just out there living my life and telling everyone about it. Cheers to all of you near and far.
Today’s post is a virtual shout out to those who read our blog from the great state of Maryland. I enjoyed my taste of the area while passing through.