Life

Life in the messy middle

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Sometimes I think of life as a sandwich with three layers. The bottom piece of bread is where you don’t want to do anything. Energy is lagging, you might be feeling like a cold is coming or you feel like getting through each day is enough of a struggle without trying to do much more than sustain yourself and family. You feel weighed down by the rest of the sandwich. The top layer of bread is where you are sitting above the fray. Energy is high. Things get done. And there’s not a lot of work involved. The middle is messy. It’s where you push yourself a little more. You don’t just show up to life but participate in it, making decisions, making an effort, letting yourself shine through your actions.

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Life

Dreaming of what’s next

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A sign in front of the Amorgos Diving Center. All roads lead to and from Amorgos.

Until this week, I have never written a formal bucket list. Things would bounce around in my mind through the years and if I did them I would mentally tick them off. Skydiving. Check. Zip line over a rainforest. Check. See the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Check. I even got to see a parade for a dead member of the royal family. That was not on my list but we happened to be in London when Queen Elizabeth’s mother died in 2002.

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Writing

Beyond blogging

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I’ve been at blogging for nearly 4 years now and as I mentioned at the end of my thirty days of blogging in September, I’m considering a need to do something else. These days I’m spending more and more time reflecting on what the future holds for my writing. To be honest I am full on fearful to do anything more than this. I will be a complete failure at trying to write a full blown book. It’s too scary. I’m not creative enough. I’m too old.

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Clearing

The Random Decluttering Method

 

If you know anything about decluttering, it might be that it is not easy and it’s not for wafflers. There are many, many sources of information to guide you through, whether you go with Marie Kondo (I’ve read the books The Life Changing Magic and Spark Joy), Swedish Death (I’ve not read this one) or watch videos by the innumerable guru’s on YouTube (done this too). One method that’s recommended over and over is that you should tackle room by room or category by category. I’m throwing caution to the wind and going with my own method which is randomly picking an area and tossing anything that looks like it hasn’t been used in a while. Mercilessly.

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Writing

Today has been cancelled

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This is my 30th blog post of the month. It was a challenge I put to myself to get my creative juices flowing again and I would say it worked pretty well. I found I looked forward to writing each day and words were flowing better than usual. The results were a nice lift in stats and followers but now I’m questioning everything.

It all began while digging into my stats, particularly the search terms that got people to my site. And then it occurred to me I have never tried Googling my site to see how it comes up in the result. Maybe that was a mistake or maybe it was a sign to take a step back and reconsider what I’m doing here. What am I doing here?

So what happened is I saw the title of this intriguing item just two results above the one for my blog and being an inquisitive person, I clicked.

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The author listed out several reasons why not to have a personal blog and the first one is it’s a time waster. Personally, I don’t think working on my blog for the past three years has been a waste of time because I was writing, something I have been drawn to do for many, many years. But maybe I’m at the what’s next phase. Do I want to keep writing a blog about my life which admittedly tends to get boring? Should I find a niche and write about something I’m passionate about? Should I give up blogging altogether and start writing something I can hopefully one day publish?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. I’m also feeling the beginnings of a cold or something and my body just wants to go back to bed and cancel today. I have appointments (of course) but the urge is strong to reschedule them. While I’ve been blogging a lot, I have not been reading as much and I’m missing that too. My bed and a book might be my date for today.

MC

Life

Writing a Palanca Letter

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What is a palanca letter I asked myself as a woman from our congregation passed out a flyer asking parishioners to write one. Oh course, I turned to Google for assistance. Palanca is a spanish word that means lever, an instrument that helps lift something up. The palanca letter is a personal note to someone attending a spiritual retreat and as with many things in life, I was coincidentally being asked from two separate corners of my life to write these letters on the same weekend. One for a stranger, an inmate at a nearby prison and one to my aunt who lives in Texas.

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travel

Going home

It would not be a complete travelogue if I didn’t mention that this was the most amazing birthday week of my life. I am not a huge “celebrate my birthday” person and I prefer not to note it on social media in general. That is not to say I don’t embrace my day of birth because I do like to spend the day doing things I’ve always wanted to do. When I turned fifty, it was mid-week and I took the day off work to cross off a long-time bucket list item to visit the home Edith Wharton lived in in Lenox, Massachusetts. That day was pretty cool too. But back to Greece.

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A praying mantis outside the Namaste Shala

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travel

Yoga for beginners

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It was infertility that first attracted me to yoga many years ago. A flyer in my doctor’s office promoted a class for people struggling to get pregnant. I would have tried just about anything back then so I timidly showed up to the home-like studio with nothing but a brand new mat and worries about the myriad problems keeping me from conceiving. It was gentle and peaceful and I felt better for going but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to help me get pregnant so I stopped going after a few sessions. I eventually became pregnant and he’s about to turn thirteen! It wasn’t easy but that’s a story for another day.

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travel

Free Time Fun in Amorgos

You might find it curious that I’m on my fifth day of blogging about a yoga retreat I attended in Greece and I have yet to mention much about the actual retreat. This would be the main event of the trip and I don’t feel equipped yet to tackle it. I’m also in Florida right now and the journal I kept for the week is in New York and it’s crucial to retelling the story. The retreat is the star of the show.

So today lets talk about the extras: what we were up to in our free time. The Spa at Aegialis was pretty darn amazing and Lana and I decided to make a visit on our second day there. I made my massage appointment for the following day and Lana was interested in trying out the silk-like ropes that were hanging over the indoor pool. One of the brochures showed a woman balancing while completing some kind of impossible (to me) acrobatic move and Lana was determined to give it a try. I volunteered to be her cheerleader and videographer. She gave it her best and I think she did pretty awesome but we found it was going to be impossible to immitate the maneuver.

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travel

Greek Food

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Yesterday I mentioned the absolute badassery of the morning buffet at the yoga retreat, but food in general is a serious endevour for the Greeks, or at least that was my impression from my brief time there. Meals are far from the fast food culture of America where 20 to 60 minutes might go into the preparation of a meal which is then devoured in 10 minutes. Food was a celebration on this trip and meals lasted between two and three hours (except for the breakfast buffet where you could linger as long or short a time as you wanted). And Aegialis went a step beyond by growing much of their fresh produce which was offered at each meal. Continue reading “Greek Food”