Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 21: I have a dream.

The rest of them went to the zoo and left me to wash the floor. As I scrubbed, the lovely and nostalgic scent of Murphy's Oil Soap in the air all around, I thought:

When I grow up I want to own a farm...but not any farm, a farm where farmers and artists and entrepreneurs of all sorts can collide together and change the world.  A big huge piece of permacultured land where kids (when I say kids I'm thinking university age) will grow food and work on ideas, where people will come together and learn about ways to live more sustainably right here, in the now.

Why?  I just always have.  That is where my mind wanders when I blank out.  That meditative state of idea generating when one cleans or gardens or does any sort of mindless activity. I don't have a garden here, so I don't garden, but in that 30 minutes of floor cleaning, music blasting, I remembered my dream.  It was just as vivid as the last time I dug my hands into my dirt back home.  A very strong reminder of the essence of me.

This is what I love, this is where I feel ME come alive.  Gardens and gardening, and everything in between.  Learning about soil and plants and animals, even worms and microorganisms.  Anything that has to do with being with the earth, providing from the earth, playing with the earth.  That is me.  Then there is community, and that is me on another level.

I have 3 1/2 years more here, at this post.  Then we will go home for me to live out MY dream. (Thank you husband!)  I have that much time to form a plan to read and learn and network.  I forgot about all of this for a sec; sucked into my day to day, distracted, bored and bothered.

I refocus, remembering the whole point of everything.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 20: From scared to happy.

Today's big rush was getting our foster dog adopted to a great family just 2 blocks from the dog park I took her to all week.  Many tears were shed and I wondered if I am cut out for this.  Welcoming in and letting go.  I reminded my girl (and myself) that we helped to save a life, that we took her from scared and hiding to a happy happy dog.  It was the best before and after that I have ever experienced, and it was all because we loved.

The power of love is so life changing.  I saw that this week.  I felt my heart open and grow, and as she bloomed, so did I.

We are taking a 3 week break from fostering, just until after Grandma is gone (and our hearts are healed).  Then, I think we'll probably do it again.  And again.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 19: A snowy day and a dog.

My friends to the east will think, "Yeah, big deal."  But for us,a snow day is a rarish treat.  We got about 4 inches last night that will likely melt in the next 2 days.  It's loose and fluffy, a blanket of lovely white that lays across the land.

Yesterday the sun shone bright, as it does most days.  There was a bit of a cold snap after the sun set beyond the mountains, but that's to be expected.  I hear about the rain at home, on the Westcoast, and think how lucky we are to get this experience of 320 days a year of sun for 4 years.  There is nothing like a sunny day to lift the spirits.

Right now we are fostering a dog.  I acted on a whim, wanting dog energy without the long-term commitment, dragging my eye-rolling family along for the ride.  I don't know how good of a fosterer I'll be.  I already feel the tug at my heart strings, and the sadness at letting somedog go.  I remind myself that we are doing a good thing by teaching her about love, that it's out there and possible.  But, it sure would be easy to keep her, and the next and the next until we had a farm or a zoo.  Poor dear souls.  There are so many of them out there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 17: Week 3

I think I might have gone out with too big of a bang.  I find that the so many things I had envisioned, and the execution of the envisionment, are slowly subsiding into my reality.  The meal replacement, the blogging every day, the 365 days of self-portraits, might just be more than I am willing to handle.  I am doing pretty good with the gym (having not gone to a gym before nor having any sort of fitness routine) and my 52ofYou, in my third week now, is holding.  I am mindful of eating, although, I have come to acknowledge, meal replacement powder might not be the thing for me.  Food.  Real honest to goodness food.  Now, that's where it's at!

This week's photo prompt is shadow.  I took this one today.  It makes me happy.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 15: It has passed.

This week has been an off week for me. Everybody sick (including myself) coupled with the state of the house, no gym, no school, and boredom made for anger, frustration and impatience.  In these times, I think I'm most angry at myself that I haven't handled life with acceptance and grace, the way I SHOULD have,which makes me disappointed, which makes me more angry and frustrated.

This week in 52ofYou, we were prompted to think of a mantra for where we are now.  I stretched and strained, looking for just the right words.  The week started off with "Life is Good", "Do what you love", then "Follow your dreams."  and concluded with "This too shall pass."  I think my last mantra was the most fitting for now. I tend to be pretty hard on myself when things don't work out the way I had planned.  I don't really give myself or life a chance to work itself out.

I remember long ago, in my idealist 20s, when I wanted so bad to know the grandeur of the Universe.  I was living in the forest, in a broken down blue tent  at the top of a bluff looking out at the ocean.  I would sit there, in my tent, writing poetry and hand sewing little sachets to put the poetry in.  I still have one to this day.  I remember, one day, walking deep into the forest ,finding a good and mystical spot and sitting there, eyes closed, trying to tap into enlightenment.  I remember trying so hard, pressing my eyelids tightly shut, willing the Universe to zap me with bliss, a chorus of angels and sunbeams and all that.   It didn't work.

I guess that's what I expect for myself, from life, all the time.  The enlightenment and bliss, not the frustration and anger.
This week sucked.  But, what do you do?  It just did and that's life.  Today the sun is shining and the birds are chirping and flitting in abundance.  We cleaned the house yesterday.  We're going swimming today.  On it goes, on we go.  I don't hear angels but I do hear the sweet sweet sound of my two.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 12: This too shall pass

The flu has passed.  There is singing and laughing and fighting once again.  I kept my girl home for just one more day, to let her sleep in, just in case.  I think we'll go to the zoo.  A field trip I'll call it.

This was from yesterday.  A photo for a mantra.

This too shall pass.  Wise words from my mother-in-law's mother, passed down to me.
It did.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day 11: Sick

We're all sick around here.  There is moaning and grunting and barfing.  It is not good.

I figured this would happen the second week of back to school, it always does.  And it did.  One of my 2 biggest reasons for homeschooling, the spread of germs and grossness, a cesspool of yuck.  My second biggest reason is freedom, but in having one freedom I would give up another, mine.

I'm going to try to get to yoga with the boy this morning, both of us having had our sick 2 days ago.  He's bored and grumpy, which makes me frustrated and grumpy.  Not his fault, just what is.  So, getting to play and bounce might do him some good, if he doesn't barf that is.  I think we're over it though.

That's it.  That's all I've got for now.  A mantra on a loop in my brain: "This too shall pass".  The wise wise words of my mother-in-law's mother.  Her wise words now.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 10: Nature's Call.

I thought today, after parent and child class, we might go to the gym for some restorative yoga.  Lo and behold, nature called a different shot, as my poor little Buddy has a case of the runs.  So, instead, I'll use this time to reorganize my studio as he milks the chance to watch some tv.

Right now I pretty much just sit at my desk and screw around on the computer. (That's about 3sq/ft of space used out of a possible 120ish.)  My desk is covered in things 'to get to', my floor a scramble of piles to shred and fabric to shelve.  It really is a total disaster and I don't see much productivity coming out of this mess.

So, tidy I must.

Next I speak I hope to have designed an inspirational Shagri-la.  My dream room to compliment my dream view, and in it I will dream big dreams and play.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 9: To begin again.

Monday.  Another day, another dollar.  Or so they say.

It is windy as fuck out there.  The house rattled all night, my stained glass wind chimes bouncing about like a spastic dancer.  I had both kids in bed with me for awhile, then just him, then no one.  It was an odd night.

We're off to our Cruiseship club this morning.  Me, he and the little guy.  His overnighter on Saturday yielded him this day off, so I'm going to cash in one of my 'free' guest passes and show him the ropes.  My plan is to do yoga while he and the boy hit the pool: a greatly coveted solo swim time with Daddy.  My back is starting to twinge and I'm not sure if doing anything is good for it or not.  I can't imagine stretching would be bad though, unless I went overboard and tried to compete.  (I do that sometimes, the secret competitor in me wanting to be more that I actually am.

Which brings up.

My 52 of You prompt came this morning. (52OFYOU being the year long photography course I'm taking.) This week they ask that we tie words or mantras into our self-portraits.  Immediately upon reading this my mind starts to spin.  What am I?  Who am I?  I make coffee.  Who am I?  I make lunches in orange and blue boxes. What am I?  There are things I say to myself and my kids all the time, things that remind me to stay in the Now. "Everything will be OK."  "It will all work out." But, what is the ONE that I frequently repeat to mySelf?

I'll let you know when it comes to me.  Perhaps in yoga, perhaps some time else.

Want to play along?
I'm curious.  What is your word or mantra?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 7: To Nourish

I'm waiting 'til 8 to go to my favourite market to shop.  Right now is 25% off everything body care and vitamin/supplement related and I've got a hankering to tend to.

One of my biggest challenges right now (aside from the inner critic, which is probably THE biggest challenge) is feeding myself.  I have this nasty habit of waking up, making coffee, dealing with feeding everyone else and rushing out the door, to-go tumbler in hand, without eating breakfast.  By the time I actually get around to eating it's almost supper. So, basically, that's one meal a day.  Not good, I know.  I do make lunch boxes for both my kids, and I do eat my little dude's scraps, but I don't actually make the time to feed myself.

So, with list in hand and research done, I venture to my market to buy 'meal replacement' product.

I've always been rather judgy about this sort of thing.  (Choosing instead the no-food, no-nourishment route, which is SO much better.)  I decided what 'type' of person ingests such things, and how I was not like them.  But, then, I noticed they sold the stuff in my favourite healthfoody store, and if I was there and this store was awesome (with it's superb yoga, gardening, nutritional, zen-like magazines) then what must that mean?  The wheels started to turn.

I asked my sister-in-law, who is an expert of all things fitness and nutrition, and who gets my quest for healthful hotness,what to do.  She gave me answers, I looked deeper. I am now pretty certain that I can fuel myself and not be a 'them'.  (Whoever 'they' are.)  In my quest for better, or as Oprah would say, in my "Aha moment.", I realize that I need help in the food department.  I'm not going to sit down and eat,  I'm just not, but I can whir the blender and add one more take-out to my routine.  Drinking a smoothy in the car will work just fine for me and I need it.  Today is day 7 of my year and I am adding food to my plan.

I spent 1 1/2 blissful hours in 3 aisles, and $112.05 in total.  With the 35% off (25 + 10 for going over $100) and $8 in coupons, I saved $60.05.  Not only did I get supplements and fish oil, I also got totally out of my budget on a normal day lotion, toothpaste and essential oils.  I drink a smoothy as I write.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 6: A Restless Night

Last night was a restless night.  I woke up at 12, 2:55, 4:30, to take small people to the potty and check out the window for the northern lights.  I read that Aurora would be passing by, but I did not see her.  One day I will get up North enough to bask in her ghostly glow.

I'm glad it's Friday.  This week of driving to and fro school, of getting people to bed and up early, has been difficult.  This morning I woke up to grumpy.  No rhyme or reason, although perhaps the howling wind last night kept people from a deep sleep.  Our holiday was so peaceful and leisurely and grump free.  Now, back to schedule, it is hard to smooth out these back to work wrinkles.  But, as he reminded me last night, this to shall pass.

Husby's on shift work right now and could afford the time to take her to school this morning.  That is what she really wanted: to have her dad to herself.  With that I get the luxury of an hour to drink coffee, putter and write. Then me and the boy will rush out the door to the first thing of our day, and it will begin.

"the only joy in the world is to begin. it is good to be alive because living is beginning, always, every moment."
                                                                                                                            - cesare pavese

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 5: A Day.

Today I'm taking a day off from out and about.  I've got a house to clean and organize, laundry to do, food to make, and my head to clear.  (Is that a day off?)   My body aches from yesterday's weight training and yoga. A good ache that urges me to keep on.  This time, my level of commitment and dedication feels so different. I have a goal, and a realization.

This is my life.  This is now.  Waiting won't get me any of it.

It's a beautiful sun shiny day in Southern Colorado.  One of many.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 4 : Assessing and Advising

I have a 'fitness advising' session on the Cruiseship this morning.  The 2nd part of a 2 part series in me assessing.  The first part didn't go over so well, with '3 times Miss. Olympia' telling me, with the help of a computer generated Me reader, that I was basically a 100lb weakling. I didn't even get the coveted before and 'projected' after picture because the program was not designed to add weight, just to take it off. I came home in tears, feeling deflated (literally) and insecure.  My husband looked over my paper print-out and advised to burn it.  So, we did.

This morning Miss Olympia will show me how to use the weights.  I'll take it.  It's free.  I'll listen to her story, to her accomplishments, to what gets results, I'll ask questions and garner from her 27 years of experience, but I will not let her get to me. I am me, skinny jeans and all, and bodybuilding is not on my agenda.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 3: One Small Act

I wake to these mountains every morning.  They inspire awe and cause me to pause for a moment, despite whatever busy I am.  I feel so very fortunate to have this view, to be reminded of how magnificent life is and, as my friend Ines once said whist marveling at the Grand Canyon, to realize how very small and insignificant I am yet so very significant at the same time.

These days I feel like my life is a gift.  That I am here at all and able to marvel, able to be inspired and awed, is so random and serendipitous. Was this the plan all along? I think, in large part, I have my husband to thank for NOW. We would not be here, in this house, in these mountains, without him.  I would not be home with our kids and free to explore and delve without his sacrifice and support.  I know that our life is privileged.  I grew up with a single working mom, without all the dance and gymnastics and stuff.  As I linger in the hot tub at my fancy cruiseship club, watching HGTV and counting all the women in Lululemon, I know that this opportunity is limited to only a few.  And through the twinges of guilt and over thought, I appreciate what I have, that I have, and send out deep feelings of gratitude.  

I have a lot to work on this year.  Aside from all of the 'ME' I have also to give back.  I hadn't factored that in, thinking I would take this whole year to myself.  But, I am better than that.  Despite the annoyance (at the time) of having a mother who lectured social justice and pushed my pre-teen Self to volunteer whether I wanted to or not, she ingrained in me a deep sense of responsibility to community and to the Earth.  That too I am grateful for.  In turn, I teach my kids.

I read something last night about the ripple effect impact that one small act of kindness can cause.  One. Small. Act of Kindness.  Today I spoke with every single person in this new session of my son's parent and child class.  I broke through the newbie, awkwardness and found some common ground.  This used to be so difficult for me, to open up and connect, now it seems so necessary.  That was my small act today; so insignificant yet so very significant at the same time.

Thank You.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 2: The first Monday

Back to the Grind.  To school and work and schedule.  Us and the rest of everybody everywhere.

I'm kind of looking forward to routine.  To finding our groove as we move into the newness of our Fitness Starship.  I plan on a Mon, Wed, Fri yoga class, with swimming and hot tub thrown in for good measure.  I sure hope Griff settles into the Kids program, and that it becomes a happy normal.  (As I weighed the decision to join a 'club' I thought of the cost of preschool vs the cost of club and concluded that for a lesser price we could join Cruise ship and I would get something out of it too, plus swimming for us all.  Thus it was a no brainer.)

School has been delayed by an hour. The kids are singing happily downstairs.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 1: Ready. Set. Go!

Happy Birthday to me!

I saw someone write 39 yesterday and it seemed so old.  39.  Thirty-nine!

 A year to 40.  THE big one.

I remember when my mom turned 40.  Leading up to it was this big, huge looming beast of a year.  It was ugly and scary, and it was unavoidable.  I don't know why 40, why I remember how awful it was for her. But, I do...and, now, here I am.

I have decided to make my looming year a project.  The best, most growth-filled year of my life.  My mom's friend Renee had a month of parties before she turned 40.  I remember she welcomed it by jumping both feet in.  For me, this is the year that I stop dreaming and start doing.  All the going toos are going to get got.

I start with this blog,  and I have signed up for a 52 week photography course in self-portraiture.  (I'm teetering on 365 days outside of the class, but that's a pretty big commitment.  We'll see.)  Then there's yoga and running. It's been too long a while and my aging body is feeling it.  I've registered and paid for a half-marathon in June.  Paid = Pledged.  And I joined one of those gigantic fitness cruise ships with a great kids' program and a wood paneled women's change room with white towels, a steam room and all the latest magazines.  I took my first yoga class there the other day, reminiscing about the last time I practiced yoga whilst living in a broken tent and sleeping on my mat.  Such contrast in lifestyle between then and now.  The difference between my 25 and 39 Self.

Thus begins my year.  A chance to start anew.