Basking in the Glow

I am drinking my morning smoothie by the light of a freshly-lit candle and my ultra-wee fake tree (a Fred Meyer purchase many years old that brings me more joy than I could have ever foreseen). I am remembering all the mornings Mom would turn on the tree before school so we could eat our Cream of Wheat under its magical glow—such a cozy start to each day during one of my favorite seasons.

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Often I think about how special it was when all four of us lived together under one roof—our reality for so many years, when we simply knew no other way. I deeply miss those days when we were one solitary unit, when we hadn’t yet learned to spread our wings and fly. Now, on the rare occasions it happens again (like this December!!), I soak up every second, grateful to hear their oh-so-familiar footsteps and voices—ingrained in the core of my being—once again sharing my space.

I feel very excited for this December. My calendar is piled high with festive events and joyous reunions with so many friends at once—another rarity I appreciate now more than ever before. This season makes me hopeful. (It also makes me nervous when I see how much I’ve committed to, so I’ve tried to offset the “busy” with a slew of new self-care techniques and appointments that I can’t wait to try…)

Sometimes, often, I really love the quiet of my little apartment—a sacred space I attempt to fill with hygge and happy. On this gray morning, I hear: the rhythmic patter of rain, the squawk of a cranky bird (seagull?), tunes from the “Wild” soundtrack I downloaded last night. Sometimes, though, I also can’t wait to once again live in a home filled with other voices and footsteps—music and laughter and life and love. And I really do trust it’s coming soon.

Happy almost December, all. Here’s to basking in the promising light of the season.

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Here-We-Go-Again Tuesday

James Vincent McMorrow. Cold cucumber water.  A hazy, smoke-tinged morning sky. An alarm set for 9 (ha! VERY wishful thinking…). In reality, a jet-lagged monkey mind that awoke me just before 6.

Because of the pre-dawn wake-up, I at least made myself do a 10-minute guided meditation. (It went just so-so.) I lit a candle. I turned on the tunes. Slowly sliding back into my to-do list. Attempting to establish morning rituals that retain some of the calm and ease I feel while traveling/away from my computer. I learn so much on the road, and the eternal battle is translating these lessons back to “real life,” to routine-filled days…

Slow and steady will be my mantra on this re-entry Tuesday, when my mind is still halfway stuck (with my beloved travel buds) in the verdant, magic-tinged hills of the Faroe Islands, which now feel a million miles away.

Today I wish me luck, you luck, us all luck. Happy September, friends! We’ve got this.

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Nuggets of Truth

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  • The mid-week press trips I go on can be really, really awesome. They also mean I consequently work most of the weekend (while others play) and find myself still attempting to pull together my life at midnight on a Sunday…
  • Sometimes I can’t believe I am really, truly making it as a travel writer. It is certainly not always easy. But it is so worth it. It is me.
  • Music makes everything better. (Current guilty pleasures: Niall Horan’s Slow Hands and any of these random, chill-electro Kygo mixes.)
  • Our world currently terrifies me.
  • I want everyone I love to live in one safe, protected, happy bubble.
  • I can’t listen to or read the news.
  • I nearly expired today in hot yoga. I have possibly never sweat more. In. My. Life. It both hurt and felt incredible.
  • I dreamt about my French host family last night, and it was a wonderful, laugh-filled reunion (curiously conducted mostly in English). I think it’s time I send them a hello.
  • Talking to each member of my (real) family today was a lovely day highlight:)
  • I feel Seattle summer in my fingers and toes, and oh, is she lookin’ gooooood.
  • Recently, I’ve been consistently glimpsing at the clock  at 11:11. (When I see it, I unconsciously exhale. Grateful. Reassured.)
  • This list could go on forever; it’s time to unwind before bed.

Wishing you all a most wonderful week.

Week Goal

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“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”~George Bernard Shaw

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Things Currently Speaking to Me

This post.

This podcast (still).

This song.

This song, too (thanks, Big Little Lies + your absolutely awesome soundtrack).

This book.

This moody, broody, beautiful sky last night (wow!).

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What’s filling your waking hours these days? Always on the hunt for new recs, especially in the music/podcast/movie/show/inspiration department:) Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

38 y/o Me, Listen Close

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p.s. Sun, please grace us with your presence again.

The 37-year-old me has done a few things this past week that she’s pretty darn proud of. And she really hopes that 38-year-old me (Friday, in fact) has been taking note & plans to follow suit. I:

~Went to the DMV to fix an expiring license situation a full week (week!) before D-day

~Picked up an Rx way before it actually ran out

~Attended to a few belated gifts and notes that have been forevvvver hanging over my head on that perpetual, rarely-touched-but-always-there “Life To-Do List”

These may sound minor, petty, silly, fundamental. Yet, to me, they’re kind of a big deal.

(Both #1 & 2 avoided last-minute panic events that have happened throughout my life umpteen times, and #3 quickly lifted weight off my shoulders that had been unnecessarily lingering for months, even years.)

New Year (to Me) goals: Don’t procrastinate, stall, hesitate, deliberate.

JUST DO IT.

Happy March, y’all.

Detox, Digital

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This weekend, my first full weekend home of 2017 (!), I forced myself to stay in most of the time and lay really, really low. I also challenged myself to stay off social media and email from Friday night till Monday. It’s not a novel idea—and one so many I know do on a regular basis (such wise people!).

Here are some things I got from my 48 hours away from social media + email:

~Much more brain space. My mind is able to focus so much more on my own life (and those of my loved ones) rather than the lives of strangers, acquaintances, celebrities (embarrassing!), people I feel I know but really barely do

~Slightly less anxiety about the state of our country/world/mentally unhinged POTUS (although I admit I did sneak onto news stories a few times, that wasn’t forbidden within my self-appointed “rules)”

~The allowance to let myself watch a million shows/movies, read a ton of books/magazines, even take wee siestas on my couch BOTH days (something I almost never do!)

~The opportunity to take care of tasks/think about things I often put off, finding easy distractions that encourage me to “just wait” till tomorrow. I wrote that pesky belated Thank You note, cleaned out under my bano sink, dreamt up travel destinations I’d love to visit this year, wrote a clear to-do list for the week, etc. etc.

~The ability (to most times) sit through an entire film or show without mindlessly scrolling and only being half-present in both worlds

~The realization of just how much we use our phones anyway, even when NOT on social! I used it this weekend to look up weather, directions, exercise class signup, a Viber call with my brother, texting with family and friends near and far

I thought I’d wake up today so excited to dive back in, but I admit I feel a little apprehensive. Almost like I don’t even want to slide back into that world. (I also see that there’s something kind of nice about keeping your eye on the email inbox from time to time, so you don’t fear being drowned in a deluge all at once Monday morn…Thankfully, though, today is a holiday for many.)

That said, I am going to think of ways to do these detoxes on a regular basis and/or to be more mindful about my phone/screen usage each and every day. I’ve been saying this for forever, and I think it’s truly time to regain control.

This little weekend experiment wasn’t huge, but it’s a start. (And I’m proud of myself for sticking to it. Thanks to my supporters who kept me in check…y’all know who you are:))

I’m ready to break this addiction. This mind-numbing habit, to which so many of us have fallen victim. This incessant need to swipe. To scroll. To like. To comment. An urge that may feel fulfilling in the moment, but—in reality—often leaves me/us feeling emptier than when we began.

*Thanks to my dear amiga, Irish Kate, who alerted me to her friends’ insightful podcast exploring mindfulness, which served as great inspiration. (Added perk to their musings: Irish accents!!)

Have a great week, everyone.

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