Challenge

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I am trying to transform my life into a more simple life.  Not an easy task, but one worth the work.  Inspiration comes by the blogs of The Minimalists, Be More with Less, RowdyKittens and Zen Habits – to name just a few.  They have helped me to open up my eyes to another world; a world with less clutter, stress and the ability to find myself.  This is no easy process; nor one that will ever really end.  I find that I work at this in bursts… not constantly, but gradually.

All the excess baggage I have around me and the house need to go in order to find myself and purpose, or to at least a more simpler life.  I am bogged down by physical stuff and by the things I want to do.  Being a crafter, I have a long list of things I love to do – knit, sew, make jewelry, read, paint etc.  I see something I like and say to myself that I can do that, or make one of those, and then go and start working on them.  Sometimes I finish them and when I do, I think that I can make them and sell them, but then life gets in my way.  My sons are home and there is chaos…the house is a mess, the dishes need to be done, laundry, etc.  You get the idea.

Recently there was a post on Be More With Less, Declutter Your World in 10 Days.  I am going to do this challenge in my own way, of course. I like some of the things listed in this article, and adding some of my own.  I am going to:

Shape Up

  • Food.  Keeping things simple by identifying one meal for breakfast and 2-4 meals for lunch and dinner.  This is brilliant.
  • Move.  Taking the dog out for longer walks and to do more stretching before and after the walk.

 Pare Down

  • Hobbies.  Get rid of all the stuff I don’t work on anymore – sell or give away the stuff.  This will make room for me to be able to concentrate and work on what I know I can do.

Tune In

  •  Heart.  Fill my heart with gratitude and connection – I will write a letter to someone I care for everyday for 10 days.

Next weekend I am going away for a weekend with the girls, but I will do my best to keep up with these.  I will keep you posted on the results – I am very excited!

On Writing

ImageIn August I finished a month-long online course called Writing in the Digital Age taught by Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens.com.  This course has opened up my writing, and I am forever grateful.

Originally, I wanted to take this course because I always felt too timid about putting myself and my thoughts out there for everyone to see… but still wanted to do a blog.  How weird is that, right?  Tammy’s course got me through that, helped me to find my voice, as well give me inspiration to continue writing.  Her words of encouragement, personal insight and strategies have woken up my inner writer.

I have started journaling; but not every day.  When I write my thoughts and feelings in the journal, I find that I not only feel better, but am able to work through problems faster and with more clarity.  Writing seems to have helped me gather and order my thoughts, and to enable me to move on and not dwell.  These entries do not make it into my public writing, but has broken the floodgate on things I want to write about and share with others.  It is AMAZING.

For all you introverts out there who want to blog and find your writing voice, please check out Tammy’s class.  She is wonderful!  Thanks Tammy!

 

Memories

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On the road through Death Valley, CA

I am taking an online class – “Writing in the Digital Age” taught by Tammy Strobel of Rowdykittens.com that has helped me to start writing this blog.  Granted, this is only the second post, but I am having fun with it!  Today’s writing prompt is about Memories.  In order to do this one, I started going through some of my photos and came across the album of our family vacation to the West Coast last year.  Here is my essay Tammy!

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Wild horses seen just outside of Death Valley.

Some of my fondest memories are from our trip to the West Coast last summer. Every time I look at the photos I feel a sense of joy and peace.  It also brings a sense of longing and melancholy that I am not there any longer and it may take me many years to go back.

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We went for two weeks and the first week was all about adventure.  We drove from Las Vegas, NV to Death Valley, CA then on to Silver City, NV for a bit of the old wild west.  From there we drove across California to Crescent City, CA passing by Mt. Shasta.  Just gorgeous.  We stayed there for a couple of days to check out the Redwoods and it was so totally worth it.  They are majestic and humbling.  Just beautiful!  

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We then drove down the coast using the Redwood Highway and again so beautiful. No Bigfoot sightings, but that was ok too.  We made a pit stop in Monterey Bay before we were set to meet up for our family reunion in Oxnard, CA.  

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The further south we went, the warmer and sunnier it became, but I still longed for the cooler and mystical area of Northern, CA and the Redwoods.  

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Mt. Shasta

One of the coolest things we saw coming down the coast was the RV’s that park one on top of the other along the coast!  Our dream retirement is to get an RV and see the country and I want to be a part of that caravan!

We met up with the family in Oxnard, CA where we rented a house right on the ocean.  It was warm and sunny and beautiful, but I still longed for the cooler temperatures and majestic views that Northern, CA afforded me.  

On this trip we put 2,800 miles on the rental car – good thing for unlimited mileage! This was a trip that was unforgettable.

On to make more memories!

 

Joy

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My little man just lives life to the fullest.  He is unafraid, smart, goofy and has the best belly laugh around.  He loves to swim, run and play on playgrounds.  He takes things in stride and moves on quickly (most of the time!).  There are times that he melts down for no apparent reason – only known to him.  But he can move on quicker and without a grudge better than anyone I know.

He was born with Down Syndrome and has a dual diagnosis of Autism (which may actually be his severe sleep apnea causing his behavior, but that is yet to be determined).

Although he is 9, he is small for his age and still loves the kiddy stuff such as Dora and Sesame Street, but also loves watching the animated Mr. Bean episodes.  He is my forever child that will never by cynical or mean.  No way with his big heart and love of life.  As I go through my adult life I want to be more like him, but it is not easy nor does it come naturally. This is something worth attaining and I will continue to pursue it every day.  Always remember the joy in life and to run with it as much as possible!