Life after vacation

I had the best vacation ever. Three weeks of traveling through Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia with a great guy + seeing beautiful scenery + staying in interesting places + meeting interesting people = heaven on earth!

I kept thinking I would blog about it like I did earlier in the year, but since we were on the road alot, and out of the country, internet was sometimes iffy so I just wrote longhand in my journal and took a lot of pictures. If you want to see them, here is a link to the google album.

Robert bought me a book at the airport on the way home. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but turns out it is really speaking to me. The book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read more than half on the trip home. Mostly what I am taking away from it is that if a person decides to pursue a life of creativity, there will always be uncertainty. And that if I pursue perfectionism, I will never be happy. Just write, or paint, or knit, or… whatever you feel like doing. And don’t fret about the outcome. Do it if you love it, and if you don’t love it, don’t do it.

I think that’s great advice. I have written quite a bit just for myself since I came home. I put paint to canvas – actually I want to try to paint some version of the beauty that I saw on my trip. I painted over a painting that I had done in one of those paint with wine classes.  So far, this is what I have: wpid-wp-1446310034715.jpeg

This is what I’d like to paint:
wpid-wp-1446310097952.png

I imagine I’ll end up with some sort of abstract, which is what I’m usually most happy with. The great thing about paint is that you can paint over it!

The other thing I’m taking from the book is that you are never too old to learn something new. The author shared a story about a 90 year old woman she’d met who has spent the last 10 years learning about ancient Mesopotamia and is now considered an expert! Very encouraging for me as I continue to pursue my study of ayurveda. I was doing quite a bit of moaning about it, but no more! I am a youngster compared to her!

The first few days back at work I felt very zen. My mind was clear and full of memories of beauty, like the above picture from Maine. It’s been two weeks now, and the last few days were so busy that I lost some of that. But I am working on practicing mindfulness, which is really just being aware of what I am doing when I am doing it. I have found inspiration in this area through the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh.

While we were traveling, we ate, drank, and were merry, so when we got home we decided to get back in shape with the Hot Belly Diet. I had felt rather sluggish but within a few days regained my usual vigor. I am also walking more and am using a couple of those 30 day app challenges – one for the arms and the other for the butt! The ones I chose are by Teer, and are very doable. I tried  a different one but it had jumping jacks and side planks so I quickly deleted it. Gotta be realistic.

So life goes on, with its joys and sorrows. Today it is raining, tomorrow the sun will come out. I work to feed the body and create to feed the soul.

What will the next adventure be?  I’m already speculating.

June Jots

June bug holdin on-1If April showers bring May flowers, what does June bring? JUNE BUGS! I haven’t seen any yet, but I know they are coming.

We’ve had an incredible amount of rain here this last month. If you saw on the news that there is record-breaking flooding in Houston, that is right down the street from me. I have not been personally affected. The worst day I just had to make a couple of detours to get to work. Very near me, however, there was water up to the roofs of the cars. Most people only suffered the loss of their car or damage to their home, but sadly there were a few who lost their lives. I have lived in this area all my life, and can’t recall flooding this bad outside of a hurricane or tropical storm.  In the aftermath of the rain, the mosquitos are plentiful! And June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season. Aw, summer!

Starry night
Starry night

I finished this painting early this month:

Otherwise, it wasn’t a month for a lot of inspiration for me as far as writing or creativity.  I do think it was a turning point for me as far as this blog goes, as I wrote in Uninspired. I started this blog last year feeling very inspired, thinking that amazing wisdom would just roll out of me all the time. All you writers, stop laughing! On top of that, I was reading a lot about blogging, about how I should have a platform, or a focus, or… something besides random thoughts, anyway. The best thing I did was write about it, then not write, then write just for me, not for anyone else. And if sometimes I’m inspired about a topic, and other times I write about my travels or my daily life, I’m ok with that, and that is my platform, anyway after all – embracing uncertainty. If you enjoy reading about my life and what is in my head, that is icing on the cake.

I am continuing my Ayurvedic studies and yoga classes, and had some wonderful times with family and friends. Early in the month my son from Austin and my baby girl away at college drove in for the weekend and we had a wonderful family reunion. My oldest son is moving up near Dallas this month to be with his girl (wedding plans for August!) so that will leave only two of my kids left in the Houston area.

Then, as you faithful readers know, I took at trip to Iowa to visit my oldest daughter. I enjoyed writing about each day starting here, and if you enjoyed my ramblings you can look forward to more of that when I travel to Montana to visit my cousin in a few days.

Hope you have some fun plans for the summer!

 

Uninspired

I’ve felt uninspired lately.

I haven’t even been journaling as much. I sit to write and it sounds like the same stuff over and over. Additionally, I haven’t been making much time to read other blogs, even though there are several writers I really enjoy. On top of that, I haven’t painted or taken many pictures lately. Everything just seems sorta blah.

Every so often I’ll get on wordpress, read a few posts, and wonder how people write so much, some every day. I periodically wonder why I started a blog in the first place. Oh yeah! I thought I had something to say that was inspiring. Then I got all into Blogging 101 and Photography 101 and following other blogs and hoping people would follow mine. Now I look at the list of blogs I follow and I don’t have time to read all that.  I’m not getting new followers lately — but hey! I haven’t been writing much. Would just like the stats to say woohoo! you’ve reached xxxx followers.

Sigh. That’s bullshit. That’s no reason to write, or paint, or any other pursuit.  If, in the course of writing, I put something out there and someone truly finds inspiration, great. If not, I’ve expressed myself. This is what all the great writers and painters say- do it for yourself first. So if I don’t have anything for awhile, that’s ok. I’ll read and study and travel, and be curious about everything.

So. New resolution. Stop being so concerned about putting up a blog post for the sake of putting up a blog post.  And when in the course of  the journey of life inspiration comes, go for it, in whatever form it takes.

April Already

She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.                                           – Zelda Fitzgerald

I certainly can’t say my life is boring. There is always something going on, something new to learn, to experience, to try. “I’m bored” was not allowed by my mother – she would find me something to do!

March was full of experiences! The biggest surprise, even to myself, was that I enrolled as a student with New World Ayurveda. I’m 3 weeks in, and loving it! As a result of that, I dropped out of Photography 101 and haven’t been here at WordPress as much.

 

Doily!
Doily!

I spent  a couple of days connecting with nature at the Attwater Prairie Chicken NationalWildlife refuge. Apparently the prairie chickens are extremely difficult to find, but it was great getting up before dawn and seeing the stars and the sunrise, and just connecting with Nature. There were dewy spider webs everywhere, and at first glance it looked like my grandmother’s doilies had been scattered over the landscape! I saw a coyote, a jack rabbit, and various small birds, but none of them wanted to pose for a picture.

 

 

I finished another great book: Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Yes, the book that the recent movie was based on. What an amazing story! I became emotionally invested as I read the book, and when I was finished, had a good cry. I highly recommend this read, made me want to trudge 1000 miles through the wilderness! I’ll see the movie, but the book is always better!

Here’s my latest painting:

Desert Sunrise
Desert Sunrise

Plans and goals for April: Keep learning. More yoga. Spend time in nature. Don’t get overwhelmed, rather, stay centered. Take time out to digest my experiences, and only do one thing at a time!