“Can you believe this is your life right now?” This from my friend, Lisa, who was “helping” me pick out cruise excursions for my summer trip to Alaska. Actually I was forcing her to cull through everything fabulous, talk it out, and narrow down the choices. Good friends…find them and keep them.
But she’s right, my life is in an amazing phase right now. So, why is contented-ness such a phantom to me? I have a great job, great friends, a home I absolutely adore, my health (for the most part), and enough income to finally travel…at least enough so that I can actually budget for travel anyway.
I’m an over-analyzer so I recognize that I’m not necessarily unhappy or unsatisfied…just always searching. For what? I have absolutely no idea! In my head…whatever “IT” is currently resides in Alaska. That trip is really a dream come true for me.
I could never have imagined my life would be like this. It is really good. And calm. No drama. No real world worries. So what the hell is wrong with me??? I know logically that peace comes from within. Did i get the gypsy gene?
Is there a peace gene…and if there is and it’s attached to the skinny gene, I’m gonna be pissed!
My new passion is to really explore the world in the coming years. To that end, I’ve made a vision board to keep me motivated. The premise is that if you can see yourself there, you’re more likely to make steps to get there…wherever your “there” happens to be. My “there” is traveling and exploring.
When you make your vision board, be sure to include short and long term goals. I realized that I was planning larger trips but not day trips. I live in a great part of the world, the southern US, and haven’t seen near as much of it as I should. Those things are on my short list.
Living near Chattanooga, TN is a wonderful opportunity to do day trips and see some great things. So I took the 30 minute drive and checked out some local culture and quisine.
Hunter Museum was a landmark I’d always wanted to visit but never got around to. The beauty of the old (art and mansion) transposed with the new (art and Art Deco modern building) was nicely melded and a beautiful place.
Just a few steps away is a myriad of eateries to soak up the local color. I chose Tony’s Pasta. Situated in a Victorian carriage house of an old mansion in the Bluffview Art District, it is a step back in time. I was lucky enough to sit on the terrace. Handmade pastas and a great selection of wines made for a nice filling lunch.
Now think about your own vision board…where do you wanna be and what do you wanna be doing in one year, 5 years, 10 years? I saw a great quote on Pinterest the other day that sums it up (warning…curse words to come!).
Now…GET BUSY DOING…that was mostly for me because it’s 1:30pm and I’m still in pajamas doing my “exploring” on the Internet.
I suck at relationships! It’s true. I’ve had great men, not so great men, and downright awful-for-me men. I suppose everyone that gets to my age has the same batting average but people do find a life partner sometimes. I’d like to think I’m a smart girl. I have a career, my own money, and I take a shower everyday. So, why can’t I do it?
There was a time when I blamed it on the men…but the reality is if I’m honest…I am the common denominator. Now I know what you’re thinking…she has used a math metaphor…this is bad! Since I try to find the good/positive/funny in most things, I’m going with I have just answered the age-old question of “how will I ever use this math in my real life???”….well, there it was!
Now, back to my inability to find a good man. Way, way back, my ex-mother-in-law said “she’s as independent as a pig in mud!” My immediate reaction was, “did she just call me fat?” So, I wonder if I am TOO independent? Do men find that “not needy at all” quality off-putting? I find they like it…at first…and then it becomes less endearing.
I’ve had this discussion with several of my gal friends. A couple of them have mastered the balance and a couple are in the same boat as I am…drifting aimlessly in a sea of potential catches…waiting for the collision.
Now, logically I know that I don’t need a man to be whole. But it would be nice to have someone to travel with; have dinner with; and share my life with on a regular basis. I’ve done online dating (that is its own blog altogether) and I’ve tried every other route, but it never seems to move forward.
Several thoughts occur to me…do you only get so many chances in this lifetime and have I used mine up? If we are doomed to repeat our mistakes until we get it right, I’m gonna need another lifetime. Do some people just settle because they’re tired of looking? At what point will I say, “f-it, I’m done” and truly be satisfied?
For a non-math girl, I’m a bit over analytical.
As we watch hurricane #2 barrel down on the US again, I’m reminded of similar scenes over the years that always touched me deep in my soul. The men! The minute the call goes out, the men galvanize and do what must be done. It’s a beautiful thing.
Several years ago a terrible tornado hit a nearby town and just so happens I had a doctor’s appointment that required me meander through the countryside to bypass the hard hit areas. The roads were packed with pickups…chainsaws…and men. For days, they poured out onto the roads and just did what had to be done…cleanup until order was restored.
This is what men do! It isn’t about gender…it’s in the DNA and possibly a smattering of upbringing. But, for the most part, it’s a common bond that says, “I can fix this!” It harkens back to caveman days when survival depended on the men in the community to be the backbone that held it all together.
Step in…step up…and stay…until the world is righted again. One of my dearest friend’s own husband (a lineman) is readying himself for the next storm to hit in the coming days. He and many more like him will mobilize and answer the call…the call that says “we need you.”
And once again, the men will arrive with the attitude that says “we got you” and stay until the work is done. And it isn’t just an American thing, Watch the world tragedies with a different eye…you’ll see it for what it is…greatness embodied in the common man.
And yes, I’m aware that many women do this also…but in a world that has become increasingly devaluing of the male in our society, it’s time we outwardly express that glow of pride that swells in us as we watch the beauty that is MAN stand firm and sure in the face of tragedy and chaos.
Please pray for Florida and continue praying for Texas. It may take time, money, and a whole lot of patience. But one thing is for certain, the men will hit the road and not look back until the world is righted again. And I, for one, am thankful for that manly spirit every single day.
I have completed the daunting task of downsizing and moving into a much smaller place. It is a very soul cleansing thing to do for your life. I went from a 3 bedroom home with full basement to a 1 bedroom loft…yes, on purpose! These are the things I learned by living smaller.
- You have to really decide what is important to keep and what can go. For instance, I kept pictures but I let go of my kids’ school work. I also got rid of all my school work from college.
- I’m not a big “keeper of things” anyway, so this cleansing was not too bad. It is amazing how much lighter you will feel without having to be the “keeper of things” for everyone.
- I chose to have a few fabulous pieces (furniture) that were real statement pieces and fit the ambiance I was trying to create. It’s a process and I figure I will know if something is right for my space when I see it.
- I had several great antiques that my father had given me over the years and wanted to keep those so I had to find a new purpose for them. That’s been fun.
- Smaller space means you must put everything back where it goes immediately or it clutters quickly.
- Giving up the garage means I might get wet one day! Lol. As my daddy says, I won’t melt.
- I’m closer to work. Closer to restaurants (you know I don’t care to cook). This was an important realization when I thought I wanted a kitchen island in my space…but it’s not necessary because I don’t want to cook. I can use that money for a more practical piece.
- I truly have had more visitors than ever before. And all of them say, “this looks like you!” And it is. I felt at home immediately.
The only downsides:
- I can see the workout room from my couch…some guy works out every night…I don’t like him reminding me that I’m being lazy.
- My tub has no back slope…I can’t lounge in the tub. Why would you make a tub that isn’t lounge-worthy?
- I live in the Carpet Capital of the WORLD and I can’t seem to find a large rug for my living room that doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s my new mission. I rarely lose these battles and I don’t intend to lose this one.
- Ordering rugs online is a hassle. And a crap shoot. I won’t even go into what it takes to return one of those babies.
The trick to living in an apartment setting, especially when you’ve come from home ownership, is to find one with great management.
This loft space is in an 1880 textile mill that has been transformed into lofts. It’s amazing. Exposed brick. Concrete flooring. Original wood floors. And the most majestically beautiful 10′ windows that will get your tail out of bed when God intends you to get up.
I had lunch with my friend (Lisa) the other day and she said, “you look better than you’ve looked since I’ve known you!” Of course, I did have a new haircut, new color, makeup on (not a summer norm), and was well-rested from a 5 week beach getaway. But I think it’s the move. I think I feel free. Free to travel. No maintenance (house or lawn). No plants to water. I feel renewed. I like change. I’m embracing the new life.
I can’t believe my summer dream vacation is coming to an end. But alas, life moves on. A couple more days and back to reality. Home to a move and back to school in less than a month.
Retrieved my wallet today. All was intact! Yay! And then a great surprise of old friends. My old neighbors (they left me years ago) were in Savannah and came out to visit me on the island. Love them. Truly amazing people and neither ever meets a stranger. We must make a point to see more of each other.
Weather was weird today. Thunder and lightening on and off all day. And then a weird storm blew up…tiu know those storms that cast a strange color light outside…this was it!
The white glowed as if a fluorescent light was on it. Even the sand glowed eerily. But it did run off the many new people that have arrived this week.
Tomorrow fireworks on the beach and then getting ready to head home and back to my real life.
Well I had the day all planned out. Sleep late (watched a movie really late last night); go eat at Macaroni Grill (long ways); and go see Jaws (since it is nearing the end of my stay).
All was going well until I left my wallet at Macaroni Grill and didn’t realize it until I got back on the island. Of course, by then it was gone. Oh no! No money. No cards. Yikes! I called my debit cards and one credit card (thank goodness I only have one) and got them cancelled.
A huge thunderstorm (along with very startling warnings on the radio) blew in. Again, impressive lightening. Resigned myself to whomever got my cash needed it more than me and started the planning.
Disclaimer here…my friend Lisa has been “harassing” me for a long time to not carry my “important papers” in my wallet (social security card, my kid’s birth certificates, etc) but old habits are hard to break. So, of course, I had to call her and tell her she was right! Ugh! (On a sad note, her brother is going through some terrifying repercussions from back surgery…please include them in your prayers).
If you’re a man and you’ve never had to go through changing your name on your drivers license and social security card, you will never understand the frustration. Let’s just say, there is a reason there is an armed guard at the social security office! So I was already bracing myself for the ordeal.
I figured I had been so blessed lately that it was only fitting that I have some strife. That’s where I was mentally when the call came…they found my wallet!!!
The storm passed, literally and figuratively, in that moment.
And then I got a message from a dear friend I haven’t seen in a while and they are in town so I will see them tomorrow. I will still have to make a bank trip (can’t undo the cancellation) and go pick up my wallet, but all is well in Kay-Land tonight.
Maybe my cash will still be there. But if not, then someone needed it more than I did. And I can live with that.
As I sat at the water’s edge and watched the light shimmer and shine off the waves, I marveled (not for the first time) at the rythym of my life. Are we all just tiny shells buffering the ebb and flow of life going where the tide takes us? The ocean is a magnificent, awe-inspiring power and it’s impossible to not be lulled by its tranquility.
The weather man threatened rain but it turned into a beautiful day. The dolphins were in overdrive and chased bait fish all around us. Lots of splashing going on.
A new ship came in today. Upon some research, I discovered that it’s a shipping line carries 2.45 million cars per year. Interesting. Wonder how many cars are on that one ship?
And then the storm clouds rolled in and the wind picked up. It was truly electric. I have got to learn to get pictures of lightening. And the moon! Both very hard to do.
I’m always amazed at how seemingly-sane adults can get so irate over certain things. At the pool today, 3 young women were in a very heated “discussion” about politics and gay rights. I’m all for having your own opinion and being fervent about that opinion…HOWEVER, once you subject the rest of us to your tantrum, you’ve crossed the line.
She lost her credibility with me once she quoted the Bible in the same sentence with the f-word…around a pool full of children. I like to think I’m no prude but seriously!?!
It was rainy on and off today. The shrimp boat came in early which should have been my clue.
Some shell hunting on the beach. I always wonder why specific shells are prevalent on certain days? And some of the shells are so tiny, it amazes me that anything could’ve lived in there and moved out. Lol
Bingo tonight. Of course, I met another teacher. She teaches on the next island over. I’m always very thankful for my own school and administration when I talk to other teachers. Not sure I could ever teach anywhere else. Again…truly blessed.
During bingo, the big thunder boomers rolled in and I got soaked going to the car. At this point, I’ve become so accustomed to not worrying with my hair and makeup, that it was actually normal to be wet. As I settle in tonight, the thunder and lightening continues. I love a good thunderstorm.
Something you don’t see on the river every day. Where I am staying is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Savannah River. This is where all the cargo ships enter for the long, narrow journey to the Georgia Port Authority.
This evening, a huge ship came in at low tide and needed the assistance of 2 tugboats. Those little boats are mighty and can maneuver those huge ships. You see them in Savannah assisting with the right turn to the port but I’ve never seen them escorting a ship in. Sometimes they will follow one out to the end of the river, but this was rare. If you look closely, one tug is tied on to the ship’s port side bow and one is following. Very cool. And an even stranger thing, you could hear and feel this ship coming in. This is unusual because I’ve noticed how eerily-quite they are. They are often there before you even notice. Stealthy.
A gloomy day that threatened rain all day. I went in for new toenail color and to wash and vacuum the car. With company this week, we had visited the front beach several times and brought back lots of sand.
The kitty-cats are awaiting someone to take pity on them and throw them some food. The island has a cool “trap, neuter/spay, release” program. We have several outside the condo.
The dolphins were plentiful today. They were very leisurely in their wanderings. They almost appeared in slow motion.
The shrimp boat has anchored in for the night so it’s gonna rain. Better than your local weatherman. Every single time!
While my goals for the coming years include a lot of travel, I can’t imagine loving a place more than I love it here.