Tag Archives: dreams

Wish vs. Do

Think deeply and separate what you wish from what you’re prepared to do.

–Percy Cerutty
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A view from my afternoon walk

Yesterday I walked – twice.  I also made cards.  I ended the day feeling relaxed and peaceful (even with the political storm swirling around).  I walk or run in the morning almost everyday, but yesterday I went longer than normal and, later, when the beautiful November afternoon beckoned, I didn’t look at my extensive To-Do list; I went outside.  Before my afternoon walk, I spent a few hours working on greeting cards I wanted to send out.  A couple of hours slipped by as I experimented with my cutting machine, selected papers, found quotes, glued and taped, but they were restorative hours that were thoroughly enjoyable.

During the twelve months of this 366 Somedays, I will have tried twelve activities I’ve always thought I wanted in my life.  I’ve discovered some of these activities simply don’t call to my heart as I thought they would – speaking Italian, for example.  Sure, I’d love to speak Italian, but not enough to put in the time to learn it.  Unfortunately, the same may be true for learning to play drums.  I’m not ready to cross that one off my list, but I’m getting close.

Yesterday, as I practiced a little self-care, I realized I really love walking and running, especially when I do them outdoors.  I also really love making cards and playing with paper.  It dawned on me that a benefit of this 366 Somedays process is I’m homing in on activities I truly love and am prepared to pursue as well as discovering which activities are simply wishful and probably need to fall by the wayside.  I want to spend my time pursuing those activities that leave me with the relaxed, peaceful feeling I experienced last night.  That feeling shouldn’t be reserved for days when I have made a concerted effort at self-care.  That feeling should be the norm and getting there requires letting some activities go in order to focus on others.

Just Living

joy-girlI’ve been working in my new journal and thinking about what I will put on my vision board, but this process is more difficult than I expected.  (Geez, how many times have I said that?)  In my teens, 20s, and 30s I had goals, plans, and visions.  In my teens I worked toward getting into college in order to prepare for a career.  In my 20s I worked on finding my way in that career.  In my 30s I worked toward specific levels I wanted to achieve in that career.  Having achieved those goals, in my 40s and early 50s I volunteered in an area I’m passionate about.  Now, I’m ready to move on to the next phase, but I’m also heartily enjoying right where I am.

I read a book recently where one of the characters, a famous author and illustrator, is asked when she will produce her next book.  She replies that for now she just wants to live.  I understand completely!  I’m enjoying my life.  I have always enjoyed my life, but I’m beginning to feel very settled right now and I like that.  However, I don’t want to become stagnant and “old” so I also desire change, adventure, challenge.

As I work through this process I’m reticent to mix-up my happy life, but I’m also excited about what prospects might be out there.  Can there be a balance between just living and taking on the world?

My Heart’s Desire

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.

–Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

 

I didn’t even have to go as far as my backyard, I simply walked down the hall to my office/studio and saw my heart’s desire in my workspace and supply closet.

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My workspace (the cat likes to help)
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My supply closet

I’ve always had a thing for paper.  I love a pretty piece of paper.  I’ve also always had a thing for cards and letters.  Email is great at getting information conveyed quickly, but it’s transient.  I love a written letter or a handmade card.  I love the feel in my hands as I read the words.  I love that I can put a letter or card away and reread it later – maybe in a month, maybe in ten years.  It will still be there.

Having been a letter writer and card sender since I was a child, I realized several years ago that I love to make cards.  I’ve gone through several different styles, making cards for my own use in a totally casual manner.  I love the cards I make, but I know there are processes I’m not aware of and ways to improve the quality of my cards.  Two years ago, for my birthday, I bought myself a machine for cutting shapes for my cards.  I’ve only recently unboxed it and I haven’t yet figured out how to use it.  I also wonder if there’s a market for my cards.  Perhaps others would like to purchase a personalized, handmade card.

Given my love of making cards and knowing there’s more to learn about the process as well as potentially marketing the cards, I’m dedicating my August Someday to improving my card-making skills and to researching possible markets for them.

My heart feels happy with this choice.

I’m Back…

My two-month hiatus is done; now it’s time to get back on track with my Somedays.  I have five months left of my 366 Somedays – 153 days and I’m struggling to decide which Somedays are worth my time, which call to my heart.  Over the last two months, as I’ve eased back on my Somedays, I’ve thought about what I’ve done so far and what I still want to do.  I have a list I made when I began this project, but already I’m questioning how many of these Somedays really warrant my time.  I’m torn between activities I’ve always thought I wanted to do and the reality of a limited number of hours in the day.  I’m finding this process both beneficial and discouraging:  beneficial because I’m really working to identify my heart’s desires (Oh, my, I sound like Dorothy.  Perhaps a pair of ruby slippers would help the process.) and discouraging because I’m having to admit some activities I thought were salient, don’t actually make the cut.

I haven’t yet decided what my August Someday will be.  Check back tomorrow and, hopefully, I’ll have a worthy plan ready to hatch.

Fuel for the Brain

This weekend marked the halfway point in my first monthly “someday”.  During the month of November, I am participating in a challenge to write and complete a work of nonfiction (WNFIN).  On this halfway point weekend, I decided to do something contrary:  instead of writing, I read.

2015 has been a year of transitions for me.  My husband and I bought a company in a different town.  He’s actively engaged in the company and is spending part of each week in that town.  In order to make his commute shorter, and to complete a long held dream, we moved from the home where we’ve raised our family to a dream home four hours away.  We have one child left at home, a high school senior, who has moved with us.  The move has dragged on for months.  The old house is not yet ready to put on the market.  It’s been a crazy year.  To compensate for my lack of time, I’ve pretty much given up reading.  Then, with the beginning of my yearlong personal challenge on November 1st, reading took a seat even farther back in the bus of my life.  This weekend, I remedied that by reading.

I realized, while I love to think ideas through in my head until they’re ready to put into readable words, I also crave the influx of ideas and knowledge I get from reading.  Reading is a fuel for my brain and creativity and cannot take a back seat to writing, cleaning, moving, or any other task I come up with to banish it to a low priority need.

“Reading is fuel for the brain.  Writing is fuel for the spirit…"
                                         –Megan S. Johnston

I need both!

Hello Inspiration!

You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So, get on your way.
                                    --Dr. Seuss
Starting today I’m choosing to climb a mountain (or twelve)
rather than skate along on flat land.

A couple weeks ago, as I was driving from Toad Hall (our primary residence) to the Boathouse (our “other” home), I was hit by a streak of inspiration.  Recently I had gotten back to healthier eating habits and had dropped 15 pounds.  I felt like I finally had this “food” thing figured out.  As I drove with the music turned up loud, I drummed along on the steering wheel, wondering what to do with the extra time and energy I had previously given to food and eating.  As I drummed, the thought ran through my mind that I really do want to learn to play the drums.  That’s when inspiration hit me!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about lifestyle, dreams, goals, etc.  I started with Dr. Christiane Northrup’s new book, Goddesses Never Age.  That lead me to other “joy” and “goddess” books and articles and, somewhere along the line, I stumbled on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, which deals with the creative process.  In this book, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about “magic” or creativity occasionally knocking on our doors and suggests a person has to be ready to answer that knock.

As I drove along thinking about learning to play the drums and feeling full of joy (music, beautiful scenery, road trip…), I realized creativity was indeed knocking on my door and I let out a gasp as I realized I was ready to answer.  Thus, the hit of inspiration:  I would make a yearlong plan to learn and do twelve things I have always wanted to do – and I would write about the process.

This is not a “bucket list”.  I think of bucket lists as being those big events and activities one wants to do before they die.  Instead, the things on my list are more immediate.  They are the things I’ve always thought I might enjoy, might want to pursue someday – if only I had the time.

As I started to plan what ideas I might want to include, my energy and enthusiasm skyrocketed.  I felt I was running headlong toward something wonderful, life-changing, and terribly scary (in a good way).  As I neared the Boathouse, Vonda Shepard’s song Searchin’ My Soul began to play:

There’s a side of my life where I’ve been blind and so… 
I’ve been searchin’ my soul tonight 
I know there’s so much more to life 
Now I know I can shine a light 
Everything gonna be alright 
I’ve been searchin’ my soul tonight

Tomorrow:  Month 1 – Write a Book