walkabout

Spring’s here, summer’s coming, and I’m going walking.

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Every day, probably, but especially on Sunday.

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Each Sunday, I’m planning a walkabout. You know, a walking tour somewhere away and beyond the usual. Somewhere new and undiscovered – at least by me.

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And I’ll share it all here – with you. You’ll see everything I’ve seen along the way.

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Like a blogging picture postcard.

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Maybe a line or two? A note from one life traveler to another.

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P.S. I hope you write back.

The Glory of Slow

Recent travels taught me the glory of slow. So lately, I’ve been moving about half speed.

Normally, I run at a high internal pace. All the gears hum. And it feels a little like I’m vibrating. Get it done. Do it now. Before time runs out. Before the sun sets. Or rises.

I now understand this is a race I will not win.

With only a few adjustments,  I’ve discovered I’m getting just as much done – maybe even more – than I did when breakneck was my go-to pace and I felt all frenzied inside. I’ve just about done away with a to-do list, trusting in myself instead to know what needs to be done and then doing it … one, and only one, task at a time.

I may not live a life of leisure exactly, but I live more leisurely and delight in this new tempo. Decisions are deliberate. Any movement I make is just this side of meandering. I’ve even been eating breakfast. At the table. On real dishes. I begin each morning with my bed made and end each work day with my desk cleared.

Like changing the shutter speed on my camera,  I’m learning how to manually slow the speed at which I live like the pace at which I shoot, so I’m able to study, frame, and capture the moment.

Life’s more gentle at a slower speed.

So whether traveling afar or walking to the end of the road, go slowly … and let your travels teach you.

 

life lessons: in spring

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Maybe the most difficult time for a flower is just before its bloom.

Still tight and taut, but ready and waiting. Endlessly waiting. Eternally waiting. Impatient. Tense. And probably cranky.

But bloom it does, finally and slowly. Unfurling and stretching, open face forward into the warming sun.

Free.

The release renders the wait all that more poignant and perfect.

Necessary, after all.

So many life lessons learned just out the back door.

Spring hope.

Making Peace

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It seems like I shouldn’t have to try so hard to feel peaceful.

Shouldn’t Zen just sorta flow or something?

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Honestly, sometimes  I turn the most mundane circumstance into Much Ado About Nothing.

So I’ve been working pretty hard to simplify. And again, that feels sort of oxymoronish – should simplicity feel so complicated?

I organize. Purge. Usher all the ducks to their respective rows. And wipe clean my surfaces. (Almost) every morning begins with a clear desk. So to speak.

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But sometimes finding peace … means making peace. With yourself.

I chucked the very-long-list the other day and went for a walk in the cold, bright blue with my camera.

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Peace made.

20/20/20

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Have to. Need to. Must do. Should do. Gotta. Gonna. Do it now.

Wish I could …

Lists. Planners. Schedules. Appointments. Meetings. Agendas. Never, ever enough time.

One of these days, I’d really like to …

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Teacher. Housekeeper. Chef. Accountant. Person.

Reader. Writer. Photographer. 

I’m never going to do it all … am I?

I’m never going to please all the people, all time … will I?

When I try to juggle all the balls, I’m going to drop a few … won’t I?

 

Here’s how I find a few minutes here and there for my dreams:

Whenever I’ve got a weekend, or a free day at home,  I make the time for a little bit of everything by chunking the hour into 20 minute blocks.

  • 20 minutes on the lists
  • 20 minutes on the roles
  • 20 minutes of me

What’s on the list today? Call the cable company. Sign up for a charity event. Contact the health insurance company. Make a deposit at the bank.

What roles do I need to honor today? Drive my son to work. Finish the laundry. Bake some cookies for the neighbor who’s just had surgery. Grade last week’s spelling test. Clean the bathroom. Pay the bills.

How will I fulfill my dreams today? Check into a new photography project idea. Continue the book draft. Write a blog post. : )

Twenty minutes at a time keeps me moving and thinking and doing … and getting it done.

I may not be able to do it all, but I can do a little bit of everything – and make time for my dreams too.

Snow Day

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There’s something pretty special about a snow day.

Whisper of disbelief:  It’s a … Snow Day.

Like all of the very best of good fortune, a snow day is really sort of magical.

Dream-like and unexpected.

And, of course, I had all the very best intentions to use this sudden abundance of time so wisely, so well.

But magic simply won’t permit such practicality. Or allow itself to be managed.

Because magic is … well, magic.

With a spirit all its very own.

And so, I wasn’t all that productive … but here’s a list of my very favorite picture books about snow… because the spirit and magic of a snow day never grows old.

1.  The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

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2. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

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3. The Big Snow by Berta Hader

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4. Snowflake Bentley by Jaqueline Briggs Martin

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5. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

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Photo credit for book covers to Barnes and Noble. 

Note: The links I’ve provided are for the love of literature … not profit.