Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just Move

I am trying to stay strong in my faith and in believing that God has a plan for me. It has been challenging, though. I feel like shit. There is so much of almost every kind of emotion swirling around me that I don't really know how to deal with any of it. The thing that it causing me to feel guilty is the fact that I am not experiencing any trauma in my life, no one in  my family is sick or dying, I'm paying the bills, I live by the beach, I am healthy and I have a good marriage. I know that I have a wonderful life. But still. It is there, lingering beneath the surface of my daily routine: restlessness and confusion and whatever else I'm feeling.

Even though I appreciate my life and all of God's blessings, I cannot help feeling this way. Isn't embracing life about taking in everything? The good and the bad? If I deny what I'm feeling, I won't be able to understand it and I won't be able to change it. Of course, I'd love to be happy all of the time and be grateful every second of every day but this is life and life is messy.

All this negativity that I have been feeling surfaced in my body today. My muscles ache, my chest hurts and I feel. . . activated. It's like a sensory overload and I thought that I was going to go crazy this evening. I didn't know what to do but I needed to do something.

So, I tidied up my bedroom and rolled out my stationary bike. I downloaded a few new songs from iTunes and rode my bike for almost an hour. I created a new playlist titled "Full Moon" (it's July 3 but that is close enough) and turned the music up loud. Loud enough that it not only drowned out the negativity I've been feeling but absorbed it as well. I rode my bike fast and I didn't slow down. Have you ever felt like you just have to move? To express yourself? Scream, sing and cry? Dance, kick and run? Sweat? To feel alive?

We have to let things out and as much as I believe in the process of writing and the practice of reflection, sometimes they just won't do. Sometimes, we need to kick negativity's ass (literally). All of the work that I have been doing to change my life course has kept me at the computer longer than I normally am. It has worn me out so much that I've lost energy and drive. Maybe the physical pain I've been feeling was God's way of waking me up? Maybe He is telling me to balance things in my life? I don't really know for sure but I do sense that something has changed.

When I finished exercising, I put my bike back in its place and listened to the last few songs while practicing yoga. As I laid on the floor, stretching my body and rubbing my dog's ears, I remembered that I have control over the way I feel. If I am feeling like shit, I can do something to change it. Linkin Park helps.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peace and Quiet

Last Saturday my husband and I took our canoe up the Silver River in Ocala. It was a four hour trip of complete peace and quiet. We could not help repeating to each other how beautiful the river was. I felt like I was on vacation and the warmth of the afternoon kept bringing me back to my childhood. It was one of the most relaxing days I've had in a very long time. I even felt closer to my husband on that trip - if that could even be possible. 

We have a trolling motor on our canoe so we didn't even paddle. We just enjoyed the sights, sounds and scents of the forest. We made our way through Silver Springs State Park and into the Silver Springs theme park. I've visited this park twice and I just love it. It reminds me of an amusement park from the 1950's. When I'm walking through the park or riding on one of the glass bottom boats, I feel like I might run into the Brady family.

The canoe trip was so awesome. It is difficult to describe the beauty of the river. Sometimes, words just do not suffice so here are a few photographs:

The water is so pure that you can see the bottom - up to 30 feet below.

Red Belly and Yellow Belly turtles bask in the sun along the river banks.

The river draws you into its magic.

A White Ibis.

The water from the springs is 99% pure.

One of God's amazing creatures.

Complete peacefulness.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thank You

Have I really been blogging for over two years? When I think of things like this, I am amazed that time goes by so fast. My initial motivation for blogging was just to write and be creative. I've grown to really appreciate the sense of community that comes along with this and I'm thanking three wonderful bloggers for sharing awards with me.

Thank you to Heather at Stretching My Wings and Mare Ball at Adventures in the Ballpark for recognizing my blog with a couple of awards.  Both are really cool, intentional and authentic women who also live in Florida!

Lily Tequila at Wishbone Soup Cures Everything has shared the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you, Lily! I love your vitality, writing and outlook on life.
First, the Liebster award.  Liebster is the German word for beloved/dear/favorite.  The Liebster Blog Award is "passed from one blog to another to honor smaller blogs (those with less than 200 followers) that deserve recognition for their fabulous blogging abilities."  Mare Ball did some research has a really neat explanation on her blog post.

The Rules for the Liebster Award:

  1. Thank your Liebster award presenter on your blog
  2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog
  4. Reveal your five picks
  5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog

The Rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award:
  1. Thank and link back to the awarding blog (link above)
  2. Answer 7 questions
  3. Provide 10 random facts about yourself
  4. Give the award to 7 deserving others
The Rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Thank the person who recognized you
  2. Add the award to your blog
  3. Mention 7 random things about yourself
  4. List the rules
  5. Award to 15 bloggers
  6. Inform each by commenting on his/her blog
I'm compiling the three awards and being creative in my appreciation to these three wonderful bloggers.

The Seven Questions:

  1. What is your favorite song?  I really love music so this one is difficult. Right now, I'm totally loving Gotye's Someone You Used to Know. One of my most favorite songs is Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes (I have a not-so-secret crush on Lloyd Dobler).
  2. What is your favorite desert?  It's a toss between cheesecake and key lime pie.
  3. What do you do when you are upset?  It depends on the situation. If I'm really upset, I usually cry. If I am pissed off upset, I can be passive aggressive. Usually, I process through my feelings (in my head) and it can take me a while to talk things out.
  4. What is your favorite pet?  Floyd, my dog. He'll be 15 years old in August and has been a part of my family since he was 9 weeks old. I know people say I'm crazy but I can't imagine having another dog after Floyd. He's the best.
  5. What is your favorite movie?  I love movies and have lots of favorites.  Some include: Rear Window, The Burbs, Manhattan Murder Mystery, the Twilight movies, Say Anything, The Sweetest Thing, The Celestine Prophecy and Gone Fishin'.
  6. What is your greatest fear?  Not being able to make it on my own.  I tend to worry about the future and not being able to support my family or becoming an old woman and being alone. Also, I'm afraid of lizards - they really freak me out and I almost got into an accident one time because a lizard jumped in my car.  I actually drove to a side street with my eyes closed, leaped out of my car and called my husband to drive my car home. I refused to drive my car until he found the lizard.
  7. What is your usual attitude?  I'm very easy going and I don't get upset easily.  I can handle stress and crises well because I just go with the flow.  I try to see the positive in everything and encourage others do so as well.
Ten Random Facts:

  1. I can't drink tap water because I think it tastes weird.
  2. I danced between the ages of 5 and 15 (tap, jazz and ballet).  I quit so that I could join band in high school.
  3. My husband is 13 years older than I am.
  4. I've never had surgery or broken a bone.
  5. Often, I think that I should be living in the 1950's as my values feel "old-fashioned" compared to others my age.
  6. No one I work with knows that I blog but I still don't share a lot of details.  The town I live in is small in the sense that people easily find out things and I always keep this in the back of my mind when blogging.
  7. I have one birth sister who is 4 years younger than I am and 3 adopted brothers who are 14, 12 and 11.
  8. My husband and I have sold pretty much everything we own twice, driven across the country four times, lived in San Diego twice and we minimize the way we live every couple of years.
  9. I have no idea how to use an iphone and I do not know what an app is.  I only use my phone to talk, text and wake me up in the mornings. 
  10. I love apple crisp but hate apple pie.  Go figure.
These awards are really going around in my small circle so I'm finding it challenging to share these with those who have not already been recognized. So, I'm doing this my own way and giving a shout out to some of my very favorite bloggers. If you already have the award, consider this a duplicate and know that I just love connecting with you. There are so many more awesome bloggers but, to be honest, this post has taken me a long time to write and I'm growing sleepy.

  1. Melody Mae
  2. Teresa at Journaling Woman
  3. Bumfuzzle (this is the very first blog I ever read and I have been following the family for two years. They aren't your typical bloggers that I've come across but their website includes amazing photos and an awesome story)
  4. Dana at the Daily Dose
  5. Sharon at Just Thinking
  6. Jo at In Which We Start Anew
  7. Kelle Hampton at Enjoying the Small Things (another one of the first blogs I ever read. She has an awesome story of strength and acceptance as well as beautiful photos)
  8. Judy at Life. . . Minute by Minute

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Just Breathe

Sometimes, I have to remind myself to breathe. The past couple of weeks have been one of those times in my life. There has been so much going on and today is the first day in a long time that I can actually just relax at home and have no agenda to attend to.

A few months ago I realized that my life was at a crossroads and that something needed to change. I wasn't really sure what that change would be so I tried figuring it out by myself. I couldn't sleep, I was anxious, I was in my head all of the time and I felt like I was going crazy. So one morning, I just gave it all to God and let Him take control. Things started happening and a path for my life began to become clear (not perfectly clear, just clear enough that I could see where I might go). I made a decision to start making some changes, took a risk and now I'm just waiting to hear the results.

I'm not so good at waiting. I've been praying a lot. If things don't work out like I want, I've been trying to figure out why God led me down this path. I'm sure He has a plan (even if I don't know what it is). In the meantime, the waiting has been good practice in remembering to be patient. It also has allowed me to open myself to new possibilities.

Life goes on and I'm still breathing. Here are some groovy random things and reflections that have been happening:

  • My friends just left and I loved spending time with them. As much as I enjoy being with friends and extended family, I just love being home with my husband and dog. My life has become so much more family-oriented in the past few years and I really love it. I have always been ambivalent about having a child. Lately, I've been thinking about it more and more. If I do, it will still be a year or two away (I've been saying this for almost 15 years) and I never thought that I'd have a baby in my late thirties. I guess there isn't anything I can do about it now. I'm already considered to be advanced maternal age, so what's another couple of years?
  • The little girl I wrote about in this post, is doing well. Her surgery did not have any negative side effects and she is in good spirits. This has been very tough on her family. She is still in the hospital and has not fully recovered so please keep her in your prayers. On the last day of school, her entire school hosted a walk to raise money for her. Over 700 children and adults marched around the school field with signs they made for her, chanting how much they love her and sending her positive thoughts. It was amazing! The only reason I didn't cry is because I was one of the photographers and needed to focus on getting good shots. It was a perfect example of the power people have and the experience reminded me that there is so much compassion in this world
  • I was tagged by Heather at Stretching My Wings and am so grateful. I have been meaning to do my part but haven't had the time to dedicate to it. I was going to make it a part of this post but just realized that there is quite a bit involved when being a recipient of blogging awards and I decided to write a completely separate post. . . soon.
  • My husband and I just bought a bunch of veggies at our favorite local farm and today was their last day open until Thanksgiving. I couldn't help to wonder what they do with all those leftover veggies and fruit. Does the family go home and cook up a huge feast? Do they give the food to a homeless shelter? Do they can or freeze all of that goodness? I kind of wish that I would've asked.
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and the ability to savor the feeling of being home.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

There's Sand in My Bra

I have friends coming into town in a few days & I really need to clean my house. I had things all planned out that today would be a huge cleaning day. However, I slept in until 12:45 (which very rarely happens) and then my husband and I spent an hour and a half at the Mission of the Nombre de Dios watching a hawk fly around and savoring the beauty of the mission grounds. I cooked lots of veggies for dinner: roasted beets, baked sweet potato fries, lemon carrots and sauteed peppers, onion & garlic. By the time we finished eating it was already 8:30. I had two choices: start cleaning or go to the beach.

I went to the beach. The full moon was like a spotlight on us while my husband, dog and I chilled on a blanket. The temperature is perfect outside and it is breezy. It is so breezy that I have sand everywhere. In my ears, on my arms and legs and, somehow, even in my bra. I love the beach. I love that all three of us feel so comfortable laying in the sand and know which way to turn so that the wind doesn't blow sand in our eyes. Sure, I have one less day of cleaning before my friend gets here but I allowed myself to embrace the moment and do what I really wanted. Though I may have to stay up late the next few nights to clean, our evening of beach therapy was well worth it.

Procrastinating with purpose,