A cottage in the woods

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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

I am going to make the gross assumption that everyone has thought, at least once, about what they would do if they won a big sum of cash.  I just had a dream the other night that I was handed a cheque for $500,000.00.  When I woke up, my brain rapidly began to compile a list of my desires and the list was (not surprisingly) simple.

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I want this house on a big piece of land that affords me privacy, sunsets and a vast array of nature.  I want the peepers to chirp me to sleep at night and I want the caress of the morning sun to touch my cheek while I rouse.  I want to sit on that top deck and enjoy my morning coffee while I watch the dogs chasing squirrels.  I want to glance to my right and see the roof of my garage which also houses the space I can use to dabble in wood-work.

This house has always been the house I want to build.  It is small, charming and has a big kitchen so I can cook and bake to my heart’s content.   A picture of this house is pinned to a board on my refrigerator.  Each time I look at it, I send that wish into the universe hoping that some day my wish will be turned into a reality.

Many times I have closed my eyes and pictured myself sitting in my eclectic, but not expensive, living room.  The candles on the dining room table are lit, soft music plays in the background and the smell of roasting lamb permeates every room in the house.  The wine is a perfect temperature and every now and then I urgently run upstairs to my writing room to document my latest burst of creativity.

My happiness is not waiting for me in distant geographical locations.  My happiness does not consist of collections of things.  My happiness lies within those four walls and the grass and trees that will surround it.  I want to love everything about my life, I want to live deliberately and I want to do it in this house.

What would be your wish if you were able to afford anything you wanted?

 

And the Heavens opened when I realized it had pockets

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I have mentioned before that I am not the most delicate of females.  I have always been, and most likely always will be, a tomboy.  It is me in the truest form of myself and how I feel most comfortable.  I am capable of donning a dress and feeling pretty but yesterday upped that ante by about 90 percent.

I went dress shopping for the dress that I will wear to walk down the aisle as maid of honor for my best friends’ wedding in September.  I began to sweat as soon as I walked through the door of the shop.  For those of you who have not experienced a bridal shop, it is a sea of chiffon, satin and lace and had I not controlled my breathing to calm myself I may have broken out in hives.

It is a daunting task to find a place to begin, especially when my fashion sense is based on jeans, hoodies and a baseball cap.  The first dress I picked was lovely.  I locked myself in the change room and, as soon as I tried the dress on, the metamorphosis had begun.

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The dresses kept coming but I kept looking back at that first dress.  All the other dresses paled in comparison and made me more self-conscious about wearing a dress than I already was.  I put the first dress back on again and I thought, for perhaps the first time, this dress could reflect my true personality without the baseball cap, the jeans and the hoodie.  This dress brought out a part of me that I have ignored.  For the first time in a long time, looking in a mirror, I felt beautiful.

Maybe it took finding the right dress to recognize that long-lost piece of myself.  Perhaps this was the a-ha moment Oprah always talks about.  And just perhaps a certain friend of mine may have been right when he said, “just find a little black dress, put it on and get over it”.

It’s not black and it has pockets but, I get it now.  Maybe there is that one dress that can be the sum of all of  your parts while making you feel better than you thought possible.  I think I found mine today.

 

 

 

Life is about the simple things

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“If I am what I have and if I lose what I have, who then am I?” ~ Erich Fromm

I recently sold my gazebo.  It was a beautiful structure but grossly underutilized.  Now when I look out across my lawn I see nothing but nature.  Apart from what looks like a crop circle where the gazebo once stood, it is simple, it is unencumbered and it now more honestly represents the way I live my life.

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I am not the sum of my belongings.  I appreciate the eclectic and not the expensive.  I am more comfortable in second-hand jeans and a sweatshirt than I am in a designer dress.  I do not own a coordinating set of anything.  My furniture blends but it doesn’t match and the colors inside of my house reflect the colors outside of my house.  Greens and browns soothe me and that will never change.  It is how I grew up, it is how I live and it is how I thrive.

Life, for me, is about the simple things.  I am not inundated by belongings, I am not overwhelmed by clutter and I am not constricted by a collection of things that are meant to impress anyone other than myself.

I tend to be a homebody and spend more time with my dog after work than I do in public places.  I like to think I am not anti-social but merely selectively social.

Finding happiness in the simple things brings me a sense of peace.  I am not constantly striving to keep up with any trends other than my own.  I am not seeking a status that I never initially wanted and I live by my own rules.

Happiness has a unique definition to each person who has the luxury of finding that elusive feeling.  Mine is a simple definition, explained with simple words and carried out in the most uncomplicated way.  I live honestly, I live sincerely and I live knowing that I will never be defined by what I have, but rather by who I am.

 

 

Much ado about the opposite of nothing

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reading

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I have been suspiciously absent from reading other blogs or anything else in the category of the written word because I have been alarmingly removed from anything resembling spare time.   I am on day 8 of a 10-day work stretch and logged in 25 hours of overtime this week.  (too bad I’m on salary!!)

I miss the carefree hours of being able to have enough brain capacity to read on a recurring basis.   This phenomenon happens frequently this time of year and I feel like I am missing an appendage when I cannot feed the creative appetite that yearns, incessantly, to be fed by words.

My attention span is non-existent.  My ability to concentrate is tenuous.   My capacity to hold a thought is…………………waning.

Next week is a quiet week at work, probably the last extensive time period that I will  have to fill my desire to absorb words as quickly as I am able before the onset of summer.   The list of books has been established.  The sequential collection of email notifications has been queued, the wine has been stored at the proper temperature and the spot on the couch has been reserved.

I hope to see you on the blog (and book) side.

 

 

 

 

I really did have a senior’s moment

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I was working on an itinerary for an upcoming bus tour this fall and flashed back to a bus tour we had last fall.

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Was I guilty of ageism?  Perhaps.  But when the senior’s euchre tournament bus tour arrived at the lodge on that fateful Sunday, I was genuinely dreading the three days that would follow.  I made an egregious error in judgement.

Admittedly, the tour had not begun well for the 42 participants but the fault was not ours.  A slight hiccup in their agenda had caused them to arrive an hour and a half early and we were thoroughly unprepared for the sudden onset of walkers, luggage and upset elders.  We did our best to scramble and be as accommodating as possible.   I made a witty speech welcoming them on behalf of the owners and staff and my words were met with sullen stares and moderate contempt.  It was a bumpy start.

Once we regained control, our momentum increased and we began to get everyone settled into their rooms. I had entered first and once Betty and Rose reached those three stairs Betty took the lead.  Once she was at the top, Rose began to follow.  Betty reached for the door frame and found nothing but a handful of air.  As I turned to look behind me, Betty, doing her best impression of a tree being felled in the forest, fell straight backwards and took Rose out, using her as a cushion for the fall.  The two ladies I had escorted to their room had just fallen and couldn’t get up.   Thankfully we got them into an upright and relatively stable position and, after many unqualified examinations, we deemed they were medically stable.

The group’s first dinner was an interesting event.  Still unsure of their surroundings, many uttered complaints that hung in the air like angry cartoon balloons.  There were threats of husbands being called to retrieve them the following morning and the night was punctuated by another woman being hit in the head by a heartily kicked-open kitchen door.  In the span of six hours, we had potentially concussed three women.

But then something changed.  Over the course of the following 60 hours, attitude and understanding rapidly evolved on both sides.  We understood the nature of their initial frustration and they understood the nature of our good will and hospitality.  By the end of their three night stay, I was calling them all by their first name and I was truly sad to see them climb the stairs to get back on the bus.  There were many hugs and talks of seeing them again next year.  I will admit that I was close to tears saying goodbye to these lovely souls.

Perhaps it was the sideways glances I got from Rose that reminded me so much of my mom.  Maybe it was that bond of parenthood I have been missing since my mom and dad passed.  Whatever the reason, I will be ready and willing to welcome that next bus tour with open arms and use this enlightening experience as a lesson for the future.

You breathe in while I exhale

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You breathe in while I exhale.

Every molecule of our existence

is suspended in a moment of time.

Energy,  moving in an undulating wave,

 is passing between us. 

Intensity burns.

Your breath invades every part of my being.

The air is charged with electricity

and my breath is caught for a moment.

Your eyes reflect mine,

and you see the piece of the puzzle

that has been missing.

you breathein

Our eyes close,

but we see each other more clearly

than we ever have before.

Your touch only confirms what I believe.

Our love existed before we met,

in a time long ago, destined to happen again.

We knew we would meet once more,

we didn’t know when,

but our souls will meet over and over.

You breathe in while I exhale,

because this breath will always belong to us.

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Maybe I should have paid more attention in my high school Physics class

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It never ceases to amaze me.  The amount of hours one works in the real world is directly proportionate to the eradication of the creative mind in the artistic world, especially following a long weekend of working in the hospitality business.

I remember my Physics teacher in Grade 11 throwing around words like ‘inertia’ and ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ but I don’t remember studying the direct correlation of physical exhaustion and prolific brain death.  Sure, the basic functions in my body still happen – I breathe in and out, I walk and talk, but the rest of me seems to be on autopilot – like that object in motion that tends to stay in motion.

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I want to be that object at rest.   I want to remain at rest (for at least 24 hours).  I want to have my brain back – the brain that wakes me up at night, swirling words around in circles until I can grab them all from those cartoon word clouds above my head.  I want the ability to form those words into whimsical, thoughtful or romantic lines and be able to feel that creative flow coursing through my veins.

I wonder what Newton’s theory would be on my chances of winning the lottery and being able to spend my precious moments writing a best-seller?  Time + creativity = true bliss.  Until that moment, I shall struggle through the hours required at my job and hope my brain can keep up the frantic pace.