Dreams really do come true. Keep dreaming!
The last time I blogged, the trees were starting to bud and spring was still deciding if it was going to make an appearance this year or not. After the brutal winter we had, our hopes were dashed when spring finally did show up, weeks later than expected, bringing with it record-breaking days of cold and rain and fog.
Fast forward several months later, and now there’s a colorful crispness of fall in the air and those once budding leaves are now scattering like confetti and multiplying all over lawns everywhere, or at least in my little corner of the world.
My words have been scattered and multiplying too. They may not have found an official place in my blog, but they have been filling up pages in my journals and notebooks and overflowing on post-its and scribbled scraps of paper in my purse pockets, on my studio desk, and tucked in my nightstand drawer.
Have you ever felt like your life was so full, it couldn’t fit into your life? I sometimes feel that way. Sometimes I feel that way a lot.
I’ve had good intentions to spend a full day or a night or a weekend doing nothing but blogging. Only the days seemed to melt into weeks and then months. I thought I would post something in May or maybe June, or for sure in July. When that didn’t happen, I recommitted to posting something in August and then September. But when October arrived, I had to shake my head. And even though during those months, I’d written something every single day, my intentions, good though they were, were just not good enough.
There’s a reason that there’s a saying about good intentions paving the road to you know where. Intentions are easy. Everyone has them. It’s the actions that take work. I sometimes joke that if I took action on all my good intentions, I’d be written up in all the record books and newspapers and magazines for all the amazing and unbelievable and historically significant things I would accomplish and discover and experience.
Sadly though, it’s generally the much smaller intentions that sometimes wake me up in the middle of the night, the good intention regrets.
I’m constantly amazed with the whole concept of time. Regardless of who we are or where we live or how much money we have or don’t have, every single human being on this planet gets the same number of hours in every single day. Twenty four gifted, one of a kind, and often quite magical hours. Talk about an even playing field, huh? Now considering most of us sleep roughly a third of those 24 hours that leaves us with about 16 hours to do everything else we need and want to do.
Why is it then that it sometimes feels like some of those hours fly by so quickly we hardly can grasp them? While others crawl by at a snail’s pace, and even watching the clock doesn’t slow down or speed up the process. In fact, whatever our desired outcome, watching the clock tends to do the exact opposite. When we are having a fabulous time or celebrating a special moment or enjoying a vacation destination, often the time is gone before we know it. Or when we are waiting for those special moments to arrive, or for the phone to ring or a diagnosis to be delivered or a loved one to come home, time almost seems to stand perfectly still.
So during my months away, when I had a good intentions aplenty, I jotted down more than a few ideas to explain my absence and wrote (or at least started) quite a number of posts, and even considered the title, ‘What I did on my Summer Vacation,’ only I’ve been truant for so much longer than just the summer. The thing is, the longer I took or waited to post something, the more I felt like whatever I finally posted needed to be something epic, huge, or novel. Or at least something that would make my readers think, ‘Oh, I get it. NOW I understand what took so long.’ And that’s the same kind of thing that happens to me regardless if it’s an overdue card or a belated thank you or just words of comfort or hello.
So in a nutshell, what follows is nothing epic, huge, or novel. Instead, here are some random meanderings or snippets to help explain what I’ve been up to since we last hung out together.
In April, I spent two long weekends in Minneapolis and Brookfield, IL. * I attended a women’s conference with my daughter to see Beth Moore in Eden Prairie, MN and savored fish tacos at Se Salt near Minnehaha Falls. * At work, my company began months of downsizing and transformation and goodbyes.
In May – I was still warming my pajamas in the dryer and anxiously waiting for a spring. * I had random vandalism done to my home late one night when a brick was thrown at my dining room window. The police said I was their 3rd call that night. I waffled with the idea of moving. My daughter wanted me to put up a for sale sign the second she heard the news. She came home for Mother’s Day weekend to help me bring order to my basement and get ready for a garage sale. * When I wasn’t working long hours at my full-time job, I spent every spare minute outside of work sorting and sifting and purging and organizing and getting ready for my sale. * After 20+ years, my dishwasher decided to call it quits.
In June – I took vacation time to continue the multi-faceted garage sale process and held garage sales with friends over two different weekends. * It was a record-breaking cold and foggy June, too nippy to plant my outside vegetables or flowers. * I got new eyeglasses.
In July – I finally planted my outside flowers and garden. * I worked long hours and sometimes went into work when the sun had just come up and left when the sun was going down. * I brainstormed ways to work smarter and faster and still continued to put in long hours trying to keep my head above water. * I woke up routinely at 3 am with my brain wide awake milling over all my to-dos that needed to get done. * I met with a financial planner to discuss my future retirement options. * My journal overflowed with words like, overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed, and buried. * I got stung by a bee – twice. * My bike sat in my garage, with tires that needed air, just waiting for me to ride it. * I wrote encouraging words on my sidewalks in chalk. I needed them too.* I enjoyed a friend’s treat of seeing Phantom of the Opera in Milwaukee – spectacular! * I started seeing a wellness coach. * And I bookended July with fireworks on the 4th and then again at the end of the month at a lakefront festival.
In August – I went to my company picnic with friends and to the Wisconsin State Fair with family. * I continued my crazy work schedule, getting home late and feeling like my life was a bit of a blur. It was. * I spent a Friday afternoon with a friend exploring Milwaukee and the Public Market, where I ate my very first lobster roll. Love at first (and last) bite. * I experienced a sidewalk chalk festival in Whitefish Bay – amazing! * I went to see the Kandinsky Exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum and later that week attended a lion cub naming ceremony with friends. * I started making homemade granola. * I mourned the tragic passing of Robin Williams, and for weeks after I watched shows that celebrated his life and made me cry and mourn that he left too soon. Did he know how much he was the loved (I hope he did) and the difference he made in this world? I wonder.
In September – With air in the tires, I road my bike for the first time all summer…on the day before Labor Day. * I went to a lovely family wedding in Michigan. * I went to a baby shower for one of my daughter’s childhood friends, and still get choked up thinking about it. * I experienced my first ever tacos from a taco truck. Three times. I’m a fan. * I turned the heat on for the first time ever in September, and I even started waffling about heating my pajamas in the dryer. Stay tuned. * I got a 2:22 am doorbell greeting from the police. A young couple trying to avoid some mystery animal drove up on my yard and hit one of my birch trees. The police said no alcohol was involved, but regardless, my lawn was still a ripped up mess. Weeks later, the reseeded lawn started sprouting new grass. That for sale sign is starting to look pretty tempting. * My basement dehumidifier called it quits. * I experienced the Dane County Farmers’ Market for the first time. Amazing!
Throughout the summer and early fall, there were family and friend gatherings to celebrate birthdays and baby showers and bridal showers and graduations and weddings and anniversaries and barbecues and patio moments and overnight visits and some breathtaking super moons and some moments of laughter over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine…just not enough of them. And tucked into the many days and nights, I read some great books too, mostly before bed. Here’s my reading list:
One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus (I loved the perspective and the story.)
Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist (I enjoyed her humor and writing style, along with some of her recipes too.)
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Fascinating read. I love this guy.)
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (I so love how everyone has a story, including the Olives of the world.)
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (An amazing and difficult story to read at times. I read this for my book club and we had a lively and multi-faceted discussion.)
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos (A sweet story and a fun read.)
Thunderstruck by Erik Larson (The amount of research he does before writing is mindboggling. How he takes that research and weaves a story is jaw dropping.)
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (I can’t get enough of this guy.)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (I loved this beautiful and heart wrenching story of a very shameful time in history.)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (I enjoyed this book and the movie too.)
Defending Jacob by William Landay (Another book club book which led to great discussions and what if’s.)
I am Having so Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum (My daughter’s book club read this book, so I read it too.)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (I finally read and thoroughly enjoyed it.)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (I LOVED this story! Just like when I was reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog, I kept tearing off pieces of my bookmark to mark the pages for later jotting down. Run, don’t walk to the bookstore or library to get this book!)
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker (I enjoyed reading the reviews at the front of the book almost as much as I did this international bestseller.)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquiz (This book was about almost everything BUT solitude, and amidst the confusing repeated names and some disturbing images, there were definitely word gems to be found.)
And the book I plan to start reading tonight is, Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (A recommendation by two of my nieces.)
Well, that just about sums up my spring, and summer, and these first days of fall. So how about you? What have you been up to these past few months? Read any good books? I’ve missed connecting with all of you and I hope we can connect again soon. Until then, here’s to more days of action and less of just good intentions. Cheers!