Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Timeout

There are many things at work here on a global front like we’ve not seen. One might consider COVID-19 to be a world at war with a giant learning curve for everyone. We are all scrambling to figure out how to handle, well, everything. With all the media chiming in on what’s going on, I’d venture to say this is only the tip of the iceberg and that there’s more going on here than anyone knows at this time. With health concerns, potential food and drug shortages, and plummeting financial global markets it can be difficult to understand your place in all of this. Following the CDC’s guidelines while trying to put food on the table and locate toilet paper can seem daunting when the community around you seems to be shutting down. What I can tell you is that we should not panic. We need to think clearly, and we can’t do that when we are in fear mode.

While many of us are following 2-week social distancing guidelines or sheltering in place restrictions, I think this forced timeout is a good time to care for yourself. Healthy individuals are able to fight this virus. So, limit the toxic news, eat healthy and boost antioxidants in your diet, drink plenty of water, get out and get some fresh air if you can, and consider the possibilities (my word for the year). Rather than binging on movies and television, what can you do during this time to be productive?

Hopefully, this period we are living in right now will help us all be more aware of the responsibilities we have to each other.

Stay safe and take care,
Michelle

Timeout photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann and Pixabay

Monday, January 20, 2020

One Hellish Bitch of a Stinker

We’re well into January and it’s about time I get back to writing my posts with more regularity. In my last post I mentioned our move from the Pacific Northwest to Arizona, and now I can honestly say we’re feeling more at home in the last two months. While the building craziness has settled down for us, there continues to be a bit of chaos as we approach the end of a backyard project – from sand to hardscape. Some days have been a bit trying through the whole move and build process, but I have glimpses of a more settled existence. I had to laugh when I checked the word trying in the Apple computer thesaurus...
Trying: stressful, difficult, taxing, demanding, tough, hard, heavy; pressured, testing, frustrating, fraught traumatic, arduous, grueling; tiring, fatiguing, exhausting, wearing; informal hellish, a bitch of a, a stinker.
All of the thesaurus words describe what I felt at one time or another over the last 7 months, but I particularly like the informal - hellish bitch of a stinker. I removed the commas and that about summoned up the entire experience.

As for me, I’m always glad to put a wrap on one year and begin a new year. I love the feeling of closure even if I’ve had an amazing year, and an amazing mixed bag of a year it was. I experienced the northern lights in a bucket list worthy way on the water along the coast of Norway. I took on a move of 1,500 miles to a completely different state and climate. With the build of a house I made more decisions than a person should have to make in a short period of time. I met new people, rekindled old relationships, made new friends, and lost my mother along with a few other people who had touched my life at one time or another. And you know what? I’m still here focusing on what's positive because with all the ups and downs this was a huge growth year for me.

And now, a new year is guiding me to the possibilities, prospects, and opportunities ahead. These positive words are speaking to me these days and I feel I now have space in my life to welcome them rather than setting them aside for another time. The time is now. Welcome to my year of new possibilities. What will they be? What will your possibilities, prospects, and opportunities be? Don’t set them aside for another time! Join me as we begin a new decade and leave the hellish bitch of a stinker behind!

Be well, Michelle
Possibilities photo courtesy of Damian Godal

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Home Sweet Home

While we just hinted about the following little tidbit on our travel website, I’m officially announcing it here. After 3 years of living houseless and traveling, we’ve decided we need to establish a home base close to where we seem to spend the most time. And just where is that? Well, we’ve spent 3 or 4 months in various locations in the Southwest United States each of our 3 years of living houseless. Seems like this should be a fanfare moment, pause here...we will be establishing a new home base in the fine state of Arizona! Yes, after living in the Pacific Northwest all of our lives, we will set up home in an entirely different climate, scrape the moss of our backs, and become desert rats!

Having considered the Puget Sound region our home base, a home it was not. Basically, it was where our storage unit and doctors were located along with friends and family. We were always busy going to doctors and annual this-n-thats while preparing for the next leg of our journey which left little time to see friends and family. Now, our home base will be an actual home sweet home that we can enjoy living in for months at a time. So, what does all this mean? We will no longer be houseless, but we haven’t given up our traveling ways. Having a real home base should allow more friends and family time when we do visit the Pacific Northwest.

It really has been a crazy, busy time returning from our Scandinavian adventures in April and preparing to move half of our storage unit for the trip south. Once we arrived in Arizona, it was non-stop getting settled and dealing with the ups and downs of wrapping up a build on a new home. And now, we’re preparing to move the other half of our storage unit south.

Anyone following It Is What It Is knows that routine and balance keep me sane and is very important to me not matter what’s going on in my life. I know balance is what keeps me healthy and happy. So, while I haven’t quite found routine and balance for long periods of time in the last 3 to 4 years, I am making strides in that direction each day. And, like so many of us, sometimes simply striving for balance minute to minute becomes the goal. What I do know is having a place to truly be my home sweet home will always guide me back to the balance I need. How about you, what keeps you in balance, keeps you healthy, and to some extent happy? Maybe it’s time to pay more attention to that which keeps you feeling your best.

Michelle

I apologize for the delay in posting but in order for me to do what I’ve been doing the last 4 months, I basically needed to listen to my thoughts, pay attention to what I was hearing, drop everything else by letting it be (my word theme for 2019), and focus on just what needed to be done. I know I’m not at my best when trying to do everything. Just know that I missed sharing my thoughts with you, and that helped me make some decisions going forward with this blog. More on that later!

Arizona desert photo courtesy of damclark photos

Friday, April 26, 2019

Touching Spring

I’m delighting in everything spring as my husband and I put a wrap on six weeks of travel in Scandinavia. While we arrived in Oslo, Norway during one of the last snows of winter, we departed Copenhagen, Denmark warmed by the sun-filled days of spring. As I admired the flowering bulbs blooming in Copenhagen, I felt a smile creep up on my face and happiness fill me with unexpected joy. I found I wanted to reach out and touch a petal just to feel the incredible energy of the emergence of spring.

Follow me into more spring days ahead as we move into the month of May. Leave the dark, cold days of winter behind and embrace a brighter, warmer spring. Enjoy whatever this season holds whether it's different activities, food, clothing, d├ęcor, or moments in nature. You might find that you have a fresh approach to everything if you stop to see what’s changing around you, listen to the birds singing their songs, taste the wonderful berries, veggies, and fresh fruit of early sun-filled days, smell the sweetness in the air, and touch the energy of these warmer days.

Welcome the infinite possibilities of spring!

 Michelle

Spring Colorful Clipart courtesy of PublicDomainePictures

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Going Left


When nothing goes right, go left
Unknown

For months now, my husband and I have been all set to fly to Oslo, Norway with plenty of time allowed for connecting flights in order to slow the pace of a long travel day. We had even gone to the airport to stay at a nearby hotel the night before - again, to slow the pace. While we’ve done our share of flying over the years, we’ve had very few issues - until, that is, a major weather system (as in massive blizzard) moved into the mid-west which included Denver, Colorado (where our flight from Seattle, Washington was scheduled to go). In what was being called a winter cyclone bomb, all flights going into and out of Denver were canceled on our arrival day as well as the following morning. But, our connecting flight to London, England in the afternoon was still on schedule. Going left anyone?

Not knowing what Mother Nature had up her sleeve, instead of flying to Denver, we spent the day Googling our little hearts out for connections to get us into Oslo. We settled on flying out the next day to Salt Lake City, Utah with a 2-hour layover then fly into Oakland, California where we had a 4-hour layover. This all went well. We boarded the plane in Oakland, which was already running late. As the plane pulled away from the gate, a passenger had a medical emergency which added an additional hour delay. What to do? Go left, be patient, and hope the passenger is okay. We’re happy to report she was.

When the flight arrived in Paris, we had just missed our connection to Oslo. We were moved to the next flight 8-hours later. There was a bit of time taken to explain this to the twenty some passengers flying to Oslo, and then we were off to find our luggage. We’ve flown in and out of the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris a few times previously and it's not our favorite airport by any means. There’s not a lot of places to just hang out until we could check in 2-hours before the flight, drop our bags, and go through security. Okay, big left here as we were exhausted by this time. With patience we focused on how we could turn this bit of information around. So, we stopped in at one of the hotels at the airport and got a room for a few hours. This allowed us to take a short nap and freshen up a bit.

Bleary eyed, we made our way onto the flight and landed in Oslo 34 hours after we left for Salt Lake City. It was nearly 11 pm in Oslo (about 11 hours later than our original plans and much too late to make our way to our lodgings), so going left once again we thought we would grab a bed at an airport hotel. But a dear friend of ours who lives nearby insisted on picking us up and delivered us into her cozy home to sleep for the night. Other than the naps we grabbed when we could, by the time we hit the sheets we had been up for nearly 38 hours!

The following day, we were driven to our lovely Airbnb home a day later than originally planned, but very glad to finally be there safe and somewhat sound. How did we manage all this? By going left! And going left generally requires patience with a capital P. Something we always make sure we pack first and foremost! Being patient allowed us to make good decisions and focus on what was going right – being able to make last minute flight changes, the fact there wasn’t something more serious going on with the medical emergency, quiet private airport lounges away from the crowds, the kindness of strangers at airport and hotel restaurants so I could continue to refrigerate my medication at the proper temperature range, flying into Paris and having fantastic pistolette sandwiches along with giant macarons, and friends who love us even late at night! So maybe, just maybe, going left was what was meant all along, and it all comes around in the end...

Michelle

3D arrow courtesy of FreepiK
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