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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Whispering Words of Wisdom

...Whisper words of wisdom, let it be...
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

For anyone following this website over the years, you know I choose a word or phrase to become my theme, my keyword, or what could be considered my tag for the year. This annual theme is a powerful, positive connection that drives me to be the best I can be, and learn something about the power of that word in my life.

Last year’s word, listen, had a major impact for me throughout the year. It was as if I could hear it repeated in my head again and again - as if someone was whispering in my ear. What did this word do for me when I heard it whispering? If I was talking, I stopped mid-sentence to listen to what it was I was saying or to more clearly absorb the essence of the conversation around me. It may have been perplexing to others when I stopped mid-sentence, but I quite liked this more-quiet self. All the listening I did throughout the year guided me to hearing more deeply what was being said or what I was thinking. This listening helped me understand the circumstances of whatever was going on around me in a more meaningful way. I actually became quite fond of this powerful word. As I approached the end of the 2018 and thought about what the next year’s word may be, I found myself wanting to hold on to listen in order to discover more from it.

My word or theme, as mentioned previously for 2019, is centered around letting it BE. And I cannot BE if I’m not listening. Aha! I have continued to discover more from listening. If I hadn’t been listening so much last year, I may have had trouble letting it BE. Although, when I really think about it, I doubt letting it be would have surfaced had I not been listening to the whispering words of wisdom.

If you are having trouble with those resolutions you started, maybe it's time to listen, really listen to what words are whispering to you.

Michelle

Listen carefully photo courtesy of Justin Lynham


Monday, January 28, 2019

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered


Recently, I’ve had conversations with loved ones about proper living and end of life legal documents. While I outlined these documents in the 2014 post, Get Your House In Order, I will repeat some of the information here with a bit more explanation due to a recent crisis in my family.

In the last few months, I’ve found there are 2 startling facts:
  • One being the confusion over what the documents are called. When having conversations with loved ones make sure you are talking about the same documents. As a whole, these documents should not be referred to as the will unless you are only talking about the last will and testament.
  • The second thing is that when documents are considered finalized, often the Durable Power of Attorney is not signed and notarized or given to all appropriate parties involved.
Here's the scoop...
Durable Power of Attorney - written authorization for someone to act on your behalf until you die, with regards to personal finances while you are living. I’ll spell this out for you – something can happen to you at any time by accident or sudden illness. Life happens and simply having a document such as this in your file without having it signed in the presence of someone who can officially notarize a document will do you no good. People think it’s there until they need it, then they’ll sign and notarize it. But what if you are unable to sign it because you are incapacitated? This document should be signed and notarized, a copy in your files, and a copy in the files of the designated person who will be your durable. If you have a spouse, one would normally name the spouse and an additional person. If this document is not finalized or has not been given to the designated person, it’s not going to be able to take care of what it was intended to. That could be a real problem for you and anyone else involved.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions - written authorization for someone to act on your behalf, with regards to health care or life-sustaining treatments while you are living and can no longer speak for yourself. Your health care representative should have a copy of this document.

Health Care Directive to Physicians and Family - allows a patient to give instructions about medical treatment; as well as refuse life-sustaining treatment in the event of terminal illness or injury or becoming permanently unconscious. This document helps your health care representative and your doctor insure you wishes are being adhered to. Your health care representative should have a copy of this document.

The above documents are often referred to as your living will because these documents appoint proper representation and guidelines while you are living. After you are deceased is the only time your last will and testament come into the picture.

Last Will and Testament: Written authorization naming someone as personal representative (executor) to manage and distribute your money and property after you are deceased. If you don’t have this, the government will make those decisions for you. I’m guessing many family members would rather not have the information in this document read by anyone before they die - and nobody needs to. A review of documents as I’ve mentioned can be done without reading through the Last Will and Testament.

Community Property Agreement: Allows your spouse to inherit your money and property without having to go through probate. Probate takes time and can be costly.


You can easily find information on the aforementioned documents for the state or country you reside in on the internet or your local library. But a qualified legal advisor can easily walk you through the process. Don’t assume everything has been taken care of. Review your documents and see that all are in order - signed, sealed, and delivered! Don't keep putting it off. Make it a priority now. Hopefully this helps you sidestep any undue family drama. Anytime these documents need to be put into effect, you have enough to deal with. Having been involved in my own family drama regarding this very thing recently, I felt I needed to shout this from the rooftops! So, this is me SHOUTING!

Michelle
Megaphones graphic courtesy of Freepik.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Letting It Be

...There will be an answer, let it be...
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Are you living a life that doesn’t quite feel like yours? Perhaps at one time you thought it was, but maybe you’ve outgrown it like an old coat that doesn’t fit anymore. If that's the case, let this year be the year of change for you. Personally, I enjoy choosing a word theme for each year - it’s a word that refines me and guides me to be the best I can be. Last year my word was listen. I even found a sense of comfort in listening that guided me through some difficult days with family issues. All the listening I did last year has pointed me to the word BE. I’ll start my day with my intention to BE the best I can BE. And I’ll end the day with thoughts of how I was BEing throughout the day. What does that mean exactly? 

Technically speaking being is state of existing, but it will mean so much more than simply existing to me. I’ll put emphasis on engaging this intention at any given time - whether what I am doing, thinking, or saying is appropriate to my growth as a human BEing. Should I BE more? Should I let it BE? I want to raise my energy by setting no limits to my BEing, but at the same time, I will be more vigilant in setting limits, organizing myself, and getting rid of what is unnecessary. If it’s negative, then out the window it goes, so to speak! And, with all this to BE and not to BE stuff buzzing around my head this year, I’m going to use the Beatles song Let It Be as a trigger to pop me into engaging my intention.

It’s time to get rid of that old coat of a life you are living and find one that fits who you are now. What word speaks to you? What word theme will be the answer for you in 2019? What song will BE your guide to BEing who you are meant to BE? Notice how I worked my word in there! Ha! Forget resolutions and BE your word. See, there, I did it again. Obviously, I’m intending to BE, how about you?

Michelle

2019 photo unable to determine credit
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