Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Going With the Flow

I had a full day scheduled this past Saturday. I was heading out to do errands prior to an Italian language class I was taking, with more errands on the way home. From the moment I left, I felt I was being alerted to be more careful as most other drivers seemed to be absolutely crazy. At three different stop sign intersections, nobody bothered to stop but me. As I came up to various parking lots, cars seemed to pull out without stopping, or stopped suddenly last minute before entering my lane. I picked up on the signs right away. I knew it was one of those days the universe must be trying to tell me something. When that happens, I’m on alert. I take my time and slow down; but mostly I pay attention, and go with the flow of whatever is going on.

In all my driving years, I have never had a flat tire, but as I walked up to my vehicle after the first of my errands, the gal parked next to me says, “Hey, you’ve got a flat tire!” I replied, “Looks like you can’t get any flatter than that; and hey, thanks!” You would think this happens all of the time, as I didn’t really react other than taking care of the priority at hand. The first thing I did was pull out my cell phone and call AAA, the good ‘ol American Automobile Association. Then, using my phone once again, I searched for the closest Les Schwab tire dealership which happened to be only 5 minutes away! There is something to be said for technology in hand. In 20 minutes someone arrived to put my emergency tire on, and in another 20 minutes, I was heading to Les Schwab to have the rather large nail embedded tire repaired. Oddly enough, they seemed to be waiting for me. Again, 20 minutes later, I was on the road.

While I knew I would not make the language class, it was okay. I reorganized my priorities and did not let this ruin my day even though I had planned this day around the class in the first place. As a matter of fact, I felt like I was in a protective bubble the entire time I was away from home. As I drove, I seemed to have more space around me. When I wanted to pull out into traffic, the traffic was non-existent at that particular moment. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Thank you!” – to the universe.

All in all, I had a great day. While it didn’t exactly go as planned, hey, okay with me. Going with the flow at any given time keeps me centered. I could have reacted entirely different; but, hey, that’s not me.
Going with the flow pic courtesy of Taro Taylor

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Unwinding Into Summer

As we look ahead, next week marks the official start to summer. When summer rolls around, everywhere I go there seems to be a chaotic intensity. School is out, the roads are full of people going hither, thither, and yon, the grocery stores full of, well full of everyone, and everyone is in a hurry. Time to unwind into summer.

Warmer weather works us into a frothing frenzy of going here, going there, doing this, and doing that. Summer is the peak of busy. For me, I will continue to focus on simplicity. Remember my word for the year? It’s easy to let myself get tied up in knots trying to do everything I want to do or need to do. If I find myself momentarily tied up in knots, simplicity will allow me to relax, slow down, and unwind those knots. By unwinding the knots, I will allow myself to embrace summer, and unwind into it. By unwinding into summer, I am able to enjoy the simplicity of each moment. Whatever I am doing, I am doing it as if there is nothing else more important for it is the priority. Will you be one of those people I see going hither, thither, and yon? Or, will you be untying those knots and unwind with me into summer?

Knots photo courtesy of Gurmit Singh

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


“Gazing outward into the light.”
Ani Gurnee

So what’s all this bucket list business we hear about? You’re familiar with the idiom kicking the bucket, with regards to dying? A bucket list refers to the same bucket only prior to kicking it. Where does the list come in? Think of it as what you would like to experience someday before you die. It is not related whatsoever to your day-to-day list of things to do. In other words, you would not see scrubbing toilets or vacuuming on your bucket list – at least I hope not; but whatever rocks your bucket!

With that, have you reviewed your bucket list lately? I’ve never really thought of having a bucket list per se, but I do know there are things I would like to experience someday. As time passes, the things I thought I might have wanted to do or see have changed, but what hasn’t changed are the following:
  • Aurora borealis or northern lights – I would like the trip itself to be an event, just in case the lights don’t quite dance across the sky in a major way when I am in the vicinity. With that, the trip will someday be along the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes - twelve days and thirty-four ports of call on a Hurtigruten freight/passenger ship. They have been traveling these waters since 1893, so if anyone knows how to hunt the light, they do.
  • International hot air balloon fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico – Someday I'll see the balloon glow take flight in the early morning hours and punctuate the darkness of the night sky. With over 500 balloons taking to the sky, it is the world’s largest ballooning event and has been held the first week of October for over 40 years.
  • International fireworks competition, Vancouver, BC – It’s been held the last week of July for 25 years and is the longest running offshore fireworks competition. Because it is a competition from 3 different countries each year, someday it will prove to be a breathtaking site with each country competing to be the best party in the sky.
My someday arrived last July when I checked-off the first of my bucket list items by observing fireflies, lightening bugs, in North Carolina. It was on the way home from seeing those fairies of the night that I contemplated the other things I have longed talked about doing someday; and like a flash, I discovered they all had something to do with light. Without realizing it, I had longed to infuse my life with more light! Ever since then, whenever I consider my bucket, I feel a warm glow come over me. I don’t know why I hadn’t made that connection previously, but I’m glad I finally connected the lights. I see the light now and my bucket is full of it – light, that is. What’s in your bucket? Shouldn't you start making someday today and rock your bucket?
Northern lights Tromso photo courtesy of Gunnar Hildonen

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Have a Song Filled Day

Please note: excerpts of the following post come from an email I sent to my sister. Pardon our style...

First off, you should know, my sister Becky is amazing - but doesn’t realize it.

Second off, (Is there such a thing as second off?) she is not only amazing, but has an amazing singing voice as well. At the drop of a proverbial hat, she can belt out a tune a cappella, as in without any music whatsoever. Singing a song with music can be difficult enough, but somehow she can pull it off without. For example, she brings people to tears when she sings the Our Father prayer or the national anthem. Like I said, she is amazing!

Third off, (It seems like I should keep things consistent.) she doesn’t always tell people when great things happen to her. For example, last summer my mom (little joke between sisters) told me Becky was asked to sing while at an employee barbecue. So she did, and rocked it, of course. Because, once again, she is amazing! But this event I had to ask my sis about.

Fourth off, (This is kind of fun.) when I did finally communicate with her in an email, I told her, “I think sharing with others about the good things that happen, no matter how small, is healing to your heart as well as theirs. It repeats the love all over again. As opposed to constantly talking about all that is negative. Hmm, this could be a good post!” 

Fifth off, (Yes, this whole off-thing is tongue-in-cheek.) Becky has had many challenges in her life and at times is her own worst enemy. That could be any one of us. She is striving to be her best self by moving away from the negative and the negative self-story. Thus, “Talking about the good things happening in your life is spreading the love, and in itself is a good thing.”

Sixth off, as I noted to my sister, “Share the song in your heart and have a song filled day. As a matter of fact, print that statement out and post it at home, the car, and at work. It will remind you of the song you have in your heart, and help you strive for it when things aren’t going quite so well.”  So, fill your heart with the good things, forget the bad; and even if you can’t hold a tune, celebrate what is.

 Love you sis,
Song filled day banner posted in my sister’s office and part of the Clark family archives.