Wednesday, December 10, 2014
A few days at the beach is always restorative. Especially for me. Bad timing with all that is going on, but necessary none the less. It is cool here though, about 10 degrees below normal. I hate that, but have walked on the beach just about every single day that the wind was not excessive. Any day you can feel sand in your toes that manages to get into your sheets can't possibly be a bad day. I have worked, because I can work from anywhere and I have reflected on the road that has brought me on a journey of more significant loss. And so it goes. And I have appreciated every wave, every shell, and the sound of the ocean.....after all, there is no greater sound, Other than that of the laughter of someone you love. I have much to be thankful for.....but let's face it.....holidays are tough. But yet, I have things to anticipate with joy: NYC and seeing A Magoo Christmas with musical direction by one of my favorite people John McDaniel....and the amazing surprise that we also have tickets to the after party! An evening of Stephen Schwartz music at Studio 54 Below. Getting together with friends. Giving gifts to people I love. But still just knowing and accepting that loss will mean times of tears and grieving. Significant loss is always hard but when it comes subsequent to the loss of Art, even harder to accept. Anxious to be back home, cleaning out my disaster of an art room and checking out the new floor in the guest room, continuing to purge so much stuff! But for the moment, there is sun to enjoy before returning to wintry weather!
Sunday, November 9, 2014
I really dislike this month intensely. I love to focus on gratitude but that has become hard work lately. This week will commemorate the 5th anniversary of Art's diagnosis with brain cancer. And.....this past week included a very significant change in my relationship with my best friend. I think the loss of my husband has made subsequent losses a little bit harder. Loss is never easy, but.....this recent loss is the result of the determination that I am not good enough. Well, that only means that I deserve something different. I am sure that God has other plans for me. But that hasn't stopped the flow of tears and the sincere wish that life had turned out differently. On the positive side, I am grateful for having had the time I did with my best friend and all the blessings that were the result of that friendship. Mostly I celebrate all the loving years I had with my husband. I know that God puts people in our lives for different reasons and different amounts of time. This has been alot of food for thought for my 30 Days of Thankfulness book. Gratitude is a very powerful concept. I am glad I have decided to be part of this group for the month of November! What a great group of women are part of this process! Expressing thoughts and feelings through photography, art and the written word are healing! Last year I sent a gratitude email every day to my best friend.....then compiled them into a small album. I think that changed me forever. I am glad I had the opportunity to do that, especially in light of the events of this November. This November I am grateful for my inner strength, my faith, my home and the friendships that sustain me. As the leaves drop, the cold weather has us snuggling into layers of sweaters and coats, and we begin preparations for the holiday season, let us cherish those we love, for however long we have them in our lives.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Greetings from Sevilla! This is the end of the 5th day of the Spain trip with St. Joe's University and Collette Tours. Even more important than the beauty and the history of this country is the beauty of the group I am blessed to travel with. There are no words adequate to express how amazing many of these people are and how very much I enjoy their company. They have been such gifts on this trip and the previous two, including me in their company. I am so excited about getting to know Spain. First few days were spent in Madrid, where the architecture is beyond compare, at least to the little I have seen in this big world. It is breathtaking and mesmerizing. I had the opportunity to visit the Prado during free time and see some exquisite paintings and sculpture. There is art everywhere we go it seems. The cathedrals all have paintings too. Many of the painting are religious. 94% of people in Spain are Catholic. They certainly do a better job at evangalization than we do in the states. It is difficult to wrap my brain around the talent of these artists. It surely makes me feel insignificant. Sunday was a holiday in Spain and the king was in Madrid. I wanted so badly to see him, but wishing did not make it so. Huge parade! We have also seen some of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. I am always in awe of them, but at the same time, they cannot hold a candle to the community one feels entering St. Joes University. That is home. I have taken many pictures and will add some here, once I am back home. They defy description. We have traveled to Toledo and tomorrow are on our way to Granada, then Valencia and finally Barcelona. Tonight we went to a Flamenco show. Dance......there is nothing quite like the joy of dance! I went in several shops to make dance related purchases and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing and learning my newly choreographed Paso when I get back to the dance studio. But for now, enjoyed the sangria and the dancing. And the food.....OMG. We have had amazing meals and tapas every day. Not to worry......we walk it off. I have already been checking out the recipe for Sopa de Ajo to make when I get home! Also bought spices to make paella. I keep remembering the Tim Holtz mantra #Remember the now!! That is so important. There is so much culture and history to soak up in a short time. It is always meaningful to take some time to enjoy the journey. Life can take us by surprise sometimes and we need to be present in every moment that God blesses us with life. At the end of every day, those full of joys and those full of challenges, I thank God for His gifts and blessings. I also take a minute every morning to look up and say to Art that I hope he will be proud of what I do with my day. I wish we would have had the chance to travel to Europe together, but I always feel his presence.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
So now it is 2014. The end of February almost. I didn't keep my promise to myself to blog more often. Darn. Sigh. I am also far behind my peers in my level of Candy Crush. Level 75 I think. I don't even know. I seem to be the master of wasting time because I don't know where these days go......
My consulting has expanded though. 7 states in the northeast instead of just upstate New York. That can keep one busy. Salting all the ice outside from this winter I hope to never be repeated. Twitter, facebook, email, guitar lessons, ballroom dance, traveling, reading.......and the list goes on. Is this the meaning of retirement? Yikes. I seem to be busy all the time though, so why do I feel lazy? Yet this is the slowed down version of me.
I am taking Ali Edwards class....31 Days. I love the way she has of using probing prompts to bring out our stories. Tell me more, she says. I stop from the every day tasks of purging and organizing to think and write my stories. Better than the minimal journaling required for Project Life. I need that inspiration for taking pictures too since Art was always my primary subject to photograph. He was the best......so full of life that always came across in pictures. Four years now. So much has changed during that four years. But the sadness remains and it is hard work to ensure that it doesn't become paralyzing.
Now I am off to make dinner before going to see Philomena......trying to soak in all of the contenders for Best Picture this year! Doing better than most years. I will do better this year with blogging. I know I will!