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Week 4: Wanderlust (in my own city this week)

Well, this is week four of my summer of wanderlust. This weekend was also in my own city before I start another whirlwind of travel. And it was so nice. This weekend was all me. I had the condo to myself and I had the schedule to myself. I read a great fun book that took me to a beautiful beach in Georgia (in my head). And I watched beachfront bargain hunt on HGTV for hours daydreaming about my beach house one day. I sat on a roof deck with friends and closed my eyes as the summer night breeze hit my face, had a great meal and conversation with a dear friend for lunch Saturday, got a facial, got a mani/pedi, and that was all before Sunday. It all felt so luxurious and peaceful to manage my time however I saw fit this weekend. It was a real treat!!  I committed to no plans (outside of Sunday tennis) and just went with how I felt each hour.

Sunday is always my favorite refueling day of the week though. And today did not disappoint. I started by going for a very quiet peaceful walk this morning. It was early, the city was sleepy, there was no humidity and in the 70s (very rare for DC late July) and it was my time to just calm my mind and breathe. Then I made a nice breakfast and headed to the citiopen tennis tournament. A great professional tennis tournament in DC that is always so much fun. Met some friends there and watched some great tennis.

It is now 3pm and I’m taking time to journal and read before I bake a fun summer dessert- three berry cobbler. Then restorative yoga, a big Sunday meal and a good netflix show.

For me, sometimes, wanderlust is just being able to day dream, soak in something new or different, and taking in the summer sunshine. Wanderlust to me is escaping to a different place and soaking in something new and different.  Sometimes, it is just not having a plan and exploring your own city on your own schedule. Sometimes it is drinking a cold beer while you sit outside in the sun or sitting in the shade taking a catnap….all while daydreaming and enjoying the moment.

What are you doing this weekend to soak in summer? With every season, there is a new chapter or mood to our life. What is your chapter/mood of the summer?

Your own city: Sunday Wanderlust

As part of my wanderlust summer, I decided to have a tourist day with my favorite main squeeze and try out a few places I haven’t been to in awhile within our very own city. When I was single, I spent a lot more time wandering museums and enjoying art- whether in Charleston, Boston, or DC. And today, I got to do that again.

We spent our afternoon exploring the Hirshhorn Museum, walking the DC mall, and walking through the national archives.

After our DC Sunday, we snacked on a meat and cheese plate we made, sipped rose, and I went to my favorite yoga class.  Interestingly enough, within my yoga class, I was able to reach a very zen mediation that gave me the same calm as the ocean (which is absolutely the best place for my soul). I think a glass of rose and the peace of looking at fantastic art helped!

And as I wind down and prepare for the next week, I am reminded on how important it is to enjoy your city. Even yesterday, we enjoyed a musician on the street for 15 plus minutes, spoke to him about his passion, and learned he has quite a following (following him now on instagram). We went to a local restaurant and hung out with neighbors last night. Just a good weekend to reconnect within our own city. And still fulfill that wanderlust feeling. I realize more and more how important it is to take time to appreciate the great things within your own town. Sometimes they can refuel you as much as a day in a new place.

What is fun within your own town that you haven’t take advantage of in awhile?

*pictures from Hirshhorn (great exhibit by Ai Weiwei– the lego portraits)

 

Everything is temporary

I was reading a very good article tonight about 5 lessons of life. Most of which you don’t figure out until you are older yet seem very obvious. A dear family friend sent it to me. And while all definitely are true and resonated, one stuck out to me this evening.  It is the notion that everything is temporary. And it is so true.

Everything is temporary. As I wind down from two weeks in Croatia…which was absolutely breathtaking….I really come to appreciate this lesson of temporary. I had a few temporary moments. That beautiful sunset, swim in the Adriatic Sea, and the sun hitting my face as I ride on a boat in Montenegro….those were all moments in time. And I feel so very lucky for those moments. It also reinforces staying present! I will never get to experience those exact moments again.

On the opposite spectrum, this notion gives me comfort in some ways that everything is temporary. Any pain, hurt, or loss you feel in life is also only temporary. Life keeps moving. And strong emotions you feel that are negative (as well as positive) are temporary.

Everything has an expiration date. So it reminds me to take it all in stride. Jobs are temporary.  Your current age. Your current income level. Your current stressors. Your wardrobe (thank goodness when you look back on some of your choices). Partners are temporary….some last a lot longer than others. The joys and laughter in a current moment. Your time with your family. I could keep going on and on.

The point being, enjoy it while you have it. Enjoy and embrace the good times. And breathe and keep moving during the bad times…..As this to shall pass.

So as I get ready to go back to work tomorrow, I am thankful for being able to keep extending my temporary time on life to see so much. And I hope my journey takes me to some more beautiful places and I experience many more highs and lows. Why lows? The lows are what build the character and make you appreciate the good times.  It means I am feeling and experiencing this journey we are on. And the lows are also moments created by taking a chance on love or taking a risk in life.

I hope I keep breathing, put one foot in front of the other, always travel, and keep my head up so I can see all the life/world around me. I hope you do as well.

Here are a few pictures from my trip. Enjoy…..IMG_0314

 

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”- anonymous

As we head into July, my goal is to really focus on travel and adventures the rest of the summer to refuel. Sometimes with a partner, or a sister, or a friend….and sometimes by myself. The next two months, my goal is to devote to new adventures.

“Travel sparks our imagination, feeds our curiousity, and reminds us how much we all have in common.”– Deborah Lloyd

I’ll post pictures along the way to share my travel tips and adventures. More to come. Get out and travel this summer. And share your adventures too. Refuel your soul through adventures and experiences.

travel quote

Summer Slowdown

 

Lazy Summer days….. (Picture courtesy of my iphone while on the cape a few years ago)dscn1111

What are you doing to enjoy your summer? A reminder (for me more than anything!) to slow down and enjoy the summer. I realized today that June is almost over and it feels like any other month. It is time to get offline, slow down and enjoy the summer.

So I hope today, you just enjoy being outside in the sunshine and slow down. That is my plan the rest of the day.

Enjoy!

Temperament: Approach to Day

Well I’m a bit late in writing this given a work emergency that forced me to take a trip. But better late than never.

I’ve been thinking more about happiness lately. Like my last post, it is on my mind. Why are some people so positive and some so negative. Yet both may be dealt the same exact card. Some people refuel, breathe the air in, and are so much more resilient. Why is that?

After a few hectic days of travel and a lot just going on right now between work and personal plans and moving soon (need to move due to our landlord moving back in), I decided I need to breathe and reboot a bit more. I just did a meditation through my phone as I sit on the plane and then took a nap. I need to slow down. I’m a bit too wired after having worked the last five days straight well into the evenings (had to work the weekend on a rare occasion). And after my meditation and nap, I started to just explore this thought more. I journaled, I wrote in my happiness project book and I just sat here for a bit.

Happiness does partially depend on external factors and circumstances, but the other half is all about your temperament and how you view those circumstances. I read a good quote the other day: “Happiness and misery depend as much on temperament as on fortune.”—La Rochefoucauld

And I also thought, the fun doesn’t come later. The fun is now. It is easy to believe if you arrive in a certain part of your journey or destination (what really is anyone’s destination until we die on a side note), you will be happy. However, that milestone or that achievement in life will never give you as much happiness as you think. That is because you have to find it during the destination. A certain act or time in your life won’t just give it to you. It may momentarily but then it fades just as quickly. A simple example is living for the weekends, verses living for each day.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”—Guillaume Appollinaire

And you probably say, enough about this happiness babble. What does this all mean? For me it is continuing to challenge myself to be present in the day, breathe, and soak up the moment because we are not waiting for something. This is it. And I am continually challenging myself to find ways to truly be resilient so I can focus on the good stuff.

This week is the anniversary of my mom’s death. Today is actually 22 years. A long time yet still so fresh in some ways. Like everyone else that deals with death, it is an odd mix of both. And every day I remember how lucky I am to get to wake up and live. A rare gift she gave me to appreciate life because hers was taken so unexpectedly. And I want to honor her this week. There was a saying on her wall in her bedroom that she hung right at the door so she could read as she exited each day. And it is the perfect way to end this blog post. Because happiness to me is all about finding time for joy and laughter in every day. No matter what. Even on the stressful days. The long work days. The exhausting moments. Because those can still be great days too….

“The most wasted day of all is one in which you have not laughed.”—anonymous (courtesy of Sally’s needlepoint framed bedroom door hanging)

Happiness- A choice?

“I have found that most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”– Abraham Lincoln

I thought this quote was interesting. If you are not happy, does that mean you made up your mind not to be? Is it all mental and how you approach each day? What happens if you have no control over a decision someone else makes that impacts your happiness? Is it then up to you to still draw happiness through the hurt? Is happiness all attitude?

If you are not happy, did you make up your mind to be lazy and not really try to be happy? Were you self destructive? Or is it just you aren’t lucky or have a horrible circumstance occur in life? Or you didn’t trust your instinct?  Or if someone else around you screws up, totally out of your control and it impacts your happiness, how much is on you?

I think if I really explore that quote it is fairly true.  I do believe while fate, chance, karma, and things way outside of our control happen (sometimes that impact you in negative ways and do cause unhappiness for periods of time) , we do have many things in our control including our attitude and approach to life that help us bounce back and overall maintain a happy life.

I do believe that forgiveness, taking leaps of faith, trusting your instincts, and approaching each day with humility, joy, and thankfulness for getting another day to live on earth all help for sure.

Do you agree with Abraham Lincoln’s quote? If so, what can you do differently to turn a piece of your life that is unhappy or note quite where you want it around?

Summer Surprises

As I sit here in my favorite chair, as the afternoon sun pours in and I look at the fresh flowers in the vases around me, I come to appreciate the curve balls and surprises life throws at you. I am relaxing and enjoying this moment on Memorial Day.  Memorial Day is such a great way to really kick off the summer. And to me spring and early summer is all about renewal. A rebirth of sunshine, warm sand in your toes, possibilities, and long lazy summer nights where the sun is still up until 8-9pm.

And I also reflect on surprises that come in your life. Sometimes good surprises, sometimes bad surprises and sometimes moments that take you off guard (good and bad). And in all those, you grow. You figure out a piece of yourself by your reaction.

The reason I am combining the two is, in the summer surprises seem so much more vivid. I don’t know why. I think I’m more aware of my surroundings, colors, smells, and sunlight. I seem to bounce back at a different pace when I know I can wake up to fresh air and sunshine. I still fill with hope (if something that sets me back) or more appreciation (if really fun) for the surprise in the summer.

So on this holiday, I wanted to pick little surprises throughout my day to enjoy the start to summer. I worked out while I watched a reality show that was completely a guilty pleasure that took place on a beach in the summer;  I wore a new sundress for the first time while I ate brunch with Todd; I read through a new beach coffee table picture book that took me to all different beaches around the world (highly recommend…see picture below); I spent 20 minutes just enjoying my flowers in the house and the quiet; I decided to meet a friend for a quick walk just because; And I will just continue to pick little treats for myself all day.  While I can’t control every surprise that comes my way….good or bad. Today I created some little treats. Because I enjoy them and also because in the spring/early summer, they somehow seem a bit more exciting and new. A bit more alive. Even the simple things.

I hope you enjoy the start to your summer. And soak in the possibilities of the season.

*Great visual treat….of best beaches around the world. A fun way to kick off the summer season

Beaches cover shot

Memories

This week it is short and sweet! I hope you are so exhausted from making memories and laughing that you are filled with happiness but also ready for sleep. This weekend was about making memories with old friends. And sleeping on Sunday evening when we return. Some weekends are for being lazy and resting. And some are for adventures and big memories. This was one of those types of weekends. I hope you have a few like that soon too!

Ready for another day to sleep! But what a great weekend with old hometown friends, their partners, and a fun city (Nashville).

Here is to more summer memories to come!

Nashville

Fake It Until You Feel It

So first, apologize to those readers who follow me! I was gone last weekend for a very good reason. My sister got engaged and we surprised her by being up in NY for it! So last Sunday we were driving all day to get back down to home. So excited for her and Bruce. And such fun to see their joy and enthusiasm for their future.

Now….to my topic this week. I am realizing more and more, attitude and mood is a choice.  When we repeatedly do something, it is a habit.  And how you see the world can become a habit. What I mean by this is, some people are just overly negative to everything. Or focus so much on self-doubt or dark places, that it is a habit. It just their “go-to” attitude. Yet, it doesn’t have to be.

I am all for being in tune with your emotions and allowing yourself to feel sad, happy, emotional, etc. for moments in time (just not forever). It is important to really feel and understand all those things. And not dismiss them. However, so many people can loathe in the dark places it is hard to get out of them. Sometimes, that is true depression which is a whole other ballgame. And is truly something that medically is important to address and get support on. But for some, it is just a negative way of life.

So on this beautiful, sunny mother’s day I hope we choose our attitude. Joy and positivity are contagious. Contagious to your partner, family, and provides a really great atmosphere for kids.  A positive attitude also impacts your health, your relationships at work (which impacts your own success), and attracts you to positive things in your life. I do truly believe you get what you give. And if you give love and positivity to the people and things around you, you normally get it back.

So if today is a happy or sad day for you on mother’s day. Or a combo. Try to give positivity to those around you. Try to appreciate that for each piece of joy around this day, there is also a piece of sadness. For a woman who can’t get pregnant, or lost a child, or lost a mother. The reality is we will all celebrate this day (for the most part) and experience both joy/happiness, and sadness, depending on the stage of life. And it makes me appreciate every single person a little more because of that. We are all humans. And we can choose to celebrate those that get to experience it today in a positive way. Choose to be happy for them and the possibility to see more people happy next year. And also celebrate the wonderful memories from the past vs focus on the negatives today.

Attitude is a choice. Fake it until you feel it. And give the right energy to the world around you! IT will come back around to you. I promise.