I’m one of those people who still use a paper appointment book – not because I can’t do technology, but because it captures so much more than my upcoming scheduled world. I’m also interested in seeing the process of events that get scheduled – what gets scheduled then rescheduled across time; what gets cancelled; and, what I choose not to attend after all. And, I record those people, places and events that “made my day” by marking them with smiley faces (while adding a smiley face it puts me back in the amazing energy of the original moment). I also use it as a folder – holding flyers for upcoming events. And, as each day comes along, it gets used as a scrap book as well – capturing tidbits of my days that imbued them with meaning (e.g., ticket stubs, newly found quotes, fortunes, mental a-ha moments, pieces of conversations). By the end of each month it’s a technicolor scribble-scrabble masterpiece.
More importantly, I use it to go beyond my day-to-day appointments. Each month I challenge myself to undertake three out-of-the-ordinary explorations – checking out a new group/event, exploring a new location/business, or learning something new. These are what I call my “out of rut” moments where I push my own limits – especially when I try something new where I may fail or succeed, love it or hate it.
In September, one of my limit-pushing events was to learn to ride a motorcycle and get my license endorsement – first learning how to ride; then, passing a skills test and a written test. Why? I wanted to know, first-hand, the mystique that surrounds motorcycles since I have a son on the path to becoming a motorcycle mechanic. Long story short – I learned way more than the mechanics and rules of riding. I learned about the intuitive connection between a rider and her bike, the openness and freedom of 2-tires and no passenger compartment, and the unique personalities that each motorcycle has. It was no ordinary month!
Thanks to gullevek (Flickr) for the motorcycle photo
Whenever I think about my favorite hiking spots, not only do I remember my favorite trails, but I also remember my favorite trees. How is it, or perhaps more poignantly, why is it that my mind has this need to identify a specific tree in each location? Or, what is it about a given tree that even puts it on my radar? Here are some of my favorite trees from different trails in the Raleigh, NC area:
I’m undecided if it’s uniqueness or a sense-of-art that brackets my tree choices. But, what I do know is that while I’m ‘connected’ with my trees I feel a sense of wonder and joy and freedom. And, I couldn’t tell you a thing about what type of tree any of these are, because in the moment of connecting it’s all about a hearty ooh-ahh feeling rather than a heady bing.com description!
Trees locations (in order of appearance): 1) Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve (Swift Creek Loop Trail), Cary, NC; 2) Umstead State Park, US-70 entrance (Sycamore Trail), Raleigh, NC; 3) Umstead State Park, I-40/Harrison Ave. entrance (Company Mill Trail), Raleigh, NC; 4) Hinshaw Greenway, Cary, NC; and, 5) Lake Crabtree County Park (Lake Trail), Morrisville, NC.
Posted in Let me say THIS about THAT
Tagged Cary, favorite trees, greenways, Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, hike, Hinshaw Greenway, Lake Crabtree County Park, Leslie Gernon, NC, outdoors, photography, Raleigh, trails, tree photographs, trees, Umstead State Park, walk
I’ve always felt that if we take something IN with great passion (e.g., listening to classical music) that we also need to express OUT similarly so as to not clog our energy. And that any given IN-OUT flow needs to be inherently related/connected. So while I might admire a person who eats out at eclectic restaurants, I find the person who is a full-fledged foodie with a passion for both savoring (IN) and cooking (OUT) great food to embody the wholeness of it all. Same thing for a person who watches sports (IN) and runs 10k races (OUT); or, a person who goes to outdoor concerts (IN) and plays the piano (OUT). Obviously the IN is easier, more passive; and, the OUT takes more time, energy and discipline. So, many of us merely take IN, and stop the flow at the mid-way point.
Of late, I’ve been taking stock of the many facets of my life where I’m heavy on the INs and light on the OUTs and have made commitments to unclog through greater expression.
- My IN of watching cooking shows and eating healthful foods needs to be balanced with an OUT of cooking several new recipes each month.
- My IN of enjoying art exhibits needs to be balanced with an OUT of fabric arts (jewelry) and photography.
- My IN of reading books and magazines needs to be balanced with an OUT of journaling and creative writing.
Where are your energy clogs?
Thanks to Simon Webster “shaggy 359” (Flickr) for the Danger Keep Out photo.
It was to be a straight forward dinner get-together with friends on a Friday night. At 6 PM that all changed when my teenage son called to say that his car was at a gas station and wouldn’t start – wouldn’t even turn-over. Since he was nearby, I offered to come by and coach him through his first what-to-do-when-your-old-car-leaves-you-stranded incident. I called my friends to tell them that I’d be late, then headed out on my newly assigned adventure …
- A tire store near the gas station had one of its employees walk over to my son’s car to try to jump it, and to check the battery power. NO GO – but what wonderful unbidden help.
- My son’s friend’s father came by with jumper cables to try jumping the car from his car. NO GO – but I learned about big changes in their family.
- A tow truck driver who couldn’t find the car he was supposed to tow stopped to help us diagnose the problem. In turning the key, to listen to the cranking sounds, the car started! GO – way before our tow truck showed up!
- We drove the running car to our mechanic. At the moment we pulled into the lot, our mechanic for the last 25 years walked out of his repair shop. We talked about worldly social issues and car noises. GO – he would work on the car on Monday.
- Then we drove off in our other car – dropping my son and his friend off at the house. I then headed out to dinner with my friends. GO – back to our original adventures!
No angst, no worry, perfect weather, helpful strangers, important connections – my day was enriched by this detour rather than diminished – for in my attitude of “this is the adventure that I have been given,” all of the pieces fell into place with grace – ease – synchronicity.
Thanks to Alden Jewell for the tow truck photo (Flickr).