1.24.19

What I’ve been up to:

Had a great time taking the train to Portland for a few days…shopping, wine-tasting, eating and wandering.

And then I painted the top floor of the house, went to Vancouver to check out Adler University and got back into running, yoga, flamenco, and eating well.

What was beautiful:

Murals, street art and old neon in Portland.

An updated description for “degan” in the Urban Dictionary prompted a bit of a deeper search that sounds like a poem:

Earth, grain. Little fish
Dagger, a thrust-oriented dueling sword – on a black-haired degenerate dean
From the Old High German, from the Proto-Germanic, from Proto-Indo-European Cognate with Dutch degen, English thane, Icelandic þegn, Ancient.
Someone who will help you out through tuff times,
a loveable person,
a person you can count on.
Degan, I need help, what do you need
Degan, can you do something for me, yea what you need. ##keepyourheadup
(Don’t) put hos before bros,
ditch friends.
John deganed out on us
“What a “pussywhippedassclown”
A fucking idiot who copies people’s words and drives an Accord.
From the 17th century, degan contains Metoclopramide hydrochloride in Bulgaria and –
a town in Ethiopia.

After 2 years of not being able to wear my wedding ring after I broke my hand, we got my stone set into a new setting and it is so pretty.

Illustrated bookshelves

What I’m reading and listing to:

How you do anything is how you do everything

Society’s problem with patience

How to be more resilient

Why the 15 Hour work week never happened

The Art of Intimacy

A pill for loneliness. This is not the right way to go, but it is interesting.

Attachment as a response to perceived threats.

Existential therapy

A therapist in therapy

Plus a STACK of psychology books and e-texts, poetry books and travel guides for Cuba and Mexico City. Busy!

01.05.19

What I’ve been up to: 

We spent a quiet Christmas at a cabin in Skykomish, watching the snow fall on the river and listening to the wood stove crackle in between walking the dogs, and doing very little else. It was blissful.

And then we spent a busy weekend visiting family rounded it off with some bubbles on the couch.


Last month I also had a couple of really special dinner parties (and brunch!) with some amazing people in spectacular locales that I am still relishing, went roller-skating a bunch of times and of course worked on my goals for 2019.

What was beautiful:

Some beautiful pieces of artwork, vintage pinball machines, wintry PNW landscapes, and my hair!

What I’m reading and listening to:

One for my psychoanalytic travel journal – How Personality and Place affect Personal Flourishing

A lot of success is just picking something and sticking with it

What to do when we’re checked out and withdrawn

On microdosing

Powerful ways to treat depression without medication

On giving up booze for a year

How your phone contributes to your loneliness

On letting go of your baggage

What lonely humans can learn from lonely mice

When Self Help makes your life worse

How to be more patient

So long 2018

In October I re-posted an image on Instagram that read, “2018 is almost over and all I gotta say is what the fuck was that”. It felt like Matt was working all the time and between my work, canceled yoga retreat in Hawaii and most especially the news, I was bitter and resentful and frustrated a lot of the time. And tired. We were so tired.

But then Matt released his product (hooray!) and I got to go to Morocco, and I realized that while it was largely about connecting dots, introspecting and doing the daily work to shore up parts of life, it was also pretty special and amazing.

My niece was born in the last days of December so I got to meet her in January, I got a new motorcycle, I got to go to Morocco and back to Spain, rode in a hot air balloon, did the altMBA, was a maid of honor, dyed my hair blue, and immersed myself in flamenco.

Onwards and upwards in 2019! It’s going to be a big plot-twist year and I’m really excited.

12.10.18

What I’ve been up to: 

 

The 4th annual Rainier Ravens Holiday party – about as Christmasy as I get these days but it is always a lot of fun and this year Matt came out and manned the piñata.

 

Afterwards I, got to deliver the gifts we collected for the women at Jubilee Women’s Center and that made me really happy.

And then it was my flamenco dancing debut at our studio performance! The dogs were very involved in helping me practice.

 

What was beautiful:

 

What I’m reading and listening to:

Incredibly inspiring notebooks of a traveling artist

Farm animal donation

Corporate mediocrity

Baking Bread in Chefchaouen

11.15.18

What I’ve been up to: 

A quick trip to Morocco and Barcelona were unquestionably the highlights this month (especially in comparison to coming down with a cold). I wandered medinas and came across all sorts of treasures, saw snake charmers and hawkers, rode in a hot air balloon, rode a camel (again), visited ancient tanneries, bought a carpet, saw the blue city and ate so many amazing tagines and couscous.

Barcelona was super nice to revisit as well and meeting up with Matt, we visited the Sagrada Familia again, went to some of our favorite tapas spots and took in a couple of flamenco shows.

Earlier we also had the opportunity to see Barbara Kingsolver in conversation at Seattle Arts & Lectures and I was (as always), charged up and inspired by her quiet politics and extraordinary storytelling. I love this quote from the program:

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. The most you can do it live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides”

And finally, US elections happened while we were away and so we were keeping a very close eye on that.

What was beautiful:

Morocco was as amazingly beautiful as I ever dreamt it would be.



Barcelona also had plenty of moments.

 

What made me laugh: 

Some of the crazy dreams I’ve had lately, dog antics and lost of good laughs with Mateo (as we call him in Spain).

What I’m reading and listening to:

Finally watched The English Patient and Lawrence of Arabia to ease myself out of the desert.

How to Live a Good Life

The Rodeo Queens of Mexico

Raving as a Stress Reliever

How to just pick something (the Scientific Method)

How a human chain of helpers moved a bookstore

I have kind of an obsession with Gable Stones and House Insignia

2018 Women of the Year Honorees

Are you too sensitive?

10.9.18

What I’ve been up to: 

TL;DR: I’ve been hella busy. This is a big one.

After mostly being home in July, supervising landscaping and doing my altMBA, August saw me escaping to the Olympic Peninsula with my Rainier Ravens women’s motorcycle group, then over to Victoria to visit a friend and see the Egyptian exhibit at the Royal BC Museum.

Then Matt and I broke out the dirt bikes and did a part of the WABDR – the Washington Back Country Adventure Route. Definitely looking forward to ramping up the dirt adventures next summer.

I threw all my clothes in the wash and swapped my motorcycle boots for Louboutins for Allyson’s bachelorette spa day and dinner, followed by her fairy tale wedding.

In between it all, both dogs have been taking obedience classes and I have been working like a fiend on a work project gone sideways and then upside down.

To celebrate coming out the other side, Matt took us to the beach.

What was beautiful:

All of the Egyptian artifacts at the museum, the many generations of Seattle

and the serene blues of twilight on the banks of the Pacific

What made me laugh: 

Can always count on the dogs and my sister!

 

Also this high AF sloth:

What I’m reading and listening to:

ON HAPPINESS –

The Surprising Science of Happiness

The Power of Positive People

How to Know what you Want

Dancing is the Best Way to Get Fit & Live Longer

Presence Over Productivity

ON PERSPECTIVE –

Lab Decoy

You’re Not Lazy

Freedom From Want. You Have Enough

Leap

ON PLACEBOS –

Placebos

ON RELATIONSHIPS –

The True Hard Work

How to Have a Happy Marriage

Why You Should Be Kind to People You Hate

A Wife Less Ordinary

ON SUNK COSTS –

The Wrong Bus

ON VULNERABILITY –

Brene Brown’s Ted Talk. Again and again.

“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” —Walt Disney

Scientists give Ecstasy to Octopuses

ON STORIES –

The technology of storytelling

Keep it Moving

ON WORK –

6 Signs it’s Time to Quit Your Job

How to deal with a Job You Hate

100 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

How to Use a Notebook to Reach Your Writing Goals

How to be a Good Writer with a Good Life  Writing, Reading, Ideation, Talking, Exercising, and Regrouping

  • write fiction
  • read fiction
  • make a list of ten ideas
  • talk to someone 
  • exercise
  • review my day and plan for tomorrow

ON GREED –

Why are we still chasing more money?

ON POWER –

Why Women Don’t Get to be Angry

American Democracy in Crisis

ON MONEY –

How Much You Need to Make to Own a Home in Vancouver

ON MAPS –

Finding Your Way with Maps

An excerpt from The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands

Thanksgiving

It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper Thanksgiving but I have just surfaced from several weeks of family and then work stress and the news of Kavanaugh has hit me like a ton of bricks and I feel like I really need to focus on the good things all around me so here is a smattering of the usual suspects I am grateful for: flamenco dancing (in general but I have had this postcard for 20 years and it never fails to make me smile), that sister that makes me smile so hard, all those adventure machines (but especially the new one), that amazing flock of Ravens, those loveable doofuses, that guy that takes such good care of me, the endless serenity of the sea…and all the opportunities I have to travel and explore, that cool cat and my beautiful garden that feeds my body and soul.

There are many more things as well…I never forget how lucky I am to be educated, well-traveled, able to walk around and explore by myself, loved and cared for, healthy, employed, well-paid, Canadian.

07.17.18

What I’ve been up to: 

Trying to get the yard finished up so we can enjoy it but in the process, I fell off the ladder onto my face so I am also practicing putting a fair bit of makeup on my eye as I run from the Anniversary sale at work, flamenco classes and shows, painting the living room, participating on various projects and learning groups for the altMBA, scrambling to keep up in my podcast fellowship and get going on The Travel Cure and 1000 Things to Love, interviews, appointments, and social calls. Phew! But the yard is finally done and I have a brand new motorcycle so in spite of the classes and all of the upcoming trips to Vancouver, summer starts now and I fully intend to kick back and enjoy it.

What was beautiful: 

What made me laugh: 

A different thing every day, as it was part of the Whole Life Challenge lifestyle exercise this week.

What I’m reading and listening to:

ON HEALING –

The New Healers at NY Mag

Is the Introspection of Self-Help and Therapy Hurting our Ability to Empathize?

ON WORK –

How to talk about your Project

When to Quit

07.06.18

What I’ve been up to: 

Summers are always about the same…ride motos, sit in the sunshine, do yoga, go for a hike, cook some delicious things, work on a project (or 3). This one is somewhat different in that the yard work / landscaping project is still continuing but we are getting close to being done (and then I think I will actually be able to sit back and enjoy it!), and I am participating in both Seth Godin’s Podcast Fellowship and the altMBA workshop in place of some of my usual adventures.

What was beautiful:

A butterfly fluttered by and then skidded to a stop on my 17th-floor office window ledge at a moment when I really needed some magic.

I listened to the Just Kids audiobook – the story of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe and it just drips and aches with beauty. I am going to have to listen to it again, and then probably read the paperback version, and then consume all the other formats for their work. Incredibly inspiring and artfully crafted.

What made me laugh: 

What I’m reading and listening to:

ON MOTORCYCLES –
How Motorcycles are a rite of passage

ON HAPPINESS:
Americans are the unhappiest in the world

The New Era of Positive Psychology

06.25.18

What I’ve been up to: 

Gardening, studying, dog-walking, dancing…working on a couple of new outbuildings for my home (a mini book library and a greenhouse) while trying to stay out of the way of our landscapers while they resurface basically the entire yard, working on bettering myself (altMBA, podcast fellowship, blogging, looking into grad school, Coursera courses, PMP) while working at the J.O.B., riding my new motorbike

What was beautiful

My garden (or at least the parts of it that are intact at the moment) but which now also includes the magnolia tree blooming in front of my studio window.

What made me Laugh: 

The dogs are always good for a laugh but even that’s been pretty thin. Need to insert more joy into this summer ASAP.

What I’m reading and listening to:

My reading list for the altMBA has arrived, my PMP exam is booked and my podcast fellowship class started today so have not been clicking on too many links.

On Toxic workplaces –
Mental Health Issues -“the comments about being a  family were red flags”

On ME! –
Personality test results

On Self-love –
Nice people finish last
You are and always have been whole & complete

On Happiness –
Happiness Cheat Sheet + all of the links and courses and questionnaires mentioned therein. I love this stuff.

On Healing –
A Medicine Woman Seminar I am very interested in.