Settling in – real life starts now

Saratoga Backstretch 10.8.18

Hi Friends!

It’s a Monday that feels like a Sunday here in Saratoga, thanks to the unexpected gift of the Columbus Day Holiday day off from the office. Grey, misty, in the 50s and my first day wearing the Uggs & turning on the fireplace – surely a few things I’ll lose count of soon.

While I know you must be thinking “no, really, girl puh-leeze – not another first!”… and so am I, but still, there is a subtle and strong sense of something new in the air since I returned from my terrific TRF road trip to VA & MD. (Photos Part 1 below)  Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that this felt like  the first time I came home to the new life – especially coming back to routine, real life with work and the house in place (Hawaii was fabulous, but after 3 weeks of work, and just over a month in the new house – it had a distinctly different feeling).  It just sort of suddenly, feels normal to be here – and this, in its own way, is new.

It strike me that this is when I really need to make some commitments to the things I so dreamed of when we envisioned this new life, because even with the much calmer, quieter pace of life – it’s still powerfully easy to not do things.  All Spring and Summer there were happy distractions to use as excuses, and then my road trip – the schedule was different from day to day, friends & family to spend time with, the intense FOMO of the racing season in my new role.  No regrets, in fact, I’m weirdly proud of sticking to the priority of being in the moment and making the most of it all.  However, we are distinctly shifting gears now – with Fall upon us, and Winter is Coming (and yes, I’m going to start watching Game of Thrones… so I’ll eventually understand the second meaning of that phrase).  So, it’s time to set some intentions and remember that great quote given to me by the Maven:

“Discipline is remembering what you really want”

So, I guess I better figure out what I really want. 🙂

One of the things that seemed so clear to me in the old life was the lack of “white space” in my life, by which I meant a combination of unstructured, unscheduled time and time to do things alone, quietly and thoughtfully.   From time to time I’d find a rare window – a delicious days when I could just stay in the house, all day, with the cats and a book and read it from cover to cover.  Those were wonderful days, but in 10 years at 301 S. Henry Street my guess is that there were less than 10 of them. More often, I’d find myself frittering a few hours away when I’d run up upon a free morning or afternoon caught between wanting to do nothing, and knowing I had so many things I should do, and then not really doing anything or nothing. It was a weird sort of paralysis because I was so wired to do, do, do, and always be doing… I couldn’t shift gears quickly.  I’ve heard people talk about that adrenal failure or exhaustion, and I think I kind of had my own version… I just couldn’t do nothing very well, and I missed it.

So now we’re here where the days are longer and the challenge is how to make the most of each of them. For the record it’s a fact, not just a feeling, that the days are longer here and the simple reason is: there is no traffic. Simple. Crazy. True.  When I think about the time spent in the car over the past 10+  years, it’s just staggering and kind of nauseating. Not that there’s anything remotely interesting about my writing about the impact on schedules & lifestyle of the traffic in/around DC. It’s mind-numbing and I’m 100% certain that you’ll hate me if I do. I bring it up more because I am aware of it, and the incredible gift of all that previously spent time getting places.  It’s a huge opportunity and responsibility – to repurpose all that “found time” and not squander it.

Perhaps there’s something in here for all of us, even without the massive change of town/house/job/life, to set those intentions and find and make time for the things that matter.  As the Maven always says (thanks to his chief all those years ago)… “you always have a choice.”.

In my case, I have a choice AND time, and that’s a big responsibility.  So, I’m thinking about it a lot and trying to remember all that I wished for when this reality was still a dream.  A few things, simple as they were included:

  • More time to read (just this weekend, I sat for my first full hour to read… in eons)
  • Meditating (happily, I think this one new habit has set – thank you Headspace)
  • More regular running &/or yoga
  • More time with B
  • More time at home
  • Keeping in better touch with family
  • Less scheduling – fewer nights out
  • Being more timely with thank yous
  • Be more engaged and participatory in policy (via politics0

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s one I want to pay attention to because now, as we quickly slip on the comfy pants and fleeces, it’s “go time” on setting up those new habits which I’ll be able to practice throughout the Fall and Winter. If not now….? And, if I practice them over the cold months, my guess is that they won’t be so easy to “let go” when Spring & Summer return.

For those of you kindly following along, the schoolteacher in me can’t help asking – what are those things you wish for in your current life?  what are you  missing? what do you want to prioritize?  Maybe make a list – and we can review them together from time to time.

Like that old annoying saying says “there is no lack of time, there is simply a lack of priorities” (or something like that).  We all have time, it’s just totally up to us what to do with it.

Wishing the best, most happy & healthy use of your days ahead!



Photos (part 1) of the VA & MD Road Trip:

sunrise in Old Town Alexandria – Sept 22
One of my fave snaps – at the 2nd Chances Graduation Event in MD.
Jon & Kathy joining me at the MD Second Chances Graduation 9.20.18
OS love! Having a beer with Win Lewis (and Smithwicks) at Manor Tavern
Solo tour of Sagamore Spirit in B’more – highly recommend!
(First?) solo trip to Laurel.. for work!
Friday night in Old Town, the 3 muskateers reunion!
Big fun Saturday – in DC, lunch at Gtown harbor. yay!
Saturday night with Niki at Majestic, what a treat!
Sunday AM at Misha’s – good to be back.
Brunch with my dear Dinks – sisters!
So happy to see Mohamed & meet Dear Dina!
Pulling cards – straight from the angels and the universe – with Lisa!
Pancake with Len – no trip to VA would be complete, such a dear friend!
Have I mentioned how much I love my Dentist! Especially my rockstar friend Rachel – we are SO cute!
And this woman, the amazing Dr. Ana. All I can say is Namaste and Thank you… XXOO
Pink Bubbles with Shana – such a treat!
Pink Bubble and uncontrollable laughter at Mon Ami Gabi… yes, we were That Table making all the noise, with glee!