Misc. Musings Vol 2: On Processing & Regrouping

“Sometimes a blog in silence is the sign of a life being lived to the fullest. An update on what I’ve been up to.” -Carol Cain. I saw this quote Monday and fell madly in love. On Tuesday, I was able to actually read the post that followed it –Carol Cain: Family is Everything– and fell even more in love. Everyone should read this, or at least the first few paragraphs. Whatever your ‘everything’ is, be mindful to make time for it.

Right now I’m musing over…

I’m musing over completion (okay, I know technically you can’t muse over that, cut me some slack). In June, I had two major but unrelated events come to a close. I’ve been working for the past year on a project that culminated in writing 50,000 words of web copy. Like any client assignment the process was adventurous, arduous, fun, frightening, grueling and groovy. For all of those mixed emotions, it’s done and I am thrilled. It took the life out of me.

A week before this content was due, I found out I would need to appear in Washington DC’s Superior Court. No, I’m not in trouble. I had to give a statement about an incident that happened to me last summer.Turns out that getting up in front of an offender, telling a judge how an incident changed your life (and, for the record, they don’t mean for the better) is emotionally draining. And I mean that in every possible interpretation.

After all this, I found myself exhausted and needing to disengage from reality. This may shock you, but I don’t “put it all out there” they way other writers do. I’m also not a “fake-booker” (the practice of writing how great things are when they actually suck). This break was me processing, recharging and taking care of myself. Which, at its core is part of Carol’s message. I think that’s why her quote and story resonate so strongly with me.

Travel. I’m so happy to have shared initial impressions and excursions in Moshi, Tanzania. I had hoped to do some guest writing about my actual climb up Kilimanjaro but that fell through. So, in the coming weeks I’ll be share so much more about this African Experience. I’ve also been busy knocking stuff off my Summer Bucket list, creating adventures that are more locally based.

Auntie Adventures. Holy crap – My oldest niece is a GRADUATE! It feels so strange not to call her a kid, but this young woman is whip smart and heading off to University in the fall. I’m so proud of her.

Fitness & Lifestyle. No surprise, in “processing and regrouping” it’s been a struggle to stay active. The heat and humidity in Washington DC also make rigorous exercise tough with asthma. But, I’ve picked out my first century ride – The Seagull Century this fall. I’m super excited and ready to kick training into high-gear.

On my Bookshelf. Funny, when I need to process and regroup, I find myself reading less and watching more television. I used to be a huge fan of BBC America’s Orphan Black. Season three ended well but up until the last two episodes, I really feared it jumped the shark. Or they wrote themselves into a corner. I don’t think I’m the target audience but Grace & Frankie, on Netflix, is a great program. It’s a light-hearted, but really insightful, look at what happens when two men come out to their wives. I won’t spoil the plot in case you are interested. I’m also counting down the days to Sharknado 3. Yeah, I admit it. It’s so bad you can’t not watch it.

I’m still working on The Rosie Project as well as The Art of Fielding. The latter has been a slow start but the story is picking up steam.

What are you musing over?

Misc. Musings vol: 1

After a lot of thought, chatting with mentors and friends, I’ve decided that a semi-regular “Miscellaneous Musings” is a great way to share things that are on my mind. Because, believe it or not, my life is not ALL about travel. More like 92.5%

What follows is what I hope will be the beginning of a regular feature.

Right now I’m musing over… 

It’s been over a month since I returned from Tanzania. The trip was absolutely fantastic and (not surprisingly) I have really been struggling with “re-entry.” Getting back in the swing of work and other commitments has been tough. I am totally unmotivated.

I’m also really wrestling with a strong sense of failure. I had a specific vision in my head about what it would be like to reach the Summit of Kilimanjaro. Sure, I made it. But when you are grappling with altitude sickness, dreams and reality clash. Talking through it with friends in the social world is helping. But this overwhelming feeling is certainly why I’ve been slow to write. (That and I made arrangements for some guest writing that fell through).

I have finished writing about my pre-climb time in Moshi, Tanzania. If you’d like to see more photos, you can “friend” me on Facebook. I just published an album of images that haven’t been published here or on Instagram.

Just one of the breathtaking views surrounding Kilimanjaro
Just one of the breathtaking views surrounding Kilimanjaro

Travel. After such a big trip, I don’t have any immediate ex-US plans. I am working on my summer bucket list and look forward to sharing that.

Summer is a great time to travel and explore. It’s also a perfect time to do one of those things you always talk about but have yet to actually make happen. Last year, we visited the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, PA last summer. Nothing crazy but something we had literally talked about doing for 3+ years.

Auntie Adventures.  I consider myself a “Professional Aunt” to five nieces and one nephew. Recently, I spent a lot of time with my two youngest nieces. (Referred to as five and six so they have some form of anonymity later in life). I took Five, who is four, to the beach one afternoon. It’s always fun to see how excited kids are. Seemingly inconsequential things, like finding a pretty rock, bring them such joy. It really is true, kids just care who shows up. Not what they brought.

Here's Five totally enthralled with collecting fragments of shells.
Here’s Five totally enthralled with collecting fragments of shells.

Fitness & Lifestyle. I injured my knee last summer and getting back to cycling has been a slow process. But I’m finally up riding and hoping to do my first Century ride (that’s 100 miles in one day) this September. Can I get a Woot-Woot?

On My Bookshelf.  Earlier this year I read All the Light We Cannot See. That was a brilliant novel. I loved how the author ultimately brought the two main characters together. I just starting reading The Rosie Project. If you haven’t read this, I totally recommend it. The story is incredibly accurate and so well written. Another noteworthy read: As You Wish by Cary Elwes.

What Else? My former co-worker has moved to Dubai and started blogging. Check her stuff out here. I LOVED her story that equated making new friends to dating. It’s so accurate. Anyway, she’s great and I can’t wait to read more about her adventures.

The Most Overused Words in Travel Writing hit my inbox in April. I’m doing a significant amount of content writing for a client and tips like this are always interesting to me. I was disappointed to be an offender with some of them (Hello, “Must See”). I thought she had some good points and am actively working on banishing a few of these words from my personal writing.

What are you musing over right now?