Simple, Pure and Sweet


I find that I am drawn to simple, pure and sweet things. There is no need for fancy, elaborate things in my life. Sure, I enjoy beauty and finery. I am simple saying, I do not need those things to be happy.

After having spent a few years of my life deployed to foreign countries, I have seen poverty. I have seen real need. So I have learned to treasure the small things in life. Now, if you look at these two pictures, you may think, Godiva is not simple. Perhaps. But, the particular treat I was drawn to was just some berries in a chocolate bowl and topped with drizzle. To me, that was simple. It was pure. And, it was definitely sweet. Compared to the much more elaborate baked goods and chocolates, this was the most appealing to me.

It made me realize, this is a theme I carry out in other areas of my life as well. I crave simplicity. I hate when people overcomplicate things. I avoid elaborate plans. My theory is make it simple and make it count. This theory can be applied to nearly every facet in life too: eating habits, loving relationships, work plans, and friendships. For me, it is how I choose to embrace life. For if I cannot appreciate what little wonders are before me, why would God ever trust me with more?

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Challenger’s Choice (Food).

Brink of Madness or Edge of Greatness?


My schedule has been completely off for the last month. It has been crazy busy with my two  jobs and trying to squeeze in blogging and fun. To many, I may look like a super-organized, fun person. Sure, that may be part of the case, but I also know me. When something is bothering me, I am more active. When I want to avoid something, I am extremely productive.

There is nothing major wrong in my life. Frankly, I am quite happy most days. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends. I am blessed with two jobs. (No, neither one of them is my dream job per say, but they will do for now.) I am working out more and eating healthier, so I feel fit and energized. I fill my time with things that I am passionate about: reading, writing, horseback riding, photography, and being outside. I actually feel like my life is just beginning in many ways. I spent years of my life in an unhappy marriage and in the middle of that, a few years being deployed. I learned to embrace solitude. I learned to depend on myself. I learned how to cope with stress.

So now, here I am in the midst of the most beautiful time of my life and something is off. I can feel it, but I don’t know what it is…

Fast forward now. It was nearly two months ago when I wrote the above paragraphs in a draft post. Things have gotten even more hectic and busy. But I am still here and still busy. I am still stressed. but smiling. Now that some time has passed, I wonder, have things been off? Or, is it just that things are new? Different? Headed in a direction where they should be going? Change is hard.

I read somewhere once (and I can’t recall where-sorry, as I do like to attribute) that writers tinker with madness. Though I have written for the military for years, I am still hesitant to call myself a writer. I have published articles for my job, but I feel like I haven’t written anything worthy of the title writer. In some ways, that is why I started this blog. I had so many thoughts, phrases and stories in my head. I would lay there thinking of these, but they never went anywhere. I was afraid to write. Feared rejection. Scared to try. So I did nothing.

Now, I don’t care as much. I am not nearly as afraid. Perhaps its the wisdom of age. I mean, what can rejection do to me at this point in my life? How can it hurt me? Perhaps its the realization of age. I have wasted enough time in my life putting off who and what I am. I muted my personality and desires to make others happy. I can’t do that anymore, nor do I want to. Perhaps its the fact that I have been deployed a few times. I have seen poverty and hopelessness. I know how lucky I have it. And that knowledge urges me to seize my opportunities, not complain (as much) and live life with a passion.

No longer can I sit and wait and say, soon I will do it. My soon is now. Who knows how many tomorrows I have? And, if I don’t start taking steps to make my dreams into actual goals, they will always be just that – dreams. So one day at a time, I will try to take steps towards the me I am supposed to be, the life I am meant to live. I will be passionate. I will not be afraid to try. And when I fail at some things (which is inevitable), I will try again another way with a smile on my face. Now, whether I am on the brink of madness or the edge of greatness…I guess we will see in time:)

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For the Daily Post ~ A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma.

 

List of Adventure for the Weekend


This weekend, I am hosting a fun-filled girls’ party, and I could not be more excited. The only problem with the plan…I may not have time to complete my list of adventures!

It started with the idea that my older sister would visit for a few days. This of course meant that my younger sister who lives closer would need to come too. So while making plans for the sister weekend, one of my Army “sisters” reached out stating she had a free weekend. Of course, I told her to join in on the plans.

If you have followed some of my posts, you already know that I can be full of ideas, energy and lists. Naturally, I have put together some ideas for my sister weekend. We have all had some life stressors recently and really could use the girl time and the stress relief. Adventure, activity and laughs are definitely in need. So here is my list of ideas to make my sisters unwind a bit:

  • Kayak on the river.
  • Take a paddle board yoga class on the river.
  • Go to my daughter’s sorority family day: scavenger hunt and lunch.
  • Hike (and take pictures) at a canyon/state park.
  • Go to a classy symphony.
  • Walk around the farmers’ market.
  • Listen to some free live music at the downtown parks.
  • Go to a painting and sip place.
  • See some girly movies while wearing facemasks and eating chocolate. (Netflix-not theater, lol.)
  • Bake some cookies…and devour them!
  • Make some homemade soup…and then eat it.
  • Chat about life, which may include tears, laughs, screams or all of those.
  • Go eat sushi with girly cocktails.

This is not a mandatory list of course. We can deviate from the plans due to rain, lack of interest, or some other idea. I may be full of ideas but I am not the inflexible cruise director who demands we stay on schedule. No, we will go with the flow. I merely thought I would offer some ideas since I am the host and it is my hometown after all.

In my opinion, lists have to be fluid for them to be good. You can’t make a list so restrictive or complicated that it is hard to complete or it falls apart if one step is missed. That would only set the plan up for failure and disappointment. And in the case of my adventure-unwind weekend, that would be counterproductive.

So my advice to you wonderful followers is to seize your days, each and everyone. Make a list of what you want to do, accomplish and see. Your list can be big or small. Or better yet, it includes both big and small plans. It fuels your need for adventure AND quiet. Make it flexible and fluid. Try new things. Go new places. Through this, you will find out what you are passionate about and what you are not. And when you find your passion, you find your talents, energy and true self.

dp

P.S. So if I don’t post anything until Monday…you will know I am working on the above list:)

Living Healthy, Learning Moderation


As I age, I realize that I can’t take my health for granted anymore. It requires a bit more work to stay fit and healthy now. Sure, the Army requires that I stay within a certain limit of weight and ability, so that helps motivate me for sure. However, as I rediscover myself, I find that I actually enjoy activity and healthy eating. I crave movement and nature. I savor the taste of natural foods. Now don’t get me wrong, I can still savor the taste of a frosted sugar cookie too! I am just more aware of the need to do it in moderation.

I think that is the key to most things – balance. If I can balance my food intake with my exercise, I can maintain a good weight that is within Army regulations. If I maintain a balance of work and play, I can manage to stay focused and handle stress. If I am creative and seek variety between adventurous events and quiet/calming events, I can find a balance in moods while discovering new things.

Moderation is hard for me at times though. After spending too many years in an unhappy relationship and a few other years deployed (with my life on “hold”), I am discovering that I am very passionate about life. Sometimes maybe overzealous. When I go out to take pictures, I can’t just take a few. I come back with double or triple digits of shots. When I started my blog, it turned into two blogs. (This one and another just for photography because I had so many pictures to share, lol.) When I start talking to someone (friend or romantic), I want to learn all about them and hang out. When planning my schedule, I tend to fill it up with a ton of activities that range from paddle board yoga to the symphony.

It is almost as if I am trying to make up for lost time. I feel the urge to seize the days I have left and fill them with zest and appreciation. I want to be present in each moment. I want to feel emotions to my core. I want to see new things. I want to do things I put off earlier in life. Basically, I want to LIVE.

The only problem with this though, is that all of this seems to be too much for some people. They tell me to slow down, don’t plan so much, don’t think too much. I wonder if they are right. But then again, I figure it is my life and not theirs. And, if they think I am too busy, too energetic, too talkative, too passionate, or too whatever, I guess that is their right and they can choose to not be around me. I spent too many years trying to please others and live for them. I held back my needs and desires to make them happy, and I can’t do it anymore. So in the process of learning to live healthier, part of that is learning how to balance what I need against the needs of others. My moderation in that area is learning that I am allowed to be me – even if that me is too much for others.

For the Phoneography Challenge that is hosted by Lens and Pens by Sally. Click on the badge to check out her post on Black and White today.

iphone challenge

View other entries from this week’s challenge:

https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/photography-and-non-slr-digital-photo-challenge-black-and-white-natural-vs-manmade/

http://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-challenge-the-angkor-wat-in-black-and-white/

http://ohmsweetohm.me/2015/04/20/black-and-white-2/

https://claresphotospace.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/mannequin-bride/

http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-13/

https://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/phoneography-black-and-white-challenge-sweeping-landscapes/

https://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/teardrops/