Since 8 Women Dream is opening up Saturday for Travel Saturdays and Jayne is taking her finance stories to Monday mornings, someone should really show up here in the interim and write something “travel-like.”
Since I am the oldest of the group, I am moving rather slow today.
Bliss like we shared yesterday should be bottled so you can spray yourself with it whenever you need a reminder that taking risks for your dream creates an amazing life.
I must confess that I don’t get out much. I am always working.
All my “spare” time is spent working on my dream of having an uber-popular blog.
I also have a teenage son, who I actually love spending time with (even though he is a teenager, which says a lot about who he is as a person).
It’s been a few years since I’ve traveled like I once did when I worked in corporate America — back in the day when I was obsessed with climbing to the top of a corporation.
However, more than my need to be a VP, my son needed stability and creativity that only I could provide. I began to use my spare time to set down deep roots and create an English garden in our small, but loving home with a yard that bugged me because it resembled a dental practice.
The more I worked at changing our home into a magical place with roses and lavender, the less I liked the demands of my corporate life. Once I finally was forced off the daily 6:00am to 6:00pm hamster wheel and began to focus more on doing what I most enjoyed — I realized I had to change my life.
I had to show this kid of mine that there is a better way to live your life.
The traveling away from my son wasn’t good for him, and anything that isn’t good for him breaks my heart. I am so connected to him that just couldn’t travel without him anymore. I wanted everything about my life to include him.
It’s as if as the English garden I planted took hold, reached out and grabbed me — trying to prevent me from leaving our little sanctuary.
I began to look for work I could do from my dining room table — or as close to the dining room table as I could get.
I’ve lived it to the extent that now it’s become hard for me to leave my son at all — I love our times together so much.
To sit and write while my son is just over my shoulder playing video games brings me a peace I cannot put into words. We both listen to the same music while we have our “play” — where I’m clicking away on the computer and he’s trying to get into a video game programmer’s mind.
We listen to his music.
Somewhere along the way we must have done something right in our lives to receive such a gift as him.
He’s a senior now and I am getting those, “mom, I want you to get a life” looks I thought would never come. I remember when I got to the same place with my mom when our family was finally recovering from our dad’s death. You want to see your parents happy, just like they want you to be happy.
My mom, the woman who introduced me to hiking through National Parks, to love nature, and to appreciate all this world gives to us, taught me to say hello to strangers and engage them in conversation — and to always live a life filled with travel as a hobby. She taught me to love travel and people of all cultures.
Once she stopped being so sad over losing her husband, my brother and I wanted her to start traveling again … to “get a life.” She did just that — many times over.
She went to Spain last year when she turned 83.
I know this. And too much dream and no play make Catherine a very dull girl.
Sometimes just changing your routine slightly can infuse you with a new sense of happiness and creativity. Just like me, you don’t even have to leave your town.
You too can travel 5 minutes outside your door to meet a new friend, or take a different route to work, or read a new book.
My mini-vacation came in the form of having to quit being the writing/editing/blogging introvert I’ve become for several hours and ride with Heather to meet Shellie in this little gem of a hotel in the middle of Santa Rosa, California.
It is still owned by a local family. You step outside around the pool and it’s like you’ve stepped into another time – circa 1945. Children swim in the pool while travelers from all over the world sit in their swim suits and laugh loudly at life.
Rain tap-danced on the tent above us three as we talked non-stop — like we’ve known each other 3 lifetimes. Periodically the sun would re-appear and shine down on our table filled with champagne glasses, laughter and wonderful food.
It was as if we had traveled to some tropical island and Daniel Craig was going to walk around the corner in a black tuxedo.
Meeting Shellie and spending time with Heather breathed new life into my dream. Their love for what I am trying to do washes over me and allows me to let go of the doubting voice that is always in “research mode” trying to make things “better” on 8 Women Dream.
I think this is the visionary’s curse — always asking, “How do I make this better?”
It can be exhausting.
Spending time with Shellie infused my spirits with a sense of hope. I now believe that when you go to heaven someone just like Shellie is waiting to direct you to the room where you drink champagne, laugh, dance, and eat wonderful food. There are angels living among us.
But I wouldn’t have known this unless I pushed myself away from my dream for an evening and went on a mini-vacation 5 minutes from my home.
It was so worth it.
What can you do differently this week to give yourself a “dream break” to re-charge your dream batteries?
In the meantime, I’ll be over here trying to get rid of my toe cramps from dancing in the wrong shoes.
Note to self: when traveling, wear the right shoes.