You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2015.

Time off is necessary.  NECESSARY.

At least once a year, I take a week off and don’t go anywhere. I love the idea of roaming my city. I love the idea of sleeping late and getting to enjoy all the places that have remained undiscovered to me throughout the year.

This time around, I also learned a few things that will also enhance my daily life:

  • You should have something to look forward to every day.  While I had enough time to be aimless, I made sure to plan something each day. From a simple dinner with a girlfriend to an epic night at a U2 concert (epic!), the anticipation of fun made each day an event.

This I don’t do enough of in my normal life.

Sometimes a leisurely lunch and glass of rosé in the middle of the afternoon is enough.

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  • Coffee is a savior.  My friend insomnia did not take a break when I went on vacation, so when I was up at the crack of dawn, groggy and confused, coffee set me straight. I don’t love having to have something (dare I use the word addicted?), but I’ve surrendered. Coffee offers me the gift of wakefulness, of presence, so I am okay with that.

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  • You cannot wake up with sunflowers in your apartment and not be happy.  End of story. Beauty is a springboard for happiness. Sometimes it is that simple.

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  • Always leave room for unexpected treasures around the corner.  Because signs of love are everywhere.

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What do you love about a staycation? I’d love to hear–post below.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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I’d been cleaning out my closet, this first day of my summer staycation.  Inspired by a book I’m reading—The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo—I’d decided it was time to let go of some things.

It supports my mantra of late.  Let go of what doesn’t serve you.  More to come on that—another time, another post.

Exhausted and energized at the same time, I took a break to think about where I’d go for dinner.  I looked up a few restaurants and made a decision, then got up to straighten up the mess I’d made.

Suddenly I had an urge for something else.

Sun on my face, sand under my feet, surf sounds in my ears.

An hour later I had all three.

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May your instinctive urges lead you to peaceful places of beauty this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.  Wish you were here…

 

Sometimes I wonder if I have a limited capacity for joy.

It’s not that I don’t have happy moments. I mean those stretches of time, however brief they may be, when joy permeates every inch of me, when it reaches into the deepest part of me and I feel whole.

I traveled nearly halfway around the world hoping to catch a glimpse of it.

On my last morning in Tuscany, I got up early and walked around the resort property. (As an aside, I highly recommend this. Waking early to roam with no confused tourists or harried locals, is one of the best ways to know a place—untainted by other people’s energy.) I walked around, inhaling the fresh, warm morning air, listening to the symphony of cicadas in the trees, feeling the stillness all around me. I walked and explored, ambling along and doing my best to take in this country that I love so much.

The sun, up for an hour or so, began to warm the earth. Nature was springing to life, though still half asleep.

Look over there, the earth said. Beyond the vines of grapes was a band of gold as far as the eyes can see.

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Even from far away, the field of sunflowers was breathtaking.

Imagine seeing this in the quiet of the early morning,

I looked up and around me. I was so moved by the beauty of the landscape. No, moved is too light of a word. I felt a deep reverence for the place.

Walk a little farther, the path said to me. I listened.

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It was as if the country and I merged, its energy wrapping its way around every inch of me, every organ, every cell, every piece of my soul.

And there it was.  Joy.

xo, with goodness and grace.

Though you needed a break from your regular routine, when your friend suggested you meet her in the heart of Tuscany, at first you hesitate.

So many reasons not to go. You have obligations, you know.

And then you say yes.

After what seems like three years of travel, you are greeted by the hotel driver who will take you on the two-hour journey to the resort. You, exhausted from being up for practically two days straight, warn him you will most likely fall asleep. You say this because car rides tend to lull you to sleep.

It’s okay, Signora, he says. I know you must be ti-red.

You love the way Italians pronounce the last syllable of past tense words.

Your warning about falling asleep comes to fruition. Something about the rhythm of the road feels like being in the water, simply comforting.

The driver wakes you up. 

Signora. Welcome home. 

Stopped at the front gate of the resort, you are greeted with this.


And all is right in the world.

xo, with goodness and grace, from Toscana.

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