Mission accomplished!

This simple 2 word phrase is among my favorite 2 word phrases. A few others are “Thank you”, “Package delivered” and “Let’s eat”. I am an achiever – at times an over achiever – but I’m working on that too.

What was the mission? To run an entire 5k without stopping. Now I totally get that some of you might be marathon runners and you’re chuckling right now. Aw, how cute – a little baby 5k? Only 3.1 miles? Some of you do 5 times that distance at a much faster pace. And good for you if you do!

The point I’m making is that this was MY goal, one that had haunted me for a long time. Ten years ago I had attempted this but always fell short and ended up walking.

But as you may have read previously, I started training in July, and continued with the goal scheduled for early November.

The event was Wanderlust, which is a Mindful Triathlon. I would never consider a real triathlon. Don’t you even know me? This event was right up my alley. It began with a 5k, then 75 minutes of yoga, and finishing with 25 minutes of meditation.

During the one hour drive to the event, I was focusing on the fact that I could – and would – run the whole thing. At check-in, this intention was confirmed so clearly. See, the 5k was not hard core with numbers and microchips and such. It was casual. Each participant received their word for the day to stick onto their clothing instead of pinning a number. Some were affixed with “Peace” and “Joy” and other lovely words.

As I arrived at the front of the check-in line, the word on top was this one.

When the volunteer saw the look of surprise on my face, she asked if I wanted a different word. After a moment of hesitation, I replied, “No, this is the word I am supposed to have.”

With this word plastered on my shirt, I knew for certain I would not be stopping to walk. No way! It had been declared that I was a runner. And I was. I ran the whole entire thing.

The rest of the event was amazing! Practicing yoga outside with 1000 people was an incredible experience. Holding a chair pose after running was another challenge for sure. I found people who shared their face paint, met a cool lady selling bracelets, and enjoyed this view during the meditation.

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The really great part is that I am continuing to run. At least once a week I am getting in 2 to 3 miles and plan to do a few more 5k’s. Of course I’m still practicing yoga, and have even wandered into a studio a couple of times this month. Faithfully engaging in an at home practice for several years, I had forgotten about the energy shared with others in a group practice. The meditation is still a work in progress, but isn’t that the idea?

It really is all about the practice, and the process. But also, there is something transforming about reaching a goal! My good friend Kris was the photographer for the event. I think this photo she took captures the joy I was feeling in doing just that.

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What goal are you working on? How can you state your intentions so that you have the best chance of success? A little goes a long way. Keep after it and you’ll get there my friends!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

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More fun than Easter Eggs

Just the other day I shared with y’all about my turtle patrol adventures. It’s an amazing thing to do, and I will be sad when the season comes to a close in a few weeks.

One thing I didn’t share in my last post was the struggle between the damage people do, and the help that we offer back.

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Rewriting fairy tales

Once upon a time, there was a lovely lady who lived in a cute little beach cottage.

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It was perfect. She loved her work and her community. Her children were grown and on their own, but remained close with daily calls and frequent visits.

She took good care of herself. She had healthy habits and fantastic friends. She painted and she wrote. She practiced yoga. She served others. She spent her time and her money wisely. She read books and walked the beach. She knew what she liked and what she needed on any given day.

She was happy. The End.

knight in shining armor with princessAnd then what? What kind of story is that? Where is the tragedy? With the fairy tales of my childhood, every damsel in distress was rescued by a handsome prince. She could not save her own self. She was in dire straits until the prince on a white horse showed up. Only THEN she could live happily ever after.

Not in this story. In this story, the lady is her own hero. No need to be rescued. No need for a knight in shining armor to show up and save the day. Her life is all hers, and it’s beautiful, simple, peaceful and happy. It’s a beautiful tale, but it probably won’t sell.

As you may have guessed by now, the lovely lady is me. I am the hero of my own life. It is lovely and rich and full and I could not imagine how it could be any more delightful. I am living happily ever after.

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And then, out of the clear blue sky, my friend (and coworker) confesses his interest in me. This was a shock to say the least. In fact, he had been dropping hints for a couple of months that went right past me. And while I have always thought highly of this man, I was so focused on creating my own happy life, I never even thought about connecting with him romantically.

It’s been a whirlwind to say the least. We have been on several dates and it’s been unbelievably easy and comfortable (and magical even!). He operates with integrity and works hard. He tells me how he is feeling. He’s a gentleman in every way. He is honest and patient and kind and generous and attentive and faithful. And the bonus? He is tall and handsome and tells me every day that he adores me.

And me? I’m a bit of a mess over the whole thing. My emotions range from joy to fear with all points in between. About 847 times a day I have to remind myself to breathe! Just relax and enjoy! It should not be a surprise that someone wonderful has shown up in my life. It’s simply rewriting the old fairy tales. I don’t have to be in need of a rescue. It’s perfectly okay to enjoy the company of a handsome prince when he appears.

No matter what happens, I’m living happily ever after. The End.

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

 

 

It was the summer of ’89…

Maybe you weren’t born yet, but if you were, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane. The Berlin Wall came down. Gas was less than $1 a gallon. George Bush Sr. was in the Oval Office. Microsoft released its Office Suite and Nintendo released Game Boys. Hurricane Hugo, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and an earthquake in San Francisco all contributed to a big mess on the home front. The Simpsons debuted, and the first of 24 satellites of the GPS system were positioned in space. It was quite a year.

 

It was also the last time I lived alone. In 1989 I was 21, single and had my very own apartment all to myself. It was on the third floor of an ancient brick building in downtown Muscatine, Iowa. Spoiler alert: I was industrious (shock, I know). There was zero time to deposit the three paychecks I was earning each week. On my occasional night off,  I would walk around the corner to enjoy cold beers and terrible cheeseburgers at Jody’s Tap. It was a season of growth and self discovery, and I was quite proud of my little grown up self back then.

I am a big fan of independent living.

Which is a good thing, as I’m entering this space again. My youngest is moving out this week. I knew this was coming eventually. For years I have been giving pep talks encouragement when mommas are mourning their chickens leaving the nest. You know the one. Read along in your best cheerleader voice, “Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.” Wlaundryhich is all true, but not very empathetic.

Now that it’s my turn to watch the last one move out, of course I handled it like a pro. I was all good…until I saw the boxes.

Y’all, I got a lump in my throat. It didn’t stay there long, but it was there alright.

Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.

It IS all good. She’s only moving about 30 minutes away, so nbd, right? We will set up dates to connect. Basically the same thing we do now. With her work and school schedule, and my work and school schedule, we don’t accidentally see one another anyway. She is graciously leaving a bunch of her shoes here, so not all that much will be different. At least that is what I am predicting. Still, it’s a change.

In the next couple of months, I will downsize to a one bedroom place even closer to work. I will reclaim my independent living. I will clean my house and it will stay that way. I will only have food in the house that I will eat (perhaps no junk will enter?). And I can do whatever I want, so nana nana boo boo.

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Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.

The other one is 1000 miles away and has been there for 3 years now, so I’m getting better at this parenting adults-not-under-my-roof thing. It’s definitely different, but each season brings something good while it says farewell to something good too.

I guess maybe when the last one moves out, it feels like more of a retirement of sorts. It’s the final season of so many seasons. And if you did it even halfway decently, there was some fun and greatness mixed in the mess of it all.

Ecclesiastes reminds me that there is a season for everything. It’s about to be a new season that is very similar to the one in 1989. I am single. I will live independently. I won’t be working 3 jobs, but I’ll be taking 4 classes and working full time. I probably still won’t have time to get to the bank, but hey, I have a smart phone now. And all the modern luxuries that the past 28 years has provided.01caf4927e20a193378c488fa9d2ebd2--our-kids-empty-nest-humor

But still… NOPE! I am okay!! I know it’s an adjustment, but that is life. What was that adage I told everyone else?

Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

Fifty words about my first Wild Goose Festival

I have heard about this for years now. I have read through every piece of info out there – including blogs of previous attendees. I have spent significant time with those who organize this whole crazy thing. I attended an official One Day Wild Goose – Intersections – in Jacksonville, FL earlier this year. Heck, I even helped put an “unofficial” Wild Goose event together (Hawkins Road Festival) at my home church this past February.

But none of that quite prepared me for this amazing experience last week in Hot Springs, NC. It’s hard to form complete thoughts and sentences (I’m still absorbing and processing), so I’ll just give you these fifty words…

authenticity
people
laughter
mud
funnel cakes
spiders
children
tapestries
thoughts
coffee
music
trees
friends
oatmeal
trinkets
rocks
sweat
stories
glitter
love
rain
Jesus
yoga
inclusion
veggie things
hammocks
books
river noise
freedom
hard cider
conversations
dancing
puddles
fireflies
beer and hymns
port-a-potties
smiles
walking
acceptance
picnic tables
cicadas
prayers
cool mornings
energy
barefoot
art
grace
challenge
dragonflies
community

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And it just so happens that tickets for next year are available if you’d like to join me. Then we’ll see what kinds of sentences you can form at the end. 🙂

Thanks for reading, until next time!
Sherri

 

This one is too….???

Ahh…fairy tales. Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel and all the other princesses are not  the best role models when it comes to romance. But Goldilocks? She’s not a princess at all. She’s a simple girl looking for simple comforts. She isn’t searching for a prince or a castle. She is strolling in the woods and seeking the basics. This is a girl after my own heart.

Okay, she happens to be guilty of breaking and entering along with destruction of property, but let’s not focus on this. She is discovering what works for her. I am now claiming Goldilocks as my hero and aspire to be more like her in my dating adventures.

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What would Goldilocks do (WWGD)? How does this taste? How does this feel? Is this comfortable for me? After some sampling, she knew what was just right.

With my hiatus from school, I thought I would jump back in and begin a little summer sampling myself.

Letter “I” is the next on the list (I had to go back to look – it had been so long). After some solid text conversations, we met last week for a walk on the beach. It sounds totally cliche, but it happens to be a carefree way to connect. And hello, it’s a beautiful setting.

We chatted non stop, but it was relaxed and easy. There were several points of mutual harmony – including religion, politics and other points – no small feat there. We agreed it was a successful first date, and made plans to connect over the weekend.

Saturday “I” and I went kayaking and it was comfortable and fun. Our hope was that – barring anyone tipping anyone else overboard – that we would have a bite together after. We remained upright and dry, and thus continued with lunch. Kayaking is one of my “most wanted” activities ever, and the chosen cafe is among my personal favorites. The day was scripted to be incredible.

Overall, the time spent with “I” wasn’t too cold, it wasn’t too hot, but it wasn’t just right. It was more… lukewarm. Which is fine, but with the setting and the activity, I expected it to be more. It was perhaps a little too calm and flat. Maybe we would have been better off with some tipping? head_up_anim

I’m not sure I will see him again. The script is really secondary if the characters are hitting it off.  I don’t want to waste his time or mine if there’s not a spark – the elusive “just right”.

Chemistry has been present in my (crazy) previous relationships, so I cannot trust it to be the sole guide. But I can’t quite discount it either. How long does it take to discover? Can it be developed or is it just there? I don’t really know…

So onward to letter “J”. We made plans to have lunch on Sunday – coincidentally at the same restaurant. (I know, back to back dates. What can I say, it’s a holiday weekend and I had extra time. Plus, their beet salad.) We preemptively packed beach gear in anticipation of lunch going well. It did, so we headed west for an afternoon of sun and surf. “J-man” planned well with a cooler of beverages, complete with Tervis and ice. It was a chamber of commerce day and y’all know how I feel about my toes in the sand. Another perfect script waiting for the characters to connect.

Much like “I”, my time with “J” was filled with non stop conversation but with much intensity. He has a big personality and even bigger adventurous tales. I felt like a one woman audience as he held center stage to dazzle and entertain.

While I felt energized and enjoyed his stories, I was ready to head home after a while. It was more choppy than calm. I’m not sure he’s “just right” either. Maybe it was the undoubted excitement of meeting me? Like a new puppy when you first get home from work? A second date may reveal more. We’ll see if he calls.

cropped-10393-img_2953It was not this hard for my girl Goldie. She had three options, and it was clear which was the best. My options seem endless, and they are not as easy to read as a fairy tale.

I am grateful that I am not on a time frame. I have no agenda for how this ends. I am enjoying the adventure one date at a time. Nothing is at stake. Oh, and my tan is coming along nicely.

Thanks for reading, until next time!
Sherri

One, two, who are you?

There are plenty of people out there digging into hard controversies and political rants. The opinions and angst and true upset are valid and I respect anyone with the courage to jump into those circles. I have lots of opinions on such subjects. However, this is one space where I try to keep it light and fun and maybe a tad bit inspirational. I’ll take my cue from the newspaper comics and attempt to give you a smile.

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The dating chronicles have begun. My suspicion was that – at the very least – I would have something entertaining to share in this space. I find it to be a bit comedy / bit tragedy. The logos for online dating sites should not include cupids or hearts or fish…but this…

If you’re single, you can relate. If you’re connected, you’ll be grateful that you’re not single. Even if you are squabbling with each other because, well, just read on.

Let’s begin with scanning the profiles. There are HUNDREDS of men in all shapes, colors, sizes and ages, and they are all online, looking for love. Or something, I’m not too sure. In scanning through the myriad profiles, here are my instant dis-qualifiers…

–The only picture on your profile is of you wearing a hat and sunglasses.
I can’t see you. Who are you? I don’t care about your receding hairline. Why are you hiding? I cannot handle insecurity. Next.

–Your marital status is separated.
Paperwork can drag on, I get it. But dude, you are still married. You are not single or divorced. You are not available. Get off of dating sites until the papers are signed. Oh, you might want to let the ink dry for a bit, too. Just a suggestion. Next.

–You smoke.
I don’t, and you shouldn’t either. It’s a terrible habit and I broke it myself years ago. Get help and make it happen for yourself. It’s not judging, it’s the honesty of “I am never gonna kiss you”. Next.

–There are grammar or spelling issues all over the place.
I am somewhat forgiving here because of grace. But when errors make it difficult to actually communicate, I just can’t do it. Get a proofreader – you need one. Next.

–You didn’t answer the profile questions.
Isn’t this the point? I am not responding to the “what do you want to know?” question you sent me. If you are on a dating site, answer the damned questions. Or just go away. Why are you even here? Next.

Look at all that discernment right there. I am trying not to be too cynical and harsh, but wow, do you see the challenge? Tell me I am being reasonable and not setting impossibly high standards. No really, tell me. I need to know.

How much can I tell about a potential “love match” from these profiles? Quite a bit once I figured out the “code”. For example, when he says that he “likes to be spontaneous”, he is actually saying that he doesn’t make plans. In other words, he’s telling me right up front that he may call to see if I’m available with zero notice. How romantic.

Sure, I’m just sitting here looking beautiful and doing nothing at all, just waiting for your call. Um, yes, looking beautiful. And hell-to-the-no – I am certainly not sitting here waiting. Go be spontaneous with a boring girl. This one has a life.

How well am I representing myself? Am I honest? I think so. I feel like I’ve done enough work to know who I am. I state right up front that I am strong and sassy and independent. Guys, I know this about myself. If you are super sensitive, consider yourself warned that I may hurt your feelings without meaning to do so. I know myself, and you should know yourself too.

It’s like sorting the mail that comes in. Junk, junk, junk, junk, oh, wait, maybe that’s one I should look at for more than 2 seconds.

This area is rumored to have a ratio of one single guy to TEN single women. I have like 400 profiles to skim through. Does that mean the guys have 4000? Good grief.

To keep myself in balance with this, I only check the site for 10 minutes, once a day. If I am having conversation via messaging or talking, it’s for that same amount of time. I’m busy y’all, and this is not my new job or my new hobby. It’s for exercise, and apparently blog material.

Aren’t you glad that you got to read all of these words and there was nothing politically charged? Me too…

Stay tuned for more adventures….

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri