September 18, 2015

Steps taken for my pilgrimage

I met a woman many years ago, Julie, who shared that she was on a pilgrimage around Michigan to promote a camp she was creating - Morningstar.  Wearing a backpack, shorts, a billowing green shirt, boots and carrying a simple walking stick, she was gypsy'ish, almost hippy'ish, in appearance.  A great conversationalist, I enjoyed hearing her very expansive story.

I've thought of Julie, often, over the years, and wondered if her dream ever came to fruition; mainly, I was secretly envious of her as I also carried a dream to be on a pilgrimage to something or somewhere. Life and responsibilities intervened, and yet I never lost my desire to create my very own challenge with a cause, like Julie.

Then I got to thinking (occasionally a bad thing when excess time presents itself). Why not do something extreme and allow me to be the cause, purpose and subject?  My kids are gone, am retired (there has to be a better word for this - retirement almost says to me that at a certain age, we are tired...thinking on that), my husband and children are very supportive.  Bam!  A walking, cycling, spinning and elliptical adventure of 1500-2016 miles from September 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016, was birthed.

This adventure board of my long-long dream - my own challenge - A Pilgrimage to Celebrate My Life - my personal adventure, odyssey, saunter, trek.  The life coaching class I took gave us support as our adventure boards materialized, and am pleased with how mine speaks to what I plan to accomplish as it now stands, not only as a reminder, but a record, of my, gulp, endeavor.  

This year has been fraught with illness and weakness and deaths and turmoil - yet, also hope of actualizing who I am in the face of the secret unknown, to make me "better" so I can better serve and help others, unselfishly and willingly.  

Visualizing the end goal - 489 days to achieve 1500-2016 miles.  Gotta get my walking stick out and cleaned of spider webs.
I'm ready to stretch myself.

September 17, 2015

Time of rediscovery

I am a retired Baby Boomer.

The second month of this new freedom finds me seeking my identity, post-work, and reevaluating what I want from life. In spite of this wide-open space filled with opportunities to uncover, I remain stuck remembering hurtful remarks made trying to demean and break my spirit -- "put me in my place". One particular comment of "who do you think you are?" continues to hold me captive. I earned my degree in journalism and heard, "it's about time" with no effort of a congratulations for this accomplishment.

These negative judgements, perhaps bullying, have been roadblocks in my quest to change, grow and challenge myself throughout life as in the depths of my soul, I believed what people told me. But, I am my father's daughter. He had such an ability to rise above injuries, surgeries and medical conditions, to create something new in his life. And, I am my father's daughter.

Dreaming - it's what I do, spending time musing about what could be and how to achieve that which I dream about. 
I have some accomplishments, am open to change, forgave the lost opportunities, and can focus on what plans emerge in my musings. ...and yet, the bully-statements get me in the gut.
As I said, I am my father's daughter, so borrowing from him and to prepare for life in retirement -- 
  • I took a class at Northern Michigan's Interlochen Fine Arts Camp, where we designed, brainstormed and created blogs. I found my cubbyhole, an activity that feeds my soul and allows for my writing and telling of stories -- in particular, freedom to share my life without verbal judgement. I am The Barefoot Norwegian.
  • I tore our small galley kitchen apart, chose calming new colors, and proceeded to sand, paint, toss and create a pleasant and peaceful place to create meals.
  • I meet with a "life coach" (a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges - Oxford Languages). I cherish the personal time where the coach hears me and guides my many musings and directions, while creating an acceptable action plan. I highly recommend finding a life coach if you are blocked, scared to move forward, or want to bounce ideas around.
  • Learning to accept that I'm an equal to others and having goals are important at any age.
Baby steps...

The Hardwood Walking Stick

All through my 30s onward, I’ve walked woods from the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, along with the mountains, hills and valleys of Michig...