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Harvesting

I have never fancied myself much of a collector. That (seemingly) fanatical drive to seek out and amass Barbies, stamps, ornaments, etc., is beyond me. Plus, I can be a tad fanatical about throwing things out and de-cluttering, so collecting does not appear to be in my nature.

Or so I thought.

Lately, I have realized that I do have one specific penchant for collecting. My loot, the thing that I seek: amazing experiences. I collect memories.

This realization helps me relate to other collectors. I understand that there is comfort in surrounding yourself with things that have meaning for you, whatever those “things” might be.

When times get difficult I know I can tap into the catalogs of my memory and draw upon a time that brought me joy. When I feel uncertain I can browse through my mental shelves and see that I’ve been uncertain before and I’ve come through it.

One hallmark of collecting is the thrill of the chase. I understand this perfectly because I love to plan. Plotting my next great experience is an entirely satisfying endeavor, maybe even better than the resulting event.

Sometimes collectors spend seemingly ridiculous amounts of money on their goods. Well, I get that too. I once took off to Europe with only $20 in my checking account. Yes, my credit card got a good workout but I have never, ever regretted that choice. Chief among my most prized possessions are my memories of travel.

True collectors reach out to like-minded souls. Me too! I have an impressive collection of long conversations on the meaning of life. These moments have become more rare as I have gotten older. I wonder why. Really, I wonder.

Oh, and to wonder! That has become a vintage collectible in the age of Google. I need to fill my shadow boxes with more wonder!

This season, go out and harvest some of what makes you happiest. The memory of those moments is sure to help you through the Winter, or even a long night. Build your collection and remind yourself that you are here, in the World, and there are endless opportunities to surround yourself with what you love.

Time and Time Again

Please note: What follows is not a lament on aging. Granted, it may appear so, but really, it is not. Being of a Zen nature and all, I am NOT freaked out to be in my MID-FORTIES! No, no.  No.  I take these things in stride, I look for the good in everything. Even though I now have to squint in order to see ANYTHING.

As the calendar pages peel away like a movie montage, I find myself pondering the concept of time more deeply and more often.

This intensifies in the melancholy month of September, as I mourn Summers hasty end and dread the greedy Winter, which is sure to stretch far beyond its allotted 3 months.

September also happens to be my birthday month. This may contribute to my bafflement with regard to time. It may also contribute to the aforementioned melancholy.

Don’t misunderstand. I am pro-aging! Maturing, enduring and gathering life experiences are privileges. I do, however, object to the fact that my High School graduation was 26 years ago. That is just wrong. Decades are not supposed to fly by so quickly. Read more

Just Go Ahead and Flop

This past Friday, while in New York, I took a dance class.  I have been doing this lately on Fridays, going to the city to take dance and voice classes and absorb artistic inspiration of all kinds.

Looking at the studio schedule, I decided to try a Contemporary Floor class.  I have taken many Floor Barre classes and figured it would be similar; conditioning exercises on the floor, moving across the floor with simple combinations, something like that.  The class was also taught by a former So You Think You Can Dance contestant and, as a huge fan of that show, I thought that’d be fun!

The class began with centering and breathing.  Ahhh, I thought, this is going to be right up my alley.  Then our teacher demonstrated the first “warm-up” which was a lovely choreographed sequence on the floor, using the core to contract and expand and roll around.  It looked pretty!  It was hard.  Instead of moving all watery and fluid like her, I felt like a piece of petrified wood trying to flip itself over. Read more

Skillfulness

My recent change of schedule has yielded me more free time. This is exactly what I intended, of course, but free time by itself can be tricky.  There are pitfalls all around (tv, internet, opening the fridge and cupboards repeatedly, etc.)  I was aware of these pitfalls and their allure, so I had a plan:  carve out specific time for my creative endeavors.

It turns out that statement is too broad to actually be helpful.  While having a plethora of outlets for creativity is awesome, I can get lost in contemplating  my options and end up doing nothing at all.  Enter tv, internet and the endless quest for snacks.

The big thing keeping me from these pitfalls over the past few weeks is a refreshing desire to become more skillfull. Read more