Winter Review & Spring Hopes

I have a hard time deciding when is the best season for setting goals.  The winter has all the New Year’s resolutions hype, new calendars and year-in-review stuff.  But as a teacher,  I often find myself making new goals in the fall as I prep for a fresh new year of school.  Still the spring has all the blooming and things coming back to life and that feels like the perfect time for some new plans.  As soon as daylight savings time kicks in and I don’t feel like I need to go to bed immediately after work, I’m ready to come out of hibernation and I’m pumped to make some spring plans.

I think about setting goals fairly often. It was kind of the basis of how I started blogging the first time. I’m often dreaming of new things I want to try, new ways of being, acting thinking.  To grow and learn and improve.  Plans I want to make, places I want to go, things I want to do.  I’m kind of a dreamer like that.  The change of seasons feels like a good time to reflect on the past few months and look forward to the next few. Maybe every season is a good season for setting goals.

Back in January, I made a little list of goals for the winter and I didn’t do too badly in making them happen.  In that post I also wrote about when goals don’t happen, so I’m okay with the ones I haven’t accomplished yet. It’s the trying.  Here’s the list I made and a little update on how things went:

  • write – I’ve written a post every week so far this year.  Last weekend was my 50th post on this blog.  This make me very happy.  I really enjoy the process of writing.  I do it mostly for myself, but I’m very appreciative to my family and friends and even the strangers who read here.  I like hearing that you enjoy my writing and I’m glad when a lesson I’m trying to learn is something you’re working on too.  Makes us feel even more connected.  Thanks for reading, friends!
  • hike – I did not go hiking this winter.  I had envisioned the beauty of snow covered trees and trails, but I underestimated the lovely lure of warmth.
  • go to a few new (to me) restaurants – YUM!  I wrote about that here.
  • host some gatherings at my house – I didn’t host any parties or dinners this winter. That’s what I was picturing – gatherers around my dining room table.  I had visitors, but nothing like I’d planned.  I can’t wait to open the patio soon though.  Patio party anyone?
  • take a spin class – This didn’t happen either.  Some amazing friends of mine wake up before the sun and make it to spin class before work.  I’ve managed to be up and work out in the super early morn,  but not quite getting out of the house for it yet.  Some day friends, I will join you.  I think you are amazing!
  • log a few hundred miles on my bike trainer – Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling, pedaling, pedaling…I didn’t make it to Canada, but I’ve been spinning my wheels.  Can’t wait to move that bike outside!
  • continue learning yoga – I only missed one of my weekly classes this winter.  I continued learning along with my first graders and have dabbled a bit with practicing at home.  Yoga is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do. And it’s teaching me a lot.  See here.
  • do something that scares me – This.  This blog here scares me a bit.  Putting my thoughts and feelings out onto the interwebs and in front of my family and friends is a little scary.  I worry what people will think of me.  But I do it anyway, because I have to be me-er.
  • plant a terrarium – Ugh.  Why do I want a terrarium again?  Why can’t I just buy one already planted?  Did I ever tell you about the time I had my library privileges revoked on account of a book about terrariums?  I kept it for a year but still didn’t plant the dang thing. I’m a bit of a procrastinator.  And I’m busy.  You too?

I did and didn’t do a lot of other things besides those on the list and those I’ve written about here.  All in all, it was a very good season. I made a lot of changes this winter.  The spring gets a bit more full with commitments for me.  I coach a girls running group, I have to kick things into a higher gear with the bike riding and school gets a lot busier before it winds down into summer vacation.  Those things will fill up my days with happy outdoor time and work, but I’m still hoping to make time for some spring hopes to come true.  Here’s a little list for the season ahead:

  • keep writing
  • hike
  • learn to take better photos
  • break out the kayak
  • try some new yoga classes

It feels good to take some time to consciously think about how I’ve spent my time and how I want to spend it.  While I want to be open to where the flow of life will take me, I also want to live on purpose and make some things happen.  Here’s to spring happenings!

Thank you for reading!

Thank you for reading!

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#1 – Passport for Dinner (plus #’s 10 & 13)

When do most people get their passports?  Probably before they’re 34, right? Probably because they’re going on a big trip…maybe to Europe, backpacking, or to some tropical island or maybe a cruise to lots of different places.  Well, I just got mine this summer and I promptly put it to goooood use…I went to Canada!  For dinner.  Nope, not to Niagara Falls, not Montreal.  Not for the weekend or even overnight.  To Frelighsburg.  For dinner. 4 or 5 hours, tops.  You do know where Frelighsburg is, don’t you?  Don’t worry.  I didn’t either/still don’t really.  What I do know is that it’s pretty close to my friend, MC’s lake house in Vermont and dinner in Canada was just one part of a super fun girls’ week on the lake this summer!

Last summer, I was the party pooper because, when dinner in Canada was suggested, I was the only one without her passport.  MC thought maybe we could just tell the border patrol officers that we’d be back real quick and they’d let me go without the passport, but I didn’t think that would work.  We briefly considered the hiding under a blanket in the trunk option but that may or may not have ended with getting arrested, so we nixed that idea too.  The only option was to apply for the passport and wait it out til this year.  So I did and after a little birth certificate confusion got straightened out, I was really happy when my passport finally came in the mail.  And I was even happier when we got to Vermont and I could put it to use! After we crossed the border, we went to a cute little bistro called 2 Clochers. (What does that mean?) We sat outside on their deck which was shaded by lots of trees and overlooked a little stream.  The menu was in French. (4 years of French in high school didn’t get me too far.) But it was tr`es bien(very good)!  Here’s how it went:

One mile to go!

I forgot to sign it. Then the officer asks MC, “So where you going tonight?” And she responds, “Canada.” Yep. There’s pretty much no other option at this point! She probably was not that impressed with or amused by us, but she did give us a good restaurant tip!

Oh yeah, Frelighsburg is in Quebec.

Checking out my first stamp. You have to ask for the stamp when you cross the border here. They don’t just automatically do it. Mine was the only passport out of 4 that she did. I needed a stamp to remember my first use!

#13 – I ordered something with tomatoes!!…

…I was not impressed. With the tomatoes! Once removed, the sandwich was pretty tasty!

Canadian beer > Canadian tomatoes

#10 – I got a lot of peaceful paddles in my kayak. See that mountain in the background? That’s Canada!

I wonder where I’ll take my passport next????

#10 & #24 – Kayaks and Kites

I’ll just go ahead and give you the moral of the story right up front.  It goes like this…

dance in the rainAnd ain’t that the truth?!  We get one – just one – beautiful, amazing life!  We gotta get out there and live it!  It’s kind of what my list is all about/helping me learn.  BUT! But. If there is a storm, I mean an actual weather storm, with thunder and lightning and the whole bit, then you might want to wait it out.  Don’t let it stop you, just be safe.  That’s what happened this weekend when I went kayaking and kite flying at the beach with my good, good friends.  Thunderstorms ended our kayaking trip a bit early and delayed our kite flying for some time, but we did get to do both and we had lots and lots of fun together!  See here…

That little one in the middle is quite the paddler!

That’s not my kayak but I was still so happy to be on the water. And it was the first time I got to go with the little one. We were both psyched about that! Only a little longer til she can do her own boat (or try mine!).

“Look at that cloud! Looks like it’s leaking. Is that rain?”

BOOM! Thunder. Kayaking. Over.
We do some shopping while it pours.

At this beach, kite flying is only allowed after 6pm. So we take a walk by the water while we wait. We enjoy the pretty sky, assess the wind…

…we get hit with a wave while posing for pics…

…then we turn around and see this sky! And BOOM! more thunder…

So we wait it out with a pedicure for tiny toes.

Then when the storm passed…she just went for it! That kite was flying high!

She kept telling me to let mine go higher…

She came over to give me some pointers…

…so I let ‘er go to the end of her rope!

Pure joy! Worth the wait.

Look at those cute beach feet! Thanks, friends! The kayaking, the kites, the beach, the horse racing, taking the pics… the whole weekend was wonderful! xoxo

#10 – In Which I Totally Redeem Myself

So last week, there was that whole kayaking debacle, but this weekend, there was OCEAN KAYAKING! And WAVE RIDING! Look at me!

Ridin the waves! Like a pro.

Ok.  There was just one wave ridden and maybe some hoohaa about it beforehand, but still.  I did it.  Redeemed?  I think so.

Now I could just stop here and let myself look kinda cool.  It’s a cool picture, right? But I’d like to be honest about the situation and I’d like to say a big thank you to my friend, Jackie who put up with said hoohaa and helped make this wave riding happen.  I mentioned before that I’m a calm water girl, you know, lakes and bays and such. That’s my kayaking comfort zone. The waves make me a little nervous. I didn’t want to wipe out in front of all the weekend beach goers or, worse, be the first rescue case for the lifeguard trainees who were working out on the sand that day.  So I may or may not have been whining a little bit on our walk to the beach.  Some people might say that I was making excuses, but I really didn’t have breakfast that morning.  Plus I’d gone on a looonng bike ride, riding into the wind practically the entire time. That kind of resistance takes extra energy.  Did I mention I was riding my mountain bike? on the road?! Not as easy to pedal as Jackie’s nice road bike.  I think there was legitimate cause for concern about weakness and fatigue. Maybe I was too tired for wave paddling. It was hot out too. And humid.  Do you think this is hoohaa?  This is the kind of stuff that Jackie was listening to all morning.  And though she may have called me lame once or twice, she never offered an out.  She never said, “You know, you don’t HAVE to do this.  Your list is supposed to be about fun, if it makes you nervous, just relax and read instead. No biggie.”  A little bit, I wanted an out.  Like right here.  Right here, I really wanted an out.

I think I was saying, “I don’t know about this…”

But if you scroll back up to that wave riding pic, right there I was so glad to have my friend who doesn’t let me back out.  Right there I was having fun! Right there I was feeling like a real kayaker.  I was reminded that I’m a girl who has rafted the Gauley River.  Boy, was that nerve wracking!  But I did that too and maybe I should keep on doing stuff that takes me out of my comfort zone. There are a few spots left on my list…I might consider your suggestions…

PS – The next day we took it easy.  Flat waters, in the bay, Atlantic City in view.  Could have done without the greenhead flies, though. That’s two paddles in one weekend!  Thanks, Jac!

#10 – FAIL!

Oh!  It was a beautiful day here yesterday!  Sun shining, blue sky, a few fluffy white clouds, warm, but not too hot.  It seemed like a great day for kayaking.  So I rounded up my good friends, slapped on some sunscreen, secured the roof rack, loaded the boat up and things looked something like this…

All ready to go!

Got to the lake and things looked something like this…

CLOSED?!?!

Aaaaannnnd…kayaking – OVER!  Before it even began.  Cue sad trombone music.  So the lake itself was not technically closed, but the boat rental place was, which meant that my friends couldn’t rent boats and who wants to kayak alone?  Well, I guess some people do, ya know, for the peace and solitude and all, but I was looking for some fun time with my girls. No sweat. It’s summer!  We got ice cream instead.  Not a bad trade.  Stay tuned for more kayaking adventures.  I have some wave riding plans in the works…(yikes!)