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the inescapable journey: growing up

coffee house

There’s no avoiding it, growing older is hard. Every birthday, even those impactful ones like 16 and 21, aren’t complete with a little regret of moving forward. I’m turning the big 3-0 this year and it’s being interesting to take stock of what the last year of my 20s looks like and what lies ahead. It’s definitely different that what I expected. It also looks a lot younger from this angle.

In light of this inevitable change we call aging let’s look at facts that await us and the positive and negative possibilities.

FACT #1: We look older.

negative –
I said it. We look older. People aren’t as surprised to find out my age and my wrinkles are setting in (thankfully not too too quickly). My body is changing. Etc. etc.

positive –
I don’t look like I’m playing dress-up when I put on my fancy clothes. I heard an older women describe wrinkles as a “well-earned timeline” the other day and I like that.

FACT #2: Some life-chapters are now closed forever.

negative –
I will never be able to hang out with my college friends and not remember what it felt like to pay bills, think about things in scope of the “long-term”, or really experience that child-like freedom again. Yep, gone.

positive –
With responsibility comes independence. I’m my own woman! I can do what I want! I can make my bed if I want … or not! Seriously though, now middle school is over. I can choose to eat what’s best for me and to do what’s best for me. (Not that people haven’t made great decisions on my behalf in the past but it’s nice to do it on my own :))

FACT #3: Friends change.

negative –
People have moved away or grown apart and there are relationships that will probably die-away. Some have already but I don’t want to accept it.

positive –
In the wake of life-changes, my friendships have bee morphing. It seams as though the idea of “friendship based in location” location is dying away. In its place is “friendship based on ideals”. As we grow older and become more defined we form strong opinions on how life should be. It’s fitting that the community we choose to invest in and let invest in us reflects our growth.
So growing older? It seems to be all about perspective.

Do you agree with me? Are there things that I missed? What do you think about life as we’re growing up and older?

Happy Growing!

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when the going gets overwhelmed – 3 ways to cope

Front-door-floorRecently I’ve been living to work, instead of working to live.  Not by choice, mind you but by demand.  I’m a full-time orchestra teacher and we just finished our busiest season.  All of this crazy has left me with little energy or patience when it comes to anything else.

Being overwhelmed is a real thing.  It’s also a manageable thing.  And personally a lot of it lives right inside my head or as I sometimes lovingly call it, the jungle.  But seriously, I realized recently that I can control myself and my overwhelmed-ness way more than I give my self credit.

Here are some things that I held on to while navigating these busy murky waters.  I would encourage you to try one.  (You’re allowed to be patient with yourself.)

1.   Remind yourself that everything changes.

Change can be such a scary thing.  It’s new, different, and takes adjusting.  Sometimes it’s unwelcome because the times are so good. But when the times are tough, hey!, it’s great to remember that this is temporary.  Let yourself hope for the future.  You will survive.

2.   Schedule in alone time.

My husband’s amazing.  After work I was telling him some of my day and let’s just say my eyes may have started secreting what most people call… a lot of tears.  (My poor husband.)  He listened to all of my stories and problems and what-have-yous and then he told me to take a bath.  “Hey sweetheart, you should take a bath and I’ll bring you some coffee.”  I thought, “Are you freaking serious?  You’re the most amazing man in the world.”

After that hour (yes, hour) in the tub, sitting in silence, drinking my coffee, my priorities were back in their appropriate place and I could finally breathe.  I need my alone time.

3.   Be more organized and preplanned than usual.

The unknown is always overwhelming.  Try siting down and planning out what needs to be done and in what order.  Every time I do that, I feel the impossible become possible again.

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Busy seasons come and go.  They teach us a lot.  Lots of things get done.  It’s a part of life.  Maybe these things will help make those times more bearable.

Question:  What healthy habits do you use to cope with life when the going gets overwhelmed?

Toronto Trip with my BFF

We recently took some time off of school to get away to Toronto.  I had only driven through and never really gotten to see the city.  We stayed in an adorable Airbnb, walked around town, went to the Art Gallery of Ontario, saw the CN Tower and had some excellent food.

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Air Bnb fire place and feet

Air Bnb fireplace

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AGO(2)

AGO

Air Bnb in the mirror

Air Bnb

rustic cosmo cafe

Kevin in the street

Flower Shop

Cafe for gelato

Air Bnb - between the buildings

Air Bnb(2)

Kevin Driving

What trips do you like to take?  Do you like to visit the city, go somewhere warm?  What’s your favorite vacation moment?

3 ways to slow down your life

Sarahlove Harper Calligraphy

Society, humans, and life in general has been getting seemingly fast and faster and faster.  With technology and our short attention span, I’m not sure we’re going to slow down and soak in life without a very concerted effort.

Please don’t get me wrong.  Technology is great and the way of the future but everything in moderation… isn’t that what they say.

  1.   Take time away from technology

2.   Take a look around at the world that’s zooming

3.  Share it with someone who’s important to you.

Now, why?

Because life is worth living to the fullest and it’s hard to see it through a screen, even if it’s HD.