The Second Date: foam heart, kissing cheeks and so much promise

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“Don’t answer the door in a wedding dress and veil, he might not think you’re joking.” – Amy Sedaris, I like You: Hospitality Under the Influence

Even though we had a great first date I didn’t want to expect too much from the second date.  I am used to having great first dates and then either the guy disappears or he becomes someone else on the second date. I was cautiously optimistic.

We met at R Café and Tea Boutique in New Rochelle. It is cool little place near my apartment.   I had a café mocha with a scone.  He had a latte with a croissant.  He pointed it out to me that the barista made a heart out of milk foam on my cup.

The message was not lost on us.  We both believe in signs so a minor detail such as a heart in cup is to us message from the Universe. Color us fools wanting to be in love.

Similar to the first date we had fun.  We talked, laughed and smiled a lot.  I am still smiling.  Again, he paid me a lot of compliments.  He complimented my hair, my earrings, and again he oohed and aahed over how young looking he thinks my face is.  At some point he also mentioned he needs to get new glasses, but we are not going to dwell on his poor vision now. Lol

“Tenderness is the repose of passion.” – Joseph Joubert, The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert

At one point I made a joke about not letting Trump divide us and he said: “No, that is a minor detail. We don’t have to talk about politics.  I can talk about politics with other friends.”  I still don’t know how I feel about that but I am willing to wait and see.

I wanted to somehow memorialize the occasion so I proposed we take a selfie. “To show the grandkids” I told him.  He laughed and went along with it. He doesn’t have kids either.  He mentioned that it means more freedom and time for each other, so I am choosing to be grateful for that, instead of dwelling on a childless future.

I wish I could bottle and sell the way he makes me feel when he looks at me, when he touches my hand and kisses my cheek.  There is so much tenderness.  It is as if he is looking at the most beautiful and delicate thing in the universe.  I feel like the most desirable human being on the planet.

“Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.” ― Rumi

Even when he seems to be trying to be forward and aggressive he is slow and gentle.  At one point he said: “I want to kiss your beautiful face”. I replied: “Please do it” or something forward like that.  He reached over the table and kissed my cheek ever so gently. I took his face in my hands and kissed him softly on the lips.

I love this phase, I love this feeling.  The beginning, the getting to know each other, the discovery.  I am fully aware that as I am writing this I am giving the impression of a love struck teenager. I am! I am going to own that and enjoy it for as long as I can.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” – Henry David Thoreau

We finished our coffee and pastries and I wanted to show him the area I live at.  He always goes for the hand on my back, there but barely touching it.  I, instead, took his hand, so we walked holding hands. Just now I realized that perhaps this is one of my controlling tendencies, of wanting more and directing the situation. Or is it overthinking now?

As we were passing by The Curtain Shop he said that he had in mind to buy curtains for a patio door.  We walked in and I helped him choose a beautiful blue curtain. He seemed to enjoy the fact that I chose something for his house.

I walked him back to his car as he had to go to work.  We hugged good bye and kissed lightly on the lips.  He texted me when he got to work and called me later that night.

We didn’t schedule a third date yet, but I have no doubt it will happen.  We talked about watching the Super Bowl at his house.  He lives in a quaint little lake town over 1 hour away from me.

I can’t wait for passionate kisses. “Be patient” – I am telling myself.  It has been so long since I have been with someone that the chemistry is this good that I can’t help but want more and now.

“If each day falls inside each night,
There exists a well
where clarity
is imprisoned.
We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light,
with patience.

“Si cada día cae/If each day falls”
EI MAR Y LAS CAMPANAS. The Sea and The Bells.”
― Pablo Neruda

The first date

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“An open mind and a willing heart are the beginning of many a great adventure. Let’s get started.” Colleen Houck, Tiger’s Dream

M. is 56 years old and works in law enforcement. I like that he took charge and chose the location and time of the first date. He asked if I was okay with his choice or would like something else. I was fine with it.

We went to Chat 19 in Larchmont, NY, a place I have been to several times and enjoy. When I got there at 7pm he was waiting for me in the vestibule. We hugged hello, walked in and sat at the bar.

I had a passion-fruit mojito, he had red wine. We shared an appetizer of spring rolls. The conversation just flowed. We talked and laughed non-stop. We talked about everything.

If I was one of those people that paid attention to things I would be able to describe his clothing and shoes, but I am not, so I can’t. I know how he made me feel: comfortable, safe and wanted.

He mentioned that he never gets nervous but he was a little nervous at that moment – I could tell. He apologized if he was staring too much but he said couldn’t help himself because I was so beautiful.  He complimented my face and skin, and said I don’t look my age. He loved my small hands and said I could be a hand model. Even if he overdid a bit (or lot) I enjoyed receiving his compliments. There is no way that I could ever be a hand model, but it was fun to hear him say that.

The conversation about being a hand model led us to talk about our mutual love of Seinfeld. We both also love the movie Shawshank Redemption. We have similar tastes in a lot of things.

Then he brought up politics and the similarities ended.  I cringed. Lately it seems that is one topic that can make or break potential relationships. Turns out he voted for Trump. I mentioned that I didn’t and will not ever. We talked a little bit about our reasons, but quickly moved on from that subject.

We survived that topic.  I liked that he didn’t try to convince me of anything.  He was respectful and open minded.

Then a musical trio arrived at the restaurant and started playing. It was fun but it was loud so we listened to a few songs and headed out.

We walked towards my car holding hands. It felt natural and comfortable. We got to my car and as I said goodnight we leaned into each and quickly kissed on the lips.

I got in and started the car. I lowered my window, he leaned his head inside the car and kissed me again. After he moved away I pulled him back in and this time it was a longer kiss. I could kiss him the whole night.

We then said good bye and I drove home. Five minutes later he was already texting me to say thank you for the great evening and that he couldn’t wait to see me again. I felt the same way.

It was clear we liked each other. This is exciting and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

The second date is already tomorrow.  It is Martin Luther King’s day and I am off from work so we are going to have lunch before he goes to work. He works from 3pm to midnight.

Stay tuned…

“I want love, passion, honesty, and companionship… sex that drives me crazy and conversation that drives me sane.”― Steve Maraboli

Sometimes it does work

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“Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.” – Roy T. Bennett

After not dating for awhile I agreed to meet someone tonight.  We have already spoken on the phone a few times.  We both love to talk and have a lot to say so the conversation just flows.  We seem to have the same values and think along the same lines.  I am excited about it.

As we speak and get to know each other we are both getting more and more excited about the possibilities.  But he has been very quick to let me know that he is making no promises and anything can happen.  He doesn’t want to disappoint me, and of course he also doesn’t want to be disappointed.

I understand why he speaks in such a way.  The search for a partner can be frustrating.  It feels like it will never happen.

May be I am the one for him and he is the one for me, but the chances are slim.  Still I want to believe and I want him to believe.  I want everyone to believe that it will happen for them.

I will go on this date aware that the chemistry and congeniality we have on the phone may not be there in person. Every single time I must believe.  Otherwise what is the point? Otherwise why go?

For each time he mentions it may not work I think to myself: it may work.

“My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and become capable of seeing beauty of life once more. It’s happened before, it will happen again, I’m sure. When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive–I’ll find love again.” – Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

 

Who am I?

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“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama XIV

Sometimes I am not me.  Or perhaps I just don’t know who I am.

Sometimes I have negative thoughts and I admonish myself: You are so positive, that is not you!
Sometimes I am angry and I admonish myself: Anger is fruitless, that is not you!
Sometimes I am petty and I admonish myself: Be the bigger person, that is not you!
Sometimes I want to exact revenge and I admonish myself: Turn the other cheek, that is not you!                                                                                Sometimes I catch myself being judgmental and I admonish myself: Who are you to judge? That is not you.                                                                          Sometimes I am sad and admonish myself: Happiness is a choice, choose it always!                                                                                          Sometimes I make a mistake and I admonish myself:  Pay more attention, that is not you!

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize myself.  Where is the beautiful face that was there a second ago? At this moment I see the accumulation of years gone by.

Sometimes I step on the scale and the number that flashes back at me is not me.  Why is an additional pound terrifying?

Who am I? Am I the face in the mirror?  Am I the pounds on the scale?  Am I the mistakes made? Am I sad, bad, vengeful, petty, judgmental?

Sometimes I am someone I don’t recognize.  Sometimes I am someone I don’t like.

“if you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs.” – Cheryl Richardson

My aim is to make peace with myself even though I didn’t even know that there was a war going on.  It is one of those silent deadly disturbances, that at first is barely noticeable, then it just explodes. I don’t want an explosion.  So I am choosing to embrace it all.

I am good but I can be bad. I can be sad, angry, fat, etc.  I am allowed to be all those things.  The moment I remove the power from all that I think I am not allowed to be,  it no longer owns me.  It no longer torments me! I don’t have to try to be perfect.  I can just be.  I can just be me!

I am everything.  At the end of the day I am the mistakes and the lessons.  I am what went right and what went wrong. I am the negative thoughts that highlight a worry.  I am the angry child that needs understanding.  I am the pettiness that needs attention.  I am the vengeful being that is hurt. I am the extra pound, the sagging and the mistakes. I disappoint myself sometimes.

I am not what I used to be.  I am not who I thought I should be.  I allowing myself to be imperfect and to fail.  I am forgiving myself.

Who am I?

I still don’t know but I am allowing myself the the space and the freedom to find out. I am still grateful, full of love to give and worthy of receiving love.  Life is still an unbelievable trip!

Above all, I am blessed! ♥♥♥

“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist.  Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist” – Stephen Hawking

 

Who you are – Jessie J.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror
Why am I doing this to myself?
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf
No, no, no, no
Don’t lose who you are, in the blur of the stars
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay
Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are
Brushing my hair, do I look perfect?
I forgot what to do to fit the mold, yeah
The more I try the less it’s working, yeah,
‘Cause everything inside me screams, no, no, no, no, yeah
Don’t lose who you are, in the blur of the stars
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing
It’s okay not to be okay
Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart
But tears don’t mean you’re

Moving, at any speed, but moving

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” I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

The year had a slow start for me.  I guess I had unreasonable expectations for the beginning of the new year.  It is like I expected to wake up in the first day of the new year and magically everything made sense, work magically became less stressful and I again started exercising daily at 5am.

The truth was not even close.  I didn’t magically become this dynamo of motivation and energy.

Work is now even more stressful.  I continue toying with the idea of making a change, working part-time or even quitting. (but I am realistic also)

I haven’t been sleeping through the night in a couple of months (I blame hot flashes),  so even though I wake up in time to exercise I can’t make myself get up and go.

10 days into the new year I realize that I need to get going or I will spend the whole year just dreaming and planning to get things done but not really doing anything.  It is  not magic or wishful thinking but hard work that makes one succeed.

A new day on the calendar doesn’t mean a miraculous new beginning, but it does present a magical chance to start over.  Nothing can be done about yesterday, but today is all mine to get stuff done.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I am snapping out of this stupor that I have been on the last couple of months and get going.  I have taken some baby steps and here they are:

  • Flooring.  I am finally getting the floor of my bedroom done after being stuck in indecision and overthinking.  I went to Home Depot and chose the color and material it in 5 minutes.  The color chosen is below.  Feeling accomplished!
  • Walton Oak Lifeproof vinyl plank

  • Unclogged pipes. After spending months with bathtubs and sinks draining slowly and waiting for the plumber to get back to me, my sister returned from the grocery store with a Drano kit that comes with a plastic snake. I laughed at it, but I was proven wrong. This plastic snake cleaned years of dirt, hair, and other gunk.  It worked like magic. No more waiting for plumbers to get back to me.  Feeling powerful!
  • Drano with snake

  • Mosaics. I love working with them but I keep waiting for the right time and place to continue developing this craft. I was going to rent a studio, then decided against spending the money.  I finally found a place to learn and work with mosaics.  I just sent them an email and I am waiting for the class/workshop times.   I am so excited to get back to that passion.
  • Flowers and Butterflies

  • Dating.  After months of not feeling motivated to be dating or talking to anyone online, this week I finally logged in and chatted to a couple of nice (hopefully) people.  While I still didn’t schedule any dates I feel ready to get back to it.  Feeling fun and hopeful again.
  • Exercising.  I am still not exercising in the morning but I am doing something every evening even if it is just dancing to a few song or some lunges and squats.

I am so far from where I wanted to be or thought I should be at this moment in time. All I have to say is that I am aiming for movement.  Whatever I can do not to feel stuck. One step at a time,  one day at a time. I will get there.

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. – Confucius

2020: New Year, same plans

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“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson

A New Year is upon us.  It feels like 2019 just barely started and it is already over. What have I done in 2019?  What have I accomplished?   If I were to take inventory of 2019 I don’t think I would like the results.  I am older, achier, exhausted.

The idea that I wasted a whole year is just grim.  With that in mind, should I go through the motions of creating new plans and resolutions for 2020 that I know I will never follow through with them?

I think that what I need to do is to start finishing off old projects and following my passions.  Here are some of them:

  • Ski more– at least I went to Colorado in the beginning of December, need to go again before the end of the season
  • Learn French – I do know a lot words and was able to make some small talk, but have not continued studying, so I lost it all.  Need to pick it up again and not let go
  • Fix my hip issues – Attempted to work on it, but didn’t care for what the doctor suggested.  I need to choose another route instead of just doing nothing
  • Lose weight – the eternal drama that gets worst with age as metabolism slows down.  Looking at pictures from prior years I realize that I was not really fat when I thought I was fat.  Message here:  Enjoy the now! We are never as bad as we think we are. So let’s love and accept ourselves NOW!
  • Start doing mosaics again – One of my passions.  Had to pack up my stuff when my sister moved in.  I thought about renting a studio to work on them.  My realtor found me a cheap place, but even at $850.00 I still cannot see myself investing that much per month on a hobby. Need to try to look for lessons again.
  • Read more – Finish all the books that I have started. I have at least 20 books that have been started. I hear of a subject, an author, I buy the book, I read 1 page, put it aside and move on to the next.  My sister and I decided to do a book club.  Book club of 2, but at least that way we are both forced to finish a book.

What projects do you intend to start or finish in 2020?

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman

************

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens

At the end of the year I choose some charities to donate to.  I try to choose causes that are close to my heart, such as Education, Homelessness, Children and the Elderly.

I always donate to theses 3:

Along with those I always donate to some GoFund causes as I come across them.  They normally involve children or injustice.

I also alternate donating to some of the following:

This year I was helping out another local church with their soup kitchen until I suspected that my donations were being misused.  I am in search of another local place to help throughout the year.

I normally check https://www.charitynavigator.org/ for ideas and reviews on charities.

What causes/charities are close to your heart?

“Help others without any reason and give without the expectation of receiving anything in return.”― Roy T. Bennett

I WISH YOU ALL LOVE AND LIGHT! MAY 2020 BE MAGICAL!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS AND LOVE IN 2019!

New Rochelle: The Queen City of the Sound

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“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ― F.W. Dupee

New Rochelle, the city I live at, is growing by leaps and bounds.  The jury is still out if that is a good or bad thing.

This is part of a project initiated in 2015 to revitalize the downtown area.  The mayor just been reelected so it seems most of the population (at least of the voting population) are on board with his plans.

There will be apartment buildings, hotels, storefronts, etc.  The new buildings will provide an additional 6,000 rental units.  We are just 30 minutes from Manhattan so the idea is to attract the people that work there but don’t want to pay NY City rent prices to live there.

I hope that the infrastructure will be able to handle all this growth.  More people means more traffic, more pollution, perhaps more crime, among other issues that a larger population brings.

“The acknowledgement of a single possibility can change everything.”
― Aberjhani,

To quote Mayor Noam Bramson: “In 2019, New Rochelle is a growing city — growing faster than almost any other in New York State — with the most ambitious downtown development plan in the entire Hudson Valley, with a plan that is attracting unprecedented investment, bringing life and energy to our city’s center, from the street-front to the skyline”.

To achieve all that the mayor has promised to quickly approve any projects that are presented. And he has, click here http://www.101010nr.com/ and you can see all the buildings going up and their progress.  There are over 20 buildings.

New Rochelle is already diverse and artsy, but I am hoping for even more culture, more art exhibits, new restaurants, stores and entertainment in general.  Unfortunately just this week 2 restaurants have closed down and there are many retail spaces that have been vacant for years. I am trying to remain optimistic that all that will change with the arrival of more people.

“People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favour progress, provided they can have it without change.”― Anthony de Mello 

In keeping with being more cultural, several murals have been painted around downtown.  They were the result of a SAM- Street Art for Mankind project.  They are a really cool non-profit organization.  Check it out: https://streetartmankind.org/about/

I only have pictures of the 3 murals that are right next to my building (all posted here).  If you want to see the others you can check them out here: https://streetartmankind.org/nrny/?doing_wp_cron=1576782329.6356120109558105468750


In 2018 New Rochelle was one of 9 cities nationwide to win $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge.  New Rochelle won with the idea of improving development projects by using virtual reality to better illustrate proposed projects to the residents.   Sao Paulo, the city where I come from in Brazil was also a winner in 2016.

To check out other winners: https://mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org/bold-ideas/

“Are you open-minded? If not, leave the door open to it.” ― Frank Sonnenberg, Soul Food: Change your Thinking, Change Your Life

Another project that the city of New Rochelle is trying out is free electric shuttles in the downtown area.  You can flag them as they pass by or there is an app and you can request them.  I haven’t tried them yet but I love the idea. https://www.newrochelleny.com/circuitnr

 

And there you have it: a glimpse of some of what is going on in my city.

By the way,  New Rochelle is nicknamed Queen City of the Sound because of its shoreline.  So sound as in ocean inlet and not noise.

“Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.”― Thomas A. Edison

Vacation? NO! just work postponement

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I came back from my vacation and I am a bit overwhelmed.  It was not the right time for me to go away; but then again it is never the right time to leave.  I am glad I booked ahead of time so I had to go.

Vacations have a price. And I am not talking about airfare, hotel, etc.  I am talking about the price you pay when you come back.  The unpacking, the getting caught up with work, the getting a routine back.  Getting life back to normal is hard.

But I digress, let me relive my days in Winter Park, Colorado by telling you about it:

Day 1, Tuesday: Travel day. I left LaGuardia airport at 8 am. After the flight and a 1 and a half hour van ride I walked into the Zephyr Mountain Lodge at 3:30 pm. After leaving my bags in the room I went to get my skis for the next day.  I have my own boots and helmet, but I rent the skis.

Zephyr Lodge

Day 2, Wednesday:  I woke up late.  It is great not having to wake up with an alarm clock, specially since I haven’t been sleeping well lately.  At 10 am I finally stepped on the snow.  After dreaming about it for the past 2 years it felt amazing.  I was so grateful for everything, for nature, for being able to go.  I was surprised that I did better than I expected.

Beautiful sunny day

Day 3, Thursday: I woke up with a beautiful, majestic snow falling. It was magnificent and awe-inspiring! But I must confess, it was inspiring me to stay indoors.  I considered not going skiing.  I considered the cold, it felt so cozy inside.  I considered the hassle of the equipment, the heavy boots, the skis.  I considered that pang of fear creeping in.  I considered just staying in the room and watching the snow showers from my window.  After all, no one would know.

“My ambition is handicapped by laziness” -― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

But of course I would know. It took a couple of hours for me to talk myself into going out. I am so glad I did! I had an amazing time. I skied until they were closing at 4 pm. I am so glad I didn’t let the voices inside my head win and keep me from being on the snow.

I don’t have to be perfect or do well.  I just have to get out there and do what I love!

Warm inside, snowing outside

Day 4, Friday: I take lessons every time I go skiing, but this time I had decided that what I really needed was more time on skis.  But after having such a great day the day before I decided to take a lesson.  I am so glad I did.  My instructor’s name was Joy, she was older and absolutely the best.  She gave me good tips and pointed it out exactly what I was doing wrong.

There were two other women in the group.  One of them is a snowboard instructor that needed to learn to ski well to be able to teach both sports.  The other was a mother that wanted to be able to ski with her kids.  We were all in the same ability level so it worked out great.

That was the day I skied the best.  I always do better when I have a teacher/instructor with me. I guess I always want to impress them.  I also think that by following them and what they are doing I forget to pay attention on me and I am able to just let go.

Skiing is letting it all go and letting the body do what it wants to do: go down the mountain.  Without trying to fight it.  I spend a lot time fighting both, my body and mind.

Another beautiful day

Day 5, Saturday: The last skiing day. I started out well. At 12 pm I stopped at Sunspot on the top of the mountain to take a break and drink something.

I saw two women looking for a table and offered to share mine with them.  They were from Atlanta and were attending a friend’s party that weekend. We talked non-stop for over an hour. I had already been sitting at the table  awhile before they joined me, which meant that I sat there for about two hours.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” – Charles Bukowski

I think that I sat too long and by the time I went back out there I just didn’t do as well as the other days.  I felt out of control.  It seemed my left leg didn’t want to respond to my commands.  I decided to cut it short and stopped at 3 pm instead of staying until 4 pm.

Sunspot: Lunch spot on the mountain

Day 6, Sunday: It was the day to leave.  I woke up at 4:30 am to be ready for the van at 5 pm to take me to the airport. My flight was at 10:52 pm. I landed on JFK at 4:30 pm.  Uneventful flight.  Uneventful day.

Overall I had a great time.  I only missed enjoying the restaurants.  Since I really wanted to focus on skiing this time I didn’t make arrangements to meet any dates.  When I got there I wished I had. I attempted to connect with people online but ended up connecting with someone that was in Aspen, which is way too far from Winter Park to be able to meet on the spur of the moment.

We are still communicating so perhaps there is a trip to Aspen in my future. I have been so impatient with dating lately.  Perhaps it is true that menopause means “Men on Pause”.  I certainly have been on pause way too long and the hot flashes just started.  Is this the end?

Going back to the trip, besides skiing I got a massage, took walks into town, and soaked in the tub while watching movies. I relaxed and forgot about work.

We all need days where we can do whatever we want.  When we sleep at any time, wake up at any time.  No pressure, no deadlines.  Those were those days.

Meeting a local

It renewed my love for skiing. For the challenge of it. For the beauty of it.  It renewed my love for nature.  Nature is so beautiful and inspiring. I am always in awe of this world around us.

Huge snowy mountains reminds me of how small  and insignificant I am.  At the same time it makes me feel powerful and capable of all…if that makes any sense.  It also makes me feel incredibly grateful.  Grateful for life! Grateful for the ability to enjoy its gifts! Grateful for each unique moment!

Now back to reality, but also back to planning the next trip.  Life is beautiful if not only for us to run after the next challenge. To brave new worlds, to get on planes, trains, trails, to brave fears.

What is that one thing that terrifies you and also make you feel so incredibly alive? Skiing is my poison!  What is yours?

View from inside Sunspot

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

Skiing: I am making it my business

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“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…. And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.”― Søren Kierkegaard

Weather permitting, tomorrow morning I will be on my way to Winter Park, Colorado.  Fingers crossed.

I am so excited for this trip.  I cannot wait to experience the majesty, beauty and freedom of a snowy mountain. I am looking forward to skiing again.  Skiing is very challenging to me, and that is another reason why I love it so much.  It doesn’t come easy to me. My body fights me every step of the way.

Today, a co-worker/friend jokingly said to me: “Ana, you have no business going skiing!”  I know it sounds bad, but I didn’t take offense.  He is a good person that would never say anything to hurt me.  He was just pointing out the obvious.  He knows about my issues with hip, back and collarbone pains.

Still what he said got me thinking.   I think I take pleasure in doing things that “I have no business doing”.  That is probably one of the attractions for me.  All my Brazilian friends are horrified that I rather be on a cold mountain instead of a hot beach.  I like beaches too, but given the choice I choose the cold mountain.

Then there is the fact that I am going alone.  So perhaps this whole trip is a bit crazy but isn’t the crazy moments in life the best?  Who is to say what is my business and what is not?

I have a lot thoughts about that and want to expand on it, but it is 11pm and I have to get up at 4am to catch my flight.

I also wanted to write about fear.  Skiing scares me, and yet entices me so much. What is fear?

I gotta run and will be back here soon.  Is anyone in Winter Park or near?

Go and do something that you have no business doing, but want to do it!

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”― Terry Pratchett

 

Finding gratitude in everything is the key to a happy life!

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“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” – ― Thich Nhat Hanh

This post is about gratitude and yet I was about to start complaining about all that is going wrong at the moment.   At this very moment I realize that nothing is really going wrong.  All is going as it is supposed to be going.  Problems and all. Headaches and all.

There is no wrong.  Everything is right.

Reminder to myself:  There are no problems, only opportunities.  It is up to me to welcome those opportunities and to figure out how to best use them; or how to learn from them.

In the last few months it seems I have misplaced my rose colored glasses.  My life is the same, with the same issues.  The difference is that I have been noticing them more and complaining more about it. My reaction to what is happening is what has changed.

It is time to stop.  Complaining doesn’t become me.  It also doesn’t solve anything.  It only serves to make me feel like a victim and to invite more negative energy.  It is about time to put the rose colored glasses back on.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”― Alphonse Karr

The best way to look at life is with gratitude.  Gratitude creates a positive energy that permeates throughout all areas of my life.

This Thanksgiving I am reminding myself to be more grateful.  I am reminding myself of old me, positive and optimist no matter what.

Thanksgiving should be a daily prayer and not only a day in the year.

Problems are oftentimes wake-up calls.  They are the signal that perhaps we need to change directions.  My body is signaling that I have been neglecting areas that I need to look at.  

Some times if we are left to our own devices we just go, go, go, on 1 speed, not paying attention, not respecting our bodies and our limits.  We also get used to dysfunction, we adjust instead of changing.

“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” – Rumi

So this Thanksgiving I am grateful for all the problems and challenges I faced this year.  I am fully aware that they offer me a big chance for reflection and growth, so with that thought in mind I welcome and look forward to many more.

If I look back at my life what I believe are the 2 most important things are: gratitude and hard work.  So I will continue working hard with a grateful heart and the whole universe will continue to conspire to give me all that I dream about it.  Actually the result is more often much more than we can possibly dream about it.

On this Thanksgiving day I am grateful for this blog and most specially to you my friends that read and comment with so much wisdom and generosity of heart.  You make my blog and my life so much better.  You really do!!

I wish you a beautiful holiday!  May you be surrounded by all you love!

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”― Epicurus