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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

My plan for this trip to Brazil was to just relax, read and spend time with family.  I go to Brazil at least twice a year, so it has become a routine.  When things become a routine we no longer give the proper appreciation or care to it.  I am blessed to be able to go see my family twice a year.  I know so many people that haven’t seen their parents in years.

Noticing I was becoming blase about it I decided a change of attitude was needed.  I decided to not see it as routine but as a brand new blessing.  I came across that Marcel Proust quote above and sent it to a friend that I knew would appreciate it and support me on this new attitude.

Armed with my new attitude I get to the airport and come face to face with this writing on the wall (in the picture below) at my departing gate.  It seems even the airport is trying to open and refresh my eyes.  Indeed the message is: new eyes, new way to see things.

At the gate for my flight to Brazil

I am not sure I have been 100% successful in seeing Brazil with new eyes. I am a firm believer that recognizing that change is needed and working towards it is in itself a success. The key is moving forward towards your intended goal, the speed at which you do it is less important.

With new resolve and resolution one needs to be constantly reminded to make sure not to fall back into old patterns, views and actions.  Every morning I greet the world with gratitude and I tell myself: It is a brand new day, full of brand new blessings, go out and find and see them!

How about we all start looking at everything with new eyes? How about we don’t assume we already know the outcome of something even if we have performed it 100 times before?  Let’s be in the moment and allow every new moment to surprise us! 

Let’s look at people with new eyes and give them a chance to reintroduce themselves. I am not the person I was yesterday, why do I assume others are still the same?

“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

I spent time with my family but there was no reading or resting.  My brother is moving to a house in the back of my mother’s house. I spent every waking hour helping him get that house cleared up and ready to move in.  That little house had become storage space for anything that was no longer wanted.

At the end of the day I was so physically exhausted that I couldn’t think about doing anything other than going to sleep.  For the first time ever I didn’t log into work.  I didn’t check the bank for payments.  I didn’t check emails for customer’s requests.

This is also the first time that I have been told that I look refreshed and happier after returning from a trip. I do love manual labor, the dirtier and messier something is the more I enjoy cleaning.  I let my mind go and focus on the labor at hand.  It is totally cathartic to me.

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”  – Meister Eckart

And here is an odd thing: I didn’t have hives a single time in Brazil. I have had them every day since I have returned.  In Brazil I didn’t follow the gluten free diet I had been trying to follow. I ate whatever I wanted. Does that mean that the hives is not related to what I am eating?  Is it pollution, something at work,  something in my apartment, perhaps it is a combination of factors?  I am continuing to write down all I eat in an effort to pinpoint the culprit.  I do know that stress is a major contributing factor.

My brother’s move is a great thing. My parents are older so they need more assistance and is a great relief to have him near them.

I am blessed to still have my parents. My dad is 80 and still going strong after battling cancer.  He lost a leg to it but he is now stronger than ever.  My mom is turning 83 and even after battling depression and other issues stemming from a mild stroke she is doing amazing.  She doesn’t look anywhere near her age.

As usual every time I go to Brazil my mother returns with me and stays for a couple of weeks.  For her birthday on May 1st we will be spending a couple of days at Foxwoods Casino in CT.  Mom being here means eating, gambling and shopping, but I am trying to pace myself.  Here is to a next several days of celebration and fun!!

“Life is nothing to be very serious about. Life is a ball in your hands to play with. Don’t hold on to the ball.”- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar