For most of us, our days are packed with to-do’s and honey-do’s, meetings and matings, overflowing in-boxes (virtual and otherwise), and so much more. It seems that the best counterbalance to all that GO-Go-Go is a strong dose of — calm.
… And that’s exactly what I did these last two Sundays.
So now I find myself at my computer wanting to share with you what seem like two very different experiences, though actually both succeeded in re-balancing and re-energizing me for the week ahead.
1. A “Cat Weather/Tea-For-One” Campfire in Atlanta:
Sunday a week ago was a dreary, dark, rainy day. The kind that you dread going out in. Even at 10am, it felt like the sun had already gone down. I call it “cat weather”, the kind of weather that makes cats find a warm spot indoors where they curl up and chillax for hours. And hours.
I have found that nature often gives us the best solutions to problems. So when it’s cat weather outside, I try to follow suit with the following tools:
I loaded the cd player with 5 of my favorite CDs (or perhaps you might create a ‘cat day’ play list on your i-phone). It started with monastic Gregorian chanting and was followed by some lazy jazz and moved into some chamber music. Easy music that would serve as a calm backdrop to the day ahead.
- My Campfire:
I created a Campfire, a center of energy made up of a few treasures that would make me content and keep me company for the day. I gathered a few treasures and a few non-treasures – our cat, Missy, Jane Fonda’s fabulous book, Prime Time, signed signed by her earlier in the week, some thank you cards that had been waiting way to long to be written, my laptop and my phone. It was all there. All I had to do was tend it. So I made myself a pot of tea and settled down for a quiet, peaceful day.
- My Routine:
So there I was for a good part of the day, in my favorite chair in my favorite room in the house, with a fire going in the fireplace, wonderful music and my tea. So picture me, petting Missy, reading Prime Time, writing my notes, confirming some upcoming meetings, and reaching out to a few friends on the phone.
I was alone, but not lonely. Completely comfortable and in a world of my making. It felt like my brand of Comfort Living… So what might yours look like?
While you think about that, here’s another one of my Sundays, today, in fact.
2. A “Waves and Palm Trees” Campfire in Sarasota:
Another day on my own but with a very different feel to it. Unlike in Atlanta, when I woke up with soft rain and a poem (see the end of this blog), today the sun was streaming into the bedroom and the sounds of the waves were my alarm clock. I woke up thinking “it’s time to connect with nature” In fact, I spent the entire day down the street, at the Longboat Key Club and only now just got back in. Not only was able to find that re-energizing down time, but I was also able to connect with the wonderful people that are there.
The waves were my sound for most of the day, but first there was Mollie’s yoga class, with soft chanting that serves as a perfect start to the day along with a view to the water just outside the windows. I’d say for most of the rest of the day, the waves were my music, except for short stops at the driving range (yes, I’m taking up golf… if you can say that!), the weight room at the fitness center, and the resort store where I picked up a couple of small gifts, rough-hewn soaps infused with minerals and sand from the LBK beach. What a perfect gift to go with a message!
- My Campfire:
My campfire for the rest of the day was in a shaded lounge chair on the beach, with my book, my phone and not much more — except for one of the club’s mouthwatering gruyere cheeseburgers (Thanks for the tip, Lynn;)… I got it “to go” (Thank you LBK Club for not using styrofoam!) and found just the right spot on the beach.
- My Routine:
So with just a few treasures, I settled down for a lovely, truly lovely afternoon, tending my campfire and with a beach walk to cap it all off.
Again, not alone, because I had my own company (and that of my phone buddies). Total heaven. (Thanks to the wonderful people at The Longboat Key Club.)
… and now I’m back, with the sun about to set, and those waves still singing to me.
So I ask you again, what might your campfire look like? Think about your treasures and how you can bring them to the center of your world, even if it’s only for a day, or an hour.
Have a lovely evening — and here’s to next Sunday!
Actually, when I woke up on the Atlanta Sunday, I had dreamt a poem. Here it is:
A New Day
Soft rain drops falling,
Fragile petals kissing the earth,
A whisper to greet the morning…
and then a sigh.