After A Month’s Reflection . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I left Spain just a bit more than a month ago, and flew directly to Italy for another 12 days, but even then I was writing about things to consider after I returned home.  My initial question was, and still is, “I want a quieter life.  What can I eliminate from my schedule?”

On my return from my first Camino in 2013, I managed to sit daily for two hours in the afternoon, reading in front of the fireplace.  I shut out most social activities, but couldn’t give myself much kudos because the reason I put a halt to everything was that my one remaining Golden Retriever, Marley, contracted a raging, tenacious staph infection in his right front elbow and part of the right side of his chest.  Two surgeries, a feeding tube, mixing slurry to put in said tube until he could eat again, and bandage/dressing changes EVERY day, seven days a week, at 8:00 a.m. for six weeks.  Exhaustion and worry eliminate any desire to socialize, quite frankly.

Marley died in October 2014, so now I have no pet reason to slow down.  What I’ve been writing is most likely of much less interest to my followers than it is to me, but this site is where I record my Camino and its after-effects.  So the list in my journal (in addition to attempting NOT to get another dog for another year or two) looks like this:

  • Committee work? Do I want to continue?
  • No more than TWO coffee or lunch dates per week (try ONCE a week). I’ve managed to do this so far, though I’ve had several doctor’s appointments since my return
  • Sell my Expedition.  I’m getting there . . . installed the third seat, and will have the car detailed this week before I post it for sale.
  • Sell my Karmann Ghia.  An on-again, off-again project.  Love that car . . .
  • Sort and sell some of the voluminous collection of yarn I’ve accumulated
  • Spend two hours a week (all at one time) in my sewing closet, repairing or whatever, to get the stack DOWN.
  • Take a class to learn how to use my serger and learn to thread the damned thing by myself
  • Consider selling my cello, or begin taking lessons again
  • Sell my JFK uncirculated half dollars
  • Write in this journal every day
  • Go back to Nia
  • Re-register to be an UBER driver
  • Write with Kay on Tuesdays again.  I’m at Starry Night, our regular meeting place, right now, as I write this.
  • Attend Tuesday noon meditation at downtown Shambala Center before meeting with Kay.  I’ve managed this every week so far.
  • Order fountain pen cleaning solution.  Done . . . just waiting for Amazon to deliver it.
  • Get my scarves ready for the Lincoln Center gift Show.  Done . . .the weekend was slow, but I did sell triple my booth fee.  Not a lot but enough.
  • Work on WordPress help.  Back burner, I can tell.
  • ***JUST SAY NO to all new invitations, all new projects, until this list is accomplished.  I’ve managed to do this very well so far, without a skip of a beat.  When presented with a new project, a new anything that isn’t already on my radar, I say, “I promised myself I’d say no to all new events and projects, so thank you, but no.”  No guilt, no shame.
My mantra for the near future . . .

My mantra for the near future . . .

I am, however, having a hard time shaking the possibility of applying to the Ucross Foundation for a writing retreat in March.  It’s free, it’s in northern Wyoming, and I’ve wanted to apply for several years.  But do I want to leave Neil for 2-4 weeks again?  No.  So I’ll put that too on the back burner.  And as I just looked at the application, I would need to apply by October 1 in order to be admitted in March of the following year, so the calendar made my decision for me.  A wimpy sigh of relief.  Postponement.

My Bucket List is filled with energy, as it often is, but I wrote a list from scratch in the back of my new journal.  Same categories as I’ve always had . . . travel, create, clean out/sort.  And a big “NO”.  Do NOT consider doing National Novel Writing this year.  Well, NaNo has begun, and we’re halfway through November, so my resolve stuck.  Good for me.

My children have been up in the Fort lately, because of their step-mother’s impending and now completed death from pancreatic cancer.  The Celebration of Life was three days ago.  We celebrate life when someone dies, but do we celebrate our own lives every day?  There’s something to think about.  I commit to celebrating something in my own life every day.  I celebrate quiet.  I celebrate a good night’s sleep.  I celebrate my good health.  I most definitely celebrate my relationship with Neil.

The Camino is on my mind, though I swore while I was walking the Norte that I would NEVER want to do another Camino.  I think I lied.  The walking takes hold of one and doesn’t let go.  Choose a different, less mountainous path, and perhaps travel for a shorter distance, three weeks not six.  I’m not setting any dates, but though Neil has that bag hanging over me in case I talk too much about another walk, I can dream.  I can celebrate my life.  I can plan for the birthday in 2016 that will force me to lay claim to septuagenarian status.  And to be grateful.  Now it’s back to working on my list . . . checking some of it off before the holidays.

Thanks for listening.

 

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About Woodswoman

Writer, educator, psychotherapist, woodswoman. Crave solitude and just walked the Camino de Santiago from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. Long-term partner, Neil. Three grown kids, one traveling the world for a couple of years (see theparallellife.com), and two in other countries . . . Thailand and Texas! One Golden Retrievers and two cats. Avid reader, looking for 10 more hours in each of my days.
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19 Responses to After A Month’s Reflection . . .

  1. ki says:

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    My Dear Joannah – thanks for sharing this with us! Your trip log was amazing and the pictures told so much that you couldn’t say. thank you. I am also writing to say how sorry I am about your dog. Hard stuff Joannah. with love and light your way – Ki PS I gave up committee work and lunch dates a few yrs ago and can’t tell you how freeing it was. I think I’m turning into an agoraphobic bec I like staying home so much.

    • Woodswoman says:

      Thanks, KI! I’d love to see you, but perhaps giving up so many lunch dates just doesn’t allow for that. Perhaps a walk around the lake or something? Nice to hear from you. Are you still painting?

  2. bdrake@rothschildinvest.com says:

    Welcome home!

    Enjoyed your reflection.

    Brad

  3. I like your list. I keep one in my head, but maybe it is time to write it down. Welcome home! Gail

    • Woodswoman says:

      As a life-long journal-keeper, I have found that for me, if it isn’t written down, it doesn’t happen. That goes for grocery lists, “to do” lists, Bucket lists, and any sort of goal or dream list. Thanks, Gail!

  4. Georgeann Corey says:

    BRAVO!!!! Love, G

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Dear friend,

    You brought tears to my eyes and gave me much to reflect on myself. It is I who should thank you for keeping me on your list of friends and sharing such beautiful, insightful thinking with me. You have no idea how much I admire and appreciate you as a woman, a person, a teacher, a writer, and the consummate model of Life. I followed your exploits (not all, but most of them). Love the pictures, fell for you when you ached, enjoyed meals with you, precious moments you spent with friends, old and new. I even shared some of your posts with friends, as I’m doing this one because it not only applies to me, but other friends as well. THANK YOU!

    Saludos and continued success in all you do,

    Patricia

    • Woodswoman says:

      Dear Patricia:

      Thank you so much for your words. I sometimes feel as though I’m navel gazing, though it’s my navel and my site. But I know how I feel when someone else’s thoughts come so close to home, and I’m glad these came close to you. Are you still in San Miguel de Allende? ON MY BUCKET LIST! Seriously, I would love to come to visit you sometime in the next year. Let me know if you are still there, and if not, where ARE you?

      Take care, dear friend.

  6. jperzow says:

    Always listening, Joannah-

    Happy belated birthday, and thank you for being there for Leslie as she escorted our cat out of town…

    Being there for friends is a celebration of life.

    J

  7. Nina says:

    Joannah, I enjoyed reading about your second Camino adventure very much. Thank you for recording it and sharing it. I understand about loving the quiet…and I now have plenty in Estes Park since winter weather set in, and am relishing it. The few social activities I am involved in provide a good yang to the yin of the time I spend alone. It’s so good to hear how much you appreciate Neil and that you are trying to have a simpler life. Me too! (After I finish my current remodeling project)….yes it’s always something, and the way you so honestly share your goals and challenges inspires me. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life. I am glad to keep in touch this way.
    Nina

  8. Daryl Wisch says:

    welcome home……i didn’t know you once played the cello or made and sold handcrafted scarves! 

    • Woodswoman says:

      Dear Daryl:

      Well, I didn’t really play the cello. Took lessons for six months and then Luna had her puppies and life took another turn. But you did know I made handcrafted scarves. You came out to the Wool Market at my invitation, and we talked about my scarves re putting some in your store, though the conversation was just conversation. At any rate . . . I’d LOVE to play the cello, and I am giving myself a year to see whether I can calm the rest of my life down enough so I could actually take up lessons again! Hope to talk with you soon.

  9. Linda says:

    Enjoyed following your notes and seeing your pictures. I admire your strength and determination! And your most recent thoughts make me think about all of the things I could say no to and give myself more time.

  10. Just found this in my draft file. Could have sworn I had sent it. If I did, forgive second remittance. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

    On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 10:49 AM, Patricia Harris wrote:

    > Dear friend, > > You brought tears to my eyes and gave me much to reflect on myself. It is > I who should thank you for keeping me on your list of friends and sharing > such beautiful, insightful thinking with me. You have no idea how much I > admire and appreciate you as a woman, a person, a teacher, a writer, and > the consummate model of Life. I followed your exploits (not all, but most > of them). Love the pictures, fell for you when you ached, enjoyed meals > with you, precious moments you spent with friends, old and new. I even > shared some of your posts with friends, as I’m doing this one because it > not only applies to me, but other friends as well. THANK YOU! > > Saludos and continued success in all you do, > > Patricia > > On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 8:55 AM, Woodswoman Walking <

    • Woodswoman says:

      Dear Patricia:

      You did indeed send it a few days ago, and I wrote back to you to ask whether you are still in San Miguel de Allende. Please let me know, and thanks again for your kind words.

      Joannah

  11. This is a beautiful description of your reflection on how an experience can change you long after the fact. So lovely and inspiring. It’s one thing to write about the what and where of your journey, and another to be publicly introspective as you are here. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

    Beverly

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