Summer writing, exercise, and travel 2017

It’s a little weird, this lack of writing over the summer. Good I think, but still a little strange. I’ve been pretty carefree about it. Taking a step back was a personal choice. I have plans to pick back up with projects in the fall, but decided that summer was a time to regroup. What’s funny is that not writing hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Last week I realized why. Because I am healthy!! For the most part at least. I still have my swings and periods when I am completely off-balance, but I am so aware of it and what I can do to counter it. I am more forgiving of myself during these times too. That helps. But not feeling the need to write is eye-opening because writing is just as much a coping mechanism for me as it is a hobby/trade.

I completed my June walking plan last month. I got up most days M-Th (I decided to take Friday’s off). I think I only got rained out once on the other days. I enjoyed walking but maybe it was just forced enjoyment so I could complete my goal. Once I was up and out and walking through the quiet in my neighborhood I felt peaceful. But getting up early and not getting as big of a return as I get with running was a trade-off.

June (and July so far) brought me fewer words, fewer miles logged, and less worry. Especially the second half of June after school let out. The kids are keeping me BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. We’ve been out and about a bit and spent many days at the pool. We’ve all got the sun-tanned glow and more blond-highlights every day. The sun likes me, and I like the sun. By and large that’s my biggest contributor to my well-being in the summer. I am still doing yoga and decided that is something I need to keep in my life year-round. However that leads me into a nice little transition here… for the next few weeks I have to do self-led yoga. Not my strong suit. But we are traveling in Europe and I don’t have access to any classes in the small village where my husband’s family lives.

I love traveling here in the summers. Getting here is not easy. I had a four-hour drive to Newark, a trans-Atlantic flight to Berlin, and a two-hour drive to the village. You’d think that’d be enough to drive a mom crazy, traveling for such a long time with a 6.5 year old and a 4.5 year old, but I LOVE it. We have great experiences on our trips. This year it took us 18 hours door-to-door. I’ve found through the years that the kids follow my lead to a tee and rise to the occasion when we travel. I plan — BIG TIME — which lends itself to our success. Preparing for the trip is the hardest part of me. I was acutely made aware of this when last week, two days before we were scheduled to leave, I found myself in a panic because I wasn’t as organized as I wanted to be. Suddenly I started having these really strong desires to write. To write, write, write, write. But because I hadn’t been writing all summer and then all of the sudden these strong urges were present, it was so easy for me to identify that I needed to ‘stress write’ and not creative write. This was eye-opening because I don’t think I’ve ever been able to tell the difference.

I did not give into the stress writing though. Instead I made a few lists, went to yoga, got out the suitcases one by one, and protected my sleep. Irregardless it was stressful trying to get everything packed. But boy it paid off on our trip and I’ve been have a relaxing time since we arrived because I have what we need and did not overpack (something I have fallen prey to in the past).

The most important part of my trip-prep is our carry on bags. This year I packed a backpack for each of us with strategic items. A few new Dollar Store toys and activities for the kids, healthy snacks, and their very own compartment full of candy. Yes candy. And not to pacify them. But to give them ownership. I hid their backpacks right up until we parked our car in Newark and were ready to hop on a shuttle bus. I gave them quick ‘tours’ of their backpacks and explained to them that the items were theirs to use how they wished for the duration of the trip. I’d obviously fill in the blanks but the backpacks were all theirs and they were expected to carry them. And they did. And they hawked that candy like nobody’s biz. And what’s best is — they made it last.

My backpack was full of essentials but for the most part, pretty light. I have learned through the years that less is more and if I were to need anything, that’s what over-priced airport stores and flight attendants are for. This year I reveled in the fact that I was not dealing with diapers and trying to finagle a stroller.

So anyway I have gone off on a huge tangent, but I have stored up a lot of words! I am looking forward to writing a little more on my trip, be it on this blog or in other spaces. I also need to fit in some exercise in the midst of all the calorie-consumption I do on vacation. Yesterday morning, I went for a 30 minute jog. It felt good and helped with the jet lag.

For the next few weeks I am looking forward to a great time. Yes traveling is de-regulating, but I have learned that’s okay. New places, new sights/sounds/tastes/smells/feels, less control, less structure is something we can all use from time to time. All of it has the potential for a new creative recipe.

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