Book one in the Fortune Bay series available for 99¢ until July 4, 2018.
and KOBO US
It isn’t often you get to change your life. I mean really decide what happens next. Too often we are just pulled along on the current of our lives, barely keeping our heads above water, never mind planning ahead.
This afternoon we shut the door on our old house for the final time. Our home for 22 years, the house where our children grew up, I felt surprisingly little regret. It was time. The house and yard were much too large for us two empty-nesters, and I gladly turned my attention to our nice new house, less than two thirds the size of the old one with two tiny gardens and a view of the lake.
This morning we did a final dump run, and as I tossed a bin of paper file folders into recycling I realized how symbolic it was. I felt truly liberated from the intention all those folders held, writing jobs I thought I might do in the days I was struggling as a magazine writer.
Then out went a box full of wrongly-cut picture framing mats that I thought I might one day do a painting to fit. I suddenly realized that backwards thinking like that is just added (unnecessary) pressure.
I’m not a hoarder but I am thrifty. Normally I don’t throw away anything that might come in useful someday but for the last few weeks while packing I gave myself permission to do just that, and painful as it still was (old habits die hard) a wonderful freedom came with it.
I gave myself permission to formulate my new life, not view myself through the lens of the past. For instance, I’ve been an artist/painter for 30 years and look forward to getting back into painting for fun, oils and acrylics, a couple a year, hopefully outside “en plein aire” with friends. But I don’t have to keep mountains of paraphernalia connected with the printmaking that I did in school (graduating in 2000.) That’s not me anymore. So although I moved it all, I plan to pass it on to other artists who will really use it, as soon as I can.
All of my fabric went to Goodwill. (Gasp!) I realized I don’t make clothes from scratch any more – I just buy fabric. (LOL)
And gardening is looking like fun again, tending my two small courtyard gardens rather than wrestling with an unruly half acre.
Of course there are many things I can’t change, but I realize now that I didn’t have to physically move to gain this sense of liberation. It was mostly a state of mind. I encourage you to take the time to figure out what is important and what is sucking your energy, and make a few simple changes of space and mind to free up more time for what you really enjoy. The things that feed your soul.
One thing I am not giving up is my writing. I am so glad to get back to it after the past two crazy months! And, in fact, my next book, Temple of the Jaguar, the first Rocky and Bernadette mystery, will be out in two weeks.
You can Pre-order it now.
But more on that next time.
Be kind to yourself.
One of the things I loved about being a young couple starting out with a new family was making our own Christmas traditions, but as the years go by some of those traditions have started to grow a bit stale and I’ve decided not to feel guilty about changing them up.
Yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to the Nanaimo ferry terminal to pick up my daughter and her friend who were arriving from Vancouver for Christmas. Unlike last year’s snowy Christmas (Have a Ferry Merry Christmas) it was a bright, crisp, sunny day. Like the scenes of people greeting loved ones at the airport at Christmas at the beginning and end of Love, Actually, the happiness of families and friends greeting each other as they roll out the terminal door is tangible in the air and never fails to bring a tear to my eye.
This year we are happy to have someone new in our midst–a friend who otherwise would be alone for the holiday this year. And tonight my Cuban American daughter-in-law, 3000 miles away across America from her family in Miami, is making a traditional Cuban Christmas Eve dinner for us all of pork (we don’t have a whole pig, but we do have the sour orange marinade flown in from Miami), rice and beans, plantain and flan. We’ll still have a turkey tomorrow, but we love this new addition to our Christmas traditions. So delicious, and change keeps the holidays fresh.
I know Christmas is not all mistletoe and holly–in fact I’m making that a tag line for Louise’s Christmas book–so if you find yourself alone (or are looking for a little alone time in this busy season) feel free to join the big, messy, loving family in Fortune Bay and leave the real world behind, just for a while.
It was one of those middle-of-the-night revelations. I’d scheduled my Getting To Know You facebook party for the same date as my niece’s graduation and celebration dinner! I have to go–I want to go. And I knew you’d all understand, so
I’m changing the date to of the facebook party to Tuesday June 6th, the day before the original date.
Same times, same prizes. Just the day before. June 6.
To recap –
On Tuesday June 6th I’ll be posting and chatting with readers for an hour from 10 – 11 am PDT (1 – 2 am EDT) and again at 6 – 7 pm PDT (9 – 10 pm EDT), but you can drop in any time Tuesday June 6th and add your comments. If you comment, I’ll enter your name in the draws for:
If you haven’t already, please let me know if you think you can come by signing in here, on the event page.
Also – thank you to everyone who has filled out the 20 Questions Survey. I’m having fun reading the responses and I’ll be posting my answers to the survey – as well as the names of the prize winners – on June 8.
To be sure to hear about future posts, enter your email address here:
Hope to see you at the party.