Mind Over Seasons

Fall is near.  It is a beautiful time of the year.  The air just smells better!  Even in the desert there are changes other than the obvious shorter days.

For most of my life I have felt a bit out of sorts during the fall.  I have excused it away as growing up a military child, we moved often and there was frequently a new school I would attend, so my thought was that fall represents the anxiety of a new school.

But, I’ve heard there is an actual diagnosis for this “out of sorts” thing and it has something to do with the shorter days:  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  I don’t quite fit this “SAD” thing as winter doesn’t seem to get to me like fall.

I will focus on looking forward to the upcoming holidays with my loves and make sure this seasonal thing doesn’t have its affect on me.  Mind over seasons.

Day Trip

I live in a beautiful, diverse state.  Just an hour or so from the big city of Phoenix, I can be up in the mountains enjoying the forest.  A few more hours north and I can be overlooking the magnificent Grand Canyon.  I am yearning for a day trip adventure to one of the many sites Arizona has to offer.  No need to book a hotel or spend much money; just a tank of gas, some great tunes and I’m off!

Oooohhh…..the trees will be changing colors soon on the road between Sedona and Flagstaff!  Perfect idea for a day trip.

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Take Me Back

Music. Memorable Music!

Isn’t it amazing how hearing a song can take you back to a moment?  Our brains are wired to let us feel the exact emotion we felt at the time the songs were new to us.  I love that…..even when there may be some sadness attached.  It just feels good to – feel.

I recently added a Linda Ronstadt tune to my playlist and I’ve listened to it several times, just to experience that moment from back when……

The creator of the human body clearly wanted music to be a part of who we are.  I typically have a music worm each day; sometime during my day a song in my head is on repeat.

Each week on the show I listen to, I seem to jump back in time with some of the songs on the playlist.  The artists are generating revenue from my walk back in time because those songs become “must haves” and I add them to my library.  It’s a win/win!

Yay for music and memories!

Goodbye My Friend

Many years ago my children’s father and I built a house.  As an architect, this was something that would come natural to him – designing the space he would live in.  And to accomplish such a feat at 30 years old was impressive.

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Like most structures designed by true architects, the house was unique.  It was designed to fit nicely in the land and to blend well among the mountains.  I recall one of the colors was specifically chosen to match the mountains, another color to match the desert landscape.  I loved that house.

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Life choices created changes which included leaving the house.  I’ve had many dreams of being at the house. Not fond of that change.

A few months ago the house burned down.  I felt as though I had lost a friend.  All of the memories of building and living in the house came flooding back.  I have been working on letting go of this traumatic event.  It’s not been easy.  I want a piece to hang on to.

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Soon after the house was built, a friend came out with some aloe vera plants and we planted them.  Those things grew like weeds and after all of these years, the plants are still there….they escaped the fire.  So, with one of my best buddies in tow, we went out to the burned wreckage and were able to get some of that plant.  I said my goodbyes and will do my best to keep this special plant thriving for as long as I am alive, to remember this very special piece of my past.

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Daniel

In 2014 after the death of his mother, my nephew came to live with us.  Daniel is 32, and has Down syndrome.

It was a big change as we had been empty-nesters since 2008.  It isn’t always easy to live with someone with special needs, especially one who has at times difficulty understanding just what you are trying to communicate to him; the question beginning with “why” is a tough one for Daniel.  Aside from that, Daniel is high functioning and quite able.  He loves to help out around the house and is very proud of his daily accomplishments.  Those accomplishments include; helping with the dogs, emptying the trash, mopping (well, sort of), making his bed, brushing his teeth, etc.  Each day when I come home he gives me a rundown of his day which is pretty much the same as the day before.  Daniel just needs what we all need – to be recognized and appreciated.

Daniel is hysterical!  When he first moved in I was taken back by his quick-witted responses to his burps and toots.  Some days I laughed so hard I cried.  Daniel loves to make you laugh.

Daniel loves music.  He spends hours in his room “rocking out”.  I get that.  I could do that too given more hours in the day.

Daniel’s room is a tribute to his life.  He has photos everywhere.  He has mementos he’s collected scattered about.  He moves them around, and puts away and pulls out stuff from his storage tubs just about every day – he calls it “decorating”.  He’s a bit OCD about his decorating.

Daniel loves the Muppets and Disney.  It isn’t uncommon for Daniel to tell me about something new happening at Disneyland.  The conversation usually begins with, “I saw something exciting today!”

Daniel loves deeply.  Daniel will regularly repeat to me all of the family members who love him.  He is a kind soul who looks for the best in everyone he meets.  Rarely is there someone Daniel does not like and even if there is (and there is), he won’t be rude, he just can’t, it’s not who he is.  If only we could all be more like Daniel.

My sister has suggested I create a YouTube channel or a Daniel blog so the world can see just how fabulous Daniel is.  I’m considering it.

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Bite Your Tongue!

There are words I want to speak to someone but I know I can’t actually say them.  My sharp tongue will do no good, but that doesn’t take away the thoughts.

So, I took a moment to “speak” to this person; I said how I honestly felt and I put it all in a Word document.  It was cathartic to say the words; truthful, but most likely hurtful words, minus the conflict that would have been created.

I was telling a coworker about what I had done and she suggested I print it out and then burn it.  She said it would have some sort of effect.  Maybe I will do that.  But for now, I’ve saved the document and will add to it if need be.  It’s better than speaking the words to the person, they wouldn’t listen anyway.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I think it was a local artist who once said something like – anyone can appreciate the beauty of a lush green forest, but it takes a special eye to see the beauty of the desert.  I believe that is true.

My son was stationed in Washington State and I made several trips to visit him.  He was just north of Seattle and there is breathtaking, beautiful green everywhere.  I didn’t want to stop looking at the gorgeous countryside – it was eye candy. It was easy to enjoy.

I live in the Phoenix area, grew up in Tucson.  The Sonoran desert is filled with a wide variety of native plants that adapt to the arid climate.  There are unique trees such as the Palo Verde, Ironwood, and Mesquite.  In addition, there are countless cacti (can’t forget the majestic Saguaro!), and their blossom is as pretty as any flower.

The desert is very much alive and there is beauty if you are willing to see it.

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