*sorry, pictures are still having technical difficulties. gar ... ; P
after spending three hours cleaning my kitchen, living room and bathroom (my subletter moves in tomorrow), and a lunch of sauteed green beans, I feel calm and collected in my sunny living room. the wind is blowing a beautiful cool breeze here, and things are lovely.
what a good time to catch up.
where to begin? it's been so long, nearly a month, perhaps, since the last meaningful post. well, for starters our school year is finished so i'm on "summer vacation." the quotes are because i leave for st. louis in 2 weeks to do my Montessori training. I'll be gone 8 weeks from home. That will be hard.
My life has been interesting lately. My best friend visited for a week from Connecticut, I spent some really nice time with a lovely gentleman friend of mine (it won't develop because he's moving to another city), I have been buying too many vintage and thrift store dresses, and I've been yard-sale-ing .... great deals to be had! I've been making an effort to see friends more, and I'm trying to keep up with learning the guitar and with improving/continuing my knitting. I've been reading more, and taking nice long walks either in the park here or around my neighborhood. I also had a day working on a local biodynamic farm, and loved it! The weather has been unbelievably beautiful. There have been bluegrass jams, free music at the waterfront, backyard potlucks, amazingly busy and fruitful farmer's markets brimming over with asparagus and strawberries. I'm so lucky to live in Kentucky, this beautiful, friendly place with such a long growing season!
I've also dealt with trying to get my computer fixed, and after several weeks it appears to be okay for now. My fingers are crossed.
As you can see, I've been very busy ... not much time for being at home and curling up with a good book, but spring fever has been infectious and calling me out of doors to become more social. It's not a bad thing, especially because I've really been working hard on my new friendships (if you don't cultivate them you'll often lose out on how incredible they can be) but I know what I'm going to crave come fall ... now that the apartment has had most of its tiny corners settled into/painted/organized (there are still a few piles of stuff, there always seems to be piles of stuff) ... I envision days of friends coming by for a big pot of chunky homemade soup, and curling up indeed with many a literary friend ... knitting ... and ... learning to sew! My dad has a brand-new sewing machine to give me, and I've been collecting fabric at yard sales and thrift shops. I'm going to try and take a class somewhere in town.
I haven't exactly been frugal lately. Money is running through my hands like water. Lots of it is just the excitement of being out and about all the time, getting coffee here and tea there and a glass of wine at the next stop. eating on the go a lot more than i did all winter ... and when sarah was here we went very very crazy on the thrift/vintage circuit. It's a frivolous time, but I want to be more vigilant about things. not starting sometime in the future, starting now. I probably won't need new clothes, appliances, dishes, books, etc. for well over a year, at LEAST. I've spent a very long time in what feels like a gathering, transformative phase (not surprising, according to some friends i have who are very well-versed in astrology, and are saying how things like the return of Saturn in my age group and some kind of "Mercury retrograde" are causing things such as upheaval, new beginnings, unsettledness....). So, I've gathered what i "need" (more or less) about me, and I kind of feel that coming to a close. I've taken two years to build a life here, in this completely new place, and I've been successful. Overall, I'm very happy. I have made many great friends and acquaintances, I can't complain about the home environment I've created, I have everything I need and more around me. I'm healthy and overall feel pretty calm about where life is and where it's headed. Now, of course, I would like to fall in love with someone very special ... but I still feel hopeful that time will come for me. ; )
When one door closes, another opens. The door I feel opening for me is a time, as summer winds down in August, to settle into what I've created. Take a big, long break from gathering, readying, preparing, just "sit in the middle" of it all. I don't know that I've ever actually done that - been this grounded, this ready to constantly welcome friends into my warm and loving home (despite the fact that it's "just an apartment"), curl up with a hobby (reading, knitting, sewing) during time off from work, and really really find serenity in stillness on a constant basis. Of course, there will be times when I'll have to buy food and cat supplies and get an oil change. But I feel a slowness coming that I've long anticipated, a real peaceful time, I time I can take to gather not material things around myself, but to harvest and bring inward the more sustaining elements: peace, love, serenity. And be able to share them with others. I can't wait to cook and bake for people, to really listen to their conversations and offer up understanding and guidance. To make useful things with my own hands, for the benefit of myself and others. To travel to many great places through the world of a book!
If I have such a fall and winter time, I'll no doubt have a good amount of money saved (as a side benefit, of course). I'll also be able to enter another season of spring frivolity with a head squarely on regarding money, and as summer comes and I face only 4 more weeks of school, I'm actually hoping to do some travel with what I've saved, and have a real vacation away.
Thank you all for continuing to read my blog. I know I tend to get pretty introspective when I'm around, and while I'd love to make straightforward posts about cooking or gardening or knitting, etc. (which you all do marvelously, and thank goodness, I've learned/am learning so many valuable things!), I do remind myself that the shift into a more "simple life" mindset has a lot to do with what's going on internally as well as in your cleaning cabinet or in the oven or in the pantry. And it's okay to write about the changes that occur there, because then that change becomes eventually manifest in everything else you do. When I write my thoughts and feelings here, I take more responsibility for them. I realize that I own them and care for them. I tend them carefully, as a gardener tends her plants, always on the lookout for weeds. Slowly, slowly, they grow into visible, fragrant buds, and then, I'm assuming, in time, blossoms.
Here are just a few more things I'd like to write down here:
in the fall, move my fridge away from my stove to save energy.
make breakfasts ahead for a week (scones, hard-boiled eggs, etc.) due to the fact that I'll be leaving for school much earlier this year and it's hard for me to get up, it's always so hard for me in the mornings
take the bus to and from work once a week
volunteer at an organization which cooks and serves homeless people in a poorer section of Louisville, and possibly log a few more farm hours.
take a sewing class
pay off the last of my credit card debt, reduce 403b contribution temporarily, and put this plus the increase i would have made to it into my own personal savings
And finally, I wonder if I'm crazy to think that in 10 more years, I might not have to work full-time ever again .....
Hope you all are enjoying a lovely spring (and for you friends down under, fall) and that you are remembering to breathe in and then breathe out consciously as needed. I'm planning to picnic in the park tomorrow, just spend a few hours out there with a lunch and a book and take plenty of those breaths.
Love and light,