Balancing Act Take Two

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED BALANCING stones? There’s a trick to it. Stacking is one thing—I love to find stacks of rocks. There’s one gentleman in Carmel Highlands area that is always making delightful stacks here and there … and when I walk the rocky coves in Point Lobos, I am sure to find one or two. Stacks seem to stick around for others to see. Once, my daughter and I spent the morning walking there and were intrigued by them … we both pulled out our cameras and started taking photos of them at different angles. I’ve yet to see any balanced rocks in person yet.

Yeah … balancing rocks … that is something entirely different. More fragile, I’d think, so winds might upset their balance if left alone. Or, even curious critters that might want to check them out. I’d love to give it a try some day. Some day … when I have nothing else better to do—or perhaps on a day where I need to be still (in my self-made busy life, that would be always …). That would be a good time.

Balancing rocks. Takes concentration, knowing … feeling where the points of contact should be. A little math (shudder) might help, but I’ll go with my gut. I’m just a seat-of-the-pants (sop) kinda gal, after all. I will try it. And I will post my success (or failure—though, I like to think positive … insert huge grin).

I really wasn’t sure which direction I’d be going (that’s the sop gal talkin’) with this post. I could get all philosophical—I certainly could … or I could try to find some photos or links about this balancing act. The link I posted above (from Facebook) is what triggered the idea for this post. Facebook is a goldmine for blog ideas. Oh, yes indeed. I just need to figure out how to wrangle the posts I see into a blog. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I’ve got lots of “starts” in my pile of drafts here on WordPress … some of them worthy of expounding upon, others not so much.

This one is definitely worthy, since balancing rocks is not unlike the precariousness of balancing everything in each of our lives. School, work, play, family, church … the list goes on (seemingly forever in my case). Knowing which is most important—that would be your foundation stone, so to speak—and then balancing all the other stones above it to keep the harmony. Definitely a challenge. But I do know what my foundation stone is. Church—well, God to be more specific. I try to revolve my life around Him (oh, I’m not so successful at times, but I do keep trying). When I do, things balance nicely—no matter how many things I’m juggling. If things begin to topple, somehow it manages to right itself—if I’m keeping Him in the center. When I don’t (and it’s only natural to stray now and then—we’re not perfect, after all) … well, let’s just say I certainly know it. I always get back on the path, leaning on Him for guidance, wisdom … and so much more, which keeps me centered, calm … and joyful. There may be storms, but I know I’ll make it through to the other side … one way or another.

So, let me ask you—what is your foundation stone in this crazy world of ours? Are you trying to “get through it all” by yourself, do you have a village of friends to help you, or do you lean on a higher power to guide you through your day? I would love to hear from you.

May you be blessed abundantly with joy, strength and wisdom.

 

 

 

Do I Or Don’t I? Sigh…

I’M TRYING TO MAKE A DECISION. I’ve been contemplating this for quite some time, too.
To go, or not to go…that is the question.

I’ve been reading blogs about the benefits of attending writers conferences. Kristen Lamb recently wrote about the pros of attending conferences in her blog. She’s good. Great at selling ideas. http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/why-all-writers-should-attend-a-writing-conference/

But I haven’t been able to figure out how to manage everything I’m already doing now and squeeze a conference in too…plus, there’s the impact on the pocket book. My trip to Europe will pummel my account for quite some time…

My trip has been in the planning stages almost as long as my pondering of the conferences. I’m not sure if I should be kicking myself in the behind or just chuckle at where I place my priorities. Some may feel the trip is a luxury. A non-necessity. Perhaps, at least the distances I am going to find relaxation. The trip will be my break from the frantic work I’ve done on two books–though, I know I will make it a working holiday and I’ll begin working on book three–and it will refresh my creativity. Yes, I could go somewhere closer…and it would be a lot less expensive, but I want to do my travels abroad while I’m still able.  I’ll be taking a ton of pictures so I’ll have a plethora of choices for my Painterly side to play with and my travels will give me plenty to write about on my blog when I return. The conference, on the other hand, will be work. Networking, learning, and sharing ideas (in a ‘work’ sort of way). Don’t think I’m ready for more work. Not yet, at least.

I need some serious ‘playtime’.

Well, I think I’ve answered my question about the writers conference–at least for now. Once I have three books under my belt–or book four, maybe I’ll be able to connect better then–early next year…I’ll just have to see how things go and play it by ear. Until then, I guess I should get back to my travel plans.

Cheers!

A Conundrum

BEFORE I BEGIN THIS POST, I MUST announce: this is post #100 (doing a dance)! I began this whole endeavor in 2010 as an experiment, not really knowing what I was going to write about. It quickly (well, it took a year) turned into a tongue-in-cheek, informative travel blog, then I expanded from there. It’s been many things, chronically my thoughts and activities for the past three and a half years. It seems so long ago! To refresh my memory, I’ve been reading through a few of them and it has been entertaining to see where I was and how far I’ve come. Though I’ve not been consistent (my apologies), my posts have improved. So will my consistency–I hope!

I thank you, my readers–whoever and wherever you are, for bothering to take the time to read my entries. I hope you’ve found them entertaining and/or informative. Now, on with post number one hundred:

PASSIONS ARE WONDERFUL THINGS really. They keep you driven, moving forward. Challenged. I like that. But, when you acquire too many passions, well…problems arise.

They begin butting heads with each other, competing for my valuable time. Well, maybe not valuable, but precious–yes, since there are only so many usable hours in a day. And I find myself, with all this bouncing between passions, starting to lose momentum. Becoming disengaged from each.

This, I do not like.

Trying to find a balance between all of the loves in my life seems to be getting more difficult. My garden is in shambles. My photography is a mere shadow of itself, my art beckons and my writing, well…it’s demanding. And I did very little travel–none abroad–last year. That is added to the mix this year.

I’m excited, yet terrified.

How does one successfully juggle all of this without everything coming crashing down on one’s proverbial head? The conundrum: my travels will involve three loves: travel, photography and blogging (it’s been awhile since I’ve done a fun blog about travel). I will try to sneak in some promotional stuff too, visiting schools and libraries to make people aware of my book–both the one presently in print and the one that will (hopefully) be published this spring, before I head off on my sojourn.

Finding time to write (other than the blog) will get interesting. By the time I begin my travels, I will be eyebrow deep in editing my third book (if all goes well, it will come out in the fall) and still needing to finish my fourth. Oh, my! Will there be time (and enough focus) at the end of each day to work on the backstory and editing for book three? My editor will be waiting for it…patiently, I hope.

And my heart aches when I think about leaving my fur-babies alone for so long. No snuggling up with them, being purred to sleep, no amusing times watching the antics of my bunny, no wagging tail to greet me when I come back to rest my head for the night after a hard day of walking.

Yes, there will be plenty of that. Walking–that’s a good thing…and bad. When I’m on my own, I’ll be able to alter my schedule to accommodate my feeble knee…when I’m on the tour tromping around upper Wales, well, not so much. I’ll either have to opt out of the days activities or simply press on and make sure I have my Aleve, my clunky brace and some ice for the end of the day.

And thinking about my art…and my garden. Hopefully neither will languish too much in my absence. Art? Well, I can doodle on the road now and then, but my garden…that will be left in the hands of my neighbors and to the whims of Mother Nature. She may be very cruel this season (they’ve officially proclaimed that we are in a drought). I can tidy the garden up (it is a complete disaster right now from my neglect whilst editing all last summer and fall) in preparation for my departure, get the irrigation system in top condition and protecting the plants as best as possible. But, ultimately…I know I will have work to do when I get back–I cannot expect neighbors to put the TLC into it that I would. Hmm…perhaps I should leave it as is (groan–that hurts to contemplate!). No, I must tidy it up.

I do have faith that if it is to be, it will happen. Everything will fall into place. I know that I can’t just sit back, expecting it all to ‘just happen’–to go smoothly without some planning and work on my part…which adds to my juggling act.

Quite a conundrum, don’t you think? It’s never-ending.

Just like my books.

May your days be blessed. May they be problem free–or at least free of problems without solutions visible at the end of the tunnel…