Wednesday, November 16, 2022

choosing my life and possessions

I have always been a minimalist.  Possibly since cleaning my mom's house, weekly, was the bane of my existence.  She had numerous knickknacks, collectibles, etc.  So many things to dust and clean.  I knew that I would never have a home that had a ton of shit to clean.  I love my mom.  I do.  But, she had so much shit to clean that it scarred me for life.

As an adult, my home reflects the life of a college student.  I am spartan.  I have a wine cabinet that I purchased with Brian in 2003.  We purchased it from Cost Plus and it has moved from rental to rental, state to state.  My current dresser was a hand me down from a neighbor.  I painted it and made it mine.  I have a hand me down couch and end table from my landlord.  Tiffany gifted me a coffee table, random decor, coffee mugs and spices.  Lindsay gave me her guest bed and table.  Basically, I am given the decor in my home with the exception of artwork.  I take pride in my eclectic taste.  I enjoy Frieda Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Van Gogh and a local Santa Fe artist, Clayton Peshlakai who I have bought a metal butterfly from.  It is my most prized possession.  My last mid-decade birthday of note, I bought the butterfly and had a Van Gogh print framed.  I had no idea how much it cost to custom frame a print.  Brian and I went to Amsterdam in 2003.  After walking through the Van Gogh Museum, we came across the Crows at Auvers.  Such a beautiful painting.  I picked up a print in 2016 and it remained in my closet til I opted to have it framed.  

I only bring awareness to my habits since I have been hosting yoga sessions in my apartment.  Sure, I should probably be more accomplished in the decor.  One of my clients commented on this last night.  He was kind in his approach, but it was awkward.  Forced me to reconsider why I choose to live this way.  I told him that I was a spartan since I have moved a bunch in my life.  I pack my car and go.  This is true.  I moved from Denver to Phoenix, Phoenix to Santa Fe, and Santa Fe back to Denver.  I have never hired a U-Haul in my life.  

I refuse to apologize for my decisions.  It has enabled an abundance of travel, experiences and memories.  And, when I move again, it will be easy.  I never wanted to be bogged down with stuff.  I do believe it all goes back with the childhood home and having to clean it.  My mom's home was lovely.  We had a front room that was meticulously vacuumed.  White carpet.  It was where they would greet guests.  No one else ever went into that room.  Ever.  It was set up for show.  Not to be used by children.

I feel like a David Sedaris short story about growing up in the 70's and his mom kicked them out of the house when they had consecutive snow days.  Have you read that short story?  His mom was frustrated that her kids were interfering with her days when they were at school.  She couldn't cocktail, watch her programs or relax.  Instead, she was forced to handle her kids during the snow days until she kicked them outside.  This still makes me chuckle.  My mom wasn't a day drinker, but she did enjoy her days alone.  She could read, do chores, reflect.  Basically, have time to herself which we all relish.

I slept like shit last night.  Obsessing over my lack of things.  Silly, as I actively, have chosen this lifestyle.  I prefer experiences to stuff.  I would like a few more plants and can figure that out. In all honesty, I am happy with my choices.  Some doubts occur when I expose myself to people that do not know my choices.  I feel inferior, briefly.  Until I remember my around the world trip. 14 trips per year until Covid and even now.  My decision to road trip to Santa Fe often.  I have a great life.  I will not apologize for my lack of decor to make people feel at ease.  It has been my choice.  I am happy.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Staying the path. Choosing to

I hate waking up in the middle of the night.  Typically, I am able to fall back asleep to some degree.  Last night, it evaded me.  I woke up at midnight and struggled to fall back asleep.  I kept looking at my phone to see what time it was. 1:18. 1:45.  2:30.  3:15.  It was painful.  

This continued until 5:30 when I had set an alarm to wake up.  I had agreed to teach an a.m. yoga class at 6:15.  At this point, I received simultaneous text messages to contact me about not being able to do the class due to work and sick kiddo.  I got up and tried to get comfortable on my couch.  I put on a show to provide some noise and managed to sleep for about an hour and a half.  

I look forward to being able to sleep tonight.  A light nap, shower and lots of water.  For me, if I do not get adequate sleep or hydration, I tend to get laryngitis.  It has happened multiple times and each encounter seems to worsen and extend.  I am exhausted.  I attempted a few sleep meditations but to no avail.  It has been an awful 24 hours.

I think I am overthinking.  I try to relax and stop the racing mind.  Any suggestions on how to counter this?  There is a movie that recently came out that is similar to the Secret. I signed up to view it but almost immediately, realized that it was not speaking to me.  I read a few reviews and felt that it had received mixed feedback.  I tried to stay interested.  Truly, I wanted to be inspired.  Perhaps, I missed out on something.  I do not feel like I did.

Instead, it motivated me to reflect on things that have helped me in the past.  Journaling.  Meditating.  Blogging.  It is easy to get bogged down in a negative head space.  Believe me.  I have questioned my decision to pursue my passion.  Is it the right choice?  Am I doing the right thing?  What else could I be doing?  How do I not let my thoughts race at night?  Should I return to a more normal employment?  

I spoke to Shari about her decision to buy an RV and tour the United States.  She has had doubts of distress and discouragement, too.  I told her it was normal when we embark on alternative paths that do not make sense to others in our life.  I feel that I speak from experience as the last two years have been challenging.  Then, I remember my why.  Why I chose to embark on this path.  Why I will continue to stay on this path.  

I am hopeful for a full night of sleep.  I need it.  I know that I am unable to go to sleep before 9:30.  Otherwise, I will wake up, again, in the middle of the night.  I cannot have consecutive nights of lousy sleep.  Tomorrow, I see my trainer which will require energy.  The idea of being unsinkable can help.  Maybe the movie should have focused more on how to be unsinkable.  Maybe it did after twenty minutes.  There was no hook for me.  I saw my interest dwindling and so I returned to what makes me tick.  Journaling.  Meditating.  And, blogging.  

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your night.  Find your purpose and stay the course.

Thursday, October 27, 2022


Happy Thursday!  What a beautiful day.  And, it is my nephew's birthday.  He is six today!  I saw him on a zoom call, last night, and tried to tell him happy birthday.  He was having no part of it.  He is such a stinker.

Life is grand, right?  I suppose it is what we make of it.  It can be inspiring.  Challenging.  Hard.  It truly is how you start that your day that determines how you will feel or what you may encounter.  

I have been listening to more podcasts lately.  Some political, some manifestation, inspiring and recently, Ear Hustle.  I have heard about this podcast in the past.  I think I wrote it down, somewhere.  There are so many podcasts out there.  I could go down the rabbit hole of the Daily, Vox, This American Life.  I know there are episodes that I should avoid as they will trigger the rabbit hole.  Still, I have been listening to more of the political podcasts to assess how we are at this current spot.  I have enjoyed watching some of the debates between candidates.  Watching how they react to the questions and trying to stay on message in spite of the others trying to force them into a spontaneous reaction.  You can tell a lot of prep work went into it to eliminate that chance.  They seem robotic.

I hope that you vote and that you aren't turned off by the proposed apathy.  There are several reasons to feel that way.  However, it is your right to have your voice heard.  

Tom is visiting me tomorrow and I am thankful.  At first, I wanted to venture down to Santa Fe.  Test out the new Volvo and see how Freya does on the drive down.  Then, I remembered it was his turn to explore Denver.  I see H Mart and a few other asian markets on the horizon.  Possibly a stroll down Federal or Alameda to discover more of the ethnic foods.  The other night, Brie and I met for a quick supper.  Instead of heading to Cherry Creek or downtown, we opted for a Thai spot near my house.  Even with a bottle of wine, it was still affordable.  I appreciated that we enjoyed fantastic food and wine and didn't break the bank.

There I go--speaking in limiting beliefs.  I am trying to retrain my subconscious mind to eliminate the negativity and limiting thoughts.  There are ample resources.  I know this and it helps me when I struggle to find the way forward.  Sometimes, working for yourself is not all that.  Most times.  It is challenging to not obsess on the why's or how to's.   Sometimes, you must believe it and allow it to happen.

I will celebrate this weekend with Tom.  I like showing him more of Denver.  Perhaps find some time for yoga, too.

Cheers to the 27th!  Celebrate, enjoy and taste life~

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Cali travel

Santa Barbara delivers.  I had little doubt that I would have a lovely weekend in the city.  Thankfully, my travel companion, also, enjoyed my choices in food, beverage and decision to walk everywhere.  

He arrived before I did and figured out the bus schedule.  Instead of taking an uber into town, we paid $3.50 for the two of us to travel into the city.  Forty-five minutes later, and we were off.  State St. was busy on Saturday!  Lots of people checking out the eateries and shopping.  We found a spot that offered wine and snacks before heading to check in to the hotel.  There was a public hall that Tom was interested in as well.  Conveniently, it was located a couple blocks from the hotel.  Great natural light and ample space to explore.  I had a glass of wine.  

Afterwards, we checked into the hotel.  A boutique spot that hosted happy hour, daily.  I am a fan of that.  In addition, they had a continental breakfast if we were so inclined.  That lacked in my opinion.  They did have coffee, available, early in the mornings.  I had had my eye on a lebanese restaurant. I found that they had a sister restaurant that was more casual and so we walked towards that location.  Unfortunately, they were only open for takeout which was not listed on their website.  Instead of choosing that option, we returned to the initial decision of checking out Zaytoon.  Busy restaurant.  Thankfully, they were able to get us in after a 30 minute wait.  We stopped by another spot for a glass of wine while we waited.  It was cute, authentic and had we had more time, it would have been explored.  

Dinner that night included lentil soup and a trio kebab with hummus, baba ghanoosh and garlic dip.  It was tasty.  The cocktails were spot on and the atmosphere was lovely.  We returned to the hotel room to conclude our first night.  Sunday morning, we opted to walk to the pier.  Beautiful day to be on the beach.  Of course, the majority of those restaurants are tourist driven.  Shrimp cocktail, clam chowder (sort of a must since we were in California) and french fries.  Fun little combination.  Walking back up State St, we stopped at a winery so that I could purchase a gift for my friends who were getting married before checking out guacamole at Carlito's.  It was fine.  Under seasoned, but I saw the attraction and understood how it was appealing to most people.  

We were able to check out quite a bit of food and drink.  The wedding was gorgeous.  My friends chose a beautiful venue to celebrate their love.  Unbelievably beautiful spot.  We had dinner, cocktails and danced.  

Monday, we returned to the beach so we could walk in the sand.  I wanted to feel the sensation of the cool sand and water.  Lovely.  We found a mezcal driven restaurant and checked out the halibut ceviche and guacamole.  The ceviche was delicious.  Guacamole, under seasoned.  I did like how they served salsa with chips and a black bean salsa.  Carlito's and Santos both did this. Nice addition to the chips.  Probably my favorite food of the trip was Monday.  We returned to Public House to explore the tacos at Corazon.  I ordered pastor and ensenada (battered fish).  I was thankful for my choices!

So, everything was going well.  Great food, easy travel and a very manageable trip.  We found our way back to the airport.  Tom had a connecting flight in Phoenix while I had a direct flight back to Denver.  My flight departed at 4 pm.  His was scheduled for 4:45.  Midday, he received a notice that the flight from Phoenix to Albuquerque was delayed.  

I made it home around 9 pm.  I needed to find take out and uber it back to central Denver.  Tom texted me around midnight that his flight had boarded.  I think nothing of it.  6 am, he texts to update me on his lack ok travel.  He was in Phoenix, overnight, since his flight canceled.  Then, he is told he could fly to ABQ, today, at 7:30 pm with a connection at LAX.  Sounds terrific, right?  He inquires about the likelihood of connecting in Denver.  Yes, that is an available option if he agrees to land in Santa Fe.  Of course, that is doable since he lives there.  However, he would still have to pick up his car.  I call this the Shari return flight of travel when she travels with me.  More than once, she has gotten stranded or had to make alternate arrangements.  Tom suggested that next time, we travel together.  Either he drives up here or I meet him in Santa Fe so we can both feel the pain of missed connections.

All, in all, great trip and I am very grateful to have done it.  Thankful to have met Rachel, years back at the Humboldt wine bar.  I randomly walked in and we struck up a conversation.  Four and a half years later, and I am attending their wedding.  It was a beautiful wedding and trip.  

Saturday, October 22, 2022


Productive view days...finding a car, having it checked out and purchasing.  It was sort of nuts.  As my emissions test was looming and need to update my tags, I knew that I needed to figure out a solution.  As much as I loved my Volvo wagon, Calliope (she was a sporty, boxy, safe vehicle), I was unwilling to purchase a new transmission.  The used cost of this part two years ago was $2300.  Even then, I wasn't inclined to have the repair done.  Fast forward to six months ago.  I am told that I would need a transmission and that the cost had increased to $4500.  A used transmission.  That is if they could find one.  Multiple mechanics told me that a used transmission might not be a great fix.  That transmission would have issues of its own; thereby, the fix could be minimal.  Pay $4500 for the part, not the labor included.  Then, the transmission could function for a month?  Two months?  Six months?  They suggested purchasing a Volvo transmission for the grand price of $7500.  Sounds like a great idea???

I finally called around to see what my options were as I saw my window of opportunity closing.  One of my mechanics said that they had nothing in stock.  While the other mechanic mentioned that he had recently refurbished a wagon and that it was available nearby.  I called the dealer and attempted to set up a viewing.

24 hours later, I had purchased the car and traded in Calliope.  I cannot believe that I did this.  It feels like a whirlwind.  One of the most positive outcomes of purchasing this car, is that I am able to drive down to Santa Fe instead of renting a car to drive down.  It has been a long ten months or relying on rental cars to make it from point A to point B.  I loved that car and would have driven it into the ground.  (Essentially, I did.  I just ran out of time and started to freak out about not being able to find a replacement).  

Tomorrow, I will head to Santa Barbara to celebrate a client/friend's wedding.  I am excited to celebrate with Rachel and Jeff.  And, it will be the first time in Santa Barbara in ten years.  A trip is overdue and I am ready to return to some sort of more normal travel routine.  It is a part of my life.  I love traveling.  I mentioned to Shari an opportunity to go to Mexico in January.  The more we discuss it, the more likely it is becoming.

It has been a productive week and month, overall.  There are a few administrative tasks that I must attend to in the next few weeks.  No more putting these things off.  The new laptop should help. 

I have noticed that writing things on my whiteboard is helping.  I can cross them off and see the win.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Happy October

New laptop. New opportunities to write and share.  Opportunity to vote--doesn't it feel great?  We all should do our part.  More than ever, your voice matters.  

After 2016, I did feel discouraged.  Then, I watched a senate run off in 2020 that determined control of the senate.  Your vote does matter.  

I received my mail in ballot yesterday.  And, I love it!  Living in Colorado where voting is made easy.  (as it should be.  People should not be making it challenging or difficult to cast a vote).  I urge you to take the time to vote.

Indian summer in Denver.  My absolute favorite time of year.  Warmer days and cooler nights.  Possibility to harvest the seeds you have planted.  Or consider how you can change your mindset to achieve goals.  I have been offering a yoga happy hour, monthly, which I hope to continue to offer.  I love it.  I love the idea of connecting people and building community.  As much as I love this, it is difficult, at times.  Injury, travel, other set backs which limit offering this unique class.  I spoke with a fellow entrepreneur and he made me doubt myself. Perhaps, not intentionally.  But, he did question some of my decisions. Suggested that I attend a yoga class to see what others are offering.

That was laughable.  I have been practicing yoga since 2001.  Not that I don't appreciate attending classes and seeing what is out there.  Yet, for what I am offering, it isn't about yoga.  I want to differentiate myself from other classes by incorporating movement and time to build community.  This includes light appetizers and wine. I am not going to learn how to market myself by attending a yoga class.

And, there are variables that are out of my control.  I have to marinate in this decision to seek an unconventional path.  But, when have I not been unconventional? That is something else that this person does not recognize or acknowledge.

He did give me a few valid things to ponder and consider.  Maybe I should offer another donation based class, weekly?  Or, perhaps, I could offer a yoga session at my apartment?  I am unwilling to give up.  I want to make this work.  Things I have been avoiding (website), it's time to face and do.  I have the foundation built.  Only lack the desire to follow through.

I hope you are enjoying your October and making it the best it can possibly be.  Cheers to you!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Some agreements

Be authentic with who you are and where you want to be.  It is easy to become complacent and okay with where things stand if you allow them to.  Or, you can choose to strive for more than a mediocre existence.  

I suppose I am waxing nostalgic as I am trying to decide which path I want to be on.  I know that I am dedicated to being an entrepreneur even when it feels that I am on an uphill battle.  Maybe not battle.  That seems too strong of a word.  It is challenging to continue on this path as it is lonely.  Sometimes, strangers seem more supportive than friends and family.  And, as much as people are supportive and excited for my ideas, events remain inconsistent and small.  I feel that I am doing something unique and I love teaching.  I remind myself of that often.  There are tasks that I do not enjoy or even like.  I force myself to do them at the last possible moment. I still have some admin to attend to from June.  I must get better about those tasks.  

In other areas, I am improving and continuing to learn.  I like creating graphics.  At first, they were intimidating.  It took me forever to compose a newsletter or flier and I was terrified of deleting all of the content.  Terrified.  I would focus only on that task and refused to multi-task or stream shows in the background.  

Now, I feel comfortable and not afraid of starting over.  I think following other people or familiarizing myself with brands that looked popping, helped inspire me to have clean branding.  I stopped by the happy hour yoga spot and thanked them, again, for their attention to detail.  I appreciate their branding and know that it has helped me on my own journey.  I want my fliers to make sense and supply all of the relevant information that I am trying to get across.

There was a reason that I wanted to embark on this.  I know that I can do it.  Keep it moving forward.  Any interaction can be an opportunity to learn and benefit.  That has been the lesson of the last few months.  And, how important it is to be consistent.  That has been a cornerstone of my teachings since I embarked on this.  This path that continues to shine, engage and be unconventional.  That is my why.  Remain on the unconventional path.  I want to prove it is achievable.