Monthly Archives: February 2016

Mind the Gap

Happy birthday to me!  I started the week ready to celebrate.  There were meetings, cake, cupcakes and not enough protein.  I neglected to take photos.  I’ve always believed that the older you get the longer you get to celebrate.  I do have plans for high tea this week along with a dinner out with the kids.

Mind the Gap!  It doesn't look too bad

Mind the Gap! It doesn’t look too bad

There seems to be a gap, a gap between expectations and reality, a gap between celebrating and aging.  I’m a year past my last brush with cancer.  I’m celebrating.  I’m grateful.  I’m thinner, have more energy, get a lot more accomplished and have better general health.  I’m also ordering off the senior’s menu.

I’ve chosen to apply my birthday celebration logic to bridge the gap.  Every time this year I order off a senior menu I’m officially celebrating my birthday.  WOO HOO!   Honestly, the smaller portions make a lot more sense post bariatric surgery than they would have without it.  Another thing to be grateful for!

Gap number two is the time vs money gap.   There is a saying if you have the time you don’t have the money, if you have the money you don’t have the time.  I have found this to be generally true, although lately I’m feeling like I don’t have either.  Clearly I need another round of rescheduling and rearranging priorities.

Of course there are spots where the gap is considerably worse!

Of course there are spots where the gap is considerably worse!

I’ve started seriously working on my next book – about Daily Practice.  You would think that if I’m writing about it I ought to be able to put some of those things I’m writing about into play.  That helps with the time piece, but doesn’t address the money part.   I’m afraid if I go out looking for the part-time job that would bridge the money gap I’ll lose the time I’m spending writing.  Such a dilemma!

I could also write like a mad fiend and then work like crazy to promote the new book.  I could create opportunities to speak on the topic, and get paid for it.  I could invest in my new lifestyle vision.    It sure sounds good on paper!

The time vs money dilemma runs me headlong into the third gap.  Which is an actual gap – as my kitchen cupboards are slowly falling off the wall.   I’m looking at a major expense, no two ways about it.  My kitchen was “old” when we moved in 23 years ago.  It needs a serious remodel.  Lot’s of planning (and time) and potentially moving for a bit.  Certainly there is deciding what stays out and what gets packed away.

Until you begin to realize all the cabinets are falling off the wall!

Until you begin to realize all the cabinets are falling off the wall!

Disruptions happen, it’s part of life. Finding the way to stay on our feet, keep moving forward, continuing our Daily Practice, that’s balance.  It’s an active word.  It’s about making choices.   So I go back to the first gap and decide I’m old enough to have earned a new kitchen for my birthday.

Happy birthday to me!

Adjusting

20160212_113753So I missed last week’s blog because I was still in California – giving my presentation.  I had a great trip.  I talked to some fabulous people.  I learned some things and was inspired.  I also hope I taught some things and was inspirational.

I think I’m pretty much back in Central Time, but even that’s challenging.  My darling daughter wrenched her ankle in a bad fall coming home from work this weekend.  2am in Urgent Care doesn’t help me adjust.  But the sun has been shining, the days have been warm.  (In Minnesota if the snow is melting it’s warm – even at 39 degrees.)

Looking at traveling as part of a career I’m going to have to find a way to do the body/time adjustment thing a little more gracefully.  At least I was kind to myself with scheduling.  Aside from the unexpected (there was a trip to the Apple Genius Bar as well) I haven’t had any “extras” on the calendar.  That’s about to change!20160214_103212

One of the things I got to do at Pantheacon was Tarot readings.  When I do readings I always get good feedback from the clients.  This was no exception.  But I also had some down time with the cards, so I asked a question for myself about preparing for my presentation.  That was a little frustrating.  I was committed to being “on my game”.  I wanted to be a professional level presenter.  I’m invested in preparing to do my best.  The cards kept saying, “Give it up.  This is something you can’t prepare for.”

My time slot was unfortunate.  I presented early in the morning on the last day of the convention.  Most people are packing to check out or catching early flights.  The audience I was targeting are, as a rule, worn out by this point.  I had no idea what kind of crowd to expect and the cards were not helping.

However unhelpful, they were correct.  I had a small enough group that sitting down and having a discussion, a personal conversation, was much more appropriate than a presentation.  In that kind of setting my goal is always to address the specific needs of those present.  It’s not something you can prepare for.  You just have to know the material inside and out.  I do and I thought the workshop went really well.20160214_174214

I didn’t take a lot of photos.  I did get a lovely sashimi dinner one evening.  My roommate (who I met when I arrived) was fabulous and we had a pleasant evening together over dinner as well.  I sat in on conversations about accessibility for People of Color and for the Gender fluid community.  I actually went to one of the ritual presentations (something I’ve not had the energy for in previous years) and enjoyed myself.  I spent some time with old friends and made some new ones.

I still have to finish unpacking.  I need to sort through all the cards I picked up and find new contacts on Facebook.  I need to remember to check my email and gather all my receipts.  It’s less than a month until the next one.  At least I won’t have to change time zones!

Preparing

What books do I pack?

What books do I pack?

I’m traveling again this week.  I’m going to present a workshop at Pantheacon.   Today I’m feeling just a little overwhelmed because there’s so much still to do!

I have arrangements for hotel and my flights are booked, but I’ve given no thought to getting back and forth from the airport.   I’ve got Orion covered and his meds sorted, but I still have to arrange his transportation and think about what else to put in his bag.

Karina will be staying with Orion for at least some of the time I’m gone.  I suppose that means rather than entirely emptying the refrigerator I should give some thought to what they might eat.   Do I trust that Karina will keep Minnie off of my bed or do I pack away the good blankets?

I know it's hard to say NO to this face!

I know it’s hard to say NO to this face!

Then there is my own packing!  Do I bring books to sell?  How many?  Which ones?  Can I do that and keep my luggage under the weight limits?  Packing for the workshop I’m presenting, and preparing for that, is its own little piece of extra, but exciting.

I’m sure some of my stress is because of what happened last year.  The workshop I’m giving is the one I was planning on doing then.  Having to cancel at the last-minute because of https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/a-big-wrench/ was more than a little discombobulating.  I’m grateful to be doing well, healthy and able to go back this year!

These are flowers near the hotel in San Jose from previous years visits. We won't see the like here until June!

These are flowers near the hotel in San Jose from previous years visits. We won’t see the like here until June!

It’s 11 F here and the temps are dropping.  The high today in San Jose is 77 F.   Packing and planning for what to wear on the plane is an interesting logistical dilemma.  I will definitely throw in a swimsuit!   I may have to pack a winter coat as well.  That depends a lot on how I get back and forth to the airport which puts me back at the beginning of this post.

I need to just breathe.   I need to remember I’ve done this before, I’ll do it again.  I need to trust that whatever decisions I make will be fine.  I need to remember that if I forget anything there’s a good chance there are stores in California.

See you at Pantheacon!

Past blogs about my experiences at Pantheacon:

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/pantheacon-2014/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/california-2/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/california/

 

Happy Imbolc

20160201_105835I’ve written several posts on this Sabbat in the past (links at the bottom).  It’s the time of year when we notice the days are getting longer.  Back before artificial light cows and hens stopped producing in the dark time of the year so it is a time to celebrate the return of eggs and milk.  Many animals are at the “birthing” time in their cycle.  It’s a good time to start things.

For many people who make New Years Resolutions it’s the time to recognize failure.   This is why I don’t do New Years Resolutions any more. Who needs to beat themselves up?  Not me!  But it is a good time for me to recognize where I need to get “back on track”.20160201_110101

Sunshine and winter thaw is a good motivator.   But I’ve got an even better one.  My copies of Pagan Leadership Anthology: An Exploration of Leadership and Community in Paganism and Polytheism  came in the mail!

This anthology, edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood and published by Immanion Press, includes a piece I wrote.   That’s where I need to get “back on track”.   I’ve kept up with the blog, but have been actively avoiding other writing – for no good reason.

Getting the books in the mail reminds me “I am a writer!”   I have authored 2 books  (Manifest Divinity and When Gods Come Knocking) and have published works in 3 anthologies (Pagan Leadership, Bringing Race to the Table, and Rooted in the Body Seeking the Soul).   Writers Write!book_when_gods_come_knocking_small-1 Manifest Divinity Front Cover hi res

The season marks the time to get back into the daily practice of writing.  For me, I find that it helps to set aside a particular amount of time I MUST write each day (with an eye to when I might squeeze that in).   The amount of time can be minuscule.  10 min, 20 min, an hour, how much doesn’t matter.   I need to sit down and do it.  Once I start I’ll write until I’m done, sometimes all day.  It’s the getting started where I need help.bringing race to the tableRooted in the Body

This time of year is the “housekeeping” time of year.   What have you been avoiding that really needs to be done?   Just do it.   Think of it as preparing the way for spring.

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/hope-2/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/stir-crazy/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/bonus-blog/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/light/

 

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