Monday, September 26, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

all in all

From New York to Utah we drove and drove and drove.  A short week in our new place and off to Montana I then drove.  After working with movers and spending time with some truly great friends, I ticked off even more miles to return to the desert west of Salt Lake City.  Along the way, I found myself listening to lots of older music.  Songs that I've seemingly listened to a thousand times apiece.  Ones that I know by heart even when I haven't heard them in years.  Tori Amos, Indigo Girls, Alison Krauss - solo and with Union Station, Mary Chapin Carpenter, 10,000 Maniacs, Dixie Chicks, Eva Cassidy, Lucinda Williams, Tracy Chapman, Gillian Welch, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews, Billy Joel, Pat Green.  

Moving has a way of bringing on reflection, and hearing these songs that evoke specific memories from many points in my life encouraged that.  I enjoyed it.  I found myself smiling, laughing out loud, remembering places or people I hadn't thought of in a long time.  It had a way of making me feel my life has been well-lived and varied, full of change and memorable moments.  It made me feel fulfilled.  And it reminded me how much I cache songs with people, places, and times in my grey matter.  Doesn't everyone? 

It continually impresses me how much music influences mood, emotion, and energy.  Classical when I'm driving in lots of traffic but want something soothing.  Loud rock and roll when I'm feeling buoyant.  Verbose lyrics full of meaning when I'm feeling creative or introspective.  Bluegrass when I need a pick me up.  Reggae or folk when I'm feeling a little homesick.  Movie scores pretty much any time, anywhere. 

I'm wondering if exploring familiar and new parts of Utah will involve creating a new soundtrack.  I'm betting it will be full of old songs and new songs.  Sing along type songs for driving down the highway at 80 miles per hour and quiet, soft songs for watching the stars with little or no light pollution.  

Looking forward to the journeys and adventures to come.  I've a strong feeling that living here will prove to be illuminating.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Ch Ch Change....change is for fools?

As summer comes to a close and fall seems right around the corner, I find myself feeling introspective today -- specifically about transition.  Transformation.  Revision.  Adaptation.  Modification.  Whatever label one can put on it, my thoughts on this breezy, warm morning are focused on change.

Was there a time in your life where you felt absolutely clear-minded on where you wanted to be, what you wanted to be doing for a living, what hobbies gave you the most joy, what goals you had for yourself while also feeling steadfast in your relationships with friends and family?  Where everything seemed to be running smoothly, things were predictable yet fun, you had social outlets and regular outings, you may have even had ideas of starting an online business or selling things you made at craft shows?  

Did time pass and suddenly there you were, no longer enjoying the craft or hobby that you were once thinking of trying to make income on, no longer living in the place where your needs were being met most of the time while you could easily handle the occasions when they weren't


What I'm getting at is this - did you ever have a period of your life (for months or years or even a decade) that you've kept trying to get back to emotionally (or even geographically) where life was pretty damn good and simpler only to come to the realization you should stop fighting what's now different and it's okay to have changed the script on what fulfills you?  I do. I have.  Regretfully at times (the accepting I've changed).  Not so willingly at times (wasn't I so much happier then?).  Fearful at times (why can't I find the same level of joy in something I've invested so much time and money in?).  Only halfway open to it at times (What, did we just decide to move AGAIN, back to the other side of the continent near where we used to live just two years ago?!?!?). 


And then there's that moment when the little ball of enlightenment starts to burst forth and you realize that it's okay to transform, to adapt, to change, and to grow.  To learn new things, to live in a new place, to make new friends, to find a new job.  I won't lie and say that it's always been painless or without anxiety and hassle.  Because it has.  There have been sleepless nights and tears shed and much too much driving and moments of self-doubt.  But in the end, when the current house is finally put together and the latest town starts feeling familiar and settling into a different job seems possible - that is when the road weariness disappears and fears give way to excitement.  It's then that all the hard work and worries fade, evolving into the desire to make the best of where home now is.

Well, as you may have guessed by this post, we've pulled up roots again.  This time we're living in Utah.  Tim has finished school - thesis completed, accolades received, graduation ceremony come and gone, master's degree in hand.  He accepted a job near Salt Lake City back in April, and work began this week.  

Overall we're very excited.  Happy to be back in the west.  Happy to be close to recreational opportunities in the many national parks, state parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, and forests all over this gorgeous state.  Glad to be away from humid weather!  Overjoyed to be in a part of the country we happen to love.  I've already been perusing the atlas and travel guides.  And once we have all of our furniture, books, dishes, and doodads here with us, I suspect our lives will be easier and certainly more comfortable.  Very much looking forward to feeling more established!

Meanwhile, we've enjoyed a bit of wildlife in this first week.  Pronghorn, mule deer, a weasel, hummingbirds, ravens, swallows, robins, and coyote howls in the night.  I am not looking forward to the possibility of rattlesnakes or scorpions, however.  Nope, no how, never.  Nor the insect Tim told me is called a tarantula wasp?!  That sounds terrifying.  But we will make the most of things here.  After all, what's the alternative?  I'd rather explore and experience than wallow.  Any day.  Wouldn't you?

Tim and I were married on August 5th!  This is the bouquet I carried.  Of course there were sunflowers.