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Tag Archives: time

Steps toward a well designed life

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Steps toward a well designed life


I sometimes have to remind myself of the steps I have made to re-design my life.

They haven’t been easy.

First Steps

But they’ve been huge steps in reclaiming joy and peace in my life.

Me and my boys with our new baby ducklings.

Me and my boys with our new baby ducklings.

No more 60 hour work weeks.

Rarely 40 hour work weeks anymore.

Through contracts, projects, and writing I make enough to allow me to keep on building my business and paying my bills.

But more, I have enough time to make room for living.

To make time for life.

Time to enjoy my children.

Time to grow a garden.

Time to sell jams, jellies, and sunflowers at the local farmers market.

Time to listen to the world.

Time to hear myself.

It is worth every penny, every hour that I get to call my own.

It is worth living my life.

And I am grateful. reflection

Complex Simplicities

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Remember those long summer days? When July seemed to drag on forever? Between riding bikes, climbing trees, swimming, playing at the park, watching summer movies, and enjoying family vacations, it seemed like we were able to do it all and still watch time move slowly. We lived in the moment, with Kool-Aid mustaches and drips of mustard on our shirts.  Those days were nothing short of fantastic!tree climbing

Summer isn’t what it used to be. There is too much to juggle. Not enough simplicity to slow it down.

I was really taken back this summer at the pace in which life can happen. I often was left feeling like I had been sucked through a time warp, uncertain of the date, still juggling away projects, responsibilities, and life events. It takes a certain kind of effort to slow it down and enjoy summer for what it is. That effort I could not employ through June or July. But maybe…

Maybe that is what August is for.

After our family endured a long month that included project deadlines, two birthdays, loss of an extended family member, a surgery, a train wreck, and a resulting 12 hour delay on Amtrak… maybe we can be grateful that July is over.

Maybe we can be grateful that we still have August to enjoy. Maybe we don’t have to be sucked into the “Back-to-School” frenzy. Maybe we can just keep on living our life and be grateful that the sun is still warm, that the days are still long, and we are together.

Maybe summer isn’t what it used to be.

Maybe it can be something different.

Maybe it can be what we make it.

Grateful, Indeed

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It has been one year.

One year of being self-employed.

One year of rearranging life.

One year of consciously stepping away from the patterns of overwork I relied upon for 15 years to drown out my thoughts, my emotions, my being.

In that cycle, I was unable to experience being.

I spent my time doing what needed to be done.

And when I wasn’t doing that,

I yearned for something other than reality:

I would say, “I just wish I had the time to…”

or “I wish I didn’t have to…”

or “If I could only…”

I realize now, that by overcoming my tendencies I have become aware of other priorities in life.

There is room for joy.

There is room for relaxation.

There is room to live life.

With all it has to offer.

For there is also room for stress.

And projects.

And even crises that inevitably occur.

And I am grateful.

For gratitude came when noticed all those old “I wishes” were no longer haunting me.

Instead, my reality became sprinkled with a feeling of contentment.

Contentment that allows me to experience my waking moments,

rather than wishing them away.

I am grateful, indeed.


Taking Time and Making Memories

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Taking Time and Making Memories

There are times when time passes with rapid speed. Days fly by, hours slip from our grasp. When this pace goes on for weeks on end, sometimes it takes an effort to take a grasp on life again. Thus the pleasures of living in a small town. Such places can provide unique opportunities to slow down a bit. To feel like perhaps that there is not a need to keep letting time pass us by, but to instead feel it pass through us.

There are so many similarities I find between the small town I live in now and the one I visited my grandparents in as a young child. Granted, the distance between the two is more than 1000 miles. And the population of my grandparents’ rural villa far surpasses where I now reside. But, there is something about the tempo that I cannot help but find accessible… if I take time to listen.

The best place for me to begin slowing down and listening is my garden. This is the third year we have grown a large garden in our backyard and each year it looks different. This year, we have focused on a variety of herbs, tomatoes, and cabbages. This morning I went out to explore what might potentially fit into a scramble of eggs and potatoes. I was please to find an ample amount of chard…


And some garlic scapes to experiment with…


And began to seriously wonder what we are going to do with all this tarragon…


And realized that the tarragon has been growing as fast as the ducks. DSCN8951

And that perhaps all that tarragon would go well with all that duck….

But not today.

After the egg scramble and a little house cleaning, we were off to the Annual Rhubarb Festival at the Eddy County Museum.

Yes, Rhubarb Festival, where the tangy sour stalks of this green leafy plant are honored and transformed into a variety of delectable dishes.





Such a wonderful variety of baked goods and also slush, and soda, and ice cream too.

I admit, I made some rather beastly noises when I first tasted the ice cream. DSCN9151

My husband was lucky that I let him taste a tiny bite before I cleared it off the plate. Because nothing makes me stop and enjoy the moment much more than homemade ice cream. And considering that I recently discovered many of my digestive ills were related to a gluten-intolerance (and most of the rhubarb dishes were baked goods) I am eternally grateful to a fellow gluten-free friend who made a contribution of a gluten-free rhubarb, strawberry, and raspberry pizza. Simply amazing!


And speaking of beastly… we explored another of my loves at the museum. Taxidermy!

Yes, I know I’m weird maybe I spent too many hours with the stuffed loon at my grandparent’s house as a child (and as an adult). But there is something about taxidermy that continues to amaze me. In fact, had I not been accepted into graduate school, I would have sought out training as a taxidermist. But exploring wildlife with a three year old through taxidermy mounts can be an incredible experience.


“Mom, what’s that?DSCN9022

Is it a tye-ote”

“Yes, it is a coyote.”

“It has teeth!”


“And look Mom, it’s a mean cat. A big mean cat. Can we get a cat like that?!”

And on we went…

“Mom, what’s that?”

“That’s fox. And an avocet. And a five-legged lamb. And a two-headed calf.”DSCN9025

And we visited a small boy wearing clothes from long ago. My son wasn’t sure what to think, but I assured him it was not taxidermed.


But I still advised him not to touch the boy, as it might bite.

I don’t think he took me seriously.


I was so amazed at his interest and curiosity in all these old items. “WOW! Look at this!” He said over and over again.




Truly it was worth every moment. To make time to enjoy, explore, and appreciate. To mingle, laugh, and play. To be part of something larger than yourself. To know that these moments that slip through our hands belong not just to us, but to our future as well. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

So when the time came, that my son wanted to go back for another round of rhubarb desserts. What could we say?? After all, it’s the little things it life that make it so sweet.


Special thanks to the Eddy County Museum for putting on an event that gave us a chance a take the time and make some memories, right close to home!