The first quarter of each year is defined by three rituals for me.
The first is that I become preoccupied with work at this time. There’s a big project on top of my regular work and I tend to think about the job a lot. The other eight or nine months of the year I focus on separation of work and home but this becomes less and less a priority as the weeks drag on through the winter months. It’s the nature of the beast and I have no regrets or complaints. It’s just the rhythm of my year.
Then there’s the No Spend Challenge that I do each January. This year it stretched into February as well. It’s designed to keep me happy at home, staying healthy and using the things I have. What did our Greatest Generation grandparents teach us?
Use it up, make do or do without.
The money I save in the winter helps pay for adventures the rest of the year. It also promotes rest and a sense of quiet.
The third ritual is that I take a long weekend trip as soon as my project goes to the printer and as soon as I can dig myself out from under the non essential work that piled up.
This weekend was that weekend and it was exactly what I needed. I didn’t go far and my destination wasn’t exotic. Heck, it wasn’t even as warm as home. But it was quintessentially American and it was a solid start to adventure season. It was good for my mental health.
I haven’t felt like myself in some time. In addition to making you tired, causing you to gain weight, messing with your voice and cholesterol and causing the worst brain fog, the thyroid toys with your mind and emotions too. I saw glimmers of the old Brandi here and there this weekend. She pops up sometimes when I’m out adventuring and it’s a relief to know there’s hope she’ll come back to stay someday.
I’m home now and am starting an eating plan meant to help my thyroid. After all, my body is attacking this little gland. The least I can do is stop calling it names for being so useless and start trying to help it through better nutrition. Ha! It’s no wonder it feels like it’s not even trying. I’m mean to it! Expect to hear more about this another day.
There are lots of stories to tell from this trip through eastern Indiana, checking off my list a few things I have wanted to see for a while.
In case you’re thinking that Indiana doesn’t sound very exciting (I know you are because nearly everyone I know looked at me funny when I told them my plans) know that you are wrong by my standards. It doesn’t sound exciting but this area is defined by lovely countryside, small towns, friendly people, interesting history and lots of the things I enjoy. There are so many old churches, Carnegie libraries and vintage signs, it was a feast for my eyes and wandering imagination.
Friends, I read a quote from Bob Ross this weekend that supports part of my worldview. You know the PBS painter with big hair and a gentle voice who inspired a nation to paint? He said “Beauty is everywhere. You only have to look to see it.”
Right on, Bob. Right on.
Come back and I’ll tell you about some places I went and my observations on the world. It’s true. Beauty is everywhere. There’s something interesting to be found everywhere. You only have it look to see it.