Saturday, February 11, 2012

Five Things

A few years ago I returned home after having been away for about two and a half weeks and decided to take stock of my life. The trip in and of itself wasn't out of the ordinary...nothing that was extremely rare or that hadn't been done before or written about and photographed many times over. But its overall experiences were new and different to me, so much so that when I returned home I felt both compelled and encouraged to view my life in a different way. It gave me the perspective that perhaps I needed, which was significant because at the time I really had no idea that I needed it. It was a particularly life changing trip.

Had I been in a rut? Maybe. But not an unhappy one. What I realized after taking a look at myself from across a vast ocean, amidst ancient art, architecture and ruins, amidst different food and different cultures and religion, was that I wasn't necessarily paying enough attention to......myself. The inspiration of my surroundings for those couple of weeks, the structures and ideas that had outlasted ages, those that withstood the test of many centuries, called into question how it was that I was choosing to spend my time. 

I recognized things I used to dream about, ways in which I at one time envisioned myself, things that I saw myself becoming when I was much younger and way more idealistic. During years of growing and changing, and years of the busy-ness of life, many of those things had faded into the background. What I found was that although they had faded......they had not disappeared. They were still around, folded firmly into and not out of my life. Their strands of color, light and flavor still prodded and poked. Apparently, even though I had ignored them, they weren't ignoring me.

(To be clear, time spent with family and those whom I love dearly has never been at issue. It goes with out too much mention what my priorities are in that area.)

When I returned from those travels I made a list that answered the question, "if I could choose five areas that I personally want to focus on, what would they be?". I'm pretty sure that the title scrawled at the top stated simply, "Five Things". They weren't just the five ways I most wanted to spend my time but the five ways I most needed to. It took about five seconds to jot them down.

A mid life crisis? I don't think so. Coagulating fears of an impending empty nest? Maybe. But I think it was more like an awakening. It's been over four years now since I made that list and for some reason I remember the exact date: January 4th, 2008.  I allowed myself a five year plan in order to explore and see where time spent on these things would lead. I just finished year four. In about eleven months.......I'll fill you in.

Wishing you a very lovely weekend and week ahead.

Warmly, Margaret

The above photos were taken at the Ballard Farmer's Market. www.DELUXE-FOODS.COM
Why did I include them in this post? Because I am impressed with the jam maker's decision to do what it appears she was meant to do....make jam, create flavors and sell it!

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