Monday, July 7, 2014

S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G

2014 has been quite a year thus far, and according to my horoscope starting in mid-July...it's only gonna get better!

Here's what has occurred to date, altering my thinking and my course:
Each of the above occurrences has led to some sort of epiphany or striking realization for me.

From Soudain Soixante it is providing structure to think about who I am, how I want to live my life, how I want to be remembered, and gaining increased understanding about choice.

From my trip to California it is the choice to think about my "bucket list" and bring it to life.

From reading "Why You're Stuck" it was learning and embracing that when I am stuck it is not because of external things; it is about the choices I make for myself.

And JOY...a daily reminder (apologies to my FB friends who have now seen 187 days of my JOY), that no matter how sad, awful, lonely, frustrating a day may appear to be, there are always moments of JOY.  When I focus on acknowledging the daily JOYS, even the lousiest of days become joyful.

Where I am going with all of this you may be asking?  Here.  It's been a tad quiet of late on Soudain Soixante.  I only posted once in June.  What???  Didn't I pledge to post about once a week?  Yes, yes I did.

So let's return to my late January trip to the Sonoma/Napa area of California and Aunt G.  While there, I read Derek Doepker's book and considered my bucket list.  One of the items on my list was to travel, and one of the places I wanted to travel to was to Italy (amongst other places).  Another item on my list was to have a "significant other" in my life.  Both reasonable items to have on a bucket list.  Sadly for me, I had tied the two together...I wanted to travel to Italy with a significant other.  The need for a SO was keeping me STUCK!  Go figure.  At the end of the week, I returned to Seattle with the knowledge that I am turning SIXTY this year.  And as I've been single for the better part of the last 20 years, assuming a SO was going to drop into my life wasn't prudent.  I began to operate under the construct that if I have 10 healthy years ahead of me (hopefully more, but 10 was an easy measurement); did I really want to wait for the SO or did I want to travel?  Travel won!!

De Adriaan Windmill in Haarlem, The Netherlands
I came home and booked a trip.  Not wanting to travel alone and to have to make all the decisions; I decided to take a Rick Steves' tour. Thus, on June 9th, I boarded a plane to Amsterdam all by myself, arriving on June 10th in a city/country I had never been to.  I found my way through border control (new stamp in my passport) and customs, located my luggage and made my way to a public bus and took it another 30 mins to Haarlem.  Too early to check into the hotel, so after leaving my bag (only allowed one carry-on sized bag) with the hotel; armed with a map, and in search of a windmill, I set out to wander Haarlem all by myself.  At 4 pm that day, our tour group met and I now was no longer traveling alone.  Indeed I was traveling with 27 other people, a great guide and a really good bus driver (very important to appreciate the bus driver!).

The tour, called the "Best of Europe" was amazing.  Even though I was on it, I still almost can't believe where I've been and what I have done.  21 days! The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France. Museums, churches, history, hiking, wine, great food. And all with new friends ranging from 16 to 60.  Clearly too much for one post on Soudain Soixante.  I've added a travel section (click on the travel tab at the top of this page) to the blog and will post some stories and photos over the next few weeks. Let me remind you, this was a huge leap, a giant step out of my comfort zone.

What keeps you stuck?  How have you stepped out of your comfort zone?  How have you stretched? What have you challenged yourself to do?    Need some support to take the leap? Leave a comment here and I, along with the rest of the Soudain Soixante community will be happy to support you!  Want to read more about how to take charge and do more (not less) in your sixties? Check out this blog, also part of my inspiration!  http://www.savoringyoursixties.com/5-steps-for-loving-sixties/

Want to read more about my European adventure and see more pics!?! http://soudainesoixante.blogspot.com/p/travle.html

Photo Credits:  These are both photos I took on the trip!


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