Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Erasing the Days

Early this year, in my attempt to organize my family, I bought this calendar...

It hangs in a space right in front of the refridgerator, between the kitchen and the laundry room.  Every month I post all of our activities, appointments, events, etc. Some times my family posts things too...but mostly it's me doing the planning.  

Anyhow...with the end of August upon us and the beginning of school looming in the immediate future, I took some time Saturday morning to update the calendar to September.  As I erased the old month away, I noticed myself hesitating and reading each entry before wiping it clean.  As I removed one day after another, sending August into the past, I realized two things.  

First, I realized how much we actually did.  Doctor appointments, birthdays, dog sitting, rides to the airport, days off from work, dinners, taekwondo practice, and daisy meetings.  I know we live very active, busy lives.  I can feel the busyness throughout the days and weeks as I juggle and negotiate schedules.  However, there is a sense of accomplishment one feels when reviewing all that one actually did in a given month or week.  

The second thing I realized was that this ritual, of revisiting the days past right before wiping them away to make room for the new, is one more way of embracing the now.  Those moments spent erasing the days really puts into perspective all that came before and all that is to come.  In that moment, I feel grounded in the present, feeling a sense of accomplishment and a bit of nostalgia...while at the same time experiencing the wonderful anticipation that comes with knowing you have a whole month stretched before you, ripe with the possibilities of new experiences.  It is during these "now" moments that I feel most blessed that I have life, health, and love.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Moment

Last night, after a full day of work dealing with attorneys, rushing home to run to the tailors to pick up Bella's Taekwondo uniform, feeding Bella before Daisy meeting, going to Daisy meeting, and getting home at 8pm (still in slacks and heels), I found this:

Grant it, my son had warned me that he had not done the dishes prior to locking himself out of the house, but that didn't stop the annoyance and frustration from overtaking me.  

However, through the haze of anger, I remembered a blog post I had read earlier in the day over at Inner Bliss.  I could allow the anger to consume me and ruin the rest of my evening, or I could reframe it and embrace it.  

So, the pile of dishes has become my moment that I want to cherish and savor today because, one day in the not too distant future, there will no longer be piles of dirty dishes in the sink.  After a full days work, no errands, and no Daisy meetings (as those will be long forgotten), I will come home to two coffee mugs...and that will mean my babies have grown up and moved on...and I will miss the pile of dirty dishes that were the symbol of a full house.

Linking with SouleMama.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We are officially in the final stretch of summer. 

The school supplies have been purchased.  The high-schooler has his junior (Yikes!) year schedule.  The MA student is enrolled and the books have come in the mail.  One week from today the Araujo household will once again be in the grips of another school year. 

But until then...we have a few more days of summer to enjoy. 

So for the next week we will be:

  • Enjoying evenings free of homework...
  • Spending as much time as possible in shorts, tanks, and flip flops...
  • Celebrating late summer birthdays...
  • Eating LOTS of ice cream...
  • Grilling, grilling, grilling...
  • Spending pressure-free time with friends...
  • Getting wet...
  • Going for evening walks (in our flip flops)...
  • Soaking in the sun...

How will you be spending these last days of summer?

Monday, August 22, 2011


Today I felt time move.  
It was a tangible feeling...like a small whisper of a breeze blowing on an otherwise windless day.
It was there...and then it wasn't.
It was an awesome thing, this feeling of time passing.
Scary...but awesome.  
It was like living in the past, the present, and the future, all at the same time.
Not just thinking about these states of being, but really being.

We always talk about living in the moment and how short life is, but until today, when I physically experienced the movement of time as it passed through me, I didn't really understand the significance of these words. 
I realized in that moment what it means when we say that time cannot be slowed down, detained, or made to wait.  

Time is it's own.

We can pretend to control time with calendars and watches and schedules, but in reality, no matter what is penciled in on the calendar or what time our watch reads, time will pass...whether we are doing many things...or nothing at all.  
Everyday is precious, yes...but so is every hour, every minute, and every second.  Every thought, feeling, idea, moment, and breath is carried away, second by second, minute by minute, and hour by hour, by the palpable stream of time that runs through us, and around us, everyday.

Seems obvious doesn't it?  So why do we so often lose sense of time, even when we take time to slow down and live in the moment?  

I think today I discovered that, at least for me, it is the physical aspect of time that I have been missing.  To know something in your mind is good...but to feel it in your heart, body, and soul is to experience it to its fullest capacity. That is truly living in the moment...to experience time...this time, the last time, and next time with our entire being.  

Linking this photo to the 52 Photos Project.

52 Photos Project

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Photo Journal Day 5: Olympia Farmer's Market and Pioneer Square

Photo Journal Day 5:  On our 5th day we headed to the capital, Olympia, to visit another Farmer's Market (noticing a theme here...planes and food).  It is much smaller the Pike, but oh my, the fruit was amazing.  Peaches and apricots like nothing I have ever tasted before.  There is a band playing music and several places that serve breakfast and lunch.  Luis ate the biggest burrito I have ever seen!  After Olympia, we headed back to Seattle and Pioneer Square (check out the socks on the trees!) to take the Underground Tour.  This was too awesome for words.  Basically, Seattle was first built below sea level and after "The Great Fire" in 1889, they rebuilt the city on top of the existing city.  The underground was used for many years as like a city under the city.  Fascinating!  This is a must do for anyone visiting Seattle.  The tour guides are great storytellers and the history is super cool.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Photo Journal Day 4: Pacific Science Center

Photo Journal Day 4:  On day four, we headed back out to Seattle Center.  There was a big foodie fest going on.  We were a little unprepared for the size of the event.  It seemed that every Seattleite was there, enjoy the bands and the food.  We grabbed some hot dogs and headed over to the Pacific Science Center, our destination for the day.  Bella had fun with the hands on exhibits...especially touching the sea anemones.  My goofball son had fun too :)  The best part of the museum was the Butterfly Walk.  They have a solarium full of beautiful flowering plants and trees and hundreds of butterflies!  You have to be very careful not to step on them or take them out by accident on your clothes.  Bella and I were absolutely enchanted.  In the evening, we bought tickets for the Lady Gaga Laser show in the Laser Dome.  Bella and I laid on the floor (the boys were too cool for school and sat in the uncomfortable seats) and enjoyed an hour of Lady Gaga favorites and psychedelic lights.  It was a Gaga-rific ending to a great day!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Happiness Project

I was at Target (my favorite store) late last month browsing through the book section, and came across this one.  Now, I have to say that when I read the title I was a little skeptical.  How does one undertake a project to be happier?  Is there even such a thing?  You are either happy or you're not, right?

I left the book behind, but the thought stuck with me all week...so much so, that I ended up getting the book on Kindle.  There were things about the book that I didn't necessarily agree with but the basic premise of the book, I think, is a good one.  It's true, like the author states, that we often make resolutions that we don't keep.  How many of us have made a New Years resolution to lose weight year after year to no avail?  I also think it's true that we often set goals for ourselves that we never achieve.  I don't think our failure to succeed has anything to do with us.  I don't think we are inherently lazy or predisposed to failure.  I think that there are two things at work here that keep us from achieving what we set out to do: 1) We are probably making the wrong resolutions and/or goals, and 2) We phrase our resolutions and/or goals as ideals instead of as concrete actions that can actually be accomplished.

Let's take the first premise...the September issue of Yoga Journal has a great article titled Soul's Desire which is about happiness and how we set out to attain it.  The article talks about how often what we think we need to make us happy is really not what we need at all.  There are so many forces that affect our daily lives - work, home, relationships, health, etc - that we often don't realize how each of those things truly impacts what we do and who we are.  We take them for granted and at face value, and thus fail to see the interconnectedness of our lives.  So sometimes we think if we do X it will make us happy, when in reality what we really need to do is Y.

The second premise has to do with how we frame our resolutions or goals.  It's easy to say. "This year I'm going to make a resolution to lose 20 lbs."  Then we go about our lives as we do everyday and when next year rolls around we are still carrying around 20 lbs (or more) of unwanted weight and not feeling very good about ourselves.  Now, if we said, "This year I'm going to make a effort to eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day" or "This year I'm going to go out for a walk three times a week," then it is more likely that by the end of the year we would have shed those 20 unwanted pounds.  Framing your resolution as a concrete action, something you can actually do, makes it more likely that you will do it, and as a consequence achieve what you want.

So what does this have to do with happiness?  Well, I'm not going to try to explain the whole happiness project here.  I encourage you all to get the book.  It's a fast and easy read.  But I do want to share a cool resource that the author has made available, in order to encourage everyone to start their own happiness projects.  I will be starting mine on September 1st.  I felt it was appropriate to start in the Fall because ,for me, it is really the season for new beginnings.  

I am approaching it as an "Uncovering Happiness" Project.  I truly feel that happiness exists everywhere, everyday and it is up to us to embrace it.  However, sometimes we bury it under our inclinations to rush through life, or it becomes obscured by our worries, anxieties, and fears.  So, for the next 12 months, I hope to "dig out" happiness in every corner of my life, in order for me to live my best day, everyday.  I hope to share what I discover here on occasion, so please come back and visit and let me know you've been here.

To happiness!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Photo Journal Day 3: Future of Flight Museum and Boeing Factory Tour

Photo Journal Day 3:  One of the reasons we took these trip is because my son, Julian, is a plane geek.  A BIG plane geek.  The kind that wants to be an aerospace engineer when he grows up and design and build planes for a living...preferably for Boeing...preferably in Everette, WA.  So, what better place to really find out if the dream lives up to the reality than by taking the Boeing Factory Tour in, you guessed it, Everette WA!  

We first hung out in the Future of Flight Museum which is at Paine Field and the departure place for the tour.  It was amazing to see the size of the engines up close and some oldie but goodies (I was a big Pan Am fan in the 80s).  

We couldn't actually take pictures on the factory tour for obvious reasons, but we were able to snap some shots of the completed planes waiting for delivery and the buildings where my son my someday make a living.  The best part of this day was watching my son absorb everything and have him reconfirm that this is where he wants to be.  Alas, it is wonderful when the reality turns out to be even better than the dream!!

Monthly Reflection

During my time away I have done a lot of thinking about this space.  These words by MJ over a Wander Wonder Discover inspired me to synthesis these thoughts and come to some realizations.

See, when I started this blog, I really just wanted a space where I could allow my ideas, thoughts, and inspirations to roam free.  However, as I began exploring blogland I found so many wonderful friends involved in so many wonderful things.  I yearned to be part of a community of creative minded women who love sharing their creations with each other.  I began to plan and organize my days around all of the blog alongs, and almost immediately I hit a brick wall.  I began to obsess about having a post for Yarn Along or completing my ICAD or having a picture for These Moments, and my ideas, thoughts, and inspirations took a back seat.  I love knitting and taking pictures and drawing, but it became something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do.

This time away has helped me to reassess the reasons I started this blog.  Like MJ talks about in her post, I had to ask myself...Is this blog for me or for others?  The answer is that although I love that other's read my posts, the blog is for me...or at least it should be.  Let's be honest, I don;t have hundreds of people hanging on my every word.  I have reached out to some old friends and made some new ones that have liked what I have to say well enough that they have decided to visit regularly.  I do hope to make many more new friends as time goes by, and I also do love participating in the blog alongs...but I have decided that these will have to come naturally as opportunities present themselves and not because I am forcing them to occur.  

I hope that my renewed determination to refocus this blog on what it was intended to be - living my best day everyday and sharing my journey - will recreate this space into one that provides me with the avenue to express myself, and perhaps inspires the lives of others in the process.