GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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Spring ahead

Monday after I got back from South Carolina, I finally caught the respiratory infection / bronchitis that has been going around the office,  I spent 2 days mostly sleeping, then another 4 days sleeping as often as I could.    I’m starting to feel more like myself and now I get to play catch up with office work and house work.

It also means everything is back to a normal routine, I haven’t sketched much so I’ve been listening to creative podcasts for inspiration and maybe some challenges to participate in.  The weather is getting warmer, albeit rainy, so I’d like to get out to geocache. I’ve been reading a lot, one for a book club that meets in a few weeks and the other because it was mentioned in a podcast and once I started it, I was hooked.  I may do reviews on them.  I don’t feel educated enough to do book reviews, so maybe not.

I want to dig my bike out of the garage.  I want to start taking the dogs on walks in the evenings.  I want to start doing yoga again (I don’t know what happened after January). I want to clean up the flowerbeds.

But right at this very moment, I need to get ready for work.

 


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There and Back Again

I am back home after my trip to South Carolina.  It was a whirlwind of activity and now I’m playing catch up at home and work.

The flight out of Oklahoma was delayed slightly but there were no problems making the connection in Houston.  I had come to accept the fact that there’s nothing I can do to control flights, lay overs, delays or cancellations so there wasn’t any point in getting worked up about it.   I resolved to go with the flow, and fortunately everything went smoothly.

I had forgotten how much I love the sensation of take off in a plane.   Taxing to speed and then that little lurch in your stomach as the plane achieves lift.   The turns where you’re looking straight down out the window…. I may be claustrophobic but I’m not afraid of heights!20190304_095514_002

Then I had a “Headspace” moment (Headspace is a meditation app) where it’s often commented that regardless of the weather and clouds we experience in our minds, the sun is still shining above the clouds.    Flying above the clouds with the sun shining off the wing although I had just 15 mins earlier had been on an icy, cold, grey ground was very poignant.

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I don’t usually have a problem sketching in public but I wasn’t comfortable sketching in such close conditions as on a plane. I forced myself to get my sketchbook though, because I knew this was a rare opportunity.

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Monday evening I had a chance to meet up with an Art Friend I had met online a few years back.  I participated in her Travel Art Journal round robin and it was great to finally meet IRL.  Danni showed me the waterfalls in the downtown Greenville area and we stopped at Spill The Beans for coffee and chatted for quite a while.

 

Tuesday was all day training, and dinner with the training group but I did get to meet a local geocacher, The Scout Master and his wife for an hour of geocaching.  It was late when the dinner group got back to the hotel and I’m not a night owl anyway. I did get my South Carolina state souvenir and signed 3 puzzle caches I had solved.

Wednesday was another day of training, and then we left straight for the airport.  No delays this time, although when I checked in my kiosk printed ticket read “SEE AGENT” for my seat from Houston to OKC.  I started to get anxious I was going to be bumped but my seat was assigned at the gate.

It was great being back home and kind of weird to drive again after being shuttled around for 3 days.  I had 2 days back in the office to play catch up before next week and this weekend is time to play catch up at home.

I’m not sure I would want to travel regularly for work.  It is completely exhausting but once in a while would be okay.

 

 


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In 24 hours

Tomorrow morning, I’ll get ready and head to the airport.  At this point,  I just want to get it over with.

I was excited about meeting up with geocachers in the area, and I am still excited at the idea of my 1st out-of-state geocache.   But when I told some coworkers, their reaction was less than supportive.   I meeting and going into a car with someone I didn’t know?  That’s how you get murdered.  For the past week I’ve been regaled with stories from Forensic Files, interviews with psychiatric patients and documentaries on serial killers.   Because dealing with my travel anxiety wasn’t enough, let’s throw some general anxiety into the mix.

I’m tired of living in fear of things that don’t come to pass.  What if I’m involved in a fatality collision driving to or from work?  I live near an airport, what if a plane crashes into the house?    What if someone throws a cigarette out when driving pass and catches the house on fire?

How much have I missed out on?

What if…  I meet some new people and have a great time.

What if… I explore a new city and discover some cool local hot spots.

What if…  I get to go back and now have IN REAL LIFE friends to geocache with.

and as my husband has suggested,  What If… this trip inspires more travel and weekend road trips to new places.

I guess we’ll see what happens if I get back from my trip.

 

 


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The Battle of Brain and Stomach

I can tell myself I’m excited about my trip and looking forward to meeting up with new & old friends, but my stomach isn’t buying it.

Now I can down count the days until take off on one hand.  I’m waking up in the mornings nauseated. I have a huge box of chewable Pepto.  After I start my day my stomach calms down, only to knot itself up again as I’m getting ready for bed in the evening.

I’m exhausted from battling with myself!   When my mind goes into future or past events, I do my “present moment” meditation.  I think to myself “Right this very moment I am….  sitting in my chair, typing on my laptop, hearing the cat meow”      If I am in a tense situation in the present moment (like driving on slick roads as has been the case recently) I remind myself this is only a small portion of the 24 hours of my day.    The 30 minute drive is only .02% of the 1440 minutes of my day.

These little games work with my brain, but not so much with my stomach.  I’m at a loss on how to convince my stomach to relax and enjoy the adventure.

Namaste.


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Travel Excitement

I have a few drafts of travel adventures when I was young but work has gotten crazy busy.   I  may post them in future or scrap them all together.  Even if I’m not writing, I have been thinking that the enjoyment I’ve had in travelling outweighs the few problems and snags that have occurred.

I am excited now about my upcoming work trip.  I’m in single digits countdown and while it would be unrealistic to think I won’t have a few short moments of  sudden panic, I am genuinely excited.

I contacted a geocacher in the area and have made plans one evening after training to pick up some easier caches.  No bushwhacking, tree climbing or playing tunnel rat (like I’d ever go into a tunnel anyway!).   Just some simple skirts and I’ve solved a few puzzles to sign as well.

Then today scrolling through IG, I realized an art friend lives in the area.  She’s always hiking and posting photos so it should have clicked sooner.   I messaged her and yep, her AND another art friend lives there.  I’ve known them through social media for years so we’re planning on meeting another evening.

I’m kind of bummed I’m going to have to spend the day doing work stuff before I can hang out with friends.

Namaste.


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Travel Memory – Visiting my dad

When I was around 12, I would visit my dad and stepmom in Washington state.  I travelled alone, flying to Denver and switching planes, continuing on to Sea-Tac.  

I don’t remember having anxiety about travelling alone to my dad’s.  Being a minor, airport staff would help me making flight transitions and I never worried what would happen if I missed a flight.   This was well before 9-11 and the TSA checks so flying back then was a lot simpler.

I would stay with my dad during the summer, and fly back home to get ready to back to school. I had my 13th birthday there, with a huge Filipino feast.  No matter how much I try, I can’t make pancit like my stepmom.

I enjoyed these trips and visiting my family in the Pacific Northwest.  Nothing bad or stressful happened, other than the fact as I was heading home meant the summer was over.

Namaste


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Replacing Anxiety with Excitment

Sorry about my absence… I’ve been getting over a head cold and spent much of the last week resting.

In a few weeks I’ll be traveling for work.  My mom and I never traveled much when I was a kid so I never developed wanderlust or excitement to discover new places.  I joined Geocaching nearly 7 years ago, hoping that would inspire me to travel more and purposely travel. It really hasn’t.  All of my geocache finds have been in one state.

But, to help reframe my anxiety for my upcoming business trip, I thought I would blog about past travel experiences.  I’ll stay focused on the good, while acknowledging the bad experiences that have happened were not detrimental to me in any way.

I’m trying to recollect what my first travel memory was.  I can’t think of really any travelling until I was in my pre-teens.   My first airplane trip was to visit my mom’s friend in Independence Missouri.  We must have flown into Kansas City and I don’t remember changing planes. Maybe we had a short layover.  What I remember the most is my mom telling me to be quiet. I don’t recall being scared, but I must have been nervous. As a child, I was a chatterbox when I was nervous.

Our visit was short.  Just the weekend and I don’t remember the flight back home.   My mom and her friend caught up while me and her friend’s children, both older than me, played board games in the typical late 70’s basement rec room.   I also discovered Cup-a- Soup and thought it was one of the best tasting things I’d ever experienced.

Over all, I guess this trip was rather uneventful and unmemorable, even if it was out of the ordinary for my family.     My next trip by plane memory, I’ll be travelling alone.

Namaste.