Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thinking About Cornwall

I'm not a person who gets too excited about the fall but I do have to say when I wake up in October and there's not a single cloud in the sky, and it's that perfect azure blue color, I'm reminded of Cornwall and one particularly beautiful and memorable fall weekend.

The year I turned 40 my husband took me to London to visit family and upon arrival my brother-in-law picked us up and drove us to Cornwall.  I've had the good fortune of being able to travel a lot but I have to say that every year around my birthday I'm reminded of this memorable trip. The Cornish coast remains one of my favorite places in the world not just because it was beautiful but because it seemed a bit magical too.  

We visited in October at a time when the area wasn't too crowded and we were there at the time of a full moon.  One of my favorite memories was seeing St. Michael's Mount against a midnight blue sky under the full moon.  If only I could paint that memory.  We stayed with a friend who at the time owned a little place called White Horse Cottage (Don't you just love houses with names?) in Marazion.  It was adorable!  In the morning when we first woke up I went to the kitchen, opened the dutch door, walked out into tiny rose garden, took a tiny set of stairs upward to reach a lookout and low and behold.  There was St. Michael's Mount against a perfect azure blue sky.  The tide was out and people were walking out to St. Michael's Mount!  
Postcard photo found online
Did you ever read any of Victoria Holt's books?  In high school I read every one I could get my hands on and with each read my mind's eye would imagine Cornwall.  It was incredible to be able to see this place that I'd  only imagined in my younger years and I think the reason my trip to Cornwall stands out as one of my favorite trips is because of all of the Gothic romances I read.

While visiting the area we were able to visit Mousehole (pronounced "mausul"), Penzance, Land's End and see such sights as The Merry Maidens, the Minack Theatre and walk the coast.  Sadly there were no performances at the theater but it was beautiful just to imagine.  While walking and enjoying the Merry Maidens there were lots of people walking the area with divining rods and I found that so interesting too. When I asked someone what they were doing I was told they were getting energy. I had no rod but I've often thought I must have gotten extra energy too.  And I can't share the highlights of the area without mentioning the incredible Cornish pasty.  Fast food never tasted so good. 

While I do have a few photos from that visit, mainly I have memories and they are amazing.  Happy fall y'all.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Planning Memos, Birthdays and Balance

I've really missed blogging. 

I've thought about my blog a lot over the past several months but I was always short on time, couldn't come up with something good to post and never seemed to have a good photo to share.  In part because over the past many months I've given my all to my work or to work-related projects which is great I guess but it has taken so much of my energy and it has cut into my family time, friend time and my time to daydream.    

One of the most consuming things I worked on was a big event and many times during the months of preparation I thought about how blogging had inspired me and given me so many creative ideas to prepare centerpieces, videos, promotional material and entertainment.  Just checkout this great video for a flavor of the event.  

So now that the event is over, things have gotten back to normal "busy" thank goodness.  Now at work it's time to plan next year's budget and write our annual planning memo.  And I've also just had a birthday.  Thinking about being a year older and at the same time thinking about making plans for the coming year has had my head spinning.  What goals should I set?  What should I be aiming for?  What do I hope to achieve? 

Today I had a birthday lunch with my dear friend Susan and many thoughts crossed my mind after we met. I want to share a few things that I need to remind myself.  

Always be open to friendship.  I've always believed that friends are rarely found in the workplace but I've been lucky to discover a friend in an unlikely place. Find a balance, even if you love your work.  The work I do is powerful and makes a big impact in lives and in the community but it also involves me making personal investments of time and energy outside the work day.  When one gives so much to others, it's important to remember to refill one's own cup.  Planning a head and anticipating big things can be great but by doing so one can miss some terrific moments. Living in a constant state of preparation or anticipation isn't really living.  Find time to see friends, enjoy family, get in touch with nature, experience the seasons and walk in the sunshine.

Somewhere I got it in my head that as you got older life would slow down a bit.  I've learned that it doesn't, it hasn't and I don't think it will any time soon.  There's always more to do, more to worry about, more to tend too and never enough time.  So as I write my planning memo for the coming year, I'm going to remember my birthday wish. I'm not going to share my wish here for fear it won't come true but I can tell you that I'm counting on enjoying the year.