I had the privilege of being asked to write a story on “What makes me thrive over 50.” It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the life lessons I have learned on the yoga mat. What makes you “thrive and feel truly alive?”
I was slightly nervous.My hands were a little clammy.I was out of my comfort zone.
I was also curious and looking forward to this Blind Date.
I have had the opportunity to meet many new people in my life.This was different.This was a first for me.I was meeting someone face to face when we had only communicated in cyberspace.
Spoiler alert:Donna is even nicer and more interesting In Real Life!
Donna Retirement Reflections and I initially met last Fall, when I was reading anniversary stories on WordPress blogs.I was deeply moved by her beautiful letter to her husband, a gift of words.ALove LetterWhen I found out that Donna and Richard lived on Vancouver Island, I knew we were destined to meet.I believe that our paths were meant to cross.I believe in synchronicity.
As many of you know, Donna and her husband Richard are preparing to hike La ViaFrancigena this Summer. Monday nights include a two hour drive each way into Victoria to attend Italian lessons.
Donna and I had arranged to meet before the class at a restaurant called “Victoria Sushi.”
An initial big, warm hug was followed by over an hour of non-stop talking about many topics.
We talked about blogging in general.Bloggers know the challenges of writing, editing, revising and critiques.We know the feeling of vulnerability when we share our stories.
We shared personal stories.Donna has led a varied and interesting life with adventures in many exotic locations. I always look forward to opening my inbox and reading Donna’s stories. They make me laugh. Bear Attack!! They inspire me to be a better person and a better writer.
Early on I recognized Donna’s warmth, kindness, intelligence and wit through her posts and her comments. Donna has a supportive and kind comment for everyone.She has a gift for recognizing and validating the core message and underlying emotions in a story.
I know that Donna has a large following of bloggers that admire and respect her.I am one of the lucky few that have had the privilege of meeting Donna In Real Life.
I had the opportunity to see her face light up when she talks about her family.I saw how she smiled at Richard when he entered the room.I can see why they will be celebrating their twentieth anniversary next year.
I enjoy this positive corner of the internet.I have met many like-minded individuals.I have also met people with diverse interests and different perspectives. You have enriched my life on many levels.I live vicariously through your adventures and photos.You make me laugh. You inspire me with your stories, your writing, your wisdom.
I have also made friends along the way.
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you go on a Blind Date with a fellow blogger.You will not regret it.
Especially when you meet someone as genuine and kind as Donna.
I always have a lot of material to condense when I write. Since I enjoy watching outtakes, I decided to add a few notes. aka “my inside voice“
Donna sent me links to past meet ups with fellow bloggers.In the photos I see bottles of wine on the table and glowing cheeks on the bloggers. Thank goodness for Marty’s timely wine post. Snakes in the Grass We can stay within a budget.
Do I warn my husband about my computer history?I did research “blind dates” and “what are the ten best dating sites in Canada?”
Re: IRL.Susan’s Swooning Grace comment on Donna’s Retirement Reflections blogmade me smile. “Is IRL a secret code word among bloggers? ha ha.”I am naive about the blogosphere, too.I saw IRL a few times before I figured out the meaning.Susan, you also made me cry on the same day you made me smile.I read your beautiful post, Tribute to a Father
In the age of Marvel comics and superheroes, Kindness is a quality that supersedes all of the other powers. Thank you Donna, and all of the bloggers that continue to make this community fun.
When a word continues to appear on my radar, I need to pay attention.
I first heard about Pyt last year.The Danish Library Association chose Pyt as the nation’s favourite word.I was immediately intrigued. The Danes are known as the happiest people on Earth.I want to know their secret.
This is the same culture that coined a favourite word, hygge, a few years ago.I easily adopted hygge as a way to relax and destress. Reading, cocooning, snuggling, a feeling of contentment.A favourite way to spend my time.
Long Beach, Vancouver Island
Now the word Pyt has surfaced.I have read a variety of translations describing the meaning of this word, how to pronounce it and when to use it. I understand how a cultural word may not be easily translated into the English language. I speak German, and we have words that do not directly translate into an English word.
Pyt (‘pid’) is used for minor frustrations and annoyances. Pyt is used to express ‘don’t worry’, ‘accept it’, ‘move on.’ weblinklink
When I read further about Pyt, I found out that the Danes had even created a button with Pyt on it.When you press this button you will hear the Pyt word. A reminder to pause, gain perspective and let it go.
photo credit: Karen Rossinger
I could see how a physical symbol would help the expression Pyt seep into a culture’s language and values. I had a Happy Face button.The Happy Face emoji is still a part of popular communication. 😊
The underlying message that continues to surface for me is “acceptance.”This concept is emphasized in one of my favourite books, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.In 2017 my one word intention was “acceptance.”
I still need to be reminded to accept the things I cannot change.
I am usually a glass-half-full kind of person. Yet, we all have stresses in our life, even the Danes. Many of us use strategies to gain perspective, like walking in nature, meditation and creative outlets.The Danes also use words to help prompt a more peaceful, happy life.
Long Beach, Vancouver Island
We can learn from other cultures.We can share secrets.We, too, can be the happiest people on Earth.
postscript:amazon sells Pyt decals and wall stickers.I may have to create my own Pytbutton, even if it is in my mind.
The past few weeks in New Zealand have been filled with amazing adventures, exploring and long road trips.
It was now getting to the end of our trip.We arrived at Cook’s Lookout Motel, Paihia, an area called the Bay of Islands, the very north part of the North Island.
The information about this motel had indicated access to wifi.I had planned a couple of days of catching up.Messenger and FaceTime with the family.Surfing the internet.I wanted to read the blogs I follow.I was planning to research some information to add to my stories.
The owner of the motel had a complicated story about major wifi glitches in this area the past few weeks.No wifi for guests right now.
It was slightly disappointing. Although, not unexpected.
Over the last two months in New Zealand we often have had minimal or noaccess to wifi.Sometimes, we were allowed only 100mb of use.
I really didn’t know how much I rely on the internet until it was no longer available:
Researching my husband’s spider bite:symptoms;should he see a doctor?
The weather forecast each day
Sending birthday wishes to friends and family
Is the Giant Weta harmful?
Names of bird species we encounter
Opening times of attractions
Restaurant open/close times
Confirming our flights
Who won best actor category at the Oscars?
What would you add to the list?
Giant Weta – “New Zealand’s most recognizable creepy-crawlies”weblink
Kea – species of large parrot found in the forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand weblink
What did I do without wifi for 5 days?
I finished reading books I had started at the beginning of this trip.
I went swimming.
I did more tramping (New Zealand’s word for hiking).
I wrote stories.
I took photos.
I watched the sunrise and sunset.
I sat outside, breathing in the fresh sea air, truly enjoying the scenery.
90 mile beach – North Island, New Zealand
90 Mile Beach – North Island, New Zealand
Do I miss not having wifi?
We have gone camping in areas on the west coast of BC and in the Yukon where we were truly unplugged.I plan for it, and I actually look forward to the respite from the online world.
Long Beach – Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
My stress level and angst significantly decline when I am oblivious to the daily news, fake and otherwise.
Wifi affects almost every part of our lives now.It is how we communicate, surf for information and often do our shopping and our banking.Our entire vacation was researched, planned and booked using the internet.
I did not miss access to wifi while we were on the Bay of Islands.
We were there for only five days.
The first thing I did when I arrived home?
I plugged in my computer.
Postscript: I wrote this story about one week ago while we were still in New Zealand. We experienced a wonderful, life-changing adventure. Everywhere we went we met kind, thoughtful New Zealanders. I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Christ Church this week. My heart goes out to the victims, the victim’s families and all of New Zealand. Unfortunately, this is not fake news.
We were watching the surf on the Coromandel Peninsula, on the North Island of New Zealand.The first thing that came to mind was my daughter’s tattoo.It’s funny how an image can evoke a memory.
The waves on this beach reminded me of the tattoo of a heartbeat.
Having raised teenage daughters, the concept of tattoos was brought up at a young age.I didn’t bring up the topic.They did.
The buzzword phrases were:pick my battles and allow them to make their own decisions.
I chose my words carefully.
My advice was “think about it for one year before you do anything.This is a permanent decision.”
Their first tattoos were initials of each other’s name.
Artwork was added.
About ten years later, my daughter was excited to show me her new tattoo.This tattoo was the image of the actual heartbeat of her little girl. This tattoo meant a lot to her.It was symbolic of the precious gift of her child.
My daughter now has two heartbeat tattoos.
The first thing I saw on that beach in New Zealand was an image of a heartbeat. The waves had created distinct peaks on the shoreline.Possibly the ocean’s heartbeat.
For me, it brought up the memory of my daughter’s tattoos.Symbolic of the priceless heartbeats of life.
I may get a charm, or a pendant as a special, meaningful keepsake.