June promise

June 2nd and another month presents itself. Already half through this year, and I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the tasks I listed for 2014.

I really wanted to improve my blog this year, and I’ve done that in fits and starts. Like all my rhythms, writing often takes a back seat to travel and routine, or lack of one. But I’ll admit that’s often just the excuse. The root of what I’m missing is not a better grasp of technology, it’s the discipline to sit down, even when I’m time-zone challenged, and power on my lap-top, put words on the screen instead of reading them off.

I signed up for Writing 101 to put some structure around my goals, and this is my beginning. I’m sitting surrounded by the stacks of packing, getting ready to go back to Ketchikan tomorrow, back to work, away from days of sun and camping. But I stopped my sorting, sat down to gather my thoughts. Packing is just another distraction, and it will wait.

Today we ran errands out in the hot California sun, the little red pick-up we keep for getting around down here feeling oven-like until the blast of the air-conditioner cooled us down. I’m going back to Ketchikan with specialty cheeses and my favorite pasta sauce and Panzanella crackers. I stocked up on some farm stand corn, the first of the season down here. Got a burger at In-N-Out, satisfied the fast food craving with crispy fries and animal style.

I drive around and wonder if I could ever live here, back in the hustle-bustle after years of small town life. I don’t know. I toy with the idea. Some days I think I could, then the traffic gets to me, or the big box stores seem too big, and I’m happy to find myself out on the rural roads that lead back to the campground. The slow speed of a winding road suits me better than interstates and freeways.

Driving here is a lot like the life I’m living: it’s either the fast lane and overwhelming, or it slows down to a pace I enjoy, and I find myself daydreaming, mesmerized by the scenery.

It’s easy to get lost in your own life, so caught up in the details of living that you forget — you forget you had a plan, and goals, and a timeline. I call it the “where am I?” — you know, that dazed look that says you’re trying to catch up… what state am I in?  what space I’m in (house, trailer, apartment?) and the commitments I’ve got the next day…which clinic am I in? What food do I have in the fridge, and is the bed made, and what season of clothes do I need for tomorrow?

I’m making it sound worse than it is, but at that I’m often disjointed enough. I don’t know how people who travel every week manage. And while I love it, I’m also weary of it. Ready to stand still for a while, find my feet on solid ground. Ready to put the details of life on auto-pilot and give my attention to the things that matter. Still, or again, finding my focus. The funny thing is, I read over these words and it sounds like I’m self-absorbed. But I think the opposite is true. I’m not paying enough attention to the life I’m living. I’m largely floating on the current of events that carry me along. And that’s not what I want. I don’t want to be driftwood in the current of life.

What’s the secret formula? I already know. I just have to reclaim it for myself. The secret is service, and giving, and living with such purpose, such intention, that my busyness finds meaning again, and my work is a labor of love, not just a labor.

And so I promise anew. I promise to make life matter, not just mark the days off the calendar. I promise to notice the details that are worthy, and let the insignificant be just that: insignificant. I promise to love, to cherish, to fill each day with some task that is meaningful and powerful.

Thank you Writing 101! Thanks for the reset, thanks for the reminder. Maybe that’s the power of a blog…the self-reminder that each life matters, and if so, then my life, my contribution, matters too. I just have to find the way, and at the same time, promise not to take it all too seriously. Wouldn’t want to do that. 🙂

The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.


California burger



Summer corn

Summer corn

California rambling



Pacific blues

The travel trailer

The travel trailer


10 thoughts on “June promise

  1. Your post sounded like one that would be written at the beginning of the year along with a list of New Year’s resolutions. But anytime of the year is a good time to stop and reflect on our life. And to be thankful! Thanks for the reminder in June! 🙂


  2. Well, aren’t you cute out there by the sea! What a change from Alaska — no? I bet you are accumulating more information than could fill a thousand blogs and when you finally take a few breaths, get back into the groove, you’ll bless us with them. Enjoy!


    • Oh, if only it were true that I’m collecting ideas for writing! Mostly I get caught up in the events of the moment and I’m doing good if I remember to snap a few photos when we’re out and about. I struggle a bit with the dilemma…I try to be in the moment and enjoy, not be focused on blogging / writing…but now and then I have a chance to do a little bit when we’re on the road. ~ Sheila


    • You’re exactly right Marilyn! We are blessed to get to enjoy many things, but there are times when I just want to be still, and find myself in my own space. And of course no life is all joy…but I do try to be in the moment and be grateful for the good things in the here and now! ~ Sheila


  3. Loved the quote about the hustle — so perfect for what you’re writing about and describing!

    I think summer serves as a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy – we all know seasons of strawberries and sweet corn just can’t last forever, lean into it, and I say take some time to go off the grid and roll in it 🙂

    Loved the photos of you guys by the ocean – you look so happy!! MJ


    • Thank you MJ! Yes, those were happy moments! Rob is really the camper, and I’m mostly along for the ride. But it is fun to change the pace and the view when we have some time to be on the road. And yes! Summer corn has to be enjoyed while it’s fresh! ~ Sheila


    • Yes, tiring and fun, great way to describe it! We’re coming around to seeing ourselves as semi-retired. I don’t know that we’ll ever stop working completely, but we work in blocks of time, and that’s giving us a good pace…very sustainable! ~ Sheila


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