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Find Your Moment

A couple of months ago I cleaned out my raised garden beds. I needed to remove all of the dead plants and incorporate fertilizer and fresh soil into them if I wanted to get my summer garden going. Most of the plants came out easily having been dead for quite some time. I grabbed onto the stalk of an eggplant to pull it out and it didn’t budge. Huh. It did have some tiny green leaves coming up from the ground. Maybe I should let it stay and see what it would do. So I did.

I didn’t ever get around to planting my summer garden. Never added fertilizer, or fresh soil. I decided it was for the best since my family would be on vacation for a full week in June. My drip irrigation wasn’t yet set up to work on a timer. Next year.

I kept an eye on the eggplant almost as if it were a science experiment. I didn’t water it. Didn’t check it for bugs or prune off leaves as I had religiously done last year. The only water it got was from the rain which had been quite a bit. I kept expecting to see the plant wither and die. But before long I found the beautiful purple flowers opening up.

When the flowers opened I went over and did my duty of tapping them to help make sure they took fruit. Three, four, five flowers. I figured it had done this much work on its own it was the least I could do.

There are now three eggplants growing. One is nearly ready for harvest. It is still blooming. Despite the end of the garden season the fall before, despite the snow and ice we got in south Texas that is unheard of, and despite my lack of care for it. It is thriving.

I want to be like this eggplant. To thrive even when conditions aren’t perfect or even close to great. To bear fruit even when everything is stacked against me. I am in awe of this little plant  that has lived beyond its life cycle. Beyond the life cycle I deemed valuable.

I wrote this today while sitting in my car waiting to pick my son up from school. Was it how I imagined writing my post for the day? Nope. But it was the moment I was free and it was quiet. That’s all we need. Just a moment.

Find your moment. Make time. Thrive despite, or inspite of all the challenges we face on a daily basis. I will never forget this eggplant that shouldn’t have made it, but it did.

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Ooops, I didn’t do it again.

Welp, I’m off to a fabulous start, aren’t I? Funny how we lay plans and life darts right in front of us and says wait a sec…or a month!  But while my initial start didn’t have the developed routine I had planned, I will not give up.  I will admit that I was disappointed and down on myself for getting busy.  Then I reminded myself that just because it wasn’t perfect or well executed that doesn’t mean I should quit.  Even with the pep talk it took me a while to make time to sit down and start again.  Making time. This is most certainly where I have to improve.  Writing is important to me and I have to make it a priority in my daily life.  With that said I am glad to be here writing to you again.  It feels great!  We can do these things that we’re passionate about.  We just have to make the time.

Talking about making time; I had my very first ever solo camping trip this past weekend! Yay! Something to mark off the ‘ole life list.  It wasn’t my first-time camping, just my first time getting to go completely alone.  No family, no friends, and no kids!  I went to a local state natural area that I had been to previously.  Having been there before made me feel more comfortable (confident?) in going alone.  I had access to all of the amenities sans electricity.  The weather had been bleak with spotty rainstorms.  I was hoping it would have quit by the time my trip rolled around but I was not so lucky.  The rain was mostly a light to medium mist and therefore super annoying.  I managed to get in a small hike before they closed the trails down for weather.  I hoped to see lots of critters out and about with the rain but only spotted a few birds.  I of course took pictures where you can hardly see the bird, being the amazing photographer that I am.  I tried to have a fire in the evening just for ambience but between the drizzle and my fire-starters not doing the trick I had to give it up.  There’s always next time! 

I usually plan ahead for weeks when we are going on a family trip.  I realize now that’s because I’m packing for five people and not just myself.  I tend to be ridiculously over prepared.  However, with this trip just being me, I didn’t work myself up into a tizzy of lists and boxed resources stacked in the entryway taking up valuable space until the trip.  I packed the morning I left, skimming through our supplies and only taking what I needed which was minimal for a single night stay.  But there was something I forgot that I did kick myself for a few times.  CAMP SHOES.  You know, those glorious shoes you slip on at camp when you’re done with your hike.  I forgot to bring any shoes but the pair I wore.  So obviously I wore my wet shoes around camp propping my feet up shoeless occasionally to let them air dry.  I really missed those flip flops.

Let’s talk about something that may seem strange for a person that wanted to go camping alone.  I got bored.  Initially I started out enjoying the rain laying in my tent and listening to my audiobook.  I had about two and a half hours left on it.  It kept me occupied waiting for the rain to clear and let me out of the tent for a few.  But then I finished my book and I was trapped between these few minutes of dry weather out of the tent and wet weather in the tent.  I couldn’t really do anything!  I also hadn’t brought anything to occupy myself thinking I would be enjoying the outdoors.  I was so bored ya’ll.  So.  Bored.  I wish I had brought my journal, or my composition book full of writing ideas, or hell even my Nintendo Switch!  But I hadn’t brought any of that.  So, I made do with hopping in and out of the tent and waiting for it to be time to prepare dinner, then go to sleep once the sun was setting. 

I am thankful I had a good night’s rest.  The last time I was camping I could not sleep well at all.  The Benadryl I took had nothing to do with it, I’m sure!

Morning came and I awoke at sunrise to the sound of Mr. or Mrs. Bird above my tree singing the song of their people.  I promptly said, “fuck you bird” in my head of course and went back to sleep for another hour.  The morning started dry and I was able to enjoy some hot coffee while waking up to the sun trying and failing miserably to peek out from the clouds.  I had more than enough time to enjoy before I needed to pack up to head home.  And that’s when it started raining, again.  So, I packed everything up and got the heck outta there!  I was just really over the rain and the back and forth into the tent. 

Looking back over my first camping trip alone, I’ve learned some things about myself and what I do and do not enjoy.  And isn’t that the most important thing when we go on adventures like this?  That we learn what works and what doesn’t, what brought us joy and what was intolerable?  I enjoyed my time alone but I also sort of hated it.  And that’s ok.  We can be both without it taking away anything from the experience.  I was quite surprised at my boredom.  Now I know.  Have you challenged yourself in some way and been surprised by the outcome? If so, I would love to hear about it.  We learn so much from sharing our experiences.  I hope you enjoyed mine.  Till next time!

Going For It

Hello, my name is Larkin, I’ve been a productive human today! I’ll pause while you applaud…you know you want too!  Please?  Ok, ok.  I would like to thank the regular cup of coffee I had this morning instead of my usual de-caff.  Thank you, caffeine!

As I trudged through my morning of sorting papers and paying medical bills, a pure joy~ (meet sarcasm tilde, find him everywhere sarcasm is) my mind was steadily on my newfound desire to pursue writing.  Pen names, online courses, blogs, freelancing, book writing, the myriad of possibilities at my feet.  The Pinterest posts I’ve been steadily collecting float before my eyes. My love of books, reading, poetry, creative writing, all puffing me up like a confident peacock so proud of himself.  And then I reminded myself to take it one day at a time because I’m 41 and still have a family to juggle.  I didn’t really have to remind myself, my kids running around yelling and requesting snacks while I was making calls did that. 

As my mind drifted in and out of responsibility and new found hope I suddenly zeroed in on my next hurdle to cross.  I need a routine.  I need to stick to it.  It’s not gonna be pretty.  It’s gonna be downright ugly.  I like sleep a lot.  It’s something I’m really good at.  Don’t judge!  My routine fell apart as soon as the kids were out of school due to the ‘rona.  Apparently, the school schedule was the only thing holding me together! (Insert mom in bathrobe and drinking wine joke here.)  One of the key topics I read in all of those Pinterest posts was having a schedule and holding yourself accountable.  Setting aside the same time and location to get to work.  Abiding by a daily word count and prioritizing writing over other responsibilities.  Prioritizing the things that I want or need to do can be really hard.  As a parent we often put ourselves on the back burner and our needs get pushed to the side.  Not today Satan!  Ok well my kids aren’t Satan but they are big ole time sucks.  I am committing to making my needs/wants a priority.  Because I matter!  Don’t worry though, these punks will still get all the capri sun and pizza they want.  There will be no child deprivation, I swear.

Yes, I’m a mom.  I have three kids who are beautiful and wonderful and can drive me absolutely crazy.  I have two dogs, two cats, and a husband. He’s listed with the pets for a reason. Divine what you will.  As a pre-teen and teenager, I used poetry and journaling as an outlet for all of that angst you get when our hormones begin to take over.  I’ve since grown away from both except for the rare occasion but I think that could change soon.  My passion for writing was ignited by a middle school teacher who praised me and encouraged me.  I’ll never forget her and how she made me feel.  I’ve always had a love of reading. So much so my parents would take away my book so I’d go outside and play.  I would begrudgingly go outside and sulk until I could get my book back.  It’s hard to believe that I spent years NOT reading books, as my family grew and I got busier.  Then came along with greatest invention known to man, er, to me.  Audiobooks!  Being able to “read” hands free opened up the world of books for me again.  All my time shuffling kids to and fro put to use listening to my book in the car.  Earbuds and headphones became my best friend.  I even have a speaker in my shower so I can get my fix!  Sure, they were a little strange to get used to at first, but the more I listened the more natural it became.  And some narrators are so good (I’m talking to you Kate Mulgrew) you feel like you are watching a movie.  I can’t help it; I am in love with audiobooks.  Sorry husband.

  After a move to a new city and with my second child only 5 months old I took up crochet and turned that into a hobby shop that I’ve now had for three years, I think.  In the past couple of years, I’ve developed a desire to camp and hike and have taken that on as a hobby as well.  I’ll have to tell you about the movie that brought on that inspiration. Speaking of movies, I adore movies.  Almost all movies.  I am especially fond of anything sci-fi, fantasy, or actiony. I make words now too, ha!  And of course, my family keeps me busy.

Alas, due to some recent depression and anxiety, (can’t have one without the other) I am behind in my familial duties.  As I dug out from under those this morning, I could feel the weight lifting off of me.  I can feel my peacock feathers pointing towards the sky, urging me to take on other challenges. I think I’m ready to start. To begin. To do.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  I’m not exactly sure where we’re going but, it’s nice to not travel alone.