This morning, Austin hosted its marathon and a half-marathon. A few weeks ago, at the request of a friend, I signed up to run the marathon. That friend had indicated she wanted to run the first half “easy” and that I should run it with her. I agreed and then a week later learned that her idea of “easy” is lightning fast for me. Knowing I was untrained for a full and would likely be running solo even for much of the first half, I geared up in my own head to run the half marathon instead of the full marathon. I almost didn’t run at all, but I had paid, so I set out to get something for my money.
This evening, I attended a Re-Story Circle hosted by my friend and guide, Jeanne Guy. Her circles are gatherings that invite the possibility of re-storying your life through writing.
Tonight’s circle was incredibly special because we had a guest poet – Debra Winegarten, author of There’s Jews in Texas? She read some of her poetry. We listened, wrote, talked, and laughed. Some of us even cried.
We have a couple of strict rules where Re-Story Circles are concerned. Paraphrased, they are:
(1) Trust that everyone has their own wisdom in them; and
(2) Mum’s the word.
As a result, I can’t get into the details of the conversation, but I can say that I left a fan of Debra Winegarten. I also left inspired to face a new tomorrow and eager to make something good out of everything, even the really hard stuff.
No, I’m not smoking anything. I’m flying. Literally, I’m flying from Seattle to Austin, looking down on the clouds every once in a while. (I have a window seat, but I get nauseous easily, so I keep the looking to a minimum.) I’m not sure when the world became a place where I could journey across the country over the clouds and be logged onto the Internet working on a thing called a blog. But here I am, writing and posting from darn near the heavens.
I spent Super Bowl weekend in Portland. After a hectic week at work, I managed to hop a Friday night flight to arrive to perhaps my new favorite city. I love much about Portland, but one of my favorite things is that life here takes on a different pace. In Austin, I am scheduled and committed and busy and stressed. In Portland, I simply am.
On Saturday, I slept in and then went on my favorite mountain run with Erin. It’s roughly a seven mile run to the top of Mt. Tabor where we get to enjoy a beautiful view of the city before running the much easier downhill back. The rest of the day consisted of breakfast, a walk, some time reading, dinner at my favorite little diner, and then a movie at home. Sunday was much of the same. We ran Mt. Tabor again, mostly because I felt the mountain had won the day before and I needed another try. Then we had breakfast, made a quick trip to the bike shop, went for a walk, and then settled in to watch the Super Bowl and my most favorite show, The Voice. We did plenty, but, except for the Super Bowl, none of it was scheduled, and every bit of it was restful.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to be restful at home. Maybe it’s the laundry and the piles of clutter that need handling. Maybe it’s having all my family and friends around and wanting to see them all. Maybe it’s the constant presence of work and all the little details that need care and follow through. I’m sure it has something to do with my never ending to-do list, which currently spans two pages. At home, it’s rare that I have an unscheduled weekend. But in Portland, it’s rare that my time is scheduled. And I love that.
I know the unscheduled nature of my time has less to do with Portland and more to do with just being away from my usual environment. But I have to say, whether it’s in Portland or somewhere else, unscheduled time feels a whole lot like heaven.