What I learned in my 40’s…. Lessons… twice in a month!

Your body doesn’t bounce back like it used to. We have all heard it. We have all been told that. Its true. Its all true.

I had gone cross country skiing on Sunday, and got back, and although I didn’t think I pulled anything, part of my lower back / hip was definitely out of alignment. It kept getting worse on Monday morning, and I was thankful that my chiropractor had availability to adjust my alignment. I was very grateful , as my back kept getting better and better as the day progressed. And now, a few days s later, it’s still a bit painful but not as bad as it was.

So yes, my body is not bouncing back. It isn’t as resilient as I want it to be. That means that I need to take better care of it.

For all of those who are younger than me, please take this to heed – that some things change, and adaptation becomes the word of the decade. The word to embrace as life progresses forward and things change beyond your wishes, without your approval.

My vision of myself varies…. I say that because it depends upon my audience. I went to my 25 year high school reunion. I could admit how long ago that was, as it was about 7 years ago, and it was easy to fall into old patterns, and familiar responses. Crazy. So there is muscle memory and response memory. Most days I feel younger than how my driver’s license informs me. (Okay, so lots of days I act wayyy younger).

But, my body tells me more things than I would like to listen to, however I am encouraged more and more to listen to it. I think I have mentioned before that my personal balance during yoga displays the balance that may or may not be present in my life, to my chagrin. My body defies my thoughts that aspire for me to be younger than my birthday would admit to.

So – lesson? Hmm – some days I am tired of learning lessons. But, more often, I try to be more present for these lessons. And, this one is for me to take better care of myself. I know better. And yet, I spite myself. Not sure why… . Almost like a personal vendetta to prove myself wrong?

I didn’t say being in your 40’s was for cowards – because it isn’t. Good luck!!


Waiting…. and waiting…..

We have set up our society to judge some people’s time as being more important than others. This came out of my thoughts around waiting areas. We design them to be more attractive, to have activities, to feel less like you are waiting. But you are still waiting.

We have so much space in all of our spaces, both inside and outside, that are about waiting; airports, cell phone waiting lots, doctors offices, any office, queuing lines for drive-thru fast food restaurants.

As an architect, I think about how we are tasked to program this space and design it to be more engaging, more active, keeping the people “waiting” to be in a happy place. I personally enjoy using the time as my personal space to do some reading, or some work. I use it as a time of reflection, a time of observance about my surroundings.

I see our society as wanting to get more done in less time. We all want to be more “efficient”, yet we are creating more and more waiting areas, and opportunities for waiting for goods and services.

Retailers have inventive ways of queuing people waiting to pay for goods and services, and often involves some impulse purchase options, as well as letting you know wait times. The last few times I have flown out of the Edmonton International Airport, I noticed that the airport had instituted a display showing waiting time for going through security lines. Along Whitemud Drive in Edmonton, there are signs stating how long to get to a certain exit (I saw this a lot in all sorts of areas that I lived in and have visited in the United States, as well as different places in Canada).

When I was travelling in Italy, I read an article about the security lines at the airport in Rome, Italy that noted that the airport had vowed to reduce waiting lines in the security area, and I believe the objective was 4 minutes. I did find the security lines very quick in Rome – no complaints. How come we aren’t learning from this?

Just some random thoughts… I think about using my time while waiting so that I am not just “waiting” for my life to start… perhaps I still am…. hmmmm

What I learned in my 40’s… Month 4

Yup, I missed month three. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.  I mean, I have enjoyed the careers I have had (yes, plural) but I still quest to learn new things.

I learned in my 40’s that it is good to continue to have that thirst for knowledge.  And, as you get older, the more you realize you don’t know.  I keep getting exposed to new things, and although I have experienced a lot, there is so much more out there.  I realized that I make assumptions about things so that way I put them into a “box”, “mental folder”, or other such location in my mind so that I can understand them.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to fully understand them, but as I get older, I realized I can’t possibly understand, know, or experience everything.

And, at this point in my life, I have looked back on what has happened to now.  What my path looked like.  It sure wasn’t linear.  I admire those who have had such lives.  Mine never has.  But, the twists and turns, bumps and ruts in the path have given me other things.  Have allowed me to roll with the situation and figure out there is another way to solve it. On this current trip to Italy, such occurrences gave me that opportunity to test (again!!) that theory, and yup, things worked out.

I realized that in my 20’s, I was naively plowing ahead, fearlessly going through my days not knowing what I didn’t know.  Now, looking back, I think – wow – I made it through all of that?  And, then I am a bit sad – I am halfway through (if genetics holds true, as I have a 96 year old grandmother still giving the world a good talking to).  I realize how precious my time is, and that I want to spend it doing the most amazing things.  I want to spend it having adventures and wonderful times with friends and family. I still want to enjoy the career and path I have.

I still desire to conquer my share of the world. To influence, affect, experience what’s around me, and hopefully in the most positive way. This ride is short, and I really want to make the most of it.

The learning curve continues. Now to learn what “being in the world this long” really means…….

On the third day of Christmas, my true quilt gave to me (2017 version)

More quilting time with friends!

After a retreat in the winter, and an excursion to Phoenix for quilting, I made it to Virginia for…. You guessed it – more quilting with friends!

It was wonderful to see and reconnect and hang out with very dear friends in Virginia.  I was part of their spring quilt retreat for the guild I still belong to in NOVA.  Wow – what a wonderful time.  I won’t say that I was incredibly productive, because….  I wasn’t.  I did get some quilting done on my visit, but alas, it was very much about friend time and getting that infusion of quilting sister time.

I really am fortunate to say I have quilting friends all over North America.  And, I learn from each one of them, and glean enthusiasm and energy, I also am comforted by the familiar banter, and new friends joining in the fun.  Laughter until we cry, hugs and smiles, and become updated with each other’s journeys through life.

On the second day of Christmas, my true quilt gave to me (2017 version)

I feel like this is almost like the quilt version of Sheldon Cooper’s “Fun with Flags” from the Big Bang Theory TV series.  Well – not quite.  I didn’t convince any significant other to help host a web series of “Fun With Quilts”.  Lol.

Okay – a little diversion for December.  My quilt adventures did include a fun retreat with friends earlier this year, and I did have great fun enjoying the snowy weather, along with getting some quilting done.  It was a mixed media group of friends – everyone was working on something different, with a couple of us working on quilting.  It was great fun getting to quilt with a dear friend from high school.  It almost felt like time had stood still with us visiting.  It was nostalgic, but oh so cool to think that XX years later, we could get together and quilt.  Not exactly what we had envisioned in high school.  Notice, I did not put the exact year in.  Attribute that to it being over 2 digits in years ago when we used to hang out together.   This is also due to the fact that if I distract myself by reminiscing, I’ll never finish this blog post (refer back to previous blog post about what I learned in my 40’s).  Lol.

A fun fact about that weekend was that my friend’s daughter was to join us, but was unable to make it.  The very first quilt I completed was a gift for my friend’s daughter when she was born.  It blows my mind that we have come full circle and both enjoy quilting now, even bringing it to multiple generations, and that the “threads” of friendship go beyond the memories we shared in the past.

The focus on quilting this year really was about the experiences, moreso than the level of completion.  Albeit I did get a few things done, but the richness of the time came from laughter and creating new memories.  The quilts continue to be carried from one activity to another, gaining depth and soul from each moment of unfolding, discussion, and adding a few more stitches.

On the first day of Christmas, my true quilt gave to me.. (2017 version)

Okay – so I am officially a day behind, so there will be 2 blog posts today, or maybe I’ll just combine the two.  I am taking a page out of another quilt artist’s book – blogging daily for a month.  I did this last year – for a lot of personal success I would say.  Let’s try this again, forgiving my tardiness from yesterday.

I started a new job just over a week ago – another leg of my journey.  I needed a “reset”.  And, I am enjoying the journey.  It always teaches you something about yourself.  And, I can use this daily reflection for a recap on how my quilting journey has gone this year and what this has taught me about you myself as well as my quilting.

First and foremost – many of my vacations this year surrounded quilting.  It was purposeful. I don’t belong to a local quilting group yet (yes, my own fault, and several excuses as well) and so I spent some time with quilting tribes at other locations.  I needed the infusion of the quilting tribes that I am a part of.  Some of the tribes are small, with membership in the single digits, while others are larger groups with much different energy.  

My first quilting expedition involved joining a dear friend in Phoenix for some days of fun in the sun, great visiting, and some piecing a project that we are both doing.  Her version is going to be very lovely.  Some greens, burgundy, taupe, pinks….   Mine – lots of wonderful batiks in purples and oranges, and colour.  Lovely colour.   I’ve blogged about this project orviously.  This is a long term project.  Not one for the faint of heart.  Mind you, it will result in a queen sized quilt. 

The link to an image is here :  Tula Pink Butterfly

It will be great fun….  But the process and time spent with friends is even better. 

More tomorrow on my 2017 quilt adventures….