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Thoughty Thursday: Feeding Your Soul

by | Jun 16, 2011 | Appearance (Theater, Signing, Talks) | 13 comments

I’m a bore.

No, really–don’t let the sparkle-icity fool you. This lady am-stuck-in-a-rut. I can’t remember the last time my husband and I took a vacation together, other than to visit family. We have responsibilities. Two fur-kids that don’t do well left alone. Property that needs attention. And work deadlines that refuse to recognize the term “vacation.” The whole concept of R&R gives me an eye twitch when I think of all the work not yet done.

Am I beyond redemption?

Each year for the past dozen, my writers group makes a trek to the mountains of Colorado sometime during the heat of Texas summer. This year we’ve postponed that week-long outing until September. Because our various WORK schedules simply won’t allow us that leeway until later, if then.

The Colorado trek used to be a respite from work, a place to indulge in aspirational endeavors–that novel idea burning a hole in my brain, copper-foiling stained glass pieces, shopping for sparkles, drinking beverage, fine conversation until late in the night, wildlife visitation–deer, birds, squirrels, bear, raccoons, turkeys, hummers and more–and LAUGHTER. Lots of laughter, a few tears, and support without bounds. This was a place of few phone calls. That rare and MIRACULOUS call from editors or agents with neato-torpedo news was cause for more beverage and celebration.

This same core group of talented wannabe writers and authors transformed each other into established professionals. We are family, community, friends and sisters who champion each others success. Our local face-to-face meetings have become few and far between with some members moving away but staying connected via Internet and phone. Our annual Colorado trek renews us emotionally, physically and spiritually and has become that “golden carrot” that sustains us through the angst of day-to-day crappiocca.

It’s changed a bit since laptops and WIFI arrived. Leaving work behind takes extra effort. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be able to check email and stay connected to put out emergencies. But there’s only so much one can do from the mountaintop. That feeling of soul-soothing renewal comes so rarely and must last another 12 months, it hurts my heart and almost feels like blasphemy to interrupt with such things as . . .

Work.

Maybe this year I’ll turn off the WIFI.

Do you have a “golden carrot” place, real or virtual? How do you reward your hard work and diffuse the normal crappiocca? Here at home in hotter-than-hell Texas, I spend one-on-one time with the fur-kids, read my Kindle, play my cello, write music. What are your leisure joys? How do you feed your soul?

 

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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

13 Comments

    • amyshojai

      One of my behavior colleagues has been “teasing” me with tales of her trek in CO with her lovely Dobie, and I’m feeling homesick for the mountains. Magical-dawg would LOVE “making friends” with all the critters, LOL!

      Yes, let’s go NOW NOW NOW!

  1. Kathleen

    I love the Colorado mountains! Hiking and playing outside is soul-renewing. Doing something creative is renewing for me, too. Of course combining both Colorado and creativity sounds like a perfect plan!

    • amyshojai

      Yep, Kathleen, nothing better than the combo of creativity and Colorado–C&C. *s*

  2. Tiffany A White

    I just fed my soul today – a pedicure & massage. 🙂

    During the summer months in this hotter-than-hell-Texas place you mention, I love to grab a book and go to the pool. Unfortunately, I’m as fair as fair can be, so I have to minimize just how often I do that.

    • amyshojai

      Oooooooooh massage….I’m jealous! And like you, I avoid direct sunlight to keep from burning. Maybe I’m part vampire. . .

  3. curiocat

    I don’t get to vacation a lot either but every couple of months or so we meet the eldest chick in VA (she lives in MD and I’m in NC) to pick up my four legged grandson because she has to travel.

    He’s a rescue with special needs so she wants him somewhere she knows he will be ok. My husband, daughter or father usually rides with me and it’s really the best. We get some alone time and see some really great scenery on the way.

    The trip wears me out but at the same time I’m happy and at peace. I think it fits the definition of feeding the soul.

    • amyshojai

      Road trip! We lived in Eastern TN and Eastern KY for a few years, just a stone’s throw into WV and also spent time in VA. Lovely country. I can imagine that would be a lovely relaxing time (especially if I didn’t have to drive those high mountain passes and could just watch scenery). The Magical-Dawg would love it.

  4. Wendy Christensen

    Amy, your video looks like my yard. Stream down the mountain. check. Goldfinches. check. Squirrels. check. (No black squirrels, though.) Bear, check. (Although the bears are notorious for yanking down my bird feeders.)

    My special place is the Wapack Trail (www.wapack.org). It’s a 21+ mile hiking trail that runs right over the ridgeline of Bobcat Mountain. I have a secret shortcut to get up there in about 20 minutes from my backyard. It’s almost blueberry season. Lots of wild blueberries up there. And a little hut (at the xc ski center) with a fabulous long view where I can sit and paint.

    • amyshojai

      Wendy I might not get any work done if that bit of heaven was only 20 minutes away! I didn’t get video of the hummingbirds, but they are a presence that WILL be noticed and routinely dive bomb and scold if we fail to get the feeder filled on time.

  5. Jackie King

    Loved the video! I feel better from just having watched it. I’ve learned to grab respite where I can find it–listening to Mozart (playing your cello would be better, I think.) in my wonderful leather chair with feet up on the ottoman works. Lighted candles also are good.

    I agree with Tiffany about the pedi and massage–especially the massage. I feel better both mentally and physically after a massage.

    One thing not mentioned is meditation/prayer. I’ve made this one of the three must-do’s in my daily schedule: Pray, Write, Walk on Treadmill.

    Trips away from home to wonderful vacation spots are a huge plus. Good for your health and mental, state, and also for marriages.

    Hugs to all,
    Jackie

  6. Franny Syufy

    What a wonderful, relaxing video, Amy. I find my little peaces of Heaven around my home. We feed the birds peanuts in shells on our driveway, and have acquired a mixed flock of sparrows (little hoppers), blackbirds, crows, jays, and occasionally a yellow-breasted bird I haven’t yet identified. We’ve watched the feeding rituals between two birds (the male feeding the fluttering, sqwaking females) and I was delighted to see how beautifully you had captured the same thing on video.

    An olive tree provides a feeder for our hummers (and yellow bird) We even had a hummer nest in that tree last year.

    My back yard is a bay on the California delta, and I love to sit on our deck in the afternoon and watch the fish, fowl, and other water creatures. We have great blue herons, egrets, cormorants, feral ducks, Canadian geese, sea gulls swimming or flying, and sea otters and the occasional seal visiting from San Francisco bay.

    All is good, and I’m glad to be alive and glorying in God’s creatures.

    Franny

    • amyshojai

      Hi Franny, I love watching the wildlife, it’s very soothing. In my video, that’s a parent grossbeak feeding a juvenile. The fluttering apparently is the equivalent to a dog or cat “begging” for treats. *s*

      When our tanks have water, we have egrets, blue herons and sometimes ducks that visit. I’ve got a virtual flock of hummers out the back door but here in Texas we’ve just got the ruby throated. In Colorado there’s the ruby and the Rufus…a copper colored tiny thing with the attitude of a Doberman. Sort of the Chihuahua with attitude of the bird family!

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