Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Home Again

1931 miles, 7 days, and 6 nights complete.  I really wondered how I would feel when we rolled back in to town.  Would I be ready to come home?  Would I get bored being gone?  Would I get homesick?  How would my body hold up to that many days on the back of a bike?  Pulling in our driveway, would I feel that same sense of relief I do when we travel in the car?  The answer is No.  Mostly I just felt dread.  I'm starting to understand why people just take off on their bikes and never return back to that place they call home.

Now obviously I missed mom, our kids and our fur people.  Truthfully, they are the only reason we came back.  When I flipped through the week's worth of mail I seriously thought, "someday there may not be a water bill to worry about. Someday there will be no junk mail.  Someday there will be no address for anyone to send me all this crap".  Someday .......

I really thought I might come home with a better idea of what it's like to just live on the road.  After all, this was our biggest trip.  What I found out is that I'm never really going to know what that's like until it actually happens.  As long as there's an end game that leads back to home I won't be able to fully comprehend.  There's so much we would have done differently with more time.  No complaints though.  For only having 7 days we made the most of it.  Initially the ride was going to be about 1400 miles.  We ended up adding on another 500 after getting ahead of ourselves.  That was mostly me I think.  We'd get up in the mornings and I was ready to be moving back down the road.  One night was almost to long for me to stay anywhere.

After about the third day I noticed that every morning when we'd load up, I'd climb on the back of the bike and feel that sense of "home".  That relief of being back in the place I belong.  That familiar, comfort of being in my own space, even though I was sharing space with the BWG.  That felt like home.  Pulling on my riding boot and jacket, slipping into the seat that my butt has traveled 20,000 miles over the course of a few years, THAT where were I felt "home".  The not knowing of what was to come in the miles ahead of us, that was "home".  Returning to the place I grew up and have lived most of my life felt more like riding back into an extended stay somewhere that really doesn't fit anymore.

I also realized the older I get the more unsettled I become in everyday living.  Things that mattered so much twenty years ago seem more like big steel chains strapping me to things and stuff that have no real meaning in the big picture.  That scares the shit out of me.  Shouldn't I be concerned about retirement, roots, and having a solid life?  What woman decides at nearly 40 years old that she wants to just chuck it all out the window and run?  Me.  I do.  And yet for now, I won't.  Because no matter how much I love the road and the freedom, I love being a mom more.  Yet there's that glimmer that comes with knowing that one day they will be all grown up, families and lives of their own, and my "mom" role will be different.  From looking at where it all stands now, I'm going to need the road to compensate for all that will change once the kids are grown.  I'm going to need the miles to ease the ache of no longer doing the one thing I've spent most of my adult life doing. 

I have lots of pics and stories to share from the last week.  However for today it's playing catch up, reorganizing day to day life, and working my way through a little bit of grief that it all came to an end so quickly.  The miles on a bike are just never long enough.

Monday, July 6, 2015

"Warning! Flash Flood of Worry Advisory Until Take Off"

For whatever reason, there is ALWAYS pre-vacation trepidation.  In the weeks and days prior to us hitting the road there is this little red neon sign in my head, "Warning! Flash Flood of Worry Advisory Until Take Off".  It doesn't help that nearly everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.  It's always a frustrating time for me.  I feel like I "should" be able to just be excited without all the pre-planning worry.  That's what I get for "shoulding". 

There's kids to get organized.  Rallying my village of those who look out for my kids while I'm away.  Making sure everyone knows what's going on and where they will be.  I NEVER leave town without being certain there is a list of family and friends keeping an eye on my kids.  And still, leaving them is hard, even though I know they will be taken care of and cared for.

There's dog and house sitting to arrange.  Writing up a list of tasks for the kids to do that I normally take care of.  There's the packing and making sure all the necessities of road life are prepacked to save time trying to hunt down anything that I may have forgotten in an unfamiliar town.  It's preparing for the unexpected, because everything is unexpected on the road.  There's the financial anxiety that always presents itself in full black tie attire.  I learned a long time ago, if you always wait until you think you can afford to do something you may never do it.  So, I cover all the absolute bases beforehand.  Make sure the bills are paid and rat hole whatever I can for the trip (which is usually not much).  The up side to traveling on a motorcycle is that it is relatively inexpensive.  You can go a long way on little cash.  The BWG takes care of most of this part.  He figures up our ride budget and generally leaves me with little to worry about.  But still I worry.  It's like cramming a year's worth of "normal life" worry into a week.  However, life is not "normal" on the road.

I know that 50 miles down the road, all that worry will have dissipated into the asphalt behind us.  On the road it's simple to just accept what is and roll with it (and if it's not you've chosen the wrong road).  I try very hard to bring that home with me but I have to admit, the monotony of everyday life seems to steal my "oh well, it is what it is, enjoy it anyway" attitude.

This year we opted to do the ride alone.  We will spend six nights on the road roaming Colorado.  It will be our longest time out to date.  We are both VERY grateful for the extra days we will have this year.  More days on the road = more letting go.  Letting go requires traveling light and small.  For us, it means traveling solo. 

I think every couple has their own way of doing things.  The BWG and I have a great flow of working together (most of the time, LOL).  Being on the road as a couple is actually pretty easy for us.  The miles bring us together in a way that everyday life does not.  If you're riding in the rain, you're both getting wet.  If you're riding in the wind, you're both feeling it push you around.  If it's cold, you're both cold.  It's truly a cohesive blend of the unexpected.  You're both experiencing whatever is happening at the exact same time.  The perspectives may not always be exact, but those few differing perspectives only enhance the experience.  It's a dance where neither of us misses a step.  It's simple, it's easy, it's leaving the day to day crap behind and remembering why we even choose to spend our lives together.

That's not to say that we've not had difficult moments on the road.  We have.  But ONLY when one of us forgot the importance of being a team.  That teamwork is CRITICAL when you're traveling on a motorcycle. If someone screws up, it impacts you both.  Just like the rain, wind, and cold.  There have been moments when one of us has forgotten, and we both paid the price.  Through experience and miles you learn.  Screwing up isn't a very good option on the road.  Not when you're a thousand miles from home.

These upcoming six nights will be different.  You add more days and the dynamic of how you do things HAS to change.  It's going to be an adventure.  It's going to be a learning curve.  It's going to be a lot of reminding of what life is really about.  Daily worries will disappear and be replaced with the here and now.  That knowledge alone with pull me through the next 30 hours of worry hell.  That hell is only temporary.  By the time we land tomorrow night, I will have slid right in to my wanderlust and embrace the days of ultimate freedom before me.  It will be an easy embrace, knowing that the freedom is only temporary as well ... for now.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Valentine's Day Conversation Hearts

Every year I give my kids Valentine's.  My mother always did this for me and it just kind of carried over.  This year I wanted to do something a little different than the standard box of chocolates (which I will do too).  Conversation hearts kept coming to mind.  They about drove me nuts for days.


My baby is 10 so I wanted them dainty and easy to wear throughout school and hard played recesses. 

Perfect I'd say.  :)

These will be available, with your custom name or initials, on my site for $25 until January 31.  They are hand cut, hand stamped, and have a little patina added so the letters stand out.  The heart is from Argentium Sterling Silver and the chain is also sterling silver.  You can get this with either 16" or 18" chain.  I found the 16" to be perfect for my little one.  It will allow her some room to grow too.  Love that!

Get your order in before Jan. 31 to take advantage of the special pricing (after that they will be $40), and to get them in hand before Valentine's Day.  They are shipped in a gift box and all ready for you to pass on to your loved ones.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Updates and New Projects

Wow.  Been Busy!  The good kind of busy though.  I finished updating the website yesterday and it's looking pretty good.  :)  I invite you to pop on over and check it out.

Mischievous Creations
Mischievous Creations
I've got some updates for the blog coming too.  Soon!  Promise!

Here's a few new things I've done lately.  They are all up on the site, just follow the links for more info.  :)

Silver and Copper or Brass Earrings

Silver I Love You Necklace

Silver and Brass or Copper Heart Necklace
I am about two weeks out right now so make sure you get your Valentine's Day orders in soon.  :)  I've also got some new projects in the works for sharing here next week.  Until then, have an amazing week!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Permission To Not Be Positive All The Time

Last week an old friend of mine commented on one of my Facebook posts something along the lines of "how great to wake up with such positivity every day".  I had a few moments of panic.  Is that how I come across?  Have I been dishonest with my social media presence?  Am I one of those people who online dresses up their life to be perfect and without flaws?  Holy shit I hope not!  Here's the reality....

I do not wake up positive every day.  As a matter of fact I don't even want too.  I let go of the unachievable goal that everything, including myself, is always going to be rainbows and butterflies.  It's unrealistic and far from healthy.  I also believe it defeats the purpose of the "human experience".  We are intended to experience life on all levels.  Happiness, gratitude, peace, abundance, dosed with insecurities, tragedies, sadness, depression and illness, is all part of the living experience.  It's the duality of the world we live in that helps us grown and learn.  How do you ever learn true happiness without sorrow?  The trick is learning to accept both sides of the duality exactly as they are.  Finding the beauty not only in the happy, but the sad as well.  Being somehow grateful for the growing pains because they ARE pushing you to grow

I choose not to "whine" on social media because I see so much "negativity" online and that shit spreads.  "Poor me" leads to more "poor me" and "oh yeah, well my life is more horrible than yours because of ......".  I don't like that crap so I choose not to go there.  I call it taking responsibility for my own energy and what I put out into the world.  Now that's not to say that when The Big White guy walks through the door at night he doesn't often times hear "so ya wanna know what really pissed me off today?".  Actually, that happens a lot.  I share my stories, my pain, and my insecurities with him because I TRUST him and know that bottling all that crap up is so NOT good for me.  He is my sounding board.  He is my person I can talk about all the "crap" of life with and know that it's ok and he's not going to carry it with him.  He knows me well enough to know I'm just working things out in my own head.  He's also strong enough to understand it's not about him and to not let it effect him.  He listens.  I think everyone should have a "person" to just listen, because again, carrying crap is NOT good!  Having that "person" who listens allows me to work through it and let it go.  It also gives me another point of view that I probably hadn't considered; which leads to more growth.

I allow myself to not be positive all the time.  Even trying to be positive all the time is just too big of a task for me to live up to and I won't put that kind of pressure on myself.  It leaves the door wide open for self abuse when I can't meet that expectation.  I give myself permission to feel the ugly stuff too.  You know what I mean.  All the "if I was really a good person I wouldn't feel ________" (jealousy, shame, anger, fear, guilt, insert what ever 'shouldn't' word here).  I allow myself to acknowledge I'm feeling those things so I can learn from them.  I allow myself to be human.  What I have found in that permission is that it really is easier to let things go.  I'm more aware of the days I'm a little off beat and can be a bit more tender with myself.  I communicate better with those I love.  I understand myself better.  I don't stuff crap which leaves more room for the good stuff, ie. love, happiness, gratitude, peace, and abundance (and yes, to me abundance can be a very big emotion).  I'm also able to look back on a not so positive experience and find the goodness and growth in it.  I often wait to post until after I have gotten to this place so I can share it as positive growth rather than painful whiny growth. (I'm a silver lining human)  I'm just not all about spreading low self worth and bad juju around.  I want what I spread in the world to come from a place of unconditional love and genuine humanity.  We need more of that, not more self pity.  However I also understand the importance of acknowledging the truth about our "not so positive" days.

To some degree I appreciate that online I'm perceived as positive all the time.  However that's not really the truth.  The truth is I'm not, I just don't like spreading my own "blah" around and really don't see what purpose it would serve in helping anyone or anything.  I've never seen anyone get inspired from that behavior and my goal is to encourage and inspire.  Sometimes that requires me to feel the crap too and process my way through it.  So....permission granted to be human.  :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Lean Into It

2015 is going to be my "Lean Into It" year.  I received a lot of really good feedback on my writing in 2014 and have decided to give it a bit more attention for 2015.  Most of my writing has ended up in some really long facebook posts, so back to the blog board I go. :)  Blogging is not my favorite.  Mostly because it really feels impersonal to me.  That's why I love love love Facebook.  Interaction and conversation rule there.  But I believe I can find a balance and learn to love the blog world a little more.
This quote is really what inspired the "Lean Into it" theme for 2015.  (Well, and the fact that I love a good "lean" on a motorcycle.)  Vulnerability is a tough one for me.  While I fully understand that it is required to make genuine connections with others, putting myself  "out there" has never come easy for me.  I'm practicing.  I'm practicing hard.  More often than not the payoff is fantasmic, but there are still those instances when I'm floating wide open and someone tosses the arrow in my balloon.  And damn does it ever hurt.  With each hurt I learn and grow so it's never a total loss.  But still, it requires practice, perseverance, and courage.  I'm good at those things, mostly. 

So this year will be more leaning, more practice, more perseverance, more courage, more vulnerability, more writing, more creativity, and more of the good stuff.  We will see where it takes me.  :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Popularity vs. Being Yourself

There's been some pics floating around on facebook that reminded me of my high school days and struck a chord of annoyance.  I'm not going to share the photos due to the fact that I don't have all the information about what they applied to.  However, I am going to tackle a subject that has never made much sense to me.  Popularity. 

I loathe that word.  I always have.  For me it hits that "everyone must like you no matter what button".  I call bullshit right here and now.  There is no one on this planet that was created so everyone could like them.  Not even Jesus Christ himself.  We were created to be what we were created as.  Period!  I do not for one second believe popularity had a damn thing to do with our creation. So why oh why is there so much value placed on it?

I was lucky enough to be raised by people who pretty much let me be me.  That meant allowing me to go through style changes, friend changes, music preference changes, boyfriend changes, hair style changes, etc.  You get the idea.  And never once did my parents tell me it was not ok.  Not even when I was fascinated with Jim Morrison and The Doors.  Instead, they taught me how to respect myself and others.  They taught me what it meant to have dignity and integrity.  AND they let me find myself and who I was without judgement.

I've always marched to my own drum as the saying goes.  There was an incident in high school when my parents were out of town and all my friends wanted to have a party at my house.  I adamantly refused.  I was also tormented like hell for it.  I think to this day some of those people still call me "Cream Puff" because I wasn't willing to lose the respect I had from my parents.  I didn't much care then and I don't much care now what they call me.  I still had what was important, and I still do.

I did my run with the "popular" crowd for a couple years in high school.  It was the single most miserable experience of my life.  While there were some that were "popular" and human, for the most part it was a lot of back biting and oodles of fake crap I couldn't stand.  Didn't take me long to figure out that was not what I wanted for friends.  I didn't want friends who judged what my hair looked like every day.  Or what boy I liked.  Or what music I listened to.  Or who my family was.  Or what church I was a member of.  I wanted friends that would accept me exactly as I was.  So I found those friends and immediately became "unpopular".  It was wonderful!

I'm blessed to have children who realize the only way to have REAL friendships is to be yourself.  While we have had struggles here and there with the "popularity" factor, they are getting the fact that it's more important to be yourself.  They still get teased for being too big, or too loud, or too "weird", but they are building the confidence in themselves to move past the teasing.  The fact is if you can't like yourself you're a sunk ship. And doing things just to be popular will NOT make you happy.   I watch my kids move more and more into the people they are and I also watch the friendships they have grow into REAL friendships.  Ones that will last long after high school when popularity really means absolutely nothing.  No one cares after high school.  And... let me make this point ... if you were a popular jerk in high school you'll be nothing but a jerk when it's over.

My nine year old came home from school one day after being tormented and told she could not be in a club because she loved watching "Raising Hope" and hated "Glee".  To be in the club you could ONLY watch "Glee".  I didn't even have to tell her how wrong that was.  She already knew.  Needless to say she wasn't in the club and continues to watch "Raising Hope" after promptly telling that other girl where she could shove her "Glee" and her club.  Those things make me proud as a mom.  It gives me peace to know that she is comfortable with who she is and will defend it.  I like the fact that she doesn't care if the other kids think she's weird because she loves to wear mismatched socks and go for motorcycle rides.  That is who she is right now.  And who she is is beautiful beyond words.  She listens to herself and fills those needs.  If she doesn't feel like playing for a day, she won't.  Not because she doesn't like her friends, but because she needs some time on her own.  The friends she has know that and respect it.  And she has some pretty amazing friends.  In my book that means a whole lot more than being popular.

My point in all this is, better to be who you are and unpopular than who everyone wants you to be and popular.  Popular is a facade.  It's not real.  It's worthless.  If people can't like you for who you are, you don't need them in your life.  If you are one of those magical people who could be yourself and still be popular, kudos to you.  Most of us were not that lucky.


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