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Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, MN

 

And in the end,
it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.

— Abraham Lincoln

You can give your dad ties, shirts and robes, but, in the end, what really matters is time spent well.  On home turf together, disruptions abound with ringing telephones and favorite programs on television; let’s not forget that growing chore list.

A day-tripping experience allows the opportunity to unwind, enjoy and rejigger.*  Whether you have a terrific relationship with dad or terrible, or, perhaps, falling somewhere in between, a visit to a museum, a  park or special event takes the focus off dialoging about hot topics and boring chitchat, and instead magnifies the splendor of the fleeting moments.  Growing up, day trips were the farthest thing from my over-worked and over-committed dad’s mind.  However, well into my 40s, from the day the family received his emphysema diagnosis to the day he died, four years later, I made it a point to be one hundred percent “there” for him in the waning years.  “There” meaning deliberately employing an overkill of patience, tolerance and anything to steer away from non-confrontational moods that could have ruined our limited time together. 

What this experience taught me, and what I try to bring forth into my day trips, is to relax and, yes, just enjoy the moment.  How?  Okay, back to dad.  Many times, we would be stationary like at the doctor’s office or waiting for the senior citizen bus.  I would concentrate on his breathing, which was easy to do because he utilized an oxygen tank.  So we would sit.  He would breathe.  I would listen.  In this precise orchestra, without word or gesture, we found each other in a spirit of love, because, as it’s been said before, love is in the moment.

So, here’s an idea for a Father’s Day gift.  Buy a few tickets to the museum.  There are, too, some pretty interesting things to do this holiday like Bullwhips in the Open field at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, an 11-acre park in Minnesota, located near the Walker Art Center.  Regardless of where you go or what you do, just feel your dad next to you; appreciate the wonder of your breath and his breath, think about how they synchronize without any effort at all.  Realize that this is love, naturally and fully, as close as you can build a pathway to heaven on earth.

Happy Father’s Day.

*  “Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online,” In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less; NYT, January 2, 2010.

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Take time to sit a spell

First, Happy 10th wedding anniversary to Christina Katz.  I always look forward to reading her newsletter, “The Prosperous Writer,” which helps me keep centered on the beam of life!

Quite appropriately, in this week’s newsletter she wrote about the importance of commitment in life, in general, as well as in a writing career.  My husband and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary last month.  A friend of ours, still single, by the way, told me on the heels of our wedding day, “Make a commitment to the commitment.”

 Guess what?  She was absolutely right.  My husband and I have certainly experienced our stormy times; in fact, there were periods when the storms far outnumbered the sunny times.  We got through with the help of friends; with faith; with healthy arguments that proved to be instant stress releasers. 

This form of commitment, like Christina’s, parallels my writing career.  I’ve been a professional scribe for over thirty years.  I can look at my mountains of rejection letters and lack of money and cry, “I never hit my mark.”

Or I can look at files and files of published work, including one Connecticut travel guidebook.  I can recall the many editors and readers who took the time to acknowledge my work!  Certainly, the cherry on the top, is talking to my students about overcoming adversary; overcoming the negative voice.  I, in fact, have discovered that my adult students—many corporate honcho types—actually envy my, yes, my ability to live my passion…you sure can’t put a price tag on that!

 So what, I’m sure you are asking by now, does all this have to do with “Backyard Therapy”?  The answer comes from Christina writing in this same newsletter, “And once you have committed, you actually may have a lot more creative latitude than you might otherwise think. You can attempt or grow or lie on your back in a field and stare up at the sky without feeling like the world is going to stop spinning without you if you are not constantly striving.”

Stop and enjoy the "mushrooming" sights!

In other words:  Just be.  Just being, I feel, is one of the best benefits of taking a day trip.  You feel comfortable enough with yourself that you can stop, get off the hamster wheel and take a carousel ride, a stroll or swim in the beach, fly a kite in an open field, roam a wooded trail nearby home.  Regardless of where you go, you can travel with peace of mind and rejigger*, because you have defined your priorities!  One final word of advice, before you make any commitment to anything or anyone else, make a commitment to yourself first; this kind of self empowerment, at least for me, brings promise to every new day. 

 *  “Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online,” In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less; NYT, January 2, 2010.

Consummate Author! Consummate Journalist! Consummate Motivator!

Through simple secrets to a happier life like day-trip adventures and a gratitude journal by the bedside, I have not only been able to overcome many obstacles in my life, but erase negative and useless thinking…and, yes, learn to relax, rejuvenate, rejigger. *

Rejigger *

* “Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online,” In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less; NYT, January 2, 2010.

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Day Trip Travel — Experiences Over Things

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