Adventures in Optimism Episode 1



Well, here I am in the delightful Pacific North West!

Even though this is the worst time of year for my vampiric little soul, it has still been a blessing: temperatures in the 70s and low 80s instead of 90’s and100’s for my first week, and even a couple days of rain!

As I had feared, road trip + acclimating + catching up with old friends + just dealing with everything has resulted in Not Much Writing Time.

A few tidbits, though, from the journey so far:

The road trip here was just LOVELY! It was cloudy from a mile outside my town until I was nearly here, and it rained a good deal of the way. So much nicer than the glaring sun, A/C all the way trip I had feared. One of the highlights of the trip was a hawk sitting in the median right beside me, just surveying the land. I also drove by a little farm with an enormous, gorgeous pig in the front pasture. It is a rare joy these days to see a pig able to live like a pig.

And one of the special joys since I arrived has been catching up with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in YEARS. That alone would be worth the trip.

Rather less sleep than needed for my ideal disposition, but so far no major crimes committed. 

I arrived at my temporary home in good time (such good time, in fact, that I hit Portland, Oregon at rush hour – NOT something I’d recommend) and have found it to be fairly tolerable.

I am not at all well suited to hotel / mass people storage living, so definitely not unmitigated delight, but it’s liveable. My room even looks out onto a little wooded area. Complete with bunnies!

In fact, the only real flaw in the home-away-from-home (except that it’s AWAY and I’m a homebody) is that the soundproofing is Just. Not. Adequate.

Any time I have next door neighbours it sounds like someone is herding elephants through the bedroom.

And I am absolutely the Princess and the Pea when it comes to sleep:  noise, light, heat, cold – doesn’t matter, it will keep me awake! Sigh.

The hotel staff have been great, but there is only so much that can be done. It’s only a month,  it’s only a month…

My actual home life aside, the surrounding area is LOVELY.

Despite recent housing booms, there are still many little forested areas, and a fifteen minute drive in nealry any direction brings me past at least one lake or river!

(If you grew up in any remotely normal environment go ahead and laugh, but I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, so having random forests, lakes, and rivers show up inside a five mile commute is a HUGE novelty.)

Curious detail of the week: I’ve read for ages that this Northwestern area is among the least Christian in the country; now, maybe I just happened into the Christian Ghetto,  but I’ve not seen so many Churches in one place since my last trip through the Bible Belt!

So, that’s my week in a nutshell.

This weekend the ‘Could I live a frugal life here?’ research begins in earnest.

I still swing between nearly calm and nearly hysterical when contemplating that, but am working to keep up the positive perspective!


Be well. 



Monday Encouragement: Next Time


Over the next few  weeks I’ve got to pick back up on a process that went very, very badly the last time I tried it.

I’m hoping I’ve learned enough in the intervening years to make this time come out differently. I’m hoping that the horribly ill-fated house move of 2014 was part of a bigger picture plan that I’ll understand someday. But until then,  trying it again is a scary prospect!

As I’ve been looking back through the lessons from 2014, I came across a quote that I collected at some point in the chaos of ‘back then’ which I think it such a helpful perspective shaper.

When you fail, instead of saying ‘if only’, say ‘next time.’ Next time is a subtle reminder that we have learned something from our pain. Ron Rose. 

Isn’t that a great way to look on failings? I’m giving it my best shot.

Unfortunately, I had scribbled it on a little scrap of paper, so I have not the slightest clue where I got it, and cannot, therefore,  give full credit where credit is due.

But I AM grateful. 


Be well.

Wide eyed terror, er, I mean exciting new adventure


In March, 2014, I sold my house, packed up my life, said goodbye to a beloved community, and followed a long sought dream.

And that went very, very, badly.

I’ve failed at many things in the course of my life, but none so spectacularly as that.

I had worked hard to prepare well, but had clearly missed some key ingredients in the happily-ever-after mix. In the end, I ditched the dream and ran for cover, and have spent the last year-plus trying to just get recovered enough to move forward with any semblance of hope.

Finally, in the last few months, I have begun to inch very slowly forward. SLOWLY being the operative word here.

Because anything but SLOWLY was far beyond my capacity.

So SLOWLY I’ve been getting up the courage to face the prospect of another long-haul move, without simply dropping dead from negatively and cowardice.

And after SLOWLY getting enough of a grip back to start looking forward again, I SLOWLY planned a trip for this coming August to visit several areas in Washington state  to see if they are viable options for living a frugal, abundant life, rather than fodder for another ghastly Lifewreck.

SLOWLY I’ve been doing research, SLOWLY deciding the best place to stay on my exploration trip …

And SLOWLY I’ve been preparing my skittish mind and tattered stomach for that adventure. VERY slowly.

SLOWLY trying to do every. little. thing. possible. to ensure absolutely, positively that this holiday will be peaceful, productive, and panic free.

Then my landlords phoned to inform me that they need to sell my house.

Now, this was by no means a 30-day eviction notice; they were very kindly giving me the earliest heads up they could on a process that usually takes a while.

But it put a decided crimp in my SLOWLY!

Since my house could conceivably be in escrow by mid-August, starting my research in mid-August became somewhat less practical.

I really don’t want to move to someplace else here, THEN go do research for a possible move out of here, and THEN have to move all over again. I did two moves in 6 months as a result of the Lifewreck, and that was enough to last me. So, by the time this posts, I’ll be half way to my home-away-from-home for the next few weeks in Washington.

Being ‘almost’ ready for the next adventure, though, instead of fully prepared, is a very scary place from which to leap.

That is part of what went wrong in the Lifewreck, and while there are many skills I’ve not mastered, I’ve got ‘once bitten twice shy’ perfected.

I have friends who love the excitement  of a move. NOT ME!

My dream is to buy a quiet, peaceful little house that suits me and stay there until I die. I get plenty of adventure just living life, I’ve never felt the need to artificially inject more.

And I HATE moving. 

If you multiply that by about 10,000 and add fire, brimstone, and gnashing of teeth, you get my attitude toward long haul moves.

However, after a tiny, well ordered panic, I determined that I must try to see this little wrench tossed into my SLOW, as an opportunity, not a calamity.

And, when better to experiment than when you’ve relatively little choice?

So, I reluctantly embrace this ‘exciting new opportunity’ to learn now, a bit earlier than I had hoped, the final things I need to learn about Washington as an option.

Who knows, maybe by the time my vacation rolls around I’ll already know all I need to know?

Maybe that will mean that Washington is off the table. But even that is helpful information. ANY variable eliminated will surely help.

And maybe it will mean that Washington is completely possible and why did I wait so long??

With enough miracles I might even be MOVED by my holiday, and get to enjoy it rather than spending it trying to learn make-it-or-break-it data!

That would be a blessing of incalculable value.

But regardless of the outcome, I am trying to be more positive than comes naturally, and be grateful for this opportunity.

So, want to come on an adventure with me?!?

My writing time is likely to be more limited during these next few weeks, both with the turmoil, and with having to make this time really count, so I don’t know what this will look like in terms of any sort of sensible posts.

But as best I can I’ll try to share some of this … adventure… in the most positive ways I’m able.


Be well.