the end goal

i try to stay as positive and upbeat as i can. i really do. and i’m usually successful. but the last two-and-a-half weeks have been a bit more than i’ve felt able to handle. they have tried my soul.

  • worrying about two family members, realizing our helplessness from afar
  • spending hours, once again, inside the complicated mix of immigration requirements
  • missing cues and clues, leading to a misunderstanding with a friend
  • shopping for cars, when we had no time to spare from renovation work
  • buying a car, with very different procedures for insurance and registration
  • sifting through still more piles of moldy dirty trash, even more disgusting when it’s someone else’s stuff
  • continuing to spread dust throughout the house, all over our floors and furniture and cats and clothes
  • voicing irritability and tension in unproductive ways
  • breaking a beautiful beloved vase (a wedding gift from a dear friend/cousin that has traveled everywhere with us for almost 29 years – including all the way to italy), trying to glue it back together, being forced to say a final goodbye
  • dealing with several odd health ailments
  • experiencing two small-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-but-still-disappointing developments
  • encountering a disturbingly rude individual (not of italian descent)
  • feeling TIRED TIRED TIRED, every single day, to the point that i cannot form a coherent sentence

 my favorite flowers in my favorite vase
however, despite my very long list of complaints (and in a nod to last week’s “mindful” post), eric and i both continue to notice something positive. we do not get overly excited for very long about setbacks anymore. we obviously still react to them. and we obviously still need to face them, talk about them, deal with them. but then we move on. we keep working in the direction we know we need to go.

so i know it will be okay. it will all be okay.

because each day the progress on the house is more noticeably amazing. and each day the plans for my retreat-no-more experience continue to thrill me. (next month!)

the end goal is in sight. and it’s a beauty.
the drawing room alcove
casa dolce casa. it’s definitely going to be an inspiring ARRIVAL destination.
is it TIME to travel to ITALY?

stop imagining your best life
and begin living it instead.

embark on a self-discovery journey,
back to your true essence.

THE ARRIVAL, a retreat-no-more experience.

explore my 7 essential elements.
distilled down. LIVE.
in person. in ITALY.
THE ARRIVAL- retreat no more

get the in-depth details:
THE ARRIVAL (in italy)

or just skim through the highlights:
THE ARRIVAL (at a glance)

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unequivocally mindful

what does it really and truly mean . . .

1) to be mindful?
2) to live in the present?
3) to not dwell in the past?
4) to not worry about the future?
5) to revel in the moment?
well, when you are in a foreign-to-you country, in the midst of .

the saddest word in the dictionary.

things have been sailing along.

lots of progress with the villa renovations.
happy excitement while planning my retreat.
positive and inspiring updates from a & n (sons) in the u.s.

and then a phone call, in the wee hours monday morning.

my everyday life. in italy.

wikipedia defines “everyday life” as that which
“comprises the ways in which people typically
act, think, and feel on a daily basis.”

though it still sounds like a fantastical oxymoron to me,
here are some recent examples of
my everyday life.

the weather, a milestone, and future sparks

rain and wind at vm 4

beating against the windowpanes.

so violent it kept me awake during the night.

unseasonably cool, and a concrete house that isn’t always cozy.

rain and wind at vm 5

following a fabulously fun birthday,
i’ve had a surprisingly sad week.
not-so-cheery news, combined with a list of physical ills,
propelling me into a bleak kind of funk.

most in some, some in most

this last week has been good.
a lot of progress, an upbeat attitude.

but the month before that?
well, let me just say,
when you decide to move to another country . . .

most days are hard in some ways,
and some days are hard in most ways.

Say YES to YOU.

A few of you have indicated to me that you’re oh-so-close to pressing that button and saying YES to my retreat-no-more experience in Italy. Your heart beats a little faster as you contemplate putting yourself FIRST. But then . . .

#748 on the to-do list

replacing sections of the plumbing takes on a whole new meaning in a concrete house . . .

plumbing 1

plumbing 2

nasty old pipe.

plumbing 3

shiny new pipe.

plumbing 4

plumbing 5

lots of debris.

plumbing 6

my husband’s blood.

plumbing 7

my new toilet.

plumbing 8

layers of plaster and concrete.

plumbing 9

plumbing 10

my amazing always-working guy, covered in dust.

unraveling that tangled dream

i’ve been talking about the importance of chasing your dreams for awhile, haven’t i? this facebook memory from one year ago popped up again yesterday:
today I want to hear from YOU! what is YOUR dream? are you actively pursuing it?

update from the villa

busy busy busy at villa magnolia.
preparing our home for its first retreat in june.

i haven’t had much time recently to write,
not even in my journal.
(which is a bit distressing for me.)

but it is what it is,
a season in life.