LOVE oatmeal! I have a favorite brand of steel cut oats that you put in a bowl, add water, two minutes in the microwave, and voila, ding! Done. Top it off with flax seed, a spoon of brown sugar, a tiny bit of butter, berries if I have them and a bit of milk and perfecto! It’s food that is… mostly healthy ;) and definitely sustains my energy for quite a while. It’s actually amazing how long I can stay fueled on such practical, simple food.
I went to the doctor recently for a physical, the receptionist ran through a checklist in my file for address, phone, insurance, and other information they update every year. Each question she asked, I said, “No change, no change, same, no change…I’m boring.” She looked at me over her bifocals and said “No, you are stable, that’s a cool thing, we like people like you.” I left feeling better and even bit cool about my sometimes my basic oatmeal, practical feeling life. I appreciate that part of my life that keeps a roof over my head, food on the table, clean underwear in my dresser, and keeps me connected to family and friends. This part of my life being same old thing most days keeps me free to celebrate and create art in film and photography.
Stable, all by itself I’ve discovered, is not always the best fuel for creativity. Also, earlier this month was the anniversary of my dad’s passing away and the April pink moon. Between the practical life and missing my dad, I felt like stability was making me feet itchy. Itchy to move, go, create, and experience something other than my day to day life since the winter has been mostly quiet for film and art projects and also because Easter was always such a family led holiday by my dad.
On the Wednesday night before Easter, I packed, arranged my first Airbnb stay, and was out the door Thursday at noon to the Portland area. Experiencing my usual inside freaking out about dying, the world blowing up, sharks eating me, and a whole host of other weird anxieties, I tuned into my book on CD and just drove. I was questing for something and was determined to come home with whatever it was that I felt I needed for my soul other than my day-to-day oatmeal stability.
Only a couple things were planned. I left the rest of the time wide open to choose in the moment, no schedule. I was on a treasure hunt for golden moments I told myself, not knowing exactly what those were. Friday morning, I got myself grounded from panicky feelings I often get when I am traveling. I grocery shopped, decided I wanted to see the ocean, and drove there. I had fish for breakfast, went for a long walk on the beach, and had a life changing hot chocolate with chocolate whip cream! I serenaded myself to 80’s tunes on the radio, made random stops to take pictures, took a nature walk, and visited a sheep farm. Two very hearty ladies Lorella and Theresa enthusiastically gave me story after story about how they were keeping up the farm.
I got help with some acting stuff, studied, read, and ate really great food. On Easter, I crawled into a snowcat with 12 other people and snowcatted up Mt. Hood at Timberline Lodge. After taking in a stunning view of my playground, I rode down. I got in the next snowcat and another one and lapped that upper run until it closed. Afterwards, I met the nicest Airbnb hosts Hollie and PJ and another couple staying at there. I was worn out. The altitude change from the mountain top where I snowboared to where I was staying was about a 7,000 feet drop. Feeling a bit woozy, I drove a short bit from the Airbnb for another nature walk. I was absolutely awestruck by 150+ old trees in the Mt. Hood National Forest. I truly expected to see elves, unicorns, and fairies pop out of the trees, ferns, and moss. It was magical feeling.
Day two snowboarding on the mountain left me seriously tuckered out and proud. I had figured all this stuff out on my own, in a short period of time, and made it happen! The little kid in me was hollering, whoop, whoop …and more and MORE!
On the drive home, I saw so many places I wanted to go back to and visit! I made a stop for coffee and walked along Hood River with a stunning view of the harbor. I want to explore this town! I saw rock formations, amazing bridges, and dams. Throughout my travels home, it rained. I saw three rainbows and ate a great burger in St. Regis.
I unpacked my gear and cleaned out the truck. I was tired but felt SO good! My life was there, great relief, and it didn’t just feel like stable oatmeal. It also felt robust and welcoming. The golden nuggets of new experiences were sparkling in my heart. I had been able to go out and collect some new energy, fresh feelings, and different experiences. Out of this spontaneous, soul filled adventure I can feel new levels of confidence blossoming from all the golden moments I chose to create, relish in, and enjoy. This was the best Easter I’ve had in quite a while.
Seems simple, the most profound things often are. I need my basic oatmeal, practical life to feel stable and courageous. I also need regular infusions of spontaneous fun, travel with no schedules, and nature time to keep my creative sparkle and also to keep my daily life alive with joy and expressiveness. Appreciate your oatmeal parts of life! Recharge your practical oatmeal life occasionally... better yet, frequently! …with experiences that help you feel magical, empowered, and that take your breath away in optimistic awe.
One encouraging voice can mean so much.
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