Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sliding into fall

I can tell it's fall - not because of falling leaves but because of shortening days. Here in the Pacific Northwest the days get shorter quicker at this time of year. I get a little anxious and a little blue and then I realize it's because I need to shift to my fall and winter routine. So as of this week I'm sitting in front of my light box for 30 minutes each morning. I've started taking my amino acid supplement, plus 2000 mg of vitamin D3. I'm feeling better now, looking with more enthusiasm on the shorter days.

We're starting our travel season, too. We'll be in Idaho and Alberta for ten days next month, in Hawaii for ten days in December, in Sedona and Tucson for three weeks in January, in Ecuador for three weeks in February. All those places are mostly sunny. Except for an August week in Alaska, we've been home since mid-May, enjoying the long summer days and the garden.

It's been six weeks or so since I started back into an exercise program. I've been faithful to the core strengthening exercises I do at home and the routine I have at the gym. I notice I feel energized by the daily exercise even when I head into it reluctantly. And I can tell I'm stronger.

We had a "wind event" last night, with branches down all over, including one on the power line on our property. We lost our power for over six hours today - from early afternoon until about 9 p.m. I gathered all the little stubs of candles, hoping we'd use them up today. Our other plans had to be modified - couldn't make blackberry cobbler with the berries we picked today because the oven was off. Couldn't finish the laundry because the dryer was off. I did keep up with email thanks to an iPad that doesn't rely on our wireless internet. And my neighbor said we could charge it overnight at their house and do the permanent press dryer load in the morning if the power was still off then.

I had an intensive mediation workshop on Friday - two mock mediations, each lasting over two hours, plus debrief. I'll be doing two observations this week. After that I'll have three more before I have to take the Professional Standards Evaluation as the gateway to the rest of the requirements to become a certified mediator. I'd thought I'd do this program at a leisurely pace, but then I thought I might as well head full into it, since I'll be gone a lot in the next five months. After 15 months of not working, it's not enough to sleep in the morning, read whatever I want, and relax. I've learned I like to be busy, and it's important for me to keep learning and to be useful.

I have found a tempting cruise. It's up and down the coast of Norway, on a ship with less than 700 passengers. The ships run almost every day, stopping at numerous ports - some of them very small towns - to drop off locals and supplies. The vessel has a library and a lounge and a restaurant, but it's pretty much up to the passengers to entertain themselves. I'm thinking it would be a good trip for spring or fall when we could see the northern lights. Tomorrow I'll give the brochure to my husband to see what he things. I already know what he'll say. "Whatever you think." I love it when that happens!


Grandmother Mary said...

I'm your cheerleader for your exercise program- well done! I don't know how expending energy creates it but it does. Your travels sound like fun. How do you choose which trips to make? Good luck with your mediating, it's certainly a needed service and satisfying work.

Arkansas Patti said...

I see where your trips are not only for "seeing" but for following the sun.
Working will put a crimp in those plans.
You certainly have an agreeable husband. A real keeper.

DJan said...

You are very fortunate to have both the ability to keep working AND to travel. The mediation program sounds perfect for you, and I look forward to hearing about your travels. There's no way I could pry my guy onto a cruise, I suspect, but he doesn't mind if I go with friends.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, Your travel plans sound enticing, especially the possibility of that Norway cruise. Following the sun makes a lot of sense to me.

Also, I so look forward to learning more about your mediation. I'd never before heard of someone doing that until I began reading your blog in late July.


Out on the prairie said...

Your travel plans sound delightful. I was in Denmark and St.Paul over the weekend and never got more than 100 miles from home.

Meryl Baer said...

Your travels inspire me! I hope to have a similar schedule a couple of years from now. Keep us informed.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

The possible trip sounds terrific! Hope you ending up going. And good for you for exercising so faithfully! It does make a huge difference.

Friko said...

I dread the thought of the dark days coming. I suffer from SAD and this post of yours came at a very opportune moment for me.

You say your regime helps, maybe I'll start it too. It's certainly better than antidepressants.

Unfortunately, I cannot escape to the sun, my husband no longer travels well.

Tom said...

Hello! If my winter routine included trips to Hawaii, Tucson and Ecuador, the only thing I'd be saying is ... bring it on! As you can see, you're makin' me jealous! (I don't mean to "one-up" you, but ... I've got plans to go to New Jersey in October.)

Jo said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Linda...! 63 years young...! And get younger. :-) You have the right attitude. I like it. You could teach folks half your age a thing or two. Best of luck with all your new ventures. :-)



Anonymous said...

Does the amino acid help? Thanks for the reminder to start taking vitamin D again. I loved your reference to the sound of the furnace kicking greeting you on fall mornings (in my blog). You're right. Sometimes the familiar is a comfort. Thanks. Sounds like great travel is coming.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm interested in the Norway cruise too. It's on my someday list.
I've had to make a mental shift this week too, as there is no denying now the fall is here. It's time to start on some sewing projects, and keep up my exercise indoors when it's raining.
Your travel schedule is amazing!

Rita said...

You really have a full calendar--exercise, mediation classes, travel! That cruise sounds absolutely perfect! You're lucky hubby usually says yes. ;) Please take lots of pics on your many travels.

Nance said...

I'm interested to hear of your mediation work. I became a certified mediator in 1992, focusing on divorce mediation...found it brutalized by the lawyers in our area, despite the Family Court's token support for a time. I continue to think it's one of the worthiest ideas I know.

I envy your travels and will be grateful to share them vicariously here. More power to you!