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I’m Sorry

 

Maybe it started with that incredible slow-down of time in my two-week stay in that Northern Indian ashram.

Ashramites

 

Smiles - Colleen Friesen

 

Then again, the seeds might have been planted during my ten-day silent retreat in the interior of British Columbia where time became taffy, golden and infinite.

It might too, be a cumulative effect of 53-years of wear and tear on my grey matter.

Or maybe the damage from my forehead’s encounter with a truck windshield thirty-seven years ago has finally shook something loose.

Whether it’s one, or none, of these things isn’t the point. Somehow I have arrived at this juncture in my life with a perfectly warped sense of time. A place where my days feel full to the brim…in a really good way (in fact, my current state often finds me muttering, please let me live to experience more, more, more of this gloriously messy perfection) and yet…my response to most situations has slowed to a crawl.

Here’s what I’ve concluded:

I am living proof as to why you need to believe those cliches about not taking anything personally.

I used to be the gal who answered phone calls and emails in a lickety-split fashion. I would even go so far as to say I took a fair amount of pride in my get-’er-done way of dealing with stuff.  But lately I’ve only remembered to return phone calls days and days after they were sent. I find neglected emails languishing at the bottom of my inbox, or, I approve a comment on my blog and forget – completely – to respond. I pencil in dates on the wrong week and show up at the wrong restaurant.

None of this tardiness and errors in daytimers has anything to do with the person who sent the email, made the phone call, booked the date, told me the address or wrote the comment.

It is, quite obviously, not about them at all.

Instead, this new way of operating seems to have snuck up on me, a non-system that has morphed all my previous squares and tickety boxes into squiggly organic lines that morph and swim in ways that defy tidy check marks.

So.

Please feel free to write again, ring me twice, repeat your texts or yell my name. Most of all, please take this as my advance apology for any future tardy responses.

Consider me as your proofed up pudding. The next time I don’t respond – don’t assume the worst. It just might be that my latest hormonal flash tide has swept the beach of my brain clean.

It is SO not personal. I promise I’m doing my best.

 

Build It And…

 

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light.

Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.”

- Cesare Pavese

 

Walking into the Afternoon - Colleen Friesen

“Build it and they will come.”

So goes the maxim. This, as we all know, doesn’t always work. But I’m a glass-mostly-full gal. You have to whack me over the head with a very large mallet to dissuade me.

All this to say, that there are bloggy building plans afoot.

There is one minor problem.  I’m doing doing this all wrong (by ‘this’, I mean blogging, facebook, instagram, twitter, the whole social media works).

For instance. Yesterday I met with an Instagram Guru-Dude. He knows what he’s doing and he’s good at it.

I, on the other hand, am not.

I asked him to be blunt. “Please,” I said, “be blunt.”

He was.

“Your photos are too random. I’m going to assume your strengths are in your writing because clearly you are not a photographer.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“You need to put up your best images, curate, curate, curate and make sure you stick to a very clear theme.”

“Ah, yes,” I said, “a theme.”

He didn’t specifically look at my blog, but I know he’s right. I’ve been told this before and have read the same advice repeatedly. This is not new news. I realize I’m all over the place with all this stuff. I write about Death, Aging, Hurricanes, Beauty, Communes, WTH??

The wisdom of the bloggage world dictates that I need to specialize. Drill down into a niche. Find my tribe of very specific ‘frugal travelers’ or ‘romantic-couple travel’ or ‘adventure travel’ or whatever the topic might be, and then… stick to writing only about that topic.

Kill me now.

I am a random kind of woman. I die a little death at the idea of sameness and routine in anything.

Hungarian Market - Colleen Friesen

Hungarian Market – Colleen Friesen

As well, this blog has been once again subjected to some hacking. My friend and Super-Geek Web-Woman (who is anything but a routine-type woman) is ready to pull out her brightly-hued hair with all the back-end repairs she’s doing.

“It’s time,” she said, “for a change!”

Music to my ears.

So. We’re building something new and hopefully bullet-proof. And the best part? I’m not listening to all the gurus. I’m not sticking to a specific niche. My photos will continue to be random, but in a clearer sort of way. Ish.

As part of this process, I’ve been asking myself why I’m still doing this.  The reasons are the same as when I started: I want to create. I want to write. I want to share my thoughts and connect to other non-specific, random-fellow-beings who don’t want to read a ‘Branded-Content-Niche-Specific’ bunch of words designed to sell.  (I also want to have Tourism and PR people visit and, in this perfect fantasy, I want them to exclaim, “Hey, what a cool site! I sure hope we can send Colleen Friesen to our destination so she’ll write about us on her very groovy blog.  And we don’t even care about her being published in any other print publications!”)

A girl can dream…

For years I’ve said that I want this blog to be my ‘magazine’ and this morning the lightbulb went on. I need to rebuild this thing into exactly that; a snappy magazine format with my random writing and any other content that I believe is related, relevant, amusing or interesting.

However, I am taking one piece of advice to heart. Apparently I need a ‘call to action’.

In my Sunday School days, this is when the preacher called the sinners to the front of the church. But guess what! You didn’t do anything wrong! You don’t have to be guilty and you don’t have to walk to the front of Anything or Anywhere to do this; if you like what you read here, simply subscribe by adding your email address to the link at the top right of this page where it says, Deliver This Blog!

This will ensure each post is delivered to your email inbox.  This will also improve my stats, which will make me oh-so-pleased and fill my life with even more gratitude, and (!) take me one step closer to the aforementioned PR fantasy.

Oh, and please encourage your non-niche, random-eclectic-creative friends to drop on by and do the same.

We’re pulling out the hammers, assembling the cyber-widgets and brainstorming this blog into a new format. Stay tuned. 

They said build it and they will come. Here’s hoping it’s true.

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