London: hopes & plans

Hopes

I am planning a trip to London in October 2019. Hoping and planning are two of my favorite things about traveling. I do love the adventure, but I also love all the anticipation and preparation. I haven’t done much traveling since my auto-immune diagnosis. I’m setting out to change that!

I drew up a bucket list during a time of deep struggle and told myself, “Get well, and get going.” It has helped me remember my “why” when things get rough or I wake up achey. I have been working very hard to regain my health and to learn to cope with the permanent side effects. I feel pretty confident that by next Autumn, I will be ready.

and Plans

  1.  We’ve been diligently working to pay off medical debt. It was $20,000 when we started. If things continue along their present course we should be clear sometime in January 2019.
  2. Then I will save and save and save.
  3. I have decided to mainly focus on the Kensington area of London. Hotel picked, flights priced (well, you can really on estimate this far in advance), transportation researched, and days planned.
  4. The planning of days includes plenty of time to just rest. I’ve built our trip around running around in the morning, having a nice lunch out, and heading back to the hotel by 3 or 4. I’ll grocery shop so we have soup/sandwich type dinners in our room.
  5. And my fellow adventurer?  Hannah, Abby, and maybe Abby’s mom. Any other mother-daughter-sister duos want to tag along.

black tote

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This is the black tote bag I am using during the cooler months to replace my straw bag. Same use, same stuff . . .

I did some creative switching to make this bag work. It is clearly built to be a purse for a significantly taller gal. So I took off the shoulder strap it came with because at its shortest setting it came down to my knee 😦

Instead I put on one of my Tom Bihn shoulder straps — I believe the one that goes to the Side Kick. and now it can be tucked under my arm or worn cross body.

 

more on rules . . .

A little while ago, I wrote a post on the Iona Community and their Rule of Life.  You can find it here. My church is spending a year exploring Celtic spirituality and worship renewal. We had an author/speaker come last week and he introduced us to The Community of Aiden and Hilda (here in the States, but also the UK group).

This community’s principles resonate with me. It is a small group here in the States, but there are opportunities for conversation and community that are much closer to home.  There is a FB group, they hold retreats, and lots of ways to be connected. It is also part of a larger global (UK based) group.

Since it is a dispersed group it relies on the use of a “soul friend” which is someone you choose to hold you accountable to your Rule of Life.  The three principles or vows are: Simplicity, Chastity & Obedience. I’m summing these up as I currently understand them . . . I’m also praying about whether this is a good fit for me. I have my church home, my spiritual companion group, and I think this just might fill the niche of accountability in all the areas I have been wondering about. It is definitely something to continue to think and pray about.

  • Simplicity is being willing to be rich or poor (as God directs) and not give in to the temptation to be greedy, possessive, or to manipulate creation and others in order to move from poor to rich or rich to poor — in other words, be content where you are and with what you have.
  • Chastity is accepting the totality of our being (and others being), maintaining purity in marriage or a call to singleness. Respecting both marriage and singleness.
  • Obedience is a joyful longing to follow God. It is respect for those he has placed in authority over us.

There are 10 Elements of the Way of Life:

  1. Study and Application  . . . daily Bible reading, study the history of the Celtic church, saints and feast days, study of desert fathers and mothers — But not just an intellectual exercise, but to learn how to live.
  2. The Soul Friend . . . meet at least twice a year, regular retreats and pilgrimage.
  3. Daily rhythm of prayer, work and rest . . .daily office & prayer, engage in productive work which does not conflict with the Way of Life, and holy rest and recreation.
  4. Intercessory Prayer . . . “storming the gates of heaven”
  5. Simplicity of Lifestyle . . . live simply that others may simply live (income, savings, possessions, being a steward not a possessor), simple beauty of creation, all things ordered to liberate rather than overload and clutter the soul, times of feasting and fasting, hospitality and generosity.
  6. Care for creation . . . ecologically aware, pray for creation and creatures, stand against all that would violate and destroy.
  7. Wholeness Not Fragmentation . . . not self-sufficient and autonomous.
  8. Openness to the Spirit . . .  “put to sea in a coracle”, learning to listen, cultivate interior silence and respond to the promptings of God, widen our horizons.
  9. Unity and Community. . . all fellow Christians as “pilgrims together.” cultivate a solidarity, shed attitudes and practices that divide people by class, color & creed, repent of our own part in these divisions.
  10. Mission . . . “The goal of the way of life is to develop a disciplined spirituality that will make us effective in our witness to Christ in the world.” “Our mission also includes speaking out for the poor, the powerless and those unjustly treated in our society, and to minister with them as God directs.”

straw bag

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I used this straw bag almost all summer. It became my “go to town” bag for those trips that included meetings, meals, and transitions between errands. I didn’t use it for quick trips to town for groceries.

It sits in my closet and holds my umbrella, water bottle, first aid pouch, utensils to to pouch (fork, napkin, hand sanitizer, and reusable straw), a couple of reusable bags, and my EDC (every day carry) purse.  I pop whatever I might need for whatever meeting I might have in there the night before too.  In other words, all those things I might forget if I am running late in the morning.

Planning — Autumn 2018

Wardrobe Plans:

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  • Bottoms:  4 (1 black slim trousers, 3 jeans)
  • Dress:  1 (black knit rib)
  • Shirts: 7 (white, striped, green, sage, purple, 2 black)
  • 2nd Layers: 4 (moss, black, purple, navy)
  • Weather related: 3 (denim jacket, black jacket, rain jacket <not shown because it’s currently soaking wet>)
  • Accessories:
    • Shoes: 5 (black loafer, black bootie, black flat, brown boots, black boots)
    • Purse/Tote: 2 (green purse, black tote)
    • Scarves: 3 (monet, red plaid, rust/purple)
    • Jewelry: 3 (earrings), 1 necklace
  • Underwear, bras, socks, and pjs
  • Things I don’t count: watch, wedding set, winter coat/hat/mittens/scarf (should it be needed),  and sunglasses.  I also don’t count clothes I only wear around the house or exercise clothes.

 

Weather:

Month                    High / Low(°F).         Rain
Sept                         81° / 57°.                    6 days
Oct                          70° / 45°.                     5 days
Nov                         57° / 36°.                     7 days
Dec.                         46° / 27°.                  7 days

Activities:

  • Church
  • Spiritual Companion Group
  • Errand Running Days
  • Celtic Seminar
  • Election Day
  • My birthday
  • Thanksgiving
  • MA’s birthday
  • possible trip to visit my family

Home Activities:

  • Autumn cleaning
  • Winter prep for garden
  • Firewood (from downed/dead wood on our property)
  • House prep for winter
  • exercise: walks, biking, yoga, resistance training
  • wash all cold-weather bedding

Budget Goals:

  • Pay off medical debt #1 ($400)
  • Pay down medical debt #2 ($3200)
  • Spending Fast for me personally starting Sept 21 and lasting until December 21. I can purchase Christmas gifts. Not included are necessities like food, home cleaning needs, and bathroom essentials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

low impact exercise

Exercise and movement are so important to our being fit and healthy. It takes surprisingly little to get your workouts in at home.

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I’m currently using–

For cardio three days a week:  my trainers, a jump rope, and my bike.  I use the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) variety.  I take a daily walk as soon as the sun is up to get my daily dose of sunshine. I consider the walk an activity not an exercise.

For strength training three days a week: 2 x 5 pound weights, 2 x 8 pound weights, 1 x 12 pound weight, and a set of fitness bands.  I do an upper body push (counter push-up &  military press), an upper body pull (row, standing pull-up), a lower body pull (dead lift, hip-hinges), a lower body push (squat), balance (just standing around on one foot), and core (planks, dead bugs & Russian twists)

For flexibility training every day: a yoga mat, a yoga strap, a yoga block, and a bolster. I do a slow, steady, home practice that mirrors an old Jason Crandell video where you do 4 poses for each area you are focusing on . . . so using Sun Salutations you work in 4 shoulder, 4 hips, 4 abs, 4 leg, then a couple of balance moves, legs-up-the-wall series and finally savasana.

For mindfulness every day: BCP (with Laud and Vespers daily) and Headspace meditation app.