It's been 48,960 minutes since I've written on my blog.
48,960. Wow. That's just about 34 days.
Never before (since starting this blog way back in 2009, that is) have I been away for so long.
But I needed it. I think I've needed it for a longtime.
And it was pretty darn good . . . this little break of mine.
"What have you done in that time?" you ask?
Well, I've been to Italy. To Rome and the Amalfi Coast, that is. I've toured the Vatican, wept, and lit a candle at St. Peter's Basilica. I've eaten some of the best pasta I have ever had in my life. I saw the Mediterranean Sea, and drank the most amazing limoncello. I've visited Pompeii and took a good long look at Mount Vesuvius. I had the trip of a life time . . . . truly one I could have only dreamt of.
Then I came home and worked really hard on my art - in preparation for a craft show at the end of the September. I painted, cut, glued, stamped and 'podged' more than I have all year.
I also spent a weekend in New York these past 34 days, and had relatives from New York come here to Chicago and visit me. I've met a brand new family member (my new nephew, Angelo), and celebrated his baptism with the rest of my family. And held him long enough to inhale as much of that "new baby smell" as I possible could.
I've taught art classes at our Park District, and planned for some more.
I've had good mom days, and some not-so-good mom days.
But one thing is for sure - I've lived life to the absolute fullest. Yes, it's been a roller coaster of activity these past 48,000+ minutes. But it has been the kind of activity that has one counting their blessings every step of the way.
It's a gorgeous day today. And finally, this very minute, I find myself sitting at my kitchen table and taking a great deep breath in. I hold it for a few seconds . . . because it feels like the first time I've stopped long enough to breathe in the past month . . . and it feels good.
There comes a time after going through some crazy busy moments when you stop long enough and think, "wow . . . did all of that really happen?", or when you have planned for something for so long that you think it will never get here, but find it is over in a blink of an eye. I sort of feel like the whole year has been like that. I can't believe it is October. Where has 2013 gone?
I find myself thinking about my word for 2013 . . . FLOURISH. Remember that "Word of the Year" thing I like to do? I kind of forgot about it somewhere mid-year. But as I look back at the past 34 days, I have to say . . . I think I have had it in the back of my mind all along.
1: to grow luxuriantly; thrive - 2 a: to achieve success; prosper -b: to be in a state of activity or production - c: to reach a height of development or influence - 3: to make bold and sweeping gestures
I think the past 34 days will support that this certainly has been a time of 'flourish' in my life. And it's not over . . .
My windows are open right now, and there is the most amazing breeze blowing through my kitchen. I pause from writing every few sentences so I can take in the air, and find myself listening to the sounds of my neighborhood. My elderly neighbors have friends over and I can hear the jovial conversations taking place on their patio, then the laughter of kids playing outside - muffled only by an occasional dog bark in the distance.
I'm so blessed for this life of mine, my friends. Every single second of it. From Rome, to this very minute sitting at my kitchen table. I feel so very alive these days . . . and that is probably the very best thing that this little blog break has given me. The opportunity to come ALIVE.
Wishing you thousands of minutes of being ALIVE, my friends. Today . . . and always.
And much much Peace.