Monday Motivational

So, you know how last week, we were going to take Dot to the kennel for a 10-day jaunt to get her more used to being around other dogs? Well, that didn’t exactly pan out. After we brought her home from the kennel that day, we noticed her cootchie was rather swollen and she seemed to be licking herself a lot. I mean, like, A LOT. At first I was like, “B1tch, can’t you do that on your own time?” But then we started finding little drops of blood around the house, and so then I was pretty sure my dog had been mutt-raped and might have picked up some crazy venereal disease (can dogs get VD?) at the kennel. By which time, I was going to first, take her to the vet, and second, give the kennel owner a stern talking to about the miscreant riffraff he kept in his quarters.

Luckily, we went to the vet first.

Turns out our dog just came into her first heat and all those drops of blood I’d been cleaning up were actually doggie period. (Ew.) The vet warned us to keep a close eye on her, and sure enough, whenever we let her out to pee, she made a beeline for the nearest male dog within a 2-mile radius. (Slut.) This is not what we had in mind when we wanted her to learn to play well with other dogs. So not only do we have to keep her cooped up in the house, I now have to take her out on a leash to go pee. Of course, she gives me the stink-eye for invading her privacy, and then when she goes for the boys and I tug on the leash, she gives me this look like, “Dude, I gotta’ go get laid.” And then I tell her no. And then she gives me another look like, “Fine, you can come too.”

I was not prepared for our little girl to grow up so fast! When I sat her down to discuss the birds & the bees, I was not convinced she was listening anymore by the time I got to the part about being safe.

I’m pretty sure she rolled her eyes at me. Stinkin’ teenagers.

(Plus she can do downward-facing dog way better than I can. And that’s just not fair.)

And if that weren’t enough, she’s been oscillating between pissy & cranky and woefully in need of attention all week. (My, doesn’t that sound familiar?) And you know how they say when girls live together their cycles coincide? (Who all’s lived in a dorm, raise your hand.) Is that supposed to happen inter-species too? ‘Cuz she wasn’t the only one PMSing last week.

So poor Toby came home from a long motorcycle ride with the boys to find his two girls sprawled together in stretch pants on the couch in front of chick flicks (including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), crooning to old Bryan Adams songs (don’t judge; there’s no accounting for taste when hormones are involved), and surrounded by a spate of potato chip crumbs and ice cream wrappings.

Ok, most of that might have been me. But Dot was sprawled too, gnawing on rubber. She does that.

Toby may or may not have considered hopping right back on that bike, and high-tailing it to safety. I shrugged and contemplated watching A Walk in the Clouds.

Erm…so you might be wondering what all this has to do with a Monday Motivational?

This week I intend to NOT let the hormones get the best of me. I shall tame the estrogen and yoke the feminine beast.

At least, most of the time.

Clearly, I have high aspirations.

All right, there you have it: a peek into the weirdness that is our little world at the mo’. You’re welcome. Happy Monday, folks!

Suan Bua

means lotus garden. And that’s where I spent my birthday weekend.

There are several resorts nestled in the hills outside of Chiang Mai, and we decided to stay at one for my birthday. It was such a perfect little getaway. Just a 20-30 minute drive, so it wasn’t a pain to drive there and back. But still far enough away we never felt compelled to leave the hotel.

We arrived Friday night, and to our surprise, had been upgraded (vacationing off-season is AWESOME). We had a lovely, long dinner, then watched a movie (Kung Fu Panda) in our room before tucking in early.

We slept in late – well, I did wake up at 7:00, but I made myself go back to sleep until 9. Then we moseyed on to breakfast, which was included with the room (which, did I mention was $30/night?).

After reading for a bit, around noon we decided a little dunk in the pool was necessary. Then, when it got too hot and taxing, we went back to the reading idea.

In the late afternoon, I went for a little photo stroll…and heard pretty music coming from a veranda in the building next to ours. Intrigued, I looked closer and discovered they had a little happy hour going on. So I raced back up to the room to nab Toby so we could partake in margaritas on the veranda. I had my priorities, clearly.

Us, post-lush:

I tried to take a few self-portraits too…but short arms, margarita-head, and tropic-induced sweaty palms do not a pretty picture make. Only one came out that had my entire head in focus.

{Gah, do I look 31 to you?}

Then we decided it was time to eat again. Mostly because we really wanted more beer of the yummy blended lime drinks they make here.

And then we watched another movie in our room, slept in late again Sunday, had a lovely breakfast and headed home. It was bliss.

The whole time we were there, we wondered why we don’t do this more often. It’s not necessary to go to a fancy resort (though of course that’s always a bonus). But we do have a lovely community pool in our neighborhood. Why don’t we actually take the weekend to rest more often? It’s so easy to underestimate how important that down-time is. But we came back feeling so rested and relaxed. And really, did we miss out on that much to do? I’m a day later on some laundry and grocery shopping…but big whoop. True, I do work in Chiang Rai every other weekend. But I think I should take that as even more reason that the weekends I do have off, I really take off.

So my Monday motivation? Try to remember to take weekends off. In the meantime, the other thing keeping me going is that I only have 7 days left of my language course. (Woohoo!) I can’t wait to get back to my writing when the class is done!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a lovely and refreshing weekend as well!

Monday Motivational

Simple and sweet.

It’s my birthday this week (tomorrow actually!), and that’s all I want this week to be. Just…

Simple and Sweet

What would you like for your week?

Monday Motivational

There’s something about leaving town that seems to necessarily uproot my schedule. Even when I just leave for a weekend and the rest of my routine remains theoretically untouched, the act of leaving pulls me out of the routine more than I expect given the time gone.

Or at least, that seems to happen if I allow it. Leaving my space quickly becomes an excuse to surrender my discipline, to allow thoughts to scatter to the wind, to wander from center. I can say, “Oh, if I didn’t have to do this or that, I could focus.”

But life isn’t like that. It doesn’t play the same old refrain day after day. It may seem that way sometimes, but that’s when you can be even more sure that something more gradual is shifting deeply underneath, and maybe you just can’t see what’s shifting. Nothing is static. Change is constant. And why would you want anything different anyway? The same old refrain over and over ad nauseam would be boring.

The key is to figure out how to shift with the music, to hear the pause and flow, and keep up with the orchestra when it changes key.

So my intention for this week is:

to keep with the music

even when the music is complex, complicated, shifts and changes key.

What intention do you set for this week?

Monday Motivational

Some weeks you’re dancing, others you’re just barely

hanging on.

Isn’t that how it goes? This week I’m clinging by my tippy tips. Things are good, just busy, and the culmination of a jam-packed month is wearing down on me. I just got back from Chiang Rai and tomorrow night I fly to Bangkok. In the meantime, it’s a mad dash of errands and cleaning, studying and loose-end tying.

And!…I’m missing our family and friends.

So in the meantime, I’m motivating myself with a promise of getting highlights in my hair done when I get back next week. (Sometimes we wax high-minded and noble over here; sometimes it’s the little things we clutch in our grubby little hands. What? Just keeping it real.)

Kisses from the other side of the globe.

- xo -

Monday Motivational

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday Motivational

On my mind this week:

Everyday Acts of Courage

Courage isn’t found in perfection.

It’s found in focus, resilience, and in carrying your heart forward.

Monday Motivational

This week is one of those weeks I wish I were a ballet dancer, because if I could dance that way, I would. This week I just want to dance. I feel vital, energetic, purposeful and centered.

Since I can’t do ballet, I will call this week’s motivation:

Vinyasa Flow

Vinyasa Flow is a kind of a yoga where you move through the poses seamlessly and gracefully, feeling the stretch and bend and pull as you synch each movement of your body with the flow of your breath. When I’m in it, I feel beautiful, womanly, and strong. My mind is clear, yet focused. My heart hums like music, and I feel like I am dancing.

What is your motivation for this week?

Monday Motivational

…at 11:24 p.m.

This Monday, I was so motivated I worked from 9 a.m. to 11:23 p.m., and thus didn’t even get around to doing a self-portrait.

I must say though, if I had done a self-portrait, it would have been the kind in which you coulda’ colored me stunned.

Still reeling from the news. Yeah, the BIG news.

And what was I working on so fiendishly, you might ask?

Creating a textbook for the kids at SOLD to guide my creative writing workshops! More details on that tomorrow when we meet for Virtual Coffee. For now, I must crawl ever so gingerly and gratefully into bed.

It’s not a self-portrait, but I will leave you with this:

Meet Marmaduke, our newly adopted fish. We’re taking care of this little guy while his owners spend the next several months in the U.K., Spain, and Bulgaria. I think he’s a bit shy at the moment, but if ya’ nudge him just right, he’ll puff up just as beautifully as you please.

Monday Motivational

Our internet has been down forever (it seems), so this Monday Motivational is kind of more like a Tuesday Confessional…

So I think my word of intent for this week is going to have to be:


Primarily because I fussed all day and couldn’t figure out what my intention should be for the week. There’s kind of a bit going on: work that needs to be done, ideas that need sorting, questions that need answering, fears that need letting go, a need for control that needs letting go (maybe those last two are pretty much the same thing)…all that and omigod it’s almost a whole new month already. Where did April go?

I haven’t even been writing on my blog all that much lately (and until today, was SORELY behind on emails). I even let a 2-year blog anniversary pass with barely a mention. I had a whole post written in my head thanking my lovely readers and telling you all how very much it means to me that you come and spend time with my words and photos. BUT it never made it down from my head to my fingertips.

All I can say, however, is that for all the non-blog-writing, non-photo-taking, and non-responding I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been spending all that energy instead on my novel. So I haven’t been so very social lately because I’ve been busy having conversations in my head. (And putting them to paper – the bit that makes me legally “sane.”)

But I will be here tomorrow for Virtual Coffee! And hopefully have a bit more focus….

P.S. Yesterday marked five months in Thailand. (!)

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