Planning

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I am a planner.  I am not a ‘fair weather’ planner, not a sometimes-if-the-task-requires-it planner.  I am a full fledged, sit-down-with-a-pen-and-paper list maker!  I love to plan the details, from grocery lists to multi day vacations for multiple families.  I love to plan.   I plan parties, international travels, family outings, birthdays, showers, church functions, shopping trips, weddings, volunteer benefits, funerals, reunions, vacations, business events, children’s events, you name it I have planned for it.  It is in my nature, it is in my DNA, it is part of who I am.

I feel my business partner and I balance each other nicely.  At today’s owners meeting (which I planned) we discussed topics related to our business, Soul Experiences.  During the meeting the subject of “what our roles are” came up.  I have always thought of my partner, who also happens to be my mother, as futuristic.  She is always thinking of ways to change/grow our business.  She will have an idea, bring it up to me and before you know it we are off and running on a new project.  I am the planner.  I work out all the fine details of how we get from her vision, to our finished product.  We are a great team as professional travel planners and tour guides.

I feel blessed to have this talent and love of planning.  I am very lucky to also have a passion almost as great for travel as well.

Fleeting Time

Do not waste your moments with anger and hate. Life is extraordinarily beautiful. All the wonders of a lifetime must be compiled into a few short moments, strung together to with time. As one event passes by, another is starting. Time does not stand still waiting for your mood to lighten. You cannot rewind and acquire more minutes. Relish your time for it is fleeting.Soul Experiences

Celebration Preparations

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This day marks the beginning of the only ten days of summer I love!  I am a snow-bunny at heart.  So when the days stretch longer and the sun over heats the earth I run for cover, better known as indoor air conditioning.  The activities of summer are fun, the vistas are brighter but the heat melts me, which in turn, makes me cranky.  I was born during one of Nebraska’s infamous heat waves.  My mother tells of how she thought it was far too hot in our house when I came home from the hospital and she promptly moved my bassinet to a prime location, in front of the window air conditioner, where I would slumber peacefully with nary a bead of sweat on my soft baby skin.  I believe my love affair with A/C started right then and there.  So from my first moments till now I have had a tumultuous relationship with warm weather.  Back to why I love these next ten days of summer…. 

Nebraska has some very strict laws about fireworks, what we can and cannot light off.  So we also have a time frame of when we can send fireballs of sparks soaring to the heavens.  Today marks the beginning of the selling season for fireworks!  Little tents have popped up all over the state.  Most of these temporary houses of splendor are decked out in red, white and blue.  With banners beckoning you to stop and spend all of your hard earned money on piles of sparklers, fountains of bursting lights and screaming smoke balls.  Parents slink by the stands praying their beloved little ones don’t notice the new structures that hold untold curiosities.  Teenagers flock to spend their fortunes on five second displays.  I, will spend time investigating the new fun just like every year.  I go into numerous tents, comparing prices, comparing quality, talking with the vendors.  This is the holiday that helps me “survive” the summer, one magical evening of fireworks.

The Fourth of July was the pinnacle of the summer for me as a child.  Our family always spent the holiday in the country with family.  Our families’ Independence Day celebrations were known across the community as the best gathering in a tri county area.  Neighbors would start gathering just after the children got up from their naps.  The farmers would come in early from the fields to scrub up and join in for the picnic.  I remember us kids running off to plan skits to perform for the “older” adults.  The food would sway the rows of tables.  It was a the start of a seemingly unending night.  Everyone brought fireworks to share and display.  We took turns lighting one spectacular explosion after another until the smallest of the children fell asleep in a grandparents arms and had to be carried to bed.  Memories like those can not be imagined they must be experienced.

So to gleefully mark the beginning of 2014 fireworks season I will stop in to the first open tent I see and let my sense of smell take me down memory lane to my favorite 2nd favorite holiday!

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Success

Soul Experiences

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When the time is right, everything seems to fall into place.  The struggles seem less.  The time of uncertainty seems distant.  The unknown comes into focus.  It may feel like it all just happened, like fate stepped in to give you a lift.  I think it is the culmination of all the hard work you achieved, maybe without even realizing you achieved it.  The extra smile, the straightened posture, the countless hours of research, networking, paperwork, all the little details done in the interim.  That is the pinnacle of success.

You know the moment it happened, whether subconsciously or consciously.  The success may be a few little tasks or one monstrous accomplishment, but looking back, you knew the moment it happened.  

Enjoy each little success with a celebration of a big success.  Every success is worth celebrating.

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Rejuvenation

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It is rare in my day to have the extravagance of quietly sitting, to contemplate my life.  My days are spent rushing, loving, worrying, planning, counseling, tweaking, socializing, researching, networking, and just plain living.  Yet I am never just idle.

Today is different.  Today I have chosen to take time to listen to nothing, to envision comfortable light (darkness is oppressive to me), move nowhere and just breathe.  It is not for a great length of time that I will luxuriate in this state of meditation, but it will be quiet.  Time will stand still or so it will seem.  The world will continue to spin.  Outside my window the community I embrace will carry on without me for a little while.

I celebrated a birthday a few days ago and part of my gift from a dear friend was, time to myself.  I was treated to a professional massage.  The kind where the massage therapist leaves you in a deeply shadowed room, where gentle music fills your ears, with instructions for you to “disrobe to your level of comfort”.  It was a heavenly gift.  Unfortunately, I spent so much of it thinking why I don’t do this more often.  Instead of clearing my mind of all the random thoughts churning away inside my skull, I kept thinking this is a gift I should indulge in more often.

So in remembrance of my exquisitely relaxing spa treatment, I will set time aside to meditate.  I want to focus on my inner strength so I can more effectively engage in my outer strength.

We, as a society, do not often take the time to fully ‘recharge’ our batteries.  That leaves us feeling stressed and worn.  To live our optimum lives we need to re-energize, refocus, rejuvenate, our souls.  Take time to focus on yourself for the benefit of yourself.  Engage in activities that help you to be the best you can be both physically and emotionally.

Travel well my friends!

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Recovery

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What a beautiful day to drive the open roads of Nebraska.  The sun is shining down, warming The Great Plains.  The road is calling to me once again.

It has been a very tumultuous storm season so far in Nebraska.  Many lives have been disrupted by the destructive power of wind, hail and tornadoes.  With all the news covering the tragedy in Northeastern Nebraska, my heart is sadden with the loss of lives.  My heart goes out to all those grieving.  My prayers are for continued healing of everyone recovering, both physically and emotionally.  Property has been broken and scattered.  Just as the tornadoes upturned grain bins, homes, churches, and vehicles, lives have been upturned.  The morning light after the devastation only illuminated the work ahead.

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As I drive, I count all my many blessings.  I am happy to know I am able to help where I am needed.  Helping to pick up the pieces of so many broken lives.

While traveling this summer please remember to have respect for the ever-changing weather conditions.  Be aware of storms forming and moving through your area.  But be sure to get out there, into our big wide world.  Enjoy your travels!

Travel well my friends and pray for the continued healing of storm victims.

Road Work

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Summer can mean only one thing….road construction.  As I creep up to, yet another, sign holding, brightly clad, hard hat wearing worker, my mind races to the amount of precious time I am wasting.  I sit in my car.  I scroll through emails.  I mindlessly change the channel on the radio.  I am too easily distracted to bring a book along for the marathons of delays.  I don’t want to miss anything interesting going on outside my little car’s windows.  So I sit.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I am eternally grateful to all the hard working women and men on our country’s roads.  I respect them for the intense work that they do.  I know in the end of it all our travel times will be improved and all will be right for this travel enthusiast.  But right now trying to be patient, trying to envision the light at the end of theses road construction delays, is very difficult.

Here are some helpful tips for road safety this summer

  1. Don’t get impatient.  It is so easy to loose your temper when faced with long delays.  Try to play soothing music or practice deep breathing.  Or map out your destination to avoid construction all together.
  2. Put a smile on your face.  I have said this before, it is impossible to remain angry when you are genuinely smiling.  Think of all the blessings in your life and take the time to smile.  Besides everyone else will wonder what your smiling about.
  3. Curb Road Rage.  I’m not going to say anything else on this except it is irresponsible to use your vehicle for your anger outlet.
  4. Slow down.  Obey the speed limit signs.  Reducing your speed increases your reaction times.  Expecting the unexpected in construction zones is a must.
  5. Remember this too shall pass.  Figuratively and literally.  The construction/destruction will not last forever and when all is said and done your future travels will be much smoother. 

Road trips are one of my favorite modes of travel.  I will continue to adventure on the open roads but rest assured it may take me a little more time.  Which I will be thankful for so I can slow down enough to enjoy the world around me.

Travel well my friends.