If vacation does one thing for me, it is the reminder to slow down and take stock of my daily life when I return. From what and how I eat, and where I shop for the food I have to have once I return, ( Azorean butter for example) to how I exercise and go through my day to contemplating the busy-ness and the friends I surround myself with, getting away makes coming back have a different outlook. Vacations in new countries adds one more layer to this and as I have returned from my three week venture away from almost all things alayne, I have found myself calmer, more relaxed and more humbled and way less digitized.

What I noticed also is that there is so much to read online, everywhere I turn, from Pinterest to Medium and all of the news sites blasting their stories, I have started to feel a bit inundated. Why does anyone even want to read what I write? There is so much out there now. “Three ways to feel better,!” “Ten things you can do now to change your day!” Five steps to get healthy, NOW!” Non fiction after non fiction piece, blog after blog, story after story. I feel almost a little burnt out from all of this digitizing of writing and need to get back to the basics. Like reading real books and writing on real paper.

This has changed my daily writing habit to a daily reading habit because the fact is there is only so much time in the day to get everything in that I love and something has to give. I have found since I have bought my typewriters that I love typing on them and I have taken a dive into almost daily typing. With that comes added time to my already jam packed mornings. The interesting surprise about typing on a manual typewriter, besides the frequency of errors, is the different way I have been writing. What I have noticed mostly are my limitations, especially when it comes to the fiction I have been attempting.I have a lot to learn and this excites me. I realize I need coaching or a creative writing class or writing group that challenges my vocabulary and I have found myself at a bit of a standstill.

Any great writing book I have bought has said a few basic tips. The top two repeated over and over again are write every day, (check) and read a lot. Reading definitely helps my writing and I realized that this was something I definitely needed to add to my daily list. Typical of my personality I have read five books in three weeks and am on number six as I type this early am. So I have decided to read and read and read rather than write and post and write and post for a bit. I am still writing every day, but just typing on Old Bess and giving my one page stories away instead, old school on vellum paper mistakes and all. Reading with the intensity I have allowed myself is showing me how much I have to learn and what better way than a book at a time at the library around the corner.

Vacations and time away brings me to awakenings and awarenesses, challenges and hunger for learning in a way that staying put doesn’t. I love being home armed with this new outlook and at the same time, I can’t wait for my next trip. I’ll be writing and posting again, I am sure, sooner than later, but for now I am taking a break to get caught up on all of the books I need to catch up on. Perhaps this short hiatus is in the good time with my one year anniversary of my final surgery coming in September, maybe I have poured out all of the non fiction in my body as it is reaching its one year of final healing. Who knows if the timing is as perfect as it seems, but for now I lean in to what my mind and soul command. Vacations, especially solo ones, do this for me, reminding me that this one life is a fragile one and there is so much to do, to see, to read and all of it that lies ahead is my oyster to do what I want with.

As September approaches at a rate that seems to accelerate as I get older, what I appreciate is the ability of choice and how I want to direct my life is totally up to me and me alone. This is what vacation is about and this is what life is ultimately. As Wayne Dyer said perfectly, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Yep.

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