This winter, in Indy, has been BRUTAL. Yes, the word is deserving of all caps. I thought certain people were exaggerating when they called last winter ‘mild.’ I used to laugh and say, ‘sure,’ and I’d think to myself, I survived more than three years in Boston. I can take it!
But… there’s always a but. Right?
But… I miss the sunshine on my face as I work up a real sweat. The gym gets old. It always has, actually. Yet, it’s often the only option when your local weatherman is promising a ‘wintry mix’ over and over again, and you work long hours. As a result, my reality is often a bar over my head with heavy weights on each end way too early in the morning for me to even form a proper sentence. My inner thoughts are something along the lines of, ‘lift or get clobbered.’
I much prefer the natural movements, the workout, you can get outside in the fresh air. You don’t have to tune out the top 20 radio station blasting from a countless number of speakers or the smelly man working out next to your machine who is wearing jeans?! Yes, I have had several sightings.
So, lucky for me, my waistline, and my sanity, a very good friend, who is living the California dream, invited me to the West Coast. We hiked, did a little bit of climbing, and I loved every minute of it!
Southern California is an easy dream… even in March. Proof?
I also snapped a few nature shots.
It has been a little while since my creative juices have flowed. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to take a breather… just for a second, of course. (gasp)
I was trying to think back to the time when I realized life was.. well life. It can get ugly fast. I remember joking with one of my friends the other day, saying, “why didn’t our parents tell us this???” It was one of those moments where you laugh hard, stop and think “hmm, this is some kind of awful.” I can even visualize my own facial expression.
I know you know what I’m talking about.
But, all joking aside, when we’re talking about the real stuff, there is no question some of us experience life too early. Innocence… just taken.
I can think of countless children I’ve reported on and one baby in particular. Her mother left her with an old friend from high school and her boyfriend, who were house guests/temporary babysitters. The baby’s father thought his child had diaper rash at some point soon after. It wasn’t. It was genital warts. The little girl, who was six-months-old when the crime was reported, had been sexually abused by the couple, and that was not all.
I’m now sitting here wondering what that child’s life will be like. Will she never know? Will she learn the horrifying details of the abuse in an article online years from now? It makes me think that perhaps being one of those people who never allow themselves to fully grasp reality are not completely off base. If they don’t accept it, then they don’t have to deal with it. Then, again, the pain, the devastation and the loss can make us better and push us harder to leave a positive stamp on the World… IF we work through it. It doesn’t even matter if that circumstance was the result of our own choice or someone else’s.
At some point, we’re all victims. We just get to decide if we will live as victims or survivors.
All of this… in my head after a trip to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami. You can walk into a large atrium full of butterflies and orchids. I immediately saw a certain grin on so many faces, young or old, it didn’t matter. I started to picture some of the adults as innocent children as the butterflies fluttered overhead and even landed on his hat or her hand.
Gone were the feelings of real life… just for a few moments, which are always allowed, and it felt good.
I think one of our producers just wrote it best: “A dreary, damp day across Indiana.”
Looking any better by you?? Likely not… so here’s a little natural TLC courtesy my parent’s yard in Miami. Had to take some pics when I was in town. They even have baby bananas growing! Yum.
I just had a birthday, and no, I’m not telling you guys how young I am!
Isn’t it funny how much we want to be 10-and-a-half. Eighteen. Twenty-one. We want to be older as if it’s a ticket to real life… no obstacles… freedom. Then, you’re squirming in your late twenties, and the questions start rolling in:
Am I happy? Where should I be at this point in my life?
Birthdays have a fantastic way of doing that. Don’t they?
I thought of all of the plans I’ve made over the years: The daydreams I had as a little girl as I played in my parents front yard, and the bold visions I had as a bull-headed college student walking the streets of Boston as if I knew it all. I had it almost all figured out. The city I would live in… the career I would have and the kind of man I would marry. Some of us make so many plans, and those plans always seem to create an expectation or expectations. It’s probably not exactly what we were initially going for. We can do a little sinking under that kind of pressure, but I think, in part, it’s because we’re thinking about it all wrong.
What’s best, at least for me now, is thinking of it as grey area… a charcoal sketch. All of those plans — a sketch that we can turn to for direction as we grow old and hopefully wiser. We can always do a little erasing, smudging and a some shading outside of the lines. I think that may have been a bit of a realization I just had a few days ago, or at least, I really began to truly understand it. So, lets just say, that’s one more year and one more lesson… or TWO. Number two is I’m getting too old for some kinds of crazy.
My uncle offered to let me jump out of a plane strapped to him or some other guy on the big day, but that just didn’t sound enjoyable on any level. He does it every weekend. Picture my face in complete awe every time I’m reminded of that endeavor. Instead, I chose tranquility. I don’t get much of it in the news biz, and luckily, it was the day after Thanksgiving. I was in Miami with my family so relieved I could even put a bikini on underneath a pair of shorts. Well, kind of. Lol.
I had almost forgotten how special the ocean is. How it can make you feel. It had been too long. The translucent, blue-green water…The salt in the air…the birds chirping away…swaying palm trees…It’s magical so I got on a paddle board on Key Biscayne. It was something new, something different…
This past Sunday… instead of some football watching, I threw on a fleece, headed down a few trails and stopped in a public garden. I know, I know… possibly shameful amongst football enthusiasts, but I have an excuse! I desperately needed a one-with-nature-kind-of-moment.
It’s my special, green sanctuary, and I get lost in it.
Here are a few of my favorite snapshots: