I turned 32 at the end of last month, quietly. Russ and I went up into Massachusetts to visit some of my favorite places:
This is my idea of heaven. It’s remote (we passed a family deer of feeding in the woods on the way here). It’s an old building. It’s full of used books. It’s built on a river. They have an abundance of tea. They have worn in (falling apart) arm chairs to sit, read, drink tea, read books and enjoy the sound of the Sawmill River rushing below. I spent several hours here with Russ, just reading and sipping tea.
The New England Peace Pagoda is near the Bookmill and I had only been here once- in the strange twilight zone of late winter/early spring that is April in New England. The ground was hard and brown and the trees were not sure if it was quite time to bud. This time, it was a blazing sun but so much green and the pagoda shone so white that it was almost blinding. The prayer flags (not shown) hung from trees near the lotus garden. Incredible.
Northampton was once a home for me. Now it is an excursion for bubble tea or a really good dinner at Sierra Grille. There were no leftovers to be had from this meal- that’s how incredible it was.
This year is quieter than previous years- not because I’m maudlin about aging, I just feel like embracing the things about me that are true and letting some of the other stuff go.
I need more personal space and alone time than most of the people in my life, but I’m not going to beat myself up about that anymore and try to just accept each place and task I encounter on my own terms.
I want to stop taking on extra projects and jobs just because I feel that they need to be done so I might as well do them. I want to focus my energy on what matters to me, what is inspiring to me and what I feel morally/ethically obligated towards- it’s hard to explain but I give up or postpone big (slightly) things I want to do and instead fill my time with small and routine tasks that are helpful but prevent me from engaging in something that really inspires me. I need to strike a balance there.
Most of all, I want to show up to my life every day and try really hard to be present and enjoy it. And this year, that’s totally enough for me.