Tag Archives: naples

Day 327: who knew? eddie vedder and a jacksonville spectactular

24 Nov

It’s November. It’s Small Business Saturday.
It’s Justin’s birthday — six months late!

Which means we’re here in Jacksonville, Florida celebrating Justin’s birthday, getting ready for the Eddie Vedder concert at the Moran Theater tonight.

Why are we here, six months after Justin’s birthday you ask?

The concert was supposed to be in May. I was so excited to surprise Justin with tickets to his hands-down-favorite-band-ever-he-even-has-a-pearl-jam-tattoo-on-his-leg, but….

It was postponed.

Alas so was Justin’s birthday gift from me.

So yesterday we travelled from Massachusetts to Florida just to make it to the tropics in time for this concert.

Our plan was to pack up  our car that we left in Naples last spring with all of our belongings in the storage unit and then drive north for the concert today.

But last night when we got to car it was d.e.a.d. dead and we spent hours getting it fixed (or, Justin did!). So we finally decided just to head north to Jacksonville to make the concert in our rental car instead.

We will drive back to Naples in the morning and pack up our storage unit (egads!!!) and then head north later this week with all of stuff in tow in our hopefully (fingers crossed) working car. Which basically means we will drive between Jax and Naples three times this week.


It is all an exercise in patience.

And flexibility.

And a function of staying sane, knowing that we are always right where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there.

Like, tonight for instance….
To our surprise, as we checked into our hotel room — with this awesome parking lot view (not!)

— we discovered that this very night, tonight, is the annual Jacksonville Light Parade and Fireworks Spectacular.

See…. right where we are supposed to be when we’re supposed to be there.

Who knew??
Well….Maybe Eddie did.

Happy Birthday Justin!

Day 47: a love letter to mistakes, part II

16 Feb

Tonight continues my commitment to more love and less fear this year.  For February, I am writing a love letter each day.  Tonight is dedicated to …mistakes.

Dear Mistakes, (yes, again):  

I have to remember the power of the written word.

I shouldn’t be surprised that I made a mistake today, after writing you a love note last night.

But, I was.

All day long, I was giddy with excitement to go see Marianne Williamson speak live, right here in Naples.  I have read her books, I have followed her online and I have been moved by her writing.

I even packed the latest book, A Course In Weight Loss, in my purse with hope that Marianne would sign it for me.

I should have been tipped off by the dim lit parking lot as I pulled into the Unity Church driveway.

I definitely knew something was wrong when I saw only three other cars parked neatly in rows – a clear sign that nothing was going on within miles of the place.

As I opened my car door I saw another woman getting out of her car at the same time.

“Is this where the Marianne Williamson event is tonight?” I asked.

“The what?” she replied.

“Marianne Williamson?” I sheepishly repeated, knowing I was definitely in the wrong place.

“Oh, yes!” My hope returned as her face lit up.

“She’ll be here in March,” the kind woman replied as my heart sank.

“March?” I said out loud, half embarrassed for getting the date wrong and partly feeling like March was an eternity away.

I suppose right here is where I say, “thank you dear Mistakes” for reminding me that we all make them — continually.

But, I think I’m ready to move on to new topic.


P.S. Marianne, I will see you in March!

Day 352: holly getty to the rescue

18 Dec

Holly Getty where are you?

I am packing for Christmas vacation which will whisk us off to the Northwest in a few days and my wardrobe seems drab.  While pulling out all my winter clothes I realize they have one thing in common — the color  black.

With the exception of a red scarf.  And, I have to admit the scarf looks better on Pup in the warm Florida sun than it does on me!

As I look over my cold weather wardrobe I am intrigued by how environment influences colors, textures and the whole ensemble.

My Florida clothes look as if I stepped right off of Candy Cane Lane, with hues of pinks and greens and turquoise too.

And, my Massachusetts clothes look like a funeral procession of black on black.

Makes me wonder what I will choose when 2012 arrives and I can start shopping again.

I know I will never mindlessly shop again, but I do need to take into account my dual life between Martha’s Vineyard and Naples.

So …Holly Getty to the rescue!

Last summer, while in the middle of this promise, Holly promised to take me shopping when I could purchase again (YAY!).  Back then, Holly asked me what I wanted to look like next year — what did I wish for deep down inside?

At the time I was so deep into my promise I was puzzled about shopping in general — 2012 felt SO far away.

But here we are closing in on the New Year.
So, how do I feel?

For starters I need an underwear overhaul.  But, after that, I really want Holly to help me pair down my closet and define my authentic style before we really go shopping.

For inspiration, I have started a Pinterest board with images I love so Holly can get a sense of fashion I fall for.  Feel free to puruse here.

But, in the end, shopping will just be icing on the cake.
If there is anything I have learned over this year, it is I already have everything I need.

And, as we close in on these final weeks of 2012, I know in my heart that we can do anything (really!) — for an entire year.

Day 281: Pop Quiz! what do you need?

8 Oct

How long would it take you to pack up everything you own?

It’s that time. We’re packing up the Vineyard and getting prepped and ready for our winter migration. It’s hard to believe how fast the summer months blow by and that it’s time to fly.

Well, not quite yet.

I still have my Lake Austin Spa Resort reunion with Debbie Phillips (mentioned in this month’s Marie Claire — sah-weet!) before we land in the sunshine state.

But, first: packing day.
And, on this day of filling luggage I discovered some of my own baggage.

As I sorted through bins of winter clothing and piles and summer clothing, I looked up at Justin and said, “I seem to have a lot of clothes.”

To which he sarcastically replied, “uh …you think?”

It reminds me of Day 138 and the Pop Quizwhat would you put in one box, if you were only given one box to keep your most prized possessions.

Back then I wondered:
Just what do I really need?
And, what do I need with me?

As I was packing today the answer seemed to be two things:  clothes and paper.
I own a lot of clothes and paper, in the form of books and notebooks, lined paper, blank pads, ringed and hard bound.

After a while it stacks up.

But, today, I was thrilled to find The Notebook.
Inside were the scribbles of dreams from three years ago. Back then, I was starting over with a blank slate — no job, no husband, no car, no home base.  So, I took the advice of my dear friend Dianne and started keeping notes in the little green notebook she gave me to place next to by bed.

Here’s an image from one page:

Among these scratchings is a scene of a couple enjoying golf, tennis, skiing, the beach and a house where the sun always shines.

This was six months before I met Justin, and almost a year before we moved to the Vineyard for our very first summer, one year before we wintered on a mountain top in Vermont — and two years before we moved to Naples for the winter, where the sun always shines.

Ironic, I suppose. How a little drawing predicted my fate.  Or maybe it was the power of visualization. Or the secret of silent longings. Or something else all together.

On the back of that drawing was another list titled:
I want to be the best form of me.

When I turned to this page and saw the list of items starring back at me, I sighed and paused looking down at the lined page, soaking it all in. Then I smiled. The list describes exactly how I feel about myself these days.

Right now, it’s hard to believe there was a time I didn’t feel this way.

But, back then, when I wrote out this carefully crafted list, I felt stuck and slammed with life’s great surprises and turn of fortunes. It wasn’t a wish list, it was a stretch list — no — actually, it was more than a stretch, it was an unimaginable leap through time and space to get to a place where I could feel inspirational, fun, thoughtful, dedicated, loving, creative, progressive, and team oriented.

And, tonight, as I sit here typing, this list seems to hold the answer to my original question:

Just what do I really need?
And, what do I need with me?

It seems so obvious now.
I need me. 

The very best form of me. 

And, you? Do you know what you need?

If you don’t, may I suggest starting with a list.
Just a lovely little list.

Day 36: lady gaga, hot chicks and alligators

5 Feb

I am petrified of alligators.

I am petrified of spiders too, but those I can squish with a shoe. While I know this messes with karma and the circle of life, it makes me feel in control of my fear of eight legged arachnids. Gators. Not so much.

I love adventures!
But not this morning. As I left Naples in a thick morning fog I was totally unnerved.

Alligator Alley, the stretch of highway between Naples and Miami, stood before me and the Integrative Nutrition conference on the other side of the state.

Trying to quell the fear of my car potentially shutting down on the highway (like it did last month in city traffic) and leaving me in the middle of Alligator Alley (without a shoe big enough to squash a gator) I meditated before starting my trek.

I am brave, I told myself.
I am a big girl. I can do this.

As I tried to focus on the road before me and not the stretch of swampland engulfing the highway on either side of my Nissan Altima, I overheard the most annoying conversation coming out of my radio speakers.

Radio DJ: Are you a hot chick?

The team of radio DJ’s then began debating the definition of a “hot chick” and, of course, callers started buzzing in to defend their choices of attire, confidence, dating style, money management. All trying to convince some guy in a sound booth that she fell under the hot chick category.

Blahhh-ick! Seriously?
I slammed the radio button to OFF and threw in a meditative CD — while looking out the rear view mirror to confirm no alligators were following me.

I made it to Miami without alligator teeth marks in my car.
Note to self: there are two tolls between Naples and Miami. The toll booth operator doesn’t enjoy listening to your meditative CD blare out the window while watching you pull pennies from the bottom of your car console, one by one, until they equal $2.50. Neither do the drivers behind you for that matter.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the adventure you signed up for, really isn’t the adventure you end up taking?

Still no alligator sightings.
But, I did see one hot chick.

In the middle of the IIN conference today, Lady Gaga appeared.
Escorted by two men without shirts (did I mention I was in Miami) she was all feathered up. She did her “thang” and revved up the room.

After the dance break, Joshua Rosenthal, founder of IIN, made a comment I think is really, well, brilliant.

“Break free from the norm. That is what people pay attention to.”

His words stuck with me all day.
Here’s what I have to say:

I don’t think “breaking free” only means you invest in feathers and surround yourself with half-naked men. I mean, if you want to, great. No judgment here.

For me, it is much more simple.
The reason I went to the IIN Conference was because of The Promise 365. I made a commitment at the beginning of this year to shake up my norm and invest in my head, heart, body and soul. I almost didn’t go to the conference today, I almost bailed (alligators being just one of the reasons) but I forced myself to follow through on my promise.

Whatever it is for you, maybe it’s time to break your norm.
If your norm is sitting on the couch. Walk a little?
If your norm is running a marathon. Yoga a little?
If your norm is working 80 hour weeks. Vacation a little?
If your norm is taking care of everyone else. Take care of you a little?

Tomorrow, I will be back on “The Alley” headed to Naples.
I’m not saying I won’t be afraid of alligators.
But I will be more prepared (get ready toll booths!) and confident.
Because, I already took the first step by just getting in the car.

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