Friday, January 20, 2017

3

I'll keep it lighthearted today and share a few random/funny things that have happened to me the past week.  I realize that lately my writing has been a little bit mopey and heavy and it may have you wondering if I'm spending my free time sitting in a dark closet writing poetry and sipping lukewarm espressos by candle light.

Don't worry I'm not.

Three things Friday, because I don't have five:

1. Yesterday while walking the dog, we found ourselves standing on the corner of a busy street (sans crosswalk) waiting to cross.  A city bus flew around the corner in the same manner that all the crazy buses here do - way to close to the curb, at an alarming speed - but instead of continuing through the intersection he slammed on his brakes, rolled down his window and start talking baby talk to Kai in Hebrew.

And meowing.

He continued to cat call to her until she finally made eye contact with him and gave him a 'what's your deal bro' look, yet by the time the bus driver decided to continue on his route plenty of horns were being laid on in the backed-up intersection behind him.

I stood there at a loss the entire time, slightly embarrassed as people around us paused to observe the commotion.


2. Recently I've fallen back in love with grapefruits.  I mean I've always loved them, but right now I want them in my life daily. No, grapefruits aren't a metaphor for something else.  

The good news is there are thousands of massive juicy cheap grapefruits in the market near our house. As I wandered through the market this past Tuesday, I couldn't help but notice the aggressiveness of some of the produce vendors around me.

One in particular continued to scream "PAPAYAS" repeatedly until I wondered at what point he was going to pass out from lack of oxygen.  Yet his craziness intrigued me, so I stalled in his booth for a few seconds to examine his grapefruits.

He stopped screaming and smiled at me, "An American?"

"Yes," I smiled back, relieved not to be mistaken for a German again.  Not that there is anything wrong with that... I'm just, not.

"New York?" he questioned.

"No.... Baltimore... it's kind of by D.C.," wondering how well the man knew his U.S. geography.

"Oh very nice, so a New Yorker!" he retorted.

"Sure... close enough..." I surrendered, as I paid and left.


3. All week, afternoons have been getting back up into the mid-60s by lunchtime, which when the sun is out, feels plenty warm for me to walk to the gym in just my tank and workout pants.

Our doorman strongly disagrees, and continues to be offended by my daily outfit choices.

"WHERE is your coat!?" has been the conversation twice this week, as he frantically rubs his arms and stares at my bare arms, acting as if I'm retreating out into a tundra naked.

"I'll be fine, the sun is warm!" I promise, and then hurry away from his judgement.

It never felt like a Midwestern winter here, obviously. But mid-December to mid-January did get colder, became rainy/windy, and I actually wore my North Face a few times.  Nights still cool down to the 40's, yet I won't lie the beach started calling my name again this week....

I'll wait until we creep into the 70's.



Anyways, if you were looking for odd happenings from this past week, there you have it.  Honestly now that I think of it, there were more - like the guy who ran after me on the bike path to tell me he liked the way my ponytail was bouncing as I ran. As I type that out, I hope that wasn't a metaphor.  But I'll end the stories here, because typing out conversations and having to use so many quotation marks is hard.

Happy Friday, Cheers - 
Kait



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Simplify

I have a question for you all.

Last week I mentioned that 2017 was off to a slow start for me in regards to resolutions/goals, and basically any kind of productivity at all if we are being honest.  This week gave me a great kick in the butt, and I've spent some time with blank pages in front of me, scribbling down thoughts and ideas and dreams.

When I make goals I like to break them out into categories, otherwise I tend to be 'Physical Health' heavy and not set aspirations to expand my Mental Health/Capacity as well.  Goals tend to fall where passions are, yet I also believe that if I'm not challenging myself in new areas I may be missing potential passions altogether.

Anyways.

I feel there's a lot floating around out there on the topic of simplifying life, cutting down distractions, de-cluttering, etc.  Actually I know there's a lot on the topic, because the idea overwhelms me and even scares me a little. Yet I know it's a healthy idea to explore, so it's one of my vague goals that I would like to zone in on and set better parameters around.

So I'm asking for your guys help.

What kind of ideas have you implemented into your life - what books have you read, apps have you downloaded, small steps you have taken - that have helped you to simplify, and/or de-clutter your life? This can be things that help to reduce distractions, maximizing efficiency throughout your day.... really anything around that general concept. 



Because I'm curious, yet it's a topic that I believe if I simply 'Googled' I would be greatly overwhelmed with the thousands of suggestions.  So I'm turning to you all - my friends - for simple ideas or thoughts, that you believe to work.

Comment, message me, email me (Kcomiskey5@gmail.com), send a carrier pigeon.  Responses are greatly appreciated.

Cheers - 
Kait

Friday, January 13, 2017

Metaphors

One of my absolute favorite things to do in the morning is to take the time to sit down with a hot cup of coffee, and a blank page - or blank computer screen. The potential to write literally anything I want; what's bothering me, what I'm thankful for, what's been nagging at the back of my mind, is kind of like a small sigh of relief.

When I sat down this morning I didn't know where my fingers were going to take me.  I've got a lot going on in this head right now, it's been a week to say the least.  But I knew that if I just started writing, it would go somewhere, and I would feel better.




You should see the way I go about writing drafts, it's semi-manic.  The initial flow isn't a flow at all, paragraphs jump all over the place with thoughts I don't want to lose, and words repeat themselves. Once I'm convinced it's all there, I start picking through, deleting, rearranging and rewording.  I stop, pace around.  I take my wedding ring on and off, sometimes get aggravated by my glasses and put my contacts in.  I read it a few times outloud.

If life was like writing, it might be a little easier.  "Wait hold on, I don't like the way I just answered that question, it actually might be offensive, let me delete that line."  Not that simple.  Once the words are said, once the actions are done, there's no editing in life.  Sure there are do-overs, but that doesn't delete the memory of the first time.

And while life isn't like writing, it also is... because of the wild potential. To get a little metaphorical, we are writing our lives, right?  We are consciously choosing how to spend every waking minute, we are selecting what we do with our time.  As I'm sitting here, pausing and looking at the rest of my life as one giant blank page, it somewhat intimidates me.  Sure, I've got 28 years of pages full behind me - soon to be 29 - and every single page is bursting with content, emotion.  But not to be morbid... I mean who really knows how many blank pages I have ahead of me to fill.  None of us do.


I just think too often we get caught in the crazy routine of life, the repetitiveness of the Monday-Friday... and we fall into the "life is a grind" or "my day is a checklist" mindset instead of "life is a crazy beautiful novel, that each of us are writing, side by side."

Alright, I'll hop off the metaphor train now.  Just like blankness, I take great joy in newness.  New years, new months, heck even new weeks. I turn 29 in roughly three weeks, and I'm choosing to use that as a benchmark. There's been a lot of back and forth lately in figuring out what I want, who I want to be, what I'm striving for, what I'm pursuing during our time here in Israel.  Because it's a limited amount of time, but it offers massive potential. And while there have been small victories the first five months; baby steps have been made, certain things have been figured out... I'm not really looking for a handful of small victories during year 29.  I'm looking for bigger ones.

Kait you're back on the metaphor train with this victory talk, what do you even mean?

I don't know. I guess I have three weeks to figure it out.

Cheers - 
Kait


Friday, January 6, 2017

2017

Oh hey - Happy 2017, and Happy Friday - double happiness!

Sorry I went MIA there for awhile, we were lucky enough to get two wonderful visitors out here for a week over New Years, and there was absolutely no time for blogging.

Which is how adventure trips should be, right?  My little sister and her boyfriend, Bri and Jase, arrived here Tuesday night (the 27th) and it was basically non-stop adventure until they left the morning of the 4th.



Non-stop as in, any down time was basically used to eat or nap.  We did get one game of Scrabble in.

I won't give you a detailed seven day recap because that's excessive and this would turn into a 30 minute read, but I do want to cover the general trip, some favorites, and some roadblocks we hit.


The week basically looked like this:

Drove south (Eilat, Israel) and stayed Wednesday night on the Red Sea, crossed the border to Jordan first thing the next morning. Drove North to Petra, explored Petra Thursday afternoon.  Attended Petra at night, stayed at a Bedouin Camp and nearly froze to death.  Back to Petra Friday, then headed north after lunch. Stayed on the Jordan side of the Dead Sea Friday night (thanks for using your Chase points Bri), floated in the saltiness Saturday morning.  Crossed back over the border Saturday afternoon, stopped in Jericho and Jerusalem before heading back to a New Years Eve in Tel Aviv Saturday Night.  New Years Day in Jerusalem, failed to cross the border into Bethlehem due to a very long line.  Monday we headed to Northern Israel, saw Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and a winery.  Tuesday we stayed local and explored Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

*Heavy Exhale*

Note: Petra was an amazing life experience that everyone should have on their bucket list if they ever wander to the Middle East.  Jordan in general felt very different than Israel, and I'm so glad we got to see so much of the country.  Petra is MASSIVE and you could easily spend two days there and not get bored.

The Monastery, Petra

Another Note:  Crossing the borders (both ways) is not necessarily easy and took roughly 90 minutes both times.

Roadblock:  The credit card machine wasn't working the day we got to Petra... and sadly we didn't have roughly $400 in cash handy for the four of us to get in.  We spent a few hours running around trying different ATM's until we finally solved the problem - and actually ended up paying a lot less by purchasing a two-day pass and proving that we were staying the night in Jordan.... coming out to about $60/person, plus $15 for Petra at night.

Favorite: We learned at the Bedouin Camp we stayed at (while very cold at night, awesome experience, highly recommend) that a guide could lead us on a hike into the "back door" of Petra - allowing us to start at the biggest structure, the Monastery - instead of ending there.  So for a few Jordanian Dinars we were thrown into a hilarious-probably-illegal four-wheel drive vehicle, driven to God-knows-where, and dropped off in the middle of breathtaking mountains.  A quiet, knowledgeable guide then led us on a semi-challenging hike that was absolutely stunning and made me wonder why more people don't visit Jordan.


Overall, it was fabulous to be able to spend time with family the past week, because I won't lie it didn't *fully* feel like Christmas here, with highs around 60 and zero decor around the city of Tel Aviv.  I'm so glad the trip was able to happen.

Dead Sea

To wrap this thing up: it's 2017, and I'm excited to see what the new year has to bring.  People have been sh*tting on 2016 a ton, and I won't lie it won't go down as my favorite year for an array of reasons. But it's in the past, and that's something we don't dwell on.  If nothing else, it's only motivated me to make 2017 even better; more positive, healthy, and cognizant of how I'm spending my time and energy.

Have a great weekend my friends.  Cheers - 
Kait