1. Good food and drink.
I mean really, what’s better in life than good food and a nice glass of wine? I’m really enjoying the cooking that Michael and I have been doing. I’m learning my way around a kitchen and trying new recipes is a highlight of my week.
2. Libraries and bookstores.
I’m a bookworm. Totally and completely. As a kid I learned how to read at an early age and would much rather spend my time reading than doing anything else. I also didn’t grow up in a neighborhood that had kids around. I grew up in the city where I’d play by myself, read a lot, and write my own short stories. It makes me happy. Nothing is better than losing myself in a good book.
Specifically my friend Robyn. Even when the chips are down and life is challenging for her, she ALWAYS has a positive attitude! And sometimes I can be a Grumpy Gus and just focus on the negatives. I need friends in my life who are optimistic to remind that things aren’t always that bad…
4. Hiking in the Mountains.
Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the city, away from technology, a place where there’s no WiFi or Twitter or Facebook. Just nature and the sounds of wind in the trees, critters and my own footsteps crunching over rocks and twigs. I’m lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest where there’s a bounty of nature to explore. A short drive in any direction will get me out into Mother Nature.
5. Summers in Portland.
As the long, gray, rainy winters drone on and on and I fantasize about moving to San Diego or Mexico…I am immediately remorseful for ever thinking I want to leave Oregon once summer comes. The sun is out, the weather is warm. It’s finally a beautiful place to spend your time outside. Biking around Portland with Michael, eating outside on restaurant patios, or walking on the beach are perfect ways I spend my summer. Plus working downtown at the job I have I’m able to wear shorts and flip flops if I want and I can walk around the Waterfront during my lunch break. Awesome.
I think I have Gypsy Blood in me. I get restless after sitting too long. My grandpa was the same way: he’d wake up one day with the itch to travel and say “Get in the car, Helen, we’re going somewhere.” He loved to travel and did it as often as they could. I definitely take after my grandfather in a lot of ways and traveling is one of those ways. I wish that I could afford to travel more often and to more exotic places that are on my list. But so far I’ve had a lot of fun seeing the world: England, Mexico, Canada (too many times to count), California, Utah, Vegas, Chicago, Montana, Idaho…Some day I will make it to the East Coast.
7. Celebrity Athletes like Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong.
Their bodies are finely tuned machines that would impress anyone. When I swim I think about about Michael Phelps and the amazing Olympic footage of him swimming. So impressive. And Lance? Not only is he an amazing cyclists he’s also a RUNNER. And a cancer-survivor. Is there anything that man CAN’T do?
8. The desert.
I love the desert. Which is weird because I could never live somewhere that didn’t have trees like the NW has. Growing up in Seattle one of our annual family vacations was in Eastern Washington. I loved it there. I’d explore the cliffs and desert all day long by myself: taking photos, writing, listening to music or just listening to the quiet of the wilderness. I loved the impromptu thunder storms of the desert and the red earth. I miss visiting Eastern Washington.
Having a partner who is a DOER and likes to try new things is such a blessing. We’ve had more adventures that have enriched my life than any other time.
Music is a part of my soul. I love everything (but country) and each song or genre invoked different thoughts, feelings and memories. I’ve been to a lot of concerts.
A few favorites: Death Cab for Cutie, John Lee Hooker, Tom Petty, Depeche Mode, NIN, Dave Matthews Band…The only regrets I have are that I never got to see Nirvana, The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins live. 🙁
QUESTION: What inspires you?