This city is magical. Where else do impromptu fireworks displays happen on a regular basis?
San Francisco, you’re what dreams are made of. Thanks for being the setting for the last seven years of my story.
I first discovered these incredible creatures when I visited San Francisco in 2007 and it was love at first sight. Their prehistoric nature, majestic wingspan and peculiar feeding style fascinated me. I spent hours trying to photograph them from the docks of Fort Mason and learned that near sunset every evening, thousands make their way west across the Bay – flying under and over the Golden Gate to nest on the rocks near the Sutro Baths.
Brown pelicans, San Francisco.
There’s nothing like having a baby due in eight days to light a fire under your rear end. As a first time expectant mother, I had naturally and wishful-thinkingly told myself that the baby would be at least two weeks early, so every day that I’m still pregnant is feeling like borrowed time. Time to be savored. Time to check those final cling-ons off my to-do list. Time to do every last thing that every other parent keeps insisting I’ll never have time to do once baby arrives.
The most wonderful thing about trying to ramp up productivity at this particular moment in time is that there’s no time for perfectionism (hallelujah!). And really, it’s the ideal time to set very ambitious goals for myself – considering that I have every excuse in the book if I don’t get them done. All those hours of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation ahead of me means I won’t even have to feel guilty – bonus!
I started this blog last spring with several lofty ambitions, but the one that’s closest to my heart is finding a way to take what I’ve learned over the years through journaling and find a way to share it with others. Over the past several months of pregnancy, other ‘nesting’ duties like preparing a nursery, learning to decipher endless lists of baby gear terminology and decluttering every nook and cranny of the house have come and gone from my list with more urgency, but now that those tasks are complete, I realize that with motherhood around the corner, sharing life lessons is more important than ever.
So two days ago, when “10 days and counting” became my reality, I sprung into action. Well, I guess it was more of a roll off the couch to action, but you get the idea. I decided that the best way to set myself up for success going forward was to be organized before baby arrives. So with the clock ticking, for once in my life, I didn’t overthink what I was doing, I just got started.
Like any multifaceted project, it helped to start with a simple process broken into bite-sized steps – so as not to get overwhelmed and give myself multiple opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment along the way. Productivity inspires productivity, so what works for me is to make it as easy and fun as possible to feel like I’m getting something done.
In a few hours, here’s what I accomplished:
Take all journals out of the cupboard and place a pile in the middle of the room. Smile as you examine the heap and remember all the places those books have traveled. Inhale and sigh remembering the countless memories they hold. The joys and sorrows, smiles and tears, successes and failures. Inhale again and exhale deeply – feeling a great sense of pride for the lessons learned. Grin from ear to ear looking at the book you just started writing in and thinking about the incredible new memories it will hold. Feed your creative spirit by taking fun photos of the pile.
Examine each book individually. Begin the process of arranging books chronologically by noting the dates of each book’s first and last entry. Write this on a sticky note and place on each book. This will help streamline the effort of transferring content to blog posts. Take fun portraits of each book that can be used to organize content online.
Arrange books on shelf in chronological order. Check for gaps in dates to make sure none have been misplaced. Take a total count and number each book with a sticky note placed inside it. In my case, I’ve got 25 completed books beginning in April 1999 and ending November 2014. That realization alone is enough to inspire a sense of productivity and the motivation to figure out the next steps in this process.
Look forward to what tomorrow brings if the clock is still ticking!
For those of us who’ve attempted to learn how to ski or snowboard after the age of thirty and found the whole experience to be, let’s say, less-than-fun, I highly recommend snowshoeing as the perfect alternative. You can still get the fresh air and exercise, and feel you’ve earned your apres-ski time next to the bar and the fire, but without the stress. Instead of feeling frustrated at being the rookie who can’t keep up (and let’s face it, if your friends have been skiing since they were kids, you’re always going to feel that way), terrified about crashing into a tree, dislocating a limb, or getting pegged off by the neophyte snowboarders barreling down the mountain behind you, become an expert at something most of your ski and boarding friends have never tried.
The other major advantage to being a snowshoer instead of a skier or boarder is moving at a pace leisurely enough to capture the stunning beauty of a winter’s day. In my humble opinion, enjoying the outdoors doesn’t get better.
And in case you aren’t familiar with what snowshoes look like these days (I still imagined a tennis racket strapped to my foot), here’s a shot of my rentals from Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah.
And yes, they’re as light and comfortable as they look.
Intrigued? I highly recommend a trip to Solitude’s Nordic Center. They have an extensive plot of easy-to-navigate trails that offer unlimited opportunities to keep yourself entertained as you adventure.
And if you have other snowshoe destination recommendations, I’d love to hear about them!