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Hiking a Hidden Trail

Driving through the middle of town, one would never guess the splendors of the trails available. We were in Eureka, CA, for the day and were seeking adventure. I wanted something a bit different, so I searched some recommendations on-line. Not being familiar with town, I saw pictures of McKay Community Forest and was immediately attracted to the lush forest, various trail options, and comments from visitors. We plugged the address (3110 Harris St, Eureka, CA) into our map app and set course.

As we neared the destination my boyfriend, Rich, kept saying that I must have the address wrong. We were almost to our destination, yet still in town. Houses and businesses surrounded us. I checked and re-chechecked and was not mistaken. We drove down our destined street and nothing jumped out at us to be this amazing trail head. Suddenly Siri announced we passed our destination and needed to turn around. Rich and I looked at each other and looked around the street questioning where this place was… Still nothing stood out as our destined stop.

As we followed the navigations once again, we came upon a small entry to a trail. It was nothing special, but it did look a bit like one of the pictures I had seen on the internet. Rich and I looked at each other, shrugged, and decided, “why not… we are here… let’s give it a go. If it’s real bad we can try another trail.”

We parked the car, headed to the trail and started heading away from the road. Not too far from the road we were amazed to find what seemed like 100’s of acres of forest. Pure, untouched forest. We got to a point where we could stay on a semi-paved path and have an easy walk or make a left and start a light climb up and have a more adventurous light hike in the pines. We opted for the hike and were so glad we did…

As we got up into the pines the temperature dropped even more than the already cool coastal weather we were in. The trail was fairly smooth, with a few roots to watch out for. Amongst the pines were the old remnants of redwoods that had been left behind from loggers of yester-years. And everywhere the eye could see were ferns. It is definitely a coastal paradise and a reminder that not too far north from this area is where Jurassic Park was filmed. You could almost expect to have a velociraptor pounce on you as you made your way down the trail.

We journeyed along for quite some time on the upper trail and it met back up with the semi-paved road. We took that out and again made a left and followed that nearly all the way out to the back fence-line. Along this area we saw a meandering creek and lots of tall weeds. We could hear the bull frogs if we listened hard enough and as we neared the fence line we got back in touch with civilization as we could see a road and heard traffic noise.

We turned around and headed back towards the tree line and meandered down some more paths. We came along some houses and it is in this area that you will find some “No Trespassing” signs. After further investigation (upon my return home) I found out that the trail system consists of 1,000 acres of land that was acquired from Green Diamond Logging Company. The residents around the area have some concerns about what a park of that magnitude would do to their neighborhood, so it is best to be mindful and respectful of their property.

Overall, McKay Community Forest was a beautiful trail and one that I strongly recommend to fellow hikers and travelers. I would love to go back and explore different trails within the area and see what I have missed. I think that Eureka has a hidden treasure on their hands that will not be hidden for too much longer. It’s just one more reminder that adventure is out there and it’s time to uncover your joy.

~amiee

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Cinco de Try-O

I can go two ways… I’m either all in or all out. I never seem to be able to find the middle ground on anything. You know… balanced. The thing I am not, although I would like to find it!

I flipped the calendar over and lo and behold we are already into May. My days run together right now since I have nowhere to go and no one to see. What better time to start practicing some new tools.

Here’s a little self-disclosure… I have fallen into a bit of a funk lately. I was recently laid off due to the pandemic so I have found myself with a lot of time to be in my head. If you know me, you realize that’s not always the safest neighborhood to be in! To top it off, I decided to isolate in my dark room and do an indefinite Netflix marathon. I would come out long enough for the occasional Starbucks or Wal Mart run. Depression set in.

Here we are… time for a change, but with a twist! And what better time than right around Cinco de Mayo. So I set daily goals. I started out with things like drinking at least 80 oz of water per day, then added daily walks, then added my nightly check in, and today I made a to-do list….

You may be wondering where the Cinco de Try-O comes in… well, being the OCD person that I am, I have a tendency to set myself up for failure. I will set high goals and if I don’t succeed then I quit because I hate to lose. (Silly logic, but quitting isn’t losing, it’s just quitting!)

Today as I was out for my walk I realized that I am going to TRY my best… I had 13 items on my “to do” list just for today (and this was not one of them). Some of them were quite simple, like “tacos for dinner” and “drink 5 bottles of water”. What I realized is that I don’t have to kill myself to get them all done. I can go to bed with the one item not completed, and put it on tomorrow’s list… and I didn’t fail.

To some that be a no brainer, but to me that’s a big step forward. Instead of moving it to tomorrow’s list I would typically throw the list away and never complete my goals. I am learning grace and acceptance and allowing myself to be human. Balance.

P.S. the other hidden gem (although I really hate to admit this) is that since I have been walking my depression has been lifting. It’s that dirty little secret that you have to listen really close for. Even my dog is happier.

So if you want to uncover some joy go out and get some fresh air. Write a to do list and give yourself some grace when you leave things undone. Tomorrow is another day!

~amiee

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New Reality

Today is a new day. I woke up and my new reality set it. The world has set its course on a new trajectory…

It still startles me at times to go to the market and wait in line just to be able to walk inside the store. To walk around the aisles and see so many shoppers wearing masks. To be told that I am not allowed to eat my meal in the place I just purchased it, and they still don’t know when they can let me. My favorite little stores aren’t open and I fear they may never have the opportunity to do so again.

This has hit me a little too personally, as well. Out of work and a bit nervous that opportunities won’t present themselves in time. Taking extreme measures in the job market and applying for jobs that will take me to a new reality…

Isolation sets in. Being told to have limited contact with people and so many take that seriously. Ties are cut by others. Doing what can be done to stave off depression. Exercise, writing, being as active as I can with my mind, body, and spirit…

We will never be the way we used to be. We must push on and hope that this will grow us to something better. I want to continue to uncover my joy… I can’t bear to lose it anymore.

~amiee

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Self Love

For far too long I have settled… Settled for the crumbs of second best. Waiting ever so patiently for someone to take notice of me. Giving more in many ways. Sitting back and watching as those around jump up for others while they make little to no effort for me.

I grew up in that atmosphere and I tend to attract it. It is an amazing epiphany to find the light. To have my eyes open and see the truth.

I won’t cast blame on others. There is a powerful saying “you teach others how to treat you.” Perhaps I had little to no choice as a child but I do now.

Healing will not be an easy process. This first step has been remarkable and will make a huge impact on my journey. I have been journaling daily and writing lists of qualities I want in those around me. I take those lists and absorb those into goals of who I want to grow to be myself.

Self love is a great attribute. When I don’t love and value myself it opens the doorway for others to devalue me. I will never be able to allow love in or feel safe enough to show others the real me.

I also realize that it’s okay to let others go. Some people are only here for a season. This is my only chance at life and I want it to be the most amazing one ever. I want to be surrounded by love and by people who will fight my battles with me, not against me.

Today I set out to uncover my joy…

~amiee

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Frenzy

Day 3 of the frenzy… what kind of chaos are we living in? I walk into the stores and the shelves are a barren wasteland. The lines at the gas stations are beginning to look like this from the 1970’s gas rationing days. I can’t help but wonder why? Should I be concerned? Am I under-reacting? Over reacting? Sometimes I just don’t know.

I realize that I need to continue to have faith… that no matter what happens, all will be okay. It’s an ironic thought because it hits me in so many areas of my life. So I think about the panic. The mass purchasing. It’s about control. I can’t control the media portrayal of this virus and I can’t control the spread of it, so I control how I prepare for it. And so many people react by stockpiling. Toilet paper, water, canned goods, medicines… preparing for the Armageddon they fear is coming.

In reality they are manifesting this Armageddon because they are becoming a prisoner of the fear. Soon they will be a prisoner in their home.

What is it that I am in fear of and manifesting? Holding on so tightly to situations and to people that I try to control outcomes and instead of making happily ever afters I prepare for my own natural disasters. I see the train wreck happening yet I can’t seem to get out of my own way.

So here I am… picking up the shovel to dig deeper. It’s a trap… I’m slowly starting to see that. I don’t really need to dig deeper, I need to bind it all up and let it fly away in a magical balloon. To let go will give me the ultimate freedom. To trust that I don’t need to know more… that is true freedom. Yet I struggle with allowing myself to give in to that.

I feel the tension in myself. For myself and towards myself. It’s a frightening feeling. I want to find the joy. To release it and be free. To know me is to love me… but first I need to find me.

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Grief

Grief comes like a thief in the night. You never know when it will attack and exactly what it will take from you. It permeates into the deepest depths of the soul and steals joy and peace in one silent move.

Eight years ago today my mother took her last breath. It was expected, yet how can death fully be embraced and desired?

Throughout most days the passing of my mom is a bittersweet memory. But as the anniversary draws near each and every year I feel a shift in the core of my being. I travel back to the day she died.

I know that today will pass. I will get through it and all will be well. I write here since I still can’t seem to say certain things aloud and admit to the world what is truly going on deep inside.

To go through the sorrow allows me to know joy. And that is what I want to continue uncovering…

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Quiet the Thoughts…

As I am waking up this morning I have that bit of trepidation. Last night was a bit rough. For some reason I tossed and turned. It’s not like me, I typically sleep relatively well. I had time to sleep in this morning, but instead chose to do some reading and writing.

Looking into it a bit deeper, I suspect it has to do with changes. I want to say the hormonal changes of aging… hot flashes, peri-menopause, all that fun stuff. But instead I believe it is circumstances that arise as situations unfold.

Instead of beating around the bush further, I will lay my cards out… I have the unpleasant task of determining if someone stays within our department, or ultimately leaves our company.

At times it looks like an easy choice. And then I take a personal approach and realize this is someone’s livelihood…

YesterdayI put it in black and white. I went line by line with all staff to see how everyone compares. Appointment by appointment, duty by duty…

That muddied the waters a bit. It’s not so clear cut at that point. So more work has to be done. In a way I am grateful I am not making a rash decision, but I can’t prolong it, either.

These thoughts wrestle around in my brain, so I read and I write. And my reading reminds me that if I sit quietly and be still, perhaps that intuitive thought may come. The answer may come if I can quiet my brain enough and listen for it.

That’s the goal today. To seek some peace and quiet as I go through my work day. These things always work out. I will continue to uncover my joy as I journey down my road…

~ amiee

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Truth Uncovered

I ran over to my blog with a desperate urge to spew out my thoughts. I want to angrily type out what I just read. How we tear each other apart instead of stand together. How THAT is the problem. Why can’t they see it… when we continually attack each other and berate one another, we continue to go down the drain instead of coming together in a united front.

And then it hit me… I was doing the same thing… by judging them and wanting to come here and call them out, I was going to do the same exact thing…

Pride, ego… is it me wanting to make myself look better… that I am more grandiose and on a higher plane than the rest of the world? Please!

Kum-ba-ya! Let’s just let others live. I want to love and be loved. I want the best for those around me and the only way this will happen is for me to assume the best and see the best in them. This is so much harder than it seems!

I’m learning to stop the poison pen… to stop my venomous tongue from lashing out. When my thoughts go dark, I “flip my script” and go as positive as possible.

It’s so important that I emit as much love as possible. I want to continue to uncover joy in my life so you will also have more joy in yours!

~amiee

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Be True

Sometimes I get off track… I have these brilliant ideas to write for the masses in hopes to make it big. That I will “be discovered” and get to “quit the day job” and do this for the rest of my life.

I have dreams of traveling around in a little RV… Pulling into various towns and blogging about all the unusual places and people I come across. But I can’t quite seem to find my niche writing like that yet. So here I am… Writing about my rambling thoughts.

Shakespeare once said, “to thine own self be true”, and that’s what I have to continually remind myself. Whenever I attempt to force my writing it seems forced. We all see it, we feel it. It’s almost painful to read.

It’s actually almost painful to write. And that makes me sad. I have these thoughts and ideas floating in my head and I can’t quite get them down on the screen.

I suspect that when the time is right it will happen. It’s like a Japanese proverb. I sometimes feel that is how I write and that is how I speak… one proverb after another.

For now I will stick to what I feel comfortable with. I will not force it. I will let the words flow out. They are cathartic as they flow through me. Bit by bit I am able to uncover the joy.

~amiee

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Adventure is out there!

Challenge accepted… Five places I want to visit… and go! So get in, sit down, and buckle up. We are in for the “road trip of a lifetime”!

I’m not quite sure I have a particular order for my list, but we will be going from one extreme to another. And the top of my list is: Ireland!

County Cork, Ireland (photo Courtesy Pinterest)

County Cork, Ireland… picturesque, Quaint. What more could you ask for? Magical, fairytale village that whisks you back in time. This actually does too my bucket list. Anywhere in Ireland does, actually. To be amongst my distant relatives and enjoy a day in their life. It really would be a dream come true.

Machu Pichu, Peru

Machu Pichu, Peru comes in a close second after Ireland… one of those once hidden gems, Machu Pichu is now rather touristy in nature, with thousands of visitors per day traipsing through the ruins. I still find it fascinating and would love the opportunity to hike around and perhaps get up close to an authentic Peruvian llama.

It would be a dream come true to hike in to Machu Pichu on the Incan Trail… with six months notice and approximately $500 for the tour, I can apply for 1 of the 200 daily slots. Perhaps one day I will mark this off my list!

Fall Foliage and Covered Bridges New England Style (courtesy of Pinterest)

Bringing it closer to home is trip number three… A fall foliage and covered bridges road trip in New England.

I think it would be amazing to take a long weekend or a a full week to drive around New England and explore the beauty of the historical bridges and be amazed by the glorious fall colors.

Mount Rushmore, Montana

Call me patriotic, call me sentimental… but I really want to see these four heads! Not to mention the work in progress statue of Crazy Horse that is not too far from Mount Rushmore. it has been a dream of mine for quite some time and I believe it is becoming closer to reality. To think that all of this has been made by dynamite and chiseling is just inspiring.

The final item on my top five is located across the northern border into Canada. Dear sweet Victoria, Canada.

High Tea, Empress Hotel, Victoria Canada

High tea at the Empress Hotel…. if I could cross that off my bucket list, I do think my life would be complete. Even a day trip into Victoria from my favorite city of Seattle would make this trip work it. One day I will make it. My dreams will become reality!

So there you have it… my top five. They turned out to be in a rather specific order. I believe that one day I will cross each and every one of these items off my list. I will continue to uncover my joy, and I challenge you to do the same!

~Amiee

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The Road to Joy

In 1915 Robert Frost wrote one of his most famous poems ever. It started out merely as a joke to one of his dear friends and walking buddies, Edward Thomas, who often-times was unable to decide which path to go down on their afternoon strolls.

“The Road not Taken” has been quoted in graduation speeches, motivational mantras and so much more. We will hear it misquoted as “the road less travelled”, which has a similar, but different connotation. I have quoted it myself, sometimes correctly, but more often not.

In case you have never read or heard it I want to put it here for you to read.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost – written in 1915.

As I read the history and how Frost really meant it… as a joke to his friend who could never make you his mind on their walks… I realized something…

We spend so much time worrying about taking the road less travelled. That it’s important to be different. Find what makes us unique. But we miss the boat. Frost wrote this to his friend as a tongue-in-cheek poem and even Edward Thomas to it so serious. He wrote Frost back thanking him for his deep words. But in reality I think the truth is deeper. It doesn’t matter which road we take, what matters is we keep moving forward. We get out there and walk! We push forward on either road. Because that is where the reward comes in. Most likely I have never been on either of these roads… it only says that others have travelled on them.

I think that’s the beauty of these words. After all this time I am seeing a bit more clearly. I just need to move forward. Travel any road I come to. Turning right or left will still lead me to an adventure. I will uncover joy no matter which road I go down.

Thank you Mr. Frost! Nearly 105 years later and your words speak even louder than before!

~amiee

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Purpose

Memories on Facebook… sometimes good and sometimes oh, so bad! Today this is what popped up as I opened my timeline up… “Do not let your present day circumstances or hardships which are overwhelming let you ever forget that God has a purpose and plan for your life.”

Can I tell you how blessed I am? For years, as in over one third of a century, I spent so many days crying out to God, “why have you failed me? What did I do to deserve this life?” If I am truly honest about the timeline, it is probably closer to half a century. 😳.

Today I am learning to dance in the rain. To enjoy life wherever I am at. To see failures as learning opportunities to bring me closer to success.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times I want to give up. I will shake my fist at God and be angry, but I find that dancing in the rain is far more fun than walking through it with my head down and scurrying to my car.

That is where the trust comes in. The faith that no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay. I look at my life and see that so far that has been the case. My life has not been on the trajectory I had planned, but it has all worked out. And with my story, I can hopefully help others.

I find that I am blessed. Most moments I am happy, which means that nearly everyday ends up being a good day! My attitude on life has changed. I am continuing to uncover joy wherever I go.

~amiee

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Foggy with a Chance of Clouds

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just going through it in such a way that you are not even quite sure you put your underwear on that morning? Well, sometimes I feel that’s how my life is… foggy with a chance of clouds.

If you’ve been on my blog and read through more than one of my posts you know that I spend time working and reflecting on me. I want to get out of the dark clouds and have the fog lifted. I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my underwear are in place.

So today I am once again trudging a new path. Seeking to be healthier, happier, and clearer. More woke, as some might say.

As I began my day I refreshed in to some Pi-yo. Warming up my body in ways I hadn’t felt in quite a long time helped focus my mind on the day ahead. Limited coffee and a chat with a friend rounded out a renewing morning.

Throughout the day I enjoyed reaching out to others to see how I could help. Taking a few extra minutes to ensure that my patients were leaving my office satisfied with their care. Meeting with staff and checking in to ensure their needs were being met. Actively listening to concerns.

I had some wonderful moments of deep breathing, all the way down to my lower abdomen. Filling my lungs as deep as I could so my entire body was extremely well oxygenated and ready to soar. I just felt marvelous.

To top the night I had an evening with the ladies. Normally we would call it Bible study, but half the group was missing so we had catch up night and spent the evening chatting. It was the perfect way to end a good day.

And in case you’re wondering… today the clouds were lifted and the fog was nowhere to be found. I knew the undies were safely in place. It was a good Monday… who would’ve thought! I’m making the most of it.

I have room for improvement. Still more work on nutrition and sleep. Always there… but I am a work in progress. I see my improvements. I am excited to see I am forward moving. I will uncover more joy no matter how hard it is.

~amiee

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New Year… New Me?

So here it is… launch day. I missed my lunch today, so I really wish it was lunch day, but I did say launch. My first real blog entry. I have been saying I would do this for months and it’s finally time…

The reason for now is the new year. New year, new me, new decade. Blah, blah, blah. How many times have you heard this before? I’ve heard it, said it, internalized it and sometimes wanted to vomit it back at you. But something has told me that this time it must be different.

You know, I can tell you the same spiel as the next person. “I’ve been through so much… if you’ve had the stress I’ve had, you would put it off… if you had to deal with this situation, you would feel the way I do.” But those are such self defeating lies I tell myself. I get so tired of living in that mindset. So it’s time to do something about it.

As we started approaching the new year I started looking at ways to make 2020 my best year yet. I’m so introspective, so it was time to start some research.

Word of the year! That’s it! I started some meditation. About 10 minutes a day of guided exercises focusing on finding some inner peace. Then I did some journaling to focus on some goals for 2020. I listed the top 10 things I hoped to achieve in the next year.

As I worked my way through this process I started making a list of words that started to resonate with the journey I desired my year to go on… and ultimately the word Intentional selected me…

I want to be intentional in 2020. The choices I make, the things I do, and the way I lead my life should be intentional and lead me in the direction that brings me joy and peace. It’s such an important goal for me.

As I settled into this word and wore it around for a few days I realized how well it fit… so many things fit in with intentional.

Just today I had one of those silly Facebook games come up on my feed, and wouldn’t you know it was a “word of the year” selection. I decided to play and the word it chose for me was “Bloom”. I feel it goes along with intentional, because I can not bloom if I am not intentional with my gardening.

I am excited for to be in this new decade and back in the Roaring ‘20’s! I hope you have an opportunity to choose your own Word of the Year and keep moving forward on your own life path!

Enjoy uncovering your very own joy.

💕amiee💕

Ms. Pelosi… Open Us Up!

Dear Ms. Pelosi,

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fan of yours. I did not vote for you, nor do I think I ever would, even though I am in your home state. And after what I have seen from your behavior in the face of this “pandemic”, I will do everything in my power to vote you out of office in future elections.

I believe that you are holding this country hostage. Yourself and other lawmakers like you that have this zeitgeist attitude that we, the people of this great nation, can no longer make qualified decisions on our own behalf, and that we should have no say in our economic and health future.

Once again I see you shrieking in glee that you and “your party” will not help those that you have imprisoned in this economic crisis… you put America on lockdown, you refuse to let industries open and function freely so millions can go back to work… and now you gleefully cry out that you want “more and more and more” from the president and the stimulus bill that you hold in limbo.

Let me speak for myself… Eight months ago I was living the American dream. I had a good job and was looking around to see if it would be advantageous to make a career move. I have worked my way into an economic position that I am a home owner, I have standard bills, I am a mid-level professional, and I made a leap to finish my education to enhance my earning potential.

Seven months ago paranoia started and the isolations began. Businesses had to re-structure, but I was one of the lucky ones… As a healthcare worker, I was considered essential, and had continued work. Until I didn’t. Six months ago it hit me… my department (health education) was laid off permanently as a direct result of Covid-19 and the stay at home orders. I was immediately unemployed at 38% of my current salary. I thank God there was the extra Covid stimulus package in place.

Over the past six months I have submitted over 150 resumes and applications. I have had 6 follow ups on those with no job offers. The stimulus dollars are gone, the presidential band aid is gone, and now Congress is keeping myself and millions of other Americans on hold as they play their political games during an election year.

To top it off, dear Nancy, you showed myself and others how safe it is to be out and about in this world without a mask when you decided to go to the beauty parlor and walk around with your mask around your neck. How dare you! The average American is sitting with their life on hold and you get to use your political clout to play spa day and then blame Trump for setting you up? Oh, and let’s not forget that your longtime hair stylist has now joined those of us “on the dole” since your loyal followers threatened her enough that she had to close her doors.

I’m done, Nancy. I’m tired of people like you who say you have our best interests at heart when you are really out for yourself. Stop making this about politics and do this for the people! Open up the businesses, settle on a manageable stimulus, let us move forward! It’s time!

Fear

Sometimes I get high strung… to the point that I can literally make myself sick. It’s rather silly. I want to do so many things, but when it actually comes time to do them, I get paralyzed with nerves, fear, and general malaise.

It happened again this weekend. I had been asked to do a speaking event and I was glad to be asked. I really like the thought of doing it, but as the date gets nearer I always start doubting myself… I’m not good enough, my story won’t sound strong enough, I won’t be articulate enough, and on and on.

When I woke up this morning I was so sick. I wanted to stay in bed until the end of time. I wanted to call of my engagement. Yet I couldn’t. Not because I didn’t try, but because I was told by others it wasn’t an option.

As the time draws closer I start to prepare. I take time to meditate, reach out to others, get a bit more rest. I will get ready and make my way to the event.

I’m sure all will go well. I have tools to get it done. I’m blessed to be where I am. I love to uncover the joy and share with others.

~amiee