bonjour from a little cafe in lovingston, virginia. i've just dined on yummy cheese fries, a vegetarian deluxe salad, and a milky way pie - a welcomed respite from the organic frozen meals i've been dining on since returning to the writer's retreat on monday. yum!
got to see the lovely gina (former tranquil space studio director) and her darling husband in charlottesville on my way to the retreat center. she made rice and beans, along with a delightful salad topped with avocadoes and homemade dressing. who makes dressing? i was super-impressed! getting loads of writing done. finished chapter 3, half of chapter 4, and watched a little mind-numbing tv last night to clear my head.
i've received lots of sad news over the past few days that is a reflection of our economy. my college gig and a staple at oklahoma university, harold's, has filed for bankruptcy. i worked at the original location where harold would swing by on occassion. fun memories throwing fashion shows, working midnight madness sales, waking up super-early for inventory (ugh!), and working crazy hours during football game days. the store grew to have 43 locations around the country and it's disheartening to see this midwest institution close. seriously, so sad! this coupled with all the jobs currently being lost and the daily filing of bankruptcy by companies around us (today i found out about one of our site's ecommerce system is going under) is taking its toll. still uber-excited about the change that is to come, but can't help feeling sad about those whose dreaming are coming to a screeching halt in this economy!
how to stay afloat and mindful during this downturn:
1. tighten your belt a little. my fun tarjay runs for random "necessities" are no more. neither are soy chai lattes at starbucks. instead i'm enjoying what i have, paring down, and brewing my own tea at home.
2. keep up your self-care. gotta keep up my monthly pedis, but may limit my manis. yoga, meditation, and an occasional massage are necessities. keep investing in your health. go for a run (free!). take a bath. spend a night in. cook at home.
3. stay informed. keep on top of what is happening, but don't dwell. sure it's the worst downturn since the great depression (or so we're told), but it's critical to stay as positive as possible. this is a great time to make sure ducks are in a row, you're not spending more than you make, you have a nest egg, and you're still saving for retirement even while scrounging to pay your cell phone bill.
4. be grateful. nothing keeps us happier than staying connected to all you have to be grateful for! make a list nightly or at least weekly. especially during these times, it's key to stay mindful of what you have - even if it is as simple as hot water or the love of your pet. thanksgiving is coming at a great time for us all to reflect with extreme gratitude for what we do have.