Ok, that was a pretty lame play on words, but since I'm writing about my retreat into silence and solitude AND I captured some bee's on camera, it works. :)
I don't have much to share today except my retreat journal entry for day three, so here goes:
I was up before 5:00 a.m. and raring to go. Coffee in hand, I did one page of morning pages, but most of the wee morning hours were spend mapping out a blog project I’m working on (more on this later). The weather was still cool, but the sun was shining so I put on the warmest shirt I had with me and it was enough.
I walked up the hill to the Templeton Library and snapped some shots of the flowers and the pond. I got some great shots of bumble bees dancing around beautiful lavender blossoms. I was tempted to steal some (lavender not bumble bees) to take back to the hermitage, but I refrained.
I sat on the stone bench by the water side before heading back down to the hermitage for breakfast (same as yesterday). It felt really good to be outside after my day spent indoors.
Once back at the hermitage, I went through the normal breakfast routine. I did some writing, but I found myself really, really tired. So, I actually laid back down to read 11:00 a.m., nodding off immediately and slept until almost 2:00. I suppose I needed it.
After shaking out the cobwebs, I made a meal of broiled beef/veggie cabobs, brussel sprouts, and you guessed it - eggplant tomato stacks. After making this recipe three times I still had eggplant left over that eventually ended up in the trash.
After that, I wiled away the afternoon processing photos and doing some long range planning. There's the blog project that is starting to take shape and I pretty much mapped out an entire plan for it.
I also mapped out a little three-year plan for myself. Why three years? Well, this month I will turn 47 which means I'm 3 years away from the big five-0! We just signed a three year lease on a new office space at work, and we'll be moving before the end of the year. This has reassured me that, in as much as anyone's job is secure these days, there is at least a vision that will keep us going for another three years. So, it seemed logical to think about where I want to be at the end of this period.
As I came within 2-3 years of my 40th birthday, I found myself in a similar mindset. There's just something about closing in on those milestone birthdays that makes one a bit more serious about goals. And, I did accomplish quite a bit during that period leading up to my 40th: I went back to school and finished my degree, lost 120 pounds, and landed the job I have now.
Among the goals I set for the homestretch to 50 include some health and fitness related goals (its always a struggle), writing and publishing my memoir, launching my new blog project, financial goals - particularly getting a year's worth of living expenses saved in case I do end up facing unemployment in three years and/or decide to try my hand at starting my own business, and several specific home improvement projects that MUST be done.
There are also lots of fun things I'd like to try as well as a culminating trip to Italy I would like to take on or near my 50th birthday. I've seen other bloggers come up with lists of things to do before milestone birthdays such as 30 things to do before I'm 30, 40 before 40, etc... I didn't work on this while on retreat, but sometime before my birthday this year, I'd like to compile a list of 50 things big and small I'd like to accomplish or experience before I'm 50. Stay tuned for that.
In the evening, I made one last trip around the grounds and visted the bluff area. The weekend activity at the main facility was just a one day Centering Prayer workshop, so everyone was cleared out by late afternoon. There are so many places to sit and enjoy the view of the valley below: old stone benches, wood benches, and a pavilion nestled in one corner. I sat in the pavilion for awhile and just enjoyed the quiet.
Back a the hermitage, I wasn't feeling well enough to do yoga - really fatigued and sort of achy. I'm not sure what was going on. It may have been pychological as I pulled a tick off my back earlier in the day. I lay down to read and when I turned out the lights for the evening, I had trouble sleeping. Too tired to read, but not able to sleep. That's no fun at all.
I eventually drifted off. This was my last night at the hermitage. The next day was Sunday - checkout at 11:00 a.m.