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On Mini-adventures & Gratitude

Longview WA

Last week, we drove to Longview, WA to visit our friend Majean. The road trip was fun and it made me miss the Pacific Northwest. The landscape surrounding Red Bluff is beginning to turn brown, so seeing green trees and escaping the heat made me smile. Also, the trip helped me get out of my head and into the world. I love exploring new cities and connecting with friends because it sparks my creativity. For example, while we were in Longview we decided to take a day trip to Astoria, OR and I ended up having a serendipitous chat with Tara Gentile and Adam King, at Street 14 Coffee. Plus, I had time to brainstorm ideas for my photography e-course and I took lots of photos.

In addition to brainstorming sessions and coffee drinking, we spent our time eating luscious cupcakes, salads with homemade poppyseed dressing, and walking in the park. One of my favorite parts of the trip was an evening dinner at a small bistro in downtown Longview. During dinner, we talked about downsizing and told stories about my step-dad, Mahlon, and our friend Nils.

The one-year anniversary of Mahlon’s death is approaching quickly and Nils died three months ago. During our trip, it felt odd not having Nils and Mahlon around. The trip brought up a lot of emotions including sorrow, joy, and feelings of gratitude. In “Resilience” the authors talked about gratitude as a form of reappraisal. They explained, “A surprisingly high percentage of people who survive a major crisis later describe the crisis as having affected their lives positively . . . Individuals who reframed a crisis positively were less likely to develop post-traumatic stress symptoms after being exposed to natural disasters, and adjusted better after losing a family member.”

I can relate to this bit of research. During our trip to Longview, Logan and I had a conversation about gratitude. We talked about how making the decision to simplify our lives has given us time to spend with people we love, the flexibility to go on mini-adventures, and boundless gratitude. William Arthur Ward noted, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

Have you taken a mini-adventure recently?

Be well,

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nadya May 22, 2013, 4:16 pm

    I live on a small lake and took my kayak out to explore the shoreline after a long winter stuck indoors. It was a quiet afternoon before most people get home from work so I was able to explore in solitude. It was lots of fun! Your pictures of the picture look lovely.

  • Nadya May 22, 2013, 4:16 pm

    Ack- I meant to say your picture of the park! 🙂

  • Anne-Marie May 22, 2013, 8:17 pm

    I truly understand what you are saying about the green lushness that we don’t have in California. I still miss the lushness from Sweden.
    Different challenges can make us so much stronger. When Michael (my husband) passed away 6 years ago I decided to grow from that experience – which I did.

  • Frank l Modern Monkey Mind May 24, 2013, 8:55 am

    I’ll be heading off on mini adventure of my own tomorrow morning. I’m heading down to Portland to visit some friends from college.

    • Tammy Strobel May 24, 2013, 10:05 am

      Have fun in Portland. 🙂

  • Just Me May 24, 2013, 9:42 am

    Ahh Lake Sacajawea! I live in Longview. I hope you enjoyed your trip. Not sure which bistro you went to but there is a good little place called The Office 842. Great place!

    • Tammy Strobel May 24, 2013, 10:04 am

      @Just Me – It’s called the Bistro Restaurant and Wine Club and it’s next to the Father’s House Church. Longview is a cute little town! 🙂 I adore Lake Sacajawea; it’s such a peaceful park.

      • Just Me May 24, 2013, 11:00 am

        Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  • [email protected] Home May 24, 2013, 9:57 am

    Two weeks ago we went on a day trip to Emmaus, PA. It’s a charming little town. We walked up and down the main street, took pictures, bought vegetables at the local farmer’s market and had spicy olive rolls on a bench in a small park. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon which left us invigorated (as opposed to longer vacations which sometimes can feel draining).

  • Cecile Caple May 24, 2013, 11:15 am

    Hi Tammy, I’ve been away from your blog for a while, this is my first time back in months…. 🙁 I did recommend you to a new friend who is building her tiny house in San Marcos, Texas! And I suspected, you did not disappoint! Lovely pic of the park! The trees – sublime! You are quite the amazing photog! Love and light, from Cissy in Tejas! p.s. today I am hoping to receive some little bottle baby kittens from the shelter! I can’t wait! hahahah – that should keep me busy no doubt, right? ! 🙂

  • Emme May 24, 2013, 12:44 pm

    There is good in everything; sometimes it can be harder to see, but it is still there. Likewise, we have the option of learning and growing from everything that we experience.

  • Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com May 24, 2013, 2:12 pm

    I’m fairly new to your blog but wanted to pop in here with a “Hi!” Sounds like your new mini-adventure was just what you needed. You touched on two things that make my life so great right now: #1 “right sizing”–which I like to call the decision to eliminate the unnecessary in my life; and #2 gratitude–which is always the choice to savor and appreciate the good that I do have. Enjoy the rest of your adventure and I look forward to reading more. ~Kathy

  • Lee May 25, 2013, 5:13 am

    Hi Tammy, I just found your blog and this was my first received post. Very engaging and I’m considering signing up for your next Writing in a Digital Age course. I lost a close family member just over a year ago … thankfully prior to that I found author Stephen Levine who writes about dying, loss and living with a unique and unusual grace as in Unattended Sorrow. He’s a writer’s writer if you don’t know of him and want to check him out. Lee, Nova Scotia, Canada

    • Tammy Strobel May 25, 2013, 7:54 am

      Hi Lee – I’m so sorry for your loss. I haven’t read any books by Stephen Levine, yet. I’ll check out his work. Thank you for the recommendation! I appreciate it. 🙂

      Thanks for reading the blog and for considering my ecourse too.

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