Month: June 2017


Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Another sunny day, another walk yesterday. Since I won’t have a vehicle in Bali, I’m trying to prepare my feet for all the walking I’ll be doing. More than that, I love the time outside and soaking up the sounds of the birds and seeing what surprises will be in store.

It was Friday evening and as I was walking, I thought back to my experience of going to a movie alone for the first time. A couple years ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead doing something solo on a Friday night! Not even a walk… And here I was a couple years later, walking alone and loving every second of it.

There were a couple occurrences that happened during my walk that made me smile and think. As I got closer to Discovery Park, I saw a woman leaning over a big hole, digging at something. Her dogs immediately came up and invited me to pet them – I happily obliged. I knew it would be odd, and possibly rude, to ask her, “What are you doing?” Strangers just don’t do that. Within seconds, she looked at me and said, “I’m trying to read this meter and I can’t.” Did I accidentally ask my question out loud and not in my head? Funny that I wanted to know and seconds later, I knew. I kneeled down and helped her scrape off the dirt, telling her it might help to add moisture to clean it more. She licked her thumb and it did become cleaner, but she still couldn’t see the numbers. She asked if I had good eyes. I felt silly thinking that if I told her I had good eyes and couldn’t read the numbers, I’d be a fraud. So I didn’t say anything, got closer, and was relieved when I could see the numbers clearly. Yes, still good eyes.

All the sudden a little boy came running out asking what we were doing. His well-dressed mother came chasing after him, but was also curious what we were doing. Both of the women asked if I lived in the neighborhood and I said I was only dogsitting. The house we were standing in front of had just been sold and the mother of the boy happened to be the new tenant. Houses in Magnolia are not cheap, and the way she was dressed and perfectly polished, I knew she would have been shocked if I had said I lived in Magnolia. She was new to the neighborhood, so I could see her excitement meeting her new neighbor. She apologized for her son running up to us and mentioned that “he isn’t supposed to go past the mailbox.” I looked at where the bright red mailbox was and it was about 30 feet up from the sidewalk. At this point, I knew it was my time to continue on my walk. The two new neighbors were starting a connection and I needed to shake my head at the thought that we live in a time when kids are so constricted, the sidewalk is off limits.

I began my journey through Discovery Park and wondered where I’d end up. The North Bluff? The Lighthouse? I was ready to discover Discovery Park. No constrictions about it.

After several forks in the path, I ended up on the beach. Of course I’d end up by the water. And of course I’d end up face to face with a Great Blue Heron.

Blue Herons are extremely special to me. A couple years ago, I was asked what my “spirit animal” was. Spirit Animal? What kind of hocus pocus is that? The person who asked me said that your spirit animal is an animal you relate to and is an “otherworldly guide.” There aren’t online tests to figure out what your spirit animal is, you just know. It’s based on a feeling. For me, it was fun figuring it out.

At first, I immediately said what a lot of people tend to say when they’re discovering what their spirit animal is: “I’m a dog! Friendly, energetic, and happy!!” But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I was a bird. For a while I was convinced I was either a raven or an owl. I have an odd fascination with ravens or crows because they’re intelligent and have an interesting folklore. I read a Native American myth called, “Rainbow Crow” and felt like it could be my spirit animal. But it still didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to be an animal that people were always irritated with. I know, it’s weird that I took this so seriously, but hey, that’s just who I am.

Then I went on my first solo hike and came across the most beautiful owl. “Hmmmm, perhaps I’m an owl,” I thought. I loved that they represent wisdom, but they also happen to symbolize death, don’t live near water, and they’re nocturnal. I love owls, but I am not one. Back to the drawing board.

It was a walk around Greenlake when it finally hit me. I ran into my favorite bird, a Blue Heron. My spirit animal is a Blue Heron, no question about it. I was surprised it took me so long to figure it out. It just felt right. I’ve always loved the Greenlake Heron and I get excited every time I see one of these majestic birds. I loved the fact that Herons aren’t easily found, they represent patience, and they always seem to be soaking up the sun. Not to mention, they’re blue – my favorite color and the color of my eyes.

After I figured out what my spirit animal is, I did a little research on them and what they symbolize. It all made sense.

When I reached the beach in Discovery Park and watched the Blue Heron standing in the sunlight while the tide was coming in, I realized I was doing the same thing as my favorite bird. Peacefully standing in the water, enjoying and observing, letting the sun warm us up.

What’s your spirit animal?

Blue Heron Symbolism:

You love to explore various activities and dimensions of Earth life. On the surface, this may seem like a form of dabbling, but more than likely you are wonderfully successful at being a traditional ‘Jack of all trades’.

This ability enables you to follow your own path. Most people will never quite understand the way you live because on the surface it seems to be unstructured without stability or security to it. It is, though, just a matter of perspective. There is security underneath it all, for it gives you the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way does not work, then another will. This is something you seem to inherently know.

You do not seem to need a lot of people in your life, nor do you feel pressured to keep up with the material world, or to be traditional in your life roles. You stand out in your uniqueness, and you know how to snatch and take advantage of things and events that the average person would not even bother with.

More To You That You Have Yet To Know

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Everything just seems to be better when you’re on a staycation.

This past week while dogsitting has been full of relaxation, movies, quality friend time, and of course my love, Abby.

And don’t forget, SLEEP.

What is it about getting away from my normal routine that makes me want to cook more (thanks to Heather for inspiring me with her cooking!), walk more, and relax more? I love my apartment, but when I take a step back and look at it, it all makes sense why I’ve always felt a little trapped. I live on the ground floor, middle unit, with I-5 constantly buzzing across the street and the blinds shut for privacy, blocking all light.

It’s been tough reaching that place of ‘zen’ while packing and preparing to move. The stress of wrapping things up at work and trying to knock everything off my to-do list is pretty exhausting. I can’t do too much on my to-do list while I’m dogsitting, so I’m taking full advantage of this time “off.”

I came across a quote that my friend recently sent me and it tickled those zen gears in my brain that I’ve been having trouble reaching lately. Sometimes all it takes is a cuddle with Abby and a profound quote that reminds me that there is so much more to come. Everything is all a part of the process, the good and the stressful.

There are stars you haven’t seen and loves you haven’t loved. There’s light you haven’t felt and sunrises yet to dawn. There are dreams you haven’t dreamt and days you haven’t lived and nights you won’t forget and flowers yet to grow. There is more to you that you have yet to know.
-Gaby Compres

Isn’t life grand??

Welcome to Zen.

Chance Encounter

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017


I scrolled through Facebook this morning and I came across a familiar face: Marilynn. Marilynn was the one I wrote about who I met at Pike Place Market and told me about the long path that leads to a rose garden. I remember when I saw her later in the morning by the Sculpture Park, she said that she couldn’t believe how open she was with me about her life. She felt embarrassed but I assured her that there was nothing to be embarrassed about and I was honored to hear her story.

It’s important for people to talk openly and honestly, strangers included. I think there’s something about our eyes, as strange as this may sound, that helps us connect. As soon as I look someone in their eyes, I get a feeling of whether I can trust them or not, instantaneously. Do you ever get that feeling? I trusted Marilynn and she trusted me, which generated a beautiful conversation. These types of encounters remind me that we’re all human, that we all have many struggles and many blessings, but most importantly, that we’re all in this crazy game called “Life” together. She told me that when her house was taken away from her, she wondered if something good would come from it. It was a devastating time for her, but if it weren’t for that experience, she wouldn’t be living in Pike Place Market now with a supportive community and the waterfront as her backyard. We both talked about the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” It’s through conversations that this phrase is proven time and again. I knew there was a reason Marilynn and I were supposed to meet…

Walks and Talks

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Things are picking up… I’ve somehow managed to not get too overwhelmed with everything going on. I have faith that anxiety won’t strike me. I’ve been relatively productive with packing amidst the chaos; just like anything else, mentally preparing is what is preventing me from getting too stressed. I knew June would be a crazy month and this is being proven correct. My friend is staying with me for a couple nights so that made me hustle to make a big dent in packing. Knowing I have two weeks of dogsitting limits my time to continue the process of moving, so the pressure is on. Plus, it’s been extremely hard packing while the weather has been so nice so I walked the Lake about 5 times this past weekend to take little breaks (and to escape my noisy neighbor). Then today I offered to have my family friend who had a stroke stay at my place while I’m dogsitting. He can’t be on his boat for a while, so my place it is. Before he “moves in,” that’ll be even extra motivation to get things packed and out. Goodwill, I’m comin’ for ya!

But the best motivation in the world??? FINALLY BEING AWAY FROM NOISY NEIGHBOR!

7 more nights in my apartment and I’ll be FREE! I cannot express the excitement I have just thinking about finally getting a full night’s sleep. Like clockwork, I woke up to a large thud at 5am this morning – it’s almost as if he wakes up and says, “Let’s jump out of bed and stomp on the floor to wake Andrea up!” 7. More. Nights.

During these hectic days, it’s important for me to take breaks and breath. I walked over 25 miles this past weekend because walking is when I feel calmest. So when a couple of my friends asked if I wanted to walk the lake, I happily obliged. Taking advantage of every moment I can while I’m still a few blocks away from the Lake. I  also happened to have several fascinating conversations with some unique strangers during my solo walks this weekend.

My favorite snippets:

  • Mary: “I visited a psychic and he told me the planet is going through a transition. The third eye is meeting the crown chakra and everyone is becoming more intuitive. People are tuning into themselves and becoming more aware.” Hmmmm, I don’t really think this is wrong…
  • Overheard: “Technology is wiping out our brains!”
  • Chandler: “I wish people would like me for me and not because I drive a Bentley or own a house on Mercer Island.” I replied to him that maybe he shouldn’t bring those things up in the first conversation… Made me laugh.
  • Marilynn: I was at Pike Place Market and Marilynn and I started talking by the Fish Wall. She lives in the senior housing development and she told me her story of how she ended up there. We talked for about a half hour and then she started her morning walk. She told me about the path that walks along the Olympic Sculpture Park and continues along the water, ending up by a rose garden. I’ve been to the sculpture park many times, but never beyond it. I told her I would check it out. After I wandered through the Market before it woke up, I decided to do the walk (hint: if you go the Market before 8am on a Sunday, you’ll have the gum wall and fish all to yourself). I ran into Marilynn again as she was returning and she gave me a big hug and said, “You were serious!” Guess I am serious about my walks… How had I never done this walk before?? I was blown away by the small rose garden. I was grateful for that encounter.

I reflect on these moments and especially my times alone in my current city and feel peace. This is a wild month and there are no signs of slowing down. That’s why walks are essential – seems like time doesn’t exist while I’m walking and looking at the world around me. Maybe this is what that psychic was talking about…

Flow Mo

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Weather Education Day with the Mariners was a SUCCESS!

I arrived to Safeco and there were already kinks we had to iron out. Incorrect logo on the big screen, late guests, misplaced parking pass, busses full of kids stuck in traffic, and a delayed start.

But my partner with the Mariners and I just went with the flow. It was amazing how great it all turned out because our blood pressure never went up, we never panicked, we simply rolled with the punches. It turned out to be an amazing program with thousands of excited kids. And I loved seeing the giddiness on Steve and Shannon’s faces when they were given custom Mariners bobble heads! At the end of the program, the roof opened and the sun beamed down on everyone for a fun day game.

Note to self: Mo, always always always go with the flow.

Bring it On

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

I can’t believe it’s JUNE!!

In the next two months, I’ve got 9 work events that I’ll either be managing or participating in… On top of the events, I’ll be packing, moving, dogsitting, training my replacement, and trying to fit in quality time with family and friends.

It would be so easy for me to be overcome with anxiety. But I’m not going to let that happen! One day at a time. And any time I do get a little bout of stress, I’ll just picture myself on the beach with a Bintang in hand. It’ll all get done, no matter what.

Today is the first event of 9: Weather Education Day with the Mariners. I have a good feeling it’ll go smoothly and the kids attending will be happy!

Bring. It. On.