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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Greetings, dear reader! It is hard to believe that today is officially the last day of summer in the United States. I had a sensational summer and accomplished much of what I included on my Summer 2022 Fun List and from the Summer Bucket List hosted by It’s A Charming Life.

I knew this summer would be a little different than most summers because I was not returning to my job at HGCS in August. Therefore, I packed my summer with a variety of activities that included travel, reading, movies, improv, theatre, getting together with friends, and home improvements.

So, here were the activities on my list, and how I did:

  • Engagement Party for my niece Kaitlyn and her fiancé Marc
  • The Audubon Croppers (TAC) Scrapbooking Event with my scrapbooking gal pals
  • Trip to New York City with Andrew
  • Saenger Theatre in New Orleans to see Hamilton
  • Year of King Project with Kelsi (“The Mist” and “1408,” IT, and Cujo)
  • Slasher Movie Marathon with Kelsi
  • Gardening (front of the house)
  • Sprucing up the Front Porch
  • Home Office Makeover
  • Work on my YouTube Channel (hoping to launch after Labor Day)
  • Audition for The Jungle Book at the Columbia Theatre

We enjoyed a delightful day at my niece’s engagement party. Kaitlyn and Marc’s wedding is at the beginning of March 2023. I attended my annual scrapbooking event with my friends; however, I did not get much done due to forgetting supplies/tools and not being prepared enough. It was still fun to get away and spend time with Shelly, Heather, and Donna. My trip to New York City with Andrew was FANTASTIC! We had a terrific time, and I cannot wait to go back. I really must write some future posts about our adventures. I finally saw Hamilton! I went to New Orleans with Shelly, Kerry, and Andrew, and we saw it at the Saenger Theatre. It was incredible!

Kelsi and I continued our Year of King project throughout the summer. We both participated in a Slasher Movie Marathon, but our schedules could not align to record a wrap-up. I enjoyed most of the movies I put on my list; however, Maniac (1980) and Graduation Day (1981) were a little over the top and not my favorites.

Needless to say, I did not do any gardening this summer, unless you count watering my plants. I want to pull out some overgrown plants in front of my house and redo my garden. I do not know what I was thinking, but July is definitely not the best time to tackle that project. As for sprucing up my front porch, I did not complete that task. I want to pressure wash the siding and paint the shutters. October will be a more favorable month to complete those two projects. The heat had nothing to do with not making over my home office. I decided to tackle other areas of my house first. I will eventually get there.

I have been taking small steps regarding my YouTube channel. I REALLY want to launch my channel with an intro video before October; however, I have a bunch of reading deadlines I need to complete first. I am trying not to stress about it. It will happen. I just need to be patient. As for auditioning for The Jungle Book at the Columbia Theatre, I tabled the idea. I have a bunch going on in my life that I did not feel I could add another thing to my plate. I did get to participate in two readings of the play during the summer. I took an Improv Workshop with Rich Talarico in July. I am currently taking an 8-week Improv Class through Anubis in Metairie. And, I just finished acting in a mystery dinner theatre at the Columbia Theatre. So, I have been doing quite a bit in the acting arena.

All in all, I think I did a pretty good job. I completed almost everything on my Summer Fun List plus enjoyed time with family and friends sprinkled throughout the summer.

  • Times Square in New York City

Additionally, I did some of the activities from the Summer Bucket List which also enriched my summer.

Out of the 10 activities on the Summer Bucket List, I wholeheartedly participated in 6 of them. I am a nature lover, so Nurture in Nature was easy along with Whimsical Wildlife, Floral Frolicking, and Soak up the Sun. Reading is my favorite activity, so I got plenty of Delightful Daydreaming done every day. Ice cream on several occasions, in moderation, fulfilled Cold Confections.

If I would have planned a bit better, I know I could have done all 10 activities on the list. However, it really is not so much about quantity, but more about quality. The activities I participated in brought me lots of JOY.

I’ve included a few photos below that highlight those summer bucket list activities. Taking photographs this summer has been pleasurable. Dear reader, you are welcome to check out more photos I took over the summer on my Instagram (katherineloyacano).

The sun is setting on this year’s summer. While it is hard to say good-bye, this summer had a slow, languorous feel to it. I am fortunate I did not have to go back to school the first week of August. I am grateful my hubby took vacation the week of Labor Day, and we spent it together. I am overjoyed about everything I have experienced this summer season. Happiness!

“When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and, like a dream, glides away.” ~ Sarah Helen Whitman

Note: Photo at the top is by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com.

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This year the summer solstice fell on Friday, June 21st. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the beginning of the summer season.  With that being said, Gretchen Rubin and her sister Liz Craft recommended the following “try this at home” on their most recent episode of Happier with Gretchen Rubin: Celebrate the summer (or winter) solstice by revisiting your one-word theme. My theme for this year is COMMIT. Since the year is almost half over, I thought, why not do a little self-reflection and see how I’m doing.

When I chose the word COMMIT, I thought it would light a fire that would ignite and spread throughout all the different areas of my life. Nah, that has not happened.  While I am not earning high marks in every area, I am earning gold stars in a few of them. I am slowly, but steadily, making strides in my house with purging/organizing the stuff that is in it. My hubby and I are making improvements (painting, making repairs, and buying a new bed). Now that I have a new scrapbook room, I am making the effort to carve out time to organize photos/mementos and to finally finish Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook by the end of the year. I have been taking classes to exercise my acting muscle and have signed up for private coaching sessions. And, I am reading at least one book per month on self-improvement.

Scrapbook -Ireland

The STA group in front of the Springfort Hall hotel that they stayed in on their first night in Ireland, and the group exploring the scenic route known as The Ring of Kerry. 

Where am I falling short? Health and wellness. Self-care. I am not referring to avoiding the doctor or skipping annual exams. I am referring to the day-to-day self-care that could improve my life dramatically. I have not been able to commit to daily exercise or a healthy diet (eating clean). Why? Not sure. Since the beginning of the year, I have started and stopped a million times (hyperbole). Three items on my 19 for 2019 list are connected to this area in my life: #4 Lose 19 pounds.; #5 Go to the gym at least once per week.; and #6 Run a 5K. Meh! Unfortunately, I have not made any strides towards accomplishing those goals.

With regards to my 19 for 2019 list, I have accomplished one ongoing item.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer. Since I was taking auditioning classes with Lance Nichols this month, I thought it would be beneficial to read it. It was an excellent choice. Jenna Fischer is well-known for her role as Pam on The Office. She tells her story about the struggles of becoming an actor with honesty and humor while providing sound advice for beginning actors. How I wish this book had been written years ago when I first started this acting journey! Knowing myself though, I probably would have quit the minute I finished the book. HA! All kidding aside, I consider it a user-friendly reference guide for aspiring actors that I plan to utilize throughout my acting career (no matter how short-lived it may be).

Although I am not accomplishing everything I want or need to accomplish at this moment, I am not going to feel defeated or give up, dear readers. Life is too short, especially at 50 years old. With a bit more self-reflection, I hope to figure out what is obstructing me from moving forward with my health and wellness goals, so I can eliminate it. Have you struggled with any of your goals and figured out how to achieve them? Let me know if you have and how you triumphed. Happiness!

“The truth is: Being an artist is hard. Writing is hard. Acting is hard. Directing is hard. Making music is hard. I know your relatives at home think, How hard can it be? It’s just playing pretend, but it’s hard. Most of the time it will feel like you are pushing a boulder up a mountain. But if you keep going, the muscle that moves you forward will get stronger. You learn to press on even when you don’t want to.” ~ Jenna Fischer, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide 

 

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Hello, my dear readers! Remember me. It has been over a year since my last blog post. I apologize for being away for so long. I have no excuses except that I did not do a terrific job of practicing self-care this past school year. I’m what Gretchen Rubin would call an Obliger. Unless I have something at stake in my areas of self-care, I will make work or family obligations a priority over other areas in my life. This type of prioritization clearly equals burn out. Therefore, this summer I did nothing but practice self-care. Now, on the eve of reporting back to school for workshops, assignment changes, and classroom preparation, I am singing (humming is more like it) the summertime blues. Because for me, the summertime allows a more flexible schedule and the ability to move at a more comfortable pace. Today, I will wallow in the wonderful memories I created this summer. Let me share with you the highlights of my respite from school.

June provided relaxation, entertainment, and creative expression. 

Relaxation: stayed up later/slept later, read a book about habits, walked daily, had lunch with a friend, and watched more television

Entertainment: Barry, Jr. and I booked a room in New Orleans and attended a concert. It was the first time the two of us did something like this together. After parking the car and checking into the hotel, we dined at the Hard Rock Cafe. Afterwards, we took a taxi to the Civic Theatre to rock out with Rob Zombie. Awesome! Then we walked over to Bourbon Street to check out the sights. The next morning we visited the Aquarium. The penguins, seahorses, and otters are my favorite. Before heading home, we ate a scrumptious meal at Drago’s.

Later that week, my boys and I went to a Zephyrs baseball game. It was the first time for Andrew, and he absolutely enjoyed it!

Creative Expression: I took a weekly acting class to exercise my mental muscle and get out of my comfort zone. At the end of the month for four days, I attended the TAC Scrapbook Convention at the Airport Hilton with my BFF and our scrapbooking buddies. I worked on layouts from our Zombie Run, a homecoming dance that Barry, Jr. attended in high school, and our first year we went to Comic Con. I won third place in a page layout contest and donned a tiara.

July provided more relaxation, entertainment, and organization. 

Relaxation: went to bed earlier/woke up earlier, read a book about creating fringe hours, walked daily, had lunches with friends and family, and started re-watching the X-Files to prepare for its reboot in January

Entertainment: movies on Tuesday afternoons with my boys; another Aquarium visit, but this time with Andrew

Organization:  I began to reorganize my scrapbook room and my extensive home library (both are a work in progress). And, I took care of purchasing new uniforms and school shoes for Andrew for his FRESHMAN year of high school. I still have school supplies to buy; however, I will take care of that in the upcoming week.

I move through the summer like I’m floating on a raft on a lazy flowing river with occasional stops along the way. My stress level is much lower, almost nonexistent, and I can take my time with self-care. While I’ve made a promise to myself to be better about self-care during the upcoming school year, I lament the end of my summertime break because I know my relaxed schedule is about to speed up rapidly.

Wishing you my readers, a relaxing Sunday. Happiness!

“You must eliminate self-imposed pressures in your life to enjoy a more fruitful life. You cannot be everything for everyone. Moreover, if you do not take time for yourself, you will flatline. Pursue a life of joy and contentment, and you will be happier, healthier, and more at peace. Making time for yourself is both necessary and fulfilling.” ~ Jessica N. Turner, The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You

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