Being immersed in this once in a lifetime journey and a few years on the flip side of 45, I confidently recognize my strengths and weaknesses, I securely understand my value system and I consciously (and sometimes unconsciously) adhere to a set of personal rules. I recently began to realize that I have a framework of what matters to me. Without a doubt, this is only the beginning of those thoughts. These things matter to me, these things support me.
1. Laughter. I discovered humor exists in most situations, if I let it.
2. Smiling. The mere sensation of smiling alone lifts my spirits.
3. Washing my hands. Although this one started out as a compulsion, I now find the experience provides a mental reset from one activity to the next, 30 seconds of serenity.
4. Knowing how much money I have in my wallet, in my bank account and in my secret hiding spots at all times. It’s necessary.
5. Avoiding plastic. It’s artificial….I work hard to surround myself with all things real.
6. Finding inspiration in nature. It’s always been out there, yet now I see it.
This past week, the Kaftan five spent four days in Marrakech. The inundation of colors, sounds and sensations I never before experienced became a part of me. The flight took two hours from cosmopolitan Madrid where we spent one day before heading to Africa. The kids find such pleasure in the fact they have stepped foot on yet another continent. Our friends, Melissa and Sawyer spent the previous week with us in Barcelona and together we travelled to Madrid. Every time visitors come, we use it as an opportunity to encounter new experiences. The week of their visit included an FC Barcelona game and a Thievery Corporation concert. Additionally, Jeffrey and the boys all skied in the Pyrennes Mountains for a day while us girls shopped in the Barrio Gotic and Amelia pierced her ears.
We spent one night in Madrid while our friends took the train back to Barcelona to catch their flight back to the USA the next morning. Our flight to Marrakech left at noon culminating the beginning of our Morrocan experience. We digested much of Marrakech in not much time. Our adventure comprised of exploring the medina and the souks, of hiking up the High Atlas Mountains greeted with a picnic lunch, of snake charming, belly dancing, henna tattooing, and of meals where we all came together in awe and disbelief of our fortunate reality.
So, as I continue to give thought to the guidelines that give me security and freedom simultaneously, I acknowledge and allow my mind to change, to grow and to open. I encounter periods of set back, of smooth sailing and most importantly, of growth. As long as I end up ahead of where I began, I know I’m going in the right direction.