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A Machu Picchu Selfie

In my attempt to write more I have been exploring the world of writing prompts.  Just some quick inspiration to get my creative juices flowing.  In my search for writing prompts I came across the Mama’s Losin’ It blog.  Every week the blog emails me five or six prompts that will hopefully inspire me.  So…this is my first attempt to be inspired.

One of this week’s writing prompts was to share the story behind your current Facebook profile photo.  This seemed like the perfect prompt because I have been promising to tell you all more about our trip to Peru and it just so happens my profile picture is from Peru.

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In my picture, you will notice a handsome man and a beautiful mountain.  This is a picture of my better half and myself at the entrance to Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu in the background.  We arrived at Machu Picchu on the next to last day of our visit in Peru.  We had started out visit in Cusco, hiked through the Andes mountains on the Lares Trek, spent a night in Aguas Calientes, and finally arrived to one of the wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.  We arrived to Machu Picchu with our guide, Ronnie (thanks Kandoo Adventures!), and made our way through the crowds up a steep walkway to a platform overlooking Machu Picchu.  When we arrived at the platform the fog was so thick you could hardly see four feet in front of you, let alone Machu Picchu.  The feeling of disappointment was overwhelming.  I couldn’t believe that we had come all this way and there was the potential we wouldn’t see anything.  Ronnie encouraged us to just wait a little bit and within minutes you could see a small blue patch of sky.  The clouds parted even more and the blue patch grew bigger and bigger and suddenly Machu Picchu was in front of us.  The first views of Machu Picchu were absolutely amazing and utterly breath taking.  You read about places and you see them on the internet and on television, but being there in person was completely different – it was magical.  We spent several minutes on the platform taking in as much as we could, snapping pictures and feeling completely awe struck. After taking in the views we moved on to start our tour and let the other visitors to Machu Picchu enjoy this amazing experience.

My profile picture wasn’t actually taken during our first stop to the platform.  After our first stop on the platform Ronnie took us on a spectacular tour of Machu Picchu.  During the tour, Ronnie gave us an insider’s view of the Lost City of the Incas.  After several hours, it was time to say good bye to Ronnie and my better half and I suddenly found ourselves alone at Machu Picchu (well, alone without a guide – there were still thousands of other people there).  We stood in line at the entrance for a second time and headed back up steep path to the platform to get another birds eye view of Machu Picchu.  This is where we took this picture.  So, my profile is a Machu Picchu selfie.  I love so much about this picture.  First, I feel we look like how we felt, happy and excited.  Secondly, it’s in an absolutely beautiful place in the world and right after this photo we climbed the mountain in the background of the picture and thirdly, I am sporting my favorite alpaca hat that I bought several days earlier on the streets of Cusco.

This was just a quick sneak peek from our Peruvian adventure.  I will be sharing so much more over the next couple of weeks!

What’s the story behind your current profile picture?

MamaKats

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

00000-liarIn my last blog post (remember the one WEEKS ago when I said I would write more), I wrote “if you have time to complain about being too busy, you obviously have some free time.”  Apparently writing this simple little sentence made someone, somewhere, very angry and they decided to put me in my place.  I’ll start by admitting this one of the busiest times at work.  A new semester means wrapping up an old one and starting a new, all at the same time.  It means freaked out student who need career guidance NOW.  And it means that there is so much energy and excitement that you can get caught up in which may cause you to over extend a little.  Over the past week, I have gone in early, stayed late, and worked weekends.  I worked almost 60 last week and my endless to do list just keeps growing and growing.

I haven’t gone for a run, strength trained, or been to the gym in over a week.  I haven’t felt like cooking (this isn’t much of a surprise), going out after work, or even turning on my computer to even look at other people’s blogs in the evening.  I have become a couch potato who binge watches old ABC Family shows on Freeform and goes to bed before it gets completely dark outside.  Then, the next day I am up when the sun starts rising and I start the same routine all over again.

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In just under 9 weeks I have my third half marathon in Lake Powell.  I am woefully unprepared.  I know I need to train.  I spend time each week updating my training plan, erasing the previous week when I only finished maybe one training session.  As I plan out my new training plan I tell myself that Monday I will start and nothing is going to stop me from my plan.  I will get up early and run or workout before work.  I know it’s going to feel good, that it’s going to set the stage for the rest of the day, but when the alarm goes off I tell myself that the plan can wait another day, I’ll start tomorrow – today I will just enjoy another 25 minutes of sleep and then I’ll go in to work early.

When I sat down to write this I thought I was going to prove to myself that you can be too busy, you can complain about it, and you can prove you don’t have any time for anything else.  But, instead I just feel like a whiney twit who, if they can write this post, obviously has a little free time.  So, no more excuses.  No more do overs.  No more waiting until Monday to start again.  The writing will get more regular because I realized I have a lot to share.  I haven’t even started to tell you all about our amazing trip to Peru!   So, I leave you with a picture from a Peru and a promise to fill you in on the details of our trip.IMG_5987

My Year of Yes

This past summer I have been making a concerted effort to try new things and stop saying no to things that take me out of my comfort zone.  Overall, I feel like I have been pretty successful.  The start of my new philosophy started by backpacking through Peru (my second time backpacking in my entire life) and I have been trying to embrace the new idea since my return.

A week ago, I turned 38 (and to be honest, that was a little rough) and I decided I needed to commit even more to my new philosophy…so this is my year of yes.  I’m going to try new things and push myself throughout the year.  What exactly that means, I’m not 100% sure but I’ll excited to see as the year progresses. 20727830_10212032582227700_8240620203770065957_n

One thing that I have always wanted to do was be a writer.  I started writing as a small child (I remember my first book was called Mall Madness and was about some kids that got locked in the mall after hours…it won an award in a third-grade writing contest), continued writing for my high school and college newspapers, and even majored in Journalism in college.  But, as I went through school and learned more about the “news” business, writing became a chore rather than something I really enjoyed.  The reality of not be able to work in the field after graduation also soured my taste towards writing and I just stopped writing all together.  (As a Career Counselor now I am shocked that none of my instructors or advisors ever thought it might be a good idea to mention that written journalism was a dying industry and finding a job doing what we wanted, where we wanted, was going to be near impossible.)

I write occasionally for work and wrote a lot while working towards my Master’s degree, but rarely wrote for fun.  Several years ago, I started a blog thinking it would be a perfect outlet for my desire to write, but it seemed like a hundred things would get in the way of me sitting down and writing and posting.  But, during my year of yes there are no more excuses.  I need to just stop whining about how busy I am and just sit down and write (because really, if you have time to complain about being too busy, you obviously have some free time).  I want to get back to my writing roots and remember why I used to love sitting at my word processor (see, I really am 38) and cranking out stories.  So, my hopes are that my blog will be the outlet for my writing.  I am hoping to write as often as possible and post blogs much more regularly.  We’ll see how it goes…

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Writing is just the beginning.  I have so many more plans for my year of yes.  I WILL learn how to drive standard.  I WILL learn how to rock climb.  I WILL learn (for my husband’s sake) the difference between then and than.  And I WILL say yes to things that scare me, intimidate me, or just make me want to run and hide.

So, I invite you to come with me during my year of yes.  If you have any challenges of things I should try, please throw them out, I am open to all new ideas!