Holiday Reflections

Ah the holidaze...Not so many long ago we were talking about how we didn't have plans for christmas.  We came back to the northwest to be around friends and family and then it seemed had found ourselves without a place to spend christmas.  Not the end of the world, but certainly had us picturing a palm tree laden beach somewhere... Its a funny thing, the holidays.  They make you step back and look at things in a slightly different perspective.  Make you think a little deeper.  We came back expecting some things and finding others.  Expecting a brief trip to reunite with dear friends and expecting to return to the beaches of central america within a few weeks (a few months at the very latest).  Turns out we found much of what was missing and we are still here.

We thought we would come back and spend every free moment with those we were closest to when we left.  Sadly, some of those closest friends lives have moved on a bit since our departure.  Our lives no longer seem to connect.  We find ourselves still close to many and drawing even closer to others.  Sad about the direction of some relationships and thrilled abut the new depth of others. gifted travel bowlNot more than a few days after realizing we had no plans for christmas we got an uber exciting offer to travel to colorado to share in a family christmas.  Adoptees to a family we love and respect (even if it isn’t our own) and who welcomes us with open arms and always makes us feel at home.  We were stoked and began picturing and getting excited about the journey.  We also soon after found out about our failed inspection and felt bad about leaving the project for such an extended period...and had to turn the offer down.  Never easy for us as we are the people who much want to say yes to every offer...especially those that we know would be amazing fun.

Luckily, in perfect timing with our decision we also got an invitation to spend a few days in BC for the holidays.  A chance to still be around loved ones but without the long drive and long stay...we just couldn’t resist!  Minutes after getting our inspection signed off we were on the road north.  Traffic was insane, but we were stoked at what lay waiting on the other side of the border!  The traffic also gave us plenty of time for a bit of deep conversation.  Nothing new for us, but was needed with all the new decisions we’ve recently made.

Our "planning" discussions are always hilarious. They cover everything, are completely raw and honest and mostly exhausting.  Ive realized they seem more like a business meeting than anything else.  And why wouldn’t they?  If we were partners in a business we would meet at least once a quarter to discuss the past few months, see how we felt about each area of the business and discuss our planned changes/aspirations for the coming quarter and/or the future of our business.

Why should our relationship and lives deserve any less thought and consideration?  We don’t exactly lay out the agenda like i remember in quarterly reviews, and there aren’t as many powerpoint slides...but we do spend ample time analyzing each area of our business (er, life) focus.  Happiness, check.  Passion, check.  Next steps, direction and refocus, sure.  Financials...that one take a bit more time (this intentionally unemployed thirty-something stuff is harder to pull off than it appears).  And in this particular conversation...what are our different paths depending on what happens with the sale of the bus.crunching numberscrapskarma winstonIt's so difficult to try logically planning the future when we cant seem to commit to anything a few weeks out, but we always give it the ole college try.  Sketching out options and decisions and trying to envision where and how we see ourselves this time next year can't possibly be a bad thing.

These days the real difficult questions seem to be around exactly what we want out of our future.  What is success to us now and how do we fill our days.  Now that time is something we've reintroduced to our lives, how do we make sure were spending it effectively?  What good can we do with it?  How can we use it to help and impact others, or at the very least make sure we're seeing opportunities as they develop. Deep talks- always a good time filler on a road trip and better than simply rolling the dice!

Speaking of dice...traffic was a beast through seattle and after sitting in bumper to bumper for a few hours we excitedly pulled off the interstate for a break at the casino.  We didn't exactly win big, but we did kill plenty of time and have a blast at the table.

hike moss muppet waterfrontto karma from winstonWe pulled into vancouver just in time for a christmas hug from bailie before she had to hit the airport en route home for the holidays.  Chad and Jess put us up for our stay and everyone welcomed us back as though we never left.  Its funny walking around our old neighborhood.  It seems so long ago, like it was years away.  We also talk about how things could have been different...a few small changes in the timeline and we may still live here.  This city is so beautiful and the people so great.

Our next day and a half was a flurry of parties, dinners, cookies, cocktails and a puzzle attempt.  It was perfect, except the christmas peacock puzzle didnt quite get finished before our inevitable departure.  Sorry christmas peacock.

During one of our dinner parties a friend relayed his experience last week at the mechanics.  He waiting on his new mechanic to get off the phone and sees a thank you card jen had written for him (also our mechanic before leaving BC). "Did you know these guys?" our friend asks, and proceeds to tell him about our trip. "That bus made it where??" was the inevitable response. Took us right back to everyones "you drove that kombi here from WHERE?" response south of the border.  Hilarious!

Back in portland were back to short term planning.  What contractors are coming this week, what do they need and what can we get ahead of before the holidays are over.  And of course, when do we take the next road trip to ensure we have time set aside to talk about whats to come in 2014!toastchristmas peacockthank you card