Over on my personal blog I've been writing about (of all things) writing, reinvention and new paths for the future.
The main message has been: I don't know where I'm going, but I know who I'm going with. I'll marry Lee this December and our internal ticker will officially begin: not for having babies, but for moving to Colorado.
We are big dreamers, he and I. One thing we have in common is a deeply rooted desire to live in unmatched beauty, away from sweltering, neverending summers. Whether we move in year one of marriage or year three, we don't know. But we have a few criteria:
- a just-the-right-size house with few frills and lots of natural light
- close to good schools and medical care
- land, land and more land, but not too much that we can't be friendly with our neighbors
- a working garage, a vegetable garden, a flower garden
- a cottage for guests
This list is the product of a lot of conversations, and nothing is set in stone. But these are the things we know will fulfill us. I'll spare you the details of how we developed this working list, but the cottage on that land is REALLY IMPORTANT to me.
Dreaming big, ridiculous dreams
This is a very vulnerable place to be. When you are known as a woman with an action plan and the "forward motion" person, having a dream can feel much like being naked in the middle of the state fair. It's just not something someone like me seeks out to share (but others do?!). Lately I've been in a place where my whole life has (rightly, happily) centered on everything but my own little dreams. Planning a wedding and combining your life with someone else's sort of makes that a necessity.
And OH BOY how I've missed my little dreamy states. When I'm not dreaming or creating, I get into a dark place and it's not pretty. In an effort to lap up the happy juice from dreaming about my next big dream, I'll tell you something I want THAT I HAVE NO PLAN OR GUARANTEE THAT IT WILL COME TRUE. Ahh ... what if this never comes to fruition? What if people see me as a failure and NO ONE EVER HIRES ME AGAIN? Sigh. This vulnerability crap is the pits.
When I'm not being dramatic and when I am dreaming big without any fear in sight, here's what my dream looks like. It would SOMEHOW combine all my favorite things: writers, cooking, hosting and they would all revolve around this cottage/writer's retreat. To bring this dream to REAL LIFE life, I saved some photos from Pinterest for you to scroll through.
In my wildest, unhinged dreams we would live on 10 acres in Colorado that was no more than 1.5 hours from Denver International Airport. This cottage would be a writer's retreat to end all writer's retreats, designed for the writer looking for part-retreat, part-kick-in-the-pants, part-customized-writing-prompts, part-soulful-conversations. In my mind, this is what an itinerary would look like:
4 Weeks Prior to Arrival: Manuscript review and 2 weekly writing coaching calls
2 Weeks Prior to Arrival: All writing STOPS.
Week of Visit outline looks like this:
- Morning guided meditation
- Morning breakfast and conversation
- Secluded writing between meals
- Lunch outside or near sunshine
- Nature walk or gardening for one hour after lunch
- Dinner with family OR queued writing inspiration
- Evening tea, wine or dessert
- Evening outline writing for next day's writing plan
Here are a few of the things that I think could really set this writer's retreat apart:
1. Homemade, organic, nutritious meals that can be catered to celiac, gluten, vegetarian, dairy, allergies preferences. (I'm proficient in ALL of these cooking styles.)
2. Customized writing prompts that I create and are timed to push the visiting writer to their next stage of writing (or not, if they need more time).
3. Conversations to discuss the "inner doubter" that all writers possess.
4. Guided meditation to set our intentions each day and promote spaciousness in our minds. [I've applied to be certified in 2017 to share meditation instruction!]
How will this ever happen?
Honestly, I'm not sure when or how this will come to fruition. I suppose I could create a KickStarter once we move to Colorado and raise funds for building, decorating, outfitting the entire space (in exchange for time in the cottage, perhaps?). Or maybe we'll win the lottery.
This is where I want to be. Somewhere beautiful, creating beautiful places for weary travelers and writers alike to escape and rejuvenate and find a happy home away from home in the Colorado mountains. I never knew what home felt like until I saw a mountain range from my bedroom window. There's nothing quite like it, so stay tuned folks, and let me know if you have any ideas on how to make this even better!