Going Beyond Procrastination

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After writing posts on going beyond fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs, I realized other limitations exist that can hold us back from accomplishing all that we want to accomplish.

And that thought birthed an idea for a series.

This limitation creates big roadblocks for many people, including me. In fact, as I worked on this post, it felt like I was talking to myself. Read the tips in Going Beyond Procrastination and let me know if this is something you also struggle with!

Going Beyond Procrastination title meme

What is Procrastination?

By definition, procrastination is the practice of delaying or postponing something such as an action or task. You have a deadline looming and yet instead of working on the project, you check email, scroll through social media feeds or watch funny videos on YouTube. There’s nothing wrong with any of those activities, however, you are stalling and ultimately placing pressure on yourself when that deadline absolutely must be met.

Procrastination can range from minor stalling to an inability to complete daily tasks. Reasons for procrastinating include setting indefinite, abstract goals, disconnection from true desires, overwhelm, anxiety, perfectionism and a dislike of certain tasks such as car maintenance.

This tendency to put off doing what you know needs doing isn’t so much a disorder to cure as a practice to shift.

If you find yourself procrastinating frequently and seek change, check out these tips for going beyond procrastination.

Reduce the Number of Decisions You Need to Make

Planning out the day, before you get up in the morning, goes a long way toward eliminating the tendency to procrastinate and waste energy throughout the day.

Instead of making decisions on the spot, moment by moment, plan out your day, your week, your month or your year in advance. When your plans are written out on paper it frees thoughts, which are energy too, from swirling around in your head. You don’t have to wonder what to do next…it’s written down.

Schedule reoccurring activities like walking, yoga, creative time, appointments, journaling, meditating and classes. Then you don’t have to decide, “Do I walk…or go to the store?”

Choose your outfit the night before. Establish a morning and nighttime routine.

Create habits for tasks you don’t like, such as housework. Make it fun or power through it…just do it. These are things that must be done no matter what, the non-negotiables.

Going Beyond Procrastination habits
Going Beyond Procrastination – create habits for reoccurring activities or unpleasant tasks

Make Lists

A helpful way to organize thoughts, make plans and prevent procrastination is through list making.

According to studies, we are 33% more likely to achieve goals and get tasks done if we make lists.

Using a planner or a simple notebook, create monthly lists of blog and social media posts and appointments, weekly scheduled activities and daily to-do tasks.

Prioritize by starting with the ONE big thing that needs to get ticked off the daily list. Check that activity off as early in the day as possible. It’s your most important task.

Break the rest of the list into doable tasks and attach action steps to them. Any deadlines for the day, week or month? Write those down too, so you don’t have to continually think about them.

Work in Time Blocks

You’ll get more done, without overwhelm or burn out, breaking the day into time blocks.

This scheduling method is a technique for time management. Break the day into small periods of time…typically an hour to three hours…for specific tasks and to-dos. During that block of time, focus only on the tasks or activities scheduled.

A simple but effective time blocking schedule might include breakfast, then threes hours for accomplishing your most important task, lunch, then two hours dedicated to other tasks and to-dos, afternoon break, then two hours for exercise, minor tasks, creativity or taking a class. Make the time blocking work for you. And stick with it. No procrastinating or avoiding the things you know you need to get done.

Going Beyond Procrastination lists
Going Beyond Procrastination – make lists of tasks and to-dos. Here I’m making a list of what to include in my post on making lists!

Create a Supportive Environment

To lessen procrastination, surround yourself with an environment that supports you and helps you get your tasks done.

Whether you work at home or in an office, tackle the space that you spend the most time in.

Declutter. A room or desk full of clutter creates disorganized energy. It doesn’t feel good and it’s not conducive to productivity. Have a place for everything, even if your system doesn’t look like someone else’s. Get rid of things you don’t need.

Eliminate distractions. Put your phone on silent. Stay off of social media unless that’s the task you are working on. Turn off the television.

Surround yourself with what inspires and motivates you. Hang up a vision board. Frame inspirational quotes. Create a personal manifesto and keep it nearby to read often. Play music that uplifts the spirit or boosts creativity. Display family photos, travel mementos and artwork.

Check for Alignment

Sometimes, the things we put off doing are things we really don’t want to do. I’m not talking about household chores or taking the dog for a walk. I mean things that no longer align with who you are and what you most want to do.

If you find yourself avoiding certain tasks, take time to check inward and see if those activities still align with your passion. If not, it’s time to shift away from them. Step down from committees that you no longer feel strongly about. Stop the activities that bore you. Say “the end” to the work that no longer interests you.

Focus on the tasks and activities that make your heart sing and light up your face when you talk about them. These are the priorities that go at the top of your to-do lists.

The truth is, we find the time and a way to do the things we really want to do. And, if we are avoiding or postponing activities, then they are no longer what we really want to do.

Going Beyond Procrastination supportive environment
Going Beyond Procrastination – create a supportive environment

Reward Yourself

One of my favorite ways to spur myself onward, when I have a big project to complete, is to reward myself when it’s done.

I personally avoid rewarding myself with food, as that was an old habit that wasn’t healthy. Instead, I might go for a walk in nature or visit a city, watch a movie, putter in the garden or play an online game.

And often the reward is the accomplishment itself or the incredible high level energy I feel.

Shifting a Task I Disliked

This is a real life example of a task I frequently procrastinated on and how I shifted.

I dislike washing dishes. I’ve never, in my lifetime, lived in a house with a dishwasher. I am the dishwasher. And I often postponed washing up, letting dishes accumulate in the sink, which made it even more difficult to make myself go into the kitchen to clean up.

I used tip number one to avoid procrastination, creating a habit to complete a task that I don’t like. Initially, I made this rule: no dishes in the sink by the time I go to bed. That meant I sometimes washed dishes at midnight, no matter how tired I was.

Soon I discovered I loved walking into a clean kitchen every morning. The energy of a ready for the day kitchen far exceeded the energy required to empty the sink each night.

And then, I realized I loved walking into a clean kitchen all the time. It became easier and easier to wash up immediately after a meal. The satisfaction of an empty sink and clean kitchen, always, is the reward and the habit evolved over time after I made one unbreakable rule about washing dishes.

Are You a Procrastinator?

I admit I was and I still fall into procrastination sometimes. Doing so is my nudge to check within to see what’s going on. Is the activity no longer in alignment with who I am becoming? Do I need to shift and create a no matter what rule? Or do my lists require some adjustment?

Going beyond procrastination is a continuing area of growth for me.

What about you? Are you a procrastinator? Tell me about the areas you struggle in. I hope these tips are helpful for you in going beyond and creating meaningful shifts in your life.

Going Beyond Procrastination tea break
Going Beyond Procrastination – daily tea breaks are important to me

 

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More Funny Travel Stories

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Last April I shared my first Funny Travel Stories post. The humorous experiences were fun to recall as I typed them out. And, in the process, I realized that I had enough funny stories for at least one more post.

I hope you enjoy these tales from my travels and feel inspired to share your own.

Here they are…more funny travel stories.

More Funny Travel Stories title meme

Overpowered

On my first visit to Scotland, with my cousin Mindy and her son William, we stayed at Halcyon House in Edinburgh. This property felt more like a grand old house rather than a hotel. The friendly owners lived on site and offered guests a hearty breakfast every morning in the dining room.

On our first morning in the city, Mindy and I finished getting ready in the large room while William showered. I KNEW better than to plug my hair dryer into the socket. I packed an electrical adapter, however, in my excitement to explore Edinburgh, I plugged the dryer in and turned it on.

The hair dryer sounded strange, surging with power. Just as I thought “Oh no…” a loud POP occurred. The dryer stopped and the lights went out. William yelled as he tried to shower in total darkness. I yelled an apology back and then heard doors opening all along the upstairs hallway. Power went out on the whole floor, as everyone got ready for the day.

I felt so embarrassed! One of the owners, Matthew, thankfully brought a ladder up, fiddled with the circuit breakers and quickly restored power. William did not let me forget that incident and I never forgot to use an adapter again.

Two Doctor Whos

My grandson Dayan and I are both huge fans of the British television series, Doctor Who. What a wonderful experience to attend our first Comic Con in St Louis, with special guests David Tennent, the Tenth Doctor and Matt Smith, the Eleventh.

After Dayan’s photo op with the two doctors, it was my turn. Throwing an arm around each actor I squeezed them close and happily told them they were two of my favorite people. David quipped, “Two of your favorites? Why aren’t we your absolute favorites?” Matt joined in the conversation and we all laughed so much that we messed up the first photo. The photographer scolded us and told us to stop laughing and talking and to hold still….which only made us laugh more.

Later, after standing in line for a couple of hours to get David’s autograph, I  offered my condolences on the recent death of his father. I told him how proud I was that as a Scotsman, he represented the country well during his stint as the Doctor. David surprised me by reaching for my hand and giving it a squeeze. I walked away and then realized I never got a signature on my photo.

Turning around, David saw me and waved me back. In his thick Scottish brogue, said he wondered how long it would take for me to return. He signed the photo with a flourish and then said, “Now go…and behave yourself!” (You have to imagine the words spoken in a Scottish accent to get the full effect.) I’ll remember that day always!

More Funny Travel Stories doctors
More Funny Travel Stories – Dayan with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors

Knock First!

During the girls’ UK trip with my mother, two sisters and niece, we shared rooms to cut down on costs. And almost immediately we had to have a talk about respecting personal space after my mom nonchalantly walked into the bathroom while my sister Debbie was in there. Knock first, we suggested seriously, even though everyone except Debbie laughed about the incident. I thought it was funny too, until it happened to me.

In London, I shared a room with Mom and my sister Linda. While showering in the glass enclosed shower, my mother and/or Linda walked in on me not once…not twice…but three times. I think the last intrusion was deliberate, just to hear me yell “For the love of God…some privacy please!”

I locked the bathroom door after that.

Road to Nowhere

I appreciated having a rental car on my recent trip to the Charleston area. The Mitsubishi Mirage featured a large screen on the dash. When I plugged in my phone and pulled up the maps app, it displayed on that screen and Siri directed me from there, making navigating on the South Carolina sea islands and Charleston easier. It worked really well…until it didn’t.

On my departure day, I left the airbnb early, with the Charleston International Airport address loaded into the app and up on the screen. Siri directed me effortlessly through heavy morning traffic. However, as the screen showed about 10 minutes left until I reached the airport, something didn’t seem right. Looking around, I didn’t recognize this part of the city.

I trusted the GPS system though, following Siri as she directed me off of the expressway. I continued to trust as I turned into what looked like a neighborhood. Maybe this was a shortcut? Deeper into the neighborhood, I turned onto a street and Siri announced, “Destination on the right. Arrived.”

I stopped in front of an ordinary looking house, on an average street, in a typical suburban neighborhood. The man working in the yard turned to look at me and waved, a bit hesitantly. This was not the airport!

I nodded to the stranger, drove to the end of the street and re-entered the airport into the maps app. Fortunately, it was only 15 minutes away. I’ll never know what happened and why the map changed to a different location, mid-route. But I arrived at the airport with time to spare, turned in the car and caught my flight. Even if I don’t understand why, I believe everything happens for a reason.

Lucky Bird Poop

After exploring the medieval village of San Gimignano in Italy, my grandson, daughter and I sat on benches near the city gate with our tour group. As the tour bus pulled up, we all stood and gathered our belongings.

I felt something hit my shoulder and arm. Looking up, I spied a bird in the tree above me. Glancing back at my arm, I noticed bird poop.

I made a sound of disgust, however, to my surprise our tour guide Fabi and others in the group cheered and applauded. In Italy it’s a sign of good fortune when a bird poops on you. The next suggested action is to visit a casino.

People came by to rub my shoulder, transferring good luck to themselves. One dear woman offered me a package of wet wipes so I could clean off the poop. Bless her!

Read more Italian good luck traditions HERE.

More Funny Stories bird poop
More Funny Travel Stories – lucky bird poop in San Gimignano, Italy

Deja Vu

Traveling cross country with my family, I began to experience deja vu. This phenomenon is described as a feeling of already experiencing the present moment, of remembering something that can’t possibly be remembered.

Leaving Los Angeles, Joplin bound via a layover in Denver, the deja vu began at LAX airport. By the time we landed in Denver, that strange feeling was occurring almost continuously. Casting about for an explanation, I decided this must be the day that I die. I was seeing my life flash before my eyes through deja vu.

Boarding our plane for the last leg of the journey home, I experienced the strongest sense of remembering yet. The artistic design on the front cabin wall triggered it, as did the approaching severe thunderstorm. Our pilot announced that due to the storm, take off would be quick and rough. This was it. We were going to crash.

Only my older daughter sensed that something was going on with me. Her look of concern prompted me to pray like I’ve never prayed before. I asked for angels to surround the plane, placed protective energy around it and visualized us all flying safely above the storm and arriving back home. Closing my eyes, I did all I could to help that plane take off  and rise above the turbulence.

This story is more weird than funny. And it’s absolutely true. The deja vu stopped as soon as we cleared the storm and we did indeed arrive home without further incident.

Alligator!

I am not afraid of most animals. Even snakes and spiders are fascinating to me. However, I do not like alligators. They freak me out. During trips to Florida and South Carolina, I’ve observed them from afar and that’s the way I want it. On my recent trip back to South Carolina, I discovered it was mating season for these reptiles, which can make male alligators more aggressive. Oh, wonderful.

The beautiful airbnb I stayed at on Johns Island, with its pretty pool, is situated on a tropical property, lush with trees, plants and flowers. Aware that the island is surrounded by rivers and marshes, I hoped I would not have a close encounter with an alligator.

My first night at the airbnb, I ventured out after dark, barefoot and wearing a lightweight cotton dress. Lights strung up all over the property make it even more magical at night. Wandering down a path I suddenly froze. Something big thrashed in the shadowy underbrush and it seemed to be coming toward me. I immediately thought, “Alligator!” and ran back to the airbnb as fast as my bare feet could take me.

The next morning, talking to Neil, one of the hosts, I sheepishly mentioned my encounter the night before. I asked if alligators ever get into the pool. He laughed and shook his head. In all the years he’s lived on the island, he said, he’s never seen an alligator on the property. But he added, with a twinkle in his eyes, they do have armadillos who like to forage at night among the plants. He spotted one earlier that morning.

I ran from an armadillo…and what a relief.

I still didn’t wander too far from the house at night though, just in case.

Share Your Funny Stories

We all have embarrassing, funny or strange travel stories. These colorful adventures form part of the life tapestry, woven with threads from rich experiences.

I know I’ll have more funny travel stories to share as I continue to explore the world with an open heart and mind and the ability to laugh at situations and most importantly, at myself.

I’d love to hear one of your favorite funny stories. Share it in the comments below.

More Funny Travel Stories alligator
More Funny Travel Stories – alligator hiding in the shadows??

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Homegrown

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Thank you to The Adventure Challenge, for sending me The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition Book for review purposes and to use for my Year of Adventure. All opinions are my own.

As summer declares itself in full force, all across the US and the northern hemisphere in fact, I considered whether I should carefully select an adventure challenge…or let the activity choose me. This current heat wave is breaking records, with no immediate end in sight. An outdoor activity could prove challenging indeed.

Ever one to play the random game, I let the adventure choose me. What a wonderful activity for summer…and this incredible heat. I laughed with the perfection of it.

This is Adventure Challenge #24, Homegrown.

Homegrown title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. They are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the activity is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up, or in The Adventure Challenge.

Homegrown

My instructions for Challenge #24:

“Your hometown is unique. The local butcher shop, community garden or nearby farm could bring some of that uniqueness right to your table.

Today your challenge is to create a completely locally sourced meal featuring only local ingredients. Extra special and extra fresh!”

I adore this challenge activity. My community has local farmers markets that offer fresh produce…and other products…year around. In fact, I was just at the outdoor Webb City Farmers Market Saturday morning. This particular market sets up under a long open air pavilion every Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday. I happened to select this activity on Tuesday.

Off to the market I went, to pick out the ingredients for my evening meal. Since I am vegan, I intended to purchase a variety of fresh vegetables to create a homegrown meal with.

Homegrown farmers market
Homegrown – Webb City Farmers Market

Gathering Food

The Webb City Farmers Market opens from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9:00 – noon on Saturdays. I’ve visited this vibrant market for years. Besides fresh produce, shoppers can find many organic foods, crafts, plants, bakery items, soaps, herbs, spices, fresh flowers, food vendors, a variety of breads and, I’m happy to add, a vegan food vendor as well. A jar of her vegan dill ranch dressing sits in my refrigerator right now!

To complete this challenge, I focused on fresh, locally grown produce. I bought tomatoes last Saturday. During this trip, I purchased red skinned new potatoes, okra, green beans, carrots, onions, zucchini and yellow squash.

Homegrown veggies
Homegrown – my vegetable stash

Creating a Homegrown Meal

I wanted to use each of the fresh veggies in my meal so I settled on a simple vegetable hash for dinner.

A vegetable hash is so easy and delicious and, best of all, I can make it from whatever veggies I have on hand.

After washing and chopping the veggies, I heated a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Adding the chopped potatoes, onions and carrots first, I stir fried them over medium high heat until the potatoes and carrots were almost tender.

Next I added sliced okra, green beans, zucchini and yellow squash plus a teaspoon of smoked paprika and a teaspoon of cumin. I continued to stir fry the mixed veggies until tender, then added a small amount of water, covered the skillet and turned the heat to low. While the veggie mixture simmered, I sliced fresh tomatoes.

My homegrown meal of veggie hash and sliced garden tomatoes was so full of flavor. What a satisfying…and yummy…adventure challenge.

Homegrown veggie hash
Homegrown – veggie hash

Adventure Challenges

Do these adventure challenges sound fun to you? What about the amazing life lessons and/or synchronicities that accompany each one?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot for them in the book as you document the challenges.

I enjoyed the trip to the farmers market, picking out vegetables and creating a meal from them at home. It truly was a farm to table experience. And, I have vegetables left for at least three more meals.

Do you have a farmers market or co-op in your area? What do you like to purchase there?

Homegrown adventure challenge 24
Homegrown – adventure challenge #24

 

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Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield

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I recently enjoyed an afternoon looking for art in downtown Springfield, MO. Check out my first post about the city’s Sculpture Walk HERE.

Springfield features sculptures in their beautiful downtown area, an exhibit that changes yearly. It’s fun to start at Park Central and walk the blocks surrounding it, looking for unique sculptures that tell interesting stories.

This is part two sharing some of the art that I discovered on my trip.

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield title meme

Sculpture Walk Springfield

Sculpture Walk Springfield launched in April 2015 with 13 sculptures installed throughout the downtown area. This year the 2022 exhibit showcases 41 sculptures…29 temporary ones that will change out next year and 12 permanent installations.

Their vision: to create a museum without walls with access to all.

Their purpose: when placed outdoors, integrated in full public view with existing structures and landscapes, sculptures add to a city’s heritage, character, and sense of place and diversity; it adorns a city with distinction, adding to pride of place and a sense of identity. Public art rejuvenates public spaces by transforming them into destinations.  Sculpture Walk Springfield will play a major role in the economic rejuvenation of Springfield.

Their mission: to encourage the artistic transformation of Springfield through outdoor sculpture, thus enhancing our quality of life and promoting economic vitality.

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield park central
Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield – start the hunt in Park Central

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield

Park Central Square is the place to start for the art hunt. There is free parking available nearby and a variety of shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs in the area for a meal or a refreshing drink.

You can visit the Sculpture Walk Facebook Page or the website HERE to download a map or you can park near Park Central Square in downtown Springfield and simply start walking. The sculptures are identified by a small plaque near each one, that lists the artist and a brief description of the inspiration for the art.

Here are more sculptures that we found.

Folded Weight I

Artist: Matthew Csernansky

Matthew’s art utilizes modern materials to capture the minimalistic shapes of nature that often get overlooked. He seeks to provide the viewer with a way to experience those natural shapes.

Folded Weight I  is meant to remind us of natural and man-made objects that awe us with their scale, weight, and presence. The shape is reminiscent of a piece of paper, folded into a new form. Folded Weight I represents shelter, a moment of rest and balance. It encourages reflection and meditation.

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield folded weight
Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield – Folded Weight I

Agatha’s Contest

Artist: Timothy Pease

This is Timothy’s first public art piece. The nurses fighting on the frontlines against COVID provided inspiration for his art. The nurses tirelessly continue against the virus, never wavering in their desire to triumph in this contest.

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield agatha's contest
Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield – Agatha’s Contest

Grandpa S

Artist: Matt Miller

Matt has created art for 12 years while also spending time in the classroom, teaching art to others. He enjoys a constant connection with this form of expression. 

This sculpture is inspired by his wife’s grandfather, who whittled slingshots out of sticks.

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield grandpa s
Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield – Grandpa S

Never Too Far

Artist: Joe Duggar

Joe’s inspiration for this piece is feeling of separation from the ones we love and how a memory pulls those we miss to us again. This is his second work in the sculpture program.

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield never too far
Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield – Never Too Far

Ozarks Jubilee Park

While looking for this year’s sculptures, Greg and I discovered other art pieces in the area. There is a massive cube-like sculpture in Park Central Square. And we found this intriguing piece in Ozarks Jubilee Park, a few blocks away.

The base is similar to those supporting the 2022-2023 Sculpture Walk pieces, leading me to believe this is an entry from a former exhibit, that became a permanent installation.

We had fun walking around this beautiful park, playing on the interactive musical pieces there.

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield ozarks jubilee park
Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield – Ozarks Jubilee Park

More Art to Discover

I’ve shared less than half of the sculptures from this year’s exhibit. Which means, I’ll return to Springfield Missouri soon, when temperatures are below the 100 degree mark, to find more sculptures.

I look forward to the discoveries and the opportunity to try out another new to me restaurant downtown.

Do you have a Sculpture Walk in your city…or a town near you?

Looking for Art in Downtown Springfield sky eleven
Pretty Sky Eleven in downtown Springfield is an apartment for students.

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What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island SC

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Last fall I experienced my first bigger solo adventure in the Charleston, South Carolina area. I loved the experience and learned so much about traveling solo and discovered new things about myself as well.

When the invitation came to travel back to South Carolina and explore the sea islands just outside of Charleston, I happily accepted. There is, I found, a difference between staying in Charleston’s historic downtown area…and island life.

Here’s what I learned traveling solo on Johns Island.

What I Learned Traveling on Johns Island title meme

Johns Island South Carolina

Shortly after I returned home from Charleston, one of the owners of Sailor’s Rest Airbnb contacted me about hosting my stay at their wonderful property. Located on Johns Island, Sailor’s Rest is situated to offer unique experiences on the sea islands while being close enough to Charleston for further explorations there. I said a grateful “Yes!”

Johns Island is the largest of the South Carolina sea islands. Located about 11 miles from Charleston, Johns Island was named after Saint John Parish in Barbados, by the first English colonial setters who arrived from there. Before the settlers, nomadic Native American tribes, such as the Kiawah, hunted and fished there.

By the late 1600s, colonists developed plantations along the banks of the Stono River. The plantations relied on enslaved people to grow crops of indigo, prized for its rich blue dye. During the Revolutionary War a small force of British troops camped on the island, with the purpose of laying siege to Charleston. British troops successfully besieged the city in 1780. Occupation lasted until 1782.

During the Civil War the island was the site of the Battle of Bloody Bridge in 1864. During a three day siege, 2,000 southern troops held off 8,000 union soldiers. After the war the island experienced a time of change and redevelopment.

Today, Johns Island offers guests lush landscapes, fun attractions and laid back vibes.

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island vibes
Island vibes at Sailor’s Rest on Johns Island.

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island

Following are my six biggest “takeaways” from this solo trip.

Research Pays Off

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does extensive research before leaving on a trip. Perhaps because of traveling solo, I spend a great deal of time researching the area I’m visiting and familiarizing myself with it.

Studying maps of Johns Island and the other sea islands helped me visualize my travels and delivered my first surprises. I discovered two places I wanted to visit during my first trip to Charleston…Angel Oak Tree and Charleston Tea Garden…located within minutes of my accommodations.

Learning the roads and plotting out travel routes eased my slight anxiety about renting a car and driving in the area alone. I also developed a loose itinerary, with built in times for spontaneous explorations, so that I could make the most of my time on Johns Island.

All of this planning pays off when I arrive at my destination. I know where I am at all times, even though it’s a new to me area, and I know what I am doing so I don’t miss experiences that are important to me.

I knew from my research that a bamboo tunnel leads to the Sailor’s Rest property. When I drove through that tunnel I felt such a sense of excitement that I had arrived!

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island bamboo tunnel
What I learned traveling solo on Johns Island – the bamboo tunnel leads into Sailor’s Rest

A Car is Essential

When I flew to Charleston the first time, I took a cab from the airport to Meeting Street Inn downtown. From that location, I could walk to all the places I wanted to see, or take the city’s free hop on/hop off trolley.

Taxis and ride providers such as Uber don’t go to Johns Island, or at least not without very high fees. I knew this trip I’d need to rent a car to get around.

This is where I experienced the most personal growth during my solo trip. I’ve never rented a car on my own before…or driven from a major airport through a large busy city to an island. I admit to feeling some mild anxiety and also excitement over that adventure. I made rental car arrangements before the trip and picked the car up at the Charleston International Airport.

The Mitsubishi Mirage was perfect for my needs. I loved the large screen on the dash. When I plugged in my iPhone and pulled up the maps feature, it displayed on the screen, making it so much easier for me to navigate. And I spent very little on gas during the four days I drove the car, thanks to it being a hybrid.

A car truly is essential for getting around the islands or driving back into Charleston. I’m glad staying on the island forced me to do something I might not have otherwise. I think I strutted a bit walking back into the airport terminal, after handing the car keys over to the attendant. What a sense of accomplishment. And the next time I need to rent a car, it won’t be a big deal.

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island rental car
What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island – a car is essential

Staying on the Island is the Best Way to Experience It

It is certainly possible to stay in Charleston and spend a day exploring the sea islands. However, I’m so glad I stayed on Johns Island for this trip. And while I did spend half a day in Charleston, I enjoyed the rest of my stay exploring what the island has to offer.

I highly recommend Sailor’s Rest Airbnb as the perfect accommodations for an island visit. You can read more about the features of Sailor’s Rest HERE. I loved having the whole property to myself. And I loved just as much knowing that the hosts live above the airbnb, in case I needed them or had questions. They showed me incredible kindness and graciously shared their story with me. Otherwise, they left me to enjoy the house, the beautiful grounds, the pool and the many amenities, in solitude.

Although I spent each day out exploring, I arrived back at Sailor’s Rest by late afternoon so that I could experience the property, swim, fix an evening meal and savor downtime. Island life invites reflection and practicing the art of doing nothing. There’s such a unique, slower paced vibe there and I happily aligned with it.

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island arbor
What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island – align with the slower paced island lifestyle

It’s Okay to Join a Group

I adore solo travel. I’m naturally a solitary person and alone time is never lonely for me. However, I also discovered that it’s okay to connect with others and join a group, when necessary.

At the Charleston Tea Garden, on Wadmalaw Island, I highly recommend the factory tour and the trolley tour of the tea farm. I joined a large group of lively, talkative women…and a couple of men…for both tours. On the trolley, I sat next to a woman I did not know and got acquainted as we toured the property. These ladies laughed, a lot, and made me feel like part of the group. In fact, they even invited me to join them for lunch when we got back to the gift shop. I had other plans for lunch, but I thanked them and we all wished each other well on our adventures for the day.

And here’s the thing. I almost waited for another trolley tour rather than join that boisterous group. I’m glad though that I spent 45 fun minutes with them. Had I hesitated, I might have waited much longer to board another trolley. I bought one of the last seats available with the fun group… and the next trolley tour sold out immediately as more and more visitors arrived at the tea garden.

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island group
What I learned traveling solo on Johns Island – it’s okay to go with a crowd

Adapt

Since I had a full kitchen at my disposal, I prepared breakfasts and suppers at the airbnb. That left lunches out, while exploring. Before the trip I picked cafés to try that offered vegan options.

And since I arrived on Johns Island late on Sunday afternoon, I selected a food market with a restaurant for carry out so I could take my meal to Sailor’s Rest.

Wouldn’t you know….the food market and restaurant wasn’t open on Sunday and every café that I selected was closed for lunch. For someone who does extensive research, I somehow didn’t check open times.

Adapting is an important part of solo travel. I carry a notebook full of my ideas and fortunately, I jotted down alternative places to eat. And you know what? They were so good. The food market in Freshfields Village not only provided groceries and my first carry out meal on the island, the trip there inspired me to return to explore the village more a couple of days later. And I enjoyed lunch there at Café Eugenia after I found that the other restaurant I’d selected on Johns Island only opens in the evening.

I revisited Brown Dog Deli in Charleston for an amazing vegan meal after I discovered my initial choice also only opens in the evening and my second choice did not have enough vegan options.

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island cafe eugenia
Interior shot of Café Eugenia in Freshfields Village

Go With the Flow

Going with the flow is a crucial life lesson I learned years ago. And it is an important aspect of solo travel for me. Even with all the planning, unexpected things happen…like closed restaurants…or opportunities appear. Resistance not only takes me out of the high level energy flow, it can also flip me into disappointment or cause me to struggle. I don’t want either…in life or on my travels.

I found other wonderful places to eat lunch. And because the restaurant/food market I intended to stop at on my way to the airbnb was closed I needed to find another place to stock up on groceries and grab a quick meal. My host recommended Freshfields Village and I’m so glad she did. Going there Sunday afternoon led to the visit later in the week.

Additionally, going with the flow secured me an ideal parking spot in Charleston. Using Google Maps, I located a parking garage in the downtown area. However, arriving in the city I felt drawn to drive by Waterfront Park first. The sight of a cruise ship docked in the bay drew my attention. I didn’t see any cruise ships last September. As I slowly drove along the street toward that cruise ship, I literally found myself coming to a stop in front of a parking lot with an attendant motioning me in. It was cheaper than the downtown parking garage and the perfect starting point for my explorations.

What I Learned Traveling Solo on Johns Island cruise ship
What I learned traveling solo on Johns Island – go with the flow

What Are Your Takeaways from Your Last Trip?

Do you love traveling…and the experiences you have? What about the lessons you learn?

Every time I travel, I learn and experience something new. Solo travel ramps that up, as I also discover new things about myself and what I am capable of.

Each solo adventure inspires me to go again, to another place I’ve never been.

Share with me your takeaways from your most recent adventure.

What I Learned Traveling Solo

Travel Journals from Amazon:

 


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8 Ways to Combat Boredom

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Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month? Neither did I! There’s a whole month dedicated to fighting boredom. We’ve all been in that state of wanting to do something and yet nothing appealing catches our interest. That’s boredom.

July was selected by Anti-Boredom Month founder Alan Caruba, a journalist, because school is out and after the 4th of July there isn’t another fun holiday to celebrate until fall. This month is also hot, inspiring us to stay indoors and become less active.

Boredom, like comparison and anxiety, is a thief of joy and can have a negative impact on moods, motivation and satisfaction with life. Check out these 8 ways to combat boredom, using this month to make shifts in your life.

8 Ways to Combat Boredom title meme 2

 

Defining Boredom

Typically, boredom is caused by monotonous repetition or tedious tasks. Or when we settle too deeply into routine we can become stuck in boredom due to lack of mental stimulation.

Scientifically, one known cause of boredom is low levels of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that fires up whenever we experience something new and/or exciting. Doing tedious tasks or following a predictable, repetitious routine allows dopamine levels to fall. When our brains are no longer stimulated, we feel bored. That is our cue to make changes.

Other causes of boredom include low energy due to lack of sleep or mental exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed with tasks, feeling stuck in a monotonous situation, procrastination, lack of motivation or an unexpected life change that throws us off balance.

8 Ways to Combat Boredom charleston
8 Ways to Combat Boredom – travel to see new sights, such as Charleston

8 Ways to Combat Boredom

Combating boredom is a way of going beyond, of living life beyond the edges. Like staying in a comfort zone, sometimes we put up with boredom rather than shifting and making the effort to create change.

Try one…or all…of these ways to inject joy and excitement back into your life, if you feel bored.

Start with Reflection

If boredom is stealing your joy, take some quiet time away from distractions to uncover the root cause of it. Does life feel too routine? Are you overwhelmed in any area? Do you know your life purpose?

Grab a notebook or journal and spend time writing out your thoughts, feelings and concerns. Refer back to the causes of boredom above. Do you see the underlying cause?

Make shifts that stimulate the brain and create excitement and anticipation. Listen to lively music while doing chores, watch a fun series on television while folding laundry, change up everyday routines and make sure you get enough sleep at night.

Meditation is another crucial way to go deeper within to see what’s really going on. Learn more about how to meditate and the benefits HERE.

Eliminate the “I Shoulds”

Sometimes it’s not boredom you struggle with but the feeling of guilt over not doing something that you feel you “should” do. It’s beautiful to spend time practicing the art of doing nothing. Often the mind and body need that quiet downtime. It isn’t laziness to sit by a steam and listen to the water or to lie in a hammock on a warm morning, daydreaming. There’s value in intentional inactivity.

Boredom kicks in when you think “I should be doing something beside sitting here…but I don’t know what to do.” Learn to be okay with doing nothing when that’s what your body and mind most require.

8 Ways to Combat Boredom meditate
8 Ways to Combat Boredom – reflection

Know Your Purpose in Life

If life feels mundane and boring, perhaps it’s because you aren’t living your purpose. Knowing why you are here on earth and what you most want to do guides you in making decisions, living with passion and pursuing your dreams.

Your purpose is uniquely yours. What it’s not is carrying out the expectations of others. Purpose gets you out of bed in the morning, excited for the day.

At some point, I’ll write a detailed post on discovering purpose. To get started, try creating a personal manifesto that states your beliefs, your desires and what is uniquely true about you. Use my Wild Woman Manifesto as a template.

Don’t rush this process. It involves having a growth mindset and exploring what you love to do. Journaling is another excellent tool for uncovering purpose.

Following curiosity is a fun way discover more about what you feel drawn to. Recently, while studying the health habits of people with the highest longevity, following my curiosity led me to adopt to a Blue Zones Lifestyle!

Connect with High Energy People

If you find yourself yawning through another conversation with the group of people you always hang out with, it’s time to find some new people to connect with. It doesn’t mean you have to ditch old friends. It means you look for new friends who live with high energy, great passion and a strong sense of purpose to hang out with too.

Connecting with new people might also lead to different hobbies, fresh experiences or incredible shared ideas. Look for like minded people, clubs that discuss topics you are curious about or participate in adventures with other daring souls.

8 Ways to Combat Boredom purpose
8 Ways to Combat Boredom – follow curiosity to discover purpose

Eliminate Overwhelm

Overwhelm happens when you take on too much, let tedious tasks pile up or avoid essential activities for too long. The procrastination and avoidance paralyze forward action and then you feel stuck. Boredom sets in.

To eliminate overwhelm and the accompanying boredom, get to those things that need doing, but make it fun, make it interesting.

Create a list and check off each item. Do the most challenging tasks first thing in the morning and get them out of the way. Then do the next  most challenging and so on. As you cross those items off the list, you build momentum and feel a sense of accomplishment and relief.

Make a game out of completing boring tasks by setting a timer and racing the clock. Reward yourself with a fun experience (not food) and give yourself something to look forward to.

Enjoy New Experiences

Always a favorite of mine, learning new things, going to new places and enjoying new experiences releases that dopamine in the brain. You feel excited, joyful, accomplished and more creative, “doing the new”, as my friend Lu Ann says.

You don’t have to travel around the world to find someplace new. Visit a town nearby that you’ve never been to before. Go to a restaurant in your city and try different cuisine. Listen to a music genre you haven’t tried before or watch a movie in a different category.

Once you get used to frequently enjoying new experiences you will discover that the new experiences find you. It becomes a way of life.

For example, information about the Sculpture Walk in Springfield popped up in my Facebook news feed. I’d never heard of it, however it immediately grabbed my interest. What a fun, new experience it turned out to be, in a city an hour from Joplin. I even got to experience a new restaurant the same day.

8 Ways to Combat Boredom - new experiences
8 Ways to Combat Boredom – try new experiences (Downtown Springfield)

Change Up Routines

Following the same routine day after day creates a mental rut, which eventually turns into boredom. It’s way too easy to fall into habits that become harder to break as time passes.

To bring excitement back, change up those routines. Change is usually the key to combatting boredom.

If you always do something a certain way, do it differently. Get up at a little earlier or later, walk in the evening instead of the morning, drive to work a different way, move the furniture around, start a new hobby. Take a cooking class, shift your mindset, get outside more, dress differently, paint your bedroom a fresh color.

Don’t move through life mindlessly. Wake up your brain and your senses and chase boredom away by changing up those routines. You’ll gain new perspectives as well.

Create a Boredom Busting List

Keep a running list of new things you’d like to try…or experiences you enjoy that you never tire of. When boredom sneaks in, grab the list and pick an activity to stir things up. Don’t make the list too easy. Challenge yourself to go on more adventures, try new experiences, think differently and move beyond comfort zones.

Make a game out of picking an activity off your list. One of my favorite games to play is the random one. Write your fun ideas on slips of paper, fold them and drop the papers into a container. If you feel bored, randomly select a folded paper from the container and do whatever is written there.

You will not only combat boredom, you’ll grow, expand your perspectives and deepen your trust.

Do You Struggle with Boredom?

Is boredom something you struggle with…occasionally or frequently? I hope these 8 ways to combat boredom give you ideas for ways to go beyond and live a life that brings you great joy.

If you have other ways of busting boredom, share them in the comments below.

8 Ways to Combat Boredom travel
One of my favorite ways to combat boredom…travel!

Amazon finds to help keep boredom away:


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Family Fun at Topgolf

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Recently Greg and I joined our son, daughter-in-law and three grandkids in Rogers, Arkansas for family fun at Topgolf. I volunteered to sit out playing so I could take photos and videos.

I bought Greg a gift card to Topgolf for Father’s Day and this was our first experience at the entertainment venue. We enjoyed the lively atmosphere, the food and the family time.

Grandson Joey turned 16 the day before our outing so we also celebrated his birthday with a shared meal and dessert.

Family Fun at TopGolf title meme

Topgolf History

The Jolliffe Brothers and a licensee developed the first three Topgolf locations in the United Kingdom in 2000. Both brothers, who were avid golfers, wanted to improve their game. They designed and patented technology that places an RFID (radio frequency id)  chip inside golf balls. Originally called Target Oriented Practice Golf, the name eventually shortened to Topgolf.

The US licensee brought Topgolf to the US in 2005, opening its first location in Alexandria, Virginia, a Washington DC suburb. The company incorporated in 2008 as Topgolf International.

Today they are considered pioneers of the sports entertainment industry with a proven track record of creativity infused with technology.

The company currently has 70 venues with 200,000+ swing bays in 28 states in the US plus four countries.

At Topgolf the mission is to help people create unforgettable experiences with family and friends.

Family Fun at TopGolf interior
Interior shot at Topgolf Rogers, Arkansas

How Do You Play at Topgolf?

The Topgolf centers offer two or three story buildings with dozens of climate-controlled bays that rent by the hour. Up to six people play at a time, adults or children. Golf clubs are provided or you may bring your own. Each venue offers a full service bar and restaurant and an impressive menu, with dining/drinking available while you play in your bay.

Topgolf offers a variety of games that utilize microchipped golf balls and a tracer that keeps track of shots. Each player scores points by hitting golf balls into targets on the large field. The more accurate the shot and the farther the distance, the more points earned. Think driving range with fun twists! A computerized screen provides data about distance and accuracy with each ball hit and a leaderboard keeps score among the players.

Each player gets ten shots and you rotate through those, one shot at a time. The targets range from 25 yards away to 200+. You can choose from 12 or more different games, to play as a group. The most commonly played is simply called “Topgolf”.

Family Fun at TopGolf aubs
Family Fun at Topgolf – Aubrey teeing up
Family Fun at Topgolf - Oliver
Family Fun at Topgolf – Oliver’s turn

Planning Your Visit

Whatever location you choose to play in, it’s best to book a bay in advance. Using the Topgolf app, you can also “walk in” and add yourself to the wait list. Wait times vary, from 15 minutes to much longer at peak playing times.

It’s easy to reserve your spot online by entering the number of players and the date you wish to play. You can use the link above and simply change the location. The cost is $27 per hour per bay for a morning slot, $37 for noon – 5:00 and $47 for 5:00 until close. Prices are slightly higher Friday – Sunday and may vary at different locations. And many Topgolf venues offer a half price day on Tuesdays.

Upon arrival, check in with the front desk staff, who escorts you to your bay. Grab a drink, order food, pick your game and create profiles for each player. Each bay includes golf clubs, a table and chairs and a HDTV. Friendly and helpful staff members stop by frequently to make sure you are having fun and to take your food and drink orders.

Family Fun at TopGolf Joey
Family Fun at Topgolf – Joey tees up
Family Fun at TopGolf Megan
Family Fun at Topgolf – Megan hits her first shot

Rogers Topgolf Facility

The Rogers Topgolf facility is open Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am until midnight, and 10:00 am until 1:00 am Friday and Saturday. Check website on holidays, for special hours or closures.

The address is 3919 S JB Hunt Drive, Rogers, Arkansas.

This location features 2 floors with 70+ all weather bays, a full bar and restaurant, rooftop terrace with fire pits, 200+ HDTVs, free wi-fi and private event spaces.

Click HERE for promotions and events happening at the Rogers Topgolf.

Family Fun at TopGolf Nate
Family Fun at Topgolf – Nate’s turn to tee up
Family Fun at TopGolf Greg
Greg enjoyed playing at Topgolf

Family Fun at Topgolf

We enjoyed a fun evening together, on the second floor of the Rogers Topgolf. Megan reserved two hours for us all, online, and since they’ve played at this location before, she knew how to set up the player profiles. The information is stored so she called up each player in her family and quickly added Greg.

We ordered soft drinks and tall glasses of ice water, along with unsweet tea for me, plus appetizers and meals. Topgolf offers veggie and vegan options. Greg and I got the veggie burgers with a side of fries and they were good! Portions are large.

Our wait staff stopped by often and provided excellent service. Joey received a special birthday dessert to share with his family. And the staff gathered to sing “happy birthday” to him.

The energy at Topgolf is amazing and on our night there, it ramped up with added excitement over the impending arrival of the Backstreet Boys! The group arrived in town for their concert scheduled the next evening at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion, also called the AMP, located next to Topgolf. Apparently they decided to reserve a bay at the Rogers Topgolf for some play and downtime.

The grandkids got a quick lesson on Backstreet Boys and their music. Unfortunately, we had to leave before the band arrived, but it was fun knowing they were playing Topgolf the same evening, just down from where we played.

Family Fun at TopGolf birthday
Joey’s birthday dessert, injectable donut holes with different flavored icings.

Visit Topgolf

What a wonderful place for family fun, date nights, hanging out with the guys or golf practice, in a unique setting.

We will visit again, soon. I loved the atmosphere, the friendliness of the staff and spending time with my family, watching them have fun.

And…we ALMOST saw the Backstreet Boys! The kids will remember that experience and so will we.

Have you visited a Topgolf location? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Family Fun at TopGolf silouhette
Family shot at Topgolf.

More places to explore in Arkansas:

Exploring Eureka Springs

Tanyard Creek

The Veggie Table

Golf Finds from Amazon:

 


 

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June Movies

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Movies…I love them. They’ve played an important role in my life, providing inspiration and providing deeper life messages. And yet for two years, I rarely enjoyed watching them on the big screen.

I changed that during the month of June. I’m back at the movies and loving it. I enrolled in Regal Cinema’s Unlimited program. For $18 month, I can watch an unlimited number of movies. If I go twice during a month, I save money. This past month, I enjoyed SIX films at the local Regal Theater.

Here’s a brief review of each of the June movies that I saw…no spoilers.

June Movies title meme

June Movies

I enjoyed quite a mix of films, from multi-universe fantasy to period piece to dinosaurs roaming present day earth to intense fighter pilot training to a music legend biopic. Four of the films were sequels. All touched me in some way, making laugh, jump, cry or walk away in deep thought.

Here are the June movies, each with brief synopsis and what I loved about it. I’m presenting them in the order that I saw them.

Downton Abbey A New Era

Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Allen Leach, Laura Carmichael, Harry Hadden-Paton, Phyllis Logan, Robert James-Collier and Maggie Smith.

Rating/Length: PG, 2 hours, 4 minutes

Watch on Peacock, with a subscription.

Synopsis: In this second movie in the Downton Abbey franchise, based on the long running television series, part of the Crawley Family goes on an adventure to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

Meanwhile, back at Downton Abbey Lady Mary and the staff open the home to a film crew, filming the last of the silent movies. It’s not a smooth process for anyone and Lady Mary finds herself filling in when the silent film suddenly transitions into a “talkie”.

What I love about this movie: I watched the whole Downton Abbey series and the first movie and highly anticipated this sequel. Although there are many characters to keep track of and multiple story lines, I enjoyed the interaction between “upstairs” and “downstairs” and the mystery in this film, that is not solved until the end of the movie. Some of the characters had big moments as well, that I celebrated with them.

June Movies downton abbey
June Movies – Downton Abbey A New Era

Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez and Rachel McAdams.

Rating/Length: PG-13, 2 hours, six minutes

Watch Dr Strange on Prime Video.

Synopsis: Dr Strange teams up with a mysterious teenage girl who can travel across universes. Together they battle threats and encounter other versions of Dr Strange in other universes as they seek to prevent a new adversary from wiping out millions across the multiverse.

What I love about this movie: I’m a big Marvel Universe fan, watching the many films that make up this multifaceted franchise. And although multiverse films can be confusing, I found this one fast paced, fun to watch and easy to follow. I also enjoy thinking about the possibility of there being multiple universes.

June Movies dr strange
June Movies – Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Rating/Length: R, 2 hours, 19 minutes

Watch Everything on Prime Video.

Synopsis: With her business and marriage failing, Evelyn Wang struggles to cope with life. Even her relationships with her father and daughter are strained. On her way to meet with an IRS auditor, Evelyn inexplicably finds herself caught up in an insane journey, jumping into parallel realities through a multiverse rift. Through all the realities an evil person pursues her, threatening the existence of everyone.

What I loved about this movie: Talk about taking the multiverse theme to a new level! This film goes there, in an entertaining yet thought provoking way. I loved the growth that Evelyn experienced as a result of her crazy journey and the big aha at the end of the movie.

June Movies everything
June Movies – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Jurassic World Dominion

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Isabelle Sermon and DeWanda Wise.

Rating/Length: PG-13, 2 hours, 27 minutes

Currently playing at theaters.

Synopsis: This sequel takes place four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar. Dinosaurs now live…and hunt…alongside humans all over the world. This unstable balance is reshaping the future and may determine whether humans will remain the dominant species on earth.

What I loved about this movie: After seeing the other films in this series, I HAD to see this final installment. I love the dinosaurs and I enjoyed seeing the return of other cast members from earlier films. It all felt very nostalgic.

June Movies jurassic world
June Movies – Jurassic World Dominion

Top Gun: Maverick

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Val Kilmer and Jon Hamm.

Rating/Length: PG-13, 2 hours 10 minutes

Currently playing at theaters.

Synopsis: After 30+ years as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is doing what he loves best…pushing the envelope as a test pilot. An urgent situation brings him back to the US Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as Top Gun, where he must train a group of young pilots for an impossible mission. Among the trainees, the son of Maverick’s deceased best friend Goose.

What I loved about this movie: I enjoyed this intense, fast paced, edge of your seat film and in fact, liked it even better than the first Top Gun. Tom Cruise excels in the role of Maverick and it is very heart touching to see Val Kilmer reprise the role of Iceman. Kilmer is fighting throat cancer in real life and it’s very moving to see him in this movie. I highly recommend re-watching Top Gun before seeing Maverick.

June Movies maverick
June Movies – Top Gun Maverick

Elvis

Cast: Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge, David Wenham, Richard Roxburgh and Helen Thomson.

Rating/Length: PG-13, 2 hours, 39 minutes

Currently playing at theaters.

Synopsis: This biopic follows the life of music legend Elvis Presley from his childhood to rock and roll stardom, during a time of great cultural shifts in the US. The story is told from the perspective of Elvis’ controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker, a complex relationship that spanned 20 years.

What I loved about this movie: Although I enjoyed all six of June movies, this one was the best. I did not consider myself a huge Elvis fan, however I am a big fan of the writer/producer of the film, Baz Luhrman. I appreciate the high energy way that he tells a story. And now, after seeing the film, I am also an Elvis fan. I learned things about the musician that I didn’t know and felt deeply moved by his story. The impact was so great that I sat through the credits, tears in my eyes, thinking big thoughts, and then immediately played the movie soundtrack via Amazon Music on my Echo Dot when I returned home. I’ll see this one again.

June Movies elvis
June Movies – Elvis

Have You Seen Any of These Films

That’s my round up of June Movies! I look forward to taking full advantage of my Regal Unlimited Card to watch movies all summer and share the lineup each month. It feels so good to be back front of the big screen again.

Have you seen any of these films? Which one was your favorite?

June Movies unlimited

 

Get Amazon Prime, which include Prime Video, HERE, free trial for 30 days.

You might also enjoy this review of JoJo Rabbit.

 

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Sculpture Walk Springfield

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

love when something fun and new comes unexpectedly into my awareness. Recently, scrolling through my feed on Facebook, my attention was caught by an announcement on a new-to-me page called Sculpture Walk Springfield.

Springfield, Missouri is an hour drive from my hometown of Joplin. I go there often on adventures, weekend get-aways and or just to enjoy a meal.

I felt excited about an art adventure in this charming and busy city. Reading for info, I realized this was a new installation in an ongoing exhibit that changes yearly.

On a beautiful spring day, Greg and I drove to Springfield to enjoy the Sculpture Walk and a wonderful lunch at a downtown restaurant. Check out some of my favorite sculptures from that trip.

Sculpture Walk Springfield title meme

What Is Sculpture Walk Springfield?

In 2013, Karen Schneider and Peg Carolla went to visit their respective daughters in two very different cities – Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Mexico City, Mexico – and returned with similar visions about what public art can do for a community. In Mexico City, Peg noticed giant cups painted by individual artists, lining a long boulevard. And in Sioux Falls, Karen took note of a program of changing sculptures in the town center.

Karen and Peg gathered a group of enthusiastic Springfield residents who carried the vision for such an art project in their own city.

Sculpture Walk Springfield launched in April 2015 with 13 sculptures installed throughout the downtown area. This year the 2022 exhibit showcases 41 sculptures…29 temporary ones that will change out next year and 12 permanent installations.

Vision, Mission and Purpose

Their vision: to create a museum without walls with access to all.

Their purpose: when placed outdoors, integrated in full public view with existing structures and landscapes, sculptures add to a city’s heritage, character, and sense of place and diversity; it adorns a city with distinction, adding to pride of place and a sense of identity. Public art rejuvenates public spaces by transforming them into destinations.  Sculpture Walk Springfield will play a major role in the economic rejuvenation of Springfield.

Their mission: to encourage the artistic transformation of Springfield through outdoor sculpture, thus enhancing our quality of life and promoting economic vitality.

Sculpture Walk Springfield downtown
Sculpture Walk Springfield – downtown street

Looking for Sculptures

You can visit the Facebook Page or the website HERE to download a map or you can park near Park Central Square in downtown Springfield and start walking. The sculptures are identified by a small plaque near each one, that lists the artist and a brief description of the inspiration for the art.

Park Central Square is a gorgeous place to call “home base” for the hunt. There is free parking available nearby and a variety of shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs in the area for a meal or a drink.

I downloaded a map onto my phone, in case we got “stuck”. However, the sculptures were not hard to find. It’s fun to stroll through the downtown area, enjoying the city and looking for these works of art. We located about half of the sculptures and saved the rest so we had another reason to return soon to Springfield.

The warm sunshiny day encouraged us to stop for lunch and lots of ice water at Civil Kitchen, located across from Park Central Square. This fun restaurant offers veggie choices such as their falafel and veg wrap and colossal onion rings. That wrap is amazing! I also enjoyed their flash fried kale.

Sculpture Walk Springfield civil kitchen
Sculpture Walk Springfield – good place for lunch, Civil Kitchen

Sculpture Walk Springfield Faves

Here are some of my favorite sculptures that we found on this first exploration. ALL of the sculptures are amazing though. You’ll want to find all of them.

Continuum

Artist: Nathan Pierce

Nathan believes that communication plays a fundamental role in our perceptions of the world we live in. His work deals with the conflicts of confinement and freedom and with exploring the catalyst between building or destroying communication. The relationship that his work has with the natural environment communicates with the viewer and helps activate the imagination and see the world differently.

(Pictured above in the Title Pin)

Call Now!

Artist: Mike Salisbury

Mike uses the abandoned payphone as a metaphor for connection and disconnection. His urban street sculpture invites interaction and reflects our culture in a time of change.

The juxtaposition of an outdated artifact surrounding a living tree causes the viewer to contemplate: “Is nature protected or imprisoned? Is this a triumph for the environment or a rite for our technology? Playful nostalgia or a worrisome premonition?”

You decide!

Sculpture Walk Springfield call now
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Call Now!

Guardian Creature

Artist: Derek Fitzpatrick

This playful sculpture is based off of a series of ceramic and metal sculptures that Derek made called creatures.

This one, the Guardian Creature, is meant to guard and protect people.

Sculpture Walk Springfield guardian creature
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Guardian Creature

Heart of the Matter

Artist: Larry Young

Larry drew inspiration from the EKG graph as it records the strength and timing of the heart’s activity. Especially in tough times, he says, we need our hearts to beat in strong, coordinated rhythm.

Two of Larry’s family members work in the health industry. He possesses a deep appreciation for what those in this field sacrifice and do to serve all in need.

Sculpture Walk Springfield heart of the matter
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Heart of the Matter

Say Cheese

Artist: Justin Deister

As a kid, did you hate for your food to touch, on your plate?

Justin says that’s where art began for him…managing food migration. His inspiration is the fun kids enjoy when they put cheese noodles on fork tines. It always makes him smile.

His sculpture makes me smile!

Sculpture Walk Springfield say cheese
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Say Cheese

Thinking of Solutions

Artist: Zachery Long

Zachery calls this sculpture a self portrait. He felt stuck on a problem. He is very solution oriented and found himself thinking on solutions in a robotic way. Processing ideas is how he hunts for solutions. This time, the solution was the process.

Sculpture Walk Springfield thinking of solutions
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Thinking of Solutions

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding

Artist: James Douglas Cox

James wanted to make this sculpture for more than 20 years. He says with the division between people in the US the worst he’s seen in his lifetime, he figured this was as good a time as any to create it.

In James’ favorite version of Nick Lowe’s song What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding Nick says:

“As I walk this wicked world  searching for light in the darkness of insanity, I ask myself is all hope lost, is there only pain, hatred and misery/ And each time I feel like this inside there’s one thing I want to know.

What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding? What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?

And as I walk on through troubled times, my spirit gets so down hearted sometimes. Sometimes, so where are the strong? And who are the trusting? And where is harmony, sweet harmony? Cause each time I feel it slipping away, it just makes me want to cry.

What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding? What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?

Sculpture Walk Springfield whats so funny
Sculpture Walk Springfield – What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding

Visit Springfield MO and the Sculpture Walk

If you live in the Springfield, Branson or Joplin areas or you are passing through, take time to stop and walk in downtown Springfield. Visit a couple of the sculptures…or hunt for all of them. These works of art make you think, make you smile, make you feel.

I thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of strolling and looking, reading the plaques and thinking about the art.  Greg and I finished our time in Springfield with afternoon tea at Gilmore’s.

I’m so impressed and inspired by this Sculpture Walk. It’s a museum without walls indeed, on several different levels. And the hunt and find nature of it just adds to the experience.

I look forward to a return visit and discovering more sculptures tucked into downtown Springfield.

Sculpture Walk Springfield bunnies
These whimsical creatures are part of the What’s So Funny sculpture.

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Star Struck

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This past week it was Adventure Challenge time. I also dealt with one of those annoying things…a full blown summer cold. Additionally, it’s been a full week. I spent any free moments I had in a cold medicine induced sleep.

However, a beautiful thing happened. Rather than shy away from doing an adventure from my book, I randomly selected the activity, trusting completely that it would be perfect in spite of my circumstances. And you know what? It absolutely was.

This is Adventure Challenge #10, Star Struck.

Star Struck title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

As a reminder, The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. They are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the activity is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up, or in The Adventure Challenge.

Star Struck

My instructions for Challenge #10:

“Get some one on one time with the universe.

Find a building you’re allowed to get on top of, bring a lawn chair or blanket, set up and chill out.

Gaze at the stars and take in the night sky as your mind goes to distant galaxies.”

I loved the simplicity of this challenge, during a week when that is exactly what I needed. Plus, this activity connects to me in a deeper way.

Since I don’t know anyone with a building in Joplin that allows safe rooftop access, I adapted. I chose to use the vintage picnic table in my own backyard as my viewing point, covered with a thick plaid blanket.

Star Struck table
Star Stuck – picnic table as vantage point for star gazing

Setting Up the Star Struck Challenge

Star gazing in my own backyard made setting up for this activity easier. While a threat of evening thunderstorms hung over the Joplin area, I set up the picnic table anyway. A spectacular sunset revealed thunderheads building to the northwest but as darkness deepened, the towering clouds stayed north.

I draped a heavy plaid blanket over the picnic table, for comfort. And added a pillow to cradle my head with the appropriate words, “Let the adventure begin!” (Get a similar pillow HERE) A cup of hot tea and natural bug spray completed the setup. A steady breeze not only cooled the yard but kept the mosquitos from hovering around, ultimately making the spray unnecessary.

About 9:30 pm I stretched out on the table, ready to star gaze.

Star Struck sunset
Star Struck – sunset behind building thunderheads

My Star Struck Experience

Lying back on the picnic table and looking up immediately transported me back to my childhood.

I’ve long held a profound fascination for space. As a child, I spent many a summer night lying on a blanket in my backyard in Tulsa, Oklahoma, looking up. I learned the constellations, the moon phases and the movement of the planets that way. The original Star Trek television series with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy snagged my interest as a result and increased my love of space, causing me to check out books about the universe, the Milky Way and other galaxies. I grew up looking up at the night sky frequently to find favorite…and familiar…constellations.

Lying in my Joplin backyard brought back those memories and a sense of nostalgia for my childhood adventures. Even with some city light pollution I immediately found the bright star Arcturus, a red giant in the constellation Bootes.

Aloud I recited the lines I learned long ago…”Arc to Arcturus…speed on to Spica”. Tipping my head back, I found the “arc” of the big dipper that points the way to Arcturus. And continuing on, I found Spica, the blue star in the constellation Virgo.

I enjoyed a quiet time of star gazing, remembering long ago summer nights and simply relaxing in my dark backyard.

Star Struck arcturus
Star Struck – see that little white dot in the black sky? That’s the star Arcturus.

Adventure Challenges

Do these adventure challenges sound like fun to you? What about the amazing life lessons and/or synchronicities that accompany each one?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot to add them in the book as you document the challenges.

The perfect challenge activity came to me this week and I am so grateful. I needed that 30 minutes lying on a blanket covered picnic table in my backyard. And I deeply appreciate the connection it created with one of my favorite summer activities as a child.

I don’t think I sneezed or coughed once in that half hour! Nothing disturbed the peace and joy I found star gazing. Plus I set the intention of looking up into the night sky more often. There’s such wonder and beauty there in that vast universe.

Have you star gazed recently?

Star Struck - let the adventure begin
Star Struck – Let the adventure begin! 

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.