Slow and getting slower

It’s hard for me to believe, but I have been post-employed for more than a week now. It seems that I have been quite busy, but looking back it’s actually difficult to recall how I have been spending my time.

The first several days felt like being on vacation, of the “stay-cation” variety. I slept. I slept a lot. For years I have used two alarms; the first one is happy music selected randomly by my iPod and the second, five minutes later, is a more strident buzzer alarm. Within the first few days I somehow accidentally deleted the music alarm completely. Last night I decided to turn off the buzzer alarm. I slept quite late this morning.

I’ve run a couple of times over the past week, but nothing too strenuous. I just can’t get excited about getting up at the crack of dawn, and later in the day it’s too warm and I get lazy. I’ve tried running in the late afternoons, using the local high school track after the sun has gone behind the mountain. That has worked all right and I’ve appreciated not having to be out on the streets in afternoon traffic. But let’s face it, running around a track is almost as boring as running on a treadmill!

So I’ve decided to be good to myself and let myself sleep and rest as much as I apparently need to do in this in-between time in my life. I plan to head northward back home before the end of the month, but I still have things I need to do here — getting rid of stuff and packing and shipping those things that I still want to keep. I’ll get busy doing that soon enough. Right now is about resting and de-toxing, and letting myself be OK with resting and de-toxing.

I haven’t been completely idle. I did a half-day trip around the Salton Sea, and managed to see both interesting wildlife and famous architecture! I enountered half a dozen white-faced ibises together in a marshy field — I’d only seen one white-faced ibis before in my entire life. Despite their name, they are decidedly brown birds.

At the recently-restored North Shore Yacht Club (an Albert Frey designed building at a long-defunct Salton Sea resort) I was thrilled to see two of my favorite things — white pelicans and mid-century modern architecture — in such close proximity that I was able to capture them in one photograph!

I’ve also had my first-ever date shake. I hated dates as a child but I decided to be daring and now I’m wondering how I allowed myself to miss out on this wonderful experience for so long! I highly recommend Windmill Market in Desert Hot Springs (featured in the current Sunset magazine as the home of the “best date shake in the desert”). The place doesn’t look great from the street but yes, the shakes really are that good.

I tried a little hiking on the trails leading from downtown PS straight up the mountain slopes, but the terrain was extremely steep and I didn’t feel entirely comfortable up there. This afternoon I visited Thousand Palms Oasis and hiked a short, flat trail from there to McCallum Pond. Native palm oases are an experience not to be missed! These oases sit directly atop the San Andreas Fault at a location where groundwater is forced to the surface. They are cool, dense havens for wildlife, which are generally heard but not seen amidst the thick trees. At one place in McCallum Pond I could literally see water bubbling up from the pond bottom, which is a little weird when you contemplate the tectonic forces that create this outwardly peaceful place.

Maybe that’s a good metaphor for me right now. I’m outwardly calm (much calmer than a couple of weeks ago) but there are all sorts of forces coming to the surface within me. I’m beginning to realize that all that stuff about “creating a new life” is real and urgently present for me, right now. While I have a lot of thinking and being and doing ahead of me, I also need to let myself slow down and become open to whatever emerges. I’m not so sure that I know who I am right now. My work, right now, is to become comfortable with that not-knowing.

Perhaps I shall become a Slow Happy Human.

Posted on March 5, 2012, in Architecture, LIfe_goes_on, Nature, Place, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. That last picture is just… Wow. I want to be there.
    A date shake, huh? You’re a better woman that I am. I don’t think I’d give it a try. Hahaha.
    I let myself sleep a lot on Sunday. I don’t think it’s really helping me. It just makes me more tired. I think I just need to get up at my regular time and do things instead of thinking, “Hey! Extra time! I’m gonna sleep.” Then, the extra time doesn’t count because I’ve slept it away. Sleep is a scaring thing. But I get why you need the extra right now. Just don’t let it suck you in!

    • When I first discovered palm oases a couple of years ago, they were one of the things that made living here part time bearable for me. What a contrast from the desert heat and the hustle-bustle of too many people in town!

      I seriously never thought I’d try a date shake either, but I did it in the spirit of being open to new experiences and I was quite pleasantly surprised. I think I’ll take that as a sign that I need to try lots of new things right now.

      I’m with you, actually, on the sleep. I feel (a little) guilty about sleeping so much, but I really think it is a temporary thing and I’ll be giving myself a to-do list soon enough.


  2. I’m thinking you have a new career as a travel writer. Seriously.

  3. Ah, date shakes. Closest to here is China Ranch in Tecopa; introduced a nephew to date shakes at the shake shack on PCH between Corona Del Mar and Laguna this summer. Turns out date/pineapple shakes may be even better than straight date shakes.

  4. Hmmm… yes, I think I might like date/pineapple shakes even better also.

  5. I just love the “comfortable with not knowing” part of your journey! That, and turning off alarm clocks! How wonderful, and I am sure, a little unsettling until you really believe it! Ha! You’re starting to sound like a native with date shakes and some of these wonderful trails. Many people never make it to the Salton Sea…it’s such an unusual place. I think you’ve done very well for someone who, as you say, is definitely not bi-platial! I’m enjoying your journey, Lori, and will miss you when you move on…you’ve introduced me to things in PS I have never known, and will now because of you! I hope the condo sells quickly for you to have that relief! Debra

  6. Good to see that your easing into things.

  7. *you’re 😉

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