Ready, Set, Go – The Art Of Packing Light

So today it’s Wednesday, and I’ve started to count the days until I leave. It’s five days. (If you’re a new friend, I’m moving from northern California, to Las Vegas. I sold most of my bigger items, and my horses. I still have a truck I’m planning to sell, but I can’t sell it until I bought a car..five days..)

I packed, and re-packed my things. I asked myself questions about everything I packed. Why did I pack this? Do I need it? Want it? Is it a sentimental item? Does it help me focus on my dreams and goals? How soon will I use (……)? Is it easy to replace? I also use these questions every spring, and every fall, to stop myself from collecting things that I don’t use. Which definitely helped to make things easier now. I enjoy living a life free from clutter (in every aspect.)

I have a couple items that helps me focus on my dreams. Things that aren’t really necessary. Like a small framed picture of my first horse. I held it in my hand today, again. I reevaluate that photo every time I move. So far it has stayed with me. Even though it may not seem very special to a guest visiting my house. Yes, I took the picture, but the quality of the photo isn’t the best. The balance in the photo is perfect, but the resolution poor. Unless my guest know that I saved ten years to be able to buy that horse, they are probably not even noticing the photo. Or, if they do see it, they probably wonder why on earth I saved that photo.

That photo reminds me that I can get anything I want, if I’m willing to work hard enough. It helped me many times already, and keeps helping me. How could I not bring it with me?

I also use the photo, and the story, to encourage children I tutor, to go after what they want. When showing a child a physical item, like a framed photo, it’s easier for them to believe,  that no dream is too big, even if it seems slightly out of reach for the moment. I often let the children hold the photo in their own hands, while I’m telling them the story. I paint it with details about this very special horse. I tell them about that time when we got chased by a big bull elk, when the horse wasn’t broke to ride yet, and that other time when a bunch of wild pigs chased us. By coincidence (?) the horse’s name was Draumur, Icelandic for dream .

My mom was a single mom, and we were relatively poor (we only had hand-me-down used clothes etc.) We did not have money for me to take riding lessons, and having a horse of my own did not exist in the same universe that I lived in then. Still I knew that I was going to have a horse of my own. I kept that dream alive. I envisioned it. I manifested it every day. It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up, and the last before I went to bed, every night. On my free time I worked hard, without pay, in all the stables within biking distance. To learn more about horses. I also read all the books there was about horses, in the three libraries closest to my home. I did this for ten years. I think of myself as a minimalist, to some degree. Things doesn’t define me. I choose to travel light, and live with a light heart. I do choose to keep a few things, like that frame, and some books that motivates me. I wouldn’t cry if I lost them, but seeing them motivates me, and makes me stronger.

I decided to leave half of the books I had packed, making my already light load, lighter. Books are important, but I decided that I could do without some of them. I also decided to give two large, framed, canvas photos, of wild horses as a gift to a friend, instead of bringing them. I decided to keep my snowboard jacket and pants, even if they take up some space. I invested in quality (I bought them in December last year,) and those are good clothes that will keep me warm, and dry for many winters. The snowboard itself, I’m not so sure. A snowboard takes up space, and I really would like to have one that is a little longer anyways. My snowboard clothes can be used in various settings (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, ice skating, or on a winter vacation,) since they aren’t extreme in any way. They will be useful. Unless I decide to make a bookshelf out of the snowboard. I did that in an apartment I had as a teenager. I used two snowboards that had seen lots of fun, and been replaced by newer boards. Just seeing those bookshelves made me happy. (I love snowboarding!) I almost forgot about that. I might just bring the snowboard..  (Writing really helps to get things straight in my head.)

I downsized the tools in my toolbox, leaving some I rarely use behind. I still haven’t decided wether I should bring my fencing tools…you never know when those will come in handy. I mean, I do know, but how important is it to bring them now? I also unpacked some portable solar showers, that I bring for off-grid camping sometimes…lol. I don’t know why on earth I packed these things in the beginning. The survivalist in me still think that those things are essential for a good life. I think it might of been to remind me that I can still do things like going camping in the middle of nowhere, even if I live in a big city? Maybe to feel the country connection? (Naturally I’m not unpacking my collection of rare heirloom seeds for my future homestead..those will be useful when that day comes, and they’re so tiny. I’ll always make room for those. )

Still, everything I packed from the beginning would easily fit in the trunk of a midsize car, so it wasn’t a crazy amount of stuff. I am good a packing, and now it’s even less. I took care of the horses at work this morning. That is always enjoyable, and I will miss that job immensely. All the horses there are my friends. Going there in the morning and grooming each horse thoroughly doesn’t feel like a job. I will miss the lady I work for as well. I don’t see her every day, but our conversations are always great, when I do see her. 

Besides my morning job, I had two things on my schedule today. The first was to watch a little boy, that I have been watching from time to time. I prepared healthy snacks, and fun games for him, when I was done with my morning job. However his mom didn’t feel good, so he got lucky and got some extra mommy time.  The second thing I was going to do was to test drive a new (used) car. The current owner got caught up in work, and rescheduled to tomorrow. All of a sudden I had several hours. I harvested veggies in my garden; yellow squash, cucumber, tomatoes, and figs. I also played with my dog, groomed her (twice,) and even clipped her nails. I then started to read Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people, for the 11th time! The bible is the only book I’ve read more times. Neither of those are books you can read in one sitting, or learn everything from by just reading them once. Do you have a book/books that you’ve read several times? If so, tell me about them! 

Can you tell that I’m ready to go? When I make a decision, I do everything in my power for it to succeed, and happen quickly. In most cases I’m a patient person, a very patient person, but I don’t feel patient right now. I like being busy, in the face of a big change. To work actively towards making things awesome. It’s kind of itching in me to be able to give my new job, and place to live my very best. I’m not sure if I told you what job I decided to say yes to? Did I? I’m going to take care of two little boys. I’m very excited about meeting them. I’ve talked to their mom, and I’ve seen several photos of them. They looks so happy, and full of life! It’s going to be a lot of fun!  Gretchen (my dog,) is going to to love it as well 🙂 She is very good at taking care of little kids. It just felt right. I put an ad up online, with my education, and a short job resume. I literally got more than 100 job offers. I was planning on going to Vegas, and go to interviews for a couple weeks, and then decide. In the end I choose to follow my intuition. I instantly felt for this family. (They also live less than an hour from my daughter’s father.) I love all children, but the youngest ones have a special place in my heart. I just love being there with them, when they discover new truths for the first time. 

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I kind of feel like dragging out my Halloween costume from last year, and use it to fly into next week. LOL.

I hope you’re having an awesome day 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen

Bull Riding

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Since I’m about to leave California shortly, I figured I’d have to share my last, previously unshared, California rodeo pics, from earlier this season.

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This is how Wikipedia describes the sport of bull riding;

Bull riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a bucking bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal tries to buck off the rider.

In the American tradition, the rider must stay on top of the bucking bull while holding onto the bull rope with one hand for eight seconds and not touching the bull or themself with their free hand. A bull rope is a fiber rope wrapped around the chest of the bull directly behind the bull’s front legs, which the rider grips while riding. If the rider does this, it is a qualified ride. If the rider is bucked off before eight seconds, it is a no score. In most bull riding circuits, four judges mark scores for the rider and the bull. Two judges score the rider based on their ability up to 25 points each for up to a total of 50 points. The other two judges score the bull on his bucking performance for up to 25 points each for a total of up to 50 points. Thus, the ride is scored up to 100 points. Most professional riders score between the mid-70s and high 80s. American bull riding has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.”

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It’s easy to see why it is “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.” Or what do you think? I have no idea why I like going to rodeos so much. Maybe it’s the extreme opposite from my otherwise mindful life? I don’t go to a whole lot of organized events, but I do always go to a few rodeos every year. I always have a blast. These where the last three rodeo photos that I have for now. I hope you enjoyed them, and that you’re having an awesome day!

Love,

Ms Zen

Sagittarius Viking – New Blog Title – New Home State – Same Great Coffee ! !

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My upcoming move out of northern California, down to southern Nevada, motivates a name change of the blog (NorCal Zen.) I don’t want to start all over with a new blog. I’d like to keep seeing all my friends here. I enjoy it very much, and I don’t want to risk loosing any of you. I’ve been thinking about the name for a while. I named my art gallery; Sagittarius Viking, a couple years ago. That name sort of describes who I am, which will never change, no matter where I live.

A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view (me-check.) It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life (done – check.) Sagittarius is extrovert (hmm..to some degree – check,) optimistic (YES,) and enthusiastic (YES,) and likes changes (sometimes, they certainly spice things up from time to time- check.) A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. It’s in my DNA, even if it’s a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my photography is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. It made it a rather easy choice, to choose the same name for my blog, that I already use for my photography – Sagittarius Viking. I should of picked that name when I started blogging 8 years ago, and just sticked with it. Better late than never 🙂 

You can still use the old web address, it’s linked to the new name, but if you want the new address for this blog it is https://sagittariusviking.com. 

Now this blog turned into “country girl facing big city life” for the first time. I’m mostly excited, and very curious about how this is going to play out. I hope that you’ll drop in for coffee as usual. It’s still the best coffee you can get.

I started to use the pseudonym Ms Zen in the blogging world, when I started this blog, and the blog title was NorCal Zen. I am always striving towards finding that zen in my life. Being in balance with everything. I think I’ll just stick with that name for a while. My friends call me Maria. You’re free to use either or.

Love,

Ms Zen