There are Always Options

My focus has been scattered since I’ve been enjoying my usual summer vacation away from my business. I finally sat down this morning to ask, “What do I want to share with my audience?” My response: I want to start by updating my readers. 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my husband, Rod, has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). This disease has been affecting his energy levels and ability to sustain physical activity more than ever. Our shared outdoor activities are limited to short hikes, and occasional visits to the beach. Since I still feel a desire for more demanding adventures, and my body is healthy, I’ve chosen to participate in some outdoor experiences without Rod.

Discovering the Power of Options

A highlight from July was a 7-day guided sea kayaking expedition with a good friend, into an area that is less traveled. We caught sight of wolves on the beach, admired sea otters in kelp beds, heard wolves howling at night in a chorus with owls, and so much more. Soul stirring moments. We encountered rain, winds, calm, sun, and incredible beauty through all conditions. 

Our guide kept reminding us, “There are options. We can safely travel to this island, and then we’ll make our next decision based on what we observe at that point.” Breaking down our travel from point to point helped to create ease during our time together. When I felt my anxiety rising, I was able to remind myself that I had the skills required to handle the present reality, remembering that our small group was making good decisions collaboratively. 

I then decided to practice the option of  choosing my focus. During this kayaking expedition I focused on gratitude, how much I appreciated being on the trip, and how much I enjoyed the rhythm of paddling a sea kayak. Savoring time with my fellow paddlers and our delicious meals. Each day my appreciation grew, a testament to that other saying, “What you focus on expands.”

Enjoying My Options

Not everyone would say that paddling a sea kayak for seven days is fun. But that’s what gets me excited, especially within the safety of a guided experience. I was able to try new skills outside of my comfort zone and add to my knowledge base. Should my body continue to stay healthy, I plan to do another trip with this company. Lessons learned from seven days on the water are now being integrated into my daily life. 

Perhaps the biggest lesson that I’ve learned this summer is that I need to care for myself, as much as I care for others in my immediate family. While I continue to support my partner with his chronic health needs – whatever that may look like – I’m also committed to caring for my needs. That will involve time with friends, apart from Rod. It might mean more afternoon naps. More time for my personal, creative writing and less focus on business. I don’t have all the answers right now. 

Going forward, I’ll be adapting and shifting to the current situation. Life can change in an instant, offering up both challenges and celebrations. 

Options in Writing

There are always options for one’s writing journey. I invite you to review your big-picture vision, and then break things down into smaller steps. What is the first movement you want to make, to move closer to your creative dream? 


Using the metaphor of sea kayaking, are you able to paddle to the next island, pause and assess next steps? Do you want to gather together a small group of supportive friends, to share the writing adventure? Do you want to hire a guide to support you on your journey? The most important choice is to keep making time for the images and stories in your mind to emerge on the page.

Creatively Yours,
Image of Marie leaning against a pillar holding a coffee cup


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