Author Archives: robynbird

About robynbird

I've been a writer since I could hold a pencil in my hand. I'm learning new and wonderful things about myself through my writing and realized it isn't enough just to write it down, I need to share it. What I have to say may not be Earth shattering, but it is filled with love and I hope it moves those who read it.

a tune for Tuesday vol 55

I got an email from YBW on Thursday. In the subject line: Tune for Tuesday option?
The song is Animal by Claptone.

The video is weird but kind of cool.
Apparently it’s two German guys, a DJ and producer, and they wear the gold plague mask in real life.
The song has a strong underlying techno, which I don’t normally like. But the more I listened to it, the more I found myself enjoying it.
Let me know what you think!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

time: well spent or wasted?

I spent over an hour Saturday morning looking at pantry and linen closet organization photos on Pinterest and vids on Youtube.
To be perfectly honest, I felt guilty about ‘wasting’ that valuable time.
But the more I considered the time spent, and the information gathered, it wasn’t really wasting time after all.
I discovered new and different organizational ideas that may work well for the way we live, as well as some that will not.
I’m extremely confident in my own abilities when it comes to organization and design, but I’m always open to new or different ideas, especially if I know I need a change.
Now, I could geek out over organization from now until the cows come home, but I’m more interested in this concept of wasting time.

I know we hear about how the average person loses ‘x amount of time each day’ to fairly normal things. But how much of that time is truly being wasted? That number will be different for each person.
Not because each person wastes a different amount of time each day, but because ‘wasting time’ means something different to each person.

I’m not a gamer.
Everyone in my immediate family is. Both my daughters, my husband, both my stepsons, and my son in law enjoy playing video games.
It could be said my family wastes precious time playing video games.

I like to watch vids of people organizing their pantries and linen closets. I like to look at photos of well organized spaces.
It could be said I waste precious time doing that.

I like to go to T.J. Maxx or Marshalls and Homegoods once every ten days or so. Normally I don’t purchase anything, I just like to look and see what’s new. I always go to the kitchen section first then organization before moving into the rest of the store. Some days, I’ll spend an hour or more, other days I’m in and out in less than ten minutes.
It could be said I waste precious time (maybe even money) in these stores.

What about those days when we just need to not. You know, some times we just need to be still and quiet. And more than likely accomplish absolutely nothing.
It will most likely be said we waste precious time doing nothing.

Marthe Troly-Curtin wrote,

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

How we choose to spend our time is directly linked to our quality of life.
Whether it’s gaming, reading, watching vids or TV, being still like broccoli, or going over Homegoods to see what’s new.
No shame in that!
If we’re using our time in ways that inspire and motivate us. If we’re using our time to relax and recharge. If we’re using our time to join a quest or save a princess, create civilizations or even shoot up stuff. If we’re passionate about how we use our time, if we’re learning new things, or perfecting skills, or simply taking the quiet moment we need, then how can that be a waste of time?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote,

What fools call wasting time is most often the best investment.

I’m not saying we don’t actively waste time, because most of us do at some point or another.
I think we need to be much more mindful about the way we judge how we spend our time. Because whatever that most fulfilling thing is to one person, is completely different to another.
I believe we need to treat ourselves with more kindness and respect. We need to acknowledge that time spent doing what brings us joy can’t possibly be time wasted.

Otis Redding sang,

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

No shame. No judgement.
Just straight chillin’.
And we all know that can be time well spent.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

note to self:

This is one of the truest statements I’ve read in a long time.
And to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t agree more.

However…

It’s easy to consider what I’m putting out in the world is benign. That my energy is pure of intention, and if misinterpreted it surely must be how it was received, not how it was intended.
You know, ‘it’s not me, it’s you’.

But the most important point in that meme is the final sentence.
“Just keep doing your thing with as much integrity and love as possible.”

Are we using as much integrity and love as possible when we put our energy out in the world?
I know that’s my intention, but do I do it each time I attempt to communicate? Probably not each time, but for the most part I feel confident in my integrity.

When we do our absolute damnedest to practice our values in our interactions with others, and we’re perceived in a way that differs from our intent, we must accept that we cannot change perception. We must accept that nothing we say or do can alter the way our energy is interpreted.
I can’t control how my energy lands in another, but I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable in an ‘it’s not me, it’s you’ situation.

And…
What happens when I’m the one on the receiving end of another’s energy that doesn’t sit well with me? When I’m the one filtering their energy through my own experience?
In the situation when another is ‘doing their thing with as much integrity and love as possible’.
In that case, I can only accept that their intention and my perception are different. I have to accept their energy with integrity and love.

Either way, whether I’m the one putting out energy in the world, or receiving energy others put out in the world, something specific is happening.
Assuming we each have integrity and love, there is a great deal of acceptance surrounding us. (Hooray!)

It’s mighty simple to say, “It’s not me, it’s you.”
It’s much trickier to accept that each one of us is who we are based upon our own lifetime of experiences.
Perhaps we could say, ‘it’s not my experience, it’s yours’.
It’s essentially the same thing, but it feels different, doesn’t it?
‘It’s not me, it’s you’ is defensive, selfish, and judgmental.
‘It’s not my experience, it’s yours’ is open, respectful, and accepting.

It takes effort on both parts.
It must come down to trust.
I can’t control how my energy will be received. I have to trust that if I am coming from that place of integrity and love I’m doing all I can to successfully communicate.
I also have to trust in my ability to accept. Whether that’s accepting that my intention and another’s perception is different, or my perception and another’s intention is different.

Y’all see these words too, right?
Integrity.
Love.
Acceptance.
Trust.

I’m just sayin…

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

colombia

Of everything about this trip, I was most excited to visit Cartagena, Colombia. Geeking out over, and romanticizing the rich history, imagining how it would be.
I was fired up!

Then we got there.
It was straight chaos.
There was an Iron Man competition going on, as well as a huge Italian cruise ship in port with us.
The city was teeming with people. Narrow sidewalks and streets were crowded. It was overcast, hot and humid. To say I was overstimulated is a gross understatement.

However tricky it was getting around, it was as beautiful as I’d imagined.
Through the benefit of hindsight, I realize I enjoyed it much more than it felt like I did when I was actually there.

I learned to pronounce the city name properly. It’s car-tah-hey-na not cart-a-hayne-ya.
I learned that ‘no’ is the same in Spanish and English.
I was reminded of how much patience and kindness my husband has in him.
I was reminded it’s OK to admit it when you’ve got nothing left in your tank.
I learned that when a man shows up in a taxi, miraculously at the exact moment you need him most, he was sent by the Powers That Be to rescue you, bring you a bit of peace, and change your entire point of view.

I think when traveling it’s easy to consider one’s excitement, anticipation, and expectations and much more difficult to recognize or acknowledge when one is travel weary.
By the time we got to Cartagena, I was travel weary, but didn’t realize it. I truly felt like a little child, over-tired, overwhelmed, overstimulated and on the verge of a meltdown. I did my best to hold it together. To embrace and enjoy the beauty of the city.

The old city is a ridiculously beautiful place, and this little street was absolutely my favorite!

This ‘bucket list’ trip was everything it could possibly be and even more.
Time with YBW away from the daily grind was a precious gift. We travel well together. We understand what piques each other’s curiosity and interest. We enthusiastically engage in sharing experiences.
We are as content to explore crowded streets, manage language barriers, and ride in death trap taxis as we are to quietly lounge in the shade, drink cocktails in a piano bar, and stargaze.
I’m so grateful we made this trip together!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 54

Every once in a while I’ll hear a song I dig by an artist I’m ambivalent about.
In this case, the artist is Beck, and the song is Uneventful Days.
What do you think?

Please listen responisbly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

canal day

Canal day!
That’s what I called it even when we first discussed this trip.
For us canal day was Thanksgiving. And though I was disappointed I missed the Macy’s Parade, spending the day on the balcony with YBW was the loveliest way to participate in Thanksgiving day!
YBW decided all along that he would spend canal day on the balcony with his cameras and drink wine. And y’all, he absolutely did. He never left the balcony until we were safely through Gatun locks and into the Atlantic.
Then he had a quick nap before we went to dinner.

We started with mimosas and breakfast on the balcony.

We remained on the balcony through both of the Miraflores locks. But we were at the front of the ship when we got to Pedro Miguel locks.

It’s actually hard to see anything because the ship is up so high.

A stormy sail through Gatun lake drove me indoors, but YBW managed to stay out of the rain with his wine and his camera all day long.

At Gatun locks we had a much better view of the lock systems.

At one point a huge container ship and three tugs moved together into the lock next to us. The tug shown entering the lock did donuts in the canal waiting its turn to join the container ship. I’m not ashamed to admit how much joy I had watching that!

I adore tug boats! They’re the James Brown of the shipping industry. You know, ‘the hardest working boat in ship-biz’.
It really is the little things that bring me the most joy!

For some, moving though the Panama Canal is a once in a lifetime experience, for other’s it’s simply all in a day’s work. While we were in the canal, I thought, this is cool! I’ve done it and can check it off my list, but don’t think I’ll want to do it again. But now, after going through the photos, and talking about the trip with friends and family, and writing a little about it now, I find myself with a willingness to return. I wonder what more I’ll learn? Will I notice anything I missed? What new experiences await another trip?

Here’s a profile of the canal system provided by the Panama Canal Commission in case you’re curious.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

panama city

So, Panama City is a huge banking center now. I didn’t realize that until we were there.

Of all the places I’ve been in the world, this might be the place with the most disparity between the haves and the have nots. This gorgeous skyline, with these huge sky scrapers literally right next to the worst possible housing, barely fit for humans.
Apparently it’s quite cost effective to live in Panama City. Penthouse apartments (the top two and three floors of some of these buildings) 250,000 USD. I’m like, dang, we could sell our house and nearly buy two. Meanwhile, it’s still Panama City.

The old city was actually kind of quaint. Chock full of partially demolished buildings, also loads of construction. The people there feel a way about it too.

And dear God, was it hot. And humid. I mean the air was downright wet, that makes for some tricky breathing.


I was completely obsessed with all these gorgeous brick buildings that used to be churches!

I’m not sorry we had the opportunity to explore a bit of Panama City, but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t entire impressed.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

costa rica

Costa Rica. The rich coast.
Y’all! I would pack up and move there in the blink of an eye!
But probably not during rainy season. And most likely only at a certain altitude. In the mountains, the temperature is delightful, the sun and sky and breeze create an environment in which I’d never want to leave.
However, at sea level it’s damn steamy. So what’s the rainy season like in the mountains?

I was most eager to go to Colombia on this trip, but Costa Rica was my favorite stop.

This botanical garden specializes in orchids.

It was steamy here, but stupid gorgeous!
I shot so many different types of orchids, I lost count.

We left the gardens for the coffee plantations in the mountains.
This is Doka Estate coffee plantation.

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, I mean I like it, but mostly with dessert after dinner. If I’m drinking it in the morning, it’s hot and black and I’m either hungover, eating donuts, or straight desperate for caffeine.
However, I’m an avid (container) plant grower, and I was excited to learn how coffee beans grow, are tended, and harvested. How they’re dried and roasted for human consumption.

The beans are picked several times throughout the season. The red ones are ripe, the green ones stay on the plant and wait their turn. Apparently you can eat the red beans right from the plant and they’re a little sweet tasting. I didn’t, so I cannot verify.

There is a saying in Costa Rica, ‘pura vida’. It means pure life, and to be perfectly honest, it’s so much more than just a slogan, it is truly a way of living.
The flora is gorgeous.
The coffee is on point.
The food is delicious.
The living is pure.


I’m already planning a return.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 53

Being away for three weeks left a hole in my musical education.
I missed new music. I missed learning new things about music I’ve already heard.
Not to mention we returned slap in the middle of holiday music season…

But, I was rewarded with this little ditty in the car one cloudy afternoon.
Check out She Plays Bass by beabadoobee.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

nicaragua

Nicaragua is more beautiful than I imagined.
Even standing at the mouth of a volcano.

The juxtaposition between the dark lava rock and bright colors of healthy vegetation and bright blue skies makes for breathtaking views.
And some pretty decent photos too.

Speaking of photos, YBW was getting his photog on like crazy!

In addition to spending time at (the very active) Masaya volcano, we also spent time at the Masaya artisan market.

A place where native artisans sell their wares. I mean, sure there was a great deal of touristy junk, but some of the handmade items were not only gorgeous, but nicely priced too.
There is a huge stage and open area for folkloric shows, and local entertainment.

It was lovely.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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