January Something…

…I’m pretty sure it’s the third. The post will magically know the correct date once I hit publish, so just check that little marker and you’ll know for sure. 

I still live in a camper. I don’t even mind it. Well, most of the time.

Once next week hits, and it’s officially past the New Year week, we will continue the land search. We’ve narrowed it down to two plots; at this point, we are only waiting on the owner to verify one of the surveys so that we may officially decide which to make an offer on. More to come once we actually have an offer accepted.

Notes on the New Year

I read something recently that suggested we not make resolutions, but instead think about how we want our year to look, and make choices that reflect that as reality. 

I want my year to be fit, filled with positive energy, and productive in regard to my writing goals. 

Translation: I want to develop a regular jogging routine again, eat fewer baked goods, not be so crabby toward things I disagree with, and I want to write, every day, without fail.

I Live in a Camper

My husband and I worked all summer to finish a home remodel…so that we could sell it (which we did). We aren’t the only people around who are looking to simplify, but our goal comes with a bit of a twist. Hubs is self-employed, and currently renting warehouse space. While a tiny house sounds amazing, we actually need to build him a space to work. 

That being said, it’s a nominal cost to have space built for us to live in–think an attached apartment to the warehouse, so that’s what we’re hoping to do.

Of course, that’s all in theory. Reality, at the moment, is a camper. 

Most people would probably call my current abode a trailer, but that brings up images I prefer to avoid. My grandparents bought it in the early 90s, a few years after retiring. They used it a bit, let it sit and serve as an occassional guest bedroom, and then, when my nephew was put on travel work, he lived in it for a couple of years. My brother has taken it to Montana and back. (He also had a small group of Mennonites living in it for awhile, but that’s another story.)

This camper has history. 

My family, thankfully, takes good care of their property, so here I am, Winter 2013, living in this bad boy with a cute dude. 

Which brings us to today. Today is Icepocalypse 2013. We get one of these about once a year here in Arkansas, but never before have I experienced it from a 150 square feet of exposed living quarters. I kind of love it. I have a radiant heater that keeps us quite toasty. We are actually probably warmer here than we were in our traditional home–it was so expensive to heat that hubs kept it, ah, on the cool side. 

We are putting an offer on land tomorrow. If it goes through, a whole new set of adventures will commence. 

We feel lucky…since living in this space, we’ve decided we can live in a smaller space than originally planned. We must like each other!

Where do you call home? What do you want to call home? And a personal question…cabin porn? Yay or Nay? 

The Power of Writing

In my defense, there are certainly more powerful displays than the one I am about to share. Nonetheless, this is a true story.

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love Horny Toad clothing (and how can you not love that name?). I always buy on sale, in an effort to be a bit more budget-friendly (they have several good sales each year), but I buy frequently.

I have this skirt–an a-line, coral skirt. Cotton, very comfortable, very attractive. I happen to also own it in black, but I digress…

I wore this skirt a few week’s ago to a graduation party. I didn’t expect that party to turn into a beer-getting-spilled-on-it concert and subsequent sleepover. The beer, which I had assumed would wash out, in fact, dried clear. The skirt looked amazing when picked up off the floor the next morning. I wore it all day, again.

Now, I love, love, love Horny Toad–but I don’t write to companies. Ever.

But I did, essentially telling them what I mention above, signing off with:

“…I love the ethos of your company, and, whoever is reading this, I probably love you. So thanks for the awesome clothes–I’d be naked without them.

Sincerely, Lacey Thacker”

Imagine my surprise when, a week later, I received an email letting me know how well-received my letter had been–apparently it was even circulated around the office a bit. And, imagine my further surprise when the email continued on to offer me a skirt of my choice–any skirt, any color.

I practically yodeled with excitement. Then I said YES NEW SKIRT.

And that, my friends, is a little glimpse of a little slice of how powerful writing can be.

*No compensation received for this post–I really DO love Horny Toad this much.

A Toast to my Nephew

My nephew, my wee little nephew, was born with heart-shaped nostrils.

Seriously. If you held him and looked at his nose, it was there for all to see.

I haven’t asked to look lately, but I suspect they are still little hearts.

He was the first of my sibling’s children that I was old enough to appreciate as an aunt. I remember the first time I saw him, and watching him grow has been a miracle of life.

He’s always wanted so to be big. When he hit his birthday last year, it was like someone injected him with growth hormones. Today is his next birthday, and he is 6 feet tall, or a little better. His voice is deeper, and he is the image of my brother.

He is kind, funny, smart, and a great conversationalist. He is a baker, a writer, a fisherman, and a gamer. He gives great hugs, and willingly.

I love him very much.

So happy 14th birthday, my lad, and here’s a toast to the fullness of life that you have ahead of you.

In the Memories

We are created from the genes of our parents, who were created from the combined genes of their parents. The genetic material donated by our fathers has been a part of him since the moment of his conception, and contains cellular memory of every experience he had up to that point. The same is true of our mother, only we have 9 extra months in which we share blood, cells, creation.

Our cells and DNA are ancient, composed of the genetic memory of every ancestor in our line. Every experience they had before creating offspring is imprinted on the material they pass into the future. We know this is true in terms of physical traits from an evolutionary standpoint, but I mean, too, that their very experiences are stored in their cells. I’m not sure where I got this idea. Maybe it was the science channel, maybe my mother, or hell, maybe it was from Dune.

All I know is that sometimes I remember what I shouldn’t. The experiences of my mother and my father are in my blood and in my bones. We say offhandedly, “It’s in the memories.” If it is not in my lifetime, it was in theirs, or in my grandparent’s, and I can still, just vaguely, remember.

What do you think? How does genetic memory seem to work in your life? Does it?

Massage: The Gateway Drug

I went to massage school because I was a) 18 and b) kind of going through a break-up that led me to having a minor life crisis about what I wanted to do with myself. My mom is a massage therapist, so it seemed like a good route to go for a stable side income to see me through the rest of college. She raised me, like a good hippie, to value alternative medicine, energy, and inter-soul relationships. Luckily, the school I chose also valued those things, and so what I learned in school, and since school, was so much more than just how to rub a shoulder:

  • Sometimes, it’s your heart that needs the massage, more than your body. Nothing helps your feelings as much as some non-sexual, therapeutic touch. Stressed? Get a massage. Not sleeping well? Get a massage? Upset about something? Get a massage. All of that healthy skin-to-skin contact does something for your psyche that is hard to find elsewhere.
  • Massage is like a gateway drug. You start out thinking it will be a good side job, but then you find out about all these other modalities, including nutritional health, myofascial release, yoga, Thai massage, Reiki, etc, etc. Soon, you’re a yoga instructor/nutrition coach/spiritual healer…and you won’t even remember what life was like before. Vacation time becomes, rather than a mindless week away, an opportunity to take a continuing education class at some retreat in Costa Rica.
  • As much as massage is physical, it’s also energetic. You’ll find that many people come for more than just muscle relief. They come because they like what the presence of your energy does for them, and you will want to see your clients for the same reason. You’ll find that your clients are benefiting your growth just as much as your help theirs. You will never give more than you will receive.

I do what I do because I want to help people find their authentic selves. Whether I am giving massage, teaching writing, or talking about food, I want to be present with ideas and conversations that give our lives meaning, rather than getting caught up in things that do not. Massage is just a portion of that, and since I began practicing, it’s served to open my eyes to more and more ways of viewing energy, the world, health, and the ever-shifting way that we interact with each other and the Universe.

Contentment v. Happiness

I used to think I was a homebody, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I’m actually just an introvert. In other words, after awhile I’ve got to have some quiet time, alone at the house, to relax and recharge. However, being home too much–or inactive/uninvolved with something of meaning–actually really messes with my mojo.

I am at my most content when I am participating in regular activity that creates meaning for myself and/or others. I define contentment as being quiet in the soul, feeling that you are helping progress your soul and humanity at whatever level possible, and as a lack of feeling consistently anxious or antsy with life. It’s feeling productive, contributory, at peace.

Happiness is the sweet youth of contentment. It is for children. The young may loll away the days, worrying about nothing except chasing butterflies. It is innocence. While we should certainly not ignore out inner child and its need for play and butterfly chasing, we can’t live our entire adult life this way…our lives must be about something more, they must have purpose. When we become adults, our view must expand beyond our narrow experiences. We are not our brother’s keeper, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t meant to help him.

Contentment comes when I am helping others. I love it when my friends ask me for something, because I get to be with people I love and provide a service. I enjoy National Public Land’s Day. I like getting up early to do something that is social, will create a memory, and helps the environment. Too long without purposeful activity, and I become, well, cranky.

I think the discussion currently centered around creating happiness needs to shift toward creating meaning. I’m guessing that only when we step outside of this elusive idea of happiness will we find the real meaning of life.

What purpose are you currently creating in your life? What are you doing to step outside of yourself?