Happy Friday! I hope everyone is doing well. This has been a great week for me and I wanted to share some of the going-ons in my world, and give an update Fracture, and a surprise announcement of another book that will be out in November. Yay! Productivity has returned! You may be wondering why my engine has suddenly been revved up and there are a few simply explanations to why I’ve been more productive in the past two weeks, than I’ve been the rest of the year. Exercise and living in the present moment.

2020 has been a year for re-evaluating everything from my career to my weight. As I hunkered down in my house earlier in the year, I will admit that I was frustrated and angry, but over time, I realized that there was so much opportunity in those moments. What was working? What wasn’t? How could things be different? Once I stopped following social media eliminated what I’ve heard termed, “doom scrolling” I just focused on my life. What could I do to become a better person? A few of the ideas I came up with were getting back into shape, writing several books a year, and getting to know the town where I live. When I first moved to Utah, I loved living in Salt Lake City. It was so clean and pleasant, and I had no choice but to learn the city, because I didn’t have a car. As the years passed, I moved into a teaching career and eventually relocated to a suburb in northern Utah. That was back in 2016 and I still don’t care for the area of the state I live in. Over the past few months, I’ve taken some time to analyze why this is the case.

One of the reasons I fell in love with Salt Lake City was because I didn’t have a car. I walked or used public transit to get everywhere, and I became a part of the city. At one point, I lived in the 9th and 9th neighborhood, which was 2.7 miles from my job. On nights when the bus was taking forever or stopped running, I’d walk home. I don’t recommend walking alone at night. Still, it was something I did in part because I felt like Salt Lake City couldn’t possibly have anything that Detroit had not thrown at me. While this is probably true, I realize now that I should have just asked for a ride from the scores of concerned coworkers who often volunteered to take me home. But, I was in a phase of my life where throwing caution to the wind was a daily occurrence. Right or wrong, those long walks home helped me become a Utahn.

Moving to northern Utah was a bit of a shock to my system. First of all, I’d never been to the area until I met my husband. Most of the people I knew spoke of all points near Ogden as “out there.” Well, they weren’t wrong. It takes close to an hour for me to get back to Salt Lake City, and if I-15 is shut down, I have to take a roundabout, long route that weaves through mountains and adds about half an hour onto the drive. Needless to say, I don’t drive down there often, and during 2020, I have only headed to SLC a handful of times. No matter how much I love Salt Lake, I don’t live there anymore. It’s time to move on and embrace the present.

Salt Lake City is a unique hub for transplants and misfits. There isn’t another place in the state that is as welcoming to newcomers. With that said, after moving to northern Utah, I fell into a habit of rarely leaving my house. Could that help explain why I don’t feel connected with the place where I currently live? I spend time in my garden, head out to the grocery store from time to time, and I do have one friend that lives in the neighborhood, but for the most part, I drive to Salt Lake City for all significant socialization outside of my hubby. This, of course, is not healthy, and it led to a twenty-four-pound weight gain. Yes, I’ve eaten all the loneliness, stress, and unfriendly encounters I’ve experienced over the last few years. Well, you know what? I’m done with it. I live where I live, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t love it. So this week, I’ve been embracing everything that exists right now.

Each day this week, my husband and I have taken walks on the Ogden River Parkway. It’s a cozy little blacktop trail that travels along the river’s edge throughout communities in the area. We park and walk to the Ogden Botanical Gardens where we browse through the rose garden and stroll along the short trails. There’s one spot, tucked away in the shade where we like to sit and chat while resting up for the walk back. It’s just a pleasant, quiet place in the world where we can relax and take in the beauty of the area. It’s also a way to feel connected to where we live. That little bench is “our seat.” We now have a set path and a general time that we take to the parkway for “our walk”. All of s sudden, this place feels more like home than it ever has before.

 

Beautiful rose and a busy bee.

Our little bench in a shady area of the botanical gardens.

The Ogden River creates a soothing soundtrack for the walk.

Our view from the bench in the woods.

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