One Step Forward…

I head back to the States in a few days. It’s a bittersweet thing because I will be happy to see friends and family, but I don’t know when I will be able to return to the UK. Late June at the earliest. The family visa process will kick off once I’m settled, and it can take a few months to approve. I had trouble when I tried to start the process last year though, so I’m a little apprehensive. At least the visa won’t be competing with a job for the business hours of my days. I’ll make it work.

A shot from Hampton Court Palace

My last full day here will be mainly packing, tidying up, and optimizing my carry-on’s contents. This is, of course, after traveling to Stratford to get a fit-to-fly test. Because this day has so many practical aspects, we’re going out the night before for my farewell dinner. Diet will be broken, and wine will be consumed. Not sorry.

I was careful when planning my return date to NOT arrive in New Orleans on or just before Mardi Gras. Everyone will be traveling to NOLA then, and the roads will be choked with traffic, closures, and revelers. The Carnival season can be very pretty, and I’ve had a few amazing Mardi Gras. I highly recommend visiting the city at least once for Fat Tuesday. That being said… I’ve lived near New Orleans all my life and rather dislike crowds, so I’m actually pretty jazzed to be dodging it this year.

My costume for Krewe d’Etat one year

Here are this month’s suggestions for little ways to enrich your life:

  • Reading for Fun: The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis. You can find it free online or on Amazon, and here is a free reading on YouTube. The Chronicles of Narnia are wonderful as both fantasy and allegory.
  • For a Challenge: Iliad by Homer. You can find it free online or on Amazon, and here is a free reading on YouTube.
  • Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Look below for some examples of his art. Ever heard the term “Rubenesque” to describe a woman?
  • Composer: Richard Strauss. Here is a sampling of his work.
  • Movement: Dance. Here is an instructional video on three club dance moves for beginners.
  • Game: King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human, a point-and-click adventure game by Sierra. You can find it in a three-pack with parts 1 and 2 of the series on GOG. Yes, we are seriously going to work our way through the series. Replaying them fills me with nostalgic joy and a bit of rage when the puzzles break from logic. The free fan remake (King’s Quest III Redux) is available here on AGD Interactive and is their final King’s Quest remake.
  • Snacks: Peach. Here are some nutritional facts about this fruit. I’m working on liking the beautiful little peach.
  • Scent: Rosemary. This scent is supposed to clear your head and help with memory. It also makes me think of delicious Italian food.
  • Meditation: Guided visualization. Here is a video that guides you through a mental walk through the woods. The music in this video is by George Winston, whose work I love.
  • Journaling Theme: In your journal, doodle petals falling from a cherry branch. Just draw pink dots and clumps around some stick branches. Add different shades of pinks and red to the dots to achieve a really nice effect without needing much skill.
The Fall of Phaeton by Rubens

Try to incorporate as many of these into your life as possible over the course of March. Keep what you like. Nix what you don’t.

The Judgement of Paris by Rubens

Should I review or break down any of the activities I suggest every week?

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