A “De-Stress” Strategy

In recent times, I’ve come under a great deal of stress that is connected mainly with work and writing deadlines.

And as I was telling someone yesterday, creativity is a funny thing. When I’m stressed, I go through a non-productive phase where I procrastinate, and nothing gets done. Then I get frantic as my deadline approaches, and some time after that I settle down and accomplish what I was fretting about not completing.

I’ve come to realize that’s the time it’s important to have a level head – when stress is knocking down the door. Also, it becomes critical to manage my reactions and emotions. I don’t practice a range or relaxation methods, but I do try to include activities in my schedule that are beneficial to my state of mind and stress level.

Aside from exercising and watching re-runs of favorite comedies, I enjoy observing nature. The result is that I have hundreds, if not thousands of photos of nature at her finest. Living in a tropical country means plants are always in bloom and as something of a shutterbug, I’m always prepared for whatever catches my eyes.

Yesterday on my second trip out of the house for the day, I saw these beauties, which made me think that just like people, each has its unique quality. Capturing their beauty took my mind off my issues and reminded me to be grateful, which lifted my spirit and brought back my optimism.

What are some activities that help to restore your balance?

If you don’t mind inspirational reads that make you think, please check out Vision:

Have you ever wondered why we allow other people’s opinions to warp the view we have of ourselves?

What if you could refocus on who God created you to be instead of where you fall short?

How do you know beyond a doubt that you are on the path that feeds your passion and satisfies your soul?

Journey into the past, examine the present, and receive encouragement to pursue your dreams and step into your purpose with a new Vision.

Watching your child become an adult

Like many of you, I marvel at how quickly time passes. It moves every quicker when you watch your child grow. Once sweet innocent babies, they grow into nosy toddlers almost overnight. Then on to being energetic and curious children, before moody adolescents desperately trying to find themselves and become young adults. It all seems to happen in the blink of an eye instead of years.

I have two children, and I had my first one when I was twenty-one. My second came thirteen years later. My oldest, a boy, has two children of his own. I often wonder when he became old enough to have a career, wife, children, and a home? I watch and listen from the sidelines as my son and his family go through stages of life that I can fondly remember doing myself with him.

My daughter just finished her first year of college, and as I listen to her stories, watch her movements, and her reactions, I am reminded that my little girl is no longer a baby, but a beautiful young lady, on the verge of being a full-blown woman. To some, she might already be a woman, but I still see tiny bits and pieces of her innocence of youth. I still hear the curiosity to understand simple things in life that tells me she still has much to learn. Not that we ever stop, but you get what I mean.

We just helped my daughter buy her first car, and to witness her signing the paperwork, was a sight to see. I asked her how she felt afterward, and she said that it made her feel important, and she felt the weight of it as she signed the document and then sat back, going wow, I just did that. Proud but scary at the same time. I can relate. Remember your first car? What about your mortgage? It is scary.

This summer, our family will probably enjoy one of our last family vacations. Now that my daughter is growing up, she has plans for herself. She has people to see and places to be. We are lucky that she still feels we are important enough to spend quality time with us. Or perhaps it’s just the lure of a beach. Either way, I will take it and enjoy every moment I can before she is off living her own life with a career, home, and family.

Then the nest really will be empty, and I’ll sit back and wonder where the time went. Actually, no, I won’t. I’ll be too busy writing happy stories about people growing up, finding love, and starting their lives—just like my children.

Want to read about siblings growing up and finding love? Make sure to check out my Loving a Young Series on Amazon.

Grand Canyon Adventure #RachelleAyala @Mimisgang1 #mgtab

My Visit to the Grand Canyon

I have no words to describe the majesty and awesomeness of being at the Grand Canyon. The beautiful views and the colors and textures are overwhelming. All I know is I had a memorable time with my two sisters and brother-in-law last week.

We were fortunate with the weather. It was cool in the morning and never got above seventy degrees in the afternoon. Upon arriving at the South Rim, we couldn’t get enough of the view. It was everywhere, since the path of the Rim Trail is about two and a half miles along the edge. We walked along the paved Rim Trail and then took a short hike down the Bright Angel trail, a series of switchbacks that descend from the popular Bright Angel Lodge. Even though it’s a “beginner” trail, well maintained with water stations, it was quite steep and we had to keep warning ourselves that traipsing downhill is easy, but what goes down must come up.

After a few turns of the switchbacks, I noticed the people coming up looked like they were red, sweaty zombies in a death march. Since the Grand Canyon is at high altitude, 6800 ft, we decided to turn back and were able to enjoy the hike back without passing out.

Watching the sunsets and sunrises make for more spectacular views and photos. We drove all the way to the East, Desert View, where there’s a tower [which is closed], and then made our way back, stopping at the view points. Being there, you get the full sense of the panoramic view, as well as the dry wind that blows sand and dust in your face. There’s the chapped lips, the dry mouth, and the sting of sunburned lips, but nothing takes away from the sheer beauty of the views, including a few patches of snow visible in a shadowed area.

We also took a trip to the Hualapai Reservation where they offer pontoon boat white water trips. Instead of paddling, you hang onto your seats on the sides of a motorized pontoon boat while the driver barrels through rapids for maximum splash and bumps. It was quite an experience and you can read my review at Yelp for the Hualapai (Walla-pie) River Runners. Another must-visit place is the Yuvapai Geology Museum. Out of their panoramic bay window, you will see rock formations from all the different ages. Finally, we ate several times at El Tovar Dining Room–a rustic restaurant with views of the Grand Canyon.

Since I’m a romance writer, I took a picture of a pair of lovers perched on the edge of the cliff watching the sunset at Grandview Point. I’m sure I’ll be coming up with a romance or romantic comedy set at the Grand Canyon. I learned about the grueling hikes, down the South Kaibab to the river and then up the Bright Angel, and I stood by while the mule guide was giving the orientation to the riders. Maybe I’ll have a personal trainer and a swapped itinerary for my heroine who finds herself on a vacation she didn’t expect. Yep. Grand Canyon is for Lovers.

Grand View Lovers, It’s a Long Way Down

Catch up with my books at my website. https://rachelleayala.net/ and if you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, I hope you’ll be able to make it there someday. Aloha!

Making Time For Things We Love

 

In the last two years, when I was at home for a while, the days seemed to be everlastingly long. Half the time, I couldn’t tell what I’d done with each day. At the same time, all the things I needed to do didn’t seem to get done.

Now, I’m still working from home some days, but they go by so quickly, it’s hard to reconcile the fact that so much time is passing. That brings to mind all the things I enjoy that I don’t do enough of—blogging is one of those things.

As I scrolled through my posts recently, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed the blogging community and that I’ve lost contact with a fair number of people whose company I used to enjoy. Visiting other writers’ blogs was fun and I learned so much about places I was unlikely to visit. Plus, the writing community is filled with so many wonderful people.

These days, most of the writing I do is fiction and rest is for work. Sometimes, at the end of the day I’m so exhausted I can barely think, much less write. More than ever, I’ve been thinking how important it is to make time to do the things we love. Life is so short and goes by in a flash.

I’ve been trying to make more time for reading and I’m hoping I can practice my calligraphy because it has been a while. Gardening seems to be a distant thing in my rearview mirror. It’ll take some doing to switch things up, but I’m game. Life is about living to the fullest and that’s what I am to do.

What are some things you like to do but find you aren’t indulging in them anymore?

Speaking of time, I’d like to introduce you to a character who refuses to acknowledge that her relationship has changed over the years. She has become the woman scorned but has no intention of making that her permanent situation. At least not without a taste of revenge. https://lrd.to/absolution