When Fall is in the Air

I love the smell of fall in the air.  Growing up in middle Tennessee, I always looked forward to the slide into fall around the first of October when the leaves began to change from green to orange, gold and red.  Later in the month, my dad would rake the fallen leaves into mounds and we would run and leap into the middle, with lots of laughter.  Sometimes, dad would bury us beneath the leaves and call to mom that the “kids can’t be found anywhere” as we lay giggling beneath the colors and smell of fall.

I love watching football and fall means it’s that time of year.  I married a “Florida Gator” so I find myself with a divided heart on that fall day when my Tennessee Volunteers meet that rival head to head.  For a few hours, the rest of the world is left behind as we proudly wear our school colors and cheer them on.  

As you receive this newsletter, I am enjoying a new fall experience that I am sure to long treasure – a New England/Canada cruise from Boston to Quebec City.  Visiting Nova Scotia has long been on my bucket list.  Plans started quite unexpectedly one spring day as we entertained my in-laws for Sunday lunch.  At the age of 86, their bucket list has dwindled a bit. I asked what they still wanted to do and the answer came swiftly from Mr. Davis, “Cruise up the St Lawrence River and visit Quebec City.”  I smiled and replied, “I can make that happen.”  

So here we are ready to sail away with my two (now 87 year old) in-laws and my sister-in-law and her husband (may as well make it a family affair).   Everyone is so excited about the journey.  I am mostly looking forward to creating the memories.  

This past week I experienced two opposing emotions – one of my dearest friends was present as her fifth grandchild took his first breath and a day later, my sweet cousins watched my dear aunt take her last breath.  During the past six years, this is the third time for me to observe death up close and personal and each time it gives me pause.  My mind and heart turn toward priorities and time.  I am reminded what my 53 year friend said a few weeks before taking her last breath on this planet, “Tammy, don’t wait to do those things you dream about.  Do them as soon as you can. Invest in friendships, build relationships and create positive memories. Those are the things that last.”

So this fall is a time of bucket list experiences for me.  Last weekend, my husband gifted me with a weekend in Nashville with my favorite artist, Amy Grant (yes, spouse of Vince Gill).  Next weekend we sail for Nova Scotia from Boston to see the fall colors.  In November we cruise from New York City on the brand new tech savvy “Anthem of the Seas” just days before her maiden cruise.  On New Year’s Eve we will be in Sydney, Australia after a week in New Zealand jet boating and cruising Milford Sound.  Growing up a simple girl with a simple life, I never would have imagined such a time as this.

So as we enter another fall, I encourage you to “Grab the moments for all they are worth, revel in the time with those you love and fill your creative soul with new sights, sounds and smells.”

Welcome to fall!

Unplug and Escape

Recently, within 24 hours of landing in Aruba, I was reminded of the value of a vacation. Life the past month has been about the most hectic of any I can recall in recent history. With each mile that distanced me from home, my mind began to clear away more and more of the muddle so that by the time the plane touched down in Aruba, my thoughts were directed beyond multiple tasks to focusing on relearning the art of relaxation.

I was in a local shop on the beach where I saw a sign that said simply: “Beach Rules: Relax, Enjoy, Relax, Enjoy” I thought, yes, that’s perfect. So as I write this I am incredibly thankful for my three days of beach time. I reminded myself that vacations, even a “mini-vacation” is essential to good mental health and great for renewing relationships with loved ones. Most of us Americans have forgotten how to truly relax. I’m fortunate to have a son who is constantly reminding me to slow down and live.

Princess Cruises recently released their Relaxation Report which found that 99% of Americans agree that relaxation is essential to their overall health and well being. Yet thousands of vacation days are left on the books by these same people. I read a quote on Facebook that summed it up well, “Death is not the greatest loss in life, loss is when life dies inside you while you are alive.” Taking time for yourself away from your work helps keep your heart healthy and soul alive.

So while sitting on the beach on the beautiful white sand beaches of Palm Beach, Aruba, I made my list for rediscovering the art of relaxation. Here you go:

Leave home overnight…Take really deep breaths on the outbound….No clocks…..Lock the electronics in the room safe….Take a long, casual walk…..Strike up a conversation with a local…… Laugh out loud…… Talk about your dreams…..Dance even if you don’t know how….Make love like it’s the first time…….Eat something new…..Make a new friend….Celebrate life….Be grateful

So here’s to each of you in rediscovering the art of relaxation in 2015.  

Spring is in the air!

- Tammy

Spring Promotions to Make That Vacation a Reality