Delayed

Dear Keatsway,

I sit in a black leather plushy chair of an oversized waiting room. I am not sure when I’ll be done but I imagine it will be soon. Until then I’ll pass the time writing you a letter.

I’m in a car dealership (for repairs, not car buying), but if I blink I could be back at my gate in O’Hare. Except here there is free coffee–arguably not as good as Starbucks–and there are cars instead of airplanes on display.

Three weeks ago, en route from Toronto, I sat on a leather stool next to a rain splattered window drinking Argo tea, pen and journal in hand, looking out at aircraft carriers. I wished the moment could last forever. Someday soon I hope to be waiting in an airport on my way to see you. I have not, however, always felt this way about delays or waiting itself.

I feel like I am always waiting –to find my next apartment, to pursue my dreams, for the workday to be over, for the weekend to come, and then for the next weekend. Waiting for the answers to my increasingly long list of questions about the meaning of life, and learning to be OK with the space in between. The space where I act out several possibilities to my question, or sit back and wonder what my next move should be.

Waiting in an airport has no clear starting or ending point. You just can’t predict when the delay will happen and you have to be prepared to change plans and be flexible. To remain undeterred by a detour and not waste energy being angry or frustrated. To become creative and spontaneous with your time and your new plan of action.

After a year of plane delays I have finally discovered the secret to not becoming discouraged by them–accepting them completely, and finding a pleasant way to wait it out. Sometimes it’s as simple as staying nourished with healthy food, finding a quiet place to rest, discovering a new perspective, and seizing the opportunity to work on cherished pastimes–like reading or writing. Always ready to pick up everything at a moment’s notice when the plane finally does depart, and practicing patience and fortitude when it doesn’t.

As I put my plans of graduate studies, and living abroad on hold, I am trying to apply the same lesson I learned here. To decide not to waste energy on discouragement or resisting reality. Instead accept it as a necessary part of the process, embody grace and peace, and be inventive and endlessly flexible.

Maybe this delay is reminding me that it’s the journey and not the destination that counts? Keatsway, how do you handle delays?

Yours with best wishes,

Brightstar

How To Travel: Literary City Guides

Dear Brightstar,

The best way to get the pulse of a city is to find a way to link yourself to its history, its stories, and its coffee. When I travel, I relish the chance to visit the neighborhoods where writers or iconic figures lived their lives. I also like to experience the best local haunts.

Eat This Poem blog has brought together writers  from all over the world to share their best recommendations for coffee,  food, and books in the cities they love.

Literary City Guides

 

Look up a guide today for your next travels or to rediscover a city you already know.

Happy trails,

Keatsway

How to have a good morning

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Dear Keatsway,

A few months ago I dreaded mornings like the plague. I hit the snooze button for at least an hour and got up at the last possible moment. Finally I decided it was time for an intervention: I needed to make changes to make my mornings manageable, smoother and happier.

Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name. –Rabindranath Tagore
<a title=”view quote” Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.

Although they are still hurried and I am often running late, I now actually enjoy getting up in the morning. By attending to the details I would profoundly influence the rest of my waking moments. simply because I made these five key changes:

1) Hot lemon water: I fill the electric water kettle the night before so all I have to do is slice and juice half a lemon and turn on the kettle when I wake up. This is an ayurvedic practice done by yogis in India that hydrates the body, stimulates digestion, and increases alertness.

2) I have a few 8tracks playlists with positive, upbeat messages that make me want to get up in the morning. “Lets Go Surfing” by The Drums is my current favourite song to wake up to: https://soundcloud.com/downtownrecords/the-drums-lets-go-surfing . It’s impossible not to feel happy in the morning with this song on in the background.

3) I save time and crucial decision making energy in the morning by making breakfast the night before. Overnight oats is the easiest thing to do. Add:

-1/4-1/3 cup steel cut or rolled oats

-1 cup milk or filtered water

-TBSP each of flax seed, chia seed, hemp hearts, coconut oil, nuts (all full of omegas)

-dash of cinnamon, stevia, nutmeg, lemon zest, fresh ginger (optional add 1 TBSP coconut flakes)

Cover in a bowl overnight and then in the morning top with fruit like a cut-up apple, banana or berries. Extra time saver: use a transportable container like a mason jar and take it to go.

4) An easy paired down make-up routine: Narrow down your make-up tools to 8, and place them in an easy to access area either in your medicine cabinet or in upright open containers on your counter. Have a shorter routine ready (limit to 4 tools) for when you sleep in.

5) Coffee before work: Having caffeine in my system before I get to work in the morning has a huge impact on my productivity, mood, and alertness. I only wish I knew this two years ago when I was making coffee when I came to work every morning and wondering why I had a hard time getting started.

I not only have brighter mornings, I have better days. I am getting more sleep at night and falling asleep faster because I no longer dread the morning hours. I am more productive when I am at work, and enjoy my time off more. Finally, there is no longer a grey fog obscuring what has now become my preferred time of day.

Keatsway, what makes your mornings brighter?

xo, Brightstar

P.S. Here’s my adrenaline charged wake up playlist.
P.P.S. Here’s a morning classical playlist for when you need to add peace, calm, and clarity to the start of your day.