My life is full of routines. Meditation every morning. Same breakfast. A walk on the beach once a week. Gardening is a constant: weeding, re-arranging, cleaning. In July-August, when the figs are ripe and are falling on the ground like crazy, we need to pick them up at least twice a day. There’s nothing mundane or boring about these routines; in fact, they fill my life with inspiration. They are relaxing and anchoring. It makes sense. Babies and little kids thrive on routines —
Many years ago, I attended a presentation by a motivational speaker whose description of her secret garden made a lasting impression on me. I still remember that inspired delineation arousing a sense of urgency in me. I left longing. Imagining her cherished mornings, I was galvanized. I’ve fantasized about having my own secret garden ever since. And now I can pop in anytime! Just like today. In case you are wondering, the weather in Los Angeles can be quite pleasant in December.
Last Friday I flew to Chicago for the sole purpose of attending a screening of a short film my younger daughter Nastasya, an aspiring filmmaker, wrote and directed. Moreover, my older daughter Mia, an aspiring actress, played the main character in it. For both of them, this project is an epic achievement on many levels. Especially when it comes to doing something constructive as a way for transcending pain.
As architect on demand, I help DIYers with design-related questions. But it doesn’t stop there. My career is my calling; the work is passionately intertwined with personal growth. Yes, the main focus is the design and construction of my own life centered on infusing every day with meaning, lived to the highest DIY standards of lifelong learning.
Second installment of the workshop felt like the fastest three hours ever! In awe with the participants’ commitment, I admired and respected their passion for learning — the way they were striving to stretch their comfort zone — developing, acquiring knowledge and expanding existing skills. It made me think of life as work-in-progress.
I just attended an exhibit at the Getty Museum titled “Pathways to Paradise: Medieval India and Europe” documenting people’s travels to destinations across Asia, Africa, and Europe in pursuit of heaven on earth. People have longed to find it for centuries, but have not been able to. Somehow, it made me think of DIYers I work with, those who are instead of expecting it to be somewhere waiting for them, are willing to build/create their own. Right where they are — in their own backyard.
As previously mentioned, I visited both of my daughters in New York last month. They have just moved from Manhattan to Williamsburg/Brooklyn into their new digs. Mia, a veteran at this — it’s her third move — is working on a guest post. No doubt she’ll share some of her wisdom and experience along with design tips from Alla DIY Ally (AKA mom). So very grateful that she involves me in the process.
Sunday morning is the time for connecting with nature. I am walking barefoot on a sandy beach of Santa Monica. Lucky for me, it’s only a thirty-minute drive from my house.
It’s the last week of December. Usually, at the end of the year I am focused on resolutions. It’s been a personal tradition to set goals. I turn to collaging in the process of designing outcomes.
I am averse to diversions. What’s the point of venturing out? At home, in my private space, everything is so familiar, comforting, and stimulating at the same time. Perhaps. But seeking beauty outside of the cocoon could be an enjoyable as well as a rewarding pursuit. Clearly, there’s plenty to marvel at if I just step out and open my eyes to the world all around me. Treasures are everywhere.