Life is an Adventure

Some days it seems that nothing happens, like a Seinfeld show. “It’s a show about nothing.” We give meaning to our days by what we think, how we react. It seems no matter how mundane my day is, I always try to find some meaning or at least some humor in it.

“One way to get the most out of life is to look at it as an adventure.”  William Feather

When I am out and about, I come home and tell Bruce what I encountered and he listens with  attention and says “That’s amazing!” Of course, it is nice to have someone to listen to my yarns, a good listener such as Bruce Barone. “Susan, how was your day?”

Let me tell you.

yoga class 2

On Saturday after a yoga class at Transform at Amy Bourque, I brought Prashna and Prashik, my Nepali friends, to a musical concert at the West Springfield Public Library.

ppp christmas3

Aine Minogue played the harp and told tales for over an hour. She has an Irish lilt and the gift of gab that the Irish are so famous for. She told a folk legend about the selkies on which the movie, “The Secret of Roan Innish” is based. When I told Bruce about it, he knew of the man, John Sayles, from Hoboken, NJ who directed it. We’ll see if we can watch it On Demand. In the meantime, I ordered the book on which the movie is based, “The Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry” from Abe Books. When I finish it, I will pass it onto Prashna, in the hopes that she will read it. It is actually considered a children’s tale. Despite my prodding and bribing, Prashik who is now in 6th grade and is struggling with reading and writing, has no interest in books nor reading. He took out a video game when we were at the library and told me it was “a movie”, a flat out lie.

charles diner

I asked if they wanted to get something to eat. I suggested Charlie’s Diner, as they had never been there. Going out to eat is an adventure for them as it is not something that Nepalis do. Prashik ordered soda, scrambled eggs, bacon and home fries. Prashna had a hot chocolate, chicken tenders, and fries and a side of ketchup. Their table manners are somewhat lacking, but we got through, with a little direction. They know nothing about nutrition and healthy eating, but every occasion cannot be a lesson.

Okay, that was more of an adventure for them than for me, but it gave me joy to do something for them. And, I had my favorite western sandwich on toasted rye.


Going to Costco can be an adventure. Bruce always tells me “Be careful.” Once when we went together, I confronted a woman who did not return her carriage, one of me pet peeves. She reacted by screaming at me and Bruce thought she might take out a gun and take me out. Last week, when I was at the Costco Liquor store, a man had planted himself in front of the wine bins, on his mobile phone. I asked him if he were “shopping or talking?” He said “Both” and I kindly pointed out to him he was not doing either well. I am on a spiritual journey and I think everyone would be better off if they, too, practiced “one pointed attention”, as Eknath Eswaran describes in his landmark book, “Meditation”.

Not all my shopping experiences allow me to share my spiritual wisdom. Here I am with Bruce at Ocean State Job Lot having some fun.

Susan at ocean state


Bruce sees beauty everywhere; the seed packet display. It is nice to be out and about with a photographer who “stops to smell the roses”, so to speak.


“Fill your life with adventures not things.  Have stories to tell, not things to show.”

Having a dog lets me experience life in a whole different dimension. Is that true for you, too?

susan and freddy lake ontario

Our mini labradoodle, Freddy, is full of energy. I ride on his roller coaster of excitement, wanting affection, eating, sleeping, barking, playing. He has a lot of personality and is demanding of our attention. Rather than look at him as annoying, I choose to see him as a gift from God, someone to remind me to slow down, pay attention, take care of the basics, be nurturing, show love, affection and devotion.

Bruce and I are alike in that we enjoy the social connection with folks  when we are about and about, doing errands, volunteering, shopping, taking care of business. It is an opportunity to be kind and helpful to others, share a moment, build good karma.

bruceand students

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller

I wasn’t always so joyful, uplifted, and positive. I have been racked with depression, had many dark nights of the soul and lonely days, felt that it wasn’t worth it to get out of bed. It seems so long ago, going through each day with a dark cloud over me. After many years of moving through to the light, I see that life is not a struggle for me any longer. It is an adventure.

How did I achieve this transformation? I took to heart the words, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  and “You need to come up higher in consciousness to solve your problems.” It took years of therapy, mind-expanding work, prayer, travel, faith in God, enlightened friendships, spiritual reading, yoga, passage meditation, repeating the mantra, letting go of painful experiences, and the Grace of God to turn to the light, to see the light in myself, in others, in the world.


My wounds, hurts, fears, doubts, etc. were incurable to the extent that I held on to them; they don’t go away on their own.  In fact, they continued to accumulate and motivate all my thoughts, choices, and actions until I treated them.

I learned to ‘treat’ through the Mind of Christ,  each pain, each hurt, each insecurity by coming up higher in consciousness.  A “mind change” is essential if there is ever to be any “life change” at all. This is not a one time deal; our minds need to be tended to with constancy.

“I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye many prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

What is life but one grand adventure?


A song, “Say Yes” by Bob Franke may inspire you.


Gyms, fitness studios, yoga studios

Bruce and I, like a lot of people TALK about getting fit and losing weight and about joining a gym.

In the past, we have joined gyms such as Planet Fitness and Expert Fitness but never continued even through the first year. Boy, does that hurt when you see the money still coming out of your checking account during the annual contract period. At the end of which, we are no more fitter and a wee bit heavier.


In October 2016, we  started talking again about getting fit. I did some on-line research of yoga studios and found one that met our needs. Mainly, it was convenient to get to; it offered daily day-time classes; and a monthly rate for unlimited classes. We joined Karma Yoga on October 28, 2016. We attended regularly, three times a week. The teacher, Laura, was terrific and we liked the space and the other yogis. It was perfect, except it was HOT.


While Karma Yoga does offer HOT Yoga classes, the class we enrolled in was not advertised as “HOT”. However, the room was HOT from the earlier morning HOT yoga class and our teacher kept the room HOT. The temperature was between 97 and 109 degrees. The moment I walked in the studio, I felt uncomfortable and started sweating.  During the class which is called “Power Yoga”, I became totally wet from sweat. I stuck it out until Christmas. We had taken the week off because we were busy with the holidays. When it was time to return, I just could not bring myself to suffer anymore with the high temperature. We decided not to renew our monthly membership.

Meantime, in mid-November while Bruce was in Denver visiting his son, Daryl and his good woman, Julia, I did some research on gyms. We were still practicing yoga at this time, but we wanted to add fitness to our lifestyle. I found Conca Sports and Fitness on-line and set up an appointment for Bruce and me to check it out once he returned home from Denver.

Conca Sports and Fitness is not your typical gym. It has all the equipment and weights and space as a gym, yet it provides individualized attention and training.  We signed up for a “special introductory one month session”. It was a reasonable price and we went 3 times a week for a couple of hours each day. We had a customized plan that we followed and it was updated each week, based on our progress. We liked the trainer/owner; it was convenient; the space was clean and open; we liked the other people who trained there.

We regularly asked what the new rate would be at the conclusion of our month-long session. We were told, by the owner, that he was working on some new programs and he would be able to share with us at the beginning of the new year. So, we took the week of Christmas off and returned at the New Year and met with the owner. The rate went up 58% and we didn’t have a good sense of what the new program would be like.  But at that rate, we didn’t need to dwell too long on it because we felt it was way too expensive.

So back to the drawing board. I did some on-line research again and we visited a few places.  We really preferred to be at one place that offered both yoga and fitness. No luck, until our sister-in-law, Eleanor, suggested Fitness First Health Club. We checked it out on-line and made an appointment for a tour. It is a large, spacious place with all sorts of trainers, equipment, weights, fitness classes, yoga, a pool, and sauna and steam rooms [for both men and women], to boot.


It is different from other gyms in that it has ‘reasonable‘ fitness class–meaning classes other than spinning, boot camp, death by workout, H.I.I.T, and other extreme workouts. It also has yoga 6 times a week and at multiple times during the day and evening , not just at 5 a.m. on Saturday. The pool, sauna, and steam are nice additions that not every gym has, including Expert Fitness.


Fitness First is not a franchise. The owners are right there, to greet you. It has an extensive staff of class teachers and personal trainers with long tenure. It is clean. The clientele is diverse. Best of all, for us, the price was right for membership that includes both fitness and yoga.


My bet is that Bruce Barone and I are going to stick this out for the full contract year.  What do you say?