The Florida Adventure

September 10th, 2012

Lunch with Patti of Not Dead Yet Style HERE  (Patti’s photo).

As soon as I knew I was going to Florida, I checked in to see if Patti lived within striking distance of my location.  I was thrilled to hear that it was possible to meet for lunch.  One of the high points of my trip was meeting Patti, who was even more beautiful, witty and fun in person.  We discovered that we had much in common, including our careers in the mental health field and a love for digging deeply into issues.  Thank you Patti, for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet for lunch, laugh and talk about outfits and life.

Sand covered crone feet on Delray Beach, Florida.

My visit to Florida was fruitful and I notice that changes have occurred in that my troublesome thought patterns have decreased and I have a technique to intervene internally when they begin to rattle around in my brain, approaching the deep groove that in the past embraced their negativity.  I feel lighter and more engaged with my life, and my intermittent overwhelming sense of grief has transformed.  The triggers that fill my home that brought devastation now feel less invasive and I can smile at the many memories that will always remain in my heart.

Upon my return over dinner, Camille shared with me that it felt as though she had her mother back. It’s meaningful to receive feedback from others, as internal measures are not always readily apparent. Much of the clearing that I experienced was below the conscious level, and my new mantra, ‘nothing needs to be done by me right now,’ applies to almost everything that comes up when an unpleasant emotion or thought presents itself.

Secondarily, I learned that I can travel by myself to an unfamiliar area and navigate the world quite effectively.  I filed this trip in the category of ‘self date,’  a personal practice that I enjoy and savor.  I find going out to dinner by myself to be not only interesting, but also brings a sense of empowerment. I drove my rental car to Miami and hopped on a bus that toured the city and South Beach.  I loved learning the history of this vibrant and diverse city and the drive past the deco hotels on the beach was a personal favorite.  And then there were the consignment/vintage/thrift shops that magically appeared along my path, which are thrilling to discover in places that are new, reflecting the area’s culture and diversity.

Time will tell how this affects my life and if these changes remain permanent. I’m aware that challenges are a part of human existence!   I will be happy to share more with anyone who wants information or detail.  Just send me an email. I’m fascinated by the brain and how I can improve my life and release barriers with the application of new research and methods of treatment.  A self experiment of sorts. It’s a way to focus on wellness as opposed to pathology, and improve quality of life.  That in and of itself has a ripple effect, as we are all connected.  Feel good to do good!  Is that a goal too lofty?

Linking up with Visible Monday HERE has special meaning today!

38 Responses to “The Florida Adventure”

  1. Maureen

    I hope that in your position I too could move forward in such a positive way. What you say to people is that there is a future, it will be different but it does exist.

    What is the alternative? I know my husband would not want me to stop having a life just as I would want him to enjoy his future.

    Enjoy Florida.

  2. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    What a treat to see “our” picture pop up! It was such a pleasure to meet and spend some time with you, Judith, and uncover our similar life-paths. I was fascinated to hear about your new “thought training”, and am eager to study more.

    You look wonderful here in your colorful cowl blouse and perfectly complementary hat. Thanks for linking up to Visible Monday!

  3. Rebecca

    I needed to hear that mantra to negative thoughts “nothing needs to be done by me right now. I often spend sleepness nights wracked in worry over what may happen and what I should do about it. It is a very bad habit of mine that I inherited from my mother. My sister on the other hand lives her life in the moment and doesn’t worry at all. She feels most of what you worry about never happens and if it does, you tend to find the way to deal with it anyhow. I would love to hear more about how you transform negative thought patterns into those that are life enhancing.
    Thanks again for your always wonderful posts!

  4. Shelley

    It sounds like a very positive trip, and I’m happy to hear that you came back feeling like there have been changes in your thought patterns and that you have learned some techniques to combat the negativity you’ve been experiencing. I’d be interested in learning more about this, particularly since I have such a hard time “staying in the moment”. I do like your new mantra, and may find it useful to remind myself of this when I start straying too far from the present. What a lovely bonus that you were able to meet Patti for lunch! Blogger meetups are such a treat, I’m hoping we get to do our own soon.

  5. Tamera Beardsley

    Judith I will be back to properly comment…but just had to tell you now… how your posts are so powerful to me…and resonate in my soul…thank you dear Judith.

  6. déjà pseu

    EEEEE! You got to meet Judith!!!! Judith got to meet you!!!! I love this!

  7. déjà pseu

    Sorry, meant “you got to meet Patti!” In my febrile excitement I switched everyone’s names around…

  8. Corinne

    It sounds like you had a lovely trip. I am convinced that a change of scenery does help to tamp down the negative and painful feelings. I did travel in May, and I seemed to do just fine. But now I am totally surrounded by memories, some wonderful, some not so much. While on one sense I want to escape and start all over, I know, in my heart I cannot walk away from the memories. They are such a part of me, I don’t think I would survive. I hope you do share your thoughts on bypassing negativity. A thought process that could that could mitigate the pain would be invaluable. While I thought I was seeing improvement by month 6, I believe that it was an illusion and now my grief attacks are more intense, more painful, more overwhelming.

  9. pao

    I had to do a double take with that picture…you’re both sitting there together!! How cool is that? I’m happy for you that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do and then some. Changing is hard work anyway you look at it. I hope you share more about what you’ve learned/ experienced during your Florida retreat from negative pathways. I know they can be quite debilitating left unchecked. Cheers.

  10. Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell

    Oh how lucky you are to have met Patti! Wouldn’t it be lovely if all of the over 50 bloggers could meet someday?

    It sounds like you had quite an adventure! I don’t know if I would be brave enough to take off to places unknown. I have traveled alone, but I always knew someone who would be with me at my destination.

    I am happy you are finding some measure of contentment. I admire your perserverance.

  11. Practical Paralegalism

    Judith, the best part of your post was your daughter rejoicing that she has her mom back.

    Oh, and the part where you met Patti!

    And also the part where you’re feeling a lighter spirit and enjoying new adventures. The term “self date” is wonderful, and it really is important for women to enjoy their own company sometimes, and revel in those wonderful internal conversations that lead to clearer insight into our own behavior – and maybe our own hidden dreams. Sometimes even playing Devil’s Advocate with our negative-thinking can lead to more positive action. At least that’s what I tell myself when I think negativity is taking over my life.

  12. Jean

    I have to echo Lynne’s comment about the best parts! But then, like her, I add “and then…and then…etc”. Glad to have you back.

  13. Melanie

    How wonderful that you and Patti connected in Florida!! That’s a great photo of the two of you together; like pao, I had to do a double-take. I feel all that orange blossom/coconut scented healing going on over there, warmth to the core. The sandy feet say a lot. I love the Self Date concept. Truly, I’m happy that you are climbing with lighter feet.

  14. Terri

    You and Patti both look just radiant in the top photo. I had not realized that you were traveling alone–it has been years since I last did that. I’m dying to know what you might have found in some of those Florida shops!

  15. Veshoevius

    How lovely you two could meet up!
    Hope you end up trying a flamenco class – many people find it a very empowering form of dance


    How wonderful the two of you together.

  17. pastcaring

    I am so pleased you had an enjoyable and productive trip, Judith. You and Patti look so lovely together. Meeting blog friends is a delightful experience!
    It sounds as though you are making great strides forward in your quest to be at ease with yourself in this new chapter of your life. It’s hard to do things alone which you used to do as a couple, whether that be travel, or dealing with negative thinking. xxx

  18. Cindy

    I stumbled across your blog a couple of months ago. You speak so well and my 50ish heart is all the better for it! I am also an avid thrifter. I adore your hats and I hope to make thema part of my wardrobe too. Stay happy and peaceful Judith!

  19. SizzleandZoom

    Florida was probably all the more lovelier for having you there.
    I have found going thru grief headlong is probably healthier than
    lingering in denial like I did.

  20. Rose

    Welcome back from your trip, my dear! It is so good to hear that it was a positive experience for you. No matter how well you are managing, there are bound to be times when grief comes for a visit. I am so interested to hear about your new technique. I hope it does the trick for you, in terms of your thought patterns. How wonderful for Camille to say she felt like she had her mother back. How that must have warmed your heart!

    Much love always from England,
    Rosemary from

  21. Kaffesoester

    The idea of a self-date sounds great – and something many of us could benefit from.

    You and Patti both look lovely! Funny that you have so much in common, and great that you get to share it over a face to face meeting!

  22. Tracy H

    What a treat to see two beautiful, inspiring, and stylish women together!

  23. Bella Q

    What a small and marvelous world. I would love to meet both you and Patti. I’m glad you’re trip was a positive one- and your journey is ever going. xo.

  24. Amber of Butane Anvil

    Oh Judith, you and Patti are such beautiful peas-in-a-pod!

    In ocean colours, hat of striated sky, sandy feet.
    Journey illuminated, exquisite presence.
    Running clear.

    Thank you for inviting us along! How lovely to return home with such a sense of renewal and possibility.

  25. Joni

    This is so fun seeing you two together. I bet you had wonderful conversation while looking good too. 😉

  26. Anne-Marie Bruun

    I’m glad to see you again and it was a good trip – it seems you and Pattie have a nice time and you look great both of you.
    It’s great to take away and clear mind. The sea and the wind do well for me. I’m trying let my negative thoughts go out of my head with the wind – but it is not always easy 🙂

  27. Sheila, Style Agent 909

    Oh wow Judith, you got to meet up with Patti; how fun. I hope I get the chance to meet a few of my blog friends some day.
    This ‘self date’ sounds like a good thing. I used to go on those all the time, to the movies, dinner and far away places.
    If you’re ever in Virginia or near Washington D.C. please stop by to see me.

  28. Anne @ The Frump Factor

    I was already envious of your visit with Patti, and then I saw you were in Delray Beach! Love it there. I’ve been fortunate to visit a couple of times for their town-wide New Year’s Eve celebration — TOO much fun. Hope to go back again soon, maybe this year.

    And do I ever LOVE that print you’re wearing. So beautiful.

  29. Shybiker

    Glad you had fun. There are joys in meeting friends and joys in “self-dates.” Nice to see you savoring both.

  30. Paula

    How serendipitous that I would check in and see you visited patti as I did! I had a wonderful visit with her as well. It’s so great to meet blogging friends~
    It’s great to see u becoming your old self again~love Paula

  31. kefala

    While I was swimming today in blue clear sea waters (Mediterranean) ,was thinking of your words ,profound of meanings : abundance ,self date, empowerment , wellness versus pathology and more .
    Dear SC
    You are a life philosopher ! You are teaching us !

  32. Margaret Goodhouse

    Your posts are a call to action for me, as I too find myself “stuck” sometimes. Wher I live is islolating, as it is hard to make friends here. But that doesnt mean I have to be isolated!
    I’m glad you met Patti, and enjoyed your trip, and I’m still quite envious of your tiny gorgeous crone feet!
    Love from Arabia,

  33. Margaret Goodhouse

    BTW, I’ll be in Denver in December to visit my 3 sisters who live there. We MUST meet!

  34. Vix

    I’m delighted that your trip has invigorated you. How wonderful to see you and Patti together, I love it when bloggers meet! x

  35. Rachel {Raw-kul}

    Focusing on wellness instead of pathology… WOW. What a concept. This would make some improvement because there is such a focus on pathology and labels and all that garbage in the world. I am emailing you. xo

  36. Greetje Kamminga

    What a wonderful change for you Judith. You deserve it. I like your thought Feel good to do good. It also means : you will feel happy if you bring happiness to others?” I think that is true. Just don’t overdo it. As with everything… do it, but keep your “doing” within reasonable boundries. Everything that is preceded by “too (much)” is wrong. And yes that also applies to “too nice”. Nature always and everywhere seeks balance.
    I wish you much wisdom on your journey.

  37. That's Not My Age

    How lovely that you met Patti! I would love to meet you both. If only we could arrange it. And so pleased to hear about the positive change in your thought processes.

  38. ariane

    Hi Judith!

    Very nice that you have met Patti – I am certain she is a lovely person
    About staying in the moment – I have learned to stay in the moment, i am proud to say that i am more and more in the moment – this is the only way – When i get anxious or negative, i analyze why i feel this way, what triggers it and i allow myself to feel the emotion without fear –

    But it is always work in progress -a life’s project!


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