Greetings and Happy New Year!

I was amazed to discover that it has been an entire year since I last wrote a newsletter. No wonder so many people have written to be sure they were still on my mailing list. I needed a little time off…I can’t say from what exactly, but time to reevaluate life…yes, even at this age. I have a tile (coaster) on my desk that says, “It’s never too late to begin again…” I found it at Patti Gallardo’s Eclectic Art shop for my mother’s 90th birthday! Now it lives at my place to remind me…yet again…that anything is possible, but I’m not sure what that “anything” is at the moment.

I’ve been thinking about change lately, as I am obviously contemplating something. I’ve always welcomed change…a chance to see the world in new ways through new experiences, places, people. And I’ve always had a list pages long of things I was waiting to do. I still have the lists, but nothing seems to grab my attention or fire my passions at the moment. I am passionate about tango, but what do I want to do with it?? Three weeks in Buenos Aires dancing tango every day and night was terrific, but it is only a class and a practice each week. I want to dance everyday, but move to Buenos Aires? No, my home is in PV.

Some changes are certain…I will sell Southern Cross when the right buyer comes along. I have listed her with Nick Rau at Vallarta Yachts. Check out the specs at www.vallartayachts.net. The page with my SC31 should be up by January 10th. It wasn’t an easy decision, after all we have over 18 years and 40,000 miles together, but she would love to go again, and I am not ready. Somewhere there is someone who needs a beautiful, uncomplicated boat to realize her/his dream.

Another certainty…I will be painting fulltime as soon as trips to the marina to care for SC are over. I have a wonderful studio on the ground floor of my apartment building, outfitted and waiting for me.

Wallace Method will take a more focused place in my life, too. Last year I wrote about meeting Heather Wallace and beginning her amazing system for movement, health, and freedom from pain. It has served me very well this past year, and I look forward to doing much more as I learn the program both for myself and to help others. Heather is back for her 3-month stay in PV and is getting ready to present a workshop in February.

These changes seem quite tame (when compared to long distance sailing and cross country motorcycle trips) as I amble along through my 60s.

Others are making incredible, courageous changes in their lives to reach the outer limits of experience. I’ve written before about Donna Lange who is approaching The Horn right now onboard her 28’ Southern Cross, Inspired Insanity. She left just over a year ago from New England to make a one-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe. Her one stop (New Zealand), after 163 days alone at sea, is behind her now, and returning home is only a few months away. What sent Donna out on such a quest? A change in her life that took everything she had to survive. The event closed some doors and opened others, but it took tremendous fortitude to see that as an opportunity and accept it.

Another amazing woman crossed my path in December, Roz Savage. Roz rowed…yes, as in a rowboat with two oars, across the Atlantic Ocean. Three months alone and rowing 12 hours a day left time only for thinking and making plans for what would come next. And….she will leave this spring to row across the Pacific Ocean, in three legs. This time it is not a formal competition, but a personal quest.

These are on-the-edge changes, but we all face waiting doors and opportunities to step out of our comfort zones and try out our skills, courage and flexibility in the face of life’s twists and turns. The size of our step is not important and neither is the size of our comfort zone…it takes the same amount of courage and it feels equally fantastic when you’ve done it!

My brother Stu and sister-in-law Karen put their toes over the line in November and made their first trip out of the US to visit me in Mexico. We tried a bit of everything PV offers and they left with huge smiles at discovering…”It wasn’t anything like we expected…so much better!” I hope they hurry back soon.

I’ve written before about Phillipa Vernon-Powell who came to PV with her organization New Life Mexico and a vision to create change for others… helping the street children here find a life and a future. With her efforts there is now a boys’ home providing a safe environment, health care, education, and the knowledge that someone cares. If you are heading to PV with a little extra (or a lot of) space in your suitcase, Phillipa has a wish list. You can be part of making a change in someone’s life.

There are inspiring stories everywhere like my friend Sylvie Scopazzo who dreamed of being a singer…I saw her last Friday night at the local club Que Pasa, and she looked like she had always been on a stage belting out songs with her group The Zippers. She couldn’t stop grinning to be doing something that was only a dream before. Something I couldn’t imagine doing in my wildest dreams!

So what dream do you have lurking in the back of your mind…probably you’ve had it there since you were 10 or 11. I think that is the time in our lives when we are most ourselves and our true passions are born. A great way to help dredge up those old desires is “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron…and it’s fun, too.

Here is a toast to you and a fresh year to look for changes and have fun with them!

Best wishes,

---Pat
 

New steps from Buenos Aires


Southern Cross shows her stuff


A great place to start painting again


Heather Wallace doing solo work


Donna Lange taking a day off in New Zealand


Roz Savage and Pat swap sea stories


At last Karen meets the Pacific Ocean!
 

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