what color is your aura?

Kitchen Drawer

Sometime in the 1970s, Stewart met with a famous psychic who told him he had an orange aura. Supposedly, one of the chief features of orange-aura-people is procrastination. The psychic said Stewart would always put things off until the last possible moment, but then he’d do a great job.

Based on that characteristic alone, I could tell you that my aura is not orange. I have a vague memory of someone telling me my aura is blue. So I just now looked at a color wheel online and confirmed that blue is indeed the very opposite of orange. Though now I think I’m straying from my point. The point is that Stewart and I have radically different ways of getting things done, and I never notice it more than during these weeks when we’re getting ready to leave for Alaska.

Color Wheel
See?

I was that annoying person in school whose papers were always ready two days early. For work projects, I break big tasks into manageable parts and set realistic deadlines for each one. I was born with this need to put my ducks in a row — and probably your ducks, too, if they stray close enough to mine.

When it comes to preparing for Alaska, I have lists and systems that help me get started weeks ahead of time. For example, because we’re renting out our house while we’re away and I knew I’d have to do a major kitchen sorting, I divided the kitchen into twelve zones and committed to taking care of one zone every day. The photo at the top of this post is part of what I found inside a small part of a single kitchen drawer, so you can understand why — besides being compulsive — a person might want to get a jump on things.

My orange-haloed husband prefers a different approach. His commitment is to leave almost All The Things until the final 48 hours. I don’t feel at liberty to offer a detailed perspective on his process, so I will just say it’s a good thing we like each other as much as we do. I have learned, for the most part, to keep my mouth shut and simply marvel at how it does always come together at the end.

Like right now, Stewart is very close to ready for his departure tomorrow. He’s the straight green line on the map below, flying directly from here to Fairbanks, where he’ll do most of our provisioning before heading down to the cabin.

I’m the meandering red line. (Last week a friend called what I do “peregrinating,” which I’ve adopted because it’s such a fine bird-related term for wandering around.) I’ll leave on Saturday and, once again, my trip will involve many varieties of transport: driving to Seattle with several stops along the way, a couple of ferries, a train to Vancouver, another ferry, a trip up Vancouver Island for a five-day painting workshop, then back down to Seattle where the red line finally straightens out for my flight to Fairbanks. I’ll get to the cabin in early September and stay there for two weeks or so. At the end of it all, I’ll come back down to Seattle, pick up my car, and peregrinate toward home. By then it will be fall.

2016 Trip Map

We didn’t win the Denali Park Road Lottery this year, but I’m sure we’ll have other stories to tell. In fact, here’s one already: The park road partially washed out in a mudslide a couple weeks ago because of record rainfall in the area. It reopened just a few days ago.

Sounds like whatever stories we bring home, they may be on the soggy side.


9 thoughts on “what color is your aura?

  1. Shae,
    Let me know if you have a little time for coffee or a beer. I know our schedules haven’t aligned the last few years, but it would be great to see you.
    Safe travels.
    -Nicole

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    1. I’d love to see you, Nicole. I have a super-tight turnaround on my way up, but when Stewart and I come out — probably the weekend of 9/17-9/18 — we’ll have more time. Let me know if you’re around then and we can try to meet up. I’ll tuck in an extra jar of apricot jam for David, just in case.

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  2. I so love your elegant and honest writing Shae! I’m a planner as well, and can so appreciate your approach. Myers-Brigs personality assessment has an axis for planning / spontaneity…so this must be some fundamental human propensity.

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    1. Thank you, Annie! Stewart and I were extending our speculation about all of this way out there this morning, when we realized that my favorite color is orange and his favorite color is blue. Maybe we were attracted to what we needed for balance? We see that balancing act functioning in our relationship almost every day: how our differences almost always help us to keep the boat steady rather than tipping us over. Whew. (Also, there are other ways where we’re opposite on the same spectrum: Stewart is fairly meticulous about his travel plans — he has to be, as you know — whereas you can see this is one place where I like to leave room for surprise!)

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  3. I wonder if there’s a percentage of your differences that have to do with your perspectives on transition periods. My husband seems to do quite well with little to zero transition time between things. I absolutely require transition time. You seem to require ample transition time as well. Enjoy your adventure!

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    1. Yes, that too! Stewart can stop and pivot on a dime while I don’t do at all well with quick transitions. That’s why I’d rather travel on the ground than in the air, when possible. Thanks for that perspective, Denise.

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  4. Loved reading this Shae. Curious to hear more about auras and habits! I’ve been missing you already and will call soon just to say hi/bi and perhaps hear your voice once more before you turn into your bird self (that is what you meant, right?, you shape shifter you).

    Laura

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  5. YEA. Another round of Fairfax to Fairbanks. YeaYeaYea. Love Denise’s observation about transition times. I’m a dime pivot. My husband seems to need two months (feels like it sometimes, anyway). Thanks for the sharing.

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