Friday, January 30, 2015

It’s About the Journey

My friend Mary gave me a lovely bracelet for my birthday with a charm on it that says “It’s about the journey not the destination.” It also has a tiny suitcase with the word “adventure” on it and another ornament that says “Love this life.” To top it off is a tiny blue jade marble to represent this “blue marble” we all live on.   

I have worn it every day since she gave it to me on New Year’s Day – also the anniversary of my birth. I plan on wearing it indefinitely and adding keepsakes to it as I go through the coming years. 

It was wonderful gift and carries several important sentiments, which I’m very conscious of as I plan to take a long journey. Loving the life I’m currently living and appreciating it is sometimes tough when my mind is so focused on the future. Remembering that this world is truly small in the way we are all connected is a little easier for me and embracing adventure has always been one of my assets. The big one here is to incorporate the passion for the journey and not get sidetracked by planning towards a destination. 

I’m a big planner. I love Excel spreadsheets and researching every aspect of any project. I must struggle to stay flexible as a venture unfolds. This is my true challenge; to cherish each step along the way, all pleasures as well as every challenge. However, I know I can do it. I know that keeping this mindset is just another challenge. 

I find myself chanting a mental mantra – “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

I Feel Bad About Myself? Not!

Last week, I drove a customer home from the car dealership I work for as a shuttle driver. We had a lovely conversation, but near the end we began to talk about her car, a 2003 Toyota Camry with only 100,000 miles on it. As someone who hears the stories of this brand's longevity every single work day, I’m well aware that her car most likely had many thousands of miles in it. However, she spent a great deal of time explaining why she didn’t want to spend the money on a new car.  I realized half way into it that she was following the same pattern many women do, at least American women, feeling bad about herself for external reasons.

I’m blown away by the nearly constant refrains of females rejecting compliments, pointing out their real or imagined shortcomings or explaining their actions to anyone who will listen. I don’t have enough exposure to other nationalities to judge if this is a trait restricted to the U.S.A. or a part of the feminine psyche, but it’s very unfortunate either way.

How many times have you hear a lady carefully refute praise of her outfit or haircut or almost anything else by proclaiming the problems with it or the age of her clothes, etc.? When it’s appropriate I’ll  comment back that she should just accept the compliment. Often, this promotes a shy enjoyment of the approval given.

The late Nora Ephron’s book I Feel Bad About My Neck focused, in part, on this phenomenon. In fact, my personal awareness of that phrase made me anxious to read the book. Of course, it was about much more that her dismay at the state of her neck, but I recognized the universal nature of this female mindset in the title.

Why is it that we women have such a hard time accepting kudos? Why do we feel we have to argue with the admiration? Whatever the reason, let’s just stop! Let’s consciously make an attempt to change this old habit. Instead of the “this old thing?” responses, let’s joyfully accept commendations and praise. Let’s KNOW in our hearts that our hair does look good today or we DID do a great job or that this IS truly the best chicken our guest has ever had. Let’s own our excellence, attractiveness and good works!

Repeat after me, I feel bad about myself? No way!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Next Up – Adventure!

Have you been looking for adventure your whole life? Well, so have I and it’s finally in my sights.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to share the full enchilada at this point for a couple of very good reasons but that’s no cause not to tempt and entice! My direction in life is going to take a drastic turn in the spring and I’ll be heavily involved in blogging, photography and sharing exotic tales, all the while re-entering the fiction writer’s world with gusto. 

Well, what CAN I tell you, you ask? Great question. Thanks for asking. I can tell you that it will involve travel, interacting with other cultures, freedom from the daily grind and most probably a brand new website (certainly a new blog, at the very least).

Why tell you this little bit now? For a very good reason, to spread hope for those looking for a way out. I want to let you know that there are ways to escape and I’ll be detailing the process as I embark on it. So, stay tuned and as I start up the new blog and prepare, I’ll keep you in the loop. 

Fellow adventurers I offer you hope in the upcoming months.

PS Red will have something to say about this whole thing! You can count on that. We've had to move our veranda sessions to the local Starbucks due to weather, but she's fully with me on this.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Mojo is Rising

After almost a year of absence from Facebook, Twitter, blogging and even writing, I can feel the mojo swooping in on me, and it feels good, very good. 

Who knows what has been going on this past year? Certainly not me. I can’t tell if it was some sort of healing or simply a cocooning, but finally the heavy fog has lifted but I’m no longer afraid to sit down and write. My laptop has ceased to be the enemy. 

I swear it used to stare at me… 

Perhaps it has something to do with finally having a total knee replacement after at least five years of pain, perhaps an odd thing to motivate one. However, having a knee that was bone-on-bone for years took me to a level of disability over time that was difficult for me to recognize. A trip to the grocery store would require painkillers afterwards. I became nearly immobile with regards to pleasurable movement, like casual strolls down quaint country main streets or even a glitzy place like Vegas. I think it made me feel old. 

Now I have a bionic knee and I’m feeling strong and much younger. Frankly, I’m feeling a bit invincible – a great mindset for mojo. Every morning, two months after the surgery, I’m surging with energy and joy in living.

My advice to anyone considering a procedure that will restore your mobility would be to go for it. Of course, I have a gnarly scar, but that’s a minor issue. I’m trying to think of some exciting story to tell about it (more glamorous than the truth) but the very straight nature of the scar precludes adventures like shark bite! I’ve startled and horrified most of my family by running tattoo designs by them as a means of elevating the Frankenstein-like marking into a gorgeous decoration. 

Don’t tell them, but I’m a little frightened of the needle!

Anyway, I look forward to writing and blogging again. Stay tuned for the next post because I have a bit of an announcement to make.