Singin’ in the rain

Singin’ in the rain

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb If you’re reading this blog post anywhere in the world where you are within earshot of other people, stop and listen. Chances are it won’t take too long for you to hear the complaining. We complain about the weather. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. Too windy. Too dry. Too… fill-in-the-blank. We complain about our jobs. Our joblessness. Our lack of time. Our lack of money. We complain about traffic, misplaced keys and red lights that take too long to change. We complain about our weight, our friends — our family. Yes, I am writing today to complain about the amount of time our society spends complaining. It’s so easy to get swept up in the negative stuff, right? There’s so much solidarity in it. A connection formed by a parallel annoyance. That “You feel my pain” thing is pretty powerful. When we planned the first two weeks of April as the best time to have our mountain cabin stained, we didn’t think about the “April showers.” Sure, they are great for bringing May flowers, but not so great when you have a (very tight) 14-day home renovation project and three of those days are literally washed out by storms. We got to the cabin Sunday night and by late Monday afternoon, my phone was blowing up with weather alerts with warnings of tornados;  flash floods; and monster winds that promised to take out trees, knock down power lines and, I’m assuming, easily sweep a crew of painters off a...
On Finding Your Passion

On Finding Your Passion

The recipe for happiness, according to the volumes of self-help articles and books and blogs out there goes pretty much like this: Follow your passion. Find your bliss. Do what you love. Just find that one thing that you’re passionate about and do that for the rest of your life and you’ll be happy. Sounds simple enough, right? But here’s where that “follow your dreams” mantra gets a little wonky for me. When I was a kid, I loved to sing. My sister and I were both passionate about our plan to tour the world. A singing duo following in the footsteps of other family singing greats like The Carpenters, The Osmonds, The Partridge Family. We just knew that singing was our future. And then–probably not even six months into our journey to fame — we closed the lid on the portable record player and were on to the next passion. For me, it was making macrame plant hangers, and for my sister, I think it was catching tadpoles to see how long it took for them to turn into frogs. And then I wanted to be a stewardess. And then I wanted to be a teacher. And then I wanted to work at a newspaper. And then I wanted to … and then.. and then… But that’s not-so-uncommon. As kids we bounce around from one idea to another, trying out different “when I grow up, I want to____ (fill in the blank.)” And, by the time we’re finished with high school, we’re, umm…we’re supposed to have that blank filled in. What is our life’s passion? What in the heck ARE...
Time is growing short

Time is growing short

‘‘I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” ~ Brené Brown Turning 30 was a breeze — it was when I turned 31 that something shifted. I have no idea why those 31 candles got to me so much. I suspect, in retrospect, that I was down-in-the-dumps about being “in my 30s.” Which, sounds utterly ridiculous to me, now, as a 51 1/2-year-old woman. What a waste of energy that was to be disappointed (ugh) about being 31. It’s amazing to me how much a person changes over the course of their life. That 31-year-old me would not even recognize this 51-year-old version. And this 51-year-old me wishes she could go...
Simple intention

Simple intention

“When you recognize that this life is yours — it is your one and only life — everything changes ~ AJ Leon” Over the holidays, I watched the documentary Minimalism. An awesome film that shares the stories of people who are living with less. But more than the notion that our lives would be so much simpler if we just got rid of stuff, the message of the film is about creating a life of meaning. To fill your life with the things, the people, and the experiences that add value. That really struck a chord with me. And it also made me think about the boots. The boots, which now sit slumped over and lonely in my closet, are a shining example of an purchase gone bad. Did I need those boots? Hell no. Are they the best boots ever? Not really. Have I worn those boots? Umm… only one time (and they’re so uncomfortable.) Do I love these boots? Not even a little. The honest truth is that I just wanted the boots. That’s it. There is no mystery here. We all like having new things. And when I saw those cute boots hanging out on the display, I just wanted them to be mine.  In that moment. And, of course, the “high” I got from owning those stylish new suede boots vanished faster than the charge showed up on my Amex card. Those boots add no value to my life. Quite the opposite happened, actually. Not long after tucking those boots into my closet, a very heavy guilt set in. Regret, with a capital “R.” I thought of the boots, often. How...
Tell me something good

Tell me something good

It seems like everywhere I turn, there’s bad news. Sad news. Some news this year hit close to home, while other tragic headlines come from so far away — both in location and in comprehension. As a country, we have struggled through a volatile presidential election. One that tore apart families and alienated friends. Anger bubbled to the surface and poured out onto Facebook Pages. People “unfriended” each other and tempers flared. It was craziness. Negative, destructive – craziness. We live in such a weird time – this time where the word “unfriend” is a thing. Can you imagine saying that out loud to a friend who disagreed with you when you were on the playground. “I can’t believe you think the Backstreet Boys are the best. Obviously New Kids on the Block should win. I really can’t believe you! I’m unfriending you.” Imagine the scene, really. It’s kinda … well … stupid. Putting all the shitty election shit aside, we would all agree that there are bad things happening in the world – really bad things — and if you spend too much time absorbing the images, the videos and the stories, well, I think it can suck the life out of you pretty fast. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should stick our heads in the sand and pretend everyone is holding hands around a campfire singing Kumbaya all day long. There’s a ton of horrific stuff going on. The kind of stuff that makes us feel so helpless and pissed off that our hearts hurt. The kind of stuff we can’t even imagine. Obviously we can’t ignore it, and we...