Attitude and Success (at the Zoo and Beyond)

According to a recent article at, the number one thing that holds people back from success is…

*half-hearted drumroll*


giraffe richmond zoo


I SO get this.

There are days I know I need to rally. I want to rally.

But then you know, you’re tired.

exhausted baby

Anyone else up for being carried around?

Or distracted. Somewhere else.

distracted or somewhere else

I’m sure you’ve seen this before.

Or felt this:

frustrated baby

You’re frustrated. You’ve lost your focus.

surprise butterfly

You need an attitude metamorphosis.

penguin richmond zoo

So get ready. 

Here’s some baby attitude to get you started.

A little (baby) Attitude

It’s go time.

**Thank you to the lovely creatures at the Richmond Metro Zoo, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, and the ones I’m related to (note: not the giraffe, I don’t have that graceful of a neck) for their camera ready looks.

Happy Thursday!

Any of you lovelies have a tried and true method for regaining your spunky attitudes?? 




Habit is What Keeps You Going

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
~Jim Rohn


A couple of days ago I stood next to the kitchen counter peeling a banana. I dropped the peel–and the stringy banana “hairs”– into our compost container.

Then, without thinking, I broke off the end–a.k.a. the butt of the banana– and added it to the pile.

I have no problem with the banana butt. But my son always has. When he was younger he wouldn’t eat a banana unless I broke off the ends. The ends grossed him out.

My kids are teenagers now, still under my care, but it’s different. For the most part, there’s less micro-managing (I say for the most part, because somehow I can still hear my echo of have you emptied the dishwasher yet?)

But it’s not uncommon to see me filling their glasses half full at the dinner table, a nod to the days when my kids were too old for sippee cups, but not so old that they weren’t prone to spilling.

Leftover habits, lingering. Happily. Because every time I catch myself in one of these random mommy flashbacks, I smile.


It’s definitely the kind of habit that can keep me going.

Kind of like a dangling banana butt.

What are your happy habits? 

Have an awesome week,


Up for fun posts and cool pictures? Check out author, Patricia aka Jansen Schmidt. You may learn what a Xebec is, if you don’t already know. 🙂


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Adventure Agenda:Get the Most Out of Life

edge life_opt

Kids, do not try this at home.  All stunts performed by a free-spirited professional tour guide. 


With the new year upon us, I want to send out an extra special thank you for stopping by and sharing in this adventure with me.  You all add heaps of sparkle to this journey and I am SO grateful.

So here’s to getting the most out of life.  Whether your adventure agenda for 2013 includes dangling your legs over the Grand Canyon or making room in your day for afternoon tea (yes please), here’s to a happy, healthy, successful and peaceful new year.

Wishing you all the best,

Leaps of Imagination and Olympic-sized Dreams

The Olympics–they bring to mind big dreams, athletes making history and well, spa treatments and fancy chocolates.

olympic chocolate_opt


At least it did this weekend.  My husband and I stayed at a hotel that offered that pretty chocolate platter and resort credit every time the U.S. won gold.  I was already having fun watching gymnastics, swimming and track and field, but eight gold medals during our stay equaled not only patriotic excitement but free stuff, like a spa pedicure:

olympic pedicure_opt

Thanks also to Missy Franklin and Katie Ladecky!


Spa services aside, I’ve always found the Olympics exciting, inspiring and highly motivating.  When I was a teenager, I wrote in my diary that I was going to find a way to participate in the 24th Olympiad after watching the Los Angeles games.

Synchronized swimming was going to be my sport.

Now I got an A in swimming during my freshman year of high school, but I’d never, ever tried synchronized swimming, let alone played any sport in tandem (except maybe some Marco Polo bobbing).  And while I loved gymnastics (and could rock the elementary round off dismount off the balance beam), I was not even remotely equipped for what was essentially a gymnastics floor program underwater.

I guess watching those Olympics, I found myself connected to that determination I saw in the athletes and I became motivated to do something.  I wanted to experience that sense of accomplishment too.

But instead of funneling that motivation into one of my own dreams (I was very specific about my writing dreams according to my diary), I picked something random to shoot for.

It was a misguided attempt.  One I’m not entirely sure about.  I don’t think it was due to fear (that would come later).  It was probably more about not knowing what to do about them (other than send out poetry to Seventeen magazine).   Or maybe my dreams were so embedded, so much a part of me, that I almost forgot about them as a goal to practice and plan for.


I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.

~ Mitch Hedberg


So my writing dreams mostly faded into the background of high school and college–and if you believe my diary, BOYS.

Although it’s interesting to note now that I continued to fill journals and write stories (filing them away in a big Rubbermaid container).  I worked at libraries and I took writing classes in college, grad school and at night when my kids were younger.

Writing stayed close whether or not I acknowledged it.

Synchronized swimming on the other hand, became just an odd and out-of-place wish sitting in one of my diaries.

I did however win a gold (ish) medal in 2007.  Not exactly the Olympics–for these purposes, let’s call it the Royal Caribbean games.

I placed first in a ship wide dart competition.

 olympic dart gold_opt

No cool team uniforms.  I think it was against international maritime law or something.

For whatever reason, dreams fade or get pushed aside for other things.  Sometimes we pick something else because it’s expected, or it’s easier or maybe more acceptable.

But it’s important to remember that life happens whether or not you plan.

Planning helps, because motivation can fade.


People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
~Zig Ziglar


I love hearing stories about people realizing their dreams–or accomplishing another step toward them.  It’s exciting and inspiring, and everywhere, not only at the Olympics.  I’ve seen that excitement in my kids’ faces and heard it in my sister’s voice each time she moves closer to her nursing degree.  Finding inspiration, whatever gets you fired up, is a significant part of going for your own dreams.

It’s a reminder that if you put in A LOT of hard work toward a goal, accomplishment is not only possible, but EXHILARATING.

Of course, baby steps are fine.  Just be sure to name your goal and put on your work clothes.

“Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.”

~Benjamin Franklin

Then go after the dreams in your mind and your heart (fancy chocolates optional).


I’m going out there to try to accomplish the things that I have in my mind and in my heart.
~Michael Phelps


Do you have Olympic-sized dreams in your heart?  What training are you doing to get closer to them?

Let me know in the comments, I love it when you share!


Have a great week. 🙂




Leaning into the Leap


There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.
~Carl Sandburg


This weekend my husband and I went to an outdoor sports festival.  There was music, food and a variety of outdoor sports demos including slacklining.

 slack line coleen patrick_opt


Yoga on paddle boards

 yoga paddle board coleen patrick_opt

super chess coleen patrick_opt

Even super chess

Super Chess:  Are you ready??


All that adventure and yet I was beginning to feel the hint of a wallow coming on.  Nothing unusual, just a little Monday slipping into my Sunday afternoon.

I ignored it, and we made our way to the Ultimate Air Dog event.

 For this event, dogs ran across a ramp and jumped, flying over and into a pool (occasionally being prompted by their favorite chew toy or ball).

And every dog was different.  Some were coaxed on by their owner and others had to be held by the collar because they couldn’t wait for it to be their turn.  It was a Hippo vs. Eagle moment.

One little dog scampered down the ramp and then came to a complete stop at the edge.


dog hesitates coleen patrick_opt


And as the little dog hesitated, there was a collective “Aw.”  Because we all know the feeling.

In fact it was exactly why I was beginning to feel like I wanted to wallow like the hippo (rather than soar like the eagle).  I was thinking about writing a blog post and Tweeting and sharing on Facebook and pinning on Pinterest–and I felt a curious mix of fear and excitement at the thought of moving on from my cozy, family weekend to a week of social media.  Again.

Because every week when I think about putting myself out there, I feel like I am dangling off the edge of that ramp, suspended over a dark pool of insecurity.

And it’s usually due to over thinking.

I’m too much of an introvert–this isn’t natural for me.  I am far more suited to hours of solitary writing than social media and marketing.   This blog topic sucks.  Who is going to read this? It takes up too much time–instead I could, oh I don’t know, learn how to juggle or  teach myself Swedish.  Or I know! Finish knitting that lumpy scarf  I started years ago or bedazzle . . . something.

Over thinking creates obstacles, diverts attention.

slackline fall_opt

Better to be present.  It’s easier to get to the other side, the place you want to be, when you focus.

Even if you’re not quite ready to jump, you can always lean into the leap.  


 dog jumping soaring_opt

Then catch some air.

And it’s a relief to be on the other side, to finish something that’s not easy, to take another step, reach another goal.  There’s the sense of accomplishment, both in getting it done and pushing thru the hesitation.  

It’s even kind of exhilarating.

Even when it doesn’t go so gracefully or my blog topic is well, a little meh.  It’s okay.


Flops are a part of life’s menu and I’ve never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses.
– Rosalind Russell

And yes, the hesitation will be back, but:


The best way out is always through.
– Robert Frost


Because something happens every time you leap through to the other side:


You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.
– Eleanor Roosevelt


Are you soaring through this week, or is there something causing  you to want to wallow?


Everyone has a Yay! Thing


gratitude attitude



Mondays can be rough.  The early alarm, that not so easy transition from the weekend to the weekday and the fact that you just want a little more face time with your pillow.

Motivation can be slow to appear.  Unless someone forgot to put the garbage cans on the curb.  Then there’s the bounding out of bed at the noise from the sanitation truck rolling down the street.

But that’s a harsh start.  Especially since I wake to the sounds of ocean waves (my alarm, not the beach, but maybe someday) and my husband’s alarm is a harp.

We make an attempt at the Zen thing.


Well, this weekend I stumbled across a line of fun, colorful magnets from Rachelle Reichly’s company called Yay! Life!

The magnets cheer on an attitude of motivation and gratitude and it all started with a pie.  I’m sure a lot of great ideas started with pie, right?

I mean whose to say Benjamin Franklin didn’t eat a slice of mincemeat pie before heading out to discover electricity?

Pie!  Eureka!

Anyway Rachelle made a pie and when her husband saw it he said, “Yay. Pie.”  Inspiration struck (like Franklin’s lightning) and the couple thought:


“This is what life is all about – gratitude and enjoying life. Everyone has a YAY! THING! that is as unique as they are.”


And so now they sell Yay! magnets for most anything, from Alaska to Zombies.


book gratitude

And books–double Yay!


Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion.

~Sarah Ban Breathnach 


For my Monday motivation, I’m starting with a Yay! Coffee! Iced, because it’s getting warmer outside.  Another Yay!


Add in a memory of a fun weekend: Yay! Mother’s Day!

And I’ve got my inspiration, my keyboard–Yay! Writing!


“Your idea of bliss is to wake up on a Monday morning knowing you haven’t a single engagement for the entire week. You are cradled in a white paper cocoon tied up with typewriter ribbon.”
~Edna Ferbe


Still tired?

Well, here’s a reason to get moving:

fear of the unknown alligator underwater _opt

Look closer.  Um, Yay! Boat?


Tell me, what is your Yay! thing for today?


On Getting Unsquished and Seeing the Bigger Picture


Do you ever get so focused on your goals that you suddenly have no idea what you are looking at anymore?



You dream and hope and plan and then work hard, but sometimes you still end up careening right into your own viewfinder.  Face squished up, focus distorted.


What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups . 

~Margaret Atwood


Squished up doesn’t leave much room for growth, or seeing our ideas through to completion–and I think it might even cause wrinkles.

But take a step back.  Take a little time to discover the big picture once again.

Then breathe in deep.

 The bigger picture rock climb maine_opt

Better keep yourself bright and clean. You are the window through which you must see the world.
~George Bernard Shaw


How do you get unsquished?