The Freedom to Express Our Frolicking Energy

 

I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.

― Mahatma Gandhi

first amendment freedom of expression wall_opt

The First Amendment Monument in Charlottesville, Virginia

 

What would you write on this monument?

Me?  I got creative and wrote my name.

And continuing the theme of relaying the obvious, I wrote:

 freedom slate monument_opt

 

Maybe it wasn’t as colorful (or cathartic) as the citizen who wrote RYAN IS A TOOL, but that’s okay.  The 108 feet of slate writing space exists to express our views on well, whatever.

 

I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.

― Oscar Wilde

 

 Because freedom of expression is one of our rights in America.

art on first amendment monument_opt

This one makes me smile.

 

Whether we doodle on slate, express our political or religious views or write best-selling books, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said that part of the significance of our freedom of expression is to “assure self-fulfillment for each individual.”

Expression = Self-fulfillment

Maybe not right away, but having the ability to express yourself can help you find purpose, passion and meaning in your life.  And there are so many ways to do it.

For example,I express myself in this blog, in my fiction writing and by wearing sparkly shoes.

 converse sequin

 

Maybe I color my hair blue, paint, or do DIY projects. .

 

 

Even my lunch tells a story about me and what I want for myself.

grilled tofu salad_opt

This is a very delicious grilled tofu salad. Not that I’m trying to convince anyone (because of freedom and all that).

 

Plus I like to bake and experiment with recipes.  I planned on showing you a picture of the gluten-free spice cupcakes I made for this weekend.  But sadly, they are all gone.

 

empty platter_opt

 

But cupcake or no cupcake, every day is another opportunity to show the world an expression that is uniquely our own.  Because each of us have a JOY looking for a voice.

 

You are joy, looking for a way to express.  

It’s not just that your purpose is joy, it is that you are joy. You are love and joy and freedom and clarity expressing. Energy-frolicking and eager.

That’s who you are.

― Esther Hicks

 

So, here’s to FROLICKING ENERGY and the unfettered freedom to find meaning.

What would you write on the Freedom of Expression monument?  How do you express yourself?  

I love it when you comment 🙂

Have an awesome week!

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. 🙂

 

 

 

Flying the Anxious Skies

 

“It is difficult, when faced with a situation you cannot control, to admit you can do nothing.”
~ Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid

fear of flying cocoon of denial_opt

I am not on a plane, over the ocean.  It only looks that way.

 

Anxiety sucks.
I don’t know what unleashes it first, the need for control or the lack of control.  It’s kind of a chicken/egg thing.  Either way, I know that control is a major factor in my anxiety.

Take my fear of flying (please!).  It combines my dislike for cramped spaces and playing what my overactive imagination likes to call The Life Lottery.

  • You can’t get eaten by a shark if you don’t go in the ocean.
  • You will not plunge 36,000 feet if you don’t fly.
  • You will not get stuck in a crowded elevator if you don’t get on one.

Because life can be so freaking random.  There are so many things I can’t control, that maybe when I feel like I can avoid something, like say the parachute not opening or the bungee cord snapping, then I feel like I should.

(Note: I can safely say there will not be any sky diving or bungee jumping posts from me in the future—not of me anyway.)

But what do you do when a fear or phobia is in the way of something you DO want to do?

“While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

Really??

Believe me, I try to rationalize my fear of flying, but it’s like trying to explain to my teenage daughter why I don’t want her to walk down the beach alone at night in a foreign country.

But I’m almost 18! Why not?

It makes sense to me, but not to her.

Like my husband the engineer trying to explain Bernoulli’s Principle regarding air flight to me:

As the speed of moving fluid (liquid or gas) increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases.  The airplane wing is designed to split air as it travels through it, and adjust the air speed above and below the wing so that there’s low pressure on the top of the wing’s surface, and higher pressure on the bottom.  This variance in air speed and pressure generates lift.

And generates great confusion.  I don’t get it.

At the science museum in town, they have a beach ball floating atop a stream of blowing air to help demonstrate part of this principle.

Doesn’t help.  Not when kid after kid walks up to that display to knock the ball out of the air stream.

I don’t even need to see that beach ball hit the ground to worry, my overactive imagination distorts airplane aerodynamics all on its own.  Besides, as a writer I spend a lot of time thinking about the WHAT IF?

 

“Yeah. Calm down. Two of the most useless words in the English language.”
~ Lili St. Crow, Betrayals

On our flight from Tel Aviv to Frankfurt, the pilot introduced himself and then said, “I anticipate some bumps at take off and as we cross over Serbia.

What?!

Now I know some people like to know what they are getting into.  I however, did not appreciate this knowledge because it made me then have to consider the definition of bumpy according to the tyrant pilot about to fly our plane.

After all he’s a pilot and he’s used to turbulence.  In fact, I often look at the pilot and the attendants before a flight, checking their faces for any stress or anxiety.  I figure if they’re okay, I should be okay.  (See?  That’s me trying to be rational.)  So if you’re a pilot, don’t mention bumpy unless you clarify it.  Because bumpy could mean a range of things, from a gentle hiccup to your plastic cup of coke hitting the ceiling.

So after that announcement, I immediately called up the course map on my personal TV screen.

Where the heck is Serbia??  (I’m cleaning up my unfiltered, anxiety driven language here for you.)

I never found Serbia, but apparently it’s very large.  The entire flight felt like we were making a trip up to Walton’s Mountain in an old Ford with blown shock absorbers.

Rationalizing wasn’t working, I needed a distraction.

So I tried to watch a movie, then a TV show, but the only thing I could get my screen to do (other than watch the excruciatingly slow progress that we were making even at a ground speed of 600 mph) was play a special Lufthansa meditation CD.

(I had my own iPod, but my headphones were no match for the jet engines which were apparently working very hard at doing what I have no clue.  Don’t get me started on how the weight of engines and everything else can stay 36,000 feet in the air.)

So I started the meditation CD, and then proceeded to listen to a (German? Austrian?) psychologist talk me through visualizing Edelwiess meadows, lonely goatherds, and Heidi singing Do Re Me.  Then Dr. von Trapp told me to envision jumping into the cool waters of a babbling brook while remembering to release anxiety by clenching and unclenching various muscles, including my buttocks.

Um, if you’re taking notes, this may be out of order—I should mention I also took a Xanax.

Mostly I jiggled my feet up and down for four hours, because my brother-in-law said it helps to make you feel like you are the one causing the bumpiness rather than Bernoulli pot holes (again with the control) I imagine I looked like Fred Flintstone pedaling his car.  I was exhausted.

And the second we landed?  I burst into tears of relief.

Yea, I was a hot mess.

But I had to think positive because we weren’t done. We had two more flights to go.

So I concentrated on the positive—avoiding all negativity.  Especially thoughts of movies like Bridesmaids.  As much as I love that movie, Kristen Wigg played a nervous flyer and ended up sitting next to another nervous flyer who said this:

 “I had a dream last night . . . that the plane went down. Yup. It was terrible. You were in it.”

 

Instead of that, it’s helpful to focus on your travel destination and whatever fun things you are looking forward to.  For me, my favorite positive, happy place is usually a white sandy beach next to clear blue water.  I imagine the warmth of the sun, a cool sea breeze and hopefully relax.

Sometimes though I just imagine being finished with whatever is causing me stress. On the way home, during the third and last leg of our plane itinerary, I imagined walking out of the airport, going home, seeing my house, I even went so far as to imagine the warmth of the wood floors and the smell of the shampoo in my shower.

If that doesn’t work, other distractions help. I also did crossword puzzles—easy ones that didn’t require me to stop too long to think.  For me that meant the puzzles in the People magazine. When desperate I used the airline magazine—and I wasn’t above flipping to the back for answers. After all it’s not the SATs. The point of this exercise was to keep my mind  occupied in a positive way.

I have to say I’m pretty grateful that (crying aside) I managed to at least look mostly calm. At least my freak out did not involve a hallucination or the airplane’s PA system, like the character in Bridesmaids:

“I have an announcement too, there is a COLONIAL WOMAN ON THE WING. The woman on the wing, I saw her! There’s something they’re not telling us! There’s a Colonial woman. She was churning butter. She was churning butter on that wing; she’s out there right now! There is something they’re not telling us! Look out there, she is dressed in traditional Colonial garb!”

 

Really what you need to do is keep your anxiety in check long enough not to resort to using the PA system, but send off enough distress vibes that your name gets picked for the FIRST CLASS LOTTERY.

Yup.  You heard that right.  After that bumpy Lufthansa flight, we got another kind of bump on our overseas leg–an upgrade from coach to US Airway’s Envoy class.  Not just myself and my husband, but our kids as well.

Sparkling water (or wine) with lemon, warm mixed nuts, a menu to choose your meal, a seat that reclines ALL THE WAY FLAT, noise (read: jet engine) reducing headphones, steamed wash clothes (I had no idea what I was missing there!), hot fudge sundaes and your very own kit of personal toiletries like lotion, chapstick, an eye mask, socks and toothbrush!.

Feeling especially rich and fancy, my son did his best impersonation of James William Bottomtooth III from Family Guy.

flying fancy bottomtooth style_opt

 

It was so much fun to see the excited looks on my kids faces.  Plus I learned it’s still possible to impress my teenage daughter.

flying first class happy _opt

 

Thankfully I am the only nervous flyer in our family, but this perk got all of us grinning–even me.  I was SO grateful.  Gratitude can go a long way in reducing stress and anxiety (and so can the amenities of first class).

The proof?  I actually slept for almost 5 hours.

Yay!

So maybe first class won’t always be an option (one can always hope though), but if you can, treat yourself to a good pair of noise reducing headphones. They help maintain the cocoon of denial if all else fails.

 

“The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.”

~ Maya Angelou

 

Are you cool as a cucumber or do you imagine Colonial women on the wing of the plane?  How do you deal with anxiety?

 

Multitasking: Make Twice the Mistakes in Half the Time

mistakes

 

Two weeks ago, while in the middle of answering emails (and clicking on link after link until I had at least two dozen tabs open that would need to be dealt with), I remembered I wanted to send a birthday package to my twin nephews.

So I opened another window and with a few clicks I filled my virtual shopping cart with fun picture books.   And cookies. Animal cookies in a cute yellow school bus box.

What four-year old wouldn’t want to have cookies and then play with the cardboard school bus box, right?  So cute!

So I put two in my basket, checked out and then patted myself on my super productive shoulder.  

Then I continued toggling, replying, reading and jumping around my to do list.

Until the next week when my mom asked:  Where did you buy those cookies?

ME:  Amazon, why?

MOM:  Your sister seems to think they were dog biscuits.

ME:  WHAT?

MOM:  Yes.  She was pretty sure.  She said the ingredients mentioned the percentage of crude fat and protein.

ME:  But why would they package it in a bus?  Dogs wouldn’t care about that!!  No way.  It can’t be dog biscuits!

It was.

I checked my Amazon receipt and that’s when I noticed the things I’d been too busy to catch:

Great for finicky pets!

Made by Exclusively Dog.

Animal Shaped Dog Treats.

In my defense, I had started out in the food section, but with one click or maybe switching from animal “crackers” to “cookies” I ended up in the pet supply section.

Whoops.

 

“I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.”  

~Jennifer Yane

 

The thing is, I know that I’m entering the Mistake Zone when I start toggling between tabs, email and everything else.

I worry I will type the wrong name (legal vs. writing name) when I switch back and forth between personal and writing emails.

I worry I will hit publish instead of save while I’m in the middle of writing the “vomit draft” of a blog post–which to me would kind of feel like walking out of the house without pants on.

Still, some days it’s hard to stop adding another chair on top of the stack.

 

coleen patrick balance_opt

Got balance?

 

But  our brains slow down when they go into juggle mode and occasionally information can get lost between long- term memory and our short-term working memory.

And the next thing you know you could be overlooking important clues:

Made with human-grade ingredients.  No animal parts or by-products.

It’s a good thing vacation is right around the corner, because I need a Balance Check.   For now though,  I will remember to breathe, take a fun day and feel the waves.

There’s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.

— Frank Herbert

Oh and take more time for tea.  I LOVE tea!

And it’s even better with a great snack.  Anyone want an animal cookie?

 

Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold.  But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. 

~Douglas Pagels

 

What are your thoughts on multitasking?  Do you think it adds to stress or do you feel more productive?

 

Balderdash: A Writer’s Guide to Making Stuff Up

balderdash definition_opt

 “Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.”

 ~Baron Munchausen

 

This weekend I was reading some posts over at Catherine Caffeinated and found a particularly entertaining one on the subject of book reviews.

In it, she included this excerpt from an Amazon customer review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett:

 

“Where was the editor for this book? In the end notes the author confesses to playing with time. For instance, Shake ‘N Bake is mentioned but didn’t hit the shelves until 1965. A Bob Dylan song is referenced but wasn’t released until 1964. Okay, but why did they have to be included? They certainly weren’t plot points but is a writer allowed to just make stuff up?”

 

Hmm.

Well, it’s kind of in the job description.

 

fiction writing:

1.  any kind of writing that is not factual.

 

So um, what’s a writer to do?

I mean, how do you tame the pesky imaginations that long to smear the pages with historical inaccuracies?  How do you stop yourself from throwing your head back and laughing maniacally as you plot to twist facts and screw with the universe’s fancy logic and statistics?

Sounds daunting.  It’s enough work keeping a steady supply of coffee and ignoring the vacuum.

Besides, what about artistic license?

Check out what Picasso had to say on that subject:

 

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

~Pablo Picasso

 

Okay, upon first skim that quote kind of reads like a riddle.  I think he meant something along the lines of this:

 

Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.

~Khaled Hosseini

 

So breathe deeply dear writers.  You are not merely a liar making stuff up, you are dealing in GREAT TRUTHS.

And this is a safe place, where nonsense knows no boundaries.  Your knowledge and creativity are revered.

In fact in the spirit of the board game Balderdash, let’s lie create.  Below are a few words.  Use one, two or all three to create a FAKE fact or statistic.

Chocolate       Elephant        Season     

 

 Let your imaginations frolic in the comments!

 

Looking for Signs of Life vs. Road Kill Theory

 

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 
―Albert Einstein

Back in college I met a guy who I ended up talking to for hours on the subject of what happens after you die.  I have no idea how we got on the subject.  Sure I always enjoyed a good DMC (deep meaningful conversation), but I’m sure death and the afterlife were not typically on my rotating list of topics.

But he may have been cute, so there was that.

Anyway, his arguments got me curious.  He insisted that the end of life was akin to a flame blowing out, that once we die we no longer exist in any form.

And he believed that there was no use assigning any true meaning to signs (miracles) because in the end we were all “road kill.”

Whack. Game over.

I’m thinking he probably did not go on to make a career writing greeting cards.

Me?  I was adamant that there’s more to the afterlife then nothing.  Where was the hope?  It was just too depressing for me to think otherwise.

And roadkill?  On some level, I think animals must possess a spark of soul. Have you ever looked into the eyes of a cat? It’s like thousands of years of wisdom wrapped into a fur covered hipster attitude.

Cattitude Charlie the cat _opt

Meet my feline nephew Charlie.  He’s seen it all I’m sure.

 

But everything I knew at the point of that argument was from what I learned when I was a kid.  Heaven was firmly centered in a cloud filled land of angels and quite possibly a Willy Wonka factory (um, it was called everlasting Gobstopper, right?).

Part of those images in my head were drawn from Sunday school, but some I think I got from the movie The Blue Bird, with Shirley Temple.

heaven and signs of life

 In this movie, there was a “Before Life” scene where children danced bare footed while waiting to be born.

 

For a kid, eating candy and not having to wear shoes were an easy sell, but even as a teenager I wanted to believe in something positive, something to look forward to. Road kill theory did not work for me.

Instead when I was lost in school, my relationships and life in general, I relied on hope, faith and occasionally the Magic 8 ball. And I believed in the power of signs.

power of signs ireland _opt

 Signs guide us, point us in the right direction.

 

And signs took on a whole new meaning a few years ago when my brother died.  Mostly because I struggled with how he once fit in my life and how he still could.

And this is where faith and hope and signs came into play.  I’ve heard many stories of how people see signs that remind them that their loved ones still play a role in their life–dimes, feathers, music, animals.  But no matter what it is that gets us to remember, it’s the power behind it that puts hope back in our grasp.

Because sometimes in this shoe wearing place called Earth, we need a little something tangible.

For me that was the day of my brother’s funeral.  A few hours before the service, I was in a hotel room, on the third floor, with no windows that could open–and there was a ladybug in the room with me.

 

 ladybug sign_opt

One of my nephews with the ladybugs that like to follow us around.

 

I can’t remember if I thought too much about it at the time. Other than it was a little strange to see the ladybug there.

But since then, I’ve noticed more ladybugs. Sometimes I see them where they should be, and sometimes it feels far from coincidental. Like the time I went to visit one of my sisters and we were drinking coffee outside of a busy shopping center and a ladybug landed right between us, next to the brownie we were sharing.

Sure there may be other explanations for this. Maybe ladybugs love chocolate.  Maybe I see them because in some way I am looking for them.

Or maybe it’s more.  Like when the Elton John song Daniel comes on the radio, I feel like he is with me. Mostly it’s because that’s his name, but also because my sisters and I once joked with him that we were going to sing that song for him. It was a humorous threat—something he got very used to growing up with 3 sisters.

 

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 Annoying older sisters dressing their little brother like a doll.

So I like to hold onto the ladybug–and anything that reminds me of my brother–as a sign.  Even though I carry my memories of him with me, it feels like a reminder that on some level he is still here, that there is more to our existence.

More than just Wile E. Coyote flattened on the ground after an incident with an Acme Anvil, right?

Because there will be days when we question our work, our relationships–the overall meaning of our lives.  It might help to have a little sign.

 

 

“There are days when I think I don’t believe anymore. When I think I’ve grown too old for miracles. And that’s right when another seems to happen.”

~Dana Reinhardt, The Summer I Learned to Fly

 

And signs have the power to remind us to keep moving forward–and that we are not alone.

 

“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told:  “I am with you kid.  Let’s go.” 

~Maya Angelou

I am with you.  Let’s go.  

Maybe instead of the flame blowing out, it lights your way.

 

What signs have offered you hope?  

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

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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?

 

Curiosity and Peeking Behind Closed Doors

 

Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.

~Emily Dickinson

 

My sister and I used to babysit a lot when we were teenagers, and one of the perks (other than looking after cute cherubs of course) was scoping out the fridge or pantry.   After our respective babysitting gigs, my sister and I would then compare the loot we snacked on.

Me:  They totally had Chef Boyardee.

My sister:  Well, I got Twinkies and Dr. Pepper.  

Me:  Well . . .

My sister:  They had cable.

Me: Fine you win.

It was like it was the day after Halloween and we were unloading our bags.  Other people’s fridges ended up being ranked like candy bar sizes.

Back then it was mostly a snack thing, but I still have a curiosity about other people’s fridges.

 

When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.

 ~Walt Disney

 

Like medicine cabinets, fridges are revealing.  And personal.  You not only see what people eat (or maybe don’t eat), but how they cook and clean.

Do you see specialty oils and sauces, or ketchup packets?

Lots of home cooked leftovers or takeout containers?

Packages labeled organic?  Lots of brand names?

Is the fridge full or bare?

Is it organized, clean?

Speaking of clean.  I don’t pay much attention to that if I sneak a peek into a fridge, because I hate cleaning the fridge.  I mean I do it, but I dislike it so much that I line the shelves with foil after I clean it so I can make the clean last twice as long (I remove the foil once it’s dirty and then have a clean shelf for at least a little while).

And in case you’re thinking this is a bizarre topic–I’m not the only one who wonders, what’s in your fridge?

One quick search on the internet and you might land on a site called Fridgewatcher. Or Fridge Raiders. Or Fridge Food.

Either way there are pics of fridge interiors all over the internet. Even celebrity fridges, like George Clooney.

But Rob Lowe doesn’t seem to have bared his (while you wait for that, you can get yourself a Rob Lowe sexy fridge magnet on Amazon).

And since I’m going to ask you the personal question of what’s in your fridge, I figure it’s only fair to show you mine:

what's in your fridge coleen patrick 2_opt

I considered editing the photo with a sepia tone, if only to remind my husband that this fridge is 17 years old (hint hint).  Except he would then just remind me of our fridge’s special features.  Like the top shelf”s left corner–it will freeze solid any food I put there, especially eggs.

Fridge diving! It’s all the rage.  And it’s good for your brain too!

Because when you are curious, you are in the moment, you are engaging and you are learning.  Bonus–it’s excellent for creativity (makes for a better writer!)

Oh and I’m sure it must lower your blood pressure, right?

All that from a fridge.

 

I’ve often entertained paranoid suspicions about my fridge and what it’s been doing to my poetry when I’m not looking, but I never even considered that my fan was thinking about me.

~George Murray

 

Just don’t get me started on what’s inside your purse or wallet. . .

So what’s in your fridge?

I’m curious!


Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

 

Happy Friday!

I am sending you off into the weekend with one of my favorite quotes:

 

 

Sing like no one’s listening,
love like you’ve never been hurt,
dance like nobody’s watching,
and live like its heaven on earth.”
~Mark Twain

 

 

I think these women get it.

 

Can you dance like nobody’s watching?