Message from the Universe: “Don’t Take for Granted This Thing Called Life”

The other day after Zumba, one of my workout friends told me about a friend of hers who recently died in her sleep. Her body wasn’t discovered until four days after she passed on. She was 71 and had four sons, but was living alone.

My friend was shaken because she’s not that much younger than her friend. Also, her friend had shown no signs of failing health and was “perfectly fine” when they met up for lunch the previous week. Shouldn’t there be signs when one’s time is coming to a close?

Every now and then, the songs that play on my Pandora station or radio seem to contain a message from the Universe. For example, lines from a song by Anything Box keep playing in my head: “Don’t take for granted / this thing called Life.” In the context of my friend’s news, I realize how unprepared I am if I were to die suddenly, that I need to be more mindful of how I spend my days, and that I need take care of a few things sooner vs. later. After all, there’s no guarantee that I’ll reach the average US female life expectancy of age 78.94.

Here are some things that come to mind: Continue reading

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Lenten Challenge 2017: No Social Media

It’s been almost two weeks since I cut myself off from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Believe me when I say it’s been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. Up until March 1 (Ash Wednesday), I had been spending a lot of time checking out my feeds and getting caught up with what’s happening in politics and current events. I hadn’t realized how much time and energy that was sucked up until I stopped cold turkey.  Continue reading

Behold the Starbucks January Tumbler—the Holy Grail of Creativity

Starbucks January 2017 Tumbler

Starbucks January 2017 Tumbler

One of the Christmas gifts HB received was the Starbucks January tumbler, which can be used to get a free grande brewed hot coffee or hot tea through the month of January. It’s the perfect gift for him because he likes his coffee black, and like most people, he depends on coffee to get him going in the morning and sometimes as a pick-me-up in the afternoon. Since he works downtown, there’s a Starbucks on every other block, so using the tumbler is no big deal, right?

This year, however, he’ll be working in various locations, which means it’s more effort to keep track of his tumbler and to make sure he’s maximizing his usage. And so, he has passed the Starbucks tumbler to me. He knows that I don’t like wasting things (almost to the point of it being an OCD), and I’ve just figured out a plan. Continue reading

Counting Down to Nanowrimo 2016

Nanowrimo is just around the corner. Although I’ve participated since 2007, I have yet to reach the goal of 50,000 words. Like many folks, I make the usual excuses—too busy, too stressed, too tired—but the truth is, I’m always busy, stressed, and tired. And yet, this year feels different somehow.  

How so? I am more self-aware. After ten years of “failing,” I’m practically an expert. I’ve learned how I work and why I don’t. My strength is that I’m a great starter with lots of energy and ideas in the beginning. However, I know that after a few days I burn out, or I lose momentum very quickly once I see how far behind I’m getting. Therefore, I really need to stay on target with little tricks and incentives/disincentives along the way.

What I plan to do differently this year for Nanowrimo:
Continue reading

Back to School, Back to Reality

Yes, I’ve been remiss in writing my blog. Now that my daughter is back in school, I don’t have any more excuses. This is not to say that it’s my daughter’s fault that I haven’t written. I’ve just found it convenient to let life and all its bits—both great and small—take over.

So what’s been happening the last six months or so (aside from the dust bunnies and cobwebs gathering around my writing space)? Continue reading

Calloo-callay. A breakthrough day!

What makes today a breakthrough day is that: 1) I have committed myself to some goals; 2) I have been able to take some steps toward them. Oh, happy day!

I transformed a mundane desk calendar/date book into a creative playground/mess book. Don’t get me wrong—it’s a “pretty” book. Nice hardcover with soft calf-skin leather, embossed with the bank’s logo (1.25” tall and 5” wide so you can’t miss it), and the pages are edged with silver. Inside pages are smooth and substantive without being cover weight—you can’t see the outline of my hand if I shine a light on it. Unfortunately, the lines are too dark and the format isn’t really conducive for a creative like myself who prefers blank or very lightly lined/grid pages.

So what’s the big deal?

When I was younger, I used to doodle all the time—with different media, colors, shapes, formats on all kinds of surfaces. I didn’t care if it was good or how it might be perceived/received. I was quite proud of and satisfied with myself and my creations.

And then something happened. Continue reading

Back to School and New Beginnings—Hooray!

I’m among the millions of moms out there cheering because the kids are back in school.

Back to school not only applies to the Princess, but it represents a fresh start for me. A chance to try new things, make some lifestyle changes, and learn something from my ever-growing list of things to learn.

Goal-setting is fine and dandy, but I need to hold myself accountable, hence the public announcement of my goals/intentions. I’m sure a number of folks will check in and gently remind me to keep on task. Key word—”gently.”

Here are some things I’ll be working on: Continue reading