CRAZY CHANGES

It’s a Janet thing. Or a more accurate title would be, it’s an experimental thing, but I just change it up quickly.

Success comes from trying and then trying again. Sometimes it seems you’re just banging your head against the wall, or spinning your wheels in the mud. I remember a time when I was about seven years old. My dad had an old red pickup truck that we drove on the farm. We had 100 acres of bottom land, and by bottom land I mean we lived right beside the river and parts of the land flooded when it rained. The mud seemed to suck your tires into the earth like an underground tornado. Hopeless.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. – Scott Adams

I learned from watching Dad that it’s better to change tactics. Don’t keep spinning your wheels in the mud hoping to get out of the mud. You’ll only dig deeper in. If you notice that something isn’t right, if the feel is off, do it different. So I did. If the dress is too tight or the shoes pinch my toes, I don’t stand around and whine about it, I change them. I’m not happy in tight shoes. And I wasn’t happy with my book cover or title, so I changed them.

Like many women, by the time I’m finished dressing for an event, I have a pile of clothing on my bed that didn’t get picked. I also have several titles for my book that didn’t get selected. And since nothing happened that first week–I bet you didn’t even notice–as a woman’s prerogative, I pressed the reset button. Sigh. I love the modern world.

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Overeager

I’ve been over-anticipating. I live in Oklahoma, not Minnesota. We have winter. We have snow and ice. This year it feels that Winter has dug in its toes and hung on. Our Dogwood trees are budding. The Daylight saving time changes this weekend. And still we had more ice and snow last week. I’ve had the urge to clean it all up. I replaced my car windshield which was broken from the sand and rocks from the road debris. And now I’m itching to clean my car. I even picked up a load of household cleaning supplies, ready to do a whirlwind of spring cleaning.

overeager – excessively eager; “overeager in his pursuit of the girl”

eager – having or showing keen interest or intense desire or impatient expectancy; “eager to learn”; “eager to travel abroad”; “eager for success”; “eager helpers”; “an eager look” – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/overeager

 

It seems I’ve been a bit preemptive on several things. I’ve been waiting for my oldest son to get back to the states so I could call him. It’s too expensive at overseas rates. I had text him, thinking he had already returned, only to receive a text in the middle of the night saying he was still away. I will wait. I was also thinking my favorite show, Game of Thrones, was back on in March. Nope. It comes on in April. So, still I will wait.

And while I wait I will leave you with this,

The Darkness

The journey into the darkness has been long and cruel, and you have gone deep into it. – A Return to Love, Marian Williamson (also an excerpt from A Course in Miracles)

I’ll remember that Spring is coming.

 

Introvert Malfunctioning

Do the thing that scares you, that’s the advice I’ve read over and over. And I, the introvert, have believed the mantra. I believed the mantra because as an introvert I function backwards in society. I push myself  to take more action than I am comfortable with.

I remember when my mom, who is an extrovert, constantly reminded me to say thank you and please, like most parents do. It was difficult at that time to get the words to come out of my mouth. I’d watch my older brother and think, he always says thank you; why is it so difficult for me? So in my mind, Difficult = Correct.

Somewhere in my 40’s my brain wiring malfunctioned. And it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. I’ve delicately reassembled my interfacing, attaching wires in my head to where I think they should be connected. And guess what, I’m still an introvert. I’m an introvert who has learned to respond as an extrovert to society, but with all the fear and discomfort of being an introvert.

Being an introvert is not a malfunction. I must reconsider all of my earlier beliefs and this is one of them, do the thing that scares you. I get it. I know what they’re saying. It’s a quick way of pinpointing what you really want. But sometimes it’s okay to not do that thing. It’s okay to step back and decide, is it necessary to do this? Because sometimes, Correct = Not difficult.

Taking the plunge

Maybe that’s the problem.

Perhaps it’s better to commit to wading instead.

Ship, sure. Not the giant life-changing, risk-it-all-venture, but the small.

When you do a small thing, when you finish it, polish it, put it into the world, you’ve made something. You’ve committed and you’ve finished.

And then you can do it again, but louder. And larger.

It’s easy to be afraid of taking a plunge, because, after all, plunging is dangerous. And the fear is a safe way to do nothing at all.

Wading, on the other hand, gets under the radar. It gives you a chance to begin. – Seth Godin

Bread Crumbs of Fun

Which is better, momentary happiness or long-term fulfillment? Do I eat the cookie or imagine losing 10 pounds? It’s easy to diet when there’s no ice cream melting in the bowl in front of me, but it’s not easy late at night and the craving for something sweet starts. There has to be a way for me to stay with my goals. 

Plan All the Way to the End

The ending is everything.  Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others.  By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop.  Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead. – Robert Greene 48 Laws of Power

I’m wondering if it’s possible to have a goal, plan a way towards it, and create road markers or breadcrumbs to keep myself motivated. I can sometimes get so caught up in a goal that I forget the short-term pleasures. I’ve got the nose to the darn grindstone and it hurts. Getting up and resting can feel quitting. So I’m thinking that if I mark my path with simple reminders, I can take up where I left off and not feel lost along the way.

Let me tell you, I’m a bit obsessed with the show Doctor Who. In the The Parting of the Ways (2005) episode, Rose, by cracking open the power core, absorbed all the energy from the time machine, Tardis. Why? She was separated from The Doctor and had to save him. Oh the craziness of love. With eyes full of burning Tardis light, she tells The Doctor how she made her way back and found him. Of course it’s not her talking, it’s the possessing force of the time machine that’s glowing through her. 

Rose Tyler: I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words (“BAD WOLF”)

[Rose lifts her hand and takes the words from the Bad Wolf Corporation sign]

Rose Tyler: …I scatter them, in time and space.

[the words float off away from them]

Rose Tyler: A message, to lead myself here. –IMdB Quotes

When I go for a run I make a point to find one moment of thrill. Whether it’s the grass or the trees or the view of the city, something along the way should make me smile.  What do you think? Any ideas?

Here’s a video of Robert Greene at TEDxBrixton – The key to transforming yourself

48 Laws of Power

All in the Life of a Serial Dater

There really needs to be a television series on bad dates. I’ve had some good ones and some bad ones. I’ve found that if I take a step back, it’s like viewing an old barn that even though it’s dilapidated and rotting, it looks quite romantic. Yeah, just don’t lean too much weight on the wall.

As I told a friend recently, I’ve found a couple of scam artists, a guy with a restraining order, and another guy who claimed to be funny. He wasn’t at all funny. But golly gee I have my mind back.

My first piece of advice would be, Don’t! Do you know where he’s been? So as the new year starts, I’m stepping back and reading other people’s stories.

Here’s a lady that handled it better than I did

Huffington Post – Online Dating Gone Right 

None of that, however, stopped award-winning journalist and digital strategist Amy Webb from attempting online dating after a bad breakup. Determined to find a successful match, Webb decided to use data points to come up with a unique algorithm that she applied to dating websites.

I won’t spoil her punch line, but I think her dates were worse than mine. But she continued going for her dream, just smarter than before. I think the difference is, I really didn’t know what I wanted. I wasn’t looking for a husband. I just wanted to date. Without a goal in mind, your game continues on for as long as you want it to.

 

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Keep Nothing

Years ago I read the book, Simplify Your Life by Elaine St James. I loved that book. It was my manual. But time passes and life changes. I realized last night that clutter has once again become an issue for me. I have become a pack rat.

How many shampoos does one girl need? It’s possible to go into any woman’s bathroom and find at least 5 bottles of shampoo in various stages of use. If it’s something you can replace, toss it, give it away, or don’t buy it. If you don’t have to own it to enjoy it, borrow it. I went through my fingernail polishes and at least 5 of the bottles were half empty and dried out. Why did I keep them? The color was pretty. Did I use it? No, but the color was pretty.

Life should flow. Never stagnant. Out with the old and in with the new. Use it and be done with it. There’s more after that. Part of the reason I keep have used bottles of nail polish is a completely irrational fear of not having enough. It’s irrational. It’s subconscious. I know in my right mind that I can stop by the store at any time I need to and pick up a red or a pink nail polish. If I think about it with my rational self I know better, but irrational fears, like arachnophobia, work at such a base level. It never gets to my brain for sorting. I cling to that half empty, dried out bottle. I look at it a couple of times and place it back in storage with all of my nail utensils for another day.

Now that I’ve made my fear obvious, I think I can deal with it. I don’t follow all the woo-woo beliefs of the think and grow rich crowd, but I get the point. For me this fear of poverty has roots in my lack of confidence and self empowerment.

How does it work for me? I joined the subscribe and save program for my toiletries through Amazon. Since I know I have a new bottle of shampoo coming in 2 months or so, I don’t worry about running out. It’s not that I’m wasteful with it, but I don’t have to hoard it either. I use the current bottle and know that next one will be available when I need it. Strange as it sounds, it releases that knot of worry.

When I was married, we lived in a house in Kansas with this beautiful Sunset Orange Maple tree. Every Autumn it turned a bright reddish-orange. It seemed to glow. Over the years I’ve thought about that tree and how beautiful it was. And it was now gone. I don’t live there anymore. Driving home from work today, I realized that my whole block and neighborhood complex is glowing with orange and red. Not Maple trees, but gorgeous the Eastern Redbuds, blazing with color in the Autumn. No more worries about not enough. There is plenty.

Nature’s Euphoria

Yes, we’ve heard of the addictive quality of illegal and legal drugs. Maybe even experienced it. Alcohol is well known. Today we even talk of being addicted to tanning. Of chocolate, sugar, salt and coffee as vices. But what about babies? Did you know your own body tricks you to continue activities that it decides are helpful. Eating fatty foods is a common one. But what about taking care of your children? Yes. Child birth. It’s the moment of the greatest physical pain for most women. Apprehension and fear. At the end of all of the hours of labor and the baby is out, it is the most euphoric time. I haven’t ever done illegal drugs so I can’t compare it with Ecstasy. There’s no other feeling that can compare that I am aware of.

Nature does this. You look into your baby’s eyes and he looks into yours and BAM! Gotcha. The feeling can hit so hard it blows your mind. You can’t imagine not having this little person in your life. Parents have been known to do crazy, insane, stupid things for their children.

Childbirth

The chemicals released into your nervous system are addictive. At the time of that baby coming into your life is a moment of triumph. You win. And it happens to both the father and the mother. It happens to adoptive parents as well. It makes you want more of that high over and over again. How do you get it? From the source. You seek out that child, that baby. If that baby is grown, you look at pictures. It’s nature’s way of protecting the species and creating the bonds of family. The hilarious thing to me is how strongly that bond can hold. I cannot imagine anything that my children could do, that would make me not want them.

 Happy

What If

What if we changed our culture? What if we no longer applauded great wealth at any cost? What if we applauded generosity, compassion, and forgiveness? Yes, it’s easy for me to say these things since I’m not wealthy, but I’m not alone in saying them.

Malcolm is targeting the systems we’ve built, the truths we hold so dear and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we can produce some more heroes. – Seth Godin in review of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book.

http://www.squidoo.com/david-and-goliath-malcolm-gladwell-s-tour-de-force

From ABC news –

At the age of 14, Hugh Evans spent a night with cockroaches crawling all over him. That experience turned out to be life-changing for Evans, now 30. Far removed from his comfortable home in Australia, he traveled to the Philippines with an aid organization that set him up with a host family. Their home was in Smokey Mountain, a teeming slum in Manila. A boy in the family, Sonny Boy, was the same age as Evans. The disparity between their lives struck him hard. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/05/could-you-live-on-a-dollar-a-day/

In some circles we have improved. But there are enough sub-pockets in our culture that keep the generosity movement bogged down. We are a generous nation and so are people all over the world. You can see groups which care about cleaning up oil spills, those concerned about animal endangerment, and many are helping provide clean water for those in need. But we need to start at the bottom, at the base of society. Our desires. Our ambitions. Our vision of ourselves. There is a level of crud and corrosion that we must clean or we will all drown. We envy and want great wealth because we are afraid. I am afraid. If I don’t get that job, that bonus, that raise, that particular car, I’m afraid I will starve. I will perish. I will not exist anymore. I feel jealous, unloved and abandoned. Over an iPhone that I didn’t get. It’s ridiculous. My whole mindset needs rearranged. I live in a rich country. So rich that I have never missed a meal because of lack. Others around me live the same and yet we feel poor because we don’t have cable television. Or internet. Or whatever latest gadget that someone else has.

There’s an experiment going on all across the world now, or I should say it’s a conversation. It’s called by a variety of names, but in essence it’s living at the poverty level for days or months, voluntarily.

The next post in the continuing frugal gastronomy series features a pair of schoolteacher-writers who gave themselves the toughest of all restrictions: All their food had to cost no more than $1 per day per person. Amazingly, if they invited guests over to eat, the guests’ food had to be covered by the $1 allotment. You’d have to really like the guest, I suppose.

Once again, I’ll repeat: Eating on a budget is not a contest; it’s a conversation.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2009/08/18/how-to-eat-on-a-dollar-a-day/

And the most famous instance is probably Ben Affleck and his challenge from April 29 through May 3, 2013.  Could you eat for $1.50 a day?

The challenge is simple: Agree to spend no more than $1.50 on your daily grub from April 29 to May 3. That figure represents “the accepted global figure used to define extreme poverty,” according to The Global Poverty Project, which created the challenge. – Live Below The Line

Some advice from Joe Vigil:

  • Practice abundance by giving back
  • Improve personal relationships
  • Show integrity to your value system
  • Eat like a poor person

Everyday Things

I have people ask me sometimes, why do you bother wearing makeup everyday? Or why do you dress up always? Well, when should I wear makeup or fix my hair? Special occasions only? This seems silly to me. What you want to become, you have to be.

Your life is the total of your daily activities. The effort you put into your life daily, hourly, minute by minute is the life you live. If you only give your days 50% effort, you’ll get 50% back. Live smarter. Live stronger. Put in what you want to get out of it.

I know if I am paying for 10 gallons of gasoline for my car, I wouldn’t keep going to the one that just didn’t get around to fixing their pumps. Especially if I got shorted a gallon each time. I really like to go to the ones that give me extra.

I demand a lot out of everyday life and I am prepared to put a lot into it. I have ambition and I have enough orneriness to back it up.