Bad Times

"You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to." --Robin Williams

It's so true. The hard times in life have a way of making us appreciate and long for the simplicity of before.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. We can choose to relish the present. We can choose to remind ourselves that now is the best time time to enjoy the gift of today.


Dream Day

It's check in time this week. Finish this sentence:

If I had one day to do whatever I wanted to do, I would ____________________________________.

Take a few minutes to write down exactly how you would spend your dream day. Would you be on vacation? Or, is your dream day spent at home? Would you be in nature? Or, curled up for part of the day reading? Would you be with friends and family? Or, would you choose to be alone for 24 hours?

There are no wrong answers (except ones that are wrong for you) so be honest. Bonus points for actually scheduling a dream day. Super bonus points for going on Magnolia Workshop's Facebook page and sharing your dream day since telling someone makes it more likely that you'll take action.


Creating yourself

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. --George Bernard Shaw

Oh, how I love this bit of wisdom. I love the freedom in it. I love the possibilities. And, I even love the responsibility.

This is why I pick up trash when I see it. This is why I hold the door for people. This is why I smile at strangers even though some of the recipients look at me as though I'm a total oddball.

It's why I read every chance I get. And, laugh every day. And, embrace the fact that I cry more than my fair share.

And, probably more importantly, it's why I'm OK when I make mistakes. I recover when I fail. I try to do better. I try to be better.

If George Bernard Shaw had it right, every day is a new chance to decide what we want to create.


Taming the lion

I recently had a dream that a lion was on the loose. I was on a golf course, sunbathing, and then, suddenly, a lion was running toward me. It was terrifying and I woke up with my heart racing.  

I realized almost immediately how ridiculous the dream had been. First of all, I haven't been on a golf course in years. And, secondly, I am a skin cancer-aware, forty-something mom of two children. My days of sunbathing have come and gone.

When I stop to think about it, my waking thoughts are, at times, just about as ridiculous as this dream.   

I fret about things that have no long term implications. (Waste of time!) I worry that I can't shield my children from life's trials and tribulations. (I can't and there's not much to be done about it.)  I also worry about things like traffic accidents, plane crashes, earthquakes, and cancer.   

None of these thoughts are productive and none of them will tame the lion, so to speak.    

When it comes to worries, here are some thoughts:

--take action on the things you can change and/or prepare for (earthquake kit, sunscreen, seat belts, etc.)

--give yourself a limit on worrying thoughts (5 minutes a day seems like a good amount)

--write about any nagging worries (putting them on paper can help you get them out of your mind) 

and most importantly,    

--take the time you could spend worrying doing things you enjoy.

A good way to calm a worrying mind? Live your life to the absolute fullest.


How big is your brave?

"Show me how big your brave is." --Sara Bareilles

This lyric in the Sara Bareilles song "Brave" really gets me. Every time I hear it, I get a bit teary, actually. I think it's because I've always been willing to take some small level of risk in life but believe me when I tell you my risks have been both manageable and calculated. Many of the risks I've taken have had pretty low stakes and not much chance of public scrutiny.

But, with my book being published in October, well, this suddenly feels perilous. What if nobody buys it? What if it gets bad reviews? What if I shout from the rooftops about it and hear only crickets in return? What if I film a book trailer for it, put it out in the world--actually ask people to watch it, which will go against my natural instincts--and make a total fool of myself in the process? You can see where this is going. The whole thing makes me feel really vulnerable.

The truth is, my brave in the past has not been all that big. And, yet, it's going to be bravery--a newly tapped well of courage--that allows me to put my introverted self out in the world in a much bigger way than I ever have. And, that's exhilarating. And exciting. And mind-numbingly terrifying, too.

I'm committed to the ride, though. I'm going to do my best. I'm going to rely on the support of my friends and family. I'm going to learn from my co-author who is much more comfortable with all of this stuff. And, I'm going to keep in mind that even if I flop, I'll be better off for having been through it all. And, I just know that, in the end, my brave will be bigger.

How about you? How big is your brave?