Drawers and Doors

Hi all! 

I’ve been wanting to get back here and write a bit, but I’ve been working on some other projects that gave me an excuse to put this blog on the back-burner.  The longer pieces I’ve done in the past took me a while to write, and therefore, it was always easy for me to say I have no time. So, I’ve decided to write short-short pieces … and more of them.  And I’m not afraid to share a little piece of me in the process.  Enjoy!


This morning, it was brought to my attention that once again, I left a drawer open in the kitchen.  I have been guilty of this many, many times.  And not just drawers; doors, too.  The weird thing is, I start to close said drawer or door but never finish the process. It’s a peculiar habit irksome to those around me, and I’ve had it since childhood.  My mom could always tell when I had been in the room because something was left open. So, the thought occurred to me today that maybe it’s an analogy for my life.

When I think back over the years, I realize that I’ve had a lot of stops and starts that were of my own doing:  College (tried several times to go back), a writing project (the book I started over two years ago but keep putting aside), volunteering, even something small such as a new project at home, among many others. I’d focus on it for a bit, but then I’d get distracted by something new.  However, I would never truly abandon anything.  It was always there, in the back of my mind or on paper, waiting for me to circle back around to.  And I have circled back with some things, more than once.

Why do I take breathers from these things in my life?  It was important and interesting to me in the first place, or I never would have started it, right?  Is it distraction from everything in the world today, lack of focus, or just wanting to do it all at one shot? Maybe it’s because I like to experiment with new things, and when the allure wears off, I put it aside. 

Good old-fashioned procrastination could be the culprit and an easy answer to what makes me stop.  When I want to hit the pause button on a project, I’m good at telling myself this lie: “I need a little bit more time to process what I need to do next in this task.” Then I go on to something new.  In the meantime, I continue to waste precious time stopping and starting several things when I could finish just one.  I guess the one positive thing about it is that I always have hope that I will come back around.  Those ideas or projects are always open, like little doors and drawers in my mind.

So, maybe when I literally leave those doors and drawers open, while continually irritating everyone, it is my subconscious saying, “Hey, you’ll be back.  Leave it open.”  Deep thought, but it might be truth.  Or maybe I just have a problem with closing things all the way. But I’d like to think I’m “deeper” than that. 

– Sharon

What’s the hurry?

I seemed to have been procrastinating a bit lately and have not written anything here since before Thanksgiving.  The holidays came and went.  I told myself I’d get back to it after the New Year, but I remained absent.  I’ve been devouring books more than focusing on my writing so that has been a most enjoyable distraction, but a distraction, nonetheless.  Eventually, I knew I’d come back around to it.  So here I am…

I came across an empty shoebox the other day while cleaning out my closet.  “Embrace Your Journey” it said on the side of the box.  As I continued cleaning, I let those words soak in a bit.  Appropriate catch phrase for a shoe company to use, I thought, especially for comfortable ones.  But it also made me think about how many of us are trying to get through our day just so we can sit and relax in the evening.  Depending on the circumstance, we sometimes seem to wish time away just because we’re doing something we’d rather not be doing.  Shouldn’t we “embrace” every day and every situation no matter what?  Life flies by so fast.  “Be happy wherever you are, whatever you are doing”, I once heard someone say.  Sound advice.

Gratification comes easy for us when we’re involved in activities we enjoy.  How many times have you thought to yourself, “I am so relaxed. This is so much fun.  I don’t want this day or week or vacation to end?”  Other times, it’s not so easy to have that mindset.  Like when you are sitting in traffic, shopping for groceries, or cleaning the house.  When you consider how many hours we spend on the mundane, why not make the best of those hours, too.  I admit, it’s easier said than done.  But maybe if we tried to view those times, not as drudgery, but as more minutes, hours, and days we are blessed with on this planet, time would slow down for us.

We are a society that is rushed.  I get it.  We scramble in the morning to get the kids fed and ready for school, feed the dog, get ourselves ready for work and bolt out the door at the last minute.  Our workday whizzes by and before we know it, we’re back home rushing again, only to do it all again the next day.  Do we really get to enjoy each day of our lives?

Our lives are accelerated and moving at an incredibly fast pace.  It seems we just cannot slow down.  We are conditioned to have everything instantaneous.  Often times, I’m reminded of a song that was out a few years back by country singer, Miranda Lambert (Titled: Automatic):

“Whatever happened to,

Waitin’ your turn

Doin’ it all by hand,

“Cause when everything is handed to you

It’s all only worth as much as the time you put in

It all just seems so good the way we had it

Back before everything became Automatic”

Our music is instant.  Today, we make a few clicks and Bam! Music is at our fingertips.  Those who don’t know any different really don’t realize what they are missing by not going out to the record store, browsing and listening to the latest music, then picking out your most wanted album or cassette.  I’m dating myself, but it truly was something I looked forward to.

Our news is instant.  This can be good and bad.  Sometimes we know too much too quickly, which adds to the stress of our daily lives.  On the other hand, it’s nice to have the quick updates on what’s going on in the world.

Cell phones have taken the place of land lines in many homes and they give us more options than just making a call.   Today, we can reach out to anyone, anywhere and at any time.  Years ago, we had to find a pay phone, put a dime or quarter in and sometimes all while standing out in the cold and wind just to make a quick call.  Or we waited until we got home.

We waited a great deal years ago for many things.  That’s all we knew.  We weren’t tempted by a much quicker way.  We. Just. Waited.  Yes, Miranda, it was all “so good the way we had it” and because of it were much less stressed and more patient.

Slowing down is an art these days.  I wish it came easy to me but I walk fast, tend to talk fast and eat fast.  I feel like I’m always a couple steps ahead in my life and I find it hard to just be in the present.  I even rush through things I enjoy.  For instance, when I am in a bookstore, I love to casually stroll through each aisle, picking up every book that catches my eye and reading the synopsis.  But I end up going through the store much quicker than I want.  I hurriedly grab a couple books and head to the register, then leave the store feeling deflated because I didn’t allow myself the time to browse longer.

It happens when I read, too.  As much as I love immersing myself in a good book, sometimes I tend to rush through it.   I don’t allow myself to soak up the words, enjoy the characters, and take the time to revel in how the plot unfolds.  And I’m not sure why.  My sister in creativity and very smart best friend, Amy, sets me straight every now and then.  She tells me to just “Enjoy the process”.  That is something I try to keep in the back of my mind… in all aspects of my life.

So, one day a couple weeks ago, I went out for a ride in my car because part of the “process” for me is doing something to get my creativity to flow.    One of the easiest ways for me to do that is while I’m driving, and it’s the freedom of the open road that does it for me.  I noticed this little trick a while back.  On several different occasions, I have pulled the car over to jot down ideas for a blog post or story idea.  What can I say?  Ideas come at the strangest times and I have to take advantage of them.

While on my drive, I came across a road I’ve never taken.  At one point the road started to narrow slightly and I saw a sign up ahead, No Winter Maintenance.  At that point, I had a choice. I could stop and turn around or continue on down the gravel road at a slower pace.  I chose the former, only because I wasn’t quite sure where I would end up if I kept driving and didn’t know the condition of the road ahead.

Sometimes, we need signs, whether literal or figurative, to remind us that we have a choice.  Since we are so conditioned to our speedy lives, we don’t consider taking the slow road.  We think waiting is not an option because we want things now.  But being the “Tortoise” instead of the “Hare” has its advantages.  It allows us to be more present instead of thinking of what comes next.  Our stress levels decrease giving us more energy and we learn to be more patient.

How do we obtain this “Tortoise” mindset?  Well, here’s just a few ways:

Instead of multi-tasking, do one thing at a time.  This one is a hard habit to break because we are so conditioned to it.  I have been working in an office environment for 28 years, and I am guilty of bringing extra stress on myself by doing 5 things at one time when I know I can cut back.  I’m even conditioned to do this at home.  Many times, I will start cleaning, then I spot a bill on the desk that needs to be paid.  While I’m paying the bill online, I think of something I want to buy and I start searching for that.  At the same time, I forgot I started getting laundry together and making my coffee an hour prior.  That is no joke.  Happens all the time.

How about disconnecting for a bit.  Take a break from your cell phone, social media and the TV.  Take a walk, read a book, play games with your family, go to a concert or an amusement park and enjoy life without the distractions.  Sometimes, I wish I would accidentally leave my phone at home when I go out, just to see how it feels.

Say NO to things.  It’s not always easy but sometimes it’s necessary.  Saying “Thank you for considering me, but I will have to pass” is a very polite way of doing this.  You don’t always have to explain yourself, just be courteous.  Freeing your time to take it easy is liberating and vital to keeping your stress under wraps.

So, learn to take heed when signs come across your path.  Whether it’s along the roadway (The road ahead of us may not be well maintained but we usually have a choice.), or on a shoebox (The journey is more important than the destination), or you hear words of wisdom from a friend (savor each step).   Because maybe if we just put on our comfortable shoes and embrace our journey, we can take the slower road, and enjoy the process of living…. One minute, one hour, one day at a time.

– Sharon






It Can Wait

The other week, I was having lunch with my best friend.  Our conversations are usually jam-packed with talk about family and work and random things like….dust. Yep.  At some point, the conversation made a turn and we started talking about cleaning our homes.  Let me just say that we are the same age – a slight bit over 50 – so we have that same story to tell.  That little ditty that goes something like this…. “When I first got my own place, I would clean faithfully every week at the same time, usually Saturday”.  What were we thinking?  Did we not have a life back then?

Now, before you think that walking into my house would be like walking onto the set of The Munsters (yep, I’m over 50), my home IS clean…but lived in.  The kitchen and bathrooms do get my attention regularly, but the dust?  That lingers a bit longer before I rid of it.  It’s crazy how quickly it sneaks in without you noticing and like a bad house guest, stays longer than it should.  Why doesn’t it just go away on it’s own?

I must admit though, it’s particularly satisfying when I go to someone else’s home and notice it lives there, too.  Yippee!  There are others out there who don’t always give in to that nagging voice that tries to tell us we must have a spotless house.  It will be there when we get around to it, and we will.  Just not now.  There are things more important to tend to.  Besides, I’ve heard it said that “A clean house is the sign of a boring person”.  And who wants to be boring?

If I allow myself to walk past it and not give it a second glance, it gives me the chance to read a good book, write in my journal, or take in a movie with a friend.  It’s only temporary.  Now, I don’t let dust bunnies roll around the house like tumbleweeds, but neither do I have a regimented cleaning schedule.  I tried that.  My life, the one that I want to enjoy, takes precedence.  I usually straighten up when it’s needed and it’s usually at odd times, like ½ hour before I need to leave for work or when I jump out of the shower and I’m half-dressed.  That last part is true….and just this morning when I decided to clean the shower.

If you have kids, keeping the house straight is like shoveling snow during a blizzard.  The amount of mess the little ones – and not so little ones – can generate is sometimes beyond conceivable. I remember when my girlfriend’s kids were young.  She would apologize for her messy house.  Toys were strewn, piles of paperwork sat, dirty dishes in the sink.  I just laughed it off.  I would always remind her, “Umm, you have kids. What do you think it’s going to look like?”  You can let the dirt and clutter get to you or you can learn to breathe through it.  Accept the chaos, enjoy your children and don’t stress.  It is what it is.

Same thing with dogs and cats.  You love your 4-legged furballs but let’s face it, you can practically create another one with the amount of hair they sometimes leave behind.  And just when you finish cleaning your kitchen floor, here they come traipsing their muddy paws across it like they are working on a finger painting. Remember how fun that was when you were young?  I think the dog thinks so, too. Just look at it as doggy art.

We all must rid our homes of the dirt and tidy up.  That is true.  But we need to enjoy life, too.  Give the vacuum a break, lay the duster to the side, be less regimented and have fun.  Life is too short to worry about the fact that you can (almost) write your name on the coffee table.  Nobody is going to condemn you for it.  I sure wouldn’t.  I would try to try to keep the smile off my face while that little voice inside of me would be shouting “Yes!!  I am not alone.”

– Sharon

Left at the Red Barn

IMG_1391I love traveling, especially when it involves a good road trip.  In fact, one of the things on my bucket list is to drive from Illinois to California on Route 66. It would be fun to check out roadside attractions like the largest Catsup bottle in the World in Collinsville, IL, the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX and the Wigman Motel in Holbrook, AZ while checking out the many old cafes and service stations-turned-museums along the way.

My daily commute, while not as interesting as Route 66, takes me down a couple back roads and past some places I would probably use as markers if I had to give directions.   One day on my way home from work, I thought about how much more interesting it is to give directions based on landmarks vs. using street names.  For some people, that is their how they are guided.  Give them a building, bridge or sign along the road and they know the exact location you are talking about.

Wouldn’t it be entertaining to be able to insert our voices and directions into our GPS? Imagine giving people directions like, “Turn left where the horse fence starts or make a hard right at that old house that looks like it’s leaning.  Instead of “In one-half mile, make a right onto Treetop Lane”, you would hear “After you pass the white ranch house with the red front door, drive a little further and make a right at the Mobil gas station on the corner.”

I’m not a big fan of GPS.  I’ll use it to find my way out of getting lost when I’m traveling but I can be a bit stubborn about using it.  I’m a little old school and like to look at a road map first, whether an electronic version or a good old-fashioned paper map.  Paper map?  Oh yes, we are still out there and loving our road atlases.

IMG_1471Long before navigation was available for use in cars, I took my first “road” trip with my girlfriends to the Jersey shore.  Since I was the driver, I sat down with my Dad prior to setting out on our journey and he gave me a little lesson on how to read a map while helping me plot our course.  On the day of our trip, we left early in the morning to avoid much of the traffic and made it down with no hiccups. Kudos Dad for directing me.  As much as I’d like to say the trip was a complete success, I cannot say it was.  Coming back home, while everyone else slept, I took a wrong turn.  The looks on the girls faces when I woke them and said we were in Atlantic City – priceless!!  No harm, no foul.  We just turned around and headed back out.  Oh My!  How did I ever find my way without an electronic device telling me which way to turn?  Although, I reluctantly admit my little traffic blunder probably would have been avoided had I used a GPS.

While knowing road and street names is always a good thing, I like traveling via landmarks.  The only downfall of using them is that they may disappear for whatever reason.  That house or business you used as a turning point is no longer there.  At that point you are faced with whether the turn is down the road more or you already passed it?  That bridge looks familiar.  Hmmm, I don’t know. I think it’s farther down the road (fingers crossed). A couple years ago, I was traveling with one of my best friends to go shopping.  She was driving and we took a couple back roads that I was somewhat familiar with.  We were chatting about where we were going when she made a left turn at a big red barn and said, “I hope they never tear down that barn because I won’t know where to turn”.

It can be entertaining how some folks give directions.  “Oh, why you go down the road here a piece way, and around the curve by a big blue house make a right.  A little bit farther, you’ll come to a “T” at an old sawmill.  Make a left then go over the bridge and it’s the 3rd house on the right.  If you went past the big red shed, you went too far”.  No road or street names, just landmarks and phrases like “a piece way” and “around the curve”.  Throw in some colorful description and you got yourself a great set of directions.

If the time ever comes when I cross that item off my bucket list and travel the 2,400 miles West on the Mother Road, I will most likely map my route ahead of time and use all those roadside attractions and small towns as guidance.  I don’t want to miss the roaming burros in the wild west town of Oatman, AZ, an 80-foot blue whale in Catoosa, OK or any other fascinating places along the way.

So, keep it interesting when you set out on your journey.  Sit down, spread a map over your dining room table and look at where you’re headed to give yourself general direction.  Take a little time when traveling.  And if you make a wrong turn, no big deal?  The beauty of it is, you can always turn around.  But then again, you never know, there just might be something that catches your attention on that wrong stretch of road.

Yeah…you just never know.



Independent to a Fault

achievement confident free freedomWhen I was a little girl, I would try to cross the busy road in front of my house without holding my Mom’s hand.  Of course, with a firm grasp of my hand, she won that battle every time.  And although I enjoyed riding bike and playing in the creek with kids my age, some of my interests were solo activities, like writing stories and reading gobs of books.  And I was OK with being by myself sometimes.  Yes, I have always been an independent spirit.

As a teenager I had a large bedroom, and many times because I got bored, I would like to move my furniture around in different ways.  I never waited for anyone to help, because I didn’t like to ask. To say I was headstrong would be an understatement.  I took it upon myself to move the dresser, the bed and even a heavy cedar chest to different places in the room.  My hip really got its workout during those years.

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” ― Denis Waitley

The year I turned 16, I wanted to get a job and make my own money.  I didn’t want to rely on my parents for things that I could earn myself.  I paid my bills on time and put gas in my car.  I even paid for the phone calls I made at home, back when the whole family shared one phone that was tethered to the wall.  And if I got into a little snafu financially, I worked it out myself.  It was the only way to learn.  Mom and Dad taught me to take responsibility for my actions and do things for myself.

In those days I was becoming more independent and self-reliant, but I had a long way to go.  After all, I still lived under my parents’ roof and depended on them for shelter and food. By the time I moved into my own apartment in my early 20’s and then purchased my first home a couple years later, I was very grateful my parents planted those roots and gave me those wings.

I can be hesitant to ask for or accept help, whether at work or in my personal life.  In my mind I think I can do this myself. Why bother someone else?   I guess I think of it as a challenge to see if I can accomplish something on my own. And when I have it in my head to do something, I usually want to do it now.  Patience is not one of my strong suits.

Even though I feel like I can always help myself, I do realize there are times when I need to put my stubbornness aside.  Should I wait and ask for an extra hand next time I lug a large item home?  Or accept a friend’s offer to pay for lunch and not feel the need to return the favor?  Should I welcome a hug when someone thinks I need one? Absolutely to all of the above. Because it would probably make the giver feel better, too.

Asking for help does not mean you are weak.  It does not mean you are losing control or being a burden to the other person.  It’s more that you are helping that person feel trustworthy and happy by allowing them to experience the act of giving.  This, in turn, strengthens your relationship with them.

There are times when it takes several heads or hands to come together to complete a task.  I work in a small office and often a puzzle presents itself that sometimes takes a couple of us to solve.  At that point, a co-worker of mine will shout out, “What’s gonna work?  Teamwork!” I smile inside when I hear it because it helps me realize that we can’t do everything alone.  It doesn’t matter if you are moving into a new home or simply trying to locate a job file.  We are stronger and more effective when we work together.

It’s admirable to spread your wings and want to fly solo but I must admit, it’s even better when you give someone the chance to guide you in that flight.  When my Mom had to grab my hand to cross the road, it was like she was saying, you cannot do this without me so don’t try.   I’m pretty sure she saw how strong-minded I was going to be even back then.


Opening Your World

Several years ago, a door opened for me as I attended an event at our local arts center.  It was an anniversary celebration that featured a panel of local writers.  As I listened to each one speak of how they got started in their book writing process, I began to feel a rush of excitement.  I couldn’t help but think, If they can do it, so can I. 

balance business cobblestone conceptual

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What stimulates your mind?  What motivates you to take yourself to the next level?  What lights a fire under you? Is there something or someone that makes you want to be stronger, kinder, more giving or want to do something more with your life?

Inspiration can mean getting pumped up while listening to a self-help audio book on your drive to work.  It may be in something you overhear through idle chit chat in a crowded park. Or from seeing someone work tirelessly through word or deed to make others feel more comfortable in their life.  It’s when someone ahead of you in line pays for your coffee, and you do the same to the person behind you.

I received an email the other day at work and in the signature was the following saying: “In addition, know your life, regardless of what you may think, is an inspiration to someone whom you have touched along your path”.  It’s incredible to think that everyone inspires someone in some way.

 “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inside each one of us is a story waiting to be told.  What is the story of you that is waiting to unfold?  Is there something more you would like for your life?  Perhaps, a dream waiting to be realized.  If you have something lying dormant deep down inside you, don’t leave it there.  Dr. Wayne Dyer said it best.  “Don’t die with your music still in you”.

All you need is to be inspired by something or someone.  When you surround yourself with like-minded people, it is highly motivating.  Like a butterfly that emerges, you begin to realize your potential.  You start to think “I CAN do this”.  Being with others who share your same interests helps you to strengthen your own.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”  ― George Bernard Shaw

My best friend, Amy created her life by starting her business, Classic Amy Joanne, while working full-time. She recently told me she doesn’t even know how she was able to find the time, but because of her determination to make painting a part of her life, everything fell into place. She exudes confidence and is deeply passionate about what she does. So much so that after my uplifting talks with her, I walk away with a stronger faith in myself.

If there are things you want to do, places you would like to go, or people you would like to help, start mapping out a different route in your life.  Speak to people who have done the things you want to do or have been to the places you would like to go.  Put yourself in the position to help those you would like to help.  There is no right or wrong way to go about it.  Create yourself by experiencing new things.  It’s challenging but so worth it.  Soon the tables will turn, and you will be the one encouraging others.

“Inspiration is all around us.  Don’t let the brain limit the mind.” – Author, Lisi Harrison

There is nothing like a child to inspire you to be a better person to those around you. They are innocent and everything they do is simple and pure. Watch them smile and embrace their laughter as they interact with one another.

Learn a new skill or craft or attend a conference or retreat. Don’t just hear the music but listen to the song lyrics and you might just get a new outlook on life. Ask people you know what they are grateful for and think about their answers.

body of water between green leaf trees

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Take a walk outside and observe nature in its purest form.  Breathe in the fresh air, feel the gentle breeze and hear the rustling of leaves.  Listen to the birds singing to one another.  Dip your feet in a shallow creek and feel the softly running water trickle over you.  Watch the squirrels and bunnies scurrying about and maybe catch sight of a deer or two.  Nature gives us the food, air and water we need.  Take it all in and notice how healing, eternal and always moving our world is.

As I spoke one-on-one with the writers that day at the art center, I began to immerse myself in their world.  At one point in their journey they make have been just like me, wondering how they were going to achieve what they desired.  I imagine they took one step at a time and reached deep inside themselves.  I realized then that all I needed to create the life I want is within me. I just needed to open myself up to a new world of possibilities.

Thank You

And I will always do my duty
No matter what the price
I’ve counted up the cost
I know the sacrifice
Oh, and I don’t want to die for you
But if dyin’s asked of me
I’ll bear that cross with honor
‘Cause freedom don’t come free

Songwriters: Chuck Cannon / Toby Keith  “American Soldier”

Many of us are celebrating this Memorial Day weekend by camping, having a picnic with friends and family or like me, enjoying the extra day off at home or doing a little shopping.  As the long weekend gives us a respite from our everyday work lives, let us remember why we have that extra day.

flag of u s a standing near tomb

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When I was young, all I cared about was having a long weekend.  I was a bit selfish.  I knew WHY we recognized Memorial Day but didn’t think much about it.  As I got older, I come to realize how much this day means to me.

From every war beginning with the Civil War up until today, many didn’t make the choice to fight.  It was chosen for them.  They fought as they were told.  Many didn’t make it back home and paid the ultimate price.

However one feels about a particular war, branch of the military or our military leaders, Memorial Day should awaken us to the sacrifices of those soldiers who gave all.  I may not have the liberty to sit here and type these words had it not been for their sacrifice.  And you many not have the right to sit and read them.

Those American Soldiers died for us.  They gave everything so that we would be able to live the American Dream.  They gave everything so that we would have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  They gave everything so we could live freely.  As it was their duty to defend our great nation, it is our duty to honor them on this day.

Thank you for your sacrifice.  I hope that I can be the American you so valiantly fought and died for.


I can’t stop at “I don’t know”

“You should be a lawyer”.  I can’t begin to count how many times my Mom said that to me growing up.  I asked questions about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G because I have always had an insatiable need to find out why, when, who, where or how.  The unanswered and the unknown light a fire in me and my curiosity is piqued quite often.  When posed a question some might say, I don’t know and leave it at that.  I wouldn’t and I couldn’t stop there.

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

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What did we do before we could do a quick search on the internet to find answers?  Encyclopedias were very cumbersome and sifting through the card catalog at the library to find the book you need for reference was time consuming. But that’s what we had, and it worked for us at that time.  Information was not at our fingertips like it is now.  The internet helps to feed us curious types and I am glad it’s around.  Had it been accessible years ago, I’m sure Mom would have told me to use it, because there were times she just didn’t have the answers.

Curiosity fuels creativity.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

There is much in life that remains unexplored.  When we open our eyes and our minds and begin to live mindfully, we start wondering about the how and the why. We grow and evolve and become more aware of life. We limit ourselves when we accept only what is.

Looking back, many inventions and ideas were all started with a curious mind.

As a young child, Henry Ford took apart a pocket watch because he wanted to know how it worked.  We all know where this inquisitiveness led Henry in his life and how our lives were affected because of it.

Steve Jobs’, who designed the first Macintosh Computer, quit college but enrolled in a calligraphy class.  We can thank Mr. Jobs’ for expanding his horizons.  His fascination with typography in that class led to the wide choice of fonts we use today in our word processing software.

Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve known several people who went back to college as an adult. Some might ask, Why?  I say Why not?  The reasons for returning vary.  Maybe it was due to a job loss and a need to re-educate oneself for a different career path.  Or it may be that person wants to open their mind to new possibilities.  For those with a curious nature, they are always left with wanting more and to learn new things to quench that thirst.  It doesn’t have to be college.  It can be anything from reading books to doing crossword puzzles or taking an art class.  If it teaches you something, it’s keeping your mind from aging.

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

When we stop pondering things, I believe life just gets boring.  As children, we asked a lot of questions.  Why is the sky blue?  Why do we have to go to school?  Where do babies come from?  A constant barrage of why, why, why?  We usually refer to a child as a sponge.  They pick up and absorb everything and adapt to situations so easily.  That’s curiosity.

Why do we stop when we reach adulthood?  Is it because we think we know all there is to know?  Is it because we just don’t care to know anything further? Or is it because the fear of uncertainty and failure hold us back.  As we get older, we tend to want to stay in our comfort zone and not explore new ideas and experiences.  We tend to second guess things and not want to take risks.  We end up stuck, and soon curiosity is nowhere to be found.

So, how do we redevelop that curious nature we had as a child?  It’s simple.  Every day ask questions about things in your life, however mundane they may be.  What is that? Why is it made that way?  When was it made? Who invented it and why?  What purpose does it have?  How could it be improved?  If you don’t ask, you don’t know.

I didn’t become a lawyer like my Mom thought I should be, but I didn’t stop asking questions either.  I’m always fascinated, always curious and never bored.  I challenge you to ask questions, learn new things and be fascinated with life because it has so much to offer.


Roads we travel

Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend and sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
  • Life is a Highway, Tom Cochrane

It was a rainy day, but we decided to take a little Sunday drive off the beaten path after a good meal.  As we drove, I looked at all the side roads and started wondering where some lead.  Then I thought about life and how it is so much like those roads.

Every road has a beginning and an end, and they all lead somewhere. Maybe to a better place and to somewhere you feel more at home, or quite possibly in a direction you are not happy with.  And sometimes, it leads you in a circle and you end up back where you started.

Some come to a crossroads and some to a “T”. Some are well maintained, others are shoddy.  Some are long and some are short.  Some are twisty and some poker straight.  There are town streets with stop lights, 4-lane highways with a fast pace, 2-lane country roads that twist and turn and dirt roads, which gives you a chance to slow down.

If you think about it, one or more of these roads can represent different parts of your life.

After high school, while still living in the country, I would drive my friends around the back roads getting them lost.  They were not from “my neck of the woods” and they never knew where we would end up.  I chuckled inside every time they would say Where ARE we?  I was always so confident knowing I knew what was at the end of the road we were traveling on.

In my early twenties, I moved into an apartment in “town”.  Being a person who deals with change easily, I adapted to living on the main street.  I dealt with such things as parking issues and noise at all hours.  Knowing it was a temporary arrangement made it easier to bear for a couple years and I knew the streets well from attending high school there.

After 4 years, I moved a couple miles North and made my home in a village, aptly named “Hometown”.  My tolerance of change helped a great deal in adjusting to a new place again.  I thought of it as my home for the 16 years I lived there, and I learned quickly to navigate the streets and side roads.  It was a nice area, better than town living, but I still wasn’t content.

I came full circle and returned to my childhood neighborhood 20 years after leaving.  The two-lane roads, open fields and fresh air made my homecoming sweet.  I feel the most at home here.  I feel comfortable.Road 2

You can’t travel two roads at one time and each one of those roads, or paths I took, was my choice.  I don’t feel that living those other places was wrong for me.  It was just where I was supposed to be at that time in my life.

But do you ever wonder what would your life be like if you took a different path?  I have, at times.  Not for wanting to change anything, but because I am a curious person by nature. I tend to think What If?  What if I chose to finish college after high school?  What would I be doing?  Where would I be living?  I still could go to college, but instead of a 4-lane highway through school, it would be more like a dirt road filled with potholes.  Achievable, just a little tougher at my age.

If you don’t like the road you’re on, start paving another one”. – Dolly Parton

At first, your choice may have seemed the most attractive option compared to the other roads that stretched out in front of you.   Then as you traveled along, you came to realize you could have made a better decision.  Although you can’t turn back time, it is never too late to change the road you are traveling.   You are never stuck with going in one direction all your life.  If you are not happy with where you are in life, make a change.

There are many roads on a map and they lead in different directions.  Next time you are on a Sunday drive, take a left instead of a right and see where it leads.


Someday.. but when?

We are all creatures of habit.  We like to put our pants on starting with the same leg every day.   We park our car on the same side of the garage, and we stop at the same place for coffee every morning. Sometimes, we may think about trying something different, but when the time comes, sticking to what makes us the most comfortable just seems… well… comfortable.   And we may think that there will come a time that we will do something out of the ordinary.  Someday, that is.

A while back, someone invited me kayaking.  I declined.  Not because it wouldn’t be fun. It would have been, especially with the group that asked me.  I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t have the proper gear or that I felt a little “clumsy” thinking I’d fall right out of the kayak.  Whatever the reason, I felt more comfortable saying “I don’t think so”.  If I really think about every invitation extended to me that I turned down, I would have a long list of missed experiences.  Some I may have thoroughly enjoyed.


Me at the site of the original Woodstock. 
Something I crossed off my “Someday” list.

Often, a friend will tell me of something different they tried; a new restaurant, somewhere they have gone on vacation or something they do for fun. One of my classic responses to them is “Someday I’ll have to try that”.  I, for one, have a long road ahead of me in conquering the ugly head of procrastination. So, writing this is as much therapy for me as it may be giving you possible food for thought.

When you succumb to complacency in your everyday life, you tend to live like you were on autopilot.  In a way, it’s like the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day.  Each day feels like a repeat of the previous day and you can’t seem to break out of the ordinary.  Eventually, you start living your life for “Someday” when you will try something new.

There’s no time like the present.

I heard that many times growing up.  I like to say I live by it, but that wouldn’t be entirely true.  I like to get some things done immediately, like grocery shopping, cleaning or paying the bills.  I feel like once those things are “out of the way”, I can concentrate on what brings me joy.  The problem is, there never seems to be enough time left after I’m finished those necessary tasks in life to have fun.

Each day I get older I come to terms with the time I have left.  I may live to be 75 or 100 but the time between now and then will fly by.  When I was 10 or 12-years old, time seemed to stand still.  Now, the clock moves at breakneck pace.  Parents can attest to that when it seems like one day their child is barely sitting up, and the next they are walking down the aisle to accept their high school diploma.  There are a lot of “somedays” in between there.  Best to fill them with “somethings”.

We only have so much time on this earth.  What if that someday never comes?

Some work hard and long in their younger years saving for when retirement comes, figuring there’s always time.  However, there’s no guarantee when you reach that age you will have the good health or the means to do the things you have been putting off.  We always seem to think our time on this earth is infinite.  We know better, but we do a great job convincing ourselves otherwise.

Swiss-American psychiatrist and pioneer in near-death studies, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross said,  “It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.”

Many times, I’ve heard the phrase “On a rainy day, we should….”.  Rainy days come and go and a lot of things that were planned for those days, or at least thought about, were never accomplished.

My wish for you is that you don’t waste any more time putting things off “for a rainy day”.  This life of yours is precious as are the lives of your children, grandchildren and parents.   Take the long-awaited vacation, buy the dream car, spend quality time with your loved ones… do whatever brings you the greatest joy.  Because while you are waiting on someday, you are robbed of what you can experience today.

For many years, I put off writing.  I focused on other things in life and told myself there’s always time for that.  Why did I wait?  Was it a fear of not succeeding or was it the “Someday” mentality?  After all, if I had a good mind and able physically, I still had time.  There was no age limit.  What I realize now is all those years that I didn’t focus on writing I missed out on the joy that it would have brought me.  I had to muster up the courage to put my words in print and take that first step to begin living my dream.

I hope that you are either enlightened or entertained by my musings…. this joy I now experience by turning  “SOMEdays” into TOdays.

Stay tuned for more blog posts.