#WednesdayWisdom: This precise time.

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Note the image is another AI collaboration…I really like how it turned out, I haven’t had a lot of success lately.

Well the race is on. The kettle is heating, and the question is which will happen first: me getting a cup of tea or finishing this post?

Gut reaction is, of course, tea, but don’t forget it has to steep. So we’ll see.

It’s snowing today, real snow, the first one we’ve had that looks like it’s adding up to something. And outside the window it’s just white.

It’s not nearly so heavy or so much as other people are getting right now, though, and when I tell you it’s snowing in January in Chicago, I doubt that you’ll be surprised.

I wouldn’t call it remarkable, as a whole.

Kettle isn’t boiling yet. Tea is slower than you think. Ooh there it goes. I’ll be back. Steeping time.

Tea won. These days I use loose leaf tea from Tea Forte (love them) and their stainless steel pyramid infuser. It’s become a quick, tiny ritual, getting the dry leaves into the infuser, getting the wet leaves out.

We all need those, these quick small things that create tiny breaks in the day. Moments to focus only on the task at hand, not the task before, not the task after, just exactly what you’re doing right at this precise time.

Plus I get tea, so I think that’s an all-around win.

Anyway, that’s it for me here in this snow globe. Have a great Wednesday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#WednesdayWisdom: But you know what does both those things for longer?

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The sky is clearing a little bit, though there are still stripes of clouds across the sky. Still, I’ll take it.

For today’s post, I played a little game with myself. I went to twitter and vowed to be inspired by the fifth tweet in my feed after a refresh, counting only tweets that were not my own.

Didn’t have any by accounts I follow, but here is the tweet:

Christina Applegate and her daughter both dressed in dark suits for the Critic’s Choice Awards.

I already saw the other tweet of Christina’s this morning, the one talking about a troll who attacked her appearance, and that this picture–the one that sparked that awful comment–is where I landed feels fitting. Because I have thoughts.

Perhaps they will lead to wisdom.

They say you never know what someone is going through, but this is one of those rare cases where we know a lot about what someone is going through. Christina Applegate has survived cancer; now she’s battling MS, and even with all that, she’s showing up for herself, for her daughter, and for her fans.

And yet there are always people who want to poke a bruise, who want to make people feel bad, to steal happiness and trample it.

Here is my wisdom for you: don’t be one of those people.

Of course even the woman who did exactly that probably thinks she’s not one of those people. She probably thinks she did some kind of good, settled some kind of score by criticizing the appearance of a woman whose talent far exceeds her remarkable looks, and her gumption exceeds even both of those qualities.

I mean come on. Christina Applegate is and will always be beautiful, no matter her state of health. But that’s not the point.

Don’t be the pin bursting someone else’s balloon. Maybe it gives a temporary sense of satisfaction; maybe for a moment it relieves continuous self-hatred. But you know what does both of those things for longer?

Kindness.

Being the type of person you can stand.

And with that, I wish you a happy Wednesday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#WednesdayWisdom: Go with the flow

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My morning didn’t start out the way I expected. Normally, I talk to my dad at some point. This morning, I couldn’t reach him. I knew he had an appointment, I knew he’d be getting ready to leave, so he should have answered.

Usually he’ll call or text within a few minutes, but nothing. The panic, a whisp in my stomach grew and spread as the worry became a beast all its own.

I headed over.

Still on the way he didn’t answer. Finally I knocked at his door.

And he opened it, bewildered.

We discovered that somehow he’d managed to turn his phone on to Do Not Disturb. It was effective.

Even though he is tech savvy. Even though he knows how his phone works. He just didn’t notice.

But once I was there, I figured…why not go with the flow? I offered him a ride to his appointment, and I grabbed a coffee while I waited for him. I started this post but he was faster than I was.

We went to the grocery store, both picking up odds and ends. In what felt like a reward from the universe, they had fresh figs.

Fresh figs! One of my favorites.

This isn’t how I thought my day would look. My blog is late, everything is all turned around. But I went with it.

And it was good.

Anyway, that’s it for me for what’s left of this Wednesday. Have a great day.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#WednesdayWisdom: But it’s still forward.

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It’s raining today, even though it’s January, and I guess that will do for now. I’m late getting to the blog, other things seemed to jump the line and demand my earlier attention.

Some days are like that.

I’ve been doing the Yoga with Adriene Center challenge, which is 30 days of yoga based on the theme, a tradition she does every January. I could use some centering.

We’ll see if it helps.

Today I feel slow and unwieldy for some reason, like I’m taking plodding, heavy steps forward. Clumsy, but it’s still forward.

Is it in the direction I want to head? Well time will let me know. Time always lets us know.

Not necessarily promptly, which is its own set of issues, but still, we find out.

So that’s what I have for you today. We don’t have to be graceful, we don’t have to be swift, we don’t have to be adroit, we don’t have to be the best.

We just have to be.

Have a great Wednesday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#WednesdayWisdom: Winners sometimes quit.

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This morning I selected a dance workout on YouTube, wanting something a little different. And let me tell you, this thing went from 0 to 1000 in the first five minutes. After a bit, I looked at my watch thinking it must be halfway done.

I was only 8 minutes in.

Still, I didn’t want to give up. I pressed on. And on. And on. I wondered if, for the rest of my life, I’d just be doing that dance video. I modified. I took advantage of the ads to catch my breath or at least attempt to do so.

As a side note, I do cardio most days a week, often 5 days. This was a whole other level of intensity.

Through it all, though, I told myself not to stop. I needed to finish it. I needed to push through.

When it finally, finally, mercifully finished, it took a while for my heartrate to come down and it really dawned on me that I could have pushed myself into injury or even worse. How do I feel now, hours later?

Like I took it too far, I think.

We absorb all these messages about quitting and stopping and not finishing, and they start to become a measure of worth, a measure of our very value. And you know what?

They aren’t.

Sometimes the smart thing is to quit. Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to quit.

It comes in many forms and covers all of life’s events. But I’m not sure where this whole idea that misery is the stuff that makes us came from. Probably from the people who profit from our misery, or profit when we are distracted by it.

So if you needed permission, here it is.

If you needed a sign, here it is.

Winners sometimes quit.

Have a great Wednesday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#WednesdayWisdom: Don’t pretend to be anything else.

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It’s Wednesday, and the sky is gray, getting ready for the big storm, I imagine. And then frigid temps.

Fun ahead.

Today I am tired, my brain is tired, my thoughts are tired, and maybe it’s the weather, and maybe it’s the year ending, and maybe it’s just because I’m tired.

All three are possible.

But I’m not going to pretend to be anything else. Not today. Today I am tired and while I am tired I will be tired. I won’t try to make myself untired.

We’ll see how that goes.

We spend so much time pretending to be things we aren’t. Pretending to feel things we don’t, giving impressions of moods that we’re not in.

What happens if we stop?

What if we don’t pretend to be anything else?

Today. This hour. This minute.

You can go back any time you like, but try it on for size.

And see how it feels.

Have a great Wednesday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#WednesdayWisdom: And he was glorious.

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CW: suicide.

Were these prompts always here? Did I just not notice them?

Today was “Have you ever performed on stage or given a speech.” And I have to wonder…is there anyone who hasn’t done either of those things? Or at least one of them?

Even back in the recesses of youth?

And now the very thing meant to steer the conversation has derailed it. Or maybe not. I guess we’ll have to see how this all goes.

Today is one of those days that is gray inside and outside, with a rain that is neither pretty nor dramatic, but only there.

My thoughts are consumed right now with the death of Twitch–real name Stephen Bos– as I remember his incredible talent, and remember watching the sparks fly between him and his future wife, Allison Hoker on So You Think You Can Dance. And dance they could.

Have you ever performed on stage?

Twitch’s cause of death, they say, was suicide. And my heart hurts for his family, my heart hurts for him, for whatever was so overwhelming inside of him he couldn’t survive it.

Was all his life a stage?

I wish comfort to his family who will now have to learn a different way to live. We are sad but they are devastated.

Have you ever performed on stage?

Twitch did. And he was glorious.

#WednesdayWisdom: Take the road more traveled.

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So I opened this post, got distracted with other things, and came back to find a prompt: “Do you have a favorite place you’ve visited? Where is it?”

I’ve never gotten a prompt before, though usually I get further than not starting a post before something pulls my attention away. But you know what?

Why not go with the prompt?

We don’t always have to take the hard road. There isn’t necessarily honor or extra universal bonus points in it. It’s OK to take the road more traveled, if that’s your inkling.

So do I have a favorite place I’ve visited?

That’s a harder question than it sounds because going anywhere can be a gift. I’ve been very, very lucky. I’ve gotten to see Darwin’s finches with my own eyes, flittering through customs and perched on the back of a tour bus seat.

I’ve seen otters playing among glaciers in Alaska and breathed air cool and crisp even in the middle of July.

I’ve watched the funniest play I’ve ever seen in London, and wandered through an Edinburgh crammed to its gills during the Festival, I’ve glimpsed treasures in our nation’s capital and the most unbelievable flowers made of glass in Boston.

Here at home I can visit some of the world’s greatest works of art like old friends, examine the skeletons of long-gone beasts, Zen out jellyfish living their calm existence. Choosing a favorite seems unnecessary.

They’re all amazing in their own way, all special experiences neatly filed away in my mind.

So I guess only sort of used the prompt. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Have a great Wednesday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#WednesdayWisdom: Flow with the seasons

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I started titling this “MondayThoughts” so maybe our first bit of wisdom for today should be get the day right.

It never hurts.

It’s a gray day, and it’s cold and windy so the last day of November definitely feels like November. Wear your cozies if you’ve got ’em.

Unless you’re in a part of the world where it’s early summer, then you probably don’t want to do that. Fair enough.

OK I’m back, had to put on some fuzzy socks. Like I said. Cozies.

While the cold weather brings its challenges and its chill, there’s something about layering against the cold. About soft, tactile fabrics and mugs of steaming hot drinks.

About letting the weather outside do what it’s going to do as you get on with what you’re going to do, separated by a plane of glass and a to-do list.

The flavors that you see now, the mints and and the chocolate and the gingerbread, and the fruits we get this time of year.

We are meant to flow with the seasons, to fortify ourselves against the risks of them but to enjoy their unique gifts as well. Look for what you can only find right now, at this time, in this moment, on this last day of the second-to-last month of the year.

And have a great Wednesday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#ThursdayThoughts AND #WednesdayWisdom: Scale it down

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Wow, I wrote this and never published it yesterday. So you can have it today, when I was going to go postless. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

And the actual post:

I had plans for a semi-complicated dessert to make for tomorrow. But then I decided…

Nah.

I didn’t feel like the work. I didn’t feel like hassling with a cheesecake water bath. So I decided to scale down. I’ll probably make cheesecake bars, all of the taste, less of the work.

Not sure why it’s easier, but it is.

It’s a strange time of the year, and the pressures are constant. But we don’t have to accept the pressure, we don’t have to give into it or live with it.

We can just do something else.

It’s OK to do something else.

Some years I’d enjoy the challenge of something more complicated, but I can say without reservation this is not one of those years.

So I’ll go easier. Maybe I’ll go completely different.

We’ll see, I haven’t yet settled.

But whatever it is, I will give myself permission to scale down. And so should you.

Have a great holiday tomorrow if that’s your thing, and a bearable one if great is out of the question. Not sure yet if there will be a prompt.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.