Meaning of Life in 5-4-3-2-1

Here’s an exercise I created for myself that has become a good way to hyper focus on what I value in any given scenario. It’s already been valuable awareness for me. What would yours be? 5 – Love others with your gifts 4 – Be useful to others  3 – Learn to give 2 – Care more 1 – Compassion More 5-4-3-2-1 countdown challenges ahead.

Can’t Ever Thank Mom Enough For…

Setting a remarkable example of profound resilience and admirable simplicity. My mom had six kids and has always had a bright cheery nature weathering plenty along the way – not the least of which was losing her own mother during The Depression – tremendously difficult in and of itself. Her mother tripped and fell down the stairs in the night holding an oil lamp (1930’s). My grandma, Mabel Marie Wood Walsh, was about 40 when she fell to the bottom of the stairs. The lamp ignited a carpet underneath her and she was terribly burned. My grandfather found her, rolled her body in the carpet, and took her to the hospital that way. My mother at eight-years-old and as one of eight children in her rural Illinois farm family – was told at the hospital she could kneel and say a prayer next to her mother shortly before she passed away. She did and next thing she knew her mom was...

Mortality In The Air

I was with my dad years ago getting mail at our small town post office. As we left, he caught a reflection in the long glass window to his left side and couldn’t look away. He was visibly taken aback for a couple seconds, but ultimately kept walking and I followed quietly. Once in the car, he told me he casually glanced at the reflection noting the man’s gait, silhouette, and how he held his head – certain he was looking at his maternal grandfather as an old man – a man who meant a lot to my dad and died decades before I was born. He realized he was actually looking at himself – looking like a much older man than how he viewed himself. Time does pass and he found himself facing that moment with me along for the ride. He was lost in thought a while when we got home. It was meaningful to see my dad’s thoughtfulness and sensitivity that day. What did I learn that day?...

A Few Things I Do For Pleasure

I answered the question recently:  What do I do merely for the pleasure of it? I thought about the fact that I’ve been lucky to make much of my pleasure the work I do. Writing – This blog is one writing about passion topics specifically resilience and reinvention because I love the art of writing, being useful to others, and creating meaningful beauty. Nature – When I’m contemplative, I sit and watch birds for hours in my backyard garden. I love the reminder there are worlds we often have to consciously choose to see. It’s also an excellent reminder when you feel alone… that you just aren’t. They are fine companions. Art – Pedicures that look like a vacation ROCK. I always think of our toes as the laid back fun digits meant for creativity vs hands which I keep neutral for business. I like the blue-green ocean-colored toenail polish and tropical nail art reminder...

Most Inspiring Moment

There are many. I think of this one often… Two years ago, my 6th grade daughter made her first new year’s resolution and said she was making it happen, “I want to get over my fear of being in front of people and having all of the attention on me. So, I’m trying out for the jr. high talent show.” It echoed in my ears as a cold sweat came over me. The JR….HIGH…TALENT…SHOW. Half of me was elated for her and the other half – mortified. Who doesn’t have at least one brutal jr. hi story? What if her fear only worsened? I got off the topic of ME in my head and said, “Lucy, that’s amazing. How can I help?” She said, “I want to sing a solo.” ….a solo. A SOLO. Did I mention this is the jr. high talent show? Not a lot of kids were taking on a solo, much less mine – a 6th grader in a sea of 6–8th graders and mine was NOT in choir. Add to this, the fact she’d had a fear of public...

Reinvention: Do You Have The Guts?

My nine-year-old son and I have this funny game. I have several little spray breath fresheners around. You know – the pocket-sized – squirt of – what the heck was that – painful burning, but delightfully refreshing mint – kind… I love these things. It started as a simple positive hygiene effort, but has evolved to a tiny reinvention of self every time I walk past one of the things and grab it for a minty mouth moment. I self-assess plenty, but there are limits and I’m not overthinking this one. I just have fun with it…and here’s an example. When my son is nearby when I’m going in for a squirt, I always turn to him and say with my best Clint Eastwood vocal drag…DO YOU HAVE THE GUTS? Liam runs away yelling with his arms flailing in the air yelling – NO! NO! NO! Not that!! We laugh every time at the harmless fun...

What’s In A Voice

Voices reach me like nothing else. The way someone talks to me tells me more than how they look, dress, or even what they say. I didn’t always know this about myself. I graduated in Communication and voice is a huge part of that pie as you learn to express yourself. My focus was on my own vocal cords and theatrical voice lessons along the way were helpful. That taught me to speak from the grounded place deep inside of me…not my neck which so many people do if you listen to them speak. Breathing and presence are also big parts of this vocal tone puzzle. I voice a lot of work from having spent years as the voice of a large municipal cable system to narration and storytelling for my writing and digital media work. I love contemplating voice. As an adult, I’ve noticed how much voice has affected how I handle life around me – good and bad. I recoil from certain kinds...

Boundary Benders – UGH

Ok you have boundaries … now what? Some people don’t respect those lines you draw in the sand at all and fascinatingly look at you as a quintessential buzz kill for holding yours. It’s not your problem. I’ll share that again. It’s not your problem. Hold firm. Better yet, if they keep trying to charm or charge past your boundaries…you are done or at least I’m done on your behalf. I’ll bound over to you and share my boundaries with you if it helps. Be done with this person. If you’ve made your boundaries clear and they just don’t honor that – you can ask about it…but actions speak louder than words. After a couple instances, I’m generally confident in the knowledge of who a person shows me they are. Cut’em loose… Feels better, doesn’t...