Category: Uncategorized

the start of your journey

In Taumarunui, New Zealand, there is a small pedestrian underpass to take you past the railroad tracks into town. Each day I walk this path, I am greeted with this message.

We all have larger journeys in life. Along that journey, each day, each moment, is a smaller journey as well.

Don’t like how your journey is shaping up? Begin again!!

(Side note: If any of you know the children’s song / nursery rhyme about Michael Finnegan, just typing “begin again” will now have that song stuck in my head all day. And you just joined me. You’re welcome.)

the comfort of not there yet

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see further.”
– Thomas Carlyle

When my life feels particularly in flux and I get to worrying about the future, I feel better when I remember that I don’t have all the information yet. There are opportunities and vistas up ahead that I can’t possibly know about now. And worrying will not bring me any closer to them. I can only see what I can see on this very day, in this very moment. What a comfort that is.

How far can you see today?

voyeur for the climb

This gecko has no idea I’m watching him through the bathroom window, but I’m cheering him (or her!) on for the climb.

I bet there’s someone cheering you on, too.

double whammy

The first color photograph of Earth from space was taken in 1959. What an awesome experience that must have been… to see our planet’s blues & greens for the first time.

Though I grew up with the view of Earth from space as commonplace, there is an incredible sight that I am brand new to beholding. And it is much much smaller than the Earth. It is the flapping wing of a hummingbird.

I took this photo with my phone. My phone! It was a double whammy of awe… the easy ability to capture the image and, of course, the hummingbird herself.

Have you had a double whammy of awe lately?

chasing communication

There are times when I’m trying to get an answer from someone, and I have to chase them for an answer. I find this to be extraordinarily frustrating. What it boils down to is this… my priority for getting an answer is higher than their priority for giving one.

In this situation, I have a choice amongst 3 paths:
(1) Feed the frustration and keep chasing and chasing the answer.
(2) Match my priority to theirs and potentially let the item fall by the wayside.
(3) Find some sort of middle road that has me sending periodic reminders but puts the ball for action in their court. Whenever their priority rises to the level that giving an answer is important enough, I’ll get that and be able to move forward.

Path 1 is not healthy. Path 2 is honestly an option to be considered sometimes. Path 3 is what I try for most often.

To be transparent, I still experience some frustration on path 3, but I also have clearer boundaries in terms of my responsibility. I have communicated what I need, and I can’t move on to the next step until you respond.

Clear communication, delineation of responsibilities, and taking ownership of my own actions. That’s what I can do. I have no control over someone else’s priorities or actions.

It’s one of those combo platters of taking control and letting go. Sometimes they just have to work together.

game of catch

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
– Maya Angelou

These are wise words indeed. But I’ve come to notice that many people throw and throw and throw… that it’s the catching they have trouble with. There are the amazing givers who are not at all great at receiving. There are the millions of people working two or three jobs who don’t receive a living wage. There are the people who equate their worth with their output, who never feel they do enough, who are uncomfortable receiving help of any kind.

The game of catch is a game of balance, of rhythm. Throw and catch, throw and catch.

Do you have a catcher’s mitt on your hand?

amplification or distraction?

“So part of the discernment that we need as creators is to tell the difference between someone who will take our time and someone who will amplify our time.”
— Seth Godin

The quote above refers to people. That resonates with me a great deal.

That said, in the moment that I’m writing this, I’m finding more resonance by replacing “someone who” with “projects that”. So many of us have a notebook of ideas. Things that we want to create when we have the time or the resources or any number of other triggering factors.

I’m feeling called to pursue one of the projects in my notebook. But I’ve also been on a journey the past few years of trying to simplify. Adding a new project to my workload is a step away from simplifying. What I had to sit with before deciding to pursue this new project or not is whether that step away from simplification might also be an amplification of my time, or if it might just be a distraction.

Do you have any questions like that (about people or projects) in your life?

mind walls

My mind has been shifting perspectives lately on some big stuff in my life. My mind has also been resisting those new perspectives, habitually returning to the old thought patterns, to the familiar interior conversation. And to the familiar feelings that come along with it.

Change is strange and can be quite uncomfortable.

What’s helping is to imagine that my mind is getting remodeled. That the stained, familiar wallpaper is getting peeled away, slowly but surely. That the walls are being sanded down, and that I’m eagerly picking out a fresh color of paint.

I’m also considering knocking a hole in one of the walls and putting in a window.

What color are your mind walls these days?

live & unplugged

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
– Anne Lamott

We all have different ways of unplugging: meditating, taking a walk, eating a meal slowly, dancing, napping.

Sometimes doing the dishes by hand is a way to unplug. (To each her own.)

My favorite snippet in this quote from Anne Lamott is “for a few minutes”. Our society and work culture expect us to feel burned out most of the time, to save up all our unplugging for the tail end of a day, for the Saturday afternoon, for the one (too) short vacation a year. But, really, sprinkling in those few minutes throughout each day is just as nourishing and, perhaps, more sustaining.

You have ten minutes. How will you unplug?

just missed a big bird

Some people might see a couple of arrows pointing to an area that needs attention from a work crew.

Me? I wonder when the big bird passed through and marvel at the long middle toe.

Have you ever changed the mundane into something a bit magical?