Posts Tagged With: thoughts

Our Scars Are Our Stories

Do you honor your scars?

We all have scars, some more visible than others. Dog bites. Skinned knees. Surgery scars. Stretch marks. Broken hearts. Cuts and scrapes, physical and emotional.

So often we hide our scars, ashamed to let them show. As if they make us less, mark us down like bruised fruit.

But our scars are part of who we are. Each on is a piece of our story. They are mementos of what we’ve survived, of how strong we are. We shouldn’t be ashamed of them. We should wear them proudly.

This video really touched my heart. The artist creates art from scars, which is not as weird as it sounds. Just watch.

Do you carry your scars as badges of honor or are you still struggling to accept them? How do your scars tell the story of you?

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Wishes for You

Christmas Tree

Here are my wishes for you this holiday season:

May you be warm. May you be welcome. May you be full of hope and peace. May you overflow with joy. May you be loved completely and love in return. May you be able to laugh at your mistakes and delight in your successes. Like a child, may you see something new and wonderful in what you see everyday. May you see the goodness in others and yourself. Wherever you are going, may your journey be bright and full of unexpected sweetness.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

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Are You Afraid of Falling Through the Cracks?

Facing a Big Project Turns Us into Little Kids Again

…in a Bad Way

pg pier by mike138 on FlickrWhen you were a kid, did you ever walk across a pier, look down through the narrow cracks between the planks to the ocean below and become convinced that, if you made the slightest misstep, you were going to fall through the cracks and drown? Or maybe you crossed a bridge, clinging to the side or staying steadfastly in the middle because it seemed like you might be easily swept over the side and plunge to your death, that you might even be compelled to jump over?

When we got a little older, we realized how irrational, how insane, those fears seemed. We could laugh them off because we knew, duh, people can’t fit through the cracks in a pier nor easily be swept over a bridge. But it seemed so real back then.

I think the same thing happens when we face a huge project, whether it’s getting fit, making a life change, writing a book, joining NaNoWriMo or learning something new. Every step along the path to our goal seems treacherous.

Maybe we can’t even admit we’re afraid.We’re adults. Adults aren’t afraid of falling through cracks in the pier. That’s just nuts.

And sometimes those fears stop us cold. We can’t fight back because we can’t even admit we’re having them. We make excuses. We get busy. We forget. We tell ourselves, “Tomorrow,” and every day is today.

Of course, once we screw our courage to the sticking place or drag ourselves kicking and screaming onto the path, we realize what we realized when we were kids: just keep moving, one step at a time and you’ll make it to the end just fine, even if you have to hold the rail the whole time.

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What irrational fears crop up for you when you’re facing a big project? How do you handle them? Do you have a funny irrational-childhood-fear story to share?

For all my fellow NaNos, how’s it going for you so far?

Photo Credit:
p.g pier by mike 138 on Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

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What Inspires You?

inspire – in-spire (verb):
1) to breathe life into
2) to motivate, influence or encourage

My wonderful hubby and I will shortly be celebrating 14 years of wedded bliss (just a few days shy of 15 years since the day we met). Through the years, he’s been such an inspiration to me. He doesn’t get my love for horror, but he always supports my writing. More than that, he inspires me with his generosity and faith. One of the greatest things he’s taught me is that everything pretty much comes out alright in the end as long as you keep on keeping on. This sense of trust and optimism buoys me in those times when my natural tendency to brood threatens.

And thinking of how he inspires me makes me think of all the people, places and things that inspire me everyday. My kiddos, who challenge me to grow and remind me of the simple joys in life. Coffee, especially on those mornings that come waaaaay to early. A good book. Sometimes even a bad movie.

The more inspiring things that come to mind, the more I realize that we should strive to be inspired by who and what’s around us everyday. Every single day, we must find something, however awesome or mundane,  that moves us to change the world for the better, to do something great, pass on little kindnesses or even just smile.

Big or little, extraordinary or everyday, which people, places and things inspire you?

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How Far Would You Go For Your Kids?

It’s every parent’s nightmare to lose a child and most would agree they’d do anything to protect or save their children. And when we say anything, we usually mean we’d be willing to throw ourselves in front of a speeding bus, inflict grievous bodily harm on someone trying to hurt a child or  trade places with a sick child…or just give up sleep, clean up bodily fluids and say no when your kids just can’t understand why.

But would you give up government secrets, compromise national security, put innocent lives in danger or torture someone to save your child?

That’s just what NBC’s Crisis asks.

The show pits wealthy, powerful parents against the FBI, CIA and US government when their children are taken during a high school field trips and the kidnappers begin making unusual demands. Instead of money (although money does come into play for at least one parent), the kidnappers want to use the parents’ power and access. The parents are each given a task. None know what their bit roles in kidnappers’ mater plan will add up to. It could be about money and power, righting a wrong or helping terrorist unleash something horrific. All they know is that,  if they do what they’re told, their children will be returned.

Now, I’m a mother bear when needed. I have no doubt I’d sacrifice myself for my children. If somebody was hurting them, I’d do what I had to stop the person. In a heartbeat and probably without remorse.

But is there a line I wouldn’t cross?

I lean towards “yes.” While I can see myself attacking a killer/kidnapper/predator, I can’t imagine deliberately harming an innocent (even if that person is innocent only of the crime against my child).

But maybe that’s exactly what the Crises parents would have said before their children were taken.

What do you think? How far would you go to save your children? Is there anything you wouldn’t do?

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NBC offers a fun quiz to find out what kind of person you’d be in a crisis. Take the Quiz. Although I don’t know how accurate it is as it says I’m a Fly on the Wall. But maybe that was because I couldn’t decide between Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games for my favorite book.

 

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Is Patience Really a Virtue?

Merlin the Patient

I AM being patient. Now can I have a bite?

“Patience is a virtue,” I often tell my kids in a sing-song voice, like Rachel Weisz in The Mummy. When they’re asking if it’s time to go to the park yet or “are we there yet” on a long trip, patience is exactly what I need them to have they need. And they happily remind me of that virtue when I’m cursing the internet for being slower than usual or  when I’m telling the driver ahead of me (as if he can hear me) “the speed limit is 55 here, not 35.”

There are so many times in life when we can’t have what we want right when we want it. We have to wait on other people or for opportunities. We have to wait on ourselves to learn what we need to learn. We have to wait till the next season of Walking Dead to find out just how badass Rick has really become or for George R. R. Martin to publish that next A Song of Ice and Fire book already.

And yet the opposite of patience is celebrated far more often in our culture. Go-getters don’t  wait for opportunities, they seize them. Winners don’t let pain slow them down, they pop a [insert brand name over the counter painkiller here] and keep running. Heroes rush in where angels fear to tread.

Of course, inaction can be mistaken for patience. We tell ourselves we’re just waiting for the right time or the perfect chance and we just wait and wait and wait and…

And sometimes we give up before we’ve even begun because the payoff seems so very far away.

So how do you tell the difference? How do you know when to wait and when to act and how to keep slogging when the finish line is still miles away?

I’ve wrestled a great deal with this last one. Everything from raising and educating my children, getting fit and writing my (hopefully) début novel. All of these are works in progress and, sometimes, the end doesn’t seem anywhere in sight. All I can do is keep on keeping on.

And, while patience may be a virtue, it doesn’t come easily for me. Mostly I wind up being impatiently patient.  I promise myself the end is out there, somewhere, but I won’t wait around for it. I’ll go after it…with a machete.

It’s like the Tortoise and the Hare. Anyone else think the moral of that fable is NOT “slow and steady wins the race?” Let’s face it, if the hare hadn’t been sleeping on the job,  he’d have blown right past that sloooooow tortoise and won the race.

Slow and steady only wins the race when there’s no one else faster than you. But maybe the real moral is that it doesn’t matter how fast you go, especially if you give up or lay down on the job. If you keep putting one foot in front of the other with the goal of the making it to the finish line, you’ll get there (unless the zombies get you first…but that’s another story).

And, when you reach the finish line, you win. No matter who else got there first. Because you’re not racing against them. You’re racing against you.

Of course, it’s much nicer when you finish faster.

Just sayin.

What do you think? How do you know when to be patient and when to seize the moment? Do you have any big projects where the end seems almost out of reach? How do you keep at it until you reach that end?

 

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I just had to share this because it made me laugh…and it’s got some useful tips on How to Be Patient in 12 Steps (but I prefer to do it in 6 steps…it’s faster that way).

 

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Are You Your Own Frenemy?

The other day, I messed up.

It wasn’t really a big deal but I immediately started kicking myself in the mental butt.

Later on, that same inner voice talked me into junk food and procrastination instead of a healthy snack and knocking a big chunk off my todo list.

Later still, the inner voice followed up with a whole lot more mental butt-kicking (rather gleeful mental butt-kicking, I might add).

Then it dawned on me: I’m my own frenemy. Continue reading

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What’s the Worst Place for a Phone Call?

Mobile phones give us tremendous freedom. No more waiting by the phone or frantically leaving messages on somebody’s answering machine1. No more waiting in line for a pay phone2…only to discover you’re out of coins and nobody has change for a dollar. No more slogging along the side of a highway in the rain, looking for a callbox3. No more being chained to your desk.

Of course, being able to take calls anywhere has some drawbacks. Folks (including clients, bosses and nagging relatives) now often expect 24-7 availability.

And then there are those folks who are willing to take calls anytime, anywhere… Continue reading

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When is Getting Stuck the Best Thing?

I tend to write the way I live (or maybe I live the way I write), a sometimes-awkward hybrid between planning and winging it.

Writers often define themselves as either  plotter (planner) or pantser (that sometimes flaky person who considers herself spontaneous). While I’m no longer a die-hard pantser, I’m also not entirely a plotter. I’m somewhere between. A plantser, if you will. Continue reading

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Do You Talk Back?

duo mouse watching 4782

“You might want to look both ways before crossing the…oh man…that’s gonna stain…”

You’re driving along, minding your own business (or maybe your kids’ business in the back seat as they argue over who’s taking up whose oxygen or some other obscure manifestation of sibling rivalry), when another car whips out of nowhere and cuts you off.

Or you’re watching folks on tv do something ginormously stupid.

Or maybe you’re favorite team is losing (or winning).

Do you talk back to them?

Fess up, now.

You totally yell at the tv/radio/car in front of you, don’t you? Continue reading

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