Want Work You Love? Show Up.

Some days we get lucky, and the words we need to hear–or read–just seem to appear. One of the blogs I follow re-blogged this, and there it was in my email this morning. (Thanks, Indira!) I’m saving these words for my kids and grand-kids, and as happy reminder to live deliberately, with purpose . . . and on purpose.

Truth and Cake

Purpose

Every now and then, I wake up feeling angsty. Jealousy pokes at me with its thorny little hands. It’s so rare these days but once upon a time it was the norm: that wash of fear and lack of graciousness. I used to stuff it away and ignore it. Nowadays, I celebrate it and lean right on in. I get nice and close so that I can hear what it’s whispering. Wanna know what it tells me?

It says, “This isn’t about anyone else. It’s all you, baby. In this tiny moment, you have forgotten your purpose.”

It’s my uncomfortable, handsy alert system. It’s there to remind me who I am and why I’m here. It urges me to show up.

“Purpose” used to sound like such a grand term to me–intangible and fluffy. I tried to reroute it. I took the practical approach. “If I can figure out…

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Share Your World 2015 – Week 23

Cee’s Question: For your blog do you basically use Mac or Windows applications? What type of device, laptop, desktop, tablet, phone, or pad?

My Answer: I use Windows. I had enough trouble learning Windows several years ago, so have no desire to change.

Cee’s Question: If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

My Answer: A month at a spa. A whole month focused on rest, relaxation and restoring my weary body and mind. I can’t imagine anything closer to heaven than an entire month of eating well without doing the cooking (or clean-up), massages, swimming, long walks, writing, reading, and taking pictures.

Cee’s Question: Can you change a car tire?

My Answer: Yes.

Cee’s Question: How would you like to see the question format for Share Your World?

My Answer: I’m pretty happy with it as is, but it might be fun to mix it up a bit with two questions, one list, and one “complete the sentence” each week.

BONUS QUESTION: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My Answer: From last week, I’m most grateful for the newly leafed trees! They finally sprung their spring leaves, and with an abundance of warm sunshine, the world feels fresh and newborn. And, what I’m looking forward to this week is biking around the lake, and spending time on the deck. I’m getting a new “bistro” set, turning the deck into an outdoor dining room, and so I can take my laptop out there. (We’ll see how much writing gets done!)

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pick a Topic from my Photo

school daze 2014 036 The heart-shaped rain drop. This photo was taken by my 8 year-old grandson last summer. While on a long, rainy drive I let him play with my camera after raindrop races got boring. He kept seeing shapes in the raindrops (“Hey, this one looks like….!”) so I got back about a dozen pictures of raindrops on the car windows.

school daze 2014 084A wheelbarrow next to the garage filled with rainwater last summer. Before he started playing in it, my youngest grandson discovered he could see his reflection, “just like a mirror!” His big brother, with my old camera around his neck, also took a couple pictures of the wheelbarrow, but quickly discarded the camera in favor of playing with, and in, the rainwater.

Share Your World: Week 19, 2015

Cee’s Question: Would you prefer a one level house or multiple levels?
My Answer: I prefer my home to be one level, but because a view of the mountains is my first priority, I prefer that level to be at least on a second floor.
Cee’s Question: If you have a TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?
My Answer: Living room. I’ve tried a TV in the kitchen and bedroom, but for comfort and convenience, still prefer living room. In the bedroom, it rarely got used and made the bedroom feel like a hospital–in fact, other than trying to watch a movie a few days after the TV was hooked-up, I think the only other time it was used was when I was sick. And, because so much of a day is spent there, the kitchen was okay for news and programs I listen to more than watch, but not very comfortable for anything else, and could be very distracting. (I burned more food with the TV in the kitchen than I ever have, before or since.)
Cee’s Question: When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout the house most of the time. Explain your answer.
My Answer: More out of habit than anything else, I typically turn lights off when I leave a room.
Cee’s Question: What’s your favorite room in your home?
My Answer: My favorite room isn’t technically a room–it’s the deck. When the weather allows (meaning, at least in the 40s) I can spend the entire day out there, beginning with my morning coffee and ending with a glass of wine. In every direction from the deck, there are majestic mountain views, and since the deck faces west, I’ve had the good fortune to see some indescribable sunsets. I’ve, of course, photographed many of them, but the photos never seem to do justice to the real thing. While a good photo can capture the colors, they never seem to capture the glow, let alone the feel of the air, the smell of warm pine, or the sleepy stilling of these massive mountains. Sometimes, you really do just have to be there (or here).
Cee’s Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
My Answer: Once again, I’m grateful for the time I spent with my grandchildren. Last Monday, I picked my grandsons up after school, and we went to the “new” library, which is actually housed in the 100 year-old building that used to be the high school. In addition to getting books, there is a little coffee shop in the basement where we got muffins and hot chocolate. On Tuesday evening I attended their school’s spring program, where both boys were charming (don’t let them know I described them as charming!) and did an excellent job–knew all the words and sang with gusto. (My son told me they could hear the youngest, who’s just finishing kindergarten, singing himself to sleep the last few nights before the show.) On Friday, I got to spend the evening with my granddaughters (ages 11 and 8; they live about an hour away), first going to dinner with the family, then attending their school district’s all-school art show, where both girls had art pieces on display. At dinner they announced that, after trying out on Wednesday, they were both going to be in the November production of Beauty and the Beast, with the oldest playing “Chip” (the chipped cup), and the youngest in the choir. The oldest has been in several local productions, beginning when she was 8. This past year she had lead roles in two musicals, (her school and the high school do these plays together), first as “Charlie Bucket” in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (yes, in this production, “Charlie” was a girl–Charlotte?), and then as the boy ‘Who’ Jo-Jo (with her hair tucked in a cap) in “Seussical the Musical”. She has a wonderful, sweet voice (is she getting too old to describe her voice as ‘sweet’?), and when she sang “Alone in the Universe” this Gram was in tears.
Obviously, I adore these kids. I’ve known no greater privilege in my life than watching my grandchildren grow. No longer dealing with homework, dental appointments, sports practice, piano lessons, etc., not to mention the discipline, we get to simply enjoy these children, celebrate their achievements with them, cheer them on, and just have all the fun with them there never seemed to be enough time for when their parents were young. As grandparents, we are so blessed!

And, what am I looking forward to this week? Riding the new birthday/Mother’s Day bicycle the kids (and grandkids) gave me. Of course, we had some snow over the weekend, but the bike path around the lake has melted off, so I just need it to warm up a bit.

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: 2015, Week 14

035 There’s a small creek near their home where my grandsons like to play. At one point, it runs through a culvert under the dirt road, and one of the boys’ favorite things to do is toss everything they can find that floats in one side and watch them come out the other. My job is to stand on the exit side to watch for traffic (not much on this rural road). One day last summer, this stick and flower came floating out the culvert.

Share Your World — 2015, Week 14

Cee’s Question 1: What type of music relaxes you the most or do you prefer silence?

My Answer: The most relaxing sound I know is a gentle but steady rainfall, especially on the asphalt tiled roof of an old cabin. Since that is a sound I cannot summon as needed, I tend to rely on light classical music, or native American flute music (I’m a fan of Carlos Nakai.) However, if I’m stressing out over a boatload of work I need to get done (like during the holidays when there’s more housework, more cooking, more shopping, plus the decorating, wrapping, traveling, etc.), I crank up some old-time rock ‘n’ roll. It not only makes me feel happy, but its’ energy keeps me movin’ (and, yes, I’m usually singing along and have even been known to break into a few dance moves with the vacuum). As for silence, when I’m ready to relax into sleep, if I can’t have a rainfall then I definitely prefer silence.

Cee’s Question 2: Show us two of your favorite photographs and explain why they are your favorites.

My Answer: Sadly, I can’t share my very favorite, because they are of my grandchildren, and my children don’t want their images on the internet (a position with which I agree). So, here I’ll share a couple of my second favorites:

Hiking with the g-sons a couple of summers past.

Hiking with the g-sons a couple of summers past.

was good 063  This photo was taken by my 8-year-old grandson last summer, with my old camera, while we hiked around some local hillsides after a rain. Among his many activities, he loves taking pictures. He titled the computer folder for his photos that day, “Was Good”. When I expressed a little confusion and asked him why he wanted this title, he explained that the day was “all good”, the rain was good, his pictures were good, and he and his brother didn’t fight, so the day “Was Good”.

As for why I like these photos, that’s obvious: who doesn’t like seeing their grandchildren and the work they do?

Cee’s Question 3: What is your favorite tradition?

My Answer: Opening one present on Christmas Eve.

Cee’s Question 4: If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18, what advice would you give yourself?

My Answer: Learn the difference between fun and happiness, remembering that the world is full of unhappy people having lots of fun. Happiness is the result of achievement and confidence, and the happier you are, the less fun you will need.

Cee’s Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My Answer: From last week, I’m grateful for: time with my grand-kids, the spring snow we got on Thursday that was melted by Friday, a nice chat with an old friend, sticking with at least 20 minutes a day of exercise, and adding three new pages to one of my stories. As for next week, there’s not a lot going on right now, but I am looking forward to the weather staying warm so I can get outdoors more, taking more pictures, and (maybe) finishing one of my stories. (Since I can’t seem to make up my mind about which one I really want to work on, I’m writing three stories, one ‘primary’ story and two secondary, so when I get stuck on one, I switch to another. This is not a good method for actually finishing anything, but until I get this writing business figured out, it keeps me writing.)