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Posts Tagged ‘life’

fortune cookie

Years ago, I received a fortune cookie that I’ve read countless times. It resides in my bathroom, water-spotted and almost unreadable now. But I know what it says:

“Your love of life will carry you through any circumstance.”

Yes, indeed. It has helped me get through some tough situations, inspiring my zest for life. Just a few words that help me feel strong.

What else inspires me?

As a writer, workshops and the people who populate them inspire me. I love that my teachers and fellow students care enough about my writing to provide valuable feedback and suggestions. And so, I continue to work on my first novel.

Young women inspire me. I love their energy and authenticity. Letting their individuality show, accepting themselves and others. Embracing diversity. Making a difference.

Recently, I felt challenged by the task of taking notes and writing minutes for an important meeting. I made too big a deal about it, perhaps, but I fretted over doing it well. Imagine my surprise when, after the fact, I received two phone calls just to tell me what a good job I did! My perspective on the task changed. Well, maybe that wasn’t too bad, and maybe I’ll do it again. Thank you to people who take the extra effort to compliment someone. Hopefully it will inspire me to commend others.

There’s more, of course. But now, I’m wondering: what inspires you?

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You know how it is when you sit in a waiting room at a doctor’s office? Everybody just keeps to their own little space. Sometimes there is a nod of the head, or handing over of a newspaper, but mostly there’s just silence.

Yesterday I was part of a friendly group that kicked the silence model right out the door. It started when two retirement-aged women started talking and comparing notes on something. I put down my Kindle and joined in. A man came in and he participated in the conversation too. One of the woman’s husband and adult daughter entered, so we all introduced ourselves. (Yes, we actually shared names in the doctor’s waiting room…unheard of!) A couple of people noted how much fun we were having, and one called it a party. It was almost sad when the nurse came to call somebody into the examination room and they had to leave. While her mother saw the doctor, the daughter and I had a nice conversation about retailing. After they left, one of the woman who had been telling us about her frustrating medical condition popped her head in before she left to let me know she was doing much better. Then I was alone in the room.

Before long, an elderly man came in, preparing to sit in the usual silence. I wasn’t ready to let the conversation end, so I asked him a question. Before long, he was telling me about his life – he was in his nineties and was upset he couldn’t do all the things he used to be able to do. He had a lot of physical complaints and didn’t seem to have much companionship in his life. I am hoping that maybe a brief show of interest from a stranger may have given him just a little comfort. I wished him well.

When I went back to college a few years ago, I chose to major in Communication Studies. I became passionate about the power of honest communication and authentic interactions to change the world. Yesterday we might not have made any big, outright changes, but together a small group of people helped make a positive impact on each other’s day. That has to be a contribution to what is right in the world.

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1. Look at the big picture. Remember you are in this life together – you are each other’s best ally to navigate this crazy world.

2. Treat your honey once in a while – bring him/her a glass of wine or cup of tea, draw a hot bath or offer some bodywork. Mmmm… give your spouse a reason to feel lucky to have you!

3. Got a beef? Speak up, solve it and move on. Get over the hurdles and back on track. (But don’t disagree on an empty stomach – eat, relax, then discuss).

4. Compromise. Easy to say – hard to do, but worth the effort.

5. Spouses deserve the best of you, not the cranky part that can come out after a hard day. If something is making you cranky every day, then that is what you need to look at.

6. Make the effort to be mentally and emotionally connected even if you are physically apart.

7. You don’t have to ask your spouse for approval on decisions you can make for yourself, but discuss the big stuff and make joint decisions together.

8. Always keep your spouse courteously informed of your whereabouts and future plans.

9. Don’t cheat – not even once. Deceit causes lack of trust, which can sink a marriage.

10. Don’t say things behind your spouse’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face. If your spouse gives you a reason to do so, consider that a clue, and deal with it.

11. Travel together on this journey of life. Sometimes you can travel independently for a little while, but always go back to finding each other as a couple.

12. Remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others (including and especially your spouse) as you would have them do unto you.

I love and appreciate my husband Cliff more than words can say. I am ecstatic to be celebrating this milestone of a 30th Wedding Anniversary with him.

If you are curious about the early days of my relationship with Cliff – how we met, fell in love and navigated our life and motorcycle trips together, it is all in my ebook, Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three. Take a “look inside” the book here. And yes, that is us on the book’s cover, on September 25, 1982.

To the left is a photo of us taken last weekend. We are still traveling together and enjoying the journey.

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“A 1980s love story on two wheels, with adventures and great scenery.”
 
That is how I describe my first e-book, a memoir titled Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three. I am thrilled to announce it is now published and available in the Amazon Kindle store.

I met Cliff in 1981 and we married a year later.  We took several motorcycle trips together — to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Door County, and Colorado.  Our adventures during those journeys are the basis for this book. At 20,000 words it is a quick read.  

I hope you will consider taking a “look inside” at the link (book title) above.  Let me know what you think!

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At the “Writing in the Garden” workshop. I’m the gray-haired lady with my back to the camera.
Photograph is courtesy of Blue Cottage Agency.

It is inspiring to spend time with people who are fulfilling their passions for creative expression. I am fortunate to be experiencing more than my share of art immersion this week.

I am still pumped from spending yesterday at the 3rd Annual Writing in the Garden Workshop in Minnesota. It was attended by writers of various interests and genres.  Some are working on a project – others are published authors.  Everybody was friendly and eager to learn.

The workshop was led by writer and teacher, Angela Foster and historical fiction author Candace Simar.  Check out Candace’s recently published book, Blooming Prairie, Book Four of the Abercrombie Trail Series. 

On Monday this week I joined some other members of the Kanabec County Art Association at a weekly get-together, where we work on our art projects or just enjoy each others’ company.  I have found that artists are generally sociable and knowledgeable because they are interested in so many different subjects.        

Are you realizing your dreams for creativity and personal expression? It is not difficult or expensive to seek out camaraderie and educational opportunities with like-minded creative people.  If you need a pick-me-up find a class, workshop or organization that appeals to your interests and check it out.

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I have heard it said that Baby Boomers don’t want to grow up.  We want to feel young and carefree as we continue to live life to its fullest.

I plead guilty!

The evidence in this case is provided by my wide smile when I recount my activities during the past two weeks:

  • I spent time leading up to the 4th of July playing volleyball in a lake in Wisconsin with a group of friends.  The net is literally set up in the lake.  Classic fun!
  • I experienced Santana in concert – for two+ hours, under the stars.  Carlos is fantastic – he’s still rocking – making it fresh and real after all these years.  He plays with a large group of musicians, and they know how to do it right.
  • I got behind my husband on our motorcycle for the first time in many years.  He recently had our Yamaha 1100 revamped and has begun to ride it on nearby country roads.  I have been writing my motorcycle memoirs, Traveling Together, Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three, and it brought back the memory of soaring down the road on a bike. I tried it and I liked it!

What are you doing that shows your rockin’ spirit?

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Today I am sharing excerpts from my journal, about some of my goals for 2012: 

  • “Write my first book — Motorcycle Memoir – draft by 8/1/12.” 
  • “Focus my positive energies in ways to enhance the lives of myself, Cliff and others.  Journal to help me with context and staying on track.” 
  • “Work on organizing/clearing stuff out of house.  Keep only what we need and love.” 

I added quotes, including this one:  “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” — Lennon & McCartney

I wrote the journal entries yesterday while travelling home from a weekend in North Dakota.  Within an hour of writing the words above (and more), the Beatles song The End, with the lyrics I quoted (from the Abbey Road album, recorded in 1969) came on the radio.  I felt like I had called it to me.  Those are certainly words to live by.

I would like to thank Dorothy Sander, who generously invited me to be a guest blogger.  The result was this piece I wrote about  Lifetime Learning: Summer Camp for Adults.  If you have not yet checked out Aging Abundantly, I can highly recommend it for its inspiring and honest articles on subjects that matter to women. After Dorothy posted my piece, it was linked to, as Summer Fun for Boomers, by ThirdAge.com, a website for boomer women. 

I am grateful for this recognition and opportunity to share my writing. Thank you!

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