How a kick-in-the-butt can change your life

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Crazy bird, she was. Only flew when no one watched.
None could keep her. All failed to train her.
Funny name she had. Time.
~ Anonymous


My recent post, ‘Tick tock…,’ talks about time and our elusive grasp on it. I can actually define the catalyst—or kick in the butt—that snapped me out of my Rip Van Winkle state, the one where I slept away more than twice the amount of time as the fictional character. I call it BC and AC. Before I re-enrolled to complete my undergraduate degree, my life felt ‘tiny,’ unimaginative. Timid. After college (and also while attending classes for my Bachelor of Arts in Literature, Writing & Film), my world became vast, inspired. Daring. How differently my path might have unfolded had I attended college before middle age. Yet, I wouldn’t trade my experiences or the connections I built, the new tricks I learned and still do. The important thing is where I go from here: forward.

What’s your life’s catalyst?

Image courtesy of Ambro at

Word-of-the-month: matriculate (v.)

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[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

Each word I see or hear that stumps me ends up in my “word-of-the-month” stash.  Then, when it’s time for me to pick and choose the next word to be featured, I can’t help but picture each one trying to outdo the other so that I’ll select the “best” one.  I have to admit, I did pass over this month’s choice several times.  And each time, I kept thinking it had something to do with chewing up my food — which, incidentally, is masticate.  But, finally, matriculate (pronounced muh-trik-yuh-leyt) is March’s word-of-the-month and I now know it means to begin or enroll.  Synonyms include enter, join, register and sign up for.  A sample sentence may read: As a non-traditional (older) student, I matriculated in undergraduate studies at Arizona State University where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature, Writing and Film.  Perhaps you have always wanted to matriculate in a race, contest or cooking, fitness or art class.

Is there some activity in which you’ve recently matriculated?

Happy is as happy does

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[Image credit: pixomar]

One of the reasons I waited so long to go back to school is that I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up.  But from the time I was seven, the written word was my passion, so it seemed natural I pursue a writing degree.  In 2009 I found the perfect undergraduate program at ASU: Literature, Writing and Film.  I focused on creative writing, and finally knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.  I graduated, interned for a beauty and lifestyle magazine and was hired by a small publishing firm — my dream job.  When an acquaintance saw the piece I mentioned in Larger than life, he said, “I know that’s not your real passion.”  Although I didn’t go to school to write construction pieces or magazine articles, per se, I’m writing.  And as I told my friend, “I would write the phone book if I was asked to because writing makes me happy.”

Have you found happiness in your vocation?

Candles and brain farts

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[Image credit: Paul Brentnall]

Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones,
as the wind blows out the candle and blows up the bonfire.
~ Francois de La Rouchefoucauld

Brain fart.  That’s what I experienced while writing this blog.  I started and stopped at least a half dozen times and got up from my chair at least as many times as I started and stopped.  I wrote nearly an entire grammar lesson when I realized I’d already touched on the topic.  Then there was the above quote by de La Rouchefoucauld I wanted to ramble about.  But that fizzled out, too.  Kind of like the candle he talks about.  When I was taking my writing courses at ASU, I learned that keeping to a set time to write without stopping is a good remedy for brain fart.  So that’s what I attempted with this blog and, unfortunately, not so much.  Thanks for sticking with me, though.  Maybe my next Yoga session will do the trick.

How do you remedy a brain fart?

Fated consequence


[Image credit: Carlos Ponto]

I’ve always believed in fate — when you’re in the right place at the right time.  Or even when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.  My parents, married for almost 64 years before my mother passed away, probably wouldn’t have met had they not gone to the same high school.  When I was enrolled at ASU, I ran into a few amazing women who are now priceless friends.  Are these fated examples, or more along the lines of consequences of deliberate choices?  If my grandparents had chosen to live somewhere else, my mother would have been in a different school district.  If I had attended college years earlier, I would have run across another cast of characters.  I have to wonder if my parents may still have met under differing circumstances, or if I would’ve become close to these women if I hadn’t decided to attend college later in life.  Maybe it’s a combination of both fate and consequences.

So which one do you believe in?