How to jump start your day: a quest for the Holy Grail

Leave a comment

Fantasy: I am so excited to begin each day that I jump out of bed in the mornings. Reality: I silence the alarm, squint at my cellphone and weep a little on the inside when I realize it’s time to get up. As much as I like my day job, what I’d like even more is to find that reason to jump out of bed in the mornings. Yes, I’m grateful, thankful, blessed—which the wooden sign hanging over my kitchen window calls out to those who enter the room. But aside from my morning coffee, there’s very little that excites me about the ritual I perform once I’m awake. This past weekend, however, I broke free from my daily routine and enjoyed a mini getaway up north. I’m convinced this deviation from my everyday agenda is the Holy Grail required to jump start my days. Mission: Figure out how to make it work Monday through Friday.

What gets you excited to jump out of bed each morning?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Thank someone today

Leave a comment

Thank someone today

In my post “…the demise of the thank you,” I lament the lost art of acknowledging a thoughtful gift or action, even when it’s as easy as sending a text or an email or posting a note on a friend’s Facebook page. We are all busy, but we all have the same 24 hours in a day. On that note, it took me a few sit-downs at my laptop this past week, but I finally sent off a thank you to each workshop facilitator I had the honor of learning from at the writers’ conference I attended in April. And for those of you I haven’t thanked lately: my apologies. Thank you for reading (and proofreading) my ramblings and rhetoric, for whispering words of love and encouragement in my ear, for putting up with my changing moods, my writer’s sense of fantasy vs. reality, my on-again, off-again belief in Someday and for lending me a shoulder when I need one. You are appreciated.

Who can you thank today?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

A grandiose wish

Leave a comment

The future starts now

[Image credit: franky242]

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time. ~ Dean Acheson

The blank piece of paper. The start of a new job. The beginning of a relationship. The trailhead for a hike.  In other words, a best-selling novel, successful career, forever love and latest adventure. Whether we intend it to or not, each commencement comes with our own set of expectations—some realistic, others not so much. Recently, I attended “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in the theater and was struck by a common theme: facing our fears to experience the beauty of life. Although the main character regularly daydreams his various flights of grandiose adventure and romantic fancy, Mitty learns that when he removes expectation to be present in the grandeur of each moment, his reality far exceeds his fantasy life. At least that’s what I walked away with. And that’s my wish for friends and family—and myself—in this New Year ahead.

What is your biggest wish for the New Year?

Living a double life


Double life

[Image credit: adamr]

Throughout my life, I’ve known people who I eventually discover aren’t who I thought they were. The kind who allow others to see what they want them to see on the surface, while hiding their genuine self behind a carefully crafted façade. Maybe they’re afraid of what others might think or say about them if they knew the truth. Personally speaking, for the past few years, I’ve been living a double life of sorts—pinning my hopes on a fantasy, rather than facing my reality. As I’ve said countless times, hope is good. And it’s healthy to visualize the life we want for ourselves. However, it becomes self-destructive when our present happiness hinges on the life we desire, rather than the one we’re living. Sometimes we’re lucky and we can have our cake and eat it too, but if we compromise who we are in the process, it’s time to ask ourselves if the sacrifice is really worth it.

In what way are you living a double life?

Stop and smell the ocean breeze

Leave a comment

[Image credit: Rawich]

Yesterday I had one of those days where I spent a little too much time pacing myself (i.e., looking for excuses).  My 15-minute breakfast after working out took almost an hour.  My chore time turned into chatting with friends and “playing” online.  I did get a good 40 minutes in at the gym, however, plus wrote out my grocery list and menu for the week, showered and wrote a little bit.  But if I plan to make more time to escape into my literary fantasy world, then I need to do less pacing and more crossing tasks off my list.  Or maybe I simply self-inflict too much in too little time and who cares if there’s cat fur all over the floor and that the dusting hasn’t been done for four days.  I’m definitely my own worst enemy.  Especially when I know that 20 or 30 years down the line I doubt I’ll be thinking: Wow, I’m so glad I kept up with all my chores.  Instead, what I like to believe you’ll hear me say is: I’m so thankful I followed my dreams, stopped to smell the ocean breeze and quit sweating the small stuff.  

Are you a work first, play later kind of person or just the opposite?

The sweet taste of success

Leave a comment

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Have you ever wanted something so badly you swore you could taste it?  What about the times your mouth salivated as you anticipated that first bite of freshly baked chocolate chip cheesecake, homemade apple pie or a juicy cut of steak, only to finally sink your teeth in and discover reality didn’t even come close to your fantasy?  This can also happen with a job you’ve worked hard to attain, the expectation of a blind date or a long-awaited first kiss, the excitement over a movie you’ve wanted to see for months, a gift to be unwrapped or perhaps a dream vacation.  You may find yourself bored or disenchanted with one or all of the above.  But what about those other times when the end result supersedes your wildest desires?  What was your secret then?  Maybe it was because you didn’t let fear of disappointment stand in your way, or you kept an open mind and let life unfold in its time.  I have a few of those success stories tucked away, myself, when I need a reminder that wishes do come true.  You just have to believe.

Right now is there something you want so badly you can taste it?

Love the “one” you’re with


You know you are in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. ~ Dr. Seuss

It could be the big screen TV you purchased to view the Super Bowl game on a couple of weeks ago, that cuddly pup you brought home from the rescue shelter or your sassy new hairstyle.  Perhaps you’ve discovered a fondness for the flavor of loose-leaf brewed tea, you’re a new parent (or great auntie) who recently welcomed a tiny human into the world, or you’re fortunate enough to be sharing your life with the one who keeps you awake at night (snoring or otherwise).  Or maybe you’re in love with the idea of pinky promises coming true as you wait for Someday to unfurl its second chances and new life.  Whichever category you find yourself in, something — or someone (even if it’s purely you!) — is no doubt the recipient of your affection.  So no matter how you fill your day, I hope it brings a smile to your face.  And if it bridges the distance between your fantasies and your reality, then all the better.

Are you doing anything special today to celebrate your love?