Someday Isle

September 27, 2010

Have you ever been to Someday Isle? Maybe you find yourself taking up residence now and then—I know I do. Someday Isle is a wonderful place—there is always enough time and enough money to do just what you want to do. On Someday Isle my desires are just as important as everyone else’s. I can follow a dream and not worry about what that will mean for anyone else. (I don’t have to do laundry on Someday Isle, either.)

I visit Someday Isle every time I say, “Someday, I’ll…”

“Someday, I’ll” can keep you going when things are tough, give you hope for the future. There can be many excellent reasons why you’ll do whatever-it-is “someday.” There really are times when personal responsibilities and lack of time or money will keep you from your dreams. But not always. The trick is knowing when “someday, I’ll…” is a cop-out and when it’s legit. Usually, what’s stopping me is an issue with time or money, but occasionally it’s fear or guilt.

That’s right: sometimes actually getting what you want brings up some negative emotions. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Greece for two weeks. I have always wanted to visit Greece, my husband said to go for it, and we had the money to afford the group fare. I had a traveling companion, my mother-in-law, who had brought the trip to my attention in the first place. I hesitated—I hadn’t traveled overseas in years, I didn’t know anyone else in the group besides my mother-in-law, I would have to renew my passport, and figure out what to pack and make plans for keeping things running on the home front while I was gone. I felt guilty about spending that much money just on myself. Life had given me a beautiful gift, and I was afraid to take it. Thankfully, I didn’t let any of my apprehensions get the better of me. I went and I had the time of my life. I think about that trip often and the good feelings remain with me to this day.

Of course, that doesn’t’ mean the words “someday, I’ll” don’t still frequently come out of my mouth. I have a file folder labeled “Someday” filled with clippings of things I want to do or experience…“someday.” There are also plenty of things I want to do with my horse “someday” and there’s that book I want to write “someday….” Well, you get the picture.

What are some of your “someday, I’ll”s? Do you really have to wait for someday? If so, what can you do right now to bring someday closer?

Someday Isle?


I Read It on a Tea Bag

September 23, 2010

I have a friend who receives messages from the universe from fortune cookie fortunes. (Don’t laugh—some of those sayings are pretty profound.) I myself recently received a message from the tag on a tea bag: "When God made time, He made enough of it."

Sometimes messages that resonate or inspire come from unusual places—and that’s OK. “If you need the messenger to help lend credibility, that’s fine, just don’t be too quick to judge before you listen to the words,” writes Yaro Starak in “2009 in Review: Did You Focus On What You Really Wanted?” He continues, “Far too many people miss out on potentially life-changing insights because they refuse to take on ideas simply because of where the information is coming from. If something challenges your way of thinking, don’t reject it on principle, keep your eyes and mind open, listen to the words, see how what is being said can fit into your world view, and grow from there. You don’t have to like or even trust the messenger to benefit from the message.”

I read (more than) my share of self-help books, and I’ve learned a lot from them. But sometimes, a line or two from an unexpected source sticks in my head, like:

“I might as well be myself. Everyone else is taken,” director Oliver Stone.

“Sometimes you have to let go so new things can come in,” blogger and author Laurie Perry (http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/), Aug. 1, 2007 post.

And last but not least, “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one,” Dr. Seuss.

What are your unusual sources of inspiration? Take inspiration whenever and wherever it comes from—and pass it on!


I Have a Sunroof!

September 21, 2010

It was time. A moment of silence, please.

After 17 years, we’ve traded our car for a new model. Who knew you don’t have to crank the engine to get it started anymore?

We have a just-turned 16-year-old in the house, and few things are scarier to a parent than turning a young driver loose for the first few times. We tried to keep the old car long enough to pass on to our son, but it had become, shall we say, quirky. Lots of little things were amiss, not worth fixing on a car that old. The final straw came when the oil light flashed on repeatedly and the mechanics were unable to fix it or really say why it was coming on. I didn’t want my young, inexperienced driver out on the road breaking down. Plus, the car had virtually no safety features, and frankly, it worried me. I’d cocoon my son in bubble wrap when he’s behind the wheel if I could.

Despite the expense of insuring a teenage boy on a new car (can you say, “astronomical”?), we decided it would be best to buy now, while we could get a decent deal and before I had a waiting room chair named after me at the auto shop.


The new car is sooooo much nicer than the old one…smoother, quieter, more features. I’m inventing errands just to have the chance to drive it.

If you want me, I’ll be on the road.

P.S. Does anyone name their cars? I never have, but I know a few people who do and it seems like fun.  Any suggestions of a moniker for the new wheels?

Everyday adventures

When Things Go Wrong

September 17, 2010

Last summer, my friend Kerri introduced me to a song called “What About Everything?” by Carbon Leaf, and I can’t get it out of my head. (It’s a great song to sing along with in the car.) I love the progression of thoughts the singer goes through, and how he finally comes to the conclusion, “I am not in need.”

That song ran through my head when I waited at the mechanic for my car’s AC to be fixed for the second time in three months. (Here in FL, working AC is second in importance only to football.) It ran through my head when I had to drive 20 minutes back into town because I left my purse in art class. (Don’t ask me how.)

Sure, annoyances and problems matter. My relatively minor problems make me uncomfortable, and they even hurt sometimes. (See: Helmet Required.) But I always come back to that line in the song. “I am not in need.”

As Sarah Vowell writes in The Partly Cloudy Patriot:“….my motto in any situation is ‘It Could Be Worse.’ It could be worse is how I meet every setback. Though nothing all that bad has ever happened to me, every time I’ve had my heart broken or gotten fired or watched an audience member at one of my readings have a seizure as I stand at the podium trying not to cry, I remind myself that it could be worse. In my self-help universe, when things go wrong I whisper mantras to myself, mantras like ‘Andersonville’ or ‘Texas School Book Depository.’ ‘Andersonville’ is a code word for ‘You could be one of the prisoners of war dying of disease and malnutrition in the worst Confederate prison, so just calm down about the movie you wanted to go to being sold out.’ ‘Texas School Book Depository’ means that having the delivery guy forget the guacamole isn’t nearly as bad as being assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald as the blood from your head stains your wife’s pink suit.”

Thank you for your concern and good wishes following my fall off Tank—I really, really appreciate them, and I’m healing up nicely. I’m so grateful it wasn’t worse, and that I had the resources to get treatment for the injury. (I had a massage today...it was almost worth falling off the horse…) Despite this little hiccup in my smoothly-running life, things are about back to normal.

I am not in need.


Helmet Required

September 13, 2010

Last week was…unusual. I finished some writing for SheKnows early in the week, and then took my first riding lesson in a couple of months. It went pretty well, except that near the end, my horse decided there were horse-eating monsters in the woods that border our jump field. He did a nifty spin move and tossed me into the air. It wouldn’t have been too bad if it hadn’t been for that tree stump…

Nothing broken or torn, just a bruised shoulder and some whiplash. I’m pretty much recovered now.

As I lay in bed the night after the fall from the horse, evaluating what hurt and what didn’t, the thought occurred to me that falls are pretty much inevitable. (As one T-shirt I’ve seen proclaims, “The hardest thing about horseback riding is the ground.”) I don’t think much about falling off, I always wear my riding helmet, and I’m a careful rider. My horse is gentle, obedient and generally quite mellow, though like most horses, he will occasionally spook. You can minimize risk, but if you ride regularly, it’s pretty much not a matter of if you will come off the horse, but a matter of when.

That’s true of life, too, isn’t it? There’s risk in everything—driving to the grocery store, riding bikes with the kids, even eating bagged salad! If you thought too long and hard about what might happen, you wouldn’t be able to leave your home.

Falls in life are inevitable, just like they are in horseback riding. All you can do is minimize risk. Buckle your seat belt, wear your helmet, thoroughly wash the greens...live your life.

(But I especially recommend wearing your helmet.)


From One Sentient Being to Another

September 03, 2010

“If you live your life as though there is a fixed amount of happiness in the world, it’s easy to fall into an embittered, resentful state of competition with others. But happiness isn’t a limited commodity that has to be rationed or hoarded…. There’s no chance that someone will get the last of it. Happiness, like love, increases when it is shared. When you feel truly happy for others, your own happiness increases, along with, as Patanjali reminds us, your peace of mind. What’s more, when you share happiness or love with all sentient beings, by the very nature of your own sentience, you are included!” (Frank Jude Boccio, “I’m So Happy for You,” June 2010 Yoga Journal)

Wishing you all a happy, relaxing Labor Day weekend!