Epiphanies Sold Separately

January 29, 2018

Photo by Tj Holowaychuk on Unsplash

Recently I read a blog post that I really liked. I liked it so much, that I immediately wanted to use the same format to write one of my own. It started with an epiphany, and went on give an example from the author’s life of how she grew to understand the epiphany.

As I sat in my office rocking chair, pen and paper in hand, I wondered, “Why can’t I think of any epiphanies and great stories like this to share with my readers?” I mulled it over for a while, and there it was…an epiphany about epiphanies (how many times can I write “epiphany” in one post?!):

You can’t force epiphanies.

They come when they come. So much as I would love to have new and brilliant epiphanies to share with you every week, I just…don’t.

Perhaps this is an indicator to me that I need some well-filling—an artist’s date, a mini-break. Noodling time has been scarce for me lately, and I’m feeling the effects. And after all, it is winter. Winter is a time for introspection, staying warm, allowing some dormancy so that spring can bring new growth. A time for gathering thoughts and seeking inspiration.

When searching for life lessons (you thought I was going to write epiphanies, didn’t you?), all you can do is open your mind and heart to what’s around you. Have a humble and teachable attitude. Try not to be oblivious. And even if you do all these things, you may still come out with nothing.

Epiphanies sold separately.

That’s OK—they’re still there, and you’ll—we’ll—find them in due time. At least, that’s what I believe.

Have you had any epiphanies lately?

Everyday adventures

Making Room for the New

October 27, 2014

One of my goals for this year was to deep clean and organize every room in my house. I’m not sure I’m going to finish the whole house this year, but as I’ve purged and cleaned, painted and organized, donated and sold, I’ve made visible progress through my home. I’m doing this not just because I want my home to be in order, but also because I’m ready to live in a simpler, less cluttered and fussy way. And after nearly 18 years in this house, it’s time for some updating.

Even though in general I love my life and its routines, I feel ready for some freshening up. In a couple of weeks I will have been writing this blog for five years. In that time, I’ve seen my freelance work slow to a trickle, then dry up completely. I’ve battled writer’s block and depression, experimented with writing and submitting essays, applied for a job at the library as well as numerous writing jobs. I’ve come up with several ideas for writing and editing businesses, but I haven’t found anything that sticks yet.

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Perhaps I need to have less before I can have more. I’d like to think all this decluttering serves a purpose larger than just having my home look neater. I choose to think that getting rid of what no longer serves me makes room for the new. And I’m not talking about new things. Perhaps, less burdened by too much and too many (things and thoughts), the inside of my head will be a bit neater as well. For now, I’m focused on getting rid of.

I’m not sure what that something new I’m making room for looks like. I have to have faith that if I do make room, if I do simplify and purge and organize, then I’ll be ready when my opportunities come, when everyday adventure knocks on my door.

What would you like to get rid of? Add? How do you make room for the new?


Unscrew the Cap

February 04, 2011

“Before we are able to receive a gift, from a friend or from nature, we have to be open to it; a bottle with its cap screwed on tightly cannot be filled with water no matter how much water we try to pour into it or how often we try—the water simply runs down its sides, never filling it. It is only when we feel worthy of happiness that we open ourselves up to life’s ultimate treasure.” Even Happier, by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D

Everyday adventures

What's the Word?

January 06, 2010

I’ve recently been reading a lot about the “word of the year” concept, and decided I’d like to try it. As I understand it, you pick a word that will function as a sort of guide for the year—an inspiration in all areas of your life. I read about Laure’s word, cultivate, and Merideth’s, focus. I visited Christine Kane’s blog and read some of the posts about words people chose for 2009 and how they were affected by them. Then I assembled a little group of words to choose from:


Which one did I choose? None of them. The word I chose dropped into my mind this morning as I was sectioning my grapefruit: Open. As the knife sliced into the tender fruit, I thought about something my husband would like me to help him with, and I realized that I had been resisting doing what he asked mainly because I didn’t want to take the time away from freelancing. And I’m freelancing why? Not because I’m passionately in love with it, but to earn some money to contribute to the family budget as well as support my expensive horse hobby (if you put the word “equine” in front of any object, add $50 to the price). I had a certain image of myself and what I do. I was closed to the possibility of trying something that didn’t fit my image of myself as a freelance writer and editor, even though to earn even a paltry amount of money I must spend many hours working on aspects of freelancing I don’t enjoy.

I let my mind wander to other areas of my life, like my health (would changing my exercise routine or tweaking my diet result in the weight loss I want?) and my leisure time (what if I quit watching TV at night and read instead?). I realized that I have certain set ways of doing things that I rarely deviate from, regardless of whether or not those ways are working for me.

I hope taking “open” as my word of the year will help me do less all-or-nothing thinking. I hope “open” will, well, open some doors that have been firmly closed, as I explore the nuances of the word. In 2010, I want to be open to suggestion, open to change—not just big, life-changing change, but little changes of routines, ways of thinking, etc. I don't want to focus just on change (or that would be my word of the year), but to being more open to how truly wonderful my life is. To be open to the world and what it offers, to new ideas and to what’s around me every day. To embrace life! My life has sometimes been like those firmly closed doors—nothing allowed in that wasn’t my idea of how things should be. Time to open those doors.