Archive | March, 2016

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half-Light

30 Mar

 

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“At the end of the day, you can focus on what’s tearing you apart, or what’s holding you together.” — Unknown

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of Daily Post.

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Josh and Paul Helped Me Find My Switch

28 Mar

Sometimes it just doesn’t happen for me naturally. I’m used to the energy just flowing out of me, but sometimes I can’t find it. The colors get muted. The lights go out. It doesn’t happen and it’s hard.

I suffer from emotional hangovers, just like everyone else,and when that happens I’ve got to work at it. I feel so much I get lost in emotion and trying to find the funny seems impossible when I can’t find my laugh. Sometimes it even causes writing sabbaticals, but I’ve found that Josh and Paul helped me get back on track.

When I can’t find the laughter I look for it outside. Josh Gad and Paul Rudd helped me break through the clouds.

 

 

After piercing through, I remembered … I don’t live there … I have these dark moments, but I don’t live there. Laughter broke the spell and I found pieces of me trickling back into place.

I flipped the switch and found the trust. I trusted that I was better than the moment I was stuck in, and I was able to turn it around.

The day didn’t end up being a ten, but it was better and I was looking for better.

Buen Camino, my friends. Hoping your day gets better, and hoping that laughter helps make it happen.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

23 Mar

 

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Dancing with everything she’s got.

Love it when people dance like nobody’s watching even when everybody totally is …

 

 

Negatives and Positives and Girl Scout Flashbacks

18 Mar

Good things don’t usually come out of bad experiences. I mean they may come afterward but I usually have to work at it in order for something to happen.

It just doesn’t come out on its own, I have to find the lesson.

I have to search for the funny in it. My lens changes and I’m on the lookout and eventually … it happens. I find strength, awareness, thicker skin, appreciation for myself, acceptance that failure happens and I get back up. I find something immeasurable that contributes to me as a person.

But this time … this time I found opportunity.

Like most writers certain places, people, or experiences spark inspiration and the story just comes out. You weave fact and fiction into your storytelling and at the end you’ve created something out of a negative experience. Could be a great story, could just be writing therapy, or it could be both.

I found that one of my previous writing sessions fueled by familial dysfunction turned into therapy, which turned into laughter, which turned into a short play, which turned into a writer’s opportunity.

This week I was notified that my short play had been accepted into a 10-Minute Play Festival at one of theaters downtown.

I had a total high-five moment when I read the email … for once … it wasn’t a it’s-not-you-it’s-me rejection letter. It started off with … Congratulations. So after having a quiet celebratory moment I woo-hooed myself. I was able to bring about something positive, from such an emotionally draining experience.

I celebrated the news and kept this happy moment to myself for a while before telling a few friends and while I was quietly smiling at this moment I had flashback.

I was in the fourth grade, I was a girl scout, and I had gone camping to the big girl scout wilderness camping pow-wow convention. On the last day of workshops and badge earning festivities each troop needed to have a talent to present on stage. Some groups sang, others danced. Apparently my troop decided to act.

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Does anybody have any ideas for our play? Who wants to help write it?

And there it was … the spark.

While others wanted to be on stage, in front of the crowd, I wanted to be behind the scenes. So I scribbled down notes, dialogue, and action. We practiced a little bit and then they hit the stage.

I stood next to my troop leader, Maria, hugging her in excitement and angst, squirming just thinking about how my words were gonna be out there. She smiled and hugged me back as we watched it unfold.

“It’s gonna all right,” she said.

It was the first time I saw my words live and in action. And it was all right. People laughed at the funny parts. People smiled. And some people didn’t, and that was all right too, because I was still smiling. I had done it.

And now years later I was gonna get to do it again. That has brought back the fourth-grade-girl-scout-giddy feeling and for that I am grateful. Something positive did come out of something negative.

It’s totally possible.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challege: Harmony

9 Mar

 

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Finishing my morning run, thinking about More Cowbell! in my life, thinking about dreams and saying It’s Possible, appreciating the crispness of the air and brightness of the sunshine, I lay down on the grass and see the harmony of a California winter coming to an end.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of the Daily Post

Everybody Deserves A Highlight Reel

7 Mar

Sometimes they’re so hard to find, especially when it’s something so important and so meaningful. You want to find the right ones.

Words.

Today Peyton Manning had the right ones and sometimes that’s all it takes … the right words. Sometimes you don’t even have to do anything to prove your point. Sometimes the words have so much substance that they hit your gut and people listening to you feel what you feel.

Genuine. Heartfelt. Love. Happiness.

As a writer these are the emotions that I hope people feel when they read my stuff. But as I heard Peyton talking, he was speaking to millions of people but I think what he really wanted to do was to connect with the players, coaches, family, friends and fans that supported him.  He wanted to express gratitude for the opportunity given to him, to the places that said, yeah I’ll take a chance on you, and to the people who said, yeah  I believe in you.

And they wanted to pay tribute to him and his extraordinary career. I saw one of my favorite football players of all time retire today. Peyton Manning stood at the podium and delivered one of the best speeches I’ve heard.

 

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Courtesy of Amber Matsumoto

“There’s a saying that goes, treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be and he will become what he should be.”  –Peyton Manning

“When someone thoroughly exhausts an experience they can’t help but revere it. I revere football. I love the game. So you don’t have to wonder if I’ll miss it. Absolutely. Absolutely I will.” — Peyton Manning

“There’s a scripture reading, 2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight and I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.

Well, I’ve fought the good fight. I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time. God bless you all and God bless football.” — Peyton Manning

After hearing his speech I picked up on a few good nuggets that struck a chord, but the thing that really stood out was that he said he’d missed the little things the most. The huddles. The handshakes. The steak dinners. The plane ride home with his teammates celebrating. Figuring out blitzes. Putting in a play. Talking football with broadcast crews. Handshakes on the filed after the game. So many little things that added up to this amazing highlight reel of football life.

And then that’s when it hit me… Everybody should have a highlight reel. Everybody deserves to know that all the parts of their life, big and small, mattered not just to them but to the people who love them.

I realized my son and daughter don’t have highlight reels. We’ve got plenty of pictures that capture the most awesomely amazing moments, but no highlight reels yet.

So as Peyton retires he inspires. I start a new chapter in parenthood and I’m on a mission to  share their yearly Guat Adventures through highlight reel films. I’m not a computer genius, so this may take a while and you’re gonna have to wish me luck. But the words … the words I’ve got covered.

Hope you guys have your own highlight reels.

 

 

 

 

I Wish I Had Lost My Keys Instead …

4 Mar

It seemed like such a big deal at the time. Anxiety building and blood pressure probably rising, getting mad at a pair of shoes because they happened to be in my line of vision.

I was in a rush. I was frustrated, and irritated, and damning everything, and slamming everything in an effort just to find them.

I was in rush to go somewhere, probably being a taxi service to my kids for some event and the loss of my keys was stressing me out, transforming me into The Hulk. For nine minutes I frantically searched and finally found them underneath the couch cushions of course.

Relief set in just as the anxiety escaped.

It felt like a big deal at the time  — being late– as if it said something bad about me, as if it was a pattern in my life, as if the people we were meeting  or the place I needed to be at wouldn’t have cut me some slack. But the thing is now as I’m thinking about it I can’t even remember what is was for, I can’t remember the importance of it at all.

But it felt big.

Until last week, when I actually lost a friendship, not to sickness or anything tragic like that. Just lost them to the hustle of life.They had caught  me on the blindside and I wasn’t prepared. How could I be? I know I had briefly mentioned it the other day but didn’t go into heavy detail.

I had called to catch up and I was genuinely interested in hanging out, but the reconnect wasn’t there. Felt like I was on an awkward first date on a failed Love Connection. The distance was present which made me a little sad because I valued our closeness, I valued our friendship and loyalty but it just wasn’t there anymore. We had fallen into acquaintanceship. We said our good-byes, gave each other our hugs, mine was whole the other felt like half, and then they said …

“I’ll call you later.”

At that moment I so wished I had lost my keys instead.

They had good intentions, but I knew they didn’t mean it, it was just something they said.

I know people grow out of friendships and that people come in and out of our lives for a reason. I know,  I just wished there was more sometimes and that people cared as much as I did.  But sometimes life happens and priorities shift and we’re all just trying to find our balance. Not to say that I don’t have friends that I haven’t seen for a while and when we get together the reconnect is instantaneous. I do and I love them, but losing a buddy to acquaintanceship is still hard. I wasn’t devasted but still just a little sad. Burned. Luckily Ben & Jerry’s can always help fix that.