Breaking up is hard to do

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What’s true for me today is …

I’m breaking up with my gym expectations, and it has nothing to do with fitness.

The gym is a weird place–people are either too concerned with avoiding eye contact or are concerned with making TOO much eye contact. Whatever happened to normal chit-chat, like elevator conversation but on the gym floor. I know that’s one of the main reasons I go to the gym after work–to relax, de-stress, be around people–and from the nervous way other people linger around the gym equipment it seemed true for them too.

Not so much.

Is the average person simple unable to have a pleasant conversation anymore? I’m starting to think so. And until proven otherwise, I think I’m going kick all other gym expectations and good intentions to the curb. I’m tired of smiling at gym goers while sweating to butchered Michael Jackson remixes. My face hurts 😦 (Not really, I’m just saying.)

What happened to pleasantries, to talking to strangers?

Coffee and the chessboard metaphor

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What’s true for me today is …

Right now, you can find me somewhere I am not supposed to be … the too-cool hippie deluxe coffee shop near my apartment building. I have not been here in years, but needed a destination with an outlet for my laptop, which cuts down the choices. So, here I am, remembering all too well why I never come here:

1. The wall art. Not sure my brain can handle the mural-sized painting of dragons at the pyramids.

2. The music. Why does it have to be sooooooooooooo loud?

3. The coffee. It has the right color, at least 🙂

But, before I lend the impression it’s all bad …

What’s ALSO true for me today is … I am enamored (in a platonic way). This coffee shop is a safe harbor for the local, unofficial, chess club. I am watching three games playing out side by side. But, that’s not what’s interesting.

A crowd is watching and I’m watching the kid player, the only one. In specific, I’m watching how he’s asserting himself into the chess-playing fray with such easy. Earlier, he cajoled an onlooker into a game by promising to show him the moves. Now he’s standing guard over a match, waiting to play the winner. I have no idea whether he’s a “good” player. I just think he has a cool attitude (and a lot more confidence than I ever had at twelve or thirteen).

 

Biscotti on the brain part two

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What’s true for me today is …

Super happy my biscotti worked – that is, super happy they made up in flavor what they may have lacked in visual refinement. Ha!

In truth, having never made them before, I was worried. I brought a plate to work today and left them in the kitchen for my co-workers. I included a sign announcing that they were homemade and eagerly waited for the reviews. Positive! There’s something really satisfying about surprising people with a talent they (and me, in this case) didn’t know you had.

It’s a simple thing, really-making food to share with others. But, I think it was the best thing I did today (at least, so far; the night is young).

What’s the best thing you did today?

Biscotti on the brain

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What’s true for me today is …

Very happy it’s Wednesday, the downward slide towards the weekend and relaxation.

Plus, Wednesday night has become Shop-for-the-Week’s-Treat night. So, after I finish posting, I’m headed to the grocery store to buy  ingredients for tomorrow night’s baking adventure–lemon pistachio biscotti. I’ve never made biscotti, but I have eaten my fair share, so I hope that lends me some credibility in the kitchen. Fingers crossed. I’ll let you know how they turn out. How great would scratch-n-sniff Internet be right now: inhale, tangy lemon zest; exhale …

What does the aroma of fresh lemon remind you of?

Your biggest fear, your greatest message

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What’s true for me today is …

My biggest fear is my greatest message.

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it’s something the speaker said in a teleconference I hosted earlier today. She was talking about fear in the context of business — in specific, how some people are afraid to start new health consulting businesses because they think/feel they need to be perfect people with perfect habits, that their clients will expect it, and so they do nothing.

Turns out, it’s not true. People like talking to people they relate to, and the more you share your story, your experience, the easier you are to relate to. That’s how your biggest fear can be your greatest message;  the more you are willing to share your fear with others, the more opportunity you have to form meaningful conversations, relationships, and connections with other.

Don’t know about you, but I like it – makes fear seem useful.

So the question is, what is your biggest fear and how will share it with others?

Personally, not sure. The first thing that comes to mind is writing – do I write enough to be successful (whatever “successful” means; a whole other conversation)? Hmmm … Looking forward to sharing more on this.

 

One-week check in

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What’s true for me today is …

It’s been about a week since I started this blog and I am happy–and a bit surprised–to see that I have managed to post something new almost every day.

Several people have been encouraging me to work on a project like this for the past few years, but I put it off, made an excuse, couldn’t make up my mind what to write about. Silly really. I was just a bit squeamish about putting my ideas “out there” in such a permanent way. And while I can’t say I am over that entirely, so far so good. I’ve thought of something to say every day and, perhaps more importantly, I posted it.

It’s a bit inscruitable what we decide to focus on, or worry about, in the time we can just be having fun with what it is we are doing. Mysterious, really.

What’s true for me today is, I am very happy to be here, in this moment, writing and sharing this blog with you, and I invite you (always) to leave a comment and post what’s true for you today.

A few of my favorite things

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What’s true for me today is …

I need a pick-me-up this morning (and some more coffee), so I’m starting a list of my favorite things–sure to put a smile on my face. As of right now, my list of favorite things includes:

  • Water
  • Ginger
  • Salty crackers
  • Arm-wrapping hugs
  • Pistachio ice cream
  • The sun on the back of my neck
  • Confidence
  • The Sunday New York Times (magazine and Modern Love column, especially)
  • Those last few moments of deep breathing at night before I fall asleep
  • Geranium essential oil
  • Lemon zest, Thai basil, and garlic cooked together
  • Seashells and the seashore
  • A really “meaty” book
  • Breakthrough, “ah-ha” moments
  • Writing
  • Texting Xs and Os whenever I feel like it

Smiling now …

What’s on your list of favorite things today?

Breaking the rules: a Cinderella story

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What’s true for me today is …

I’m breaking my own rules (and I like it!).

I have been known to warn my writing students against falling in love with their own words, specifically that all-too-powerful turn of phrase that seems to pop out of nowhere. Why? It’s not Mean Teacher On the Loose behavior; it’s because our words we fall in love with are often the same words the reader finds really distracting. Not fair but true.

So, now you understand why breaking my own rule is a bit unbelievable and ticklish, too.

I can’t help it. I love my new article “Text Abbreviations: An ‘IDTS’ in the Classroom” (and the “somewhat revisionist” telling of the well-loved Cinderella tale it includes). Here’s the link (it’s on page 4 of the college newsletter): http://www.achs.edu/newsletter.aspx?id=7

Once you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are text abbreviations OK to include in our writing? Personally, not loving. You?

Feel a bit weird

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What’s true for me today is …

I don’t know when I first understood the meaning of love. I want to. I’m trying. In fact, I’ve been working on an essay though I don’t know the answer (it’s for the Fourth Annual Real Simple Life Lessons Essay Contest).

In fact, I am starting to feel a bit weird about myself. Is this normal? Can most people name a specific time or situation from which they first understood the meaning of love? Should I be concerned?

Hmmm … I think I’m a bit hung up on the term “understand the meaning.” It seems more consequential than just “When did you first understand love?” or “When did you first know what love is?” Know what I mean?

I mean, as an adult I think I should know the answer to this, but every time I sit down to work on my essay, I think of an incident here, a passing memory there–nothing of real consequence.

Perhaps it is because my experience is different. Perhaps it is because the first time I understood the meaning of love was the first time I felt a real absence of love (don’t worry; I didn’t stay “there” too long).

Lots to contemplate …………..

No quota on success

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What’s true for me today is …

There is no quota on success. It’s something I think about when I work on my writing–the odds of success. What percentage of writers have what percentage of work published what percentage of time? Sounds like a formula with a lot of gravity and I was never very good at math.

Oh well. Not important today. It’s Labor Day, a day to take a break from the toil of “heavy” labors (but not from labors of love, I suppose. I’m OK with that).

What’s true for me today is … there is no other single accomplishment that can take my place; there is no limit to what I can create and achieve with my creativity. My success is mine to own and engineer and share.

Whew! That’s a big realization — some emotional “heavy lifting” on Labor Day. What can I say … it comes as it comes when I write.

When do you do your best emotional “heavy lifting”?