Category Archives: Motivation

Connected

Image courtesy of clipartpanda.com

Countless inspirations,

From a myriad of souls-

With the strength of an army,

All reaching for goals.

We are flowers finding sunshine,

And blossoming with room-

All sharing the same garden,

Helping one another bloom.

Like a game of Red Rover,

We link hands in kind-

So send the next one right over,

To this family they will find. Continue reading Connected

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The Happiness Jar

Find 365 days of happiness.

The idea was simple enough, and it seemed like it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to follow through with.

The challenge was, to find one thing, every day for a year, that made me happy, then write it on a piece of paper, and put it in the jar.

Piece of cake, right?

Challenge accepted.

But what is happiness, really?

Could it truly be that simple?

Is there a difference between being happy, and experiencing happiness?

When I started this challenge at the beginning of this year, things were going well, and I had no trouble finding a happy thing in my life to contribute to the jar each day.

But what became very evident soon after, was that happiness does not necessarily come in days… it comes in moments.

Moments that can get lost in a sea of negativity if you don’t snatch them up.

It’s easy to lose perspective when things go awry.

It’s easy to string a series of unfortunate events into a general sense of disappointment.

But even when you’ve had a bad day, if you take a step back, and look at the entire day, it breaks down into many thousands of individual moments. And somewhere, in there, despite the overwhelming initial negative take away, there is bound to be at least one moment of happiness to salvage. Continue reading The Happiness Jar

The Legendary Saga of Brokebutt Mountain

It had started out innocently enough.

“Let’s go tubing,” they said, “it’ll be fun,” they said…

Liars.

That mountain became my nemesis.

That mountain humbled me.

That mountain gave me a reality check.

I went in there with a head full of fun and frolic, and I left with a limp, a whimper, and a cracked tailbone.

The night had begun uneventfully enough, with a fierce quest for adventure and winter time thrills.

I had never once considered the dangers. Especially since I had gone tubing before, and enjoyed it quite a bit.

I had also dipped my toe in many another endeavor without pause. I had skydived, and zip-lined, and navigated the roaring whitewater rapids in a raft…

I had jumped in headfirst into so many an adventure, that a night out tubing at the pass seemed harmless.

Not so.

We had arrived to find a bit of a snow/rain mix, and everyone was scrambling for the tubes, and rushing to catapult themselves down the icy hill into oblivion. So I grabbed the first one I could get my hands on, and quickly got in line.

The first time down, I definitely felt the rush. It was pretty slick due to the dense snow pack, and the light rain had added an invisible layer of slippery ice. But the tube I had chosen was a bit over inflated, and since I couldn’t nestle securely down into in it, I felt a bit vulnerable. And as I was going down the hill, I felt as though the tiniest bump might bounce me out of my vessel.

I furiously clung to the handles for dear life, and white knuckled it all the way to the bottom. Like a bolt of white lightning, I had rocketed to the base of the run.

And my very first thought after reaching the bottom of the hill, was that I needed to trade in my tube for a better one. 

A safer one.

But what I did not know then, was, that decision would drastically change the next ten months of my life… Continue reading The Legendary Saga of Brokebutt Mountain

A Tale of Two Races


Originally it started with “I won’t…”.

Because I thought, “I won’t fail if I don’t try.”

“I won’t be dissapointed if I don’t expect anything.”

And since I did not aspire to prove myself correct, I told myself I could not. And that is how it became, “I can’t…”.

And I was stuck in “I can’t…”.

Until, Type 2 Diabetes came into my life, and gave me, my “I should…”.

And there I was, in conflict with myself.

The “I should..” brought yearning and expectations of action.

The “I should…” made me uneasy.

The “I should…” brought with it a nagging need to do the impossible.

So I cautiously began to entertain the idea.

And when I started out on this journey, it was with the sole intention of transforming my body.

But, I did not, however, expect to be led down a parallel path, that would teach me the importance of also transforming my mind.

And eventually, I was to be brought to a place, where I would discover, that in doing both simultaneously, I had completely transformed my life.

These two races were the markers of that evolution.

These two races were the beginning and the end of that internal transformation.

But here, at the beginning of this tale, it all began with the “I should…”. Continue reading A Tale of Two Races

May the Forest Be With You

The forest is my happy place.

A place of pensive reflection and whimsical exploration for the inner musings of my soul.

To connect with nature and to find my place within the universal fold.

A touchstone to the energy that radiates from deep within the earth and courses up through the core of my very being.

Especially in times of chaos and uncertainty, it has the power to move me with primal and ancient rhythms, and awaken me with a sense of enchantment and whimsy.

And on this particular day, I stopped to chat with a squirrel.

Because sometimes, a hot cup of coffee and a delightful conversation with a new (furry) friend is all you need to start the day off on the right foot.

But earlier, when I had walked by, I had been pelted by an acorn from above, and I had taken it to mean that on my way past that first time, I should have acknowledged his presence and given a nod to his territorial supremacy.

So this time, I stopped, and gave him his due.

First I offered a formal greeting recognizing his station as a Mad Hatter of sorts, and then, a stern chastising in reference to his tantrum.

But he was unreceptive of my input regarding his rudeness, and his manners as a result, had most assuredly not improved. This was more apparent as he proceeded to read me the riot act.

Apparently, he was not at all impressed with my conversational skills either, because he cocked his head vigorously several times whilst chirping and barking at me and giving me the what for.

I had attempted to apologize with a peanut, which he suspiciously snatched from my grasp and spun under his nose to inspect. But it was still an uncertainty whether or not my reparations were to be wholeheartedly entertained or unceremoniously rebuffed.

He began chirping more loudly.

Now, granted, my “squirr-lish” is a bit rusty (and not at all the strongest of my known woodland languages)… 

But, none the less, I was still fairly certain that I had just received a rather dubious proposition to join a shady backwoods tea party of suspect origins that would require me to bring my own nuts.

Hmmmm… Continue reading May the Forest Be With You

The Care and Feeding of My Fitbit


There is a monkey on my wrist.

And its called a Fitbit.

I have owned a Fitbit for a little over a year now, and sometimes, I wonder, if I actually own it, or if it really owns me.

Its kind of a symbiotic relationship.

Yes, I said relationship.

Because it has ceased to be a “thing” in my life, and become my technology created companion, a virtual cheerleader, and a finger wagging busybody. 

It is an all around ever aware conscience that follows me EVERYWHERE, and… I feel grateful.

What???

Yes, grateful.

It holds me accountable, and nudges me to push a little bit harder. It gives me a competitive edge, and for that, I am grateful.

But, as a byproduct, it has irrevocably changed my life, and the way I live it.

Gone are the couch potato days of yore, when I could sit quite happily for hours.

Gone is my urge to sit in a waiting room, or park close to the mall entrance.

Adios to seeing the world from a stationary vantage point, and hello to “let’s walk, I need my steps anyway”.

Back in the day, when I was 25, I was going out to clubs in my mini skirt, happily drinking wine coolers, and anticipating the impending alcohol induced “buzz” that was to follow.

And now? Continue reading The Care and Feeding of My Fitbit

The Zoomies


I couldn’t sit still.

I was restless, and aflutter.

As a formerly docile creature, I had found myself amidst a revolution of epic proportions.

I had somehow lost my sense of foreboding, and somewhere along the line, a fearless lion-hearted woman had slipped into my skin.

I was feeling sassy, and brave, and completely out of my depth.

Something had awakened within. Something that had “danger” as its middle name…

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to living on the edge.

I mean, I’ve jay walked…

I’ve torn tags off of mattresses that clearly read “DO NOT REMOVE”.

I’ve been a risk taker.

I’ve worn Crocs when NO ONE thought it was a good idea.

I’ve done some pretty crazy things in my day.

There were even times when I would return videotapes to Blockbuster without even rewinding them….on purpose.

Oh yeah. I was a rebel. A wildcard. A renegade.

Throwing caution to the wind back in the day resulted in me wearing white after Labor Day, on several occasions, and not caring who saw me.

I have tasted the thrill of being an outlaw running afoul of the fashion police.

Common sense, and sensible shoes be damned!

Sometimes, when the door would say ‘pull’ …I would push…and I would push hard.

I didn’t care. I was oblivious to the consequences. I can’t tell you how many times I blatantly ignored the easy way, and did things the hard way- for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

But now?

Now I had upped the ante, and literally flung myself off the deep end into some pretty wild adventures.

I had taken it to the next level.

It was officially official…I had a bad case of the zoomies. Continue reading The Zoomies

The Curious Migration of the North American Gym Rat

image from @GymRatMemes
The gym.

I had driven past it every day on my way home.

I wasn’t ready yet, but I was going to go in there…someday….

Well, at least that’s what I told myself.

Up until this point, the farthest I’d gotten was the parking lot.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I did make it to the front desk exactly one time, but I didn’t really count that as “going in”, since it was the very first time, and afterwards I had never darkened its doorstep again.

What were they all doing in there?

I had ridiculous visions of them all gathered around the weight benches, fist bumping each other, grunting, and pumping iron.

I was not an athletic person by any means, and I certainly could not imagine that I would ever be a person that would drive to this place happily, on purpose, and walk into those doors to be subjected to what ever exhaustive regimen or exercise in futility that awaited me.

But every once in a while, I would get sassy, wrestle myself into my workout clothes, and drive there, with inspired intentions, and there I would sit, in the parking lot, watching everyone going in and out.

What did they know that I did not?

Why did all of those people look so determined to be there?

And why was it was all I could do to drag myself to the parking lot and then try trick to myself into going inside?

I felt like there were some big secret that everyone knew about the gym, that if I drove there enough times, I would figure out. Like I would have some sort of moment of clarity, or an true epiphany…or a maybe a paranormal psychic vision.

And if not, sooner or later, I thought, I was going to get out of the car and march right in there and find out.

But today was not that day.

Today, I still had too many excuses to offer myself, only one of which was the fact that my Caramel Macchiato was still hot. I had paid five dollars for that tasty distraction, so I wasn’t just going to leave it in the car to get cold while I went into the gym…

Hell no, that was just crazy talk.

But I admit, I was curious.

Continue reading The Curious Migration of the North American Gym Rat

Plump and Circumstance

One size does not fit all.

Whomever decided that particular description was an accurate size determination, was clearly never a size that was more ample than the norm.

Over the years, I had grown wary of the one- size-fits-all label, because when you don’t even fit into a one-size-fits-all, you begin to question whether or not there is some alternate subspecies outside of “all” that you fall into.

Like one size fits everyone… but me.

I had worked really hard towards earning my Design degree during the three years that I spent going back to college after my divorce. I had thrown myself into my college education with 100% of my effort. And now I was graduating with honors and distinction, and finally getting my much sought after, formerly elusive, college degree.

Initially, I had gone to college right out of high school up in northern Arizona with the idea of becoming a nurse. But after being out on my own and deciding that nursing school was not for me, I had spent the rest of that first year aimless and floundering, with no direction or course of study. I had partied a little bit too much, and pushed the limits of my self-discipline (or lack there of) to the point to where, after only a year, I had given up, dropped out, and moved back home to “find myself”.

But all I found, it seems, was a part-time job at Jack-in-the-Box, and a whole lot of yearning for something more.

I eventually ran away to the beach in California to follow my bliss, and left my college aspirations in the dust.

Life happened, and after a while, I just forgot about my foray into higher education, and accepted my current circumstances as “a choice that I had made”.

After that, I got married, had two children, and worked as a nanny, a barista, and as a video store employee for minimum wage.

I made due.

It wasn’t until I got divorced, and became a single parent, that I realized that I really needed a college degree in order to give myself the best chance possible to provide for my two little boys. My job at Starbucks was not enough to build the life for us that I had wanted.

So I packed up my pride, transferred my job, and moved back to my childhood home in Arizona. Into my old bedroom, where my Scott Baio posters still hung on the closet door, in the hopes that my parents would help me to get back on my feet, and also, so that I could return to school to finish what I started so many years before.

During those three years back in Arizona after my divorce, my weight went up to my highest on record of 293 pounds.

Those were three very stressful and difficult years while simultaneously juggling single parenthood, work, and school… but I did it.

I worked really hard, and surpassed all of the expectations that I had for myself academically. 

But still, here I was, on the verge of graduation, staring at a box that held my cap and gown, and my Phi Theta Kappa sashes, and feeling nothing but dread when I noticed the tag on the commencement gown…

One-size-fits-all…

My heart sank.

I hadn’t tried it on yet, but it made me nervous, and here we were, on the very day of graduation.

I started to feel uneasy.

I pulled out and looked at it. It looked big enough, so I began to put it on…

But alas, it did not fit. Continue reading Plump and Circumstance