Tag Archives: love your life

the woods

The Darkest Days

the woodsOn the advice of a friend, I downloaded a book called The Morning Miracle. Ironically, not knowing exactly what it was, I began reading it in the mornings during my morning routine. Which is, of course, exactly what the book is about.

Regardless of the irony with which I practice my life, there was a lot to be learned in its digital pages and I’m a more rounded and grounded person because of it.

Perhaps the thing I like best about the book is the encouragement to get up early, embrace the alarm clock as if it were your best friend and begin the day as if it were going to be your very best. Perhaps the entire point of the book.

In the early rising, as we approach the shortest daylight hours of the year, I have encountered, in all her glory, the long, dark night. And she is lovely.

I fully admit that when the alarm first sounds I am dismayed and somewhat in denial. Surely Siri has made a mistake and all the electronic gadgets in the world have gone wonky and it’s not six a.m. at all, but a gently generous 3:30 a.m., begging me to stay beneath my warm covers.

Inevitably I come to the conclusion that it is truly time to arise and embrace the day.

Once my workout clothes are on, my teeth are brushed and I’ve vacated the room of retirement, that is when I become grateful.

Maybe even more than the benefits of rising early, is the opportunity to greet the day in the dark. The quiet hours of my very full home are blanketed in an uncommon deep, dark silence.

Out here at the Zombie Apocalypse Sanctuary, the fall and winter skies are almost always cushioned in clouds. Our remote location insures there is no such thing as “light pollution” and for what seems like only a breath or two each morning, I feel solitary but not alone. I can think for there’s not a word spoken and I am able to fully embrace the day before she becomes one.

It is truly delicious.

Ten Things I Know For Sure

I am in a constant state of wondering. It isn’t uncommon for Mr Dreamboat to admonish me, “You don’t need to analyze it, just give in.” Referring, of course, to whatever it is that is going on; my appetite that day, if I need a nap, my progress or lack thereof on a project. I can become downright tiresome. Even to me.

With all that I wonder and all that I ruminate on ad nauseum, there are a few things I simply know. I know in my bones and in my heart. At least I think I know them. I’ll ruminate on that and get back to you…

Until then:

IMG_09201. Love really does find a way. And it is a kind and gentle way. It persuades and nudges and stays firm in a foundation of generosity. Love’s the best.
2. We receive what we believe. If you don’t like what you get, then change your mind. No, simple doesn’t mean easy.
3. Pie, under the right circumstances is absolutely a breakfast food.
4. Staying connected to the earth in some way or another, going outside for a walk, wiggling our toes in the grass, is imperative to our balance and happiness.
5. Believing the best of circumstances and people is simply a better way to live.
6. Happiness isn’t a right. It’s an obligation to the fact we were even created. Our obligation back to Creation is to become our best, brightest and happiest selves.
7. People are good. There are a few clunkers, sure. But people are good and kind and want to help.
8. One time a woman told me she doesn’t like hemp milk lattes. She even made a face about it. For that alone she lost three Likable Points with me.
9. In every situation there is something to be gained, though the harder the situation the more challenging it might be to find.
10. Doing something you love every day isn’t a luxury but a necessity. It feeds the soul and we all know letting your soul go hungry is bad for everyone involved.

comfort and joy

Holiday Fear… I Meant Cheer…

It is December. It is the season. The season of FamilySpendingStressWorshipandTonsandTonsofFood. I believe that’s the official name of the entire season. But really, I don’t want to talk so much about the holidays. I want to talk about you. And me. And living life in a brilliant way.

I recently read that in order to have successful New Year’s Resolutions, one should start 6 weeks in advance. Technically we’re already past that date, but today is the last day of November and, let’s be honest, if we start working on them today it’s way sooner than we’ve ever done before.

“But it’s FamilySpendingStressWorshipandTonsandTonsofFood season,” you might say to me. “How am I ever going to have the time and energy to focus on anything but that?” (Let’s call it what it is, you whined that part.)

Yeah. I get that. But recently I had an epiphany. It was in mid October when my mind rankled me out of an autumnal bliss and reminded me that the holidays were nearly upon us. “Rude!” I screamed to myself, but then I remembered: Whatever experience I’m having, I am choosing to have it. While circumstances, like holidays and viruses may come and go as they please, the way in which I experience them is all me.


It is nearly December and holiday cheer is sidling up to each and every one of us like a cuddly kitten that may or may not scratch us without provocation. We can ease our holiday anxieties with too much food and an attitude of simply getting through it all, or we can focus on creating goals for the coming year and experiencing the holidays with gratitude and humor.

I’ll take a second helping of the latter if you don’t mind.

more happy

In Praise Of NOT Doing Your Best

This is not a post about excellence. It is a post about mediocrity. This post isn’t about doing your best. It’s about doing anything at all. This post isn’t about perfection. It’s about good enough. This post isn’t about bringing your A game. It’s about embracing a B-.

For weeks I have tried to write a post. I’ve even been successful three or four times. But the ideas weren’t coming and the posts weren’t excellent. And so I did nothing at all. Hard fail.

I don’t suppose everyone suffers from perfectionism or from “Pedestrian Paralysis”. No. Not everyone. But certainly none of us loves to know we could have done better and there are about a zillion people who “could have done it better” than us.

No. No one likes that.

In a society that elevates the savant and worships youth, we rarely praise The Plodder. And I think it’s a damn shame.

This is a mediocre picture and I embrace it. Mostly...
This is a mediocre picture and I embrace it. Mostly…

The Plodder, as described in literature, is a sorry sort of fellow, who without the grace of the Gazelle trudges through life. He employs no elegant gate, he simply moves along, moves along.

But I submit to you that were you to check back in with her somewhere after the story closes, you would find she’s gone miles and miles further than almost everyone else. Where others simply stay where life is safe, the progression of a good trudge can indeed be remarkable.

The couch dweller, perhaps hoping to be young again, maybe longing to be “the best” at something, anything, never moves at all and often criticizes the lowly place of those who act without perfection.

I admit to my paralysis. I somehow became afraid of the blank page, of what I might say that wasn’t quite perfect, not pretty or profound.

But I have the heart of a plodder, the soul of a person who knows how to doggedly persist. Deep down we each need to understand that in order to accomplish anything, we must first do it poorly.

And so I write this for you. Today. With no apologies.

Further, I invite you to trudge, to fail, to fall on your face and present the world with your most pedestrian mediocrity because if we don’t fail and fall, we will never fly.

Someday, I plan to fly. Come fly with me, friends.

holidays coming

Bringing Up Spud ~ A Guide To The Garden Of Parenting

The tricky part about having children is that we somehow believe, and maybe this is some sort of scheme of nature, that they are an extension of us.

It serves us well, this belief, when they are little spuds, crying and yowling their needs to us in the middle of the night. But by the time they’re 10, 12, 17 years old, it is not as charming. It’s not nearly so endearing.

If we are incapable of making the leap from, “Spud is an extension of me,” to, “Spud is his/her own human being completely separate from my interests and goals,” there will be some hell to pay. On both sides.

The memory is as vivid to me as if it happened yesterday. I was taking one of my little spuds to middle school and for the gazillionth time I was carping about hygiene. I whined and chided, I pointed out flaws in the system and made suggestions for improvements.

That’s not the part that struck me, since I’d done it so many times before.

What really caught me was the sudden realization that I was sending Spud out into the world with bad feelings and diminished self-esteem. The car ride to school allows no opportunity to brush one’s teeth or put on deodorant. That is, unless your car is significantly differently equipped than mine is.

I stopped right there in my tracks and proffered one of a million apologies I’ve given over the years to my Spuds.

Because apologies go a lot further than criticisms. And we need more of them in this world. Especially from parents.

Since that pivotal day I have found myself, from time to time, issuing observations and desires as well as criticisms. I try to stop myself and remember that these people, because our children our first and foremost people, don’t necessarily think how I think and they probably don’t want the same things I want.

What they want, need and deserve is my respect. And that, I shall always give to them.

Our children will learn what they need from life. They will teach us things we need to know and together we will walk the path of life, just as our ancestors did before us. My only goal is maybe to do it a little bit lighter and a little bit kinder than I understood was possible.

Like, share, comment, tweet and look in the mirror and give your inner child a high five for being awesome.
29_Young Family_8981


Global Warming & Other Reasons To Smile

Global warming is disturbing, there’s just no getting around it. It is for this reason that I find the suspiciously spring-like weather we are having in the Northwest unsettling.

As I write this, the sun pours in through my studio window warming my face and freaking me out. Yesterday I spent more than an hour out on the Young Family Ranch & Zombie Apocalypse Sanctuary playing with the baby goats and meditating under the gi-normous, 150 year old maple tree. It was a nice contrast, tiny animals and enormous plants.

There’s no getting around the fact that mid-sixties weather is weird and global warming is a real issue, especially if you believe in reincarnation. The weather is what it is, and I take my blessings where I can get them.

My initial response is to worry. I worry about the green landscape I so love, I worry about crops and bees and the circle of life.

Even so, in my opinion we have but a few choices over the circumstances. We can be freaked out, or we can do something about it. We can rail at the precarious circumstances our species has created, or we can marvel at the brilliance of the human mind and believe we can and will find solutions to our very real problems.

I choose option two. Obviously.

This is why I recycle. It’s why I buy local when I can. It’s why I don’t pontificate that we’re not doing enough and I look for ways to do more. And I have faith that the generations that are coming up to take on the problems they have inherited are not only capable, but they are brilliant. It is humbling to raise them.

And then I go outside and I feel the fresh air on my face and I watch the baby goats frolic. I sit under a tree that was hanging out when Lincoln was President and very well may be bummin’ around after I am gone. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Like, share, comment, tweet and every time the sun shines, know it shines just for you. And recycle. Always recycle.