Tag Archives: happiness

The Road Ahead

It is the first day of a New Year. I feel good and with that feeling are thoughts of starting things afresh while remaining real in my good intentions. Resolutions. Promises. Whatever labels you might attach, they are part of the road ahead… This immediately brings to mind the saying and I had to look it up in order to get it right… to me “the road ahead is paved…” made just as much sense and, for the purpose of my post, was spot on. In fact, the “hell” part didn’t even come to mind, but it was an interesting read and the underlying meaning was apparent after doing so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. Procrastination, laziness, or other obstacles may be the cause of the failure. In any case, the saying is an admonishment that good intentions are meaningless unless followed by action. A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoing is often masked by good intentions, or possibly that good intentions, even when enacted, may have unforeseen bad consequences (hence the “hell” aspect). (source: Wikipedia)

With all the projects going on I have neglected time for my own creativity. Lately, I have embraced the freedom the office gives me as I am able to leave the physicality of my company work in the office – I say physicality because my mind never turns off completely to the concept of publishing. I live for it. But, living it and then leaving it “at the office” has given me the time to do things at home that need to be done. It has also allowed me the opportunity to engage in creative actions that feed my soul – one of late is coloring my own sketches AND adult coloring books given to me by my sister. Throughout this trying year, my focus was on projects signed by Dream Write Publishing, and that is what made 2015 an amazing year – we published 15 new works!

In order to boost and infuse my own creative spirit, I shuffled ideas around in my head and challenged myself to come up with some plan that might keep me on track – for the day, the month, the year… There are those of you who know how well that goes for me! It’s all good – the putting to paper what needs attention – the infamous to-do list with its promise of organization and achievement – but I am embracing who I am and what I enjoy to make this year one that will bring happiness. If I want to color until 2:00 am… then I will. If I want to disappear into the mountains to track wild horses, I am going to do that, too. Slowly, one thing at a time, I am going to transform myself and my surroundings over the course of this year to embody happiness and health. I will support the people I love who mean the most to me and will love myself for who I am, not obsess about what I am not. It is in our own hands what we do with the time and talents we have.

I offer no resolution to fail. There is no “good intention” to go bad. There is no holding back because I intend to take the road that likes ahead. I left hatred and negativity on the midnight hour to fade into the nothingness of no longer important. The tank is full of passion and promise and that is all the fuel I need to work toward an amazing year of successes.

road ahead

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Smoke, Heat & Memories

The day has me distracted. I try to remain focused on my job and the work I need to do. It has nothing to do with being Monday. It’s not because I had a tiresome weekend nor am fatigued or overly pained. It is not because I am eager to get back to the work on my company projects. It’s not because I have an upcoming trip planned and am looking forward to hitting the road. It is merely to do with the date and something I have in mind that I need to write. It’s a good feeling – that need to write, and even if the thought that started this is internally sad it is not a sorrowful post. Quite the contrary, and I always give in to the urges when they are this strong.

This past weekend was marked by a special event – the marriage of two wonderful people who I am proud to call friends. They both looked amazing and the ceremony was inspiring despite the heat and smoke – it was an outdoor wedding so both elements played a significant role in comfort. Even bringing the party into the shelter of the nearby community hall for the reception didn’t reduce the sweat factor. I am sure everyone dropped a few pounds that day…

Robyn and Joe

I am happy to have a beautiful event mark this weekend in my memories. It is not that new events ever mask or replace old memories that might have marked the days, but it is nice to have rejuvenation to the ones that marred the memory banks. July 13th, 3 years ago, was a day congested with heat and smoke in the air – I won’t forget it. It was a day I found out something that changed lives forever. Changes, whether good or bad, have an effect on one’s life journey. Sometimes it means you go it alone. Other times, it means you have someone to share it.

Best of luck and lots of love on your life’s journey – Robyn and Joe – July 11, 2015

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Random Thoughts – Still the Same

Over the past few weeks, as many thoughts have crossed my mind as projects have crossed my desk. Of course, right up front – there is no end to the flurry of publishing activity as I work diligently to meet deadlines while prepping manuscripts to become books. There is excitement aloft! At times, I have to distance myself from the hype as it is easy to get all caught up in the partying when the project is not yet finished. They are all in varying stages of completion and, as I look forward, there is celebration ahead, even while focus is still the name of the game. I am looking forward to wine – perhaps, lots of it!

                                                                                      TIME

As we only now teeter on the brink of August, don’t blink – as it will soon soar deceptive and graceful toward September – it is harder to remain focused and not get frantic. I say deceptive because, in an instant, August has a tendency to disappear! I say graceful because it teases you and holds you with warmth and sunshine, all the while knowing you are soon going to fall. There is always a concern held within the depths of my logical being of there being not enough time, resource, and/or energy… it is a contained concern as I most often keep it to myself, emerging victorious having slew the beast. I thrive on a full plate – and that can be taken in any context – but of late, I’ve had to confine my pursuits because time is too limited.

                                                                                      TRUE

Some of the things I’ve read lately confirm my own convictions in this business, while others are in direct opposition to them.  Guess that just goes to show there is no true right or wrong way – which allows for creative intervention. There are changes in the industry yet, I would be the first to admit, I have never feared change. I also don’t hold true to tradition, in most cases, having decided to take the best of all worlds and combine them – learn the rules, apply what works, change what doesn’t, and delete the improbable. Yes, confidence and surety are confirmed while remaining steadfast; but being true to your own spirit and direction are too wrapped up in change to be ignored.

                                                                                      TESTED

Ah, yes – that which does not kill you makes you stronger – thanks to Frederich Nietzsche for the words which find so many applications. It is difficult to get past the feeling of being “tested” when hit with life as we lament “why me” in a moment of self pity. Life’s obstacles steel our ability to deal with more, and it doesn’t seem so hopeless if there is a chance to find resolve. But what about those things you cannot fix – is being tested necessary to the extent of “omg what next?” The strength in the phrase refers to lessons and learning and growing beyond that which would break you if you let it – it gives no comfort to the feelings of sadness, depression, or the necessity to wrap protective armor about your heart.

                                                                                      TENACITY

What does all this boil down to? Time, true, tested = tenacity and the ability to hold fast with inner and outer strength while weathering any storm that may lay assault upon your being… it doesn’t mean it gets easy, it doesn’t mean you will always be happy, it doesn’t mean you won’t want curl into a lonely corner. But the test of time is said to heal all wounds and truth builds tenacious walls if you do not give up.

Postscript: The bulk of these words were written in 2012 and, although 2 years later, they are tried, tested, and true. During the time in between, I have dealt with a mess of things, yet here I am on the other side… some things are so much the same even though my world is totally different in other ways. I have not given up but will profess that time is not the healer it is claimed to be… for some things there is no magic medicine – there are only band-aids.

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Day 3 – Easter Sunday

Easter Long Weekend 2014 Blog Pictorial – continued…

8:00 am

I spent time with my delightful hosts, Ingrid and Mike, over breakfast and coffee served in their beautiful, awe-inspiring home. It is built on a southwest facing parcel of land complete with trails and a creek, lots of trees and long winding driveway. They share their dream of coming to Canada and eventually obtaining this amazing property, building their home, and living each day to the fullest. Ingrid shares stories of sledding with her dogs, designing web sites from the very beginning, and Mike – he ensures firewood is always cut – their home is fully heated by a wood burning external fire “place” that channels warmth to the in-floor heating. A severely cold winter depleted the firewood stores…

My plan for the day was to go out and take pictures – make hay while the sun shines, so to speak – it was a beautiful foothills morning.

11:00 am

I am sitting in this bowl of sunshine and silence with an alpine breeze threading its way through the valley – it’s cool and it whispers through the pines. It comes down from the snow-covered ridges… listen to it. I am all alone, yet here, with respect and awe, I feel as if a part of something much large than me. No other traffic has passed me – no other life forms walk nearby. The tempo of the wind rises and falls, rustling the new evergreens… they sway and relay the soft sung message of the mountains. I can tell it is close to noon, now, as the sun is directly overhead, but as any city slicker would… I check my phone… 11:55 am. Some would think it crazy to just sit here alone. But always alert, I watch the weather, the roads, and listen to the sounds of nature all around me. I don’t wander off. I am not a hiker; besides Ingrid pointed out before I left – we are in bear country, and watch for the cougars… they are more of a threat. I haven’t seen any, yet.

The sky is that Alberta blue and the fluffy white clouds drift in, plump up, then scatter… leaving clear, direct warmth from the high noon sun. This is a great spot to bask in nature, draw its calming effects into my soul – take time to contemplate and write these feelings. This point is about 25 kilometers in and I decided this would be where I turn back because the road ahead not only climbs further into the back woods, it also appears to narrow, there is more snow, and it’s muddy from the seasonal melt. I do things I like to do but I don’t push the limits – a four-wheel drive and companion might allow for further exploration that way or another… or maybe even dry summer roads? There is no cell phone service here – my phone hasn’t picked up a tower since I left the B&B. I wrote this while sitting in the sun without worry to anything else. (Note to self: it would have been good to alleviate the ensuing issue by signing into the Wi-Fi before leaving on the day’s excursion… or perhaps, not taking a break from connectedness the night before by sleeping – could have got the Wi-Fi code the previous evening??? Oh, and don’t forget the backup Rogers Rocket Hub at home… because then you have absolutely no connection to anyone but yourself…)

I am almost a tearful happy it is so inspiring and almost too much – can that be? I hear my own heart beating and feel gladness having found my reason for this deep sojourn into the trees and foothills. I assume I found my wildies – the herd grazed contentedly along the edge of trees, scratching themselves on tree branches, and laying in soft pine needles. They watched me – parked at the road’s edge – and were not bothered to move on until I got out of my car. They didn’t rush off but took time to regard me with indifference as they ambled beyond the rise and down beyond to where I would not follow. The mare stopped to look once more.

The stallion came out of the trees to the right and stood to watch me, too. I took a couple of pictures; then let him be… the attention aroused him.

My writing was interrupted by a group of hikers descending from an adjacent path – time to return. The trip back was punctuated with more traffic, some speeding by – where are you going in such a hurry? So much for the quiet Easter morning trunk road… I understand the work crews and truckers who are making a dime, but do you others take the road less traveled so you can get to where you are going quicker? What happened to appreciating the journey?

1:30 pm

Arrived back at B&B to appease my friends and family of my status – I am fine. There is something to be said for disconnecting.

I feel disconcerted but am happy with my holiday discoveries. I am reminded of Ingrid’s statement at breakfast. She told me of taking a session on Time Management … and employers loved her ability to manage time. She wondered, however, of her ability to manage her life time… after all, you only have one.

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Writing and planning and all that goes with it…

To me, the statement “life goes on” is such a broad and general expression. It is a phrase comprised of words said as confirmation, in consolation, or for situations where we don’t know what else to say except to state the obvious… but it’s the truth and it does go on even if in a different way or a dramatically changed manner. We all have, at one time or another, experienced events that rock our world and change how we forever view it, leaving only memories, if we are so lucky. So as I move beyond the hold of raw grief into the confusing realm of memories and newly discovered freedoms, I work through the debris in the best way I can, dealing with the uncontrolled emotional outbursts and equally disturbing contented quiet, grasping in both instances, tangible objects for grounding or intangible feelings for comfort. I continue to do what I’ve always done – take on too much, keep too busy, and devise and  dream of all kinds of plans. It is the opposite of depression where one wants to do nothing… instead, I want to do everything. I want to feel happy, I want to experience the depths of love, the heights of exploration, the vastness of this journey – I want it all; I want to live. But, as with most things, even life takes some modicum of planning unless we are drawn to the up and whatever of spontaneity – totally acceptable, yes, but a scheduling nightmare when one is working, running a company and a volunteer organization, entertaining a renewed relationship, freelancing, connecting with friends and family, and spending valuable time with a daughter who will be moving out of town.

All acceptable. But all need planning and juggling (see this blogger’s post for more on the coping with the overwhelming as a writer). Even though there is an emptiness that will persist, I feel as if I can move beyond the past year’s stress and emotional strain, to look at having some fun and creating happiness for myself. The planned writer’s retreat in May was decided in the fall and looks to be a wondrous 3 day delve into writing and relaxation and inspiration. The getaway in April (Easter long weekend) is something that has been brewing and stirring inside of me… growing over time, spurred by need, driven by passion… and as if the gates were opened and I was offered the open field, my spirit will venture to the place where the wild horses run. Finding and booking accommodations in a B-and-B in the exact area was like serendipity – synchronicity at work. I always contend the things that work in that way were just meant to be… timing, it’s all about timing and taking time.

I know that accomplishments lie ahead – I welcome them and strive toward them. But I also know, many of those achievements will be bittersweet as I share silently with one who will be forever missed. I think about how she would have loved to hear about all these adventures and how she would have worried as we ventured off on each and every one of them – she was like that and it is something I try not to do when my daughter is away, despite her claim that I am always worrying… (I’m not. Really. Do I?)

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde 

Photo: Wild horses near Socorro, N.M. Credit: Associated Press

 

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There is Good in Every Day

In my virtual travels I found an abundance of posts and sayings reminding the reader to appreciate what they have, to live in the moment… to appreciate the little things. One of the easiest put, and my favorite of the day, was: “…every day might not be good, but there is good in every day.” Most of us actually fail to recognize that just getting up each morning and living every day is a gift unto itself. It is hard to realize that to some the pain and suffering takes the pleasure out of even that simple task. For many of us, however, there is no pain until we complain and then we perceive it to be the worst thing in the world. No matter how positive we try to remain, negativity infiltrates in its many forms – regret, worry, sadness, displeasure, jealousy, and anger. It is easy to say “let the baggage go” but sometimes it is hard to do without losing a part of you in the process. Compliance, complacency, cooperation, acceptance, forgiveness… do these actions allow the negative to control who you are because you are modifying your true emotional response – tempering it, so to speak? Do we cooperate, are we compliant, do we accept and forgive just to make peace, keep order… appear agreeable? If you believe in Karma the ability to let go is, perhaps, easier to administer – what goes around comes around, true justice will happen in the end, even if we never know of its happening.  These random thoughts hit me as I think on the many reasons I have to smile. Yes, I have pain, I have been through ordeals, I deal with stress and full schedules… but I get up each morning and I have sunshine in my life. Even on a cloudy day, a wintry cold day, a dismally tiring day > my partner’s love, my daughter’s strength, my best friend’s support – all these things are the good I find in each day. What are your random thoughts on this – share them here with me. My Ray of Sunshine

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Hello Monday – it’s Me…

Hello, Monday, it’s me… You are a day of the week as unpredictable as the weather. I remember writing this opening statement (the wordpress draft proves it) when the comparative hit me during the passing of winter into spring. I don’t know why I didn’t publish it – I guess I was as indecisive about my words as the weather was of its place within the timing of that month. May was a blur and best forgotten, and as we transgress through mid-July now it seems June is only a memory, too.

As up and down as the weather, so too have been my words. My thought processes are always going and sometimes I am inclined to just write something even though I have no idea where it is to go and where it might end up. I have even opened my notebook or a new word document, looked at it, and then closed it again… having written nothing. The inspiration bar was set high at recent conferences and just being around words and all their glory is enough to make you want to immediately put words to page. I went so far as to renew my own personal writing goals with an all out attempt (internal promises) to get my WIP completed and published this year! There have been good starts to bad weeks and bad finishes to good weeks… and if I were to be truly honest it would be to admit my blog avoidance is a result of the personal issues I’ve been dealing with… people tell me I am obviously doing things right and moving ahead but it feels like I am not in so many ways. It’s like being on autopilot – going through the motions of what has to be done to fulfill the promises already made into the direction out there somewhere. The end lies out of sight waiting ahead on an unmarked trail. Then I return to the highway of reality realizing the heap I have in front of me and, although I am doing things I love to do, I am confused by my reactions. Next thing I know, I’m on a rollercoaster of emotions >semi-happiness (albeit tame – I am not the jump up and down kind of person) and tearfully pronounced, overwhelming sadness claim my extreme up and downs. This craziness will even out, I am told, with time and healing and positive influence. I am ever thankful to those who may wade through my words whenever I do get around to posting some here. They are from my heart and they are what makes up my writing life as it happens to me right now. Although the words are scarce and it seems my creativity is blocked, I cannot imagine ever living without writing… it’s just difficult equating that to not living at all.

Postscript: as I finish writing this post and list the tag words, I contemplate if I should even publish this blog, not wanting to be one who continues with uncertainty, exposing my lost soul… my daughter comes into my room and says, “Thank you, for everything, Mom.” And the lump in my throat prevents me from speaking; my words mix with tears as I realize even in the darkest hour there is a reason and there is hope. She is mine.

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Oiling the Dry Pen

Prologue: I post this to oil the dry pen… nothing more than to put something concrete to paper to jump-start the stalled engine. This piece entitled “I am struggling…” was sitting on my desk top, with the pictures, yet unfinished and abandoned, written in the time after seeking counsel for my ill feelings. I realize, for the most part, my depression was (and is) because I was not being true to my own creative spirit. I need to do my will yet am bound to the promises I make in other areas of my life. The line about dreaming of other places and times holds truth and it is the ungrounded reality speaking. The choice of running away, freeing my soul, just being me… well, that’s a dream harnessed by responsibility and commitment. The time between then and now has elapsed and more promises were made, however, today… I feel as if I wrote this right in the now and the pull of the spiral twists me in and out of good and not so good.

Dear readers: don’t fret for me – all will be well.

Rays of Sunshine

Beyond the clouds the sun shines. In the temporary greyness there exists the proverbial silver lining…

Yet, I struggle, off and on, with few and many things, and I am unsure which of the perpetrators impedes my writing but something prevents me from putting my words to paper. There are no shortage of thoughts and ideas as they come swirling to me in teasing fashion. It’s like knowing what’s good for you yet making a bad decision – loving the bad boy instead of looking to the boy next door. There is comfort in the familiar and sanity in the sameness.

There are no lack of dreams as they harbor their details within my heart and soul, anchored safely until such time I cast them forth from my deep shores. There is desire but not motive. I avoid my journal and have for some time despite my promise – guessing I just need time and things will resume. Not as they once were, but in some other way which I presume will be in due course. My work in progress calls to me and my muse has taken up dancing to amuse herself until I listen to her beckoning call – it reassures me to know these things await me for they are the very core of me and I would not live long without them… I go on and there is so much going on that one would wonder when writing might be practiced upon. I sleep and dream of other worlds where time and money are not necessary and I could take my days upon the balcony in sunshine with coffee cup and pen in hand. I meet with my past to partake in earnest discussion, attempting to dFar to go eal with things that have not lasted wondering where the time has gone and what the future might hold in store. I ponder life and the hand it deals to each of us and how we play the cards expecting certain outcomes yet taking chances with our luck. We push it, count it, destroy it, and call for more when prompted. There is so much push and pull – yin and yang – coming and going… I love my job yet hate decisions I cannot change. I love my company yet want to be there more and can’t. I want to move on but I am weighted to this spot. I want to write but other commitments come to be number one even though recent heartfelt council revealed commitments to me are what I lack and they are to be number one if I am to heal. I desire better health but don’t or can’t make the changes; I am alone and enjoy my oneness yet I am lonely; I am pleased with what I have and who I have become in most ways yet I am not happy. Rather, I don’t feel happiness – sometimes there is nothingness and it is so hard to explain, yet alone reason its existence. There is so much to do and so far to go. I need to work on allowing myself to be happy without guilt or excuse. I need to define what my happiness looks like and make the changes necessary to get there. There is little time to waste on ill will and an unhappy heart.

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In My Way

In My Way

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April 19, 2013 · 1:31 pm

A Note to the Empty Page

“Writing is a struggle against silence.” ~ Carlos Fuentes

I sit here, my expression as blank as the sprawling white before me… the emptiness that has haunted my nights for the past month yawns into an abyss of never ending eternity. Words dance before my eyes and tease my mind yet refuse to get in line and flow with creative verbosity onto the page… instead, they hide in crevices created by life stresses and soon an overwhelming desire tempts me to just walk away. I am here and there, back and forth, up and down – every which way but clichéd loose… So many good ideas want to be at the top of the list yet I am loathe to let them creep there in case I lose myself in them and neglect some other duty or responsibility. But in refusing to accept their inevitability, I fight them and, alas, get nothing constructive done.

I could write about my week and my accomplishments and in that I might find comfort. The places I have been and yet others I could not go. I could write about the joys which filled me yet falter with an explanation about how I don’t feel fulfilled; I could share the happy times had with friends and the meeting of other wonderful people yet true happiness eludes me; I could recall the loving memories and haunting pasts revisited; I could admit I am trying to do too much – tongue in cheek – as I hold my hand out to take more; I could smile through tears and boldly stride ahead despite my fears.

There is no need to worry – for in me is the strength to move forward despite the weight of emotional baggage. I am here. Through all these things there winds a common thread upon the silver lining of hope: I feel, therefore, I live.

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