What a Difference a Day Makes

I met with a colleague yesterday to discuss logistics of an upcoming event. The discussion took twists and turns as conversations with friends do. We more deeply explored some possibilities we had initially only grazed in other talks. Aha moments, ideas, and a list of action items abounded.

As we concluded our meeting, my associate remarked, “What a difference a day makes!” Although we had planned to talk, neither of us foresaw the direction we would head on this day. Synergy brought out the best in both of us and we created a new possibility.

As I drove home, I questioned the familiar phrase resounding in my head. What about the day made a difference?

One thing. Our thoughts. The thoughts we entertained, individually and collectively, were all that changed.

When I am not creating the results I desire in my life, I can create dramatic change by changing my thoughts. The immediate circumstances of my life may change gradually (or rapidly, if I am open to it), yet improvement in my inner world can be immediate (if I allow it). In this moment of shift, nothing has changed, yet everything is different. Better.

I know this.

But it is moments like these that grab my attention and catapult me into action. I was grateful for the reminder.

When you desire a different result, change the thinking that got you to this point. And what a difference a day will make, indeed!

On Writing

Writing is therapeutic.

I poured my hormonal teenage heart out on the pages of my Creative Writing notebook in high school. I voiced my complaints in my Comp I journal in college. And in my forties, I expressed my fears and resentments, as well as my gratitude, by blogging. Although my blog has been essentially dark the past year or so, I have been getting my therapy. Last November, I completed the first draft of a book, which I am in the process of editing.

The transitions I have made in the past year astound me. I have taken back my maiden name (again, and for the last time). I am fully self-employed for the first time in my life (after being out of work on worker’s comp for two years). I now edit a newsletter for a professional organization, coordinate a group of volunteers at a spiritual center, and sing regularly (at a coffeehouse where I also MC). And throughout all of this, I wrote.

I wrote essays for classes I took. I wrote copy for a personal growth organization. I wrote affirmative prayers. I wrote 750 words (Morning Pages) of daily brain drain. I wrote poetry. I wrote handwritten notes and cards to friends and family. I wrote lyrics. I wrote personal inventories as part of a 12-step program. I wrote gratitude lists. I wrote letters to God. I wrote “to do” lists. I wrote a book.

All of it therapeutic.

Sorting out my thoughts and feelings on paper is healing… choosing the words with just the right tone… creating a certain mood… poring over the subtle nuances of each synonym… hearing the ring of a well-chosen phrase. These are the things that have helped me create order in chaotic times, make sense of (or peace with) the events that make up my life, and simply get things off my chest.

Regardless of the reams of paper I have filled, I have only recently accepted the title, Writer. Now that the dust has settled (for the time being anyway), the latest catharsis complete, I have come to the realization that I am a writer — not because I have a certain number of words under my belt, not because I have been paid to write, nor because I have something unique to say.

I am a writer because I write.

Arsenal (Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge)

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Discovered while walking my dog.

Taken with my iPhone 5S. Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, Week 4: Challenger’s Choice, Still Life.

I put a lot of thought into my Photography Challenge posts, often regarding the photo itself. Is it the best shot of the ones I took? What about the subject matter? …the lighting? This week it was all about the category.

I was struggling with whether I would categorize it as “Objects” or “Still Life.” I chose “Still Life” because “Objects” somehow didn’t seem enough. There is action and life in this scene. We simply isn’t visible.

I thought about the exuberance with which somebody created these snowballs. I wondered if it was a boy. How old was he? Did he lob any of these before being called in for lunch? Maybe he was a teen, mischievously storing them for an impending ambush.

I will never know. I can only imagine. A picture certainly can be worth a thousand words.

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This was one of two caches.

Words (Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge)

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Last week I received a handwritten note from a spiritual leader. His words expressed a confidence in me that I am only beginning to grow into.  I was telling an artist friend about it and we began talking about the importance of words.

She excused herself and came back with the treasure in this photo. She said she hadn’t initially known why she bought it, but now she was certain.  She included a handwritten note on the back of a piece of paper on which she had painted, and gave me the box.

This whole encounter inspired a longer written piece which I will post later. In the meantime, I loved the light in the top photo. It echoes the sentiment, “Radiate Sunshine.” And I always love black & white.

Taken with my iPhone 5S. Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, Week 3: Black & White.

 

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Cookie’s Ride Home

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The old girl’s ride home after her “Senior Check-up.”

After an exhausting morning of bloodwork, other invasive testing (if you catch my drift), and getting her nails clipped, my pooch initially would not let me get in the driver’s seat. After I explained that she needed a driver’s license, she begrudgingly moved into the passenger’s seat.

And here she is now that we are home.

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“Sing with me, just for today…”

Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

~Steven Tyler

Today, I resume my Wisdom Wednesday quotes. (I first began in January of 2014… the 22nd to be specific, and stopped in July of the same year.) As I was thinking about which quote I would use today, I thought about all the Wisdom I’ve found in songs.

Dream On, “very possibly the best song ever written” (as my kids often heard me say) has been a favorite of mine since I put endless quarters in the juke box at Pizza Hut to hear it over and over again.

It is now the music on my alarm to wake me up in the morning. Tyler wrote these lyrics when he was young. I suspect they are more true for him now, than they were back then. I know they are for me. Now is all we have, so sing for whatever is going on in your life. It goes by “like dusk to dawn.”

“Just for today…” Happy Wisdom Wednesday!

Gifts for an Early Riser

As I walked my dog this morning, before dawn, the frost glittered on the grass. I began thinking about the gifts I get as a result of being an early riser. I get the quiet solitude of being the only one awake in my apartment. I get those productive hours without interruption.

I get not only glittering grass, but a glint of light from a sun just below the horizon. I get the stillness just before nature is fully awake.

I get another day.

Moving On

Today I said “buh-bye” to some more things that no longer serve me. I attended a Burning Bowl Ceremony at the spiritual center I attend. I was reminded once again that things I once cherished were the very things I needed to release.

Letting go of the past allows me to step into a new possibility, often one I had not yet imagined. Hurdles may slow me down, and change the trajectory of my life, but they do not have to stop me. I have found that it is my thoughts about events, rather than the circumstances themselves that get in my way.

Today I will release, forgive, and move on once more.