Browsing Tag

Positive Thinking

Inspiring Tidbits

Thankfulness Phases

Count your blessings and accomplishments, and wear warm socks

Count your blessings and accomplishments, and wear warm socks.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself thinking about the different kinds of thankfulness I’ve experienced throughout my life, and, as it turns out, it has really gone in phases. When I was a teenager, I engaged in a whole lot of “why me?” thinking, and as a result I had to look to my accomplishments and my hard work whenever I wanted to feel a sense of true gratitude. This is to say, my life felt like way too much of a mess for me to count my blessings, so I counted my persistence, lofty goals, and other traits within me as things I was thankful for instead of counting things in my external world…

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Sweet Nothings

Daylight Elevations

A photo from Laurent Chehere;s Flying Houses series, currently on display at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York City

A photo from Laurent Chehere’s Flying Houses series, currently on display at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in NYC

That time of year is upon us again, when the mornings come far too soon and the nights end before they’ve begun. I often respond to Daylight Savings’ fall-back-an-hour-and-make-the-world-horrendously-dark time shift by staying indoors, eating cookies, and bundling up in every piece of wool I can find. Shortbread-chocolate-thumbprint pastries, pumpkin-spiced anything, socks, snickerdoodles, blankets — check, check, check, check, and check. This year I’m trying to stay a bit healthier, though, and I’m desperately scouring the internet and my friend’s noggins to figure out every possible secret of staying productive and upbeat while the world around us turns so dark…

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Sweet Nothings

Sick Days

Coffee in bed, or in my case the mug would be full of soup

Coffee in bed, or in my case the mug would have been full of soup this past month

Doesn’t it always seem to happen that just when you get in the swing of things, life sneakily disrupts your plans? In my case, this topsy-turvy life force took the form of a nasty stomach virus that bowled me over back in September. As a result of these germy-germs, I’ve spent the past month and a half either in bed or at work (albeit taking it very easy on myself whenever I’m out of the house), and I’m only now starting to get back on track with work projects and non-broth-based culinary creations…

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Inspiring Tidbits

Finding Beauty

Doesn’t this whimsical image of a girl blowing glitter from the palms of her hands just make you love life?

Each Tuesday I share a new snippet of inspiration with you, and – even though this is often the highlight of my week – I sometimes worry that I sound like a broken record. For this reason, I began writing a very personal post a while back that attempts to explain why all these minutely different pieces of inspiration are so important to me, but every Tuesday I run into a minor snag (a.k.a., my fingers refuse to hit that pesky little “publish” button). Sharing painful, embarrassing, and deeply personal things with the entire interwebosphere is scary after all, and this is my admission to you that I get very scared at times. Despite the fact that my personal (and likely overwrought) post will remain unpublished on my desktop until the day when I muster up enough courage to share it, I simply can’t let another week go by without talking to you about how much the pursuit of beauty and inspiration really does matter in my life.

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Inspiring Tidbits

Kindsight

Funky photo-booth glasses on sticks from Lori on Etsy

If you looked at yourself through only kind eyes, what would you see?

I write a lot about staying positive and finding beauty in everyday life, but I must admit that sometimes I slip up and forget to follow my own advice. Specifically, these slip ups happen when I’m dealing with setbacks or trying to fix a problematic project that’s number 28 on my priority list. I’ll get upset with myself, curse my lack of talent, and quickly condemn myself to a lifetime of failures, when what I really should be doing is saying, “Hey, this ain’t half-bad for someone who’s got more than 28 things on her priority list.” I don’t know about you, but when I focus on these shortcomings instead of cutting myself the tiniest bit of slack, everything (from current film festival applications to what I’m eating for dinner five years from now) becomes utterly overwhelming. And, although I know being hard on myself is part of what makes me who I am as a writer/artist, I think these overwhelmed fogs come with the dangerous side effect of blinding me to some great opportunities. How are we supposed to conquer all the wonderful things the world throws our way, after all, if we’re feeling down about ourselves?

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Sweet Nothings

Little Things

Deep-Fried-Twinkies food stand on a boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA

It’s amazing how little things can accumulate and either wear you down or lift you up. I know so many people who say, “It’s the little things that make life worth living,” yet I know far more people who let a lot of little, pesky things pile up and dampen their spirits. Unfortunately, I must admit to falling prey to this kind of pessimism last week. The week was an exhausting tangle of too much to do, too little time, and way too many exotic animals sneaking into my house uninvited; to top this all off, my puppy was terribly sick and I was up working until 2 a.m. every night. Granted, life can easily get you down when you’re sleep-deprived and literally up to your elbows in dog shit, but all the stuff that bummed me out last week (including the fecal matter) was pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. So, how is it possible that a relatively intelligent person blows up teensy mole hills into giant omens of doom and gloom for all eternity?

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Inspiring Tidbits, Organizing, Sweet Nothings

Pie in the Sky and on the Face

A competitive-eating champion is born in Lost Pines, TX

As part of last week’s festivities in Lost Pines, TX, I witnessed a children’s pie-eating competition. Whipped cream flew in every direction as these budding Takeru Kobayashis showed their stuff, and I couldn’t help marveling at the fervor with which the kiddos scarfed down cream pie one minute and ran off to play soccer the next. The far-too-adult me wanted to scream at them, “Don’t run around with all that dairy in your belly or a shark will eat you!” but the children were too intent on scoring goals and nabbing pie-eating records to heed any warnings that day. Half pints are often defiant in this way, and, although some would tell you this is because of ignorance and stubbornness, I’m starting to think it’s because kids dare to believe the impossible is – uh – possible. For a child it is completely within reason to eat five pounds of whipped cream, win a potato-sack race and reenact the World Cup in one day, and I think we adults could learn something from this attitude.

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