Playing Down Joy

I’m a big fan of shame-researcher Brene Brown, and her work on vulnerability and connection. I recently finished her book The Gifts of Imperfection, and as with almost anything she’s written, it touched me and made me think. Here’s one of the things she said that moved me most:

“I’ve learned that playing down the exciting stuff doesn’t take the pain away when it doesn’t happen. It does, however, minimize the joy when it does happen.” -Brene Brown

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Colorful Colorado

I’m a Colorado native, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone more devoted to the state than I am. As a military brat and the only native in my family of origin, I know how lucky I am to have been born in the place I’d choose to spend every day I’m blessed with.

So I’m a little ashamed to admit that I always chuckled to see the sign at the borders of God’s little piece of heaven.

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My Buddhist Friend’s Horoscope

I’ve referred to it often enough that I will transcribe it here, with apologies to its original author. I did search to attribute it properly, but could not discover the author’s identity. If you happen to know that person’s identity, please comment and I’ll add attribution.

The mountain is enormous. It will take a long time to climb and there is no guarantee that, even if you set out to conquer it, you will ever succeed. Dwell on this and you will soon conclude that you probably ought to leave that mountain well alone. The mountain though, must be tackled. You know this. You feel it, strongly and instinctively. So you had better stop talking yourself out of the task and start talking yourself into it. Believe what you want provided you convince yourself that your journey is possible.

No Guarantee

I took another look at my Buddhist friend’s horoscope after I posted about it last week. It has lived above my desk, lo these many years. One of the things it says (no lie) is “there is no guarantee you’ll make it.”

Well, that was my experience of my first 14er attempt. And it wasn’t even close. Less than 5 minutes in, my asthma (which sometimes is, and usually is not, a factor) was so bad, I fell behind my group. And the guide, after trying to encourage me, suggested that, given our late start and the importance of getting off the mountain before afternoon storms rolled in (a predictable occurrence, bringing the most serious danger in recreational mountain climbing— being struck by lightning), that perhaps I shouldn’t go for the summit.

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Places I want to visit someday:

  • I want to take a cruise of the Greek Isles. In my head, I can do that, and land in Italy, seeing Rome, Venice, Florence, and capping it off with a bike tour in Tuscany. In real life, I think this is probably more than one trip. But until taking it is a reality, I’m going to picture this epic adventure as one immersive experience.
  • I want to visit England, and see London, among other things.
  • I might want to go to Australia, and see the Great Barrier Reef.
  • I want to go to the Outer Banks area of North Carolina, as well as Savannah, Georgia, and maybe Charleston, South Carolina.
  • I want to go to Yellowstone.
  • I want to go to New York City and do a tour of the museums (particularly the Guggenheim and the MOMA) and Central Park.
  • I want to go to Arches National Park (but not in the hottest part of summer.)
  • I want to cruise Alaska.
  • I want to go to Hawaii.

Where do you want to go? What am I forgetting/underrating? What, on my list, should I do first, if I get the chance?

Climbing Mountains

Several years ago, I had clawed my way out of receptionist-ville into a mid-level clerical position. I spent my lunch hours walking in the office park, to burn off excess calories and the nervous energy I had from not-quite-making-ends-meet, with a temp in my office. She was a fascinating person to talk to, a Buddhist, and one day, she looked up my horoscope, and gave it to me. It said something along the lines of “you know you have to climb that mountain, so stop trying to talk yourself out of it and start talking yourself into it.” Continue reading