You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Inspiration/creativity’ category.

Ever do perfect? Impossible.

Kindergarten 101 revisited: no perfect.

Remember?

Unleash the fire!

Unleash the fire!

So, why is it that in my mind I do everything perfect? Or I don’t do. In other words, I don’t do lots of things that really matter to me because I know the outcome will not measure up to my super high standards.

Many of my students in my writing workshops are the same way. They say something like, “I don’t want to write my novel because it will never be a best seller.”

My advice, of course, is always: “Write it anyway. Just write it.”

You can’t LIVE a dream if the fabric of it lays snarled around your mind and never sees light of day. Yes, an idea CAN LEAD to a reality; but meanwhile an idea is as dead as dead can be if it does not take shape, color and form.

Imagine this eulogy:  “She always had that book in her mind but now neither she nor the book will ever see the light of day.”  Sad indeed!

For months, okay, nearly a year, I agonized over this “Backyard Therapy” blog. I wanted to revamp it. Tweak it. Change it. Transform it until it screamed with all its might, attracted millions of followers and fans …, and … phew, let me catch a breath … the reality is, months have gone by, and NEVER MIND changing anything – I did not write one word, NOT ONE!

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Voltaire said; one of my favorite modern-day uplifting writers and thinkers Gretchin Rubin periodically refers back to that simple, but profound thought.

And, here is how I think of it: “Don’t let good out-shadow good enough.”

So now, at least for today, I have broken the frame around my picture-perfect world and I’m back again. I am especially grateful to some fellow bloggers and very special friends like Aileen DePeter O’Sullivan who actually inspired me to move out of my mind–not always the best of places to reside–and come out to be found, found out or, better yet, just find myself. There is no better company than that of other fellow travelers who like me, irk at exposing their imperfections, but marvel to see that these shortcomings are what bind us, inspire us and join us to the core of the soul.

So with that said welcome to a new year and a totally revamped blog: WTF (Where’s the Faith?) …a more critical and crystallized vehicle of expression for a very niche audience…faith-filled and spiritual inspiration for people living through personal crisis and loss…a group that I am most proud of being a member.

 Stay tuned!…until next time…faith forward!

Fall's Masterpiece unveiled!

Here we are in the early days of October and it seems that already every leaf peeper on earth is out on the trail.  Even my, otherwise, quiet hamlet of Easton, Connecticut, has turned into a bumper-to-bumper standstill of city folks hauling shiny pumpkins to their automobiles and waiting in lines at Sherwood’s Farm to partake of slow hayrides through the pumpkin patch.  Likewise, if you are trying to book an overnight stay at a New England Country Inn, good luck!

There is no better time than now here in New England to join the many other trailblazers and go outdoors.  To really rejigger, collect a few colorful leaves and scatter them as decorations indoors.  If you have friends living in less colorful areas, plan a day trip with the sole purpose of collecting leaves for them.  Then for five bucks or less, laminate them on an oversized sheet and drop the creation along with a sweet note into the mail. (I actually borrowed this idea from a woman I overheard at a copier shop doing this very thing for a friend.)

Color, color &, yes, more color!

Isn’t that the best way to rejigger, share your joy of the day-tripping experience with a friend?  Let’s face it, e-mail is a convenient way to keep in touch, but taking the time to send an “I care” package packs a stronger message of love

Patchwork quilt

Image via Wikipedia

I started officially day tripping in 1998 when I began writing a weekly day-trip column for a daily newspaper. In retrospect, I realize that each experience is a metaphor for a snippet of fabric composing an entire patchwork quilt that I cuddle myself in and rejigger, especially when I’m feeling a bit down, drained or overpowered by the big, bad world at large.

A peek inside Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport, Maine

You see the people I met—from quadriplegics to tireless volunteers and everyone in between—have warmed my heart with stories that inspire me when my hope-on-tap meter begins to plummet. The places from shad museums to arboretums have tickled my imagination and left such an impression on me that I walk through life with a softer heel; face forward and aglow…a far cry from the decade or so that I spent eyes down with a frown. And the things…wow, those things. I don’t mean things that you accumulate. I mean things that mean some “thing.” Avery’s soda, for instance; it’s a shame I had to wait until I was well over forty to slug down a bottle of Dog Drool Soda.

Avery's, the Best darn place for soda anywhere in the world, New Britain, CT

Oh the bus trips I’ve taken, the tours I’ve done, canoe rides and hikes…the aerial rides…so much fun…best of all, in the end, I have stories galore, a patchwork quilt, in the spirit of Charlie Brown’s best friend, Linus, that will accompany me through all the rest of the days of my life. I may not have the most toys, but I do believe—as any frequent day-tripper will verify— I have the most joys.

One of my bus tours in Connecticut

One of "my" buses on tour in Connecticut

World's Largest Buffalo Statue in Jamestown, N...

Image via Wikipedia

This past summer, Parade Magazine had a delightful write up, titled, “Visit an American Original.” The gist of it was a list of 50 giant-sized landmarks.  From the world’s largest buffalo in Jamestown, N.D. to a giant roller skate in Anchorage, Alaska.

Does your town/city/village have a giant…something?  If it doesn’t, is there anything colossal to visit?  Think of the statues in your area around town and in parks and don’t forget your local cemetery too.  Are there any diners or eateries donning a giant hotdog or mega-burger on the roof or on its premises? Think.  You’ve probably passed it by.  Now, go and visit the landmark again.  Take some photos; delve deeper and find out who was responsible for the landmark.  I mean, I can understand the world’s largest strawberry in Strawberry Point, Iowa, but the world’s largest filing cabinet in Burlington, Vermont?

Atop Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul

Rejigger and set your next day trip travels around something big; big may not always be better, but it sure gives you lots of food for thought—with no calories.  It’s a great way to teach kids about a quirky way to appreciate and learn about things that may be big and under our noses, but we still miss them each and every time.

Maine Night

Image by Vanderlin via Flickr

“I’m alive,” he said to the boy, as they ate a bunch of dates one night, with no fires and no moon.  “When I’m eating, that’s all I think about.  If I’m on a march, I just concentrate on marching.  If I have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other.

“Because I don’t live in either the past or my future.  I’m interested only in the present.  If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.  You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”

~ The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Want not! Nature Center, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, CT

Outdoors, winding down after a long day of travel, I chatted last night with a good friend. I should say, I chatted. She, on the other hand, exclaimed, raising her arms toward the night sky, “It’s so clear! So clear. The moon is like a moon on a clear night in Maine. It’s a Maine night. Look how clear you can see the stars and…look at that moon. It’s crystal clear.”

I nodded, glanced and kept up my talk…how I would straighten out the world and everyone in it, if only…mind chatter that equaled mindless chatter…blah…blah…blah. In the toilet bowl of my mind, I missed “the moment.” I was alive. She was alive. We would never meet at that point in time again. I missed it, because of the gray matter nonsense between my ears. When I find myself in that messy place, quite frankly, it’s not real; it not the place of here and now.

Suddenly the sweeping skyscape swept me off my feet; my mind became as clear as the night’s sky. “Wow, do you see those blue stars? They are so blue, they are almost violet.” One flush of that messy gray matter, and I transported myself back to life…the real, perfect McCoy.

On your next day trip, rejigger and stop talking about yourself for a moment and start talking “it” up; “it” being those insignificant things that are so significant when we stop and notice and say, humbly and sincerely, “Thanks! I am not the end all and be all, and I can rest in your supreme and perfect presence.”

Book-ball sculpture, Open Book Center, Minneap...

Image by gruntzooki via Flickr

Museums, art galleries and creative venues are not the only avenues that can inspire the day-tripper. The ordinary trail outside of these types of attractions can also ripened and feed the eyes.

If you look intently, you will find novelty in a window display, in a fashion maven who bumps into you on the sidewalk; in a handful of pebbles strewn on the roadway.

On the day trip trail of museums in Minneapolis, MN, we serendipitously ran into this "piece of art"

One of the best things about day trips is that they overwork the eyes and other senses as well.  Look and look some more…although we may be in a stagnant place of life…the world never is; feed upon its colors, its nuances; eat in everything…there’s plenty of pie for everyone, so dig in, enjoy and rejigger!


Consummate Author! Consummate Journalist! Consummate Motivator!

Through simple secrets to a happier life like day-trip adventures and a gratitude journal by the bedside, I have not only been able to overcome many obstacles in my life, but erase negative and useless thinking…and, yes, learn to relax, rejuvenate, rejigger. *

Rejigger *

* “Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online,” In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less; NYT, January 2, 2010.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,268 other followers

Archives

Day Trip Travel — Experiences Over Things

cattalespress@optimum.net

Join 1,268 other followers