dare to be different, inspire

Creative Pop

Today was a creative day. A vision appeared. An interest was sparked. The expo marker was nearby as was the whiteboard.

Columns. Words. Colors. Ideas. A plan. A little commingling. A dream. The wheels are turning. The key players are engaged. The spark is ignited. Now it’s time to make it happen.

First is time. How to balance the new with what’s already on your plate. How to back into the time deadline. How to logistically make a-z happen with style, grace and of course a wow factor. So many details. So little time. Is it worth a shot? Should you take the plunge?

Nobody can ever answer this question because nobody has a crystal ball that works all the time. That means risk is involved. Hard work is needed. Maybe even some elbow grease and good luck. Here we grow again. What will be sprouting? Does it matter if you grow big or stay small?

I know I’m flipping ideas around daily. Looking for that nugget of inspiration. Seeking my next big move or small discovery. My adventurous ways always begin with pen and paper. Somewhere there is a shift into digital form. Paper. Pen. Ink. Color. Keyboard. Time to discover new shades of my abilities.

Hope you are along for the journey.

author moments

Writing Prompts

Sometimes it’s nice to have a writing prompt to provoke thoughts or to spur your creativity. This year I have chosen to write for inspiration. Maybe it’s to inspire myself maybe it’s to inspire others. As part of this journey I listen to podcasts, people, encounter new surroundings, and read to find something or anything that inspires me to write.

Here I am today with a writing prompt from a journal book I’m working on. Where will I go? Such a funny question for me as I’m planning my next trip or trips for the months ahead. Some trips are for work. Some for pleasure. Others for have to’s and so on. None of which is my dream beach vacation due to current conditions. Let’s also acknowledge the lack of international travel the past couple of years while we are on the subject. However this exercise or prompt gave me a different view of where will I go. It was all about my creativity. My visions. My desires. No rules. No financial constraints. 

I am taking a virtual trip of sorts. A mental vacation. A new method of travel. A new destination. I’m not physically going anywhere rather I’m taking a trip in my mind. I’m charting my own path. Writing my own itinerary. For me this was perfect. 

My trip begins with a plane ride on a private jet to the mainland. A short boat ride to my small island oasis. No cars only bicycles are allowed beyond the airport fence. Sandy beaches on all sides await. Waterfront views from every bungalow. Kayaks for exercise. Snorkeling for fun. Hammocks for naps. Cocktails for kicks. Waterfalls to explore.

The smell of salt is in the air. Sunshine is the only report for days on the weather. Fresh fruits available in abundance. The sounds of ocean waves and island music add to the ambience. No cell service which means no work. No kids complaining. Nobody needing me for an emergency. Ah the sweet smell of coconut bliss, suntan lotion and island cooking.

Rest. Relaxation. Time away. No regrets. My island paradise trip was free as well. It could have lasted five minutes or five days. The duration doesn’t matter it was the experience I committed to that I did. For now I know that I can escape to a new destination any time I so desire. This alone can be a fun and meaningful activity when many can’t reach their tropical paradise for whatever travel restrictions form barriers in today’s world. 

The free price tag is also a great option for those who can’t travel due to limited means or physical restrictions. A picture is worth a thousand words and a virtual picture of your paradise may be worth so much more.

This post goes out to my dear friend who gifted me my special activity journal this past holiday. I am putting it to good use and sharing my thoughts with others in hopes somebody in cyber world can benefit themselves.

challenges

My OLW for 2022

It’s a new year. I haven’t felt especially inspired to write down goals and priorities this year, except one. This priority has become my OLW (One Little Word) for 2022: Rest. (You can read about some of my previous OLW choices here and here.)

I’ve been thinking about rest (and my issues with it) for months now. I have midlife sleeplessness that I need to work on to improve my wellness. I’ve been bookmarking strategies to work on that for a while. But there are less obvious ways I have noticed I need rest. For example, I scroll mindlessly through social media too often. This usually just fills up space or extra time or just keeps me occupied. A half hour can easily slip by and I feel like I wasted time. Sometimes I even feel tired afterwards even though it’s a sedentary activity. On the flip side, if I go outside and take a walk for a half hour, I feel so much better. I feel refreshed, renewed, and like I did something for myself. Nature has that effect on me. The same thing happens when I take time to do something creative.

Here’s what it boils down to: I’m not just physically tired, I’m often mentally / emotionally / spiritually tired. So this year’s rest isn’t just a focus on more or better sleep. It isn’t just napping or zoning out. It’s more about taking intentional and purposeful breaks. And not just distracting myself during those breaks, but trying to savor those pauses as a part of my health and life balance.

I made a list of all the things rest can look like this year. I may add more. For now, I’m just trying to incorporate more into each day and notice when I am doing it (or not).

Here’s just a few from my list of what rest can look like:

-stretching

-reading / writing / reflection / daydreaming

-meditation

-pulling back

-nature

-saying no to commitments that are too much

-play

-focusing on my breath

We will see how I do in my quest for rest!

Did you choose a word, a goal, or something else to guide your new year?

challenges

Jail Time Revisited

Recently I had the opportunity to experience a county jail with an added twist. I’ve written about visiting the jail before as a contractor recounting an inside view. I visited the exterior as part of a jail run a few years back that included running the officer obstacle training course (so much fun) and the campus which bordered the barbed wire fences and guard towers. Both experiences were memorable and offered different views of the same place.

Over the past week I had yet another view. An unexpected view. I needed to try to visit an inmate. What started out as a simple endeavor ended up extremely complex. So many things I didn’t know, didn’t expect or just couldn’t wrap my arms around.
the first big blow is no in-person visitors which is the exact opposite of the county website which states visitation Mon-Fri and Sat/Sun for under 18. I guess they are still under Covid protocols even though most other places are not. This was funny in itself as you don’t need a mask to enter the jail but you can’t visit. The next option is a fee- based video visit, but figuring this option out almost requires an IT degree and a lot of patience.

That’s right. Get the app. Download the app. Set up a user ID. Add funds. Upload identification documents to prove who you are. Now wait. Wait until somebody in an office somewhere approves you. This took three days in my case. Once you have access, you can schedule a call. I almost forgot you need to deposit more money for the call and pay more service fees. Just when you think you are at the finish line you have to be patient again. It seems the schedule is not the same day. That means you wait longer and the person inside has no idea how hard you are trying to make contact. Big sigh.

What’s the other option? Send a letter. I was told happy mail is very uplifting. Okay, what’s the address. Well the address you mail to is far away. It has to be sorted to make sure there is no contraband. Well over the holiday, mail delays, etc. would lead me to believe this would be another dead end.

How about a phone call. Can the person make a call? Only if they have money they tell me. How do they get money? Glad you asked. There is a jail ATM. Never seen one of those before. You have to upload your picture, your social security number, address and so much more. Then you can pay money and exorbitant fees. Again, it’s not instant. It takes a day to process and the funds need to be deposited by 8am. That means if you put money in the ATM on Sunday at 4pm the inmate won’t see it until Tuesday after 8am. Delays galore.

Four days it takes to get any form of contact. This provides so much insight into what folks deal with when they are immersed in the jail system. I can’t even imagine if my parent was in jail, how a young adult could handle all the chaos associated with saying hi to somebody who probably needs some extra support during their incarceration.
This experience has taught me I for sure don’t ever want to spend time in jail. I also don’t want to have to visit anyone I know in jail. I like my freedom too much. I like to choose what I do and when I do it. I thought visiting somebody in an assisted living facility was hard in the heart of the pandemic, however I would definitely say visiting a jail is 1000x harder current day. 

With mental health issues challenging society today, it is bothersome to me that inmates lose not only their freedom but their ability to get compassionate care. I define compassion to include communication with willing visitors vs starving them of hope and friendly faces.

In summary, I’d always tell somebody think carefully about actions or inactions that can land one in jail. It’s not a place i’d recommend at all.

author moments

Content

Writing is interesting. Sometimes I write in my journal. Sometimes I write on sticky notes. Sometimes it’s thoughts and ideas in my iPhone notepad. Often times I write in cards. Many times I write on my hand as a reminder. Then of course there is this blog. It’s all content of sorts. What is contained in the written document. But since I like words, I am ever so content with writing and the process involved in each step.

Many different forms of writing or typing. Many different moods or mindsets are involved when writing. Many different people, places and topic spur my interest to write. Some writings are for my eyes only. Some writings I share with my writing partner. Some just sit for future use. Some get published on this blog. Some are seeds planted for future books. As a story teller it’s important to share. The share part of writing is where it gets real.

When you are young you turn in your best writings for grades. Teacher marks it up for punctuation, grammar, and the key components such as a start, middle and end. Sometimes that feedback is received well, others not so much. It’s a learning process. As we age the task of writings are usually more defined. The polishing process takes place. Some go from good to great while others just get by.

As adults we write. We write notes to school for our kids. We write to do lists. We write emails. We write business letters or proposals. We might even be the one guiding younger writers in some way through teachings. The point is to write. Don’t lose sight of writing. It’s therapeutic in ways but it’s also communication.

Some people struggle to verbally express themselves. Maybe they lack courage or confidence for a face to face discussion. Taking pen to paper allows for drafting, revisions, thoughts, and think again scenarios. Words are powerful. Writing is documenting that power. I enjoy the reflection point of writing especially within this blog as well.

A time stamp. An evolution of where I was. What I was doing. Who was along for the journey. Who wasn’t. Many details. It also shows highs, lows, and everything in between in life. A brutally honest portayer from my line of sight. Feelings, emotions, celebrations, struggles, loss and so much more.

I would have never thought in my teens that I would enjoy writing the way I do now. Maybe it was a plan to write a book hatched years ago on a whim. Maybe it was a crazy pal who sparked the word passion in me. Maybe it was just what was meant to be.

For now I am here doing me. Writing away. Enjoying the time I spend to share my words with others. One day I may be a New York Times best seller or not. It doesn’t matter to me. That’s not my goal. My goal is to write. Whether I type or use pen to paper, I’m choosing to write for others.

A passion. A purpose. Unique to me. No teacher or professional can tell it’s good or bad. It’s mine, all mine. My artistry. My story. My evolution. My ink. My style. And boy does that style bend, flex, pivot, shift and rewind often. Never the same. Never dull. Always progressive. I’m documenting how one lives life to the fullest or the fullest in my eyes.

My content makes me content. Does that sink in with you? At 3am when I’m sleepless. At 3pm when I need a break from the daily hustle: freedom to write the content. Personal choice to post the content. 100 percent chance of being content with me and my writings.

Just a rant worth sharing on this chilly 5 am morning. As a fun tidbit to readers, this is a post I will future date. Sometime ahead. I’ll glance at it again to see if I have any additions or deletions. I may opt to postpone again if the timing doesn’t seem right. Nonetheless I will revisit this rant or story of mine and reflect on where my mind was when I was in this writing space. Just sharing some of the behind the scenes process that many would never think about.

Since you were thinking just now. How about asking yourself if you would be able to log the world and share you soul with a stranger? 

Enjoy your day.