adventure

It’s Time to Roll

Rolling out on a plush set of new wheels is my newest project or vision. It’s 2022 and I decided to try some new things, see some new places, meet some new faces and fill up my memory bank with a bunch of adventures. I’m aiming for 50 new-to-me adventures this year and of course I will blog about a few as time passes or maybe while I’m passing time in my RV.

Off I went to get me a motorized recreational vehicle. Not too big and not too small. Just the right size for a long weekend or a short trip. Small enough fit into a national park but not too small to make me feel like a sardine in a can. The first trial run is set on the calendar to make sure I’m packed and stacked with the essentials and operating efficiently so I can enjoy my trips wherever the road takes me.

My Amazon cart is filling up with the wish list items, the need list items, and a few recommendations from friends to be a road warrior of sorts. A-camping I shall go. How many states will I adventure through or to? Who will I take with me? How many photos will I share? Will a be a camping enthusiast or will I just give camping a go?

Nobody really knows, including me. The point is I’m giving it a try. I’m taking a leap of faith. I’m dumping my piggy bank out to say adventures will pay more dividends than the going rate of interest at the bank. Don’t wait. Today is here. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. 

The wheels are rolling. The mind is flowing. The adventures are about to be growing. If you are an avid camper, van life extraordinaire shoot me a reply and let me know what you recommend for my must haves for my new temporary home on wheels. 

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.

inspire

Recent Spark

I had a recent spark in creativity. Oddly enough it appeared during the chaos of life. On the day many would feel defeated I felt energized. Somehow I channeled the negative around me into positive production. Almost like stepping in a bucket of shit but coming out smelling like roses. A funny statement a sibling says to me often. I accepted the sign of creativity and began setting the groundwork for my next purpose project.

The ball is in motion. The creative juices are flowing. The map is outlined. Resources are allocated. Sometimes amidst the crazy there is a calm. It might be hidden like a diamond in the rough, but it’s there. You must awaken all senses to see the hope. The dream. The vision. It may take some time to find it but it’s there. Let the excitement build as the journey is beginning to unfold.

Over the years I have come to realize I enjoy the creative outlet. The rare find. The golden nugget of sorts that nobody seems to care about but me. The building of something, somebody, of substance. The validation point. After all the steps of the process there is a natural handoff. When no more visionary work is needed, I am on to the next big thing. It’s how my mind works and it’s what fuels my soul.

I usually have partners or find great like-minded individuals to share in my purpose work. The power of numbers. The magnifying of resources. The value of human capital and mind sharing should never be underestimated.

Much like growing a garden or nurturing flowers from seeds, life is about growth. Sometimes it’s your growth that is visualized. Other times is the growth of those around you. Whichever is natural at the time, I always celebrate growth.

For today I am celebrating the start. A new beginning. A fresh outlook on the undiscovered or rediscovered. An outlook for somebody in need. A chance. A chance for success. A chance for failure. Either option allows for growth. The growth is the goal of the project for the many involved.

Some may leap at the chance to partake while others may say no not today. A choice. An option. Solution to one. Hard work for many. Signing off today from creative land.

dare to be different

Blu

Blu was her name.

She was born in 1965.

She has lived many life stories.

She has had many adventures.

She has a solid core.

She has traveled many miles.

She is ready for new stories.

She ready for new adventures.

She will travel many more miles with me.

Blu is new to me.

Blu is a 1965 Chevy Stepside C10! She is a little weathered but she has aged with grace. She is the oldest car I have ever owned. She is a beautiful shade of powder blue. She is ready to hit the road or the show.

Her last job had her as a photo prop for many families looking for a cute photo setting. I guess the photographer has moved on to a new backdrop. Her loss is my gain. Now Blu is on to bigger and brighter adventures with me.

My first ride with Blu: I had the windows down. Air flowing through the cab as the engine purred. The oversized steering wheel was a blast to use. It somehow just made the ride complete. No need for the radio as I was listening to all the new sounds of the vehicle. 

I rode by the waterfront. Then traveled the back roads. I hit the speed bumps. I idled at the traffic lights. With each traffic stop,  I had some conversations with those admiring her beauty and badassery. It made me giggle a bit but inside I was beaming with pride.

Oh the memories I will make with this vintage vehicle. Definitely checked an item off the bucket list with this purchase.

Beep and wave if you see Blu on the road.

perspective

Doctor Doctor

A not-so-well-known fact about me: I’m a doctor. No, not the kind of doctor that prescribes medications or carries a stethoscope. I’m a doctor of the mind – a PhD. Earned in 2012 in Language and Literacy Education from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!)

Why do I bring this up? Recently I read an op-ed and surrounding arguments about our incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and whether or not she should own her “Dr.” title. The author raised all kinds of small-minded reasons why she should drop the Dr. title, even calling her “kiddo” at one point, as if her using the title she earned was childish and deserved a patronizing pat on the head. The arguments he made only showed his own shallow thinking and aren’t even worth reviewing here. Still all this made me mad, and also made me reflect on my own title.

I’m not going to bother to defend the work it took to earn my title. Six years, countless courses, teaching, publications, awards, etc. I have an obnoxiously long academic vita that does that. In some ways the PhD is a measure of stubbornness and I earned that through and through. I also won’t argue that all Dr. titles are worth the same. Especially now, when we see even more brightly how health care is heroism, I can’t even begin to equate what I have with what they can do.

What my PhD shows is that I have learned how to think. I have learned how to collect data, analyze it, theorize it, and write about it at length. When I earned that title, I knew that it was one of the few things no one could take away from me. I am one of the two “Drs.” in my building. Maybe it won’t surprise you that a school actually makes a big deal about a doctorate. Yes, my kindergarteners call me Dr. Friese. (Sometimes, with a wink at Southern custom, they call me “Miss Dr. Friese.”) For a while I wondered if the students should use my title or if it really mattered, but now I think it’s good for students to see that thinking is valuable in all areas of life. If they love that kind of advanced-level thinking and intellectual work / play, it can be pursued in countless contexts. Doctoring isn’t just in an office or hospital. We don’t all wear scrubs (and special props to those who do!) The more people see different possibilities, especially kids, the better.

On the flip side, Dr. has its downsides. I can be a total snob about things. I can’t unsee typos on a professional document. I ask too many questions at times, which can lead to the “analysis paralysis,” or being so stuck in overthinking I don’t get anything done. (I’m trying to remedy this with my OLW this year: DO!)

I also know that titles aren’t everything. Several people I know are much smarter than me learning from the school of hard knocks or lessons from in the trenches. I’ll be the first to argue that my classroom smarts doesn’t always help me “in the streets.” I embody the absentminded professor stereotype in many areas of life. Many will make a better living and a happier life taking paths that don’t necessarily lead to titles, certifications, or initials. So a Dr. isn’t everything, but it is something and it was the right challenge for me. Whether it’s initials or just more digits in your bank account, I’ll honor what you have earned.

What bothers me most about how this writer treated Dr. Biden is the tone and the underlying sexism of it all. As if being First Lady should make anything else she does or has done take a back seat. As if prioritizing her work as a highly educated educator is sort of laughable. As if the title conferred by marriage is the one she should favor over the one she earned for thinking, writing, and persisting. How many times have I gotten mail directed to Dr. and Mrs. instead of Mr. and Dr. or even Dr. and Mr.? Why does doctoring default to men? Why should women minimize what they earned when it takes nothing from anyone else? Sometimes I even minimize what I have earned myself, if I let the opinions of others invade my mind and erode my confidence.

When I taught at UGA, my students called me Beth. It was a personal choice and I had my reasons. These days, if someone calls me Mrs. Friese at work, I don’t correct them but my bosses often will if they hear it. Although my interests have taken me elsewhere, all this has revived my thinking about that title, what it means, and what it’s worth. Some might say I don’t use my doctorate, but in many ways I use it daily. I think. I write. I argue. I reason. I plan. I observe. I analyze. Every. Single. Day.

So yes, you may call me doctor. If you don’t, it doesn’t change who I am or what I’ve earned. In the mean time, I won’t waste energy worrying about what you think of me or my title. I’ve got too much to plan and DO to fret over small-minded guys.