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What the Heck were you thinking???

Screams my brain-here's the answer:

Great question.  I have no idea.  Okay, I have some idea.  I need to do something besides be a partner, mom and breadwinner.  I have a ton of ideas, but I'm terrified to commit.  To all of them.  To any of them.

Awhile ago, I started what you could call, "The Vacation Project".  The upshot was this:  I realized I was happiest when I was on vacation, on a trip, off doing something that had nothing to do with work, showing off some area to my family that I loved, doing new and interesting things.  I asked myself why it was that that was my happiest.

There were many reasons, of course.  I dont spend a lot of time looking at my budget and finances, refuse to take my work laptop or look at work emails (I dont even have my phone set up to do so, bucking a popular trend at Acme 500.)  We dont bring the pets.  We generally dont cook or clean much when we're in a hotel.  So, there are very few responsibilities beyond, "what do we want to do today?" and "what do we want to eat?"  It's a nice way to live, if not sustainable.  We also spend quality time together, actually enjoying each other's company, instead of sinking into tv or electronic devices.

So, knowing that I have not yet won the lottery, and therefore vacation life is not a sustainable way of being at this time, the question became, "how do I bring a little bit of vacation into every day life."  The answer was "Chase the moon."  Literally.  The night I had the conversation with my partner about "how do we do this?",  the moon was impossibly large and red in the sky and we drove all over the place trying to get a good picture of it.  We failed, but the journey was the fun part.

Basicially, the concept, which is easy to state and almost impossible to practice is:

  • Do fun things on the spur of the moment.
  • Take it all a bit more lightly, allowing yourself to play hooky from your worries, if you will.
  • Engage more.
  • Take risks.

I failed miserably, almost immediately out the gate.  Change is difficult, habit is beyond alluring, it is almost a great chain that binds us all.  So, I began to ask myself, "fine, what is happiness, anyway.  It's not Netflix.  It's not popcorn.  What IS it?"

I started researching happiness and came upon Shawn Achor.  Now Shawn's TedTalks and books have changed my life, there's no questioning that.  I view the world differently now.  My priorities have changed.  Because of Shawn, I've taken to meditating, (Recommend Andy Puddicombe's Ted Talk and his wonderful Headspace app, and yes, I am a subscriber.  Cost the same as my Toontowns subscription used to cost and I get far more from it.)  Focusing on the positive, journaling, looking at each day through the lens of "what went RIGHT?  What good did I do for someone?  What am I grateful for?", looking at each seductive pass at my wallet through the lens of "does it build a memory?"

What does this have to do with poetry?  Nothing.  It was a long mental trip.

 I did a fearless inventory of my morals, my "rules", my priorities (based on how I spend my time and thoughts) and the things that actually gave me joy and realized that my rules are designed to help make me a VERY good citizen, breadwinner, parent, child, and friend.  None of them are actually designed to make me happy.

Somewhere in my studies I ran across Brene Brown.  If Shawn inspired me, and Andy helped calm me so I could actually hear my thoughts, then Brene stopped me in my tracks.

I watched her Ted Talks, read some of her writings, and I thought about what she had to say about vulnerability.  I thought about what she had to say about authenticity.  I realized I needed to do something more than be grateful and do nice things and journal and meditate and be calm and let things go.  I realized I needed to DO something.  I realized I needed to be telling my story.  And I realized I needed to be Daring Greatly.  (That there is an affiliate link, the only one in the body.  If you care, the amazon stuff in the sidebar is, as well-curated lists, nothing automatic.)

So I asked myself, "what is the most vulnerable and most honest, authentic thing you can do?"  I had it sooo easy.  I've been writing poetry and lyrics on and off since I was 9 years old.  And while "Skateboard Clown" is lost to history, there's quite a bit of it that's not.  And my poetry was always my diary.  It doesnt get any more vulnerable than that.

So the time has come to stop ignoring my poems.  The time has come to take the risk that someone might see them and laugh or think they're lame.  The time has come to take the risk that everyone will completely ignore them.  The HOPE is that sharing them will inspire me to take more risks.  So here we are.  Thanks for spending some time here today.  

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