23 May, 2016  |   Comment

100 Graces

Hello! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m taking part in the 100 Days project from Elle Luna. Thanks to a trip to Green Bay, Mom 2.0 and a new job (!!!) I got a little behind.

No matter! Instead of clogging your Insta-feed with pre-meal graces, I’m catching up here.
Thanks for indulging me!

23_blessings
23/100

24_universe
24/100

25_negativity
25/100

26_clap 27_strong
26/100

28_earth
27/100

22 March, 2016  |   3 Comments

Crownberry Day

01_crownberry

Tuffenbee woke early. It was crownberry day – she would need the extra time.

Every six weeks, Tuffenbee needed to get the berries on her head refreshed in a long process.

That’s how it was in Beepaland. For as long as anyone could remember, every egg-laying Beepa kept 15 crownberries on her head at all time.

02_tuffenbee

The berries had to be fresh.
The berries had to be placed just so.
The berries had to be in perfect condition.

Every six weeks, Tuffenbee woke early to get to the salon. The salon was where the Pincerpaws replaced crownberries.

03_pincerpaws

Beepas didn’t have hands like the Pincerpaws. Beepas paid the Pincerpaws to replace their crownberries. It cost nearly two hundred dollars for fifteen berries!
Can you imagine?

Tuffenbee was trying to save her money for a vacation at the beach. She was saving four hundred dollars for a vacation just by herself.

Every six weeks, Tuffenbee walked to the berry salon. She put the five dollars she would have spent on the bus in a jar. She couldn’t wait to save enough money for that vacation.

05_money-jar

When she got to the salon, Tuffenbee paid $200 to the Pincerpaws, sat down on the log and prepared for several hours of boredom.

It’s not that replacing her crownberries hurt, it was just boring. Tuffenbee had a lot of things she’d rather be doing.

06_tuffenbee-salon

Tuffenbee just wanted to put her feet up and relax for the night. Being an egg-laying Beepa meant that sometimes, you needed some extra rest.

01_crownberry

Six weeks later Tuffenbee woke early.

in-jar

Tuffenbee put the five dollars she would have spent on the bus in a jar.

tuffenbee-rounds-corner

Tuffenbee walked to the berry salon.

After rounding her first corner, Tuffenbee came face to face with a group of Beepas. These were the kind of Beepas that didn’t have to get crownberries replaced every six weeks. These were the kind of Beepas that didn’t lay eggs every month.

beepa_assault

This group of Beepas yelled at Tuffenbee,

“HEY YOU, YOU! YOU SHOULD SMILE YOU KNOW,
YOU WOULD LOOK EVEN BETTER IF YOU SMILED!
SMILE!”

Before Tuffenbee knew what she was doing, she yelled back at the Beepas, “HEY YOU! YOU SHOULD STOP YELLING AT ME TO SMILE! MAYBE I DON’T WANT TO SMILE”

after-beepa

Tuffenbee felt so confused and scared, she ran for several blocks before she could sit down and take many big breaths to calm herself.

By the time she’d slowed her heart, she realized she’d missed her appointment.

tuffenbee-on-bench

In that moment she said to herself,

“Just wait a minute! Just because I lay the eggs doesn’t mean I have to get crownberries on my head. Who cares if my berries look like everyone else’s? I’m going to let them fall out on their own and see what happens. “

Tuffenbee went home, put her two-hundred dollars in a jar and felt happier than she had in years.

05_money-jar

Yes, it’s true, over the next six weeks, the berries rotted and fell off her head.  Tuffenbee worked hard to keep her head clean and berry-free.

Six weeks later, she put another two hundred dollars in a jar.

She laid her egg, put her feet up for the night and planned her vacation at the beach for next month.

04_tuffenbee-walks

15 March, 2016  |   2 Comments

Look Inside My Passion Hole

I'm on the moooooooon!

I wanted to write every day last month.
Then I didn’t.

There have been a lot of moments like that in the past year. Got a smidge of the mid-life crisis, suddenly thrown into a panic about what the hell was I even doing.

What was I even doing?

I’ve battled professional ennui for about 2 years, but this was a full-blown seizing up. I couldn’t get projects done, I was always busy with nothing happening. On top of that, my trademark enthusiasm had dried up.  The meatball on top of my spaghetti of inaction was the fear that my career in digital marketing won’t age well. 

I was stuck.

In January, at Alt Summit, I sat down for a creative consultation with Dayle at Number 4 Design Studio. After my verbal wallow, Dayle looked me square in the eye and said, “You are getting old and you don’t have much time.”

It was true. And terrifying.

Dayle gave me a few topics to research, a few projects to complete and a deadline of March 15 to figure it all out. I’m thrilled to say that’s a deadline I met. I spent a lot of time to research my interests to find a clear direction and I’ve uncovered my enthusiasm again.

Did you know that sometimes you have to research your passion? I didn’t. I thought that it just bubbled up from inside my passion hole. Turns out looking into my passion hole hasn’t been too productive. Getting out and interviewing friends and acquaintances about their jobs, lives and hobbies was.

Changing course is scary, especially when family finances in Northern California are such a burden. But the thing that’s surprised me is that having taken the pressure off my job to deliver my life’s passion, I’m a much better worker.

I’ll be sharing some of the steps I took to figure it all out in the hopes that it can help you too. 

(Ha! And now I know better than to promise something every day.)

10 February, 2016  |   Comment

Lenticular – This year, we’re celebrating a secular Lent

Baby Nora Lea, Valentine's Breakfast

Nora Lea and I loved doing Lent together last year. That is for sure a sentence I never thought I’d say. But, there we are.

This year for Secular Lent (Lenticular?), we decided we wanted to do two things with our Lent.

  1. Give up – stop the worst behavior coming between me and my best me.
  2. Make new – create a thing that is between me and my ideal, future me

So I’m giving up stuff — 40 bags of it. I’m better since meeting James, but I have clutter-y tendencies, especially with vintage stuff. I have old, broken down chairs, boxes, tables and knick knacks far beyond our space’s capacity for storage. I’ll end a weekend feeling like for the entirety of Sunday, I moved stuff from one place to another. And I’m ready to stop feeling that way.

White House Black Shutters has this marvelous 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge that I’m just going to join right in and that’s just fine with me.

[One of the worst habits that our 90’s popular culture instilled in me is a suspicion of joining groups — and it’s actively harming my professional development. UGH. JUST JOIN IN AND GROW ALREADY HJ! This year, I’m joining all kinds of groups just to spite my “I’m too good for groups” gut reaction. Any I should know about?]

And along with Nora Lea, I’ll be writing a poem every day. At the end, we’re excited to have a book of 80 poems! We’ll be posting some of our favorites as we go on.

She says she’s giving up Super Mario Bros — and we support her 100%.

The older I get, the more I see that there’s a time for things — and when you try to force it, you end up wasting effort. Just like there’s a right time for resting, for gathering, for celebrating, there’s the right time for us to give up what doesn’t work for us. For our family, this is that time.

When does it feel right to give things up?

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