6:21 am and my workout is done. Sleep was better last night – our 15 year old dog has nighttime habits that rival the kids when they were newborns, which is fine on the one hand (love that she’s still aroud) and not on the other (I am now 12 years older than the last time I had a newborn!) – but that alarm still comes early.

No matter. I got up, popped in the DVD, and got my sweat on.

Feeling good right now. The stuff I’m reading and listening to is whirring my brain in all kinds of good ways, and the work I am doing feels solid and purposeful. I’m learning to chunk bits at a time, to not be overwhelmed by all that there is to do. One or two things on my list a day will move me forward far faster than paralysis and fear of swallowing the whole thing at once.

Being a badass is a work in progress. Today, I’m moving forward with it!

Set Design

IMG_4001Julian, our 14-year-old, is the Halloween man. He’s been into the holiday since he was very small, collecting decorations and storing them in the attic from year to year. He used to run a lemonade stand and would often save the profits to pour into October 31.What started as run-of-the-mill ghosts-out-of-sheets in trees has morphed into a design worthy of any magazine cover for creepy places.

This year he outdid himself. When informed that he actually had no “budget” this year (meaning no parental coffers would be emptied towards this addiction of his) he initially went into a deep pout, threatening to pitch every other decoration he’d amassed. We looked at him. He backed off.

And two days later, he broke out the jigsaw (yes, power tools were involved) and the hammer and got to work.

Someone came in with their eyes open big as moons. “You guys really do it up!”

“It’s Julian,” I said. “All him. My work? It’s inside.” I gestured to the dining room table filled with food. Veggies and dips, shrimp and sauce, chips, cheese, crackers . . . everything except dessert – after all, it WAS Halloween!

And I realized that set design, good set design, is about playing to your strengths. It’s creativity and finding the small details and putting them in the right place, but it’s also in trusting yourself enough to let it fly.

I’ll set design a party table any time. Julian will reel them in – I’ll feed them. We make a badass team.


ImageMarch 12, 2013

We've had the gamut of weather here lately, from a dumping of snow last Wednesday that left us without power until late Friday evening, to 60 degree sunshine on Sunday, and now enough rain falling that our backyard looks like a western feeder lake for the Chesapeake Bay. Snow showers are predicted for tomorrow. I am very ready for those red buds on the maple tree and the yellow peeks on the forsythia to fulfill their promise of impending spring.

A friend of mine, Karen Nourse (more info about her work here), gave me a great gift last week - a detailed critique of some of my Tasty Thursday videos. Her comments included down-to-the-second “this worked and this didn’t” as well as links to vlogs I might like to follow for educational purposes. I was blown away by the time she took, unbidden, as well as the things I learned from her. Small things, like how different perspectives can lend depth and interest to even a short video, and how mixing the shots up keeps a viewer watching. I’m anxious to put my learning into practice.

I spoke about practice in an earlier blog. My challenge groups are practicing daily, working to improve their exercise consistency and healthy eating. One woman, who is doing incredible work fitting in exercise around a very full life, posting about her struggles and reaching out for guidance and support, expressed some disappointment to me yesterday. “I feel like I’m not doing enough,” she said to me. “Everyone else posts about running 10 miles or lifting 100 pounds. And the scale is not moving and I’m getting depressed. I hate running but I feel like I should be running.” I did my best to show her that every single person in this challenge is in a different spot, exercise-wise. One person’s 10 miles is another person’s 20 minutes of ab work. “If the posts inspire you to push yourself a little further, to try something you didn’t think was possible, then that’s great. If the posts are making you think you aren’t doing enough, then maybe stop looking at them. Look at how far you have come. When you started, your goal was to exercise 5 times a week. You are getting in something every day. Your eating is in a better spot. And it has only been 3 weeks!!!” She said this morning that the little pep talk helped her, for which I am glad.

Jeremy and I are talking about putting our house on the market. This involves a lot of prep work, painting and taking care of small issues that need attention. Last night, fumes from the freshly-primed walls in our room drove us to the guest room, where we will set up shop until the room is finished. Sleeping in that room is a revelation. First of all, it’s a nice room. Soothing colors, a comfortable bed. I don’t feel bad about putting guests in that room. It did make me think about the noise I make in the morning, grinding coffee and clinking away dishes. And I didn’t do my workout this morning in the wee hours as is my preference.

Many family dinner conversations right now are about how people see the house. About how, when you sell a house, you aren’t selling YOUR home – you’re selling someone else a possibility of a life they might want. Selling the dream, baby, selling the dream. We have to make it as simple as possible for someone else to see themselves in this house.

All of these vignettes are linked in that they are about perspective. Looking at videos, or exercise, or a house from the eyes of someone else can help us see things more clearly. Sometimes that takes a conversation, and sometimes it takes literally moving into a different spot.

Whose perspective might you take on today?