Monday, November 29, 2010


If there is one word to describe this year it is whirlwind.

I have lost track of so many moments. There are events and activities, but what about the moments? whirlwind

With the start of a new year just around the corner I feel like so much has been turned upside down so much change! whirlwind

Not necessarily good or bad but life, real life. whirlwind

It is not light that we need, but fire;
it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.
We need the storm,
the whirlwind,
and the earthquake.
~ Frederick Douglass

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Can somebody please get this girl a soapbox?

Most of you know it’s not at all difficult to get me going on philosophy, religion, the purpose of life, afterlife, etc. in a face to face conversation but it’s not something I typically write about. I think part of the reason is that I don’t necessarily want to defend my positions, you can punch holes in them all day even I do that, but that’s not the point. I don’t have an argument or reasoning for everything but it is how I feel, some of life’s principles I firmly believe in regardless of my ability to back them up.

I have been thinking about people, our lifestyles how we interact [and don’t] a lot lately, perhaps because I have been traveling giving me more than enough time to observe. One thing I have noticed and that I find bothersome is the “view” one has in nearly any public place. It’s a sea of head tops. I never thought I would say this but I miss seeing faces, even the ugly ones! Don’t get me wrong I am equally guilty of walking through the airport, sitting at a restaurant, etc. staring down at my phone texting, reading, emailing and so on, but a couple of months ago I decided to change my actions. I now put my phone away, take my headphones off and attempt a small interchange with strangers even if it’s just a smile, knowing full well that I am at risk of being roped into a conversation with “that guy” who tells you his life story in 10 minutes, however it makes me feel good! Like a human being with the ability to interact, not just an ability but a privilege we often take for granted. What is the point of walking around blind to one another’s existence?

What’s amazing about this is that it’s actually made ME happier! It feels good to acknowledge someone and in turn the fact that at this moment we have at least one thing in common - we are in the same place, probably with similar expectations in being there but likely with an entirely different background and list of life experiences. Additionally I decided I am far too critical of people. Don’t get me wrong I do find humor in poking fun, I don’t want to come across as unrealistic, travel provides for excellent and entertaining people watching! However, instead of getting upset when on my 16th consecutive week of travel I am next to yet another large person in a middle seat who can’t even leave the arm rests down, I try to consider how uncomfortable they are and be a little more accommodating. It’s not easy, it’s much easier to complain that I am uncomfortable, and I often do, but I am trying to be more considerate and find that again it makes ME happier.

You would think that all of these actions would be unselfish, perhaps trying to contribute to society or make others feel better but in reality it makes me happier so why not do it honestly for myself? Well, if you have been fortunate enough to have a philosophical conversation with me (sarcasm intended) you also know that I am a big believer in karma, in fact if I believe in one thing in life it's karma. Therefore, in a small way I believe my efforts are doing something for others as well; perhaps my smile made them think to call their mom, spouse, friend or child just to say hi or simply lifted their spirits on a hard day where they felt all alone. Perhaps it meant nothing. But the possibility that it might of is enough for me.

As part of my travels I also enjoy the luxury (again sarcasm) of reading every Delta Sky Magazine cover to cover, at least once! This month’s issue had an interview with Deepak Chopra, someone whom I admire and often agree with, and Russell Simmons (p 72). The article discussed the importance of taking ones philosophical and spiritual beliefs into daily life; home, business, travel - all things. Why we are so compelled to compartmentalize is beyond me and I believe an unfortunate path we have taken as a society. We shouldn’t be afraid of other’s belief’s nor to voice our own, but that’s idealistic and an entirely different topic and if you’ve actually read this far I owe it to you to come to a conclusion. In this article I was struck by a couple of things the first a differentiation between happiness and pleasure. Chopra states that pleasure makes up the experiences that amount to what most people define as happiness, however it is typically gone once the experience is over. On the other hand “What brings you happiness is meaning and purpose and contribution”. I take this to mean the big picture, the long term perspective, something that is often and easily overshadowed by short term pleasure. Additionally Chopra mentions there is significant documentation to support that the fastest way to be happy is to make others happy, in a meaningful sense. In fact there are statistics to support that if your friend is happy your happiness goes up by 15%, and if they make their friend happy yours goes up by another 10% and so on. To me this means happiness is contagious! What a fantastic thing to spread; let’s make it an epidemic – seriously!

Chopra also quotes an abbot from a Buddhist monastery he recently visited in Thailand. This is it – the profound moment you all (all two of you!) have been reading for…

“You don’t have to know a lot of philosophy. Just practice the following three things: Remember the most important time in your life is now, the most important person in your life is the one you’re with now and the most important way to create the future is to act with awareness now.”

How lucky are we that we can take control, to impact one another, to literally create our life and influence others? Make eye contact, smile, say hello, don’t be afraid to interact it is one of life’s greatest gifts. Don’t waste any time, be aware now, make it happen now.

Hopping off now, thank you...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dylan highlights from afar...

You know what makes travel bearable these days?
First of all inflight internet proud sponsor of this post and
secondly these shots of my hilarious Dilly courtesy of
one incredibly thoughtful Daddy, you know who you are….
Shootin' hoops at Boondocks for Maiki's birthday - yep that's his real score, we got a balla ya'll.
Dylan's Hammer buddies gave him some perfect little Spongebob characters for his Birthday. Here he is yelling at them to smile for the picture, Ryan's attempt at getting Dyl to smile instead of give the face we normally get (seen in above pic). Instead of smiling we get yelling, but it looks like he is singing which is so funny!
I am not exaggerating that EVERYTHING is a "choo choo train" these days (proof to follow); shoes, books, dvds, condiments you name it! Everything is just a choo choo train in the making for this boy! Even the cast of Spongebob...
Honest reaction? Bad dad, it's mid-October and no way warm enough for naked sprinkler time - but I was wrong! It was 70 degrees and Ryan was not a participant, everyone is happy, especially the neighbors.
Ryan sent me this with "look how hard his eyebrows are working" because he did not want to fall asleep and was fighting so hard!
This moment? So precious! These are the ones that tug my heart strings, especially when I am away. A Dilly cuddle with a show? It doesn't get any better.

I promised proof! See, everything a choo choo train. This one with cute buns as a backdrop.
A choo choo train of car books at Barnes & Noble. He is so proud in his chair, admiring his hard work from above...I can hear him saying "look mama"!
He picked this pumpkin out of Grandma's garden and she helped him carve it - thank you Grandma! However no where in this kiddo's plan was there the concept of leaving this on the porch, he took it EVERYWHERE for days.
~Thanks for keeping me close when I feel so far away Ry~