26 December 2012

Jobs on jobs...

 I think Steve Jobs was onto something here:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” 

Not easy advise to follow.

15 November 2012

Sarah's Steps to Running Away With Your Dream

While there isn't much I could find about Sarah Alderson on the web, like a Wikipedia page (but I bet there will be one soon), she does write quite a bit about herself. She's a writer, so she's allowed to do that one supposes. Now that Sarah has chucked the non-profit job and traveled the globe, written a few novels, sold the screen rights, and settled in Bali, she believes I can do the same. Sarah believes you can do the same, too.

On her blog, she tells us how. If anyone else gave me these suggestions for following my dream (which doesn't have to include Bali), I'd be tempted to say something cheeky, like "Riiiiiiight, and you would know!" But she actually did it so I think she just might know.

If you don't like four letter words that start with the letter which makes the same sound  "ph" makes, as in philosophy, you might not like Sarah's advise. Joseph Campbell gives similar advise using a word that starts with the same letter,  "Follow your bliss." That's his philosophy. If Sarah's (FIP) Philosophy rubs against your grain, substitute Campbell's and continue reading what she has to say.

I don't think I'm ready to pack, yet. But my non-profit job may be up for grabs soon.

Half Way Around the World And Back

I spent two days half way around the world all by myself. Okay, I was at the Bali Hyatt Resort, but it's a foreign country and no one knew where I was. Even if I'd gotten a text asking me, as I'm not great at directions or geography, they wouldn't have found me had I tried to tell them. The other 8 days, I spent with my husband on a wonderful adventure in Bali.
That's me, roasting the coffee beans for Luwak coffee. I later drank the coffee. Not very exciting, except that this coffee comes from cat poo. Read about it here. The taste is good, but we didn't bring any home.

I'm busily working on making YouTube videos of the trip. And more will be posted on our Where In The World blog, when all the photos have been downloaded and my journal entries are typed up. In addition to Civet poo poo, we'll have stories about the volcano, the elephants, the monkeys, the taxi drivers, and walking on the bottom of the sea.

Always good to come home. Sleep in a bed without mosquito netting or mosquito coils burning in the room. And make coffee from Trader Joe's just the way I like it.

03 September 2012

Who DOES This?

Just when I've stepped one toe, okay maybe my whole foot, into the pool of "Wallowing in Self-Pity" holding onto my Pity Pony so it doesn't get too wet to be of much value when I need it to show off at my Pity Party, I read about this woman, of whom I can find only this one blurb about her on the World-Wide-Web where nothing is hidden, and JUST as I'm poised to lift my other foot off of the shaking ground that threatens to swallow me whole unless I find some purpose to life...Yes, JUST then I read about a woman not too old, but not too young, who lives this life:
"Having spent most of her life in London, our guest blogger Sarah Alderson quit her job in the non-profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round-the-world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia, and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and drinking lots of coconuts. She finished her first novel Hunting Lila (now in the early stages of film development) just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali. A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, which was written during their stay in California, was published in January 2012 by Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster). Sarah is currently working on several screenplays as well as two further young adult novels - both thrillers - which are scheduled for release by Simon & Schuster in 2013.'

 I just dove right into the pool of walling in self-pity head first. She's like a real-life fictional character. Who gets to have a life like this? Go ahead depress yourself, read all about her and look upon her smiling face here. I mean Bali!! Seriously? And to think she left the not-for-profit world just to live in Bali and write books.

11 June 2012

Peek a View

I don't live in Manhattan, NY. Not moving there probably ever in my lifetime. Dream of living a life that includes a posh condo in Manhattan. No reality. Won't even live in a posh condo in St. Louis.


Play the game. Pick a posh condo in any New York, NY, neighborhood.

03 June 2012

Grandma's Playlist

New studies on the relation of memory and music show critical reasons to let your children know what music lives in your soul.

“A new documentary, Alive Inside, follows the ‘awakening’ that occurs when people suffering from memory loss and Alzheimer’s are given music they have a strong emotional connection to — often, music they grew up with.” Another fascinating movie on how music restores memory is The Music Never Stopped.

Silence, confusion, and the non-responsive behavior of elderly patients in nursing homes changes to positive and engaged when the music that lives in their soul is played for them. “The music worked like a jolt of electricity for patients, transporting them back in time and even allowing them to speak animatedly after the music was turned off.”

So, I thought I better check to see if my children, and my husband, could identify the music that rocks my soul and ignites my spirit. They were a bit shy of the mark, truth be told. The oldest one came through best, naming my first album as an important selection. 

When I was 8, my dad brought home a free album he picked up at a store opening. It was Dylan’s Greatest Hits album, the one with the Milton Glaser poster inside. I barely knew what an album was much less what a Bob Dylan  song was at the time. But I played that album over and over and over until I could sing every song. I liked Dylan instantly.When I was considerably older, I learned to play the songs on the guitar and understood more the significance of the lyrics.

I still have the album cover. The poster and album disappeared when a kleptomaniac in my college sorority house decided she needed it more than I did. 

My oldest daughter also scored points by naming Eric Clapton as one of my favorite artists, if not THE favorite. I missed his early career, including Cream, and only paid attention near the end of The Dominoes and after he'd kicked his heroine addiction in 1973.

The youngest daughter took a shot with the Beatles—assuming, I suppose, that everyone of  a certain age likes the Beatles. And then she suggested Beach Boys. I had no older siblings and was just a few years too young to have really grown up with either of these bands rooted in my soul. Music that engages from the deep memory level is more than just period music.

I told them not to worry, I’m putting a playlist together called, “When I have Alzheimer’s.” If you think you might grow old, say past 75, you better start working on your playlist. Who's on your playlist?

14 January 2012

On Writing

An author from Kentucky, Mr. James Still, once told me if I wanted to be a writer I would be better off spending time writing than going to writers' groups and classes. Still was about 83 at the time. Maybe he thought time was too precious to waste. A feeling I have stronger now, more and more as I grow older.

A contemporary writer I have been interested in lately, one I'll probably never meet, is Paulo Cuelho, a Brazilian. His stories fascinate me and his writing inspires me. Cuelho has begun a VLOG (video blogg) on writing--or at least his writing process. In addition to being a great writer, Cuelho is great communicator. He's interested in using all forms of technology to provide people the opportunity to read his books and to share his ideas.

I have not followed Mr. Still's advise very well in my life. Sometimes I write. Most of the time I think about writing, letting work and other responsibilities get in the way. The same with drawing and painting. Someone asked me yesterday if I had a passion for the work that I do. Sadly, I had to say no. I have a competency for the work I do, and most of the time I like what I do. Maybe I even have a gift for it, but no passion. If I quit tomorrow, the work would be done by another who may even be more competent than I am at getting the work done. Maybe someone who is passionate about the work. The pay will be the same for both of us.

Cuelho's vlog reminds me of what my passion means. Mr. Still probably would say I 'd be better of writing instead of viewing a vlog on writing. I'm watching them anyway.