The Key to Happiness

I am glad to be here; to have a go at it. I am thankful for my body. For eyes that see blue skies and my daughter’s beautiful face. For ears that hear birdsong, soulful breathtaking music and the simple but profound words; ” I love you.” For hands that write poems and plant seeds and make cheesecake. For a brain to take it all in.

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I am thankful for friends and family…for LOVE ♥

For peace and understanding, patience and tolerance and for generous hearts and kind souls.

I am thankful for good people who do great things, for smiles and ice cream…for chocolate.

I am thankful for our fantastic planet. For apple trees and hummingbirds and summertime. For cats and mocha lattes with extra whipped cream. I am thankful for the scent of roses and a newly mowed lawn, for thunderstorms and fireplaces.  For kisses and sandy beaches…for oceans and sunsets.

beautiful heart_latte_art by wikipedia

I am thankful for happy thoughts and good intentions, for opportunity and hope. For dreams and the tenacity to live them out.

I am thankful to be able to share all these happy things with such wonderful people…like YOU…

smile

I am thankful I have another day of life in which to appreciate and to know that this is

THE KEY TO HAPPINESS

There have been times in my life I found myself waiting to be happy; waiting for this or that to happen. I’ve found that I don’t need a turkey to tell me to be grateful and everything doesn’t have to be perfect. There is so much in this incredible world to be thankful for…and I am thankful for that.

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What are You thankful for?  Let me know?

Strawberryindigo.

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“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” 

― Maya Angelou

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Thank You by Led Zeppelin (YouTube)

Thank You by Dido (YouTube)

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Jumping off cliffs

It is now that I sit here tapping away. It is way past midnight. I am snuggled up in my fuzzy purple blanket, drinking strong hot coffee and living in the moment like a breeze. For me this is one of the bestest and funnest things to do;  in words I dance in this moment. At times not knowing exactly which word will be…next…it is a journey of sorts and I tend to end up in places I never expect.

My mind is the octopus. The ship is logic. Let's see who wins out?
My mind is the octopus. The ship is logic. Let’s see who wins out?

My mind is like a hungry octopus, its tentacles awry, making a wild grab for this and that. Storms form. Clouds rush in only to be ushered out by shards of brilliant sunshine.  I am here amid swirling thoughts and ideas that play themselves out atop a blank page… it is here floating on this stream of consciousness where I feel fulfilled and engaged…so alive…huddled over a keyboard like a maniac, tapping away into the night…

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

― Franz Kafka

There are many reasons why I write; the most obvious being that I generally go crazy if I don’t. It is an essential outlet to me. If I were the only person on this planet I would still write it…even if there was no one to read it.  There are feelings I have that would never see the light of day if I didn’t get them out in a such a way. In a way, writing is my friend….and at times in my life, my only one. It is a big part of me. I have allowed it become a big part of my identity.

Writing has become an open window to the world

I started this blog over two years ago with an idea. Simply put; I planned to be myself and write whatever I felt passionate about and see what happened.  Now 190 posts later I am a different person than when I started. I feel as if I have gone on a long journey and I’ve seen and learned much. I’ve met some amazing people along the way; others who share this wanderlust of the mind and spirit.

I am happy when I am writing and I enjoy the results. What blows me away is how others enjoy the results as well. I am the happiest when  I  hear that something I wrote brought a smile to someone’s face. There are worse things. And as dreams go; being a writer isn’t all that impractical, is it?

I feel fulfilled and enlightened and I feel my journey has only just begun…

The Grotto in Portland Oregon. Credit: SBI
The Grotto in Portland Oregon. Credit: SBI

There are so many more reasons not to do something than to do it.   All action brings risk but then so does inaction. Much of the time it is this inaction and the result of such that can be the most damaging and corrosive. Fear can cause one to freeze like a deer in the headlines and do nothing. I have been guilty of having this response for most of my life.

I can’t say that I’m not conflicted. There is the artist part of me that feels and yearns and all that. It is that side of me I have chosen to let dominate, at least for now. Then there’s the other side. The one that doubts, the one that looks over my shoulder at the cold cruel world , the one that sees the bottom line. The part of me that pays attention and knows how difficult it can be to make a living being a writer. It reminds me that in no uncertain terms; if one wants a job writing, one must make writing a job and go to work.

I admit it.  I am hesitant to want to make something I love so much into work….and really…to be honest, I’m scared.

I suppose a lot of it is the fear of rejection. Do I have what it takes to be rejected over and over? Writing is very personal for me. I put my heart and soul into everything. It is much more than just a simple act to me. It is something  akin to extraction. The possibility of a million rejections and then subsequent “failures” truly hits home here. In writing that’s where my safety lies. This is my safe spot that I protect. My soft underbelly.  Much of my new-found self-worth is found here in this freedom of expression. Perhaps it is here I will find my answer as well.

I am reaching a point to where my fear of inaction is greater than my fear of action…

There is this voice inside me.  It started as a whisper that’s grown to an insistent tap on the shoulder,  it borders on the desperate, begging and teetering on the edge of a scream…

There is never a better time than now…do it!

Jump off cliffs

One of my favorite writers, Ray Bradbury once said,

“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

Life is full of risks. without risk there can be no reward. Without jumping off cliffs, how are we ever to learn to fly?

I made a promise to myself that I would start submitting writing pieces in 2013, I have yet to do this. Now I’ll have to. Keep you posted. Wish me luck.

 

Strawberryindigo.

blue butterfly

“Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.” 
― William Goldman

Trivial nonsense regarding high finance

Here we are in a dusty under used cherry paneled office with skylights. I am looking around for something in here and I really don’t know what it will be until I find it. MM hands me a book just out of the blue.

dictionary

It is a small concise edition of the very famous and widely popular Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms by John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman. YES! That one. This book holds really no sentimental value to me, it is just here, a rarely used item from my distant past but yet this book compels me to open it and open it now..I know you are compelled too and want me to open it and I do and…immediately a feeling overcomes me: I feel funny; not unwell funny but haha funny and decide to make fun of this funny book that helps funny people in a hilarious world indeed.

Random can be fun as well so I decide to take random words out of this book and write a story using each and every word. This can sometimes get the creative juices flowing and what better book, what better time? It is a Saturday and I am the process of doing absolutely nothing; this is one of my favorites things not to do!

Pop!
Pop!

The first word is boring and typical but in the skilled hands of a good writer could be twisted and used to immense success; that is your standard RATE OF INFLATION. This is just what it states…the rate at which something inflates, as in…The Economy…some people’s egos or the number of weeds in my garden. I remember inflation from my youth…too much of it is like cholesterol,  it clogs the arteries…this is NOT fun.

dictionary English-hedgerow-augmented-reality-plate

…so onward to the next word, HEDGE.  It  makes me think of The British and World War II for some reason. Hedgerows are nice aren’t they? Perhaps I could write a story about a big fat flower bush. I really don’t have enough words for any viable ideas so I press on and open the book to a new and random page…oh lovely page 378…and the word is SHARK REPELLENT! Oh what luck! This is a good word. Shark repellent in the finance business is a measure taken by a corporation to discourage unwanted takeover attempts, never to be outdone by The SHARK WATCHER (it is on the same page and I saw it and had to use it. THAT is the name of , of course, a firm specializing in the early detection of takeover activities…sounds like a war and a war of the worst kind; war with sharks in it!

Great White Shark Opening Mouth

I am not making this up…the next word is ASSET COVERAGE. There could be a lot to say here.  I suppose you should use your imaginations on that…suffice to say…it’s something we all have to do from time to time and in the world of finance it has to do with preferred stock and equity positions.

I know you are thinking where is she going with this? I am wondering that myself, I suppose we will all have to wait and see what happens next.

My imagination starts to swirl with various ridiculous images and colors..a totally natural high brought about by the ambrosia of words mixed with the intrigue of high finance. My fingers tremble with excitement…could possibly be next?!

And then suddenly the room starts to spin and I black out– apparently the experience was just too much for me and I woke up several hours later with a slamming headache…   😉

Apparently my bubble burst and invariably whatever goes up…must come down . It’s just like that with that damn market...

 What a ride. I don’t have to tell you that I am laying off that stuff for a while….

Have a fantastic day!

Strawberryindigo.

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” 
― Oscar Wilde

quote inspirational imagesCA8Q1BFG

Tulips and Sexy Speculative Bubbles (picturesinlivingcolor.wordpress.com)

MONEY by Pink Floyd (YouTube)

Stock Market Bubble  (theglobeandmail.com)

Year of the Cat

And so here I am hearing someone tell my 15 year old daughter that she is too old for trick or treating…imagine…the horror…how could any poor deluded and dour person say THAT to my sweet and fantastic daughter? The shocking thing was that the misguided person was me!  Of all people….

It is a good thing that my daughter is wise beyond her years. She informed me in no uncertain terms that no one is too old for trick or treating and suggested the both of us venture out together. Truth be told, she was only in it for the candy, but despite what I said in a previous post my real motivation was the opportunity to dress up like an idiot. (That probably comes as no surprise.)

So what the hell?  I decide to dress up!

I found the wings I wanted but the purple wig from years past was mangled beyond repair. I decided to ditch the butterfly fairy idea and luckily I come across a pair of cute cat ears and a furry tail–A-ha!  How fitting…

The more I think of it, the more I think dressing up is a stellar idea! Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and I will never again be as young as I am now….life is a gift meant to be enjoyed and if this is my personal idea of enjoyment why not?!

Nancy as cat

I spent the entire day dressed as a vampy black cat and had a blast!

Halloween is a fun day. It is the epitome of sweetness and light whimsy with dark twists of wry.

And dressing up like an idiot is fun, it makes normal everyday boring stuff like going to the grocery store to get more candy because the mice ate it even more fun than it already would be!

Sure I got a few stares in the produce section; who doesn’t when they are dressed like a cat?  I amused myself in the seafood section pawing at the poor Lobsters. I regret I do not have any pictures of this adventure but my camera was charging at the time. Here is a pic from a previous visit –(Oh how I yearn to free these guys!)

"Help us!!!!"
“Help us!!!!”

It was all good until I got my long black tail stuck in the ice cream case and then I almost fell when my too-high high heels skidded on the glossy brightly lit floor. The not falling part made it all so much more fun but I do have to say that picking up that extra bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups was the very best part.

This all prepared me for the main event hours later.  I let my daughter take the lead; her fluffy black tail swishing and swaying. She is dressed in Modern American Teen Zebra. She has even come up with a sort of accent for the night; Italian-Irish she calls it and proceeds to use it on everyone she meets. She is an original and has a flair for the dramatic–I wonder where she gets that?

We spent over an hour, going from house to house in the neighborhood, chatting and laughing, shuffling our feet in the October leaves and having a grand time. I kept in the background as always, waiting at the bottom of the stairs, happy just to be able to dress up like a cat and walk around the neighborhood with my daughter on a warmish autumn evening.

Ironically it was the house with the cat in the window that was the first. The cat was a fluffy orange affair that regarded us coolly as we approached. I stood in the back near a bush. My daughter let out with her spiel, the lady who belonged to the cat and who held the candy bowl squinted into the darkness and spied me. “I’m too old for treat or treating!” I said before she could say anything.

“Nonsense.” she replied with a playful smile. I shot a smile back and went up the stairs and upon arrival was instantly handed a Snickers bar.  A full-sized one…wow! What a feeling! It was happy little shot of chocolate goodwill and generosity. I was grateful and thanked her and we went on our way. I put the bar into my pocket and felt a warm glow in my heart.

Two more times this played out; the third time it was my daughter who prompted the person, a guy dressed as a cowboy to dole out a treat to me after she pointed me out matter-of-factly; “That is my mom and she thinks she is too old for trick or treating.” That “confession” landed me a full-sized Kit Kat.

I think we we’re onto something!

These moments get me thinking…

 Life is made up of moments–these moments come at us in their own time, in their own way. Life is too short to get hung up on what we think we cannot do. Cannots waste time.

I am losing this stupid fear of looking foolish in public. “Oh who cares!” I say.   I am taking advantage of moments such as these while I can still get them. It seems like only yesterday I was holding her tiny hand taking her out in the dark on such a night as this…..there are only so many Halloweens–you only get so many.

Nancy and Sara on Halloween 2
The only time I can be taller than her now is when I wear my highest high heels.

She is taller than me now. And this is her last night of being 15. She is in high school and has a boyfriend but for some reason she wants to spent Halloween night scoring candy with her mom. I would have been a fool not to take advantage of this.

I stayed in my catsuit for the rest of the night eating chocolate, sipping hot coffee…and planning for next year…

Have a good one

Strawberryindigo.

NOTE: My thanks to Juan for the mice eating the candy idea. Worked like a charm!

year of the cat-- me and mario

Related YouTube
Year of the Cat by Al Stewart    
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Halloween: Cat’s Don’t Eat Candy… (mommyhoodtake1.wordpress.com)

A packet of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
A packet of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Waves of Sound

“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” 
― Anaïs Nin

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Darkness comes early now. I watch from my window as the light gradually fades.  I light a rose-scented candle and select the perfect sound to accompany this very moment.

The sound comes at me slow…then seizes me fast like a high tide. Waves of pure sound like the green sea surround and engulf me….I am taken to a place of exquisite color and fantastic landscapes that seem to go on forever.  I am alive in this one moment in time–suspended in sound.

Oh how it moves me. I feel each note resonate deep within like amber brown honey; smooth and sweet. I lie back and take it all in. The candle flutters in the breeze from the crack in the window. The shadows dance in time to the music like the beat of a heart…

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I think we first experience music hearing our mother’s heartbeat. This strong yet fragile piece of mortal human keeps our blood pumping, the very same organ that lets us love like crazy…it keeps a beat and a comforting predictable sound.  It is the rhythmic song of life and oh how beautiful!

Music is heartfelt as it should be. As in all great art it is infused with a tiny piece of its creator.  Music is sound….and sounds are basically waves made up of vibrations that move through a medium, usually air.  Sound is not tangible.  It can be recorded onto something tangible but what it is…the essence of it lies not in something to be held in the hand….the power that music has lies in the human heart and soul.

It never ceases to amaze me; this power of music. It can elicit such an emotional response in people.  The right melody can strike a chord and touch you in a way nothing else can.  To me it can be akin to stepping inside a pool of pure emotion.

It is unique and it can touch us in many intricate ways.

music dance tango-51631_640

Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every aspect of human society. It is used for such varied social purposes as ritual, worship, coordination of movement, communication, and entertainment. We attach so much significance to music. It plays such a big role in many of our lives. It provides the backdrop to everyday…slowly coiling itself like a snake around our memories. It attaches significance to places, events and people and imprints itself on our perceptions of time and reality.

It has certainly made an impression on me. I listen to music every day, I can’t imagine not doing this and I can’t imagine life without it.

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“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” 
― Aaron Copland

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I listen to a wide variety, I have my favorites, I like to visit…again and again, like old friends.

 There have been times when a certain song or artist was my only companion…


billie holiday
Billie Holiday

Music can be quite an intimate experience. There is a winsome loneliness, a crying out–an outpouring of emotion that I hear in some songs. I can feel the ache. It is these songs that I hold most dear.

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Credit: SBI

Take a listen to a song by a friend of mine. What do you hear?  What colorful landscapes does this beautiful music paint in your mind?

~The Mines of Moria  by Marc C. Miller~

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Strawberryindigo.

dove flying

One of These Days by Pink Floyd (Trippy Video)  I highly recommend this!

The Man I Love by Billie Holiday

 What Causes Musical Experiences? (anthonyramirez13.wordpress.com)

Poetry: Music for the Brain (johnbalaya.com)

How Music Can Be Better For You Than Sex and Cheesecake (youtube.com)