Setting The Wheels in Motion

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.
Erma Bombeck

Getting Started…Again

Setting the wheels in motion and getting yourself moving in the right direction of your dreams can take a lot of effort.  You can come up with all kinds of excuses but the bottom line is…you need to get the lead out.  So to speak.  There’s times I’ve felt like an old car or truck who can’t get quite enough umph to get going.  I’d crank up the engine (my laptop), put in a little fuel (thought process) and sit there and idle (draw a blank) until I’d either run out of gas (enthusiasm) or turn off the engine (give up).  I ran the old programs of “what do I have to say that hasn’t already been said” or “why would people be interested in what I have to say”.  Who cares!  Say it anyway.

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Today is the day…seize the moment…set goals…make a list…yawn.  We’ve heard it all before.  For me, it’s making a promise and a commitment to myself to sit down everyday and write.  I’ve spent more time than you can imagine doing research and reading blogs on learning how to blog.  It boils down to this…stop procrastinating and just do it. All the other things will come in time.  What a concept.  I am not saying learning and researching is not something we should do. What I am saying is you will learn as you go along.  With Social Media and all the “How TO Do IT” e-books and articles out there, it tends to get a wee bit overwhelming.  Well actually it gets a WHOLE LOT overwhelming.  Don’t worry about what niche you want to be in.  That can change and probably will. Finding your passion about what you want to write about was the number one thing for me that was holding me back. Taking the time to sit and think about it is key.  Okay, so it’s taken a bit longer than I thought it would but it doesnt matter.  What matters is I’m doing it NOW.

Recently in one of my moments of traveling on the sidewalks of memories in my mind, I started thinking about my mom. My mom had a sense of humor that kept you on your toes. She always found something to laugh at even though things may not have been easy. One of her favorite people was Erma Bombeck.  Some of you may be too young to know who Erma Bombeck was.  She was a writer who used humor as a way to express herself. She truly was a pioneer in her field.  Her career started in when she was in Junior High School in the early 1940’s.  Stop and think about that for a moment.  She started her career long before the technology we have these days existed yet she managed to become quite a journalist, author and television personality.  She took everyday examples of her life as a wife and mother and made a living at it.  She was a very talented and funny lady.  My point about bringing Erma up is that if she could do it then, I, or any of us, can do it know.

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Erman Bombeck 1927-1996

 

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. Erma Bombeck

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt. Erma Bombeck

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. Erma Bombeck

Getting Inspiration

Inspiration  comes at different times.  Sometimes in unsuspecting ways.  I have learned to keep a notebook and pen handy.  I know with the tools we have these days like iPads and iPhones, one can expect to use them in a faster way. Perhaps that is true for some.  However, for me, I like writing things down as I experience them.  It gives me the opportunity to go back and read them and make additional comments.  I find that for me by the time I get my smart devices out and find the app to make the notes on, the moment has passed.  I’m faster at writing notes down and then using my phone to snap a picture or two that I can add to my post once I am writing it.  That may change as I become more proficient at note taking but for now, I like the way I do it.  What works for you?

Say It Anyway You Want

Consistency has been a big challenge for me.  Making the promise to yourself is one thing. Being held accountable is another.  You are the only one that can hold you accountable. You may think others will hold you accountable but it really is about you.  What is your dream?  What do you want to say to the world through your posts that will mean something to you?  Don’t concern yourself with what others think.  This is the time for you to be you.  Say it anyway you want.

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Say It Anyway You Want!

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Transformation

Transformation:

Life is constantly about Transformation.  For me, it’s been a constant one the past few months.  My last post was on July 31.  Why so long since my last post?  Change.  Lots of change.  A relocation from Arizona to Nevada.  Re-homing my beloved dog and cat.  A 6,000 mile road-trip  from Nevada to Florida and back.  A trip home to Oregon to visit family and friends. And now thinking about what I want to do when I grow up.  Okay, that last statement was a joke since I came into this world in 1955.  I have decided that NOW is the time for me to sit down on a regular basis and express myself through writing.  Who knows what I’ll discover about myself and others along the way.

Growing is the biggest part of Transformation.  Self-growth, self-realization, self-transformation.  It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s all the same thing.  The opportunity to get your mind and your fingers working together.  The opportunity to express yourself and to discover new things.

Transformation: A noun meaning:

  1.  The act or process of transforming
  2. The state of being transformed
  3. Change in form, appearance, nature or character.

Wait a minute…number 3.  What do you mean the change in form, appearance, nature or character.  You mean I CAN DO THAT?  Damn straight you can (says my inner child).  Well okay, how do I go about doing that (I ask my inner child).  By ALLOWING yourself to do just that.  Forget about what you’ve been taught (someone else’s rules).  Forget about trying to please someone else (or lots of someone else’s).  Take a deep breath.  Sit back and let your mind and fingers communicate.

I looked up a few Synonyms for Transformation.  Words like renewal, conversion, metamorphosis, revolution, shift, alteration, changeover, switch, flip-flop (not the kind you wear), transmutation and radical change were just a few.  That sounds a bit daunting but exciting at the same time.  I like this idea of Transformation.  Think I’ll take the time and explore my options.

Life is great!

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Being Creative

We would all benefit from being more creative at times in our life wouldn’t we?  Many of us seem to think it is beyond us or that we need to have an original idea.  That is not the case.  Being creative means doing something you love and loving what you are doing.  You don’t need a reason to be creative, having the desire is reason enough.

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When anyone is looking to make any kind of change in their life, the first thing they need is desire and enthusiasm.  People often find it difficult to maintain enthusiasm or keep on investing the required levels of energy (time, money, resources) in order to make a real success of a project or a goal.  If you are going to succeed, you must proceed.

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When you become more creative, you can begin to make more out of your every day experiences and perceptions of what it is that you are doing.  You can make life more colorful and have more fun and joy when you are more creative.

Creativity is your ability to grow and find what is appealing to you.  It often involves a lot of discovery and self-exploration.  Sometimes there are a lot of starts and stops.  At times perhaps more frustration than enjoyment when you come upon something that looks like a road block. One must learn to persevere and figure out a path to overcome those blocks.  It is about taking the knowledge and experience you have and building something brand new.

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Creativity is about making new connections.  Every time you link two things together, you create a third entity.  That new connection can itself connect you with other people and experiences that will add more possibilities to your life and to your project.  Imagine the impact this can have in your life as well as those you connect with.

Being creative on an individual level has the same potential: when you connect things together, you go beyond both of them; and you have the possibility of forming new beliefs and allowing new experiences to come to you.

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You need to give yourself permission, time and energy to implement these new creations into your life.  It is about the process rather than the outcome or the final product.  You can be creative at home or at work, when changing habits, updating behaviors, resolving issues, or just making life happier in any way you can.  You can be creative with words, ideas, thoughts, materials, food and activities.  You can be creative with your surroundings, relationships or with your internal world.  Being creative is fun even if every ingredient is already familiar to you.

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Above all, being creative returns us to that state where we are reaching goals we have made and even exceeding them.  It is about being absorbed and enjoying doing what you are doing, paying attention to detail, having a grand vision, being excited and playful, wondering what would happen if…

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So where ever you are on your sidewalk of life, be creative, have fun and remember to play!

 

How the Universe Gave Me A Kitten

Be Careful What You Ask For

You know that saying be careful what you ask for because you just may get it?  Well I had been thinking of getting a kitten and the universe delivered.

My love affair with Gypsy started when I had to have a tenant removed from my rental in Las Vegas back in 2008.  When the property management company went in to begin cleanup they called to say there was a very scared, hungry black kitten locked in there and they would call animal control to have it taken away.  I said absolutely not.  I would come and get it.  Oops…did I just say that?

At that time the housing situation in Las Vegas was awful.  It was right in the middle of the 2008 crash and that area was one of the worst hit in the nation.  People were loosing homes left and right and so were their animals.  The shelters were over run with cats, dogs and any other kind of pet that people just could no longer keep.  I knew she would certainly have a death sentence if I allowed that to happen.  Something my heart could not let happen.

I had relocated to Arizona a few years before and had been thinking of getting another kitten.  I had my poodle, Greta, but no kitties.  Well, now I had one.

I knew I had to go up and assess my home anyway so why not make it work for both me and the kitten.  So I loaded up the car with the dog, a cat carrier, things for an overnight stay and my daughter (for good company).  We decided to have fun on a road trip and give a poor scared little black kitten a good home.

When we arrived she was definitely scared but no longer quite as hungry because the property management company gave her fresh food and water.  Thank you kind people!  She was not about to let us get close because she was so traumatized.  Turns out there had been very small children around and she had not been handled correctly.  We placed the cat carrier down with the door open, placed a little food inside and left the house so she could get comfortable with the idea of a “house”.  When we came back the next morning she was much more accepting of us.  It took a little coaxing but we finally managed to get her inside the carrier and into the car.

Once we got in the car, things began to get really interesting.  We placed to carrier in the back seat next to Greta.  Oh yeah…the dog!  All hell broke loose.  Greta began barking and the cat hissing.  I looked at my daughter and she just shrugged her shoulders as if to say…”this is going to be fun”.  We had six hours to drive home and I was not about to listen to this all the way.  So I patiently turned around in my seat and said: “Okay you two, listen up.  We have along way to go and you two had better get used to each other real quick because we’re going to be a family and that’s it”.  Boy, was it ever!  We never heard another peep out of either one of them all the way home.  I love being heard!

Fast Forward to 2016

Several years have passed since my rescue kitty became a part of our little family.  Greta is now 9 1/2 and Gypsy just turning 8.  Life has been interesting with these two.  They have learned to accept each other even though cats are not Greta’s favorite.  Actually she doesn’t like dogs either but that’s another story.  Just who she is.

Gypsy has grown into this gorgeous solid black cat.  She has honed her hunting skills down to perfection.  So much that I finally had to make her stay inside for a while.  I have had birds of various sizes and stages of life brought into my house as gifts.  Oh and don’t forget the bugs, lizards and a squirrel.  I’ll tell those stories in another post because they are quite funny.

Here’s a picture of my little black kitten the universe gave me.  She’s full grown and quite stunning.  Here she is being my part-time personal assistant as I sit and write.

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I am grateful to the universe for answering my wish for a kitten.  You never know how something is going to show up in your life.  One has to listen to what they say and keep an open mind and heart.

So until next time, remember to be mindful of what you wish for because you just may get it.

All the best

Side Walk Traveler

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Weekend 2016

As Miss Great (aka Greta Garbor) and I were walking through the neighborhood earlier today we decided to sit under our favorite tree and relax in the shade.  This is a favorite spot of ours and it is a lovely place.  Right now in Arizona, we are experiencing a beautiful spring.  Actually we had winter back in early January for about 2 weeks.  February brought in temperatures in the mid-high 80’s, breaking records and causing everything to bloom a bit early.  Now here it is late March and we’ve already broke 90 more than once.  No…not yet!  This past week we cooled down a bit and the temps are perfect.

Here’s Greta enjoying that beautiful cool green grass on her tummy.  Greta is a 9 1/2 year old toy poodle who thinks the world revolves around her every need.  I guess it does in a way although I do my best to not let her rule mine.

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Being able to take a few minutes out of our busy life and sit under a tree and experience the cool grass brings back fond memories for me as a child.  Easter was always a fun Holiday.  I grew up on the southern coast of Oregon where spring was (and still is) a mixture of rain, a day or two of sun, rain, wind and rain, fog and more rain.  With all that moisture the colors come alive once everything starts to bloom.  You know spring is actually coming when the crocus, daffodils and tulips start pushing their green leaves through the mud or in some cases snow.  By the time Easter arrives they are in full bloom.

Here are some beautiful pictures taken near Woodburn, Oregon.  These fields span for many acres on both sides of Interstate 5 just north of Salem.  Every year these fields are tenderly loved and nurtured so the bulbs and flowers can be harvested for market.  It is always a treat to see them in full bloom.

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Other fond memories are around my mom spending the entire week getting everything ready.  She, like most moms in those days, were stay at home moms.  That was usual back in those days of growing up in the ’50’s and ’60’s in small town USA.  She would plan the shopping, cooking and baking for who ever was coming to Easter Dinner. That always happened after Sunday morning church and included the exciting Easter Egg Hunt.  Getting a new Easter outfit for church meant either going shopping (which was rare) or her working for weeks ahead of time making them.  Depending on the budget there may have been a pair of shoes or when we were really small, a hat and purse.  Having four kids meant stretching the dollar a lot!  Dinner was always the traditional Easter Ham.  She would make Banana Pudding and a cake shaped like an Easter Rabbits head.  She always put frosting covered in coconut (my dads favorite) to make it look like fur.  It was lots of fun and definitely fond memories for me.

As we travel through life, our traditions shift and change as our families change.  Parents grow old and pass on, we become parents and our kids grow up.  They have families and create traditions of their own. Life moves and shifts constantly.  Moving in time with those changes can be challenging.  However, the most important thing to remember is that no matter where you are in life, you always have the choice to be loving and kind to everyone you come in contact with.  Love is always the answer.

So as I sat and let the cool green grass caress my bare feet today, I realized how grateful I am for the upbringing I had.  How fortunate I am to be who I am and to have friends and family and pets that love me.

So until next time, may your journey on the sidewalk of life be one filled with love and happy times.

The Sidewalk Traveler

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Cool Grass on my toes

 

 

 

 

 

Taking The First Steps

Welcome to the first post of SIDEWALK TRAVELER.  This journey started with the desire to create something that would bring joy not only to myself but to those who choose to travel  with me.

I have done quite a bit of research recently on starting a blog.  Who hasn’t?  Seems that anyone you talk to or anything you read is filled with the big question. Do you have a blog?  That’s followed by: Why do you want to start a blog and what will you gain from it?  Here’s the even bigger question…will you make any money from it?  My monkey mind challenged me with the ole’ “what do you have to say that someone else hasn’t said”.

My answer to all of these questions is I won’t know if I don’t try.  All of the unknowns will remain until I discover the answers for myself.  I’m not here to out blog anyone or to prove anything to anyone except myself.  Being a Baby Boomer has taught me that it’s not so much what you say rather than how you say it.  Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true.  What I have to say IS IMPORTANT.  It’s my voice expressing what it is I have to say about what I see and feel.

Having the desire to create is part of our human nature.  When we are young children, before age sever or eight, we are filled with joy and happiness.  The sense of wonder at every little thing we encounter makes life joyful.  We begin to change as we enter school and start growing up.  When we are about the age of eighteen we set out to change the world.   We think we have all the answers to solve all the worlds problems.  Then life happens.  We get caught in the daily grind of trying to support ourselves.  We go to school, get jobs, have families and slowly the years go by.

One day we realize our lives are being lived by someone who may not have experienced their true selves.  Someone who doesn’t necessarily understand what the words joy and happiness means anymore.  We have forgotten those moments when we were younger and filled with awe.  We may think “no one ever taught me what the meaning of living in joy and happiness is”.  That is because as we grew up, perhaps those who we looked up to didn’t even understand it.  They had forgotten because life may have become too overwhelming for them.

It doesn’t really matter.  That is all in the past and we have to understand they did the best they could.  Granted it may have been messed up but never the less, it’s in the past. Some where along the way we figure out that the only thing that needs to change is inside each of us.  What we allow to come out is our true nature.  Our true selves, the creator.

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Learning to exercise our voice and be heard takes practice.  We have an entire life time of being told what to believe by those whose perception is they know best what is right for us.  By whose description or authority do they know what is best for each of us?  They don’t.  We also have to unlearn the exercise of being seen and not heard from our childhood.  Whether it be from our parents, grandparents, or anyone who was given that authority including the classroom and church pew. We have to be willing to unlearn that behavior, get over the guilt, forgive them (and ourselves) and move on.  I know that is much easier said than done but we will all be better off once we learn it.

Sidewalk Traveler is the creation I choose to allow to come forth today.  I chose this title and subject because it will be an expression of how I see life.  It is my view from the place on the sidewalk I am standing or walking as it may be.

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Who knows where it will lead but the journey is going to be fantastic.  Live each day by being present and in the moment.  Stop to enjoy the little things.  Stop and take a walk on a quiet sidewalk and see what you discover.

Until next time…keep living life to the fullest from whatever sidewalk you are on.