Love me, love me (for God’s sake will you just love me already?)

love me, love meLet’s be honest, to be a writer, an actor, singer or any type of ‘creative’ you have to have a pretty big ego. It’s not wrong, it just is. Perhaps it’s God’s way of helping us deal with all the rejection, finger-pointing and the fact that we were looked upon as the weird geek all through high school.

Most people aren’t going to understand us. They aren’t going to understand why certain sounds might send us into a state of impassioned annoyance. Or why we’re so interested in talking to strangers and fascinated by the conversation at the next table. Or why we have that “I’m taking notes” look on our faces half the time. But that’s okay. We’re not here to be understood. We’re here to create. We’re here to enrich other people’s lives (hopefully) with the things we create. Whether it’s a song, a performance, a painting or a story – ours is a mission of finding beauty and meaning in life and reporting back. Maybe we’re also the note takers for the current culture – the predictors of what the future may hold. Some think so…

But what we aren’t is the world’s darling. We aren’t here to be loved. To gain approval. Or to be the homecoming queen. The world isn’t interested in our neediness. And yes, we’ve got it – in spades. And if the world (or any part thereof) decides to love you, it will be on its own terms, not yours.

The very fact that we create something doesn’t mean that it’s great or even good. And when it’s not we should be humble enough to accept that when someone points it out. We should be grateful that there are people in our lives who will be honest with us, tell us the truth and insist we give only our best work. Because in our best work we give what we are meant to give – an undeniable truth, a pure note, a perfect color – whatever it is, you know it when you’ve got it. When you’ve reached it. When you’ve created it.

The world does need our work. It is important. We can only give that when we put on our big girl and big boy pants and dedicate ourselves to it. And keep the griping and hurt feelings to a minimum.

Though there is the occasional anomaly – trust me you won’t:

  • Pen the great American novel on a first draft
  • Paint like Picasso after one art class
  • Win an Academy Award for your first performance
  • Sing like Caruso (or Beyoncé) after completing Music 101

If you don’t put in the work, you’ll never develop your craft enough to get there. But if you do dedicate yourself to it – earnestly and without insisting on constant love and adoration for doing your job – the world may love you after all. Or at least your work.

Writer Chick

copyright 2014

Dear Friend

dear friendFriends are the best and what the heck would we do without them? But we’re so busy all the time and there’s always so much to do, we sometimes don’t say the things we should to our friends.  So, I’ll say it here and now. 

Dear Friend,

I am not your friend because you are always happy, cheerful and care-free. The truth is I love you even when your warts are showing.

I think you are a wonder even when you can’t control your anger, sadness or depression. I respect you because you can feel deeply and feelings are neither good or bad – they’re just feelings.

My wish for you is that you are always happy and that life is a continuous adventure.  But I know that sometimes you aren’t and it’s not.  But that’s okay because I still love you. (Even if you have gained 50 pounds and can’t give up the chocolate.)

I want you to always feel loved but I know that sometimes you feel alone.

I want you to know you can tell me anything – even the the things you keep from me because you don’t want to be a bummer.

I want you to spread your lovely wings and fly. But I understand that there are times when wings break and the back-ups are at the dry cleaners.

Why do we try so hard to be perfect? Don’t you know that you are perfect just as you are in all your wonderful imperfections? Well, you are.

To all my wonderful friends – you are truly special people. 

Writer Chick

Copyright 2014

Ten Things That You Can Do To Get Inspired

robinLook, let’s be honest – life can be a drag.  Life can be hard.  Life can be all work and no play.  Things have been tough for a lot of people in the last couple of years—perhaps you’re one of those people.  Maybe you’re working a job you hate just to pay the rent and feed yourself.  Or you’re working two jobs because you can’t find full time work, or doing work on the side just to make ends meet.  Believe me, I get it.

So, it can be hard to get inspired about anything – except maybe a large pizza with everything and an all weekend Lost marathon.

There’s an old adage that says, “The best things in life are free.”  And maybe there is some wisdom in that statement.  Have we become so accustomed to our super techie world that we’re unable to see the simple everyday miracles right under our noses?  I think maybe we have.

So buck up maties and take a look at the following list to see if you can find inspiration in any of the following:

  1. Grow something from a seed.  There is nothing more inspiring than growing something with your own hands.  Seeds are very inexpensive, often you can find them in Dollar stores or discounted at the local nursery but even if you can’t afford that, you can harvest seeds from fruits and vegetables you already have.  If you harvest your own seeds, make sure to dry them out before planting.  It’s simple, just rinse them, dry them on a paper towel and set them in a warm dry spot for a week or so – then plant them.  If you don’t have a yard, use a patio pot.  If you don’t have a patio or porch, set up a pot on a table by a sunny window.
  2. Read a children’s book.  Who can read The Cat in the Hat or Ham and Green Eggs and Ham, without smiling? Children’s books by their nature are meant to encourage, teach, and inspire.  I dare you to read a Dr. Seuss book and not feel better.
  3. Make  your own bread.  There is something wonderful about the smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the air.  This is a no fail recipe that enables anyone to make their own bread.  And again if you’re on a tight budget, you can probably find all the supplies you need at the local dollar store.
  4. Make a little movie.  This article discusses specifically making a book trailer but you can make any kind of movie you want.  Maybe you want to make your own little inspirational movie.  Have fun, it’s only for you so you can make it as bold or silly as you like.  And play it whenever you want.
  5. Take a free course.  Learning something new can open new worlds and ideas to you that maybe you didn’t even know were there.  Free courses online abound everywhere.  The ones offered here really inspired me.
  6. Volunteer.  Nothing makes you feel better than helping someone else.  It puts things in perspective and makes our own problems seem a little less daunting.  There are hundreds of places to volunteer, hospitals, veteran centers, food banks, libraries, rest homes, etc.  But even if you don’t want to commit to that you can learn about seniors in your neighborhood who could use some help, maybe a ride to church or the local grocery store, helping them weed their garden or walk their dog.  If the will is there, you will find an opportunity.
  7. Take your grandparents or parents out to lunch.  Your parents and grandparents are a wealth of information.  They all have histories.  They have all gone through hard times and survived.  Why not take them out to lunch and ask them what life was like when they were their age.  What challenges did they face?  How did they overcome adversity.  Learn your own family history – maybe you have some heroes in your family tree you never knew about from whom you could get inspiration.
  8. Mind map your brilliant ideas.  This free software is a fun way to work out that idea you’ve had in the back of your mind for years or months.  Why not work it out on paper to see if you could actually make it work?
  9. Personalize photos and make a collage.  Everybody has photos – grab a bunch and head over to this free site.  Spiff them up and make a collage and send it to your friends or post it on facebook or make it your computer wallpaper or screensaver.  Or string a bunch of images together that creates a dream board.  The possibilities are endless.
  10. Count your blessings.  This is something none of us does enough.  No matter how bad things may be in your life, they probably aren’t as bad as someone else.  It’s so easy to focus on what is wrong with our lives while ignoring what is great.  We often take the good things in our lives for granted rather than showing gratitude for them.  I promise you if you just change this one thing you will see a real change in how you feel about yourself,  your life, and other people.

The truth is, inspiration is really everywhere we turn.  If we just open our eyes and look for it, we are sure to find it.

Are there things that inspire you?  Tell me about them in the comments below.

Writer Chick

Copyright 2013

Today we honor them

“[W]hat sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory? Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man-at-arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now — as one of the world’s noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. … [W]hen I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, County; always their blood and sweat and tears, as we sought the way and the light and the truth.” –General Douglas MacArthur

Today is for those men and women who have given their lives for our freedom – so among the hotdogs, parades and fireworks, let’s say a prayer of thanks. God bless our troops and keep them safe.
WC

Gratitude – The Truth

This week I am grateful for the truth. In all its many forms. The look that tells it all. The touch that conveys meaning. An honest belly laugh. And the truth that humbles and humiliates – that makes me see I have a long way to go. That I cannot phone it in and expect much in return. That facing up and starting over is so much better than a free pass.

The facts. A candid assessment. Because facts don’t judge or give you extra points for style, looks or pedigree. Facts  just are. Because the truth is something I can work with. Something I can get my teeth into and taste, digest.

So I thank anyone who tells me the truth, even when it hurts. Even when it changes something I’d rather not change. Even when it sends me down a new and tenuous path. Even when I don’t like it very much. It is still the best friend a girl can have.

copyright 2011

Gratitude – Personl Liberty

lib•er•ty
–noun, plural -ties.
1.
freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
2.
freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
3.
freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

One thing that most men have in common is the desire to be free. Whether he lives in the western world, the third world or, behind a government-erected wall, man’s most beloved freedom is that of personal liberty.

Perhaps that is why America has been a most prominent and envied country since her beginnings. Our founding fathers were forward thinkers who believed that personal liberty was something that every man, woman and child was entitled to and in fact was divinely endowed to every person on Earth.

This week I am profoundly grateful for my personal liberties. For my freedom. For the fact that I had the good fortune to be born in the United States and not in another country. That in that respect that fate has treated me well.

It is easy as an American to take for granted what so many men have given their lives to provide. And what men and women still fight to provide. When we turn on a switch, we have lights, when want to go some where we have transportation and freedom of movement, when we have an opinion we voice it. This is the way of life in America and ‘normal’ for us. We rarely, I think, stop to consider that it is not normal for millions of others. We rarely consider that loudly voicing our opinion in another country might result in a prison sentence or even death. We rarely marvel at the fact that if we are hungry we can simply go to a store or a local eatery and satisfy our hunger.

We walk down the street without fear of marauding bandits, rabid and predatory animals or being thrown in a gulag in which no one will every find us.

We are too busy and too stressed to notice that we live in the greatest country in the world. We are too angry about the issue of the moment to say a small prayer of gratitude for the glory of daily life in America.

And I am as guilty as anyone else for taking it for granted. For not thinking of it often. For not contemplating how very rare and unusual our country is. How very much I have to be grateful for just by virtue of the fact that I am an American.
And so I say now – thank you – I am grateful.

What are you grateful for this week?

WC

Copyright 2011

Gratitude – Work

This week I want to show special gratitude for work. Over the course of my life I have had many jobs and I’ve learned something from all of them.

I’m grateful for…

My first job of raking leaves and cleaning my dad’s car. From which I learned that you could earn money if you did things for people that they didn’t want to do themselves.

My first business was babysitting for the neighbors. From which I learned you could earn money by just being in a place and making sure nothing happened. Often treats, drinks and movies were provided. I also learned to love kids and that they are really a kick.

Waitressing was my first “official’ job where taxes were withheld and I got an actual paycheck. From which I learned that speed and efficiency is king. That humor and friendliness go a long way in human interaction. That change counting machines were a gift from the Gods. And most importantly good shoes are really important.

And then there was, marketing, bookkeeping, managing, personal assisting, tech writing, copy-writing, fiction writing, blog writing, and so on.

For as much as we may complain about our jobs and going to work or having to work, I truly believe that without it we would be lesser beings. We would have lower morale and be generally unhappy. I believe it is human nature to want to work for or at something, that there is a specific joy one gets from making something with his or her own hands, mind, intelligence and/or creativity. While work usually brings you money, it also gives you independence, self esteem, self worth, and yes even a sense of peace.

Even the really terrible jobs I’ve had (and I think everyone has had a few) where everything went wrong, the boss or the coworkers hated me, the work was unsatisfying or difficult, the pay was terrible – even those jobs, that work I am grateful for because they all helped me to survive. To have the wherewithal to provide for myself and even pursue other interests. Not to mention some good writing fodder.

How about you? What work are you grateful for?

Copyright 2011

Gratitude – Friends

 

How would we ever get through life’s ups and downs without our friends?  The people with whom we laugh and cry, celebrate and commiserate? Though I am not one of those people who has a million friends, the friends I do have are incredible individuals and have added to my life in innumerable ways.  I am grateful for…

1. Zelda – my partner in crime, and too many adventures to note.  Who always has my back and worries about my retirement.  Who makes me laugh and prevents me from taking myself too seriously.

2. Kelly – who inspires me with her emotional fortitude and the absolute refusal to let life keep her down. Whose laugh can crack an eardrum, and whose heart is bigger than the great outdoors.

3. Cora – who taught me about fashion, passion and perseverance.  Whose intelligence and spirit personifies strength and character. Whose encouragement is appreciated more than I can say.

4. Jenny.  A sister, a daughter, a mother – just family in every way. A shoulder to cry on, a reassuring voice in the dark times , a woman who is always up for silliness and dumb pranks and will drive me anywhere.

And Squawky, Christine, Billie, Di, Kim, Sharie, and Jess – Andy, Michael, Andrea, Debba, and, and, and…

My friends mean the world to me and I am grateful for you all.

How about you? What friends are you grateful for and why?

copyright 2011

 

 

Gratitude

These days I know that it is sometimes really difficult to feel gratitude for what you have. With the economy flailing and the job market dwindling, just keeping your head above water can be a real challenge. At least it has been for me. Let’s face it, times are tough – for pretty much everyone.

Still I like this concept of gratitude – being grateful for your blessings. No matter how small or meager they may seem, we all have something to be grateful for and often more than the next guy. So I have decided to dedicate a post a week to gratitude. To say thank you for my blessings. So this week I am grateful for…

The people I have known throughout my life. The nice people, the mean people, the stern, and the happy people. People who have inspired me to be a better person, people who have taught how not to be by example, people who have made me laugh, people who have offered help when I was too proud to ask.

I am grateful to have witnessed true grace under pressure, kindness in any form, and advice given, even if unneeded.

For the sunshine that I experience most days and the many walking paths ready for my feet and sense of adventure – always with a view of the mountains and wild flowers.

For books that entrance me, educate me and expand my horizons.

For music that calms me and transports me out of a bad day.

For the technology that makes my life easier and better. And in fact has changed my life.

I am grateful for the good soil in my backyard that enables me to grow my own vegetables.

For my goofy little dog who is always my friend and greatest admirer.

For daffodils, chocolate, movies and obscenely strong coffee.

Today I am grateful for everything I do have and everything I do not have.

What are you grateful for?

WC

Copyright 2010