Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

–Jim Hightower

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It’s been a while, friends.  Hasn’t it?  Have a wonderful week.

 

 

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Change your stars.

–A Knight’s Tale

You might be knocked off your horse or take a lance to the face.  Some days you might feel like a blind thatcher’s son, and some days you might think you’re living in the dark-ages.  Pick yourself up off the ground.  Let the lance roll off your armor.  Embrace your father, and be inspired by your contemporaries.

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“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”

— Lewis Carroll

Today, accept the adventure that is placed before you. The promise of a new day is not one given freely or easily to everyone.

Don’t try to rationalize what’s happening or explain to yourself why it’s okay to let yourself live.

Just be here. And while you’re at it, enjoy the ride.

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“What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world, and you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth.

–Walter White

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In light the series finale, our Monday Morning Message is from Breaking Bad.  We can certainly learn a lot from Walter White, our everyday high school chemistry teacher, but this is one of the more valuable lessons he shares.  When you are done with fear, when you can move past it and confront your challenges, nothing more can stand between you and your empire.

Have a great week.

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“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.”

Ben Franklin

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Personally, I am most comfortable when I can get into my routine.  I am very careful to plan my week on a calendar, create a to-do list with sub-to-do lists just to make sure everything gets accomplished.  And it’s the deviations from this routine that causes stress and makes me uncomfortable.

But is that really living life- commuting to work from 9-5, getting in a workout, and catching a few reruns of the Big Bang Theory before bed?  Is that as good as it gets?  Honestly, that’s the trap that Ben Franklin realized a lot of 25-year-olds (okay, I know you’re just pretending…) fall into.  And, after all, isn’t that why we call it ‘the grind’?

Ben Franklin was definitely a character with many interests and hobbies.  I think he encourage those of us who have sailed into the doldrums of life to bypass the Lethargians and find some ways to spice things up.  It might not be a big life-altering decision, but maybe there are some little place you kind add excitement in your schedule.  I’ll help you brainstorm.

Wake up early enough to enjoy breakfast in a new restaurant, or leave the lean cuisine at home and try a new restaurant for lunch.  Cook a new recipe- autumn’s here so why not something pumpkin?  Host a dinner party for some friends, or suggest a Friday night dinner outing at a new place.  Switch out the Coors Light for a festive microbrew.

Try a new kind of workout- can you rent a kayak or a bike?  Give a spin class or zumba or fly-wheel a shot.  You could even change up the route you always run or just run it backwards.  Find a mountain, and take a hike.  Go fishing.  Maybe you don’t work out- take a walk or a swim.  Ben was an avid swimmer.  Invite someone new to join you.  Really not into working out?  What about following a new sport- become the expert.

How long has it been since you read a book?  What about a mystery or a new genre?  What other hobby’s could you find interesting?  Homebrewing?  Ben’s recipe was called “Poor Richard’s Ale.”  I just brewed my first batch last weekend.  It’s not that hard to get into, and I’m confident you could do it.  What about canning?  Maybe it’s just an arrangement of fresh cut flowers on your desk.

Could you take a course in something you’ve always been interested in?  Join a bible study or a small group?  Join a book club or start an investment club.  Meet some new friends.  Travel.  Take a day-trip or a long weekend.  Find out what beautiful landmarks are around you and go photograph them.  Then make a rainy-day hobby out of photo editing and make some art out of it.

I don’t know what it is that will make your life more fulfilling and exciting, what that something is that will make you excited to get out of bed.  And honestly, one thing probably isn’t enough.  If it’s just one thing, it’ll become part of your routine.  But always be learning.  Experiment.  Live.  These little things are what make life worth living.

Have a great week, everybody.

-R

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Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.

Goethe

When you swim out to Black Rock, the cliffs don’t seem very high.  But as you climb the boulders, the coarse stone cutting the bottom of your feet, the fish in the tidal pools start to seem tiny.  When you peer over the first wall, you realize that you’re climbing a bit higher than your comfort zone.  But you keep climbing, because no self-respecting thrill seeker jumps at the first chance.  So you keep climbing to the top and try not to look down.  After all, if you look down, you might not jump.  Now’s your chance to back out, but it’s a long climb back down.  You take a deep breath and two steps to fling yourself off the ledge.  The second step isn’t necessary because you’re already plummeting towards the water below.  You’re not really thinking about anything.  All you can do is tuck your arms in at your sides and… SMACK- you plunge beneath the cool salty water.  You feel the rush as you break the surface and take another deep breath.  Congratulations- you just took the plunge.

Take the plunge.

Live a little.

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Kulia i ka nu’u

“Strive for the summit.”

–Hawaiian proverb

To visit Haleakala, a dormant volcano designated national park in 1961, for the magnificent sunrise is a Maui tradition.  The journey to the summit is a perfect parable for this blog.  Yesterday we arose at 2am to travel in the dark to the lookout before sunrise.  Driving up the twisting switchbacks (and down again, later) proved a challenge for some of our travelers’ inner-ears and stomaches.  10,000 feet above sea-level in the dark and wind was surprisingly and uncharacteristically cold for our group that packed for Maui beaches and left its Northface gear at home.  Needless to say, by 5:30 stomaches and tempers were growling fiercely.

But when dawn broke and the sun peaked over the fluffy clouds and filled the crater with glowing light, radiant heat warmed our goosebumps and our attitudes.  Standing in the middle of the south-pacific and observing a once-in-a-lifetime sunrise in full panoramic, the memory of the dark morning seemed distant and making the trip was worth it.

Legend of Haleakala (link also includes time-lapse video of the sunrise)

There is a legend that tells the origin of Haleakala’s spectacular sunrise.

The demi-god Maui and his mother, Hina, lived near Rainbow Falls in Hilo on the island of Hawaii. Hina would make kapa from the bark of the wauke and mamaki tree, and the strips would be dyed with magnificent designs to form cloth. The kapa, however, would still be damp when night fell, and Hina would lament how the sun moved too quickly across the sky to dry the cloth.

Upon hearing this, the demi-god traveled to the island of Maui and climbed to the 10,000-foot summit of Haleakala, where the sun was asleep in the giant crater. Maui hid until morning and watched the sun begin his daily journey. As the first ray of sunshine appeared, Maui snared it with his lasso of twisted coconut fiber.

The sun demanded to be released, but Maui would not let go. “Promise me that you will move more slowly across the sky,” he told the sun. Left with no choice, the sun struck a bargain with the daring demi-god. He would move slowly for six months out of the year, and then move at his preferred pace for the other six months. Agreeing to the terms, Maui hurried home and told his mother the good news. As a reward, Hina made her son a new cape, and sure enough, it dried in one afternoon.

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The sky is not the limit.

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“Punch today in the face.”

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“The road to success is always under construction.”

Lily Tomlin

A pot hole here. A new bypass there. Thick fog. Ice. Congestion. Rubbernecking. The road to success is often traveled but often abandoned and detoured. Maps of it are certainly crude, as the road is a unique route for each sojourner that embarks upon it, and the ease of passage depends upon many factors, from foes to fates. Don’t be discouraged when you find yourself doubled back to where you’ve already been, delayed by a family rest stop, or sitting in traffic behind other passengers on the route. Reset the odometer. Proceed confidently in the direction of your dreams. Don’t forget to take in the views. Most importantly, enjoy the ride.

Photo courtesy of Lifehacker.com

Photo courtesy of Lifehacker.com

 

 

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