Posts Tagged: adventure

Our Fictional Romance

love

I figured, since I am a writer now, maybe I should write you a love story. You certainly deserve to have a story written about you, my Steve, after all that you’ve given me. But here’s the thing… because there’s always a thing, isn’t there? I don’t know how to write a love story that’s half as interesting as ours. Nor do I have it in me to write a character who is quite as much of a character as you. You’re a one of a kind. Our love is that way, too.

On the other hand, if I could write my character to be one that you’d deserve in this great fictional love story, she’d be a little bit like me, but a lot not. That idea is rather nice, come to think of it, to be able to fix a few of my non-fictional flaws. So, here goes:

Fictional me would tell you more often how much she appreciates you cleaning up the kitchen in the early mornings when she’s still sleeping. Like me, she doesn’t care to clean the kitchen. She also would never complain if the dishes weren’t quite as clean as she’d like them. Fictional me yells a lot less than real me does.

Fictional me would also try more often to wake up earlier and enjoy that first cup of coffee with you. Early mornings are special to you and fictional me would be better about getting out of bed just early enough so that she wouldn’t be annoying. Fictional me would be a better fake morning person than I am.

Fictional Becky would be less critical, more encouraging, and laugh more often at your jokes. She would also be able to eat like a horse and still be thin and sexy 24/7/365. She would be more daring on hikes, more daring in the passenger seat, and even in the sack. Oh, and my fictional me would be less argumentative, less opinionated, and less complicated in the emotional department because dammit sometimes it’s just not necessary.

Alas, I am non-fictional Becky. I can’t be my perfect, or your perfect, or anybody’s perfect version of who I should be. I can just BE and hope that today’s me is good enough and maybe tomorrow’s will be a little better. But here’s the other thing… because they work in pairs, ya know! I will spend today and every day loving you as good and as hard and as best as I can. You are my very real Steve and our love is very, very real. And we both deserve nothing less than our very best try.

I love you, Steve. Happy Valentines Day!

How to Splurge (when you’re not)

Sometimes I drift into the mindset that splurging means to spend money on myself or the people I love. What a narrow definition, when the reality is that we can splurge in all sorts of ways. They’re all special and important, for different reasons. Besides, it’s important to splurge on ourselves and it shouldn’t cost us months of wages to do it.

With this in mind, here’s my short list of the best ways to splurge. None of these ideas require a dime. All of them can inspire how you focus on life:

  1. Redefine what it means to treat yourself. A treat can be anything from a new spatula to a new yacht, depending on your mindset. I got a replacement debit card in the mail the other day. It was so sleek and shiny, and had a chip. I felt a little thrill at its newness. It was nice. And what is a treat but something that gives you a nice little thrill?
  2. Do it just for fun. Every single thing we do anymore seems like it has to have a bonus, preferably a monetary one. How about we do it just because it sounds fun as hell? I want to make my own yogurt. I’d like to give it a try… I wonder if I’ll like the whole process of it, or the finished product. I don’t know. As a child I constantly said, “I wanta see,” and would push my way in so I could. I liked to learn because it was fun, so I pushed in. That sort of describes the person I am now, come to think of it. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
  3. Define your space. Do you have a room or even a little corner that’s set up exactly the way you want it? No matter how tacky or sparse or eclectic, the space is all yours and makes you feel like you can take a deep, easy breath. My space is filled with photos I’ve taken and rocks I’ve collected, nothing fancy or new. The point is, we could all use a private spot rn.
  4. Make it simple. The word count of my first draft of anything is usually high. Then I edit, to simplify my concepts. This doesn’t mean the words I use are simple, but sometimes they are. It does mean that I will find the precisely word that I need. It’s elegant, right? Using the exact word you want. I like simple specifically because it’s elegant. But also because I hate complicated If my brain has to work too hard to follow a train of thought, I lose interest.
  5. Savor things. Food? Yes, of course we savor foods, but what about a beautiful sunset? What about a hug that really means something? I’ve learned to savor my fiancé’s snoring because I know if he’s not snoring, he’s probably not sleeping comfortably. Clearly the things we savor are peculiar sometimes.
  6. Make it an event. Going out to dinner with your honey? Dress a little fancier than usual, even if you’ve been married for 31 years and can’t remember the last time you shared a meal with anyone else. Wrote a paragraph or finished a puzzle you’ve been struggling over? Celebrate it! You deserve the recognition. I think, partly, we focus so much attention on the financial side of life because we completely forgot there are other ways to illustrate value.
  7. Commit to this moment. So much time is spent split between thinking about this when we’re doing that and all the while preparing to do something else. Smart technology is making it easier all the time to successfully concentrate on 2 or 3 or 8 tasks at once. For me, I’m at my most content, my sharpest, my highest level of functioning when I’m concentrating on doing one thing only. It’s very Zen, this concept. Alternately, it’s been described as flow. But they’re just different ways to describe concentrating all your attention on what is right in front of you.

Some might say to challenge yourself to be in the moment. I say design your life so these moments are a natural outcome of living. And what about this? What if the first six steps I listed lead, quite naturally, to the seventh? Wouldn’t that be neat?

And there it is. I don’t know if it will or not, but I sure am prepared to give it a try. Because, why not? There are worse ways to spend my time 🙂

Not a resolution:

I’m gonna make my 2016 about exploring and experimentation. Last year I focused on writing: finding my voice, finding my confidence, finding a rhythm to write by. Now that we’re at the end of 2015, I find that I like my voice. I think I write from interesting angles and I like to explore.

This coming year, 2016, will be my time to figure out where the people are who might want to read what I’ve written. My tribe. I need to learn where I can make my writing a profession. Need is an interesting word to use, though. I guess I don’t really need to, but I want to contribute my share doing what I love to do. That’s my goal; by year’s end, but by July 1st would be even better!

I’ll write a blog about exploring, whatever strikes my fancy to explore on any given day. I’ll write blog posts freelance. I’ll tweet and text and email and post when I’ve written something. I’ll learn how to promote myself without feeling like an asshole.

My question is, who wants advice from a 50 year-old woman who admittedly doesn’t have it all together? Although my intent is not to advise, actually. It’s to demonstrate how I go about experimenting my way through life. It’s how I like to frame things.

Experiment 800.1

So how will I measure? I guess the biggest difference in the way I do it is that I measure quality of life first. If I’m not happy with the way I’m spending my time, I’m just wasting it, and there’s nothing I hate worse than to waste stuff.

Curious

Curious 800(Day 25 of 30)

“Child-like curiosity” It’s one of my favorite phrases and I hope to always keep mine.

Today I went on an internet hunt for ways to remain ever curious. I found some pretty great stuff, so of course I have to share.

Curiosity.com: This site’s tagline is “Learn Every Day” and I love that. Each day these folks post little informational blurbs about all kinds of interesting things. Then you have the option to click through and learn more. The facts are referenced to respected sites like National Geographic and Cambridge University, too, so it’s not crap.

Here’s an example of what I learned today: How many poppy seeds are too many? Because heroine is made of poppy seeds and you wouldn’t want to OD on a bagel or anything.

The site is apparently attached to a free mobile app, so you can access these interesting little factoids while standing in line at the grocery store. It’s better than checking Facebook for the 12th time in the past hour, right?

Oh, and in case you were interested, you shouldn’t eat more than a teaspoon of poppy seeds for every seven pounds of body weight. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even know where to find that much poppy seed in one place anyway, so I think I’m safe.

BabyCenter.com had some valuable tips for how parents can encourage their children’s curiosity. I was able to flip them a bit and apply them to myself.

Turn small outings into adventures. Say you have to go to the grocery store, make a pact with yourself to smile at every single person you pass. Mentally count how many smile back! It’s a great way to discover just how much your own smile can brighten someone else’s day. Especially if that grouchy looking old guy with a limp catches you smiling at him. You might get a wink in return!

Slow down. If you move too fast you miss the most fascinating sights. When I walk out in the desert, I walk very slowly and with my eyes trained to the tiniest details. I have photo upon photo of the sweetest little desert wild flowers that I would otherwise have missed.

Let each question lead to a quest. I’ve learned so much about geology since moving to the Las Vegas area four years ago. The mountains here are made of many different types of rock and were formed by different geological activities. Out driving or hiking in all this stark beauty just begged for me to study more, and that’s exactly what I did. I even found an old guidebook that maps out roads to follow in the area and pinpoints different land masses. Score!

That’s just a short list of the tips on the site. Please! Click that link up there and check out the rest of them 🙂

Even Forbes is down with curious. Their article discusses how to “think like a genius” by embracing curiosity. While I’m not a huge fan of Forbes and the ideas that no matter what we do we should always yearn for bigger, better, louder, whatever, I like the focus here. Basically, the article is about how we should keep asking WHY.

Adults get fixed into patterns of thinking. Like if I have always parted my hair on the right it means that’s just how it should be. Except that I have could part my hair on the opposite side of my head any morning I choose. Why do I drive to work on the same road to work? Why should I be nice to that mean lady when she’s never nice to me?

Simple questions like that, and their simple investigation for answers, can lead to habit changing behavior. Maybe eventually they’ll lead you to think, “Why do I keep this same boring job when there are so many more interesting jobs in the world?” Or maybe you’ll just learn that you’ve always parted your hair on the right because you have a weird cowlick on the left side and it makes your hair look all wonky. That’s also possible.

And that’s my point, I think, in the end. Anything is possible. But you have to be open to anything, open to see all those possibilities. So take off those blinders and practice being that curious little tyke you used to be!

Careful

Careful 600

(Day 3 of 30)

I am a careful person.

I am careful of others’ feelings. I am careful about jumping over a creek so I won’t get my shoes wet. I am careful to say the right thing. I am careful about my money.

Except when I’m not.

After only three days into this little experiment into my mind, who I am, and what I’m all about, I’ve come to the conclusion (actually it’s a concept that I’m revisiting) that of all the things that I am, every one of them needs to exist in balance.

Careful is a good example of that. I am very careful of wanting to say the right thing so that I don’t hurt somebody’s feelings, but sometimes I have to go ahead and say it anyway. Somebody has to speak the hard truth and a lot of times that somebody is me.

If I’m too careful about jumping over that creek, I might not get to the other side, and that is so limiting. That’s the thing about careful. It can be limiting. But it can be really good for me, too.

When I’m being careful it means whatever plan I have in mind is very well thought out. I’ve spent a lot of time running through what should be or might be, and what I most want to happen, so that I head in the right direction when I actually get going. It’s a good way to do things, mostly. Except, again, when it’s not. Sometimes no matter how much I plan, things go the way they’re going to go anyway. Sometimes, no matter how much you plan, the trip will take you to totally unexpected places.

But that’s where adventures happen!

I guess the best thing I can say about me and being careful is that I like that I’m a careful person. BUT… I have to be careful not to be too careful because I might miss all of those exciting things I was working so carefully to avoid.

Just one more question. Can I be a careful adventurer? Sure! Who’s going to stop me?