Comfort should be a reward, not a lifestyle. It is the peace and quiet at the end of the day after a job well done. It’s valuable, a powerful motivator in small doses. There are times in life when you should kick back and get comfortable because after everything you’ve done and been through, you deserve it. Comfort is a warm and inviting place where nothing difficult or unexpected ever happens, a necessary reprieve from the daily slog.
But don’t get too comfortable. It’s where you go to recharge but you can’t live there. Nothing would ever get done. History was never made by comfortable people. Every legend that ever walked the Earth felt the same itch to change the way things were in an effort to make them the way they ought to be. The only reason that we wake up every day with the drive to improve our lives is because there is something, small and insignificant though it may be, that makes us uncomfortable. There is always something that could be better.
We’re only human after all, flawed and prone to catastrophe. In my experience, most people also share a universal lack of self motivation. We need life altering opportunities that only the most disastrous mistakes can bring. We need the turmoil and torment of close calls and tight spots. We need the pure thrill and unadulterated joy of succeeding in the face of hardship.
How can we savor the simple, well-earned comforts of life if we have never truly been uncomfortable? Being comfortable is not the same as being happy; safe and secure, yes. But not happy. Don’t waste time settling for what’s easy when you could be fighting for what’s right.
This was the product of a quiet afternoon with nothing to do but play with words. Someday, I’d love to be a character like this.
She’s measured and reserved, always on her way to something important. She flits through life in perpetual motion, like a hummingbird. Her bright wings only ever stop for a second or two while she sips the sweet nectar of a trumpet vine. That’s all the time she allows herself to catch her breath and refuel. Then it’s off to the races once again, those wings beating so quickly they are a transparent blur as she buzzes through the day.
“Luck favors the prepared,” she’s known to say as she shoulders an enormous purse that she borrowed from Mary Poppins. And it’s true. She is never unprepared and eternally lucky. She’s ready for anything, whether it be a runny nose or a boring afternoon. All she needs is right there, tucked away in that magical, impossibly large purse of hers.
She can always produce a pen and notebook out of thin air and books tend to follow her wherever she goes, fantasy novels mostly, like they’re hoping she’ll stumble into their crisp pages and take up residence there. Maybe someday she will.
I witnessed a gender reveal today while out for an evening run. A photographer friend, a picturesque farm, a golden sunset and two confetti cannons filled with tiny strips of sparkly pink paper are all you need. I didn’t know the couple or their pair of friends that helped to set the perfect outdoor stage and capture the moment that her family will remember for years to come. I don’t know what her name will be but I do know that a year from now, there will be a new baby girl in the world.
It was a privilege to be a quiet bystander as her proud parents announced her existence to the universe with a bang. The sounds of the confetti cannons were like the fanfare of fireworks on the 4th of July. It was the kind of heartwarming people watching that renews your faith in humanity. Welcome to the world baby girl!
There’s something magical about the air just before the light fades. The Sun has gone down but the day is still slow to retreat. Evening seeps into the world like ink onto a page and a charged hush dims all but the electric periwinkle of a wild blossom. In that crackling moment, everything is clear and sharp and exactly how it’s supposed to be.
Being a woman in the steel industry means that it’s often difficult to find peers with comparable fashion sense. Not that fashion is much of a consideration when you don the safety gear to venture out into the mill. More than once, I’ve been mistaken for a man while wearing the thick, flame retardant pants and jacket, hard hat and steel toed boots that are required for on site projects.
I make up for these amusing oversights by constantly putting my best foot forward while in the office, a habit which is not universally shared or appreciated. The sharp clickety-clack of my high heeled boots on a hard linoleum floor has occasionally snapped the silence of my office’s one long, dimly lit hallway, every ear in the building tuned into my coming and going.
But as much as I enjoy making an entrance, I do try to avoid being disruptive every time I need to slip down the hall for a quick bathroom break. This was recently found to be an issue, as my single pair of suede high heeled wedges were complete with noisy plastic soles that made it impossible to be discrete.
What better reason for a solo shopping date? Sometimes you just have to buy the shoes (this time with comfortable rubber soles). No matter what your daily office uniform, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to some guilt free shopping this weekend. Of course, don’t go overboard and break your bank but relax, have fun, and maintain that fabulous feminine sparkle of yours. Don’t dim the pep in your step simply because that’s what everyone else did. Chill out and buy the shoes.
Do you ever feel like you’re running at half capacity, like you keep needing to wind up the mechanism that holds your eyelids open? No matter what you try, that itch that pulls them shut just won’t go away, so persistent you momentarily wonder if you’re experiencing some rare Autumn hay fever.
Running out of steam is one thing that nearly every person on the planet has in common. At some point, we’ve all been there. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and close the computer screen. Turn off the phone and tuck it away for another day. Find some peace and quiet away from glowing notifications and electronic chimes. Too often, that pale screen is the last thing we see before bed and the first light to pierce our consciousness in the morning. Love yourself enough to let today be different. Close the screen before closing your eyes.
This will hardly be the last of the Fall photos. I intend to devote the next two months to scouring the great outdoors for beloved Autumn colors that come but once a year. The emerald fading to fiery rust is a happy omen of many cozy days soon to come, being ushered into town by a brisk chill in the air carrying the scents of cinnamon and hot cider and pumpkin pie fresh from the oven. What will you do with the Fall colors?
Miracles do happen! They’re real, not made up, superstition or fantasy. They exist and I can prove it. I’m 23 years old and today, for the first time in my life, I touched my toes. I went for a jog on this particular autumn evening in the beautiful crisp honey colored open air, determined not to walk. Before hitting the trail I vowed to myself that I would run the whole way. I could go as slow as I wanted and if I absolutely couldn’t keep running, I promised myself that I would simply stand still to catch my breath before continuing on.
Part of the way into the run I felt some mild irritation in my right knee. It kept clicking and popping at irregular intervals. I decided to pull over and stretch it out to see if I could alleviate some of the discomfort. Not only did it work, evaporating my knee troubles. I also did something I’ve never done in my entire life. I reached down until I felt a good stretch, not painful but helpful, as I’ve always done. But this time my fingertips brushed the tops of my running shoes.
I was so surprised that I stood up and leaned out a bit to stare at my own legs like they’d just cheated, like they’d lied to me and I was trying to work out how. Very slowly I bent again into a low stretch, this time being extra careful not to bend my knees. And my fingers just barely curled around the rubber toes on my running shoes. It’s real! Impossible things happen each and every day, even if we don’t recognize them as such at the time. Even on the cloudiest days, there are rays of sunshine that break through.
Miracles happen. Trust me. I touched my toes today.
Today’s post is all about the photo. Although I’ve only been living in Indiana for a little over a year, this is decidedly one of my favorite places in the state. Of course, it’s no secret at all but one of the secluded picnic areas found along the dirt trails of Sunset Hill Farm and the perfect spot for al fresco dining.
Here, beneath the emerald canopy, nibbling on homemade muffaletta (the best Italian sandwich you’ll ever have) and sipping a glass of pinot noir, I love to listen to the sound of insects and birds and the occasional walker out for a stroll. Any minute, Bilbo Baggins might come ambling around the corner smoking his pipe and chortling about his adventures. It’s impossible not to feel a deep sense of contentment in this place where the aged hobbit might wander.
Averted crises have a habit of raising uncomfortable questions. Things that never mattered before now become unsettling what if’s that make your stomach do back flips and not the fun kind. What if catastrophe had struck someone else, somewhere else? What if it happened when no one was around? What if it happened to you, alone in your apartment, three states away from your entire family? Who would know? Who would call your mom if you couldn’t?
These are not questions that anyone ever wants an answer to but having a plan for your worst case scenarios is a bit like packing an umbrella on a sunny day. You’re not planning on using it but if it rains, you’ll be dry and warm. Instead of asking ‘what if’ maybe make that doctor’s appointment that you’ve been procrastinating for months. Best to be safe.