Have you tried having a re-birthday?

I turned 44 a few days ago and I had a re-birthday. Perhaps it is a “turning 44 thing?”

Finding a place for reflection equals renewal of spirit.
Finding a place for reflection equals renewal of spirit.

44 is a whimsical number it looks like two chairs standing on their head.

The day before the re-birth – my worldview was rearranged – I was not selected for a job, I was not promoted. This was a job I had waited for, had envisioned and helped develop for the last 5 years. In my pre-44 world the job was meant for me. Sometimes what you envision isn’t meant for you to participate.

44 is a happy number

Turning an unfortunate event, a disappointing event, a wounded heart, into something positive is easier as I age. On my birthday I visited a truly special place to find sanctuary and renew my spirit. I realized that not getting the position – with it’s increased responsibility – has freed me to explore new paths. Paths that reflect my true spirit and my passion.

44 is a good age: it’s even, it’s symmetrical; It’s a “Goldie Locks age” not too young, not too old, it’s just right

If I live to be 88 (which is highly probably given my family history) I am at my life’s halfway point. An auspicious date, straddling the before self and the future self. I shed my skin of naïveté and put on the cloak of wisdom, of strength, of courage to lead my life towards the things that bring light and energy to my soul and not just a paycheck.

44 Is the atomic number of ruthenium a rare transition metal of the platinum group

I will take on a new atomic structure. One that is unresponsive to those who wish to throw their negative energy towards me.  One that deflects that heavy dark energy and surrounds it with positive light energy.

44 is a palindromic number, a tribonacci number, an octahedral number, it is a master number

Whatever the meaning of the number 44 with it’s sacred geometry and special formulas – for me it is the beginning of when I take charge of my life, listen to my intuition and folllow it without fear of no paycheck…

I am reborn.

Thanks to my love, my light for the inspiration of the number 44 facts. xoxo

Anthropocene mindset

I’m looking forward to reading Gaia Vince’s new book “Adventures in the Anthropocene” – this blog post gives an exciting look into what to expect:
“Since humanity has become this global force, this superorganism, it makes sense to use our full species’ potential to innovate new ways of living – it means embracing human diversity and using it to generate answers to our pressing problems.”

Wandering Gaia

It’s a good time to reflect on the kind of Anthropocene we’re creating, and how we might make it a better one. Although we have already so changed the planet that it has entered a unique state – the Anthropocene – in which humans have become the dominant force, we are still leading very Holocene lives. What I mean by this is that our culture, civilisation, and infrastructure have not kept pace with the changing planet – we are still living twentieth-century lifestyles even though the world has moved into an entirely new era. The way we acquire our food, obtain our energy, use water, travel, relate to wildlife, plan new infrastructure, organise human populations, make global decisions… are all virtually unchanged from the twentieth century – even Victorian – times. Such a state of affairs may have been appropriate for a time of low human population, plentiful resources, a…

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bus stopped by roadway stand.

Lost in Analogy…

bus stopped by roadway stand.
Cuban “Dirty Dog.”

Sitting on the bus in my decaffeinated and hungry state – bleary eyed, a mild headache, and a low grumble in my stomach – I tried to absorb the scenery. We rolled through a rural landscape of fields of grass bordered with wooden fencing and second growth forest, a jumble of tropical plants in slightly different shades of green, palms, vines and a coniferous tree or two. There were no directional signs for miles and no street signs at intersections. The Cuban government did provide motivational signs in the form of large billboards with pro-revolution slogans painted with vibrant colors. The road was boring and the only thing keeping me conscious on this tourist class, Greyhound bus look-alike, was the smell of old, dried up urine from the latrine at the back of the bus, a Cuban Dirty Dog.

Did you get the analogy?

In a writing workshop, located in Seattle WA, my classmates didn’t get it. They thought there was an actual dog on the bus, or that the smell reminded the narrator of an experience with a Cuban dog. Lost in analogy was the slang term for Greyhound buses used in my hometown of Chicago IL.

With analogy being so important to storytelling, to bring the reader closer to the story, what happens if the analogy isn’t universal?

It is like being told a joke and needing it explained to you. The joke is lost, poof – lost in translation.

What is a writer to do?

My goal as a writer of memoir and creative nonfiction is to share my story. My words will reflect my experiences, my slang, bits of my personality, but what if you the reader doesn’t get my drift and get’s lost? My goal of sharing my story is lost, as the reader is adrift in an ocean of confusion. Wondering, huh?! I don’t get it…

I don’t have the answer, for now I dropped the analogy to the Cuban dirty dog. In a different paragraph I call it a porta-potty on wheels (changed from my original Honey Bucket on wheels – the name of our local portable toilet provider in Seattle) so that more people in the U.S. would understand the reference.  Or should I call it a porta-John or porta-WC…  Ugh!

Challenging Status Quo

On Monday I decided I was going to do something different in my life.

It began when I wanted to add a cover image to my LinkedIn account. I know, nothing big, especially because I’m not sure what the value of my LinkedIn account is, and I’m pretty sure no one in my “network” cares about the cover image on my LinkedIn page, at least, not as much as my FB friends would care if I changed the cover photo on my FB page.

My niece learned of my true identity...  But is she right?
My niece learned of my true identity… But is she right?

It was the process of finding the image that mattered. Into my disorganized iPhoto library I went, to look for one of my favorite photos from a trip I took to Scotland in 2013. I scrolled through hundreds of photos. Some I wondered why I hadn’t deleted. Others, I wondered why I hadn’t printed and framed. Then came the photos of people, of me and my partner, in particular.

“We looked thinner back then.” he said,  while sitting on our sagging couch, a few feet in front of the HDTV, cable box, and Blu-ray player, remotes splayed across the scene, as he looked through the pictures on my laptop with me.

He was right. I saw it too. The milliseconds the images were up on the screen was enough time for our brains to pick up on the fewer inches of pudge that wrapped his mid-section or my back-section “only a year ago.”

The last year was fraught with so many – I need to work out more’s and I need to drink less beer’s – that it sounded like a broken record. Obviously, we were eating, sitting, drinking and wishing, more than we were sweating, walking, standing or doing.

So I went to the gym on Monday morning and sweat. I was sore on Tuesday, but I went to the gym again. I stayed away from those tantalizing carbs. I didn’t stop at Grateful Bread – whose current scone is the best in Seattle. I didn’t “celebrate” my second day at the gym. On Wednesday, I was feeling good, so when I went out to lunch I had a lovely cup of white bean and pesto soup with a think slice of homemade bread  and shared a little pizza with my partner at Element in the UVillage. Simple, small, healthy but loaded with carbs. The rest of the day I felt bloated . “Damn I think I do have gluten intolerance,” I thought after feeling massive in a pair of jeans I squeezed into the next day. Those jeans that were a little big “only a year ago.”

Was it all the traveling I did? My dad’s death? The “too hot” summer in Seattle? The amazing IPAs of the Pacific NW that I just can’t seem to stop drinking, especially during the “too hot” summer in Seattle?

Why did I gain weight?

I got lazy. My mind was not aware of my growing girth. My mind was too preoccupied with the stress of life. I failed at balancing recreation and work. I failed at balancing being active with being sedentary.

When my mind finally recognized that the girth of my ass had grown, I played a game with myself. Telling myself – “It’s not that bad.” or “I can work that off in no time.” Was I buying me some time? Or killing me softly, slowly?

My niece somehow knows of my challenges with the evil - Status Quo.
My niece somehow knows of my challenges with the evil – Status Quo.

I am going to the gym, I am starting to be conscious of what I am eating and drinking. I have a birthday coming up and I will not be “one year younger.” I’m challenging the status quo – I’m challenging the way things are or have been. I’m challenging the sloth within.

What are your challenges with status quo? What are your plans of action to defeat it? No plans? That’s okay, sometimes we just have to “do it,” to “act differently than usual,” to create the change we all so desperately want to achieve.

Challenging Status Quo – make it your mantra too.