Be active

get a life! (outside.)

Bright and early this morning and just after writing this last night, I heard something VERY disturbing as I was grabbing a coffee. The TV was on in this public place with me paying no attention until my ears caught a designer on a home show who was being interviewed; “The average American spends 23 hours a day inside…”

Twenty three hours out of twenty four a day, INSIDE?!

What are we doing to ourselves, people?!

This fact is almost as disturbing as a couple others I’ve learned, such as the average American home built in 2016 was something close to 4,000 square feet, and there are an average of 300,000 items in American homes.

I’m about to cry over here.

Holy mother lode guys and gals, these facts and figures are so NOT cool. Are you in Target right now? The mall? Hiding at home with all the windows closed? Please take your hands off the cart, hanger, or remote, and walk outside for a minute. Do me a favor and think of why you are in Target, at the mall, or on your couch. Do you actually need what you’re shopping for? Do you have any bills you could pay where your money could be more effectively used rather than that “I can never seem to get out of Target for less than $200” that I hear all the time? Are you just bored?

Please put me out of business! Remember we declared together (by that I mean I’m pretending like you all agreed) that 2017 is THE YEAR OF LESS CRAP? How about now we add that this year can be the year of more fresh air? The year of more adventure out of four walls with your bestie exploring a new neighborhood, more time to kick the ball around at the park with your kid, extra hours losing yourself on a road trip alone, more fun gettin’ frisky under a tree at the top of a mountain with your shmoopster….oh the possibilities!

Here’s a teeny sampling of my past few months:

In the Mountains

Aspen

Red Rock

Palm Trees

Red Rocks

Colorado

Spain sky

Lake Sunset

I don’t know about you, but this girl sure isn’t staying inside for a minute longer than she ever has to.

Consumerism and isolation are forceful breeding grounds for fear, hate, obesity, misery and all those other things that sound just awful, sad, and not fun.

Life is WAY TOO SHORT to be awful, sad, and not fun…don’tcha think? Yahoo! The bell just rang for recess! It’s time for all of us to go play. Get up, open the doors, walk outside, hug a tree, a person, or both, and find a little more health and happiness on this crazy ride.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #MoveIt #TheGreatOutdoors

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get your give on

Hello, Monday!

Today is May 9th. This means exactly 2 months until our 5th Annual BLR Play It Forward Event & BLR Memorial Travel Scholarship award, July 9 2016 weekend. (FIVE years!)

We’ve been doing good on our Remember, Celebrate, Live promise since 2012 and couldn’t be more proud. We love playing forward to give back.

Inspired by us? Well thank you…but we wouldn’t be able to do it without YOU! So how do you get involved?

1.) If you’re MAU Women’s Soccer Alumni, you can register here for just a $35 donation to play in the game, Saturday July 9th at Willow Park in Bennington, VT. 100% of registration fees go to the scholarship fund.

2.) Get an event shirt for yourself or your kiddos here. Shirts come in blue and pink, youth and adult sizes.  Just 20 buckaroos donation! 100% of that loot goes straight to the scholarship fund.

3.) Rally your friends, family, neighbors, former teachers, coaches, strangers on the street, or anyone else you like, to come join/hang out/socialize for our Friday night (July 8th) open Welcome Back Party, and Saturday day and night (July 9th) Alumni game, scholarship announcement, and Celebration Cocktails.

4.) Sponsor! We’d love any sponsorships, and promise if you do, we will give shout-outs and love on all print & social media, along with on the BLR website here and more. (We’d especially like to to find a jersey & t-shirt sponsor this year to cover that huge cost. Please call 804.339.6514 or Diane(@)BlueLollipopRoad.com if you’d like to sponsor.)

5.) Donate! 100% of all donations go straight to the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Travel Scholarship Fund. This fund supports deserving high school students to travel and do community service work. (Wha?! Yep, students doing good while getting a chance to see outside their everyday world. Exposure! Service! Character building! Building a badass next generation! Super awesomeness:)

If you’re a regular reader or BLR follower, you obviously know this Blue Lollipop Road is my life, my passion, my everything, and Play It Forward is by far the work I’m most proud of. I can’t do it alone, so I present a challenge to you readers who I know and strangers I don’t:

Donate $5 now! 

I figure $5  for 5 years of playing forward so we can give back is not too much to ask. Everyone can afford 5 big ones. Won’t you support what we are doing? Click here to donate through PayPal, it is secure, easy, (and dare I say, fun?), or send a check made payable to:
Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship Fund
PO Box 34661
Charlotte, NC 28234

…or

…simply pass this post on! My Christmas wish is that some one, some where, some day, who’s big time, will notice what we are doing and say “Hey! You are spectacular BLR Play It Forward! Here’s some ginormous media and/or a million bucks for your scholarship fund! What you’re doing with your event & scholarship fund is like…totally awesome!”

(Hey- it could happen. It WILL happen.)

So won’t you send some love and spread the love? Oh how important it is, to…

Remember where you came from.

Celebrate the memories and time you have have together.

Live like today is the day.

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

BLR Play It Forward

Image

Boom-chicka-boom!

Together we can do so much good.

#RememberCelebrateLive #GetInspired #TodayIsTheDay

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addiction

My name is Diane and I too often break promises to myself.

Insert the way people introduce themselves at the start of and Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. (I think, anyway- based on movies and TV shows.)

I’m not announcing my problem with boozing here, just standing up in front of you all to admit my problem out loud, and start to hold myself accountable for a most unhealthy habit.

If you ask me what I love love love to do first thing in the morning that makes me feel high as a kite, joyful, hopeful, healthy, balanced, thankful, badass, and overall as happy as a 7 year old swimming in a mountain of gummy worms- it never changes; writing and/or exercising. I know this, many people around me know this, I talk about this, yet I epically fail at doing either of these things during much of my Monday – Friday lately. Especially the writing part, which is super sucky-poo because I’ve got great stories, a lot to say, and anytime I finish, I feel like I’ve exorcised all the worlds demons or just returned from some kind of life altering detox cleanse.

So here I am, Friday February 19th, 2016 proclaiming my addiction (the healthy kind; moving my body and sharing my words) in a huge attempt to hold myself accountable just like I hold my clients accountable for what they need to do…to just do more of what drives my days straight down that Blue Lollipop Road I know is out there.

What’s got me all off track and breaking promises to myself? Lot’s of little things that I could use as excuses of course, but really It’s simple; not taking the time I know I need and want, to be the best version of Diggidydi. (That’s me, high school nickname. Shout out to the MAU boys for coming up with that one back in 1995:)

As I talked to a single Mommy friend this morning who is just burned, like extra crispy bacon exhausted burned, I advised on my high horse; Take more time for you! You deserve better and more! Draw the line! You are going to run yourself into the ground if you don’t recharge! – I have to laugh. Aren’t we all so good at giving advice to ourselves by giving it to someone else?

If you’re reading this now and you don’t see a post again from me within the next 3 to 5 days, I hope you will write to me and call me out. If you’re reading this right now and running around multitasking like a freak show (I can relate), just stop it. If you’re reading this right now and don’t even have the faintest idea what fuels you to start your day with that I’m going to kick ass and take names, today! feeling, take some time to start figuring that out. (It is Friday after all, everyone takes an extra long lunch on Fridays. Your boss won’t notice. He’s probably golfing anyway.)

Let’s all get less addicted to email and other work day time wasters, and more addicted to becoming an expert at exactly what were passionate about, so we can share that awesomeness with the people around us.

What’s your healthy addiction that’s been collecting dust lately?

#GetAfterIt #DontForgetYourself #TodayIsTheDay

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circus frenzy fun

(Originally written Thursday 11/19)

This week has been 150 miles an hour with work. Actually, the past several weeks have been at that speed. I dig it. In fact, I thrive in it. I’m loving my work more than I ever have before. It’s pretty awesome. I’m flying high on work life happiness and keeping the chaos for my clients to a minimum even though days end up being like a 3-ring circus sometimes…out of everyone’s control. I can understand why people hate the whole moving process, but that of course makes me more and more determined to not only throw the curveballs back during this stressful time for my clients, but make it fun along the way, too.

How do I recharge after corralling all the monkeys and managing the circus?

At the end of a long day, not much feels better than being outside in the air (especially when It’s 71 degrees at 6pm in late November) running, then coming and sitting here with my balcony door open to just breathe and reflect for a few minutes:

CLT Sunset

CLT Sunset

*(No filter, thankyouverymuch:)

Having a body healthy enough to go for that run, even though I’m exhausted makes me feel motivated to do more, and having a clean, safe, clutter-free space to live makes me feel grateful. Combine that with that fact I’m about to go on a huge road trip to feast for Thanksgiving to see people I love and who love me…what more could anyone ask for?

The next time you feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of a Barnum & Bailey show, just step outside and move your body to keep your sanity, sweat out the stress, and get a little perspective. That, or grab someone you love and give them a big fat hug. The circus will somehow leave town peacefully on It’s own, and you’ll be left standing there remembering the things that really matter.

#LessStuffMoreFreshAirHappyLife #GetMoving #Sunset

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taking good advice

I’m pretty much obsessed with this book that was gifted to me this summer:

Best Books

It is raw, real, and one of the best things I have ever read. One of my favorite pages:

Love Tackle

I went to a 6:30am spinning class this morning and had all I could do to not burst into tears during that 60 minutes of dark-roomed, hard-core, sweat intensity. My mind was on one person only, who’s at the peak of a battle that’s beyond unfair. My legs pushed and pushed as if they were possessed to obliterate this person’s illness away. Oh how I wish my 110% effort, and an hour on a bike could change the world and cure cancer.

Today is Monday August 31, 2015. Continuing my Monday Hell Yeah! Get up, get out, and go for it! – themed posts, I’m vowing to not only tackle the motherfucking shit out of love, but to tackle the motherfucking shit out of life in general. Please join me. If we have our health and one single person who loves & believes in us, how lucky are we? Some people don’t have those incredible luxuries.

Get up, get out, and go for whatever you’ve been afraid of. Life is too short to not tackle to motherfucking shit out of everything.

#TodayIsTheDay #LiveWhileYoureLiving #Fearless

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making it up heartbreak hill

“You’ve created quite a life for yourself!”

“You seem so well adjusted and like you are doing great!”

Thanks. I guess that’s true. I have, and I am. Or at least I’m trying. (Have I ever mentioned, I’ve definitely had plenty of thoughts about just floating out to sea and never coming back, or drinking myself into oblivion? I force myself not to do hose kind of things, however. We all know problems don’t go away just because you disappear for a while or get wasted.)

The quotes above are what I’ve heard since I started writing here in 2008, and more regularly recently. I get a lot of “you’re so lucky!”‘s and “I wish I could do that!”‘s. I’ve been gifted quite the fury of compliments for my so called perfect life over the years.

I have to laugh and shake my head. It’s perfect alright. A perfectly beautiful mess.

The past 6 weeks are close to the worst I’ve ever had. I can handle a lot so that’s very hard for me to admit, but It’s the truth. Recent happenings in/around/to me, include, but are not limited to; Illness, death, heartbreak, loneliness, sadness, life turning upside down, unexpected unpleasant surprises, exhaustion, sleeplessness, lack of appetite, and more. Lots more, and It’s probably not going to stop anytime soon.

You didn’t think I was immune to these kind of things just because I write a seize the day blog and stand proudly on my soap box shouting that anything is possible, did you?

Ok. Glad we have that straight.

During my early morning before the sun really rose, most humans aren’t even awake yet, run on the beach this morning:

Mornings at the beach

…forcing my bare tired feet to go, I kept thinking about 1.) How awesome it was to have my toes in the sand. 2.) How much I wish nothing bad would happen to the people I love. 3.) How much I wish all the people in the land were more comfortable talking about real stuff, the raw stuff, the dirty laundry.

Did I want to hit the snooze button this morning? Yep. Did I remember that reality seriously bites as soon as I opened up my eyes? Yep. Did I stay lying there feeling sorry for myself? Nope. (Sometimes I do though, and that’s Ok and very necessary.)

(Insert AA meeting theme tone here.) My name is Diane, and I am a regular person with plenty of problems, just like you. I’m not fancy because I post pretty pictures here. I’m not cooler or smarter or richer than you because I travel. I don’t have magical powers that make unicorns and rainbows appear, and I am not “lucky” that I have a lot of energy and a good attitude. This is a practice, and one I take very seriously. I have to practice every day to stay happy and keep trucking. We’re talking double-session style in 102 degree heat exhausting kinda practice that is really hard, and really not so fun. This life ain’t easy, peeps- for any of us.

Here’s how I cheerlead my butt outta bed when life’s got me down and swirling in the 3-ring circus of hot-mess bonanza:

While I’m getting kicked, and kicked, and kicked, when life is laughing in my face with that cruel, cruel, maniacal laugh, when I get up, brush myself off still trying to hold that positive outlook- let’s try again smile, and I stand up, then it smashes me in the face with that shovel one more time again, I do all I can to remember it could be so much worse, then I stare into that black hole/fiery dragon/billion pound crater hovering above me, and tell it 50 ways to go fuck itself because that shit is not allowed at my party thankyouverymuch.

Boom.

What other choice do I have? What other choice do YOU have?

If you think you are the only one in the world reading this feeling like you’ve been beaten with a case of whoop-ass cans, and more times than one, you’re not. If you think you are the only one with that unbearable stress, sadness or embarrassment about something, you’re not. If you think you’re the only one who’s ever royally screwed something up, ummm…not so. If you think that guy or girl sitting next to you at Starbucks, smiling and looking all fly in those freshly pressed business clothes sipping that $5 latte has it all figured out-think again.

Guys, this life is a shit show for all of us. If you want to create “quite a life for yourself”, It’s a CHOICE. You must train and practice like It’s a marathon. A long, painful race that in the end should theoretically leave us smiling, proud, and feeling like it was all totally worth it. Accept this 26.2 gazillion mile run with 1/2 the water stops along the way stocked full of cups with dirty, filthy mud to drink, and other 1/2 bubbling over with Dom Perignon. Collect your metal at the end, and go find your friends and family to celebrate with. Share your stories of trial and error, pulled muscles, aches, pains, and Heartbreak Hill. Everybody has to make it up Heartbreak Hill sooner or later, and that trek is so much easier if you build a good team around you.

If you find yourself alone, in fact seeing that there is an “I” in your current team, find something to look at that inspires you:

Morning Mojo

…and keep pushing.

Sunrise BLR

…at least that’s what I do. I’ve got to believe that when it feels like the world is collapsing, there are good lessons to be learned and some amazing things to see on the other side of it all. I hope you believe that too.

#MorningMojo #HardLessons #Choices

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time to get your soccer on!

Calling all MAU Women’s Alumni! We are just one month away from our Annual BLR Play It Forward event. Time to register is now!

Click here and get your name in the mix of hometown fun & doing good. We want YOU!

A perfect time of year to be inspired by the Women’s World Cup:

BLR PLay It Forward 2015

July 11th

2pm

Willow Park Fields

Bennington, VT

Be there!

BLR Play It Forward 2012

BLR Play It Forward 2012

BLR Play It Forward 2012

Remember. Celebrate. Live.

#BLRPlayItForward #PlayForwardGiveBack #StrongMojo

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play it forward 2015 official announcements!

The schedule for our 4th Annual Play It Forward Event has been set! See full details here.

If for some crazy reason you are on the fence about whether or not you will be participating, maybe I’ll inspire you by sharing a photo from each of our first 3 events…

2012:

Play Forward Give Back

2013:

IMG_4815

2014:

B30

Get on the bus, Gus! We’re doing good things, having fun and we want YOU! Won’t you join us?

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#PlayForwardGiveBack #RememberCelebrateLive #LoveHome

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language barriers that make you smile

I’m currently in Miami, where the weather is ridiculously amazing for December, the palm trees are draped with Christmas lights, and Cuban food is everywhere. (Hello deliciousness!) This Vermont girl who loves that state, but never did belong in winter- is one happy camper. Jingle Bells is on the hotel radio as I sit here and type next to the pool. It makes me giggle with delight. I feel like I’m living in a Corona commercial and I’m long every minute of it.

Out the door I went for an unplanned adventure this afternoon after way too many hours in front of the computer. 8 miles and serious hippie (what I call my completely blackened sporty-spice flip flop) feet- later, I’m back after a stop at a bookstore, a wander through a surprise -found fancy-pants neighborhood with gorgeous homes and flowers:

A walkabout in Miami

…and two limes:

Citrus Adventure

I didn’t plan on buying anything on my walk, but I saw a sweet looking old man with a roadside fruit stand, packed full of mangos, oranges, (what I thought were) lemons, and limes- so I stopped to buy a lemon. I figured an ice cold Diet Coke or lemon water after my walk in the sun would taste delicious.

Oh my.

You have never seen 2 strangers laugh so much at each other; one trying to ask for a lemon instead of a lime- the other trying to convince the lemon shopper that a lime was indeed a lemon. (I hate to say even the simplest communication in Spanish is lost on me these days which is pretty embarrassing seeing that I consider myself to be a savvy traveler.) After a 5 minute back-and-forth, I thought Ok well this one (the one I had picked up) does look pretty yellow- I guess it is a lemon, then if he says it is with that big, trustworthy Grandpa smile. I asked the man how much, he tried offering me 10 for a dollar, I told him I only needed 1, gave him a quarter- he insisted on giving me 2, we laughed some more and I was on my way with that never-gets-old meeting a person you will never see again but makes your day smile happiness- back to the hotel to make my cold drink. I laughed out loud and shook my head as I cut my “lemon” open:

Florida citrus

Yep. Totally a lime.

I love it. Thanks for making my day, cute old man with the fruit stand. I wish I had gotten a photo of you! I know you really were just trying to get me exactly what I wanted:)

Oh life’s sweet, simple moments. All for a quarter.

When’s the last time you wandered with no plan and something awesome happened?

#Travel #LifeIsShortGoOnAnAdventure #LaughingWithStrangers

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