“it’s all about doing something that matters to you”

Oh man do I love this guys TED Talk! I feel like he stole words out of my mouth; the ones I stand on my soap box about all the time. Ones that he obviously has put together more eloquently than me and then been invited to TED talk about.

I’ll get there someday. For now I have this little platform on the Blue Lollipop Road to shout from.

Some of my favorite quotes from this piece:

“I wanted to find the work I couldn’t NOT do.”

“Everything wasn’t possible until somebody did it.”

“People are giving a middle finger to this scripted life.” 

My favorite minutes is probably at the 10:30 to 11:50 mark.

Like this guy, I have “corrupted” people to quit their jobs and start anew- not because I thought they should, but because if someone ever comes to me and tells me they want to do something that burns in their soul- of course I am going to tell them to call an eff it and do it. What kind of crappy friend would I be if I listened to someone tell me about what’s burning inside of them and not tell them to go for it?

Living on a treadmill speeding a million miles an hour, en route to the drone zone is a terrible waste of a run for any of us.

I had my aha moment this spring, at nearly 37 years old, that made me realize exactly what I wanted to do for work. I thought this would never come. If you know me, I have probably driven you bonkers over the years with endless “what should I do with my life/what is BLR really/why can’t I figure out what I really want to do/what is wrong with me” conversations and questions. (Thank you for listening and trying to help when I was impossible to help not realizing all the answers would be inside of myself. I owe you all big time.) I now feel like the weight of the world has lifted off my chest because I’m finally doing work that matters to me and I’m getting paid for it after YEARS of searching. It has been a painful process, but every step was needed and worth it. I just kept trying, believing in myself and following my instincts and it happened. I now have a business that helps people organize and downsize their physical, financial and internal lives- so they can do more of what they love.

It is awesome.

(New BLR website launching in October by the way. Woot!)

My work life typically looks something like sporting crappy old clothes as I pull things off dusty shelves or out of old boxes, sort, schlep, managing movers/handymen/donation trucks, etc., host Craiglist sales, sit in piles of bills organizing and game planning for clients. (Sounds glamorous, right? Not glamorous at all, but I love every minute of it.) Most of my clients have hit a forced “have to do this” place because of an impending move, death in the family, divorce, and some just want to take control of their space back. Whatever the reason, I know I truly help them feel more freedom during often crappy/sad/stressful times. It’s incredibly rewarding.

In my adult life, I’ve always felt like a freak of what the hell do I really do with career that means something and I love?! – nature, this work has changed my life. I cannot encourage you who are reading this enough, to quit until something feels right, move if you feel like you need a change, quit again, move again, whatever you need to do to get to a place where you find that work that means something to you whether It’s working for a big fat fancy corporate bank, or starting your own trash company. (I went to high school with a guy, Trevor in my teeny home town who started a trash route in about 11th grade, and 20 years now later, he is crushing it. Good for you Trevor!) Trash people, trash! And in a tiny town! Anything’s possible.

Whatever your thing is- It’s out there. Trust yourself and drive your life in the direction that feels right, or at least the direction that’s away from what doesn’t. It’s OK to leave anyone who discourages you, in the dust.

“Everything wasn’t possible until somebody did it.

Spending time doing work that matters is so hugely important for a happy life. Please go for it. Take that spin on the wheel and don’t look back; you will find exactly what you’re looking for whether it takes 10 days or 10 years, and it will be so worth it. I promise.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

TED Talks

#WorkYouLove #WhatMatters #LiveYourLegacy


this guy is incredible

The timeliness of this TED Talk popping into my inbox today is, really something else.

Just when you think you have some perspective, or have faced adversity! Listen to someone like this and it makes you think in ways you never have before. Wow.

TED Talks

So unbelievably intelligent, interesting, articulate, and humble. (Not to mention good looking.) What an impressive human being.

#ThingsThatMatter #Perspective #LiveWhileYoureLiving


your legacy starts now

Today is the day after Labor Day. A new time, a new beginning, a new season (at least in my mind), and the perfect excuse/motivation/reason to start brand new/over/try again, kick something off, etc.

Hell yes!

I have regular conversations with strangers and friends about how they may have screwed up, missed out on, gotten too deep in, feel too old for … some kind of shift, or complete life overhaul.

Never, my friends, never:

Leaving a Legacy

Today is the day. You can start right now.

Whether you’re 18 or 80, boy or girl, rich or poor, gay or straight, have 1 friend or 100, live in the city or the country, have bookoo bucks in the bank or zero, whether you’re scared shitless or semi-confident, kind of sure, but doubt yourself, whether you feel like the freakiest of freak shows for whatever you desire or the loser-ist of losers, for not knowing even what the first step even looks like- you can figure it out. You can dooooo-eeeeet! I’m not talking self-helpy bullshit you can do it because it will be easy-peasy, I’m talking you can do it BECAUSE YOU ARE ALIVE TODAY, and moreso- why they hell wouldn’t you?

It’s never too late for anything until you’re taking your last breath.

Think about it.

I plan to go down kicking & screaming in the flames of a good fight whether my last day is tomorrow or in 150 years. I’ll be kicking & screaming with delight as I’m doing what I love, sucking every last ounce of awesome out of this world, as I simultaneously feed it back.

Won’t you join me?

This summer of 2015 has kicked my ass to the moon and back. The wrath and fury of a terrorizing beast has pummeled me in the face like it never has before. Thank goodness for family & friends. This season that has taken shit show to a whole different meaning, and has also has reminded me more than ever that people and time are the only things that truly matter.

Do you ever think about that?

If you haven’t already, It’s time to get rid of your stuff. Your physical, financial, and internal “stuff.” The stuff that weighs you down and keeps you from breathing & living what matters to you. Clear out those walk-in closets in your home and in your heart that are chucked full of clutter and crap you don’t want or need, and start waking up everyday to a life you deserve. One where you don’t suffocate yourself or beat yourself up anymore. A life where you’re alive, thrive, and do good things. A life that is authentically you, and that will remind people of your smile, long after you are gone- because you truly lived while you were living.

Jump in. The world needs that mojo you’ve got inside.

What kind of legacy will you leave?

#TodayIsTheDay #ClearingTheClutter #NeverTooLate


keep climbing and celebrating

A portion of what I wrote via email to someone this week:

Real is real and that is all I care about. Transparency is a beautiful thing. Lost is a normal feeling. All the things both you and I have each felt/are feeling are what everybody feels- It’s just that most people don’t ever share it. They’re afraid to, and they continue to live in pain. I share my pain through BLR and it has literally saved my life over the years. No one realizes that when I write, I write to myself. I’m not a magical happy unicorn of positive messaging because life is peaches and cream; I write, and push, and try, and believe because I have to– to stay alive and thrive. That is no joke. I am so bruised up, just like you and everyone in this world- but time is far too precious to feel sorry for myself/torture myself/think about all my mistakes/beat myself up/be alone, etc. 

It drives me nuts (especially lately) when I’m told I’m “lucky” or when people think it is easy for me to do what I do with my time, work, travel, fun, friends, family, etc. because I supposedly have some big/great personality or mystical power. I’ve been told things are “easy” for me. I wish. Might I remind everyone of THIS, THIS, AND THIS for example. (Yes, please click on those three links and read, but no, please don’t feel sorry for me for one single second- everyone has their own stuff.) Those links are just illustrations of why my life is much like yours; not even close to always easy-breezy. I know for certain I have it far better than some, and far worse than others. I also know life is not some kind of competition of who’s loss or heartbreak is worse. If you feel heartbroken, devastated, used and abused, knocked down, don’t know what the hell to do with the rest of your life, awful just feels fucking awful. I hate awful just like every other human, even though I do things like go to Napa to see my friends and sip wine and stuff my face with good food, say yes when invited to sit on a river house pier and watch the gorgeous sunrise, and have adventures around the world.

Many times I write here, or you see me smiling big in photos at some tropical beach, in my car on a fun road trip, or at an alumni soccer game- my heart is heavy, as in a ton of bricks live on top of it. Have I ever lied to you or been fake, family, friends, and readers? No. Have I ever put on a tiny white lie happy face because I’ve felt that was necessary for whatever situation at the time? Sure. Have I ever absolutely forced myself to see and feel the good- not the bad, when I’ve felt like the world is crumbling around me and I’m so sad It’s debilitating? All the time my dear friends. I have to– to stay alive and thrive, just like you. And because life is too short not to celebrate.

What kind of life would life be, to sit around for days on end feeling awful even if you should be allowed to or have the right to? What is life for, if not for living fully, saying yes to opportunity for big adventure, and smiling even if during those big adventures our heart often feels incredibly heavy?

After a few minutes/days/weeks of sitting around feeling very, very sorry for ourselves (for any awfulness, self-inflicted or not), when bad things happen- continuing that it is simply wasteful and no way to live. Doing necessary, healthy pity-party things like feeling rock-bottom, swearing, kicking, screaming, slamming, smashing, snotting & crying, binge-eating, letting dishes or laundry pile up, not brushing your teeth or showering, or even getting out of bed are Ok, short term, but…

When life kicks our ass, we honor ourselves, and those not with us anymore by getting up and going out to KICK LIFE’S ASS BACK.

If you’ve got health and time on this earth, you’ve got everything, baby. Everything. Honor that, and rock out your existence on this planet doing what fuels you. 

So what do we do when we don’t have the faintest clue about what to do and sadness is taking over? We take one itsy-bitsy baby step, even if that feels like it couldn’t possibly make a damn bit of difference. Here are a few options for today, Saturday September 5, 2015, if you feel like you’re living in the game of clue(less.):

1.) Read this and start. My favorites are #’s 5, 11, 12, 13, 19, 21 and 29. (25 is what I do to actually pay my bills, so I love and agree with that one big-time of course:)

2.) Clear enough cloudy brain space or dry the tears for just 10 seconds and think about a menial task or errand you can manage. (For instance, after finishing this I’m go get coffee so I’ve got some to brew in the morning, then I will stop at the ATM to make a deposit. WOW big monumental things, right?! Yep, today for me- it is. I’m still in pajamas, It’s 2:44pm, and I’ve had an intense week that should by all means put me on the couch all day, but I know as soon as I accomplish my big time get coffee and go to ATM to-do list, I will feel better and that will lead me to the next thing to feel good about.) Just do one thing you can manage.

3.) Share/give, even if whoever else on the receiving end may never receive it. (Huh? And Wtf, are you kidding me, Diane?! I can’t see straight and you’re suggesting I share or give?! Yes.) Call one person and tell them you’re thankful for them. Genuinely compliment the checkout guy/girl on his or her hair/earrings/smile/shoes/service. Turn to the person sitting next you and tell them you appreciate their friendship/them being a nice coworker/neighbor. Write to someone you love even if you know you will never send it or they won’t ever get the message. (A couple weeks ago I sent a text message to my friend Katie who passed away a couple months ago that said. “I miss you.” Certifiably insane? No. I just missed my friend and couldn’t keep my feelings bottled up anymore so I typed on my phone and pressed send. Bottled up is no bueno.)

If you’ve ever felt like a billion degree hot mess freak show of a person who is incredibly depressed, lost, pissed, or like you have no idea what to do about anything, if your heart has been ripped to shreds- welcome to the party! My hope is you’ll read this, and know there are people out there (in here) just like you. You are not nuts, and you are not alone. We are all in this together. Whaddya say we keep taking itsy-bitsy baby steps to continually spit delicious things back on life when she continually spits disgusting things on us? We can do it.

Inspire yourself. Keep pushing. Be a Mojo Warrior.

Keep Climbing

#RememberCelebrateLive #Fearless #Truth


go get ’em, girls!

I feel like such a proud Mamma today.

Long ago I hired a mousey, quiet, seemingly timid college kid named Crystal to work for me. I saw something special in her I knew for sure most people missed. In the 10+ years since then, I’ve watched her do amazing work in the communities she’s lived in and grow into this strong, intelligent woman who knows exactly who she is. She’s this perfect mix of sweet, kind, and silly, but serious and driven too. One of those watch out, you’ll never see me coming in all my awesomeness, but I’m going to continue changing the world into more of a positive place kind of people. She posted something on Facebook this morning about her new adventures on the west coast and a new job she’s starting. She decided she wanted to move there, made a plan and just did it. No surprise she’s already “making it”- she believes in herself and goes for it. Love that girl and her spirit. It has been an honor to tell her potential employers over the years they’d be fools not to hire her because she’s the best.

I got an email today from one of my BLR Play It Forward year #1 scholarship winners, Raheema. She graduated in June and told me she was going to SUNY Cortland in the fall. She’ll be majoring in athletic training, and doing indoor & outdoor track. Though I’ve only seen her in person a couple times since 2012, I can sense how much she’s grown and I have no doubt she will do amazing things. According to my hometown Mount Anthony Union High School 2015 yearbook, she’s Most unforgettable:

Unforgettable Raheemah

I agree! Another person I’ve been lucky enough to come across who embodies that undeniable zest for life that always makes everyone she meets, smile.

Then there comes other BLR Memorial Scholarship winners Mercedes Chen & Jami Mathers who came bounding into Willow Park last month for our Alumni Soccer Game portion of BLR Play It Forward, 2015 – with big grins, words of thanks, and gifts for me from their trips they took with their earned scholarship funds:

BLR girls

Unfortunately I didn’t get to spend but a few seconds with them as I was running around trying to make sure to cover all my event organizer bases, but I could feel from their thanks, and see from their excited faces in the short time we had together- their lives are never going to be the same. They’ve seen new parts of the world and new parts of themselves. That was precisely my hope, my biggest goal and dream when starting the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Life gets crazy, It’s not always easy, there are good times and bad, and you wonder if you’re ever doing anything right. Then days like today happen and you truly feel the gift that it was indeed possible you made a positive difference in someones life. This is a beautiful feeling.

I’m so proud of these young ladies, so thankful to all the ladies in my life, (some still on this earth, and some in  other places), who’ve inspired and supported me always. I can’t wait to do more to give back for all that’s been given to me.

#Unforgettable #PlayForwardGiveBack #Believe


rolling with the mojo

I should add “can take photos while driving” to my resume.

Ok- maybe not.

Wouldn’t you know it, right after I wrote this yesterday, about my Mojo Warrior friend, I pulled onto the street and right behind this license plate!

Street Mojo

If you’ve been around the land of Blue Lollipop Road, like- ever, you know that Mojo is is my jam, the magic, the bomb. It’s even tattooed on my body:

Blue Lollipop Tattoo

…so imagine my happy surprise to drive right behind that car. I never spotted a plate like that in all my years as a road warrior. (And I spent a lot of years on the road!)

Pure coincidence? Irony? Meant to be? Hmmm…

I’ve been talking a lot about Mojo flowing over the past month, for many reasons and especially after our awesomely successful 4th Annual BLR Play It Forward Event. Indeed it is my friends. Let it flow. Someone is buzzing around to remind us that Mojo always wins.

#StrongMojo #Signs #GameOn


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.


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


365 day reflections

On this day last year, I was watching a big game at Panther’s/Bank of America Stadium between Liverpool FC & AC Milan as part of the Guinness International Champions Cup with my best friend:

Liverpool & AC Milan

Often times like today, when I’m sipping my morning coffee in silence, I think about where I was exactly one year ago. I jog my memory, then scroll photos to make connections to what I was doing, who I was with, how I was feeling, and how or how not any/all of that has changed. When I reflect, occasionally I feel a bit mad at myself because I know I could have and should have done some things better, and sometimes I laugh & shake my head at myself thinking of embarrassing things I have said or done. The constant that is always there though, in these flashback to the last year moments, is that I always feel a sense of pride for trying my best even when I am tripping up, slipping up, and looking like an idiot while eating huge pieces of humble pie along the way. Mostly, my heart feels full because I’m so lucky to still be here on this planet, healthy, with good friends & family, and I get a chance from this moment on to be better, do better, give more, and live more.

Here’s to recognizing & accepting where you’ve been, because if you don’t look back and see, you can’t move forward and be.

#LiveAndLearn #NobodysPerfect #TheRideOfLife


somebody cares

I read this article in today’s Charlotte Observer:


The “Just because he yelled at me,” Hart recalls “it meant somebody cared.” stuck out to me (along with a whole lot of other things from this piece.)

I met someone many years ago who when talking about his work life, shared with me when it came to caring, he’d tell his staff they shouldn’t worry about why he would ride their butts/harp on them for striving to be better/their best. He told them they should never worry about when he was being tough on them, but they should worry about when he wasn’t tough, because that would mean he’d given up on them.

I’d like to think that anyone out there knows, that those who care the most speak up and risk the backlash. It’s not always easy. The easier route is always glazing over, letting things ride, or brushing off the important. In the end, what does that do, though? Does staying silent make us great? Does not speaking up or standing up make a difference? Does not pushing the ones you believe so entirely in, who might not believe in themselves, feel like the right thing?

Those who might seem like they’re regularly tearing you a new one, the ones who always call you out, those who endlessly poke & pick- they’re the ones who care the most. When people care, they stick around and speak up. We should all remember that those thorns in our sides are only a good thing, and they’re the ones who love us the most. There are few people in the world who know what we are capable of, and want to do anything and everything they can to encourage us to be that trueness. We should thank them for that.

#BeYou #ToughLove #SpeakUp