Not much in the early morning beats a sunrise. Especially from an airplane. This was my 6am today:
It is so nice to sit in uninterrupted, unplugged silence, and just watch what happens:
Escape, explore, make new memories…and appreciate going home too. Love travel!
Whatever life you want is out there and possible. How are you making the most of today?
#UpInTheAir #WanderingHomebody #Reflection
…or the bread with perfectly whipped butter, or the frisee salad, or the corn polenta ravioli with truffle, or the steak frites, or the wine, or the company. It was all just awful!
So thankful for the treat, the laughs, and the time with our table of 6!
#StillFull #NapaLife #BelatedBirthdayCelebration
Great company, old friends, new friends, patio, fresh food, warm night air, bubbles:
We might look like we are, but we’re not fancy; Farmers market stop, cook up a yummy dinner, light some cheap candles:
…add laughter, good conversation, and voila! – A perfect summer night is born, time together and sustenance. Money spent on experiences, not stuff.
How are you making the most of your time with people around you?
#Travel #SayYesWhenInvited #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad
Peach salad; Arugula & manchego cheese:
Tortilla Española; Potato & Sweet Onion Spanish Omelette:
Lunch today. So yummy. Love this town.
#NapaLife #FoodPorn #Travel
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:
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:
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
“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:
…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:
…and keep pushing.
…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
I hit the road for an out of town happy hour work meeting and just happened to get this glass even though the beer I chose is from a different brewer in a different city than Crown Town:
Oh, and I just got carded. I’m about to turn 37, so that’s pretty awesome. The waitress was probably just being very nice/safe, but I’ll take it. This road has been a crazy one, and it has given me plenty of I am so over 21 years old wrinkles- but I’m not sure I’d change a thing; My near 37 but I still get carded somehow wrinkles are filled with those I can’t believe that all happened and I got to the other side still fighting to keep my smile, kind of wrinkles. They’re the most bittersweet but I’ve been told best kind of wrinkles to have, so I guess I will just keep welcoming them home.
#LiveWithoutBoundaries #Experience #TheUnknownIsntAsScaryAsYouThinkItIs