Blue Lollipop Road Tag

some very. big. news

Hello YOU and hello summer! (Even though we are almost at the end of it already.)

How does time fly and stand still?

We managed to escape to the beach for our birthday week! Going unplugged from work when you work for yourself, in what always seems to feel 24/7… is the best.

Of course we had to get a photo at the LOVE YOU wall outside the good ol’ Piggly Wiggly during a bike ride, like everyone else on one of our favorite islands:

…which leads me to some VERY big news.

Not yet, though.

Stay tuned here for my next post that’s coming in a few days. Get ready! It will knock your socks off:)

#TodayIsTheDay #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #HopToIt

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bursting at the seams

My mother says I talk too fast. A little over 10 years ago, I remember hearing back from mom after leaving a message for her. (The good ol’ home phone, still kicking since 1978):

Honey, I’ve been your mother for 30 years and I still cannot understand you on the answering machine!

Mom isn’t the only one who says I talk fast. If the words, thoughts, ideas, and excitements that run through my brain in a 24 hour period were Olympic track athletes, they’d win gold for being the fastest, every single day. “You must be from The North” is a regular (correct) assumption, and “You should take some valium/smoke some weed/lay off the coffee” are regular suggestions as well.

If they only knew I worked for Red Bull during my 20’s and never even needed or drank the stuff to be a part of the Mobile Energy Team! (I did actually have a few vodka Red Bull cocktails that time our boss showed up in a limo fully stocked for a night out. Free drinks, friends, and a fancy car with a hired sober driver. I had my moment feeling like a Hollywood kid on prom night.)

I think I’ve been asked if I was on a speedball about 55,000 times.

I have the opposite of writers block. Too many words and too much energy I’ve been told. When I sit down to write here, there are so many things I want to say, and so many opinions, life hacks, thoughts, and ramblings I want to share, that I start, and my writing goes in 100 directions because I’ve waited too long. (Translation; not allowed myself the time/not taken the time, fallen into workaholic mode again, not shut my cell phone off enough, taken care of everyone else first, etc.) So my posts (book) end up in my drafts folder.

That friggin drafts folder!

It’s your own fault, sister.

As I call myself out publicly here again, for not gifting myself nearly enough time to do what I love the most until I start bursting at the seams, I hope you’ll take a little quiet time to think about what’s eating you up inside, and figure out a way to start feasting.

My favorite silent moments to recalibrate are during sunset each night:

(Yes, those are flowers in a vintage Cowboys juice glass. You’ll have to ask me about that time I married a huge Dallas fan.)

I’m stuck, but still sprinting…to help others. The irony! Here goes another swing at the bat for helping myself. Practice makes perfect.

Namaste.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I know you might not always understand my fast messages, but you always totally get me. I love you!

#TodayIsTheDay #StartDriving #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone

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when i grow up

A classmate from elementary school just posted these photos on Facebook about one of the books we made in Mr. Collin’s 3rd grade class. This one was Native American Stories Author Bios:

All of these write ups we did about ourselves are cracking me up! I think we were the ones who came up with these paragraphs? Maybe a bit of guidance from the teacher:

Kelly, above me had favorite “maple sugar trees” – so this shows how all kids from Vermont are hooked on the good stuff from birth. (Schoolhouse Maple is my favorite syrup hands down by the way, made by hometown friends in case you need a supply.) I can’t say I remember writing a single thing before age 8, so what was this supposed sense of humor my “readers” found fascinating? I did get straight off the plane and beeline to Taco Tuesday in Barrio Logan this week for the start of adventure #2,859,443:

…so as I sit here sipping coffee on the west coast today, I have to think our small fry selves must have the instinct to know exactly what we wanted to become…far before we are even close to getting there.

Pretty cool.

As life keeps flying by and I ebb and flow in and out of writing here, this Blue Lollipop Road remains my absolute favorite place, no matter where I go.

Thanks for the post, Lenny. And to you little Diane…thanks for the reminder.

Here’s to continuing to give yourself permission to do and be everything you wanted to, before you were even tall enough to get on that ride.

#LessWaitingMoreDoing #RespectTheClock #EverydayAdventures

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abandon ship!

I mean…abandon crap!

It’s Saturday afternoon. We’ve just finished up another project helping a client take back control of their life, and I’m finally having a few quiet minutes at my desk. Shocker I’m thrilled to have some time to read articles about lifestyle and minimalism that have popped in my inbox recently. I’m adopting the following as the quote of my month of February. It makes me cheer and imagine high-fiving all the soon-to-be clients I will repeat it to:

“Never underestimate the importance of abandoning crap you don’t need. It has the power to change your life dramatically.”

We got this sweet card in the mail from a client we worked with a few weeks ago:

We helped this client abandon a LOT of crap. No, her lifelong items bought with hard-earned money were not garbage, but they were things she no longer needed/wanted/used, and they were holding her back from moving on to the next adventure in life she wants to be on. So? We said peace out, crap! as we waved goodbye and thank you to the donation truck and driver from AMVETS.

(Did I mention how much we love our clients and they become like family?)

Circling back to today…

I just texted one of the realtors I work with and told him the first thought that popped in my head the instant my eyes opened this morning was I wonder if the donation truck has picked up the items from the house yet. The house I’m referring to is the one we prepped for market ready this week. Photos are being taken on Monday, and the house is officially up for sale next weekend. Most people on a Saturday morning would be waking up thinking of coffee, a honey-do list, kids sports games to get to, or who’s turn it is to cook the bacon. My 24/7 thoughts are constantly trying to come up with more ideas on how I can help those around me abandon more crap, so they can seamlessly get to where they’re trying to be.

Can you imagine trying to wake up and get dressed and out the door to your job, or get your kids off to school after walking into your closet looking like this?

If you can’t find your socks, how can you find your sanity in this busy life?

The above photos are from the Blue Lollipop Road collection of before and after. In this case, the “after” aren’t even fully complete, but you get the idea. The before are the reason I wake up thinking about abandoning crap and donation trucks. They also make my head hurt thinking of how stressed I’d be if that was the closet I attempted to dress myself in on a daily basis. No wonder why everyone in America is beeping and angry by the time they reach the Starbucks drive through at 7:30AM Monday – Friday.

IF YOU HAVE LESS CRAP. YOU HAVE LESS CRAP TO MAINTAIN.

Doesn’t that sound so freeing?

ABANDON THE CRAP AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

I promise, it works, and we can help you:)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up thinking only about bacon…

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #KnowYourInventory

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join me tomorrow: downsizing

Luxury Home builder, Toll Brothers has asked me to come for a 3rd time to host a downsizing seminar for their prospective and recent home buyers. Tomorrow (Saturday February 8, 2019) I will be at their Regency at Palisades location, just outside of Charlotte, NC. I was at this property last year and LOVED it. During my first visit, I asked the ladies in the office, Is this where our parents move to have more fun than we do?! Pool, golf, club house with chef’s kitchen, tennis and bocce courts, massage therapist, fitness center, and more…and all on site? Yes, please. This community is designed for an active lifestyle. (Didn’t you know 60 is the new 30?)

So what happens tomorrow? I will casually sit and have a conversation in the gorgeous open living room/kitchen/dining area one of the model homes. I’ll advise on how to declutter a lifetime of “stuff,” and plan for a path to more freedom and fun. The Palisades homes are not tiny homes, they’re between 1,700 – 2,400 square feet. Downsizing doesn’t mean living in zero space, it means living simple so you can DO more. It means clearing the chaos from your life, so you have MORE time, space, and money. It means stepping out of the Drone Zone, and getting unstuck.

Are you ready to make a change?

You know I love to talk. Come sit on a couch with me and let’s chat about your next chapter…

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #Downsize

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downsize-o-rama

For anyone who thinks working for yourself would be awesome, you’re right. If you think after you start, you’ll also:

Get rich

Have easy as pie days

Always wear pretty things

Feel glamorous

Sleep 8+ hours a night

Actually be done when you walk out the door

…you’re crazy.

I’m on a 10 day straight run of work like mad, time crunch, let’s get this house on the market now, I’ll sleep later, run. Just 2 more days before break time.

Have it any other way? No, thanks. As my friend Aaron says, I’d rather work 80 for myself any week, before I work 40 for someone else.

AMEN! (And also, we spent the holidays in the Caribbean, so being the boss means you get to choose when to burn the candle at both ends at work, then relax while you light one on the table next to you at the beach as you sip on a corona:)

We finished up a 5,000 square foot purge, organize, and stage to sell in Charlotte, NC last week, then Team BLR directly road tripped up to VA for a much smaller 1,700 square foot home project, filled with lots more than the bigger one had. (Yes! We LOVE to travel to clients. From Texas to Tokyo…we can do it! Call us. We will come to YOU anywhere.) Let the open all drawers and closets, and SEE everything, begin! You’ve got to make a mess, before you make it better. (That’s with everything in life, right?)

(In case you missed above, yes, this is the glamorous uniform I sport in my “office” each day.)

Whoa. Lots of stuff! Intimidated? Never. We aren’t done with this current project yet, but here’s a good idea of a before and after:

This is only just taking off/out/away the piles, and coverings, and repurposing furniture around the house. We snapped this quick photo before we ran out the door tonight, and might change things around another 10 times, but oh the freedom of light, space, and what’s already there to stage if you don’t have the money/time/need to stage with furniture brought in!

Yay.

The best feeling is that we know this client we are working with on this downsize, will soon move closer to her grown kids, grand kids, have less to maintain/less work to keep up with around her next smaller space, and she’ll be able to relax and have more time to do what she loves.

Less stuff. More freedom. Happy life.

YAHTZEE!

Are you ready to get unstuck?

Ok, better hop in the shower and put on something other than my BLR sweatshirt and old jeans so I can get out for date night dinner, all fresh and clean, with my partner in crime. I’m not sure he’s seen me in anything but that uniform in quite some time…

#LiveSimpleDoMore #LoveYourWork #TodayIsTheDay


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and then she crawled on the floor

I don’t know how swanky your job is, but mine often looks like this:

Pantry Clean Out

Since my last post, nearly 2 months ago (how the heck does 2 months later always happen?), I have been BIZ-EEE. If I had small children, they may have been starved by this point. I really don’t know how moms and dads do it all. Hats off once again, to all you parents in the world for keeping yourselves clothed and fed (let alone other small humans), while you work, and do a zillion other things.

The above photo shows me attempting to pull myself up from the dark pantry bottom shelf floor of a client home last week. Those clients took their 2 young kiddos off on a cross-country road trip to their new home in Texas, and I wrapped up everything for them in North Carolina. I’m often the last one to walk through, the last set of eyes on each corner or drawer, and the one who hands the keys in, to a place where lots of memories were made. I love my job.

This past several weeks during the spring client move madness, I haven’t slept much, and social time has been fairly limited. Balance? Not really. It’s been go, go, go, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My friend Aaron:

“I’d rather work 80 for myself, than 40 for someone else, any week of my life.”

I agree. The hustle is not glamorous, but at the end of the day if I’m still smiling and helping people get to the life they want, that’s all the fancy I ever need. Thumbs up!

Pantry Clean Out

Here’s to showing up, getting dirty, and knowing you make a difference.

#LoveYourWork #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #AlwaysLookingUp

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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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