sun Tag

good thing I had sunscreen on

I just spent the better part of 2 hours on a pier in the blazing sun talking to a dad (I’m guessing this guy was 60-ish) about his college-aged daughters, and travel. I was waiting to get on a boat for a cruise on the river where I’m staying and the boat was having some issues, so as we patiently stood there, we started the typical friendly conversation about the gorgeous weather and scenery.

York River Pier

(I took this photo last night looking back at some of the cottages from halfway down the pier right before sunset.)

Our chat quickly launched into who I was connected to here, and how long this friend (who invited me), and I have known each other. (I’m the only non-family member, mixed among generations upon generations of people who’ve come together in this 24 cottage community for 4th of July weekend for the past 90 years.) We talked about where I was from and that lead to me sharing I’m on a road trip north for Play It Forward. I mentioned that I love being on the water and that I just got back from a leadership development program where I learned how to surf. After excitedly telling him about my Nicaragua time like a kid telling her friend about a favorite toy she just got for Christmas, he shared that his older daughter is currently in NYC at an internship for photography and she loves to travel, too. This adorable proud dad told me all about his two girls who both started school in one place, decided they didn’t fit, moved to spots that fit better, started focusing more on what they’re each truly passionate about, and now seem to be well on their way, much happier in their lives.

Yeah!

There were about 50 people at the pier all around us, eating, drinking, swimming, socializing, getting on boats…the total summer scene. This man and I were so engrossed in this conversation, there could’ve been a fireworks display overhead and neither of us would’ve picked up our heads. He sweetly bragged details about his hard working kids, we collectively agreed that we wished travel was seen as more an investment in oneself, and I thanked him for being the kind of parent that would encourage and support his offspring to chase the things that light them up.

If you’re a parent reading this and you have a child (of any age) who feels a burn enough to speak up and tell you they’re not happy in their current school, life, whatever (even though they might think they’ll be an incredible disappointment to you)…please listen. Be the cheerleader along the way as they change what’s not working. Make sure they know you’ll love them even if they quit and start again 100 times, as long as they promise to always speak and live their truth.

Thanks, Mom!

#Travel #GoForIt #ConversationsFromTheRoad

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screened in, never boxed

The current Blue Lollipop Road worldwide headquarters office view on this Friday afternoon, after I just kayaked for 2 hours:

BLR Office

I think we too often make the mistake of forcing ourselves into standard time and space boxes that just don’t fit with what really makes us tick in our professional lives.

When we tick, we do great work. When we do great work, we can make a difference. When we make a difference, there’s a little bit of unstoppable magic that happens and other people want to get on board.

Inspire people to get on board!

Don’t stay in a box if you don’t belong there. (And I’m not just talking about offices here.) There are no rules. Find your “space,” own it, and keep doing cartwheels all the way down the road.

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #LoveYourWork #CelebratingEveryday

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until next time, nica

I just landed in Houston for a layover after being unplugged and in learning paradise for the last week. It was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to share more here about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. For now I feel a little shell-shocked at the bustle, cement, and amount of messages I have in various inboxes. Send me back to the hammock and salt air peace I woke up to this morning!

Buena Onda Resort

Nicaragua Beach

Nicaragua Beach

My silent plane ride staring out the window was filled with some great views and much reflection:

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Once again, travel to a new place, spending time with new people, and giving back has provided me with perspective like no other. I am so incredibly excited to use all I experienced during this trip for many future life and work adventures.

Here’s to staying outside the drone zone!

#LeaderSurf #AlwaysSayYes #TodayIsTheDay

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remember, celebrate, live

I’ve always been known as the “energetic” one. That “Boy if you could bottle that energy and sell it, you’d be a millionaire!” gal. That friend that “we just can’t keep up with.” I don’t feel like a freak of nature, but sometimes I have to remind myself that in fact I’m not, when I hear the constant barrage of:

“I’d love to hang out, but I know you can stay up all night.”

“Good lord, where did you come from? How do you have all that energy?!”

“I’m sure YOU don’t need sleep, but I do.” 

Can’t a girl just be herself? It’s tough not to get a little insulted over here, when these “compliments” are regularly hurled at me. I have some very disappointing news:

I don’t stay up all night, I’m from a tiny town in Vermont, not space, I cannot explain how I have the energy I do (Mom, can you tell the people?), I actually need sleep like you, and no, I’m not a unicorn, Ewok, or other worldly being. I have shitty days. For instance, the other day I cried during a meeting with my accountant at Panera (yes, as in Panera Bread, in public), and it had nothing to do with finding out I’m not a billionaire. I already knew that and I don’t care. If you really want to know where the tears came from call me, (804.339.6514) I’ll share anything.

In an effort to solve the energy mystery right here, right now, after much reflection, I have come up this:

I CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE, PEOPLE. I AM JUST FREAKING CELEBRATING THAT I AM ALIVE.

Put that in your I’d rather stay miserable and quiet about it pipe and smoke it.

We’ve all been beaten into a life happens pulp. Do we need to recap on that again? So what do we do about it? Stay in the drone zone, or wrap our wounds with whatever we’ve got left, own and accept our crap, and drag our asses out of bed everyday in the never ending search for those few last tiny beautiful things that are left?

I refuse to wait for a weekend or big event to wear my sassy shoes:

Sassy Shoes

(This photo was taken on a Tuesday after stopping into my friends office to have coffee. I think that’s all I got dressed for that day.)

…I don’t say no to invitations to road trip to beautiful places with good friends:

Amelia Island

…I don’t save treats for only special occasions:

Dessert With Dom

…I always play like a kid and jump for joy at sunset:

Sunset Jumps

…and while things are often better shared with good company, (and oh my do I love a lot of humans!) If it’s 86 degrees on a random Tuesday in March like this week, I’m not afraid to sit outside at a picnic table to enjoy an after work beer in the warm and sunshine, alone:

Beer at a picnic table

I don’t have too much energy. I JUST ALLOW MYSELF TO BE ALIVE BECAUSE I AM, and I fully plan to continue celebrating the bleep out of this life while I have it.

I’ve never asked anyone to be like me and I would never dare. You do you, dudes and gals, quiet, loud, whatever you are…I accept all of you! You’re always invited to my party over here, but if this sparkly blue lollipop is “too much” for you, please walk on. I’m only interested in those fellow tribe members who might roll their eyes or shake and scratch their heads a little, but simultaneously are thrilled about getting smothered in glittery, energetic, life-celebrating love as we run down this steep, wondrous, rocky road together.

I’m off to my Friday morning dance party. I’ll see you and Beyonce in the soul train line…

#ShineBright #TodayIsTheDay #LessMiseryMoreLaughsHappyLife

*(This post is dedicated to everyone in my tribe (I LOVE YOU GUYS, you know who you are, but particularly Maria, Brandy, Leslie, Katie, Sam, Joe, and Grapa. I will forever be inspired to keep smiling and dancing because of you.)*

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so just take chances and go for it

Sitting here on a gorgeous Sunday night watching a fiery sunset:

Dragons breath sunset

(it almost looks like the breath of a dragon which I think is super cool), and I’m reading an article about people who shared their secrets for staying motivated, taking risks, and most of all…finding happiness. This paragraph jumped out at me:

Just do it

This is so the truth. We are all working with the same tools. 

What will you do with yours?

#LessFearMoreLivingHappyLife #JumpAndYouShallReceive #TodayIsTheDay

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a time for incomparable experiences

I love waking up in the city:

CLT Skyline

…in the very early morning when the sun has just come up and the streets are all quiet. It’s like a peaceful calm before the traffic storm, those few precious moments for those of us who live on the pavement when we can sip coffee and dream big in peace before the honks and screeches start.

The city; A place where action happens and the world moves quickly. How I love it, and then escaping that madness to the complete opposite end of the spectrum which I love just as much (maybe a little bit more) at this point in my life. This was my happy drive to a client home today in the country:

Country NC

NC Green

Being in cement city for a Vermont girl during the warm months is very hard. Being in cement city for a nomadic-souled national park-loving, freedom-needing road tripping girl is very hard, so drives like this are always welcome. I need open windows, and green spaces. I need outside not inside, and I need room to breathe. Play It Forward Weekend kicks off 3 weeks from today in my home state, and I can’t wait. I always feel my absolute best, most creative, alive, and easy going self on the road. For as much work as this big event entails, it fuels me back tenfold to be able to hop in the car, all windows down and head far north to connect with the place and people I came from and do something good.

I spent many of my young adult years “on the road” in open spaces during the summer doing things like sitting in German biergartens, hiking in and around national parks, driving and camping across the country, and sitting in a hammock in the middle of the South Pacific. This time of year I think about every “kid” like me all that time ago who is boarding a plane heading for a language program in a country far away, or that group of gal pals who just finished up college and are now road-tripping across the country to go work at some random beach bar for the next couple months before they start their “real jobs.” I think about that group of guy friends who are planning a long 4th of July weekend away in the mountains to hike and camp in the next state over. I think about the recent high school grad about to embark on a Gap Year adventure, and I think…HELL YEAH! These are the times.

Oh my gosh that feeling and those experiences. They are THE BEST EVER, and nothing compares.

If you’re a parent reading this, please encourage your kids go on that trip/program/study abroad. They will become forever changed and even more badass than they already are. If you’re a twenty-something reading this and you’re slaving away at a minimum wage job that you hate before you go back to college, tell your boss thanks anyway, pack and bag and go somewhere new. Go explore anything you’ve wanted to before you get bogged down and locked down. You will never regret it, I promise.

My business is teaching people how to live simple so they can do more and be more of what they love. I work with clients typically age 45 – 65 who are making big life changes. A lot of them are getting themselves “unstuck” (whether their decision or not) from situations that were not working or not fun for a lot of years. Either during or at the end of my projects, nearly every single person shares the same three things:

1.) “I wish I had done this sooner.” (Downsizing, moving, jumping, making change, etc.)

2.) “I can’t believe how much stuff I have/had.” (Physical, financial, and personal.)

3.) “I wish I had traveled more when I was younger.”

During this time of year when air is warm and possibilities seem endless, all I think of is why doesn’t everyone who has any power, authority, or advisory over young people just tell them to go, go GO. Go before you collect a whole bunch of that “stuff” like I did! 

For any of my clients who might look back and wish they did things a bit differently, I know I have at least helped them feel more freedom that they might not have otherwise been able to get to. It is so rewarding. We leave each other with hugs most every time and I feel like we teach each other so much. At the end of the day whether you’re 25, 45 or 65, all we really want is to have good times with good people. The stuff really doesn’t matter…period. I learn that again and again and again.

So many of us make big humongous ginormous life decisions (like college majors, careers, cars, houses, spouses, pets, babies, etc.) at ridiculously young ages and far before we have seen the world at all or built the best possible tool box to actually make those often life-altering decisions. Before we decide on important commitments that will seriously change the course of our existence on this planet, I say get lost, go broke, laugh with strangers, try that weird thing, feel uncomfortable, open your mind, don’t listen to naysayers. Move to that place you’ve always been curious about, quit whatever is breaking your heart or sucking your soul. Get up early, stay up late, work hard for what you want and it will all come together. Get your own life, don’t live someone else’s.

Hit the “road,” Jack, Jill, and everyone else who’s young bucket list is overflowing! Collect people and experiences, not stuff. I’ll be thinking of you with big smiles as I hit the road myself here soon, imagining all the awesome adventures you’ll have.

#DoStuffDontBuyStuff #Explore #LiveTheLifeYouWantToLive

 

 

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no filter sunset

8:17pm, Thursday June 9th. I walk in and this is what I see:

Image 2

No filters, no adjustments, just a quick shot from my old iPhone. Pretty awesome.

There’s something about a sunrise and a sunset that just feels…ahhh…

The best part is that It’s getting better as I sit here on my balcony, take it in, and type.

What makes you feel peaceful?

#Sunsets #SummerNights #LessStuffMoreMomentsHappyLife

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do stuff, don’t buy so much stuff

I like to wander by myself. I love people and connection and sharing for sure, but contrary to popular belief, I spend a lot of time alone and always have. If you have just started following here to give you an idea, I drove to Alaska from Wilmington, NC alone- and with no music a few years back; that kind of alone. Some think It’s weird. I think It’s awesome to go solo, sometimes.

Last weekend, as I wandered around the streets of Chicago alone (yes! – scored a super cheap non-stop round trip plane ticket for Memorial Day Weekend!), I observed a zillion people with shopping bags galore weighing them down. Knowing that one of the biggest reasons I could actually afford go to Chicago for some guilt-free good exploring, eating, and meeting up with old friends was the fact that I don’t ever weigh myself down with shopping bags galore, I had one of those aha moments:

DO stuff, people! Don’t BUY so much stuff! (“Stuff” here to me, means an over abundance of material CRAP that you simply do not use or do not need.)

If you’re offended by the word crap, please try not to be. I’ve been told a hundred times over that I/we should not call other people’s stuff “crap” but if we are being realistic, the extra (note I said, extra!) stuff piled in your closets and drawers that you forgot you even had, is kind of all just a bunch of crap. Wouldn’t you agree? If if makes you feel any better, I call my own stuff crap, too even though I have very little of it. I think a lot about what I would do if the small amount of stuff I own vanished. (I’ve actually lost it all before, and when I realized the people who took it all didn’t shoot me, I seriously felt relieved and lucky.) I can say with 100% confidence, that if all my stuff (crap) disappeared, but I had my health, people who loved me, and could sip a glass of wine, eat a block of cheese, and back that all up with a quality piece of chocolate, I’d be happier than a pig in you know what.

I’m thinking you might be right there with me.

And now we are off and running here on this Blue Lollipop Road with a little series moving forward I will theme; The Do’s & Don’ts of stuff

It’s all about priorities, really. Me, I find value and prioritize people, time, and experiences more than stuff. Some may not- but I think I can help encourage a little more prioritizing the important “stuff” here, so hope you jump on the train of less stuff = more freedom = happy life with me.

More on Chicago soon (I always pull that “soon” card, don’t I? I’ve got to keep you coming back:), until then today’s post is meant to share about today. My Sunday Funday and how I love the summer, the heat, and the colors of it all. During some client appointments today, I ran into a sweet little farmers market on a road I never go down, far from the city:

Farmer's Market

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Farmer's Market
I stocked up for some good grilling.

Windows down, music blaring, then back to the house to sit outside and type here, one of my most favorite things to do:

Sunday Porch Time

EAT good stuff that you’ll really enjoy with good company, don’t BUY a bunch of (material) stuff you don’t really need.

Spend some time alone, prioritize, and live that life you want.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #DoStuffDontBuyStuff #Summer

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hope floats

I went floating today. Blue skies, perfect temperatures, peaceful setting, poofy clouds…as nice as it could be. It was great to just lean back, breathe, and be in nature on the water, taking in the scenery:

Floating the river

I kept looking up and thinking of a certain few people I know, who would’ve given anything to be spending a beautiful day on the river.

Here’s to never taking any days for granted.

“Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.”

~Steven Rogers

#Thankful #CarpeDiem #Remembering

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