Wednesday Wonders: How Fear Can Make You Brave

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I promised last week to write about deadlines.

Sigh.

I don’t want to write about deadlines. I spent the last two months working toward two deadlines: an application for a project I would love to do and a fiction contest.

I’m tired.

And I’m scared.

I’m scared the people reading my submissions will laugh. I’m scared they might like what I wrote so even more people will read my work and they might laugh. (See how, either way, fear finds a way to keep me wrapped up?)

I keep thinking of all the things I should have done differently and how I should have done them differently.

A part of me regrets throwing myself out there. That’s the part, of course, that looks like the skinny guy wearing glasses in the movie Inside Out with Amy Poehler playing Joy and the sincere blue Sadness who ends up saving the day.

Fear is the skinny guy. I’m learning to let him ride along with me, but he can make things like sending submissions so uncomfortable I feel like biting off my tongue.

And he’s still there now, telling me everything I did wrong or might do wrong and trying to make me regret reaching high, so he can keep me safe from my next harebrained idea.

But, truthfully, he’s a part of the fun, too. He gives me the jolt I used to love when I thought I couldn’t die and rode upside down roller coasters or jumped onto zip lines.

I know the thrill of fear drives my son’s girlfriend to watch horror flicks with a grin on her face.  I can’t relate to her on this but I see how fear is a part of her joy.

He’s also a part of what pushed me forward for those months, churning out hours of writing time I could have sworn I did not have.

Here’s the secret fear doesn’t know:

Fear ends up defeating his purpose and making  me feel more alive than when I don’t dare to do anything interesting. I’ll put up with his shenanigans for a bit of the zing he has to offer. 

Meanwhile, I’m resting a bit and playing with paints this week. I do like to take breaks from fear and exhilaration now and again. More on that next week.

Ash the Distraction is sitting in front of my inspiration reminding me that he can mess it all up at any time. No questions asked.

May you know the delightful thrill of fear in a life fully lived-

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A recycled bit on the wonder series:

As a part of my 2016 blog revision, I started a new small weekly post I call ‘Wednesday Wonders.’

I love the way writing and other art forms open my eyes to the surprises around me in my everyday life. Many of these wonders will also be in my Instagram account since I discovered the joy of that program during an advent photo project.

I collect these surprises like little rocks in a kid’s pocket. I may use them in a story. I may not. Either way, life gets a little brighter when I take the time to notice.

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Wednesday Wonders: Finding Love at the Zoo Under Deadline

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One more deadline this week so another post heavy on pictures today. (More on deadlines and productivity coming up. Wow! Those things are motivating!)

I spent Valentine’s Day at the zoo with my two guys and my wonderful Seattle family. I hadn’t considered it before we went, but it turns out other people think Woodland Park is a good place for a romantic getaway. I think half the young couples in Seattle joined us there.

I especially liked George the Great Blue Heron who flew in and out of the penguin exhibit. He posed for all of the tourists wanting to take his picture, and I suspect he liked the fame as much as the free fish. The frog also stood still for every picture loving passerby, staring at us from his perch above.

A nurse log caught my eye this week. I’ve walked by it hundreds of times, but this time the ferns begged me to notice.

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Q and I sat for over half an hour reading this long book filled with one dino story after another. That was a wonder. (My voice even held out!)

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And this 3-puzzle sat in our game closet for months or more before I pulled it out last night while Q messed with the obnoxious duck quacking game. I’ve always wanted to try one of these. 60 pieces made for just about the right amount of effort.

May you find photogenic wonders, a good long book, and just the right challenge this week-

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A recycled bit on the wonder series:

As a part of my 2016 blog revision, I started a new small weekly post I call ‘Wednesday Wonders.’

One of my favorite things about writing and other art forms is the way they open my eyes to the surprises around me in my everyday life. Many of these wonders will also be in my Instagram account since I discovered the joy of that program during an advent photo project.

I collect these surprises like little rocks in a kid’s pocket. I may use them in a story. I may not. Either way, life gets a little brighter when I take the time to notice.

Wednesday Wonders: Geysers, Forts, and Dump Trucks

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I am staring down two deadlines this week so this week’s wonders will be long on pictures and short on words.

Flaming Geyser State Park has a very small flame from a natural methane source (in the concrete circle), but the wonder there and at Neely Mansion in the Green River Valley kept us entertained this weekend.

Earlier in the week, I visited Western State Hospital where many severely mentally ill people reside. I learned more than I can write here, but the story of Frances Farmer lingers in my mind. I had never heard of the Hollywood starlet who once stayed at Western State for five years. Ms. Farmer and the history of how we care for the mentally ill made my heart hurt.

I also learned the hospital sits on the former location of Fort Steilacoom, built in the mid 1800s.

I sat in traffic yesterday, stalled by construction and late for an appointment. I should have been frustrated, but I have been living in a house of all boys for too long. The big machines lifting chunks of sidewalk and dumping tons of gravel filled me with the kind of wonder that made me wish I had a toddler in the car who would love it, too.

I leave you with the necessary cat picture last and, perhaps, best of all. Two of them are now enjoying the game of blocking my view until I give up and move them out of the office.

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May you know your own wonder in traffic jams and interruptions-

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A recycled bit on the wonder series:

As a part of my 2016 blog revision, I started a new small weekly post I call ‘Wednesday Wonders.’

One of my favorite things about writing and other art forms is the way they open my eyes to the surprises around me in my everyday life. Many of these wonders will also be in my Instagram account since I discovered the joy of that program during an advent photo project.

I collect these surprises like little rocks in a kid’s pocket. I may use them in a story. I may not. Either way, life gets a little brighter when I take the time to notice.

Wednesday Wonders: How I Came to Have a Mermaid

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Sissy and Quinton’s first girl. (Alternate pronunciation:  ‘The Gril.’)

 

 

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When Quinton first found The Girl she was in a pile of stuffed animals at a rummage sale stacked on shelves taller than I am.

From all the bears, doggies, and other critters, Q pulled out a mermaid with pink yarn hair and in a purple bikini.

At first, I my heart squeezed for him. That old stuff about what boys can have and what they can’t is still alive and real around me even though I try not to play that game myself.

Then I relaxed as I saw him cling to her every time I left him for the night in his bed and during the day when I went to work. Clearly he needed her.

My sister and husband pointed out that she was a replacement for me. And, deep down, I always longed to be a mermaid. In fact, I spent hours at the lake where I grew up pretending to be a woman with scales who could set up house under water.

When we cleaned out Quinton’s room this month, I asked him if any of the stuffed animals could go. He immediately pulled her out of the pile and handed her over.

My heart broke a little for The Girl. (I never was good at letting go of stuffed toys.)

Maybe at 5 years old he has bought all those messages about what boys can and can’t have. Maybe he has tough memories of learning how to sleep by himself and staying at daycare.

But I am grateful to The Girl, so now she sits with me as lumbar support in my chair as I write each morning.

And sometimes our newest girl cuddles up next to her. In a way, it’s like Sissy and I are taking care of a good and faithful servant. The Girl saw a lot of tears. She deserves a nice retirement.

Besides. In a house full of human boys, we girls need to stick together.

Other Wonders of the Week

During injections practice (mannequins only for now), a student pointed out how beautiful the sharps box looked with all its color and variety. It reminded me of the shot of my knitting needles I took a short while back. Funny how sweaters and shots have a connection through needles.

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Ash is the boldest cat I have ever met. He stood on the ladder with me for our entire paint-the-livingroom-wall project, moving to the paint tray when I needed the top rungs. Helping, he said. I am helping.

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And for my last wonder, I admired the flowers one of the tutors had made, and the coordinator gave them to me yesterday!

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May you find surprise flowers, great helpers and maybe even a mermaid or two.

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A recycled bit on the wonder series:

As a part of my 2016 blog revision, I started a new small weekly post I call ‘Wednesday Wonders.’

One of my favorite things about writing and other art forms is the way they open my eyes to the surprises around me in my everyday life. Many of these wonders will also be in my Instagram account since I discovered the joy of that program during an advent photo project.

I collect these surprises like little rocks in a kid’s pocket. I may use them in a story. I may not. Either way, life gets a little brighter when I take the time to notice.