Archives for posts with tag: psychology

Post image for 8 Things To Do Alone… For A ChangeThe idea of solitude has a somber ring to it; the thought of being alone can bring about memories touched with lonely sadness, while thoughts of being surrounded by others can bring memories of joy. But solitude, like all things, truly depends on the way you look at it. 

I, for one, absolutely love being alone. Some of the best times I’ve had are ones where I’ve been in no one else’s company but my own. I always enjoy hanging out with myself at home, and I equally love going shopping alone. I find that I’m productive and relaxed… and I always make sure to remain just as silly as when I’m with others.

There are certain activities, though, that I would never dream of doing alone. Sure, some things are just more fun with others by my side, but maybe sometimes I want those people to be there partly because the idea of them not being there… scares me. I fear I won’t know what to do when I’m there by myself (wherever that “there” may be). I fear I’ll have a question and I’ll be forced to ask an unfamiliar face. I fear that others will see me and think, “What’s wrong with that girl? Why is she here by herself?”

But you know what? Please pardon my language, but those fears are complete and total bullshit. Truly. I won’t know what to do when I’m there by myself? I’m a pretty smart girl. I’m sure I can figure it out. I’ll have a question and I have to ask an unfamiliar face? Great! Where’s the problem there? Meeting new people is healthy thing to do. People are just people, just as you and I are. People will think there’s something wrong with me? They’ll question why I’m alone? Well, I mean, maybe one or two will wonder why I’m alone, but I have a feeling the conclusion they come to will have nothing to do with there being something wrong with me. And if it does… why should I care? I’ll never even know! Am I really worried about a thought that a person I don’t knowMIGHT have? Silliness. Pure silliness. Madness, even.

Yet I’m sure I’m not alone in these worries. If you’re with me, let’s do something about it. Together… yet separately. I challenge you to go somewhere alone. Somewhere you’ve never before dreamt of going alone. Go. Just go. Even if it’s for four and a half minutes. Do it. You might just find out you like it better that way.


Go for a drive. Grab your film camera and take yourself for a scenic drive, with no destination in sight. Roll down the windows, blast that song again and again, and truly experience the freedom you’ve been given. Stop often, or not at all. If something you see sparks your interest, pull over. Maybe it’s a retro-looking diner up ahead, or a field of flowers you spot in the distance. Go there, be there, and take it all in.


Hang out at a cafe. You know that cafe, the one with an atmosphere so cozy you could just live in it. Go there, sans computer. Bring a book or some watercolors , bring your headphones… or not. Sip slowly, taking in not just the beautiful flavor and aroma, but also the warm, calming energy around you. Allow yourself to sink into that perfectly worn-in cushion, and stay all afternoon.

Book on ladder

Relax at the library. Choose the oldest looking fiction book you can find, and open it midway. Sit on the floor, crossed-legged, between two bookcases. Maybe even take your shoes off. Start reading and don’t stop. Make up the first half of the book in your mind. Pretend you’re one of the characters. Feel her emotions. Experience her experiences. Cry if you need to. Allow yourself to get lost in the world that exists on those pages before your eyes

Garlic painting

Wander through a museum. It could be an old favorite, or one you’ve never before experienced. In either case, go with a fresh perspective. Seek to learn something new and to be inspired to think, make, or do in a brand new way. Don’t feel the need to visit every room or stay for a certain amount of time. Go to experience it as it comes, and when you come to a point where you feel fulfilled, head on home.

Jeffery Campbell heels on towel

Treat yourself to a fancy meal. Get dressed up for a date with no one but yourself. Feel confident, and go. Order something you can’t pronounce. Save room for dessert. Take every bite as if it were your first. Learn your waiter’s name. When you say “thank you,” mean it. Feel gratitude for all of those who partook in making this meal possible, from the person who planted that tomato seed that became part of your salad, all the way to the one who delivered the chair on which you sit. Marvel at the incredible skills possessed by each of those people, and then marvel at all of your own.

Blood Orange Purple

Go to a show. Music is a powerful thing. Choose a band that you know will make you feel something. Go alone and ready to dance. Close your eyes, let the beautiful vibrations move you, internally and externally. Make a new friend, just for the night. Leave feeling refreshed and full of positivity.

Painting, crochet

Take an art class. Be it painting, pottery, improv, or anything else, put yourself in a situation that teaches you to harness your creativity in new ways. Use your hands, your eyes, your brain, and your soul. Let creative energy flow through you, and express it in ways you never thought possible. Let it in, let it out, and never think twice about it.

Popcorn on black

See a movie. Get a huge bucket of popcorn (or sneak in your own). Get there early. Find the best seat. Watch every preview. Look around from time to time, at this room filled with strangers who are all sharing a similar experience at once. Feel comfort in this sense of community, as you all laugh and cry together. Realize that, while you may be by yourself, you’re certainly not alone.

What will you venture off to do on your own?

Source: Inspiration: 8 Things To Do Alone… For A Change | Free People Blog



Before I continue, just check out the serious sway around my daughters neck.  I won’t go into all the accolades she received at graduation because there are so many it would take the entire post, and that is not the point I want to make…

I could tell you that I’m sad (I am) or that I feel old (not really) or that it all went by too fast (it did) but what I really want to tell you is how incredibly GRATEFUL I feel for having been Celia’s mother these last eighteen years.  It has been the greatest joy in my life.  Nothing beats it. Nothing.

Furthermore, she taught me so many things.  I know its supposed to be the other way around, but in reality, the reverse is true if you allow it to be.

To my daughter on her 18th birthday:

What she taught me…

Care deeply

Engage in every conversation fully

Love wisely, but when you do, love with your whole heart

Invest in your future a little bit every day

A smile goes a lot farther than a frown

Value friendships

Ignore those who would pull you down

Teach others a better way of doing things

Always work hard, no matter how simple the task might be

Lose yourself in the moment

Enjoy life, and all the happiness it brings


Treasure every day with your children, and learn from them as they learn from you…

I just picked up this book on a whim at the library.  Honestly, I thought it was about food, which I could pore over 24/7.  In fact, it didn’t have a thing to do with eating or food at all.   Instead, I found a true gem.

Travels with Epicurus, by (the salty old) Daniel Klein is lovely. I highly recommend it to anyone who is getting older (ha ha, i.e. everyone).  In his case, he’s getting on into his 70’s and a visit to the dentist has him questioning how to tread a more graceful path into his golden years.  It takes him on a journey to Greece…part travelogue, part meditation on life (he does have a philosophy degree from Harvard), it will capture you, make you think, smile, and ponder your own particular life’s journey.

Travels with Epicurus


This is a short book, only 164 pages, but worth every moment you will spend reading it. I don’t care if you’re 30, 40, 50 or more, it is relevant for every adult.

Let me share a few tidbits with you that he elaborates on in the book…

The Greeks have two words for time, Chronos, which is the dimension of time and its duration from past to present to future, but they also have another word, Kairos, which denotes not only the quality of time spent, but it’s particular significance to an individual.  Too bad we don’t have such a delineation in the English language.  Perhaps we might learn to have more Kairos time rather than Chronos time…

He references an Ingmar Bergman Film called Wild Strawberries, which I haven’t seen, but am going to.  It is the story of a man reviewing his life captured in the course of a single day, as well as Federico Fellini’s film 8 1/2.  Both films depict characters who learn to accept their lives, warts and all.

He references many philosophers, from Plato and Aristotle to modern thinkers.  He also quotes poets and authors including this transcendent passage from William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” that I will leave you with:

To see the World in a Grain of Sand, And Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.


Very good points for all the 20-somethings out there…

One Product

Think you have 10 more years to get your shit together? You might be wrong about that, like really wrong. Check out this short TED talk which says otherwise.  I am dying to know your thoughts on this video so leave some comments below.

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What are the 18 secrets to giving a presentation like Steve Jobs?

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In his book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs Carmine Gallo lays out 18 steps you can follow to give talks like the founder of Apple:

  • Plan in analog.” – Don’t get stuck in PowerPoint from the start. Play with ideas loosely on whiteboards or index cards.
  • Answer the one question that matters most.” And that question is “Why should I care?”
  • Develop a messianic sense of purpose.” Where is your passion for this subject coming from? Convey that.
  • Create Twitter-like headlines.” – Be to the point in your copy. People don’t want to read, they want to hear a story.
  • Draw a road map.” – Use a three act structure so your audience feels the presentation is organized, with a beginning, middle and end.
  • Introduce the antagonist.” – What’s the problem that needs to be solved or the enemy to be overcome?
  • Reveal the conquering hero.” – What’s the solution to the problem? What’s the new angle or development that will lead to victory?
  • Channel their inner Zen.” – Keep everything simple, to the point and minimalist.
  • Dress up your numbers.” – Present stats in a context that is relevant to your audience.
  • Use ‘amazingly zippy’ words.” – Review your copy closely, and edit, edit, edit.
  • Share the stage.” – It’s not a one-man show. Rotate in other presenters if possible.
  • Stage your presentation with props.” – Add life and break up stretches of talk by giving demos.
  • Reveal a Holy Shit moment.” – There’s always a surprise at the end — a scripted one.
  • Master stage presence.” – Manage your body language and delivery. Match them to what your presentation requires.
  • Make it look effortless.” – Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
  • Wear the appropriate costume.” – “Dress like the leader you want to become.”
  • Toss the script.” – Once you’ve rehearsed it all, make it relaxed and natural.
  • Have fun.” – Even if things go sideways, roll with it.

Just saw this the other day…a company in Sweden is using more realistic mannequins (size 6 to 10) in its stores…why aren’t we doing this in the United States?  The ‘average’ size woman is a size 14 today.  I am a proponent of this even though I am a relatively slim 6-8 sized woman myself.  I feel that the ‘waif’ image is sending the wrong message to our youth/weight obsessed culture at large.

H & M models


How do you feel?  Is this a more realistic representation of what women really look like? Would love to hear your thoughts on this subject…

I made this dreamy cake yesterday.  Here is the recipe:

This morning I was finishing off the icing/garnish portion and learned a lesson the hard way.   It’s what the recipe DOESN’T tell you that takes you by surprise.  The same thing is true about life, like the old saying goes, sometimes you have to read between the lines.  So too for recipes.  I made the frosting, poured it lovingly onto the cooled down cake, and instantaneously, the icing hardened, leaving my pecans to fall right off the cake instead of adhering to the cake like in the picture from Southern Living.


This is my cake, not Southern Living :-).

What they don’t tell you is that it must be a two person operation, one to pour the frosting, and the other to scatter the pecans, so mine did NOT end up looking like a photo shoot, although I’m sure it will taste just as good.  Lesson learned, and noted for the next time.  As in life, expect some surprises, learn from them, and move on.

And in case any of you are wondering, I’m not on a post Christmas diet, yet…