Be True

Sometimes I get off track… I have these brilliant ideas to write for the masses in hopes to make it big. That I will “be discovered” and get to “quit the day job” and do this for the rest of my life.

I have dreams of traveling around in a little RV… Pulling into various towns and blogging about all the unusual places and people I come across. But I can’t quite seem to find my niche writing like that yet. So here I am… Writing about my rambling thoughts.

Shakespeare once said, “to thine own self be true”, and that’s what I have to continually remind myself. Whenever I attempt to force my writing it seems forced. We all see it, we feel it. It’s almost painful to read.

It’s actually almost painful to write. And that makes me sad. I have these thoughts and ideas floating in my head and I can’t quite get them down on the screen.

I suspect that when the time is right it will happen. It’s like a Japanese proverb. I sometimes feel that is how I write and that is how I speak… one proverb after another.

For now I will stick to what I feel comfortable with. I will not force it. I will let the words flow out. They are cathartic as they flow through me. Bit by bit I am able to uncover the joy.


Adventure is out there!

Challenge accepted… Five places I want to visit… and go! So get in, sit down, and buckle up. We are in for the “road trip of a lifetime”!

I’m not quite sure I have a particular order for my list, but we will be going from one extreme to another. And the top of my list is: Ireland!

County Cork, Ireland (photo Courtesy Pinterest)

County Cork, Ireland… picturesque, Quaint. What more could you ask for? Magical, fairytale village that whisks you back in time. This actually does too my bucket list. Anywhere in Ireland does, actually. To be amongst my distant relatives and enjoy a day in their life. It really would be a dream come true.

Machu Pichu, Peru

Machu Pichu, Peru comes in a close second after Ireland… one of those once hidden gems, Machu Pichu is now rather touristy in nature, with thousands of visitors per day traipsing through the ruins. I still find it fascinating and would love the opportunity to hike around and perhaps get up close to an authentic Peruvian llama.

It would be a dream come true to hike in to Machu Pichu on the Incan Trail… with six months notice and approximately $500 for the tour, I can apply for 1 of the 200 daily slots. Perhaps one day I will mark this off my list!

Fall Foliage and Covered Bridges New England Style (courtesy of Pinterest)

Bringing it closer to home is trip number three… A fall foliage and covered bridges road trip in New England.

I think it would be amazing to take a long weekend or a a full week to drive around New England and explore the beauty of the historical bridges and be amazed by the glorious fall colors.

Mount Rushmore, Montana

Call me patriotic, call me sentimental… but I really want to see these four heads! Not to mention the work in progress statue of Crazy Horse that is not too far from Mount Rushmore. it has been a dream of mine for quite some time and I believe it is becoming closer to reality. To think that all of this has been made by dynamite and chiseling is just inspiring.

The final item on my top five is located across the northern border into Canada. Dear sweet Victoria, Canada.

High Tea, Empress Hotel, Victoria Canada

High tea at the Empress Hotel…. if I could cross that off my bucket list, I do think my life would be complete. Even a day trip into Victoria from my favorite city of Seattle would make this trip work it. One day I will make it. My dreams will become reality!

So there you have it… my top five. They turned out to be in a rather specific order. I believe that one day I will cross each and every one of these items off my list. I will continue to uncover my joy, and I challenge you to do the same!


The Road to Joy

In 1915 Robert Frost wrote one of his most famous poems ever. It started out merely as a joke to one of his dear friends and walking buddies, Edward Thomas, who often-times was unable to decide which path to go down on their afternoon strolls.

“The Road not Taken” has been quoted in graduation speeches, motivational mantras and so much more. We will hear it misquoted as “the road less travelled”, which has a similar, but different connotation. I have quoted it myself, sometimes correctly, but more often not.

In case you have never read or heard it I want to put it here for you to read.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost – written in 1915.

As I read the history and how Frost really meant it… as a joke to his friend who could never make you his mind on their walks… I realized something…

We spend so much time worrying about taking the road less travelled. That it’s important to be different. Find what makes us unique. But we miss the boat. Frost wrote this to his friend as a tongue-in-cheek poem and even Edward Thomas to it so serious. He wrote Frost back thanking him for his deep words. But in reality I think the truth is deeper. It doesn’t matter which road we take, what matters is we keep moving forward. We get out there and walk! We push forward on either road. Because that is where the reward comes in. Most likely I have never been on either of these roads… it only says that others have travelled on them.

I think that’s the beauty of these words. After all this time I am seeing a bit more clearly. I just need to move forward. Travel any road I come to. Turning right or left will still lead me to an adventure. I will uncover joy no matter which road I go down.

Thank you Mr. Frost! Nearly 105 years later and your words speak even louder than before!



Memories on Facebook… sometimes good and sometimes oh, so bad! Today this is what popped up as I opened my timeline up… “Do not let your present day circumstances or hardships which are overwhelming let you ever forget that God has a purpose and plan for your life.”

Can I tell you how blessed I am? For years, as in over one third of a century, I spent so many days crying out to God, “why have you failed me? What did I do to deserve this life?” If I am truly honest about the timeline, it is probably closer to half a century. 😳.

Today I am learning to dance in the rain. To enjoy life wherever I am at. To see failures as learning opportunities to bring me closer to success.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times I want to give up. I will shake my fist at God and be angry, but I find that dancing in the rain is far more fun than walking through it with my head down and scurrying to my car.

That is where the trust comes in. The faith that no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay. I look at my life and see that so far that has been the case. My life has not been on the trajectory I had planned, but it has all worked out. And with my story, I can hopefully help others.

I find that I am blessed. Most moments I am happy, which means that nearly everyday ends up being a good day! My attitude on life has changed. I am continuing to uncover joy wherever I go.


Foggy with a Chance of Clouds

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just going through it in such a way that you are not even quite sure you put your underwear on that morning? Well, sometimes I feel that’s how my life is… foggy with a chance of clouds.

If you’ve been on my blog and read through more than one of my posts you know that I spend time working and reflecting on me. I want to get out of the dark clouds and have the fog lifted. I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my underwear are in place.

So today I am once again trudging a new path. Seeking to be healthier, happier, and clearer. More woke, as some might say.

As I began my day I refreshed in to some Pi-yo. Warming up my body in ways I hadn’t felt in quite a long time helped focus my mind on the day ahead. Limited coffee and a chat with a friend rounded out a renewing morning.

Throughout the day I enjoyed reaching out to others to see how I could help. Taking a few extra minutes to ensure that my patients were leaving my office satisfied with their care. Meeting with staff and checking in to ensure their needs were being met. Actively listening to concerns.

I had some wonderful moments of deep breathing, all the way down to my lower abdomen. Filling my lungs as deep as I could so my entire body was extremely well oxygenated and ready to soar. I just felt marvelous.

To top the night I had an evening with the ladies. Normally we would call it Bible study, but half the group was missing so we had catch up night and spent the evening chatting. It was the perfect way to end a good day.

And in case you’re wondering… today the clouds were lifted and the fog was nowhere to be found. I knew the undies were safely in place. It was a good Monday… who would’ve thought! I’m making the most of it.

I have room for improvement. Still more work on nutrition and sleep. Always there… but I am a work in progress. I see my improvements. I am excited to see I am forward moving. I will uncover more joy no matter how hard it is.


Coffee Reflections

As I sit in my comfy chair and drink from my warm cuppa coffee, I look out the hotel window and contemplate life. It’s not too early on this overcast Sunday morning… 7:40. The roads are wet, so I know it has rained overnight.

So many times I have come in and out of hotel rooms and rarely even bothered To open up the curtains. To take a minute and enjoy the surroundings and see where I am at.

Its time to slow down. Notice the small things. This little hotel has the perfect vantage point. This little alcove with two chairs and a long window to relax before the day ahead.

What a precious way to start my week. I came to Oakland a bit nervous. It was one of those events that I was excited to say yes to, and then for weeks I second-guessed my decision.

In fact, this past week I whole-heartedly regretted it. Had I not been doing a small workshop presentation I would have cancelled my attendance at the last minute. Feigned an illness or some other excuse. I have many, I’ve done it plenty of times before.

Instead I persevered through and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. That is where the growth happens. I didn’t isolate in the room, I made efforts to talk to people. I went to dinner with the group instead of isolating… talking to people, enjoying their company and amazing new food. When I got back to the hotel I went for a walk and shopped by myself.

And now this morning I type this as I sit in that beautiful alcove with the curtains wide open and the sun finally starting to come through the clouds.

That’s how I feel… like I am finally starting to come through clouds. That I am pushing myself towards growth that I have resisted without being aware I was doing it. I want fullness of life to be able to radiate to others. I want a positive energy to flow through me and touch others. I just want to walk in that love that others see and feel.

Ultimately I want to uncover the joy to find happiness beyond measure.


Writing for Joy

Self help. Improving me. My closet shelves are lined with books and 98% involve working out all the bugs that lead me down the path to depression, anger, and isolation.

It’s quite amusing if you think about it. I get so caught up on all this self improvement that I fail to take time for self care. Reading for fun and simply slowing down and enjoying life. It’s partly why I finally stepped up to the challenge of writing this.

I pretend that this blog will be discovered, that I write for others, but mostly I write for myself. A creative outlet so I can finally grow to really know me.

It’s funny how that works. To get to know the real me I had to get back to the basics. I say that because when I was a child I always pictured myself as a writer. Funnily enough, I really wanted to create greeting cards. I would make my own birthday cards for everyone and on the back I would call them “Amieemark” (instead of Hallmark). Okay, so I wasn’t that original.

In high school I was introduced to poetry. Oh, for a teen in angst it was such a wonderful outlet! I remember getting in an argument with one of my sisters and slamming through the house to my room… I wrote a poem about “Closing Doors”, which was my way of crying out about the pain of missed opportunities and wanting attention. I dramatically stomped back into the kitchen and proclaimed my masterpiece to the family and asked my sister if she had ANY clue what the poem meant.

She said, “you wrote a poem about throwing a fit and slamming doors because you didn’t get your way?” Oh, she had no use for my creativity! She missed the point completely (yet in reality she got it exactly right!).

I had a problem with honesty. I didn’t know it. I just couldn’t see situations for how they truly were. Sometimes I still suffer from that. And that’s where the work comes in. For that I am grateful. I have so many outlets. My friends, writing, and my relationship with God. I’m learning to trust. I’m learning to uncover my joy. I’m blessed.


Right Sized

I’ve had a bit of a block lately. It’s made me complacent in writing. I used the convenient excuse that I am in a class that expects an immense output of written words each week, so to do that and put the expectation upon myself to churn out an additional blog piece was just too much.

Bullshit… that’s a lie. I didn’t even try to do both. I conveniently set aside this outlet in order to feel sorry for myself and appear busier than I really am.

In fact, I will often fill up my schedule with less productive or soul cleansing things in order to fill a void or procrastinate on some responsibility.

I set out to write an entry this evening, and to get out of my writer’s block I looked up “blog prompts”. One in particular jumped out at me, “What did you learn today”. I love it, because today I did learn new things.

I am in the process of learning my size. Funny, right? Did you know I’m not the center of the universe? Did you realize you aren’t either? Do you have any idea how minute of a proportion we really are in the entire scheme of existence? Now, I have a friend that has been trying to explain this to me, but sometimes we just can’t learn something until we are truly ready to learn it… and today I was ready to learn it.

Now, we live on a planet with billions of people on it, so it’s easy to come to terms with the fact that in the scheme of the planet, we are insignificant… but truth be told, when I started looking at the whole truth, I realized that I was just a small piece of the puzzle at my employment, too! Sure, I may think I am someone pretty amazing and awesome and damn important… but I am 1 of 1400 employees… and if I left tomorrow I would be replaced… I am not that special!

I’m not saying this sarcastically or as a “poor me” set up… It’s just the facts. I can (and should) set out and do the best I can, but I am replaceable. Which is good. That’s the design of life! In a way it’s a stress relief. Weird, right? I’m not fully certain why I feel relief by that thought.

I am just grateful I am at this point and can see my pattern. Life will be better and those around me will enjoy the calm.

Roaring 20’s

How can we really be in 2020? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were partying like it’s 1999? Or preparing for the doomsday crisis of Y-2K? Yet here we are, back in the Roaring 20’s.

I touched on this briefly in my launch yesterday… My minor fascination with the 20’s. I am not completely sure where it stems from. Perhaps it was the era of men being men and women finally coming into their own. I would love to say it’s because in 1920, American woman gained the right to vote. Very PC and women’s lib of me. But I’m afraid that’s not quite it…

It’s a much more superficial reason why I like the 20’s… The fashion and stylings of the Golden Age of Hollywood. In a period where western wear was still dominating, women were stepping out and stepping into their Flapper dresses and bobbed hairstyles. Their slender, nearly boyish frames were shown off with these beaded wonders. The Ziegfeld Girls and their antics were the talk of the town. Barbara Stanwyck making her premier on the Ziegfeld stage.

Still, though, I look back and see that in many ways, the 1920’s were a time when women stepped out and took a firm stand in who they were in many different areas of their life: politically, socially, theatrically, etc.

We’ve come a long way, baby, and there is still more ground to travel. I’m looking for 2020 to be MY year to go a long way… to see where I need to grow. To pull from the courage of women who have traveled the roads before me and see where my life takes me.

I hope you can join me on this journey and enjoy uncovering your very own joy!