Live Into

Have you ever been challenged to describe yourself? What would be the word or phrase that “describes” who you are, or what you do? I’ve been thinking through this one, but honestly, it is very difficult to pick one word or phrase. THEN when you do, you realize that word, or collection of words can be interpreted 86 different ways. However, it doesn’t hurt to do a little self-reflection.

Back in my “leadership days”, I used a phrase quite often, “Live Into”. When I was working with a group of people, my job was generally to help them define who they were personally, or as a group. We would do many exercises to help define, for instance, the purpose of a particular group and the direction that group would take. When the essence of that project was named, I would say, “Now, Live into it!”  Meaning, if you have a goal, or hope for the future, you live NOW as if it has already begun to occur.

This is a both fun and frustrating exercise. Helpful, as it brings clarity. Frustrating, as it usually needs interpretation. The end result though is worth the frustration. One of my favorite tools for thinking is called bubbling. You begin with a word or phrase, then simply write words that come to mind. There may be  many layers, (thus secondary levels of bubbles). This is done as a brain-dump, in other words, don’t put too much thought into it, just write down what comes to mind. You can return later to refine.

This example is the result of the word GARDEN to give you an idea of how it works:

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As you can see, a lot comes up, for instance, Plant leads to tomato, which lead to types of tomatoes, then I would have to add another category called blight because we deal with it here on our land.

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Now imagine that you put your name in the center . . . what descriptive words would be in those first bubbles? What else would be added to those first words. Which ones do you really want to describe you? What ones do you want or need to cross off the list? Yes, it’s fun and frustrating! Now, which ones will you “live into”?

Living into is acting as if it already is, therefore becomes reality. Thus one of the reasons I always close with Enjoying the Adventure!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Grateful for the Everyday

Wow, yesterday was very quiet. I mean QUIET. I’m just glad it happened after I had perked my coffee. Yes, the electric went out. For 7 hours. This is the longest we’ve dealt with here. No great tragedy, storm or earthquake, just a gentle rain, that hasn’t stopped yet weakened a tree and brought wires down into the creek.

All day I kept thinking about doing “something” but it seems every something that I thought of required electric, or “it was just to dark in that room”, or sitting on the back porch, which I did a lot of yesterday, in June, dressed like it’s freaking winter out!

This seven hour electric dilemma, which when you really think about it, with all the storms and natural events, like wild fires and volcanoes, really messing up people’s lives around the globe . . .was nothing. However, it made me realize how I take advantage of something as simple as flipping on a light-switch and how that action improves my life. So, this morning while I wait for my coffee to perk, I’m grateful. I’m glad the electric went out to remind me that I’m really a spoiled brat. Today I will be grateful for the everyday things.

img_20180525_184523059_hdrDo you ever find yourself in a position like this? You know, when you realize that you take advantage of the things that make your life easier? What are those things?

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

_________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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The Terminal

The situation of my own eyes, caused me to look around the terminal. Faces amaze me. Maybe it is because I worked closely with people for so many years, I’ve become relatively good at “reading” faces. Oh sure, there is some conjecture and you don’t know all the details . . . but emotions can be a billboard.

I flew home in a bit of an emotional whirl. I was so sad leaving my heart, my Grandson. By the next time I see him, he will have so many more skills, and will continue to get taller and his vocabulary will become clearer. He will more than likely get over that “being two” stage too, (I think he’s almost there) . . . I’m so grateful for video chat and instantaneous photos. But it’s not the same as being there. Of course, I had a tear or two at the airport. I was misty eyed.

I also missed my husband and couldn’t wait to get home to see him. Love is a good thing! Then I received the text with the ultrasound photo. Oh my! There is really a baby in there! Sadness, joy, excitement, love, longing, expectation . . . All at once? Oh come on, you would be misty eyed too!

My plane was full. Evidently not one seat was empty if I heard the stewardess right, or is it steward-person now? That explains why the airport was so busy! I overheard a woman in the terminal say to her friend, “Yes, I’m heading home for a bit, at least we got Greg over from the brink of death.” They hugged. Not many heard her. Most people are so engaged with their cell phones in their faces and are physically there, but robotish, clueless as to what’s going on around them. But look, walking past, a young woman eyes deep-set, moving slowly . . .

  • she is in another world. Something has happened. She is shattered. Was it her boyfriend? Did he leave her? Or, should she leave him? Was she escaping? Did someone die? Did her brother not make it over the brink as Greg did? This was definitely a “love look.” Please, someone, give her a hug!
  • he is polite, yet guarded. He is “manning-up” but wants to cry like a little girl. Can anyone see me? Eyes averted.
  • A family . . . Mom & Dad look stressed, but the kids have sparkles in their eyes. You might think they were in line at Disney World, but this plane is heading to Pittsburgh, I wonder if it’s a connector or are they visiting someone special there?

On and on the possible stories go. I think sometimes it nice to just put the cell down, look around you. See people. Be Connected. Have a random conversation. When I do this, my world becomes larger. I think a part of this era of negativity is that (not only teenagers) are so busy looking at that small piece of electronics in our hands. Granted, I will look too, and frequently when my kids text, send videos or post cool things, but you know as well as I do that we can become quite mindless staring at our phones.

Here is a challenge in the next few days, put down the phone —look around you!

Enjoying the Adventure (Let’s all go on one!)

Dr. Dinkimg_20180522_0930389811133470407.jpg

____________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Locked!

screenshot_20180516-1944001791624151.pngDo you see the little spots on the side of the bridge?  . . . we shall get to that!

I’m a country girl, so a pedestrian bridge over an 8 lane highway with cars moving at 70 mph was a curiosity. I didn’t expect to see the sunset as I stood there above the noise of the cars, it was beautiful and I stood for a while watching, then. as I got to the center of the bridge, I looked and there was a Master lock on the wire fencing, I thought it was strange, and then looked further. One led to the other and more and more. What is this, I mused. Then I looked closely at the locks, there were names on them.

 

img_20180517_075908448_hdr1144094110.jpgIn Love For Ever

I’m Locked with you

Prom?

Love & hearts

MRO + IMO

 

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A local couple taking a walk with their two children came on the bridge and confirmed that couples would come up on the bridge to confess their love and commitment to each other. (Goosebumps!) At first I thought, it would mostly be high school students. But then I saw an antique lock. For many years I was with people during the tragic times of their lives. I would stay at the hospital after the accident, or as a family sat at vigil as their loved one pass. So many times during these moments, I would ask the spouse, “You meant it didn’t you?” Their answer was always, “Yes.” So, I would repeat the traditional words that most folks said on their wedding day,

“To have and to hold,

from this day forward,

for better, for worse

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

until death do us part . . .”

I am willing to wager that most of those locks were placed by young teens with visions of love in their hearts. However, I believe that their were also special anniversaries, or the realization the impact of a diagnosis’, and re-commitments of love and devotion too. I came off that bridge with the biggest smile on my face (it was ridiculous) and a small pool of tears in my eyes. All because of the beauty of locks.

Have you reminded, or done something special for the one you love to remind them how much that love means to you lately?

Enjoying the Adventure!img_20180517_075547943_hdr1366755143.jpg

Dr. Dink

 

 

 

Challenge Accepted

I have been really enjoying a writing group that gives a word a day to prompt thoughts. Some have been difficult, because this blog is “all about positivity” and let’s face it, not all words lead to positive thoughts! However, having a word stretches the imagination. A few days ago, the word was archaic and I must admit, difficult for me, as if that makes sense!  I’m surrounded by the subject. Being a lover of antiques, I get pretty excited about archaic things!

There is nothing better than adopting an old handmade quilt. Just the fact that it is still in one piece after 50? 100 years? fascinates me. I have one my great-grandmother made, it is ugly as sin, yet beautiful. Made from the material of old shirts and cotton dresses because they came from a time where you used everything up to the best advantage. Why throw all that good cotton away just because of a rip or stain?

What is THAT? I don’t know, but it’s cool looking!

Old pianos, the older the better! I love ripping them apart. The craftsmanship, hand carving and delicacy and patience of the mechanics, they make some pretty cool repurposed works of art!

And my favorite —my adopted family of photographs. It saddens me that these wonderful people, or maybe not so wonderful people . . . have no identity. Who are they? Where did they come from? What was their story? How many kids did they have? Were they farmers, bankers, etc. Thus my second blog, The Brown Bag Letter, named after a letter written in 1899 and passed down in my family written on a brown bag because paper wasn’t available.

So I guess archaic isn’t so hard after all, I’m surrounded by it. You may like new things, that’s fine. We are all very different and that’s OK. Sometimes it is easy to look at ourselves and wonder why, or even be judgmental because we are different. I’m sure some haven’t read this far, thinking of the old shit I like because they prefer, At Home, IKEA, or wherever . . . that’s OK too. Celebrate who you are, what you like, your surroundings. You are you! And you are awesome!

Enjoying the Adventure!  (Even when sometimes the adventure looks back!)

Dr. Dink

______________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Grateful

Today is Memorial Day here in America. There will be remembrances in nearly every community. For the most part, those ceremonies have been the same each and every year since “anyone can remember”. I’ve been to many, participated in a few. They make me grateful.

The evolution of this weekend has become a celebration of picnics, the beach season officially opening, summer is here so gas prices rise and traffic jams along the coast & to mountainous resort areas increase for most. Yet, it is good to remember the real reason behind this holiday which has become a good excuse to buy a six pack, or another bottle or two of red.

Memorial day is about Death and Gratefulness. Death has been such a huge part of my life as I was a pastor for 22 years. Death was a reality I was always prepared to face, yet not quite ready to face.  There was an expectation whether that death had just occurred, or was imminent in the next few months that I would be intimately involved in the process. When you are intimately involved with death on a regular basis, it can make you or break you. Think about it, there really isn’t a middle ground, is there? Well, I guess, middle ground would be numb.

Dealing with death has made me grateful. I know it hits others in different ways, but for me, grateful. I live with the understanding that each and every day is a gift. A gift to be opened, enjoyed and used. A gift to show off to your friends, and decide not to share with those . . . . well, you don’t want to share your daily gift with!

Yesterday, I spend some time with a friend at the grave of her father, she talked of his untimely death, “too young”, she said, “he was two years younger than I am now”. He, like my father, served in the Korean War. It was a precious time we had, talking of our Dad’s, being thankful that they served, but didn’t die in the war. Private, personal ceremony. A time to remember, it was beautiful. I walked away grateful.

When I think of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the military, and of their families who have had such great loss, of someone they loved gone, usually, “incredibly too young”, I am grateful. I’m grateful that because of them, I have the right to express my opinions on this blog, on social media, at the coffee house or on a public square. I’m grateful that I could choose to walk away from my career of 22 years because I couldn’t accept the ethics any longer. I’m grateful that I could start up and close a business or two. I’m grateful that I can talk on the phone, or text my family. I’m grateful that I can have a dog and a fish.

I started this blog because of the negativity pandemic that is going on in our society right now. I hate it, truly. But I’m grateful that we have the right to be miserable if we choose to be. Although I’m not a march-in-the-streets-protester, I can protest the life-sucking-negativity, in my own way because I have the freedom to do so.

So, my ceremony for today is my new discipline of early morning writing. I’m grateful I have that choice. I’m grateful for the many lives lost that give me the right to be who I am and for you to be who you are. I’m grateful for many years of being intimate with death so that I can celebrate life . . . daily.

What are you grateful for today?

Enjoying the Adventure, (And greatful to have the freedom to do so!)

Dr. Dink

____________________

 

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Daily Post

New Eyes

I’ve been away for six weeks. When I left Pennsylvania there was snow on the ground and we arrived in the desert to sunshine and 93 degrees. Yesterday, I was surrounded by blue skies and was floating in a pool. I came from the dry air of the desert with warnings of wild fires, back to the Northeast and buckets of rain, buckets!. Everything feels damp, everything. For the past six weeks I’ve been experiencing the world from the eyes of a two-year-old in his toddler proof home. Today, I’m home, surrounded familiar antiques. The opposites are too many to list.

During these six weeks, I’ve been trained by a little human. He has taught me the wowness of the mundane. The excitement of what has been there and taken advantage of as “the norm”. He has shown me to see with new eyes again.

As I sit here this morning surrounded by my familiar,  I realize that there can be no assumptions —everything is not the same, although nothing much has changed. Because I’ve been retrained by this little guy, I do see things differently and with a renewed sense of appreciation.

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I was greeted by Smiley, my African statue and our collection of beautiful antique mirrors begging to give reflection, the best cow oil painting ever and the weather-vane in the window. Memories, comfort, old things . . . seen with new eyes, retrained to see by an inquisitive boy.

 

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Look around you, what do you see? Look again, what is so familiar that you don’t see or appreciate it as it deserves? It may be a trinket, a wedding band, something from your childhood, or the person next to you . . .

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

________________

 

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Daily Post

 

My Love

img_20180412_172510463_burst001828445920.jpgThis man is a freak. Honestly, that is my word for “most wonderful man in the world.” He’s a guy’s guy kind of a guy. He can fix anything, he loves soccer with a passion, he will drop any “important project” that he’s working on if one of his kids call, or if I ask for some stupid thing that really can wait.

He fixes inside, outside, upside down (especially working on the truck or yucky plumbing). I’ve watched him persevere in the craziest of situations. My favorite was three days of “snaking the drain line” on a house we were working on. Oh my –it was rude to say the least and three days!!!  Did I say, 3?

With all this down to earth stuff of life, he also writes computer program. I mean really, a full description is quite complicated! I’m thrilled to say that this freak of a man is my husband.

Oh, I almost forgot . . . he talks funny too.  We have a small city near us named Altoona. He constantly calls it “AltooNER”.  He also pronounces, PAAArC, for what we normal people here in the US of A say, “Park”. When we were first dating that accent slayed me! I wanted him to read fairy tales to me . . .

img_20180519_060227930532885991.jpgSo imagine this morning, I’m currently in a different time zone & he calls, “Are you watching the wedding?”  It was 5:30am! So I got up and turned on the television while listening to him telling me about the beauty that was before me. I hear him saying, “I’ve been there.” (And I bet this man’s man kind of a man had a few little tears brewing in his English born eyes).

img_20180412_145612401305200189.jpgRoots are powerful. Here in Arizona, our second home-to-be, I’ve been hearing the doves calling out, “who, who, who” and it is strange how it brings me back to my childhood where I heard their call as a little girl. While here, three time zones and 5 decades later, there have been a few moments when I’ve had my eyes closed and I hear those doves and actually see my childhood home, feel the humidity-filled-Southern-New-Jersey air, and smile.

I’m happy that my love woke me up this morning. I’m so grateful that he got to remember his roots through this awe-inspiring event of love. Best part is, I know that I’m loved by this Brit each & every day.

Today, with all the terrible things going on in the world, it is good to have a break from the chaos and celebrate love. What memories do you cherish? What memories are you building? I’d love to hear your responses to these questions! As the day continues, I’m going to go play with that grandbaby before I fly back to my prince!img_20180412_1053396151562422611.jpg

Oh yes, I’m 

Enjoying the Adventure!

Karen 

(a.k.a. Dr. Dink)

 

P.S. As for the Royals, I hope they are as blessed as me!

 

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Who Knew?

I remember a third grade assignment: “Ask your parents about your ancestry.” Where did you come from? My teacher talked about race, countries and such. My Dad’s answer has always stuck with me, “Your a Heinz 57 –You’re grandparents down the line are from all over the world! Dink, you’re an American!” Later, my Mom’s genealogical studies and DNA test confirmed that to be true.

Ancestor CollageI descend from a line of worldly, quirky, brave, and normal folks –some are still living through their stories. Honestly, I could care less if my ancestors were Italian and Hungarian, English, French and more. My P-pop claimed we were part of the Cherokee Indian tribe too. Oh! The list goes on. I’m proud to have a mixed pedigree, I’m proud to be a mutt. Yes, my roots are colorful. I would probably be sat in the back if invited to he royal wedding this weekend, eh?

I’m more interested ancestral stories. I come from a line of homesteaders, settlers, farmers, builders, home-makers, hypochondriacs, bartenders, bootleggers, soldiers and a “Lady of the Night”. I’m so happy I know their stories. Stories mean more to me than bloodline.

This makes me think . . . what will our Great-Great-Grand-babies know about us? What stories will form their image of who they are, where they came from? What does that make us today? I know, it is a heavy, wonderful, awesome responsibility! In an earlier blog,  Something to Live By, I summarized life as, who knew you loved them? I don’t know about you, but to me, that is the pedigree I want to pass on!

Enjoying the Adventure (Especially the love part),

Dr. Dink

Daily Prompt

Rebel of a Man

screenshot_20180510-151109~2821368290..jpgMy Great-Grandfather, Mr. George Bunting was an intriguing man. I wish that I could travel back in time to meet him. He served in the United States Navy during the Spanish American War. I  am fortunate to have a few of his log books, filled with meticulous notes of what foods and items were used in the ship’s galley. He also kept a personal diary of the ship’s journeys, mostly port to port with the dates they sailed and landed. One day they came across a ship that was sinking and they took the sailors on-board, saving their lives from the treacherous sea. He was a sailor and I call him rebel but that’s not the full story!

My Great Grandfather was more than brave and adventurous, he was homesteader! After the war, he relocated his wife and five children to Montana from Maryland. Imagine with me if you will, it is around the year 1899. Times were tough and this young father hears that there may be good opportunity to settle and thrive in a distant land. I’m not sure how they got there, or how they moved their things, it may have been by horse, train, or both. What I do know is that they risked EVERYTHING to homestead. They struggled in ways that we of the 21st Century will never understand. Many years later, they lost the farm, but his son Lewis’ favorite stories came from this time of his life. I can still hear my Grandpop’s voice telling me, “You think it’s cold and snowy here in New Jersey? Well, let me tell you, the snow was so deep in Montana, we used to sled off the barn roof!” His Daddy was a rebel, but that’s not the full story!

My Great Grandfather was strong. He picked up the pieces of their broken lives and moved back east to farm near family. I know they were poor. I know they struggled. My Great Grandfather was a rebel in that he looked at the enemy of disappointment, loss and struggle smack in the face and said, “I will go on!”  I’m grateful to have his DNA!

May we all find our rebel within!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

 

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