Monday, September 29, 2008

This little light of mine...

I'm inventing a new game. I'm going to place a phrase for a caption on Facebook, via my status. The first person to comment on it, leaving the url for a photo that goes with the caption in a witty, clever or logical manner wins!

I'm predicting a clear winner. Let's see if I'm right!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Kiki's Guide to Doing Practically Anything*...Installment #1...Prelude

Q: How do you walk from Seattle to New York?
A: One step at a time.

It may be a cliché, but that doesn't make it any less true. There's beauty in that solution, because it's a valid way to conquer almost all of life's hurdles. The only question is whether your steps should be large or small.

I'm going to state openly that I have not yet tried everything. I won't pretend that I'm the richest, most successful citizen in the world. What I can say, however, is that I spend everyday happier than I am sad, lonely or angry. I smile more than I frown and laugh more than I cry. To me, that's a necessary part to considering yourself a successful person.

My goal isn't to feign perfection or claim that I have all the answers. Instead, I want to help anyone and everyone be truly happy with who they are, while at the same time continuing to strive to make themselves and the world better. I don't believe in resting on your laurels. Accomplishments are necessary for true self-validation. Successes are required to be successful. You have to constantly push yourself from your comfort zone, because extended periods of comfort cause laziness and eventually weakness.

Each individual has a unique set of goals (with the exception of the basic human needs) but the key to achieving each of those goals remains constant - You have to take the first step.

You may be thinking, "What if I'm happy with where I am right now?" Well, that's fabulous. That's wonderful. Take a moment to appreciate where you are and how you got there. Take some pictures, write a blog. But, don't think for a moment that the Fickle Finger of Fate won't beckon you on to another issue before your film even has a chance to develop. The world doesn't stand still, which means we can't either.

Life is one big game of jump rope. You anticipate the arrival of the obstacle and leap, smiling at your ability to stay in the clear, but if you don't keep moving, eventually you'll get tripped up. I propose that you can treat life's problems the in the same manner, as an enjoyable challenge. It *is* alright to enjoy the ability to deal with issues as they arise. It's okay to enjoy the game, even though it's full of hazards. That just means you have to play harder.

In my coming series of articles, Kiki's Guide to Doing Practically Anything, I will not only write about my experiences and challenges, I will also write about yours. I'm here to help you take some steps, or just help you figure out what those steps are. I also invite you to challenge me. Give me suggestions on things that you think I should try, and if I can, I will fit them into my crazy, hectic life.

Carpe Vita!

*With the exception of singing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Where did the silver moon go?

The evening sky cradled a beautiful harvest moon tonight. The mixture of the sunset and the haze from local wildfires turned this picture of nature into a true work of art, as the moon glowed a golden orange.

My son looked up into the sky, then asked me why the moons had been switched and what happened to the other one. At that moment, I was torn between my brain's need to educate him and my heart's desire to let him live in a state of magical mystery.

As we shuffled back into the car, I realized that I face the same battle between my mind and my heart when it comes to the decisions that I make for myself. My father is very logical. Because of that, there's a major chunk of me that wants to use my brain when making decisions. What's the cost-benefit analysis? What's the gain? How does it fit in to my plan?

Unfortunately, I'm also a hopeless romantic. Even though all evidence points to the contrary, I still believe that there's a knight in shining armor who will sweep me off my feet and love me with all of his heart and soul, the same way that I will love him. The emotional side of me is so strong, that I tend to lead with it. I worry about who my decisions will inconvenience and who might get hurt. Because of that, I'm constantly squelching my deepest desires in an effort to see everyone around me as happy as I can help them be.

My goal in this coming year is to balance those sides. For starters, I've decided that even though it's gonna inconvenience about a half-a-dozen people, I'm going to Freakin' CHINA! I'm going to get out there and live for myself for a while. I'm going to take care of myself and enjoy a few selfish hobbies.

When Prince Charming comes knocking at my door, I'm going to be geocaching, so he better bring his GPS!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Good bye Coney Island

I've never been to Coney Island, but I've heard about it many times. It's been the subject of some amazing songs and makes me think of happiness, freedom and romance. In my mind, it's a great-big carnival where everybody wins cupie dolls for the one they love and then eats a hot dog.

Well, I've just found out that I'll never have the opportunity to experience that. The amusement park at Coney Island was permanently shut down tonight, after more than forty years. Bummer deal :(

Booty Call

There has always been a piece of me which believes that I was meant to be a pirate. Sure, I'm not big on lying, stealing or murder...but their clothes were *fabulous*. In any case, I've held out hope that I could moonlight as a buccaneer. I think about it often. Wrote a story about it. And now, my time is here!

Last month, a friend told me about geocaching. Last weekend, he took me for the first time. Now, I think it's the best hobby that anyone could've ever thought up. There are treasures hidden all over the world, along with the coordinates that will lead you to them! This is all very enticing, because I've finally found an outdoor activity that I can do just for the hell of it. It's inexpensive, it's entertaining and it's available everywhere.

I had a bee-atch of a week last week, and was looking for a way to unwind. I decided to borrow a GPS and take my boys geocaching. I'm so glad I did! It was more fun than I ever could have imagined. They decided to dress as pirates and even acted the part. Each time we found treasure they were so excited. The majority of the caches had little figurines and toys in them, so what I would have seen as just an opportunity to put my name on a list (Kiki_D) they (Swash_and_Buckle) saw as a chance to collect booty. We replaced whatever items they claimed with items that we got at REI or Vinny's, which was fun for all of us. Plus, I got some great pictures out of the deal.

Go ahead, ask me to come geocaching for a day. Any chance to prove that I can use a map is welcome! I'm great at giving directions, just don't expect me to follow them unless you say "please."