This just in: Stop worrying about your age. Your time is now.

Image by Kim Swain
Image by Kim Swain

Have you ever thought of saying, “I’m just too old to…” or “By now I should have…” I started think these types of thoughts a few years ago as I sailed through my mid-30s, an age that in my 20s seemed so…far…away.

Now I’ve learned that life isn’t formulaic. Absolutely nothing goes according to some magical timeline. Nowhere is it written that by X age, Y must happen. I did things in my 20s that I never thought I’d be able to do until I was in my 40s. I’m doing things now that I always assumed I’d do at a far younger age. I never dreamed that at the ripe old age of 39 that I’d have more energy and better health than I did when I was 22. But that’s what’s happened.

I thought that by 39, I would perhaps feel a bit jaded or maybe even stuck in my ways. Instead, I feel more optimistic than ever. More confident and more alive than I ever did in my 20s. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do this or that. I’m 39!” I now think “I’m 39. I better get that done.” Aging is its own gift if we let it be.

change, time

This just in: All walls can become doors

Turn a wall into a door
Turn a wall into a door

In time, we can transform all walls into doors.

This afternoon I got a number of those signs right in a row that reminded me of this idea: several new lucrative writing gigs, positive feedback from my boss at my new job, and confirmation that my decision to let go of my consulting business was absolutely the best choice. Phin is well and happy. I got several happy messages from friends who shared great news after facing tough circumstances.

Walking around on this sunny afternoon I fully appreciated that I live in an amazing neighborhood in an equally amazing city that has so much in store for me. I took a deep breath and smiled. The Universe works in mysterious ways, often from behind the curtain and out of our immediate view. We don’t always understand what’s happening in the moment or why. When we look back, things do make sense if we just have the faith to hang in there through the difficulties.

I’m ready to walk through the door into the next chapter.

art, culture, time

This just in: The truth about the truth

Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.

“The truth is always dangerous because once you know it you have to do something about it.” ~Azar Nafisi

Yesterday I went to hear Azar Nafisi, one of my favorite authors, speak about the cultural landscape of Iran and how understanding that landscape can open the way to cross-cultural dialogue. The quote above is my favorite from her talk, and it resonates so deeply with me because of the past year I’ve had when so many truths within my own life and in the world itself have come to light in stark, and often frightening, reality.

Once we know the truth, we can’t unknow it. We can try to ignore it, even deceive ourselves into thinking it’s not there. Truth is relentless—it will grow louder, larger, and stronger until it finally gets its share of the limelight. It will not move on quietly. It demands to be noticed and addressed.

The truth will set you free, though free in this case has a very specific meaning. It will free us from old paradigms, habits, and routines, and this isn’t always easy. Actually, it’s almost never easy. Truth sets us free to see ourselves and those around us as we truly are, not as we imagine. Truth rips off the veil; it strips away the lens and the filters that alter our reality. And this is a very good, albeit difficult, thing.

With the truth, we can have a real and lasting impact. We can move forward with confidence and conviction, and we can help others do the same. The truth makes us lighter, makes it possible to imagine and then create new realities that are sustainable and richer than the half-truths that we had before.

Maybe you’re in the midst of confronting some prickly truths, realizing that things were not as they so long appeared to be. I certainly am, and so are many others. You’re not alone in your discoveries, and you’re certainly not alone in trying to make peace and purpose with them. This is a part of the human experience. It’s something that binds all of us together, across every culture, race, religion, gender, language, and even across time. We’re in this together.

creativity, future, time

This just in: Ready to meet what’s been waiting for me

Future - straight ahead
Future – straight ahead

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.” ~Seneca

Today’s my last day in Florida. Tomorrow I’ll take off for Washington D.C. to start the next chapter of a good life. I don’t know what I’ll find there. I couldn’t tell you what my life’s going to look like a week from now much less a month or a year. I should be nervous or scared or at least hesitant, at least for a moment, but I’m not. Not one bit. I know that something wonderful is there for me, that something wonderful has been there for me for a long time. Now I’m just ready to stand toe-to-toe with that future and say hello. I’ve finally found my way.


change, future, time

This just in: Feeling down? Write yourself a letter from the future

Write yourself a letter from the future
Write yourself a letter from the future

Everything, good and bad, is temporary. It can be hard to remember that in tough times. A while back my friend, Alex, gave me some great advice. She said that in tough times it helps to imagine our lives 3 months from now.

To take Alex’s advice one step further, I decided to write myself a letter as if I were 3 months older looking back at myself now. Sort of like a letter to my younger self, in reverse. I told myself what life looked like then in every aspect that mattered to me, and it helped. It helped a lot.

Sometimes the best we can do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again. And that’s a good thing. We come back stronger than ever. I’m excited to take this letter out 3 months from now and see how it all turned out.

action, career, time, work, writer, writing

This Just In: All any writer can do is write one word at a time

Just breathe.
Just breathe.

Yesterday was my first day back to work, and like many of you I felt that uncomfortable twinge that comes from the back-from-vacation blues: my inbox was overflowing with requests for quick turnaround deadlines. I had follow-ups to do, connections to make, and pitches to send. And this was just paid work to say nothing of my own personal writing and projects that needed attention. Honestly, I was freaking out a bit.

And then I remembered to breathe. Just breathe. Like every other day, hectic or not, it was about putting one foot in front of the other in the right direction. Doing one assignment at a time in priority order. One letter, one word, one sentence. It all got done. It all always gets done. I’m sure this is a reminder I’ll need over and over again: just breathe. It helps.

creativity, determination, time, work

Inspired: Disney and Handel remind me that I have plenty of time

Disneyland will never be complete. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination in the world. ~Walt Disney
Disneyland will never be complete. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. ~Walt Disney

Disney directly supervised the construction of the original Disneyland in a single year. Handel wrote Messiah, one of the most beloved and popular pieces of holiday music, in 24 days. Whenever I feel crunched for time, I think about these two examples. They remind me that time isn’t my issue; it’s a matter of focus, discipline, and determination. If Disney and Handel can complete these enormous tasks in such a short amount of time, then certainly I have the time to finish whatever projects I have on my plate. I take a couple deep breaths and get back to work knowing that time is on my side.

dreams, time

Inspired: A lesson from my MINI Cooper—now is the time for dreams

Me, my mini niece, my mini dachshund, and my MINI Cooper
Me, my mini niece, my mini dachshund, and my MINI Cooper

Yesterday I placed the next piece of the puzzle in the great re-engineering of my life—I bought a car. And not just a car, but my dream car. I had to decide between a MINI Cooper and a Honda Accord. I’ve wanted a MINI from the time I first saw them over a decade ago.

Thank goodness my sister, Weez, went with me yesterday. We test drove both cars and I was going to go for the practical Accord, even though it was slightly more expensive than the MINI. My sister wouldn’t have it. “The MINI is your dream car. If you aren’t going to go for your dream now, then when?” I bought the MINI. And I love it.

This lesson applies to everything we do. Now is the time for every dream. Today and every day, take your best shot.

action, dreams, time

Inspired: Your time is now

Go for it now. The future is promises to no one.
Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.

Every once in a while, usually in the middle of the night, I question everything I’m doing. “This is insane to try to be a full-time writer given my business background and education,” I think. It is insane, and it’s also necessary. I have to do this or for the rest of my life I’ll wonder what I could have done if I had just had the guts to try. The future doesn’t make any promises to anyone. It doesn’t owe us anything. It won’t work for us, nor against us. It’s going to just be, and what we do with it is entirely up to us. If you really want something, the time to go for it is now.

art, creativity, passion, time, writer, writing

Inspired: Writer Toni Morrison proves we have time to follow our passions

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison taught me two priceless lessons: I can always make time to write and never give up. As a single mom with 2 kids, Morrison wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 15-minute increments each day. That’s all the free time she had. It took her 5 years to write it. She kept writing despite her novel’s low sales. 3 years later, her next novel was nominated for the American Book Award. Her following novels received mixed reviews, but she remained determined. In 1987, 17 years after publishing her first novel, she won the Pulitzer. If you have a dream project, work on it bit by bit. Don’t let critics sap the joy you get from your work. Morrison followed her passion. You can, too.