Making Friends Outside My Circle

I just read an article on titled Three Keys to Reinventing Your Life by Bonnie Truax. They are: 

  1. Challenge your own thoughts
  2. Live with a purpose
  3. Spend life differently

This article actually offered me something new to think about.  It’s like when I read a book or attend a seminar or find new blogs  – I am always looking for that sweet spark of something I didn’t know before. They don’t often exist, you know.
I like and Ted Talks and can immerse myself in various subjects, however, it’s mostly people offering insight, wisdom and steps on various topics but often, it’s the same information over and over. There are no new ideas. Not really.

So when a statement stands out from the rest, it makes me sit taller and pay attention.

Bonnie writes, as a way to reinvent yourself she suggests I make friends with people outside my circle. As I let this sink in, I understand doing this helps me expand my world view, pushes me to be more tolerant, view stories with a new set of eyes and helps me (forces me?) to grow.  Making friends outside my current circle of friends will introduce me to new ideas, arts, music, issues, foods, events and the end result — a better me. And, new friends!

I hope you read Bonnie’s article and find something in it that will push you to grow as well.

And if she doesn’t spark your imagination, keep reading blogs, listening to podcasts, watching, read or listen to books, sign up for talks,  or just go to coffee shops and listen in on your neighbor. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend. And, maybe it will be me – I hope so!

Resources & websites:

My Coolest Travel Hack (EVER!)

Ice bottle travel hackHere is the best travel hack EVER! I use it all the time yet have never seen it on any travel website. When I travel, it seems I am the only one who knows about it. NOW, that will change and you are free to use it as well.

You can take a bottle of frozen water through security! Yup! Put the bottle of ice in the plastic tub with your shoes. Or in one of those small plates that you toss your keys and coins in. The TSA people want to see your bottle of ice.

Why is this possible? I was told (by a TSA Agent) that explosives can’t freeze. Your bottle of ice is cleared for security. Remember, you can NOT take a bottle of water through security, but you can take a bottle of ice. Cool!  You save money and are rewarded with cold water on your trip! Sweet, right?

Be sure to comment and “Like” cause you are gonna LOVE this travel tip!

Travel resources:

Simply saying, say it simply!

I’m a snob. Well, sometimes.

For instance, when I hear people say the word often and they say the T as in off ten, I repeat the correct pronunciation (with a silent T …)  in my head. When I hear the saying ‘even still’ which I say all the time, I know that person grew up on the east coast. (And if they grew up in Central NY … they get extra points on my mental chalkboard.)

Double negatives?!? They make me cringe so please don’t get me going in that direction. Please.

I just read a short article titled, The Day You Became a Better Writer. It was basic information that I learned in Journalism 101 at the community college. Drop the adverbs. Do they really need to be written?  Do I really need to add the word really? No magic science but the end result is crisp, clean and concise.

bookshelfCut the excess words and add humor and your own personality and write to your heart’s content. But before you publish, read your words out loud. When you do, you might find some extra words, missing commas, and perhaps a few too many adjectives and adverbs. What would Marie Kondo do? She would have you ask “do I love this word?” and “does it bring me joy or humor?” if the answer is no, kindly thank the word or words and release them. The universe is waiting to receive them and return them to their rightful place.

With more time on my hands these days I am focusing more on writing. The best way to improve my writing is … to increase my reading. In this connected world, there are volumes of possible places to read, grow and learn. I love audiobooks – (get them free at your local library), books, magazines, blog posts, online articles, you tube seminars, Ted Talks and podcasts. I suppose the only area I avoid is the local newspaper. The print gets bigger, the staff gets smaller, the price increased and the content is minimal. Ugh!

Focused and solitary learning and writing are easy, fun and free. I offer words of caution, however, that too much time alone isn’t good or healthy.

Maybe it might make sense to take a class in a real classroom as a way to stay connected in an often (SILENT T) disconnected world. Attend a talk, take a lesson, visit a “Meetup” group and find ways to interact. There will be time enough ‘later’ to be alone. Now, it’s time to get uncomfortable and put yourself ‘out there.’

Let’s do it. I’ll go first and will tell you what it was and how it felt. Then it’s your turn.

Life  is beautiful after all. Why not get out there and have some fun?!

La Vida es Bella

Related sites and resources:





Missing Maggie Rogers

I over-thought an adventure and missed out on it. (sad face…)

Bummer for me.

BIG LESSON LEARNED. Shall I take you there?

In September, when I was in Pagosa Springs,  a friend had me listen to some music by Maggie Rogers. After I returned home, I listened to everything she had to offer on I was in heaven. And I was determined to go and listen to her play.

LUCKY FOR ME! She was playing in Denver – a mere hour from where I live. And, I checked out the Ogden Theater, looked at the seats for the TWO nights she was playing and then over-thinked it. Yes, you think perhaps it’s not a word? You would be wrong. I over-thinked how to get to the venue, what kind of venue it was ( a total stand-up sort of place?, seats? Theater seating?} And in the over-thinking process, I froze. I checked out the location, viewed it on google maps, looked at the neighborhood and didn’t take action. (Sighs of regret as I type…)

For God’s sake — Maggie was playing in Colorado. I live in Colorado. Yet, by the time I was moved to act, she had performed on Saturday Night Live, Seth Myers, Stephen Colbert and all the other places late night shows and people fell in love with her. Oh yeah, then she starred on Ellen!!!  SHAME ON ME. (… more sighs of regret.)

What is wrong with me? I found her first! I could have acted in October. But I didn’t. I know this is something that we all do to some degree. Procrastinate for some strange reason and then regret our inaction. Darn it all.

It makes me sad I missed out on buying a ticket and going to hear her lovely voice.

Darn it all! I really want to swear but this might be PG13 blog and I want to be respectful. DARN IT ALL!

And so, the lesson is to JUST LEAP. Go. If I have to go alone… JUST GO!

We all miss out on stuff – authors, speakers, wine tastings, vacations, reunions, concerts (ugh!), great fares to Kauai, restaurant openings, river rafting, sunrise hikes…

I can say it’s because I don’t want to do it alone – but – sometimes its just the act of hitting the SUBMIT button.

So, how about this –  in March, I will hit the SUBMIT button at least once every week. That’s 4 hits. Four SUBMITS.

And I will let you know how it goes.

And if you do the same, please let me know how it unfolds for you.

Remember, when we are in the last hours leading to our death, we want to be smiling… Which means we have to be bold RIGHT NOW.  Let’s just do it.

Related Sites and Resources:


Money and Me

hot air balloons in Pagosa Springs, CO

Currently I listen to podcasts that tell me stories, take me on adventures and recently — help me reevaluate my financial health. Clark Howard’s podcast led me to Choose FI, which led me to a score of others. Listening to real life stories from a wide range of people and the steps they made to move away from debt and forward to financial independence keeps me wanting more.

I already do many of the small things – I recycle, walk, enjoy local activities, use, cook most of my meals at home, keep the temperature low, volunteer and many more actions I will think of later (no doubt!)

I do not use credit cards to get travel points. Maybe I will do that this year.

I am retired and do not have tons of money saved up. I know I will survive just fine. I can fret and freak out and I can also enjoy my life, my local library, riding my bike, making friends and doing things that define me.

What I really embrace are the vast amount of blogs, podcasts, books, and videos that exist and are at my disposal. One podcast will host a visitor who will tell me her favorite website, or his favorite article. Then I hop on the net to read that article and there are links to more people with delightful ideas filled with amazing takeaways and action items. One thing leads to another and my brain cells are popping …in a good way!


I’m loving all the learning going on and I have no doubt I will continue to bask in the wonder and fun of it all. It’s good stuff and can only make me better. And, best of all, it opens up a world of information I didn’t know was there… right at my fingertips!

Related Articles and Resources:

Time keeps on slipping…

Yes, time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future as Steve Miller so eloquently sings to us. Here it is … three days into February, 2019 and I feel a bit overwhelmed with the loss of time. In an article by Matthew Jones, he listed 20 brutal truths about life that no one wants to admit.  The subtitle  “Time is your most valuable asset — you need to prioritize how you spend it…” actually kept my eyes on the article.   How we embrace the now is what really matters.  Living in the past, focusing on the future sucks away from the TODAY that we receive every morning. 

As a kid, those things that excited me like Christmas, school vacation, the local amusement park, and swimming at Verona Beach and Schiller Park took  FOREVER to arrive, it seemed. 

As an adult, there have only been a handful of times when time ticked by slowly… waiting for medical results, sitting on the tarmac, being stuck in traffic, waiting for an important phone call, trying to fall asleep.

Time also crawls by during the holidays for me. It’s not like when I was a kid and couldn’t wait for everything to unfold. Instead, I dread the hype and promotion and expectation of something wonderful. The thing is…when there is no one to share those moments with, the days creep by. It doesn’t help that holiday movies allude to happy endings, Santa visits, things working out well and mistletoe kisses – alone is just what it means sometimes.

There was great joy in 2018 and lots of sadness.  My brother Mark died and his funeral was so, so sad.  I spiraled into a hole of sadness, anger and isolation. After seeing that my siblings were in the same spot, we reached out to pull each other out of that dark space. A year has passed and we are still holding each other up.

So, in saying adieu to 2018, I find myself keeping busy with friends, volunteering, life long learning,  listening to amazing podcasts, working out and alas, writing again in my blog. 

I love when I read something that directs me to another site, another book, a movie, dvd or something that continues to open mental doors for me. I read a book called The White Darkness by David Grann.  The book told the true story about Henry Worsley who “spent his life idolizing Ernest Shackleton, the nineteenth-century polar explorer, who tried to become the first person to reach the South Pole, and later sought to cross Antarctica on foot. Shackleton never completed his journeys, but he repeatedly rescued his men from certain death, and emerged as one of the greatest leaders in history.” (From Good Reads summary)

That book led me to a PBS video series about the ship and journey called Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance. Which led me to another book called Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

I want to do that more often – follow up one book with several other mediums to help me learn more and remember. 

I’ve gone exploring in the area of podcasts too. I’ll share more on that in the next post.

For now, I’m off to run some errands and volunteer at my grandson’s school. I learned that if I volunteer in the library, I go unnoticed but I can observe my grandson’s friends, interactions, and see him through another lens. And, of course, I get to check in books, check books out, sort, shelf and visit with the school librarian.

So, until we meet again… I hope your time is well spent and well-lived. I love hearing how others spend their days. Mine seem to fly by (except for those nasty holidays…) and it’s only by looking at my calendar that I can remember what occurred.

Related articles & sites:

The White Darkness 
20 Brutal Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit