Wishcasting Wednesday: Have

Wishcasting badgeIt is Wishcasting Wednesday, a wonderful day when we can cast our wishes out in the world and support everyone else’s wishes with positive energy.

Today Jamie asks, “What do you wish to have?”

I wish to have the strength, courage, and perseverance to write despite any fears that may try to take over. I wish to have a paid writing gig- maybe a single article to get started. I wish to have the guts to write in my own voice, sharing my own truth.

What do you wish to have?

Visit Jamie’s site to see what other people are wishing to have.


Wishcasting Wednesday: Experience

Wishcasting badgeIt is Wishcasting Wednesday, a wonderful day when we can cast our wishes out in the world and support everyone else’s wishes with positive energy.

Today Jamie asks, “What do you wish to experience?”

Life. Plain and simple.

I wish to experience raindrops on my cheeks, the high I get from dancing in my room, the way that desperate looking sprouts transform to full sprawling plants in just a few short weeks.

I wish to experience naps in warm sunbeams and the purr of a cat when I scratch its ears. I wish to experience old architecture and the perfect pinot grigio.

I wish to experience the bliss of skipping down a street, not caring what anyone thinks.

I wish to experience an abundance of hugs and smiles and Eskimo kisses (that’s where you rub noses).

I wish to experience writing with reckless abandon, secure in my own skin.

I wish to experience meeting in person some of the fabulous women I’ve met online through blogging.

I wish to experience a time when people argue less and work together more.

I wish to experience the feeling of no regrets, of being me without apologies.

What do you wish to experience?

Visit Jamie’s site to see what other people are wishing to experience.

Writing, Kindness, and Creativity – Ideas, anyone?

I’m on a mission and I’m calling for fellow brainstormers. 

As you probably know I’ve been thinking a lot about my values lately– the things I want to structure my life to support. Those values have led me to focus more acutely on writing, kindness, and creativity.

Just saying these words – writing, kindness, and creativity – gives me a little rush of energy and excitement. This is where I want to run and play right now.

So the challenge is on. I’m making a list of projects that involve these three things, projects that I may explore or that I may keep on my list to spur new ideas.

Having a list will be great because I can refer to it when I have a few extra minutes and want to try something new or do a little research. When I feel lost and directionless, my list can shine a little light to get me back on my path.

My list so far looks like this:

  • Book reviews of books about philanthropy, civility, and bettering humanity
  • Make greeting cards
  • Get involved with organizations like Special Olympics or Hospice or one of other amazing service organizations out there
  • Grant writing
  • Spreading the message of civility

I know there must be a million more things I can put on my list. I also recognize that I am probably limiting my thinking. That’s why I’m asking for help.

Will you help me build my list of projects encompassing writing, kindness, and creativity (or even just 2 out of 3)?

Leave your ideas in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers come in all shapes and all sizes. They are patient, they are kind. They are stern, they are tough. They give hugs, kiss scrapes, and clap the loudest.

Mothers do what needs to be done, often without any thanks. They support, love, work, and provide.

To all mothers – biological, step, adoptive, foster – thank you for everything you do. I wish you a very happy mother’s day!

In honor of you, here is author Kelly Corrigan talking about what makes her mother special. This video makes me laugh and it makes me tear up. (If you’re viewing this in a reader, you may need to click through to the full post to see the video.)

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

Happy Post – Perfect Purple Birthday Edition

Happy Book BadgeIn honor of The Next Chapter’s ongoing work in The Happy Book, I’ve been taking some time each Friday to reflect on what is making me happy. It’s great to focus on what is going right since we sometimes get bogged down in what is going wrong.

Yesterday was my birthday, so it only makes sense that today’s happy post show exactly what made my day so happy.

Because I can do whatever I want for my birthday, I took the day off work and went for a pedicure, shopped my local garden center for this season’s plants, dyed my hair a funky color, and had a fabulous homemade dinner.

At the garden shop, I had two goals in mind: creating a flowery mound in my front yard and planting some fresh vegetables and herbs in my backyard garden. Here is my bounty.

Flowers, veggies, and herbs ready to be planted

Flowers, veggies, and herbs ready to be planted

Over breakfast, my husband and mother-in-law asked what I wanted for my birthday dinner. My reply was simple. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. They said, “Definitely cake! What do you want for dinner?” My reply was the same. I’m unclear as to why this was confusing. :)

We decided on grilled steaks, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and spinach salad with apples and grapes. It was all delicious, by the way. Plus, I didn’t have to cook or clean up. Woohoo!

As for cake, it was the perfect opportunity to use the butterfly cake pan my friend gave me for Christmas. If you ask me, it’s the most awesomest cake ever! Alongside the cake we had fresh strawberries and smoothies. Yum!

Butterfly cake collage

The most awesomest birthday cake ever!

But let’s get to the hair. I know a lot of you requested pictures.

First let me explain that I scheduled the appointment thinking I would get a pink stripe. When I got to the salon, I looked through a few books to get ideas for what shade to use and where it should go.

I found a gorgeous shade of purply pink, so the hairdresser said she would mix purple and pink together. She went a little heavy on the purple because she was worried about giving me too bright of a color since I’ve never dyed my hair an unconventional color before.

She dyed a few well placed streaks on the underneath layers, which means when my hair is down, you may catch a glimpse of purple, but you may not. If I pull the top little bit of hair back, you see the purple streaks. I think the placement is perfect.

Without further ado, here are some photos. What do you think?

Purple hair

My purple streaks

Purple hair

Close-up courtesy of my stepson

As it turns out, purple hair was perfectly aligned with the unintentional theme in my gifts.

My in-laws gave me a recipe book holder and a purple dress, my stepson gave me some beautiful purple flowers, and my husband gave me a fabulous new point-and-shoot camera in a lovely purply pink. Too perfect!

Birthday gifts

Purple was an unintentional theme for the gifts I received

So those are the things making me happy today. What is making you happy?

Me Without Apologies

Sherri's birthday self-portrait

My birthday self-portrait

Today is my 33rd birthday. I love my birthday, not because of presents or attention (not that those hurt), but because it is the one day a year I feel absolutely guilt free about how I spend my time. It is the ultimate day to be me, without apologies.

Being my genuine, authentic self has been forefront in my mind in the last few years. I’m learning not to care what others may think. I’m learning that sometimes I think people think worse of me than they actually do. In the past I’ve let that fear dictate my actions, but over the past few years I’ve tried to let all of those thoughts go.

It’s not easy. I still get caught up in worry and fear. I believe, though, that being genuine is worth it. Only by doing so can I be me without apologies everyday.

So what’s on my agenda today? First, it was to take a self-portrait. I took the one you see here in my backyard this morning.

Next up, pedicure followed by shopping for my garden stuff (veggies! flowers! herbs!). This afternoon I’ll be at the hairdresser getting my pink stripe. Something tells me another birthday self-portrait will be coming.

The universe must have known it was my birthday because we got a call this morning that my stepson’s baseball practice scheduled for tonight has been canceled. Yay! That means we can all hang out and have fun tonight.

My husband is going to grill steaks and make smoothies. My mother-in-law is going to make one of my favorite salads and a chocolate cake. (Chocolate cake with chocolate icing was my first request upon being asked what I wanted for my birthday dinner. Actually it was my second and third requests, too.)

My mother-in-law said, “So we’ll make the cake. Do you have a cake pan?”

Oh yes. I have a cake a pan. A glorious butterfly shaped cake pan that my beautiful friend Alina gave me for Christmas.

There will be chocolate butterfly cake. Awesome!

In the words of Big & Rich, “Today is even better than yesterday. Everything is going my way. I’m living in the big time.”

Wishcasting Wednesday: Rules

Wishcasting badgeIt is Wishcasting Wednesday, a wonderful day when we can cast our wishes out in the world and support everyone else’s wishes with positive energy.

This week Jamie asks: What rules do you wish to make or break?

The answer didn’t come to me as quickly as it often does. Usually I have an answer to the question the instant I finish reading it. Today, I oooohed and hmmmmed while deciding just what this meant for me.

As for rules I want to break, there are two. First, I want to break the notion that income equates to an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. job. In fact, I broke this rule when I was laid off two years ago and began a wonderful freelance career.

Second, I want to break the rule that hair must be a conventional color. In fact, I’m breaking this rule tomorrow. I have an appointment with a hairdresser and my intention is to come away with a pink stripe. It sounds like awesome fun.

As for rules I want to make for myself, I want to make a point to bring more writing, creativity, and kindness in to my life. These things make me feel alive. They feed my soul, improving my mental and emotional health. A little of these each day- that’s my new rule.

One more rule: time outside every day. Even a few minutes can be monumentally restorative, like a vacation. When I am outside feeling the sunshine and the breeze and listening to birds chirp and trees rustle, the weight of the world strips away. In that moment I am just me, part of this amazing, beautiful earth.

What rules are you making for yourself?

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