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Winter Color

The overcast grays, the rusty leaves.

You’d think the winter landscape was colorless. But there’s color in special places.

Startled eagle flying away from my truck on Winter color on Shalavee.com

And then suddenly two bald eagles fly up from the side of the road, disturbed from their carcass feast as you drive by and you gasp as their beautiful large wings spread in front of your truck hood. So black and white and regal.

Aqua truck on Winter color on Shalavee.com

A turquoise blue vintage truck parked next to a boat out of the water pops from my peripheral vision. Someone’s weekend life waiting to be reborn.

The little red outhouse on Winter Color on Shalavee.com

A little faded red-painted outhouse with a wreath on it’s door beside the road. I think, what would Hollywood pay to move this treasure to a movie set.

Commemorative wreath in the bend in the road on Winter color on Shalavee.com

And as I twist down the tree-lined lane to retrieve my daughter from her daycare house, I spot a bright oddly located floral wreath on a stand in the trees off to the right and realize this marks the place where someone dear and loved lost their life. Colorful is what you see when you look.

Champagne Clarity

This month has been filled with moments of champagne clarity . Clear thoughts rising out of the din in amber sparkling bubbles to tickle my plans for the future. I’m excited and cherish the helpful moments of clarity.

But sometimes later, when it’s dark outside and I’m feeling tired and a little less than , I have a little hangover from my positivity. My pragmatic cynical hung-over side obscures the light and smokes up my mirror. And my clarity becomes muddled and my vision is slightly forgotten.

train garden from Champagne Clarity on Shalavee.com

I can distinctly remember a moment several years ago when I saw me. I saw clearly the chapters of my eventual book based on exactly who I was and all of my passions. And then it was gone. I may have written it down somewhere in one of my journals. But life kept going, rolling forward and my clarity soon landed at the murky bottom of my memory. Buried in a spiral ring binder in a box in the closet.

I crave to feel that champagne clarity again. The absolute knowledge and conviction that the goal and the steps are within my reach if I keep them on the top of the pile. The feeling of ease when your actions align with your spirit. The giddiness of heading into the next project excited and nervous because I know it is me to a tee. Feeling the faith that I am exactly where I need to be. And hopefully finally finding that perfect app that organizes my soul so I can stop feeling like I keep forgetting pieces of it.

Think big, be you, be well, let go.

I wish you all moments of Champagne clarity this weekend and on into the month and year beyond.

Hard Work

I have read at least three articles/posts recently that talk about doing the “hard work”. The pay off comes when you put yourself to the tasks that feel the hardest to accomplish. The hard work is where the progress lives. Seems most people go for the perceived easy. Watching tv or surfing the internet. And then they feel like they’ve not had a satisfying weekend. There’s no challenge in passively watching and clicking.

I know I work hard. I work all day everyday at keeping my world in order and clean and organized and fed. But Hard Work is different from working hard. For years I thought they were the same.

working on Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

Hard Work is sometimes the work that you avoid. Maybe for years even. Because maybe it means a lot to you. It may mean change and challenging a lifestyle or choices you have come to assume was your life’s definition. Usually Hard Work is not dreadful but hopeful. Don’t confuse Hard Work as doing the job you think you should do with the job you really want to be doing. If your dread is because you hate being an accountant, then your real hard work lies in training yourself to do the thing you really always wanted to do. Like being a martial arts teacher. Training and learning your passion will make the “being an accountant” kind of hard work a little easier until you can be done with it.

whether you think you can on Shalavee.com

For me, Hard Work is writing an “about the author” blurb about myself. A synopses of my soul that never feels like it says what I want it to. Or submitting my work for publication, because I really do want it and what if I succeed? Hard Work can be mundane and necessary like chopping vegetables for a salsa or writing out those Christmas card addresses on a bojillion envelopes. But Hard Work is also the job that once it’s done, you feel super good about yourself and super righteous for having done it. Not doing the work just makes you feel sad and ashamed and that is just no fun. So I dare you to get up, ignore email, online, and boob tube for one day, and see how much hard work you can devote yourself to to move your life into another groove. It’s worth the effort. So are you.

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