Thursday, August 30, 2012

Take Away 109 - Listening

I traveled last week to visit my kids in Michigan. I had been planning it since May and hadn't really thought about it until a couple of days before I left. It was a short 5-day vacation but I enjoyed it very much. I made a conscience effort to "be present" when I got on the plane. When I got to Michigan, we had no plans and decided to take it easy and let the days' plans unfold. In my past, I would have had to make every minute count and account for every minute. That's not how I live my life these days. So, minus the anxiety of trying to figure out what we would do, I simply listened. I listened to hear about my kids' life. I listened and watched to hear and see how they roll. We were sitting around Friday afternoon, unsure of what to do next. She said, "anybody wanna go to IKEA?"  My son whipped around in his chair with his eyes lit up. YES! He wanted to go. It was a precious moment for me. A little insight. I had no idea how much they loved IKEA until we were in the car 10 minutes later, set for 1 1/2 hour drive to IKEA. They were in heaven.  I was in "mom" heaven!
TAKE AWAY:  Listening is not always about hearing.
Sometimes it is about seeing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Take Away 108 - The Bubble Method

I recently took a 6-week online creative writing class for fun. For $99 I came away with some new ideas, dug up some old ideas and had my imagination fired up a bit.

One of the techniques for ideas taught in this class was one I learned many years ago. The Bubble Method, or "mapping". It's a simple concept that has served me very well in the past and I was glad to be reminded of it. Long story short, you start with a one-word idea in the middle of a blank page. Taking your pencil in hand, you draw lines out from the original word and just starting writing whatever word comes to your mind. You can map out from each of those words and when you've let 5 minutes go by, you should have some pretty good ideas mapped out. Don't question what you write down. Just write it down.  Try it!  I'm going to demonstrate it right here .....

           editing----writing----writer's block------chair glue

From any of these words, I could write a whole blog post.  But not today.

TAKE AWAY: Some old ideas are still good ideas!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Take Away 107 - Driving

Got back yesterday from our annual cousins' reunion which is 519 miles away. We took 2 days getting there but drove home in one shot yesterday, which took 11 hours. In the past we have pitched a tent on my cousins' property but decided to get a motel for 2 nights this time. I think it was the best decision we've made in a long time. A good night's sleep made for an easy and pleasant drive.

TAKE AWAY: Long distance driving is much easier to do on a good night's sleep along with a nice hot shower.