Tag Archives: Sonia G Medeiros

Of Weeds and Roses

Life has a strange way of burying you when you least expect it and, maybe not so strangely, this often follows on the heels of your commitment to a big new goal. Sometimes this a bad thing, snowing you under with one disaster after the other until you’re sure you’re on some dark sitcom and the audience is laughing their patooties off at your misfortune. Sometimes this is a good thing and the ideas and opportunities roll in at blinding speed. And sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference because any change can be a challenge and all failure/misfortune is an opportunity.

Here’s a post I wrote in my early days of the Life List Club. It’s truer now than it was then. These days, changes are flying at me almost faster than I can keep up but I’m learning to be thankful for every minute.

The Wild Green Yonder
originally posted at Diana Ligaya’s blog 8/13/12 

This may sound somewhat familiar to you.

You commit to a big change in your life such as losing weight or becoming a published author. And, as soon as you set the goal and begin laying out your plan, the interruptions start rolling in. Likely, before the goal is even made public, your friends, family and strangers on the street are offering you goodies and distractions. A thousand ways to keep your goals postponed, the weight on or the words off the page.

It’s like the universe is conspiring against you and you have no idea how to stop it.

But it’s not really the universe conspiring against you. You’ve simply become an open patch of earth, waiting to be filled with wild green life.

Close Up of Raised Beds

You’re like a garden of freshly turned earth. Perhaps your goals are tomato plants or zucchini or a young apple tree. The moment you clear space for the new plants, you open a place for all the other wild green things to grow. They will fill in the garden if you let them, choking out the seedlings and saplings you’ve so carefully planted.

So, you have to tear the weeds out the moment they begin to invade. Right?

Not exactly.

Sometimes the dreaded weeds have their uses. My mother-in-law gets very excited about some of the weeds that pop up. She insists on harvesting them to make Korean delicacies before those weeds end up in the compost pile. For me, it’s the dandelions that thrill. The children and I love to blow the dandelion fluff off the spent flowers. One of these days, I mean to make something out of the dandelions. Tea and wine and salad.

 Dandelion clock

And, sometimes, there are treasures among the weeds. Nearly every year, we have a volunteer plant surprise in our garden. One year it was two sunflowers. They grew tall and nodded at the sun, delighting the children who pretended to be tiny fairies beneath the giant flowers. Another year we had a volunteer tomato, a lovely stripey green tomato. This year we have volunteer potatoes and I cannot even begin to guess how a potato ended up in the garden (perhaps it was one of those swallows that likes to carry coconuts around). If I’d have pulled every unsanctioned green thing out of the garden, I would have missed those volunteers.

If we tear out every tiny weed that rears its leafy head, we’ll miss the unexpected delights that come along with them. But, if we let them go, the wild growth will strangle those plants we put into the ground on purpose.

Just so with our goals. We must nurture those goals, watering them, clearing space around them and mulching them to protect from encroaching weeds. But we must also leave room for all the unexpected things, on guard against the weedy deluge but ready to see those things that enrich our gardens and protect them too.

For me, the wild green things are all the household surprises like clogged toilets and clutter that piles up, arguments between the children, phone calls and emails, and a thousand minor excitements and crises. But among those things are opportunities to play with my children, time out with my husband, calls from friends and family, and tidbits of knowledge that further my goals. The trick is knowing when to pull the wild green things and when to let them grow.

  Seedling

What are your wild green things and how do balance it so that your goals don’t get lost under the leafy tide?

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Close Up of Raised Beds by BrotherMagneto, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
Dandelion clock by rachelandrew, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
Seedling by _sjg_, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Spam and Eggs: Gems from the Spam Filter

Spam & EggsIf you’ve blogged (or twittered) for a while, you’ve probably harvested at least a crop or two of spam.

Ah, the spammers are in bloom again…isn’t it lovely *inhales*

In fact, they may have even been your very first comments. But, as time passed and the spam filter grew fat with bizarrely worded pseudo-comments, you probably began to resent them…especially when the spam far outweighed the legitimate comments.

But maybe we’re not giving spam its due. Sure, most of the time, the “comments” are only fit for the compost bin. But, sometimes, you harvest a few gems, stuff that makes you laugh and/or makes good fodder for a blog post when you’re running a little low on ideas. Maybe it even has something to teach us, as author Jami Gold points out.

Recently, I had a bumper crop, mostly in response to Thus Spake the Dragon and Got Apocalypse. Here are a few prize specimen:

“Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future”

Indeed, you are wise to watch out for brussels. They are tricky beasts. Relax your vigilance for just a moment and they’ll sneak up behind you and stick a spit-moistened finger in your ear, then you’ll be a brussel too…don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“Certainly there are millions of more pleasurable times up front for people who browse through your blog.”

Oh yes, millions of pleasurable times up front…but it’s the pay off over time that’s the real joy. We’re talking gazillions here. Gazillions of pleasurable times. Plus…the hardcore facts that will save you from the apocalypse.

“My husband and i have been absolutely relieved that Michael could do his inquiry with the precious recommendations he discovered through your blog. “

This was from Got Apocalypse. You see, their son Michael was inquiring into the process of become a Certified Apocalypse Survival Instructor and the movies I shared were critical to his education. So, study up, folks. The apocalypse is nigh.

“You completed a number of good points there. I did a search on the theme and found mainly people will go along with your blog.”

Mainly, they do…but there is a dissenting faction. We’re planning to take care of them by sending in the dreaded brussels.

“Thank you a lot for providing individuals with remarkably terrific opportunity to read in detail from here. It really is very sweet and also jam-packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office peers to search your website at least thrice every week to learn the latest guides you have got. Not to mention, I’m so certainly happy with the staggering inspiring ideas served by you.”

You hear that folks? Thrice weekly. Not just once or twice, but thrice. I’m that good.

“I want to express my thanks to you just for bailing me out of this situation. Because of browsing throughout the the net and meeting suggestions that were not beneficial, I was thinking my entire life was gone. Living minus the answers to the problems you have fixed as a result of your good article content is a critical case, and the ones that might have badly affected my entire career if I had not come across your blog post. “

Again, when the apocalypse rolls around and the brussels are attacking in hordes, you’ll be glad you read my blog.

“I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re incredible! Thanks!”

It’s true. Your cousin did write this. He didn’t want to but I made him. I threatened to lock him in a room with a brussel.  In the end, though, he saw that writing the post was the right thing to do. For you and the the world.

“I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. “

And this one is just sheer philosophical brilliance. Think about it. The love we receive must be carried out to others. *tears up*

Of course, a ripe crop of spam isn’t the only collateral benefit of blogging. You may find also find tasty search term bits here and there. author Chuck Wendig is famous for  the wild search terms that roam his blog. Check out some of his search term bingos: Search Term Bingo and the Revenge of the Hamster Skin Codpiece, Search Term Bingopocalypse, and Search Term Bingo Stole My Dingo.

Incidentally, spam is very good with eggs. And fried rice. And ramen. And…

Spam and Eggs

Have you harvested any delicious spam or caught any wild search terms? What are your favorites?

***

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Spam & Eggs by toddsmithdesign, on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Spam and Eggs by iconsam, on Flickr  CC BY-NC 2.0

If you missed Marcia’s post on creating passion in our lives, be sure to check it out! And stay tuned for David Walker’s post on Wednesday.

When is Wasting Time Not a Waste of Time?

We all know how it starts. One innocent little Google search leads to another and then another. Pretty soon we’re on  I Can Has Cheezburger, staring at page after page of cute/silly/stupid/funny animals doing whatever until our butts are numb. Or that one game of solitaire or Bejeweled turns into fifty (give or take a few dozen). Or, that search through the pantry for the candy bar we hid results in a complete reorganization of our food storage system which naturally leads us to finally alphabetize those DVDs and sort the clothes in our closet by color and season.

When we come to our senses, the guilt sets in. We’ve just wasted time.

*gasp* Oh the horror!

We all know how evil it is to waste time. After all, time is precious, time is money and wasting time means we’re throwing away valuable minutes and hours we can never recover. Whatever project we were supposed to be working on will take that much longer. There can be nothing redeeming about wasting time.

Or can there?

According to author and entrepreneur Seth Godin, wasting time well is key to a happy, creative and productive life. It gives us a chance to relax and experiment, to work on a project just for the joy of it. Time well wastes replenishes our creativity and is a boon to our productivity.

But what exactly is time well wasted?

That would be time that we spend freely playing, letting ourselves decompress and explore. When we are done wasting time well, we should feel refreshed, ready to tackle new projects and see challenges in a new light.

Clearly not all wasted time is well wasted, as many last-minute college papers and haphazardly thrown together projects can testify, but neither is all wasted time another form of procrastination.

The trick is to know the difference and to only waste as much time as we need to replenish ourselves.

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to waste time (well, I hope):

  • StumbleUpon: Flipping through web pages based on a particular interest is incredibly relaxing and inspires my biweekly Friday Stumbles.
  • Games on the iPhone or iPad: Currently, I’m playing The Tribez but I’ve also enjoyed many well-wasted hours with Plants vs Zombies. I do have to watch myself with games like these as it’s very easy to go from time well wasted to just plain old wasted time.
  • Rearranging stuff: Yeah, I know. Probably a weird way to waste time. But I sometimes get the urge to overhaul the bookshelves or rearrange the living room furniture.
  • Browsing bookstores and libraries with no real intention of buying/checking out anything.
What do you think about wasted time? Is there a way to waste it well? What are your favorite ways to waste time?
If you haven’t had the chance to check out last week’s posts, you’re really missing out. On Wednesday, Sherry Isaac talked about setting goals that make us strive and, on Friday, Marcia Richards talked about her ten commandments for living well.
Stay tuned, Gary Gauthier will be here Friday.
Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
My balogna had a first name?!? via cheezeburger.com

Life Really is Too Short (Even When it’s Long)

LilyRecently, my grandmother passed away. And, as is so often the case with the death of a family member, the regrets came along with the sadness. Why didn’t I write and visit anywhere near as often as I should have? Why didn’t I know her better? Why? Why? Why?

I realized that life is really too short not to make sure our friends and family know we love them. It’s too short to put off that visit, call, letter or email. It’s too short not to tell them we love them as much as we can.

Life is too short to create regrets.

It’s too short to put off our dreams. Whatever it is we wish for, no matter howClimbing Silhouette seemingly unreachable, we must strive for it even if it’s only a bit at a time. Whether we succeed or fail or change our minds, we must persevere because life is too short to do otherwise.

And, if life is too short to miss the smallest opportunity to show our loved ones we love them and too short not to seek our dreams, then it is also too short to kick ourselves endlessly in the behind for what we did or didn’t do, should have done, messed up or put off. Each moment is an opportunity to change, to stop taking for granted that there will be time tomorrow. We can seize the here and now.

Life is too short for a lot of things. It’s up to us to decide what and start living it.

I invite you to finish the sentence: Life is too short to…

***

Come visit me on my blog or find me on Facebook or Twitter.

***

In honor of my grandmother. Daughter, sister, friend, artist, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  April 15, 1935 – March 28, 2012.