Friday, January 30, 2015

Beyond the Salt

If you’re like me, about this time of the year you’re experiencing a love-hate relationship with road salt. Oh sure, we want to see it covering the street if the weatherperson predicts ice or snow. We want to scatter it on our sidewalks and driveways—but road salt has a dark side.

How annoying is it to see your vehicle coated with salt after every storm? And don’t get me started on the amount of window washer fluid you need to clean the white stuff off the windshield. If you don’t spritz every few miles, it’ll feel like you‘re driving in a blurry dream. Perhaps there’s a way to see things differently. Take a look:  

Sometimes our automatic reflexes focus on obstacles before we can spot the route to victory. Instead of clearing away fears, doubts, and criticisms, we get sidelined and give up on our goals and dreams. Visualize who you want to be, what you want to do, and where you want to go. How are you going to adjust your perspective to make sure you get there?     


Saturday, January 24, 2015

I’m Wrong? You’re Wrong!

I overheard someone say, “The color yellow makes me sad.” Yellow? Sad? Really? Bright, sunny colors like yellow, red, and orange are supposed to cheer us up. I thought brown, black, and gray were the designated “sad” colors. The more I read, the more I see how two people can look at the same situation and arrive at two different conclusions.

Have you ever read the comments section below an online article? Let’s imagine an article about a second grade class studying rainbows in school. One commenter might celebrate rainbows and how children should be exposed to science in all its beautiful forms. The next commenter does a complete reverse. They’ll state that rainbows are trivial and irrelevant, and since they disappear quickly, studying rainbows could lead to depression in young students. Sure it sounds far-fetched, but I’ve read some unbelievable comments. Consider these perspectives:      

So should we name blocks or streets? Who’s right and who’s wrong? If you can convince anyone to agree with you, it probably won’t be because you stood on the opposite side of the street engaging in name-calling. For some reason, people act like that strategy wins arguments. I doubt it. Which cultural debate have you been trying to win? State your case.          

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

(Not) A Walk in the Park

When did Alaska get so popular? Cable TV airs several shows featuring the state and its newest residents who, by moving there, prove they don’t always need neighbors or indoor restrooms. While we complain about polar vortexes and single digit temperatures, they’re fine with sub-zero weather. If it’s a cold wilderness you want, Alaska’s the place to go. Alaskan winters are tough, but people tolerate them for the freedom and solitude of peaceful living. Life in the wilderness isn’t for everyone, but for resilient folks, it’s perfect. Here's someone's version of paradise:

The gentleman makes living alone in Alaska look easy.  Once the trend catches on and hordes of people abandon their busy lifestyles for an isolated log cabin, you’ll see shows like “Buying North Dakota and ”Buying Wyoming.” If summer breezes give you goose bumps, you probably won’t relocate to Alaska. But when you want a bit of solitude, where do you go?       

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It’s Super Natural

Anything not nurtured is unlikely to grow. For instance, consider the little tree in our yard that’s been the same size for years. In winter, it stands there battling the ice and snow. In the summer, somehow it endures the sun’s scorching heat. When a brown group of leaves emerge, I expect the tree to dry up and die, but the brown leaves fall off and the tree remains. It’s  either a dwarf tree or a miracle tree. Of course, I prefer to call it a miracle tree because it survives every challenge the weather brings. Here’s another survivor:
The video seemed to show a miracle, but the hiker gave a scientific explanation for every aspect of the amazing scene. Typically, we assume that whatever science can explain isn’t a miracle. Is that always true? People will accept a scientific theory until the next theory trumps the last one, so maybe science doesn’t have the final say about everything. What do you say? What miracles have you experienced?   


Friday, January 2, 2015

Greater is Coming

Did you leave behind unfinished business in 2014? Maybe the year began with promise and plans of a new job, a new relationship, with starting a new hobby or establishing a good habit, and somewhere along the way things stalled.
If 2014 didn’t end the way you expected, perhaps you were knocking on the wrong doors in the first place. It’s similar to when our cat explores the house. She’ll stand and meow at a closed door until we finally open it. You’d think she’d be pleased about being able to walk through it but no, she looks into the room and decides that it’s not where she wanted to go after all. Before we know it, she’s pursuing a whole new adventure.

The point is if you’re waiting on doors that haven’t opened up, don’t be too quick to run through those doors when they do open. Maybe a closed door was to give you time to think   about adopting better plans. Interesting things can happen when you don’t look before you leap:


If last year’s circumstances felt uncomfortable, maybe it’s time to stop, regroup, and make a new plan. By keeping your eye on the big picture, you can begin again. What’s your greater plan for this year?