Have You Tried Turning It Off and Then Turning It On Again?

That's why I take pictures of my feet looking out on the ocean or the beach... so I can remember what it feels like to be there. El Jardin del Mar Photo Credit: Doree Weller

That’s why I take pictures of my feet looking out on the ocean or the beach… so I can remember what it feels like to be there.
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

That’s the first question IT always asked me, and it made me crazy.  But a large majority of the time, it actually worked.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

The thing is, it’s not just good advice for computers; it’s good advice for people too.  If you find yourself getting upset, frustrated, irritated, or just generally out of sorts, take a few minutes and walk away from whatever situation is frustrating you.  Take a few deep breaths.  Take a walk outside.  Look up a favorite picture on your phone, or a beach picture on your Pinterest.  Turning your brain off, even for 5 minutes, can be really helpful for dealing with whatever it is that’s bugging you.  Because really, it’s so much harder to solve a problem when you’re upset than it is when you’re just a bit calmer.

C is for Creativity

For the Blogging A to Z Challenge this month, I’m going to post a different letter of the alphabet every day. I’m trying to stick to the theme of “Things I Love.”

I love things that wake up the creative part of my brain.

Pinterest is strangely good for this.  I love browsing quotes, interesting places, ideas for journaling, and drawing tips.  There’s a fine balance with this though.  While it can help me get un-stuck, I can also get sucked into the black hole and end up wasting time.

Drawing and coloring also make me feel creative.  I’m not the best at drawing, but I enjoy it, and doodling does give my brain time to get into that creative space.

I used to wait around to feel creative, but it’s true that if I sit down at my computer and don’t allow myself to browse Pinterest, Facebook, email, webcomics, or the million other things that are waiting to distract me, I tend to feel more creative.  Sometimes it just takes a moment to sit, breathe, and remind myself to be where I am.

What makes you feel creative?


San Tan Mountains, Arizona Photo Credit: Doree Weller

San Tan Mountains, Arizona
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I’m Just Me

I’m the person who talks out loud during movies (not in the movie theater… just at home.  A lot).  I’m also the person who talks to Facebook, and all my friends, even when they can’t hear me.  Maybe especially when they can’t hear me.

I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page the other day:


I wanted to yell, “No! No!  NO!  What do you mean that’s your WORST fear?  Please, stop.”

But I didn’t.  I didn’t even respond to it, because I know a lot of people feel that way.  They become afraid of showing their imperfections because someone might not love them if they show those imperfections.  Then, what happens is we all end up being the walking wounded.  We imagine that others are somehow better at life than we are.

I have to tell you a secret.  Ready?

None of us are perfect.

And you know what?

That’s okay.

Yes, she's judging you.  Orange cats do that. Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Yes, she’s judging you. Orange cats do that.
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Imperfections are what make us wonderful.  They’re what make us unique and interesting.  If you were perfect, how would you ever strive to be better?  And if you had nothing to strive for, what would be the point of doing anything?  If you were just perfect all the time, there would be no goals.  You wouldn’t need any emotions because you could be happy all the time.  Where would love songs come from?  Or those songs that make your soul ache?  Or pretty much anything by The Cure?  Where would creativity come from?

Maybe I’m missing the point.  It’s just that I think perfect is overrated.  I also happen to think it’s impossible, but I’m not one to let reality get in the way of my goals, so I certainly won’t shoot yours down by calling “reality check.”

It’s easy to believe that others are somehow doing a better job at life than I am.  It’s easy to go on Facebook or Pinterest or watch TV or look at magazines and figure that others have it all together.  Or at least more together.  But when I worked in crisis, I went into people’s homes, and the one thing I found out is that no matter how together people look, we all have secrets.  And most people believe they’re failing at something.

So, instead of holding yourself to someone else’s standard, how about you work on being the best you that you can be today?  In order to be the best you, you have to stop comparing yourself to others.  You’re just you.  I’m just me.

And that’s perfectly okay.

F is for Food

DSCN3492I hate to cook.  But I love to eat, and am a picky eater.  Growing up, I’d eat anything.  I never thought of myself as a particularly picky eater.  Except, I never really liked meat.  Then when I left home, I realized I didn’t really like rice.  Or pasta.  Or milk.  Or most sweets.  (I should be a size 0, right?)

When I went flexetarian, I realized I was going to have to cook.  And guess what… it sucks just as much as I thought it would.  My method is to spend one of my days off cooking two large meals, and that’s what we eat for the rest of the week.  I’ve reluctantly admitted that I’m a good cook.  And it’s really unfortunate that I like my cooking more than I like pre-made food.

I cook so much these days that I had to go out and buy a binder and start printing off recipes from the internet.  Pinterest, Chocolate Covered Katie, Pioneer Woman, and general internet searches are my go to places for food.  The other day, a friend of mine mentioned that she was in the mood for beef stroganoff.  It sounded good, so I googled “vegetarian stroganoff.”  I made a stroganoff with mushrooms that was so good that I almost licked my plate.  The nice thing about cooking with recipes from the internet is that often other people comment on the recipe and add their two cents, taking the tweaking out of the recipe so you don’t have to!

Recently, I was able to use a bunch of veggies from my garden, which is a really good feeling.  Cooking my own food with stuff I’ve grown organically feels really healthy.  Now, if only I can get rich so someone else can cook for me, I’d be set!

Painting and Pinterest

I didn’t hop on the Pinterest craze immediately.  I heard about it on a writing website, where they suggested that you “pin” things to help create story worlds.  It sounded fun, but nothing to get excited about.  Next, I worked with a girl who gushed about it and told me I’d love it.  Again, I didn’t see what all the excitement was about, but it looked cool, so I joined.  My account sat dormant for a month or two.  I don’t remember how or why I finally logged on, but when I did, ohmygoodnessitwassoawesome and Iloveit and whydidn’tIdothisbefore?!

Yes, I’m gushing.

Around the same time, my husband and I decided to clean up our home/ get rid of stuff/ paint.  We started small, with a bathroom, which moved into a small hallway.  Well, it looks great, so we moved to the loft and decided to transform that from an open area in which to gather junk to an open area in which to relax/ read books/ listen to music.  Step one: paint.

This all ties together, I swear.

I had these old cabinets from my husband’s parents.  They were a little… dated.  Large cabinets for pretty stuff are expensive, especially the heavy, large kind.  So, I decided to update them and move them to the loft.  Enter Pinterest.

I love old wood furniture, and Pinterest convinced me that I could update the cabinets.  So, my ever-patient husband bought me a small hand sander, and so far, I’ve disassembled, sanded, and primered one of the cabinets (one of five).  If they’re half as cool as my vision, they’re going to be awesome.  Thank you, Pinterest, for showing me that I can do this project.  I will post pictures of the finished project when I’m done… wish me luck!


I’m sure that by now, everyone knows about Pinterest, but if you don’t, I’m here to tell you that it’s the coolest thing ever.  It’s an online bulletin board, where people post recipes, crafts, photos, and many many more things, that others can “pin” to their virtual bulletin board.

I love this site, and I can surf for hours.  I have a pin board of things that inspire me in my stories, or “visual” representations of places, etc in order to help me with descriptions and inspirations.  This is one of the most fun sites I’ve seen, at least for someone like me.  I also now have a pinboard of a ton of crafts to try.  Pinterest helped me get my desk organized.

Because it exists in the virtual world, I don’t have to worry about clutter, and can pin up anything I find interesting.