Reunion.

Looking at stars from the hillside…

 

Yesterday, I reconnected with an old acquaintance. His name is Darren. I had actually found him on Facebook in December of 2014 and had sent him a message, but since we weren’t technically “friends,” Facebook filtered the message and he only just now saw it.
2014 or 2016, it doesn’t make much difference since we haven’t actually seen each other since 1990.

In 1990, I went to a family reunion weekend in Napa, California. 3 days spent with relatives, enjoying very decadent activities – at least they were to me, anyway. Things like casino night, a Moroccan feast, some hiking, and a lot of wine drinking occured. Not part of my everyday routine.

One evening, an astronomer was hired to give us a tour of the night sky. A camp site was chosen up the mountainside, and tents, tables, blankets, food, and everything else we could have wanted was driven up ahead of time to the campsite, along with the astronomer and his very large telescope. We had a delicious meal, and were regaled with the astronomer’s knowledge of that vast darkness above our heads. I guess it still counted as “camping” but I had never experienced that amount of luxury on a mountainside before, and I’m not likely to ever again.

That weekend was when I first met Darren; he was working for my uncle at the time, and over the weekend he helped out with things around the house and property, including setting up the aforementioned Fancy Camping Trip. I took an immediate liking to Darren; he was friendly, intelligent, and genuine. Sometimes I found my family to be intimidating. This has everything to do with me, and nothing to do with them… their accomplishments and successes, when compared to mine, seemed fantastical. It was easy to take a break and talk and spend time with Darren. And it probably didn’t hurt that he was also very handsome. Let’s face it, that never hurts.

After that weekend, I think we wrote letters back and forth a few times (pre-internet, can you BELIEVE it??), but then lost touch with each other, as people sometimes do. I still thought of him from time to time over the years, and a few years ago it occurred to me to look for him on Facebook. I thought maybe I had found him – it only took a year and a half for him to confirm that I had!
We messaged a bit yesterday, and caught up a little bit on each other’s lives. I’m sure we both have a lot more story to tell, who knows if it will ever get told. But reconnecting with him made me think back to that weekend in 1990, and how fun it was… but it also made me think back to the person I was in 1990. Because that woman is very different from the woman who is writing this now.

Imagine being 21 and going up a mountainside one night, where you are treated to a fantastic meal with fascinating people, and are given an earth-based tour of the heavens. Do you remember looking up at the stars when you were young? Not 10 years old young, but early 20’s young. Or if you are young now, what do you think about when you look up there?

Everything up there in the sky represented possibility. Think of where you will go on this amazing life journey! Up hills to fancy camping trips! To beautiful places with fascinating people! You imagine going everywhere and anywhere you want to. The possibilities are endless.

These days, when I look up into the night sky above my house, and the city lights are dim enough to allow me to see the stars, planets, and the occasional shooting star, I’m more likely to think about things like, where will I go after I die? Will I head out that way somewhere when I leave this earth?

I’m not a morbid person, by any means. It’s just fact that I am now closer to the end than the beginning, and my thoughts turn to the more fleeting aspects of “life” and what it means to inhabit, and at some point leave this physical body. It’s still about possibility – just a different set of possibilities.

The young woman who met that nice young man that weekend back in 1990 is still in here somewhere. She still dreams of accomplishing great things and she still dreams of traveling. The parameters have just changed.

I wonder if Darren thinks about these things, too.

andreaanddarren

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Welcome To The Happy Friday Project!

happy friday project

And Thus Begins The Happy Friday Project.

I have a friend in Canada. Her name is Cynthia.

She is very cool.

She is a phenomenal artist, and an overall wonderful, positive person.

We’ve never met, but it feels like we have a lot in common – and over the last year, we’ve written countless long emails to each other to talk about creativity, self-employment, trying to make our dreams come true, and other “woo woo” topics.

Some sort of collaborative project has been floating around in our brains for a while, but we just never really could pin down what that would look like… until now.

Welcome to the Happy Friday Project!

The Happy Friday Project allows us to have a place from which we can spread a little, well, happiness! It’s also a way for us to help others create more joy in their lives.

I know this is a simplistic explanation, but as the project unfolds, you’ll see what I mean. I hope you’ll follow along with us on this new collaborative journey!

Where You Can Find Us

We are on Facebook

The Happy Friday Project Website

Email Newsletter: Coming Soon!

Cynthia’s Website

We hope you have a really Happy Friday!

happy friday project
original artwork by cynthia frenette!
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Anniversary Thoughts

anniversary thoughts

 

First Thing In The Morning…

My birthday was also our 4th anniversary of being together.
When we first started dating, we bought a jar of local honey to use for our Sunday breakfasts- it crystallized right away. Since then we’ve been keeping the jar going – adding new raw honey before the old is used up, keeping it crystallized. I like to think there’s a tiny bit of the original honey in there somewhere.
There’s a metaphor here for our relationship – but I’m too sleepy to overtly point it out.

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Birthday Thoughts

Yesterday was my birthday.

Every so often, I get the words just right, and I’m able to write them down and actually express my thoughts and my feelings. I think I accomplished this yesterday when I wrote this.

Last night, I was awake for a while, for some reason… I remembered it was my birthday, so I started thinking about getting older, and where I am in my life right now. I asked my mom for guidance – asked her what she thought I should do. And the answer came back quite clearly.
She told me to rise up over adversity. She told me to be the bird that I know I truly am – fly up and over and away. Transcend humanness, radiate spirit.
She has been with me all day, and the birds have been singing nonstop.
Thanks, mom.

mom

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Why You Need A Blog

Why You Need A Blog – Sharing Your Awesomeness With The World

Most of us have something in our lives that we’re passionate about. Something that makes our eyes light up when we talk about it, and possibly start talking faster or waving our arms around wildly with excitement. OK maybe not this last one so much, but still – you know what I mean. You can tell when you’re talking to someone who is excited about something, and you yourself have felt this when you talk about your passion.

We like to talk about things that we know about, or that we’re interested in. This could be any number of things:

  • A hobby we’ve been enjoying for a long time (“I just cross stitched a pillow for my dog”)
  • A sport (“Why the Cowboys are totally going to win this year”)
  • Our love of travel (“I just got back from Indonesia and boy are my arms tired”)
  • Our work, or what we do for a living (“why you should totally buy a car from my inventory of 10,000 used Geo Trackers”)
  • Handy tips we want to share with others (“how to clean your oven like a boss!”)
  • Anything else you can think of, really!

Sometimes our hobbies can turn into small businesses, or side projects, or enough people ask for your vegan cupcake recipe that you might decide to put up a web site to share your expertise. Or, you might own and run a small business for your main gig, relying on the internet or social media to help drive traffic and bring in customers. If any of this sounds like a situation you’re in, guess what – you need a blog.

 

Are you SURE I need a blog? Why do I need a blog? What is a blog?

Well, you probably know what a blog is by now – but let me tell you why you absolutely need one.

Sharing information through blogging is a necessity – but it also can be a tremendous help to your online endeavors. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Writing a blog post about your business, or what you’re passionate about, lets you share your knowledge with everyone, everywhere
  • By sharing your knowledge and passion, you are positioning yourself as an expert in your field / hobby / area of specialization
  • If you are doing business online, or wanting to create a business out of your web site, having a blog needs to be part of your branding strategy

 

Share Your Knowledge

If you are passionate about a certain subject, you want to tell the world about it! And why not? You know a lot about your subject matter, and you want to share your expertise with others. Chances are, people are already coming to you with questions or problems – maybe you’re already known as the “go-to guy” for, say, how to pour the perfect espresso shot, or how, when and where to plant the perfect potato garden. If you share that knowledge through regular blogging, people will have a chance to be enlightened with your wisdom. And this will make them happy.

 

Share Your Knowledge… And Be The Expert

So let’s say you start blogging about all the great vegan cupcakes you are baking. You share photos of the double espresso mocha vegan cupcakes that you baked for Aunt Lillian’s 4th wedding.  You share the story of the near catastrophe you had when the cat almost started eating your vegan cupcake batter, and how the oven didn’t heat right but you saved the day by improvising, MacGyver style, and got the oven working again. And then you give the recipe for the espresso frosting, and maybe tell the story of how Aunt Lillian’s 4th wedding went down.

Alright – so this might be a pretty extreme blog post – but you get the idea! You didn’t just share a recipe. You told a story. In this case it was a funny story, and hopefully everything came out great in the end (we’ll see how Aunt Lillian’s 4th wedding turns out…)

You created an engaging story of how you mastered a situation, you shared information, and you captivated your readers.

All of this makes you an EXPERT. People look to you for knowledge and information, and they stay because you present it in an interesting way. This is blogging.

 

Create A Solid Branding Strategy

Adding a blog to your web site not only positions you as an expert in your subject matter, it also can and should be an integral part of your overall online strategy – and your branding. According to various web stats, blogs are considered the 5th most trusted source for accurate information. While it’s true that any yahoo can put up a blog and write whatever they want, the good, reliable and accurate sites rise to the top, and have a reputation of being a good place to go for trustworthy information.

But don’t just take my word for it! Here’s an interesting Hubspot article explaining more.

 

But I Don’t Like Writing! I’m Not A Good Writer! And Despite Your Suggestions, I Don’t Know What To Write About!

Yeah, I feel your pain. I mean, we all run into thoughts like that. Some people would rather get their teeth cleaned – including getting x-rays – than sit down to write a blog post. Maybe you’re scared that your grammar sucks (or maybe your grammar really does suck). Or you don’t have time to blog (this is a BIG one, especially if . These are all legitimate reasons not to blog! There, you heard me say it. You have been absolved from writing blog posts. But you have NOT been absolved from starting a blog.

It’s simple – I can write your blog posts for you.

why you need a blog

 

Blogging The Easy Way –  Hire A Partner

That’s right – you can hire someone to help you blog, or even create all your blog posts for you. Depending on how often you want to publish new content, and how long each post will be, hiring a writer to take care of your blogging can be a very reasonable expense. A writer will work with you to develop the right kind of content for your web site. They’ll use your knowledge and expertise, and create something beautiful and wonderful and it will be so awesome it will even smell good.

A writer will do the heavy lifting, and you sit back and reap the rewards! That sounds great to me! But I am a writer, so I’m kind of biased here.

 

In Part 2 of this article, we’ll look at why you need blogging from an SEO and Marketing standpoint.

 

If you have any questions about blogging, or would like to enquire about my blogging and writing services, contact me here. I’d love to hear from you!

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