10,000 QUESTIONS ABOUT 10,000 STEPS

10,000 ways to leave your lovin’ lard ass – or something like that.  At work, we’re doing a 10,000 steps per day challenge. While losing weight could be a side-effect, the goal is simply to get our bums up out of chairs, take some time to quiet our minds and get those creative juices flowing!

My OCD tendencies' best friend!

My OCD tendencies’ best friend!
WTF – Walk to Fitness!

The weekend before the challenge started, I practiced for perspective of just how many steps 10,000 is.  We were walking (2,500 steps) through downtown to pick up my race packet for the 3.5 mile mini marathon (approximately 4,600 steps) and found ourselves sitting down for lunch at the Original Pantry Restaurant.  When my pedometer leaped off of my purse in protest I saw it as a warning that clearly there is no way 10K steps would walk off what we ate there.

Thanks for the photo AlbanyKid, we should meet for breakfast! Mine were too blurry as I ate too fast.

Thanks for the photo AlbanyKid, we should meet for breakfast! Mine were too blurry as I ate too fast.

My patron saint of wellness sent me 2 more pedometers on Monday and I was back on track without a-breakin’ my stride.  It’s 550 steps from my car to my office; 160 steps to the coffee shop; 60 steps across the middle of our floor end to end.

Well guess what, they’re right! The creative barriers become much looser and I have questions flooding my head like an inquisitive 3-year old.

Because I said so...

Because I said so…

Now there are some things that are troubling my one track, 10,000 step mind:

1) In the order of the universe, is it better to walk farther (more steps) to ride the elevator up or is it better to walk a
shorter distance to walk up the stairs (but less steps overall)? See my conundrum?!

2) Isn’t choosing salad over paninis worth an instant 1000 steps?

3) Why aren’t stairs worth 2 steps each automatically?

Check it out, we have a name! Workshifters!

Check it out, we have a name! Workshifters!

Here are some additional steps that I am having trouble reconciling:

Steps racked up during a cake-walk

Back and forth to the all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas

Chasing down the ice cream man

OK, this kid is helping me reconsider

OK, this kid is helping me reconsider

Scurrying down the hall to the free leftover lunch at work

Steps getting up and going to the loo – we’re going to do that anyway, no extra walk effort

Racing after people to kiss their ass – have some dignity!

Who you callin' an...

Who you callin’ an…

Now that I managed to make it more complicated, please join/help me?

 

Welcome to CA – What’s your Powerball Dream? Everybody’s Got One!

The Powerball has landed in California bringing along with it an inspirationally aggressive marketing campaign. They boast larger jackpots, yet, recognizing people aren’t as materialistic anymore, are marketing to more humanistic players eager to be a positive change in this world.

ooh-believe

Powerball targets 38 million Californians with one powerful emotion – Hope.  The campaign communicates how Hope implements change by pointing out historic events like Armstrong’s Moon landing reminding us memorable moments started with single sparks of hope.  Their campaign reinforces the power of dreamers, those willing to take a chance.

Powerball gives daydreamers the model to believe in something bigger, a cause, miracles, a long shot. But, start small – even one ticket! They have to overcome those who resist saying “Powerball is a money pit,” “the odds stink,” or “don’t gamble” by, instead, getting people to buy into hope – anything is possible but you can’t win if you don’t play.

pballdream

Now, I mentioned Powerball targets every Californian – every one.  When my family first heard the haunting rendition of children singing “California Dreamin’,” it immediately hooked us. My kids (8 and 12 years) downloaded the real song, discussed the lyrics and sparked inspirational conversations “If you win – how would you positively impact the world?” (Answers: “Cure AIDS” and “Open a candy store where everything is free.”).

I don’t play regularly, I only buy tickets for big jackpots (I know, my odds are worse) but what made us purchase our first ticket was when radio campaigns became personal. On my daily commute, I was regularly teased by a guy saying “It was like any other day, driving in your car, fighting traffic. It was like any other day… until it wasn’t [cue music].”  It wraps its arm around you and points you towards your destiny. It’s that simple to dream, believe – and buy a ticket.

pballtix

Some people feel the ads resemble religion putting too much faith in something intangible. They feel those who would use money wisely for good would not usually be the same crowd playing the Powerball.

I say, try me. I dream about buying reasonable homes, providing college educations and providing sports scholarships for AYSO and Little Leagues so no child “can’t” play.“

believe

6/9/13 UPDATE:

I didn’t win, she did!

The Powerball launch was a winning success!

Dan from the creative agency David&Goliath wrote to let me know that it was THE most successful lottery launch in U.S. history (kudos!!)!

For you folks who want proof (remember Powerball tix are $2/ea):

  • $3.1 million in first day sales 
  • $8.5 million in sales in the first 4 days
  • $25 million in two weeks 
And by the 6th week…
  • $83 million worth of tickets sold, accounting for 11% of Powerball sales in the entire country!

You know what I said about only playing the big draws?  I lied… I have a ticket in my wallet right now from this past weekend’s draw and until I actually check the winning numbers, I can hold onto the hope that I may have been the winner this time!

INTELLIGENCE DOUBLE AGENT

You may have noticed, I’ve been on the lam in recent months, not regularly reporting my wanderings.  A clandestine operation, simply referred to as trojaN horsE, occupies my time with my first assignment requiring 100% secrecy and dedication.  Now, I find myself living the life of an intelligence double agent. The success of this operation finds me balancing demands of both worlds.

Alter egos – WTF: I Watched The Fightscenes!
My favorite show ever Alias (C) Disney

This remains a delicate operation as I continue to cement my position in my known career, while offering myself as a walk-in with the competing underground agency.  No one, not even those working side-by-side with me are aware of my covert mission. I’m not sure how they’d feel knowing I am engaged in a complex dance of seduction with the other agency.

The initial message came to me one night, an innocuous yet intriguing pop-up cipher delivering no more instruction than “Click here…” On the receiving end of that hotline was an eager case officer eager to recruit me to the path of higher knowledge, exposure to intellectual missions, and, ultimately, more responsibility for my own path.

Computer Lab or Spy War Room?

We infiltrated the system quickly for a successful outcome. The case officer, my handler, managed my paperwork and requested special clearance from the Chief of Station to avoid additional testing.  My legend required some authentication while my bona fides hoped to present me as the ideal candidate.

I, too, have so many questions…
(Where was this blog when I used to watch it… letstalkalias.blogspot.com)

Opportunity and preparation crossed paths and I gained admission to the program. My daytime cover puts me face-to-face with the high-caliber professionals grooming intelligence and intellectual paths of others but at night, I glean information from the same sorts of people on master-level missions exclusive to me.

Even now, only those readers closest to me know my true identity for I don’t want a dangle reputation to jeopardize my current assignment.  For the next 18 grueling months, my attention will be focused on gathering intelligence and deciphering communications.  I will do my best to report back to you my wanderings, although I hate to admit that it will be fewer and farther between as my operations become more demanding.   I will not cut communications completely unless it becomes unsafe to have above ground dealings.

Until next time…

fighT oN!

Best spy couple: Sydney and Vaughn!
Yay fanpop.com for keeping our shows alive!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – FLEETING MOMENT

Knott’s Berry Farm, on my daughter’s birthday, presents a whole new magical experience at night!

They project lights across the floor and the kids decided the goal was to make it through Camp Snoopy without stepping on any lights on the ground.

WTF! Watch the floor!
Don’t step on stars or you’re in HOT LAVA!

 

 

BOWLING BALLERS

After surviving the craziest few weeks that I can recall in our 11+ years together, plus faced with many fabulous events that collectively threatened to blaze through our weekend with the blink of an eye, a theme song entered my head and had me searching for an alley to hang out in Friday night. We dangled a bowling ball in our line of sight hypnotizing us to focus our eyes on the prize – the weekend!

You’ll live to bowl again…

Despite the disappointment of not finding our favorite theme song from the Grease 2 soundtrack on iTunes, Friday arrived and we earned it!

We’re gonna booowl tonight! We’re gonna booowl toni-ight!

Even now, still finishing errands before officially letting loose for the evening, we ate dinner first, and unexpectedly almost melted. Now that the deadlines passed and we slowed for a victory lap, time caught up to us like a huge weight that might anchor us in bed until we caught up on sleep.  The kids alternated with wanting to bowl or play video games at home – which requires much less movement.  I finally said, we promised to reward ourselves, let’s go, play one game and see how it goes.

ME: Magic B ball – show us fun without game controllers!
BALL: It is certain!

The smell of smoke, nachos and beer blasted us at the door.  We got our lane assignment, wedged between the Pros and the Happy Hour Hecklers.  Surprisingly, my son didn’t think of the number of feet that occupied his cool shoes before him.  Both kids loved that now they could dance like Michael Jackson.

We searched diligently for the right size thumb-hole and weight ball then got to our lane to find a magical assortment to choose from.

Somehow the gem-like bowling balls reminded us of Spencer’s multi-colored poop!

Lauren started off strong and stayed the most consistent with her skills landing the balls in the lane more quietly as the night went on.

Carson had a knack for splitting the pins, then managing to send the 2nd ball directly between the pins without touching any pins.

Once he learned footwork, he had more power and more fun!
What do you do for fun without being plugged in?

Despite his tendency, he actually got the most spares.  I warmed up slowly and my competitiveness – yes, even with bowling – came out and I tried to get a strike but struck out instead.

It’s a close game! Rematch!

We wound up playing two games, had a blast – way more fun than if we’d played the wii version!

Take one adorable girl and add a (hand-dryer) wind machine – instant supermodel!

I’M STUCK ON GETTING UNSTUCK DAILY

Waking up Friday, the first thought sneering and challenging me counted “10 hours til Friday night!”  Still high off the me-time from last week I counted on the zen to return once the 5 o’clock hour hit.  Only one job, a short commute, and Tae Kwon Do class to carpool first.

Then, I got a sunshiney email saying that another really creative and fun blog that celebrates 365 day projects and getting UNSTUCK featured MY BLOG today! Check it out!

So excited I didn't need coffee this morning!

It put a spring in my step and a smile on my face! Validation flowed through my veins. I became community property, shared with another blogger’s audience!

Then, ironically, I got stuck!  Now, expectation looked over my shoulder watching what I typed.  My daughter moved my shoulder to tally today’s total views. My son hugged my shoulders asking about today’s topic. Now, he literally sleeps right behind my shoulder on the fold-out couch meaning I’m not alone with my thoughts.  I do love that they’re interested in my passion, and I hope they learn the pleasure of expressing themselves through creative mediums.

The saying goes “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Today’s attention took this project from a personal challenge to the general public. Yet thoughts of the obvious perks from turning my treasured pastime into my life’s work turn fuzzy when considering business plans, budgets, and SWOT analysis reports.

Running low on time, I went to the room where I get my best thinking done and a book offered advice “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…” A bookmark still saved the spot where I meant to continue reading back in 1998.

Anyone else find it ironic that this advice is found in a self-help book?

The chapter teaches that instead of forcing ourselves out of a bad or challenging mood after heavy self-analysis and exploration (who me?!) that if we understand and even celebrate bad moods as much as we celebrate great ones, we’ll see that this, too – even writer’s block – shall pass! I love this nightly opening of the dam and letting words flow onto the page.

Smooth sailing from here on out!

So, thank you Noah and thank you readers, whether you’re floating through for your first or fifty-fifth time, I’m glad you’re wandering with me!

 

Aside

FANTASTIC FRIDAY FEATURE

What a way to start the weekend being featured on another fantastic blog! I am tickled pink!

Please check out his site (and his book!): http://makesomething365.blogspot.com/2012/02/365-words-day-for-365-days.html

While we’re at it, I am always relishing your comments, feedback, suggestions, and questions! So keep them coming! It helps me grow as a blogger!

Thanks for wandering by!

My regular 365 words to come tonight in the wee hours!

ELECTRICALLY ACOUSTIC MOMENT – THE ACOUSTIC MOMENT

My kids and I rushed home with a full agenda for the 90 minutes that we’d be home, but the electricity in the air sparked a magic moment that only happened because we slowed long enough to receive the gift. Driving home, I pitched my plan to do laundry while packing their clothes, dangling the carrot offering to let them to pick the carryout to eat in the car if they did a great cleaning their rooms. They usually balk at tight schedules but were excited to see their Dad and family, so they didn’t argue.

I let them hear the music I downloaded last night, including one unique song called “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. The song found me and takes me on a mental vacation. Its different opener sounds like cartoons tip-toeing into your world. The mood switches to 60’s space-age feel with some of the instruments and spread-out note combos. The song creates a beautiful sunset to their relationship in that you’re glad you witnessed it and look forward to the next one.

Sunsets are the best on the West!

Lately I’ve been trying to extend my son’s comfort zone to loosen him up! When I parked in our long driveway the song still played on my iPhone. I showed my interpretive dancing walk: stepping in double-slow speed to the beat of the tune. I’d step and the rest of that side would follow the wave of movement til my head leaned to that side, and repeat. I retrieved our mail one beat at a time. My son rolled his eyes so hard I heard them hit his brain.

My daughter caught up to me walking in step up our walkway. Out of nowhere she starts perfectly beating the back-beat of the song on her little plastic drum that just happened to be hanging from her neck. I got such sheer joy from the moment that my son became scared that something was wrong with me.

Pixar's Tin Toy (C) Disney/Pixar

My exuberance may have set his progress back a bit but I loved the moment and couldn’t have dreamed up if I tried. If you see it in a scene someday, it came straight from the pages of my life.

JANUARY’S GEMS IN BEING UNEMPLOYED

Determined to keep crazy in 2011, I resolved to live this experience as it reveals itself, focus on every gifted moment, feel each emotion and pay attention to lessons offered. After a leap of faith, a break-neck turn, we experienced a little turbulence but no sinkholes! Occasionally, I reality checked myself to make sure I didn’t drown in denial either. Here the gems January presented:

Stolen gem from my friend's Project Reconnect 2012!

1) Each trip to Red Bullseye does not cost $100! Truthfully I found it easier to resist it completely, but there were a few trips where we escaped with just what we came for. Turns out, I didn’t need every cute nail polish and the kids survived without recruiting more futuristic $1 soldiers.

Despite having no new recruits, the general was pleased with the month's outcome!

2) Food prepared by me ranks with that prepared by others! I used to sing the praises of anything prepared by other people. You could serve me anything (but liver and onions) made by someone else and I savored it as if gourmet. Turns out my simple recipes can taste amazing in a short amount of time!

3) Farmer’s Markets – Fresh Veggies and Fresh Perspective!– Want to get back to nature during the week? Hit a Farmer’s Market for veggies still warm from the sun wrapped in the flavor of rich soil! Plus they were usually cheaper and more likely to be organic (where I shop).

Juicy January Gems!

4) Opening your blinds feeling the sunshine warming your PJs is almost as great as a triple, venti, skinny hazelnut latte. It doesn’t have to be fancy to give me the kick and I don’t need the kick when my senses lure me into each day reminding me that I’m alive!

5) Escaping is not quitting – When looking for work, I hit a stride where every living moment was spent finding a resolution to my problem. Upon hitting a point where the job-search became a dead-end mosh pit, I found a trap door, leaped through it, found a space where I could breathe, reconnect with friends, remember who and what I love then return with a fresh perspective.

Cheers to great friends (here or running the Tinker Bell half!)!

The reward was 3 job opportunities in 1 day.

Crazy how that happens. Let’s see what February finds – hopefully not a Groundhog shadow.

FUN FRIDAY: WORK FIELD TRIPS!

Field Trip Today!

Field Trips created the best school days – leaping outside the lines and learning by accident. At one job, we took a field trip to see their latest film at a public theatre – with popcorn!  I started another job when the taste of their outing to an exhibit, with lunch and an event Tshirt still lingered!

The Artist's Way speaks to creative souls!

I love Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” books, especially one heralding Artist’s Dates. She encourages weekly sightseeing trips into our towns. While hers implies a solitary effort, the goals remain the same:

1)    Top off your tank, tap into creativity – Exposing your self to surrounding energy opens you to great gifts and experience to draw on.

2)    Catch a new buzz –Even textbook business strategy involves creativity applying it to your product. Leave the stale boardroom and breathe the benefit of fresh air. Exist for a while in the heart of your target audience.

3)    People that play together, work well together – Employers take note, a small gesture of a few free “stolen” workday hours treats employees in a huge way! I don’t mean leaving early, as most people return home to more “work.”

Coffee Shop Conference Room

I took a field trip to step away from lists, hear different conversations, lose myself in a latte and melted brie, and not wash dishes afterwards. My perspective shifted within 10 feet from the door.

A woman talked to the barista – whom she knew.  When he stepped away, she said hello to me and offered me the messenger bag on her shoulder to carry my laptop.  I gratefully declined explaining my month-long home purge. She commiserated with me saying that in her van, things get crowded for her and her bed, which she shares with her dog.  I chuckled saying no matter the size of our containers, we fill them.  The man returned with her ice bucket, she bid me a good evening and left.  As I ordered, I bought a gift card for the man to save for her next visit.  Rather than assume whether she needs help or not, I hope she, too, may treat herself to a meal, frothy drink and someone else to clean up.

Share your favorite field trips!

YOU should start a blog too…

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