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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Change of plans

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 6, 2013

Sometimes life takes strange twists and turns, which is what keeps things exciting, right?

Well, looks like I am hoisting up my 50-something ol’ self and heading back to school. Law school, to be exact.

I’m excited and nervous, but I have quite a bit of time to prepare.

Here’s the real story, in my shiny new blog. Enjoy!

LSAT practice books

Some of the studying I'll be doing...

Lean into it

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 26, 2012

“Lean into it. It means the outcome doesn’t matter. What matters is that you were there for it. Whatever it is. Good or bad.” ~ Quote from the movie People Like Us.

This is one of my newest mottos. Lean into it.

To me it means more than just I was there for it. It means I leaned into the occasion / event / catastrophe / happening and hung on for the ride.

It means I paid attention and squeezed every ounce of learning I could from it.

It means I laughed and/or cried fully, openly and honestly at all the right moments.

It means I grabbed life with both hands and lived it, truly LIVED it, every moment, to the max.

May I always “lean into” all that life throws to me, from now on.

Knocking down preconceived notions

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 22, 2012

I’m training myself to ask questions that buck the norm. To see the world from a different perspective. To challenge my current ways of viewing things.

For instance, What if there really is no God and we are actually part of someone’s dream? A bad dream, at that.

What if the government is really a force for good and has only our best interests at heart?

Anyway…

Today, when I stopped into a hair salon I had never visited before, I had already decided to take whatever I got with grace and good humor and learn from the experience.

That isn’t to say I wasn’t a little nervous when I first saw my stylist.

He was a young fellow who looked like he’d be better off skateboarding in Millennium Park. He had a black T-shirt on over jeans. He washed and conditioned my hair in record time and I thought, There is no way he could possibly have rinsed all the soap out.

But he did.

As he worked, he was at first very quiet and his snip-snip-snips seemed tentative. I observed calmly, noting to myself that he was perhaps new in the trade and a little unsure.

Oh well, I thought. If I get a crappy cut I just won’t come back again.

But as he progressed his movements became more sure and the scissors began to glide.

“I haven’t heard that song in ages,” I mentioned as Boney M’s Rasputin came on the radio.

“No kidding,” he replied, and the conversation took off from there.

New haircut and new silky nighty.

As my young stylist performed his magic I learned that he had worked out really hard yesterday and was a little stiff, which is why his first snips were so labored. I loved his pleasant, respectful tone with me and I detected a sweet, gentle soul beneath that black T-shirt.

I was out of there in record time but the cut really didn’t turn out half bad. I took his card when I left and he bid me a cheery goodbye.

I walked away amazed at how far off my first notions were. You really can’t tell a book by its cover.

Oh! And the bonus of the day was stumbling upon a quaint little boutique with silky oriental nighties on sale for $20. I bought three, all in bright colors. I am a happy camper today! :)

For me, God is in the birds and trees

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 18, 2012

The hills were silent again except for one birdsong, and it cheered me slightly. See? If there were no other proof of the existence of a bigger reality than birds, they would do it for me.

~ Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith

Life is an adventure

Before I start my new reading adventures, I’d like to finish up a couple of books I am already reading.

One book is Anne Lamott’s Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith and the other is Hugh A. Dempsey’s Always an Adventure.

I have very eclectic tastes – what can I say? And normally I prefer non-fiction, which is why King and Tan are such departures from the norm for me.

Anyway…

Annie never disappoints. Her books are filled with humor and wisdom and nitty-gritty life experience. I actually met her once – we have a mutual friend in the Bay Area. Her observations on everything, from raising her son Sam to overcoming addiction, are always very thought-provoking and – well – human.

Hugh Dempsey’s book is a fun read for a different reason. That is, if you’re a nerdy historian adventurer-type person. A local figure, Hugh was instrumental in building the first historical collections of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum. He married a Blood woman from the Cardston area and traveled, explored and archived his heart out, writing about his journeys as he went. My dream!

I met Hugh, too, during a reading he gave a year or so ago. I had never heard of him before (a fact I’m a little embarrassed about) and immediately snapped up four of his books – all of which he signed for me while politely inquiring about my interest. Such a kind, knowledgeable gentleman.

People like Anne Lamott and Hugh Dempsey are the people that have helped shape my life and my self over the years. They have helped me define who I am and what is important to me – and even, sometimes, how to deal with life’s ups and downs.

New beginnings… er…

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 16, 2012

Okay. Well, that title sounds a little cliche but I don’t know how to say it better.

Celebrate life! :)

I’ve been away for awhile doing other things. But now I am coming close to finishing up some big projects and my calendar is finally starting to clear a bit and I’m thinking, What next?

I don’t know, but I have a lot of ideas jangling around in my head. I want to try some new things, for one. For instance, I have never read a Stephen King novel. Seriously! And me wanting to be a writer.

So I’m thinking this blog, besides being about family research, could morph into a tale of my own journey. I want to try new adventures, read literature I’ve never tried before, travel, write, and dream. In that spirit, I picked up a couple of books at Chapters tonight – one a Stephen King novel and the other Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

I’m going to challenge myself to write (almost) every day and make every day count. One day you may read about horseback riding adventures and another you may learn something new that I’m reading about.

I want to learn to grab joy from every minute. From every experience.

And worry less.

Join me. It’ll be fun!