Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Get A Life Tree

Years ago I read a lovely book by Ernie Zelinski titled The Joy of Not Working. It challenges readers to have a proper perspective on the importance of paid employment and to suck the marrow out of life and living it.

One of the activities in the book is creating a Get a Life Tree. Readers draw out a ‘tree’ with branching ideas of leisure activities they have done in the past and ones they would like to try. Additional categories can be added like activities you can do by yourself, ones to do with others, free activities, ones for a short timeframe vs. ones to do at a future point in time, etc.

It’s a great exercise in creativity to brainstorm a host of fun, worthwhile things to do that challenge you and open you to new experiences.

The really fun part, though, is putting words into action- getting out there and doing what you’ve listed on your Tree.  

I love digging out my Tree, crossing off things I’ve done, selecting new ones to tackle, feeling the excitement of new adventures, and adding new ideas to the Tree.

There are always new adventures waiting on the horizon. Why not ‘get a life’ and go after them?

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Inanimate Object- a stream of consciousness

Lifeless, limply hanging, wishing for a breath of life

Dust- living creatures turned into inanimate objects
Dust to dust, ashes to ashes

Faded photos, worn out shoes
Pieces of saints sealed in gold bottles- venerated inanimate objects

Towering cathedrals, lingering incense, echoes of silence 

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Cheap Entertainment

I suppose it was a bit rude if not downright disrespectful. But we couldn’t help it- there was no way we could deny ourselves such riotous belly laughs.

There we were, just faces in a crowd with so many others. There were groups of twos and threes, even a table of ten or so, everyone engrossed in their own conversations- except for us.

We strategically placed ourselves across the room from a couple of ladies having an intense conversation full of animated gestures and wild head shaking. We were in the mood for a movie, you see, without the will to part with the money, given the prices these days. We have both watched our share of foreign dubbed movies, appreciating the quality content. Today, we decided to create our own.

My friend took on the voice of the middle-aged hippie-looking lady, and I took on the wide-eyed scarf-lady. My friend began dubbing over the mouthed words of the hippy, “Oh my goodness, Chelsea, I so love your hair! I’ve always wanted dry, stringy hair but just haven’t been able to make that look happen for me.”

The scarf lady stared back intently at her conversation partner, soaking in every word. After a poignant pause, she spoke with these words of mine, “Anastasia, I don’t appreciate you putting yourself down like that. You have such beautiful vomit-orange highlights, and amazingly uneven lengths- your hair is a work of art. You need to appreciate yourself more.”

Hippy lady swung her arms in wide circles, “Oh, Chelsea, you’re the best friend anyone could ever have in the whole world! You are so good to me, I just can’t believe you’re my friend. I– I’m touched.”

And on these ladies went to speak- through the words we lent them without their knowledge- of boiled cabbage, undersized Speedos, and rainbow-painted VW vans. We were howling so loudly that we wondered if someone noticed. Maybe at another table others picked us out of the crowd and were inserting words into our mouths.

In this day and age with rising prices and a depressed economy, we need to get creative to find cheap entertainment. This method of do-it-yourself live dubbed ‘movies’ can be applied anywhere, anytime. All it takes is the ability to scout out suitable ‘actors’ and an imagination to improvise the ‘script’. Just bring along some munchies, and enjoy!

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

The Gift of Presence

I cannot take away your loss, or erase the things that happened. I haven’t got any answers for you, or words that will make it alrght.

But I will sit with you and listen as you cry your tears and recount the moments engraved in your heart. I will smile as you tell me of the happy times you shared and will hold your hand when as it shakes.

I will sit with you.

I will sit with you and hope that it is of some comfort to you. It is all I have to offer.  

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