• Family Fun,  Friends,  Motivation,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    New Pandemic Hobbies Keep Us Busy!

    I have a lot of friends who are, overall, very happy right now. (And I’m not just talking about the introverts!) They’re thankful for the serenity and forced slow-down this pandemic has brought upon them. Naturally they are sad for all of the losses that have resulted from it as well; that has to be stated, but that’s a different topic for another day. I can’t say that I’m always thankful but I definitely do have moments and days when I am. Maybe we all do, at different levels: there are good days and bad ones, good weeks and bad ones. These days, months into the pandemic, many people are…

  • Confessions,  Motivation

    I’m Like a Bird

    I have three hand-blown glass birds that I purchased on three different trips to one of my favorite places on earth, Cape May, New Jersey. These birds hang in the windows of three rooms in my house and they make me incredibly happy whenever I look at them. Usually. Although it always sways a little bit because we keep the ceiling fan on, the green and yellow bird that hangs in our living room window normally looks to the left as its default position. This was double-checked about six weeks ago after Jim put a longer string on it: before he climbed back down the ladder he waited for the…

  • How To,  Motivation

    25 Things to Do While Social Distancing During a Global Pandemic

    What with COVID-19 (coronavirus) having just been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, it has become more important than ever for us to work together to “flatten the curve” (slow down the spread of the virus) so as not to completely overwhelm the capacity of health care systems. And by “work together,” of course I mean “get it done but only while placing ourselves at least six feet away from other humans.” COVID-19 is spread by respiratory secretions and possibly from touching contaminated surfaces, so lots of hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds while not touching our faces is our best bet when it…

  • Motivation,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Change It Up.

    On most Wednesdays around 5:30am when I turn into the parking lot for the strip mall where my boxing gym is located, there is a pickup truck parked diagonally near the entrance, engine running and lights on. I assume he or she is waiting for someone; perhaps it’s a carpool-to-work arrangement. Even though the truck is the only vehicle on that whole side of the parking lot I always go around it the long way instead of turning in front of it to get to my parking space five stores down. I’m not sure why, but it’s become a compulsion. Every week there’s a split second in which I think,…

  • Am Reading,  Motivation,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Read This: The Power of Moments

    Normally I would not devote an entire blog post to a book I have just completed. I’d write up my happy little review on GoodReads and then move on to the next one. This time is different. I just finished The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by brothers Chip and Dan Heath. My brain is buzzing, not only because I loved the book but also because of the clarity it gave me. The Heath brothers write about creating memorable, impactful peaks in our lives and the lives of others. These peaks can be simple acts like complimenting someone on a job well done or shoveling an…

  • Blessings,  Fun in Knoxville,  Motivation,  Pretty Pictures

    Two Years.

    It was two years ago today when I moved back to Knoxville after 26 years of living in my beloved hometown (well, the greater Chicagoland area). First: I can’t believe it’s been two years. Second: I wish I could go back and tell the pre-move Melisa, who was terrified of the change and very upset about leaving the greatest city in the entire world, that not only was everything going to be okay but also that she could let go and be assured that this move would lead to a season of life that would be one of her happiest. Jim and I have had way too many adventures to…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Motivation

    That’s Life.

    Last week I was lying in a hospital bed, waiting to be wheeled down the hall for a colonoscopy (one of the fringe benefits of turning fifty, woo hoo!). I “busied myself,” if you can call it that, by visually absorbing my immediate environment. I noted the pastel plaid curtain around my little area, the machines with wires behind my head, the labels on the cabinets, and finally, the ceiling. Looking at ceilings in doctors’ offices and hospitals is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl and had to see my pediatrician for any reason, I used to look at the…

  • Confessions,  Motivation

    Keep Moving

    It’s been a day (and a night: I’m running on an hour of sleep) so I decided to take the easy way out for today’s post and find a quote that speaks to me. Maybe it’ll speak to you, too. It’s from dancer Twyla Tharp: To survive, you’ve got to keep wheedling your way. You can’t just sit there and fight against odds when it’s not going to work. You have to turn a corner, dig a hole, go through a tunnel – and find a way to keep moving. Let’s keep moving, shall we?

  • Motivation,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Go Out and Vote.

    You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that this Tuesday, November 6–just two short days from today–is Midterm Election Day, and a very important one at that. More effort has been made to get out the vote than I can remember in my lifetime, which is great…yet I know that large numbers of people STILL aren’t going to vote. From the indifferent ones to the folks who feel like their one vote doesn’t matter to the people who don’t want to put in the effort to do a little research so they can figure out who they might vote for, America is still full of excuses.…

  • I've Got Mad Skillz,  Motivation

    There Has To Be A Life Lesson In Here Somewhere.

    I throw my back out approximately twice a year, and when it happens my my ability to move normally is impaired for a week to 10 days. As someone who exercises every single day for between an hour and ninety minutes (and gets crabby when she can’t, even for a day), this semi-annual event makes me ragey. I have a few risk factors for back woes: both of my parents have a history of back problems, I carry extra weight around, and there’s that aforementioned daily workout nearly without fail, without days off for recovery. It happened again nearly three weeks ago, under stupid circumstances: I yanked my back out…