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Songs for a cloudy day

We’re finally transitioning from summer to fall here in Minnesota.  As much as I love love love our perfect summers, there is something somewhat magical about this time in Minnesota as well.  I think is has to do with the fact you don’t have to wear 34723942 layers of clothes to stay warm and the colors and light are just beautiful.  (Note to self: schedule time soon to make a drive to capture some fall colors on film and SD card)

Woke up today to a cloudy and somewhat overcast day, and dare I say it crisp, day.  It was a far cry from the 80 degrees and sunny we had yesterday, but is still lovely in it’s own way.  Since I will be stuck inside most of the day doing a lot of work I figured I should create a playlist that would reflect the change in weather.  Not only did I succeed in doing this, I also succeed in wanting to go back to bed and just hunker down under my uberwarm comforter.

Luckily I overcame this obstacle (through the use of copious amounts of coffee) and persevered to have quite a productive morning on a number of fronts.  Aaaand, as a bonus it’s no longer ubercloudy!

That being saiad, I’m still listening to my Cloudy Day list since it needs to be cultivated for the winter ahead.  A little bit ago “That Wasn’t Me” by Brandi Carlile came on, and as is usual for me, the lyrics just resonated with me.  Lyrics are posted below and you can listen to it here.


Random post is. . .random?

Today is a busy day, so clearly I needed to take a few minutes to share some randomness.

1.  KFC and Pizza Hut closed in Nepal

From a Agence France-Presse story posted here:

All four KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in Nepal shut down on Tuesday saying that staff had attacked and threatened to kill branch managers.  Devyani International, which operates outlets of KFC and Pizza Hut in Nepal and neighbouring India, wrote a letter to authorities announcing the immediate closure of its eateries in the capital Kathmandu.  

“In order to disrupt our operations, some staff have physically attacked and threatened to kill the senior managers,” the company said in a letter leaked to local media and seen by AFP.

“These acts have put the life of senior managers at risk. To maintain the safety of our restaurants and the staff, we have shut down our services for an indefinite period,” it said.

The shutters were down at the four restaurants on Tuesday, and Devyani International and the police were unavailable for comment.

Now, this warrants being posted for two reasons:

  • What could possibly drive these people to threaten their managers?  The secret herbs and spices?  The cheesy garlic bread?
  • I ate at this KFC my last day in Kathmandu prior to starting the more than 24 hour trek back to the States.  In my defense, there weren’t a lot of options in the part of Kathmandu the KFC is in, and there were fewer options at the airport in Kathmandu prior to the 5 hour flight to Doha.  My mom ate at the Pizza Hut too.

2. Excited Seal is excited!

I have no real reason for posting this other than it’s a photo that never ceases to amuse me.

Granted, the circumstances that led to this photo being possible were scary and tragic, and I know the folks impacted by the flooding are still recovering.  Help if you can, cool?
If you’re in Minnesota or Wisconsin, vote today.  If you’re not in either of those states (and even if you are!), do something nice for someone today.  Share some kindness.

A brief reminder. . . .

Just a few things I recently pinned on Pinterest that I wanted to share here as well.  I’ve begun my journey along my my longer-term Five Minute Plan (which was featured on You, Me, & Charlie!  I’m still in awe that this happened, but I digress), and I couldn’t be more happy with my decision.  It’s time to do things for me, on my terms, and to truly listen to myself – and not the wishes of others – on my quest for happiness.

I hope to be sharing more here over the coming months, as well as developing my online photo portfolio so I can share more of that work as well.

I hope you are all well, and please, take some time for you this weekend – you deserve it!

No shame in needing help

Last night I was sad to hear about the passing of Whitney Houston.  She had a true gift which will live on through her music.

Addiction is a real, and often fatal, struggle for many people. Too often people do not know how or where to get help – in some cases due to barriers to access or the stigma related to such problems.  The same is true for other mental illnesses as well.

This leads me to pose the question: When can there be a real discussion about how mental health is as important as physical heath?


Looking back is for the birds.

Or is it?

Is looking back and thinking about our previous actions and thoughts and experiences a good thing?  Or is it an exercise in futility since we can’t go back and change or undo the past?  Does it provide clarity and the opportunity to learn from a distance?  Does looking back allow us some perspective or is it a waste of time and energy and thoughts?

I say: yes and no, good and bad, helpful and hurtful.

At its core, I find that looking back and reflecting on the past is an exercise that everyone should do – to a certain extent.  Yes, you can’t “unring a bell”.  You can’t hop into a flying Delorean and toss some garbage into Mr. Fusion and head back to undo or redo a moment in your past to change the present.

What can this reflection offer?  It can help you see patterns in your life, both good a bad, which can help you in the future.  You can use the distance and reflection provides to learn your true motives or wants or needs, again which will be beneficial in the future.  You can also see things that maybe didn’t turn out the way you wanted and work to “fix” things going forward.

It can also be somewhat hurtul.  You can spend too much time thinking about what you no longer have – whether good or bad – and miss a lot of what is happening to you now.  It can be a distraction.  It can keep you from moving forward.  It can taint your view of the world, of people, of yourself.  While doing a bit of this is ok, but to steal a quote from the movie Elizabethtown , “You have five minutes to wallow in the delicious misery: enjoy it, embrace it, discard it… and proceed.”

You have to proceed.  It may not be what you want, but the fact remains – and it’s a hard fact to accept at times, I know this firsthand – you can’t change what is already done.

Once you truly understand this, it’s oddly liberating.  You can view the past with the proper lens, and not let it overwhelm you.  You can never and should never ignore the past, you just have to make sure you engage with it in an appropriate way.

I’m working on doing just this.  I need to not focus on what I can’t change, but focus on what I want to change and what will help me be the best me now and moving forward.  I need to focus on the lessons the past can offer and for the happiness and fond memories.

I need to remind myself that “Nothing is worth more than this day.”  Live for today.  Live for what and who is in your life now.  Learn from the past, live for today and prepare yourself for the future.