Saturday, August 15, 2009


I've been thinking about signs lately and how we can create them even when there not there.

But here's the thing, if we're "creating" signs to make certain decisions, then don't we know that deep in our heart it's the right thing to do.

It's kind of like not being able to decide between keylime pie or healthy strawberries for dessert, so you flip a coin-- heads = keylime pie, tails = healthy strawberries. It comes up tails and you say, "2 out of 3..." We flip until we get what we want.

So if you know you want the keylime pie, why not just have it.

Many of us are good at saying no to ourselves or feeling as if we need to sacrifice.

Let's say you want a bike for $500, but you don't want to spend the money. That night you go out to dinner and a movie with your spouse to talk about the purchase. Dinner and a movie costs you $100. While you are in the movie, you get a parking ticket. Another $50. You are so bummed about the parking ticket, you buy a bottle of wine ($20) and drive home.

The next day your child needs $50 for piano lessons and you're having friends over a book club so you buy brie, hummus, crackers, selzer water, fruit and dessert ($20).

You think about the bike, but you don't buy it. In the last two days you've spent $240 on things that have been eaten, drank, watched, and played. You still don't have a bike. And you don't realize that you had 1/2 the money, but choose to let it go elsewhere.

I guess what I'm saying is that if we *really* want something, there are ways to get it and to be aware of our choices. Especially with money. Especially with time.

And all those signs we see around us or find inside of us. Listen to them. They are trying to get us all back on the right track. Or bike path.

We pull away from them sometimes because they seem too big, too grand, too expensive.

I'm suggesting not pulling away, but listening deeper to them. What is that voice inside you saying?

* * *

I recently heard of a writer/teacher who quit her day job to go surfing.

Chasing Waves: A Surfer's Tale of Obsessive Wandering

She was on NPR and said we should all have WAPs (Wild Ass Plans) and follow them. That's how she began on her journey, I think there are journeys for all of us out there, just take notes, listen and follow them...


  1. I agree with you about the signs, but I think there should be a certain satisfaction that comes from reward after postponed pleasure.

    We as a culture are so used to having that key lime pie when we want it that we fail to realize we actually shouldn't have it. We don't always deserve the bike or the vacation. And the money we spend at the dinner (I don't get parking tickets) is something others can enjoy with us.

    Right now, I am jonesing for an electric guitar. But we have one salary, and it's a teacher's, and summer makes us poor. We have several guitars in my house, and another isn't going to make me a better player.

    So I guess what I suggest is that sometimes our desires are out of place with our needs and are the result of our culture of excess and instant gratification.

    Why not meet in the middle--set a goal: learning a particularly difficult song, for me; exercising consistently for a week before indulging in pie; matching funds spent on entertainment by putting it in a jar and saving for the bike?

    Instant gratification doesn't always make us stronger. I am trying to learn that, because it's sure easier to eat the pie. :-)

    As for Wild Ass Plans, AMEN!

    Thanks for visiting.

  2. Leslie,

    That's a great point. There needs to be a balance or we'll all be poor and fat on keylime pie.

    I think for me, I tend to keep things from my life because I feel I don't "deserve" it or haven't earned it that I think this post ended up being a talk-to-myself that it's okay to splurge once in a while.

    The mountain bike I replaced was 17 years old and I paid $120 in 1992...I'm mt biking 3-4 times a week and I still had a difficult time spending the money on myself because I felt as if I was taking it away from the family, I could save it, etc. etc.

    I'm glad you posted your thoughts on instant gratification because I agree that our culture is a little too comfortable with getting things immediately and it can cause a lot of hardship for many. I'm quite a fan of the PBS show "Affluenza" about how we want more and more and are never satisfied.

    So thank you for your thoughts. I think I'll respond to them on my blog because yes, there's a difference and there needs to be a balance. I just do not want others to miss out on something important to them because they are waiting for the right time or they feel they don't deserve it or they are afraid of failing.

    Leslie, very good thoughts! Thank you for adding those to the conversation!


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