Variety is the Spice of Life

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The origins of the phrase is a William Cowper poem called “The Task” (1785):

“Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.”

And I think the original expression of this idea by Cowper was lovely. The lyrical thoughts of adding flavor and spice to one’s own life through change, through keeping it interesting and staying on your toes.

It would seem that Ralph Waldo Emerson agreed with Cowper. In his essay titled Self-Reliance, Emerson says:

“…consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds… With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.”

Hmph.

It would seem that some of the most notable minds agree that keeping it all mixed up and different is recommended.

So does this mean that my life is notably unspicy because I actually like a little reliability in my days?

I mean, I do like changing things up now and again…but I also thrive on setting a rhythm to my world and sticking with it. I find that by having “the little things” working like clockwork, my mind can take on the bigger things, the beautiful things, the creative things.

By knowing where my nest is, I am able to stretch my wings and fly.

Does that make me boring, sedate and tedious? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

When my world changes too much or too fast, I become lost, overwhelmed and fearful. I start to worry over the day to day tasks and The Muse that wants to soar is forced to sit quietly and wait while I sort out the details. That seems dreary to me.

Perhaps it isn’t variety that lends spice to my life, but my own discipline that allows me to add a pinch of this and a shake of that to create something savory and fulfilling and quite fantastic.

So for me, I need both. A little variety, sure, but a little consistency too. It’s a balancing act.

Or, to paraphrase a cartoon I found….if variety is the spice of life, then my own comforting patterns and routines are the meat and potatoes.

Add it all together and I devour a creative feast!





Today’s Theme Thursday is: spice


Image found here.


Themeless in Theattle

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Today I rose from my bed and dashed down the hall (with yowling cat underfoot) to look at this week’s Theme Thursday webpage.

I was excited to get started on my blog post for the day. But as the page loaded, alas, no updates.

I fretted, I hit refresh, I worried. What will become of me if I don’t have a Theme Thursday prompt!

About an hour later, I decided “screw it, I’ll make my own theme.”

So I hit my favorite random word website.

The first word offered up was: reactionary

This made me think of chemical reactions things that go *BOOM*

But then I actually Googled the word and it was a lot of blah-blah-blah political stuff and people being mad.

Well that’s no fun.

So after checking the Theme Thursday site again, I went back to the random word site.

This time I got: wipe

Which made me go “ewwwwwww.” Yeah, I know, wipe can be used in non-ew ways. So I considered it. 600 words about wipe? Yeah, no.

Back to the word well.

Third try: Zoom

Ok, that’s a spicier word, and a blog post would allow me to drop the word onomatopoeia in conversation. That part rocks.

But for some reason, onomatopoeia or not, the word zoom wasn’t really inspiring me.

So I checked the Theme Thursday site again, cursed, and went back to the random word site.

Fourth time’s a charm? No, not really. I got: row

As in, the boat? Or have a? (in the British use) Or sit in the?

Nah. Boring.

Pull the magic lever again!

This time I got: advertising

What? No. I got nothing for that….

Feeling a bit frustrated and unable to find a suitable theme for today, this sunny Thursday, I sighed.

Then my brain went screeeeeeetch as though someone had applied non-ABS brakes too firmly. My mind skidded out to the side and off into a bar ditch**.

And that little voice inside my head said, “Hey, ding-a-ling, it’s Wednesday.”

So we’ll see you again tomorrow with the officially sanctioned Theme Thursday post.

Until then, forty lashes with a page a day calendar!



This awesome Fail Whale rendition is by Ed Wheeler and found on deviantart.com. Follow him on Twitter @EduardoWheeler

**I dropped the phrase “bar ditch” on The Good Man yesterday when he called to report he’d experienced a flat tire while in the heart of San Francisco. I said “are you ok?” he said “Sure, why wouldn’t I be?” I replied, “well, you’re not off in a bar ditch somewhere, right?”

And then my dearest paused. This is one of those times where a Brooklyn boy and a New Mexico girl are not linguistically on the same page.

I filled the awkward space by saying, “Yeah, not that San Francisco has bar ditches.”

He replied, “Uh, yeah….so anyhow…I called AAA and they should be here in about ten minutes.”


What’s The Point?

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It’s a cold rainy day in the Bay Area today and the ubiquitous “they” seem to think we’re going to have snow today, maybe even in the middle of San Francisco.

Snow? Here? Gah! The Bay Area will lose its ever loving mind.

But that’s not the point.

Today I’m angry, pissy, hostile and downright grumpy. My right wrist still hurts so much it wakes me up at night. I took my gimp to the doctor lady and she fitted me into a wrist brace. This @$%#ing thing limits my movement (doing its job, I suppose) and it is frustrating!

When I rip the thing off then my wrist hurts double. And I get angrier.

I don’t like being weak and showing my weakness. I’m the gazelle that the lions will go for first! The limping one!

But really, neither my gimpy wrist nor my offbeat psychosis are the point.

Apparently I’m a brute when I write. I love using felt tip pens but mush them to nothingness within a week or two. All of my Sharpies are not a bit sharp. I just threw out a whole handful.

I am anal about only using pencils that have a very sharp point, but they either break or go nubby within a few sentences. And mechanical pencils! Sheesh. Anything less than a sturdy .5 size and I’m snapping the lead off left and right!

My kingdom for a good sturdy point!

But the point isn’t really the point either.

I’ve been watching the complete Boston Legal series lately. The Good Man got the set for Christmas and we both adore the show.

I love when Alan Shore goes on a riff and a judge cuts him off with a “you’ve made your point, counselor.”

Once, in the middle of a somewhat terse discussion with The Good Man, when he was Alan Shore-ing me, I dropped that phrase on him. In a snotty tone.

Needless to say, that didn’t go well.

I’ve not used it since.

My “you’ve made your point” isn’t really the point, either.

“It’s rude to point” you hear, ad nauseum, when you are a kid. I mean, when you are pre-verbal isn’t pointing sort of the only way you can get your meaning across?

Besides, is there anything cuter than a little baby exploring the world and pointing one chubby hand at something fascinating and looking to you for your response?

I think not. So I think it should be amended to “it’s rude to point, unless you are under two and awfully adorable, then it’s all good.”

Rules: made to be flexed!

But talking about pointing isn’t really the point.

So, what exactly IS the point?

Today’s Theme Thursday is point, and while I’ve got a lot of quick thoughts, none of them are very coherent.

I guess my point is…this is an entire blog post that doesn’t really have a point.

Cheers to my pointlessness! For the vague shall inherit the Earth.






Photo found several places on the net but unable to find attribution. Will include attribution or remove at the request of the owner.


Relax. Yes, Just Do It.

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Relax is one of those words where saying it to yourself invokes certain visual images.

Relax.

How many of you envisioned beaches and rum drinks?

I know I did.

Relax.

Maybe you thought of yoga or a massage.

Also good.

Relax.

Ok, so how many of you thought about simply about being at home, with no work or chores or responsibilities. Just sitting, being quiet.

For me, definitely.

And how many of you, when thinking of sitting still with nothing to do get a feeling akin to petting the cat the wrong way? Just can’t do it. No way no how.

Interesting, isn’t it? For many people, sitting quietly at home with nothing to do is considered both lazy and immoral.

Personally, I’ve always been really good at allowing myself to relax. If I need a nap, I take it. I give myself permission to have downtime.

I don’t think sleeping when your body needs it and planning for downtime is either lazy or selfish. It’s sane and reasonable.

The Good Man often says that I taught him the value of The Flop. Come home from work, change into comfy, non-binding clothes, then flop on the bed. Just for a while. Twenty minutes maybe? Let the day slow down. Hug both cat and spouse.

And THEN you are in such a better mood to get up and make dinner. Food tastes better when you are happy and relaxed while you cook.

Really, children and cats have it right. Eat a little. Play a little. Nap a little.

It’s when we get to be grownups that our minds get twisted by the shoulda, woulda, couldas.

Today, I reject all of them and say, simply, relax.

Embrace The Flop.

(This post is a good reminder to myself as much as anyone. Sometimes even I get caught up in the moving too fast, gotta get it done, go go go mentality).

Theme Thursday‘s theme of the week is: Relax

Photo by Joseph Hoban and provided royalty free via stock.xchng