The road less taken

So I’ve been sharing the TED videos I like best on my tumblr account, but I thought maybe I’d share them here, too.
In this video, Daniele Quercia talks about creating apps that can tell you how to get from here to there — not by the quickest route, but also by the prettiest route. The most pleasant commute, not the fastest one.

Because why be on autopilot through those moments (or any moments) of your day? It’s a good question. In a world that’s spinning faster and faster all the time, we are robbing ourselves when we sprint through our lives.

Our priorities need adjusting. I like how this guy thinks.


A New Year

My husband doesn’t make New Year’s Resolutions. None of that “setting yourself up for failure,” as he calls it. But I’ve got to have direction. Hopes. Dreams. Lists.

Years ago — more than 20 years ago now — when I was single and struggling, I read a magazine article about making Vision Boards.  The idea was (do people still do this?) that your Inner Child, your subconscious self, is pre-verbal and doesn’t respond well to text. To get through to your Inner Child, you need pictures. Images. Sensory stimuli.

Dutifully, I collected some magazines, intending to cut out photos that represented what I wanted for myself. I leafed through the magazines and was inspired by nothing. Not one thing. Nada. Niente. Bupkus. I didn’t look like any of the “career gals” pictured in the glossy pages. The stuff in the ads looked boring. There wasn’t anything that looked like who I wanted to be, or what I wanted my life to be.

So I ended up writing down what I wanted in as great detail as I could manage. A car. A house of my own. Work that I loved. A life partner.  Then I set the document aside (it was on a computer and I don’t know if I ever printed it out) and didn’t look at it for a long while.

Strangely, my life began to change, almost without my doing anything at all. I got a new-to-me car. My job seemed a little better. I met a guy who had all the qualities I’d asked for: intelligent, healthy, sense of humor, kindness, a hopeful outlook on life (my then-boyfriend had had a cynical, contemptuous, worm’s-eye view of the world which quickly overshadowed his handsome looks and superficial charm) and who really wanted to be with me. We planned our life together, bought a house.

Now I’m getting closer to building a career as a writer. This is the work I want to do, but I need it to be a financial support as well. And so now I’m thinking back to that long-ago document that I wrote, and I wonder: What did I do right? How did I manage to put down the words that held the seeds of the future? Was it some momentary magic, a state of mind, a quiet alignment of the stars?

I’m looking for the magic again. I hope I find it.