Lori Robinett: {Creating} My Path

musings of a wife, mother, writer . . .

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Beauty of Nature: Snow Geese

The past couple of days I’ve seen huge flocks of geese. On my way into work yesterday I pulled to the side of the road and snapped a pic of a flock of snow geese. They were amazingly beautiful. Awesome – in the true sense of the word. The sound when I rolled my window down gave me chills.

Snow Geese

How many times do we pass right by the beauty of nature without appreciating what is there?


Being an Adult

I’m tired and frustrated. I am so tired of seeing and hearing about young people who want to be treated as adults but do not act like adults. I am so frustrated with almost-adults who have no concept of personal responsibility.

In my job, I sometimes work with collections for a university. It is amazing how many parents call wanting to “fix” things for their child. I’m not saying I haven’t tried to fix things for my kids, but I generally encouraged them to fix things on their own or at least tried to talk through options with them.

But here’s the rub – at some point, that child is no longer a child. He/she is signing contracts as an adult and Mommy and Daddy aren’t always going to be able to fix things. That online college application that “Little” Joey clicked through may well have been a signed contract agreeing to do X, Y and Z or pay a penalty.

We’ve all heard of helicopter parents. I get it. The parent doesn’t want the child to face dire consequences, doesn’t want the child to be hurt (physically or <GASP> emotionally). But it’s gone too far. Now there are snowplow parents who bulldoze a clear path for their kids. (sorry – kinda mixed my metaphors there, but you get my drift. Get it? Drift . . . Ha!).

Somewhere along the way we’ve forgotten that children grow into teens and then become adults. At what point do you clip the apron strings? Even worse, how does the child survive if he/she decides to sever those apron strings and launch into the world at 17 or 18? Does the mother who told me she had to pay someone to give her son a job really doing him any favors?

Mother Hen (courtesy of WANACommons)

Mother Hen (courtesy of WANACommons)

And so I offer these tips both for the parents trying to prepare kids to leave the nest, and for the kids who are flapping their wings.

Being an adult means:

  • Living on your own, whether it be an apartment or a dorm. A dorm isn’t totally like living on your own. It’s kind of like a halfway house for probationary adults.
  • Checking your mail. That’s how bills get to you. That’s also how you will receive old-timey communications like greeting cards.
  • Reading what you sign. Contracts and housing contracts aren’t going to be limited to 140 characters and they’ll contain actual words instead of “OMG, U R prolly going 2 B L8 w the rent & B evicted.”
  • Paying your own way. Your parents and student loans aren’t always going to be there to pay for your granite counter tops and flat screen TVs.

Pot and Cookies: A Natural Partnership

This made me giggle. Seems like the Girl Scouts are producing some “budding” entrepreneurs in Colorado and California (see what I did there? I couldn’t resist.)

Girl Scout Cookie Sales at Pot Shops

Mini Schnauzers Welcome their Soldier

If you’re feeling a little down, there’s nothing like watching videos of dogs welcoming soldiers home to warm your heart. And if they happen to be Miniature Schnauzers, all the better.  Enjoy.

Mini Schnauzers Welcome Soldier


The Illusion of Attention

Take a moment to do this short exercise before reading further:

Be honest – how did you do?

This exercise is about the Illusion of Attention. So often we go through life seeing only what we expect to see. This can happen to you when you are driving. You see what you expect to see, which is generally the road and cars coming towards you. This is how drivers miss seeing motorcycles or bicycles. I was driving home one night after a scrapbooking crop and a mountain lion crossed the road in front of me. A mountain lion! It literally took me a second or two for it to register what I was seeing.

This also happens at work. You may see yourself in a certain role, in a certain position, performing certain tasks. You expect to do those things, and are used to doing them in a certain way. You may think you are paying attention to your job, when in fact you are doing exactly what you expect to do. You may be busy, but you may be busy doing the wrong things. For instance, when I started my current job, one of my jobs was to file the bankruptcy paperwork. One day I noticed that I was filing a lot of notices that assets had been located, but I wasn’t receiving any claims to file from the offices that might have a claim. Instead of simply filing those notices, I began to email departments to notify them that assets had been located and asked them to send me the billing invoices so I could file a claim. It worked. Claims were filed and payments began to roll in. All because I took a moment to examine what I was doing. Take a moment to examine what you are doing and how you are doing it. Once you are aware, you may discover that there is a different way to do things that is more efficient, or perhaps you can create a new work flow that makes your day go smoother. And maybe, just maybe, you will do something that will catch your boss’s attention.

But this illusion is about so much more than seeing a gorilla or a mountain lion, or doing your job better.

The illusion of attention as it relates to your goals and dreams is perhaps the most important illusion to shatter. Pull back, change your perspective, and seriously review what you are doing to reach your goals. A personal example: I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote and rewrote the same story over and over, and never made it past 25,000 words. I thought I was doing everything I could to reach my goal of being a published author. Then I joined National Novel Writing Month and realized that although I was writing, I was not paying attention daily to my need to write. I was not taking it seriously. I finished a first draft and wrote those two magical words “THE END” for the first time. I kept writing, continued to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and joined a critique group. Even though I thought I was paying attention to my dreams, I learned to adjust HOW I paid attention and began studying WHAT I was doing to make my dream become a reality and changed WHO I was listening to with regard to my dreams.

Once you are aware of the Illusion of Attention, you have begun to shatter the illusion.

What are you missing that is right in front of you?

Live Today

Live Today

Live Today

Live Today.

Those of you who follow my blog know that 2013 was a very difficult year for me. I began the year on top of the world, excited for my daughter who was about to graduate high school and embark on the excitement of life as a college student. My excitement was cut short when she ran away, moved in with her boyfriend, and decided not to go to college.

What does that have to do with living today?


See, my world crashed around me that Thursday night she didn’t come home. I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest. Everything around me seemed surreal. My blood thudded in my ears so loudly I couldn’t hear anything. I couldn’t stop crying. How could I possibly go on?

THAT is what living today is all about. Learning to survive. Everyone goes through horrible experiences at one time or another. We had already been through bad times, my husband and I, when our baby was born extremely prematurely. We didn’t know if she would make it. We didn’t know how we would go on if she didn’t. But I put one foot in front of the other. I went through the motions – forcing myself out of bed when the alarm went off, driving to work in a daze, eating because I had to. And when she left home, I found myself going through the motions again. My therapist suggested mindfulness training, so I explored and found great comfort in the words of Buddha and various Zen blogs. The one that made the most sense to me was on ZenHabits, simply entitled Breathe. I can do that, I thought. Tiny Buddha also helped a lot.

And I could. I turned my focus inward, pictured the cleansing oxygen coursing through my body, the dark hurt being exhaled with every breath. My world began to open again. My husband and I found ourselves getting to know each other again, learning to live as a couple – and learning to enjoy life and all the blessings that we have.

Stop. Right now – stop. Close your eyes and focus on the act of breathing. Know that in this moment, this brief blip of time, you’re okay.

Live your life to the fullest each and every day. Find something that brings you joy. Let go of the hurt. Release the anger. No regrets. No looking forward. No dreading the future. No waiting for tomorrow. Simply live.

Live today.

Namaste, my friends.

NOTE: If you like reading this blog, please take a moment to check out my Etsy shop. You’ll get something for your money and will help keep this site going and growing. Thanks!

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the vinyl wall decor above is displayed in my living room (I made it myself!). It’s my mantra.

Dream Tomorrow is my daily reminder that my dreams will only come true tomorrow if I plan for them today.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

With the start of a new year, I often spend at least an hour or two planning my goals for the year. Here’s my process – give it a go and see if it works for you:

Big Picture Goal: What do I want to accomplish this year? Think in terms of financial, professional, health or personal goals. Publish a novel. Lose at least ten pounds. Save a thousand dollars. Write each of these at the top of a different piece of paper. Bonus points if you write them in your day planner (and if you are looking for a print it yourself planner page, please check out my Etsy store – the download is only $1).

Stepping Stones: These are the smaller milestones that you need to do in order to reach your Big Picture Goal. For instance, my Big Picture Goal is to publish a novel. Some of the smaller milestones I need to reach in order to make my dream come true are (1) write the draft of the novel, (2) edit/rewrite the novel, (3) polish the novel, (4) line edit the novel for grammar, punctuation and spelling, (5) research agents and/or publishers, and, finally, (6) submit.

Daily To-Dos: These are just what they sound like – the things that you need to put on your to-do list to make it happen. For instance, while I am drafting a novel, I will write “WRITE 250 words” on my to-do list every day until I type those two magical words “THE END.” The important thing here is to be specific. Don’t write “write” without setting a goal for yourself. This is where you need to be tough. Be your own coach. Set a task and make sure you do it.

What are some of your Big Picture Goals for 2014?

NOTE: If you like this blog, please consider stopping by my Etsy shop. You’ll help me out, and you’ll get something for your money. 🙂

Cherish Yesterday


This is the vinyl wall decor I made on my Cricut and have on our living room wall. I love this saying. I can’t take the credit for it – I saw this phrase somewhere a long time ago (though I may not have it exactly right) and it really stuck with me. It speaks to me. Every day I read this and remind myself of what is important.

Cherish Yesterday.

This doesn’t mean you should live in the past. Instead, remember the good times. Forget the bad times. Hold the memories close that all strung together create your history.

On second thought, don’t forget the bad times. The moments are like stepping stones, leading you to this moment. Right here, right now. Those moments, good and bad, all string together to create a path through life.

Case in point: Our daughter was born extremely prematurely and weighed only 2 lbs 7 oz at birth. She spent three months in the NICU and has had several surgeries. Although the three of us have been through a difficult time, we made it through together, and are stronger for those struggles. Probably the biggest takeaway from those health issues is this: we are lucky. Very, very lucky. And we learned that we can depend on each other, lean on each other, and support each other, no matter what. Those difficult times bring you together. You forge a bond that can never be broken.

Remember that no matter how difficult things are, there is someone else going through something more difficult (and you can use your experiences to help those who are worse off – and if you don’t know where to start, consider volunteering for or donating to the Children’s Miracle Network). (BTW – if you are feeling sorry for yourself, thinking how difficult your life is, volunteer at a homeless shelter, or a hospital, or a nursing home. This will nourish your soul. I promise.)

Remember those who are lost. Keep them alive in your memories.

Remember your youth, the fun, the excitement and the wonder of life.

Look back on yesterday, and cherish it.

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