These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

A minimalist, not only do I live light, I pack light too. For my three-month sabbatical I brought two pairs of jeans, four 3/4-length sleeve shirts, a down vest, a down jacket, jammies, and under clothing—including woolly pulleys.

My footwear consists of snow boots, snow shoes, and slippers. Serious slippers!

Hint #8 — From in the state, and out, people travel from all over to enjoy the year-round outdoor recreational offerings in my sabbatical location. Good thing I brought snow boots, because hiking (trails are prevalent) is great for clearing the cobwebs in one’s mind before writing.

While hiking, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these types of tracks: mule deer, grizzly bear, elk, wolf, fox, coyote, and raccoon.

My boots leave tracks too, but my goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

What type of tracks do you leave?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Murder Mystery

I enjoy writing nonfiction, but I also have fun writing fiction. I currently have a murder mystery simmering on the back burner that I’ll jump back into—with gusto!—once The Business of Being is complete.

The game of Clue offers several options as murder weapons—wrench, rope, candlestick, revolver, lead pipe, and knife.

Hint #7 — A portion of the state where I’m enjoying my sabbatical is considered a paradise for geologists.

Now that I’ve been in my sabbatical location for a while, and my mind’s had ample opportunity to wander, I think death by icicle would make a good way in a murder mystery to eliminate someone (picture me rubbing my hands together with a diabolical glint in my eyes). Unlike a knife used to stab someone, once a spike of ice has melted, there’d be no murder weapon as evidence.

Who is your favorite mystery writer?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Our Words Matter

words, Words, WORDS—I’m up to my neck in words as I craft my next book—The Business of Being. And I’m thoroughly enjoying every minute of it!

During the day I write them. Throughout the evening I read them. I’ve devoured six books since I’ve been here.

A week before I left for my three-month sabbatical, I had the privilege of speaking with a small group of entrepreneurial millennials. One of the topics we discussed was how our words matter.

Hint # 6 — The town where I’m enjoying my sabbatical is one of the few towns in the continental United States that boasts only one—count em, ONE!—drive-thru coffee shop.

My friend Dawn said, “Our words create our world.” That’s one of the reasons I suggest that my clients voice what they want and refrain from stating what they don’t want.

For example, instead of making statements like “don’t slam the door,” “don’t forget your lunch,” and “don’t talk to me like that,” state your desired outcome instead—say what you want. “Shut the door quietly, please.” Remember your lunch.” Speak to me with respect.”

Do you say what you want instead of what you don’t want?

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.“ —Toni Morrison, American novelist, editor, and professor

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Burnt Socks

To extend their life, Len never (ever) puts freshly laundered socks in the dryer. In the summer he hangs them from clip-type hangers and air dries them; in the winter he drapes them over our geothermal registers.

When Len came to visit me in my sabbatical location, he washed a pair of wool socks and placed them on a heating register. When I came in from outside, my nose was assaulted — something’s burning! A quick search led me to these crispy critters. I laughed so hard my sides hurt.

Hint #5 — Log cabin manufacturers, taxidermists, and fly fishing shops are abundant in and around my sabbatical location.

Lots of things get burned in life; some intentional, some not:

  • Burnt toast — the only way I eat it.
  • Burned rubber — a quick departure.
  • Burned finger — forgot to wear the oven mitt.
  • Burned bridges — not a good plan regardless of the circumstance.
  • “I got burned” — a relationship gone up in smoke.

What was the last thing you burned?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

A Heavy Load

For Note to Self book events, it’s important to find a commonality that levels the playing field and places all of us on the same page. That’s why I typically talk about non-forgiveness. It’s one of the heaviest loads (emotional baggage) we can carry or drag with us. I usually start by saying:

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Hint #4 — There’s no commuter train service in my sabbatical location.

Every single person in this room, without exception, will need to extend forgiveness to someone at some point in their life for something the other person did or failed to do. 

Likewise, every single person in this room, without exception, will need to receive forgiveness from someone at some point in our lives for something we did or failed to do.

Then I read a passage from Note to Self that begins on page 116. If you have a copy, you may want to check it out.

Has extending forgiveness, or the lack thereof, played a role in your health and wellness?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Space Between

It’s the space between words on a page that make reading enjoyable. It’s the space between notes in a musical score that makes listening pleasurable.

Hint #3 — Globally there are eight species of pelicans. Only two of the eight species live in North America. During my sabbatical, I won’t see any because they’re wintering in states south of my geographic location. If it were summertime, however, I might be gifted with a sighting.

Life has spaces.

Some are shorter than others—the space between breaths, blinking, and heartbeats.

Some are longer than others—the space between cell phone upgrades, careers, and changing homes.

Life happens in the space between. And it’s meant to be savored.

Do you give yourself enough space?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Shouting Doesn’t Help

The road trip to my sabbatical location wasn’t much different from watching “I Love Lucy.”

SCENE: 70 mph, five lanes, one fork, two exits, lots of traffic, freezing rain, and slick road conditions at dusk. Oh, and did I mention the frequent bounding of mule deer across the highway?

LEN says: “There’s a fork in the road up ahead. When you veer right, stay in the left lane because the road we need to take is across from a shopping mall on the right.”

LAURIE shouts: “What?!”

SIRI grumbles: “Recalculating route…” (but I’m sure what followed under her breath was “Ay-Yi-Yi” with a Ricky Ricardo accent) as we missed the turnoff.

Hint #2 — The cat where I’m living during my sabbatical is usually indoor/outdoor. However, because wolves are down from the surrounding mountains hunting for food—one seen as close as the neighbor’s porch—he’s strictly indoor at this time.

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” —Robert McCloskey, American author and illustrator of children’s books

Can you relate?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com