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Play: Our Brain’s Favorite Way to Learn

Do you make time to play each day?

My favorite daily creative play is iPhone photography. As I walk my goldendoodle through our neighborhood, usually something captures my attention because of how it’s bathed in natural light. It may be a small flower or a brazen sunset flashing across the horizon.

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Lady of the Lake Quilt

Recently the Fat Quarter Shop invited me to participate in the Lady of the Lake quilt along. I was so excited to play with fabric I pulled from my vault of happiness and learn a few new tricks along the way. Check it out! Maybe you’ll decide to make a Lady of the Lake quilt; it’s perfect for all my family in friends living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (Minnesota).

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Opening My Vault of Happiness

My favorite part of a meal is dessert. There’s rarely a nutritional benefit; it’s sole purpose is delight!

Work is the meat of life, pleasure the dessert. - B. C. Forbes

I also welcome other things and experiences into my life for the sheer happiness they bring: flowers growing outside the door, a dog’s wagging tail, the organic fragrance of trees and ferns growing in a park, and the sound of rain falling on the roof.

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Change: Time for More, Time for Less, Time for Rest

Butterfly - Give yourself time to change.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. – Maya Angelou

More Learning, More Connecting, More Creating

In my last post, Discovery: The Examined Life, I shared ideas from Bob Buford’s book, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance. Buford encourages his readers to spend time in self-discovery — live lives that are more. More creative, more impactful, more meaningful, more adventurous, more learning, more contribution.

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Discovery: The Examined Life

An unexamined life is not worth living. - Socrates
My last blog post introduced Bob Buford’s book, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance.1 Buford begins his book by describing his successful career. Then, after experiencing the unexpected death of a family member, Buford describes his time of personal discovery during which he asks himself a probing question.

“Is this as good as it gets?”

Buford labeled that slice of time halftime because he equated it to a football coach adjusting his game plan between the first and second halves of a football game, thereby enabling the team to play their best game.

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Can I Skip the Crisis?

Can I have a constructive midlife crisis?

Today I began reading Bob Buford’s book, Halftime:® Moving from Success to Significance, and I’m especially curious to learn whether Buford’s book departs from or confirms the ideas put forth by Richard Rohr. As I read the preface, I anticipated that Buford’s experience might be very different.

Instead of facing a crisis as I approached middle age, I discovered that a new and better life lay before me. I called the process of discovery “halftime,” and the eventual outcome of this process led to my “second half.” The metaphor fit because, after a successful first half, I needed a break to make some changes in how I played the second. I had plenty of success over the preceding twenty years, and I wasn’t burned out or frustrated, but I felt something was missing and I needed to change my game plan. In retrospect I can see that I must have been divinely protected from chasing down the usual trails people take to find what was missing.

Compared to Rohr’s description of “a necessary suffering and humbling pain” moving people into the second half of life, Buford’s experience sounded a lot easier.

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A Necessary Suffering

crushed from every side

Yesterday I wrote a very brief overview of Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. Basically Rohr says that people first build their identities, then experience a necessary suffering that serves as a crossover, and finally God calls them on to a further journey of faith during the second half of life. Rohr notes that not everyone chooses to move into that further journey, but rather they will spend their lives continually focused on building and maintaining their identities.

Does everyone agree with Rohr’s viewpoint? Probably not, yet it’s worth considering. I would say my own life does fit that pattern.

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A Midlife Crisis

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At last I finished reading Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life1 by Richard Roar. This was the first book I read so far in which the author acknowledges a midlife crisis.

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A Blessing

bless
Several days ago I wrote about leaving a legacy of a sincere faith, and today my husband shared an article with me from Verge Network that explained how easy that can be.

Dave Ferguson, who wrote Five Ways to Bless Your Neighbors, uses the word bless as an acronym.

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This Season

Look too far ahead or behind, and we risk missing the joy intended for here and now. There’s a certain richness in today that may never be around again.

This may not be your favorite time of year or your favorite stage of life. You may be dreaming of your next season already. Remember to fight that urge. There’s a certain richness in today that may never be around again. A year from now the landscape of life may look very different. Choose to enjoy the little things. Choose to enjoy the loud times or even the sometimes too quiet times. ‘Tis the season … to appreciate where we are, just as we are.

– Joanna Gaines, The Magnolia Journal, page 24

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