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Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer

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make it happen

Make it Happen!

There was a time in my life when I thought nothing new was ever going to happen to me. Nothing major, anyway. I think it occurred to me right after I moved to my mom’s. You know, you reach some settled point in your life when you think – okay, this is it. I live where I’m going to live, who I’m going to live with. There are no other big changes left to occur or choices left to make. No more new boyfriends, no more excitement or wild times, no more once in a lifetime trips.

dreamstimecomp_17677062I think this is part of growing older. When you’re young, the possibilities seem endless. Where you’re going to go, what you’re going to do, who you’re going to end up with. Life, at first, is like eating at Denny’s and choosing from page after pretty page of pictured options. Then, before you know it, you’re at some fancy restaurant eating multiple courses of food you don’t recognize, can’t pronounce, and didn’t even pick. Being handicapped only exacerbates these feelings. The choices become even fewer and farther between.

Well, I’ve decided it doesn’t have to be that way. Life is as exciting as we make it. Of course, things slow down as we age and most choices are behind us, but not all of them. We can always choose to shake things up a bit. For example, my writing coach recently resolved to experience one new thing every month. She picks one thing she’s never done before, and just does it. Brilliant. Last month, it was a Turkish Bath House in Atlanta. Surrounded by women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities, she jumped from heated to frigid pool and let a very strong woman scrub her for hours with giant salt rocks. Talk about keeping it interesting!

dreamstime_xs_23952382Thus inspired, I decided to dip my toe into waters (a bit wilder) myself. Driving home from St. Augustine on A1A last week, two girlfriends of mine decided they wanted to go skinny dipping at sunset. Now, this is an example of an activity, like dancing or playing softball, that I would normally exclude myself from as being too much trouble or downright impossible. After all, my wheelchair can’t negotiate the soft sand, it takes forever to undress and I can’t swim! Luckily, these are good friends. Fueled, in part from the wine at dinner and in part from some deep seated fear I might miss out on something, I did something I almost never do. Instead of trying not to be much bother, I demanded they take me with them. In fact, I proceeded to dare and taunt them when they almost talked themselves out of it. My mind made up, I was determined to make it happen.

I’ll skip a lot of the gory details, but fast forward and imagine the sight, if you will, of a middle-aged naked woman, half-scooting, half-crawling across the sand toward the surf. I really never left the water’s edge, but still, I’m lucky I didn’t drown. I haven’t done something like that since my twenties, but certainly if you’d asked me last week, I’d have assured you that my skinny dipping days were over. I guess you never know.

So, try something new! Or do something you used to do, that the current version of yourself would never dream of doing. I’m going to steal the idea and try out a different experience every couple of months. And oh, by the way, one of those things has already been decided. I’m going to Mexico. For a month. But I’ll save that for another post. The point is, I’ve never been. New things happen when you make them happen. And there’s still plenty left on the menu.

 

 

Write It Down!

“The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” ~ Lee Iacocca, auto executive

Before I ever moved to Jacksonville, when I was still in college, I wrote in my journal what I wanted for myself as a young adult on my own. I live alone in a great apartment by the beach. I have a job that pays all the bills, lots of friends and an orange cat. Years later, I re-read my entry. I didn’t even recall consciously wanting those things, yet I had them all, right down to the color of the cat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Henriette Anne Klauser explains this phenomenon in her book Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want – And Getting It! By putting it on paper you declare your intent. And  that, she says, keeps the subconscious part of your brain working in the background to make it happen. You become more alert to the signs and signals that help you achieve your goal. So, I went into the Humane Society in ’92 thinking I wanted to adopt a kitten of any color, but when I saw the orange one some part of my brain went Ding! Ding! Ding!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By writing it down, you declare yourself in the game.  Putting it on paper alerts the part of your brain known as the reticular activating system to join you in the play. ~ Henriette Anne Klauser                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                  So write it down. Don’t just think it. In the same way that you may keep a list of things to do that day, write down what you’d like to accomplish in the longer term. A year or five years. “There is a solidity in actually committing it to paper,” says Klauser. “It is a physical thing to put it on paper…writing it down is a commitment.”

 

And experts say to use language in the present tense, as if it’s already so. As in, I work for myself, I have all the clients I need, or I am a successful writer. And I’m no expert, but for what it’s worth – be specific! I should have said I live on the beach, not by the beach.

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