Stepping Stones vs Stumbling Blocks

Stepping Stones vs Stumbling Blocks

I learned this saying today, and it meant a lot to me. I felt like I should share it with you.

Photography is mine, 2007 at Maymont in Richmond, VA.

5 Things, Personal

5 Things About Habits/Goals

1. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. That’s a long time, but you have to start somewhere. This is that starting point for me.

2. I’m using a super fun app called “HabitRPG.” It makes a game out of getting stuff done that you are trying to form into habits and daily tasks. You earn money and buy items for your character as you complete things, but on the other side of that, if you fail at finishing tasks, you could die. Very fun and surprisingly effective!

3. I had a moment of clarity a few minutes ago: when approaching your daily, weekly, monthly, etc. goals, you should think of them the way you would think about a life list or an agenda for a trip. If you’re going to NYC, you’re obviously not just going to put down “Visit a museum,” right? You would look at which museum is most interesting to you, the hours, the cost and so on.

4. SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound.

5. Something is better than nothing. I recently read on “The Happiness Project” blog the following mantra: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It means that you shouldn’t put off doing things because you are not in the exact frame of mind/place to do something or have the perfect conditions. The example used is “the 20-minute walk I take is better than the 3-mile run I never start.” I got a lot out of this one, simple phrase.

How do you feel about habits?

Fiction, Writing, Writing challenge

Fifteen Minute Fiction: Day 2

Something seemed different.

Sugar Town

Something seemed different.

When he stepped outside of his apartment building, the air was thick and sweet. It was like a bakery had blown up and the scent of its heavenly pastries, cookies and cakes had created an atmosphere of sugar-oxygen.

But it wasn’t just the scent. The people who walked the street were in this hazy semi-catatonic state: mouths slightly opened, eyes unblinking, their movement sluggish and syrup slow.

At least I’m not having a stroke, Ron thought to himself.

As he started towards his car, he could feel his head start to ache. The cloyingly decadent waves were starting to make him wonder if there was some sort of chemical spill — like a Gingerbread Man Chernobyl. He got into the Acura and turned the engine on, shutting his vents and backing out of his spot on the street. Even out of the open air, his seats – white leather – reminded him of vanilla iced cookies.

There was no one else on the road, which was not like a Tuesday morning in the city at all. Ron got to his office in a third of the time it usually took and ran inside out of the confection climate. The building was dark and quiet. No one – not any of his coworkers, the managers, not even a janitor – was there. He picked up his phone and was welcomed by the dial tone.

At least I’m not in a horror movie, Ron thought to himself. He started running several databases and compiling reports.

At lunch time, Ron took the elevator up to one of the top stories in the building. From the 34th floor, he looked down. The people who had been walking the street were all gone. From above, the city looked like a model, one of the planned design diagrams that architects use when designing a new installation or business or park.

Park. Far off, he could see a multicolored blob of heads, a crowd, gathered around the park. He couldn’t see anything more, though; there was no sign of tents or balloons or anything to indicate a gathering of sorts. Seeing all of them, the people gathered in their mass, made him go back to his salad.

At least there wasn’t some accident, Ron thought to himself.

The salad crunched in his mouth as a pink beam of light came down to the park, and since he was heading back to his cubicle, he didn’t notice all of the bodies floating through the air into a cotton candy cloud. He hit a button to start formulating grafts for a meeting in a week just as the beam and the cloud and the people puffed out of existence in a tiny, rose-colored explosion.


Micro Fiction: Plastic Beaches

When I first met her, she smelled like beach vacations. Sand, sunscreen, salt. Sweet, melted treats from the boardwalk. When she was mad, it was like the rolling, blue-dark clouds that came in off the water, lightning far off and dancing across the horizon, her words white-capped waves.

In the court room, she is all tourist trap. Caricatures and big sounds and bright lights. Artifice, promising things that are much better in description than reality. As I pass her on my way out, the scent is candy, like grape, watermelon, strawberry. Fake. She is only a flavor of the woman I used to know.