Brainstormed Design Ideas for the Future

I’m a writer, illustrator, and child of the 1960’s. What do I know about designing for the future? I grew up with Star Trek and could relate to its creator, Gene Roddenberry. What we have in common is imagination. When I was a kid, I used to have a recurring dream where a Polaroid picture would move like a video for about five seconds. When I saw Harry Potter for the first time, I loved seeing the wizards’ newspapers. Moving photos on paper. I’m still waiting for that.

All technological breakthroughs start with an idea.

Creative people are the indispensable cogs which jump start the design engine. With the ignorance of engineering and technology, they can brainstorm all kinds of crazy ideas. I am the queen of crazy. There are no rules for imagination. So here goes.

Windows for the World

We all love windows. I can’t imagine living in a home without them. What if you had to create a livable environment in an undesirable location? It may not be cost effective to have windows. Homes built in extreme climates like in the Antarctic, Arctic, desert, or Mars could have live feed windows. A camera mounted outside could project the image inside on a faux window/television screen. This would provide the link to the outdoors needed for mental health. Mine especially. It could be programmed to provide a completely different picture if the environment wasn’t so great like in heavily polluted areas or looking at a building’s brick wall.

The creators of LG Ultra put their screens to the test. Continue reading

Back in the Water for #SharkWeek

Kelly and Susie Santa Monica Beach

The crashing of the sea drowned out my beating heart as I stepped into the waves with my surfboard. I would share this massive body of water with all kinds of sea creatures including sharks. The last time I surfed, the rhythmic waves in Costa Rica made standing up on a board as simple as standing on a picnic table. That board’s width and length helped too. This time would be different. The foam board would be gentle on my knee if I smacked it, but its narrow width and my still wimpy left leg would make balance squirrelly. I was stoked for the challenge. 

I have never been at ease when black water swirled around my body. I’ve spent a lot of time in lakes and had been nibbled several times. But a lifeguard stood on the Santa Monica beach while helicopters watched from their perch in the sky. I had no fear of sharks. 

What happened here? Continue reading

How Seneca, Attracting Positive Energy, and Happiness Heal Grief

Positive thinking has always been my forté, if not my downfall, since being an optimist doesn’t always prepare me for the horrific. When the worst happened this spring, I had to work at thinking positive. Even cancer and double boobectomies didn’t shut down happiness like death.

I’m a firm believer in the Law of Attraction.

You attract the energy of your thoughts, whether they are positive or negative. What a simple way to live, right? Just think positive and you’ll attract a great life. But it’s hard when you’re grieving and random memories arise like when I notice the safety googles in my garage. “Watch out for your eyes,” my brother used to say at random times; a standing joke from a time when he helped me move out of an apartment. He almost poked his eye out on a table leg. Don’t ask.

I needed help from an old Roman philosopher, Seneca.

There’s no time limit on grief. I read philosopher, Lucia Seneca’s letter yesterday in a Brain Picking’s article by Maria Popova. Seneca wrote to his mother a few millennia ago, when he was banished to Corsica. He told her that distracting yourself from loss makes it worse. Grief will be hanging out when you come back from the Bahamas, or dinner with friends. He was a little more eloquent than that.

“It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it. For if it has withdrawn, being merely beguiled by pleasures and preoccupations, it starts up again and from its very respite gains force to savage us.”

Instead, Seneca suggested a focus on “liberal arts.”

“I am leading you to that resource which must be the refuge of all who are flying from Fortune, liberal studies. They will heal your wound, they will withdraw all your melancholy.”

Whoa! Would reading end my grief? Cool. I’d start with Tuesdays with Morrie, memorize some Faulkner quotes on dying, and round it off with a little philosophy by reading Camus, Sagan, and the Dali Lama.

I finished Camus’, The Stranger and scratched my head. I mean, the main character was absolutely clueless. He acted more like an amoeba, than a thoughtful man. Then I found out he won the Nobel Prize for introducing philosophy of the absurd. Oh.

It occurred to me the meaning of liberal arts may have changed over time. Wikipedia to the rescue.

*insert mind blown gesture here*

Liberal arts in ancient Greece refers to the education of a “free” person “to know in order to take an active part in civic life, something that (for Ancient Greece) included participating in public debate, defending oneself in court, serving on juries, and most importantly, military service.”

Ha! Maybe Seneca could’ve improved on the defense of his affair with the emperor’s sister had he brushed up on liberal arts. Did he want his mother to educate herself so she could defend herself someday? Nah.

Most likely, he wanted his mother to “take an active part of civic life,” come out of her grief and find a way to contribute to society. He could’ve said, “Join the living, Mom!” But, hey, they lived a few millennia ago.

So am I joining the living? Of course. I never left, but there are moments every day where I remember my brother and it brings me down with the “would have, could have, should haves.” Not anymore.

From Seneca – “Everlasting misfortune does have one blessing, that it ends up by toughening those whom it constantly afflicts.”

I should be badass.

It’s all about choosing happiness.

And this: “It was nature’s intention that there should be no need of great equipment for a good life: every individual can make himself happy.”

Yesterday, I read a blog post by Niki Meadows. This saying caught my attention.

Energy Flows

A great reminder to make the choice to be happy.

Here’s my interpretation:

Thinking positive to attract energy

Between Seneca and Meadows, I awoke with renewed energy. Okay, so I overslept. Now when I think about my brother, I will think about the absurdity of death. I will make the effort to smile when I remember him. Engaging in life will heal the wound. I think I’ll be okay.

 

Have you ever heard of Seneca? Do you believe your thoughts attract energy?

Related posts:

Be Your Own Badass Hero

I Celebrated a Birthday, but Failed to Save a Life

What Seeing Mila Kunis and Asthon Kutcher Taught Me

An Open Letter From My Boobs

Energy, Attention and Intention – Niki Meadows

Seneca’s Consolation to Helvia – Maria Popova, founder and editor of Brain Pickings

Ski Therapy in Beaver Creek

Aspens in Beaver Creek

My family went skiing at Beaver Creek Ski Resort, Colorado last weekend. I wondered if my knee would be stable and strong enough in the heavy wet snow. I knew it would be therapeutic to exercise in the fresh air.

I had a partial knee replacement over a year ago. Although my doctor thought I would be back to my wild life in a few weeks, it started squeaking and then became really noisy last summer. Now it grinds and squeaks! Weird right? What’s really weird is it’s totally painless, but can swell. My orthopedic surgeon thinks the scar tissue could wear off as I use it. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Anxious to get back into shape after a broken wrist, I overdid it a few weeks ago. Stationary biking, walk/running, working out with weights and playing tennis was too much in one week. My angry knee swelled up like a gargantuan grapefruit. It took a few weeks to calm it down.

I knew skiing would be risky and I didn’t want to endure yet another setback. But sometimes you just have to go for it to find out if you’re ready.

My son, Kelly, me, Leksy Wolk, and my daughter, Courtney.  Do I look confident?

Kelly, Susie, Leksy Wolk, and Courtney Lindau at the entrance to the terrain park

I survived the first run without a problem.

Skiing under the chairlift at Beaver Creek

The April, ice cream-like snow was smooth and easy to carve. Although I felt my muscles work hard, my knee felt great.

I’m the one behind the camera.

Skiing the slopes at Beaver Creek As the day wore on, my confidence grew. I even skied a rail in the terrain park. Ha! Sorry. I have no proof. You’ll have to take my word for it.

My husband, Danny, and daughter, Courtney, clowned around in the snow. 

Clowning around trick skiing

The day after, my muscles were sore, but it was a good kind of sore. Although my knee was a little swollen, it resembled a knee and nothing from the produce department.

We drove down from the mountains and I took our Bichon, Roxy, for a walk. No running. No weightlifting. No biking. Just a walk.

This time, I’ll get back in shape by adding a small amount to each workout. Maybe my knee will quiet down and someone will record me in the terrain park.

That would be WILD!

Do you have a tendency to overdo it or do you ease into activity after a setback? Have you ever been to Beaver Creek? 

This is a response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Landscape.

10 Ways to Win Like the Broncos – Parade Photos

The 2015 football season taught me a lot about life. The Broncos started out strong and then faltered. Their offense fell apart and their exhausted defense couldn’t win games on their own. After quarterback, Peyton Manning, threw several interceptions, he admitted to suffering with plantar fasciitis. Manning sat out and our back-up quarterback, Brock Osweiler, took the field.

Trophy, Manning

We thought we were doomed. Television commentators assumed the team had divided.

But that didn’t happen. The team supported Osweiler. The Broncos continued to win games while Manning healed and watched games from the bench.

After Manning recovered, he regained the #1 position. Osweiler showed a lot of class in quietly retreating to the bench. Our team supported both quarterbacks. Fans wondered who would start in the championship game, but Manning was back. With a supreme team effort, they won the Super Bowl.

 

So how does this relate to you?

I think there is a huge takeaway from this year’s season.

Learn from the Broncos and reach your goals.

  1. Surround yourself with people who support you.

Build a team of those with common interests or who will be there for you throughout your career. Continue reading

Played by Inspiration

Nantucket Pier

Inspiration is an ephemeral ghost shimmering over shadows, cloaking deep and empty crevices of my mind. She appears from dark recesses and cobwebbed chambers in a momentary flash only to hide once again. I have tried to seek her out, but I do not know the rules of this game for she keeps changing them.

Sometimes she floats into common conversation forcing me to shift my view to see the world in a different slant of light.

Other times she appears in Technicolor dreams where she becomes my muse and skips through fantastic Continue reading

On Birthdays, Socks and Underwear

faywray

Not another birthday!

I often hear people moan about birthdays. Don’t you? It is s conundrum. If you want to live a long life, you have to weather milestones and put up with a few gray hairs. I tell people to suck it up! Smile! Be glad that you’re around for another year. Many don’t have that luxury.

And then mine comes around.

When I was a child, my special day was celebrated with family, a few friends, cake and ice cream and bubbles. Adriaen_Hanneman_Two_Boys_Blowing_Bubbles

When I became an adult it meant going out at night and partying at the bars, shots of tequila and morning-after headaches.

When I became a parent, it meant a night on the town with my husband while we paid someone to watch the kids.

Now, the trick is to take responsibility for my own birthday. But what does that mean?

How about splurging?

Hmm. I could schedule a massage, get a facial or go shopping. Sheesh! I have a shirt to return from Christmas! I do need basics. We are talking socks and underwear people.

How about relaxing for a day without the internet?

I shudder to think about avoiding my blog, Facebook or Twitter. I don’t think I could do it. That wouldn’t make me happy and this is all about me, right?

How about taking a day off from work?

With a lot of professions, you leave your work behind when you leave the office. As writers, we take our job everywhere we go. Forget the computer. While in a traffic jam yesterday, I jotted down notes for this post on the back of a scrap of paper! I’m always on the clock. Writing is my passion and an obsession. I…can’t…stop…myself…

How about engaging in a crazy adventure?

Cold weather will prevent me from hot air ballooning, learning how to fly an airplane or jumping out of one. I will wait for a warmer day…

hot air balloon

Now that my kids are in college, my birthday has come full circle.

I look forward to a day spent with family, cake and ice cream and bubbles. I have already heard from a few old friends through Facebook. I’ll share a meal with my family and order dessert. Then I’ll poke around my favorite shops and purchase a few pair of socks and some cute panties. Afterward, I’ll slip into a tub full of bubbles. I’ll look back on this year’s accomplishments and smile.

hot tubbing

 

A Colorado bubble bath

It will be a perfect day after another wild year. You have come to expect no less from this Wild Rider, right?

What would your perfect day include?

Do you look forward to your birthday?

Wikimedia Commons

Soap Bubble – Wikipedia

Fay Wray photo copyright-free