Wordless Wednesday: Just Say No

No

~ CoconutChica

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Voting is a Responsibility

So many people either think voting is not that important or won’t make a difference. Others abstain because they don’t like any of the candidates. So they decide that NOT deciding is better. But nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes it may seem like we’re choosing the lesser of two evils, but given the power the victor(s) have over how we live our lives, we owe it to ourselves to make our voices count.

United States turnout is among the lowest in developed nations. What doesn’t help is that, in this country, Election Day is not properly afforded the significance we claim it deserves. Honestly, why isn’t it a national holiday or at least moved to a weekend to make it easier for everyone to go vote??? According to the US Census Bureau, only 63.6% of eligible voters reported voting in the 2008 presidential election. In mid-term elections, turnout is even lower.

Perhaps we need to remember that when we vote, we are in essence saying, “I give this person the authority to make decisions about my life for the next few years.” On that note, here are some useful links for voting information:

Information before Election Day:

You can also call the 1(866) Our-Vote hotline to find out what you need to vote.

** New York: Comprehensive list of poll sites relocated due to Hurricane Sandy damage.

** New Jersey: E-mail and fax voting is available to those in New Jersey displaced by Hurricane Sandy. For more information, call 1-877-NJVOTER.

Information for Election Day:

 

~ CoconutChica

Photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

Posted in 2012 | Tagged | 2 Comments

See You in September

I’m sitting here late at night, on a beach in Puerto Rico, listening to the waves slap against the shore, and I’m strangely preoccupied with thoughts of home. Not that I’m anywhere near ready to go back (and actually, I still have a few more days here), but already I’m thinking with anticipation of what I want to accomplish when I get home.

Maybe it’s because I just marked another birthday, or because I’m nearing the end of my #BirthMonthFestivities, or maybe just because it’s Friday. I’ve never really needed much of a reason to declare a do-over. I love the idea of fresh possibilities, wiping the slate clean and starting over with new intentions, new motivations, unencumbered by past failures and missteps.

I’ve always been this way. I was the kid who loved September and the beginning of a new school year. (Go ahead, say it. I was a weird kid.) But there was something about new clothes and school supplies, the chance to meet new people and have new experiences that made me giddy. It was always more of a “fresh start” than even New Year’s Day.

So here I am on the brink of September, feeling like that little kid again as I remember the excitement of autumns past. What I need to do now is channel all this energy and narrow down my ideas to just a few specific goals to focus on (instead of spreading myself thin as usual). But maybe I’ll wait until vacation is actually over before I tackle that part. I still have some more holiday mischief to get into first. ;-)

~ CoconutChica

Photo credit: cdedbdme via photo pin cc

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#BirthMonthFestivities

Happy birthday to me!


Last year I spent my birthday in Montreal with some good friends. While I was there, I treated myself to some time in a sensory deprivation tank. It was something I’d always wanted to do but hadn’t been able to find one anywhere remotely near my home.

It. Was. Amazing! All that weightlessness, silence, darkness… It was unbelievable how stress-relieving it really was to have absolutely NO sensory input whatsoever. I highly recommend it.

But even bigger than my enjoyment of the tank was just the idea of new experiences and how to incorporate more of them into my life. So I came up with #BirthMonthFestivities, my hashtag for all the interesting little things I was going to get into during the month of August.

So far, some of the things I’ve either done or am going to do include:

  • Visit a local winery
  • Meet up with Twitter people
  • Hike up to America’s Stonehenge
  • Take a long vacation to relax, not just run around sightseeing
  • Attend a Japanese tea ceremony
  • Visit an ecotarium
  • Take a river cruise
  • Go indoor skydiving
  • Check out Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth Rock)
  • Visit the White Mountains

As you can see, there’s nothing huge and spectacular. It’s more about making sure that I take time out to explore all the little things I’ve been curious about over the years and haven’t gotten around to doing.

Of course, it didn’t take me too long to realize that going on vacation for half the month means that I will have to extend #BirthMonthFestivities beyond August in order to fit everything in. And that’s okay by me! In fact, I think I’m just going to keep finding things to add to my list. It’s like a bucket list, but without the “someday” sentiment. ;-)

~ CoconutChica

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Wordless Wednesday: America’s Stonehenge


Animals I never expected to see in this country. Do you know what they are?

~ CoconutChica

Posted in wordless wednesday | 2 Comments

On Writing


Okay, write! …and nothing. It sucks when you decide that it’s time you MUST write and you can’t even wrap your mind around what to write about, let alone how to write it. But catch me at 4am as I’m drifting off to sleep? I churn out ideas like burps after gulping soda too fast.

Sigh. Isn’t that always the way? I often tell myself that it’s a good idea to jot those ideas down as they come to me so I won’t forget later. Does it ever happen? Nope. Who wants to get up at 4am to write something down? Even keeping paper, phone, etc. next to the bed doesn’t work. I’m just too exhausted by that point. I’ll actually lie there and plan an entire plot, characters, dialogue (or thesis/arguments for nonfiction)…only to remember little to none of it the next morning.

I just have to accept that I am most creative when I am tired. But I’m not surprised. I’m the most silly at that time, too. I’m sure they’re related.

I have to just create a discipline of writing every day whether I feel like it or not, whether I think I have something to write about or not. Perhaps then the muses will take pity on me and send a bolt of inspiration. ;-) Surely if my life depended on it, I’d come up with something, no?

But it doesn’t have to be that drastic. Writing is a muscle. Use it or lose it. I used to write every day in high school. And very frequently during college. And not that much in law school. And barely at all in grad school. :-| Okay, clearly I wrote during those times. You can’t be a student and not write. A LOT. But I wasn’t writing for myself. I was writing for school. Personal writing time just kept dwindling to nothing.

It’s not that I don’t think about writing. Oh, no! I have a million ideas jotted down; drafts of projects in various stages of (in)completion lying around everywhere. But then I get sidetracked. And then I get a new “even better” idea before I ever get back to the original one. You see where this is heading?

So now it’s time to reverse the trend. Onwards and upwards!

~ CoconutChica

Photo credit: 96dpi via photo pin cc

Posted in goals, life, writing | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: Mind Your Step

Can you guess what major city I’m in? There’s a hint is in the previous post…

~ CoconutChica

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Make Time, Don’t Wait To Find It!

(courtesy of Google Images)


I was incredibly fortunate to be able to spend the entire month of May in England. Relaxing, seeing family, sightseeing… Ah, that was the life. Until I got back home.

Going on vacation always entails coming back home to a certain amount of playing catch-up, slogging through all the work that’s piled up on your desk. But going away for an extended period of time gives new meaning to the words Falling Behind!

I was so focused on getting back into the swing of things, that I let everything else go with the idea that once I got caught up, I’d get back on schedule. Maybe I’ll skip the gym this morning and get a jump on the day. If I stay up extra late for a few nights, maybe I can finally make a dent in this mountain of work. Sound familiar? The first thing to go is always our well-being, isn’t it? Skimping on sleep or exercise isn’t going to make us more productive. In fact, it’s been about three weeks now and I’m still working on that “getting caught up” bit.

I finally had to get honest with myself. It’s never going to happen. Life is never calm and orderly. (Well, maybe for some of you monks and nuns, but certainly not for me!) I always have a million things going at once, and if you took away my to-do list, there’d be another entire list right behind it. If I wanted to find my rhythm again, I had to ignore my busyness and just do it.

So tonight I decided that I wasn’t going to skip my meditation session. Half hour before it started, I resolutely grabbed my car keys and ran out the door before I could find a million reasons why my time would be more productive staying home.

And you know what? It worked. I think I’ve gotten more accomplished tonight after getting home (including writing this post!) than I would have otherwise. Carving time out for yourself gives you the fuel you need to get through everything else. Don’t put yourself at the bottom of the list – no matter how *important* the list. You’re even more important. So make the time!

~ CoconutChica

Posted in life, self-development | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Come Get Your Grandmother

(Courtesy of Google Images)


I was traveling recently when, just upon landing, the elderly woman sitting in my row whipped out her cell phone.

“Faaanny? This is Maary.” Think strong Boston accent. Think extra-loud voice in a still-quiet airplane. “No, we’re still taxiing. Where are you?” Pause to listen. “Well, I have to go to the restroom and then go find my luggage because blah, blah, blah…”

You get the idea. Way too much personal information ad alta voce. Why???

I have a new rule. If you are over a certain age where you can’t help but speak extra-loudly (maybe because you can’t hear as well?), I’m going to need you to learn to text. You are officially banned from talking on cell phones in public.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I have great respect for my elders. I am doing this to save you from embarrassing yourself and others. Help me help you.

To be fair, I have definitely heard some non-senior citizens who don’t seem to understand the difference between indoor and outdoor voices. But usually just acting like I’m super-engrossed in the conversation is enough for them to lower their voices (usually with a glare as though *I’m* the one being nosy, but who cares?)

The elderly, however, are completely oblivious. You can stare, laugh, do whatever you want to indicate that they’re too loud, but they don’t notice. So until they figure it out, I’m going to have to insist that senior citizens stick to non-verbal communication in public.

So yes, Mr. and Mrs. Social Security, you are hereby allowed to LOL, SMH, and WTF to your heart’s content. But until further notice, putting your private life on blast via public cell phone conversations is strictly off-limits. You’ll thank me later. Or your grandkids will.

This has been a public service announcement.

~ CoconutChica

Posted in observations, society | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: Vacation!


‘Nuff said…

~ CoconutChica

Posted in wordless wednesday | Tagged , | 2 Comments