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Freezer Full of Bananas: A Story of Hope

Why? I ask myself, why do I keep freezing overripe bananas? The quip “still buying green bananas” is one of the most straightforward, most hopeful declarations ever. We all know what it means. My spin on the theme is, I’m still freezing overripe bananas. Because one of these days, I might make my dad’s banana nut bread recipe. Also, I might not, but that doesn’t stop me from collecting the brown speckled fruit.

Pre-pandemic, I’d strategically buy three perfectly ripe bananas, ready to eat right away, and also three green bananas, ready to eat in a few days. No waiting and no waste. My weekly grocery delivery order doesn’t allow for such specific banana selections. I get what I get. We eat what we can, and the rest get frozen whole, hoping to become banana bread or sliced and frozen for my daily smoothie.

This weekend, we’ll spring forward and welcome back daylight savings time. While some mourn the loss of one hour of sleep, I don’t. It’s ONE hour. I’ve survived another winter, I don’t think one less hour of sleep is going to break me. On Sunday, when it’s still light at 7:00 pm, I’ll be happy and hopeful.

In 9-Days, I’ll be celebrating my 59th birthday, or as my sister will point out, I’m starting my 60th year of life. Whatever Cindy. She’s older than me, so no matter how old I get, she’s still older.

Most days, I don’t feel my age:

  • I still get up at the butt crack to work out. 
  • I still love to be silly and creative. 
  • I still love chocolate chip cookies and pizza. 
  • I still love Sundays packed with football.
  • I’m still a positive and hopeful person most of the time.

Occasionally, I feel like time is running out or that I don’t have enough time to do ALL the things I want to do. How much time would be enough? No clue. I just feel like there’s so much more I want to experience. I’m hopeful I’ll get to do it all, or at the very least, when my time comes, I’ll be able to say I have zero regrets and mean it. That’s hope.

In a few weeks, my husband will get his first COVID vaccine, and I suppose I’ll get mine another month or so after. This brings me hope that we’ll soon get back to seeing our family and friends someplace other than Zoom and that when my first grandbaby is born in May, I’ll get to love all over him.

A former colleague, a marketing strategist, always used to say, “hope is not a strategy.” Yes, Allan, I agree. Hope is not a course of action when you need a plan for a specific outcome. Hope is taking a leap of faith that things will go your way.

In the end, if I want that banana nut bread, I need to take action: 

  • Defrost the bananas.
  • Buy the walnuts and a loaf pan.
  • Make the effing bread.

So I ask myself, how badly do I want banana bread? Or is the hope of future banana bread enough for me today? 

I’ll get back to you.

~xoxo toby

P.S. Just another blog to prove you really CAN write a post about nothing. You’re welcome!

6-Easy Ways to Crush Writer’s Block

Staring at a blank page waiting for that blog to write itself? It’s not gonna happen. Trust me. I’ve been there. Remember those ideas that were flowing last night while you were trying to fall asleep? The ones you didn’t jot down? Of course, you don’t. They’re gone. Disappeared like a plate of warm, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. Sorry.

These days I rarely get stuck, but sometimes I do, and I have a few kick-me-in-the-booty tools to get the ideas flowing:

1. Just Write! I know this sounds like the opposite of what you should do, but this isn’t about writing that perfect and final draft; it’s about permitting yourself to write that first shitty draft. And it’s kinda fun! Let whatever is sloshing around in your brain spill out onto the page. Don’t worry about sentence structure, grammar, or fancy words. This is a brain dump for your eyes only. Later you can go back and wordsmith it to death. But for now, just write.

2. Move! Stand up and put on some tunes. Have a dance party or go to the kitchen and forage for snacks. Stretch, do a down-dog, or take a walk. Do anything to get the blood flowing. A change of position or surroundings is sometimes all you need to break through the block.

3. Press “pause” for 24-hours. Instead of sitting and getting more frustrated and more blocked, set it aside. Work on something else and come back to it the next day. If you’re feeling sluggish and you’ve already maxed out your caffeine intake for the day, take a 10-minute power nap and come back with a fresh pair of eyes.

4. Get inspired! Read something by someone you admire: an author, a business owner, a poet. Pay close attention to how they use their authentic voice in a way that resonates with their clients. Use that inspiration to fuel your fire.

5. Set a timer. Work in 25-minute sprints and take 5-minute breaks in between. I’ve become a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique when I’m feeling unfocused. I do these sprints three or four times and then take a more extended break. Psychologically this timed work session forces me to focus and get shit done because I know it’s a short sprint. And then another, and another. You get the idea.

6. Money is a great motivator. If you’re writing something for your business, it’s probably going to bring you clients and money, so stay focused on the payday. That might be the only method you need! 

If all else fails, schedule a brainstorming call with me! You’ll either walk away with a bunch of great ideas, or not. But you’ll definitely have fun. I’m good like that.  

But seriously, if you need help, CONTACT ME to schedule a call today. 

A Fistful of Knives: The bits of my life in a silverware drawer

How did this happen?

I wondered as one-by-one I pulled butter knife, after butter knife, from the silverware drawer, none matching the previous one. I dug a little deeper into the drawer and noticed six different patterns, no, seven, eight? Some have matches, others are loners. A few I recognize as having once belonged to my mom. One might have belonged to my husband, from his before-me life, and one from an ex-boyfriend. Another belonged to my former mother-in-law, a purchase she made with her Betty Crocker box-top points. The rest? Who knows, but they’re like a scrapbook of all the little bits of my life, up to now. Interesting.

This idea, that the mismatched knives are symbolic of a rich and meandering journey, not always on the beaten path, intrigues me. And that I made this connection between butter knives and life? It’s weird, I know, but that’s how my mind works. I can’t help myself. 

We’re all the sum total of previous experiences and relationships, even when it’s not obvious to us. Everything builds on the thing before and adds up to who we are, at this moment. Parental and sibling relationships have the earliest impact. Friends, romantic relationships and spouses come later. And our relationships with our own kids and grandkids come after. Deep meaningful connections or harmful relationships can disrupt our lives positively or in a negative way. Some of these relationships might even alter our course or lead us down an unexpected path. 

People show up in our lives and make a life-altering impact. Some we may rarely see, or ever see again, but they occupy a space in the history of us.

But the knives. Why would I even keep them all? I could give them to Goodwill, or throw them away, except there’s nothing wrong with them, besides not matching the others. Some are sharper and others duller, but they’re still useful, so being identical to the others, doesn’t seem to matter.

Memories, like my butter knives, are collectively unique, and you can’t erase them even if you wanted to. Not the worst or best ones, the sharpest or dullest. You could try to bury them away, but they’ve already made their impact on you, so the memory will survive someplace. We don’t always understand or appreciate the purpose of our memory stew. Tucked away in drawers, or in our minds, and we can’t just throw away our memories. They tell our story, good and bad, and they’re part of us.

Author’s Note: Much of my blog content is about marketing and copywriting tips. Once per month I indulge myself and write about something that matters to me, something that strikes me or just my personal POV. It’s my blog, so I get to write about what I want, but I thank you just the same for reading.