Get Ready to Get Ready


A habit of mind revealed itself during a moment of hectic frustration—when I was getting ready.  It seems like I am continuously in the mode of preparing for one thing or another either physically or mentally.  This could be in preparation for an event, meeting, or outing in order to establish my image; at least one that is a desired projection.  

I’ve realized that my behavior creates more work or unnecessary stress.  For example, I had an appointment to get my hair cut, so I went through all, and I mean ALL of the steps to arrange my hair just so.  I thoroughly shampooed, conditioned, blow dried, straightened, and styled all of the strands upon my head.  Moments later, all of that labor was completely demolished in the shampoo bowl at the salon as remnants of my scrupulous style swirled down the drain.

Why do I choose to put myself through such agony?  Perhaps it is a cautionary or preventative step to subliminally communicate to my stylist, “This is how my hair looks, so you best not waiver from it!”  I’ve had horrendous hair cuts in the past, which resulted in tears and return visits to the salon for correction.  Am I taking steps too far?  Does a stylist even care if their client’s hair is clean before they start to snip, snip?

The same holds true for my car, especially when taken in for service.  I make sure that it’s nice and clean inside and out—a message that I’m responsible and have expectations; don’t botch the job!  I didn’t bring in a junker, so don’t turn it in to one.  Again, this is based on previous negative experiences where one simple visit for service turned in to taking up residency in the waiting area as the new problems were diagnosed.  

Am I the only one that goes through such laborious pains to get ready?  I do the same for the dentist, doctor, nail technician, and hotel room attendant.  What is this all really about?  Am I trying to save face, is it misdirected protection of some kind of expectations, or some mumbo-jumbo mind game I’ve concocted?  Part of me doesn’t want to create more work; it’s like I want to make their job easier, even though I’m paying for the service. 

How I’m perceived by others has become a quiet undercurrent for intentional behavior.  In the end, does anyone even notice, let alone care?  Seems like I’m always getting ready to get ready.  What a waste of time!  Time to continue working on letting the insecurity go and display confidence in myself.  I am good enough. I am worthy, just as I am.

~D. Thompson        


Rolling By 2 WP

Anxiety steals away the night-

becoming a wrestler of

covers, which thrash to and fro.

Dreams are-



Guessing games and outcomes

heighten—a continuous climb

into a purposeless destination;

juxtaposing reality and desire–

knowing that control

lingers in the hands of another.

Momentarily frozen in power;

numbness succumbs to the


Perhaps there is a way out-

questioning options; possibilities;

resurrection of the true self,

stagnation no more!

Trust yourself and be

unrelenting–with a powerful



x-honorating, and

yielding to confidence

zealous throughout.

~D. Thompson: 3/2009; Rev. 7/2015

*This is an “ABC Poem,” in which each letter of the alphabet is used for the first word of each line.  Fun and challenging; yet doesn’t always yield natural results.

Sunday Reflection Quote, 7/26/2015


Sunday morning (well, evening) #reflection #quote…I continue to discover and reveal who I am regarding my personality, goals, and desires. Up to this point, the majority of my life has been lived for others–their expectations, filter, and box.

Lifting the facade and breaking through has been liberating in a multitude of ways. For me, a weight has been lifted, a bunch of pressure extinguished, and I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.

Being me, just me, wherever the setting may be is rewarding and a variety of doors are opening. Exciting times!

#RalphWaldoEmerson #Sunday #myownstory #whynot #keeponkeepingon #goals#mindful #happygirl #genuine #connection #justmebeingme

Carry On or Checked?


A colleague shared when she and her husband travel, they always carry on their luggage and never check.  They even did it for their two week honeymoon to Costa Rica.  She was pretty proud of herself as she was able to get away with sneaking a razor through security; her go to item.

How can this be?  How could just one carry on per person be enough for a two week trip, let alone any trip?

When I travel, I typically check at least one bag plus a carry-on or personal item like a purse or satchel.  I’m a heavy packer as I hate to make decisions regarding what I’m going to wear and like to have options.  Depending on the trip, clothes are needed for day, evening, beach, golf, exercise, and unexpected changes in the weather.  The “be prepared” Girl Scout has been ingrained to the nth degree.

The bulk of my space is shoes, because I’m obsessed with matching and if my shoes don’t match, it’s a mental grind for the day.  For me, brown can’t go with black; silver can’t go with gold; pink can’t go with red; and patterns must be accompanied with solids (in general, avoid stripes).  Who knows where these whacko bazingo rigid rules of mine came from, but they are hard and fast occupying the space between my ears.  Hence, the bulk of my closet, shoes, and handbags being black with a splash of either silver or gold–not both.

I have a mental block of being casual (probably from being raised by a very formal Japanese mother), so wearing sneakers for the day just doesn’t seem proper.  I remember a friend in high school asking if I ever wore tennis shoes.  My reply was yes, in PE.  One might contend this is a ridiculous mindset as in reality comfort would be more of the goal, as no one really notices and I shouldn’t care what others think–but I do.

I’ll be in Chicago later next week for a conference.  When packing, I hope to focus on function and comfort.  Granted, I plan to go out and see the city each evening, so I’ll need some nice heels, or two. I’m also going to limit a large portion of toiletries.  Just one panel of eyeshadow, rather than several (neutral colors).  Sunscreen and one multi-purpose lotion. Hairspray, but mini bottle.  Leave the hair dryer at home and use the one provided.  One handbag (for all outfits) and one day bag for the materials.

This will be a packing challenge.  Perhaps I’ll realize less is more and it’s the comfort of the simple things that truly matter.  However, I’ll still be checking my luggage; there’s no getting around that!


Massive Cluster

Road WP

I’ve implied in my posts and IG pics I’ve been going through a major transition in my life for several months.  In truth, it’s been one massive cluster, most of which I didn’t see coming.  I had no control and it all came blow after blow after blow.

However, there was one component where I did have control, which was my career.  I’ve always been driven, determined, and a leader.  From the onset, I was on a quick path moving up the chain in education going from a classroom teacher, to Assistant Principal, and on to Principal.  I was also actively pursuing higher roles at the county and state level seeing no end in sight with my eyes potentially at a national level.

After six years of not being able to lead as I wanted to, having my hands tied due to bureaucratic bullshit, and inundated with daily negativity, I came to the realization site admin wasn’t for me.  Thus, I intentionally made the choice to reset and simplify.  This August, I will be going back to the classroom as a fourth grade teacher.  The responses from others is a mixed bag.  Some think I’m absolutely crazy to take a 30K pay cut and loose all that ground.  Others, especially those in my inner circle, are supportive.  They know the score and get it.

For me, I’m chalking those six years up as a detour.  I was on a positive path, made a wrong turn, and now I’m back on track.  I’m still determined, driven, and a leader.  Although in a different capacity, I know my future will be bright and balanced.  Who knows where this path will lead.

**For those who are miserable in a career, I encourage you to step back and reflect.  Although terrifying, surely there are steps to simplify and change the current course.  Money isn’t everything (of course it helps!), but we only have one life. In my opinion, it is worth making a shift to the positive, rather than trying to force something that isn’t meant to be.

#myownstory #keeponkeepingon #letgo

Quotes From the Felt…

Felt Quotes 2 WP

I list ideas for writing on my phone and eventually categories or patterns emerge.  Here’s a list of lines said either directly to me or overheard while playing poker…

  • He quit the CIA to become a singer, but I don’t know why.
  • I have two ex-wives and my girlfriend is a psychopath.
  • Well, it’s not that fancy shit that’ll give hangovers. (Bud Light vs. Micro)
  • You’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen (long pause), in the last 3 minutes. (really? ouch!)
  • Like sheep ready for slaughter. (standing in line to register for tourney)
  • He went and find it. (cell phone left at another table; why a player was gone from seat)
  • Where’s the house doctor? My ear hurts. (older gent complaining about a woman who wouldn’t shut up)
  • When I feel horny I get hot. (Lady about 70-ish to three 20-somethings playing at same table).
  • You three give me damage!  I want bruises! (same old lady; her VERY direct pick-up line to have sex)
  • He’s Elvis
  • Are you feeling lucky punk?
  • Look up and say “wow” (I did) and guy said “thank you, I needed that.”
  • Waitress: Can I get you anything? Player: Can I get a 6ft blonde? Waitress: You can, how much do you have?
  • Player to the dealer: What are you doing rushing the players off? Your job is to deal, don’t worry about the players!! Dealer to the other player: Sir, did you want a hand?
  • Nobody’s listening and nobody cares.  How many times have you been told?  Yet you still keep on anyway.
  • Lettuce foul.
  • That’s one too many elephant jokes.  You’re cut off.

Poker can have some interesting or juicy comments, especially in cash games.  This list is as of July 19, 2015.  I’ll update periodically and repost.

Sunday Reflection Quote, 7/19/15

SMRQ July 19

Sunday morning #reflection#quote…Intentionality was the focus this week, while at the same time chucking fear in the fucket bucket.

Opportunities and experiences have been previously squelched due to being in my own way.
Checking self-doubt and insecurities at the door allowed me to do or say things that I normally wouldn’t. The result is liberating and heart warming. I am beginning to realize I am worthy; worthy of so much more.

I look forward to continuing to get out of my own way regarding #relationships#golf #fitness #writing #poker and #life in general. Good things are ahead and I actually believe it!
#intentional #courage #patience #goals #whynot #getoutofmyownway #stopandsmelltheroses #keeponkeepingon #myownstory #sunday #sundaymorning

Ode to Saku Mori

By LaLaPalooza
By LaLaPalooza

I’ve always carried my grandparents close to my heart, especially grandma aka Mamasan.  She was funny, gracious, and determined.  There was a conversation at the poker table last night about me not backing down in a hand and my quick wit.  I naturally said outloud, “I get that from my grandma.”

On the drive home today, my eyes were frequently drawn to the clouds.  I truly felt grandma’s presence as I captured the image above.  While writing the poem, I confirmed her date of death.  I was shocked to see it was July 16, 1999. Grandma is in me and with me, always…

Saku not Sake

The long aisle


family to one,

chanters to other.

Incense burns-

yellow roses,

Grandpa’s favorite,

draped across

her casket.

The chanting-

ebbs and flows

loud; soft

quick; slow.

Words I don’t understand-

but know,


are beautiful; peaceful.

A favorite song-

“We all live

in a yellow submarine,

a yellow submarine”

floats through the sanctuary

her final request fulfilled.


the daughter of Kai

mother of Kazumi.

I leave my grandma’s side knowing-


she smiles from above,

playful twinkle in her eye.


**As individuals, we all grieve in our own way and our own time.  It is not for society to determine what we grieve about (not only a death) nor for how long (may never end).  For those grieving, please give yourself permission to do what is best for you, in your own way, in your own time.

#DontTellMeImTheTeller #MyOwnStory

~D.Thompson: 7/17/2015


Shoes2 WP
By LaLaPalooza

Back in my moccasin and penny loafer days in high school, my best friend asked if I ever wore sneakers.  She said this with a hint of judgment meaning “Don’t you ever dress down?”  I didn’t, unless I had a specific purpose such as playing a sport, or wearing grubby ones for yard work or camping.  

However, there was a short stint during middle school where wore sneakers on a regular basis.  They were a navy blue pair of high top Converse, which was a big to-do for my family to purchase.  Mom wanted to know why a girl would want such “ugly boy shoes.”  Dad was concerned about the quality of canvas and the price tag attached.  After much cajoling, the box made it home.  I wore my Cons almost daily with pride.  Those shoes were a snapshot capturing a moment when I finally got my way and satisfied a longing for “Cool.”  For once I was wearing something name brand and I felt in sync with the style of the time.  The Cons made it about three years through the wear and tear of a teenager.  By the time they were reluctantly placed into the garbage, there were small holes, random doodle designs, and crossed out names of crushes dancing along the sole.  

A pair of indoor soccer shoes used for just one season from several years ago still occupy the farthest corner of my closet.   I can’t seem to part with them.  They represent a time when I played games at 10:00 at night, sweated profusely, and felt that athletic high.  I had war stories to share the next day of jammed toes and ripped fingernails from being slammed into the Plexiglas wall and bruises worn with pride.  They reflect a time of aggression, release, and belonging to an unlikely team of all female elementary teachers.

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Colors and Truth by Arlene-Devon

Closing the eyes

provides refuge

from the day-

bringing darkness;


a welcomer of dreams

in the night.

Closing the eyes

fosters visualization

through meditation,

intensifying moments

of ecstasy.


closing my eyes

was avoided,

a silent battle

overpowered by fear.

This time

the lids

were too honest-

reflecting an ugly secret

buried down below

for decades.

A reflection

I wasn’t ready to see-

a truth

of who I no longer wanted to be.