Saturday, September 1, 2012

101 things I learned from Route 101

      The road from Tucsan, Arizona to Novato, California is long but so breathtakingly beautiful. A lot of that drive takes place on or near US Route 101, a road I found to be particularly loaded with inspiration. So, in an effort to give pause to the many things I learned along the way, here are 101 observations, lessons, experiences & thoughts that I gleaned on my journey from the East to the West.
1)     Desert Storms are simply indescribable.
2)     Juxtaposition is the 8th wonder of the world.
3)     Even if you only bloom for a day, it’s worth waiting for your whole life.
4)     Beauty is everywhere. Find it in everything and everyone – including yourself.
5)     The desert is a place of survival – any human could stand to learn a thing or two from the things that survive.
6)     Find a passion and pursue it wholeheartedly – inspired by a 12 year old tiny dancer. 
Photo by Stephanie Koehler
7)     Good people forgive accidents, really good people forgive accidentally dumping Dr. Pepper all over their entire house.
8)     Each of us has something to offer one another.
9)     Read the newspaper, but question everything you read.
10)  Drink coffee, for the love of God, drink coffee – and drink coffee with others.
11)  Initiate inquisitive small talk over coffee – you may find it to be more awakening than the caffeine it’s loaded with.
12)  Breathe deeply in the presence of good air. You need more oxygen than you think.
13)  Be flexible. 
14)  Appreciate your body. Treat it well. Push your limits, but accept your limitations.
15)  “Wear Sunscreen”:
16)  Eat at In and Out burger at least once in your life… more if possible.
17)  Seek out Whole Foods and eat better than you usually do when you’re able.
18)  Screw the box of chocolates: Life is like a bag of onions, so are people. You can’t see what’s inside unless you peel away the layers.
19)  Don’t be afraid of peeling said layers, especially your own.
20)  Wear your seatbelt. Life is a bumpy ride with lots of blind turns.
21)  Sometimes good people let you down, but sometimes, good people are actually great people.
22)  Appreciate the times in your life when you find yourself in really good company. “The world will give you that once in awhile, a brief timeout; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life.” –The Secret Life of Bees
23)  Buy a map – figure out how to use it.
24)  Play in the sand, even if you aren’t dressed appropriately.
25)  Take time to smell the flowers – especially lavender.
26)  Shoot out of the sunroof – you really do miss 100% of the shots you never take.
27)  Always, always, always say thank you. Showing gratitude is so important.
28)  Cursive is a lost art form, embrace it.
29)  Observe with your ears.
30)  Learn with your eyes.
31)  Listen with your heart.
32)  Work with your hands – help with them too.
33)  Love with your soul.
34)  Live fearlessly – no regrets.
35)  Respect large bodies of water. 
36)  Cross bridges, but always look both ways…
37)  Stop for pedestrians, they’re going somewhere too.
38)  Pull up your pants, you don’t want to be put on someone’s team. ;)
39)  Do one thing every day that scares you.
40)  Greet new places with enthusiasm and release any expectations upon arrival.
41)  Turn off your screens at least once a day – while you’re sleeping doesn’t count.
42)  Be where you are when you’re there. Be present. 
43)  Thou shall not lament for where you are not.
44)  Sometimes you have to disengage to engage – let it go & let it be.
45)  Tides come and go – let them wash away what they came for.  
46)  Don’t apologize for re-charging your batteries.
47)  In order to be good to others you must first be good to yourself.
48)  Listen to new music and embrace it.
49)  At new restaurants, find something on the menu that looks vaguely familiar then take a risk.
50)  Give pause to tragedy other than your own. It breaks and binds us all. 
51)  Tell stories, but more importantly, listen to them.
52)  Preserve the relationships you have with good people – they will be your pillars.
53)  Take a lesson from the Redwoods. They grow in a circle. Stick together.
54)  Don’t criticize others, empathize. You have no idea what you would have done in their shoes, so don’t be a fool by trying to fool yourself.
55)  Be kind to animals.  
56)  Focus on the things that matter, forget the things that don’t.
57)  Always be prepared. You never know who you’re going to run into…
58)  If you have the ability to make someone else’s life easier, do it. Why wouldn’t you?
59)  Support local businesses.
60)  Appreciate genuinely good food.
61)  Eat food where it comes from whenever you can. 
62)  Take pictures. Lots of them. You can’t get the moment back, but you can look back fondly.
63)  Read the signs.
64)  Break stereotypes.
65)  Always carry cash.
66)  Work hard, play hard, party harder.
67)  Hand-write letters. It’s becoming such a rarity.
68)  You get what you pay for.
69)  Take red eyes home – they’re worth the time.
70)  Carpe Diem – all day, every day.
71)  Learn from previous generations every chance you get.
72)  You don’t need as much of anything as you think you do.
73)  Center yourself. Finding a balance is more important than you think.
74)  Everyone needs something to believe in.
75)  Look for inspiration in unexpected places. 
76)  Always travel with your pillow.
77)  When you feel like your head is in the clouds walk barefoot – its always good to know whether or not you’re feet are on the ground.
78)  Good news is best received when totally unexpected.
79)  Home is wherever you find it.
80)  Drink water… seriously.
81)  Secret Beauty Tip: Blow-dry your eyelash curler – it’s better than any mascara.
82)  Time is precious. Respect everyone’s – including your own.
83)  Chai tea is the secret nectar of Gods.
84)  Famous people are people too.
85)  Over appreciate the people in your life who are constantly underappreciated.
86)  The healing process is exactly what it sounds like – a process.
87)  Nothing about life is black and white – see it in color.
88)  Some music needs air, roll down the windows.
89)  No matter what the occasion, the view is always better from the high road. 
90)  Yoga by the ocean is an unparalleled peace.
91)  There is nothing wrong with being a wanderer, just be aware of the general direction in which you are headed.
92)  Sometimes, you just have to look at things… and when you do, look closely.
93)  Stop, turn around, and look at just how far you’ve come.
94)  Carry what you believe in with you wherever you go.
95)  Always stop at flea markets… its an opportunity to dig for buried treasure.
96)  Let your hair down – its okay to stop caring what you look like. 
97)  Go the scenic route at least once – it’s not always about crossing the finish line first.
98)  Have faith in something.
99)  There is never a testimony without a test – don’t lose sight of the light that is always at the end of the tunnel.

100) When bad rains down on good people, be an arc, not an anchor… the last thing anyone needs is someone else bringing them down. 

101) Wander along the path less traveled by, it really does make all the difference. 

1 comment:

  1. All such wonderful advice! I really enjoyed this post.