This Week’s Podcast: Watch Your Language!

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This Week With Calandra focuses on the power of words. Listen to “Watch Your Language!”

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Addicted to Music?

This music lover is “addicted” to music. From the blog, “Celebrity Dolls and Guys”

Celebrity Dolls and Guys

Although not a common question–it exists.  Sure, we all know about drug and alcohol addiction but we don’t focus on musical addiction.  Seems so harmless.  But, did you know it is absolutely possible to become addicted to music.  When you dance, when you cry to a song, when you close your eyes and allow music to envelop you—you are releasing oxytocin and dopamine.  2 hormones associated with elation and feeling good.  It took me a very long time to understand that I in fact have an addiction to music.  I don’t need to ‘blast’ my favorite tunes either, I just need to hear what I consider “touching” and I get lost in the melody and lyrics.  One artist that comes to mind is Chaka Khan.  It’s not just the music she sings to but it’s her “hooks” and her voice is unique–some say a scream; but she is not screaming…

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This Week With Calandra: The Art of Being Courteous

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This is the first of my weekly podcasts, “This Week With Calandra.” Our pilot episode talks about The Art of Being Courteous. Listen and comment: what acts of courtesy do you think are most important? Is being courteous becoming a dying art form?

Click HERE to listen to this week’s podcast.

The Long Way Home

A Long Road Home

A Long Road Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last weekend, I took the children to Toys ‘R Us to redeem gift cards. It was a surprisingly short trip, as we easily found the Power Rangers section. They then quickly spotted the toys they wanted. Easy peasy. We were in and out of the store in less than 20 minutes. We had gone to the closest TRU, which was only about 15 minutes from home and as we pulled away from the parking lot, I decided to take a longer way back home, just to spend a few more peaceful moments in the car with the kids. I immediately thought back to my childhood. My father worked at night, so during the summer, I was with him all day while my mother was at work. Daddy and I often did fun things like go to the movies, or bowling. Some days we would do some comparison shopping at stores like Two Guys, TSS, Alexander’s or Mays (what y’all know about THOSE stores?!).  And then some days, he would just run a quick errand. It was on those  days that I hoped he wouldn’t make the turn that signaled we were headed back home. I was silently wishing we would be going somewhere else before going home. I guess during our TRU errand last week, part of me wanted to satisfy that same unspoken desire of my children and take them on a little ride.

Back in 2005, during a Christmas visit with my parents in Florida, my father asked me to drive him to his doctors’ offices to deliver cookies to the staff. It was the day before I was to fly back home. What should have been a 30-minute errand turned into an all-day adventure! He had me driving all over the state of Florida…to the Cadillac dealership for an oil change, to the grocery store for some pigs’ feet he planned to cook for New Year’s, then to a new meat market some 1 ½ hours away! But during our excursion, we had such a wonderful conversation. What I remembered most about that day was the moment he suddenly said, “You know, you have become a beautiful woman and I’m very proud of you.” All ‘Daddy’s girls’ seek their father’s approval, and although I had felt his approval throughout the years, there was something special about what he said. It was then that I realized he had purposely stretched out our day to spend some extra time with me. Unfortunately the day tired him so that he was unable to drive with my mother and me to the airport the next day, and the last visual I have is of him sitting tiredly out in the living room, waiting to say goodbye.  I did not know that this would be my last time seeing him and on March 24, 2006, he passed away. I did not get to say goodbye to him, but I always have the memory of our last time taking the long road home.

Sometimes, it’s worth spending a few more miles with someone…think about it.

The Creativity Contradiction

Until recently, I did not consider myself exceptionally creative. I always believed my left brain was more dominant (logical, analytical) than my right brain (creative and intuitive). But as I become older, and seek to tap into my creativity, I have learned that I am much more right-brained than I initially thought. I am happily embracing my creativity!

Having said that, a friend shared an interesting article from FastCompany.com, entitled, “10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People.” I felt so in tune with the traits, I didn’t know if I should be happy (that I display many of them, so I really AM creative) or afraid (because I display so many of them!). Please read the article for yourself, but here are the traits in a nutshell. (Of course, my logical mind felt the need to summarize!). In short, creative people tend to be:

  • Energetic, but often at rest
  • Smart, yet naive
  • Playful and irresponsible, yet disciplined and responsible
  • Imaginative, and realistic
  • Extroverted and introverted (I can relate to this one for sure!)
  • Humble and proud
  • “…escape rigid gender role stereotyping” – this makes sense – creativity has no gender! LOL
  • Rebellious, yet conservative
  • Passionate, yet objective, about their work
  • Exposed to suffering and pain, due to their openness and sensitivity, yet also experience a great deal of enjoyment (I think it’s the No Pain, No Gain principle.).

I know there are a lot of fellow creative folks out there…do you agree with this list? What say you?