This project's goal is to give each family member and myself just 10 minutes of unconditional positive regard every day. All attention is focused on the other person for those 10 minutes and only positive comments or thoughts are allowed. Just 10 minutes often becomes much more. Try it and see. You'll find the Just 10 guidelines on the right side of this blog.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


My new web site is here!   I am not going to deactivate In Just 10.    Eventually, I hope to link the entries here to my new web site.

As of today, October 11, 2011, I am now writing and posting at

Thanks to the creative talents of my brother, Len.  I'm shifting my focus and starting a new direction.  I'm expanding my scope, increasing my reader base and making it easier for those lovely little search engines to find me.

It will take some time for me to learn Wordpress so check in often to see future developments.

I want to thank my readers.  Your support, friendship and interest is encouraging and inspiring.  I have been very blessed  by the amazing people that I have in my life.   Words fail to capture how much you all mean to me. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Following Your Heart

I walk a tightrope over the valley of tears.  Some times, I look down and feel panic.  Other times I look up and see a beautiful blue sky and I remember why I am on this journey.  After spending a wonderful, stimulating weekend, I found that I was searching for a way to process all I had learned, a way to understand what my true purpose is.

I waited for inspiration.  No bill board lit up my mind with a simple summary sentence of wisdom.  No words played across the inner screen telling me what my life was all about.  I was disappointed.  What happened to all that inspiration, my desire to discern my direction, my attempts to be open to what the universe/God had to teach me?

Disappointed, I turned to a familiar distraction and logged on to my computer to check my random e-mails.  There buried in all the recipes and daily updates was a simple posting in a blog (Kind Over Matter).  It was a clip of Steve Jobs giving a commencement speech at Stanford.

Had he not recently died, I may not have been as impressed as I was with his words.  I had to write some of them down as if the writing of them would some how make them more real, more easily grasped.

"Remembering I'll be dead soon is the most important tool, I ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life because almost everything, all external expectation, all pride, all fear of embarrassment and failure, all these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.  Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.  You are already naked.  There is no reason not to follow your heart."  Steve Jobs

Suddenly, all the pieces fell into place.  I could see clearly the lesson that the weekend held for me.  In a single moment, I saw the point of my life.  I didn't have to work hard to figure it out.  I simply had to get out of my own way long enough to acknowledge what I have always known.

As for what I discovered about my purpose. . . well, some things are best kept to one's self.   Tomorrow, I may have a new purpose.  Just for today, I am at peace.  Peace is a beautiful thing.

It will pass but the memory will remain.  We all live life one moment at a time.  We string the moments together and look back at what we've created.  We often fail to realize that we've lost so many moments by not living in them.    This is something I know well.  I needed Steve Jobs, a house full of women, a son having a meltdown, conversations with  new friends and a hug from my daughter, to help me realize how precious each moment is.  I am already naked.  There is no reason not to follow my heart.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Between the Words

(Somehow this song feels like it fits today.  I don't have words to explain why.  It just does.  It's not the words.  It is what falls in between them.)

Words have limits.  They create little boxes into which we drop bits and pieces of our lives.   So much of our living takes place in between the words.  Inside our heads we play the endless commentary of our lives and yet never fully capture who we are.  So many things are left unsaid.  So many things fall outside the neat boxes that words create.

At home, snug in my well-worn recliner, I look at my husband in the chair beside me.  The things I want to say can't be captured in words.    We sit in mutual silence.  The TV drones on mindlessly.  So many words pour from the screen.   They say so little.  I'm not even remotely entertained.  Something is missing.  What's missing are all the words left unsaid.  They press down on the inside of my lips.  They ripple across my tongue.  I open my mouth to let them out.  They flutter away in silence. 

Feelings, raw and primitive course through my body like electric current.  They snap and crackle.  My nerves stand at attention, waiting.  They wait for words to capture them but the words can not.

This break down of language leaves me broken and mute.  I want to cry, to mourn the loss.  I'm in way over my head and I can't find a way to tell anyone.  And, then again, maybe I just did.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Risky Words

Image credit goes to my talented daughter

Some days another person can say things so much better than I can.  Today is one of those days.  I'm sharing this poem.  I'm often a lousy risk taker.  It's time to take the leap!


To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self,
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss,
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
People who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, are nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But they cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.
Chained by their inaction, they are slaves who have forfeited freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.

(author unknown)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Cliff, Grace, Margaret and Gene

We buried my uncle, Cliff yesterday.    He returned to the earth from which he came.  He loved to garden and created a small garden paradise on his city lot.  He understood the earth, the soil, the seasons.  His life was marked and bounded by his garden.  Near the end, his biggest concern was not being unprepared for death.  He was worried about his garden and how to harvest the fruit and vegetables he had so carefully tended.  He didn't want them to go to waste.

Despite the years between now and then, the family is still drawn together when it's time to say goodbye.  We remember Cliff fondly.  We remember how young and vibrant he was.  We remember the wonderful homemade ice cream he and Aunt Marianne brought to every picnic.  We remember his quiet laugh.  He was a bright star in the constellation of all our lives.  He's gone to join the other stars that have gone before him. 

As we say goodbye, we step closer to our own mortality.  In the faces of relatives, I look through the years to see the faces I remember.  They are hidden underneath layers of time.  We let go of our uncle, our friend, our brother, our father and we let go of the fiction that we will live forever.  We say goodbye and must accept that one day we will join him.    Goodbye, Cliff.    Rest peacefully.  We'll see you soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wordle for Today

Wordle: injust10

This is what was generated when I plugged in my blog URL into the create window on the web site: Wordle.
For a better view of what Wordle actually created for me, just click on the word scramble box above.
Go have some fun.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life in Six Words

Yesterday's library trip yielded a wonderful find, a small book filled with six word memoirs called, I Can't Keep My Own Secrets:Six Word Memoirs edited by Smith Magazine.  The intro of the book mentions a story told about Ernest Hemingway.  Hemingway was said to be challenged to write a novel in six words.  He returned with "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

After reading a few of the memoirs in this tiny book with over 600 authors contributions, I wanted to write my own six word memoir.  It was much harder than I expected.  I was also a lot of fun.  I dare you to try it.  Let me know what you come up with.

I came. I saw. I died.
It was a five dog life.
A Swanson brownie disguised as poo.
A drink of water was everything.
Tightrope walking over the hidden valley.
Slowly, Sister Mary Nobody rides again.
Quiet midnight moon watches me sleep.