Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Simple Joys

Simple Joys swirl around me all of the time now. I am utterly convinced that the more you open your heart and mind to all the positive, wonderful little things in the world, the more you are able to see and appreciate them. I am not immune to bad times, frustrations, or sadness, but more and more I can find the Simple Joys limit those dark times to a minimum. I much prefer the world of Simple Joys. Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Chuck “Cold Steel” O’Neil. The first major interview I conducted was of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 contestant Chuck “Cold Steel” O’Neil. He was a guest on the radio show “The Final Round Show” I do on Eventlevel. Multi-faceted, media-savvy, and super charismatic, Chuck O’Neil was someone I was drawn to immediately. I was absolutely fascinated by the research I did, and more so when we had the opportunity to talk. Chuck O’Neil is loyal, dedicated, driven, and educated. Whereas most people talk about their dream and later brush it off as too hard or unattainable, Chuck O’Neil sets his sights on something and doesn’t rest until it’s his! Although Chuck O’Neil did not win the title on TUF 13, he is still a winner and a recognizable name among the world of Mixed Martial Artists. His career is just starting and I’m thrilled to be part of his world telling his story! Starting my career as an interviewer was a serious Simple Joy with Chuck “Cold Steel” O’Neil.

Eddie Gossage. Recently I had the opportunity to interview a giant in the world of NASCAR and auto racing, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage. I simply gathered my courage, sent him a message, and found him receptive to being interviewed by me, a veritable “nobody”. We set the appointment up, I spent days researching him and preparing interview questions that would not bore the man or my readers, and I calmed the butterflies in my system. When I placed the call I found I was talking to one of the nicest people I had ever had the pleasure to speak. My nerves melted away and I relaxed as I conducted the interview. Mr. Gossage was generous, kind, fascinating, erudite, humble, and gregarious. I found him respectful, patient, and simply wonderful. He answered all of my questions with terrific answers, gave me food for thought on myriad subjects, and showed me new perspectives to subjects I thought I was adamant about my position. It was truly a pleasure and quite a Simple Joy to not only interview this great man, but to feel safe, comfortable, and valuable in his company. Thank you for the treat, Mr. Gossage!

Quentin Fielding. Today my article about Quentin Fielding, a talented, prolific, and charming young musician, composer, pianist, scorer, and actor, debuts. My first interview with a musician was magical! We totally and completely clicked as we both look at life from the most positive of angles. His music speaks to me, his passion stirs me, and he inspires me to continue to reach for my dreams and not ever give up on them! I am excited for you all to learn about Quentin Fielding and get a taste of his music, which permeates all you do if you allow it. Speaking with Quentin Fielding and listening to his music are Simple Joys to the Nth degree!

New Bathing Suits. During our trip to South Carolina in April I packed for all five of us in my family, including swimwear. My bathing suits were fine, but had lost their “oomph”. Knowing we’d be going on a mini-vacation I set out to find new ones this month. Let’s be honest, I have a to-die-for hourglass figure, but there is more sand than there used to be so I’m a bit of a larger hourglass figure! Trying my new suits on before packing my four-year-old son looked at me with wide admiring eyes and said, “Mommy, you look beautiful! I love your new suits.” And do you know what, he meant it with all of his heart. I looked in the mirror again with less critical eyes after that. My body is not model thin (emaciated) nor rock hard, but it has created three beautiful children, works hard daily, and still turns my husband on after nearly twenty-five years together. Who knew buying a bathing suit at my age and size could wind up being such a Simple Joy!

Mini-vacation. My husband and I took our children on the annual Hersheypark vacation, a tradition we stared in 2006 when we had one child and one on the way. We’ve gone every year since then and enjoy the most amazing time! From roller coasters to shows, Zoo America to the Chocolate World ride, every minute in Hersheypark is sweet. The last two years we’ve enjoyed the trip with our dear friends, which enhances the good times even more! This vacation was so much fun and richly rewarding that it will be the subject of tomorrow’s freestyle blog! My mini-vacation to Hersheypark is truly an annual escape to numerous Simple Joys!

Thank you so much for making this weekly blog your favorite for several months running. It is the top of my list of favorite pieces to write and it cheers me how warmly it is received by so many. It is evident that with the negativity that is pervasive in the world today, most people truly just want to be surrounded by positive Simple Joys. These are mine; I always look forward to reading yours every week.

Please join me tomorrow for why my mini-vacation to Hersheypark was filled with so many Simple Joys that it warranted its own blog! Wishing you all Simple Joys!