ABC's of Life: 26 Ways to Live Our Lives More Deeply

I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but I was recently inspired by this post on the Art of Learning’s Facebook Page. This year, I want to focus on these 26 very simple words that have such great impact.

Letters (Atwater Park)
  • APPRECIATE: Just yesterday, a colleague gave me a gratitude journal as a thank you gift. Her thank you will help me to be even more thankful. I love the idea of consciously expressing appreciation for the little things (see Sunday’s post ).

  • BUILD SOMETHING: Late last year, I built this website. What can I build this year?

  • CONNECT: I do a pretty good job of staying connected with family, friends, and my PLN on social media, but how can I connect on a more personal level — handwritten notes, phone calls, time together…?

  • DO WHAT IS DIFFICULT: Difficult intellectual challenges fuel me — bring them on!

  • EXPLORE: I love Paris (OK, now you’re singing, aren’t you?), but maybe it’s time to discover someplace new.

  • FORGIVE: Forgiving isn’t a problem for me, but forgetting is hard. I need to work on forgetting.

  • GATHER: I want to find a way to balance time alone and time together.

  • HONOR: Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout: “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

  • IGNORE THE SKEPTICS: This is especially difficult when you are your own worst critic. I really need to work on this.

  • JUST BE — enough said!

  • KNOW YOU’RE LOVED: I only need to look into Piper’s eyes ♡

  • LISTEN: As a coach, I really practice “active listening.” I try to calm my thoughts, to truly hear what others have to say without thinking about my own next response. It’s so hard and so important! On a lighter note, I’d also like to start listening to more podcasts. Any suggestions?

  • MAKE: I’m not crafty (mostly because I don’t like clutter), yet I do love art. I choose to channel my own creativity into photography and writing.

  • NOURISH BODY AND SOUL: I need more water and sleep, more fresh air and healthy recipes. I need more time to think and reflect. I need to take more time for myself and to make more time for others.

  • OBSERVE: Six years of Project 365 have taught me to slow down and notice things. I may not take a picture everyday this year, but I will certainly capture 365 moments of beauty and wonder. William Blake said it best: “To see a world in a grain of sand and Heaven in a wild flower, to hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour.”

  • PLANT A SEED: Voltaire was right — « Il faut cultiver notre jardin. » Metaphorically, I hope that I cultivate new ideas, and I’m literally eager for my garden to bloom again.

  • QUESTION: My work is rooted in inquiry. Asking better questions leads to better solutions.

  • READ: Last year, I read 40 books. We’re only 10 days into 2019 and I’ve already read three — I’ve got this!

  • STRETCH: I need to stretch in the morning, get up and walk even more at work. I think that I might also like to try yoga.

  • TRY SOMETHING NEW: What else should I try this year?

  • UNPLUG: OK, for how long — an hour, a day, a weekend? I’m not sure I can commit to more than that.

  • VOTE: I always vote regardless of sometimes terrible options.

  • WONDER: Years ago when charged with choosing a word around which to focus my work, I chose wonder — “a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar; to ask yourself questions or express a wish for more.” I still love this word!

  • XPRESS GRATITUDE: Gratitude is always a priority (see Appreciate).

  • YES TO ADVENTURE: As I get older, I become more and more cautious, but I hope to always be thrilled by travel and sailing as well as new experiences.

  • ZZZZZZ (GET ENOUGH SLEEP): I have never been a good sleeper, but I did get a pound of lavender for Christmas!

World Kindness Day


rose - black and white

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?" - Jean-Jacques Rousseau #worldkindessday

Vive la Différence!



"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision..." - Cecil Beaton


(286/365) "Each human being is bred with a unique set of potentials that yearn to be fulfilled, just as surely as the acorn yearns to become the oak within it." - Aristotle



 October 4, 2018 (277/365)

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up."

- Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)

North Point Water Tower

September 26, 2018 (269/365) #domke #doorsopenmilwaukee

"A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands." - William Lyon Phelps

Coakley Brother's Water Tower

 September 25, 2018 (268/365) #domke #doorsopenmilwaukee

“People are like stained-glass. They sparkle when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I'd love to see this beautiful new water tower illuminated at night.

Week 34 - Technical: The Wild Side

August 20, 2018 (232/365) • Week 34 - Technical: The Wild Side

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!” ~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

[Capturing a captivating wildlife photograph requires knowledge of your camera settings and the behavior of the animal. Capture a compelling wildlife photograph that has proper subject alignment (e.g., no "bird butts") and exposure. For an easy introduction, urban critters (e.g., squirrels) are easy targets. For an advanced challenge, a bird in flight could be considered.] #dogwoodweek34, #dogwood52, #dogwood2018


August 19, 2018 (231/365)

"Life is chaotic, a jumble of accidents, ambitions, misconceptions, bold intentions, lazy happenstances, and unintended consequences, yet there are connections that illuminate our world, revealing its endless mystery and wonder." - David Maraniss


August 14, 2018 (226/365)

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."

- Scott Adams