// The Ramblings of Shmee

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I find that all I want to do is write right now.
Can you tell?
This is my fourth post here this week.
And I wrote another one over on my business site.
That's what I'm calling it now...
My Business Site.
I've separated myself into two people...
Andrea Maurer: Creativity, Innovation and Personal Develop Coach, and...
Rambling Shmee.
Guess which one I like being more?
Uh huh...
Rambling Shmee.
Because Rambling Shmee can write about and be whomever she wants to be.
She doesn't have to adhere to any marketing dos and don'ts or conventional wisdom.
She can just show up and be herself.
Andrea Maurer has to stay focused and on point.
She has to be serious and professional and completely in control.
The whole thing is so ironic that I want to cry and scream and throw things.
(Don't be alarmed... I rarely throw things.)
The irony is that over there, my focus is on helping people be more creative in their lives.
I wrote an ebook a couple of weeks ago, called The Case for Creativity and Five Ways to Power Yours Up, Now!
It's good.
I mean it's really good.
I make the connection between creativity and idea generation and living on purpose.
Then, I tell you what you need to do put yourself in a position to bring that connection and its power to your own life.
In that section, I say - no fewer than three times - that creativity requires two things: space and freedom.
That's the ironic part.
I'm over there trying to be an expert on creativity but in order to be an expert I've denied myself one of the key ingredients to actually being creative... freedom.
Over here, I'm being more creative because I feel free to do so. 
And also, ARGH!
So, how do I rectify it?
How do I allow myself the freedom necessary to be the best, most authentic creativity expert I can be?
I don't know yet.
What I do know is that every time I get to the point where I feel like I'm becoming two people, the discomfort of that becomes the catalyst for big change.
It's happened multiple times over my lifetime.
It's a thread, the plot to my own life story, a theme song.
Torn between two people... Feeling like a fool.... 
Altogether now!
(eh hem)
Anyway, you get the picture, right?
It's about separation.
I gotta be free to be me.
Otherwise, I implode.
I don't know where all this is going, really.
I don't have a way to gracefully end this post and tie it all together with a pretty little bow.
The pieces to this puzzle haven't slid together yet.
There is something big here.
That much I know for sure.
At the very least, I'm getting a lesson on creativity.
And right now, I'm wondering if I should be posting this over on my other site.
It's clear that in order to be the best me I can be, I need space and freedom.
And, for now, I've found it here.
Clearly, that's subject to change.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Life is hard for me right now.
There, I said it.
It wasn't easy.
I have a hard time admitting when I'm having a hard time.
I guess I believed that all that self-helpy, soul-searching and coaching stuff I've been doing for most of my life would somehow eventually get me to the point where I'd either stop having hard times or I'd be able to rise above it all and not let it bother me.
Isn't that what enlightenment is?
Not that I think I'm enlightened.
I don't.
I think I'm human.
And part of being human is having to deal with the fact that sometimes life is hard.
Or maybe it is that sometimes we have a harder time dealing with life than others.
I don't know.
What I do know is that right now I'm having a hard time.
I can act like I'm not.
In fact, I'm pretty good at that.
I can grin and bear it like a boss.
But when I do, it makes things worse.
There's a pressure that's created by holding it all in.
I don't want to be a whiner/complainer.
Who the hell does?
But I also don't want to lie.
I don't want to be part of the problem.
That problem is the loneliness and isolation that comes from pretending that our lives are perfect, that we don't struggle, that we don't need help or support.
No one's life is perfect. Everyone struggles. We all need help and support. 
And that's NEVER going to change.
You can own that without letting it defeat you.
In fact, the only way it can defeat you is if you won't own it.
You can also own it without being negative and self-absorbed and annoying.
It's not about proving that you've got it worse than everyone else...
It's about operating from the assumption that you're the same.
In an interview with Oprah, Anne Lamott said, "When you speak the truth, it becomes Universal."
I love that.
I love Anne Lamott.
Because her truth speaks to my truth.
If she hadn't been so honest and forthcoming in her books, I'd have never felt that connection.
There was a time when that connection saved me.
I've been saved many times throughout my life.
Isn't that the way it works for all of us?
We're saved over and over again by our parents and our partners and our children and our friends.
We save each other.
Not by pretending we've got it all figured out.
But by admitting that we don't.
We save each other by risking something, by reaching out, by speaking our truth.
We weren't meant to go it alone.
Human infants are the least self-sufficient creatures on the planet.
In order to survive, we cried when we needed something and in turn someone then met those needs.
Our very existence as a species depends on both our ability and willingness to ask for help and our ability and willingness to care for each other.
That doesn't end when we reach adulthood.
We never stop needing each other.
I hope we never do.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What If It Doesn't Mean Anything?

I think a lot.
In fact, it could be said that I think too much.
I'm constantly trying to figure things out.
On some basic level I need to know what it all means.
And just when I think I've got the riddle solved, things shift and I'm forced to consider a different alternative.
It's a cycle on which I spend a lot of time and energy.
And I just realized it.
I woke up with the question "What if it doesn't mean anything?" buzzing around in my head, and when I sat down to figure out what the hell that meant, I realized just how much time and energy I spend on mulling things over.
And it scared me.
Because what if it all really doesn't mean anything?
What if all this stuff that I'm constantly thinking about and taking apart and looking at under the microscope is just isolated randomness?
Or what if it only meant something in the moment that it happened and the only thing left to do with it is to thank it and move on? 
What if I've spent my whole life trying to extract meaning from the meaningless?
That would be a real kick in the teeth, wouldn't it?
Or would it?
If nothing means anything, then seems like I might be free to do whatever I want - within lawful and moral reason, of course (jail and extended guilt trips aren't for me).
And if I'm free to do whatever I want, seems like I should probably figure out what that is and then get on with it already.
Hmmmm.... I think I just figured out why I spend so much time trying to figure things out.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Won

So... this morning, I had this urge to write.
Not about creativity or personal development or anything else business-related.
Just stuff.
Life stuff.
But I made this commitment to myself at the beginning of the year not to blog about anything personal on my business site.
Because all that personal stuff is muddying the waters over there.
And quite frankly those waters are muddy enough on their own.
And yes, maybe I should be writing a book.
But I hate the word should and the truth is I don't want to write a book right now.
I may never want to write a book.
And if I've learned anything it is that I don't have any better luck at getting me to do something I don't want to do than anyone else does.
I cannot be bossed around.
Even by myself.
I want to write blog posts.
I love writing blog posts.
I don't understand it completely.
It's got something to do with my short little span of attention and my need for instant gratification.
It's also got to do with my own unique brand of creativity.
But that subject is being covered on my other site.
So, enough about that.
Anyway... I woke up this morning wanting to write about how 2014 feels different now than it did just two short weeks ago when it first began.
Back then it was shiny and full of hope and possibility.
Back then I was completely convinced that it was going to be my year.
That was before a snow storm and several days of subzero temperatures turned my kids' two and a half week winter break into an almost four week winter break.
It was before I caught my oldest son's cold/flu/whateverthehellthisis.
Now, things don't seem so shiny and hopeful anymore.
I'm sure this too shall pass.
It always does.
But in the meantime, I found myself wanting to open the front door and yell, "Hey! Is there anyone else out there feeling like 2014 suddenly took a big old nosedive?"
And blogging has always been how I've done that.
At least for the last six years, anyway.
Then I remembered Rambling Shmee.
Rambling Shmee was my first blog... how this whole writing thing got started.
Back then, I just sat down from time to time and wrote about my life for no other reason than because I wanted to.
Just like I wanted to do this morning.
At first I told myself all the reasons why I shouldn't do it.
But when I took a good hard look at those reasons, they all boiled down to one real reason...
Some things never change.
I am still just as scared of doing the things I want to do as I ever was.
Fear sucks.
But here's the thing...
Some things do change.
And the thing that has changed for me is this: I'm not afraid of fear anymore.
Fear is nothing more than a litmus test designed to measure one thing - how badly you want something.
It's a risk versus reward mechanism, pure and simple.
In this case, the risks were all based on a bunch of silly what-ifs regarding people reading something I write and then judging or dismissing me for it.
It doesn't take a big reward to counterbalance that, does it?
So, here I am... writing for no other reason than because I want to.
And because the answer to the question why won out over the answer to the question why not.
Now I get to do what I want to do.
I love that.