Tag Archives: Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is to be Taken Seriously (& the New WOW)

Enthusiasm is NOT to be taken lightly.

It’s not for the fainthearted (or boring, for that matter.)

Knowing this has helped me stand up a bit straighter this week and walk in a little more power than usual.

I have ALWAYS lived an enthusiastic life and my zest for even little things like greeting cards and puppy dogs is sometimes met with a head shake.  Really?  C’mon Brenda, it’s not THAT exciting, is it?

I once interviewed an elected official in my previous job as a Public Information Officer, and I found one of her answers to be so interesting I responded, “WOW!”

She literally (on camera) said, “Wow?  What’s there to wow about?”

Fast forward 15 years and I’m still “WOW-ing” with my Word of the Week.

Only on a few occasions have I considered ramping down my approach to life a bit – particularly when it is met with an eye roll – but this is the way God made me and I’m sticking with it.  

And, if I need further reinforcement, here are a few good ones:

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And one final kicker:

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Why do we curb our enthusiasm?  It’s the old “Don’t get your hopes up and you won’t be disappointed” scenario.

In my early teen years I lived that way and it didn’t work for me.  Since then, I’ve always got my hopes up.

Each week, I literally EXPECT to win the lottery.  (I haven’t.  YET.)  When I check the numbers I say to myself, “Oh…not this week.” (With full enthusiasm that it MIGHT be next week…)

I could list a million things that make me enthusiastic…but one of the tricks in life is to summon enthusiasm for what OTHER people find thrilling.  Instead of accompanying them under duress, it doubles their joy if you get into it, too.  So while at first, the band YES was a no for me, I am now completely taken in by Jon Anderson’s voice and wouldn’t miss a chance to see him in concert.  (YES is definitely a Duane thing.)

No, I don’t like to eat blue claw crabs.  But I am enthusiastic about the picnic tables at Peace River Seafood where you sit with strangers for hours.  Duane gleefully tries to beat his world record and I make friends.

I will never be enthusiastic about the Dallas Cowboys, but I’ll gladly go to a game (enthusiastically wearing my throwback Randall Cunningham jersey.)

Some of my greatest experiences in life have been those where I swallowed my LACK of enthusiasm and just joined in (parasailing, zip lining and snorkeling come to mind.)

Interestingly, all of the above involved my friend Anita.

You may not be enthusiastic about WHAT you’re doing, but if you are stoked about who you are doing it with, it can still fan your happy flame.

So no matter what this new WOW will be, let’s keep the fires of enthusiasm stoked (and stay stoked about life.)  It just may be the fountain of youth!

Here’s the reveal of the new #WOW:

With all of your sweet comments about Duane’s special guest appearance last week, THIS week is a bit more subdued.  (Hopefully we can get him to come back in the future and jazz things up.)

For now, may it ALL COME TOGETHER – for all us this week.

Love,

Brenda

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Joy, Silliness. Enthusiasm (and the New WOW)

We went off the rails a bit in this week’s recording of the WOW.  A special guest appearance by Snoopy and my HUSBAND escalated into silliness  – but we went for it enthusiastically.

Silliness is underrated, don’t you think?  

There’s a lightness and freedom to being goofy that my husband has mastered.

I haven’t always appreciated it.

Sometimes, I find it downright maddening.

But when I take a step back and see that deep crevice of a dimple in his cheek and how it lightens up the world around him when he makes stuffed animals talk or contorts his face like Jim Carrey or jumps into quoting lines from Young Frankenstein, I know he is the exact yin to my yang; the peanut butter to my jelly…and the much needed cream in my coffee.

One time during the holiday season we were at the Christmas Tree Store and a particularly rousing carol came on.  He started a flamboyant, broadway-worthy dance in the aisle.

I first observed this with caution : “Was anyone watching?”

My second impulse was to join in…and next thing you know, Fred and Ginger were having at it with the abandon of slightly crazy people.

If you’re going to go for it, do it ENTHUSIASTICALLY, whatever it is!

Here’s what I love best about the word enthusiasm:  It’s wrapped up in bows of joy and freedom (and if you’re lucky, silliness.)

I’m ALL for giving and receiving gifts like THAT this holiday season, how about you?

So, without further ado, my regularly scheduled Word of the Week with a surprise guest (or two):

My mother BEGS Duane not to make silly faces in photos, but it appears that he was fairly well-behaved in this recording.

Unlike this:

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Or, when dressed in our best for a recent wedding:

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No, life is never boring with Mr. Viola.

And I look forward to another ENTHUSIASTIC week.  How about you?

Love!
Brenda

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Compassion is FEARLESS (and the New WOW)

I had an “AHA” this week when I considered the connection between being fearless and being compassionate.

This was the springboard:

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So where does intolerance and judgment come from?

Yep. Fear.

So the next time you are faced with an ugly attack of intolerance and judgment, take a step back.  (This is what I am doing.)  Find within yourself the compassion that can ask (probably not verbally) “What are they afraid of?”

Too often, in my own life, when feeling the attack of the self-righteous or intolerant, I become defensive and argumentative.  

Oh, I also get insulted and appalled and equally self-righteous.

Why?

Because I’m afraid, too.

Aren’t we all?

That we are sometimes is a fact.  But what we vote with is our choice.

I go on a little bit of a rant about this, but I hope you find it encouraging as we head into a new Word of the Week:

Well hallelujah sisters and brothers!  I LOVE the word ENTHUSIASM.

(In fact, I’d rather you be flaming hot MAD at me than lukewarm.  Blech!)

What makes you feel enthusiastic?  Do some more of THAT.  Please tell me in the comments what trips your joy level into overdrive (because I think enthusiasm and joy are kissing cousins.)

Let’s have ALL the fearless feels this week – and my hope is that we enthusiastically count our blessings heading into the Thanksgiving holiday.

Be safe and enjoy!

xoxooxoox

Brenda

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