Carpe Diem: See Free Movie Today, May 6!

Information about how you can see feel-good movie Duty Free today, May 6, 2021

This morning’s blog post in honor of Older Americans Month is to let you know about this opportunity to check out the movie, “Duty Free” for free!  But hurry and sign up. It’s today!

The movie is SO up-my-alley!  It’s about a 75-year-old woman who gets fired from her job and her son helps her make and fulfill a bucket-list of dreams. (Very much aligned with my whole Carpe Diem Day message.)

I originally got a notice from AARP about a showing today at 6pm MT.  (I just love AARP’s Movie for Grownups series.)

However, I had a conflict for tonight (It’s the second session of my Agile Workshop that I blogged about all last month.)

I was disappointed for about 5 minutes until I continued reading my emails and saw that Encore.org was also offering a free viewing earlier in the day – at 3:30pm MT! 

So, to recap, there are TWO opportunities TODAY to see Duty Free for free!

At 3:30pm MT: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cirkel-presents-a-pre-release-screening-of-duty-free-tickets

At 6:00pm MT: https://local.aarp.org/aarp-event/movies-for-grownups-screening-duty-free-wzn83s63gg2.html

Happy National Orchid Day

Happy National Orchid Day, 2021

April is always such a mixed up month here in Colorado. We just get excited about the spring flowers when a snowstorm comes along again.

This year, I was prepared. I’d bought this beautiful orchid in the winter and I love how it cheers me up, no matter what the weather is outside. It makes me feel downright orchidaceous!

I knew that National Orchid Day was in mid-April and that the weather would be unpredictable.

Sure enough, even though my Spring garden is covered with snow, I have my indoor orchid to enjoy. I can still see my iris leaves peeking out and know that they usually survive these April snow showers.

It’s been a long cold season, and though I know I can never count on the weather here, there are undoubtedly warm days and plenty of flowers to look forward to in the months ahead.

Meaning with Shirley F. Rivera

In this episode of Carpe Diem Connections we’re discussing Meaning with Certified Ikigai Tribe Coach Shirley F. Rivera.

This week on Carpe Diem Connections, we’re talking about Meaning. This is the 10th and Final Key as defined by Action For Happiness.

I’m joined by my friend and certified Ikigai Tribe Coach, Shirley F. Rivera to discuss the meaning, purpose, and ikigai. All of these terms are somewhat related, but they describe the motivational feeling of fulfillment in life.

In this episode, Shirley talks about ways to discover your ikigai and describes the history and more about what ikigai is all about.

You can find out more about Shirley on her Website: https://www.shirleyfrivera.com/

Check out our YouTube video or listen to the podcast episode.

And as always, please feel free to tell us your thoughts on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group.

Acceptance with Rebecca Burns

Becky Burns talks about her journey with self-acceptance.

In this week’s episode of my Carpe Diem Connections Podcast, I’m rejoined by my friend and Season 2 co-host, Becky Burns. In Season 3, I’ve been going through each of the 10 Keys of Happiness as defined by Action For Happiness. This week, we are talking about the 9th Key of Happiness: Acceptance.

In 10 Keys to Happier Living, the chapter on Acceptance really focuses on self-acceptance, which Becky and I agree seems to be a prerequisite to accepting others. A good place to start is understanding yourself by taking the VIA Character Assessment. (Amy Sargent talked about this in a previous episode about Emotional Intelligence.)

In this episode, Becky, in her wonderfully wise way, talks about her journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance over the years.

Becky has been a long-time student of Paramahansa Yogananda and recommends his teachings on meditation and spiritual living.

Check out our YouTube video or listen to the podcast episode.

And as always, please feel free to tell us your thoughts on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group.

Emotion with Meghan Baskerville

Meghan Baskerville is my guest on Carpe Diem Connections, talking about Emotion.

The 8th of the 10 Keys to Happiness, according to the Action for Happiness Website, is Emotion.

My guest on this week’s Carpe Diem Connection podcast is Meghan Baskerville, a 29-year-old Communications student. I met Meghan virtually as part of the National Days Ambassador program.

Meghan is always supportive, friendly, and celebrating every day. Her pictures on social media are fun and spunky and her natural smile is contagious.

Meghan has lost over 100 pounds in the past year and she’s documented her weight-loss journey on social media.

In this podcast we talk a bit about social media and how our emotions are effected by others reactions or comments.

Come join us on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook group and let us know your thoughts about how social media affects your emotions and happiness! I know that will give me a happiness boost!

Happy Refired not Retired Day

I’m celebrating this lesser known holiday by reading this book and will attempt to get to know the author, Phyllis May.

This morning when I asked Alexa, “Alexa, what special day is it?” she answered that there were 54 informal holidays! FIFTY-FOUR!!  It was even too much for Alexa. (She only talked about Women’s History Month.) Maybe we have just gone a little too far with these holidays. 

For each “special holiday” that’s out there, Carpe Diem Day gets a little more lost in the crowd. Oh well. Even if Carpe Diem Day never gets famous, it’s still the most important — the matriarch, if you will, of all these other ‘special days’ that people are seizing.

With 54 days to sift through, I was thinking I’d be fine with embracing just another lazy Monday (celebrated by listening to the Bangles and being grateful that I no longer was having Manic Mondays) when I came across this one for March 1rst: Refired not Retired Day.

As I read the description, I found it was created by Phyllis May who retired (or should I say “refired” at the age of 55 in 1998 and started a new life in Key West, Florida.

Now one of the things that I’ve always liked best about social media is reading some story and then getting to know the person behind the story. I immediately connected to Phyllis May on LinkedIn (who dubs herself, “The Fiery Retiree”) and bought her book: Refired not Retired: Ignite Your Zest for Life.

Retirement and living a “Fiery” Carpe Diem Life is one of the topics I’m most interested in! In fact, one of my many project ideas has been to write my own book about this phase of life, especially as a single… maybe a sequel to The Laptop Dancer Diaries (without the embarrassing dating stories.)

I’ll be curious what Phyllis has to say in her book and I’m hoping I’ll be able to connect with her on my Carpe Diem Connections Podcast! Maybe the next season will be about being “Refired not Retired”!

Resilience in spite of ALS: Nic Friedman and ALS Never Surrender

Nic Friedman, son-in-law, to ALS Never Surrender’s Steph Courdin, is our guest on Carpe Diem Connections talking about resilience despite an ALS diagnosis.

Resilience is the trait that my friend, Craig Dunham, demonstrated, despite a diagnosis of ALS. It’s the trait that most inspired me to live with what I think of as a “Carpe Diem” mindset.

This week on my Carpe Diem Connections podcast, I talk to Nic Friedman, CEO of ALS Never Surrender, and son-in-law to Steph Courdin.

I got involved with the ALS Never Surrender non-profit a few years ago and was inspired by the founder, Steph Courdin, who gathered a group of colleagues and volunteers to create a mobile app that would collect valuable ALS patient progression data.

ALS patient, Steph Courdin, empowers research teams and inspires me to be resilient and live fully

In this week’s episode of Carpe Diem Connection, we’re talking about Resilience, the 7th Key to Happiness, according to Action for Happiness. Steph’s son-in-law, Nic Friedman, tells us the moving story of the history of ALS Never Surrender. As Steph noted in this video, though his app wasn’t able to save him, it may save the world.

Though Steph lost his battle with ALS in 2019, his work carries on through his family and the volunteer-run non-profit ALS Never Surrender. Tune in to this special episode of Carpe Diem Connections to hear more about the amazing progress that’s being made.

The unedited YouTube video interview with Nic can be found here.

We end with a reminder to live every day as Steph did – with intention, resilience, and a sense of awe and wonder at each sunset.

Join us on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group and share your stories of resilience.

Announcing 2021 Carpe Diem Day Winner

For a #carpediemday celebration, Lee MacIvor leaves her late husband’s huge book collection to a local nursing home.

I’ve been hosting Carpe Diem Day contests throughout the month of February mostly in a selfish attempt to gain followers and recognition for Carpe Diem Day.

I’d venture to say, no one cared about winning the $25 prizes I was suggesting for any of my contests. The few people who were playing, were playing for the fun of it.  I loved seeing the creative photos and captions for both Wear Red Day and Umbrella Day. Picking a clear winner based on quality of entry was too difficult so I went with a “random draw” approach.

With my final contest.. the “big one”… in celebration of Carpe Diem Day.. there ended up being one very clear winner.  Her “entry” into this contest is much more than a creative photo. 

I ended my last blog post with this teaser:

Her story captures the spirit of what I envisioned for Carpe Diem Day celebrations so perfectly..  showing resilience, love, generosity, and the preservation of legacy.

Lee’s story begins over 50 years ago when she met her first love – the love of her life – Brian MacIvor.  They were high school sweethearts at Karachi American School in Pakistan. 

A few years after high school they went on to live separate lives. They reconnected in 1995 after Lee acted upon a dream she had  a few days before by telephoning.  Despite living in different countries, Lee – in a very “Carpe Diem” -like way, seized the day.  She made the bold move from the US to Europe and later in 1998, she and Brian were married.  Who says those romantic movies are unrealistic?

When Brian died tragically in an accident in 2017, the grief for Lee, of course, was unbearable. Grief is an emotion that is indescribable. Though it might remind us that life is precious, ‘seizing the day,’ when we don’t have our partner to seize it with anymore, feels empty. Life can feel meaningless.

But life is NOT meaningless. Brian’s life gave so much meaning to Lee and to countless others. Brian’s art, his poetry, and his amazing, eclectic library of books — these all had meaning. Brian’s passions and joys affected other people. Brian brought love to this world. He made the world a better place. Most notably, he made Lee’s world a better place.

When a loved one dies, we’re entrusted to a legacy that’s more than their possessions. We hold this intimate knowledge of this beautiful soul that changed our lives. When we see their writing, perhaps a signature on an old card..  Or hear their voice, perhaps on an old video.. We want to imprint those memories in our minds and our hearts so they’re never forgotten. We want the world to know this amazing person. We want the world to know this unique, one-of-a-kind genius who we loved..  This person is gone from this world now, but we want the world to be able to experience their magic. 

Lee, holds a gold mine of memories of Brian in her heart. Her Carpe Diem Day celebration is to donate Brian’s amazing collection of over 4000 books to the right home.

Donating a collection of this size, however, is not easy. Donating anything after a great loss is not easy. Lee’s quest for a home for Brian’s treasured collection came with challenges. 

She put a social media post out looking for a home, describing the unusual collection and Brian’s parameters in his selections: 

Brian, a quiet, handsome, and easy to love man from Toronto started collecting books at a young age.  As he grew, so did his passion for books.  He formed his own parameters as to what would be suitable for his personal collection.  The basic genres for his collection were science fiction/fantasy and detective mysteries, although there are many classics in the collection as well.  The books had to be used and in paperback (with a few exceptions allowing for availability and books received as gifts).  Brian would never lend a book from his collection; instead he would generously buy and give a copy of the book to the one who had asked for the loan.

So now I am here to ask for what I need and for what I envision.  I see someone with a big heart and big respect for a book lover’s beloved collection.  I see a person/persons with a plan to receive/retrieve these books and to give/find them a home or many appreciative homes.

Thank you, dear Universe, for connecting me to what I need and want.  It may be through FB, email, phone, or a knock on the door, but somehow your magic will prevail.

Lee received various leads and ideas and helpful communication from book store owners, university library directors, and SciFy/Fantasy book clubs. She had different ideas about donating to youth groups, local prisons, or nursing homes, but all came with complications. Her preference was to keep the collection together, but it was difficult to find a recipient who wanted the entire collection.

When she saw my Carpe Diem Day contest, and that it was on February 26th, 2021, the day after Brian’s February 25th birthday, she was determined to donate the cherished collection in celebration of Carpe Diem Day, despite any complications.

As often happens when we put our intentions out, the Universe provided Lee with an answer on February 23rd. She happily wrote to those of us involved with her story:

Just received a call from Genesis nursing & rehab – they will take Brian’s ENTIRE collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so elatingly, heart-pumpingly high! Brian’s books will have a forever home and we may be able to visit! 

Delivering books to Genesis / Salisbury Rehab & Nursing Center on February 25, 2021 are (LtoR)Jacobs Gilliam, Captain Cristina Trantham, Willie Downing from The Salvation Army; Heather, Angela Clady, and Ted of Genesis. Angela said they were so happy to receive Brian’s books as they will help make their mobile library a reality.

Delivering books to Genesis / Salisbury Rehab & Nursing Center on February 25, 2021 are (LtoR)Jacobs Gilliam, Captain Cristina Trantham, Willie Downing from The Salvation Army; Heather, Angela Clady, and Ted of Genesis. 

This week will continue to be emotional for Lee, as the whole month of February has been, with Anniversaries and special days that she and Brian celebrated together. I am thrilled that she found a home for Brian’s collection and that his legacy will continue to be shared with the world. Despite challenges and pain, choosing to spread joy, love, and happiness.. choosing to persevere..  Now that is what Carpe Diem Day is all about.

Hannah Kane talks about Goal Setting on Carpe Diem Connection Podcast

We are on Week 6 of Season 3 on Carpe Diem Connections. This week we are talking about “Direction” (or Goal-setting) which is the 6th Key to Happiness according to the 10 Keys to Happiness on the Action For Happiness Website.

Goal setting is one of my favorite topics and is definitely something that keeps me feeling happy. I use my background as an Agile coach to work in small iterations, celebrate, and improve my skills as I’m accomplishing goals.

My guest this week, Hannah Kane, also has a background in Agile, and on this podcast we talk about how we can stay motivated to accomplish our personal goals. Hannah’s unique Scrum Your Wedding site is how we originally met. This is a great example of how we can use an Agile framework in our every day life.

Hannah and I both love themes and play and we talk about how if we make the “journey” of achieving a goal fun, we will stay motivated. In the end, the journey is as important as the outcome. Hannah also talks about the importance of anticipation when working towards a goal.

You can find the YouTube video of my discussion with Hannah here.

Check out Hannah’s wonderful site: http://www.everybodysinvited.in/

Come give us your thoughts on goal setting and connection on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group.

Travel Souly’s Kelly Bates Talks about Traveling and Happiness

On Season 3 of my Carpe Diem Connections Podcast we’re talking about the 10 Keys of Happiness as outlined on the Action for Happiness Website.

We’ve talked about Giving, Relating, Exercising, Awareness, and this week we’re talking about Trying Out! (The acronym for the 10 Keys spells out GREAT DREAM.)

Trying out is all about trying new experiences, learning new things, and stepping out of your comfort zone. In this episode, I talk to Kelly Bates, owner of the Travel Group, Travel Souly.

When we talk about how “trying out” relates to happiness, Kelly talks about the thrill she gets from surfing, falling and getting back up. As we hear over and over again, happiness is more about the journey than the destination. This is both metaphorical and literal when we talk about travel, but can hold true with just about anything we “try out.”

Even though our travel has been limited in this past year because of Covid, there are a lot of things we can try out.. new experiences with hobbies and skills.. or we can plan with anticipation our next trip, perhaps with Travel Souly!

You can find Kelly and Travel Souly on social media here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/travelsoulyllc Instagram: @travelsoulyllc
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/travel-souly%E2%84%A2-941170144/

Our full YouTube video is available here.

What are you going to Try Out this week? Join the discussion in the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group!