Sunday, September 21, 2008

A "Time out" with Dr. Seuss and friends

"Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!" Dr. Seuss

Life has been busy. Really busy. Why? I have no logical explanation other than... that's life!

But, this weekend I took a "Time Out". For many of us, that never REALLY happens. Some of you probably send your kids to a time out, but we never send ourselves. Granted, a kids time out is not as much fun, rejuvenating or uplifting as the "Time Out" I experienced this weekend!

Deseret Book has these weekend seminars called "Time Out for Women" and they hold them all over the country. Only in the past few years have they spread to the East. By definition this event is : "An inspirational event for women. Attendees are treated to presentations by several respected authors and artists who address the spiritual challenges and needs of women in the Church. It's a great opportunity for women everywhere to gather and get recharged through motivational messages and music."

l admit it I REALLY LIKE cheesy church conferences and gatherings, LOVE EFY music, and love learning from others especially when it comes to spiritual matters. I found out the conference was coming to Springfield, MA this year so I talked my mom into going with me! The theme was "Joyful Life". Again, by definition this is "Great delight or happiness caused by a life that is exceptionally good or satisfying." The talks and music were about celebrating "me"!!!, thanking the heavens for all the good that comes my way, and how to claim a more "satisfying life". It was fantastic.

1,000 women gathered together in one large room. A little overwhelming maybe. Friday night was my favorite. Micheal McLean gave a concert, as well as Kenneth Cope and Kim Nelson. I've always been a fan of "churchy" music... not just the hymns, but the "feel good, lift your spirits in the everyday world" kind of music. So, Friday night was a bit of heaven for me. Songs I've been listening to since I was about ten years old were sung right in front of me! Oh - I could have sat there forever! I have always firmly believed that music can have such a powerful influence (good and bad) on your thoughts and attitude. I find that even as I drive to work in the morning. Some songs really make me tense (not good when I'm fighting traffic) and some songs don't help my mood WHATSOEVER! But, the songs on Friday night were incredible.

Kim Nelson also spoke that night. He's a funny, funny man. He's a marriage and family counselor and I loved some of his points. When talking about relationships he said: "Agreement isn't necessary, but understanding is." REALLY?? That was profound for me and would have helped a few of my past relationships :)

Saturday was again amazing. Maybe a little overload on the "churchy" stuff, but wonderful! Good music interspersed some wonderful speakers. There really is so much to be joyful about in life and none of us give ourselves as much credit as we deserve!!

My mom was even recognized as one of about 15 women in the room for being a Woman Living a JOYFUL life!!! Way to go MOM!!!!

One of my favorite parts of Saturday though was eating lunch in Dr. Seuss Memorial Gardens! Yep - that's right. Dr. Seuss was born and lived in Springfield, MA and there is a beautiful park with statues from his books! I've always wanted to go see this, but never could justify a 90 minute drive just to see a park! I got lots of pictures with some of my favorite characters.

Horton - What a fun lovin' elephant!

My mom, Dr. Seuss, and Cat in the hat!
Me with the famous crew!

Green eggs and ham anyone?
"One of the places you'll go" has always had a special place in my heart. I first heard it at a girls camp when I was 16... then I got a copy for my graduation from high school. It's message is so simple, but so profound. The world is open to you. Endless possibilities. I thought it tied in nicely with living a JOYFUL life!

Here's my tribute to it... and for those who have never read it before

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

---Dr. Seuss


Stevie said...

I love Time Out for Women! I've been twice and love how I feel after. So cool that you could go with your Mom! (And the Dr. Seuss stuff looks so fun!)

Mary Louise said...

Thanks to you and to Dr. Seuss for some profound thoughts! Life is a Great Balancing Act (which is my part, Lord, and which is Yours?) -life is so simple but so complicated all at the same time.

Glad you enjoyed TOFW and the Dr. Seuss park - what a great man he was. Think of how many kids and parents have read - and will yet read - his delightful books!!!

Mary Louise