Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ticket to Ride

I had a massage the other night, and before I left I booked the next one. You might ask how this falls into the realm of amazesurprisedelight, and I wouldn’t blame you. But I’ve actually never done this before—set a definitive date in advance for indulging in this relaxing and restorative experience.

Why the change? I blame it on Ann Tardy. I sat in on one of her motivational talks back in January, and to my surprise, some of the things she touched on have stuck. Ann has dubbed her business LifeMoxie! Enterprises, and she is the embodiment of everything I imagine “moxie” to be. She has a sort of “get out of my way” style that perfectly blends boundless enthusiasm and total fearlessness. It’s so infectious it’s a shame she can’t bottle and sell it. She’d be set for life.

So she has these nine strategies for creating your own damn moxie, and many of them aren’t news to me. But you know how some stuff just sounds better coming from one person vs. another? Well that’s how it was for me. She got me right out of the gate with Strategy #1: “Beat the Alarm Clock.”

I’ve been wrestling for some time with rediscovering a sense of passion in my life, and I latched on instantly to the notion of drilling the whole thing down to something for which I’d gladly set the alarm to 6:00 a.m. instead of 7:00 a.m. I remember rolling my eyes at Ann’s over-the-top excitement about this concept, but by the time her hour was up I felt determined to find something that fit the bill. That I looked forward to that much.

Then she told a story about how her mother “always has a ticket in her hand.” I could have walked out of the room right then, because I knew this was an image that would become my talisman for doing things I feel excited about. I love the idea of literally having a ticket in my hand (or pocket or wallet): to a concert or movie or museum. Or a trip by train or plane. But a metaphorical ticket will do just fine. A date for dinner with good friends. A haircut. A walking class. A weekend at the beach. An evening dedicated to sketching instead of turning on the TV.

My friend Maryanne’s husband always has their next vacation planned before the current one has ended. I used to think that was akin to wishing your life away and not allowing yourself to be fully present in the moment. But now I understand that it’s about giving ourselves the gift of knowing that we’ll do things that make us happy. It’s more than just a reason to get out of bed in the morning: it’s about living with passion and the commitment to diving in to life's limitless possibilities.

I shared the “ticket” story with my sister Deborah that day we were in Ocean City. And in one of those inexplicable moments of synchronicity, she told me she had made a birthday card for me that included a “Ticket to Ride.” I keep that ticket, with it’s shiny ribbon trim, on my desk. The same desk where, for the past two months, I’ve been sitting down to write in the extra hour I’ve gained by changing the time on my alarm clock to 6:00 a.m. It may not be a plane ticket to Machu Picchu, but it’s a start.


  1. Will you share some of the other 8 moxie building strategies??

  2. I've got the book if you'd like to check it out. Here are #2 - #9: Celebrate Your Wins;
    Choose Your Channel (surround yourself with supportive people, lose the naysayers); Say Yes! First, Figure Out How Later; Act As If; Respond, Don't Just React; Ask; Be Uncomfortable; Keep Moving.