Move That Needle

pay attention


I’ve been feeling inspired lately, to dream a little bigger. 

There have been times in my life where, out of nowhere it seems, there’s a pull, a calling – a feeling that there is something on the other side of the curtain that is waiting for me. And all I have to do is gather up my strength, and pull that curtain aside, and there’s the next thing. A new dimension, a new layer. More colorful, more meaningful, something that feels right. Something I should be doing. Something that takes me closer to the source (whatever THAT is!).

When I get this feeling – it’s time to pay attention. Some of the best things in my life to date have happened to me when I start feeling like this. Here we go!

Is it just that it’s February, and I’m still trying to catch my New Year’s Groove? Am I still trying to get my head around the significant birthday I celebrated last summer? Are my kids just old enough now that they don’t occupy every inch of my brain space? Is it just really slow at work, so I need something for my ever-restless brain to focus on?

Maybe. All those things might be part of it, but I think it’s bigger than that. 

dream a little dream

Recently, a friend and colleague asked me what my dream life looked like. In the moment, I could say a few obvious things, like … more books, more time in nature, more financial security – but as I continued to think about it, I couldn’t really come up with a clear picture of what my dream life looks like. I’m a pretty visual person – so I thought – if I can’t picture it, how can I even expect to achieve or fulfill it?? Hmmm. Time to reflect and meditate, Julia – you can do better. 

How did I get to this place? Somehow, over the course of my lifetime, the days have piled up into months and years, and miraculously, here I am. I mean, I’ve done some cool stuff, but honestly, have I really lived as deeply and thoughtfully as I could have? Have I lived up to my potential to do Good – for myself, my family and others? I mean, other people change the world, write amazing books, spend their days getting stuff DONE (and some happen to make a lot of bank doing it). I struggle with the aching thought that I just haven’t been one of those people.

*** NOPE, STOP. My smart self knows that no good can come of comparing myself to others. It’s never helpful or productive –  stop it right now, it’s stupid. FOCUS. ***

don’t get me wrong

Back to the point. I have so much to be thankful for. Life is good. Really good! It’s not like I’m so miserable that I need to pull myself out of a bad situation. Although I’ve definitely been there before too – thankfully, this is much different.

My kids are doing great. They’re thriving at school, and growing up to be good and thoughtful people. My husband is starting a new job, and going through a bit of reinvention himself. I’m so proud of him. Maybe I’m even feeling inspired by his brave new shift, and I’m trying to keep up. Who knows.

Even though all this is true, I have this little nagging feeling – a voice that says, Juuulia…there’s more. More for you to tap into. More for you to make better. More for you to learn. It’s not time to relax and be still. Actually – YOU’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.

My response to that voice lately is WUT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT? I don’t know what it all means, exactly.

the road to oz

It’s possible I don’t spend much time dreaming up my dream life because it is pretty great, just as it is. (Gratitude) So that should be enough. Be happy with things as they are. Be grateful. OR … maybe that’s just the good Catholic Midwestern girl in me that was taught to believe that if my basic needs were met, plus a little extra, that was surely good enough. Any more than that would be excessive, and be careful not to want, Julia. Perhaps all the happiness you need is in your own back yard. Be careful.

I am careful. I’ve been very careful my whole life. I’ve been examining myself and my thoughts lately (and kind of always), and I know in my heart that there are some things I could do to MOVE THE NEEDLE, if you will, and get myself closer to living the life I’m meant to live – the content and fulfilling life that all of us are meant to live. When I’m truly careful and honest with myself, I know it’s more about releasing some of my useless shitty thoughts and hard-wired beliefs to get me where I want to be.

It’s really NOT about adding more to make my dream life a reality… more money, more stuff, more clutter that doesn’t bring me true peace. It’s really quite the opposite. What a revolutionary thought – that it’s actually the letting go and omitting, rather than adding more to my already full and bursensome plate that puts me squarely on the path to possessing this elusive dream life. I love that! So what is it, exactly, that needs to go? What is it that prevents me from knowing what I truly want to be and how to get there? 


Some of the things that keep me from living my dream life are easy to identify, others are harder to define. I can definitely call out some bad habits that seem like old dysfunctional friends – I think they’re there for me, serving me, and keeping me safe. But really, they need to get the hell away from me, and stop keeping me from the awesomeness I know I have inside me. Maybe, just maybe, if I can start to eliminate these barriers, I’d be getting closer to actually moving that needle. And THAT is what I’m talking about.

Here are a few things I can readily name:


Ok. There it is. I could talk a LOT about this topic. And I probably will (definitely should) write a post about drinking. But for right now, I just wanna say – DRINKING IS BAD FOR ME. It’s tricky business, drinking. But what I have come to know, is that it’s not as complicated as I thought. It’s just hard. Because I reeeealy like to drink. It’s soooo fun. I’ve never considered myself a problem drinker, but I’ve come to realize that drinking makes me feel TERRIBLE. My sleep is wrecked, and the day after drinking (even a glass or 2 of wine) I am just not clear-headed. In fact, I am foggy, sluggish, and blue. And you know what I can do and accomplish when I’m not drinking? Anything. So eff off, drinking. You are totally in my way.


I recently read an article by Jonathan Rothman in the New Yorker about how people THINK. It really stuck with me. He talks a lot about the processes of different people’s minds, and how mysterious they really are. I began noting what my little brain was doing throughout the day, and a pattern of incessant worrying and doomsday thinking emerged as my norm. Yuck! I don’t want my every thought, or even every OTHER thought to be about my worry for the future – even if (especially because) many of these worries are completely irrational. I’d like to start letting those thoughts go. Show them to the door and replace them with something positive and hopeful.  There’s another example of not needing more – I need the absence of it. Byyyyyeeee.

Here are a couple of good quotes I should like to remember…

“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” – Newt Scamander, from “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

“Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” – Mark Twain

Wise words, worrying sucks. Knock it off. 


Well, lots of things. Fear of failure – that’s any easy one. Fear that I don’t have enough talent. Fear that I don’t even know where to start! It’s hard to fulfill your awesomeness when you’re not really sure what it looks like. Fear that I’ll look foolish. Sometimes I think that the things I’d like to do or that I’d be good at will seem silly or dumb to people who know me. But you know what? I know deeply and truly that the most successful people are successful because they do what comes naturally, and because they love it – regardless if other people think it’s cool or enjoy it. FACTS.

Why do I have this voice in my head that says to me – if you like it then it must be dumb. Even when I write that, it sounds horribly cruel! I would never say that to a friend, even if I felt their passion wasn’t my cup of tea. I would support them whole heartedly and tell them to go for it!!! So you know what I say to Fear? MOVE IT. Get the hell outta my way. 


They say that age is just a number. Truth. Generally, I feel like I’m just getting started, and the best is certainly yet to come. I feel I have a lot of doing yet to do, and I’m just getting enough experience to self-knowledge to know how to start doing it! 

But as the birthdays come and go, and the wedding anniversaries pile up (Again, SO GRATEFUL), I think to myself – girl, you better get busy while you can. Physically, things don’t get easier, I’m told. Which is why I’m more and more dedicated to treating this body right. It’s true what they say – that youth is wasted on the young. I still feel every bit of the way I did when I was 20, in many ways. I truly still wonder what I’m going to do when I grow up – clearly.

It’s ridiculous to think that I’m too old to do more. Lots and lots of people experience their most productive and meaningful years through their 50s, 60s, and beyond! I’m going to embrace these years of knowledge and experience, and capitalize on my ever-increasing not-giving-a-fuck attitude about what people think about me. That’s something that is definitely getting better with age.

soooo, what is it you want, Julia?!

Such a good question. I started this post clearly stating that I feel there’s a bigger purpose for me. I’m inspired to do and be more, and I’ve identified some pretty decisive ways to get there. The funny thing is, I don’t really know what it is I’m moving towards. I kind of keep thinking I’ll know it when I see it. But maybe clearing the path to get there might just be half the battle – or more! 

So I’m listening. Universe – whatchu got for me? I’m putting it out there. I’m open to something new. We’re all here dancing on the planet for a certain amount of days, and I for one, would sure like to make the most of the rest of the days I’ve got. 

look out, here I come (I remind myself)

I vow to stick to this plan, use my time and efforts wisely, and do all I can to move that freakin’ needle. I will not let unproductive self-doubt and needless worry keep me from staying calm, present, and energized. I write to remind myself how I feel on the good days – because the dark days can keep the positive thoughts invisible to me. If reading this has sparked anything in you, that makes me smile. We are definitely all in this together.

I’m working on things. I don’t have the answers. I think it’s important to remember that life is beautiful, and if we’re very, very lucky, we have some years on this earth to love and be loved, and make the world a better place if we can. Like I said – I’m just getting started. I hope you are too.  

Love Every Day,


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