RB006 Yes, There Really Is Sunshine After The Storm

Posted on : 17-03-2014 | By : Lynn | In : Baby Boomer, Choices, Featured, Humor

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One of the most difficult things to remember when you suffer from the blues now and again or full-blown depression is that there really will be sunshine after the storm.   Part of the insidiousness of experiencing the tarry black hole of despair is that, when in the midst of it, we’re convinced that this is the way our life is, the way our life has always been and the way our life will always be.

Repeat after me:  This is NOT the way it has ALWAYS been, this is NOT the way it will ALWAYS be and there REALLY WILL BE  SUNSHINE AFTER THE STORM.

Repeat as necessary.

out-black-hole-depression-wanda-rainey-paperback-cover-art  If you’ve read my blogs, you know that some of the tools that I’ve created and include in my trusty tool box of “having the life I truly want” may only be found in my tool box…so I share them with you to inspire you to take, use, re-design and/or create a totally new tool for yourself.

One such tool is to get really angry at the inky black despair that has slowly filled in the edges of my life.  Eventually, somehow, that anger attracts humor which births my own personal form of really dark humor. Might not be appreciated much by  Mother Theresa, but it does manage to help me break into the main shaft of the catacombs of my depression to begin the trek towards the light.

It must of been during one of these dank episodes that a fellow traveler of life coined the phrase “Really?!?!?”.   Saying, “really?!” feels so app when you’re simmering your anger within a broth of blue and begin noticing just how many ingredients it took to make up this stew that you’re in.  I’ve had moments in this midst that I have actually felt burbling laughs of glee because I so couldn’t wait to share with another just how crappy “life was being to me.”   The crux of the mix is when I realize that I had contributed much with my salty perspective.  I’ve found separating the good-Lynn from the blue-Lynn is advantageous at this time.  Call it denial, call it irresponsible but being able to put the blame of my tainted musings on an inanimate object such as “the depression” or “the blues” enables me to sniff out more absurdities of perspective rather than layer blame upon blame on myself.

As I write this blog I can feel the clouds circling my brain sprinkling out reminders of financial insecurity, aging, etc. and so if I take a tip from myself and go into the eye of the storm before it even sets into motion, I can already see some of the absurdities of how I respond to life uprooting themselves for viewing and pleasure.  For example, this weekend my young neighbors came to our door asking for help concerning a beautiful, starved Labrador Dog that a friend had rescued.  In the course of meeting the dog, I learned that our neighbor family had suffered from “foot-mouth” disease over the past month.  Just the mere mention of fever blisters was enough for my lips to begin tingling and popping forth with a set for each side of my mouth of one of the banes of existence that has not darkened the shores of my lips for at least a year.  I could pile this reality on to the reality of looking for a steady income and really just nose dive into a fetal position but instead will relish the absurdity of it all!

For you see dear beloved ones I really do believe there will be sunshine after the storm(s)!


WRITE010 Finding Hope Out of the Most Unlikely Places

Posted on : 08-12-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Humor, Mind Fodder

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A couple of days ago I was driving down the highway in a rush to get by Starbuck’s before my next meeting across town and an El Camino up ahead caught my eye not so much because I hadn’t seen one in at least a handful of years but rather because it was in pretty much mint condition.  And then I noticed the driver, he had long grey hair pulled back in a ponytail and a mustache under his nose.  I noticed that up on his reviewer mirror hung a handicapped tag.  I’m not quite sure if I fantasized that he resembled Sam Elliott’s “The Stranger” from the Big Lebowski or if he actually did have the countenance of him, so for the sake of this blog we’ll pretend that he was.

The main point of this whole memory is that of all the things at 3pm on a consistently sunny day that could make me feel hopeful, this aging baby boomer with his gray pony tail and El Camino did just that.  The hope swam up at me out of a swarm of realizing that in a world of 7 billion people, and 311,591,917 of those people living in the good ole USA, seems like most people have become the cookie cutter image of the cookie cutter box stores with very little unique qualities evident to the outside world.  Of course, you and I both know that we’re all unique; however, many of us have just gotten really good at hiding ourselves under the shell of sameness like a million tiny crabs scuttling along the beach.

Oh sure, you could argue that this pony-tailed boomer also came out of a generation of many of us following the same trip, but jimminy when you consider all the changes that we boomers have undergone and endured since the high-flying times of the 60’s and 70’s, well, those of us that have held on to our threads and ways give me heart.  I think it’s because of what I’ve experienced that goes with all of that.  The awareness and consciousness of the people and the world around them/us as well as the curiosity to still ask questions.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now that although there are some differences between the aging hippies today and the 20-somethings, they all speak the same language.  If ever there was a time in history when we needed inter-generational communication and connection, it is now. And if ever there was a time when this was possible, it is now.   The old can help the young and the young can help the old.  And I suspect that they would find each other very interesting.    I’m an interviewer in the core of my being, so I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many people from both of these generations and so there’s some meat behind my words. There’s substance in them thar hills of wishful thinking.

So next time you just happen to glance over and see someone who is an aging flower child remember, “The Dude Abides”….

WRITE009 It’s the Most Depressing Time of the Year

Posted on : 05-12-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Creativity, Featured, Humor

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To be sung to “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” of course. Not to make light of depression, for I have suffered and recovered from it for many years…..and sometimes the only way I can surface out of denial is through the shroud of very dark humor.  Mind you dark humor is not instead of meeting with your doctor, therapist, clergy-person or guru but rather something that can roll you up and out of the black tar pit of despair through if not a few chuckles then at least a  harrumph or two.

For instance, one of my favorite holiday cartoons is Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Which, by the way, although I loved the cartoon, the part where the scary abominable snow man was introduced always terrified me.  Well, thanks to friend comedian Rob Nash, I now have a whole different way I can think of the holidaze and the hustle-bustle of this time of year:

In case some of you out there missed the reference, this is a pun on the movie Silence of the Lambs.   Humor can get us laughing when it catches us off-guard.  And I don’t know about you, but in my past depression could also sneak up on me and catch me off-guard and before I knew it I’d be feeling hopeless because something benign as the oatmeal being almost at the end of the big container or that the expresso didn’t foam when I made it.  Forget about the big earth crashing horrors of living that can come up, it’d be the little things that would start signalling to me that I needed to reach out and ask for some help, such as upping my meds, or making a phone call and just taking care of bidness.  But, only you fellow depressants understand that feeling such as being in a state of mind when you could compete with a sloth for the center of gravity on the floor, gathering yourself up to get help can feel like swimming in molasses.  That’s why I’m reminding you about humor and that it can help us to get up and moving.

Seriously, I’ve spent hours on YouTube listening to some of my favorite comedians, like Louis CK … til I find those fellow humans that understand what it’s like to see and feel the under belly of life.  Here’s Maria Bumford talking about the Crazy Office Myth.

You’re right of course, being depressed is no laughing matter BUTTTTTTT, laughter can help us realize that we’re not alone and there are probably more of us out there like each other than some would care to admit.  For the record, I’m glad you’re out there!  Now, go find something or someone to laugh at and get some help. One of us surely needs it!

NEXT122 Finding Something to Laugh About

Posted on : 19-02-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Humor, Uncategorized

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Years ago, I remember hearing an interview with the comedian Steve Martin (who was, then, hitting the bright lights of fame from Saturday Night Live) and how he said that actually comedians are usually the most serious people he knew.   It was one of those Soooby Doo ruh roh moments for me because I knew I loved to laugh but I also knew that I could be equally as serious about life.

I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people laugh and what brings up that surging giggle wave inside of me.  We explored the thinking behind it in Philosophy class (absurdity of information, how info is received, etc.) but that still didn’t satisfy me.  Where I’ve ended up landing about laughing is that I have to just enjoy the results of whatever it is that makes us laugh because trying to dissect it out takes all the fun out of it.

For example, a good friend and I have often joked that because my humor can sometimes be so off the wall that if I ever took my act on the road, she would be my one psychic fan because she knows what I am conveying with very few moves and words.  I’m pretty sure my mom and I have that kind of connection too, in fact, I think I learned this particular brand of humor from her with its is very subtle movements and lots of history.  So, when said good friend and I were waiting for yoga class to begin and had gathered around us the accouterments of class such as the Tami mat, blanket and a chair, when I looked at the chair behind me and made a very simple gesture with my hands in a circle above my head, my friend understood that I meant to convey a scene of  Chinese acrobats  doing amazing gymnastics with chairs and each other.  Perhaps with some honing and practice, I could convey this kind of humor to more than one audience member.  I think that’s probably what the really good comedians do such as Ellen DeGeneres and Jim Gaffigan.

And then there’s just the physicality and emotionality of laughing itself.  Like at the end of every yoga class when our teacher would have us laying on the floor and ask us to just laugh as heartily as we could.  Some people would start out with that hesitant laughter, heh-heh-heh, and then sometimes there’d be someone who’d go way over the top almost to the edge of making you want to rise out of your yoga bliss and go bop them on the head!  Whenever the aforementioned friend and I would start laughing together we would end up cracking each other up and really laughing getting the whole class into an uproar.  Such fun.  It’s all the gasoline my inner-kid needs to find ways to keep the laughter going.  No wonder I used to get U’s on my conduct reports in Sixth Grade.  Who doesn’t want to laugh? Evidently my teacher that’s who!

There are all kinds of ways we can find humor out there in life.  In fact, I have seen the very quirky off the wall humor that I love caught in photos. Like the one my friend Kat found right after the very slight Earthquake that Washington D.C. experienced last year of  garden table on a rolling lawn with one chair askew. 

So if you’re ever feeling just a little blue or perhaps taking life just a little bit too seriously…find something to laugh about…your soul will be glad you did!

Photo that my friend P posted this week on FaceBook with a very sparse explanation saying, “this is how I feel today”….

NEXT 117 Three Tips For Making Resolutions That Last

Posted on : 28-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor, Mind Fodder



After all this time of being in the coaching world either coached (since 1996) or coaching (since 2001) there seem to be three tips to making resolutions last that are the steady die-hards that work when you work them which are:

1.) Get Focused –  Just writing these two words almost make me want to gag because they have been said so many times by so many people—however, it turns out that this is one powerful tip because when ever I have focused on an outcome that I have really wanted or watched a client focus it really is true that everything becomes aligned and in place to make the outcome you want happen.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you get focused from finally organizing your junk drawer in the kitchen so every item has its place to fine tuning company systems so that everyone and everything is speaking the same language, it’s all about focus.

2..) Keep your eye on the ball – Again, this is a line that is said all the time but it’s a really good tip if you really take it to heart and apply it when everything is spinning crazily around you in your world, if you keep your eye on the goal it will pull you through any maelstrom you may encounter.  And I’m a girl and scared of flying balls (baseball, basketball, volleyball) because I always got my fingers jammed during high school but I know what it feels like to have all of your adrenaline pouring into your system and energy assaulting you from the outside at the same time where you feel like you may explode into a billion separate pieces but if you keep your eye on the ball that one steady constant will pull you through.  Who knew?!?!

3.) Be Flexible — Re-align when necessary.  There’s a saying in some circles which is “if you want to make God laugh, show him your plans”.  You could really interpret that in many ways and totally support yourself into not getting anything planned, laid out or started or you could make the best plans that you can, focus, keep your eye on the ball and be flexible enough (read: let go of trying to control every piece) so that where and when your strategy needs to bend or give a little, you are able to re-align when necessary.

I’m one of the biggest procrastinators you will ever meet but I can promise you when I have engaged these three tips towards accomplishing a resolution….there are an amazing amount of things that I have accomplished.


NEXT099 Mimicry

Posted on : 06-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor

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My husband, good friend Kim and I watched the independent film “The Trip” starring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as two best friends taking a road trip together to tour the finest restaurants in the countryside and along the way they drive each other crazy with their dueling impressions of various characters from Sean Connery to Al Pacino.  What I loved about this film was how it reminded me of my brother, Howdy, and I when were kids and would do various impressions  (he had me beat hands down but I’d never admit it to him). We would go over and over the same impression trying to get it just right, while showing the other one how to do it perfectly.

Our little brother, Hamilton, does great impressions too.  Hamilton can do the best Chewbaca cry ever which I cannot begin to compete with;  however, I do manage to crack him up with my pathetic attempts.

There is nothing quite as fun as practicing a good session of mimicry with someone.  My husband, David and I have created our own little dance with this such as talking with a Scottish brogue when we say “Scotland” or “Aye, we’re from Irrrreland” with an Irish accent.  In fact, we’ve been known to switch back and forth from Scottish to Irish accents all the way down the highway trying to get it just right. Just like the guys in “The Trip” movie.

What is it about mimicking someone or something that is so much fun and why is it when you hear someone imitate something perfectly, it can really crack you up?  Yet, we seem to know the difference between someone imitating us as a compliment or making fun of us. And there are some people that we don’t want imitating us at all?

I’ve always been fascinated by the different voice inflections that people have as well as their mannerisms.  I know when someone has caught my attention because out of the blue, I will catch myself doing some kind of mannerism that isn’t naturally my own and so I have to stop a minute to figure out “who I’m doing”.  I know I used to make one of my good friends uncomfortable because I absolutely loved the way she would say certain words with her Wisconsin/Illinois influenced accent.   At some point in our lives, many of us do mimic or imitate each other in some form or fashion.  I suppose it shows how we humans are much more like our animal brethren then some would care to guess because various species of animals in the wild will mimic each other or mimic a predator in some form or fashion for attracting a mate or for survival.  I wonder if animals ever laugh at themselves like we do?

I  suppose the closer we get to being able to mimic someone spot on, the closer we can get to really being able to see what is going on around us very clearly.  Some of my best “skits” have been the ones that combine various people, voices, situations that are going on in the world around me that show someone who is watching me that “I know” and that “we are connected”.

Have a little fun with mimicking and imitating someone or something to see where it takes you.  One of my very favorite instant imitations that my Dad did awhile ago was when he and I had been sitting on our living room futon for a stretch of time and so when we attempted to get up, the cushion had settled back into the crack of the futon very deeply impeding our being able to get up and off the futon with any flair to speak of much less in one graceful movement.  Instead, after I had gotten up and was turning off the lights to go to bed, a movement caught my attention out of the corner of my eye because my Dad was sitting there with his bohiney stuck way down in the futon flailing his legs just like a little bug while making an ever so soft grunting sound of effort.  It was pretty subtle but absolutely hilarious.  Guess I know where at least some of our humor comes from!

How about you?  What impressions or mimicking do you do just for the fun of it?

NEXT093 The Angels Are Talking Again

Posted on : 26-10-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor



It’s just me and the dogs so I can’t blame anyone else knocking around our house (that I know of)  but I keep hearing music playing around my house coming from different rooms.  It almost sound like a radio alarm that was programmed for the pm instead of the am went off, but no I’ve checked those out and there aren’t any on.  Maybe it’s someone driving by in their car, but we live off a circle in the country. Still, it could be the sound waves floating from a bar two miles down the road but I’ve heard both a man and a woman’s voices from different parts of our house. At least they’re low.  Maybe my gold molars on my back teeth are signing in like satellite radio?

I’m going to choose to believe it’s the angels talking again.

I guess if you ask them for help enough, like I do everyday, you’ve got to expect the unexpected. But still.  I remember several years ago when David and I were living in our first home this kind of thing would happen but I didn’t tell many people because, you know, it’d be easy to assume I was a bit off.  And maybe I am, but when my friend Cynthia spent the night one weekend on our living room coach she was awakened by the sound of a teenage boy’s voice as he leaned over the sofa and said a girl’s name (can’t remember it now).  Maybe we’re both a bat short in our belfry?

I just opened our front door to listen to the quiet for awhile and sure enough, I could hear music coming from the bar two miles away.  Oh well, I like the fact that my creative mind would rather believe that it was possible to hear angel’s talking then musicians singing from a few miles away. But then again, those musicians could be divinely inspired !

Would love to hear some of your stories around things like this……leave a comment!



NEXT039 When the Buzzards are Breathing Down Your Neck

Posted on : 23-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor, Mind Fodder

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Talking with one of my friends this morning she couldn’t believe that I had such an upbeat (almost manic, but not quite) attitude in spite of the record breaking drought and heat that we’ve been experiencing in Texas all summer.  I’ve lost count of how many days it’s been in triple digit heat but I’m pretty sure everyday is equivalent to the years in my age.  I think what helps me is that I believe that the Divine/Force/Mystery of all existence has a sense of humor.  Sometimes this sense of humor shows up as the underbelly of what one would usually consider funny such as the fact that many of us in Austin are siting more buzzards then ever. One of my friends posted yesterday that they had a flock of buzzards sitting on their roof and all that was missing was the skull and a scorpion.  I told him we could probably provide him with that rather quickly.

I have my buzzard sightings as well,  only the ones that hang out near our home are more active and happy.  This morning as the flock took off for flight, one buzzed down lower to get my dog’s attention before taking off to the great beyond.  You could almost hear his, “heh, heh, heh” as he startled the Paul-dog.  Look for the absurd in whatever situation is swimming around your ankles or whatever buzzards are breathing down your neck.  Laughter, even if it is silent from within, is a great dissipater of despair.  If nothing else, it can at least elevate  you to a fair playing field from which to base your decisions and responses to life.

The faint aroma of skunk still hangs around my dog even though when you sniff right close to him, you can’t pin point where the scent  is still coming from. He’s like Pig-Pen from the Snoopy Comics with eau de skunk following him around.  Perfect sniff and smell reminder for me not to take myself too seriously as I prepare to meet with a very prestigious person later on today.  I need to remember sitting here typing to y’all with my loving skunk-smelling dog laying under my chair.  Keeps me humble.

What absurdity can you find about your life today that will at least get you to shaking your head if not germinating a giggle?

Snoopy as the vulture



NEXT034 But Seriously Folks….

Posted on : 18-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor

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Why is it that when some of us get pushed right up to the edge of handling just about all we can in life, that’s when life get’s the funniest?   I’ve often shared with my Boarding School mates that one of the devices that helped us “survive” being sent (in most cases) to a military (for the boys) religious (not that there’s anything the matter with that) school for three years was humor.  I almost began making constant brrr brrr sounds with my fingers on my lips when my parents told me that I would be living at this school when I was fifteen.

Off and on in my life, from the most extreme cases to the not-so-extreme when I sidled right up the edge of going over because I can’t handle anything more…humor just bursts out of me.  I blame both my parents for that.  We kids often begged our mother to make those funny faces that only she could make by raising one eyebrow (ambi-brows) at a time and making her lips go sideways (both sides) at a time.  Very talented but never brought her to show off at school.  My father is hilarious both with words and actions.  And both my brothers are too.  Anyway. Being an in-the-closet-comedian, whenever something drastic would happen in my life I’d always remember that even though whatever was happening at the time could really suck, it could also be really good “material” later on.

Take an awful car wreck at 21 when I passed out at the wheel and woke up just as I was going over an overpass to fly down and land just south of the railroad tracks.  Doesn’t seem like hilarity abounding right off the bat does it?  But I can’t tell you how many laughs I’ve been able to milk out of the story when I tell about the policeman who first found me. And it’s all because of a retainer that I wore at the time that had one false tooth on it.  The policeman came upon me after I had tumbled around in the car, crawled out the back window and up the 70 foot embankment on my butt.  As you can imagine, I was covered with blood, sweat and tears as well as everything in-between.  I kept passing out off and on and woke up as the policeman crab walked over to me, jumping back and forth like a sumo wrestler on steriods.  Part of what was freaking him out was that retainer which had landed on my chest.  I’m sure in his brain, he was connecting the dots of my bleeding facial orifices and that retainer…but incorrectly.   I remember trying to calm him down by saying to him, “it’s okay, I usually don’t look like this”. True story.

I bring this up, this trying not to take ourselves and this life too seriously now because I almost choked on my spit this morning waking up to NPR hearing about the economy (AGAIN) and Afghanistan (AGAIN) as well as the local weather report of 105 degrees (AGAIN) with another bright shiny day for us to enjoy.  There’s nothing to do but laugh at the insanity of it all.  Either that or dive down to the drain in my pool and stay there forever.  And I mostly like this life, so I think I’ll find a way to weather it (pun intended) as best I can.

How about you? Are you taking yourself too seriously today?


Rotten Potatoes

Posted on : 13-06-2006 | By : Lynn | In : Humor, Uncategorized


Today, as I was racing around preparing an already too-late lunch, I happened upon the most God awful smell in our pantry.  The allergens that haunt most people who live in Austin, Texas after awhile may be part of the reason that my nose had not awakened to this lovely aroma. Irregardless, I didn’t notice it until I reached up for the bag of potatoes on the highest shelf (of course!) that they were dripping wet. Never a good sign when it comes to potatoes in bags in your pantry.  As my brain began to put two and two together (smell+wet bag+?), my hand had already grabbed the plastic top of the bag and was pulling it towards me which only enabled me to get a spectacularly huge whiff of the rotten potatoes and some of the potatoes drippings on my skin.