Swiss Home Away from Home

Ever thought about a writing retreat or just getting away from it all for a few weeks at a time? How about running away to Europe for three weeks with almost no expenses?

You could live in lovely Lugano at the best time of year! It is paradise. Picture yourself strolling along the lake, savoring your gelato, sipping espresso in the main piazza, devouring pizza hand tossed by the little Sicilian man who runs the restaurant across the street. The world’s rich and famous come to soak up the sun here on the Swiss riviera.

You could mingle among them. And Mufasa needs to go for walks.

This lovely two and a half bedroom apartment sleeps five comfortably and can be yours FREE if you’re willing to share it with a furry friend.

DATES: approximately June 10 – July 2, 2007
NEAREST AIRPORT: Milan Malpensa
Car negotiable.

Signature Strengths

My friend Beth told me about a great online resource and a book she’s reading. They’re by a guy who writes about the hot, hot, hot field of Positive Psychology… the idea is that Psychology was concerned with what didn’t work, what needed fixing, what was wrong or abnormal, etc. Well, what if we used what we know about the mind, emotions, etc. to build on what does work?

The site and book are Authentic Happiness. If you register, you can take all sorts of great tests. I particularly like the VIA Signature Strengths test. Beth said the book has lots more to do with your results. It sort-of goes without saying, for example, that job satisfaction correlates directly with putting yourself in an environment where you can you use your top strengths and they’re valued and appreciated. I’m clear I work in a place where my top strength drives some people nuts. Here are mine. I’ve never taken any kind of test that so completely nailed it on the head:

Your Top Strength: Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

Your Second Strength: Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

Your Third Strength: Gratitude
You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

Your Fourth Strength: Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Your Fifth Strength: Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
Regardless of what you do, you approach it with excitement and energy. You never do anything halfway or halfheartedly. For you, life is an adventure.

What are your signature strengths?

Signature Un-Strengths

It’s equally enlightening to see the capacities at which you score lowest! Here are mine. They crack me up.

If you’ve really hurt me I burn the bridge.
Forgiveness and mercy
You forgive those who have done you wrong. You always give people a second chance. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.

It’s not that I’m not loyal; it’s that I’m better doing things on my own. Never liked group projects in school. I always ended up doing all the work.
Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, you always do your share, and you work hard for the success of your group.

This one’s just funny! I cannot keep a secret; I’d like extreme sports if people didn’t die so often.
Caution, prudence, and discretion
You are a careful person, and your choices are consistently prudent ones. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.

Someone else should guard the brownies. This one’s just not important to me. It was fun to have students in Idaho write their Codes of Ethics because this was so important to the Mormon students. It’s just not part of who I am; I’d never have thought of it.
Self-control and self-regulation
You self-consciously regulate what you feel and what you do. You are a disciplined person. You are in control of your appetites and your emotions, not vice versa.

HA! HA! HA! HA! I’d be the queen of everything if I had my way. I was born like this, I think. What do you think, Mom?
Modesty and humility
You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognize and value your modesty.

Message from the Universe…

For those of you into the power of positive thinking, you’ve gotta try this! He’ll be your best new e-mail buddy. My friend Amy told me about these messages she gets via e-mail. From the Universe. Funny. Uplifting. On-point. It’s kind-of Saturday Night Live, Stuart Smalley (Who was created by Al Franken, by the way… who knew?) silly, but when they arrive in your inbox I think you’ll like them.

Go to tut.com register and every day, Monday through Friday you, too, will have messages like the one I received today (which was perfect given the craziness that’s gone on here lately — how did he know that?):

Think that it’s fun, Rebecca, that you’re guided, and all is well. That there’s time, that life is easy, and that the best is yet to come.

Think that the reasons that elude you will one day catch up, that the lessons that have stumped you will one day bring joy, and the sorrows that have crippled you will soon give you wings.

Think that you’re important, that you cannot fail, and that happiness always returns.

And think that you’re beautiful, Rebecca.

I do.

The Universe
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Yo! Ho! Ho! A brand new novel by Mike’s mum, Sheelagh Mawe, the author of ‘Dandelion’ and ‘How Mom Got a Life’!
This illustrated gem, only 55 pages, will warm hearts of every age. Free sample pages posted!

The Lonely Little Tree
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Thoughts become things… choose the good ones! ®
© www.tut.com ®

You can also think that today’s Valentine’s Day, Rebecca, and that you are mine forever, if you don’t mind the age difference.

Random musings…

I have not disappeared. I just can’t talk about what’s actually going on right here, right now… this is how life has been. I put my cereal in the coffee machine…
So I thought I’d take this time to share with you some places, photos, etc. that haven’t made the blog lately and have just been sitting on my computer waiting to be unveiled to the world. Bellagio, Summer 2006:

I spent quite a lot of time this year sitting in this spot in London. Does anyone know where I’m shooting this photo from?

Little moments in Lugano… carabinieri hangin’ out in front of the Christmas Tree…

watched by cherubs…

This was the strangest spectacle for La Befana (Epiphany). I can’t explain the guy in blackface.

All the excitement wears Mufasa out!