By Kathleen Mailliard Solmssen



Photography and Text By Kathleen Mailliard Solmssen

San Francisco – California






Photography By Kathleen Mailliard Solmssen




And That’s PIZZAZZ NOW, NOW NOW      



I just took three words, all from mothers’ playbooks, and changed them up a bit.  Moms were trying to “calm us down”.  More often than not, I think of learning to LIVE the NOW moments, one after another. I ask myself, “Am I more concerned about the watch and wallet or about the wit and wisdom?  Is time and money more important than laughter and love?” Today, we tend to put things on the back burner while sweet, magical moments are missed because the front burners are overloaded with to-do lists and keeping our bank accounts fluid. Granted, being on top of your game is a satisfying spot but so too is a good old belly laugh or two.


Whenever I get change from a purchase four or fewer pennies, right?  I’d get a nickel if it were five cents in change.  So I take those two, three or four pennies and toss them into the parking lot.  Like bees to honey, they are picked up and I hear, “Look, I just found some lucky pennies.”  And I am delighted!  Although we tend to steamroll through our lives these days, more than ever, the vintage lyrics “little things mean a lot” today ring oh so true.


CAUTION SLOW is a familiar, bright yellow warning sign on the highway.  For me, it’s a “Checkpoint Charlie” as I ask myself, “Am I breaking my life’s speed limit? Is life passing me by while I’m struggling to build a life?”  How about taking a well day rather than a sick day?  How about having more “staycations”?  We could all use a few more Norman Rockwell days.  I have a friend whose sons are very $UCE$$FUL. The other day she said, “I’m blessed just to breathe the same air as they do.”


Growing up, we had a lovely lake house.  My father was chief of staff of the hospital, taught surgery at the medical school, and started a hospice in our home state. Unfortunately, he died way, way too soon at only 64.  Back to the lake house.  He’d get up so very early on Saturday mornings and put on a coat and tie.  He’d say to our mother, “Sorry sweetheart, it will take me half a day to unwind.”   STOP is another sign that makes me STOP and think, “Am I getting and giving enough joy-filled moments?  Am I spending time with loved ones on days other than holidays and birthdays?  Am I riding the merry-go-round of life often?” 


Now that’s PIZZAZZ!        

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