Creative expression through the written word

Archive for April, 2017

One of those days

Have you ever woken up and the day just starts off stressful and never lets up? Yeah? Well, welcome to my day today.

I somehow set the alarm clock for 5:45 am instead of 4:45 am so the minute my husband and I woke up we were already running behind schedule.  Did I mention that my husband had to be at work by 6:30 and the jobsite is 20 minutes away? Or that I had to make him breakfast and pack his lunch before we could leave?

Then, our car is in the shop, and my friend was letting us use their car today but it has a blow and go. I am going on record here to say that should I be forced to have one of these or not drive I will be taking the not driving route because I CANNOT make the damn thing work. Somehow we managed to get the car going but a few minutes down the road we got caught in train traffic and had to wait and then wait some more before finally getting into open road.

Dropped ny husband off, managed to survive the “blow test” another 2 times before making it home only to have my husband call and tell me hey didn’t need him for the overtime he had gone in to do and I needed to come back and pick him up. So back I go only this time when the car beeps for me to “blow” it doesn’t accept it and next thing I know I am stuck on the side of the road with a “locked out” car I can’t turn back on, in an area with no cell service and by the way I am still in my PJ’s.

Eventually another friend came and rescued me, managed to get the car started and back to the house. My son, who was expecting a ride to work from me had to call a friend for a last minute ride and then I was jumping on business calls right up until my parents showed up to take me shopping. I was helping my dad buy new underthings for my mom.

We finish that and my husband calls for a ride home as hey didn’t need him anymore. We get him, get home and he starts working on my sons car that was in the driveway but undrivable because it had no brakes. Then my mechanic calls to say that my car won’t be ready and arranged for us to get a rental car at a discounted daily rate but that isn’t an actual answer to our problems because I want expecting to spend $200 on a rental car.

I could go on and on about this day. The drama and sh** just keeps coming my direction. For the first time all day I’ve had 5 minutes to sit down and just think. Know what I think? I think I want this day to be over and let’s start again tomorrow.

What’sa Motto?

Companies, non-profits, organizations and other products of all kinds have mottos or tag lines but have you ever thought of having a motto for your life? 

A motto by definition is a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution. 

I’ve been thinking about this for a little while. I would like to have a motto that expresses my beliefs in one sentence but there are so many options. I feel like I could have a motto for every aspect of my life. 

But, overall, I think I will just go with this: “I Am”. Do you have a motto? Do you have a phrase that encapsulates your beliefs? 

Time Flies

IMG_7243

There has been a lot of talk in my little world about making time for the important things. There has also been a lot of talk about paying attention to what actually is important. We fill our lives with things that don’t matter and wonder why we never get things accomplished.

I am surrounded by people who are making a commitment to reach their goals through determined action. They aren’t doing it by the seat of their pants either. They have a plan, a way to track their progress and they have each other to be support and cheerleaders along the way.

I’ve always believed I am good at being organized and being a multi=tasker but after being a fly on the wall watching these people walk, run and fly toward their goals I have come to realize that I have a lot to learn about making time for the things that matter. I do good at it when it comes to family and some friends. I even do good at it when it is work related but there are other things that I want to build, grow and accomplish and I am having a hard time staying on target, saying focused and making time in my schedule to really do what I want to do.

I think part of it is that I am still trying to define the “important” part of this. The WHY that has to keep me motivated. Keep me moving forward, step after step. Everything we do is exchanged for a part of our life we will never get back so we need to make sure that we are making time for what is really important.

Easily offended

I have recently let my attitude slip when someone pushed my “offended” button. I work pretty hard at being tolerant and allowing people to be themselves so for whatever reason this person’s words caught me at the wrong time and BLAM…..feathers were ruffled on this Rooster and I crowed my indignation right back.  (Insert deep sigh here)

Just to be clear, the dictionary defines offended as annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles: be/feel offended, take exception, take something personally, feel affronted, be/feel resentful, take something amiss, take umbrage, be/get/feel upset, be/get/feel annoyed, be/get/feel angry, get into a huff.

The thing is, this person got offended about something I posted on Facebook (land of verbal vomit and raging opinions) and I usually just let people’s comments pass me by because I choose to allow people the right to say and believe what they want and I choose to stay friends regardless of people’s opinions/beliefs. 

So why this one comment, which was tame really, offended me so much is beyond me. I do know why I responded though. I spend a  lot of time trying to allow people to be human with all their choices, opinions and idiosyncrasies so every now and then I get really tired of it not being reciprocal. 

Is it too much to ask for people to follow the golden rule? Treat others as you want to be treated? Speak to others as you want to be spoken to? I mean, seriously, how can we ever expect the world to change if we can’t stop being so judgmental of each other? I feel like I live in the Twilight Zone where people say one thing but do the opposite. 

Maybe I’m just being naive. Maybe I’m believing we can be more than we actually can be. Either way I’m feeling rather disheartened both with others and with myself for sinking to their level. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. 

Are you a Prepper?

I know some people who are really into “doom’s day preparation” and some who just dabble. Either way, I think it is a good idea to be prepared for an emergency and that it is personal choice if you want to prepare for Large scale disaster emergencies. One of my friends put together “GO Bags” for her family. Each member of the family has a backpack with essential supplies for 72 hours of time. She even made sure they had a meet up place if they all got separated.

I always loved that not only did she take time to get herself prepared but she took time to do it for her extended family too. That was an act of love.  I’ve never been very good at preparing for a future emergency although most people believe that the area we live in is a pending disaster zone. I like the idea of having a “GO Bag” for each family member but I think I need to start in a much smaller way. Like having emergency supplies in the trunk of my car.

You know, the kind of things I am talking about:

  • First Aid kit.
  • Road flares (if not already in your tire-changing tools).
  • Jumper cables.
  • Rain ponchos.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Rags.
  • Duct tape
  • Scent-free baby wipes.
  • Drinking water and non-perishable snacks.
  • Multipurpose tool.
  • Ice scraper.
  • Blankets and/or warm clothing.
  • Cell phone car charger or Solar Charger
  • Cash for gas emergencies
  • Deck or cards, book or other form of entertainment

 

 

 I think the best way to organize all this stuff once you have it is to put it in a plastic container with a lid. Make sure you write out a list of what is inside and tape it inside the lid of the box so you can make sure you have what you need with a quick glance. And of course, the best thing to remember is to replace items that get used and to make sure that nothing has expired. Perhaps set up a reminder in your cell phone every three months to go through the emergency kit.

This is my new goal and target. I want to have one of these “kits” put together and in my trunk before the Fall hits this year. Then maybe I can think about what to do to be prepared in our home for a major disaster. Baby steps…..

Motivate me

Have you ever joined something and really wanted to be successful at it? Whether you wanted to be successful for yourself or because you wanted to prove to others that you could, the desire is still there. 

Now, what if you joined and everyone around you seems to be successful and you are over here thinking, “why isn’t this working for me?” It’s really hard to keep your motivation when it feels like you don’t compare with others in the group. 

Truth; there will always be someone who can do things better than you. Truth: you can’t be skilled at everything. Truth: if you keep showing up and doing your best everyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter. 

I’ve struggled with comparing myself to others and of course, in my eyes I have always come up wanting. It’s something that I am trying to change about myself and it’s a slow process. 

I’m currently part of something and I really want to be successful at it but it feels like I’m trudging through molasses to make even the smallest progress. Some days I think it’s me. Some days I think it’s circumstantial. Most days I think I’m doing okay and it’s just a matter of time before things “click into place”. The hard part is staying motivated. 

Have you ever been in this situation? How do you stay motivated? How do you keep focused? What tips and tricks work for you? 

Me and my BFF

Have you ever noticed that you and your best friend share a lot in common? Of course there are differences but there are probably more similarities. After all, would they be your best friend if they didn’t share the same interests and viewpoints in life?

Is your best friend completely opposite you? Is that perhaps what draws you together? Do they challenge you when no else will? According to Dr. Cara Baker’s article for the Huffington Post “The bond provides a protective function to your well-being (improving health, and extending lifespan).”

She also listed these things as the “essentials” of a best friend:

  1. Best friends keep you honest with yourself, to the degree you are each committed to growth.
  2. Your soul’s best friend nudges you to come out from your own stale, crusted interior that has become too calcified.
  3. Best friends help you upgrade when you’ve settled for a life too small.
  4. They help you move closer to new edges, encourage you to face the unknown with courage and humor, perspective and praise, when you’ve mislaid your own supply.
  5. True best friends make it safer for you to shed your contingency self’s packaging, that old persona you use to ward off the world when you feel too vulnerable.
  6. Best friends help you stand “in the fire,” when you need more passion and strength; sweep up the ashes, from closing chapters; and “prepare the bath,” metaphorically, for what needs cleansing.
  7. When you get stuck, who else can give you a better “jump-start” when your battery needs charging?
  8. Best friends are “there” without you needing to ask, willing to challenge you when you resist receiving.
  9. Best friends see your warts, your flaws, and love the beauty, love and wisdom that goes deeper than your “nerdiness” and self-recriminations.
  10. Best friends admit it when they are jealous, and judgmental, and ask for forgiveness, and support you to do likewise.
  11. Best friends encourage you to bloom in areas where you are too myopic to see the seeds. They are willing to do whatever it takes to support you to follow the desire and delight of your own heart.
  12. A best friend supports and prompts the continuing investigation of what this means over time, modeling this behavior themselves.
  13. Best friends notice what drains and revitalizes your energy, nudging you in the direction of the latter.
  14. Best friends draw you closer to the mystery that you are, “hold hands” with you in the dark, reflecting back to you all that makes you not only “good enough” but grand, especially when you doubt that you are here to be all that you can be.
  15. Best friends, if they are worthy, bring you to the door of the Beloved that lives in your heart, with its desire to be free.
  16. Best friends bring you back home to who you are, to the feast that awaits you where “you will love again the stranger who was your self….”

I agree with it all. So what makes you best friends with someone? What attracted you? What pulled you together and what kept you together? I think my best friends are my best friends because of the following things:

  1. Safety – I feel safe with them. Physically, Emotionally, Mentally and Spiritually. It’s a matter of trust in them to not abuse confidences.
  2. Humor – I need to be able to laugh with them. Real, deep, uncontrollable, pee in your pants, snort out your nose, belly laughing.
  3. Support – I need to feel supported in both the joys and the sorrows of my life. I need them to be happy for me when good things happen and compassionate enough to feel my sorrow when it hits but I also need them to not let me sit in either emotion for so long that I forget the truths of life.
  4. Honesty – I need them to be honest and with me and I expect them to demand my honesty in return. There is no room for lies and half-truths in a deep friendship.
  5. The Higher Truth – This is a little harder for me to explain but I need my best friends to hold me to the “Higher Truth of Who I Am” and to believe I am capable of living out that truth even when I have lost sight of it myself.

 

Say it shortly

I was challenged to tell my life story in 5 sentences. Easy? Um….not. Actually once I sat down to write it I realized that a lot has happened in my life. After all, how does one take 5 short sentences and explain the last 47 years.

I’ve seen this type of poetry done before and I have seen many people successfully tell stories through this method but I have never tried it before. There are some great 5 sentence stories on WordPress if you look for them and there are even scary 5 sentence stories too.

So here is my life in 5 simple sentences:

An idyllic childhood raised by loving and strong parents allowed her to take joy in her own children’s lives as they grew to strong young men. Her husband of twenty-seven years saw her through untold joys and sorrows as life whirred by like a roller coaster. Mid-life brought new challenges, taking care of parents, entrepreneurship, and the desire to create newness in her life where once children filled her world. Now, today, she embraces the unknown and looks forward to adventures yet to be taken, knowledge yet to be learned and life still to be lived.

Now….. your turn.

When grief comes

IMG_7519

Tomorrow is the memorial of a good friend and as it draws closer the sadder I become. Pete LoGrande was an incredibly good hearted man. You know, the kind of man that meets you and welcomes you into his “family” with open arms. Like my husband he would help you out at the drop of a hat and he would take care of you any way he could.

He took a lot of joy in being a father and a grandfather and I know he loved his wife dearly. He was a business man and entrepreneur and he always had ideas germinating away of other ventures he could do. He made me laugh and towards the end of his life he made me worried. I checked in with him just about every day, encouraging him to take it easy and to stress less.

When I got the news that he had passed all I could think about was his lovely wife Vickie. To be faced with loss is one thing. To be faced with the loss of your life partner shakes the very foundation of your world. Everything changes and a new normality must begin.

I’ve learned from the loss of some very dear people to me that grief comes in waves. You never “get over” the loss , the pain becomes less of a sharp pain and more like a low level throb that continues but you can live with. Eventually the waves of grief quit pounding you into the ground and become gentle ebbs against the shore of your life as memories wash over you. Eventually those memories quit causing pain and instead bring you joy.

The thing about grief is this: No one can tell you how to move through it and no one can deal with it for you.

From a supporters perspective: There isn’t really anything you can say to someone who is grieving that is going to make it better. You can love them, hug them, listen, and let them know you will be there when they need you.

So to the LoGrande family – our family is saddened by your loss and we love you all and we are here for you if you need anything.

And Pete – Your life was a blessing, Your memory a treasure, You are loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure. We will see you on the other side of the stars.

 

Sweet temptation

IMG_7608  Believe it or not I am not the sweets person in my house. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bowl of ice cream but the sweet tooth in my house is my husband Ray. Talk about a sugar addiction! I read recently that sugar is more addictive than cocaine! Seriously! I can believe it because he simply can’t say no to sweets…. of any kind.

Im more of a visual sweets person. They look delicious but when I taste it, it doesn’t quit match up to what a I was hoping for. I save all kinds of recipes thinking someday I will try this but I never get around to it. Much to my husbands disappointment.

I’m much more likely to want something salty or savory. Give me potato chips or tangy cheeses and crackers and I am all in but the bag of chocolates…I am okay without it. I’ve talked about weaning sugar out of our diet and you would have thought I suggested we go back to the Stone Age. If you could have seen my husbands face!

All that said, it’s really hard for people to say no to sugar and it comes in many things but it might be the best thing for our health to eat less of it. What about you? What do you think about sugar as an addiction and how much sugar do you consume in a day? Are you looking for ways to eat less sugar and still feel like you are indulging? If so, what have you discovered? Inquiring minds really want to know!

Tag Cloud