Habits to Kick with Both Feet & Habits to Embrace

“If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average.”

(Marian Hamilton Alderson)

“Average doesn’t cut it.”

(Me)

Note to self: do something, anything about the following:

    • Onion dip and potato chips are not a healthy dinner choice. If this is unavoidable, check out Clinton Kelly‘s recipe for homemade onion dip – it is beyond tasty.
    • Emotions are fickle; do not confuse with truth.
    • Finish one project before starting another. But there are so many, I get bored and am easily distracted …. oh, okay, take ADHD vitamin and focus.
    • When it becomes a choice to be kind or be right, always choose kind. Being right – and smug – ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. It is cracked. For me.
    • Always take bag when walking dog. Sometimes I forget and dog does his thing. This situation is sort of like stepping on a crack – no bag and business means I will step in it shortly.
    • Keep your friends close and your frenemies at bay. Yeah, yeah … the saying says keep enemies closer. Ridiculous. Choosing to have a bad experience over a great one? Not an option for me.
    • Make a comment instead of pushing “Like” button when reading blog posts.This is addressed to me – “like” is great, so no haters. I push the “like” button all the time. But am going to attempt to do otherwise; if bloggers have taken the time to write and I have taken the time to read their posts, then it makes sense for me to commiserate, congratulate, admire … whatever. But you are welcome to “like” me anytime you want.
    • Stop wearing clothes inside out. Happens all the time. Must slow down and look in mirror before exiting home. This sort of issue is crazy cat lady stuff. I don’t have a cat. And I’m not crazy. That’s a lie. A little bit crazy. Acknowledge contemporary insanity and slow down when dressing.
    • Lead with love and compassion. Yesterday, a woman came into the shop where I work. She was looking for a hat and veil for her best friend. Whose husband had passed away. Although we’d never met, we spent a good hour trying to find the perfect pillbox hat for her bereaved friend to wear to the funeral. During that time, we talked about any and everything. And when she left, tears were rolling down both our cheeks. She was an amazing example of leading with love. And a stellar reminder to me to do the same.
Dashing ….
Later.
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Free Falling

Free falling. There are those times when you find yourself in a free fall. Gravity, disguised as circumstances, exhaustion, or emotions, just knocks your feet right out from under you. And you are free falling.

It’s not so much about the fall, itself, but that you stop it. This is NOT the time to go with the flow.

Catastrophizing, whining, blaming … these are not options but negative motivators (oxymoron?) that build nasty momentum. So, how do you stop the fall?

First, reach out. Grab some strong arms to hug you, seek loving ears to listen.

My very wise friend, Renee, would say, “Shift“. Look at what “pushed” you, shift your perceptions, and find the lesson. Emotions are fickle, not to be trusted”. Ms. Shay would say, “It’s all about will – your will, your choice – and you have abundant, positive choices.”

And then, the rest is up to me … or you. It always is. When I am in a free fall, it is often precipitated by control. Me trying to control anything, everything. And when anything, everything feels like I am herding cats, “tilting at windmills”, and bouncing off the same brick wall repeatedly, I know to stop. Just stop and listen.

Then, and only then, I hear Renee and Ms. Shay. And the Big Voice saying, “You are NOT on a crazy train that’s going off the rails. You didn’t buy that ticket. Simmer down.” And I’m no longer falling, but standing up, sorta straight. And remembering verses that are warm and fuzzy at the very least – to me:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find relief and ease and refreshment and blessed quiet for your souls. For My yoke is useful – not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant, and My burden is light and easily borne.” (Matthew 11:28-30, Amplified Bible)

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? (Mary Oliver)

Then I know that comfort, so momentarily elusive, will come.

And I begin again.

——————————-

*Big Voice would not be Ozzy Osbourne. But I do like “Crazy Train

If Your Life Was …

The sky's the limit!

Hola!

Thumbing through The Awe-Manac by Jill Badonsky, I came upon a question she posed that has intrigued as well as baffled me. I’ve yet to come up with an answer – so I’d like to know yours …. let your imagination go wild, no borders.

If your life was a box of Cracker Jacks, what would the prize be inside?”

Do tell. I’m all ears eyes!

Later. Tomorrow.

Crazy stuff.

What I Can and Cannot Do: Lessons from 2010

 

I am a living, breathing contradiction. While I really don’t like all this “looking back” on the TV, the radio, the internet, I must review my year as it has been a humdinger in the form of life lessons. And say my blessings. It has been good. And you have to get to good in order to move on to better.

This years started out as bipolar time. Major players in my family were seriously ill and I had the extreme pleasure of participating in my godchild’s wedding festivities which began at noon on January 1st.  Mercifully, the extremes all melded. The ride throughout the following months was not unlike a white water rafting trip, beginner level.

It’s true, you know, about the seasons of life. People come in and out. I used to think that was a bad thing, but I’ve been around long enough to  know otherwise.  I miss the loved ones whose seasons ended this year, but death cannot erase my happy memories of them. As for the others, I can honestly say it’s all good. I’m positive I will forget very important occurrences, but, for now, here’s what I am reminded of:

  • Started this blog in January. There is no way I could have imagined the richness my blog friends have brought to my life. No way. It began as a resource fueled by my need to write. While I love writing, there was no way to know that the pleasures, the friendships, the support, the caring for others and their writing would be the gift.
  • I didn’t even try to “fix” anyone this year. That isn’t my job – because I am nowhere near perfect, because I am not a therapist, because it is an impossible task. If you need fixin’, you must fix yourself. Period.
  • Laughter. I have laughed more this year that I have in the past five. With dear friends in beautiful locales, with dear friends in shit city. With strangers and acquaintances. Love this.
  • Began cooking again. Learned to bake. Practiced the art of Kanzashi until my fingers bled. Learned to step back and take a breath instead of jumping to conclusions. Began the task of clearing away the clutter, in my home and in my heart. Never stop learning.
  • Took a long walk off a short pier in several areas of life: job and personal. No regrets. Leaving what you know, good or bad, for the unknown is scary. But so pregnant with possibilities and opportunities. I am thankful. Very thankful.
  • Take nothing for granted. I try.
  • Just try to love people the best you can. I know my limits. There are those who I can throw my arms around and hang with all day. And there are others I must keep at a distance. But I love them all, anyway.

On December 23rd, I went with my dear friends to participate in a church service and dinner. It was held at The Church Under the Bridge for the homeless. I cannot express how touched I was by the crowd and the individuals I was privileged to meet. The ground is level, indeed. During the service, I sat between two men. Troubled, of course. But educated, kind, courteous, and compassionate. At one point during the evening, it got so cold. The man to my left took his blanket and put it over me so I wouldn’t suffer. Who helped who? Enough said.

As the year comes to an end, I’m full of contradictions. Armed with two editions of The Snark Handbook by Lawrence Dorfman, The Awe-Manac, A Daily Dose of Wonder by Jill Badonsky, a million ideas for my new business – well, I’ve got much to do. And much to do better than before. I will greet the new year as a single woman of a certain age, blessed with friends and family. And I will paint this life with broad, colorful strokes in bold colors, even though I am most certainly stepping out on that wire with no safety net. Just have to see what the day brings. This IS how I roll.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY FRIENDS EVERYWHERE. MAY IT BE THE BEST YET!

Later.

Watering Dead Plants

Sitting on my patio, I looked over to see three dead plants. The same three dead plants I’d meant to throw out for … months. Just lazy. Nevertheless, someone waters them every week. They are dead. Water is wasted. While it is an incredibly optimistic action – feeding something that will not eat in hopes it will magically spring back to life – it is, in the end, futile.

It’s all about change, isn’t it? Watering dead plants is symbolic to me. Resisting what you know to be true. Refusing to acknowledge what is, hoping what isn’t will resurrect itself. Change is inevitable in every inch of our lives. Feeding what was, what we knew and were comfy with, is at the very least, a waste of time. And energy. And emotion. Yet we do it sometimes, because change means … something new, something we haven’t welcomed in and snuggled up to. Miracles and epiphanies (small, medium, large) do not happen on demand. And watering the dead plants is a roadblock to anything happening. Life blockage.

When I was raising my daughters, many of their little peers had daily schedules that would rival – and exhaust – the busiest of executives. I opted out of this for a number of reasons. I knew there would be plenty of time for them to be overwhelmed and unprepared. So, when they would ask me what we were doing on any given day, my answer would usually be the same:  “Let’s see what the day brings.” And roll with it.

 I cannot for the life of me remember much – if any – bad coming from this “program”. But I do remember many days filled with surprises, relaxation, and activity. We didn’t water any dead plants. Because my girls trusted me. Because they knew if I was willing to roll with it, then certainly they could as well. Because they trusted me.

I’m not watering the dead. I will not honor the impossible by blocking the possibilities. It’s all about trust. And I am firmly convinced – even though I waver/stand steadfast – that a power higher than me has, once again, showered me with possibilities. My job:  trust. Keep eyes wide open.  The result?

 

Later.

Feel A Big Cry Coming On

I hate when this happens.  And it always happens when I find myself at the corner of What’s Next? and Which Way Do I Turn? Making changes in life is a necessary, ongoing process. Individual evolution and all that. And I totally own my decisions to hold ’em or fold ’em. But I keep forgetting I’m directionally dyslexic. Temporarily paralyzing.  Bear with me as I try to ward off the waterworks. Think happy thoughts, damn it….

  • Eldest daughter snagged dream job. Rah!
  • Youngest daughter is blissfully happy. Rah!
  • My parents are alive and vital. Rah!
  • My sister is hanging in and hanging on. Rah x 100!
  • Cooking Partner is so good to me. Woo!
  • Miss my heart friends (the ones who know me best and love me anyway). So lucky to have them. Hoo!
  • Am absolutely blown away by the people I know who are fighting major battles, with smiles on their faces. My heros. Rah!
  • Every time I read JoDee Luna’s blog, I come away with much to think about.  Her post today included the phrase, “Maybe the only treasures in this world are relational…”. I BELIEVE this with all my heart. It makes me happy. And sad for the people I know who can’t be bothered to consider this and act accordingly. Oy!

Oh no! Eyes are welling up with sad liquid. Would go find a bath sheet and let it flow… but have a haircut scheduled   this afternoon. Must think here. Stiffen upper lip. Go to hair deal. Come home. Allow dam to break unless divine intervention occurs. Whatever……

Later.

Mini Cooper Or Not? That IS The Question.

A car is a car is a car. Currently own approximately 3/4 of a “luxury” ride which I have never appreciated, especially the payments.  Don’t put much mileage on car in any given year.  On vacation, I drove this

I like. Because it goes where you point it. Because you cannot fill it with people. Hate driving with more than one person in car. Because it would be less expensive for me.  Because it has great maintainance/warranty programs.  Because I would only have to go to gas station every other month (I said I don’t drive all over the state).  But I must do my due diligence.  Have researched as much as possible.  Any helpful comments/advice would be appreciated. And yes, I do realize I could be squished like a bug.  Am willing to risk it.

Any comments?

Thank you in advance.