Monday, October 3, 2011

All I Really Want...

…is some patience. I don’t have it often enough. I believe it is a learned virtue that comes from hard lessons. I sometimes wish those lessons would sink in, and I would graduate already. That doesn’t seem to be the case.  So the question becomes: Am I learning to be patient or patiently learning? I’m not sure, should I be?

All I really want…is deliverance. One definition of this word is: to be set free. That’s what I’ll go with, freedom. Everyone should enjoy their freedom; it doesn’t matter what your definition of freedom is. That belongs to you. I want to live my life as I choose, as long as I am not hurting others. I want to teach my children to be good people. I want to love and treat people the way that I want to be treated. I want to explore my talents and interests whenever I want to with enormous gusto. I am learning to be free; this is an interesting lesson, one that I don’t mind repeating over and over again.

All I really want…is some peace. I would like peace of mind, spirit, and heart for $1000.00, Mr. Trebek! If only it were that easy, but it’s not. To find inner peace is a journey to all of the personal places you would like to find it. Look for peace of mind – deep breathing, sort through the emotions, calm the self-doubt. You will find peace of spirit when you explore your intelligence, share your knowledge, and be the teacher once in a while instead of the student. You can achieve peace of heart.  I find that actions speak louder than words; act on your words honorably, freely, and often. It’s easy to say the right thing, but it is much more difficult to do the right thing.

All I really want…is some comfort. I already have some of that comfort. It comes from knowing that learning patience will give me personal freedom and inner peace. Working hard on who I am and what I want to be is comforting. What do you really want? It’s out there; take a look around. What you want isn’t really that hard to find when you work for it. We all deserve it. Here’s to you achieving whatever it is…with love…

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Every Teardrop...

…is a waterfall. There are days that are very overwhelming. It’s difficult to keep moving forward, to stay positive, no matter how hard you try. It takes a lot of work to get through and past these bad days. They seem completely unbearable and can be spirit crushing.

Alternately, it could be a small thing that sets you off, turns the tide, or pushes you in another direction. It seems like some force or forces are working against you in every possible area in your life. Everyone has days like I am talking about; you keep taking stuff in, trying to figure it out, nothing is working – it’s exhausting. You keep fighting back tears, trying not to get overwhelmed, and it’s impossible.

That’s when to have a good cry, and it’s more than okay. One of those blubbery, can’t talk, sobbing, hard to breathe, cleansing cries. It doesn’t really matter what it is that brings it on; that’s personal. What matters is that you let it come. The most important thing is to take the few minutes and let it all out. Sob away; let all that pain, sadness, and fear – go. Cry your eyes out, and wallow in that self pity that belongs only to you at that minute. Let it flow out with every blow of your nose. Alone or with a friend, the relief that you feel at the end is exuberating, liberating, and freeing. It’s not limited to the female humans either; something tells me that men could use a good cry sometimes, too.

When you are finished (you will know when you have had enough), dry your face, take a few deep breaths, remember why you are here, and move on. You will probably feel a little tired and wrung out, look a little blotchy and puffy, but you will likely feel a whole lot of relief too. Shedding those tears and letting go of the burden will help you to regenerate that positivity and help you continue on your path.

 I have indulged myself in a good cry a little more often than usual lately. I am working hard, taking care of my kids, myself, and trying to get through what the world around me is dishing out. I have plans, dreams, and goals that I have set for myself and my future that are worth the pain that I experience. The pain is part of the growing process.  Let the water fall…you might actually be glad that you did…with love…

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Moment...

...changes everything.  A flash, a fleeting, brief instant where you have a choice to make, and you go with your instinct. That moment seems quick and painless, most of the time. The repercussions of that small measure of time can be minor, or it can be huge. You can’t predict the outcome – good or bad.

It takes a moment to make someone smile or cry. A moment to decide – are you in or out? A moment is an opportunity to make the choice to forgive and forget. It’s a split second that can change the direction or the course of your day or your life.  There can be a thought process that has weighed heavily on your mind until you get to the moment. It can be something that comes up and you don’t have the luxury of time to think about it, you just do it. Impulsive or contemplated, those moments are important, and I need to be more conscious of them.

Sometimes, it seems like we have plenty of those fragments of life, of choice; at other times, they seem very fleeting and precious. We should try not to take them for granted. There are moments to enjoy, and there are some we regret. There are times where we wish we could have a “do over,” take a different direction. We can’t get them back, but there are generally more right around the corner.

Take a chance, take that moment, and run with it. Make the choice, and try to live without regrets. A moment changes everything…or nothing…with love.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Love Takes Over…

…you know you can’t deny. When I started blogging, a lot of things were happening in my personal life. At first, I thought that writing a blog would be easy. I loved writing; thoughts and ideas spilled out of my brain and onto the page.  I soon discovered that it wasn’t so easy after all. Work, family, friends, life in general was so busy – to the point of being overwhelming…There’s no time! I am going to make a conscious effort to find the time. I have discovered that people like to read what I have to say, and that makes it important for me to find that time. It also does a great deal for my psyche, another important element that I need.

It seems that everyone around me has been affected by hard times, economically, personally and socially. It’s really tough to “make” it in the world today.  I work hard to find the good in myself and others to get through each day, wading through a lot of crap at times. It’s necessary to put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it feels like I’m plodding along, carrying great weight. Other days, it feels like I am skipping through, weightless and carefree…There really ARE days like that. I need to find more of them. Even when things seem like they can’t get any worse (or any better for that matter), love seems to take over and help you find a way.

There IS love all around us. The most obvious comes from our friends and families, but there is love in people and places that you might not regularly consider. For instance, you are traveling past someone’s home, and you notice their beautiful garden. There lives a person who has a love of gardening and they took the time to plant for their enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. Look around; notice the beauty of nature.

Think about when you are riding along, listening to the radio and your favorite song comes on. The artist’s love of music (lessons taken, hours of practice and dedication) inspired that musician to write the lyrics, play the notes, and compose the melody.  You know it, that song that brings a smile to your face and transports you to a time when life was good. It sparks a memory that brings you pleasure. Turn on the radio today. Listen to the music.

When you are eating a meal, whether at a restaurant, at the home of a friend, or even if you prepared it yourself, it’s the love of cooking (and eating,) that brings out the flavors and colors in the dish. Enjoy your lunch or dinner today. Take the time to really taste your food, and remind yourself of the nourishment it is bringing to your body. I could go on and on…but you get the idea, right?

When your heart feels heavy and the burden seems too much to bear, remind yourself of the love in your life. Let it take over your mind and spirit…Just for a little while, don’t deny yourself the pleasure. Look for it, you’ll find it…Relish in it…It’s there for all of us. Take care, my friends…Until next time…With love.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Back... the saddle again. I took a break for a I'm ready to write again...I mean, publish my writing again...I have continued to write...always...a passion.

I will be posting regularly starting next week...I appreciate all who follow my blog...I also appreciate you wondering where I've been...I am working on a couple of projects...I will have lots to share soon.

In the meantime...I would just like to say that while I write about personal experiences, they aren't directed at or about any one person, place or thing. I am writing about my feelings, thoughts and encounters. When I write, I hope that those who read come away with a sense of positive encouragement.

That's why I achieve personal satisfaction and to encourage or inspire those around me. That's it. Simple. It's not necessary to read between the lines...I am pretty straightforward and I think that I have good communication skills. I would like everyone to keep looking for more...keep growing in your life...that's why we are here.

Thank you for life as an optimist...what a concept...with love.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Things We Do...

...for love.  A friend of mine used this statement in a casual conversation on the phone. As we hung up, I thought it would be a good topic for me to write about. We all do a lot of things for love. When I say “for love,” I mean to generate loving feelings that are both given and received. These are some of the things that I personally do for love.

Cook. I love to cook. I make things from recipes I learned when I was young. I have improved or personalized them over the years.  I try new recipes, not too often, but if I see or taste something good, I am willing to take a shot at preparation. I get pleasure from the end result. Friends and family sitting around my kitchen table, outside on my deck, in my garage party room, sharing food that I have prepared. It’s a good reason to bring friends and family together. I also make sure to bring something when I am invited out for a meal or a visit. I enjoy having a bit of my personality on the table.  I cook and entertain for love.

Talk. I love to talk. I talk about everything, life, kids, jobs, families, partners, music, movies, TV, the weather. I like to talk to people I have known for a long time. They know me; they listen to me – even when I am long-winded and detailed. They know that I listen, too. I have a good ear and will offer an opinion if you ask for one and sometimes when you don’t.  I like to talk to people that I haven’t seen or talked to in awhile. I love those long “catch-up” conversations, finding out what you have been up to, how your life is going, what’s new, what’s old, etc. It’s fun to get to know new people, too. We meet people every day in our lives.  Sharing interests, information, opinions expands your life and its horizons. You learn something new from people in your life every day. A continuous, informative education is awesome. I talk and listen for love.

Write. I love to write.  I started blogging to feed a need within me.  I have been told several times in my life that I should “write a book.” I have had friends buy me books on writing books. I have several ideas that I am working on at the same time. All of my ideas come from journaling that I have done for the past 3 years. When I have a conversation or read something that sparks a topic, I go back over my journals and pick out things that I have written that pertain to the subject. The response and support I have received is amazing to me, especially from people who don’t know me personally but are reading my written word. Their enthusiasm and messages do a lot for my spirit. I am blogging to share my ideas and thoughts with other intelligent people who care to read.  I am trying to live my life in a more positive manner, and if my writing can help someone else do the same, that is awesome. The people that know me personally seem to be looking for a message that is somehow directed toward them. They wonder, “Is she writing this about me?” or “She must be writing this about me!” Rest assured, my friends, I am writing about ME. I write my blog for love.

What are some of the things that you do for love? How do you incorporate love or positive feelings in your life? Do you think that this is something that should be a priority – generating good feeling between you and others? Think about it...comment…send me a message…with love.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Get By With A Little Help…

...from my friends. Friendship: a topic that I feel needs some clarification and definition. There are many “tiers” of friendship in our lives. Now, I don’t mean that in an offensive way, but in a descriptive manner. There are people that are your friends for different lengths of time; you meet people in any number of ways during your life. You feel a variable degree of closeness to your friends.  Honorable, loyal, trustworthy, dedicated, loving, honest, these are some words that I would use to describe many of my friends. I believe that I am a good friend; at least I maintain quite a few friendships that enrich my life. I know that I have mentioned before that it’s not necessarily the quantity but the quality of these relationships that is most important. The payoff for you, the work you put in being a friend to someone or having friends in your life, is well worth it.

Childhood Or Long-Time Friends- These are friends that I have known for years. Our friendships were formed when our adulthood was being formed. They are people that are either a part of my daily life or we make an effort to keep in touch relatively often. If we haven’t spoken in months, when we pick up the phone to call, it’s like we talked yesterday. We can laugh about the same stories or events that happened when we were 12 or when we were 40. We can cry about things that have happened in our lifetime together that others may understand or that only these friends understand. They’re willing to listen to my troubles and celebrate my accomplishments. They often advise and encourage me, even when I haven’t asked for it. They put me in my place when necessary and allow me to have the same luxury with them. They know where the bodies are buried and have bail money if you need it. They have watched out for you in all kinds of situations as you have for them. Some of them aren’t here with us anymore, but they are watching over us always. There are those that I have maintained relationships with my whole life. There are also those that I have been blessed to reconnect with on Facebook. Either way, they inspire me, remind me of where I have been and where I have yet to go.

Work Friends- These are people that I currently work with, have worked with, keep in touch with or maybe not. Besides sleeping, when you are employed full-time, you spend more time with your co-workers, than you do with a significant other. 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. They put up with your moods – good or bad, and they expect you to do the same for them. Sometimes you have dinner or see a movie outside of work; sometimes you don’t. You spend a lot of time making plans to do stuff, but nothing ever materializes. Not for lack of trying or planning, I think things tend to fizzle out because of all the time you already spend together. Some days, you can’t imagine your life without them. Other days, you can’t wait to get away from them. Every day, you see them and you adjust. I have good people that I currently work with. I have good people that I used to work with. When I think of them and the time we spent together, it makes me smile. I miss them. I look forward to seeing my current co-workers and miss them if they aren’t around for a spell. It’s good to work with intelligent people who live a variety of lifestyles. Our diversity makes us interesting and helps us grow.

Frenemies- You know who they are; we all have them. They are people who are in your life for necessity. You may have started out as friends, but events or one particular incident may have occurred to help you realize, “Whoa, wait a second!” They might be friends or relatives of a close friend. They might be someone that you work with. They might even be a relative of yours. In any case, these are people that, for whatever reason, are necessary in your life that you can’t get rid of. You have to deal with them. If they are doing you harm on a regular basis, mentally or emotionally, I’m not suggesting that you suffer through it. Those would be relationships that are too toxic to maintain and you should jettison from your life. I’m talking about playing well with others. Smiling and being social, but watching your back and their steps. I have often made the mistake of thinking that someone is my friend. I have been slapped right in the face with the reality of the situation. Again, a growth and learning process – keep your friends close, but your frenemies closer; they will do you more harm than a known enemy if you let them. Protect yourself, your feelings, your loving nature, and your heart.

My Girls- I have several groups of girlfriends. We are grouped together for many different reasons. There are my “Mom” friends. These would be the mothers of my children’s friends, women who I have a connection with because we were planning and organizing the lives of our kids. Once our kids grew up, some of these relationships did too. What is sad is that there were women I thought were really my friends. But our kids grew up and apart, then so did we. I guess all we really had in common was our children. I didn’t think so at the time, but I have since learned better.

There are my “Christmas/Pool Party” friends. These are the gals that I have been spending the first Saturday of December and the second Saturday after July 4th with for 20+ years. There was a base group of girls that have been together since they were young kids that has morphed over the years into something awesome. Some have come and gone; this group is not for the faint-hearted! During the 12-24 hours that we spend together twice a year, we are generally laughing, talking, drinking, eating, dancing, singing and cultivating this bond of friendship. I see some of these 16 or so girls at other times during the year, but nothing beats these two occasions. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else or with anybody else on those days. These times are the highlight of my year.

There are my “girlfriends.” These are women who could fit into any of the categories I have previously discussed at any given time but are different too. Our relationships ebb and flow with continuity I am grateful for. We talk often and listen to each other. When times are good or bad or when we are happy or sad, there is always an ear to listen and sympathize. There is a kick in the butt when you need it or a hug when that kick doesn’t seem to be working.  They are gals that I can call in advance or at the last minute for a movie, a drink, dinner, a visit, whatever strikes our fancy. We have lots in common and are different too. It’s the commonality and diversity that keeps things interesting. There are a few that I am very, very close to. They understand me sometimes better than I understand myself. They offer a clarity that comes from both the outside and inside. They know me.

Facebook Friends- These would be your social network friends. They may be people that you actually know or only know on Facebook. If you have someone or something to promote, these friends will help you. If you post a status or music about how you are feeling or how your day is going, some will like it. They may even comment on it. They live in other states, other countries even, but are checking often to see how their friends or connections are doing. Thanks to my virtual event, my Facebook friends are growing. It is amazing to me the compassion and the caring that has flowed across the lines. The sharing of information about different topics and our lives has been very fulfilling and educational. It is helping me grow both as a person and as a friend. What did we all do before Facebook?

Friendship. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. It’s wonderful to reach out and have someone there for you when you do. It’s also wonderful to be the person who is needed. As human beings, we interact with each other every single day of our lives. It’s the way you choose to relate that helps others learn about you and your interests. Friends are precious…keep them close to your heart…with love.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What Goes Around…

...comes around.  I have been rolling it around in my head for awhile. It’s a phrase that has been used in a few conversations I have had recently.  I realized that it’s necessary for me to pay closer attention to this statement and its meaning.

What Goes Around Comes Around. It seemed like this phrase had been used frequently when people feel that they have been “done wrong.” Someone may have hurt or maligned you in any number of ways and this statement came to your mind, like a “payback.” Did you really wish the pain you are feeling – intentionally or unintentionally – on the person who had caused you pain? I have wondered how often this thought came to your mind when something good happened for you.  Something told me, based on my recent experience, not too often.

When you have been hurt by someone or something in your life, the most important healing needs to come from within you. If this phrase is to be taken literally, any bad or payback thoughts could come back to you tenfold. Conversely, if you have this thought when something good happens for you, the same could happen. Isn’t it better to think that, if it’s true, you would be happier having good things come around for you more often?

Do Unto Others. When you do something for a friend or loved one in your life, you should do it because you want to. It is difficult for me, at times, not to expect something in return. I try not to live by a “one hand washes the other,” mentality, but it’s very hard. I want to “save” a lot of people. Who do I think I am? I don’t have that capability or power! I think this type of behavior comes from early on in my life. I didn’t feel protected or secure in my younger years, so I want to be sure that no one else feels that way now. I am working on showing more empathy, but not taking on the problems of others.

It is important to treat people how you want to be treated. It’s not always going to turn out in your favor. Be kind, listen to your loved ones, really HEAR what they are saying or feeling. I don’t think we mean to intentionally hurt the feelings of others; it happens. I would like to believe that we aren’t walking around being purposefully cruel or mean, but it does feel that way sometimes.

If someone says, “You hurt my feelings when (fill in the blank),” they are looking for validation from you.  Not necessarily an explanation of why or a statement in your defense, just validation. Here are two types of acknowledgments to that statement: “I’m sorry that your feelings were hurt.” Or “I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings.” Can you see the difference? If someone has worked up the courage (and it can be very hard,) to call you out on how they have been treated by you, it is your job to listen and respond. This can definitely be their perception of an issue or incident and you might not agree. But in this conversation, we aren’t talking about you; we are talking about the other person. Say that you are sorry. That’s all. Sometimes, you will be on the receiving end. If someone has hurt you, let them know, especially if it is difficult for you to let it go. If you don’t, this could irreparably damage your relationship. You want to encourage the growth and nurturing process.

Let’s hope that by treating others as you would like to be treated, many good things will come around for you. Open your mind and your heart...your spirit free and unencumbered…it will keep you and your life focused and filled…with love.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

True Love… in our lives in many different forms. It’s right there in front of us. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we don’t see it. If we don’t see it, we can’t appreciate it, bask in it, relish it. I have found that making an effort to look for it and the ways it’s available to us makes day to day living a little better, easier and gives me some peace of mind and heart.
The Love of Family.  This should be an unconditional form of love. Grandmas, grandpas, moms, dads, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and cousins. We form a bond, whether it’s when we are born or when we become a member of a family – through adoption or marriage – a connection is started. The strength and endurance of which is maintained by us. Sometimes, it’s easy, it flows. There is love between all or certain family members that is epic. A closeness that is admired and nurtured. Sometimes, it’s hard, it takes patience. The bond gets so stretched that it becomes difficult to maintain. It can be broken, un-repairable, it happens, but it’s ok.  You can’t choose your family, but you can choose how to love and grow with them…or not…it’s up to you.
Romantic Love.  This is generally a love of your choosing – consciously or unconsciously. It can be fun, exciting and new. It can be familiar, comfortable and sustainable. It can be torturous, unattainable or unavailable. It’s passion and longing simultaneously in your heart. You are fortunate to feel it. You can spend a lot of time on the “chase.”  How fun is that – flirting, joking, getting to know each other? You can spend a lot of time as friends, sharing things about each other, hanging out. Then, one day “POW!” You are smacked by an imaginary hand to the forehead and think “Where the heck did that come from?”
Do you remember your first kiss? Now, I’m not talking about that awkward, you-are-too-young-to-be-kissing-anybody, kiss. I am talking about that first connection. It can be one that you have been thinking about A LOT. When you really like someone, when your heart is pounding and you are thinking “Will they or won’t they? Gosh, I hope they do!” It can be when you have been hanging around with someone for a while and they decide to grab your hand and kiss you, out of nowhere (ok, maybe not nowhere!) It can be that simple kiss hello that you have kissed lots of times. But one time it zaps you with electricity that sparks your heart and suddenly you’re hooked. These first kisses should bring a smile to your kissable lips right now, just thinking about them.
The Love of Friends.  This is special, the love of friendship.  It comes often and naturally, provided you and your heart are open. It can be formed on the foundation of your similarities or your differences. For instance, a love of the same type of music can be what draws you together as friends. Subsequently, your love of different types of music can be what helps you learn about each other. It doesn’t matter if you have many friends, a few, or just one that you know that you can depend on. It’s really the quality of your friendship that matters over the quantity of friends. I am blessed with the support of my friends and I reach out for that support often and regularly. Some have been friends for years, some have been reconnected and some are fresh, new. It’s no matter, I appreciate them all. I have friends that I haven’t talked to for months at time. But when we pick up the phone or see each other, we have such a connection it’s like we talked for hours the day before. Easy, comfortable, solid.
Life is more fulfilling with true love in it.  By true I mean that you feel genuinely close to another human being for whatever reason. It’s real, look for it, feel it. Whether it’s your family, your partner, your crush or a good friend; positive relationships foster healing and well-being. Go out and get yourself some love today…call your family, have dinner with a friend, give someone a big kiss…you deserve it…with love.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How Can You Mend…?

…broken hearts…a fractured relationship…a breach of trust…a bad internet connection? These are a few of the things on my mind lately. I am hoping to share and perhaps get some feedback from my followers…open a discussion about the topics. Any suggestions, comments or questions are welcome.

A broken heart. I have told my story on previous postings, so I won't belabor those incidents again. But I will reiterate a few points. I felt like I was given another chance at life. I took stock of the people and situations that I allowed into my life and made some major decisions. Live life on my terms, live life healthier and stronger, pull in – not away, from those who I allowed to pressure or depend on me too much or too often. I have been very successful at these changes and continue to make progress. So when the anniversary of these events approached, I was excited. This was great. I made so many positive changes in a year. I feel much better about the decisions that I am making, the people that I spend time with and the appreciation that I have for life and the people in it.

On the morning of February 17, 2011, I woke up in such a funk! I have worked hard to understand that while this was a serious, life-altering event; I persevered, concentrated on the positive. I did not want to be a victim. It hit me like a ton of bricks. How lucky I am to be alive. I am a woman living with CAD; my heart will never be the same. Instead of feeling exuberant, I was scared and sad. It frightened me, the fear and the sadness. I spent some time over the next couple of days for me, reaffirming my plans, reminding myself that I am worthy of a good and positive life, that I deserve everything that I am working for and more. My heart is not broken; but mended. It's full of a lot of love to share.
A fractured relationship. Whether it's a romantic relationship or a friendship, fractures happen in the foundation. This is especially true for relationships that are long-term. It's a natural occurrence because of the weight of time and events that are carried by the relationship. People grow and change at different paces. Needs and wants become diversified and more complex. What happens when you try to communicate these changes to the other person? What happens when they try to communicate with you? What happens when you try to communicate these changes over and over again, but they fall on deaf ears? Are you really listening when they are communicating to you? I am most definitely looking for some information here, for the way people are.

It has come to my attention recently that actions really DO speak louder than words. Some fractures continue to become larger and larger over time. If nothing is done, the relationship crumbles. Is it possible to rebuild? I used to have more faith that it could be. Lately? Not so much. You can't heal a wound that needs stitches with a band-aid. You can't continue to put little patches on the foundation of a relationship and hope that they hold. Either you work, really work to repair what is broken or you let it go. Letting go seems like it should be easier. I can tell you from personal experience…it is not, but it's probably what is better in the long run.

A breach of trust. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. There is not a person on this earth that doesn't make one every single day of their lives. They are simple or complex, you may not think of it as a mistake, but rest assured, someone else will. Sometimes, a mistake can be made and you aren't even aware that you made one. You crossed that imaginary line that we all know is there, the line of trust. There are those that cross that line purposefully, with determination and diligence, a kind of illicit thrill ride. There are those that cross hesitantly, cautious and afraid of getting caught. Where that line is located is the question. Each person has that line in different location. I know where I have drawn my line of trust and work hard not to cross it.

I have always thought of myself as a trustworthy person, there for those in my life who need me. I don't like to be judgmental or cruel. If I give you my word or make a promise, I will keep it, whenever humanly possible. I don't like truth-stretchers; I don't consider myself one. I don't want to be accusatory or be accused. I don't like when people say "You make me (fill in the blank!)" I can't make anyone do anything; I don't have that kind of power. No one can make me do anything either, I won't let them have that power. Either you trust me or you don't…that choice is up to you.

My bad internet connection. Well, another, very pleasant technician came out today and assured me that my internet will be as right as rain…we'll see.

A physically broken heart, a fractured relationship or a breach of trust. These are a few of the things that can cause an emotionally damaged or broken heart. The pain of this broken heart can be devastating, but not permanent. Work on what is important to you in your life. You can have good, strong relationships that include trust and caring, protected hearts. Be mindful of your health – physically and mentally, work on your relationships with others and be trustworthy…it will give you a heart…that's always filled…with love.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Form Over Substance...

Back a few postings ago; I talked about “420 Characters.” I decided to start blogging because I didn’t want any restrictions to my writing. I wanted to be able to have the words flow as I felt them, no matter how little or how much. I didn’t want to be “kitschy” or blog just to blog. I wanted to share information, start discussions, open my mind and the minds of subscribers/readers to the world of possibilities that are out there and attainable. I wanted to capture an audience of intelligent, caring people. So far, it’s working out great!
There have been a lot of changes that I have made in my life, some little, some large, that have made me the person that I am today. I have a voice and sometimes, people like to listen. I like to listen to, that’s why I encourage everyone to subscribe and to comment away…I’m interested in what you have to say.
I started out with the topics that I did to address the many questions I received during my Facebook “virtual” event. I was able to answer a lot of the questions I was asked. I was also able to share the things that I have learned, especially during the last year of my life.
In the future, there will be mini-novels. There will be short stories. There will be things that will make you laugh and some that might make you cry. There will be writings that I hope will stir emotion, start a thought process, make you happy, sad, mad, whatever. I will try not to be boring or trendy, just real. Writings that will make you feel…something…what a concept…with love.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be True To Yourself...

It’s very important, being true to yourself. It’s also not an easy thing to do. It takes time; it’s not something that you can make a snap decision about. It takes forethought; you need to really examine the happenings and the people in your life. It will help you formulate solid, realistic plans. It takes self-awareness; honesty is the best policy. Especially when it comes to being honest about who you are and who you want to be.
The Time Factor…it’s a luxury today to have “spare” time. I don’t know many people who have or utilize spare time. It seems like all of my days were jam packed with each and every moment filled and accounted for. If I got invited to 5 different things, I made an appearance at all 5. I couldn’t say no or that I had other plans, I just made it fit. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I was up every day at the crack of dawn, collapsing in bed, with a little luck, by midnight. My mind would be filled with what I did, what I had to do, what I was going to do and how I was going to fit it all in. Extremely stressful, but I didn’t give a lot of thought about me. I didn’t have any quiet time, to plan or process the things I wanted to.
That has been a major change, things are different now. I actually try to spend a little time every day thinking about myself. What I want to do or not do. It’s up to me. I spend some time mapping out my thoughts and feelings so that they best serve me and my well-being. I still have a full, fun life, but I don’t feel like I am running away from something by keeping so busy. I don’t feel like I have to stay busy to not think or feel. I don’t believe this is selfish either, but self-preserving. I appreciate everyone and everything in my life a little more. I don’t feel rushed or nearly as anxious. I like myself and the people that I allow to be part of my life.
The Forethought…We all work.  Full time or part time employment, going to school, family caretaker, volunteer, whatever you do to fill your day, it’s all work. It keeps us busy; our days and nights occupied. The last things you need are toxic relationships with people or situations bogging you down. It’s important to take stock of the activities that you participate in. If you or your kids are involved in so many things that you don’t have any down time, it can be very unhealthy, physically and mentally. If you find yourself in a situation where you are constantly called upon to “help” those who have resources or family to assist them, you don’t have to be the helper all of the time. It’s ok to let yourself off the hook, especially when you take stock of the person or the situation and realize that this doesn’t work best for ME. If you don’t take some time to do an inventory of these types of things in your life, it can keep you spinning like a hamster in a wheel.
Take time to plan some things that will have a positive, enriching effect on your life. Stuff that just makes you feel good.  Reading, movies, listening to music, a ride in the car, time with friends, laundry, napping, hanging out – doing nothing, anything that gives you a chance for you. Now, I’m not advocating dumping everyone and everything in your life or stop supporting friends or family members, not at all. I am suggesting that you eliminate some of the stresses that affect you and add some activities that are just for you. You can create and maintain a positive balance that will serve you and those around you well.
Self-Awareness…This can be tricky. There is a tendency to “label” ourselves. Hyper, depressed, overwhelmed, stressed, fine, crabby, any number of descriptors that explain away what is really going on. There are some tough choices that need to be made and we resist against the thought and decision process. I’m not sure why this happens. Maybe it’s because we don’t give ourselves value. I don’t mean our value to others; I mean our value to ourselves and the quality of our life. I don’t like the idea that it took a life-altering event to force me to examine myself and the life I was living. I thought I was fine, that I just needed to be more positive, to snap out of it. I was giving myself constant “pep talks” that aggravated and frustrated me. What was wrong with me? I was in a black mood most of the time. Smiling on the outside, but hating everything on the inside. I was trying to be supportive of those around me. I wasn’t paying attention to the thoughts and feelings that were raging inside of me.
Then, I stopped, well, I wasn’t given much of a choice, but I stopped. What was I doing? I am not going to be any good to anyone if I’m not good to myself. Am I happy living this life that I have? What can I do to make it better? Am I realizing and enjoying all the dreams and plans that I would like to? Am I spending time with the people that offer a positive enrichment to my life? These were hard questions to answer, but after I did, I realized that it is possible to live my life, really, truly live. I appreciate those who are in my life much more. I work hard every day to take care of me and my well-being. That’s what makes me able to give those who need me the best possible effort that I can.
Time, forethought and self-awareness. Three things that can only help you improve you and your life. Just some ideas that will open your mind and heart to the possibilities that are endless and available to you. It takes a leap of faith and a will to live that is inside all of us. Take a chance…pay attention to you…those who love and care about you will be glad you did…positive reinforcement…with love.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simple Changes...

…really do work the best. If you attempt to make several major changes in your life, your brain, body and heart say, “Whoa, what the heck is going on here?” and tend to go into a defensive mode. Here are some simple changes to my life that I have adopted and seem to be working for me…they help me stay in survival mode…
Free your mind and the rest will follow…this was one of the most difficult things for me to do. Worry and anxiety were constant companions. I would pass out from exhaustion at night, sleep for about 4-5 hours and BING…wide awake, mind racing. Learn some mindful thinking…relaxation and breathing exercises really do work. If you “GOOGLE” these topics, you will find helpful information.
Get more sleep…Even if it’s just an extra 15 minutes a day, your body and soul will appreciate it. If you use the snooze button, STOP. Set the alarm for the latest time you need to get up that is appropriate to start your day. Sleep as long as you can. It’s a natural healing tool that you should utilize more often. I make a conscious effort to go to bed at the same time and get as much sleep as I can. It makes all the difference in the world.
Avoid fast food…In our hectic lives, fast food seems to be an easy solution. We are running late, busy, so we drive through somewhere for ourselves and our families. If at all possible, limit those visits to the drive through. If you do go, try to make better choices OR get what you want and really enjoy it. I have to tell you…there are times when I think, “God, I really have a taste for (fill in the blank!)” I have stopped and picked up what I thought I wanted and after a few bites, realized, this isn’t as good as I thought. It was a habit for me…one that has been pretty easy to break.
Quit smoking…I started smoking at 16, quit when I was 20, started again after 17 years (yes, I said 17 years,) smoked on and off for 4 years and quit for good 7 years ago…I know it’s hard, but the thought of picking up a cigarette really grosses me out…yuck. When I watch my friends who smoke? I am very sad, that smoke is traveling through their lovely veins, choking out the oxygen. It is a very hard habit to break, but I would ask anyone who smokes, to please, please try to stop.
Limit your alcohol intake…There were times in my life where I was a self-medicator. Jose Cuervo was a GOOD friend of mine. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good margarita, a cold beer or a glass of lovely wine, I just don’t enjoy them on a daily basis. If you find that you need to have a drink every day, there is a problem.
Get some exercise…yes, yes, I know…this is problematic…when you come home from work…who wants to exercise? You’ve had a tough day, you’re tired, exercise? No way! You would be surprised how much a 20 minute walk will energize you. How much a class like Jazzercise or Zumba empowers you and helps your heart and soul.
Eat less of “real” things instead of eliminating or substituting them…Butter, salt, sugar, mayonnaise, whatever …it’s better to eat a little of the natural things than load up on chemicals and preservatives.
Cut it in half…When I go out to dinner, most times, when my meal comes, I ask for a “to go” box right away. I cut my meal in half; put it in the box and out of sight. I move the rest around on my plate and eat more slowly. Enjoy your meal; I find that I am full and have an extra lunch/dinner for another time.
See more movies, listen to more music…Both of these activities are therapeutic. They can relax you; inspire memories, ideas, and conversations. Two venues that I love very much and partake often.
Spend time with your friends…good conversations…a few laughs…maybe a few tears…sharing stories…talking about your life…it’s better than any therapy session you can pay for. Make sure that when you share, you listen too…it’s important to hear those in your life.
Avoid toxic people/relationships…there are those folks in my life that are not good for me. People that I worry about or feel like I have to “help.” People like this will not be supportive of the changes you are making, they will say that they are, but actions speak louder than words. I am not a co-dependent or enabler any longer. It is very liberating. For me. Not for those I was “helping.”
That’s about it for me…not hard things to do…even if you pick one thing and implement it today, it’s a start. Taking care of yourself doesn’t make you a selfish person. It makes you a survivor…you are needed here among the living…take good care of YOU…with love.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Changing Direction...

A little background history. Mom and Dad divorced when I was 4 years old. Mom moved back to live with her parents, bringing me and my little brother along. My grandparents provided for our family, helping my mom out with my brother and me. They made sure that we had all of our needs and quite a few of our wants. I appreciate the foundation that I was given, even with its many ups and downs.

I was double promoted from 1st to 3rd grade, changed schools going into 4th. For a 5’8”, 200 pound, 8 year old, that was not the shining time of my life. But I got through it. I had girlfriends who lived close to me and some that I went to school with. I did OK. My teenage years were spent hanging out with my friends, doing things that teenagers shouldn’t be doing, but we all watched out for each other. I couldn’t wait to graduate from high school, get a job and get on with my life.

Married at 19, a mother at 20, life was going well. It was my goal to do a little better than my parents did. To work a little harder and to make sure that my kids thrived and were encouraged to realize their dreams. I wanted to keep moving forward. When my daughter was in the 1st grade, we tried to have another child; it wasn’t happening. We tried for 8 years and then I thought, “Well, I’m just going to be a parent of one child. When she is off to college, I’ll be 38 years old, I can travel, and I can do anything I want!” Just when I had given up…surprise! I was pregnant with my son. I will tell you that we all didn’t know how much we missed him until he came into our lives.

During this time, I thought that I was in control of the direction of my life. I was steering the course so that everything would turn out right, or at least what right was in my mind. I was on a specific journey, a directed path. HA! I was mistaken.
I lost my best friend to cancer when I was 36 years old. That was a major curve ball in my life. She was always there, then, poof, she’s gone. I lost my mind a little, started with panic attacks, anxiety, scared all the time. I was able to get through that period of my life, but I miss her every day.

When I turned 40, I was irritated all the time. Frustrated with my job, my family, my friends, just everything. I went to bed crabby, I woke up crabby. Bitching and moaning, ALL the time. I am amazed that anyone wanted to be around me. I was just black, black, black, but my sense of humor saved me. That and I’m blessed with friends who truly love me and are able to tolerate me, even when I am a bitch.

The economy tanked, stress level is rising, aggravation on my plate every day. Some days spent crying my eyeballs out. Other days just so mean, well, again, I’m amazed that anyone talked to me. I went to work, took care of my kids, just going through the motions. Everything was a problem and I couldn’t get a handle on any of it.

Then fate, a higher power, karma, whatever it was, took over and I experienced my “event.”  It’s not that I want to be identified by it, but it truly was a life-changing moment for me. It changed the direction of my life. I don’t want to walk around in a black mood all the time. I don’t want to cry about things that I can’t help. I don’t want to be co-dependent or an enabler any longer. If I am going to have one year or a hundred years left to live, I want to have a life, not just go through the motions anymore.

Living life optimistically…it’s not easy, but it’s better.  Some of the people who love me are a little worried. They don’t like the “new” Jude. I’m not a new Jude, I’m the same Jude, but heading in a different direction. One that will help me enjoy the life I am fortunate enough to be living, really living. It doesn’t matter what happens to change the course of your life. Actually nothing has to “happen,” it’s a choice. It’s a choice for YOU. It’s time to examine who you are and what you are doing. Decide which way you want to live, but live without regrets. I’m not saying that I am “Ms. Sally Sunshine” everyday, but I am someone who likes to see the glass half full, instead of working so hard just to keep something in it. Change direction; make a choice…with love.