life

Where I am

It’s day 76. I’m leaving another successful gathering with great food and amazing friends. I’m honored. I get in my car and turn it on to the sound of “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson. My soul smiles and I begin to sing along.

As I drive, I’m reflecting on my weekend and the conversations I had with various people who crossed my path. People I haven’t seen in a while, people I am not close with, but also family and close friends. Yet, I connected with them all on some deep level about life and relationships (both friendly and intimate). Thank you. I can appreciate every moment of time I spent with each person because it contributed to my epiphany.

While the music of WGTS 91.9 feeds my soul, I begin to experience an overwhelming feeling of happiness and inner peace. I realized that I am truly at peace with myself – finally! I’m at peace with not only where I am in life, but who I am. For the first time, I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and going where He wants me to go. My purpose? Maybe. I certainly don’t have it all together and I never will, but I know I’m on the right path.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  – Luke 19:10

I’m home. In more ways than one, I’m home. I’m in my parking spot looking at my little home and I love it. Not everyone can say that they had that moment of clarity (for lack of a better word). People seem to look for their reason for being; at least I did. Now, I can smile because I love me and where I am. I can smile because it’s actually true. I’m blessed and I’m determined to do something big with the seed that’s been planted within me.

Inside, my puppy Bishop waits with extra excitement. It’s as if he knows I’m extra happy…ooooor, he has to pee. 😉

 

 

(Photo from http://www.purposedriven.com – I read Purpose Driven Life years ago and I highly recommend it.)

Appreciating Time

As my birthday was approaching my kids were either, (a) very secretive about what they wanted to do or give me; or (b) flat out telling me what they are making me (my youngest can’t keep a secret to save her life).  As they are getting older they want to buy me things and, while I absolutely appreciate that they want to do that for me, I would rather they didn’t spend their money on me.

This is all my Papa’s fault.  😉

Growing up, I remember that my dad never wanted any gifts; not for Christmas, not his birthday and not for Father’s Day.  The way I saw it, I had a job and I wanted to get him a gift.  To me, it was almost showing appreciation for him being the best dad he could be.  A couple of times I even asked him what he wanted and he said “I don’t want anything.”  I’d still get him something but, being the man of few words that he is, it’s not like he got excited about it.  It was almost anticlimactic to watch him open the gift.  I got over it.

Eventually, as I matured into a “real” adult, my siblings and I would have parties and get everyone together whether it was for a special occasion or “just because” and he really enjoyed those.  If someone was missing, he’d ask where they were.  We realized that it truly made him happy to simply have us together; to BE together and enjoy our TIME together.  Today, that’s how I feel.

My oldest wants to take me to dinner and it will be very nice to spend more time with her, but a part of me doesn’t want to have a fancy dinner; I’d rather she didn’t spend her money that way.  We can have a nice dinner and enjoy each other’s company without the expensive bill at the end of the night.  I don’t want to crush her plans so I’ll make a light suggestion that we go somewhere else and see if she takes the bait.  I will appreciate whatever it is (like the manicure and PAINFUL eyebrow threading that I endured already as part of her gift to me).  Ultimately, my hope is that I instill the same appreciation for time that my dad did for me and my siblings.  We don’t “stress” about gifts like we used to because the most important part is that we all take the time out to spend together.  God blessed me with a wonderful family that I love to spend time with.  I can’t ask for anything more for my birthday.

Thank you, Papa.  🙂

Sharing my goals and receiving inspiration.

It’s February 5, 2016 already, and for a lot of people who make resolutions, they’re starting to fall apart, if not all but forgotten by now.  I, too, had a list of resolutions for the year.  I’ve started most of my resolutions: gain weight, spend more, keep a messy room, stop working out…you know, the usual.  I managed to add a few serious ones in there, too.

One in particular – learn sign language.

It’s not the first time but, over the busy holiday shopping season, there were more than a couple of situations where I wish I had known sign language so that I could help someone who was struggling with a store employee.  I can’t even begin to attempt to be helpful in that particular situation and that’s frustrating for me; imagine how they feel.  😦

So, I shared this particular “resolution” with my kids and my youngest princess was super excited.  So much so that she decided she wanted to do it, too.  Like most things, it was exciting at first; the thought was exciting.  Then came the part where I try and figure out where to begin.  There are so many resources online and, as we all know, everything on the internet can‘t be trusted so I really had to do some research.  Then life happened and the momentum was gone.

2 weeks later my princess had her dad send me a video.  The video was of her saying “good night” to me in sign language.  I absolutely loved it and it sparked a new excitement in me.  A few days later, she was at my house again.  I came home from work and when I walked in the door she didn’t speak like she normally would, she signed “Hi Mom.  Finally, you are home.”  #proudmamamoment  It was so sweet.  Of course I had to ask her what she said, but still, it was so encouraging to see that she was trying to learn.

It inspired me, but not enough.  Not yet.

The next morning she signed that she loved me.  That evening we were sitting at the dinner table and she has a piece of paper out with a long list of words on it and she said, “quiz me.”  After I was done quizzing her, she signed “thank you.”  I asked what that meant.  She told me.  Then she finally says, “Mommy, who’s resolution is this, anyway?”  That’s when I finally put aside my excitement about HER learning it and decided to do what I said I was going to do.  How embarrassing for me to have my daughter remind me that it was me who said I wanted to learn so that I could help others.

The rest of that evening was spent learning the alphabet alone – it’s hard to teach this old dog new tricks. 😉  The next morning, she comes into my bedroom, half awake, and says, “Come on Mommy, let’s go over the alphabet again.”  She curled up in bed with me and we went over the alphabet, again.  When it was time for me to leave, I ask if she knows how to say “have a good day,” but she doesn’t.  Lesson number 1.  I learn it during the day at work and when I come home I show her.  She, in turn, taught me some new phrases and that’s how it’s been all week.

She inspired me to start and keep the momentum going.  I am truly blessed to have received the gift of my children.  They keep me on my toes.  Where would I be without them?  🙂  I’m no ASL pro, but with their inspiration and motivation, what was once a simple new year’s resolution on a piece of paper will become my second (or third if you count broken Spanish) language.

Mistakes; they happen

mistake

It’s easy to look back on past actions and decisions and say, “yeah, that was a mistake I won’t repeat”.  You live and learn, right?  Some mistakes are big and some are small; some are life altering while others go unnoticed.  As I touched on in a previous post about Forgiveness, some mistakes require us to forgive even ourselves so that we can move on.  Today is the final day that I grapple with a mistake I made just over a year ago.

I know we all get that feeling deep down in the pit of our stomach when something just isn’t right.  That feeling that says, “Don’t do it – something’s fishy!”  The one that you wish the actors/actresses in horror movies would listen to so that we can save ourselves from screaming at the TV, “DON’T GO IN THERE!”

If only I would have taken heed to that feeling on October 5, 2014.

That is the day I sat in front of a car dealer and threw caution to the wind, regardless of the feelings in my stomach and what I would normally do in a situation like that.  I sat there and purchased a car that was not only completely against what I went to purchase but out of my comfortable price range.  That is the day I sat there with my then husband, whom I married barely two month earlier, and who encouraged me to purchase a nice car because “I deserved it.”  Everything I had ever spent money on up until that point in our relationship was purchased under the guarded understanding that I need to be able to afford this myself without his help because it wasn’t guaranteed.  Let’s face it, in life, nothing is guaranteed.

But I did it anyway.  I purchased Mona, my car, under the assumption that since there were now two incomes, I shouldn’t worry; besides, we were newly married.  Well, not anymore.  And you know how “they” say that you shouldn’t name something or else you’ll get attached?  Yeah, don’t do that because it goes for a car, too.  A year later and I am completely attached to my car that I shouldn’t/can’t keep.  Could I blame him for encouraging me to get a car out of my range when he already knew he wasn’t sticking around?  Yes, I could.  Yes, I want to.  Yes! Yes! YES!!

Alas, I can’t.  At the end of the day, I made that decision.  I bought it myself, under my name, using my good credit, not his, and without the approval of that ugly feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I knew it was a mistake, but I made it anyway.  Today, I forgive that mistake and search for a new-to-me car (or motorcycle *wink*wink*) to call my own….and with a kick ass name to match.  😉

Lesson Learned.  Take heed to the feelings of uneasiness!
Chances are, they’re there for a reason.

When reality strikes…or bites

Aside from yesterday, I haven’t posted anything for the public since January.  I know that the obvious reason is because I’m in a better place and happy to write in a positive, fun way again.  I still wrote during the time that I didn’t post anything; I just didn’t share any of it.  Some of the writings weren’t even complete.  It’s interesting, after all this time, to go back and read some of the things I started and never finished.  I decided to post this one in particular because even I don’t remember how it ended.  So I’d like to pretend that this is one of those “pick your ending” stories.   I had to laugh at my own disclaimer.  😉

April 6, 2015

Disclaimer: This is not one of my usual upbeat posts. Sorry y’all…

I was recently stepped on by the proverbial elephant in the room.  Luckily for me, my pride and self-dignity were only temporarily crushed and replaced with red flushed cheeks that accompany heavy embarrassment.

In this case, the elephant in the room = the fact that I just got married in August and have been separated from my husband for well over 6 months now, if not all 8, and not by my choice.  The details aren’t necessary but, needless to say, it has been a roller coaster of emotions.

So what had happened was, I attended a nice, family-friendly function.  To my surprise, my “situation” wasn’t much of a secret but I certainly didn’t attend so I could talk about it, either.  I should have guessed the gig was up when I didn’t receive the usual questions about where my husband was and how his work was going.  I attended because, although I intended on going, recent events led me to change my mind.  I really needed to get out of the house though, so I went.  I should have gone with my first instinct and stayed home in my cave.  It wasn’t bad that the subject finally came up, but it’s the reality of people asking and wanting to talk about it.

I have spent months praying and putting myself in a better place mentally to live and enjoy my daily life.  Talking about it doesn’t bring me down so much anymore because, for the most part, I speak about it in a positive way.  God has something better for me.  My husband deserves to be happy, too, even though it’s not with me.

* * *

That’s it.  I have no idea whether I was going to write about what happened, write about how everyone deserves to be happy, or write about the awesome things God has in store for me.  It was interesting reading this because i’m not in the same frame of mind as I was then, thank God.  These days, I’ll bank on the last ending because God IS awesome and he’s done so much for me already.  I am truly blessed!  🙂

My perfectly hard boiled egg

I’ll admit it. I have Googled more than once, “how to boil an egg”.   There are just some things in life that are so simple, they must be done right.  I must know the best way to get it done.  Oddly enough, Martha Stewart’s instructions are featured first in my Google search results.  Her 2-step system seems simple enough and she even provides you with a video! (And in related news to the right, you can learn how to PEEL the damn thing!)

Silky, smooth perfection.

Silky, smooth perfection.

Indeed, it can’t be THAT hard to boil and egg, but you wouldn’t need a video on how to peel it if it was boiled correctly to begin with.  Here’s the thing: a perfectly boiled egg, not unlike a perfect cut of filet mignon lightly seasoned and seared to melt-in-your-mouth perfection, will practically slip right out of its shell, once cracked.  Personally, I gently roll the egg between my hands while applying just enough pressure to crack it and free it from its bondage.  I’m not gonna lie…from the first crack I know if it’s been boiled perfectly.  I just know.  I can FEEL it.  The excitement I get around 10 am in my office when it’s time for my mid-morning snack, that would be said hard boiled eggs, is like winning $1 off a $1 scratch ticket (I’m not hard to please – I like getting my money back).

I try to enjoy every little bite of protein that’s packed into those egg whites.  Which is why it displeases me IMMENSELY if my eggs aren’t boiled to silky smooth perfection!

Imagine, for a minute, that you’re getting ready for your daily hard boiled egg ritual while you’re at work.  You’re humming along to your favorite guilty pleasure pop beat and getting your space all prepared.  Napkin for the pre-peeled eggs.  Napkin for the post-peeled eggs.  Tiny salt packet.  Tiny pepper packet.  Perhaps some cayenne pepper or hot sauce that you keep in your top drawer under lock and key for nobody to steal.  You take that first egg out of the zip lock sandwich baggie and begin to roll that bad boy between your hands.  Adding pressure.  Then a little more pressure.  Then, in an act of denial, just a little bit more pressure to welcome that little egg’s goodness into the world and out of it’s shell.  But you stop. You can’t.  You freeze and stare at it in complete and utter disbelief.  Because you finally realize the truth.  The truth that no matter how hard you press, it’s just not happening.

Now you know.  The humming stops.  You slouch back into your seat.  Holding back tears of frustration as you come to grips with the hard fact that you are about to lose 20, maybe 30%, of your protein packed egg white to the egg peel that it’s stuck to.  And for what?!  Because it wasn’t boiled correctly?!  You try to think back.  Where did I go wrong?  Was the temperature on my conventional stove top not quite on medium?  Was there enough water to cover the eggs by exactly 1″? Do I need new pots?  Will my second egg be just the same? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?!

Fortunately, there are nothing BUT simple answers.  You’re just going to have to salvage what you can and live to see another day…or go to the cafeteria and get a new egg cooked by someone else because SOMEHOW they always come out right.  Jerks.

The message is from the Man of the house, not the eggs.  They couldn't care less about my day.  They're dead.  :)

The message is from the Man of the house, not the eggs. They couldn’t care less about my day. They’re dead.

PS: If you thought this was going to be about something deeper than a hard boiled egg, I’m sorry if I disappointed you.  😉  #sorrynotsorry

Big Smiles

Point blank:  Life is too short to frown….besides, the selfish part of me doesn’t want to see you frown.

In this day and age of technology where it seems like everyone, men and women alike, is smiling to themselves to take a selfie, we forget how much a smile can brighten someone else’s day.

Smile.  For someone else.  Now there’s an idea.  You’ll end up with an even bigger smile on the inside.

I felt compelled to write about this today because, in general, I have always thought of myself as an optimistic and positive person but, lately, I don’t know where all that went.  Somewhere along the road of life, I let some of that positivity go.  Not all of it, but I only allowed it to come around when I was in a good mood, instead of thinking positively to put myself in a good mood every day.  Instead of consciously deciding to be in a good mood and optimistic.  The day is what you make of it.  Right?

So this morning I woke up, thanked Almighty God for another chance to put a smile on His face, and I was determined to have a good day after that.  That’s all there is to it.  There isn’t a large formula to make it happen.  Sure, positive thoughts are involved, but a smile is a smile.  A smile is contagious.  A smile makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  A smile will give a jump start to a crabby situation.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I didn’t get braces to have beautiful, straight chompers for nothing!

So…..I DID IT!  I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  Once I started it’s like I couldn’t stop.  Smiling to this person and that person and building up my happiness reserves on the inside to a level that almost seemed ridiculous because I could see it made them smile back.  SUCCESS!!  That’s the important part.  Can I make you smile, even for a second, and make you happy that someone is happy to see you?  Nobody could possibly make me upset this morning – not for anything.  Genuinely asking how someone is doing and reconnecting with people around the office that I don’t get to see on a daily basis anymore.  Not just the usually happy suspects, either.  EVERYBODY.  Everybody deserves a smile…..yes, they do – stop thinking what I know you’re thinking, THAT person deserves a smile.  😉

Give it a try.  Share your smile with someone today.  It’s great to smile to yourself and give yourself a boost.  It feels good, I know this.  Just don’t keep it ALL to yourself.

In honor of my campaign to smile today, I decided to take some selfies – which I almost never do because I feel weird.  So, enjoy the peek into my happiness.  I didn’t edit or retake a million until I was pleased with the picture I was going to share.  I just took a few here and there that I thought represented where everybody else seems to do it…the gym…office desks…the bathroom.

selfie