Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Snakes Be Sly Creatures

"The the moral of the story is that in and around the rooms of our heart, there are harmless old ropes lying on the floors and our fear starts to work on them and turns them into monsters, which keep us in the most impoverished places in our lives."  ~John O'Donohue (from Love is the Only Antidote to Fear)


Now-a-days, I see more and more how I was keeping myself, through fear of what is and what may be, in an ugly place but O'Donohue put in such a lovely way. I will attempt to keep that quote in my heart and give it strength.

So hard to break old habits that you don't even know are habits. Abnormal is normal until someone shines a light and tells you it is not. Giving power to something that has not, and may not ever happen is stealing from the present, which is all we really have.

May I, and may you, always recognize the difference between ropes and snakes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Now, Not Later!

Driving to work this morning, there is the sense that this ritual, daily-year after year, will be with me, for how long, I don't even know. I've had so many of them; rituals. Always with the sense that they would last forever; often with a surprise when I find one ritual dissipating and being replaced by a new one.

Early, it was broken into 3 really. There was the school week, weekend and summer. School was, as I remember, being one of the youngest in a house of 8 people, chaotic. Busy, bustling. Walking to and from school with various degrees of velocity, and, of course, never driven! Wake up, eat cereal, school, homework, dinner, TV, rinse and repeat. Then there was the Saturday morning cartoons that lasted until we were way too old to be watching Scooby Doo.  Summer, pure freedom. The ritual of no ritual. Trips to Rozees Market, the high school pool carrying our little fm radio and the locker key hooked to our bathing suits. Bike rides, skate boarding, unauthorized hiking trips, hanging out with people you know would not be approved of. Feeling risky, untethered and indestructible.

Later, life as a young married. Working, moving here and there, unpredictable cars, big life decisions. But the rituals; work, fight, socialize, fight, paying bills, fight. The ritual of the fight.

Babies come and life gains rituals you didn't even realize existed, becoming so much more important when raising kids. They provide continuity and discipline. There have been times that the weight of the rituals seemed like a smothering pillow, not soft and comforting, but heavy and stealing my air. For a few years, there was the two to three hours a day that consisted of transporting or waiting for kids at various schools; not to mention the extracurricular activities.  All while trying to get work done, house clean and meals made. 

Now I miss those days; at least parts of them. I wish I had lived in the moment more, cherishing them, aware that the time is fleeting and worthy of enjoyment. I don't mean creating memorable moments; I just mean embracing everyday life. 

Living in the moment is something I learned later in life though. Learning gratitude did that for me. Made me realize that all I really have is right this very minute.

Enjoy your day, it's gorgeous out.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fighting A Good Fight

Life is freaking short!

I cannot, will not, spend it idle. Planted on the couch in front of the tube or sleeping it away. My soul screams at me, "Get moving, our time is short and getting shorter every day." There's a bit of frantic inside of me that bumps up against others, those who love me.

Maybe that's why sleep often eludes me. Perhaps my soul is undermining my ability to rest satisfactorily. There is so much I want to do, so much I want to see and experience. One of these days the ever present call from my heart will be even louder than the fears and the pragmatic parts of me. When it wins out, I will pack my bags at a moments notice, charge my handy devices so that I can take care of what is needed from wherever I may be, then I will drive, simply drive. Without a map or a plan, as long as I have a warm jacket and a bathing suit and, perhaps, a few things in between, off I'll go. My kids will find me at the other end of my iPhone.

At 53, cartwheels have gotten a little difficult, a run at the beach is not as smooth or painless as it once was and a hike steals my oxygen sooner than it once did. BUT I fight that!! I do not age gracefully.

There is still so much to do♥

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Meeting New People

The Boy Scout and I went golfing yesterday afternoon. We sometimes use an app that will have last minute discounts. As my schedule can be pretty flexible, it works out nice. I'm not sure if you know this but golf is an expensive sport!!

When you use these discounts apps, you will often times get paired up with someone else that has used the same app. Yesterday was no exception and while we enjoy our time alone, it is fun to get to know new people and, perhaps, get challenged to play a little better than normal.

When arriving at the 1st tee, there were two gentlemen warming up. They were of Asian descent and were speaking to each other in their mutual language. As is custom, we introduce ourselves before teeing off. Since we are about to spend at least 4 hours together it is nice to start of friendly. We were playing with Dong and Quan and, to be specific, they are Korean.

Dong, an acupuncturist, and his friend Quan turned out to be wonderful golfing partners. They were excellent sports and laughed at each other a ton. Every time anyone hit a pretty good shot, Dong and Quan, in unison, would call out "Gud Shot."  Dongs equipment, clothing and sunglasses were top of the line, Quans looked like a hand me down collection but they both seemed to enjoy themselves immensely.

Dong was a strong golfer, i.e., the man could send the ball some distance. But as the Boy Scout always tells me, it's all in the short game and he was right. Dong could out-drive the Boy Scout by leaps and bounds but his short game was no match.  "Nice Putttttt!".  I would love to see these guys again one day.

 It was another great day of life♥

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


With good boundaries you don't have to argue, fight or throw fits. Did you all know that?  DID YOU????

Did you already know that when people do things that feel hurtful or when they break their promises, you don't have to react, over-react or blow up? Why didn't I learn this?

Good clear boundaries say "This behavior is unacceptable to me. I don't have to live like this" or "I will not engage." I've set a boundary that I am very proud of and very comfortable with. I am interested to see how it plays out. Will I stay true? Will I cave in? I am not sure as it is a new practice and I have no precedent for what comes next.

What I have learned is that whether I stay true to my new boundary or whether I's ok, I am OK. It will not mean I am a loser or weak. It will simply mean that I need to figure out, once again, how I feel, where I am going and how I am going to get there. I will treat myself like a little sister, with compassion and love. Reminding myself that I either did well and pat myself on the back or encourage myself that despite that fact that it didn't go as planned I am still valuable and worthy of good relationships and healthy love.

The learning process is so exciting and so exhausting, but here I am...moving forward. Enjoying the ride, experiencing life as I never knew it before, with gratitude and HEALTHY BOUNDARIES.

Have a fabulous day! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Wisdom - For What It's Worth

A long overdue letter to my children,

I have had the privilege of being called a mother for a little over 29 years. It is, in my humble opinion, the hardest, most wondrous title a person could ever achieve. The gains have far and above outweighed any losses. I suppose the losses might be considered the time and emotional effort put into the job, but even those things have had their bonuses; molding me into a kinder, more patient and more empathetic human.

How lucky I am, to have made so many mistakes, yet still be loved, honored and cared for by each of you. I often lament about how much I miss my mother and her unconditional love...silly me...I have that from each of the 4 of you. Not exactly the same but beautifully crafted to allow many of the same feelings only, perhaps, with a bigger sense of responsibility on my part. Feeling like I don't want to burden you with my problems, knowing each of you has your own burden to carry. The normal issues that people your age deal with, along with learning a new and different love for a father who is the same man he was, but not the same at all.

When I think of you individually, you are all so unique. You walk through this life, constantly teaching me. From each of you I have learned a far greater sense of tolerance and inclusion. Learning that love is matter what. I have marveled at your feminism, learning even more from you, Ross and Prescott, than from the girls, as you shared your feminism from an entirely different perspective. Open-mindedness is the ongoing education I receive from all 4 of you and I welcome those lessons even when they cause me consternation.

If I were able, I would give you an easy life without the heartaches. Unfortunately, that does not exist. My real gifts to you would be as follows:

1.      The knowledge that through life, your siblings will be one of your greatest source of comfort. One day I will be gone and no one will be able to replace your shared memories nor the sense of loyalty that was bestowed upon me by my mother and that, hopefully, has been passed on to each of you. If you need advice, call your brother or sister. Few people love you like they do. Never forget you have each other.
2.      No matter where you are and who you love, you should know that you, just as you are, are wonderful, special and ever-so-worthy of love. That knowledge enhances everything you will do and every relationship you will have. May your self-talk be positive and helpful instead of negative and degrading.
3.      As time has gone on, you each have developed your own sense of religion, faith, spirituality or a lack thereof. At first that frightened me but not anymore. I have no power in that arena and never really did. I wish for you each to have a sense of purpose and the ability to give your problems to something greater than you; whether it is the universe, your Higher Power, the God of your youth or...... I don't know....what other options are there? Just know that there are problems we have no control over and no amount of worry changes that. May you find peace in your walk through life, whether finding a job, a partner, a place to live or even the ability to get out of bed when it is hard.
4.      Learn from your struggles. My life has been forever changed by the struggles I have endured. Remain open, do not harden your heart, do not build walls. If you do, one day you will have to bring them down; it is a painful and exhausting process. Start, right away, working on the walls you’ve built up thus far. Question your beliefs. Ask yourself where they came from, why you feel so strongly and whether you should reconsider. Or as Vonnegut said it so well, "Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness."
5.      Finally, I hope you know that I am always with you. Through all your days, your struggles, your victories....I pray and rejoice and walk next to you through it all.

In closing, I will just say..."It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away” 


Monday, March 20, 2017

New Friends and Old Friends

So, my sweet Winnie has the home of her dreams (and no, it isn't ours).

Winnie (Rozee) and Cooper
We met my childhood friend half way between our homes in the O.C. (Orange County). I had not seen Jeannie for 39 years but through the power of Facebook, we reconnected. She came with her son and her was wonderful to catch up. They reminded me of things I had forgotten. I had forgotten how Shirley, Jeannie's mom, used to yell at me, "Where is your sweater and get some shoes on?"  I never wore shoes unless it was a requirement. Tomboys don't need shoes silly. Jeannie reminded me how I had once tried to get her up on the back of Jaspar, my sister's pony. I'm not sure why he was in our back yard but he was a mean old thing. Apparently I helped her on up and then right onto the ground on the other side.  I was probably 8ish which would make her 5. The funny thing is I know for a fact my sister Pam would have killed me if she knew I was near Jasper, so I must have been fairly confident she wouldn't be home soon....we were all smart enough not to mess with Pam. We still don't mess with her.....we love her...but we don't mess with her.

Anyways, we met the three of them, Jeannie, Shirley and Torrey, in the park and Jeannie quickly realized that Winnie (now named Rose) was the dog for them. The Boy Scout and I left fairly broken-hearted and I still feel like I may have let the best dog I have ever met go, but I stuck with my boundaries which were and still are that I have enough responsibility, I have been responsible for much for a very long time. I am looking for less...a little more carefree and whimsy. 

Through text Jeannie let me know that Rozee had been starving before we got her. She had to have been 15 lbs underweight when we got her because the vet said she needed to gain at least 8 to 10 more before he would consider spaying her, despite the fact that the Boy Scout had been feeding her meat and rice and good hearty stuff from the fridge. They feel strongly she had been used to produce puppy litters and then dumped. This lovely soul had been discarded like a piece of trash.

Rozee got home from her vet visit on Sunday with a new pink collar and a warm bed. She has a boy too....what more could a dog ask for? 

I've got a little ache in my heart but it's ok. I know we did the right thing. No doubt we will be making a trip to San Diego soon to see all of our friends, including the four footed one.