You never know what tomorrow may bring, so taking the time to be grateful for what you have today really is just so important. To step away from that device, put down the remote, or walk into the kitchen when it’s time to clean up from dinner just to be in the same space (without crowding of course) even when he says that he will do it, that’s what it’s all about. And I was reminded of it on several occasions this past week.
A friend came by yesterday who moved away a number of years ago, he was in town to perform a celebration of life ceremony for a former co-worker’s husband who had passed suddenly in his sleep, only 38 years old. It really made me pause and be grateful for the day and reflect that all we really are assured of is this day.
Earlier in the week there were some changes where I work. And just like happened to me a half decade back, sudden change that was unexpected. “Like sands through the hourglass, so are The Days of Our Lives”...can’t you just hear that intro? LOL…. I know, I know…I’m not well in the head.
During such times things can seem dark and lonely. We can even feel abandoned by that which we put our faith in. But in my experience, there is always something better on the other side. At least there has been in this lifetime. Can’t say that I know what there is on the other side of this existence on earth, but I just have to believe that when I cease to inhabit this body cavity that things don’t just end.
After all, aren’t we made up of energy? The first law of thermodynamics, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. ... In other words, energy cannot be created or destroyed.
Whoa, that got pretty deep really quickly now didn’t it?
So take the time to stop and smell the roses, it’s ok if you get pricked by a thorn or two, that’s life. It will make you bleed at times. But also smells really good as well. Bees will come and you need to be mindful to give them space to not get stung, but remember, those bees pollinate and are essential in the circle of life and creating an ecosystem we all rely on.
Just for today, I am going to choose to not swat at the bees in my life, but share the rose with all creatures, enjoy the fragrance, and accept that I might get stung, or pricked. It’s all a part of the human experience.
If you are quit-witted like me, it’s not easy to hold your tongue. To say just the right thing at just the right moment can bring a riotous laugh to a party or shut down a mean-spirited bully who needs to be put in their place. But then again, it can make you stoop to the meanie’s level of crude, or even hurt someone’s feelings if they take it the wrong way just to get a laugh.
There is another burden one carries when they have a sharp wit, it’s to not use it as a weapon. This can be especially true when feeling slighted, and tired, and not getting our way. I had just such a chance on Friday. And it had everything to do with me and my perceptions and nothing to do with reality.
Can you relate? You get pissed off over something, make that comment as you walk away and threaten to spoil an entire weekend? Valentine’s weekend at that!!
I mean…just hold your tongue already. Wait five seconds, close the office door, then say it and blame it on the dog, lol. Or better yet, just be like Elsa (from Frozen) and let that sh!t go!! Can you tell I use that often? That, and Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada, the ice queen. Oooo, there’s a theme here.
But I digress.
My point being, how often do we get a chance to take it back once it’s out there? Whether we say it out loud, or worse yet, post it on social media!!
I’m just grateful I have people in life to call to walk me back from the ledge so I didn’t have to keep on with my temper tantrum so I could salvage the weekend and not go on punishing myself (although in my mind it was my husband I was going to torment) by continuing my pouting over not getting my way over…what was it now. Hmm, can’t even remember what petty, insignificant thing I was upset over that I nearly lost my mind and allowed that silly comment to nearly derail an entire weekend.
But I’m sure you’ve never done anything like that before, have you?
Why is it that I always want to BE there and struggle to stay in the pleasure of GETTING there? I’m like a petulant child on a long road trip constantly bugging from the back seat: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Kinda just want to turn around and slap myself…but in today’s day and age that would get me a call to the CPS, or wait, I’m not a child, just acting like one.
Ok, ok, calm down everyone, I’m not condoning violence or making light of slapping children (even though…nope, not gonna finish that either, that would get me into more hot water with some of you…).
But seriously, how tough is it to enjoy the process? I always want to have the task accomplished, the puzzle finished, the taxes done, the road trip completed, the sentence ended with the punctuation.
But the truth is, it’s never over…we are never done. Well, of course until there is the final completion when we are either a pile of ashes or pushing up daisies, whatever your preferred method after passing on should be.
So, what’s the friggin rush? Has society of instant gratification, information at our fingertips, pushed us to the point where we don’t even enjoy a good debate over who won Super Bowl 23 for more than ten seconds before someone has googled it and proudly shout out the answer because they have the fastest fingers? For some us, we remember when that debate would last for hours, the non-sensical, mostly ridiculous recollections (that were dominated by inaccurate facts conjured up by intoxication and bravissimo) spun out of one-upmanship. Then the next day you find out the truth and deny you ever defended your preposterous claims from the night before. Only to recall those memories years later reminiscing on some of the best times with friends and family.
Ah, the good ole days before we were beholden to battery life and facts, lol.
So what journey are you on that you are in too much of hurry that you are missing out on the twists and turns that hold so much of the learnings? What are you rushing past so quickly that you are whisking by the little nuggets that would become those fun memories to share when you are a couple of decades longer in the tooth?
Take a moment and look around, right now, at what you are smack dab in the middle of which seems overwhelming that you wish was ‘over just about now’ and look for the fragments of joy that might be hiding behind the rush to finish. You just might surprise yourself.
Sometimes the task can feel overwhelming when you look at the sum and it paralyzes, doesn’t it? The thought of cleaning out the garage, prepping for a test, or (gulp) learning a new language!! But as I reflect on the week just passed that started with honoring MLK, his favorite quote of mine rings in my ears, “you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Could you imagine stepping into the White House with all the crises he is facing right now? Wow, just wow with a pandemic raging, vaccines so scarce, an economy teetering, society politically fractured now more than ever, extremists emboldened on both sides, and an international reputation that is, well, let’s just say undetermined. But let’s bring it down to a personal level, shall we?
What do you have left unfinished or un-started? What have you left undone because the task seems too large?
I know for me I often put things off because I look at the enormity of the mountain to climb and nine times out of ten when the task is accomplished I look back and think to myself, now that really wasn’t nearly as bad as I made it out to be!!
Why is that? Why do we get ourselves so wrapped up in the “have to” instead of looking forward to the “get to” when it comes to accomplishments we are about to embark on?
I can tell you what it is for me: I’m like a petulant child. I want my cake and eat it too. I want the sculpted body but don’t want to spend the time in the gym working for it. I want the pleasure of lounging on the couch. I want the pleasure of eating that chocolate cake, French Fries, Oreo cookie blizzard, Diet Mountain Dew, pancake, lather it on my spare tire, I don’t give two craps when I want it rather than the healthy chicken and veggies meal.
LOL, that was cathartic!!!
Case in point: I really didn’t want to write this blog this morning but rather would have laid on the couch, snuggled up with the pups under the blanket and watched the clouds hoping for some rain. But alas, I started stroking the keys, setting aside judgment that it was garbage at first, and whallaaaa, you all have something to hopefully relate to and take away with some brain food.
So, I’ll leave you with this: don’t rush out and check off everything on your To Do list right now, those people are over-achievers and annoying. But shift your mindset from “have to” over a bit and find your “get to” for just one task you’ve been procrastinating and see if it helps.
Who’s with me?
Well my friends, it’s that time of year isn’t it? Just over 2 weeks after the resolutions have been made and we are staring down the barrel of disappointment, lol. But seriously, let me take a step back, because perhaps, maybe, by chance, ONE of you reading this may have more resolve than the rest of us (or are lying about it to make yourself look better than us commoners).
This week I started in a new role at work, well, not officially as there will be a time of transition but doing a dual role has presented some challenges. Time management of course, but what I want to talk about is falling into old patterns of behavior…something we can all relate to I’m sure.
Just as some of you may have made New Year’s resolutions, whether it was to lose weight, curse a little less, call your parents more, eat more mindfully, odds are with the nation’s events over the past few weeks there was every excuse in the world to fall back into some previous behavior.
Mine was feeling like I had to do it all myself. And truth be told, I didn’t get here by myself, and I’m not going to get THERE by myself. What I know to be true is that God brought me to it, so God will bring me through it. When I find myself in times of trouble (Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, LET IT BE), I just need to turn it over and let Him take the wheel.
If there is one thing, I know that I’m good at, that’s complicating the simplest things in life. When I boil it down to basics, and this is borrowed for sure, it really is as simple as Trusting God, Cleaning House, and working with others. I need to turn all my controlling, manipulating, calculating, trying to figure out the outcome to the One who knows what is best. It doesn’t mean I don’t make plans, cuz I do a ton of that, but I don’t plan the outcome. I need to clean my side of the street: if I wrong someone, I make it right. And working with others which is so critical today. Giving back what I have been truly blessed with when there is so much need. It’s not the government’s job, or THEIR job, but it is OUR job to care for our neighbor, brother/sister. It’s the human thing to do.
And lastly, I need to remember to forgive myself when I go astray and fall back into those old patterns. I am human, and that is ok. When I recognize what has happened, I need to get back up on that horse and ride again…and again…and again…and again.
What a line from a classic Christmas song. Don’t we need that now more than ever? Empathy Fatigue, Covid Exhaustion, uncertainty around every turn.
Good tidings of comfort and joy.
So I asked myself: what am I doing today to bring about this comfort and joy?
Do I stop and help someone in need, giving the most precious of gifts, my time, or just write an end of year check to get the tax write off?
Am I stopping to lend an ear to someone who might be lonely and hurting? Or am I too busy getting just the right gift and planning for next year’s sales quota to pause, slow down, and listen to pain in their heart?
Can I for just a moment look for the pain behind the angst of yelling and screaming of someone in a store rather than judge them secretly and then share the ridiculousness of their tale when I see a friend later that day to be dismissive and feel superior that I haven’t over-reacted in this holiday season…YET.
Let’s face it, this year which has been unlike any other (sure, insert the punch in the throat for saying that over-used phrase of 2020, I’ll take my licking) we have almost grown numb to simply being human and doing the simple acts of kindness that make us so.
Maybe that’s what I’ll get my husband this year, random acts of kindness. Yeah, that’s it. That’s what I’ll get him. I’ll return all the gifts under the tree, save all that money and just give him kindness. I’m sure THAT will go over well, lol. Truthfully, it probably would. But if he reads this and returns my gifts…well, let’s just say this merry little elf might not be so merry come Christmas morning. You see, I do like getting presents. I do like that material stuff. There, I said it. And it’s 2020, so go ahead and judge me. I’m ok with it!!
Is it just me, or does it seem that the level of service has just gone downhill over the last little while? Oh my, could it be that I’m just getting old? That’s something people in the second half of their century of life say. I take it back, let me start over.
Is it me, or are kids these days just not as customer service oriented as we used to be when we were younger?
Nope, that doesn’t sound any better.
So, we went to the Apple store yesterday so I could surprise my husband for our Anniversary. The gentleman who assisted us was great, very knowledgeable, friendly, gave us good options, and set us on our way to transfer all the data which would take about 20 minutes. He informed us to just grab another person when it was complete to erase the old phone before leaving.
Then we encountered what we shall term, “who asked you for your personal opinion” gal. Now I get it, I may have been a tab rude when I stated that getting a block with a new phone should be included to see the response. And when I called her out for giving ‘the company line’ she wasn’t having any of it. But for her to say that she personally preferred that and condescendingly then speaking to us after that? Um, no. You are in customer service, and you check your attitude at the door.
Now this blog today isn’t about her attitude, but rather about forgiveness and gratitude…I know, I know, get to it then.
Gratitude that during this pandemic we are splurging on such an extravagance…. I get it.
The forgiveness comes from not sending the email and shredding her to her superiors which would be my normal course of action. Was it deserved? Hell yes. But instead I chose to show some mercy, rather than exact vengeance. Who knows what she was going through that day? And what did it cost me besides getting my pride ruffled a bit because I was trying to be the big shot and possibly weasel a free charging block out of the deal in front of my hubby.
But here’s the rub, in my mind, despite forgiving, it still rattled in my brain, and I had the ‘opportunity’ to dream about it overnight. Not directly, but metaphorically. So, I had a chance to forgive all over again.
I share with you not to disparage this gal at the Apple store, but rather to ask that this holiday season, maybe we can all be a little more thankful for what we have…and be a little more forgiving as we don’t know what others may be challenged with when we encounter them.
Wanna know why I didn’t say ‘inhale’? Because a friggin pandemic is going on people!! LOL. But seriously, can we all just take a step back, take a breath, and let the temperature come down about three thousand degrees?
The election is over, the votes have been counted, and it’s time we all got on with the business of being ONE human race. Being kind to one another, listening a bit more and shouting at one another less. Finding something in common with those across the aisle, street, or country, rather than lobbing verbal grenades to incite a response.
Take a breath.
This has been undoubtedly the strangest of my 49 years on the planet earth and I’m sure you all can join me in saying that I’m not exaggerating the term ‘unprecedented’ when describing 2020. So can we all just take a moment this holiday season (can’t be believe I just used that phrase, will blame my spouse for starting in with the Christmas music already, lol) and remember it’s a time for giving: of our hearts, of ourselves, and maybe, just maybe, a bit of forgiveness to others for what they may have said or done.
Take a breath.
We need some healing. As individuals. As a nation. As a world. But it starts with each of us, as individuals. Just one person at a time. Won’t you join me?
I’ve always been annoyed by the phrase, “turn that frown upside down.” Have you ever taken a picture of someone frowning and rotated the photo: CREEPY!!!
I was on a business call the other day and it was so refreshing that I could be myself: playful, joking, joyful. Not the typical stuffy business call with a new client, but the type of video conference with a new marketing team where the two sides really seemed to click with ideas and the result was nothing short of amazing.
So why is it that we sometimes hide our light to try and play the part of a ‘professional’? I’m kind of tired of playing that role. And maybe coming out of this pandemic business will realize that things must change, which include not being so darn stuffy!!
If you are familiar with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, they have Rule #62: don’t take yourself too damn seriously.
And isn’t that the truth.
If we could all just chill the f&*% out (told you to stay tuned and you would learn the acronym CTFO), know that our country will continue no matter the outcome of the election, and that with a little bit of kindness on all of our parts and listening proportionately with our ears to mouth ratio, perhaps we can once again live in a world that I would be proud to welcome my grandbabies into (and nope, none on the way…but I can hope!!!).
Go in peace, take a piece, but don’t forget to leave a piece for the next!!!
I don’t know about all of you, but 2020 is not a year where I’m going to allow anyone else to tell me to try to live a life in balance anymore.
With a pandemic, looting and rioting, unemployment out of control, a man that lives in a house that is white telling us that he is cured after just 5 days ill with Covid-19, the stock market higher than it’s ever been (give or take), Russia and China not rooting for the same outcome of an American election…shall I go on?
Nothing is in balance.
So rather than trying to live a life in balance, I’m going to substitute that phrase or concept for the rest of this year with simply trying to do the next indicated thing and let the chips fall where they may.
I don’t have to try and control the outcome. Heck, if I thought I had any part in outcomes then I would have pulled all my retirement funds out of the market on February 28th, then put it all back into stocks on April 1st. Looking back, that seems like a logical thing to do…pandemic, crisis, panic, rebound… ‘merica.
So I’m not going to try and fool myself into thinking there is balance in 2020.
Sure, I can hear the naysayers out there: “balance is an internal thing Greg” …”it’s a state of mind when you calm your inner self and find your connection to…”. Yep, I have one to say to those folks…there’s a place for balance, it’s on a beam, and there aren’t any gymnastics this year at the Olympics, or at the college level right now, so pffft to your theory.
Ok, ok, those of you who know me may be saying to yourself, “he’s gone off the deep end, send for reinforcements, preferably with a straitjacket.”
But truthfully, I’ve never been better. I just have a more realistic understanding that trying to make sense out of this year is an exercise in futility.
So, perhaps you will join me in giving up the idea of balance as we approach ‘an historic election’ (as if every 4 hears our democracy isn’t an historic undertaking…sorry to those of you who are dramatizing this one over the previous 44) in a time of complete unknowing, find a way to do the next indicated thing, lower expectations, and just take deep breath with me and CTFO. And if you don’t know the acronym, stay tuned to next week…just know it has to do with Chill… 😊