November 24, 2013

He's Poking You With His Pattern

As a group activity, the children were making patterns with Unifix cubes. 

As is often the case, children find other uses for them than what the teacher intends.
One child found them to be a good "tool" for getting others attention; if in a negative way.
Another observant student informed the classmate, "He is poking you with his pattern." at which time the multi-tasker was asked to stick solely to the assignment.

Do you know someone who "pokes you with his patterns"?
I have also heard it stated as "pushing buttons", or "it always has to be their way"?

We all have "patterns"or habits in our lives.
Do we force our way of doing and seeing things onto those around us?
Or does someone else expect us to pattern our lives in the way they think is best for us?

I lived this way for part of my life.
Being told who and what I should be.
It thwarted my creativity.
It took the fun out of me and often what I was doing or wanted to do.
It made me uncomfortable and sometimes even miserable.
Yet it wasn't until it was brought to my attention from outside sources that I realized what was happening and why.
I was being expected to live a pattern created by another.
One that was not my own.

And.....(she wants to avoid admitting)....I, in turn was doing it to others too.
I wanted my children to have a better life than I, and thought I had a good pattern for them to accomplish that.
The better pattern.
The best way.
My way.
I learned and still am on some days, that as the students did; they might be inspired by another's ideas they hadn't thought of, but it doesn't mean they have to change their ideas and patterns of living unless they chose to.

So now I try to observe the patterns of others and make changes to my life as I feel will be beneficial to me,
And, I am trying to show that same respect to others.
I also try to stay aware when others are pressuring me to incorporate patterns that I don't want in my life, and feel confident enough to decline so I am no longer a victim of being pattern poked.

"Every man has a property in his own person.  This nobody has a right to, but himself."  ~John Locke

"He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce."  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

October 20, 2013

Every Child Is Worthy Of Love

10/14/2013  I wrote this the night after I found out my father had died.

Perhaps it is the finality of my fathers death and the truth that a relationship will never, ever exist, that has stirred up emotions I had not expected to have.

I am sad.  Tears are starting to flow from a heart that feels tight and uncertain; maybe more-so unfamiliar, as they are coming from a place within that has for most of my life remained untouched.  It is mainly uncharted 'father' territory.  

I think our hearts, like our minds, make room for things we invite and incorporate into our lives.  There is not a designated Father room in my heart's home.  There is a sign on the door but it is clear that it has not been utilized.  It is vacant.  There never were memories to put in there because there was never a person to create them.  It is a room that will now forever remain empty. 

In the book,  The Letter by Richard Paul Evans it says, "Mary Anne will neither enter the parlor nor acknowledge its existence.  I cannot fault her for such, as we all have rooms we lock and daren't visit, lest they bring pain."   

This may accurately express why this room in my heart has remained sealed.

I am not sure, but perhaps there were times growing up when I wondered about how a  father could abandon a child.  Especially one he knew existed.  As a mother, it is not something I can even conceive of.

Although I read this many years ago, I marked this passage (again from the book) as some part of it must have resonated somewhere in the recesses of my heart.  

"My whole life I have felt like I needed to talk to her [his mother], to ask her why she left me.  But I realized that what I really wanted to know is why I wasn't worthy of her love.  That is something she couldn't have answered, because I was worthy of her love, whether she gave it to me or not.  Every child is worthy of love."  (italics added)

Of this, I know without a doubt, and that knowledge is what will help me heal the empty room in my heart!

October 13, 2013

The Loss Of A Loss

Today I found out my father died.

It was through someone I don't even really know.

It was thoughtful of her to take time to look me up (thank goodness for social media) and let me know.

Probably for most people this would be an extremely sad day.

For me, I am sad.
But it is a different sadness.
I am sad that my father died and I did not know him
I did not develop a relationship with him to miss; so I am not sad in the way a daughter would be.
I am not angry at all either, as I have had my lifetime to accept this fact.
I am just sad that I "should" be sad at this time yet I never had a father to grow to love and therefore mourn.

But mostly I am sad for him.

So once again I say to all you active fathers in your children's lives.

Keep up the good work!  You are a blessing to the world!! 
And for generations to come!!

"You will find that if you really try to be a father, your child will meet you halfway."  ~Robert Brault,

September 29, 2013

Don't Process With The Lid Off

Have you ever inadvertently turned on the blender or food processor without the lid on?
Yep, you know what happens-stuff flies everywhere!
And it's a mess to clean up!

Well, I have found that I have that ability to have that same effect on people and situations. 

If I have started the "sorting" process with all the ingredients of what is upsetting me,
and added an assortment of pent up emotional spices , 
mixed with liquid tears, 
and maybe an addition of optional frustration and fear,
and do not put the lid on first,
before I push pulse, 
I. Make. A. Huge. Mess!

At least one that I am ashamed to claim came from my kitchen of personal recipes.

With processing,  just like with baking, if I try to rush things because I am impatient
or I try to "adjust the recipe" to how I am used to, usually doing it to please another,
I am headed for failure in some form or another.

This happened to me a few months ago.
Something had shown up unexpectedly in my life that threw my emotions and logical thinking for a loop (well, more like a tangle).
It needed my full attention and I had more processing to go through than a Lunch-able does. 

The trouble happened  when I involved others before I had a full understanding of what had upset me and what I needed to do to work through the pain.
Because I was not even clear myself what I was going through, I could not very effectively communicate to those around me where I was at or what I felt and needed.
Let's just say "Cinderellaaaa" was playing softly in the background as I scrubbed the floor on my knees cleaning up my mess.
(Now I will never get to the ball...)

"Working through" may have meant writing through it, 
going on a "talk/walk", 
talking it through with a trusted confidant,
or seeing a professional,
or a combination of them all depending on the difficulty of the "recipe",
(BEFORE I tried talking to whom I really needed to.)

When that is done in order, and the temperature (emotionally calm), 
and timing (when people aren't rushed or stressed) 
are correctly in place then we can take off the lid and dole out and serve what we prepared for the betterment of ourselves and those around us.
We can then share what upset us, what we need, and how we will change what needs changing if anything does.

So, although it is extremely important and even vital to process, everyone will feel much better if you do it with the lid on! 
(Then maybe we won't be late for the ball!)

"How much has to be explored and discarded before reaching the naked flesh of feeling."  ~Claude Debussy


September 22, 2013

Look In The Bottom Of The Bag!

My friend had given me a gift bag for my birthday.
I peeked in the top and said, "Uumm, chocolate!  My favorite!!  I can even smell it!"

But her young daughter wasn't satisfied that I had found the real gift, the best part yet. 
She said, "Look in the bottom of the bag!  See it?!  Look in the bottom!"

And there it was. 
The real gift!
A party blower!  

Only a child would have the sense to know what is more important than chocolate.
Celebrating life, laughing over simple things, enjoying the moment, and not worrying about looking foolish while doing it.
And although it may have a short shelf life, that while it lasts it creates long lasting memories.

Lately I have been handed some 'life' gift bags.
What I thought was most important on top can't compare to what is yet to be discovered.
And what appeared to be the "bottom" of some aspects of my life is where the greatest gift is just waiting to yet be uncovered.

I need this lesson right now.
I needed a reminder to celebrate the life I have now with those I love now.
To enjoy the simple things in life while I can, no matter how short that time may be.

That sometimes you have to look past what appears to be the best part, to find what "really" matters, even if you have to wait until you hit bottom.

"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip."  ~Author Unknown


September 15, 2013

The Heart Ride Home

Even trips to Disneyland eventually have to end.

The park closes.
The lights go dim, the noise subsides and the rides stop.
The fun, the adventure, the escape from reality comes to a close and the people are left to go back to their lives-outside of fantasy land.

Remember my Heart Ride?
Well, white horses don't always take us where we want to go.
Wise, experienced, mature ones, take us where we need to go.
Where we really belong.

The unsuspecting invite that had swooped me out of my routine, into another realm, and onto an unexpected white horse had changed my life.

Although it was as limited as a short "vacation" it had done what vacations are meant to do.

It had given me exposure to new experiences and rejuvenated my passion for daily life again.
And as with good vacations, it was cut way too short.
It also brought a familiar comfort from being in a place and with people who were part of my life, even though many years before.

You know, how sometimes you just yearn for an environment that you are well acquainted with where there is no need to be anyone else except who you you really are?
Well, that had happened for me.
It was a fun, wonderful place to be if only for a bit.

The "ride" exposed the rider and ridee to each other in ways that equaled those "back in time" romantic movies.
Feelings that had been dormant for years and had never totally disappeared, emerged from hibernation.
And yet like I had said, so had the changes we had each made as adults.

Those changes were clear reminders that yes, castles and occupants do indeed look different at mid-life than they did at eighteen and that expectations and dreams for those occupants change too.

It ended up not being a permanent place of residence for us.
But in the end, I believe, that good ol' Walt was onto something after all when he envisioned a place to imagine & experience dreams coming true if only for a short horse ride.  Because through all this I learned that sometimes a happily-ever-after ending, is only the beginning. 

September 11, 2013

You Ruined My Happy Life!

Although I was being reprehended from the back seat there was no problem hearing with clarity, "You ruined my happy life!"

I had taken my youngster away from her friends house with the a forehand understanding that we would only be able to visit for a short amount of time.
Somewhere between the school where the promise was made and the coveted place of departure, memory loss had set in.

Although she was able to stay and visit twice the amount of previously agreed upon time, her life was now ruined and I was the culprit.

What had started out to be an act of fun spontaneity had now turned into a future topic for her one-day-I-will-need-to-be-in-therapy session.

As I fought off any feelings of guilt (which by the way is a zillion times easier to do when it isn't your child), I reflected how even as adults, we can allow a single disapproving experience to "ruin our happy lives".

Have you ever done that?
Let the rain ruin the picnic and forget that you are in company with people you love?
Focus on the one disappointing report card grade and miss the child's love of learning?
Show disapproval to a spouse for not getting "it" (whatever that "it" is) right and forget that numerous people yearn just to have a companion? 

Well, I could have been a multiple-unhappy-life-reincarnated you-name-it I have done this so much.

When I viewed the melodramatic display from the rear view mirror, I could see the comical nature of it all.  
Why then is it so hard to see when it is me blowing things so far out of proportion that it appears I used explosives?
Why am I the exception to ridiculousness? 

Small people often teach large lessons.

So next time you might be thinking your happy life is ruined, stop and count your blessings instead.

"Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles." ~Maltbie D. Babcock  

August 20, 2013

Beauty And The Beast

We were working on her homework when she just got up from the bed and walked away.
I waited a minute and looked up to see where she went and saw that she had taken one of the three red roses she had in a vase by her bed and started cutting the stem pretty short.  (Where do these spontaneously sporadic actions come from?!")   We were working on a math worksheet!

(These were the ones in another part of the house.)

I, in my best, jump-to-conclusions-and overreact-any-chance-you-get-mothering-Beast-self (that I am ashamed to say dominated my parenting) said, "I don't know if you want to cut that off because if it's too short it can't get any water and will die."  (That was a useless thing to say because it was already cut by then.) (The disturbing part is I was at a nanny job and still was acting in my old role without hesitation or thought!)

She, in her stellar, I-am-just-going-to-ignore-what-you-just-said-Beauty-self said, "Here, Ms. Reyna, this is for you!", as she handed me a tiny vase filled with water, one red rose, some Baby's breath and a leaf (I know it has some official name... and probably isn't a leaf at all but stay focused).  (What child has a perfect size 3 1/2 inch glass vase right there in their bedroom?)

BEAST: I am worried that she's going to "ruin" the flowers and they will be wasted and unable to be enjoyed.  And they are expensive, beautiful red roses!  Who gets those very often? so we need to "preserve" them.  Cutting them up is not a very good idea! 

BEAUTY:  These are beautiful and should be shared with people whom I care about!  Here, I will just stop in the middle of doing the trivial, mundane stuff (such as homework), not worry about if its logical or a perfect presentation or that I will have less, and just go act on this good feeling I have right now.  See, wasn't that easy?  And look how happy it made her!!

This Beast can sure learn a lot from Beauty here.  
Maybe if I didn't worry so much about "stuff" and looked beyond material things, I would act more often on the pure motivation; of sharing kindness and love, thus not getting so caught up, that I miss the moment completely.

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

Flowers whisper "Beauty!" to the world, even as they fade, wilt, fall.  ~Dr. SunWolf,   

August 7, 2013

Let's Go For A Heart Ride

I was reluctant to just jump on the white horse with him at the invite and ride away although I knew him well.  It's just that it had been over thirty years since I had last rode with him.  The seventeen year old said, 'just go', the older version said, 'hang on a minute'.

Questions internally arose from me such as, 'Once you're a knight are you always a knight or have you become a distinguished King?'  And conscientious concerns like,' Does he realize too that princesses age and mature into (maybe not so stately) Queens?'

Things had changed.  He now owned a horse named Harley who sported leather and I had retired not only the Daisy Duke wardrobe I'd borrowed but what had fit into it.  Carefree youthfulness was taken away by maturity in the form of children, jobs, ex's, bills and other responsibilities.  Things that we before never knew existed in our youth (or at least couldn't care less about) had now become our common daily concerns.

But no matter how many years had passed I still had not become so mature that I had outgrown the belief in fantasy.  I was just more cautious, slower to be swooped away- trying not to jump on just any inviting horse ride.  I had had my share of long, lonely treks back from deserted castles and wasn't looking to travel that route again anytime soon.

However, age doesn't erase dreams, at least not completely.  The-little-girl-turned-woman who believes in fairy-tales still yearns for a happily-ever-after ending, even when experience has taught that it is a lot harder to come by than good ol' Walt portrayed.  And I had had my share of tin-foiled knights to prove that.

Still he came.  Inviting.  Fun and adventure didn't await 'down the road' it was right away.  Right now.   Boy, when you become conscious and appreciative of life's time-line itself, 'right now' is more than just alluring, it's practical and even more appealing.

Not having to do initial introductions and take time to build impressive facades saved us a lot of time.  Quality time.  Because we had already been there.  Plus it was extremely relaxing and comfortable just 'being'.

Passing years had been good to us as we had done much of our "growing" away from each other and now came open handed to share the 'fruits-of-our-labors' - the product of our efforts.  There is something uncharacteristically romantic about the transformation of a reformed, flimsy, tin-foil boy into a shiny knight without actually watching the process, but reaping the rewards.

 Maybe in some ways the years had helped us learn not to 'sweat the small stuff ' and at the same time it magnified them.  Experience just helps you to categorize better, straining out the small things that are trivial and unimportant in the big scheme of things, and appreciating the things that used to seem so 'small'.  

Castles look different at mid-life than they did at eighteen.  So do the occupants.  And the expectations of those occupants.  I don't know if it's a place of permanent residence, but it is nice to visit and have a "Disney-call" as one should never be too old to dream and to take, if nothing else, just one more ride down that road on that horse.

July 27, 2013

Stay Pretty

A couple of about 30 some years of age physically yet mentally younger, came into my place of work.

The woman was wearing a bright purple shirt with big flowers all over it, a purple bracelet that closely resembled a child's fancy, fabric hair tie, purple Crocs and purple socks, a purple necklace, and a purple flowing, veil-like headdress.

As they were leaving and I walked them to the door and thanked them for coming, she turned to me and said with an infectious, child-like enthusiasm and smile, "Stay pretty!  Stay pretty with your pretty necklace and your pretty hair!" 

Coming from someone else this may have seemed so superficial, so worldly and shallow.
It could have even been viewed as a sarcastic mockery (since I wasn't necessarily sporting either).
Yet it was anything but.

In all the sincerity of her heart she was wishing me well, heaping happiness and good fortune upon me.
Wholeheartedly admonishing me and reminding me to embrace and enjoy loving life!  

To stay pretty.

And although her words addressed tangible elements, the real unadulterated message from her was much deeper.
It was her speaking "Stay Pretty" to my heart.
To stay pretty from the inside out, so much so that it would be evident by the energetic, spirit filled glow that would radiate around me.
Something she had obviously learned to do and by her pure example was living as part of her daily life.

I vow to try to not disappoint and to do my best to "stay pretty"!

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart."  ~Kahlil Gibran

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

July 16, 2013

They Call Me Stupid

Who determines who the expert label-er is?
Ugly, selfish, unlovable, fat, slow.

Well, I was stamped with the "stupid" sticker/label.  
Remember in middle school where unbeknownst to the recipient it was taped to their back?  
Well, adults are a little more mature-they just say it behind your back.

So guess what I did?

Well, at first, I just told myself that of course I wasn't a stupid person.
But somehow the outside words were stronger and louder, taunting and questioning my reassuring inside words.

I then reasoned that maybe logic would help so I looked up the definition because dictionaries don't lie right?
But guess what?
The definition could of described the situation I was in and therefore I could word-wise quantify for my new label.

So I then became more determined to prove that I wasn't stupid, recalling any kind of evidence I could conjure up to substantiate my internal claim.
That yes I was a person with some extent of educational or at least knowledgeable value.

In desperation, I thought of a time where I had spoken on the spot, unprepared in the company of many prestigious people, both in the local community and on the national level.
And how I had gotten complimented for my words after.
I pulled out the DVD of the event to re-watch myself  all the while being the only one that was so thirsty for validation that I was taking detailed mental notes.

But for what?
What was I going to do?  Set up my computer at work and say, "Hey everyone, come see what an influential speaker (another label) I am?"!
It was then I realized how ridiculous I was being.
Even if I had all the proof I could compile from the "intelligent" moments in my life, what did it matter?

Who really was I trying to impress, to convince?

It was then I comprehended how futile it was.

All that mattered is what I believed about myself.

I know better.
I know that people believe what they want to believe even if there is evidence to the contrary, so why did I allow myself to be jolted so far off course?

I will have labels plastered to me the rest of my life.
And the chances of acquiring even more new material as I show signs of aging are likely to be many.

So when am I going to stop worrying about others opinions of myself and consider the self-imposed ones?

Do I like who I am?
Do I like what I see?
Do I like who I am becoming?
Do I like my company?

Because really I am all that matters.

We are the only labelers in our lives whom we should be concerned with.
And even sometimes we need a label check-up because if our self evaluation is low we may need a tune up as our own labels may be askew.

"Labels are for filing.  Labels are for clothing.  Labels are not for people."  ~Martina Navratilova

July 4, 2013


Graduation became an important subject for my little friend as she finished school in the 4 year old class and left her last day knowing she would come back a Kindergartener. 

She said,  "You just think I'm a little girl, but  I'm GRADUATING!"

When I asked her what graduation was she replied,  "You know how you get caps and you throw them up in the air - that's graduation."   
"And it means getting a new car."

Evidently none of my children have graduated after all....

June 23, 2013

The Loan That Made Me Rich

After being on a flight that was packed full, when I changed planes and had a chance to have a  row of seats all to myself I went to the far back of the plane and set myself up for a relaxing flight.

Following the lead of the friendly, but territorial guy in front of me, I sat in the aisle seat making it clear I did not want to share.

When the flight attendants were making their way down through the plane double checking the bins overhead- a sign that we were set- I slid over to the window seat to prepare for the nap I had been waiting for and desperately needed after sleeping maybe two and a half hours the night before.

I was getting my pillow out of my bag when I looked up, surprised to see a thirty some year old woman sitting at the end of my row.

I shook my head and sarcastically yelled, "REALLY?!" from inside my head.
She took no notice.  Did she not see that there were other completely empty rows she could of and should of chose from?! 

By then the announcement to turn off all electronic devices was made.
She ignored it.  Did she not understand English?
But when the attendant came by and told her to specifically turn it off, she nodded yet still ignored her.
The fact that she sat in my row, was oblivious to my "evil eyes" and frustrated body language, along with the fact that she was putting all of our lives in emanate danger, was just too much.

I would get the attention of the attendant as soon as possible and do the elementary school protocol and "tell on her".
That was until I noticed the outgoing, funny lady across the aisle from us giving the sneaks- look to my criminal row-mate  as she still had her phone on too.  She was the kind of woman who had the, "Honey, you don't wanna mess with me " look so I scrapped that idea.

As soon as we started to taxi on the runway, the convict made a comment to me and then asked a question about some other planes that were visible from my nap-to-be-window.
I commented back and we started a conversation that would last the duration of our flight.

Criminals are over rated sometimes.  This lady was very nice, and obliviously innocent to so many things and had a great interest in my family and me.  
She was also very kind, educated and thoughtful.

Surprisingly she too had struggles in her life and had some of the same parenting concerns I had.
She shared that she was from another country and her story of coming to America.

A few minutes into our budding friendship I had become conscientiously  aware of my heart slowly softening towards her and my demeanor changing.  She was no longer this irritant and person worthy of hating but a vulnerable woman just like me.

The moment I felt the most guilt for my unkind feelings and thoughts (that she was totally clueless about and that I was now thankful for her oblivion) was when she excitedly said, "You are rich!"

"In my country of Vietnam if you have four boys you are considered rich." 
"It's true" she said, "The families with four boys or five girls are always rich!"
Her enthusiasm was contagious and convincing.  I believed her!
I was so grateful I had openly invited her into my life-otherwise how would I have ever known the blessing from another country that was mine to receive?!

Our plane landed.
She left to meet up with her coworkers and I remained as I was still not at my destination.
She realized we had not even exchanged names and she returned to ask me who I was.
Then she said, "I am Loan L-O-A-N like money."

So there you have the story of the Loan that made me rich!!!  

"One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind."  ~Malayan Proverb

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own."  ~Benjamin Disraeli   


June 13, 2013

Now I Really AM Sure

Do you ever think you are going to do something (at least in your mind) and then when the chance arises it does not play out how you had envisioned?

Well that happened to me a couple weeks ago.

Remember when I said, "Don't Be So Sure"? 
I quote myself as saying then, " I wish I could say a sincere thank you to this man for doing what he did and all that it taught."

Well, I guess for me anyway, writing something and actually following through with my written intentions are not the same thing.  

This man came into my place of work again and I did not do what I had vowed I would, given the chance.
I don't know why.
For one thing it wasn't my table.
Another excuse was because the timing wasn't "right".
But mostly it was probably because I really wasn't sure what I was going to say & how I was going to start it.
"Um, by the way, I was glad you didn't hate me or at least show me you did.  Thanks."

After he left I had sentiment of unresolved remorse, feeling like a hypocrite telling you all that I would do this, but not following through when I had the chance.

I re-vowed that day that I would not again let the opportunity pass if it arose once more.
Well, today was the day.
It started out the same.
Not my table.
Not sure what to say.
But what was different today is I told the girl I was working with (a different one from the original encounter) that I needed to say something to one of her customers.

Enter Mr. Excuse and his buddies, imposing thoughts of embarrassment to all 3 of us (the man was with a friend again) and ideas that it might ruin his appetite and moment of conversation, so I retracted.
But my young co-worker (oh naivete) did not forget and inquired whether I had had a chance to talk to him yet.

So Procrastination being one of my non-birth-certificate-names waited until he was leaving.
Like, literally out-the-door-leaving when I chased him down.

I asked if he knew who I was.
Yes he did.
I said that I wanted to thank him for being kind and professional (or some awkward, not even making sense statement) and guess what?
He said he didn't think we should hold on to (negative) things like that.
I said I blogged about it (great line right, telling some estranged person you wrote about the thought that they might be a jerk?!) and I said I had really appreciated what he did.
And you know what?
He thanked me!
Yep, He. Thanked. Me.
Now I am sure he is a man traveling a higher road than I.

I want to say that I know all imagined and even hoped for second chances may not end up as positive as this one did for me. 
Nevertheless, I would encourage you to confront your situation if you feel a need.
Because even if he would have reacted in an opposing way, my heart would be at peace (after mourning) knowing I gave it an honest attempt.

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."  ~G.B. Stern

June 6, 2013

I Killed The Invisible Man

Is it really possible to kill something that isn't real
or that you can't even see?

 If you ask a Kindergarten boy he would answer with a resounding, "Yes!"
(as he runs around the playground getting rid of his demons).

Have you ever thought about that?
Not asking a Kindergarten boy,  but of getting rid of the things in our lives that we can't even see?

Imaginary is sort of like invisible isn't it?
Things that sound like: 
"Something must be wrong with me because it seems like they are looking at me,
Or talking about me",
"I am a bad......"
(*you fill in the blank)
*note-only one negative comment per person,

Or "I am a failure",
"No one loves me because I am unlovable",
"No one will miss me if I'm gone",

Who is the invisible man?!
What does he even look like?

Many of us have this nemesis in our lives.
He is not usually some handsome dark male dressed in colorful tights with a cape (darn it!).
He often looks like people we know or he even closely resembles us
(He looks like those negative messages above.)
His job is to bring us down, to make us believe things are not good, are lost; that we are lost.

This of course is not true. 

His invisibility makes it harder for us to address.
It was like Big Bird trying to convince people that there really was a Snuffleupagus when they never really saw him.
It is hard for others to understand where all these thoughts, thus causing our often irrational behavior, come from for they are only in our heads.

Yet they are so powerful they are destroying us.

Some of them are keeping us in shame, living in fear that someone may uncover "the truth".
Only, our truth is a  fallacy.

Yep, that little boy is right.
The Invisible Man has got to go!
Take out your therapy swords, your (real) truth serum, your best supportive friend Snuffy and slay that I.M.!!!

Box Office hits are made about conquering villains.
Now is your chance to become the award winning Lead Actor/Hero in your own Life!!!!

"Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable."  ~Theodore N. Vail

P.S.  Something awesomely funny happened when I was trying to change the color of the quote text.  I accidentally pushed a wrong button and the words disappeared.  I was all sad thinking I would have to search through all those quotes again to find it and found out the words were still there but they had become invisible!  (Well, white on white background.)

I loved the irony and wanted to leave it, but it wouldn't help much to have an inspiring quote if you couldn't even read it now would it? (I know I need to get a life.)

May 28, 2013

The Glitches In Life

Do you ever get those?

You know, the things defined as a defect or malfunction in a plan?
Like, in your life plan?

Well, they show up faithfully in my life.
I am not an OCD or even real disciplined planner but I do try to have some direction that I am heading towards in life.

And then The Glitch Who Stole Structure shows up.
In Whomeverville. (Where I live.)
With things like dental challenges (smiles and chops for eating are pretty important),
Car trouble (someone telling you smoke is coming out of your parked car from under your hood is not the kind of BBQ you want),
Illness or health issues (should be left to commercials only),
Relationship struggles (forget about the happy endings that movies portray),
Financial trials (who needs the fountain of youth, I'm still looking for the money tree plantation),
And major home repairs (projects that HGTV House Crashers wouldn't even touch!).

Unlike the movie, all the joyous singing I can muster doesn't make my wallet grow three times larger or alter the "presents"  (see above) sent my way.
It doesn't soften the Glitches heart either.

But guess what?
I change. 

As I qiut singing "You're a Mean One Mr. Glitch" and I sing songs of gratitude and count the presents wrapped in Blessings paper (although few and pretty worn looking) my heart starts to soften.

In some weird Cindy Lou way, I start to see the Glitch as someone with something(s) to offer, to help learn and grow from.   And instead of asking "Why are you taking my happiness tree?  WHY?"  I start to trust and believe that maybe there is a Christmas hidden within the trials after all.

And even though many of my life "presents" have been literally dumped in the abyss by the Glitch, I realize that maybe Christmas life doesn't mean not being poor...., maybe life... perhaps....means a little bit more.

Maybe it is realizing all that I do have (Glitches and all)-even if  just Roast Beast.

 "Christmas is a time to open our hearts to God and his gifts.  Just like the rest of the year."  ~Author Unknown

DISCLAIMER: I know this may seem untimely mentioning Christmas in the summer, but glitches come all the time and I should remember the blessing and ultimate gift that Christmas brings all year long.

May 21, 2013

What Is YOUR Speed Limit?

Do you know what your speed limit is?
Not the one on the main street closest to your house or on your most frequented routes, but the one that your life is comfortable running on.

Have you ever felt like you were "driving" faster than you could keep up with? 
That your life resembled the autobahn with no limit except your interpretation?
That you might almost lose control on those unexpected curves in life?

Or maybe that you aren't moving at all? 
Stuck in life's "traffic jams" at a standstill-feeling like the progress is so slow it feels as if there in none being made-although the speed limit is greater than zero?!

Let's think about some real speed limits in life.

When there are very little obstructions and distractions and life is "good" per se, we can zoom on down life's road at highway speed, often even using cruise control.
This can be a time to "visit" or relax (sometimes almost falling asleep) and just enjoy the ride.
We don't have to worry about much stop and go.  We aren't even the one pushing the gas pedal.  

Other times there are many busy things going on around us so we are more cautious and use downtown business speed.
For safety of the steady to and fro it requires that we pay added attention and react accordingly, watching diligently for the unexpected. 
This is not a place to be complacent.
This may be the speed we most frequently drive at with stress adrenaline running high.

Residential speed is set for the safety of pedestrians, pets and local traffic.
It is to protect our loved ones.
Especially those who may not be able to protect themselves.
It can get easy in our hustle and bustle in life to forget about these special beings and use the inappropriately dangerous highway speed limit to "rush through life" past our loved ones.

Other times when we are at a learning stage in our lives, we need to remember the 15 MPH
school zone limit.
Yes, it is one of the slower speeds but it too has been established to protect the innocent.
The reduced speed helps us respect the crossing therapist guard whose job it is to safely help his students get to the other side of our (life's) road.

Then there are the exceptions of speed limits.
The temporary.
As is the case in construction zones.
There is a lot of work going on, unusual situations, detours, and human beings working very close in harms way.
There is a double fine (or extremely high one) if caught speeding in a construction zone.
For very good reason.
It is a precarious situation.
Why then when our lives are "under construction" because of an adversity in life do we not offer ourselves those same respectful exceptions and added safety measures?

Perhaps one we use the most is the traffic control one.
The one where we are obstinately obedient and follow the "safe limit" because we are being "watched".
Where our choices are based on whether or not we think we could "get in trouble" .
When integrity is gone and our chances of "being caught" are what determines our behavior.

Since our lives are constantly, unpredictably changing, our most healthy consistent alternative is the variable speed limit.
The one that monitors conditions and changes accordingly as needed. 

Some people grew up in a variable speed home county and follow directions faithfully, knowing that some slowing while driving through life is just temporary and they accept and enjoy whatever the life pace that has been set for them.
Others like me.....
Well, at some point, life's "construction" should have a finishing deadline in place and I, the privilege of enjoying the journey and not just blankly driving to my "destination". 

"No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable... and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property".[19]

"Yes, Officer, I did see the speed limit sign. I just didn't see you." ~Author Unknown

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