Hold up, wait a minute! Where did the time go?

There are times in life when you just have to say, “Hold up, wait a minute! Where did the time go?”

I’ve found myself saying that at least once a week over the last few months. I’ve wanted to write. I’ve needed to write. BUT, I could not bring myself to do it. Why? I haven’t a clue. I mean I do have somewhat of a clue, like the simple fact that by the time the end of the day hit, dinner was made, the house was cleaned, errands were run, people were visited, and life was in full swing…I was exhausted. Completely drained. And in some cases, in a lot of pain. I can put on a brave face, and try to look fine, and in most cases I succeed. Then there are days I just want to sit in my leggings and scroll the newsfeeds, get caught in the sickness of politics, life in the outside world, and forget what it is that’s bothering me at the moment. Hey at least I got out of my pajamas, and changed clothes, amiright?

Then there are the moments I have an idea, a spark of something to write about, and then I self censor. The critic inside my head has much to say.

“No one wants to read this or that. It’s not interesting. It’s not relevant. It’s not good enough. It’s boring. It’s not funny enough. It’s not thought provoking. It’s not timely. People don’t even see your posts. It just sucks.

That’s when I cave. I give in to the negativity, I give in to the inner critic. The critic that really sucks in it self.

Then there are the moments when I run into people and they ask me,

“How come I haven’t seen your blog posts? Am I not looking in the right place? Am I missing it in my newsfeed? Have you stopped writing? I haven’t seen you at the coffee shop, where you normally write from. Where have you been?

I’ve hit a wall I’ve often said. I feel there isn’t much to write about right now. Life has drained my energy level and I don’t have it in me to write anymore. But that’s not always true. I have it in me, but I feel it’s not good enough. I should just say screw it, put it to page, and let it happen. I’ve wanted to write about our vacations this summer and fall, the places we’ve seen, the food we’ve eaten, and yet when I go to write, I’m stopping myself.

That’s when it hit me. New Year’s Eve.

The ball had dropped, Mariah Carey had a meltdown of sorts ( I actually was enjoying our company and didn’t pay much attention to the Dick Clark Rockin Eve celebration until the last 30 seconds or so) and it occurred to me…

What the fuck am I waiting for? Nike slogan ran through my head…Just do it! Who cares who reads it. Who cares if it’s good to someone else. Who cares if it’s funny, interesting, relevant, thought provoking. It may not be today, but it may be in a few months, or weeks or even years. And then even if it never is any of the above, Who the fuck cares. It’s good enough for me, it’s good for my soul, it gives me lightness, it gives me peace and it’s good enough for me.

Now here we are on the brink of a new year. No resolutions, just go with the flow and enjoy the moment.

Happy New Year. Happy days of writing whatever the heck I want to write about, if I want to write about it. If you read it, I appreciate it and thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you don’t read it, I appreciate that as well, and thank you from the bottom of my heart. image

A little tug at the heartstrings

I’ve been MIA from the blog for a few weeks. Not because I want to but because life is just all over the place in good ways. David and I were away a few times, once with the boys and once alone. So my time to blog has been a little constrained for good reason. But I needed to share a little something near and dear to my heart.

logo_of_the_united_states_marine_corpsMost people close to me know that, David is a former Marine…let me add Once a Marine, Always a Marine, and he’s my Marine.

A few weeks ago he had an appointment and we ran into each other at the food store before he went to it, and would later meet up at home. While I was there, buying manzanella olives, and some pickles, I saw this older gentleman who seemed to have a little trouble reaching the canned vegetables. Now I’m a shorty, but I did offer my assistance to see if I could help him get what he needed. He was so thankful, and told me he was looking for the canned corn but couldn’t find it. It so happened to be on a lower shelf and I picked it up for him and he thanked me so much. I told him to have a good day and enjoy his dinner.

I finished up my shopping and checked out. When I got home, I made a little something to eat and cleaned up a little bit. David arrived soon after, and he had this look on his face. Something was off, but it wasn’t bad, it was just that he had a little sadness in his eyes.

What’s the matter? I asked

He then tells me before his appointment he went to the pizza shop to get a slice of pizza, and about 10 min later an older gentleman walked into the shop.

As David relayed the encounter he spoke as if he was the gentleman.

He walks in and asks the waitress “Am I allowed to eat there?” When she said yes, he then asks “Can I have chicken Parmigiano and do you have hot Italian bread?”. She said yes to both and she seemed a little shocked. He then asks “Can I sit here and eat it at a table? She tells him to go and pick any one he’d like and his food will be right out.

“I noticed right away he was wearing a hat, he was a WWII Vet. A Marine. I tried to get the waitresses attention, but she kept ignoring me. Finally I walked up to her and told her to add his meal to mine. And if he asked, Thank him for his service, from one Marine to another Marine”

 

David brought me to tears, and I’m sure he’s not to happy I’m writing about this, it’s personal, it’s at a level I didn’t understand, Marine to Marine, that is. But I do understand.

“He looked so alone, and as he asked if he could eat there, it just hit me.”

I asked if the gentleman was wearing grey sweatpants, and he said yes. I then told him my little story, it was the same man in the food store I had helped with his canned corn. We took a moment just thinking about it. I told him in his own way he made that mans night and I’m sure that he’d be grateful for the gesture.

 

Fast forward to yesterday, I’ve been having a few rough days, dealing with some stressful situations and finally got myself back to my chiropractor for a long overdue visit. It put me in a better mood, physically and emotionally. I had tried to meet up with my girlfriend for breakfast afterwards but being a new mom her little man was calling the shots. So instead I went to breakfast solo, and a little diner I haven’t been to in years. After my chiropractic session, I couldn’t imagine sitting at the counter on a stool with no back, so I asked the waitress if she minded if I sat at her 4 top table since there were 2 others available. She didn’t mind and I took the one closest to the door. image

I ordered my food, and table by table the place filled up. As I was finishing up my coffee and eggs, an older gentleman walked in, and he had a cane. I could see there were no tables left for him to sit at and so I took another sip of coffee and tried to get his attention. The waitress saw this and motioned to him, he turned around and I told him that if he would like he could have my table as I was finished with my breakfast.

“Thank you so much, it’s hard for me to sit on the stools with no back to them. These old bones don’t move that easily anymore. But I don’t want you to move or stop eating on account of me” he said

“Not a problem, I understand. And it’s not a bother, I’m finished and even if I wasn’t I’d just offer for you to sit with me at this big table. I always welcome company.”

He thanked me again and I moved my plate and cup to the counter. The waitress mouthed “Thank you” to me and I nodded. As I waited for her to take his order, it hit me.

Why not.

I caught her attention as she started to walk back around the counter, and whispered, “Add his bill to mine” She smiled and walked away to put his order in. When she got back around the other side of the counter she asked me are you sure. I said yes, add his to mine. When I paid her I told her if he asked to tell him, I wanted to brighten his day with a smile.

As I turned around to leave I saw him sitting in my chair and noticed his hat. A WWII Vet. A Marine. I touched his arm, fighting back tears, and said

“Thank you for your service, have a wonderful day, and enjoy your breakfast”

“Thank you, and thank you for the table. Have a good day” he said

I walked out the door, with tears welling up. I don’t really know why, except that I did. I’m an emotional person, always have been. Heck as I’m typing this whole thing I’m fighting back tears.

I don’t write this post to brag about, David (he’s probably not going to like this at first because he doesn’t like to talk about himself or what he does) or myself for that matter. I write it because what a small gesture as these may be, can possibly make someones day a little brighter, a little less lonely. It is ironic that both men, completely different, yet so similar.

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What I do hope you take from this post is the next time you see someone, pay it forward, just for the heck of it. Buy a coffee, buy a donut, buy a meal. I did it because he was an older gentleman and he kinda tugged at my heartstrings, I had no idea he was a Veteran.

#AToZChallenge O is for: Oh The Places You’ll Go!

Dr SeussIt was my High School graduation on a blistery hot morning in June of 1993 and, Ms. Bauer, one of my schools English teachers gave a commencement speech. I’m sure similar ones have been heard around the country on many a graduation day and they probably included a pep rally of a speech. One to encourage growth and potential of every student that would be walking up to receive their diploma.

I have to admit, the reading of Dr. Seuss’s, Oh, the places you’ll go probably didn’t have a huge impact on me at that precise moment. But oh did it have an impact as my years in college went by and my life there after as well.

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Maybe I didn’t get to all the places I would have liked to, so far, but life as we know it is ever evolving and therefore the possibilities are still alive and kicking. Dr. Seuss knew what he was talking about all those years ago, his wisdom in childhood books with clever illustrations, and rhyming rhythmic snippets of insight may not always hit home when we are first read the lines, but as years go on and our own wisdom increases we begin to see their value.

Don’t lose sight of what’s ahead of you. All the uncharted lands you’ve yet to explore, the adventures that await you, the moment you walk out your door.

Oh, the places you’ll go!

 

 

#AtoZChallenge K is for Kindness

imageKindness comes in all forms, but most people automatically think of kindness towards others. Which in and of itself is a wonderful thing, but first before we can offer kindness towards others, we must be able to be kind to ourselves.

How many times during the course of a day are you unkind to yourself? Think about it. You put extra obstacles in front of you from the moment you wake up, you have unrealistic goals that you may not be able to attain, you don’t give yourself credit for the achievements you do reach, or possibly you think harshly about yourself and your valid accomplishments don’t feel deserving of a pat on the back. You think poorly of your self worth, feel unlovable, unattractive, or simply not good enough for yourself or for others.

Any of those sound familiar to you as you’re reading them? I’m sure at one point in our lives this is the case. Hopefully it’s not a daily occurence and you are being kind to yourself daily.

We need to reinforce the simple, yet often hard, act of kindness within our own lives. Kindness, like love, can not be freely given to another person unless we are able to let go of our own self imposed barriers, and give to ourselves first. It’s not being selfish, it’s fostering a healthy relationship with ourselves so we can also encourage healthy relationships with those in our lives.

Just as we can not teach a child respect, honor, discipline, and love unless we are ourselves practicing what we preach. Do not expect to hold another person to a higher standard if you yourself can not at least try to do it for yourself. That wouldn’t be fair to them, or you for that matter.

Be kind to yourself, so you can be kind to others. Practice daily moments of self kindness. Tell yourself in the morning that you are good enough, lovable, worthy of goodness and happiness. These mantras of kindness will help you through your daily life and your interactions with others.

#AtoZChallenge: F is for F.Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald had a way with words, and that’s putting it mildly. His expression of love and admiration still rings true, and has the same impact all these years later. Not only are his love quotes meaningful, so are his quotes on writing and life in general.

I’ve often found deep meaning in his quotes. You can almost get lost within them, at least I can. Here is a sampling of some of my favorite, F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes.

If you have a favorite of his that isn’t listed, please share it below.

 

 

 

International Women’s Day

Pride sucks

Pride, it’s a double edged sword in my opinion some times. I have pride, I don’t like asking for help. In a society where people view asking for help as a plague on the economy, I don’t view it that way for the most part. But when it comes to myself, I don’t want to be a drain, I don’t want to ask for help. Even when I truly can use it. I let my pride, my independence get the best of me at the worst of times.

It’s detrimental to my own well being and I know that. Pride, can be an ugly thing, when we feel we don’t deserve the basic of needs. I know people who won’t ask for help if they need it, and I know people who are those plagues on society who expect things handed to them for free. People on both sides of the fence exist in this life. I strive to be neither of them.

I don’t want to be looked upon as taking advantage of services or things that could help benefit me, things I’m more than entitled to receive. And when I say entitled to, I mean things I’ve worked for, even if that work was a long time ago. I hate vague assumptions that are imposed on people who might, for whatever reason, need help. Not all people who need help are milking a system. Some truly need the assistance, not a hand out, but a hand up. But because of such a ugly stigma placed upon the dirty nasty four letter word “help” people who have pride, people who have self respect, people who let what other say about them if they found out hinder them reaching out when the need arises, will often choose not to seek help in the most dire of times.

It’s not healthy, it’s not beneficial, it’s in fact detrimental to their own well being, mental and physical health. No good can come of keeping all that stuff bottled up and not reaching out. Just as a sickness, either physical or emotional, if over looked for too long can turn into something more serious.

I don’t like to ask for help, it makes me feel weak, and I don’t want to see myself as weak. I always see myself as a strong, independent woman, who doesn’t rely on others to help her. If I can’t do it myself, it won’t get done until I can. If I can’t afford it now, I wait till I can. If I can’t go somewhere, or do something, or fix something, on my own, I will wait until I can.

Waiting isn’t always good. Sometimes waiting makes things worse, no matter how much you try to keep up with it, things fall through the cracks. Sometimes worrying about what others might think puts our own minds in a twisted funk, because that means being vulnerable at our most critical times.

Vulnerability, feels like weakness, but it’s within the depths of our vulnerability and weakness that we can muster the strength we need and ultimately realize we’ve had all along, because it takes a strong person to ask for help. Asking for help does not equal weakness or lack of trying. There comes a time when we realize we can’t do everything on our own, and that’s alright. It’s more than alright, it’s like finally feeling the sun on your face after a long harsh winter. You become alive again, you feel whole, you feel as if the weight of the world just might finally be lifting off your heavy burdened shoulders, shoulders that have carried a weight for far, far too long.

Isn’t it about time you kick pride in it’s ass, and let go of the things that truly hold you back.