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

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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.

Wisdom Wednesday 

Wisdom Wednesday

#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!

 

 

Blazing inferno

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Sitting quietly, sipping a cappuccino, Johnny Cash’s One Piece at a Time playing in the background

I’m gazing out the window, looking for a sign of what to write.

Inspire me! I yell under my breath.

Where is that spark I’m needing to ignite this fire?

It’s there, I know it, hiding quietly behind its cloak of secrecy, toying with my psyche

The days go by in a blur, one melding into the next

How did I get here?

How did I come this far?

Snap out of it! The headlights scream back at me, as they flicker in the dreary light , zooming past one by one

Then a lull and an eerie bleakness permiates the atmosphere

Green

Yellow

Red

Flashes in the distance, as we follow with intent.

The rush of wind whipping across wheels, sloshing through the rain, spraying with delight across the pavement

Where are we going?

How long till we get there?

Time keeps rushing, faster, faster, faster

Take a moment and surrender

Before we know it time has passed us by, and we’ll soon ask again…

How did we get here?

Life is not worth living, if we are living it in a blur.

Let it all sink in

Bask in the delight that surrounds us daily.

Embrace the little sparks that appear along the way, and turn them into that blazing inferno!

Inspiration, Observations, Worship, Ramblings, and Giggles galore.

I often find my most inspirational moments while sitting quietly at the local organic coffee roaster, or while on a trail walk in the woods. I haven’t been walking lately, the weather hasn’t been cooperating enough for me to get out there and hit the dirt. It’s been damp and rainy or way too hot depending on the day. And the moments that I am willing to go out there and take on my 3 mile tour, I find myself getting into a funk and not wanting to go.

IMG_5183I want to get lost down the rabbit hole, go on an adventure and get lost on the trails. But I always seem to find an excuse. Today I awoke and was destined to go out on the local trail, then the clouds rolled in and the grey gloomy weather started to appear. Breaks of sun and sudden downpours occurred, and the clouds, oh the clouds resembled snow clouds, big puffy fluff filled clouds.

I hate walking in the rain, the mud, and bugs. Mosquitoes have taken over the woods, and the ticks are at an all time high. Not much fun or head clearing space to be had among the trails when I’m constantly swiping at the dive bombing nuisances. The Off spray isn’t even doing its job as it has in the past.

So I retreat to the shop, prop up the laptop and gaze out the window watching the rolling clouds. Feeling the deep stare of peeping eyes. Maybe I look familiar? Maybe I look like I shouldn’t be involved in my laptop? Maybe I have a booger on my face? Who knows! I look up and we make contact, two young girls, barely in their 20’s sipping on cappuccinos, wispy hair and flowy dresses. They notice me noticing them, and break the gaze. Fine and dandy, let me get back to my blogging.

Very hard to keep an active open mind when random words fill the air around me.

“You want to give the best of yourself to the one who was made for you. You don’t have to take up partnership with all the people giving themselves to you. You need to keep self-control, and if you falter, regain composure and repent your ways. Obviously the ones you give yourself to along the path to your destiny have no place in your future and they will never find the one meant for them if they keep searching on their own. Temptation is around every corner, and we have to ward off that temptation with proper worship.”

That conversation gets a must needed reprieve for my ears and mind by a young father who quietly walks in but catches the corner of my eye.

Car carrier in one hand, holding his young daughter no older than 5 with the other hand, he steps up to the counter to order an Americano. Sitting at the closest table they start to play rock paper scissors. The prize ~ a blueberry muffin. She wins! Giggles ensue and her loose blond curls fly side to side with her enthusiasm. That’s when I spy some tiny little toes peeking out from the carrier at his side. The giggles become contagious, filling the airspace and distracting all but the preaching going on behind me.

The whir and whistle of the espresso machine slowly drown out the rest of the conversations. The swoosh of the ice scooper digging out a cupful, the pound of the tamp against the espresso grind filled portafilter, all joining in a symphony creating their masterpiece which promptly gets placed on the pine countertop without missing a beat.

” Hot chai tea latte please, but I’ll be right back. I need to go wash my hands first, is that okay?” Asks the next customer.

The question breaks my gaze out the roadside windows.

“Sure go right ahead. Medium or Large?” “Medium please and thanks”

The symphony begins yet again, just missing the swoosh of the ice scooper this time. He promptly returns. Wearing his sunglasses while inside on a dark and gloomy morning, he sits at the remaining open table. Taking a long slow methodical sip from his cup he exhales the most exhaustive sigh. All eyes upon him now, but he seems unfazed and unaware. Stretching backwards in his chair, arms reaching for the ceiling. Back legs are the only thing supporting him now, he leans deeper into the stretch, but luckily his imminent fall is halted by a small makeshift side-table.

That would have been a sight to see…

Inspiration comes in many forms, some of which we don’t expect and in some of the most delightful ways.

“Jungle love, it’s driving me mad, it’s making me crazy, crazy.”

“Why is that song on your iPod? asks one barista to the other! Don’t you have any good music on there?” He just smiles. And the earworm will stay with me until the next awesome song invades my eardrums.