Passion Is In Fashion!

I like to live dangerously!  The thrill of zip-lining, or the rush of rock climbing.  Running a marathon.  Hiking through Europe.  Bike stunts.  Skateboarding tricks.  My goodness there are so many exhilarating moments!  Hot air balloon rides and white water rafting!  Honestly, the list is endless.  I am quite the daredevil and proud of it.  Hopefully, through my brave, adventurous life, you too will find that hidden childhood desire and live an inspiring and fulfilled life like I do.  Oh, by the way, I have never done any of these listed things, but I do find ways to live on the edge.

I ate bacon four times last week.  Yes, yes, I did and I’m not ashamed to brag about it.  Do you know what else?  I had a sunny side up fried egg to go with it.  There was also toast AND, oh yeah, it was buttered.  Booyah!  How do you like me now?  Uh huh.  I know.  I can almost palpably feel your envy at my exploits into endangerment.  Why am I being so foot loose and fancy free?

As a child I remember being unencumbered by my mortality.  I am sure you have seen kidlets jumping on a bed…up and down, and up and down, and…oops…BANG!  Too close to the edge.  Some bawling, either from actually bumping their head or just the shock of being misplaced.  Other than that they learn that they need to stay closer into the middle.  Lesson learned and more fun to be had.  How about the one year old that stands on the couch pulling at the blinds?  Yup, you know where this is going.  What makes them do such dumb things?

Are they dumb?  To us adults we can all become the Amazing Kreskin and foresee what shall happen (due to our own misfortunes and miscalculations), but to them it’s about exploring life.  That couch is their Mount Everest!  That bed is their trampoline!  Nowadays children have be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There is no longer places for them to play alone.   They can’t even go play on the jungle gym at the park without adult supervision.  I actually feel sorry for them.  Sorry that they can’t have that freedom of adventure that we had as children.

I believe my days in the summer went something like this:  wake up and have breakfast.  Out of the house so that my mother could clean.  Meet with kids in the neighbourhood and play until someone’s mother called for them.  Lunchtime!  Rush home.  Eat lunch.  Run out the door again to play.  Someone would hear the holler of dinnertime and again…home to be fed and then out to play.  No adults were with us.  No teenagers were with us.  We got to goof off and do silly things like fall out of trees or go wandering around the forest and be amazed to see a dead rabbit.  (Two little bites in the neck.  We thought there were vampires nearby).  We would come home sweaty, dusty, or muddy… and exhausted.

As we became adults the “fun” goofy things were replaced by order and rules.  School had rules.  Jobs had rules.  Society had rules.  So many rules and so little place to have fun.  We are told, in many different ways, how we should think and what we should believe.  Commercials tell us what will make us happiest.  Buy their product and your life will be full of sunshine, roses, and unicorns.  Ahhhhh…how great our lives will be.

Weird thing is, and you might have noticed this, it seems that this is kind of where we become like children again.  We beg and pine for something and know that our lives will be incredible once we get it.  That “it” could be anything from something expensive like a car or something as simple as a hamburger.  Now, if you really think about it, that lasts for a bit and then suddenly, it’s not good enough.  There is something else you absolutely need in order to make your life the happiest thing ever!  In most cases, the feeling goes away quite quickly.  How can you change this?

Find your inner happiness.  Find your inner love.  Once you find that crazy happy place, the world around you will seem so much better.  It won’t matter what material things you have because the rest of the world will just seem so much more beautiful, colourful, alive.  Those “rose-coloured glasses” of your youth were removed by well-meaning adults, but it’s time for you to put those on again.  The world is a remarkable place, but we tend to look at what is missing in our lives and not what we already have.

Live with passion!  Live with a sense of excitement!  Find out what makes you happy and do it!  Who cares what other people think!  Those who live with a sense of adventure, spirit, and joy are the ones who are finding that gold nugget of excitement in their lives.  PASSION IS IN FASHION!

P.S.  Did I mention that egg was fried in the bacon fat?  Oh yeah…I’m living recklessly.

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Yolks on you…

I am a lover of eggs.  Eating eggs, that is.  I appreciate the variety of meals that can be made with eggs.  Restaurants caught onto this and started putting eggs on hamburgers.  Oh yes, the value of that golden, runny yolk is something to behold.  You would think that with all my culinary experiences in making appetizers and main meals that I would have a stellar advantage when making myself eggs for breakfast.  Sadly, the truth remains that the simple egg always seems to find a way to make me fowl up (haha, get it?) my breakfast plan.

My initial favourite type of egg for breakfast was the over easy egg.  As a child, my mother would make this ideal breakfast for me.  Mom’s recipe:

  1. Put a gallon of oil in the pan
  2. Crack egg shell with side of fork and drop egg into swimming pool of oil
  3. Use a spatula to splash boiling hot oil over the egg yolk
  4. Remove egg once there is a white film on yolks and yolks are still runny

What would happen if a yolk broke?  Well, that was the end of my day.  (I still believe this to be true.)  I used to gently nudge my fork tines against that whitened outer yolk and watch as the liquid began cascading around the rest of the fried egg white.  Every part of that egg needed to have yolk on it.  Of course, there were many other ways that she prepared this delicacy.

Sometimes a soft boiled egg.  What if she over-cooked it and the yolk slightly hardened?  Doomsday.  Hard boiled eggs...yummy!  Devilled eggs were the bonus to the hardboiled egg.  Eggs and mayonnaise!   My heart is screaming listening to its arteries harden.  Scrambled.  I didn’t like scrambled eggs at first.  They always seemed rubbery and had no flavour.  That was until Breakfast Man came into my life.  My beloved Wiseguy is Breakfast Man!  He can make any kind of egg I desire and it’s PERFECTLY PERFECT every time!  (Maybe fate brought us together for just for this reason.)  What kind of breakfast can Breakfast Man make?

Scrambled eggs.  My goodness they are fluffy and creamy and buttery and…are you salivating yet?  Yes, they are that good.  Eggs over easy?  You can shake the plate and watch those yolks jiggle with delight.  Omelette.   When Breakfast Man makes a cheese omelette you never know what kind of surprise you will find inside.  Spinach?  Mushrooms? Peppers? Chunks of leftover barbecued chicken?  Genius!  The fridge is Wiseguy’s muse; waiting for him to pluck something from obscurity and lead it into Breakfast Nirvana.  I know, I know, I sound like I have never eaten eggs before, but when you have had eggs prepared by Breakfast Man, you would drool as well.  Now, I told you these wonderfully, appetizing tales to share with you what happened yesterday when my breakfast desire was to make a nice soft boiled egg.

I put the egg in the pot of boiling water.  The egg cracked!  Darn it!  I pulled out a second egg, lost my grip and it fell on the counter.  Slight crack.  AAAARRRRGHHHHH!  Well, I turned off the pot of water and decided to make sunny side up eggs.  So, I took out a THIRD egg to add to my hairline fractured egg in hopes that one of them would turn out with a nice, runny yolk.  I added butter to my pan and the two eggs.  They fried for a bit and put the lid on the pan to steam them.   I put a nice thick slice of bread into the toaster.  I made myself a tea.  I LOST TRACK OF TIME AND OVERCOOKED THE EGGS!  The whites were rubbery.  The yolks were hard.  Prediction:  crappy day.  I was irked by my failure to procure the perfect yolk.  I severed one of the eggs and put into a container hoping I’d MacGyver it tomorrow morning via breakfast sandwich.  I decided to add the boiled egg to that mess.  I started to peel off the shell and discovered that the yolk was soft.  Perfectly cooked.  How did I miss that?

I am sure you have had days like that.  You might be a horoscope reader so you peruse your prediction for the day.  It says you will have challenges.  What happens?  You fulfill that destiny.  You have a crappy day because your horoscope said so.  My awful eggs?  I was predicting that I would screw them up and so I thought I had.  In my despair I had actually overlooked the good that had happened by focusing on all the bad that I had endured.

I think life is like my egg cooking journey.  (It’s a stretch but follow along.)  There are so many things we want perfect in our lives.  Perfection means we have control and can make sure everything is in its place.  We wake up wanting to be happy, but more often than not, we focus on all the things that are wrong and that need to be fixed in order to make our lives better.  If we actually stopped and focused on all the marvellous things in our lives, we would find the gold nugget (or egg yolk).  That little thing that would put a smile on our faces and make the things that aren’t perfect seem less awful.  Nugget by little nugget, we would find our lives becoming happier and our imperfect nuggets would not be as devastating.  There may be hard cooked times you are going through, but there is also a soft centre that will make you happy and comfortable and appreciative.  (Ok, ok enough with the eggsplanations.  haha!)

“May your life always be sunny side up!”  I think that’s what my egg was trying to tell me.  Then again, it might have been laughing hysterically and thinking:  “Yolks on you!”  Either way, it got me smiling.

 

 

 

 

Cellulite…a love story

I love sharing stories about my life and growth.  In this particular instance, it’s about waist (not waste…as no leftovers were harmed).  I can discuss the long, cold Canadian winters which leads me to over-carbohydrate myself with ravenous amounts of bread:  sliced bread, pita bread, bagels (bread really), English muffins (still bread) and then there are the dunking-into-stew breads like baguettes or French stick or really anything that sops up that lovely stewed liquid.  So, today my topic is about curdled-cottage-cheese thighs, my “over” tummy and how I cope with the gym fever of the world.

I joined a gym once.  It was a long time ago…ahem…super long time ago.  I think there was a T-Rex with a pencil ready to sign me up.  The machines were enormous. There were mirrors everywhere. There was a machine which had me pushing my legs out and focusing my eyes on my hoo-haw.  Why was this good?   After a few months (and a call to the Mafia) I managed to cancel my membership.

Yoga is a two-digit word.  Yes, it is supposed to be about clearing your mind and learning to breathe.  Yoga doesn’t work for me.  I learned to breathe…that is true, but other than that, all it did was lead me to rehearsing (in my head) my grocery list of items that needed to be done.  Yoga was not for me.

Racquetball.  I love playing racquetball!  It’s my favourite sport!  I started playing in University with a friend (for an hour) and have never…ever…played again.  True!  (Note: This is an ongoing joke with me and Wiseguy.)

Cycling!  Yes, I recall my bro and I going for long bike rides around our neighbourhood and beyond.  We were explorers!  We would leave after dinner and wouldn’t be back for at least two hours.  I do recall two bad cycling incidents.  Once was a mosquito in my eye.  Yes, it flew in and I smushed it and I couldn’t see well.  The other was where I was turning around a curve and there were crushed stones.  I wiped out and my elbows and knees were bleeding.  Luckily I was able to walk home and keep up my sniffles in order to be pampered at the finish line.  Milk it baby…milk it.

I belonged to a dance group that met once a week.  We had numerous performances and I was in almost all of the dances.  Yes…I was svelte.  Also I was young.  I could jump and spin and twirl and sing.  I could do almost anything.  (Yes, it rhymes…read it again.)

So, here I am…almost 50 (yes…I’m surviving) and my body has decided that there are renovations needed.  No, I did not get the memo.  No notice.  No meeting.  NOTHING!  My gutsy-trusty body decided to go ahead and pillage me without any notice.  How rude!

Every morning, before I get out of bed, I have learned that I should stretch.  I have been doing this since my early thirties.  Well, lately my stretches sound more like maracas!  One comedienne said it best, “I’m an exotic dancer for the blind.”  I stretch and all of my joints take turns cracking like a bowl of rice cereal.

I have maps of some sort of my legs. There are blue lines which I can only assume are rivers.  Not sure where these rivers are but one day I’ll find them.

Finally there are the bubbles.  Yes, I always find silver linings in everything in life.  My wonderful legs that carry my body everywhere have these pretty little dimples.  Yes…they are everywhere.  These dimples are fantastic FAT deposits.  They are the storage units of my winter solstice and my packing on weight to keep warm in winter.  Yes, I love lying to myself.  I just love food and using hibernation always sounds like a good excuse.  Anyway, I jiggle.  My stomach, by butt, I even have jiggle arms.  Here is my crazy thought.  Follow me on this.  Once I get diagnosed with an incredibly bad illness I will have my 20 lbs of extra fat (like camels not needing water) to help me through any horrible surgery and recovery.  Skinny people have nothing to fall back on.  My excess will assist me in survival and then I will once again be slim and healthy after my horrible crisis. Crazy?  Nah!  I just think ahead.

I am “cuddly”.  My granddaughter came up and poked me in my belly. Oh yes! Wait for it… “Big belly”, she said.   Yup, that is what this almost 6-year old said.  Was she right?  Oh yes…absolutely.  Was I offended?  In my younger days I would have been, but I have accepted my body.  I would like to be thinner, but I am also happy with myself and my life.  I don’t want to diet.  I don’t want to give up foods I love.  I consider myself a chef of sorts.  I have the greatest kitchen in the world and I LOVE TO COOK!  My other favourite motto is “never trust a skinny chef”.

Flashback to my “big belly”.  I looked at Kennie and asked, “Baba has big belly which means I am soft and cuddly and I can give you amazing hugs so big bellies are good right?”  She thought for a bit.  Really, really thought about it and then looked at me, nodded and said, “Yup, it’s good.” Then she moved in for the soft, cuddly, Baba hug.

Cellulite and cuddles…a love story.

 

 

 

 

 

Perspective…Pollyanna syndrome

As syndromes go, most of them have a negative connotation.  Diseases and abnormalities are the first to spring to mind when someone mentions a syndrome.  Then there is Pollyanna syndrome.  I think it’s a good syndrome to have.  For those who have never heard of it, it’s where you look for the positive instead of the negative in a situation.  This happy syndrome is particularly difficult to find in our adult species as we find laughter in sarcasm and belittling of others.  Our daily news stories focus on the ill luck and devastation in our world.  When talking to co-workers, conversations usually begin with the overwhelming work and stress in our jobs.  When talking to family it usually starts off with a complaint about chores or errands or misbehaving children.  Today I hit up your fragile exhausted mind with “Pollyannaism”.

I grew up in the age of black and white television.  There was one television set for the whole family to share and watch.  I don’t recall watching many shows.  I do remember anxiously awaiting Sunday because that was when “The Wonderful World of Disney” would be on.  I hoped for cartoons, but sometimes there would be a movie that we would watch.  One day we watched a movie called “Pollyanna”.  It had an incredible effect on my life.  For those who did not grow up sitting cross-legged watching Walt Disney, get comfortable as I tell you the tale of Pollyanna.  (Ok, this is the quickie version because you don’t have all day and attention spans nowadays are like the flight of the flitting hummingbird.)

Pollyanna was an orphan.  She went to live with her cranky aunt.  Auntie was a miserable bitty.  Pollyanna drove Auntie nuts because she was always happy and finding the silver lining in everything around her.  Her father had taught her the “Glad Game”.  No matter how crappy something was, find the positive in it.  This started when, at Christmas, the church sent a “toy-box-for-poor-kids” to her and she discovered crutches.  She had wanted a doll.  Pops said “Be glad you don’t need them.”  Get it?  Be “glad”…hence began the “Glad Game”.  (I’m sure most of you got it).  Anyhoo…ol’ bitty kept playing mean tricks on goody-two shoes Polly like locking her in the crappy attic. Happy Polly LOVED the view from the window (silver lining right?).  Grrr.  Ok, WHAM!  No soup for you!  (Seinfeld reference haha).  Polly had to sit in the kitchen with the servant and eat bread and milk.  No problem!  Wee P loved milk and bread AND she enjoyed the servant’s company.  Fast forward to big summation.  (If you want the details watch the movie or read the book.)  Chatty Pollyanna wanders around the town using her rose-coloured view of the world to change everyone’s perspective of their lives.  The grouches become grinners.  The misers become wealth sharers.  Foes become friends.  You get the idea.  There’s a part where Pollyanna gets hurt.  She gets sad and feels crummy and then all the old grumpalumps who are now new grinners come and “Pollyanna-ise” her.  HA!  A taste of her own medicine and she’s good as new.  The end.  (There!  Not too painful right?)

It seems to me that complaining and criticizing has become a fashionable way to analyze and speak about events and people around us.  When we first learn sarcasm we feel like adults because we have watched and learned from our elders how to gossip, criticize and ridicule.  It’s funny making fun of others right?  Teasing is done just to get a laugh even if that person’s feelings get hurt.  When you share distressful news, most people would rather jump on that Bandwagon of Misery and help bring you down further.  Why would someone try to help you find the bright side and a positive resolution?  True friends actually will, but true, honest friends are very difficult to find.  Why?  Well, with all the gossiping and stories being told you’re not sure if they do the same behind your back so who can you really trust?

Today I challenge (or dare) you to work at changing your perspective.  I can honestly tell you it’s not as easy as it sounds.  It’s easier to fall back on complaining about things than to stop, think and find the silver lining.  Let’s work through some examples:

  • Situation:  You’re late for a meeting and you’re stuck in traffic because of a car accident somewhere further up the road.
  • Usual reaction:  FML!  Why does this always happen to me?
  • New reaction:  choose any of the following:
    • I hope that person is ok.
    • At least I get to listen to my audio storybook CD for a bit longer.
    • Wow, look at that beautiful sky!

True, it won’t get you to work faster, but can you change the traffic situation?  No.  So instead of feeling angry or miserable about it, find the positive.

  • Situation:  You come home late from work (thanks to said car accident).  Dinner is going to be late.  The kids are cranky, the dog needs walking, you’re exhausted.
  • Usual reaction:  FML!  I’m too tired to deal with this!
  • New reaction:  choose any of the following
    • I am grateful to have made it home safely.
    • My kids are cranky, but they are safe and I’m grateful that they are in my life.
    • My dog is always happy to see me.

Crazy?  Maybe.  Easy? Heck no!  Start by catching yourself and trying to alter that maniacal evil thought into something that will make you grin and laugh.  I promise, your days will be happier and brighter.  You will find more joy in your surroundings and you will also find, that you will stop hanging out with Negative Nellie’s because you will start attracting the Positive Polly(anna)’s into your life.

Anyone up for a round of “Glad Game”?  I’ll start…I’m so glad I have finished writing this and sharing it with you.

You’re turn.

On Your Mark, Get Set…JUMP!

Every fall season seems like a new beginning, at least to me it does.  Many people tend to disagree with me as the natural and most popular rebirth season is spring.  You know, the whole winter thaw, new flowers bloom, trees start to get their leaves, the birds come back from winter hiatus. Although the season after summer has its own life beginning and life changing intrigues, please ponder the following.

A four-year old child.  This child has been at home or at a daycare.  Turning four means that they are going to big people school, a.k.a. kindergarten.  School all day.  There are activity tables that can be comprised of any of the following:  drawing, painting, water, crayons.  There are dolls so they can play house or doctor or whatever else pops into their little four-year old minds.  There is a teacher.  There are other kids who will be playing with them and calling them “friend”.  There are crafts that they will do with their teacher.  Scary?  A little.  It’s different from the usual.  Exciting and a little overwhelming, but they are ready to jump in.

Transition again from kindergarten to grade one.  Very different.  Your own desk and projects to do.  There is this thing called homework.  There will be tests.  Will you still have your kindergarten friends in your class or will there be new people?  Ready, set…jump in.

Let’s go higher up….grade 8.  Last year of middle school.  After this year there is a progression to high school.  What will your last year be like?  You are a senior…in middle school anyway.

Minor Niner.  Welcome to high school.  Quite a traumatic experience as there will be many new students and many of your old friends won’t be in your classes this year.  There are semesters and many more tests and challenges; especially the desire to fit in.  This will all be recorded in the yearbook.  What courses should you take?  Where will go after high school?  University?  College?  A trade?  A job?  Again, many decisions.  Life through school is very nerve-wracking.  It’s determining who you are.  Many people will be there in the shaping and moulding of your life.   You won’t realize it at the time, but looking back, you will see who and what influenced your life.

Now, let’s say you didn’t finish high school.  Where did your life take you?  Did you go into the workforce?  Did you travel?  Did you move out on your own from the house you grew up in?  What made you take a leap of faith and move into the direction you moved?

It’s fall again.  The older I get, the more I want to take more time for myself and my dreams.  I believe I am in the fall of my life.  There are brilliant explosions of colours (my desires) running through my mind.  There are changes I want in my life.  There are things I was always afraid to do because I thought I would be criticized or laughed at.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  Now, it’s my opinion of myself and my self-love that will make me succeed.  Fear of failure?

Failure now has a new definition. To me the definition of failure means that I didn’t try something new as opposed to trying and not having it end up perfectly.  Perfection is quite subjective.  Depends on who is looking at it.

In the fall of my life I have decided to take a job that would put me much farther from home.  It’s a position I have some knowledge about, but there will be much new learning.  Excited?  Absolutely.  Scared?   Strangely, not really.  I am totally confident in my ability to learn.  I know that I can do anything.  There is no fear of failure.  Is that a bad thing?  I am not sure.  I know when I used to perform on stage the nervousness before was part and parcel of a good, confident performance.  Over confidence usually meant something would go wrong.  Is that the same with jobs?  Perhaps.  I am not afraid to ask for help.  Pride is the only thing that could hurt me.  I like my new vision of life and all that change can hold for me.  The need to try new things is exhilarating instead of frightening.  I am happy to have swallowed my dreaded fear of failure.

I am certain that with change there will be hurtful experiences in my life.  Daring to try new things, even if it means failure, proves that I  have stepped outside my comfort zone and into the realm of the adventurous.  My desire to learn and experience new things is keeping my life exciting and exhilarating and that is how I believe life should be lived.

Hurrah for me!

On your mark…get set…jump in!

 

Forgive and (maybe forget)…but move on

Life is interesting.  A simple,  blasé thought perhaps, but true.  Life and the meaning of life is so different depending on where you find yourself on this so-called journey.  Is life about finding the “why am I here?” answer.  Is life about just having fun?  Is life about suffering so that you can live in a wonderful afterlife?  There are many schools of thought.  In the quest to figure out what life is about, I have been introduced to two specific types of people and I have been incredibly lucky to have met both types:  help you and hurt you.  Both of them have provided me with life changing experiences.

Through years of living (lucky me) and having my life journey cross the paths of others, I have learned, I have taught, I have lived.  I have had the pleasure and honour of meeting people that have helped me move forward in a happy direction.  I have also had the displeasure of meeting those that used me, abused me, and discarded me like a piece of refuse.  I am truly grateful to have met both.  Why?

There were those who appreciated me and helped me.  They showed me that there are true “givers” in the world.  These individuals taught me that kindness exists.  There are people willing to unconditionally assist you and help you grow.  There is no need for paybacks or “owe-sies”.  It’s about being a kind human, with feelings of love for their fellow man. A desire to let others grow.

Then there were the selfish folk.  Those who pretended to be there for me, but were really trying to figure out how I could help them out and make their lives better.  It usually ended with me being shocked, injured, scarred, and with a feeling of great injustice.  Lies, accusations, leaving me feeling worthless, dejected, lonely, unloved.   My extreme hatred of them negatively affected me, both physically and emotionally.  Why would I be grateful to these dregs of society?  They taught me to love.  Crazy?  Maybe, but I became a happier person when I learned to forgive and move on with living my joyful life.

Forgiveness…sounds simple but is oftentimes so hard to actually fulfill.  Forgiveness is not about condoning bad behaviour.  Forgiveness is about letting go of the anger and the hate you live with.  Think about it this way, you are hurt and angry and cannot believe that someone you trusted would hurt you.  You hate them and want to ensure that they suffer as you did.  You obsess about it.  How do these spiteful, vengeful thoughts actually hurt them?  Do they care that you are hurting?  No.  Do they feel any of your pain?  No.  Who is actually hurting?  You.  You are holding venom inside you and only damaging yourself.  The ones who betrayed you don’t even think about how they treated you and really couldn’t case less about how you feel or what you think about them.  They used you and then removed you from their lives.  In forgiveness, you are actually freeing yourself.  You are going to let bygones be bygones and go on to live a happier life.  If anything, these transgressors will probably be even more upset to learn that you are happy and are not affected in any way by past incidents.  That is the “giving” part of forgiveness.  You are “giving” yourself freedom; to love, to trust, to find joy, and your own peace of mind.

Those that rejected me were there to teach me that I did not need their approval or love to exist in a happy life.  Loving myself was and is most important.  Letting their misdeeds go so that they didn’t affect me emotionally was critical to my future happiness.  Forgive and forget?  I would forgive.  The forgetting was not something that I would or could easily do.   I truly believed it was important to remember past misdeeds so that in future I wouldn’t fall into the same circumstance …a.k.a. “Life Lesson”.

Thank you to those wonderful people in my life, past and present, who have been there for me when I didn’t have the strength to live by own convictions and beliefs.  You held my hand and guided me out of the muck of negativity that was sucking me in.  You brought me to the surface and breathed new life into my soul.  Words really cannot express my gratitude for having you in my life.

Thank you to the leaches and the soul suckers who made my life miserable.  Your thoughtlessness and selfishness taught me that I am worthy of love from others and especially from myself.  You made me work harder to live my life in the polar opposite way that you live your life.  Thankfully, your kind has disappeared from my life and I am surrounded by beautiful spirits who appreciate goodness, kindness, happiness, and a joie to vivre.  Truly, without my trials and tribulations that you exposed me to, I would not be living the great life that I now live

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~C.S Lewis

 

Pork and Beans and the Prized Nugget

Schools of thought.  I myself have been on both sides of the fence depending on my age and/or necessity to explain or justify what I’m doing.  Sometimes my own thoughts just don’t seem as intelligent or convincing enough so why not borrow from the tried and true?

Too many chefs spoil the broth OR many hands make light work

Absence makes the heart grow fonder OR out of sight, out of mind

The pen is mightier than the sword OR actions speak louder than words

I could go on, but you get the idea.  What got me pondering and processing proverbs?   This weekend was one that I had been happily anticipating for a few days.  Social calendar full, beautiful weather, and Wiseguy not working.  Trifecta! Perfection!  Or so we thought.

Earlier in the week I had learned that a lovely lady had passed away.  She was only 51.   (Yes, for you youngins in your 20s that’s old, but we middle agers find that to be baby status to old age).  It came suddenly and unexpectedly in the form of a heart attack.  After some tears and hugs and grieving at the funeral home I again began to look forward to my happy weekend plans and enjoy life again.   Three days later another life jolt.  Another beautiful,  young woman in her 50s had passed away.  A kind and happy person who enjoyed life and made others feel happy, comfortable when you were around her.  The question you can’t help but ask is why?

When the week was done, I looked in my rearview mirror of wisdom to try and decipher what it all meant.  Death is shocking.  There’s anger and guilt and fear and mostly denial.  Death is so final.  Death is also illuminating.  My thoughts and beliefs on death have changed many times over the years.  Maybe that’s where the wisdom kicks in, or maybe, I find more comfort in disbelieving what I had learned before.  If this was your last day on earth how would you feel and what would you do?

What about life itself?  Is there a purpose?  Is there a meaning to our lives?  We wonder how we really fit in.  We promise to take time for ourselves.  We see family at funerals and PROMISE to call and visit because the mortality punching bag hit us hard.  And then, we go back to “life“.  Work.  Pay bills.  Buy necessities.  Maybe a few days vacation.  Is that life?

As I age (gracefully, of course) I look more at children and their approach to life.  Take a 3 year old and watch them get upset when they don’t get what they want.  Tears.  Tantrums. They know.        They deserve more.  Why do we adults accept that we can’t have better?

Each person derives a message upon hearing about the death of a loved one.  Each person goes through the stages of denial and guilt and anger to final acceptance.  It’s an emotional journey that can either leave you emotionally drained and looking consistently at the sadness and unfairness in life or it will lead you to finding a new sign or life message leading you to a happier more fulfilled life.  Which side of the proverb are you on?

I am trying to find positivity in the negative.  I believe that this is a sign to live life to the fullest.  When asking why people have to die and leave us, I remind myself that we don’t know how long we have here on earth and that we do need to take time to have fun.  We assume that we will wake up the next day. I am starting to rethink my life.  I am in the baby stages of redefining the living of my life by actually making myself follow my dreams to their realization.  No more giving up for fear of failure.  I will be grateful for that first deep breath in the morning because I know I am alive and my surrounding world is full of adventures that I need to explore.  I will let myself float in the pool of happiness around me.  I will love myself and share that love with others.  I will live and love and know that when my time comes I will be grateful for this thing called “life”.

Pork and Beans.  (Stay with me here, all will be explained.)  I think it is the simplest explanation to my conundrum.  Have you ever had a can of pork and beans? I remember reading the label and thinking there would be numerous chunks of bacon with the beans.  Can opened and contents extracted.  Hmmmm, one little wee piece of bacon and MILLIONS of beans.  This can of beans was like our weekend (told you I’d explain it).  Our disheveled weekend plans became a blessing in disguise.  You will have many experiences in life that all seem the same and monotonous, like the beans and one prized “nugget” of pork experience.   That one nugget, that one day, when everyone’s life coincides in togetherness and love is as large as the full moon.  It’s magical.  Wiseguy and I did get to spend time with people we love.  We did to get to appreciate and feel good about life with the people who are still with us.

Moral:  There will be sad times in your life.  Cry, be sad, hurt, grieve.  It’s a process.  Then move on.  Change your way of life.  Stop living with the simple monotonous beans of life.  Go searching and experiencing numerous and exciting prized pork nuggets. (My analogies, you must agree, are not conventional but then, neither am I.)

For those who have lost loved ones, I understand, I feel your loss, and can only give momma hugs. Words cannot heal what you have lost, but the good memories to follow will.  XOXOXO