Tag Archives: self

How to enjoy life….(step away from that device)

Hello most amazing people. You are all looking so very beautiful and fit and tanned today. The summer is upon us full throttle and I saw the weather forcast this morning and thought life had ended and we were all in hell. I mean 90+ degrees, really? Now here I am trying to sell our house and hot, sweltering, and I get the “why can’t I be swimming in the pond instead of next door in the shade at the neighbors cabin trying to keep the dogs in check?” attitude. Oh, and they have only an outhouse at the cottage…and no running water….and the realtors never call us when they’re done so two days of showings later spending an hour and a half each showing and waiting patiently when I could be floating like a scoop of ice cream in rootbeer but in a pond. They never call to tell us they’re done….kind of rude I thought even after we told them to. But such as life and I get over it and I am actually enjoying this hot balmy weather and with the ultimate move to Florida, that is a great feeling. I am embracing it. I am giving myself a big damp hug and saying “baby, this is just the start”, and then I visualize Buffalo in the winter and if I am in Florida by then, WOW. From hell to the arctic and back. Ok, it’s not really hell and I was just kidding that it was….hell is when I’m stuck in a group environment and no one is talking to each other….if sitting around the campfire, the flickering flames cast an eerie glow, leaving our faces in shadow…but what’s that I see? The glow of a phone, or two, or five…..What ever happened to conversation? The stuff you have with the person sitting next to you….the tales you weave, the songs you may sing (kumbaya comes to mind for campfires for some reason). Hey, how’s your day? Let’s start there….and you get the mumbled response. They are looking down, not at you and their mind is somewhere but certainly not here at this moment. Now I think that is just the saddest thing. Really, we are supposed to be connected by the universal invisible string (picture super big ginormous piece of tooth floss) tying us all in together in this big amazing world and you want to sit and text your friend who is sitting next to you?
Wow, now that is just sad.
Have you ever sat next to someone and looked into their eyes for an extended amount of time and just marveled at the thoughts that ran through your head? Maybe wondered what they are thinking at the same exact moment? It is an incredible feeling and it connects you to others in such a simple way.
Take for example my bestie…
My bestie is in California? camping (well, she lives in Cali but I’m not sure if she is camping in the state) but anyway, we met at a conference of sorts on infinite possibilities in Key West six months ago. She was older than me and kind of took me in like a mother duck. Well one of the exercises we had was to pick the person next to us and just sit there and stare into each others eyes and connect. We had to wish something for them or describe what we saw when we looked inward so deeply. Well her and I have become the best of buds, and she is camping. Away from technology and the world at large…old school camping pretty much with a group but alone ultimately. I am so very jealous in a way but so very happy for her opportunity to prove that she can do it…unless there’s an earthquake which I hope not. But to do something like that, getting completely away and not at a hotel with a tv or radio or endless distraction. So I did a little experiment the other day and went off the grid for three days. I didn’t even open my ipad which is my email/FB/everything connection to the world. I would walk by it and reach out to flip the cover and gently remind myself that ‘NOPE”, you are not to touch it. I spent time outside, I hugged a tree, I danced in the garage with the dogs when no one was watching. I TALKED to real life people. I put the gadgets away and you know what I found? Peace. Yes, Peace and damn did it feel good. I felt centered. I felt alive and at one. I took in the sights and scents of fresh air, I sat by the pond and watched the fish swish around and got downright giddy when I heard an owl one morning making its hooty sounds. I smiled, and it was enough. I was where I needed to be, present in the moment and aware of it.
Sadly day four and back to reality with 264 emails to respond to. I knocked those off, rearranged my priorities and got rid of somethings I thought I wanted to deal with but ultimately measured against would it make me happy to continue down that path, if I answered no, I gently pressed the delete button. I love this life I am given and these days are rushing by so very quickly. I don’t want to be the one in the end wondering what kind of quality life did I leave? Was I creative, putting something beautiful and inspiring out into this world or did I carelessly fritter it away on what in the end would amount to nothing? I chose quality over distraction and feel much better for it. If I had one take away from it, it brought into my memory my friend who died a few months ago short of her 28th birthday (or possibly 29th). The last time she came to dinner as we sat discussing our days (her, myself and hubs) I remember feeling so let down as she held the phone in her hand throughout the meal and spent most of it looking into her lap texting. I hope it was important but I would have instead liked to have had the words from her lips that will now no longer ever be. Wasted time is lost time and I’m tired of losing it needlessly. I will set aside one day a week now and go off the grid. I will turn off the phone, the ipad and I will live. I will sing, and laugh and perhaps even swim in that pond on a gorgeous sunny hell hot day and I will relish in the memories I will make. I don’t need a selfie of my life. It lives in my mind and will till I die.
Give it a try my friends. It will be hard for sure, but once you do it and you listen to the whisper of the wind through the trees or hear an apple fall and that dull thunking sound it makes as it hits the ground, or the drone of the big bulky bumblebee humming in a flower, then you know you are tuned into the greatest frequency. The frequency of life. Let me know if you do and if you feel more at peace. Be alive and in the meantime, see you on the peaceful side.
Peace and blessings,

PS. not sure what day I may pick to go off the grid, we have some rain coming in the next few days and I’m thinking of porch rocking (under protected roof of course) in a lightning storm may just be what the peace doctor ordered. Care to join in? I’ll set out an extra chair. photo is my happy messy desk at home….lots of fun and color. Set loose the inner child.


On the importace of honesty

Hello most beautiful souls and welcome to another day of your amazing life. I hope things have been going well for you and that all you want and desire is being manifested for you by this amazing universe. Today I am going to share some things I’ve been learning about the truest and most important gift you can bestow upon yourself. I am not talking chocolate or clothes or a fine trip or anything, that’s easy peasy stuff. I want to talk about honesty and truth. A friend of mine who I make a lunch date with each week to talk on the phone long distance for an hour about what we are discovering on our journeys to self, had a nice talk yesterday on just this topic. Being honest with yourself. Now if you’re like me you can put on your rosy tinted or purple tinted in my case glasses and look at life with what you think are amazing eyes and can usually talk  yourself into the most pleasant of moods by doing this, right? I mean when you get up in the morning and put your foot on the floor it’s you who start the day by deciding on how you are going to treat it, and maybe tell yourself how it’s going to treat you (not so good if you happen to step immediately into a pile of dog doody-(not that that’s ever happened) but you make choices in your life from the moment you get up till the moment you go to bed. It’s your choice. All of it. What to put in your pie hole to what snazzy outfit you are going to wear, to what route you’re going to take to work and morphs into how you are going to treat those around you. Well what happens when you wake up and you feel like crap? What happens when that alarm goes off and you realized you set it an hour too late. You get angry with yourself and if you’re like me,  you like to tell yourself that you can get beyond this stuff. You can let the drama go and get over it and life will be all sunshine and rainbows, right? Well what if it isn’t? What then? What if you know better but still get bogged down in the slime of life because you just don’t feel like dealing with this crap? Blame it on the moon in Cancer….blame it on what you want, but acknowledge how you feel. Sit down for a few minutes and just stop and think. Stop treating yourself so harshly for being human. You are allowed to have any feelings you want to and you can act any way you want to as long as it doesn’t affect someone else in a negative way….don’t be the one to piss on their cheerios……Be honest with yourself. Why are you feeling this way? Own your feelings. Talk to someone about your feelings, but be honest. I’ve been so busy lately and not following my own rules. I have my fingers in so many things I think at the time is what I want to do, but once the avalanche starts moving towards me I am finding alot of what I thought I wanted to do, isn’t making me happy. Signing up for this, that, and the other thing leaves me lately feeling overwhelmed. I don’t like myself when I am not at peace and I knew I had to do something about it, but first I had to be honest with myself. What is really important to me? What can be shelved for another date without upsetting me or someone else too terribly? I wake up to over 100+ emails and those aren’t including the ones I contend with when I get into work.  My brain goes 80 miles an hour when I wake up and doesn’t stop till I fall into bed exhausted when the sun is barely setting. Something had to change and for that to happen I needed to be honest with how I was feeling, what I am capable of doing and for that matter, what do I really need and want to do. Some were quite a shock to me to realize that I was doing something that was benefitting someone else but was not being true to what I feel and want. I’ve always been afraid of incurring the wrath of someone for not doing what they wanted or what I was supposed to. It’s funny but when it comes right down to it and you can be honest with yourself, others see that truth and most of the times are not angry. They may be hurt but honesty is so very important to everyone. I am moving lately towards spending my time in quality ways, with quality people and when I want to. If someone wants something and I am unwilling at the time to do it, I just say no. I don’t need to give an explanation and I don’t need to justify myself, just a simple no, I’m sorry but I can’t. If they raise a stink about it, then they’re not the kind of people that you need to bother too much with, plain and simple. Sometimes it has to be about you….for your sanity, for your happiness and most of all for your peace. Be honest. What can it hurt? It will most certainly help.

Mirror Mirror on the….(oh just go away you feckin’ ass)

Hello beautiful friends. Welcome to a rather fine Tuesday. Okay, it’s not so fine but we know how to cope through that, right? It’s all about thinking happy positive thoughts she says through smiling teeth and eyes that betray the truth. This was my conversation with my mirror today. At 2 am when most of the world was sleeping and I sat there with rosy cheeks from being out in 10 degree weather yelling yet again for my goofy dogs. So what’s a girl/guy to do? I was in no mood to embrace the day. I just wanted to sleep. I looked in the mirror at the bags under my eyes, hair messed up, nose red and now running and thought WTF. Who wants to start a day like this? It’s supposed to be waking up all bright-eyed and happy right? Wrong. It doesn’t always go that way and my week was a perfect example. I can sit there and piss and moan about my life, stare at the mirror with an exhausted mind or I could do something else…but what else can I do, right? After blowing my nose I looked in the mirror some more and said to myself, Girl, get your mind out of the swamp of woe is me and give it a spin.
What you need is a good laugh. Yeah, you’re thinking who does this at two in the morning, right? Well, I guess that would be me. So I did what any overtired dog mom would do, I dropped my robe (with the door wide open for the no neighbors to see anything) and I started shaking my booty for me to see. I started to talk to the dogs in my best british accent that I learned recently from friends and told the two little intrigued beasties what fecking idgits they were and how is mommy the queen ever supposed to feel lovely and beautiful if they kept interrupting my sleep? I tried it in my mom’s voice too just for poops and giggles and you know what? It worked. The dogs stopped cowering and I was laughing at myself. I was flexing my muscles, shaking my bass and pretending I was the dancing queen of the bathroom.
See, I improved my mood. I could look in that mirror that was telling me how much I looked like crap or I could have fun with it. Short of raiding my wardrobe for some snazzy disco wear, I worked with what I had. I didn’t think there was much…but there was so much more. There was happy in place of irritable anger, there was calm dogs instead of quaking nitwits afraid of my wrath (and no I’ve never beat them….just with held some biscuits as needed…after all, who wants to reward the disrupters? They’d keep doing it….or so Pavlov says).
No, I could be a superstar of the tile.
I could be Miss muscle universe and make “Ahnold” nod in awe.
I could be naked and laughing and telling myself how much sleep is over rated when you are rocking that bathrobe like a fine woman. I laughed…I blew my nose some more and then it dawned on me, when we take the shrivelled lemons that life hands to us, the dried out useless ones, we just add some lemoncello and have a party. We make our thoughts into something different, something goofy that will help the situation, we become fun for a moment. We look into that mirror and call it out for the liar it can be. It only see’s what we tell it to see. When we put on the happy glasses even when we’re pissed off and mad as hell, something changes inside us, we find a little bit of childhood happy, that little pinch of peace.
I finally decided to go back to bed and instead of the racing heart and anger I held peace in my mind. I didn’t think I would fall asleep but within minutes was invaded by the Sandman and he brought the most fun dreams. I had thrown the anger to the wolves and brought in the clowns. I awoke still calling the dogs names in the english accent and my husband just looked at me like I’d lost my mind but I found that funny too. After a few moments (of deciding not to call the men with the little white coats on his insane wife) he laughed too. See, who says you can’t have fun in the house of mirrors. You just need to show it what you see…trust me, it will look back at you and smile too. Thank goodness the bathroom is not a public place with the chance of cameras. I would be a YouTube sensation of viralness. Spread the happy folks, check out your own mirror wherever you are, shake it, dance, laugh and for gods sake if someone walks in, just tell ’em you have a leg cramp or something. Much easier to explain.
Peace and mirrored joy to you my beauties.

There’s nothing to fear, but what if ??

Hello again beautiful friends and I hope this second day of spring is finding you a little more in tune with warmer weather, chirping birds and all that is wonderful in this life.
I apologize for not being around lately but when life gets in the way, sometimes we need to take some time to regroup, focus and then take that next step forward.
I am writing today about a topic that does not sit well with me. FEAR. I like to think of it as a four letter word that should be banished but even I am susceptible to its intrusion.
We all have that little knob somewhere inside. I think mine has a mind of its own as it likes to turn itself on when least expected and when it rushes out full force I quake.
I am not afraid of a lot of things. Some people fear failure, some have a fear of trying and some just fear clowns or anything else that to some may be just plain silly, but fear is personal. It reaches into our inner recesses and pulls out the old heart thumping, life shattering, mind altering patterns. I recently lost a friend. This friend and I had not talked in a few years but she was at heart a gentle soul. She had demons she battled and I was always afraid of hearing of her life ending…She was a writer of poetry and her mind often spent times in very dark places. She reminded me of myself when I was younger and I think that’s how we became friends in the first place. We parted ways in the way that people come in and out of our lives…just kind of drifted away. I always thought of her and recently was notified of her passing. BAM….what I had always feared came true. Now she was young, dying before her 27th birthday and I just felt crushed. But with that crushing came back all of those old fears again…
What if our thoughts made things happen..
What if bad things were now going to start happening in my life?
What if…what if….I think you know what I’m saying.
I had felt so at peace, like all was right with the world and things were going to be fabulous. Now this. In my life things go in threes. Always happens. But the fear is now lingering and likes to show its ugly head to me when I least expect it and for me, that is when I sleep. I know it’s happening too as it goes on. I have become a pro at doing a flip on my thoughts even while asleep. I recognize the fear for what it is and I immediately change my thought to something positive. Images that are good or even downright silly. Last night it was images of soft baby bunnies. Must have been an Easter thought or something, and it worked. A moment later my mind changed direction again and more horrible fear filled images surfaced. Again I switched images…unicorns this time, shining in sunlight (did I tell you how white horses with shining horns looking so happy make me feel nice and fuzzy inside?). So good, now the fear is gone. I must have been restless as the hounds now woke me up, keeping in mind this is around 2 am and I was attempting to get a good night sleep. I trod down the stairs in my fuzzy pink energizer bunny bathrobe and threw on some shoes, grabbed the flashlight and proceeded to read the little idgits the riot act. Stay close, you wander off on my I’ll be pissed…and a few F bombs thrown in for good measure. That will strike the fear into them I thought. Hmmmm….striking the fear into them? Maybe not such a good plan in hindsight I thought. Out into the cold darkness they bolted. My first thoughts being, first day of spring and skunks have been around and going on a road trip of 21 hours in a week with skunked dogs will not be any fun what so ever. I yell into the darkness for them to get back here this instant (and at times like these remind myself of my mother) and nope, nothing. Not coming back. So now I am angry. I pull my earplugs out of my ears (I have to sleep with them as I can hear a cow pass wind 5 miles away on a clear night and every little thing wakes me up) and a sound I fear most of all reaches my ears.
Coyotes. Coyotes close by and from the sounds of it quite a few. Yipping and howling at the moon. My dogs are out there.
My heart is beating out of my chest like it needs to escape and I just scream out NO NO NO!!!! I was petrified. My poor dogs. What have I done. NO! Fear. It is not a fun thing. My hands shaking I wave the flashlight to the woods and the howling stops and I finally hear the jingle of the tags on the dogs. They came back safe. They were alright.
I am now wide awake and cursing myself and asking myself what to do now. Stay up and write or try to sleep. I felt that sleep was necessary and after a short time (half hour short?) I was able to fall back to sleep. I kept replaying the moments during that half hour. Like watching my life on the big screen in my mind and imagining the worst outcomes. I finally stopped myself. Why am I doing this? They are okay. Let it go. Find some peace and let it go. So I started flipping my thoughts as I did during sleep. Imagining our road trip, having fun? cooped up in a truck for 21 hours. Happy dogs going on the big adventure. It finally allowed myself to go back to sleep.
This is just a story to illustrate how my fears work and how I deal with them. I would love to hear about what helps you to cope when fears arise in your life?
I know what triggers mine. Loss. Then I imagine more loss because of the “happens in threes” syndrome. I am going to let that fear go of the three’s. I will process the one loss I have currently and change my thoughts that there will be no more.
I am not afraid of death. I am not afraid of dying. I am not going to let the fear of loss stop me from this journey I am on. When we let fear overwhelm us, we let the darkness in and I will be damned if I am going to let anything block the light in my life. I will embrace each moment as its own moment. I will not compound fear upon fear till all that remains is the fear.
I will rise against the fear carousel and jump off that damn dragon and ride the fun unicorn. I will stand up to it and in doing so, reclaim the peace and serenity that will set me free to take the next steps.
Reinvention is about change.
It is about changing our thoughts to become the person we want to be. It is about learning to overcome our fears of not being good enough, about seeing the beauty that we are, it is about standing up and finding the courage to do something new and not following the yesterday path of fears of “its always been this way so it always will be” thought patterns.
I close my eyes and see myself as a superhero. I will stand up in the darkness, fight off the things that go bump in the night and I will howl back to the moon that it will all be okay. That it all will be good and that I will make it so!
Thoughts become things so choose awesome ones and let the four letter word Fear go its own way….it never was any fun anyway.

The light within…a letter to self

A short time ago I was given the challenge on a lovely trip with some new friends. Walking through a butterfly conservatory we were tasked with taking a photo of something in the room that was filled with so much beauty that we could use to describe ourselves or what we wanted to be in our lives. I watched the lovely butterflies moving about the room, dining on fruit and just being their amazing little winged selves. I looked up at the ceiling and was dismayed to see trapped carcasses of dead winged butterflies. Why in this place of beauty was I focusing on the saddest aspect, the death of beauty? I felt a warmth on my shoulder and through a space there shone a light. The sun as it was moving down on its nightly trek was touching my shoulder softly. I didn’t want to see the darkness and it was at that moment I decided what the most important thing I saw and the piece I took away from in that moment was that I wanted to be a light. I wanted to be a light in someone’s darkness.
Once I returned home from that trip those words kept coming back to me. I would find the moon peering in at me through cracks in the shades to wake me up for a week straight, and the other day as spring was slowly moving its way into our area I stood out in the sunshine and looking up saw a cloud that was rainbow-colored. Not a full rainbow, but just what must have been a wet cloud acting like a prism as the sun fell through. I rushed in to get a camera to capture the moment to share but most of it had dissipated by the time I got back out there. This left me a little sad. I had a tough day at work and here is this bright spot and I can’t keep it forever. I can’t share it. In hindsight, special moments like these are what I find to be the sweetest parts of life. I needed to say something to myself, something that would last and so I wrote a letter to myself.
Dear beautiful,
Some days I still laugh a bit when I say those words but I know it is necessary to you to hear it and believe. I know how you felt when the words fell on you with that sun, to be that light and I know some days when it seems so very dark that you forget and that’s why I’m here. There are so many times in life that bring you joy and happiness and like the rest of the world you want them to last forever. It cannot. They cannot. Things evolve and change and if it was always sunny you would tire of it, if everything was always great you’d be waiting for something bad to happen to break up the monotony of it all. You have memories to remind you and someday they too shall fade away leaving you wondering if they ever really existed at all. That too shall be sad but that is life. The important thing is the quest. So many give up waiting for good things and beautiful moments to happen and they get so let down when it doesn’t fall in their laps. You keep searching though. You look to the sky and see beauty, even if only fleeting you continue to look. You share words with the world and you show your visions with glee. You are the light that you wanted to be, you just didn’t see it but others did. Don’t forget to give the gifts of yourself, to listen, to share, to love. The dark days don’t last forever because somewhere there is light. Look within and unwrap your wings and fly into that blue, fly high and live in the light. You deserve what we all deserve. To be happy, to smile, to dance, to love, to live. Be that light and never fear the occasional flicker, that’s just me reminding you to charge those batteries and shine brighter. We will do it. We will find that crack in the fabric of any darkness and we will shine and we shall be blinding in our joy. We are the beauty of a rainbow, we are the peace of a gentle rain and we are the pieces of this world that will shine through.

I read this on days when I feel drained. When the world leaves me weary and I need to feel the light. Have you ever written to yourself? If you haven’t, what would you say? Try it some time and you will find that you know yourself best and know what you need to hear the most.
It will make you feel better and I thank you for letting me share my light with you.

Life is tragic without magic

Hello beautiful. I am feeling magical today and wanted to take the time to share some with you. Do you often think to yourself that you need more magic in your life? That “someday you will find it”. Do you have days that start out in the worst way, the kind of mornings where you knew as soon as that foot hit the floor that it was going to be “that kind of day”. I know how you feel as I have many like that, although they usually start out pretty good and then the real world intrudes with the demands of work, family, pets, kids,etc….I am sure you could pick one on any given day and say “yep, that’s where the magic of the day started to fade”.
What do you consider magic? Is it the laughter of a child? Is it a song you heard that lifted you up and set you dancing? Is it a snow angel you made? Maybe it was just a beautiful sunrise or sunset that soothed and let you find the magic of peace.
I didn’t know what magic was for the longest time and that was so very tragic. I was blind to what magic looked like and once I figured out what my idea of magic was, It just cropped up into my life unexpectedly every time I turned around. Do you have days when strange occurrences happen? Do you just set those moments aside and not give them any thought? Do you look at things like it was just a random event, kind of like luck that you think comes to some and not to others? There is a way to find magic. There is a way to tap into the little unexpected things that most overlook and it is called being present. Magic is a present and if you don’t see it for what it is, it will not just open itself to you. You have to see the magic and know that it is there waiting for you.
The best way to do this is to stop for a while and really look at what is before you. It could be something as simple as finding a penny on the ground. Remember the old phrase “find a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck”? That is kind of where it starts. Things present themselves to you all the time and if it doesn’t seem like very much, know that it is. Give it the time to be appreciated.
I found a white feather once in an unexpected place. I didn’t give it much thought until the next day when I found an even bigger white feather where I would not expect feathers. Now most would think, yeah, okay, so what. I asked some friends if they had ever had that happen and five people answered back that it was a good sign, almost like an angel dropping reminders at my feet to see magic. Ok, I thought, got it. Two days later I found yet another and this time I picked it up and carried it home with me. I held it in my hands and told the universe how grateful I was at this gift. The entire week was amazing and so many good things happened. I met a few new friends who have remained friends a year later. Friends who believed in the magic of life and lived their lives based on that. I was published for the first time ever after finding the white feathers. I took an amazing trip and met a new group of amazing people on a beautiful island. I am so grateful.
So besides the pennies we find, or quarters or even dollars in a melting snow bank (now that is a fun find) where else can we find magic?
In words.
If you read often do you find yourself finding phrases from an author that just resonate with you? Long after the book is closed those words come flowing back to you at unexpected times? Words that bring a smile, that lift you up. Words that make you believe that there is magic in this world. I find these words often but not with as much resonance as something a new friend of mine wrote in a childrens book. Now I do not have children but have always loved fairy tales and a good story. The book is called “Stinky and the Night Mare” and it is by a wonderful author named L.Stewart Marsden. I had requested a copy when he offered as having no children of my own I would never go out and just randomly spend money on a childs book unless a gift for my niece or nephews. My expectations were about scary things and bad dreams, and was unexpectedly surprised when it turned out to be about a child and a magical horse. But it was the beginning poem that stopped me and I could feel that magic starting to bubble from within.
“What would you do,
if you would,
if you could?”
Now stop and let those words sink in. What would you do, if you would, if you could? I sat there for at least an hour and asked myself that question. Talk about freeing the brain and setting it free. I could do lots of things, but would I? If you don’t believe in letting the magic happen and moving forward on it, nothing will ever happen. You need to embrace things, words, thoughts, dreams and anything your mind creates. I know I never want to get to the end of my life and say I wish I would have….If I fail, well then, that’s how I’m going to learn and grow. Let the magic in. Ask yourselves the question again with a willingness to do what your answer may be. Magic happens within too, but it will give you nudges to make itself known. You just have to recognize and embrace those nudges and then it will open up before you like a dream come true. One book reignited my magic. What will it take to reignite yours? Start working on your magic and your dreams. Be present to see what is before you and don’t just dismiss it because it doesn’t make sense or that it may not work out. When you find the magic, you will gather more….it will be everywhere and you will find your days starting off better, and if they do start off in a not so good way, close your eyes and readjust your mind to “what will this day bring?” what magic is out there waiting for you today? I think you may find you will be moving a little perkier just wondering to yourself, now where is that magic….I know you’re out there, now show yourself. It’s a big wide world out there and the magic is waiting…so what are you waiting for?

Happy? Holidays…and how to keep yourself happy.

This is a tale of being happy during that time of the year called the holiday season , or in some folks cases, not so very happy. Each of us was gifted with a covering called skin. They come in a variety of shades, some with freckles, some with scars, and some with what seems to be varying thickness. Mine is somewhere in the middle on the thickness scale. The times that test that thickness I find seems to be everyone’s favorite? time of the year. Those Hallmark moments called Holidays. Most come with a merry or a happy as a prefix but the more people I encounter, the more I see for a lot of us it may not necessarily be true. It’s not always the most wonderful time of the year. I remember an Easter years ago that I spent painting my apartment. It was a great day. I was productive. I was covered with paint but getting something done that I didn’t have any other time to do it. Then the phone calls came and I was reprimanded which then lead to feeling guilty. I was being made to feel something that had nothing to do with me but had to do with everyone else. I was content being creative. I was happy. I was alone and I was good with that. Nothing screams peace, or should I say whispers peace like the sound of silence around you.
Obligations can drive some crazy. Driving here, driving there, eating too much at the family table and hours away doing something you may not want to be doing. When we were kids it was over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house we’d go. It was fun and we were happy, at least until our teenage years when life intervened and then we had better things to do, friends to hang with, and not lame relatives. Remember that? How attitudes change through our lives and as we get older and the old folks population kept decreasing we realized that maybe we should be happy to spend some holiday time with them. Or maybe we were even guilted into it perhaps. So what to do with this quandary? How do you try to be happy about something that any other day would be fine to do but maybe today you just don’t feel like it. You’ve got a project to do and no time, the kids are sick and miserable, and this is your one day to get it done. What do you do???
I have a lot of friends who are divorced and the holidays are a very tough time and if they have kids, even worse. Dividing your time so that everyone gets a piece of the childhood to share, a day for you and a day for me. It does not make people happy. Sooooo….how do you change your attitude and embrace the necessary? Boundaries….set them. If you cannot devote an entire day at Grandma Lou’s, set aside a few hours. There is no law that says you have to be there at the crack of dawn and drive home asleep after dark. Just because things were always done a certain way does NOT mean that those things can’t change. Have discussions on what works for you and re arrange the set in stone tradition. Create new traditions. Nothing pisses people off more (and a lot of people I know can carry grudges all of their days) than being told you HAVE to do something you don’t want to do JUST BECAUSE that’s the way it always was. Let folks know what you want. Stand up, speak up because if you do not, that little mean voice within you is only going to throw a tantrum later on anyone who happens to be around because you are once again mad at yourself. Set clear and concise boundaries…What is acceptable to you and stand your ground on it. If it pisses people off, too bad. It’s not all about them. It is about compromise. It is about staying happy on the Happy Holiday. Your time is valuable, just as your thoughts about yourself are valuable. Make the changes that will work for you.
It doesn’t mean blow off every family event so do not think I am saying that (but if that is your choice it is all on you) but live your life the way you want.
You are living your play, living your Broadway showstopper life and you are the director. The actors around are there to support your dream but they have their expectations too. That you will play fair and find some enjoyment in what they do. Now there may not be a Tony for your directing skills but that’s ok. There’s always the Oscar to reach for. Go big or go home, right?
You can have happy holidays, or any happy days in general. Just make sure you are spending the time doing what you want to be doing and not just forced into doing. Baby steps to happy begin with change and boundaries are just another step to getting there. Now, back to Grandma’s house….I think 3 till 7 works out just fine, cards with the old folks ain’t my thing and the dog at home needs attention too…and so do I, in a little quieter environment with my blanket and glass of wine.