Category Archives: kindness

Rise and Shine

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So, here we are, Easter 2020, and suddenly the Easter Bunny isn’t the only one sporting a mask this year.  Sorry if you still believe that a giant rabbit breaks into your house once a year to drop off life-like chocolate images of itself, it does not. 

Does everyone else feel like they’ve been living the tomb life these days? We’re way past the required three day limit over here.

All kidding aside, this experience, combined with the time of year, has me focusing on what our resurrection will be like when we get back to business. Hopefully, it will be much better than what we left. 

After the universe slammed on the breaks, leaving chocolate bunnies everywhere stranded on the store shelves, we were living in a constant state of “what kind of world are we living in?” and then, just like that, it stopped. I can still smell the burnt rubber. 

In the wake of this virus, we’ve been left with heavy hearts and death all around this world. However, we’ve also been handed a once in a lifetime opportunity. A pause that allowed us to look deep into ourselves and at the world around us with eyes wide open. It’s like a deep global breath.

Now, it’s time to get uncomfortable.

What are the lessons we should be learning during our time in the tomb?

How are we going to reenter our pre-pandemic lives?

What will we do differently on a personal, social and economic level?

What have we learned, not just about ourselves, but our surroundings?

Where have the lights been the brightest? On our climate? Our economy, education, food, and healthcare systems? Our democracy? On our greed, social injustice, disconnection, or ALL of the above?

It’s a lot to think about, absorb and change, but it’s also a time to reimagine the world we want for ourselves, our communities, and the world. One that fits all of humanity, with a side of nature, would be nice.

On day 2376457635 in the tomb, we are starting to crave normalcy or the normal we’ve been normalizing for much too long, we cannot return to that world. Just say, no!

The worst thing we can do is rush to return.

We need to remain still a little while longer.

We cannot fall victim to the influx of deals and steals that are waiting in the wings to tempt us back to our old behaviors.

We need to be diligent in remembering the good, the bad and the love revealed throughout this experience.

We need to figure out a normal that works for everyone.

We need to continue to be creative in our ideas and innovations for our communities.

We need to live and breathe the words of Margaret Mead.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

My Easter wish for everyone is that when you do resurrect, you will step back into the world with fresh eyes, clear minds, open hearts, and all of the soulfulness you can offer. It’s our time to Rise & Shine! 

Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

For Rizzle

fullsizeoutput_3132Through all of the recent darkness, I’ve been trying my best to look for the silver linings and believe it or not, they’re around. Currently, the most prominent one seems to be around my hairline. 

Here are just a few things keeping my sanity intact these days.

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Good Feels

Neighborhoods all around are finding ways to lift spirits, a clear sign that humanity is alive and well on the ground. It would be nice if she took a trip to DC, but that’s for another day.

My sister lives in a small town in NJ, and she is surrounded by creative minds. While on her daily “I need to get some damn air” walk, she came across a bundle of love all along the way. Is this what it’s like to live next door to Mr. Rogers? I think it’s close. 

My neighborhood has been participating in a social media challenge to find rainbows displayed in windows or on doors. It’s a local scavenger hunt of sorts. I’m not sure if there is an age limit to participate, but I’m killing it over here with 32 rainbows! The other competitors aren’t old enough to cross the street, but that’s not my problem. 

Since my family is sheltering in different places, PA, NJ & CA, my daughter started a Family Quarantine Facebook page to keep us connected. So far, this has been a great way to share encouraging quotes, photos of my great-niece Hope (yes, that is her name), and of course, memes.  Laughter and baby photos make everything tolerable. 

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Peanut & Landon

The silver lining for Peanut and Landon has been having their human roommates home 24/7. Peanut follows me EVERYWHERE. He is under my feet, on my lap, or up my ass ALL DAY LONG. At this point, he’ll need therapy when I go back to work.  Landon refuses to follow the social distancing requirements, Peanut just wants him to stop being “that guy.”

Throughout this experience, I’ve been noticing two things every day. The number 444 and a cardinal. Coincidence? I think not. So, what’s a girl to do when she’s hit in the face with signs from the universe? Um, Google it.

Well, just as I suspected and Google confirmed, these two things are messages. I was already aware of the many meanings behind a cardinal sighting, so I welcomed my visitor with a cheery, “Good morning, Jer!” I’m assuming it’s my brother-in-law Jerry who passed away in October. If not, his name is now Jerry.

As for the 444, this is what I found.

If you see the number 444 repeatedly, it is often your angel giving you a sign that they are with you. The sign is reminding you to feel confident and supported in this knowledge.

While we’re all on pause, take time to notice the good, feed your soul, and as always … Enjoy the ride!

Make Them Want More

via Daily Prompt: Entertain

What can I say?  I L O V E to entertain.

I love to make my house sparkle & shine.

I love cooking with a dash of love and a smidgen of admiration.

I love breaking out all the fancy schmancy goods.

I love watching the interactions.

I love listening to the laughter.

I love feeling the love.

There is something about having the power to make people happy that swells my soul.

Of course, it might not seem like it while I’m running around like a chicken without its head to ensure that everything is just so or when I’m screaming at my kids because they’re leaving signs of life ALL over the house, but I really do. I swear!

Recently my son was kind enough to send me this video that could be actual footage of me before hosting anything from coffee to Christmas.  As he explained “Mom! This is so YOU!” Please remind me again why I had kids?

Well, I guess I should be glad that I’m not the mother of Chris Fleming, the young man behind this video because he is the comedian that stars as the titular high-strung suburban mom Gayle Waters-Waters in this video, and many more that are also hilarious.

So, after the dust settles literally and the guests arrive, I put on my best hostess with the mostess attitude to dazzle them with delicious food, laughter, music, cocktails, more laughter and conversation before I send them back to reality where for days they are yearning for a little more. That’s Entertainment!

Enjoy the Ride!

 

Got Grace?

Have you seen Grace?

grace-def-1She’s the gal that spent her days roaming around within the majority of people for decades. Yes, it’s true.

You could find her on the street, the supermarket, and in fact, running free in most public spaces. I know, right?

So where did she go? One day did she decide to say “fuck it I’m outta here!” due to the overwhelming ignorance surrounding her kind soul or did she silently grab her box of kind words, gestures, and courteous goodwill and slowly walk off to the ends of the earth? Inquiring minds need to know.

In her youth, Grace was on her game spreading her attractively polite manner of behaving across the land. She was one of the popular girls.

That’s right she was regularly mingling in our daily lives lending a hand or two when needed. Providing words of wisdom, a tissue, a seat or a shoulder without her motives being in question.

Now it seems as if Grace only makes special appearances, sweeping in to give a kiss on the cheek, warm a heart, or soothe a soul before leaving Dodge. Today, Grace is a minority. I’ll just assume she’s on that dreaded travel ban list because of her good nature. 

Yep, that’s right she’s been overpowered by the likes of Fear, and we all know Fear is too much of a kitty kat to travel alone, so he rallies his buddies suspicion and mistrust along for extra muscle.

Fear is doing his best to run the show we call everyday life. (yes, fear is a man because men have more power, and I said so) He is out slithering around insisting that we now question Grace and her posse of possibilities, kindness, and dare I say compassion.

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. Franklin D. Roosevelt

This change didn’t happen overnight, oh no, it’s been going on for some time now, but it’s evident that it has recently escalated. Hmm, I wonder why?

Grace needs us more than ever now that fear has gotten his cloven hooves on the internet to spread at the speed of lightning. She needs us on the ground to defend her motives. To ensure that her kindness is trusted, and to regain the best that humanity has to offer. We need more than a glimmer of our girl. 

So, if Grace happens to cross your path, embrace her offerings with open arms. Encourage her to stay for a while. Let her know how much we need her in our lives by spreading her around like glitter while you… Enjoy the Ride!

 

When Harry, Norman & Robert Met Lisa

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Three wise men walked into a Podiatrist office. No, this is not the beginning of a joke about aging feet, it’s the story of one of the best days I’ve had at work in a long time.

Let me introduce you to Harry, Norman & Robert. Three interesting, intelligent and inspiring men who walked into the office, dropped some wisdom and went about their day.

Harry -83 years young:  Harry is a recent surgery patient with a wonderful sense of humor.

When he came in for his first post-op appointment he said, and I quote: “I want to thank Lisa for answering all of my questions, she is a fountain of knowledge.” I asked him to call my children to inform them of that fact, he thought I was kidding … I was not.

Believe it or not, the accurate conclusion that Harry made about me was not what captured my heart. But, it certainly didn’t hurt.

Harry told me that he volunteers in a first-grade classroom, and has been doing it for years. He was so happy that the teacher had the class send him Get Well wishes after his surgery, but there was a catch, they had to include a joke. Laughter is the best medicine.

This gesture filled Harry’s heart. He told me that he enjoys volunteering in the First Grade classroom because it gives him the joy to see these children enter the door not certain what to expect and leave with confidence.

He went on to explain that he has a special bond with this teacher. Harry lost his son years ago in November, just when this teacher was getting married. One young life ending as one began.

Shortly after the teacher was married she found out she was expecting and 3 months into the pregnancy her new husband died suddenly. Grief, let me introduce you to grief.

Their losses brought them together and they are wonderful friends who helped each other heal. He’s been volunteering ever since.

83 years old, still thinking, still living and still making a mark in this world.

Norman-86 years young: He came to us a few months ago via his family doctor, which is never good, and let’s just say that “the little piggy that went to the market” never came back.

When he called the other day he was very nervous that “the little piggy that stayed home” was on its way out too so we made room on the schedule. Podiatry office humor.

Norman came in as if he was the guest of honor at a celebration, not someone with a potential gangrenous toe.

He was wearing a Villanova cap to “make the doctor happy” since his daughter is a student and it was the day of the championship game. Well played Norman, well-played indeed.

Norman was excited to reveal he had recently written a paper on aging. When I took him to the exam room I had to inquire about the paper. I was very curious.

I was thinking he wrote it for the AARP magazine. Nope, he said, “I wrote it for my family, I want them to know how quickly it comes up on you.” A warning of sorts.

The title of the paper is “Getting Old Is Not For Sissies.” Norman told me he stole that line from Bette Davis, an actress I wouldn’t know because, and I quote “you’re too young to remember her.” He had me at “too young.”

Norman still can’t believe he is 86. He doesn’t recognize the person in the mirror. Still has a lot to share with this world. Has an incredible sense of humor, and wants nothing more than for his family to be happy.

Norman is going to drop off a copy of the paper for me to read. No worries, I will share.

Robert-91 years young: Robert came in for a routine appointment. As soon as he came to the window he showed my co-worker a photo of him and his wife from 1941. They looked like movie stars.

Robert is a tall man, but frail. No doubt more so since he lost the love of his life. He told my co-worker a story that left them both with watery eyes.

Later I asked her about it and of course, I too was left with watery eyes. We’re so sappy sometimes.

Robert explained that he and his wife were sitting at the kitchen table and she asked: “How long have we been married?” Robert responded with “65 years dear.” Her response was “I have not regretted one day in 65 years.” Robert explained that even though she is gone, he is still stunned by her words. He is a walking, talking broken heart.

I was also taken back by my co-worker’s response to Robert which was “It was nice to be able to hear that Robert.”  Indeed, it was.

I must say, it was a pleasure to pick-up these three men while I … Enjoy the Ride!

 

Pet Power!

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This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.

After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought. 

Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!

As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.

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Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.

Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet? 

Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm. 

What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride! 

 

It Takes A Village

40287e1f937375987a5fa49d71cce72eDaily Prompt: Helping Hand

Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.

Helping hands have shown up in my life recently and just in the nick of time if I do say so myself.  That’s right humanity came strolling in, fashionably late of course, complete with party horns & confetti to join in on all the festivities. Was I “surprised”? Not really because that’s how humanity rolls.

Considering the level of activity around these parts over the past few months, it wasn’t  too shocking to anyone that my emotions decided to go into a full-blown tailspin, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Now that was a big fat ssurprise!

Believe me when I tell you I admire the complexity of the human brain, but there are times when I really wish it had an “off” switch. Perhaps it could have been installed when I became a mother. God obviously missed the memo on “When Women Worry”, along with the follow-up memo When Mothers Worry … A Whole Other Story,” otherwise he would have included the switch. He was probably off creating a giraffe or something so I’ll let him slide, since giraffes are so badass.

I was at the point of going from mole hill to mountain in one second flat, which is what can happen when your creative juices 44dfffbc16181b21312f1da189ce787fdecide to collaborate with your fears. These 2 should never hook up … ever. Unfortunately for me they were in an on and off relationship since September, but decided to take it to another level in February and by the end of March they were nothing short of hot & heavy. Such sluts!

So, on that particular Thursday when I pulled into the parking lot at work, I could not believe what suddenly began to unfold. One minute I’m laughing along with the morning Dj’s and the next my heart is pounding out of my chest. My imagination and fears decided to get it on right there in the parking lot! 

Somehow I managed to get out of the car and right into my first set of helping hands. Lord knows I must have appeared completely crazy, but in the moment I was more concerned about dying and much less concerned about first impressions. This stranger walked me to my office, assured me I was “ok” and wrapped those helping hands around me with a supporting hug before closing the door. Suddenly I was alone with the dynamic duo again…this was not good.

Next set of helping hands to show up was my boss. Oh, yes you did read that correctly. By the time he arrived on the scene, not only was my heart pounding out of my chest, but the tears were uncontrollable. He assured me I was NOT having a heart attack, but what did he know? … he’s only a DOCTOR for god sakes!  My brain was already claiming victory over this battle!

8a855a94a51099881c9a3fc60a0e3f64Just as I was about to wave my white flag and let my brain wear the crown some helping hands joined forces. My friend/co-worker arrived and knew exactly what to do. Honestly, the only thing missing was her white horse. She held my hand and walked me down to the office of my family doctor while reinforcing the fact that I was NOT having a heart attack. Um, I still wasn’t believing it.

Her helping hands had a magnetic force that attracted more hands into my circle of need, while never loosening her grip on mine. The girls at the desk, the medical assistant and the nurse practitioner all worked together with my friend to ensure me that I would come from behind and start kicking some crazy ass very soon. It really does take a village people. 

By the time this all ended I was whipped! My brain is pretty freaking tough, but my spirit is much tougher thanks to all those helping hands. They helped me to get back on the road to Enjoy the Ride! 

Step Away From The Boastful Bubble

THE DAILY PROMPT: PROUD When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you? Well, this actually very easy. Just the other day at work my co-worker told me she was in fact very proud of me. About a year ago Problems-with-Electronic-Health-Recordswe began the daunting task of converting to the world of Electronic Health Records. To make a very looooong story very short…things don’t always go according to plan.  At the end of Summer someone in our office was under the impression that perhaps the upcoming election may let’s just say have a different outcome, therefore we put this whole electronic record transformation on hold. Lesson…do not count your chickens before they’re hatched. So, now that the Inauguration has taken place and it appears the Prez is staying for the next four years, we are back to perusing this monumental change. We all know that no one likes the C-Word, but there are moments when it’s just necessary in order to get the ball rolling. I hope you all realize I’m talking about Change…just checking.  This brings us to Monday when we once again started to dabble back into this new system to see just how much information was actually retained after all these months. After a few technical difficulties that nearly pushed us all over the imaginary cliff…we started.  Ok, let’s get back to the prompt at hand. On Tuesday I started to scan some records into the computer. For the record, it’s not as easy as it sounds. By the grace a God, a miracle, a fluke or some other out of this world phenomenon I was able to wiz right through the process without an ounce of hesitation. This is when I heard those magic words…. Co-worker:  Wow, how did you do that? Me: I have no idea. Co-worker: I’m really proud of you for remembering how to do that. Me: Laughter. Considering I couldn’t guarantee this would happen a second time. I must say it’s nice to get a little pat on the back every once in a while…even when you might not feel it’s necessary. We live in a 8a930b0a4fcaed5e05d1ff53b36613b6world where criticism comes easier that compliments. A place where people seem to have a difficult time stepping out of their own boastful bubble to recognize the very things that deserve gratitude. So it’s best to just humbly accept that someone recognizes something good in you and watch it blossom. Hey, even my dog likes to hear that he is a “Good Boy” just for pooping!   Make your supporters proud, your haters jealous and Enjoy the Ride!

Les Miserables and Social Injustice

This is a wonderful piece on Social Injustice. Take time to read it through, there is a very important message to be heard.

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My wife and I have long been fans of the musical Les Miserables, so yesterday we took two of our children to see the recently released movie with Hugh Jackman as the lead character of Jean Valjean. We were not disappointed and enjoyed the movie immensely. Of course, a few people have noted some of its imperfections, yet on the whole, it is a very moving experience and fills in a few details that the play could not.

As an aside, I also enjoyed the dramatic movie made a few years ago with Liam Neeson in the role of Valjean. As for the recent musical version, I would encourage you to see it , whether you have seen the play, early dramatic movie or not. If you have seen the play, you will be even more moved by Anne Hathaway’s Fantine singing how life has killed her dreams. The music is so wonderful, sometimes the everyday tragedy  of…

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Big Ole Lump of Love

Daily Prompt: Take Two

Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.

IMG_0999I for one am not surprised that a Fancy Tree Rat Squirell is the first thing I laid my eyes on when heading outdoors this morning. This little fella is only one of the thousands that seem to be invading our area this year. For some unknown reason we have been inundated with these little creatures in our neighborhood. I’m not really feeling blessed by this at all.

They spend their days running around in circles accomplishing nothing in the processIt’s really annoying to witness. I think I’ve worked with people who were clearly squirrels in another life. They spend their days being busy trying to look busier than everyone else. ADHD x’s 1000 and always an epic fail.

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When I came inside this is the first thing I saw. A big ole lump of love a/k/a Chester. Not a care in the world. True bliss with a tail. You won’t see him running in circles for no reason. When Chester does something, he does it with a purpose. If you ever saw him watch a stew cooking you would understand that statement.

He sleeps,walks, eats, sleeps, walks, sleeps again, walks, poops, sleeps again, eats, walks, poops and sleeps until it all starts over again. This little that is being used loosely guy lives a very simple life. There is something to be said about living the life you love.

THE CONNECTION: The behavior of these two animals sends a very clear message, well to me any way. In the end what do we all really long to be? Rich…Famous…Happy. Of course it would be nice to have all three, but if we’re being realistic I’ll go with Happy. Believe me I know having a solid bank account might make things easier, but does it bring you happiness? No. I’ve come across some miserable rich fucks folks in my day. 

So you have a choice, you can either run around in circles chasing that next whatever it may be that you think will make you happy or you can take a good look inside yourself, ask “What really makes me happy?”  Give yourself some good solid answers and apply some energy in that direction. It’s not nearly as difficult as we make it out to be.

Let’s face it, not everyone is born with a sunny disposition, but I think we can all agree that we have the ability to learn how to bring more meaning and satisfaction into our lives. Happiness is contagious…spread some around.

Stop glorifying busy. Slow the hell down. Find your happy and Enjoy the Ride!

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