Category Archives: lessons

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!

 

Cave 219 Unit A

fullsizeoutput_2473For as long as I can remember I’ve been required to complete some sort of form before my entrance into a school, hospital or doctors office. So why is this practice suddenly considered a personal attack on freedom? I have a few ideas.

Well, for whatever reason, people seem to be relating this procedure as a personal infringement on their rights as an American citizen. Hmm, I wonder where they could have gotten that idea?

As some of you may already know, I work in the healthcare system where I am in the presence of the public on a daily basis. Feel free to send words of encouragement. 

So, as you can imagine, my days have been a real joy ever since people decided that every question presented, including NAME, has a hidden agenda. Items that have been routinely asked for DECADES I might add!

There seem to be (2) questions that set people off on a personal protest, lecture or aliem_soapboxcomments on everything unfair. Let me introduce you to race and ethnicity. Again, why?

Um, first of all, it’s evident to anyone with eyes if you’re black, white, orange or blue and secondly, you do have the FREEDOM to not answer the questions. Places do exist where options are not a thing, and this isn’t one of them.

Recently a new patient completed his form and vigorously crossed out ALL of the race selections to write A M E R I C A N across the page. Where does one begin?

Do I ….

a) Inform him that “AMERICAN” is not a race or an ethnicity unless you are in fact a NATIVE. Based on his white hair, blue eyes and Fighting Irish jacket, I’m going to risk stating that his ancestors were not the hot guys in loincloths at the first Thanksgiving.

b) Ask WTF does that mean? Outloud!

c) Earn an Oscar nomination for exhibiting an extreme level of control while in the presence of an ass. Is there a category for “best poker face?”

See you on the red carpet folks! I have bills to pay ya know.

Next up are the folks who REFUSE to complete the ethnicity portion of the form, which is fine, and again, you have that right. In fact, there is even a little box that says DECLINES TO PROVIDE.  

4534673-Cartoon-prehistoric-man-before-cave-color-illustration--Stock-IllustrationNO ONE, especially me is forcing you to reveal your heritage. However, one does not have to be Nancy Drew to solve that mystery or at least come close. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what makes people tick. 

My faith in humanity weakens when I think about the passion associated with these “protests” and how that energy is wasted on something so senseless. Ugh!

Do they realize that their name, address, social security number, phone numbers, employer information, marital status and the name of a family member for an emergency contact have just been delivered on a silver platter, which dramatically weakens their argument and provides enough evidence to trace their roots back to a cave?  Dear Lord!

Use your energy wisely and as always, Enjoy the Ride!

 

Simma Down Now​

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The laughter this crew provides is unmeasurable

November was a hectic month on its own, so when you throw in some birthdays, and a couple deaths things escalate. Toss in the sale of two cars, the purchase of a new one, a wedding and running the 5k you signed up for because you’re too cheap to cancel while preparing to host Thanksgiving and your teetering on crazy. Simma down now, simma down.

Then, just as your about to welcome December with open arms, you receive notice from the City of Philadelphia that a neighbor filed a complaint against you for parking a commercial mower in YOUR OWN yard.  I think it’s safe to say that the big fat December full moon was not helping matters. 

Meanwhile, all of this has caused my heart to ride an emotional rollercoaster. Sadness from the losses, joy from the celebrations, racing from exercise and crushed by the actions of this neighbor. She needs a break!

The loss of two extraordinary people was significant. David, a gentleman in every sense of the word, passed early in the month. After attending his service, I felt better than when I walked in the door. This is a testament to the level of goodness in his soul, which I had the pleasure to witness before and after his passing. 

Next, my husband’s Aunt Sophie who was my favorite in-law. Earlier in the year, she joined us for a fantastic night out on the town that I actually shared in my post Magical. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the same woman, who was a lively 78-year old playing air guitar on the dance floor in February, was diagnosed with cancer and died 4 weeks later. Just another reminder to live your life folks.

The new car has challenged my intelligence, not to mention my driving skills. I’m not positive, but I would bet money I am experiencing the same emotions that Buzz Aldrin felt when he hopped in Apollo 11 and headed to the moon. Wow! Just Wow!

When the bells and whistles have their own set of bells and whistles, it can make a girl feel inadequate. Apparently, I continuously drive over the lines on the road. How do I know? Because I’m reminded every 5 seconds. I’m questioning why I haven’t been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence … EVERY day.

fullsizeoutput_1ea4My daughter wanted to run a big race here in Philly, the Rocky Run. So, like a good mother, I signed us up. FYI: My daughter has never run a day in her life.

I’m still not sure how she pulled off being out with her girlfriends, rolling in just a few hours before she had to get up and managed to beat me by one second. Isn’t youth grand?

Thanksgiving was terrific from start to finish. Food, family, and laughter through the roof put it in the books as one of the best. Who am I kidding, they’re all in the books.

Ugh, and finally this notice from the Department of Licenses has turned my current living situation into the modern day version of the Hatfield & McCoy feud. Can we settle this on Family Feud, please? 

That story is to be continued. However, I will say that when people make decisions based on their emotions at that given moment, there are no winners. Those actions have far-reaching effects and do much more harm than good. Live and learn is the motto around these parts folks. 

Enjoy the Ride and Keep the PEACE!

 

Daily Prompt: Neighbors

via Daily Prompt: Neighbors

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Hmm … where do I even begin? I grew up in a city neighborhood where the typical household held anywhere from 4 to 12 children. How we were all conceived and raised in a three bedroom, one bathroom rowhome is still a mystery.

The best part of this upbringing was you were never without entertainment. There was always an active pulse ready to play.

We were never indoors. Never wore protective gear while riding our bikes. Never played organized sports, unless you count the games we organized via our imaginations, and we never had to worry about our parents hovering over us every second of the day. Ever!

We had an understanding with our parental units. Kids play outside until the street light comes on and then you scatter like roaches into your homes. Simplicity works.

Neighbors from my youth rocked! It didn’t matter if it was a sickness, new baby or death the neighbors organized meals, money, and services better than the Red Cross. No questions asked.

If you had a problem with a neighbor, you knocked on the door and dare I say expressed your concerns. Hey Bill are you hurt or just not keeping up with your lawn?

Life was simple.

54a9af2eebe436c1e332e0f14ed62a9d--fred-rogers-heroesToday I live in the same type of close-knit city dwelling and my oh my how things have changed. Now there’s a neighborhood FaceBook page. 

The kids on my block if they come outdoors on their downtime from being carted from one organized activity to the next, are usually huddled around a tablet playing a video game, watching YouTube videos, taking selfies or snap chatting. Missing out on their surroundings.

I do on occasion see kids riding their bikes, running, playing on swings and giggling with joy, but the parents ruin it with their “rules,”  and the parents who don’t participate in the rules are crucified. Stop running, slow down, stop screaming, not so high, get off the grass, get out of the street … nag, nag, nag.   

Now, as for the adults, I’m speechless at times. A lot of the time actually.

Instead of knocking on doors to settle concerns we now call the authorities. Oh, yes. The neighbors find it easier to call 911 on their fellow neighbor than to walk across the street, knock on the door and say “hey, could you move your car so I can’t get out.”  Having your neighbor ticketed is better how?

Oh, please for the love of God do not have a sickness or injury that prevents you from cutting your lawn, because there’s a number to call for that too.  The city will send a service over to destroy your lawn and give you a fine. The days of asking “do you need help with your lawn? I’ll send Bobby over to provide you with a hand are over. 

e10bd23bfcfe26c1fc87d70dd350aca4--the-way-you-are-i-like-youWorse than these two examples would be the dreaded neighborhood FaceBook page. Don’t get me wrong the page is great for recommendations on home improvement repairs, lost or found pets and keeping us in the loop on activities in the area, but unfortunately, it has also become a place where free reign bitching is allowed.

Recently there was a post regarding an older neighbor installing a bright lightbulb on their porch. The post read “what should I do? My neighbor installed a high wattage bulb, and I’m blinded when I come out of my door.” This is what I’m dealing with people. 

There were plenty of suggestions; however, none of them included knocking on the door to inquire about the bright light. This “man” was considering replacing the bulb himself.  I just don’t get it. 

As for me, well, I will continue to live by example, share responsibility and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Shells Bells

Shells, shells, and more shells. I was just a tad obsessed with collecting these beauties on my morning walks. Maybe a little more than a “tad.”

Look at them, all beautiful in their own way. All different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some with fractures, some dull, others shiny and bright, but all with their own individual characters that make them beautifully unique. Hmm, sounds a lot like people now doesn’t it.

There isn’t a hateful one in the bucket.

As always, my children thought I was losing my mind as I ventured out every morning to see what treasures the ocean left behind. When will they realize they are the cause of any loss of my mind?

Anyway, shell searching is in my genes. As children, my mother taught us how to comb IMG_6357the beach for shells, and I followed the tradition by doing the same with my daughter. Why is this not on my resume?

I remember sitting in a hotel room with my sister going over our inventory from the day. We would break down our loot by size and style. Yes, serious records were kept with shells & Halloween candy. 

Back in the day, we had an abundance of large clam shells waiting for us.  That is not the case today. I’m not sure if it’s the ever-changing climate, Mother Nature’s hoarding or the loss of sexual urges amongst the clam community, whatever the reason, there were slim pickings.  Feel free to now Google “how do clams reproduce?” I did.

As kids, we returned from vacation with a bucket of blank canvases. On rainy summer days, we would break out our watercolor sets to let our inner Monet surface. Our talents were displayed in our garden for all to view.  It was like an ongoing Gallery opening without the wine & cheese.

It’s funny how some memories, no matter what, have the ability to leave a smile on your face. I’m glad that one let itself out of the vault. 

The million dollar question around here now is: “What are you going to do with all those shells?” The response: “Something fabulous!” 

Now that I’ve set the bar high, I’ve been unleashing my creative juices for this project. Hmm, how hard can it be to rustle up something wonderful, yet not too overwhelming, while meeting all the criteria necessary to be F A B U L O U S? What the hell was I thinking?

After some pondering while scanning the internet for inspiration, there is something on the horizon waiting to come to life. Will it be fabulous? OF COURSE!  I’ll be working my magic shortly.

Embrace the differences to create something fabulous in the world. Enjoy the Ride!

Let’s Put The “We” Back In The People

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If this gem doesn’t just scream my name I don’t know what does. That’s right folks, I’m officially hanging with the pigeon squad. 

I am EXHAUSTED!

Not by the hamster wheel of life, but by the behavior of my co-humans.

By the increased hatred and decrease in common decency.

By the lack of truth and over indulgence of misinformation and lies.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the loss of common ground and the divided beliefs.

By the daily negativity of, he said she said while important issues sit silently.

By the rise in civil obedience and the lack of active participation in the process.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By being told who to hate by our televisions, while books collect dust.

By judgments, labels & stereotypes in one hand and Bibles, flags & hypocrisy in the other.

By the absence of faith, hope & charity and the escalation of greed.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the Social Media scholars and their ignorant followers.

By the callous treatment of the less fortunate and the misguided definition of fame. 

By fear dictating our decisions, while common sense faces extinction.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the abuse of our first amendment and the overextended defense of our second.

By selfishness leading the way, while collaboration sits on the sidelines.

By the misconception that strength is loud and quietness is weak.

I am EXHAUSTED! 

By the thought of war being the answer and not giving peace a chance.

By the short memories and selective truths.

By the thought that I’m too optimistic, while others have surrendered hope.

Let’s TRY to celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears, and differences. These are the freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. These are the freedoms that unite. These are the freedoms that will thrive. 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember all of this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…anything worthwhile rarely is easy.

We’re all in this together, so hop in and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Emotional Fart

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DONE

Just when I thought everything was going smooth the universe made the executive decision to throw a wrench into my peace. Does everyone agree that Lisa appears to be content? Good, bring in the wrench, please. On second thought, make it a double.

It’s been 6 months since I was blindsided, and the universe has been somewhat kind, but recently it has decided to shake things up a bit. As if watching the News wasn’t enough. 

My son decided to move out of his apartment and back HOME. The problem with this big fat wrench is he didn’t come alone. He brought his endless appetite, wash, sneakers the size of Pennsylvania and a school project that entails constructing something that has now taken over my entire house. Remember the movie The Blob? It’s like that over here.

My nature is very easy peasy. Little things like gigantic sneakers and piles of wash have never bothered me before, well, maybe not never. But, certainly not at the level of wanting to set the house on fire to make them go away. This is the result of holding in an emotional fart.

Clearly, there are some underlining things going on with me to stir up this level of emotion, and now you lucky readers who were drawn in my clever title get to read about it. Sorry, not sorry. 

Although my life keeps moving forward one snail slide at a time, and the memories start to fade, they don’t leave, they linger. Like the crowd you see at Starbucks sucking up the free wi-fi ALL DAY.

The problems I’m facing now are the reminders. Not the “don’t forget we need milk” kind, the “my therapist would like you to come in next week” kind. It is the equivalent of being shot out of a cannon right back to October 12th. Why can’t I take a cannonball ride back to 1974 when I was free of concerns, other than the daunting decision to ride my bike or play jump rope?

In some ways, it’s good to go so I can get a feel as to what’s going on inside my man’s head. In other ways, it drains me for days. Literally paralyzing me from doing what I enjoy. I don’t read, write or go to the gym. I find myself stuck in a cloud of never ending thoughts. In my head, it’s like trying to figure out a math equation that has multiple answers. I HATE MATH!

Of course, I know it’s all part of the process, and that the process is the best thing for everyone and that it’s working, but for god sakes, it’s a lot to deal with when you’re just trying to deal period. Hence the thought that FIRE would be the way to go with ridding my house of clutter.

At this point in my life, I think it’s safe to say that the universe shops at Sears and there is just an obvious endless sale on Craftsman wrench sets, so I need to take responsibility, tighten my helmet, fasten my seatbelt and just … Enjoy the Ride! One long speed bump at a time. 

 

Every Day Is Opposite Day

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Well, well, well look who is celebrating their 5th anniversary with WordPress. Ah, it feels like yesterday. 

Last year, in celebration of this glorious milestone, I posted an essay that is sadly more relevant today Weapons of Mass Destruction Have a FaceA big orange face to be exact.

So, here we are, one year later, with the shit literally hitting the fan. Oh, happy day … not.

In just 365 days we went from watching this country’s biggest hit reality show to actually being contestants. I’m just sitting here desperately waiting for this show to be cancelled. 

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2017: Every day is Opposite Day

The show, as I like to call it, is “The Opposite.” That’s right folks, we are all participating in a new reality where our host is the opposite of being honest, treating women or anyone else who isn’t white like people, speaking openly, confronting situations directly, having patience, and basically just being a good solid citizen. The Opposite is now leading our path. Where we’re heading has yet to be determined. 

In just a little over 30 days our host has brought several teams to the surface.

First, we have Team Merica. The bible thumping flag waving team who wouldn’t know the constitution if it were narrowed down to a bumper sticker, who take pride in naming at least two of the seven dwarfs, yet cannot muster up the name of a single Supreme Court Judge. They believe every alternative fact presented, including, but not limited to, our former president being a member of Isis.

The White Team is a sub group to Team Merica that includes well-intentioned educated folks who for whatever reason cast their vote. Some say it’s because he’s a businessman, others believed that he would “clean the swamp”, but most, in my opinion, did it because they were tired of a Democrat “giving away” everything they earned.

Next, we have Team Resistance. Not hired actors or paid by a 3rd party to participate. They are a feisty group made up of men, women, children, babies & dogs. They are taking to the streets to have their voices heard bearing signs, pussy hats, and passion for all that is good for the greater good. Their voices are speaking out for common human rights for all people. They are demanding answers from their elected officials regarding our planet, our healthcare, our animals, our freedoms, our sanity and OUR COUNTRY.

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Who knew different could be this bad?

Then we have Team Oh Fuck. This group really, really, really thought they were doing the right thing when they went to the voting booth to cast a vote for “something different” and now they sit quietly pondering the definition of “different.”

Next up, Hollywood. This crew brings money, glitter, glitz, glamor, a microphone and a stage to spread a message they feel should be heard. This group has members on all of the above teams.

Last but not least we have Wall Street. They bring money, mo’ money and of course, mo’ money, which can easily allow them to rule the world … literally. Just remember folks the lack of a moral compass, a soul, and their cloven hooves will eventually lead to their demise. Hopefully.

So, in just over 30 days since the season premiere of “The Opposite” we’ve certainly been kept on our toes with the daily cliffhangers. What’s next? never sounded more terrifying.

Our new host likes to keep the teams confused. As they wander around questioning whether facts are truth or if lies are now alternative facts, which in our old world were just lies, he is vigorously flushing distraction_xlargetheir tax dollars down the drain on his weekend getaways, our satellite First Lady, and my favorite, the 2017 Feed My Ego Tour a/k/a 2020 campaign rally. What just happened?

While the teams scramble to fact check like Ninjas, desperately trying to determine which news is real, fake or somewhere in between, Executive Orders are being signed sealed and delivered faster than a middle of the night Tweet. Diversion at its finest.

Thing have been tense between the teams. While each team frantically attacks each other via social media outlets, the wool is pulled further over their once bright hopeful eyes. Next stop, slaughterhouse.

Let’s just hope that this show will be cancelled long before the Season Finale scheduled to air November, 2020. Until then, crank up the music and Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

The Blessed Project

The Blessed Project  hosted by none other than the QUEEN of Wild Rides Susie Lindau, could not have come at a better time this season.

It’s not that I don’t recognize my blessings, I do, I really do. It’s just that sometimes life sweeps in to rattle me in another direction. No doubt I am part squirrel. 

This is why we need to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented. So a big round of applause to Susie for providing us with the chance to be still. Even if it’s just for a moment feel the peace.

BLESSINGS:

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90 Years Young

 

Recently I was Blessed to witness my mother’s joy, as she watched her whole family sing in unison the old classic “Happy Birthday” before she cast her 90th wish.

If joy had a face … this my friends would be what it looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

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#oncloudcullen

 

In September I was Blessed to celebrate the wedding of my nephew, and to gain this beautiful woman as my niece. Their wedding was spectacular!

The love for this couple was explosive throughout the entire celebration. 

It’s been unanimous within the family that we all want to go back for a few more hours on Cloud Cullen. 

 

 

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Santa, we have officially replaced the kids. Bring bones.

 

Every damn day I am Blessed to come home to these two snowflakes. 

No matter what went on in the day, these little lumps of love are there to remind me that I am indeed the best thing that ever happened to their world. 

 

 

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Outgrowing the table

 

On Thanksgiving, I was especially Blessed to have everyone I love under one roof. My sisters who are always generous with their time and efforts. My brother-in-laws for being loving and caring men. My nieces with their intelligence, baking talents and beauty. My nephews who are passionate about everything from world affairs to Harambe the gorilla. The significant others that slip right into place with the craziness. My children for being such loving beings and my husband for always helping to make my day a little easier. 

 

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Mangia!

Blessings included were enjoying each others company, eating delicious food and laughing together. Playing Cards Against Humanity until our ab muscles hurt. Finding humor in every conversation on the table and most of all NOT TALKING POLITICS FOR A SECOND. (There were rumors of some quiet texting on this subject, but nothing was proven)

 

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The ladies

 

 

I’m Blessed to have good friends who recognized that a night of Running Through The Lights is exactly what I needed. 

I’m Blessed that they are persistent in their efforts to get me to workout, sweat, laugh, pee and cry. 

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My version of Blogosphere

I’m Blessed to have virtual friends that are loving caring beings in and outside of the blogosphere.

I’m Blessed that they continue to show me love. Send virtual hugs. Make me laugh. Pray for me. Provide free therapy and genuinely care.

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My Family Squad

I am truly BLESSED for this photo that speaks for itself.

Enjoy the Ride! 

Don’t forget to pack your blessings!

Stranger Things Have Happened

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Photo by: Arhm Scrap

via Daily Prompt: Faded

fade
fād/Submit
verb
past tense: faded; past participle: faded 1. gradually grow faint and disappear.

I know we all meet sorrow in our own way. For me, it’s looking for the silver lining. Much easier said than done, but hope is always doable.

At first, I thought I might have some sort of super powers. Somehow going about my daily routine like a badass. I went to work without missing a beat. I even went out socializing without a care in the world trying my best to squash the memories. Guess what? Even the baddest of asses have their moments.

For over a month now I’ve been trying very hard to kick my sorrow to the curb. I hosted Thanksgiving like a pilgrim! I channeled my inner Martha Stewart to deck the damn halls! I got all gussied up to attend an amazing Christmas party, and I’ve been working out as if I’m being considered for the Olympics! But guess what people? IT DOESN’T WORK!

When the family leaves, the work is done, the sweat is showered off, and I come home, do you know who is waiting? Yep, just like that annoying guest at the party who never seems to realize it’s time to hit the road …. sorrow is there to greet me with open arms. It’s really beginning to be a huge pain in the ass!

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that if sorrow is going to hang around for awhile, I need to do something about it. I think t’s time we become friends or form some sort of relationship. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m tired of fighting this weightlifter of an emotion. 

Wait a minute, “friends” might be a little strong, maybe I’ll start with a roomie and work my way up to besties. I’m only human. 

So, for now, it looks like I’ll be chillin with sorrow. I’ve set up some free space in my head so he can get cozy. Yes, sorrow is a man …. because I said so.

I must say since he’s been hanging around, I’ve been learning a lesson here and there about myself, so at least he’s earning his keep. If only he cleaned bathrooms. 

Who knows next maybe he’ll show me how to be strong as him. Stranger things have happened…look who is our new prez. 

Maybe he’ll even wine and dine me as he leads me to that silver lining. Where I can only imagine unicorns are running free.

Better yet … maybe one day I’ll be able to sit by a nice sunny window, sipping a hot cup of coffee, listening to Marvin Gaye while I watch all of this just fade away. Goals!

Enjoy the Ride!

 

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