Category Archives: letting go

No Apologies

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This quote has resonated with me with a force that I could not longer ignore.  Why? Because it’s truth on paper, or in this case … Pinterest. I’ve kept my distance on my Blog for reasons that were just not genuine and this little reminder brought me here today. I know… I know … I know. 

I haven’t been “too busy” to write. Lamest excuse evah!  Seriously! I’m not out solving world peace, I’m walking dogs and washing dishes. Just doing my thang. 

Old Habits Die-Hard

Old Habits Die-Hard

The truth is I’ve been away because old habits really do die-hard, especially those from our childhood. Those Mother Efers are like the Michael Myers of behaviors!  Just when you think you’ve beat them down, stabbed, shot, drowned, suffocated and tied them to a train track before dropping them into a 10 foot grave, someone comes along; lets out one little comment that resurrects these assholes into spring chickens! Once again proving the power of  our Words.

That’s right folks, I let the words of a small group of naysayers bring me back to a place I thought was out of my life for good. Obviously that was not the case. Apparently there are a few people in my world who read this Blog anonymously. Meaning they are not included in the 712 out and about followers. 

This handful of naysayers, who prefer to lurk in the shadows of my business and later zap me with my own words when the opportunity strikes are the real story tellers. That’s right folks, because every time they open their mouths to undermine my dreams, criticize or predict my doom they are letting the world know their story, not mine. So from this moment on not one more fuck will be given about their “opinion.” 

2ec12bf281d76a09e5095674b964e0f3My blog was born as a therapy session outside of my therapy session, not a NY Times best seller. It’s just a little speck out in the world that allows me to dump some long overdue baggage out the window and let  shit go. So if a handful of people can’t deal with that the solution is simple …. stop reading it. That friends is not rocket science. 

Letting go of some baggage over time has enabled me to start growing into my own badass self and I AM NOT APOLOGIZING for being ME just because a certain crew of negative people can’t seem to handle that truth.

I have spent 2 and a half years writing 180 essays on top of 3 years of counseling trying to bring my genuine self to the surface and it’s going to take more than a few mean-spirited naysayers to bring me down. Snap!

Now let me go dig into a nice big bowl of diamonds for dinner so I can continue to SHINE ON and Enjoy the Ride! 

 

Doubt or Do It’s Up To You

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G.I. Joe? Chuck Norris? or Jesus?

If you’ve been reading me for some time, you already know I admit to being the Mayor of Scardy Cat Town. I’m not embarrassed by this at all, it’s who I am. Lord knows I have entertained many with my fearful experiences.

Over the weekend, as I was casually walking my little lamb chop a/k/a my dog Peanut, I noticed this fucker creeping from under the bushes. Seriously! I’m not even sure what my reaction was other than a slew of obscenities with a side of what might be considered some sort of prayer. That is if repeatedly yelling “Jesus Christ!” “Jesus!” “For good sakes!” and “Holy shit!” are considered prayers.

Random mannequin heads lurking under bushes are just one kind of fear we have to deal with in our lives. These fears are sudden and usually provide a good bit of laughter in the end. Especially when you patiently wait for the next person to walk by.

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Sing off key and live!

Then there are those fears that get to us via the media. They just love to plant those hearty doom and gloom seeds in our heads about planes that have plummeted into the ocean or just vanish or engulf into flames or ALL OF THE ABOVE! As if my own imaginary scenarios aren’t enough to keep me grounded!   

I won’t even tread into the murky waters of the World News, that shit is just too real. Information overload can consume even the strongest of minds. Thank goodness we control the “off” switch is all I can say. 

Last, but certainly not least are those fears that run deep. Those lovely little gems from our childhood or traumatic events that we just love to keep close. No, not the boogieman or clowns.

b183397faab0430ea8b56cde8efa4576I’m talking about those haunting fears of not being good enough, rejection, failure and the rest of the negative posse. We tend to keep these close like some sort of security blanket, just in case we need another excuse to move forward or perhaps when we need to point some blame in a direction other than the mirror. Safe, easy and paralyzing.

Why the hell are there so many fears in the first place? Well, I can answer that in one word … DOUBT. You know the sudden loud voice in your head that asks all sorts of negative questions just before you are about to embark on something wonderful. Guess what people? Doubt is an asshole! 

At 50 years young I am finally realizing just how much of an asshole Doubt can really be. It a2ec50f46abbf671c202b28284008b5889470a9998aa958f53939935a6502bfbshows up at the worst time; stays way too long and seems to ruin everything in its path. Just think of a drunk party goer who won’t take the hint that the party is over … yep that’s what Doubt is like. 

It has stopped me in my tracks, whispered “what ifs”  in my ear and managed to make mountains out of too many molehills. I’m not solving world peace for god sakes!

I vaguely remember my childhood aspirations to be a teacher, a judge, or a rodeo bull rider. I know a judge of all things right? What happened to those dreams along my road to adulthood? Doubt is what happened! You’re not smart enough. You’re not decisive enough. You’re not good enough.

Of course I could drive myself crazy wondering what my life would be like living on a ranch with the Marlboro Man or blaming my parents for not recognizing my passion for the Rodeo segments of the Wide World of Sports, but what would that solve? Zip.  

21919a5445b98e7745a02d887721b241.jpgInstead, I have chosen to little by little muster up the courage to punch fear in the face and bitch slap doubt every time they start talking shit about my fabulousness. It’s not really that easy, but it felt good writing it.

It takes time to put our fears in their place. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you so have some patience.

 It’s up to you to get in the driver’s seat. 

When you do decide to head down your road to happiness, make sure you buckle up right next to fear. Look back at all your accomplishments. Pick up some positive reinforcements on the way. Let the accomplishments of others blow through your hair and don’t stop until you reach your destination … the corner of Awesome & Bombdiggity sounds like a good start. 

 Enjoy the Ride!

Those Were The Days

Father’s Day has been different for me over the years. My father died on Father’s Day in 1994. It’s ok, don’t be all sad, he planned the big exit so we would never forget. 23 years ago on the 19th of June.

Honestly, I always thought it would be Christmas, the big guns of the holidays, but having your father die on Father’s Day…well-played Jim, well-played indeed.

This was a man with a very large presence, who wanted to be remembered in a very grand way so I would say…mission accomplished dad.

My dad was almost 58 when I born..oops, which made my childhood a tad interesting, to say the least. It’s funny because I never thought my dad was old, he was just my dad. Until that Summer afternoon in my driveway when my best friend invited me to come to her Grams surprise 60th birthday party. She informed me it was going to be a big party because 60 is really old. This moment was equivalent having a friend fill you in on the whole Santa hoax. Wadda mean really old? 

Needless to say, the lightbulb went off, the calculator in my head was hard at work and 68 is the final answer. Should I be afraid that the Grim Reaper is lurking in the shadows?  Yes, which is exactly what I did from that moment forward. Side note: My mother was 20 years younger, just in case you were going to look me up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the baby born to the oldest woman or something.

He certainly didn’t act old. We went to the shore, amusement parks, and rides to Lancaster, just because he liked chicken and dumplings. We drove for ice-cream on a whim to a special place 45 minutes away, because it was better. We did everything the kids with a young dad did, just with more gray hair.

Mom? Dad?

As I said my dad had a big personality. He was a Jimmy Hoffa/Archie Bunker (without the bigotry) all rolled into one. If he had something to say, he said it. If you crossed him…be afraid. If there was wrong to be righted, he got the job done. How? Who knows and it’s probably better to leave some things to the imagination.

He was a feisty free spirit who lived his life according to his own set of rules. He was loud, stubborn, demanding, certainly not boring, full of life and definitely had a good sense of humor. He never smoked or drank a day in his life, which most likely helped him in the end. I couldn’t even imagine an alcohol induced Jim…I think I just got goosebumps at that thought. 

He was a Teamster and drove a truck for a living, but retired when I went to first grade. So in 1971, he became the stay at home dad and my mother went to work. Let’s just draw some more attention to ourselves as being different, shall we?

However, my mother was still required to cook & clean..come on now he was still the man of the house for god sakes it was 1971!

Both of my parents were very politically active during my childhood, so although he was retired from his job he always had something going on politically. He did go back to work part-time until he was 81. His motto was “always work hard, but remember you’re only a number”  and today my siblings and I are all incredibly loyal hard-working adults, despite being a number.

When my dad was 81 he lost part of his foot to diabetes. This was after Dr. Jim decided he would remove his ingrown toenail with pliers. Feel free to read that line again, yes you did read “pliers” and yes, as in the tool in the garage. 

Of course, no one knew how bad it was until it was too late. My mother had to retire at that point to care for him for the next 7 years. She refers to that time as “serving her sentence.”  The woman is a saint! There isn’t a jury in the land that would convict her if she accidentally sat on that pillow on his face…trust me. 

Jim was the worst patient in the ENTIRE world. Try telling an old free spirit …” you can’t”. The sentence “you can’t drive anymore, we need to take your license” was a million times more deadly than that gangrenous foot … for all of us. 

Although, I know there were highways out there cheering with joy that Mr. Magoo was finally parked for good. Sitting in the passenger seat could cure even the worst case of constipation.

Honestly, when the man behind the wheel is saying “I’ll drive wherever the hell I want..I pay my taxes” as your entering the street with the red and white DO NOT ENTER sign, you know why your bowels are rumbling!

Although I was born to an older dad, I was fortunate that he hung around long enough to meet my daughter. I found out I was pregnant with my son the day before his funeral. This was a huge surprise, considering I had no recollection of having sex. But, according to that blue plus sign on the stick, I did. My first thought was “Oh, shit!” and rightfully so, because sure enough, there is a stubborn, demanding, free-spirited, outspoken young man who looks very much like my dad, living in my house.

Just remember folks, at 58 my father lived another life. He died when I was 30 years old. So he raised me, watched me get married… twice, became a grandfather for the 7th time and taught me a valuable lesson … you’re never too old to Enjoy the Ride! 

Ready To Make The World Squint

The other morning I came across a reblogged post by Mimi over at Waiting For The Karma Truck that really struck a nerve. Well, it wasn’t actually the blog itself, but Mimi’s comment that got my nerve going. Read on…

I have been having many conversations with friends of mine about what the second half holds. The key perhaps is in re-defining one’s understanding of the concept of ‘doing’ – turning that energy inward and valuing it as much as one valued all those years of externalized effort. Some thoughts for this morning…

The subject of the blog was about aging, a conversation I was also having recently with a dear friend. Calm down we weren’t discussing nursing homes, if fact it was the polar opposite. There were a number of things that brought this subject to the surface, especially our looming “Special Birthdays.” One has already been celebrated, but I must wait with bated breath until February to celebrate mine. 

Mimi made a wonderful point in her response to my comment. She said, “I think some of us are just at the age where we realize that we need to move not just to another chapter, but perhaps another story entirely.” Reading Mimi is like having my own personal Yoda around for a daily dose of wisdom. Shit! I hope she doesn’t bill me. 

Her words immediately had me thinking about all the chapters and several stories in my own life. We all start out with the same story “New Beginnings” , but the rest, well … they’re on us. I decided to compile a Cliff Note version of some of the more noteworthy stories/chapters of my life. 

  • Mommy, Will You Marry Me?:  When I was my sister/best friend had to go to school and leave me ALL day. In that moment I vowed to marry my mommy. That’s right I had amazing sense even at 4. I knew this woman was the best thing that ever happened to me and damn it I wasn’t going to let her get away. We had two wonderful years alone together before I had to join my sister at school, but I never forgot how special I felt as we watched Pixanne and I proposed. 
  • Catholic School or Scarred For Life:  I think it’s safe to say these two go hand in hand. I didn’t have a chance between following in my over achieving sister’s shoes, constantly being reminded about it every time I entered a classroom and being the emotional punching bag for a group of bitter, sex suppressed woman a/k/a nuns. This may come as a surprise, but I really didn’t enjoy school…can’t imagine why. This story lasted 12 long years! 
  • Love Goggles:  Over the years this story has also been referred to as “What The Fuck Was I Thinking?” and What The Fuck Were You Thinking?” on more than one occasion. I fell hard at 16, sealed the deal at 21 and ended the farce at 23. This story lasted close to 8 years! This was more like a series of short stories that always ended with a clear lesson for the readers, however the author was somewhat of a resistant learner who tightened her love goggles to the point of blindness and missed her own lessons.
  • Cupid To The OR … Stat!: This is one of my favorite stories. Cupid certainly had his hands full with me. I walked around with my heart on my sleeve for all to see and when I fell, I fell hard. I went from doormat to a wall to wall carpet while in this relationship, so Cupid had to really push the envelope for me to open my eyes. The procedure took place over a holiday weekend in 1988. Cupid scrubbed up and prepared to surgically remove my “Love Goggles.” He led me right to my bedroom where I saw my husband in bed with another woman…**BAM** they flew right off and I never looked back. There are times when extreme measures are necessary, this was one of those times. 
  • Love, Marriage & Baby Carriages:  After a few years of recovery from my procedure, Cupid put my name on another arrow. This time he dulled the point just enough for me to recognize what true love was all about. After 22 years and 2 great kids later I can say “Thank you Cupid, thank you very much.” This story is still going strong with new chapters being written every day.
  • Lisa, Is That You?:  Considering the amount of years I spent answering to Mommy, Mom, Momma, Momma Bear, Emily’s Mom, Zac’s Mom and Yo Mom, it’s no wonder that LISA was put on the back burner alongside her underwear. That’s right folks, her underwear! Those cotton sacrificial lambs that went YEARS not being replaced because “Mommy” had to make sure the little asses of her offspring were covered first with their latest cartoon character obsession. Oh, how their big smiles over Rug Rat briefs made me forget all about the missing elastic on my own panties. Until the next Chapter…
  • MOM! You’re Fired!:  Talk about not seeing the warning signs of this happening. I went from “Employee of the Year” to the unemployment line overnight.  All my loyal service and they left me in the dust…with semi worn underwear.  Of course they still “need” me, just not nearly as much. I’m proud of the young adults they have become, but I am a nurturer, so I missed shelling out the love, until I realized I had been neglecting the one person who needed my love more than anyone else…ME.
  • Who Loves Ya Baby?:  It took a few years of therapy, an extreme panic attack, a good honest look in the mirror and the big 50 on the horizon for me to realize that Lisa was overdue for some much-needed loving. Here I am challenging my mind, body & soul in ways that I never thought possible. I am physically seeing changes that make me proud of my accomplishments. I am participating at my Quaker Meeting in ways that enable me to walk the talk and feed my soul, but most of all, I am realizing that I am able to take pride in being whoever the hell I want to be. 

Untitled:  I’m not sure where I’m headed, but I know I’m going in the right direction and with a lot less baggage. You may want to brush off your sunglasses and be prepared to squint, I have a feeling I’m going to be giving off quite a glow.

 Remember, if you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave and Enjoy the Ride! 

Stay Awake

tumblr_mctl04mveM1rabieto1_400People never cease to amaze me! Just when I thought it was safe to be line at the grocery store, something changed. Little did I know that someone, most likely the Fox network, must be dispensing portable soap boxes to their loyal listeners. This is what I’m going with since I have no other answer.

Hey, I am a huge fan of Free Speech, but for the love of God I can not tolerate when it is abused. Why on earth would a complete stranger feel that a hateful political rant would be a good way to strike up a conversation with ME of all people on this planet? guess the days of “hey baby what’s your sign?” are long gone. 

There I was minding my own business in the check-out line, reading the headlines on all the rag magazines, catching up on all the Kardashian bull shit news, when out of nowhere this person decided to egg me on while he ranted over everything under the sun. Maybe my peace sign bracelet set him off…who knows.

Well, that’s all I can say is THANK GOODNESS I’ve been graced with the gift of having my face come8a83b3cdb5d142b58ffcf58f0c7d9487 up with a quick response long before my mouth has a chance. Sometimes this can be a curse, but not this time. 

I have no idea what my face said, but I can only imagine it was something like “WOW!” or “Shut up you bigoted ass!” or perhaps both since I was then referred to as “one of them” shortly after my face had spoken.

There really were no words to respond, well I did think of two, but I wasn’t going that low. One would think that having a 5′ 9″ cricket as his only audience member would make him stop.

34f61adfcaba647773cb17bf7c5b7071Oh, this guy had all the answers. He was explaining everything that should be getting done “down there in Washington” and everything that would be getting done if “all the idiots” didn’t come out to vote. Can you feel my pain?

At this point I began chanting the ole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” lecture in my head for sanity purposes. I’ll be honest, after the 3rd time there were F-bombs tossed in to keep me out of jail.

I stood in silence wondering what would happen if this guy spent a quarter of his energy actually contributing to something good instead of spreading his relentless mouth farts all over the place. Hmm, maybe … just maybe, it would loosen that padlock on his mind. 

Since that didn’t seem to be happening any time soon, I continued to silently ingest his gases while loading my groceries at the speed of light. As if food shopping wasn’t enough to suck the life out of me…seriously. 

“All of us wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.” Robert Kennedy

As you can imagine this left me with a huge social hangover by the time I got home. You know that wonderful feeling you get when you’re around exhausting people for a long period of time. It was going to take something much stronger than CALGON to take me away from this one!

I decided that the toxic remnants of this encounter had to leave before they did any more damage so I went out on my deck, flopped onto my swing and turned on some tunes. I was swinging in the silence when out of nowhere BAM! Teddy Pendergast saved the day. Thank you higher power, thank you very much!

I’m glad I didn’t waste my words on someone who didn’t deserve to hear my voice. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all. Stay awake and 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! 

The Sound of Silence

Daily Prompt: Cringe Worthy

Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?

Noooooooooooo!

Noooooooooooo!

Oh, this prompt really hits a nerve with me, especially since I tend to internalize what I see and hear. I would consider myself highly sensitive to my surroundings, which is great when things are good, but look out when they’re not. Yikes!

Witnessing someone being embarrassed hits me at the core and usually leaves me with a pillow over my face as if I’m watching someone being slaughtered. This usually occurs during shows like American Idol or X Factor when people are convinced that they are talented. Oh my God I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it! 

During these shows the worst part of all is when the producers decide to do a little piece on how the particular person made it to the life changing moment we are about to witness. It usually entails some sort of sad sac story of homelessness, tragedy or overcoming some insane obstacle, yet here they are ready to make it big. I ALWAYS take this bait and immediately start chanting…please be good, please be good. 

Just as the person takes the stage I can feel my heart swelling in anticipation and there is nothing in the world I want more in that 6b24075a1d06e38b0d8361d58936c7bcmoment than for this complete stranger to bring down the house and leave us in awe. As soon as the music starts and the first note is released, I know if I’m going to be cheering or hiding behind my throw pillow for the loooonnnggessst 2 minutes in history. There have been many times that I found myself willing the power to go out to save this soul from further humiliation. 

Of course I’m not referring to the goofball who just wastes everyone’s time for their 15 minutes of fame, I’m talking about those who would swear on the lives of their children that they are talented. They are usually the ones with that surprised look on their face as the room fills with the sound of crickets. I just felt a pang in my stomach on that thought … jesus.

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Dear Lord…

As you can imagine my squirminess is not limited to talent shows. Oh no, I spent a long 8 years squirming during the Bush administration. For so many reasons, but that’s another story. It doesn’t matter if I agreed with his policies or not during his time in office. He was our President, so if he was giving a speech or holding a press conference I would tune in to see what was going on in our country. Needless to say by the second term I had to bring out the big guns and invest in a body pillow to hide behind. 

Even though we had our differences, I couldn’t help but feel bad as he stumbled over words or take a deep breath just was at a loss for words. I would shout through my pillow at the TV “Just say something…anything…NOW!” My face would be blushing for him as the room fell silent. I know it would be really very easy to wallow in moments like this, but I couldn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh when SNL put a spotlight on the moment. 

So, when it comes to squirming I would have to say public humiliation does it to me in a big way, most likely because it’s always empathy_cartoonbeen one of my biggest fears. Let me explain. I’ve been publicly humiliated by loosing my skirt on the dance floor while wearing my mother’s granny panties and I’ve been shit on by a flock of pigeons on my lunch hour and survived. I just found these things funny, as did everyone else. Laughter is so much better than silence. 

What I’m talking about is the kind of humiliation that leaves the room with the roaring sound of crickets. I’ve always feared public speaking, not because of the speech, because of the reaction and even though I’ve faced my own fear, it still affects me when I witness happening to someone else. Got Empathy? Um, I sure do!

None of us will ever truly understand something until we actually experience it ourselves, so do something that makes you squirm and Enjoy the Ride! 

Let It Be

897d0d663d67107e77eed1f5f1615eceA couple of years ago I found a little pamphlet or should I say it found me that contained the keynote address given by Arthur Larrabee at the Friends General Conference Gathering of Friends, which was held back in 1998. If you weren’t aware, I attend Quaker Meeting every Sunday. It’s where I’ve regularly been going for the last 3 years to … well … get my peace on. 

One Sunday I entered Meeting very troubled. Things were beginning to get somewhat extreme in my head over a particular situation. It wasn’t good. I found myself sitting somewhere differently that day, but it was right where I was supposed to be, next to this wonderful little pamphlet. Psst…Lisa…sit here you need to see this now.

When I opened it up the words resonated so deeply that I found myself unknowingly crying. Whoa-simmer-down-nowI know right? I’m sharing this now because as I was cleaning during my oh shit, we’re having company for Easter frenzy, I came across the pamphlet in my house and paused to re-read it. This must be shared….it just does.

Simma down folks I’m not going to get all religious on you, but I am going to fill you in on some of the messages that I received that day. The first thing that hit me was the story he shared, which some of you may have already heard over the years. I had not. It is a Taoist fable of sorts … here it is.

An old man and his son lived in an abandoned fortress on the side of a hill. The son was the sole support of his father, and their only possession of value was a horse. One day, the horse ran away. The neighbors came by to offer sympathy. “This is a terrible thing,” they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

Several days later the horse returned, bringing with it several wild horses. The old man and the son shut them all inside the gate. The neighbors hurried over. “This is fabulous,” they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

The following day the son tried riding one of the wild horses. Alas, he fell and broke his leg. Sure enough, the neighbors came around as soon as they heard the news. “What a tragedy!” they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

The following week, the army of the emperor came through the village, forcing every young man into service to fight faraway battles. Many of them would never return. But the son couldn’t go. He had a broken leg.


The message here is that the old man lives in the now. He doesn’t attach himself to the big “What Ifs?” surrounding him. He embraced the situation he was presented with, therefore giving him peace of mind … which I was desperately seeking in my life.

My personal story was a little different. It didn’t involve an old man or a horse, but it did include that annoying neighbor in the fable … that was ME  a/k/a Debbie Downer.  No one was more surprised by this news than yours truly. As much as I want to deny the whole experience…I can’t….it’s true.

There I was sitting in Meeting sobbing due to the realization that I was slowly strangling my own life with predetermined judgments, while blowing any chance of peace of mind right out the window. Yep, Debbie has a way of sucking the life out of every party. 

20111The Debbie Downer in me immediately put her negative judgment on the situation at hand. Why, because it’s easier than moving on to something new? Umm…yep. She put her preconceived notation that this new experience I was presented with was a “bad” idea and she wasn’t afraid to let it be known … over and over and over again. Clearly, Debbie is also a huge pain in the ass! What I wasn’t “seeing” was that this event was just a teeny tiny piece of a much larger story, one that needed to be TOLD not INTERRUPTED.

So, I spent months, yes months, holding on to what was comfortable, while fighting the new. I was literally being held prisoner by my own resistance!  It’s really no surprise that the tears were flowing because at that moment I was empowered to give Debbie the big heave-ho out of my head. Toodles Deb, don’t let the door hit ya!

As I re-read the pamphlet this time around it was more of a reminder … one I efff55a4cfdecb4540ea21f05610b2c8constantly need!  I need to stop killing my own chances at life and embrace the resurrections, even if they’re filled with challenges … I think I’m worth the risk.

Easter Message:

Stop the death in your life by letting go of your attachments to the pain, the past and your pre-conditioned thoughts on how things are “supposed to be.” 

Resurrect your life by embracing the challenges, the hopes, and the risks by letting things “just be.”

So, say YES! to life and Enjoy the Ride …. it’s a gift.

I’ll Have Rainbow Tears To Go Please

d2a2e5e58030d7bca98165af11eab10bI have been very sad for the last few days while my heart is still on the mend after the loss of our beloved dog Chester. The continuous crying has left me looking like an Iguana, which is not a very good look. Bulging puffy eyes should never be allowed outside of the world of reptiles. However, over the past week I have had the pleasure of discovering something very important about tears…they are necessary and they come in different flavors. Let me explain…

This week we had two patients come in together right after lunch. One was a long existing pain in the ass  patient and the other, her evil bitch sister, who was there for the first time. Right out of the gate she was a bitch and it just kept on coming. Whew! My back is to the desk, so I couldn’t see her at first, I just had the displeasure of feeling the flames coming from her mouth. Well, let’s just say she was as ugly as her disposition. Ugly, mean and demanding….a triple threat. 

My dear friend and co-worker always gets me going with her anger…is it wrong to enjoy watching someone on the verge of a a66ceb2baf4528c0e61947d463a62327killing spree? I can’t help myself she’s hilarious in this state so I tend to…you know…egg her on. There she was, right in the line of fire with these 2 witches…literally on the verge of jumping the counter, when the PITA (pain in the ass) approached for assistance with her cell phone as if she were at the AT&T store. She had no clue how lucky she was at this point that she was still alive.

Well, let’s just say she may not have been so lucky during Round 2 when she approached the desk screeching “my phone keeps talking make it stop”  and waving her phone right into the face of her soon to be murderer. I did what any good co-worker would do … jumped up, took the bullet and prevented a jail term. Lord knows it would have been justifiable homicide.

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I have to admit, as aggravating as they Toxic Twins were, they did provide us with something that we ALL needed at the time….a good old-fashioned belly laugh…at their expense of course. 

Years ago we decided to create invitations a/k/a coping mechanisms for some of these unruly patients. Ironically, last week I accidentally came across the one for our imaginary Hay Ride. Talk about good timing!  Who knew that just the thought of these 2 sporting flammable outfits to a bon-fire could bring such … well … JOY.

The gray gloomy Tears of sorrow were replaced by a shiny set of rainbow Tears, leaving us all with a healthy glow, replenished souls and crossed legs. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Recognize the silver linings and continue to Enjoy the Ride! 

Caution: Hearts On The Mend

02/25/2005-03/09/2013

CHESTER “Pop”
02/25/2005-03/09/2013

Today started out like any other day. I was up before the crack of dawn, came downstairs and gave Chester who was snoring like a chainsaw a quick “good morning little guy”, turned the coffee pot on and hit the family room. Pretty much the same routine as any given day. Then something happened….I heard Chester crying.

As most of you know from his Blog post the other day Hallelujah! Hot Dogs Heal The Lame Chester has been having some walking issues. Well, those issues turned into much more this morning when he couldn’t use his hind legs. It was painful to see him struggling. He wanted to get out back to do his morning duties, even though he was in pain he was determined. He never went in the house and he wasn’t starting today. 

Our new hardwood floors were not helping his journey to the yard so I gathered all the area rugs we have to make a path to the stairs where I was able to guide him down. Whew! That was an ordeal, but we made it. The next challenge was getting from the bottom of the stairs over to the door. We took numerous breaks, had a couple pep talk and eventually crossed the finish line or threshold, just in the nick of time.

As you can imagine I was very concerned. After some research I discovered he most likely has a back issue, not a leg issue. We got ready, slipped Chester a rophy and headed to the Vet. In our minds we were going for a cortisone shot & medication, but instead we were sent to a hospital for an MRI and possible surgery. What?

Sadly after hearing that he most likely had 3 bulging disks that would require surgery, along with an 8-12 week recovery period with no guarantee of full use, we were left to make the painful decision to let him go on to a place where he can run free and bask in sunbeams all day, while we remain here with all of our wonderful memories to treasure and broken hearts to mend.

I’ll be taking a few days off during the mending, but I’ll be reading to stay occupied. Thank you for all of your kind words about Chester over the past year, they are also included in our memories.

Life can certainly change is a flash so make sure you Enjoy the Ride as much as Chester enjoyed his. I Love You Poppy!

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