On Sunday while attending my Quaker Meeting, I was moved by the message of one of the members. So much so that it has stuck with me for days now.
She began with a story about her company looking to revamp some staleness within her department, which led to a member coming to the table with a YouTube video about the reintroduction of grey wolves into the park, and the far-reaching effects their presence has had on the ecosystem. I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already had the pleasure.
The video led to the conversation of the power of making ONE CHANGE.
Next, she shared that a few years ago, as she was stirring her coffee in the company kitchen, she looked at her plastic spoon with different eyes.
After going back to her office, she realized that she used two plastic spoons every day. One for her coffee and one for her yogurt. a/k/a … A LOT!
Just a few calculations later she realized that there is probably a landfill somewhere sporting her name in bright lights. A total will not be provided due to my loathing of mathematics.
So, from that day on she began bringing her stainless steel spoon to the office, but not just any spoon, she decided to bring a family heirloom that would catch the attention of her co-workers. Smart!
Next thing you know the idea of B.Y.O.S. caught on and not only did the company save money; co-workers got creative with their spoons, the climate in the office brightened, and those landfill lights began to dim. Bam!
Now, I know there is a large community of creative minds who read this little ole blog, so take a moment to think about what ONE CHANGE you can make in your daily routine that will change the world. We are much more potent than we let on folks.
Please feel free to share your creative juices in the comments, and as always … Enjoy the Ride!
Did you know it has been 2 months since LWTTD made an appearance? I certainly didn’t until WordPress kindly reminded me. Time flies .. right? When you’re “having fun” right?
I’m not going to dig up any unnecessary insanity, so lets just fast forward to July 29th, aka the beginning of a HEAT WAVE here in Philly when our air conditioner decided to say “Sayonara George family it’s been real!”
Day One: We suffered for what we thought would be one night of horrible sleeping conditions. The young adults living here reminded me more than once that “they never lived in these conditions.” Really? “Conditions?”
Day Two: Our Knight in Shining Armor arrives with freon to recharge our dying unit. It was equivalent to seeing a doctor running into the hospital with a beating heart in a cooler for me. My husband came in about an hour later to break the bad news .. “It’s not getting cold, there might be air in the line.” Translation: NO AIR!
Day Three: Since M E N do not communicate by actually speaking to one another on the phone and explaining the severity of a situation beyond “I’m sweating my balls off” the Knight in Shining Armor was not aware that we wanted him to come back and left his equipment on the job site until M O N D A Y! Sweating balls was much nicer than what I was thinking about doing to them in this moment.
Day Four: We accepted that sweating was going to be our new norm for the next couple of days, so of course my husband decided “Let’s re-do the laundry room!” Next thing you know I’m cleaning, scrubbing and picking out paint colors through beads of sweat dripping down my face. Obviously the heat had taken over my decision making skills.
Day Five: I was invited to a Baby Shower where I went to Ooo an Ahh in an air conditioned building with family, food, wine & cake. I left kicking and screaming!
Day Six: The struggle is real. This just happened to be the first day of our vacation, which I woke up to Peanut vomiting next to me … in our bed. Yep! I had plans for us to do something fun each day that didn’t involve sweat or vomit, but they went right into the shredder. So instead we decided to go look at a house. I already decided if it had air conditioning I would be making settlement.
While driving to our location my husband got a call. It was AC Mike a/k.a my Knight in Shining Armor. Normally I don’t condone being on the phone while driving, but it was DAY SIX of SWEATING so my screams of ANSWER IT! ANSWER IT! ANSWER IT! were legit.
AC Mike did come out, but only to call the Time of Death of our Carrier Unit at 6:15 Monday August 3, 2015. RIP!
Day Seven: At this point I started saying things like “It’s ONLY 86 in here” and “You can feel a breeze if you stand on the patio facing left.” Oh yea!
This is the day we had two Air Conditioning companies come out for estimates. Now, I have to tell you that we have NEVER EVER had a repairman in our house because my husband is able to fix anything….except air conditioners. Just imagine being these people right now.
We commit to a company, arrangements are made; and the weatherman announces that the heat & humidity will be leaving our area … of course it will.
The husband cannot just sit still and wait for the job to be done by the professional, so he started the job by taking everything apart. Then he rented some sort of who knows what tool that drilled a hole through our house along with a bunch of other things I know nothing about. Can you tell not doing this himself was killing him?
Day Eight: Let’s just say I may have been a little over enthusiastic this morning when our new unit arrived. Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
I am happy to report that at 1:56 today cool air began filling our vents. Angels began to sing; and this overheated menopausal maiden began to smile!
Enjoy the Ride!
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to pay homage to my mother … Venita. My mother is the oldest of three children born to her Italian immigrant parents Vincenzo Torcini and Maria/Mary Landini in 1926.
Vincenzo left her life at 4 years old, shortly after the Great Depression entered. This left her mother faced with the burden of raising her young children alone, without any means to do so. After this abandonment, she suffered from what would most likely be considered a nervous breakdown today. No welfare, free housing or Valium for Mary.
Years later my mother was told that the apartment they were living in had caught fire and her mother was under the impression that the children perished. Needless to say that pushed her over the edge and lead her to the breakdown.
Scenarios like this were not uncommon especially among immigrant families during the Great Depression. Many of them could not find work to support their families, because they could not speak English. This frustration, piled on top of economic pressures led to abandonment and in some cases suicide.
This tragic set of circumstances left my mother and her siblings in the care of the Catholic Charities in Philadelphia. They were placed in an orphanage, followed by what was called a Shelter. This was emergency lodging that was set up in order accommodate all the families that had become homeless after the Depression. Some were run privately and were set up to serve cases like that of my mother’s family. These children needed homes until their parents were able to support them again.
My mother and her brother, who were only 14 months apart, were separately placed into homes. Unfortunately, their sister and youngest of the three, died of malnutrition while waiting for placement. The children were taken to several different homes before settling into somewhat permanent residences.
My uncle was raised by an Italian family in South Philadelphia, while my mother was raised by an Irish woman in North Philadelphia. To this day my mother refers to her as “the Irish woman who raised me.” She rarely refers to her by name, which was Ellen O’Malley. Ellen was a widow at a very young age, never had children of her own and never re-married. It was her single lifestyle that allowed her to open her home to these children. Giving children to single women..now that’s a switch.
Ellen O’Malley a/k/a “Auntie” cared for my mother from the time she was 7 years old until she was 16. There were other children placed during her time with “Auntie”, however they had parents that remained in their lives with weekly visitations. These children were just waiting for their parents to get work to rebuild their lives, but this was not the case for my mom. Her father never did return and her mother remained at the hospital until her death. This left my mother to just wait,wonder and hope.
Auntie did the best she could to raise her, however she did not express herself in a motherly way. This is understandable since the other children had mothers in their lives and she most likely didn’t want to impose.
To this day when my mother talks to me about her own mother I can hear the yearning of unanswered questions in her tone.
At now 88 years old she is still left to wonder if her face resembles that of her mother or father. No pictures, no trinkets, no memories of her own and surprisingly…not one ounce of resentment.
What is her secret? How did my mother raise (4) children of her own without ever experiencing the love and nurturing of her own mother?
I have to conclude … Momma, you were born this way. She is humble and naturally loving person who gained strength from her hardship that resonated into the enormous love she has for her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
My mother still enjoys the talents of Lady Gaga and now that she has hooked up with Tony Bennett she loves her even more. My sister gave her the CD so she can rock out to the classics of her day.
At 88 Ventia is representing a slower version of that hip hat wearing, organic eating, interesting, funny, strong Lady Gaga loving Democrat I wrote about 3 years ago.
Today she seems to enjoy Dancing with the Stars in her living room more than going to the movies; looking at the photos in the People Magazine more than solving the crosswords: and returning home by 3 to avoid being exhausted or turning into a pumpkin the jury is still out on this one.
She can still drop hilarious one-liners to make us laugh and LOVE her family with all her heart and I am grateful every day to be on the receiving end of both.
Love you Momma …. Enjoy the Ride!
Over the years I have had little subtle pebbles tossed in my direction to get my attention. Sometimes they are just little dings that I usually dismiss, and other times they are more like implosions. 0 to 100 that’s me.
It’s not as though there aren’t “in betweens” so to speak, there are, I just choose not to take those too seriously, and always, always, always give other people the benefit of the doubt about their intentions. Seeing the good in others certainly has its ups & downs.
It just never occurred to me that anyone would really be annoyed by another person happy nature? Seems Effed up if you ask me.
So when people have made sly comments about my happy nature or overly enthusiastic reactions, I really didn’t take them too serious. How can anyone be annoyed by happiness?
What could be worse than that you ask? Pulling in the reins on my happy disposition to please the cantankerous crowd. Oh yes, I did!
This is an old habit of mine that has always been hard for me to break, mainly because I want to make the people around me happy, it’s just my nature. Seeing the line between them and me is the struggle. I’m a Pisces, it’s how we roll.
Last week authentic Lisa decided to go into full protest mode and she was not shy about it at all!
There I was attending an unexpected Yoga class on Friday morning. I normally can not attend on Friday because I take my mother shopping, but she called and for whatever reason changed plans. Let the DIVINE intervention shenanigans begin.
During class, we were experiencing the Fish Pose. Now, I am very new to Yoga, and almost always need some sort of adjustment to get the pose correctly. In my head I’m a rubber band, outside not so much.
I got myself into the pose, sort of like an octopus gets into a paper bag, but I did it. Gracefulness is not my forte.
My instructor came over to compliment me on my accomplishment. She stated “Look at that arch Lisa!” “I’m not surprised, you have such an open heart and happy soul.” Validation in the house.
Right after this pose we went into Savasana a/k/a the Corpse pose. Lay flat and do nothing, of course I’m really good at this one. It is the final pose where you calm your nervous system, and relax your mind and body into bliss. It’s heaven.
Well, as I entered my state of bliss I began to cry. My authentic self just lets loose from the depths of the damn closet demanding her freedom, just as I was getting my bliss on. Pay backs are a bitch.
Even Pinterest got involved slamming this quote right in my face!
The reminders are popping up everywhere I go these days, keeping me in check with myself. Hey, we can’t all be at the top of this class called life.
I started this blog ride 3 years ago yesterday, basically to document travel adventures in my husband’s mid-life crisis convertible, but the universe took the wheel for a different ride. I was not in control.
Instead this blog provided me a place to get real with myself by writing it down and bringing it to life. Can’t ignore that anymore…check.
So, here I am again making it real, learning more crap about myself and Enjoying the Ride!
Thanks to all the folks I picked up along the way, you are the best travel companions a girl could have on this bumpy road called life!
New year new attitude … right? Lord knows I’m doing my best to get my Buddha groove in motion, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Correction: It would be very easy if other people weren’t on the planet.
I was grooving like no ones business while I was home enjoying days 1 through 4 of this fabulous new year, but going back to work on the 5th made things slightly more challenging. Breathe …. just breathe is my new go to for sanity.
You see this glorious change in attitude comes on the heels of me taking some MUCH needed time off over the holidays to refill my happiness tank. People, especially those in my workplace, have been siphoning the happy out of me for months. I was running on fumes at the most joyous time of the year!
My attitude leading up to my 2 weeks of freedom consisted of being too old, too tired and way too sober for the shit that I was enduring for a paycheck. It’s safe to say FIRE was coming from my heels as I headed to my car on December 18th!
As soon as I got home I put my angry eyes away, shoved the last gram of fucks I had to give down the garbage disposal and enjoyed my family, friends and fur babies over 14 days. All good things must come to an end and this is no different, but I was ready.
Monday was the first day back to my normal routine, but I prepared myself for whatever negativity came my way. I filled my tank with premium happiness; my zen shield was running on full power; and I focused all my energy on building a new attitude. Those first 10 minutes across the threshold were blissful, absolutely blissful.
As I quietly made it through the day I focused on accepting the Oscar for best actress in a dramatic series. The Oscar goes to Lisa for her role in “The Employee Who No Longer Gives A Fuck.” The red carpet, paparazzi and hobnobbing were all crystal clear as the clock clicked away throughout the day.
That evening I attended a meditation class. Another step in a positive direction. I had no idea what to expect considering my ADHD squirrel attention span kicks in when I’m forced to think about nothing. Is that even possible?
Please note my dear friend joined me for this venture. Our friends at the gym refer to us as Lucy & Ethel, which you must keep in mind.
I went in without expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised by the peace that filled me the second I entered the room. The lighting, warmth and company were collectively welcoming me into the space. Lucy and I were both in need of this peace after our day and we settled right into mood.
Ahhhhh … there we were getting our much-needed peace on when suddenly there was a knock at the door. The door locked at 8 sharp according to the website, however the instructor let this
bull man through the door. He was the poster child for the term “Bull in a china closet.”
Peace scooted out as soon as the bull arrived walking head-on into the chimes, which sounded like a marching band. This was the start of the snickering between Lucy & Ethel. The bull then “settled” in to the class with the grace of an elephant settling into a Smart Car. Comical was an understatement.
This incident, followed by some deep diaphragm breathing, was not good timing for Lucy, Ethel and their immature sense of humor. Just hearing the instructor say “it’s ok to laugh, these sounds are silly” made it that much harder to control the snickering.
After what seemed like the longest 45 minutes of my life, I decided mediation was something I need to explore further … with or without the bull.
Enjoy the Ride … let your inner peace ride shotgun!