Black & White

And many shades of grey.

Life looks different from different angles, different views. One size does not fit all.

We are all unique in our visions, opinions, desires….even when they may appear similar.  In contrast, when divided, we are more similar than we choose to believe.  Humans are an interesting breed.  Black & White, but mostly grey.

1430005E-5625-47C7-A086-D7D8D2EF9A7A.jpeg

Goodbye, Mom

It has been almost 3 weeks since my mother died. We knew the day was coming that she would be free from her illness but as most people know, that comfort does not outweigh the tremendous grief of losing someone you love.

My mom was a hoot! At her funeral it was evident in the things that were said about her that she spent her life with a constant desire to enjoy each day. Mom was the opposite of an introvert. She loved gatherings, talking to strangers, telling her many stories to whomever would listen. An example, on Mom’s last trip to Disneyland we were sitting waiting for a show to begin and within just minutes Mom knew the names of the people sitting within earshot of her and where they were from….and they learned a thing or two about her as well. I envied that about her. I am an introvert. I spend my time trying to avoid anyone who isn’t within my tight group of people. If I am comfortable with you, I will share my world with you but that takes a bit of time to achieve. So, I’m not exactly sure where I got that from since neither of my parents were introverts.

My mother is now resting with my father. As it should be. They were married for 52 years when he passed away so it is only fitting that they will spend forever next to one another. They were the love of each other’s lives.

With each day I cry a little less, the stabbing pain in my heart isn’t as frequent. I am grieving, but I am moving forward. Processing each day; the ebbs and flows, ups and downs…. navigating my way through it all. I have read with great comfort sweet words from my friends and family and the kindness has helped.

I will miss Mom every day of my life.

Side note: As I was typing my comments about being an introvert, I had to chuckle that I do not talk to people in public gatherings, but here I sit, typing my intimate thoughts for anyone to read. Anyone. Ironic.

Motivation

I’ve touched on this before but complexities of life and watching human behavior around me has prompted me to speak of it again – motives.  What is your motive?  Is it a pure heart or is it selfish desire?  Do you want to better another human or do you want to punish them?  Looking at the motive behind a reaction and being truthful with yourself can be painfully hard but will usually result in making the best decision.

How I react to the people in my life is up to me.  What my motive is will determine my reaction.  With my little grandson, my motive will be to guide and direct him with the deep love of his adoring Grammy which in turn will result in a positive reaction.  I love the child and want him to thrive and grow emotionally.  Can I react with the same motive to, say, my co-worker?  Probably not.  But I can choose to react in a way that will not only help me to be a better person, but will hopefully help them as well.

Motives are a big thing and a direct result of one’s character.

Here’s to uplifting one another and positive motives!

Question

Do you wake up each morning and think to yourself, what can I do to ensure I have little or no regrets today?  I usually wake up and think about how much time I have to get to work.   Then, I hurry out the door to face the traffic.  Weaving in and out, everyone in competition of who can be at the head of the pack.  I confess, I attempt to be in the lead most mornings.  In that competition there is often frustration.  I arrive at my office long before anyone else and am typically a little frazzled.  The office is dark and quiet and implores me to slow down and relax.  It’s in that moment where I have realized I regret my hurried actions.  I quietly turn on the lights, open the office up for the day and begin to organize my workload.  It is a wonderful time in the morning before anyone arrives and all I hear are my thoughts…. or the song that is in loop in my head.  At the end of my workday, I leave and head back to the same road I was on forgetting about my early morning regret.  It’s a crazy cycle and I’m a bit tired of it.  I regret allowing this never-changing, endless circumstance in my life to cause me angst.

Having some regret in life is unavoidable; be it something as simple as that extra piece of pizza or something life-changing, like a lost love.  I think the goal is to try to avoid making poor decisions, which requires discipline – being in control.  Human tendencies make developing that habit an everyday effort.

There is a song I love and this morning the lyrics are running over and over again in my head:

I’m looking for someone to change my life

I’m looking for a miracle in my life

Perhaps that someone is me.  Perhaps I can create my own little miracle and learn to slow down, learn to discipline my thoughts, what I speak and how I react.

Thunder only happens when it’s raining….

Perhaps it is living in the desert southwest that makes me appreciate it, or perhaps it is simply deeply ingrained into my soul but I love the rain. I love a big, loud thunderstorm. The monsoonal flow has been alive and active the last week and all I want to do is follow the storms. Stuck in an office keeps me feeling like I need to do something else, as if I’m forgetting something, but it is simple – let me out of this office so I can be where the rain is falling.

I grew up listening to fabulous stories my grandfather would tell of the storms he witnessed in Tornado Alley. I think I chose this life and this family to hear those stories! He told many stories but his storm stories were my favorites. As a child, I would dream vivid dreams of storms and tornadoes. I’ve seen a few tornadoes in my day but I can’t seem to get enough of the beauty that this earth can create.

I will relish in these days of the monsoonal storms while I can. I will watch the lightening and count…. waiting for the thunder, anticipating the number will shorten in hopes the storm is getting closer. I will be excited for the land as it soaks up the moisture and the plants and wildlife flourish.  I will be grateful for the storms.

 

Laugh a Little

Life.  We often refer to it as a roller coaster.  I want more up moments than down but then, who doesn’t.  I wish I could eliminate those difficult days.  The roller coaster took an ugly turn recently.  It isn’t easy facing realty with this one.  I’m attempting to find humor in my days so I can laugh off the stress.  It is better than any pill, laughter releases something wonderful.

Looking towards the future, knowing myself and how I respond to the stresses in life, I will most certainly need an abundance of time with my sweet grandkids.  Nothing puts out those stress flames quite like those beautiful faces….and the laughter I mentioned earlier.

Optimism, gratitude, love, laughter, and my sweet loves.  I’ll get through this.

I Wanna Go Back….

If you could go back in time for just one day with the knowledge you have today, would you?  I would, without any hesitation, go back to a specific time in my life and revel, live joyously in that moment.  I would hold on tightly, as hard as I could to that day in my life.  I would appreciate the feeling of my young self again, to live in my young skin and love with my young heart.  Perhaps, it would be difficult to return to my older self after a day in my life, and perhaps, I would regret it…. but, that thought would not prevent me from going back.  Not one bit.

Time travel – a concept movies are made of, but not real life.  Can’t go back.  Moving forward is a necessity but memories of my young, extremely fun years and the people I loved are always going to be part of my life and what a precious gift those memories are.

cropped-hippy.jpg

These Are The Days….

This past weekend I flew out to California.  My daughter and her family drove over to Newport Beach the day before to begin the birthday celebration weekend for my son-in-law and I was invited to join them to watch the kiddos while they went to see my son-in-law’s favorite band.

My excitement about being near the ocean was quite elevated.  As most people know, the ocean is healing.  The sound, the smell, the power…it is beautiful.  What a gift!  And I took it in each time I could.  But, more than the ocean, spending a few days with my grandchildren fed my soul even more!

It was St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday and the inn we were staying at was near an Irish bar which meant lots of drunken people.  I would estimate the average age of the folks I witnessed coming and going was about 25.  My guard-dog, don’t-even-look-at-my-grandkids, instincts were on high alert.  It is entertaining and a bit disturbing to watch young drunk people.  Walking with my grandchildren, I did my best to avoid the areas that were crowded with loud, tipsy people.

My granddaughter is a good human.  She is compassionate, kind, funny, and beautiful.  I love being in her presence.  Her little brother is your typical toddler; he is very curious about all things new, he loves trucks, motorcycles.  He had several bouts of the giggles which, watching a toddler laugh hysterically is yummy food for the soul.

My daughter has a precious family.  You hope that when your kids grow and find love that they mold together in a way that makes them grow and become their best self.  She has done that.

It was a fun weekend with memories I will cherish.

Newport-Beach.jpg

Let it Go.

I participated in the Lantern Fest last night.  I had seen a video a friend had posted and it looked like a fun experience so when I was invited I was excited to go!

Upon arrival we were given our lanterns, some crayons to draw on the lantern with, a lighter, and then it was time to find a spot to place our “camp”.

We arrived about an hour before sunset and there was already a large crowd set up with fire pits scattered about. They give you a s’mores kit and if you don’t have a fire pit to melt your marshmellows at your camp, you simply use one nearby.

The vibe of the crowd was amazing. It is a family-friendly environment and people were chill. I loved the feel of the crowd. The music was ideal; a solo artist playing an acoustic mixed set of his original music and some familiar tunes.

The lanterns were to be decorated with what was important to you. I put my biggest regret, a few personal thoughts, and my hope for my days to come. Then the time came to let it go – symbolic.

There is no actual description that I can give that would allow anyone to understand the magnitude of seeing thousands of lanterns floating up in the dark sky, mingling with the stars like fireflies.  It was breathtaking and my tears began as I watched my lantern float up among the other lanterns.  You could feel the emotion in the air.  We all felt it.  This was when I realized that as a whole, people are good.  This is real life. It’s not the nastiness that the media feeds us, it’s this – this beautiful moment with thousands of other people, that was real.

Given another opportunity, I will do this over and over again.  It was cathartic….healing.

 

Photo Feb 10, 7 05 02 PM