Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Memories

This red spiral bound notebook is now a book of memories. It didn't start out that way. It started as a Christmas card list so my late husband and I could list who we sent cards to and who we received them from. Yes, I know this could be done in an online application but not when we began it in 1991.

1991 was our first Christmas together and in that same year we decided to begin something we called our "Egg Nog Tour". That began with us surprising a hand full of friends by showing up at their house with a glass of egg nog and singing them a Christmas carol. Being the first Christmas we were together as a couple, he learned quickly I couldn't sing so in future years we scrapped the singing part. We listed the people whose houses we went to in our red notebook.

The Egg Nog Tour developed the next year in to us making or buying a special ornament for those friends and taking that to them and we also added taking a picture of them around their tree with an assortment of silly Christmas hats we took with us . This was the pre-digital age and it was always fun to get the pictures developed because having surprised our friends we normally found them in their pj's or other comfy, around the house clothes. The next year we would include that picture in their Christmas card. The list grew.

As I mentioned earlier, this was also a list of who we sent Christmas cards to. Each year we would look at the past year and copy the names over and add any new friends we made who we wanted to send a card to. Noted on the top of the page would always be the year. As we would jointly write out our cards and address the envelopes we would look at past years names. Some friends divorced so that made two new entries for the next year. Some moved away so we would end up calling them to just say hello in addition to sending a card. Some died and we would inevitably have a "remember when" moment talking about them. It took some time to complete the task of getting our cards in the mail.

This year was no different for me. I began on the first page headed with the year of 1991. The list for the cards and the Egg Nog Tour was fairly short that year. Just 5 or 6 people on the Tour and maybe 40-50 on the card list. Five years ago was the last time my husband did that with me, just a couple months before he died. While we were doing our cards I wasn't sure he would survive until Christmas but we had such pleasure that year acknowledging our friends with a simple card. We invited those on the Egg Nog Tour list to our house because he wasn't able to make the rounds for the several nights it took to go to their homes. I still get texts from people saying they hung all of our ornaments on their tree. They were pretty cool ornaments.

The list has grown and changed in these past 5 years. I have added some amazing people who are so important to my life to the list. Unfortunately, I have lost too many friends to death so the list didn't grow too much this year. When I look back, all the peoples names on each year's pages, has added something positive to my life. Keeping in touch with them and keeping them in my life is a Christmas gift I give to myself.

There are still plenty of empty pages in the red book and I look forward to filling those up with new people in my life and continuing the names from year to year of those already there.

Merry Christmas friends!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sustainable Growth.....In Your Life

We read and hear so much about 'sustainable growth' in the news referring to various things, mostly ecologically. I want to talk about sustainable growth in our lives.

So many will only allow themselves to be around like minded people, friend people on Facebook who have their same political views or watch the same news networks. Isn't that like looking in a mirror every day of your life?

I choose something different. I like my own company better than anyone else's but if I only surround myself with people like me how can I learn anything new.

How can I have growth?

Expanding my world is important to me and some of the biggest blessings in my life are the people who are not like me at all. Some of those people are of different races, sexual orientation, religion, political, economic or social status.  I don't care what their family name is, who they slept with last night or who they voted for. I have come to like them for who they are and the interaction with them and my life is much more interesting because they are not like me.

Do yourself a favor in these last days of the year and seek out a couple people to add to your life who aren't like you, even if they are only in your life for a short period of time. 

Put sustainable growth in your life.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ruts In The Road

Have you ever had a time in your life where you felt like you were in a rut of some sort and just needed to blow the sides off that rut by skidding sideways through it to open it up wider?

I have been in a small rut for a few months and finally recognized it the last couple weeks. It is easy for me to get caught up in helping my friends and that is what has created this rut for me. I created the rut by moving backward and forwards in the same track, over and over. The three friends in particular have all moved beyond what I was caught up in with them. All three almost simultaneously. I was so invested in them and gave them so much of my energy, that combined weight made for a good sized rut.

Normal reaction would be to do something temporarily to give me a spurt of excitement like a vacation or a crazy weekend, but that isn't going to work this time. That would be like your car being stuck in a rut and rocking it back and forth hoping to break out of it. Doesn't work very well. You usually end up in the same spot with some momentary excitement thinking you are breaking free. If you are not careful, sometimes you may even dig a hole inside that rut.

If your life is looked at as a book, the pages have to progress the story to new chapters before the end of the book. Those pages should be interesting and compel you to keep reading (living). My pages were becoming the same words over and over with no progression. No new chapters. That is what a rut does.

I wasn't sure how I needed to break the sides of that rut down or to get to the next chapter this time. What I have decided to do is to open myself up more to new experiences, things I have not previously considered, or just didn't take the time, to see what works to keep my story interesting. That is the only plan. Maybe some of it will just be momentary bits of excitement but hopefully woven together those bits will make a good story. Not just A story but MY story and my story will not be plugging along in a rut.

The journey continues.

Have you ever found yourself in one of these ruts and be willing to share what broke you free from it?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bob Out

I follow a local business on Facebook because of the incredibly beautiful pictures and video's they post of the beach, early, every single morning with the current weather conditions. I have shared some of those on my own page because they are breathtaking even though they are done with a cell phone. Just hearing the surf and seeing that sunrise starts my day off positively. One of the people who worked there was typically the one who posted them and he would always follow his comments with "Bob Out".

I learned from their Facebook page Monday morning that "Bob Out" had died and from their post surmised he had taken his own life. When I looked at his personal page I was brought to tears.

These were his posts leading up taking his life.

He then posted this picture of his uniform on July 3.

Later that night he posted a selfie in the bathroom mirror of him in his dress blues with the comment; "Semper Fi".

Then the obvious.

He took his own life.

His obituary showed the family wanted memorial donations to go to Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America.  I am making some assumptions by that.

His Facebook posts were about a wedding he just attended of a friend, pictures of his dog, pictures of a pear tree with lots of fruit he planted in his yard, pictures and comments about a rabbit who ate grass in his back yard, fishing....normal everyday stuff, mostly all positive.

This part is not political so don't take it that way, his only negative posts were about his health care and pain management.

He gave 14 years to this country as a US Marine until he was medically discharged.

I didn't know this young man, only from his Facebook posts on a business page where he identified himself as Bob Out. I have been very sad since I read about this Monday morning that Bob still had so much internal pain he felt it necessary to end his life. I am sad his pain could not be managed.

Bob Out

Monday, June 9, 2014

Damn You Google!

I have been thinking age and loss of hormones was contributing to not being able to remember anything.

It was a revelation for me today when I realized I don't have to remember anything anymore. If I have forgotten or just didn't know in the first place, all I have to do is Google it. There is no need to put it in my memory bank. My employees, in a former career, used to joke with me that I was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge because I could quote the guideline manuals that governed us, page, verse and chapter, maybe even the revision date on a good day. Not any more.

Who needs to remember a phone number? All you have to do is scroll down your contact list in your  phone and choose the name. You don't have to remember the route to drive because you just use the GPS in your car or on your phone. How many of you have been in a conversation with someone and neither of you can remember something? The first thing one of you do is grab your phone and Google it. Yep. Me, too.

One thing I can do is recite most of the Gettysburg Address that I learned in childhood. Go figure why that is in my memory bank.

As long as there is Google I am okay so I should be saying thank you Google instead of cursing them.
Well, except when I see you and can't remember what the heck your name is and don't have time to scroll through my Facebook friends to find your picture.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Things Changed

March is the month of the year with anniversary dates of losses for me. I celebrate those dates now because of being grateful for having those people in my life for the time I did.

My life has changed dramatically since those milestones. 

My late husband was famous for this: “Two things I know for certain, things change and I will be happy”. He left me and anyone else who knew him with that and it is how he lived his life, even while dying. My life changed in a way I could never have imagined the day I met him and the day he died 20 years later.

The changes that have taken place in my life since have been pretty amazing and God has had me cross paths with some truly great people who will forever be friends and our lives will be shared in some fashion.

My heart is full this morning just knowing how blessed I truly am…..things have changed and I am happy.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bubbly Orgasm

I typically wake up in a good mood ready to tackle the day. 
Today was no exception to that. This just happened to be one of those typical good mood days - only on steroids.

My good day, attitude on steroids today is solely because good things are happening for friends of mine. They didn't win the lottery or anything like that, just things coming together for them in their lives that they are passionate about.

I expressed my joy on Twitter this morning with a pretty simple good morning Tweet and a follower called me a “bubbly orgasm” in a reply. He happens to be someone I have a cyber crush on so it caught me off guard a bit until I thought about his comment.

The saying that you are as happy as you make up your mind to be is true. Unfortunately, I know people who have a miserable life because they choose it. They seem to thrive on being the poor, down trodden victim. I choose to choose something different.

The friends I mentioned earlier who I was so happy for could be those who do the whoa is me thing because of what has happened in their lives. Financial ruin, drugs, devastating illness or injury in their past has not stopped them from moving forward and embracing life. What I see from each of them is how much they give to others in the pursuit of their passion. They have overcome some incredible odds and are making things happen and making a difference.

Bubbly orgasm? Hell yes! That was a fitting description for how I am feeling right now in my life because of what is going on in my friends lives. I hope you have friends you can have days of bubbly, orgasmic, happiness for!!!