Rituals and their place in our lives

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As I return to making my blog a regular ritual I can’t help but recognize a few rituals already practiced.

That first cup of coffee. Why does it always taste so good. Is it the creamy velvety flavor as our taste buds coax us awake? Is it the pure caffeine rush? I think it’s just the simple pleasure of something we have always known, a quiet comfort. I know so many for whom coffee plays an important part of their day. First, I met my partner over coffee, a safe ‘non-date’ in case either of us wanted to run. Ha!! I have good friends who each and every day share a cup of afternoon coffee as they talk about their days, its their special time, and a ritual I hope to see them continuing 20, 30, 40 years from now, its a fundamental part of their togetherness. As for me, I’ve delivered cups of coffee to the doors of lovers and friends, a peace offering, an invitation to talk, and for the most part, coffee has seldom let me down.

Another ritual as I lie here with my mug of Supreme French Vanilla, is the morning moments with my four-legged friends, who at the moment have me in a puppy sandwich. Every morning they greet me as though I had been asleep for a thousand hours, with such unbridled joy and enthusiasm, it sure makes it pretty hard not to smile…thus starting the day off on the right foot:-) thank you for that canine buds!

I know so many dedicated pet lovers! Shout out to Lisa who is the greatest animal lover I have ever met. Truly she loves animals more than humans. So this cup of coffee salute is to you monkey-face!! My brother is another selfless animal lover, and he’s taught his children to be the same, as pets become a regular and rapidly growing part of their family tree. Shout out to our old trusted buddy Snoopy RIP he was an unpaid and loyal servant as Chuck and I delivered the Burlington Free Press to doors throughout a Richmond trailerpark, rain, snow or sleat. Thx Snoopy, you were my first and so so wonderful. I guess you’d say We’re a family of animal lovers. Well some of us (who shall remain unnamed) have their own personal zoos. I’m not sure how the zoning boards feel about that, but the critters sure are happy!! Maybe thats why my sister moves from town to town and soon state to state, she’s running a traveling zoo!! Light dawns on marble rock!! Kidding (love you).

So in each one of us are rituals, daily things we have come to love and rely upon. As this Sunday morning unfolds, embrace your ritual, as its your personal stamp on this world, its the stuff you’ll be remembered for and the stuff you’ll miss should it ever be taken from you. Comforts, personal comforts, that everyday are there, just waiting patiently, for you to claim them.

Good morning and Peace!

One day at a time

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I had a great night with great friends celebrating their 13 years together, 13 years of friendship respect encouragement and love; its rare today and beautiful. As I embraced the evening in their honor, I was unexpectedly at a 70s Halloween party with a kick ass band of classics and great couples truly moved by the spirit of the season. Young and old, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip crowding the dance floor and enjoying the moment the night the music and most importantly each other. It was impressive, being witness to the lustful energy of a new 30 year old couple and the life commitment of 70 year old couple still holding each other tight on the dance floor.

I wondered, how many people have this? How many people have it and dont even realize it. And do some never find it? In this world full of competition and expectations, demands and obligations, its hard to mull through the cider to find the perfect apple. But the fruit is there, you just need to take a trip to the orchard and not be afraid to pick it. Its not always the easiest to reach. Sometimes you have to scale out on the thinnest and weakest limb. But the fruit is there, the perfect one for you, the perfect one for me. So dont skip the trip, fill your basket, your soul will thank you. Tis the season to love. Peace

Dreams. WOW!!

Wow! I just woke up from the strangest dream. It was Thansgiving day and I was 9 or 10, and I was living in a foster home, which is odd because I’ve never lived in one. I do remember wishing I had been adopted or put into an orphanage when I was a kid (long story for another blog) I guess foster homes werent popular mainstream in the 60s-70s when television shaped my idea of reality. Anyway, here I was amongst at least 6-7 other children, the woman who ran the home had an adult special needs son of her own and suffered from her own serious weight problem. The house was a mess. I was scared, I wanted to leave. More people were coming for the holiday dinner, I hate crowds, Trying to make me feel better one of the girls says to me ‘if you want to feel good, I will let you touch Haley everywhere I touch her’ WTF!!! I go to the mom and tell her I cant stay for dinner, theres just no room for me, and she calmly puts her hand on my shoulder and says ‘honey, you live here now’.

Thank God my dogs entered the room in real life and woke me. I dont know what that dream means, but I am grateful for what family I have and that we share the same stories struggles and memories. And Im glad ‘back in the day’ the State didnt pull and separate kids from their siblings. So by the grace of God we all survived as people turned a blind eye, but Im ever grateful they did.

Maybe my dream was motivated by stories I’ve heard from friends of mine about their experiences with foster care? Maybe it was motivated by my father who at this moment is ‘missing in action’ so to speak, as one of my sisters searches for answers and the truth? I dont know. I just find it odd that my dream was so vivid, the house, the smells, the kids. And I wonder, do we really ever outgrow ourselves as young children, or do we simply age, carrying deep inside the feelings the fear the past?

One thing I do know is Im proud to live in a country that now protects children. Like we now protect women’s rights. There is a time to look the other way and let the status quo be enough, and there’s a time to act. Im proud of my past and of my survival, and proud of the woman I am today. Noone made me who I am today but me, but everyone played a part.

To the children in fostercare situations that are bad, hang in there kiddos, and Haley……..run!!!!

Peace

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Power of a smile

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As the week draws to a close and the weekend is upon us remember to smile and share positive thoughts with the world. Today I saw an old woman weeping, she was suffering a loss of her sister, I hugged her and we shared a coffee. There was a language barrier, but I think she felt better after a few minutes or so. While it may have helped her, it made me feel good all day. Its amazing how little generosity costs and how powerful it can be.

I went to the ocean tonight to witness the shear power of nature, and was reminded of just how insignificant each of us is in the scope of the whole world, and yet how in that smallest of insignificance we can be oh so significant. So as you prepare for your night out, maybe doing your hair, applying your makeup and pressing your clothes, stop for a moment and ask yourself, were you the best person you could be today? If you’re not sure of the answer, the hour is still young and tonight you can spread postitivity and joy, maybe with nothing more than a kind word, an unexpected text, a show of interest and a smile. We are all small in the grand scheme, but we are also oh so so mighty!!
Peace

STRANDED WITH NO HELP AT WORK

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FL POWER & LIGHT save me from these 1200 documents I am reviewing cataloging and marking as exhibits. Taking a five minute blog break to stretch my back. All the schools are closed so over half our staff is home today. Lucky shits. I’m hoping to kick major ass today so Monday they’ll all return to a job well done, since we’re having our annual Halloween lunch on Monday and it would be nice for us all to be able to enjoy it, with all of our exhibits done! If the power goes out we lose phones and computers and I can focus entirely on my exhibits, so Sandy if you’re a blog fan, Blow a Little Harder Darlin’
Peace!

When is too much, too much?

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. There’s no one single excuse. I’ve been busy with challenges & struggles & with joys. However lately I have been wondering, when does a person know when too much is too much; and is it different for everyone, or are we all unique with an independent overdrive button when we shut down? I don’t really know the answer to that question. I’ve known abusers. I’ve known people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide. I’ve been beaten. I’ve been sexually abused. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve broken hearts. I’ve been sick and injured, and yet I’m still standing and standing tall.

I do know that I’ve started to recognize my own limits and when too much is too much. Learning one’s personal tolerance level is both a blessing and a curse. What’s too much lately for me is:

The grassroots organizations trying to take control of our FL Supreme Court, a move that would return corruption to our State fullforce.

What’s too much are the hundreds of misleading politcal ads in this election year and the millions of advertising $ that could otherwise fund education, health care, eco-friendly research & development, feed the hungry, cure the sick. I can’t wait til the Election is over!

What’s too much is when you’re afraid those you love are selling themselves short and your paralyzed to prevent it.

What’s too much is when a man who worked hard his whole life learns he suffers from not one but two debilitating conditions, chronic & irreversible, robbing him of his golden years.

What’s too much is cancer that should be gone, after sacrificing organs and daily conveniences we all take for granted, just to learn that Cancer is more powerful and that it takes what it wants.

What’s Too much is watching people throw their futures away, and trying not to enable them, or follow their path, being lured by the allure of immediate gratification or an easy fix.

What’s too much is for the first time in my life feeling I want to exercise my right to bear arms. Because I’m getting older and slower and the thugs in this world are getting younger and faster.

What’s too much is watching people work their asses off day and night, never to get ahead, never to get recognized. And then to get reprimanded for bullshit.

What’s too much is watching the media panic at the slightest indication of a brewing storm, sending people into a flurry most often unnecessarily.

What’s too much is always having to worry that you arent good enough, that you will always disappoint someone, somewhere. Always knowing the world is full of prejudices. Knowing you can never do enough for everyone who expects it, and that everyone expects something.

What’s Too much is feeling normal, when maybe you’re crazy/or worse yet, realizing everyone has their own crazy and yours is no worse than anyone elses. I’m sorry I have my own mind and I’m not crazy, clinical or otherwise.

What’s Too much is when you realize the list of people you love and the list of people you trust, arent the same list.

What’s too much is when you can never give enough, or get enough. And when everything has a motive.

What’s too much is when you look in the mirror and see someone you don’t recognize. When did I get so old, and so fat? On the flip side, I think when did I get so beautiful and loving.

So then the question that begs to be answered, when is too much, too much?!

For me, I have not yet reached that limit. I might one day, but right now I’m still prepared to stand up for what I believe in and fight for what I need. I love my family, although many of them challenge my sanity regularly. I love my partner, with ups & downs, & losses we accept one another and share a history that only we understand and can truly respect its significance. I love my friends and dodge obstacles with many of them regularly, but also feel their love & support in times of need. And understand the disappointments I’ve been on the receiving end when they havent come through as promised repeatedly, I still love them. I love my pets who comfort me when everyone else let’s me down. I love myself in all my imperfections. I’m fatter than I should be. I limp like I’m 60. I joke like I’m 12. I’m tolerant and forgiving and accepting. I’m funny and friendly. I can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and I’m ok with that. I am my own Wonder Woman and I look forward to the joys life has yet to show me. The birth of an innocent child to a special friend of mine. The marriage of two special friends (and one day in the future the legalization of gay marriage). I look to a bright future of victories from some very brilliant nieces & nephews who let me know the future is to be a wonderful place. I am proud to stand with my head high. Turning the other cheek when I’ve been wronged or misled or lied to. I am responsible for noone’s actions but my own. So love me or hate me, I’m either enough for you, not enough, or I’m TOO much. That’s an individual choice – when is too much, too much? I’m not here to please you. You’re not here to please me. We’re just all in this together. All one. There will always be injustices prejudices hate partisanship jealousy disappointment and failures. There will always be those who love you, hate you, like you, disrespect you, respect you, see you as crazy, or admire you and see you as their inspiration!! Hold on to the good ones, the good times, and don’t give up too easily on the rest. For only you know, when you’ve had enough. And then, when you realize for you, what’s too much, it will hit you like a brick straight up in the face, BAM! and then, when it happens, be a good soldier and retreat with gracefulness. For your life moves with the beat of just one heart in your chest (yours)! And for God’s sake, start seeing the humor in life and drop your wall, life is serious, but there is such a thing as too serious! Case in point, too much of anything can be too much. Moderation is the key, and flexibilty. Roll with the punches, or I’ll punch you myself! Peace.