Saturday, June 25, 2011
There is a simple yet powerful beauty that happens when we choose to share a part of ourselves with someone else and as we do so, we know there will never be any return to us other than the knowledge that we helped another. So strong is the power of sharing that I believe it has the power to heal the person who receives that out pouring of love.
Earlier this week I wrote a blog about remaining positive in the midst of all that was swirling around me. A Spark friend responded to that blog with a link to a video on YouTube. To say it blew me away is an understatement. I listened to it twice and would have listened more but I cried a bit harder each time I listened to it.
I wonít elaborate; give you my opinion, etc. This song stands on its own merit. I am happy to share it and grateful it was shared with me.
I hope you get as much from it as I did.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Joan and I will be away all day today and tommrow at The International Bluegrass Association ROMP festival.
Steve Martin performed last night and he was nothing short of amazing.
There are ten acts today and ten acts tommorow and we wont be back until late Saturday evening. Have a great weekend guys. I'm going to try to get some much needed relaxation.
I'm going to try to update some from my tablet. (If I can figure out how it works, lol)
Thursday, June 23, 2011
When we were very young, around the ages of four or five, my mom and her sisters would visit my grandmother every Friday morning. They would sit around the kitchen table and talk while my cousins and I sat on the kitchen floor and played, or fought, depending on the day and our mood. Inevitably my mother or my aunts would lead the conversation towards some topic of woe. (I spent a long time wondering what a gall bladder really was.) My grandmother would either be cooking or sewing and without missing a stich or a beat she would always have the same comment regardless. ďThis too shall pass.Ē Iím sure my mom and my aunts didnít like hearing it any more than I like my reminding myself of it today.
I consider myself to be about ninety percent positive all the time. I can usually handle what life throws at me and deal with or at least put a positive spin on it. Itís what keeps me moving forward. I mostly act like one of the twin brothers who rushed downstairs on Christmas morning only to find a large pile of horse manure. One brother slumped down dejectedly. The other raced towards the pile of manure and began throwing it up in the air. He was heard to say, ďThere has to be a pony under here somewhere.Ē
In the past eight months I have injured myself more creatively than anyone human being can quite imagine. From my wrist, to my knee to my IT Band to my quads, I have slowed down so much and have so much pain that there are days you really donít want to be around me. Iím angry and frustrated that I canít run right now. My quads are so tight that I can hardly walk. I feel like a failure, total and complete.
Most of it comes from the stress of now knowing that FEMA wonít reimburse me for any of the five grand I dropped on my lower level because my flood wasnít more than two acres. The rest of it comes from worrying about two of the kids being out of work right now. I still have minor night mares about the three flood events in April and May. Itís all created quite a perfect storm in my life.
I donít write this to vent or to garner sympathy or support. I write because this morning, when I was at my lowest, when I went to sit in the whirlpool at my gym and eased into seventy degree water, got out weighed myself and found Iíve gained ten pounds in the past three weeks, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was going to find a mountain top someplace and just spend the rest of my days cursing my fate.
So here I am sitting in front of my locker, tight as a piano wire feeling like I have let down everyone Iíve ever known, feeling like I donít have a friend in this world to talk with and I begin to cry. And with those tears comes a small beak in the clouds. I hear my grandma saying ďThis too shall pass.Ē I sit a bit longer and hear a much more reassuring voice speak to my heart. It says; ďBe still and know that I am God.Ē
Staying positive can be a bit^&. Retaining your faith often sucks really badly. It causes us to feel like we are on a roller coaster and when we look in the mirror we donít recognize ourselves at all. We feel disconnected and in a fog. Itís suddenly so silent and we canít find the map and we feel so bad inside and so frustrated that we canít find our way out. Then we hear those voices, like beacons and we pick our stuff up and move forward because deep down we do know:
This too shall pass.
Hold my hand. Iíll hold yours and somehow weíll get through all of this. I promise.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Making the best decision is tough enough, no? It often involves wringing our hands, tossing and turning at night and uttering a quick prayer in the hopes that we made the correct one. Did you ever think about the impact of your decisions? Ever wonder how the decision you make today will have an impact of next week, or even next month. What if we settled for looking at the next five days?
The donut or slab of pie that I contemplating eating right now will give me a bit of momentary satisfaction. Isnít that satisfaction often followed by some guilt of sorts? A bit of ďOMG I blew it.Ē A few days from now when I get on the scale and Iíve rationalized my way from one donut, to two or maybe three and I donít show a loss or ďOMG I gained weight this week.Ē Maybe I donít feel like going to the gym today. It makes it much easier not to go tomorrow and the next day and the next. Soon Iíve forgotten my way to the gym and my old buddy guilt hops in the seat right next to me and grin. I donít often weigh (No pun intended) the impact my decisions have for my future.
My mind is an amazing tool. It can rationalize anything and continue to rationalize anything as long as I allow to. So Iím committing to do two things, both of them have helped me to become diet soda free for over a month now. (I stopped marking the calendar about two weeks ago!!!) The first is looking at the impact of those moderate to important decisions I make in my life. What effect will they have on my immediate future? While they may give me a short term payoff is there a dead end road around the corner for me somewhere up ahead?
I know when I stay in my calorie limits, do my exercise regimen and get enough rest I feel confident and alert. Thatís a great feeling. Truth be told, itís a feeling I can have every day of the week if I make the right decision. Itís difficult for me. I often feel like ďGood JohnĒ is on one shoulder and ďBad JohnĒ on the other. Iíd like to tell you Iím successful one hundred percent of the time but Iím not.
I am get more effective. Iím doing so by remembering that I am really worth all those tough, ďin it for the long haulĒ decisions I make each day. I doing so with the knowledge that I deserve that positive payoff I get when I make the right decision. People often tell me they fall short of their goals because they are haunted by bad decisions. I believe I should be haunted by good ones; the good ones of me, doing whatís best for my own health. I do it because I am challenged by the most excellent, healthy, intelligent people I choose to hang around with. I see their success in life and I strive to mirror it with my own. Those people are , uhm, YOU!!! I have the knowledge that I am everything I really believe I am.
A BFF mailed me a wrist band. On it was written ďThoughts Become Things, Choose The Good Ones.Ē I look down at it a hundred times a day. This person, a healthy and successful Sparker shared part of their secret with me. When I choose to make the best decisions for me I get the best payoff.
There will always be a slice of pizza, a bag of chips or wedge of pie looming and lurking around the corner. Iíll always be faced with a new and possibly tougher decision. But really, you know as well as I do that those encounters make the end game, the sweet victory of health, so much more satisfying.
Monday, June 20, 2011
She has a huge smile on her face as she walks up to me I the parking lot. Being five and being small she was having a hard time holding the card behind her back. She had this conspiratorial grin on her face as she looks back at her dad. With one swift movement she thrust a card and a hat forward and proclaimed, ĎHappy Pappy DayĒ I have every card and piece of art work she has ever given me. Some hang on the wall and some sit in a folder in my desk drawer. I have five Fatherís Day Cards in an envelope.
ďOpen It,Ē she said.
Inside was a card telling me how wonderful I was and then she scrawled her name. Below her name was a peace symbol, well actually about five peace symbols. Four of them were scribbled out. She told me that she wanted to make sure she drew it correctly and she didnít think Iíd mind the four practice tries. Next she handed me a large red, white and blue hat, the kind you see Uncle Sam wearing.
ďI told daddy youíd look silly in it. Put it onĒ I did and she laughed and giggled and covered her face. ďYou do look silly!!!Ē
Perfect love is not always perfect. Itís just open, honest and so what if you have to scribble out the peace symbol four times. You got it right on the last try and thatís all that counts. You want to have a good laugh? Give someone a silly hat, tell them to put it on, laugh and then beg to have your picture taken with them. Hold their hand, walk into a movie and enjoy yourself. Not once did I see our granddaughter make an effort to do anything more than be herself. I think she had more fun than anyone else and really isnít that what life is all about?
I thought a lot about this over the weekend, mostly the four scribbled out peace symbols. I try so hard to be perfect, to get it right the first time, to be everything to everybody, and I lose sight of the fact that the real intention is to share and grow, to love and to be loved. Perfect love isnít always perfect. Perfect love is simply the ability to keep scribbling out those peace symbols until we get it right and knowing the person on the receiving end understands what all that hard work was for. It means they share in the joy, the desire, the hard work and disappointment until they are looking at the acceptable peace symbol all their own.
My memories of my granddaughter will never be the end result, they will always be those moments when she was silly, when she struggled hard to write or draw what she wanted to draw, and when she danced around giggling, because I looked silly. That is perfection in progress. I could learn a lot from her.
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