I was kissed by a big star

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Although Mother Nature has been confused of late and has been unsure what type of weather she should be serving at her luncheons, I am glad I was invited to the feast yesterday!

Mid to late April is a questionable time, at best, in terms of the weather buffet.  We have been served snow storms, ice storms, damaging winds, hail, rain and a myriad of other weather systems but yesterday was a perfect spring day.  Although the predicted temperature was only 7 degrees, the penetrating warmth of the sun was absolutely remarkable.  I have more of a tan now than I likely will in July or August.

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The mood of human beings is noticeably elevated on days like yesterday, and hopefully again today, especially at this time of year. Lawns to the south of us are raked (mine still has several lingering mounds of snow), patio furniture is assembled and set out and although we know there is a chance of another random snow fall….we don’t seem to care.

I feel energized in a way I have not felt since the warmth of the sun left us last fall.  There is a vast difference between seeing the sun in winter and feeling its warm kiss on your cheek after the spring solstice has arrived.  The last two days have been radiant and my mood could be described the same way.  The sun leaned in for our first kiss of this year and I have color in my cheeks, a tan line on my shoulders and an energized consciousness that I have not felt in months.

Thank you, Mother Nature, for seeing fit to make us feel invigorated and helping us welcome a new week on such a high note. Hopefully you will remember how blessed we all felt this weekend and alter any thoughts you may be entertaining of sending snow and below zero temperatures our way.  I prefer this happy mood to rocking back and forth in the fetal position!

 

Baring it all…okay, maybe just my feet….

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I have a little “Spring in my step” today.  Against the better judgement of some (who may or may not have called me a dumb-ass), I left my house this morning in my sandals.  Although the thermometer only registered a mere three degrees Celsius, I forged my way up the driveway to my car, my will strong and my head held high.

There are others like me.  We don’t hold weekly meetings, although they would be fun, and we don’t have a 12-step program for our affliction.  We simply do not like wearing shoes.  If I had my way, I would be barefoot all the time.  I don’t hold ill-will towards shoes but I find them constricting and uncomfortable.  It is a rare sighting to see me in heels and a vision that does not qualify as remotely graceful.

I have been spotted roaming around the lodge in the summer while my sandals are tucked neatly under my office desk.  I only begrudgingly put them back on when I have to go into the kitchen or the restrooms.  If my feet are ever seen by an Esthetician the gasps of horror can be heard by people in the neighboring towns.

The freedom of being barefoot is something I have always cherished.  Shoes seem like such an unnatural invention and always remind me of this clip from The Bird Cage.

What about you?  Naked feet or shoes?

A body at rest tends to fall into an exhausted coma

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I think I now moderately understand the mentality of a football player when their season comes to an end.  I have spent a great portion of my time planning a party that happened on Saturday night and now, the party has come and gone, and I feel like something is missing.

I love planning events.  I love paying attention to the smallest personalized details to make the experience memorable and let the person being celebrated feel how special they are by the little nuances that appear in the party’s finer points.IMG_0266Although the week leading up to the party had a few speed bumps, the party was a great success.  From the food choice and preparation, the slide show and the soundtrack of his past 50 years, my brother was able to celebrate his upcoming milestone with great friends and family and it was a great way to honor the special place he holds in all of our lives.

After spending the entire day in the kitchen, partying like a rock star until 3:30 in the morning, being the first up at 7:30 to prepare for breakfast and spending the next day cleaning the lodge, I came home, possibly had a little “hair of the dog” and watched the end of the Masters through barely opened eyes.  I poured myself into bed at 8:00 pm and slept solidly for 11 hours.

Physical exhaustion aside, I would do it all again next weekend!  Happy 50th Jamie…..you deserve every bit of fun that party had!

 

 

 

Don’t walk by without sticking your nose in it…

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Too often I find myself seemingly wishing my life away.  Maybe I’m not really wishing it away but I do tend to look forward to things I have coming up instead of enjoying living in the moment.  I always comment on how quickly time seems to be marching on when, really, I have created the staccato drum beat that I am marching to and have quickened my own pace.

Years ago, my parents used to listen to a jazz singer by the name of Cleo Laine.   Although countless hours were spent listening to her sultry songs and three octave range, the only song that I can remember with total clarity is her rendition of “Stop and smell the roses”.   Even now, I can hear the song in the recesses of my memory as the words hover in a balloon above my head.  “The sweetest flowers grow, and then they bloom, but one day they die.”   I need to have that song playing on a recurring track in my head so I can realize the moments that I may be potentially throwing away, the moments that I can never get back, the moments that I missed because I was too focused on what was coming next, the moments that the roses were in bloom.

I wake up every day – I have a few cups of coffee – I go to work – I am living.  But how much living am I really doing in my life?  Am I taking the time to appreciate the things around me or am I merely going through the motions with blinders shielding my eyes and completely negating the real things in life that are happening right in front of me?

It’s time to slow down, to take life as it comes and not wish myself into the rapidly approaching future.  It will be here before I least expect it and all of those moments that I could potentially have been creating memories will have vanished.  It’s not often that I buy myself fresh flowers, but yesterday I purchased a bouquet of flowers in anticipation of the post that I would create.  Those flowers are now displayed on the island in my kitchen and each time I pass by that vase of floral poetry, I pause and take a moment to put my nose deep into those blossoms and breathe deeply.

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As I sat in my living room last night, laptop at my fingertips, dog asleep at my feet, I gazed across my still snow-covered lawn at the beautiful sunset.  The mottled pink clouds scattered across an otherwise clear sky and reminded me to pause and absorb the beauty of the moment.  Soon, that rose-colored sky would disappear and the true night sky would be speckled with a spectacular display of stars.  With a glass of wine in hand and a blanket caressing my shoulders, I took refuge in the warmth of my living room and took the time to enjoy the end of my day.

All too often those moments fade quickly and we are left reflecting on the beauty and emotion of what was, when we should embrace that beauty and those emotions as they occur.  Live in the now.  Stop and put your nose deeply into the petals of those roses and inhale the fragrance.  All too soon, those precious stems will be bare and we will be left with nothing but a memory of a flower that we once had the chance to enjoy.

 

Taking a breather to chase some tail

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Now before your mind wanders into dangerous territory, I meant the Easter Bunny’s tail.  I am taking a brief hiatus from blogging this weekend to enjoy some much-needed R&R – Red wine and Rabbit (of the chocolate persuasion).

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Hopefully a few days of not pressuring myself to write every day will ease the feeling of having a deadline and coax back the enjoyment of the creative process that I seem to be missing.  This weekend signifies rebirth and I am taking the meaning of the holiday to heart.

I wish all of you a very Happy Easter weekend.  May your days be filled with the love of family and friends, and maybe a little bit of tail for good measure.  The chocolate….I meant the chocolate!

Gazing into your own eyes isn’t weird, it’s necessary

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For us to be ultimately happy, we need to take the time to understand the person that we truly are, blemishes and all. It is not very often that we allow ourselves that pause to face ourselves and spend a while gazing into our eyes of truth.

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It takes a great deal of honesty, and some humility, to admit to ourselves the things that are important in our lives and what will make us truly content – to embrace the person that we are and to love everything about ourselves. We are each born with unique qualities and characteristics and understanding what really makes us tick is half the battle. Being able to accept those things and allow ourselves to be satisfied with those traits is the other half of that battle.

Contemplating our own thoughts and feelings is a daunting task. But to really reach into the depths of our souls and seek what is most important to us means we are required to admit to ourselves the truths that we avoid on a daily basis. Sometimes that revelation is uplifting. But sometimes realizing who we are and what we want makes us really understand the distance between our reality and our true bliss.

Before we can be honest with anyone else, we need to be honest with ourself. Mirroring someone else’s happiness will only delay our gratification. If we take the time to really delve into our psyche, to look deeply into what makes us who we are, we will come to terms with what gives us the greatest pleasure in our life. So many people spend so much of their time trying to be something they are not. They only try to present the image they feel others want to see. But they do themselves a grave injustice by not being their genuine self. Maybe our warts are what make us truly special and by ignoring those so-called inferior qualities we lose our individuality.

We are all truly unique but embracing those true parts of ourselves means we have to go face to face with nothing more than our honest perception of who we are to the core. In no realm of our reality should we give the power of that perception to anyone but ourselves. There is no single person on the planet that has the right to tell us who we are or what we can become.

Hold a mirror to your face. Look deep within yourself and be honest enough to admit who you are and what it is that is right for you.  Everyone has warts – some are visible, some are masked. Being introspective will allow you to embrace those warts and realize that the things others see as flaws make you stand apart from every other human on the planet.

The real reason we should celebrate

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If this past weekend taught me anything, it is that you don’t have to see people everyday to be reassured that they will still spend a moment to think about you.  It was my birthday on Saturday and I was overwhelmed by the number of messages I received from people who I am unable to see on a regular basis or have never even met face to face.  There are still a few people in this world who may look down on social media and digital communication but the numerous birthday wishes I received through those forums meant just as much as the messages I received in person.

I took the time to read each birthday greeting and every word that each person sent meant so much to me.  It is almost effortless to ignore the constant reminders in our hand-held, digitized lives but I have realized during the many years that I, too, have been a slave to the cyber-enhanced face of reality that it takes an infinitesimal amount of time to reach out.  It is the same small fragment of time that it takes to ignore that electronic reminder and, if the recipient is anything like me, a simple string of words can have a profound effect.

At one point during the afternoon, I was overcome by gratitude.  I, admittedly, had been feeling the effects of the long winter and the very distant signs of Spring and was a bit down about the snowy, barren landscape that greeted me on the morning of my birthday.  But each notification, each acoustic announcement of an incoming message, turned that desolate panorama of my morning into a garden painted by Monet.

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Because of the wonderful blend of the real world and the cyber world, I got to celebrate my birthday with everyone.  I had a glass of wine with the family I work with who has become like my own family.  I was able to hear from friends near and far and I was able to have a great night with good food and lots of laughs with my brother, sister-in-law and my nephews.  What started as a day to celebrate the day I was born turned into a day of celebrating everyone who has joined me along the way.