Get lost….get really, really lost

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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

 ~~

There have been many quotes I have used to begin posts on this blog, but none have had as much of an impact on me as this very powerful string of words.

I lead a very fortunate life.  I may not be rich in terms of dollars and cents but I am wealthy.  I have roof over my head, a job that I love and I am surrounded by a wonderful network of friends and family who are nurturing, loving and supportive.  Perhaps that energy is the fuel that brought me to this moment in my life, the moment when I realized I wanted to give more of my time to people who could use a hand, in whatever way I was able to help.

There is no set of standards for helping others.  There is no rule book, no guidelines and no complex set of algorithms.  It is a simple equation.  Time + Effort = Results.   And for some, the results of our time and effort can make more of a difference than we will ever potentially realize.

A group of people spent a little over two hours of our time yesterday and the outcome of our concerted efforts will provide dinners for a deserving family for almost two weeks.  It was two hours out of our Sunday.  We chatted, we had wine and we laughed.  And in that small window of time, we made a huge difference.

Next Sunday, and maybe the Sunday after, we will do the same thing again with some familiar and some new faces and, hopefully, take another small amount of weight from the shoulders of the family we are trying to help.

If I can find myself while losing myself in the service of others, point my compass in that direction any time.  I went to bed last night with a tired body, but with a full heart.   Life is not about what we can do for other people.  Life is about how other people can benefit from the time and energy we are willing to give.

Making the right things different

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“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.  It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love the changed person.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham


I love stories of couples who have been together for decades, who celebrate year after year together and still maintain that bond of love and friendship.  My grandparents had it, my parents had it and my brother has it.  I have not been able to weather that change with as much success as they have but that truth does not make me sad.

The most basic definition of change is to make something different.  That is how the dictionary categorizes change and I have been through many circumstances in my life that have caused me to become different.  Sadly, or perhaps not, I was unable to continue relationships with certain loves because I became a changed person.  I had grown from experience, I had aged from knowledge and I had matured from the lessons of my reality.

I am, decidedly, not the same person this year as last.  There is an underlying intensity to me that I had never previously possessed.  There is a confidence, a slow-burning belief in myself, that is gradually being fueled by the understanding of my recently discovered strengths.  And that person did not exist while I was in those past relationships.  That person slowly transformed from chrysalis to butterfly, evolved from the person I used to be, and changed into the person I am now.

Butterfly Emerging

Certainly it would be a happy coincidence if we are fortunate enough to mature together and to be able to love that changed person in our lives and grow in the same direction.  But it would no fault of either person if that change took different trajectories.

People change.  Ideals change.  Love changes.  Our job is to decide whether we, being the person we are now, are still able to love that changed person or whether we need to make a change for ourselves.

(image credit)

2 Kisses I shall give you

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sunrise-18a

In the wee hours of the morning,

her visits often happen then,

the charge in the air is palpable

and sleep is still in my head.

Her message hangs heavily in the air,

the words are always the same.

“Two kisses I will give you,

to help get you through your day.

 One kiss is to give you courage,

to help you save the world.

The other kiss is to help protect you

from the curve balls that life will hurl”.

Her words soothe me and give me peace

in the last moments of my sleep.

And on my cheeks, as I face the world,

two kisses I shall keep.

(image credit: santabanta)

~~

This was originally posted in 2014, but I swear I could feel them on my cheeks this morning.

Two ships

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His touch,

timid at first, playful.

His eyes held a merriment,

his laughter concealed a deeper emotion.

Fleeting moments of stolen glances,

subtle traces of a finger on bare skin.

His touch,

evolved from an innocent beginning,

holding an unspoken desire.

His eyes burned into hers.

Currents of electricity,

hearts beating,

breath short.

Lips graze, sparks fly,

accepting a shared yearning.

Moments of complete breathlessness,

hearts skipping a beat,

sustaining warmth in memories,

torn between desire and reality.

The Gods of fate dealt the cards,

flop, turn,

river pushing against the tides.

two ships

Two ships,

pulled apart by the current,

sailing around the world,

hoping the movement of the ocean

will make them collide once again.

(image credit)

A Sunday well spent

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“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W.C. Fields

 freezer meals

For those who have read my recent posts about my passion for cooking and my desire to give back to people in need, this post should come as no shock to you.

I recently stumbled on the genius trend of freezer crockpot meals.  These meals are all prepared ahead, placed uncooked in ziplock bags, laid flat and frozen.  When thawed the night before, they can be dumped into a crockpot the next morning and 6 to 8 hours later, a family has a hot meal waiting for them.

I had one specific friend in mind when I decided to do this but as I told people what I was doing, the list of recipients grew a little longer.  I spent a Sunday afternoon, without watching football, and chopped, poured and bagged until I had completed 16 meals.  At the end of the process, it had taken slightly more than three hours from start to finish – a very encouraging pace.

This Sunday, and most likely the following Sunday, I am going to gather with a group of women to do it all over again, with one major difference.  Although many of the women will take some meals home for their families, we will be donating at least one meal per person to a young couple who lost their home and all of their belongings in a fire.  And though the fire is tragic enough in itself, they were at the hospital giving birth to their first children, twins, as their home was slowly destroyed.

It breaks my heart to think of this couple, worried enough about being parents for the first time, now starting their life as a family with absolutely nothing.  It overwhelms me with emotion to think of all the joy they had setting up the nursery, all of the meals prepared by family waiting in a freezer to ease their first days parenting – all of it, gone.

It is through tears I write this last paragraph.  Currently there are about 16 women wanting to help this family by packing freezer meals for them, as well as some dear friends who have donated cash to the grocery bills.  We shall divide and conquer.  We shall chop, bag and provide, not only food but, our support and concern for a family who could really use a helping hand.