Putting some life back in my life

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I finally took my own advice.  I threw caution to the wind and ignored the voices in my head telling me to go in to work on a Sunday to try to get caught up.  Instead, I took my mom out shopping, chopped the rest of the snow and ice from my deck and am about to embark on a lazy afternoon sitting in the very welcome sunshine.  Perhaps I will find myself with my Kindle in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.  My options are limitless.  I may even dig out my fire pit and recreate this lovely scene below.  There is nothing better than coming inside after a day of fresh air and smelling like freshly burned wood.

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Those inner voices are now quieted (with some well placed duct tape) and my head is free of disruptions.  I have always had a difficult time silencing those inner distractions and letting myself just relax and enjoy the day, but I’m taking back control of my thoughts.  Today is a day I put some real life back into my life and breath in the fresh spring air, feel the warmth of the sun kissing my cheeks and watch the day go by from the comfort of my deck chair.

Happy Sunday everyone!

The Days I need to learn to forget

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Life moves at a million miles an hour.  And so many times I feel engulfed by its pace and overwhelmed by the many things I have to balance on a daily basis. It feels like several days attack me all at once, but I have to learn to step back and change the pace of that onslaught.

There are always two days in every week that I should learn to ignore.  With everything I have going on in my life, these two days do nothing to help me live in the moment.  Yesterday and tomorrow always weigh heavily on me and distract me from the here and now.  I focus too much on what I didn’t accomplish yesterday and think forward too often about what is waiting for me tomorrow and I forget to live in the present.

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(image courtesy of babydearlyn.blogspot.com)

I need to embrace each day as an opportunity to live life to the fullest and accept whatever challenges may face me on that one day.  There is no sense in worrying about what tomorrow will bring, because I will never truly know that.  And  there is no point in reliving yesterday, because it is over.  I cannot change the past.  It will reflect itself in my present, sure, but I can choose how much power I give to that reflection.

I need to lay yesterday to rest and not consume myself with thoughts of tomorrow.  I must give myself permission to meet the obligations and promise of each day with an open mind and an open heart.  One day at a time will let me absorb all of the life that day has to give without being consumed by the days that lay behind or lay ahead.  Those days, I cannot change.

My favorite saying (and my email address in short form) is Carpe Diem – Seize the Day.  Life happens – there is nothing I can do to stop the moving freight train of time and only I can choose how I ride that train.  I can look out behind me and see where I’ve been, I can look ahead and ponder where I am headed, or I can embrace the vibration of the life flowing through the train and live in the moment. The choice is mine.

Today, I am making the conscious choice to forget all of the things I didn’t accomplish at work yesterday.  I cannot go back and do anything differently.  Today, I am making a concerted effort not to think about the fact that I will be sitting  in my office on Sunday catching up on the paperwork that has eluded me this week.  Today, I am going to empty sap from the buckets hanging from those towering Maple trees.  Today I am going to shovel the remains of Mother Nature’s perverse sense of humor from my deck and sit in the sun with a glass of wine in my hand.  Today, I am going to live only for today.

How will you live your day today?

Why?

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This post was written for the Trifextra weekend Challenge:

This weekend, we are revisiting a prompt we’ve done before.  We are giving you three words and asking that you add another 33 to them to make a complete 36-word response.  You may use the words in any order you choose. 

Our three words are:

remember
rain
rebellion

tears

(photo credit: fanpop.com)

I will forever continue to remember his rebellion against sobriety, but the rain of my tears never fails to wash my guilt away.  I still think – why couldn’t I fix him?  Why didn’t he want help?

Always look on the bright side of life

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In my limited pool of knowledge, I have found that there are two types of people in the world – those who love Monty Python, and those who don’t.  That may be a very broad assumption, and one that has been purely based on my personal experience and nothing else.  The people I have encountered have very distinct opinions on the subject and sway very heavily to one side when it comes to the British comedy.  You may be perched on the fence, or have no opinion at all, but this post is based on the myriad of people who have shared their strong opinion with me.

It is not a subject I bring up haphazardly in conversation, but there comes the inevitable moment when I unwittingly kick a reference to Monty Python into a conversation.  It either completely misses  the uprights and lands uselessly in a blank faced crowd, or it sails right down the middle, scores and the crowd jumps to its feet.  It can be the most innocent of comments but Monty Python fans recognize it immediately and a look of happiness glazes their face when they identify with one of their own.  In mere seconds, they have responded with another piece of Python repartee and an entirely new conversation spins in a warped direction.

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(photo credit: tumblr.com)

I wasn’t introduced to the genius of Monty Python until much later in my life, but I certainly made up for lost time by watching those comedic geniuses incessantly.  Python fans seem to have an undefinable bond.  Without even beginning a conversation, I have had friends walk past me in public places doing their best impression of the Minister of Silly Walks and I can’t contain my laughter.  When I lived in Halifax, we would have Monty Python nights and the group of friends who were as fixated as we were would gather around our television set.  We were all able to quote 90% of the lines in each movie (sad, but true) and we even used small wooden salad bowls to emulate the coconut horse hooves in the Holy Grail.  Obsessed?  Perhaps.  But those are some of my fondest memories.

There are nights when I am feeling less than my usual exuberant self and Monty Python seems to be the only thing that can bring me out of my funk.  The Meaning of Life finds its way into my DVD player, the machine that goes “PING” pings and all is right in my world once again.

Time to weigh in friends – what is your quest?  What is your favorite color?  Which side of Python are you on?

When Inspiration and Epic Awesomeness collide

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I would imagine the combination of the two above descriptors to parallel the absolute brilliance of chocolate and peanut butter coming together to provide a delicious taste explosion.  But the truth of the matter, the reason I called you all here, is to accept three awards bestowed upon me by fellow bloggers.  (and since I really don’t like dispelling too much truth about myself, having to do it only once seemed more plausible)

Thank you to my good friend TwinDaddy who hails from StuphBlog.  He has nominated me for the Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness.  (who knew there was such a thing, but it sounds….um….awesome).  His comedic brilliance, humility, heart wrenching truths and absolute Unshittiness™ are worth checking out if you have not stopped by there already.  And shame on you if you haven’t!!

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And then not one but two fellow bloggers nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Thank you to Lissa from The Lissa Chronicles and to Nicole from My Desire for Inspiration for giving me a much-appreciated shout  out.  They both share honest opinions about life and what it takes to keep a smile on your face.  Keep up the great writing, ladies!!

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It is customary, once the awards have been accepted, to link back to the bloggers who nominated you, which I have done and tell some random facts about yourself.  I’ll try to keep it light and exciting so you don’t doze off before I get to the end of this post.

  •  As a child, I wanted to be Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory so much that I went to bed with gum behind my ear.  I had to cut half my hair off to get the gum out.
  •  I’m great at giving advice and horrible at taking it.
  • I once threw up all over a friend’s back.  I was holding her hair and rubbing her back while she was trying to throw up and as soon as she did I became the sympathetic puker.  It took hours to clean the bathroom.
  • I have a very wide range of music likes – I listened to Johnny Mathis on the way to work this morning.  Yesterday it was Motley Crue.
  • This will be the last fact because I don’t think I’m interesting enough to fill another 5 bulletin points and you’ve probably nodded off already.

The rest of the rules basically want me to play favorites and nominate a certain number of bloggers for each award.  I can’t do it.  I can’t single out 10 bloggers – simply because each one of the blogs I follow inspires me with their awesomeness on some level.  So in the pure TwinDaddy style of being a rule breaker, I urge you to check out the list of great bloggers on my page.  It will only display 50 (how rude!), but you should check them all out when you have time.

I think my speech time has come to an end….I can hear them cuing the music.  Waiter?  I’ll have a glass of Cabernet…..Waiter??

She cannae take any more, Captain. She’s gonna blow!

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People handle stress in very different ways and each of us have varying extremes when it comes to our breaking point.  Some are lucky and are able to desensitize themselves to the perils that compound normal levels of stress, while others become weighed down and feel like they are shouldering the burdens of the world.  I am perched precariously in the middle.

I have a pretty high tolerance for stress.  I can quell the volcano of emotion that begins to rise by merely separating the things I can control from the things I cannot and putting out those smaller fires, one by one.   I don’t always win that battle but I do make a concerted effort to not let things bother me that are out of the grasp of my command.

But stress has a funny way of being able to continue a slow burn without any alarms going off.  It smolders behind walls and can ignite spontaneously when it recognizes the slightest bit of exhaustion or defeat.  Exhaled oxygen will spark the embers and the fire of stress breathes new life.  I didn’t feel the heat emanating but the flames got the best of me and, when the inferno had died down slightly, the fiery beast had etched its charcoal marks deep under my skin.

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(photo credit: earthtimes.org)

My tension is now stored neatly in large charred knots under my shoulder blades.  The volcano of stress is no longer spewing lava and lighting fires as it goes, but it is laying dormant under my muscles, reminding me that it has the power to erupt with the slightest sign of newly induced tension.  Any rupture in my otherwise calm facade will bring bubbling magma to the surface and give new life to that slow burn.  Time for some deep breathing and a calming glass of wine!

How does your stress affect you?  Is it an easily controlled burn, or does it rage out of control?

Excuse me, I’m trying to scurry here….

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The Daily Prompt has asked this question: Do parties and crowds fill you with energy, or send you scurrying for peace and quiet?

When I was younger crowds never bothered me.  I went to concerts and enjoyed the combined energy that only a crowd could produce.  But as I’ve gotten older, I have achieved an extreme level of distaste for feeling like a turtle caught in a school of fish.

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(photo credit: twistedsifter.com)

That mass of people who hurtle themselves in all directions seem to have no awareness of those around them and give me the sense that I have lost control of my own trajectory.  Malls are especially unsettling for me and I avoid them like the plague, especially during the holidays.  Although there is greater risk of credit cards being compromised with the advancement of hacker technology, I am happy to sit in the comfort of my own home and shop online for those gifts that cannot be purchased locally.

A small party with an intimate group of friends is bliss.  I tend to relax and am able to be myself, allowing my goofy personality to take center stage and I feel more comfortable asserting my need to be the life of the party.  That assertion becomes non-existent in large groups and I get a growing sense of discomfort feeling like that lost turtle again.

Give me a subdued night with good friends, good food and good wine any day.  My life now is about developing those close relationships with people who matter to me.  I don’t miss the feeling of being a pinball in an arena sized game and playing hide and seek with friends in a crowd of 20,000 people.