What life is really about….

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As the eve of a hectic work day pulls the shade of night down over the day, I am blissfully distracted from the bewilderment of the myriad of events that unfolded to create that hectic day.  I am fortunate to be able to cast those disquieting moments aside and dwell on the touching moment from the previous night.

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Making cakes is a process I enjoy immensely.  It truly allows me to lose myself in the creative process and pour my heart into something I love.  I create with the purpose of wanting to make the occasion that much more special by making a simple birthday cake into a much more personal experience.  Very rarely do I get a glimpse through the eyes of the intended recipient but on Saturday night I was able to see the joy from the other side.

I was the one holding the cake as the birthday song began.  I was the one to present the cake to a very surprised birthday girl.  And I was the one who most appreciated the tears of joy that welled in the corners of her eyes.  It was a truly touching moment for me.

Her reaction made every ounce of my effort worthwhile.  Her heartfelt emotion made every tedious detail on that cake worth each extra moment I took to make them as close to perfect as I could get them.  It may be just a Scrabble cake to some but to her it was the first personalized cake she had ever had and I was moved to tears to be the person that created that memory for her.

That one moment will play over and over in my head as I am laboriously working into the evening hours on my next cake project.  And when my wrists are tired from kneading fondant and my hand is beginning to shake with exhaustion when I am trying to pipe the last details on a cake, I will remember the look on her face and summon that next wind to keep going.

Life is about counting the memories and not the calories.

 

 

 

A place on my shelf but a much bigger place in my heart

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Perhaps it had been sitting on his shelf, collecting dust, for a few years.   He probably looked at it frequently, knowing that I would be in possession of it some day in the future and I’m sure, deep down, he knew he would not be the one to present it to me.

It arrived on my doorstep a few days after learning of his passing the week prior.  I was crushed to hear that he had left us.  But the sentiment in the gift is just as heart-felt now as it would have been had he been able to give me the gift himself because that gift meant that he valued the relationship we had developed.

It began 20 years ago.  I was working a summer job in the pro shop at a resort and he was a man hosting a charity golf tournament to raise money to find a cure for the illness that took the life of one of his children.  As a family, they hosted that tournament every year and I was happy and honored to become a part of it every spring.

As our relationship developed, so too did the amount of time we spent outside of the tournament hours.  Our Friday afternoon “meeting” before the Saturday tournament consisted of a “two-finger” pour of rye and coke.  I made my way back to my office in a bit of a haze since his two-finger measure was his index finger and pinky finger with a good inch and a half in between.  Had I been a smoker, I would have been extremely concerned about having an open flame so close to the fumes I was exhaling!

He was charming and he was a dedicated family man.  He always had a kind word, a comforting hug and a heart of gold.  The family tournament came to an end when his health was a bigger concern.  I eventually changed jobs and we lost touch, apart from the odd phone call, but I always have and always will carry him close to my heart.

God speed, Tom.  You were a special part of my life on this Earth and you will be a very special part of my memories.

 

Sailing into a storm

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I felt it.

Like the prickling of goosebumps,

I sensed the energy was different yesterday.

There were no warnings,

there was no black cloud in the sky,

but the winds of my day shifted

and my boat pitched on the stormy sea of Sunday.

Waves threatened to pull me into the angry water

but I held fast to my rudder

trying to steer myself to the calmness in the distance.

 Energy that surrounded me

knocked the hull of my sanctity

sending me further off my course.

When I finally reached the safe shore of my home,

the voyage of my day settled.

The wind no longer pushed me away from myself

and my calm found me again,

settled in for the night

and lulled me back into happiness.

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Variations, revisions and shifts, oh my.

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“People will tell you that change is a good thing.  What they really mean is that something you didn’t want to happen at all just happened”.

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Change is inevitable but it propels us in a direction we were meant to go.  For us to evolve as human beings and a human race, we need change.  Stagnancy does not promote growth in any aspect of our lives. The way we handle that modification to the bigger picture can be as important as the evolution itself.  Change is always possible but it’s not always easy.

Deviating from the familiar is a daunting task. Routine is a comforting way of life but resistance to change is futile.  It’s going to happen and anticipating that deviation, embracing the new path and seeing its potential, will help to alleviate some of the stress that change brings.

Change may insert itself into your life so stealthily that you don’t even see it coming.  Jobs change, feelings shift, relationships evolve for better or for worse, but we have to set our sails to catch the winds of change rather than try to go against that new wind gust.  We must adapt to the metamorphosis and realize that, even if we are not comfortable with the direction of the variance in our lives, change will bring us to where we are supposed to be.

Change should not be viewed as unfavorable.  Change is just change.  It will always be lurking in the shadows of our lives, waiting to invade our inner sanctum and threaten the balance we hold so dear.

Think of change, not as an ending but, as a regeneration.  A change is gonna come….and although the prospect may be frightening, perhaps what is waiting at the end of the evolution is something better than you ever could have imagined.

Feeling the burn

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candles

Candles burn, hearts yearn,

Wine fills up the glass.

Eyes glance, loves’ chance,

Time to make the pass.

Hand touches, blood rushes,

Hearts pick up the pace.

Distance lessens, romance beckons,

They linger face to face.

Lips meet, taste is sweet,

Blush is in her cheeks.

Hot breath, sweet caress,

The feeling that she seeks.

Touch sparks, bodies arc,

Passion is in the air.

Energy builds, needs filled,

Souls are laid to bare.

Solved puzzle, bodies nuzzle,

Two seem to become one.

Bodies spent, minds content,

her sky has found its sun.

(image credit)

I don’t have a can of spinach but I yam what I yam

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I am

I loved the book “The Help” and was equally impressed by how its story was portrayed on the big screen.  And through all the ups and downs of the characters and plot lines, there is one moment that is the stand-out scene for me.  After being spanked by her mother for doing something she mistakenly did for the right reason but in the wrong place, a little girl is then comforted by her nanny.  That nanny’s words to a precious young child still ring in my ears and have done so since the first time I saw the film – “Remember, you is kind, you is smart and you is important”.

When I saw the above picture, I immediately thought of that string of words spoken so beautifully to a child in need of a kind word.  I wondered how many of us would be able to say the same sentence to ourselves but replace ‘you is’ by ‘I am’.  And if we did say it out loud, would we really believe what we are saying?

I am kind.  I am smart.  I am important.  Those are powerful words and they should be allowed to shape my reality.  I have always believed I am kind, but the old me would have had a very tough time agreeing that I was smart and that I was important.  The inability for me to be able to put that “I am” before a number of adjectives truly did shape my young reality.

But thankfully the paradigm of my reality shifted and I found a new confidence to believe those words.  I am kind.  I am smart.  I am important.  I am many other things that I have found the freedom to believe about myself without letting outside influences impact the reflection I see in the mirror.

Be a powerful voice for yourself.  Be willing to admit your strengths and embrace them.  Be proud of those things that make you who you are.  I yam.

Finding comfort in the symphony of silence

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points of light

The opulent points of light burn me.

I turn, longing to be swallowed by the shadow,

escaping the realities of my world for just one day.

I yearn for the silence to deafen me,

to make the raucous cacophony of sound abate.

 I let the gentle vibration of my dog’s breathing

wrap me in the comfort of its vague timbre,

knowing that she is my asylum.

The rain falls gently on the tin outside my window.

Its staccato beat lures me into its embrace

and I yield to the power of its trance.

I am powerless to its rhythm.

But the silence beckons

and the sound of the rain fades.

It is only in the silence

that my truths speak the loudest.

Only then can I hear

what my heart is yearning to tell me.

And with no light to distract me,

I have no choice but to listen.

(image credit)