Tag Archives: Gratitude

The Magical Look of Love



I wonder if Frida believed that look would last forever or if it was good enough to have seen it briefly. Apparently Frida saw that look often, although not necessarily in the eyes of her husband. It was never enough to make her happy for long.

Is it possible to hold on to that memory to renew your feelings when you look over at him, doing that “thing” he does, and resist the urge to question your own sanity? What is the elusive quality that holds some people together while others seem to drift?

Love is merely a madness: and, I tell you, deserves as
as well a dark house and a whip, as madmen do: and the
reason why they are not so punished and cured, is, that
the lunacy is so ordinary, that the whippers are in love too.
(As You Like It, 3.2)



It always seems impossible … 
until it’s done.

Nelson Mandela

This week I began step one in the plan to launch the nonprofit I’ve been working on. I suppose it’s not really step one because I’ve been doing many things, including mountains of paper work and putting a board together, but this week began a more public launch.  I made the first steps to teach in a community development organization.  It’s important for me to partner with other local nonprofits in order to make mine successful, so this feels like the beginning. My NPO will have a workplace literacy component, so getting back to teaching adult ESL courses is something I’ve been looking forward to. The students are all recent immigrants and, as always, there are a few students that really knock me out. This time it was a couple from a small African country that had been in the U.S. a mere two months and were already a month in to an English language class. Their lives, and that of their two children, have been difficult, yet there was no trace of self-pity. They have been through things that would have crushed most people, yet they are optimistic. They have lost every material possession, yet they are grateful. There is a mix of pain and beauty in their eyes as they struggle with the language.  It moves my heart in ways I can’t describe and makes me so sure that I am moving in the right direction. I am so honored to have the chance to touch their lives.  People, my own age, starting over with nothing but their spirit and determination for something better.  It is humbling, and it should be.

It made me wonder about people I know. People with every opportunity, yet they continue to be angry for all that isn’t handed to them. Instead of working harder, they continue to find fault with everything around them rarely looking at their own hand in the way their lives have turned out. Is it easier to place blame? Well, maybe in the short run.  Is it narcissism that causes some people to blame everyone around them for their own circumstances?  Is it having so very little that causes others to just work that much harder when life is unfair?

It didn’t take long but I’ve learned more than I taught, and I’m sure that nothing is impossible unless you decide it is.

When I let go of what I am, 
I become what I might be.

Lao Tzu

5 Questions to Make Your Dreams Come


I thought this was great advice….

5 Questions to Make Your Dreams Come True By David Arenson

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

Perhaps you feel stuck in a situation. Instead of seeing the situation as a learning point, or stimulus for making a change, you feel stuck in the perceived drama of it. 
If a relationship or job ends, it is not the end of the world even though it may feel that way. Some of our greatest leaders have suffered spectacular failures.
We often learn the most from overcoming adversity. Most people know this consciously, yet still feel that the world has ended when they experience a big change.
Most people who consult with me seek increased happiness or more fulfillment. Some have achieved financial wealth, yet yearn for spiritual wealth. Some do yoga but can’t seem to get ahead in their careers. Some already have it so good that they forget to be grateful.
How can your life become truly extraordinary? Ask better questions!
Here are 5 quality questions that will kickstart you on the path to achieving your dreams:
1. What do I dream of doing and how can I be paid to do it?
Another way to ask yourself this is: If money, time, health, etc. were not a factor, what would I love to do with my life?
If I could magically transport myself ahead 10 years from now, and look down upon this moment, what advice would I give to myself? How will I turn this around into an opportunity for realizing my goals?  
How will this make the world a better place? What can I do to be of service (for others and ultimately for all humanity)?
2. What is the ONE action step I can take today to get me closer to achieving my dreams?
Take action on your dreams.
3. How can I learn from this?
What did I do that was an effective strategy-how can I make it even better? Was there something that didn’t work so well, and if so, what did I learn from it? How will this help me improve myself? 
How have I handled challenges in the past? What solutions could I program for myself that will prepare me to face similar challenges in the future?
4. When will I start taking complete responsibility for everything that happens in my life?
Start realizing that this is not a dress rehearsal. If you’re not learning and improving yourself by taking responsibility for everything you have in your life, then your dreams may stay fantasy.
5. What am I truly grateful for?
Enjoy the moments you have. Quality time is taking the time to find out what you enjoy, know yourself better, and bringing that awareness into your life.
It’s extraordinary what magic will start to happen when you open your heart through gratitude.
photo via Steve Jobs

The Booker Award



The Booker Award

I really do love this award because I love books, as I’m sure most of you do. They are everywhere in my home and have been my escape from reality since I learned to read. I’ve moved across the US more than once and I’m sure I could have paid for the moving van with the money saved had I not packed every book. But I could never part with them.

Do you know how some people like to look in other people’s bathroom cabinets when they visit. That never really held much appeal to me. I like to look at their bookshelves. This award saves me the trip times nine not to mention the restraining orders. So here we go…

1. Nominate other blogs, as many as you want but 5-10 is always a good suggestion. Don’t forget to let your recipients know. See below.

2. Post the Booker Award picture. Done

3. Share your top 5 books of all time

1.  My first favorite book was definitely A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle along with The Velvet Room by    Zilpha Snyder

2. All time favorite book is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

3. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

4. Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman

5.  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Thank you to Jenn from http://newsofthetimes.org/. Her blog is original, inspiring and informative and the photography that goes along with it is a winner, which is why you should vote for her photo of Patagonia on Bucket List Publications Travel Photo of the Year Contest! Just saying….

Okay, so Jenn has already listed quite a few of my favorite blogs and I’ll look forward to seeing what they consider their favorite books. I am really curious to see what these incredibly interesting people read. Come on, let’s hear it. Don’t make me look on your bookshelves!

Life with the Top Down: http://fretym.wordpress.com/

David Kanigan: http://davidkanigan.com/

Kyle Mew: http://kylemew.com/

Momentum of Joy: http://momentumofjoy.com/

Lucky Leo : http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/

Rendezvous with Renee: http://rendezvouswithrenee.com/

Jmgoyder: http://jmgoyder.com/

Life in the Boomer  Lane http://lifeintheboomerlane.wordpress.com/

And last but not least Help Me Rhonda: http://help-me-rhonda.com/ who must also write seven things about herself because we all just want more! If you weren’t so damn funny I’d leave you alone.  Well, maybe not : )

Happy Reading!

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award



Thank you so much Rhonda (http://help-me-rhonda.com/2012/08/13/four-more-and-seven-tears-ago/) not just for the award but also for your friendship. You are one of a kind.

Rules For Accepting Nomination: 

  1. Give thanks to the blogger that nominated you.
  2. Write Seven things about yourself.
  3. Nominate seven other bloggers.
  4. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog

Oh Lord, seven more things about me. I think I might be out of     things about me, but twist my arm and I’ll take a stab at it.

  1. I’m not a big drinker but I love champagne, Veuve Clicquot to be exact.
  2. Unless of course there are oysters and then I need a Grey Goose Martini, shaken, no vermouth, 3 olives…jeez it sounds like I’ve ordered that more than once huh?
  3. My favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz. I sing along so you may want to leave the room when it comes on.
  4. My favorite book is Man’s Search for Meaning  by Viktor Frankl. 
  5. My favorite actor is John Cusack. Loved him in Grosse Point Blank and High Fidelity.
  6. Sometimes when I read other people’s posts I consider not blogging anymore because they are just so good.
  7. I’m in a pissy mood and I’m going to go eat an entire container of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice cream and wake up tomorrow, quit whining, and get back on the healthy diet/lifestyle band wagon. Really, I swear.

The first person I’d like to pass this award on to is currently one of 18 finalists in a photo contest. Why not take a look and vote for her. In addition to that she has an incredible blog full of interesting and timely posts.


The following blogs are fairly new to me but I’ve really been enjoying them and I think you will too.





Okay now I’m going for the ice cream and an attitude adjustment!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award



Let me say that receiving awards does not get old. That being said I’m going to inflict yet another 7 things about me on you, and as a reward for reading I’m going to recommend some really terrific blogs that you may or may not have checked out already. There! That seems like an almost even trade.

To accept the award, the rules are:

Link back to the person who nominated you:

Thank you, Mimi @ http://waitingforthekarmatruck.com/. What can I say about this woman and how would I know when to stop? If there is some small chance you haven’t been following her you absolutely need to. She is just as likely to make you cry and make you laugh and often will do that in the same post. I’d insist she write a book but that would have a beginning and an ending and I prefer to read her every morning with my coffee along with my buddy http://help-me-rhonda.com/. WWW forever!!

Post the award image to your page: Done

Tell seven facts about yourself: Okay, I’ll try short and sweet this time. Long and funny is on my previous post. I like to mix things up : )

  1. I’m an only child. It seemed okay when I was younger and life was not so easy but now I wish I had siblings. Actually I’m thinking about putting an ad in Craigslist for a sister. Do you know anyone looking?
  2. When I was younger I wanted to be a writer for Saturday Night Live. Well, I still sort of do.
  3. I hate speaking in public or in front of a group larger than about 3. I rethink everything I’m going to say until it’s too late to say it. If I have notes I’m better but I still dislike it. Plus it’s weird to carry notes with you at dinner. It’s been misinterpreted for shy, but really it’s just over thinking.
  4. I never wanted to get married but had nine names picked out for children. I guess I was ahead of my time although none of the four I did have were named for fruit or Greek gods.
  5. I love to go to the movies alone. No one talks, you don’t have to share your popcorn and no one reminds you 6 months later that you sobbed like a fool.
  6. This is probably creepy enough for an entire post but when several people I have known passed away I “knew” before I was told. Twice it woke me up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Several were accidental deaths so I could not have expected it, and it happens almost at the time of death so I can’t warn them.  I really do not like this but have no idea what to do about it. 
  7. My family nickname when I was a child was Miss Closed-mouth because I never talked and would never share a secret amongst a family of gossips. The spilling of my guts on this blog is causing much rolling in graves! Haha Gotcha! 

Nominate 10 other blogs (Yes, I can count and I know I’ve listed 12. You’ll thank me, trust me. Remember, this is your reward.)













Let them know they are nominated: Will do!

Seven Things About Me Award



Well, I’m a sucker for an award!  Honestly. I am very grateful that anyone wants to read what I have to say, much less award me with anything.

Okay please humor me and play along.

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Thank you, http://forcingmyselfhappy.com/ I just recently started to follow her journey to a happier self and I have to say you’re not only brave but very sweet and interesting. I’m rooting for you!

2.  Share seven things about you. See list below if you are in need of a sedative. : )

3.  Nominate other bloggers you think deserve the award and post on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated.

 This is difficult. I will spare the several bloggers I adore and who I think deserve every award out there because they are so incredible, because they’ve already received most of the awards and because they will wish a pox upon me for giving them one more thing to do. You know who you are and they know where I live. Enough said.
Instead I will offer you two new blogs I’ve been following in hope that you will take a look and possibly follow:
Wonderull, smart and funny. Enjoy!

7 Things about Me (you’ve been warned)

  1. I talk about them all of the time, but the most important thing about me is that I am the mother of four children ranging in age from 28-16. Everyone is about to move up an age which clearly meant I desperately needed to get a winter hobby in my childbearing years. I adore them all.
  2. I am a pescaterian (vegetarian who occasionally indulges in fish) and a vegan wannabee. I’ve eliminated almost all meat and diary since April. Oh, and wine is made of grapes and vodka from potatoes for those you who wondered. : )
  3. My second biggest fear is getting sick. Not just a flu, but incapacitated and reliant on others. I’m fine being there for others and have done it many times, but I am terribly afraid of ever being on the receiving end.
  4. What is my biggest fear, you ask? The inability to correctly punctuate even though I was an English teacher? Noooooo. It’s that something will happen to one of my kids. Whenever I would hear sirens my heart did a double beat until my youngest finally said, “for crying out loud Mom, they don’t put the sirens on to tell you bad news.” He is so much smarter than I am, although now I just shake when I see any emergency vehicle.
  5. I will turn 50 on December 10. I’ve tried to get it declared a national holiday but so far no luck except for one friend who agrees, or thinks I’m nuts and pretends to agree. I really never considered making it to 50, so I am incredibly pleased. I’m planning on redefining middle age and also living well past 100. The child with the worst record of being consistently nice gets “Depends” duty eventually. It’s my oldest son right now. He is praying for my continued continence.
  6. I just quit my job, started a new business and a nonprofit. When I tell people this they smile and say, “*That’s wonderful.” I suspect they also think I’m nuts, but that’s’ what they say about most people that live extraordinary lives. I’m so full of surprises I usually don’t know what I’m going to do until it’s done. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s a hellish disaster. It’s been quite a ride.
  7. I always like to be learning something new. I just learned how to make pasta and made it with my son this week. That gave me more joy than I can possibly explain.

I have been very fortunate to not only spew my thoughts on to these pages almost daily, but also have some of you like them. Thank you all for reading and bless you all for taking the time to comment.

Just Breathe



After spending the last couple of days recovering from the asthma attack from hell “Just Breathe” takes on a whole new meaning. How we neglect to appreciate the ability to take a deep breath in!

So, today instead of rushing through your one guarenteed day, take a moment and be grateful for something. Think about how simple but lovely the ability to just breathe is.

It won’t take long, I promise. 

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
Oprah Winfrey

Other people’s Sundays



Sunday has always been the loneliest day of the week for me.

When I was a child it always seemed as though everyone had something else to do. I pictured big family gatherings with laughing and talking and plenty of food. No one was every unhappy or lonely in the other world of Sundays that I was some how not a part of.

When my kids were younger I always tried to plan something on a Sunday. I would have friends over and make dinner or go to the park or the zoo with them. I’d look around to see someone like me but found only the lovely family of four. Two children, Mom, and Dad all smiling and feeding ducks (fill in the your version of family bliss) and on their way to Grandma’s for Sunday dinner. Being a single parent, I was again shut out of this scenario.

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me that things might not have always been what they seemed. That not everyone in my imaginary scenario I used to torture myself was actually happy. Or if they were why that made any less of what happiness I had myself. Thier Sunday always seemed to be better and fuller for some reason. But I suppose that comparisons and imaginations do that to us sometimes.

So, on this Sunday morning, I’m spending a moment to be grateful for what I do have and I’m going to cherish the day that I have been given.

Happy Sunday.

Don’t be a baby? Why not?



I think it’s time for me to be more child-like. I’m tired of being adult about everything.

I was on the beach yesterday watching a family with small children. One curly-haired, blue-eyed, cherub of a girl complete with a yellow bikini making a sand cake for her mother and her slightly older, more serious looking, brother in his boxer bathing suit with small blue whales on them eating a juicy peach and singing a song I don’t recognize. They are adorable, sweet, angelic…oh wait he’s ripping the shovel out of her hand and screaming, “MINE”, she has her mouth open but no sound is coming out, she’s standing up, still no sound…wait for it, wait for it…WOW. She lets out one blood- curdling scream and falls backwards into the sand. Her brother looks on, unfazed, and then continues digging the hole he had been neglecting while eating his lunch. She screams some more and her parents, clearly embarrassed but not unfamiliar with the theatrics, try to quiet her. “Don’t be a baby”, Dad says, while her brother is completely absorbed in digging and singing.

Oh please, let her scream I want to say. How I wish I could do that. Just once. Like say when the guy stole my parking spot or when the woman on the cell phone cut in front of me in line like I wasn’t even there.

Right down on the ground screaming. Can you imagine?

I think we could learn a thing or two about feeling our emotions without apologizing or holding them in from children. How do we get so repressed? Of course throwing yourself down and wailing isn’t the answer but maybe more honesty in our emotions is still an option.

“Hiding how you really feel and trying to make everyone happy doesn’t make you nice, it just makes you a liar.”Jenny O’Connell, The Book of Luke