Archive | November, 2014

Holy Crap! Reaching 700 … Definitely Thankful

28 Nov

This week everybody was giving thanks or showing some kind of gratitude for health, family, friends, turkey, Rolaids, football, Charlie Brown, scarfs, coffee, chocolate, or fifty-percent off your favorite sweater.

Everyone was finding something to be grateful for … was on a mission this week, and seeing how I start my Hour of Power workout sessions in the morning with a what-can-I-possibly-be-grateful-for-today session, I found it a little easier this year to focus on what I was thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

I was thankful that this was my first-year I didn’t find myself in a Rocky-style freezer/refrigerator having to inventory hundreds of free-range turkeys. Thankful I didn’t have to wear a back brace and buy Gold Bond Extra Strength hand cream normally used for Nordic Fisherman for my dry chapped hands.

But even though I was grateful for a warm freezer-free pre-Thanksgiving existence I was missing my Dad, missing our talks over his hot cup of coffee, missing the white aprons, missing the jokes, missing that he could count on me, and just missing him in general. But with all this missing I was still thankful that in the end I knew him well. In the end, he tried to be a better Dad and a better guy and I could call him my friend, my TV watching buddy, the laugher of my jokes, and the support system of my dreams.

 

My Dad back back in the days of the turkey rush.

My Dad back back in the days of the turkey rush.

 

I was thankful that I knew him. I was thankful that I could call myself Julio’s daughter.

This Thanksgiving I realized that even though he was gone, the support system of my dreams was still out there. My son believed in me and I imagine my daughter would too if she was old enough to understand what a writer did. A couple of my friends, my comadres, looked out for me and sent words of encouragement every now and then.

But aside from them cheering me on, I realized that every week I had people in my life that appreciated my sense of humor, got my stories, shared my struggle, watched some of the same shows I did, and supported my crazy writer’s dream. I realized that they were so supportive that I kept coming back again and again. So much so that I reached a milestone.

700.

Woo-Hoo!!!

Woo-Hoo!!!

 

Yup 700 posts and I couldn’t have done it without them.

My Word Press Community.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this journey almost three years ago. I had hoped for certain things, but wasn’t sure if they would happen, stuff like a Julie & Julia journey with the same fairytale ending. And even though that didn’t happen I was happy about what did.

I found dozens of people in support of what I was trying to do, and I was extremely grateful for that, people that popped in and out of my life from different places around the world just to read what I had written. I had made a connection and met these people and I was a better writer and person for it.

So I wanted to thank all my followers out there jumping on this Guat train, but especially the ones that stalk me on a regular basis. We mutually stalk each other and formed our own community. So thanks to TBM over at the 50 Year Project and Making Your Mark, V over at Lame Adventures, my comedic relief Cayman Thorne over at Drinks Well With Others, Susie at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride, Jackie over at Jackie Cangro, my music buddy over at Apple Pie and Napalm, Maria over at Brickhouse Chick, Baz over at The Landy, my buddy over at FitRecovery, my funny man over at OnePointPerspective, my inspirational friend over at CravesAdventure, my kind soul over at AnotherDayInParadise, my buddy over at This Man’s Journey, Andrea at The Hand Written Life, Krystal over at Unabashedly Poetic, and Kathryn over at Reinventing the Event Horizon.

You guys have all stopped by to read the bits and pieces of my life and said something encouraging, said something that connected, said something that kept me going … that helped me reach 700. I think my Dad would have thought that was pretty cool.

 

Thanks

Thanks

 

So in honor of my 700th post today, in honor of that milestone I thank you.

Chocolate for you all!

 

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Give Me A Break … Some People Need it.

24 Nov

I blame it on the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Instant Messaging, iPhone, Jetsons loving population.

I blame it on you.

It appears that because technology has advanced so much, people have come to the conclusion that there is always a way you can be reached. There is no mountain high enough, no valley low enough, no river wide enough to keep them from getting to you.

Technology you have done this to me.

the culprits

The culprits

It used to be that someone could call me on my phone, leave a message and I would get back to them as soon as I could. One phone. One message. One way. And they were all right with it. They didn’t call me back a minute later just to see if I was there again. They accepted the finality of the answering machine. They knew it had done its job and were confident that their message would be delivered.

Now in truth there were times when you were home but you couldn’t get to the phone for some reason or another. You were studying for school, working on research for work, walking up the stairs with five bags of groceries, watching Jack Bauer be Jack Bauer, or practicing your culinary skills. These were valid reasons for your telephone absence.

However there were times when you were having a moment, an emotional breakdown moment, a parental take-a-deep-breath-before-you-talk-to-the-kids-again moment, a I’m-in-the-bathroom moment, a you’re-trying-to-get-out-the-door-on-time-with-two-kids moment, the I’m-in-need-of-chocolate-right-now moment, or the I-need-a-moment-of-silence-right-now-because-I’m-juggling-10-things-at-once-and-if-I-answer-the-phone-right-now-I-will-kill-whoever-is-on-the-other-line-who-has-called-me-five-times-already moment.

All of these are extremely valid reasons.

However I get that some cases are actual need-to-go-to-the-hospital moments and in that case you use any multimedia platform that is necessary to hunt me down. But if you’re just calling to see if you need something from Costco, then don’t call me 20 times. I’m not answering for a reason.

So if you happen to be one of those stalker like people who calls somebody ten times in a row until you get an answer, then I’m here to tell you … Stop.

Stop stalking.

We are busy at the moment and will call you as soon as we can.

 

 

Sometimes It’s Good To Slow Down

22 Nov
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Finding Inspiration in Underpants

19 Nov

It was an unintended hiatus.

Gone for a five-day adventure into the mind of The Guat except I really didn’t go anywhere. Just been exploring unbounded awareness and trying to focus attention on my writing and personal deadlines I set for myself earlier this year.

I was catching up on life and writing. In fact I was hoping that this side project I had was going to give me that extra boost I needed to cross that finish line at the end of the year. But we’ll see … My time is limited and staying up until 3 a.m. has taken a toll on my body, so once Thursday gets here I’m functioning on reserves and looking like I need a serious makeover, or at least a coat of miracle CoverGirl cosmetics found on aisle 12 at the local Walgreens.

But it was during one of my half asleep zombie moments that I got a great surprise. Something unexpected that gave me a great sense of pride. When my son asked me why I was so tired I explained that I had been working late and was trying to meet some deadlines, trying to finish my book.

And then he asked me why.

I said it was what I did, what I liked to do, and what I always wanted to do. Plus it would help us get out of the George Costanza phase in my life.

He smiled and gave me a hug.

About an hour later he was asking for a stapler and seeing how he’s still in first grade and only has paperclip experience, I thought it would be best to staple whatever he was working on.

This is what he brought to me …

 

This was the first of three he created this weekend.

This was the first book of three he created this weekend.

 

He had created his own version of the Captain Underpants kid series.

Dude.

Dude.

I couldn’t even …

I know that when he grows up he wants to be part firefighter, part Batman, part astronaut, and part Ironman. I know that, I’m happy with it. But the fact that he did that makes the writer in me happy. I had a good moment and it inspired me to keep typing away and keep chugging along.

One word at a time. One sentence at a time. One page at a time. I’ll get there.

 

Grab Your Coppertone 45

12 Nov
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I Think I Still Could Have Been A Great Chapter

10 Nov

It hasn’t happened to me in such a long time, so I wasn’t sure how to take it. I mean I know how I took it, I took it poorly.  In addition to raiding my kids Halloween Candy stash, I emptied the freezer of  two Ben & Jerry’s pints.

It was a crisis or sorts.

I had lost it.

I lost a friend and it wasn’t because of death, health reasons, or an untimely demise. They’re living and breathing just fine, it’s me who was hyperventilating when I realized a couple of months ago that our friendship was over. It was a friendship that was rushed to the relationship ER and then never made it out.

There wasn’t an argument or heated discussion, and nobody had crossed any lines. It just slowly deteriorated. I saw it happening and tried to stop it. But with all my efforts I felt like that chic from He’s Just Not That Into You. The dork that hopelessly and endlessly tries to find the one and then thinks that every guy she’s been with is the one, only to realize that they’ve all been lame dudes that she’s made these excuses for because she was blinded.

 

He's Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You

 

Yeah that was me. I was trying to hang on to a friendship that apparently meant more to me than them.

Now I realize that everyone is busy and as we get older there are all kinds of demands coming from work, family, and other friendships. I get it. We’re busy. But there are friends that I haven’t seen in months even years, and when they come into town and we get to talking, it’s like we never left campus and we picked up exactly where we left off. No awkward pauses or talks about the weather. We get down to laughter and real talk. The comfort zone is still there. The inside jokes are still there. The friendship is still there.

But this time around I realized that was gone. And I don’t know if guys really make a big deal out stuff like this, or if it’s just a chick thing, or if it’s just me but losing a friend kind of sucks all the way around. I was making all kinds of effort to maintain this friendship in a non-stalker-non Single White Female kind of way.

But then it dawned on me.

We had already broken up, I just wasn’t aware of it. I didn’t know the ins-and-outs of their lives anymore, I wasn’t part of their growth process. I wasn’t a chapter in their novel anymore, I just ended up being a really good short story. And I guess nothing is wrong with being a short story, great movies and TV shows are based on short stories.

But it’s something I didn’t expect. I think I had more to offer, I think I still could have been a great chapter.

As an adult I thought I was set and my circle of trust was in tact, but was reminded that some relationships don’t last and there’s nothing more that you could have done. Just got to be happy with the fact that you lived with integrity and you always did right by them.

 

 

How Do You Get Over It?

6 Nov

I’m in recovery mode.

It took 48 hours to get through this, I mean I’m still getting through it. I’m still in disbelief even though I saw it coming, I’m in denial because it was so shocking and it hurt. For a minute I thought, maybe. I was so invested, I really thought he would make it to the end.

But I should have known.

The almighty writing genius Kurt Sutter from Sons of Anarchy had other plans.

He broke my heart … again. Just when I thought I recovered from Opie and Tara’s gruesome deaths he killed off another of my favorites. I guess I knew he wasn’t coming back after Moses took his eye out.

 

Rest In Peace...

Rest In Peace…

 

So I sat there in the dark of Daylight Savings Time as the credits rolled wondering why the hell he keeps killing off all these great characters, but leaves these twisted sociopaths in excellent health. Then I realized … their death will be epic, of the I-can’t-even category. But still does that justify the utter devastation that me and the rest of the Samcro faithful feel?

No.

I’d still like to see Opie, Tara, and Bobby Elvis.

I was rooting for them, I’m a lover of the underdog stories so when they kill my character and the future storyline I’d imagined I’m in need of a moment.

So with all my TV watching experience, how do I continually get over the death of beloved characters? How do I get over it?

Well … sometimes I don’t. I remain angry and hurt for weeks. I get so attached to these people because they’ve become people to me. It’s the writer in me, I get so attached to their story and their journey. It sucks when it ends in an untimely manner.

Sometimes the death is so shocking, like when they shot JR and you thought he was dead, that you can barely function the next day. These cliffhanger moments cause chest pains, anxiety attacks and bouts of profanity, which is probably why I enjoy watching Netflix because I can binge watch and find out what happens on my own timeline.

But heroes still die on Netflix.

So what do you do?

Recovery takes a while, it always does.

I’ve seen 24, LOST, The Sopranos, The Wire, and The Shield where some my favorites didn’t quite make it to the end, and it helps if you have a buddy. The mourning period goes by quicker because you have someone who gets it. My Dad was my buddy.

My Dad was around back then and I was able to go through this with my TV-watching-partner-in-crime buddy. We’d have never-ending panel discussion for days and share our best moments of the season. It was awesome. Unfortunately I’m flying solo in my epic television adventures and only have one other friend to discuss these Holy-Crap Sons of Anarchy moments, but she lives like two hours away. So we send text messages to each other.

Text messages are good but I wish she lived closer, and since I don’t have an actual Sons of Anarchy cohort, I remain at a loss and wishing that Sutter never ended Bobby’s journey. I hope for revenge a lot.

 

Jax Teller

Jax Teller

 

Revenge is a good thing and I hope it comes for Jax. I’m waiting for it.

If that doesn’t pan out, chocolate works wonders. Chocolate and profanity.

 

 

 

Figuring It Out

3 Nov
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If you’re a positive person your first instinct leans more toward blessings. You’re optimistic and believe in the good nature of people. You wait until they reveal themselves before you judge. However sometimes your gut speaks to you and red flags are raised.

There are two sides.

Hopefully you figured out which one you’re looking at and you’ve got chocolate for either occasion.