Archive | July, 2019

The Day Before …

25 Jul

There are a lot of things I know I’m not …

When I sit by myself at night, I know I’m not going to be as successful as my Dad or uncle. They grew up with absolutely nothing and became something by the time they were my age. They worked hard and reached for what they thought was big. I work hard and have yet to crack the surface.

I know I don’t measure up sometimes, but I’m not a quitter even though life gives me plenty of reasons to do so. I try my best and leave it all out there. I got my America Ninja Warrior grip on it and I’m holding on tight.

I know I’m not as happy as SpongeBob Squarepants but I’m not a bad person. I wake up everyday trying to empty the tank and be kind to people, even to those who are not always kind to me. I breathe and take moments, so I don’t speak out of anger. But I do get angry … at selfishness, deceit, hypocrisy, betrayal, and meanness. I get upset when people lash out, but don’t ask for forgiveness. They just pretend it didn’t happen.

I know I’m not very trusting of people, it takes a while before I can let my guard down. I’m protective. But once you’re in, I’m loyal and true for life.

I know I’m not always enthusiastic to talk to people I’m not familiar with, but I’m not cold. I’m heartfelt and caring. I give hugs and hold tight. I get sad when someone is hurting and try to comfort them with friendship, understanding, and kindness. But I do walk away from people who are jerks and are unkind and think it’s all right.

I know I’m not very forgiving of people who hurt me on purpose, or can’t bring themselves to say I’m sorry for doing something they knew was wrong. I don’t hold onto the anger though. I just let them go. Plus, I’ll always be the first to admit when it’s my fault and apologize if I was wrong or hurt someone.

I know I’m not always at 100, but I’m not a miserable person. I’m sad sometimes and people hurt my feelings, but I’m not spiteful when that happens. I’m just hurt, and I cry. I do my best to get out of the funk and not let it rent more space.

I know I’m not bitter. I have a good heart and it still smiles when things are hard. I still like to laugh. I look for the funny and practice gratitude. I’m a good friend and try to send out positive vibes. I try to pay-it-forward even though I may not have much.

I know I’m best-friend-less. I used to have one … the kind you call right away when something happens to you … the kind you share your hopes, dreams, and broken hearts with … the kind where you have inside jokes … the person that gets you without judgement … I used to have one but lost them, we’re no longer close. But I still have my kids and we share plenty of good-time-noodle-salad moments, and old and not-so old friends, who give me SuperSoul Sunday feelings.

I know I’m not a successful writer, but I’m a good storyteller, who keeps reaching for the stars even though I stand alone.

I know I’m not a morning person, but I still make pancakes and enjoy the peace of the sunrise … even in pajamas. I feel morning starts after the sun wakes up and not before.

I know I’m not who I thought I was going to be when I grew up, but I’m still trying to get there, even when everyone else I know has reached the finish line.

I know I’m not perfect. I’m broken and scarred, chipped and faded. But I put myself together with crazy glue … I’m a work-in-progress and think I’m still flawesome.

I know I’m not a lipstick-high-heels type of girl who gets the double-look when she walks by, or dawns covers of magazines. I’m the Chapstick-under-the-radar type who wears t-shirts and jeans, likes sports and travel, even though most of my travel in recent years have been staycations. I’m the best-friend in a romantic-comedy who people realize ‘she was the one all along’.

So … on the day before my birthday I know these things I’m not. And I try not to listen to those who want to focus on negatives and highlight the things I am not, but I pay attention to the things that I am.

Sending you sunshine and waves … Buen Camino my friends.

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Birthday Candles, Papa, and Trampolines

17 Jul

In the midst of the happy moments of jumping on trampolines, completing America Ninja Warrior obstacles, conquering the warped wall, and blowing out the candles on the birthday cake, I wished he was there.

He’d be the only senior citizen trying that warped wall and attempting to keep up with his grandchildren.

It’s always a mixed bag when my kids turn another year older, as there is a happy day full of good-times-and-noodle-salad moments and then a pang in my heart because it’s the day before my Dad passed away. He’d be a great witness to their lives and definitely enrich it on a daily basis with epic grandpa stuff.

His impact was missing, I knew it and it made me think that may be the reason why I try so hard. I try to fill the empty cups so that my kids don’t miss anything but it’s not always easy. Nothing measures up to grandpa, but I do my best to reach the top no matter how many obstacles get in the way.

Trampolines help with that I imagine.

It’s hard enjoying happiness when sadness creeps on in, but I take the moments I can get and hold tight as they get me through the sadness of the day. Because the sadness of losing someone never goes away, it exists with you, but at the very least some happiness can overpower it so you feel it less. I watch my daughter’s laughter as she zip-lined and soared into the pits, as she tested her grip-strength and arm muscles going through the mini challenges and the enjoyment on her face when she shot some hoops in the slam dunk area. I saw my Dad’s spirit. She’s got his playful personality and stubbornness as well.

I get home and open up his last bottle of musk aftershave, close my eyes, and smell. I’d never been into aromatherapy before but this was definitely bringing back memories and peace. And I felt his presence and a pat on the back. His cologne helps bring him back.

He saw my kid and knew that her strength was a good thing. He knows this new eight-year old rocked the sevens. This new eight-year old, who loves elephants, penguins, and hippos, drawing and painting, Bob Ross and every chef on the Cooking Channel, cooking and baking, cannon-balling into swimming pools and gliding through the water, will bring on a whole new bunch of excitement and gray hair into my life. His adventurous granddaughter who likes rollercoasters and hitting homeruns, will be trying one of his favorite sports in the fall … soccer. He’d like his granddaughter …

And she would have liked hanging out with Papa. Grandpas are cool hanging out buddies, they let you keep the remote control and watch penguin shows with you all day.

It was a tough one, but at least there was chocolate cake and someone else wishing the best of the best for this little lady .. this Ninja-Warrior-Artistic-Master-Reader-Kind-Hearted-Athlete-and-Bacon-Enthusiast Extraordinaire.

Buen Camino my friends…

Not Everyone is Worthy of a Purple Velvet Couch …

6 Jul

I stopped to appreciate the coolness of it all. I’d never seen someone so out of their element look like they were in charge. Confident. They had that Fonzie swagger.

At first I thought they were plastic, decorative statues to bring more funk to this older gentleman’s car, but no … there they were hanging out on the back of a classic Dodge during an American Graffiti Friday Night vibe at the local burger joint. All the classic cars were on full display, but these iguanas were cooler than any 67 ride parked out front.

And the thing is I think they knew they were the new kids on this block, but they were being themselves … relaxing and observing every passerby. These iguanas didn’t need anyone’s approval or love, but they got it. They sat there checking out the seen and keeping their fixed stare on anybody who chose to stare at them back.

I don’t know if their home houses those sweet purple velvet couches or logs with leaves, but I’m sure they lounge on those chairs on a daily basis, chit-chatting about when the Geico lizard will come over go a visit.

The awesomeness these iguanas exuded in an environment that wasn’t their own made me think about my son. You see, he was having a hard time with a friend that wasn’t being very friendly, but my son continued to try to include himself in this boy’s life, assuring me that there was no reason why this kid wouldn’t like him. Maybe I was mistaken, he suggested.

But as group hangouts and play dates increased I felt my son was off the mark. So I had a little chat with him … I explained to him that not everyone was going to be smart enough to know what an amazing, and cool friend he was, but that didn’t mean he had to let himself believe what they believed about him.

“You be yourself,” I said. “People will like you for you, I know you want to hang out with certain kids but sometimes it’s best to take your friendship and walk away. The fact that they don’t want to get hang out with you is their loss. You know you’re an awesome dude. You’re like an iguana.”

That seemed to confuse him. He didn’t know what I was talking about. So I showed him the picture. I explained that they might not have been in their own environment, and were surrounded by people they didn’t know, but they didn’t care. They were themselves, hanging out with their real buddies, they didn’t care that people were watching, to which he answered if they were themselves they’d be in the rainforest. And I don’t think these are iguanas, they’re lizards.

And I laughed.

Maybe they were hanging out this way in the rainforest or desert or wherever. Nobody can make them stay posed that way this long. Maybe they were purple velvet couch lizards and didn’t know it yet.  Maybe this is more comfortable than the branch or cactus that sticks in them in the back. Maybe purple velvet is their jam. They sit there and they don’t care, they know they’re awesome in every way and if you want to hang out with them, take pictures with them, find out more about them then cool, if not then it’s your loss. The lizards don’t care. They hang out regardless.

“Not everyone is worthy of a purple velvet couch. But I think you can definitely own one.”

“I like green.”

“I know. You would rock any color.”

 

Buen Camino, my friends …