Archive | May, 2020

Feel Good 5 Friday

29 May

Everyone looking for something to lift them up during these times and I’ve been feeling the feel good vibes with tunes from my childhood.

These were so good I be two-stepping in my car and shimmying my shoulders. I mean these were silky smooth. Fun. Soulful. And giving me the vibes so much so I had to wait for the songs to finish before I got out of the car. Has that ever happened to you? The song is so good you can’t leave the car even if you have somewhere to go? I mean you just need a minute because you’re feeling it?

Yup.

That happened to me all week. My eclectic mix of Spanish and English tunes took me back to a happy place even if it was a heartfelt rock love ballad. I was singing in the car because these guys were sanging.

So today was Feel Good Friday and I wanted to pass along those vibes in case you needed some sunshine on a dark day. But of course I have to thank my Uncle Erick, my brother, for introducing me to The Bee Gees and Player back in the day when he wore his bell bottoms, and then later the Doobie Brothers. Rest In Peace brother. The music still brings memories of him playing his records and talking to his girlfriend and me teasing him about being “in looooooove”. I still actually have his Bee Gees albums and it rocks to own something so cool from my uncle. Even though the songs are just pulling at your heart they still make me smile because … well it’s The Bee Gees with their awesome hair.

And Michael McDonnald. Do you know how silky soulful this dude is? So good he’s got me feeling again. Trust that his voice hangs on to you for an extra minute. Definitely makes you want to groove out.

JuanGa and Pedrito just got me dancing to the beat. It was saucy. They filled the moments with awesome voices and good dance vibes. Even some smiles. And nowadays if you can get something that makes you smile, hold onto it for a beat. Enjoy. Pass it along.

Taking it to the Streets -Doobie Brothers

Yo No Fui – Pedro Fernandez

Baby Come Back – Player

Too Much Heaven — Bee Gees

Hasta Que Te Conoci – Juan Gabriel

Buen Camino my friends!

Peace and Love to The Heartbroken …

25 May

Feeling a little Bangles today.

A little Manic Monday.

People excited about the 3-day weekend but didn’t really feel like one since we’ve been on hiatus for about two months. The Outdoors packed with crowds because apparently everyone is a Bear Grylls Adventurer on the trails. But we never hit hiking on weekends, even before Covid. In fact we seldom go hiking and enjoy the beach or sports in the park more. But we did neither.

No hockey, baseball, or softball tournaments at all this weekend. And it did throw us off a bit. First time in about four years. But this weekend we still had a BBQ and feel good songs hanging in our tiny little space out back. A family affair, the mini version.

But in between the sunshine and good food I still thought about many who have recently sacrificed their lives so others could live. So I could hang out in the hot sun and take deep breaths as I looked up at the clouds.

So I took a moment this weekend and paused. Paused for gratitude. Grateful for life even if it’s restricted I still have it and not many can say that. Over 100,000 in my neck of the woods cannot. Some giving theirs in a fight.

And with all this ugliness out there these people gave someone else a chance, or at least they tried to. They were the positive in someone else’s most negative moment. So I paused for them. Reflecting.

And I pass this along as I saw it online. Made an impression on me. It is not a complete list of course, but was gathered by a guy who cared enough to go through different portals and compile a list with the information that was available. I’m humbled by their selflessness and saddened for their families. Sending peace and love to the heartbroken.

Stay on the Buen Camino friends!

We’re In This Together … Sort Of

18 May

So finishing week five and six of distance learning with the kids and I’ve come to understand one thing … we’re all in this, but not together.

I’ve learned that acquaintances are not that great during a pandemic.

There’s nothing wrong with that, acquaintances serve a different purpose in your life. Sometimes company while you’re waiting for a ride, sometimes chatting about the downfalls of your home team, sometimes moaning about the daily parenthood grind, sometimes high-fiving each other when your kids hit a double, or score a goal, or sometimes they serve up interesting stories to pass the time. Everything remains on the surface.

But it doesn’t go beyond that.

Once school finishes, once the season is over, once you move onto another job, the acquaintanceship is done no hard feelings. You expect it to run its course. And sometimes through these acquaintances a true friendship forms, and you get to know each other better. Things develop and a genuine bond forms that lasts more than the school year, or work schedule.

Now prior to this Covid-19 I had a set of friends and a set of acquaintances. I thought I knew where each one stood in this Venn Diagram of life. But apparently pandemics seem to shed light on a lot of matters. They highlight what was already there. One-sided relationships, good friendships, and acquaintances. It was there you must not have been paying attention. Your focus was off.

During this pandemic I knew the acquaintances would disappear. In crises you count on friends. That was expected. I thought one or two might cross over to the other side, but wasn’t surprised when it didn’t happen. Like if I had a flat tire and didn’t have AAA, I probably wouldn’t call any of them for help.

But what did surprise me was that a few of the people that were in the friends column ended up going over to the acquaintance file.

Apparently I had served my purpose of comic relief.

I was surprised.

I thought since I had known them for over 10 years and that we shared moments, family stories, and drama I thought we were under the friendship column. I had gone way passed superficial chatter.

I know everyone handles crises differently and everyone is concerned with work, family, and loved ones. There’s stress and strain affecting every relationship. But friendships matters. They keep you sane, and give you an outlet, give you someone to lean on and lets someone lean on you.

I’ve learned that I’m a really good friend and that sometimes people’s plates are at capacity no matter how good of a friend you are … they’re just not that into you. They’ve got what they’ve got. Their plate is full.

And so you let go, just like you did with others.

They’ve got friends that provide something that they need and that’s okay. It happens in phases. From college, to the workforce, to marriage, to parenthood. Each stage a couple come with you, a couple leave, and then you gain a few new ones.

Hakuna Matada.

And now a new phase. The pandemic.

People focus on what is essential … things that make them happy, keep them going, give them a smile, make them laugh, and keep them strong. Sometimes that’s family. Sometimes that’s your kids. Sometimes it’s a good book. Sometimes it’s a favorite show. Sometimes it’s music. Sometimes it’s art. Sometimes it’s your writing buddies on WordPress. Sometimes it’s exercise that keeps you sane.

And sometimes it’s friends, but not acquaintances. Friends get phone calls, and reply to text messages usually within 20 minutes, unless driving is involved. Acquaintances get text message and reply 24 hours later, maybe. And sometimes no call back at all.

We’re in this together… sort of.

So call your friends 🙂 they might have become someone else’s acquaintance so they’d like to hear from you. They might be going through job loss, family stress, anxiety, health issues, loneliness, or distance learning with kids allllllll day.

Buen Camino my friends!

This Mother’s Day Banking on Small Moments, No Chores, and Mixed Tape Soundtracks

9 May

Wishing so much to travel and be outdoors with nature this Mother’s Day Weekend, and not being able to is a bummer. Not devastating mind you, just a bummer. This is the one day out of 365 days where it’s all right to think of myself and not feel guilty.

One day.

24 hours.

Now granted I have to go on a cleaning marathon the day before with the bathrooms, the laundry, the vacuum, the mop, and the dishes, but at least that gives me a day of nothing on Sunday. Can’t say what’s waiting for me on Monday, but Sunday is clear.

24 hours.

I’ll take it.

Even if it’s indoors.

Usually I’m sitting at the ballpark cheering for my Boys in Blue hanging with my family, enjoying the sunny day and loving the little moments in between the Big League hits. The smiles of my kids as we finally reach our seats, the view of the field with newly cut grass cut in patterns, the high fives when home rubs make an appearance, the walk-up-to-the-plate songs, the bloopers on the Jumbotron, the seventh inning stretch, Clayton pitching, Justin swinging away, and Max making great plays.

But I know this isn’t for everyone.

I know some people go all out in their Sunday best with fancy church hats and heels to champagne brunch and that’s super great! Maybe I’ll do that one day.

But I’m good with jeans and a baseball cap, Dodgerdog, peanuts, and a special beverage. Simple things like that always made my day. They make me smile. Everything but the parking situation makes me smile. That’s just a whole lot of patience required after all the goodness … but it’s kind of like a regular mom day. Highs and lows.

But if my team wasn’t in town I’d drive down to the beach and spend the day with the waves, boogie boarding, feeling the ocean wash over my toes, and hanging out underneath my red Tommy Bahama umbrella. Soaking up the sun and feeling the magic that comes with living near an ocean is something that always makes me feel good Mother’s Day Weekend.

Either way I’d have a plan, and this time, even though I can’t enjoy the Great Outdoors, or cheer my Boys in Blue to celebrate my momness, I still have a plan, I guess. Just a little different this time around.

I mean I can’t say I’m angry about it at all. I’m healthy, kids are healthy. We have each other, we have family. We have food, shelter, and what we need. We haven’t suffered a Covid-19 tragedy, we’ve been one of the lucky ones. Don’t live in epicenters like New York, but just in my city alone, not my state, but my city there’s been over 30,000 cases. I recently heard that someone I went to school with died from it. Age 44. Just like that.

So even though there’s no Mother’s Day celebration I’m grateful that we’ve been lucky. Being careful and following rules have helped us out, because sometimes even when you do the right thing, there are others that don’t, and it puts everyone at risk. Even the young healthy 44 year-old guys who have little daughters.

So the fact that I’ll have restrictions this Mother’s Day doesn’t necessarily burst my bubble. It’s not miserable. It’s an opportunity to make another good story. As in, you remember the time there was the Coronavirus and we were sheltering in place, but we still rocked that Mother’s Day?

Making stories is what keeps us going. When looking back most of the time they’re the more interesting or funny stories. Sometimes they’re sad, that’s true, but most times in retrospect they’re not. They bring smiles and laughter at how you can’t believe how you got through it all. Your resolve impresses you.

It’s a date on a calendar to be recognized, yes. But celebrations can wait until it’s safe. There will be so many celebrations when this is all over. But don’t get me wrong, there’s still life, and adventure just a different way of going about it.

There will be chocolate. Definitely. Chocolate and maybe a scenic drive where we can enjoy panoramic views from the highway while listening to our own soundtrack. This year, this Mother’s Day we’re banking on the little things, small moments, a mixed tape, and no chores done by me.

But until then I send you sunshine and waves from months and months ago 🙂

Buen Camino!