Tag Archives: blogging

I Broke Up And Didn’t Even Know It …

10 Oct

I had a breakthrough.

I just had it! Wanted it a couple of weeks ago, needed it a couple of weeks ago, but things don’t tend to happen on your timeline.

But it happened. I was on a roll and it culminated with the awesomeness of a Zac Brown Band concert.

Dude.

I was going to tell you about my Anti-Dentite moment just for laughs, because that’s exactly how I found myself at the dentist’s office, contemplating between two of the worst possible choices presented to me, and instead of freaking out right away,which would have been the normal reaction, I guess. I started cracking up, at the absurdity of the choice, but I’ll save that for your Monday and hope to get you smiling at the beginning of the week.

Now this post … Tonight on my Netflix Night, I stand at peace thinking of the writer’s block I just Ninja-ed my way through. I was on a serious creativity drought where I found myself bored with my character and the thing is … She isn’t boring. I was super pumped when I started this literary journey. Tuning in night after night just to see how it all panned out. I was totally into her. Totally.

But then … I don’t know. The spark fizzled out.

I think reading it for the thousandth time and rewriting, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting it … I was like duuuuuuude I don’t want hear it. Enough with your life chick. Enough!

I couldn’t get my groove back and it didn’t help that the weeks were filled with the daily chaos that lives in the nooks and crannies of every mom’s life, the one that exhausts you because you got very little help, the one that you love and dislike at the same time, but the one that you’re super grateful for at the end of the day. You’re tired and grateful at the same time.

Yup.

That’s how I found myself at the end of the night, just wanting to unwind, with no creative energy pumping through my veins and onto the page. I had broken up with my main character and didn’t even know it. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been so into your story but then after weeks of editing you feel like … yeah it’s not me, it’s you, has that ever happened?

But after a couple of weeks … I found myself searching for her again and reacquainting myself with that badass quirky character.

I snapped out of it.

I found inspiration through podcasts that I had no idea existed.

I got some Magic Lessons from Elizabeth Gilbert, soulful help from Rob Bell, and a dream chasing curiosity session on The Nerdist featuring Brian Grazer.

I stumbled across this podcasts phenomenon by accidentally tapping on the icon in my phone and then bam! Before I knew it I was rewriting like I meant it, not just getting through the pages but reconnecting with my character, Ms. Elena, watching her future unfold and cracking up as I remembered why she was created in the first place. I reconnected with inception. I didn’t want to break up again.

I saw the Big Picture again. I saw myself reading excerpts at Vromans Bookstore and Barnes&Noble, I saw myself listening to people laugh at the story, I saw myself signing copies (at Costco maybe), I saw myself in my white tent at the annual Festival of Books, I saw myself smiling because I had a copy of my novel in my hands.

So the podcasts lit the fire and I wasn’t burning daylight or midnight anymore.

Writing and rewriting everyday…consistently. Yup consistently, which has always been a technical difficulty for me.

But I had a breakthrough  … All because of an accidental push of a button.

I like those kinds of happy accidents, because most the ones that happen to me suck. Majorly suck.

So I high-fived myself at the end of these two weeks. I let my freak flag fly at the Zac Brown Band Concert and I rocked out with the sold-out crowd, celebrating my accomplishment and enjoying the sounds of the best country band to play under the stars.

It was a great reward for keeping this writer workout going. No more break-ups here.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

5 Oct
Boundaries...

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Breaking through boundaries is fun sometimes …

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Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of the Daily Post.

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Failure Happens More Than Once But You Still Recover … Just Ask Meg Ryan

2 Oct

I’ve always been scared of it, but realized now that I’m 40, I’ve reached the top level. Yup I’m close to Jedi Status on this one, but seeing how I still have blow ups and meltdowns, I can’t say I’ve reached the elite Zen level.

But I’m close.

I’ve become really close with it, my twenties and thirties were definitely times where failure and I became bosom buddies. And the truth is I hated failing. I didn’t look forward to that experience, or toward searching through the pain and heartache to learn the lesson that was hiding. No one does, really.

Failure is a hard thing to come back from, but I’ve realized I do a good job of it.

Relationships, family bonds, friendships, job interviews, career breaks, story writing, novel writing, article writing … I’ve had failure on every level, the most epic being parent failure as I feel that no matter how hard I try I seem to always fall short to some degree. There’s always some variation of failure staring at me by Friday night.

But the thing is I’ve learned to always get up and I don’t know if it stems from all the experience, or if it’s an inherent quality in my underdog mentality, but I first noticed it back in college when I saw a Meg Ryan flick.

Now, I don’t know if most of you are aware of Meg Ryan, but she was my 90s girl with films like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and City of Angels. She took over where Molly Ringwald left off

She was my go-to chick flick, and it was because of her that I first realized … anything can go wrong. Anything and everything. It can, and there’s nothing you can do to prepare for something like that.

I was reminded of this just recently when I saw my favorite Meg Ryan movie for like the thousandth time. French Kiss.

The thing is, I don’t think it was a blockbuster or made millions, in fact some people probably hated it. But for me it was such a great movie. It highlighted the fact that failure happens, even when you do everything right, it will happen to you. It will. Somewhere on your timeline failure will hit you and it’ll feel like you can’t breathe, that you can’t get up because the air has been knocked out of you, that the humiliation, embarrassment, anger, hurt, or sadness of it all won’t let you. The weight will be heavy.

Sometimes failure won’t hit you all at once, it’s peppered throughout a decade, other times it will all hit you in a week.

No matter how great a person you are, you will have a relationship that will fail and leave you listening to 80s love songs. You will break your straight A streak with a C+ in statistics and find yourself eating pints of Ben & Jerry’s just to get through it. You will be replaceable in a job where you thought you would never be forgotten. You will not get the job after that kickass interview. You will fall down, even when someone is not trying to trip you.

Yup I think Meg’s the reason why I realized I could get back up. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the story is about a woman who has her white-picket fence dream fall apart when her fiance leaves her, and she ends up flying to France to confront him. The story follows the physical and emotional adventure that happens because of this choice.

But best of all the film shows you someone whose world falls apart, the big things come crashing down, and then on top of that, the little things follow that same route. Failure rains down. It did on her and it does on us.

But she doesn’t give up.

Failure happened, it tore her apart and left her crying in some strange country but she kept going. She woke up and she kept going. Failure didn’t kill her, although it might have felt that way, but it didn’t. She got up and she kept trying.

I love watching this movie just to get that feeling, that sense that … dude you can get up after failure. You can and you should, because it’s probably going to happen again and you need to be standing when it does. The recovery is easier.  But you still recover if you’re on the floor, just takes a little bit longer.

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Mixed Tape Monday

28 Sep

So I was able to go back in time and tap into my days of Levis Jeans, Lucky Charms, and yellow neon attire in order to create another awesome 80s mix tape for a friend who celebrated the big 4-0 milestone this weekend.

I actually love making these for my comadres as I can’t remember ever getting one myself back in the day. I remember getting tapes, and I was grateful for those, but no one seemed to give me enough thought back then to take the time to make one of these for me.

But I get it … it took a while to listen to the radio for that one song to come out, to hear it in the privacy of the late night so that no one would interrupt your kick-ass mix by yelling at you for not picking something up, and then you had to hit the red record button at just the right moment so that you didn’t get the DJ calling out “THIS IS LOVE SONGS ON POWER 106!” Sometimes this was a two-man kind of job.

You had to reeeeeeaaaally love someone to go through all that.

I get it.

It wasn’t easy in those days, but plenty of people got them. I’d see them in the front pocket of their Jansport backpacks with some awesome artwork attached to the cover. I’d seen it! So I knew they existed. I knew it. They were out there … those 60 minutes of undying teenage love, and if you were lucky enough to get one … duuuuuuude.

So thinking back on how awesome it would have felt to get me one of those, I thought I’d make my own mix tapes for each of my comadres on their 40th birthdays to show them how special they were to me and how important their friendship has been throughout the years. Maybe they’d get that awesome I’m-special-to-someone-teenage feeling that escaped me during Marty McFly days.

Maybe, I’d take them way back, to a time with great memories and bad hair. Each friend has brought something different to my life and I’m grateful for what I’ve learned from them. Vero, brought me friendship without judgement, support, laughter, mom advice, a shoulder to lean on, and hard truths with a graceful touch.

This weekend she celebrated with a surprise party, and they pulled it off. She was definitely surprised, although I didn’t see it because I had carpooled with someone and we managed to arrive just as she was entering the venue. So we hid behind clear glass and a rubber tree plant.

Good thing she didn’t turn around.

We celebrated the night away with good conversation, laughs, and music. This was her mix tape.

Two Occasions – The Deele

Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore — REO Speedwagon

Love You Down — Ready for the World

I Got You Babe — UB40

One More Night — Phil Collins

Head Over Heals — Tears for Fears

Cool It Now — New Edition

The Way You Make Me Feel — Michael Jackson

More Than a Woman — The Bee Gees

Mas Que Tu Amigo — Marco Antonio Solis

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Don’t Worry About Whose Got Next, I’ve Got Now

18 Sep

Whenever anyone talks about a 39-year-old guy, they don’t really refer to him as old, unless the person you’re talking to is a teenager, who incidentally thinks anyone over 25 is old.

Yup.

39 is the new 29, you’re “still young,” unless you’re Peyton Manning.

After getting off to a slow start and throwing an interception, which was returned for a Kansas City touchdown, commentators, analysts, sports journalists and fans alike began their “I don’t know what he’s doing here, he should have already be retired…he ain’t got it anymore, he’s too old to be out there …” speeches. Apparently his demise was already here and Kansas City was there to witness it. They had his AARP card ready to go.

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A Kansas City Chiefs fan holds a sign about Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during the first half ... (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

A Kansas City Chiefs fan holds a sign about Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during the first half … (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

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But a lot can happen in nine seconds.

A lot.

Even when you are 39.

And especially if you’re name is Peyton Manning.

Despite the doubt and rampant disbelief in his ability to be awesome, I heard it. OMAHA! OMAHA! HUT! HUT!

I saw it.

I bared witness to what I always believed and others doubted.

A comeback.

With everyone in the stadium doubting his ability and skill, Peyton set the record straight. The Broncos set the record straight, with two touchdowns in nine seconds. Yeah … they sent that AARP card back.

You see while everyone was scrutinizing everything about him, because he was what they considered too old, he was out there knowing full well that they knew nothing about him. He believed even though many others didn’t. During crunch time he wanted the ball because he knew he could deliver and he did, 80 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown, with 36 seconds left.

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John Rieger -USA Today Sports

John Rieger -USA Today Sports

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Yeah, everybody seemed to forget who he was, but he quietly reminded them, with 256 yards for the night.

Don’t Worry About Who’s Got Next, I’ve Got Now. — The Roots

I love it when sports reminds you of a valuable life lesson. Just because everybody’s saying you can’t, doesn’t mean you can’t. They don’t know you, they don’t know what you’re capable of, they just think they do. Don’t let the voices of negativity cloud your mind, affect your judgement, or alter your path. You are a badass, at 39 or at any age. You’re on the runway to success, and nobody can hit the breaks, but you.

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I Love His Thoughts On Gluten

26 Aug
Heck yeah I bought it!

Heck yeah I bought it.

Chocolate And Comedy?

Dude.

I should have bought more than just one.

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Today … Joanna Was My Exception Joanna And Her Six

19 Aug

Normally I don’t … I just don’t.

But the title caught my eye.

Six Things I Wish I’d Known About Marriage When I Was …

Dude I was like wait … only six? I would have waaaaaaaaaaayyyyy more.

So I got curious, and it wasn’t so much the information, it was the fact that I thought, dude I could have written this article. I definitely had plenty of lessons. I definitely had plenty I-Wish-I-Would-Have-Known moments. I totally could have had a byline on the front page of a magazine. Totally. Who was this chick and what were these six?

So I went against my instinct and clicked on the link.

I had to, I had to find out if the pretend article in my head would be better than what was posted on this major site. And the thing is I never do. I don’t. I stopped reading stuff like this after my 20s. In fact I bet you did too. I bet you didn’t even click the link I posted.

I bet, and you know why?

The majority of these articles are a load of crap. All these relationship articles out there claiming to know the secrets of marriage, or the top ten things your wife really wants, or ten things to never do in front of a guy, or what your husband is really thinking, or do these four things just like so-so celebrity and your partner will thank you for life.

Dude this was crap. It wasn’t like it was Oprah or anything.

I was already reaching 30 and decided I had to stop. I had too.

None of those articles out there had my life, my dudes, my problems. They knew very little of what my ideal relationship should be, so I just quit all of them because you know what? There is no secret to marriage. It’s work. Hard work, but it’s worth it with the right partner. It’s worth it and if I needed advice I’d probably ask a friend how she made it work. That’s real to me.

So I don’t do it anymore. I had stopped doing it. I made the rule and that was that. No exception. Nope. None. I’m done wasting time with that nonsense. Now I stand there in the grocery store line, waiting to pay, and I ignore the crap out of all those magazines with some hot chick on the cover they think I want to be like and I focus more on whether I brought the right coupons and people watching.

People watching at the market rocks. Makes for good material and characters in stories.

But this time I wasn’t at the store. I opened up my computer, clicked my Firefox 30.0 and waited for my homepage to appear and then there it was staring at me.

Six Things I Wish I’d Know About Marriage When I Was …

I thought yeah I wish I knew some things. I wish.

Six huh? Just six.

And so I clicked.

I read.

I was like Amen sister! Preach! Preach! I’ll testify. I’ll testify tonight.

Yup. For once they got it right. This chic Joanna Schroeder rocked those six lessons, I would have added a few more in my case, but overall I think she covered some ground. I don’t know what else she writes but this one was right on the mark.

Today … Joanna was my exception. Joanna and her six.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

12 Aug
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Discovering geological finds beneath our feet.

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Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

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How Do You Wake Up In The Mornings?

10 Aug
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I learned that if I’m going to make it through the day, whether I know it’s going to be a crappy one or a great one, it all depends on how I roll out bed. Now mind you I’ve never been a morning person, never woke up with that bolt of lightning at 5 a.m. and was ready to rock.

Nope.

I’ve got to get myself ready to rock. It doesn’t seem to happen naturally for someone like myself, or for anyone that isn’t a morning person really.

And if you’ve got kids … forget about it.

You see, I’ve got kids and those of you without them can usually sleep in until maybe 9 a.m. on weekends, have a great lazy morning and enjoy the quiet of the day before it really begins.

You see when you’ve got kids you forget what it felt like to sleep in, although I imagine it gets better when they get older. But by that time in your life you’ve become a serious night owl waiting up for them making sure they made it home safely. But for now I’m still in the they-wake-me-up-way-too-early phase. Are you parent? Does this happen to you?

Yeah.

They usually wake me up all on their own at 6 a.m. whether we have to be somewhere or not. They’re the ever so reliable solar powered alarm clock with no snooze button.

So I’ve learned, sleep deprivation is just part of early parenthood. Maybe it continues I don’t know. But I’m in full swing right now.

I’ve learned how to bring The Guat back to Guat so early in the morning.

I’ve made some adjustments. Coffee would be a great pick-me-up and I know people who can’t live without it, but I’m not a big coffee drinker. I’m probably the only person on Earth that isn’t a morning coffee drinker, a parent non-coffee drinker. Who ever heard of such a thing?

But I’ve learned to function without coffee. I’ve learned that I need a moment of Zen before my kids wake up. I hate waking up at sunrise, but I hate it even more when I can’t get it together, when I’m going through the motions, or when I’m feeling off. It’s ugly.

Everything depends on how you wake up in the morning.

So no matter how painful, I wake up before they do, even if it’s just ten minutes and I get my ten minutes to start the day. In quiet. In peace. In meditative state. If it’s 30 minutes, which it usually is these days I get in work out mode, visualization mode, gratitude mode and Zen mode and it’s all good … because then I can get in The Guat mode.

Hope you get into your mode this morning.

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Catching Moments

7 Aug

I catch them more often now.

The moments.

I catch them and they stay with me. Sometimes they’re amazing, spectacular, fireworks type of experiences. Other times they’re quiet. This one was simple. It was a pretty simple moment, something that might not be significant to others, something that might not even be Facebook or Instagram-worthy to others, but it mattered to me.

And the fact that I knew it mattered made me smile.

I didn’t miss it and that made me think of my Dad. He would have been happy that I didn’t miss it. I sat there and held onto it …

Do you see the jaguars? :)

Do you see the jaguars? 🙂

We hiked up hills and walked through sunlit pathways checking out zebras, orangutangs, hippos, silverback gorillas, meerkats, and elephants. We explored all kinds of animal behavior but it wasn’t until we reached a quiet spot in the rainforest area near the jaguar exhibit when it happened. That’s when I caught it.

We decided to sit on the bench, a place we all looked forward to, seems that with all that walking we developed a deep appreciation for the shade. I opened up the Batman lunchbox and passed out the mortadella sandwiches, Goldfishes, and CapriSuns. We talked about the favorite parts of the day and sat still in this man made environment that felt pretty real.

Then in mid conversation my daughter stood up and walked over to the glass for a closer look at a rainforest ambiance and then the Jaguars that everybody had been wanting to see, but couldn’t because they were hiding in their own awesome shade walked on over and stood in front of my daughter. She didn’t take a step back, she took a step forward. She didn’t turn away, she looked closer.

Jaguars are pretty amazing animals, they provide you with the stop-and-stare kind of moments. And just then things went in slow motion and I was grateful for it. Happy that my kids were discovering something that mesmerized them, happy that they had front-row seats (something that rarely happens for us), happy that I was part of that and grateful that I had noticed, I had caught the moment.

Here’s hoping that you keep catching yours.

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