Tag Archives: feel good Friday

Feel Good 5 Friday … on a Saturday Night..

3 Jul

Rebounding.

It takes a lot of out of you.  The energy of getting back up when you’ve been knocked down takes some extra umph.

Back in the day when Showtime ruled the hardwood floors, Chick Hearn crushed the airwaves. The game was in the refrigerator, the door was closed, the lights were out, eggs cooling, butter was getting hard, and the Jello was jiggling … and there was AC Green. Magic was well …  Magic with no look passes, and clutch shots he helped ignite a comeback when they were down by 5 with 10 seconds to go. Worthy was the finish man, catching those no-look passes and taking them to the basket. Kareem was the Skyhook champ, couldn’t beat him. Michael Cooper wore the long socks and nailed three-pointers from anywhere around the perimeter. Anywhere. He was money. And then there was AC Green.

The Rebound Man.

Sure. Kareem had plenty. He was the Big Man. But AC was a forward and he was still battling.

Up in the air fighting elbows, and over the shoulder fouls, there he was grabbing the rebound, boxing out, putting it up for two on the offense, or sending the outlet pass for a fast break or an offense about to storm the other side. He battled in the paint, he battled outside of it. He rebounded.

He was not the biggest on the team but he fought on the boards.

I remembered AC and the work he put in just recently. Rebounding takes a lot out of you and sometimes you don’t even know if you have anything left in the tank. The patience and grace you got may have run out by 11 a.m. on some days and then you realize you still have a long ways to go. You’ve given up on the day. That’s it. You want to just lie down on the couch for 24 hours until time resets the day for you. Sometimes I feel like that. Just sitting there with some dark chocolate Kit Kats and taking deep breaths and hoping for a miracle.

But most of the time you have to make your own magic happen. Just the way it is and resetting is step one. But that’s hard when you’re feeling dejected, and just not feeling an ounce of gratitude, can’t find nothing in that reserve. Giving up on the day feels necessary. Just logical.

But sometimes breaking your day up in quarters might help. Morning, Lunch Time, Afternoon, and Night.  Just because one quarter went bad doesn’t mean the entire game is lost, it may in some instances, but you still have three quarters to bounce back, to rebound.

You’re still AC Green.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. I know. Believe me. Two kids, distance learning done, Summer Break in full effect, tight budget so you’re job hunting while working on an independent project, in addition to having family that isn’t really supportive or uplifting. This type of negative environment could be difficult to survive. The everyday stresses compounding with personal setbacks make it difficult to find the daily gratitude. Some people turn to different outlets to survive. Alcohol. Smoking. Those are popular. But because my uncle died of cancer, and he didn’t smoke, and my Dad passed away of lung disease, brought on by second-hand smoke, asbestos, or who knows what, that’s not a cool option for me. Alcoholism runs in my family so I don’t turn to it in troubled times. I got random bouts of profanity in the solitude of my locked car, exercise, nature, and music. That’s what’s in my tank. 

Then sometimes I think of AC Green. Still rebounding in the 4th quarter because the game isn’t over.

I got one quarter left in me. That’s what comes to mind and then soon enough I find bits and pieces of gratitude moments. Blueberry pancakes.  30-minute Pearl Jam yoga with Denis Morton in the morning.  Strength workout where I find a faint sculpting of my arms in effect. Dark Chocolate. Gas in the car. Giving a ride to my neighbor. 80’s music on the way there. 70’s on the way back. Entering a contest. My team winning tonight after nine innings. Clean sheets and the cool side of the pillow.

And sometimes that’s just enough to cross the finish line.

Buen Camino, my friends …

 

 

 

 

The Police – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

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Carlos Vives and Ricky Martin — Cancion Bonita

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CCR – Have You Ever Seen The Rain

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Electric Light Orchestra — Mr. Blue Sky

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Donna Summer — Last Dance

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Feel Good 5 Friday

11 Jun

I found myself at the bottom of a Famous Amos Chocolate Chip bag.

It was the necessary and required amount of comfort needed.

Sometimes things go your way, and other times they just don’t. A job offer you were expecting to come in, comes back with, we decided to go in a different direction, a promotion you thought you were going to get goes to the nephew of the guy in charge, a test result you thought would be favorable comes back as a reality check, a grant you were hoping would help catapult your project into the next phase is instead welcomed with a letter that starts off with … unfortunately. There could be more scenarios out there causing a massive downers on everyone’s day.

You feel like crap and totally want to reach for another bag.

You sit there contemplating your next move, wondering what’s it going to be.

You feel like you just struck out at the bottom of the ninth, with runner in scoring position on a 3-2 count, or maybe like missing that crucial buzzer beater with your team down by one point.

So where do you go from there?

After going through the different stages of sadness and disappointment because I got to get them all out. I needed to put one foot in front of the other and find something … something that I was grateful for, some potential, some pint-size of positivity I could cling to during a not-so positive moment. It’s hard finding something you’re grateful for when you feel like you’re in a pretty crappy stage. But even if it’s small, like going for a swim, run, bike ride, or dance. Eating great food. Beach therapy day. Trying a new adventure. Reading a good story. A friend. A cool sunset.

Something positive is out there.

When I’m driving and I’ve got the bad news, the music is my savior. Changing the stations I end up listening to a tune I hadn’t heard in months, sometimes years. But just in case the radio doesn’t have it, I’ve got that go-to playlist. The one you listen to when you’re running and you want to feel powerful, or the one you listen to when you want to celebrate something good in your life, or the one you listen to while you’re driving, the one that gets you dancing at every stop light, or the ones where you just want to feel sad and the soulful sounds help you because someone has been where you are and feels what you fell.

Go-to songs have a way of turning the corner when you need something to push you in the right direction. That lift. You have some for different circumstances in your life.

I always got a couple that make it happen for me … but that one song … the one that makes me smile and just feel good is Katrina … Katrina and her Waves. That song just makes me smile and feel good. Makes the morning better. Makes the run stronger. Makes the care ride better. Walking on Sunshine is a feeling I’d like to take with me. It’s been on my Feel Good 5 Friday before and maybe even in my mixed-tape series. But that’s the song … that’s the one that does it for me. That and probably the Jefferson’s Theme Song. But since we’re not talking about theme songs, I’d have to go with my girl Katrina 🙂 Everyone has got one.

So I pressed play and tried to get the tunes to change the state of mind. For some reason if I’m outdoors or in the car it seems to work a lot better.

And so my journey began.

In the music I found gratitude bits and pieces and slowly started to get out of the funk. Feeling the rhythm and the beat. Singing at full volume in the car. Found parking and still left the music on, jamming and starting to feel different. And then I received a text message.

A friend of mine had won a Pulitzer.

Dude.

Duuuuuuuuuude.

Have you ever heard some spectacular news, I mean something that didn’t even have to do with you, but something for someone else, and it made you so happy. I mean genuinely happy.

I was so happy for them that I completely forgot about my own troubles, my own day and smiled because something good happened to a friend of mine. Hard worker, filled with determination and grit. I was proud to have known them. Good things happen to good people. They do. And that right there made me happy.

Buen Camino …

Walking on Sunshine — Katrina & The Waves

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Homegrown — Zac Brown Band

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No Tengo Dinero — Juan Gabriel

Livin’ on a Prayer — Jon Bon Jovi

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Never Know — Jack Johnson

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Feel Good 5 Friday … on a Saturday Night that turned to Sunday

6 Jun

Cherry Garcia.

I can’t believe I had never tried it until yesterday.

Sometimes you go into the freezer to grab a celebratory treat, satisfy a sweet tooth, or comfort after a bad day. Motivation behind the freezer-reach is different but the result is the same.

Feeling good.

Sometimes it’s a great run. Sometimes is a funny show. Sometimes the sweet tunes of a mixed tape. Sometimes Ben & Jerry’s.

As I mentioned before, I was only introduced to Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead in college, freshman year. Music setting a feel-good vibe. And today’s discovery of this sweet, creamy ice cream flavor, tagged with music, was definitely my jam.

Sometimes choices and options are so popular you avoid them because everybody does it and that turns you off. You like to set your path. Other times you just never get around to it, until you do.

Has that ever happened? You just never tried something, even in the midst of popular opinion, just never got around to it? A friend of mine had never seen I Love Lucy. Someone else had never done a 5k. Another friend said she’d never gone to the snow, which made me think that many people had never gone to a beach or a desert. Someone else had never baked a cake, not even the Betty Crocker kind. Another friend had never tried to play a musical instrument, which made me think that some people may never have tried dancing. Made me curious as to why people just don’t get around to trying something new that almost everyone has already gotten to experience. Doesn’t have to be any of this stuff, as geography and money can factor into certain experiences. But trying something new probably means paying attention to what your path looks like, and whether new experiences can help enrich your life, or not. Sometimes it’s a risk. Sometimes trying something new is part of the act of self-care. Doesn’t have to be something big, adventurous, popular, or expensive. Just something new.

I had never tried Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

It’s not a big deal. It was just a thing that surprised me.

I’d always seen in it in the freezer next to my Chunky Monkey and Cookie Dough, but never wanted to try it, really. I like cherries, but not maraschino cherries. Sometimes I worry about the risk of trying something new and then it burning me out because it turns out bad. Wasting money. But then maybe it’s not a waste if it allows you to get to know yourself better. Likes and dislikes.

An awesome moment of hard work led to the freezer section of the Smart&Final. Reward in Aisle 2. But a bad encounter that evening, involving an argument and a putdown, led to pop open that top and try something new.

Excelsior.

Cherry Garcia hit that spot. Blocked the negative and made way for the positive. Sometimes trying something new does that for me. Sometimes it’s exercise. Sometimes it’s laughter. And sometimes it’s good music. Like Feel Good 5 Friday on any day.

Buen Camino …

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Feel Good 5 Friday… Jalapeño Cornbread and Timeouts

28 May

Jalapeño Corn Bread.

That right there did it for me.

The week of frustration, headaches, couple migraines, Friday looked good to me. Crossed that finish line.

There I was winding down the week high-fiving myself as I managed both a 4th and 7th grade curriculum. Distance learning done! And we move on! Kids were happy, I was happy. Feeling like the strut of a Bee Gees music video.

After all the Zoom Meetings, attendance records, and extra everything going on this year I was so glad to have conquered it.

Check.

That’s when the Jalapeño Corn Bread just came into my life and made for such an amazing feeling. You know when the food is so good, that you pause, you just close your eyes and take a breath. You’re about to take a knee it’s so good but then you just dance with your stank face on. Just bust a move. It’s in your spirt.

That was me and the warm, crumbly, soft Jalapeño Cornbread.

First time I’ve ever tasted it and guaranteed it won’t be the last. I am on it. This southern comfort food place in the neighborhood that I’d never tried and the cornbread made me a fan.

Nothing like sitting in the peace and quiet of your car, picking up the food and peeking in the bag just for a minute to discover a warm goodness in its steamy container. This is the moment that you remember… hey the airplane people always say put your mask on first and then … THEN … put your child’s mask on. That’s what they say and so I did.

I stayed in that parking lot and took some time. I smelled the sweet aroma, took a bite of that top edge and instantly knew this was gonna be a good evening. I sat back in the driver’s seat.

C’mon now, you better eat, girl. I turned up that Hall and Oates jam on the radio and the next six minutes of jams and tastiness made for an epic soundtrack of self-care. A timeout. Sometimes you just need a timeout, you need to tag someone in, but sometimes there is no someone, so you need a timeout, a brief moment to get back to Zen, to restore. Timeouts are important.

If you haven’t tried corn bread yet, jalapeño cornbread, I highly encourage it. Changes your good Friday into a great Friday! Reminds you to take a minute for yourself, a minute, and just enjoy something, you deserve it.

Buen Camino my friends!

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.Hall and Oates — You Make My Dreams

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Fania All Stars with Oscar De Leon, El Canario, Milly Quezada — Quitate Tu

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Chic — Good Times

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Billy Idol — Mony, Mony

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Glenn Frey — The Heat is On

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Feel Good 5 Friday … Speeches

21 May

I gave a speech.

Most of the time when I talk I got two television-watching adolescents zoning me out as they watch episodes of their newest show on Netflix or DisneyPlus. But this time I had people paying attention for more than just a minute, or at least it looked that way on Zoom.

An old friend asked for a favor, and even though I thought she probably could have gotten a bigger cheese, you know someone with CEO after their name, I stepped up to the plate and gave my advice and thoughts to a few college graduates.

I hadn’t spoken in front of a group in years, I hadn’t been asked to give a speech before. I mean coaching my kids’ teams I give pep talks and all that, but a formal speech was something different. It was a new experience that just landed on my doorstep and even though I was a bit hesitant I gave in to the opportunity. I remembered that Jim Carrey movie, a while back Yes, Man. He wanted to change his life, as it wasn’t going the way he thought it would. Negative and unhappy with his unfulfillment. He sees the power in yes and it sparks change in him and his life.

And so I Yessssssed my way into that speech and inspired a few women along the way. At least I hope. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be, perhaps the fact that it was on Zoom, maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t speaking to a crowded stadium. Maybe they all played a role in making the whole production less overwhelming. Speeches can feel that way I guess.

But I felt good about it. I tried to send out those good vibes you need, the kind you feel when you hear a song on the radio you hadn’t heard in a while, and the beat just makes it happen. You feel better. Powerful. Ready. You need those feeling everyday, not just on graduation day. So I tried to get them ready for the “real world” and give them some advice that I hoped would help. I retold a story of my old college days, before computers, where typewriters ruled and white out was your friend. I talked about obstacles and being able to get back up and know that behind every success, failure fueled the engine to reach the top. Personal anecdotes made for funny moments as walking into the dorms for the first time, or meeting a perfect stranger that was about to be your roommate for a year were experiences everyone remembered.

Toward the end, I was glad I had said yes. Sometimes that happens. You’re hesitant about going somewhere, meeting someone, trying something new, committing to an outing. I was glad that Jim Carrey movie popped into my head.

Why not me, right?

And what I learned from writing and giving that speech is that being a motivational speaker is something parents do every day. I mean you wake up in the morning convincing yourself that the alarm clock is your friend, not your foe and that the snooze button is great! But maybe not all the time. After rolling out of bed and doing the million chores, before serving up breakfast, you give morning TedTalks for an audience of two, trying to get them in the right frame of mind to tackle the day, with good intentions and a strong purpose.

You’re a member of the parent world and we have to be ready to talk about life questions, adding and subtracting fractions, prepositional phrases, and SpongeBob Squarepants all in the same day.

Remembered that I didn’t need a CEO title to give someone a little advice, I had plenty of life experience to share. So the “yes” took me to a good place, where I was able to help and pay it forward in some way. Hopefully leaving them with the feel-good feelings you get after you hear the perfect song and it just lifts you up.

The picker-upper. That was me … Buen Camino.

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Matthew Wilder — Break My Stride

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Billie Joe Armstrong Green Day with Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles — Manic Monday

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Kinito Mendez — Cachamba

The B-52’s — Rock Lobster

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Kerris Dorsey — The Show

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Feel Good 5 Friday … on a Saturday Night … Letting It All Out

10 Apr

Misrepresentations. Different Perspective. Not forthcoming. Not accurate. Untrue.

Just call it what it is … A lie. That’s what it is. Lie. When someone says something that’s not true it’s a lie. Doesn’t matter how they saw it play out in their head, if it’s not what actually happened then it’s a lie. Tired of sugarcoating it with the word untruthful.

Lie. Straight up.

You know what happened. I know what happened. Everyone there knows what happened the fact that a hurt ego is involved is no excuse to lie your way out of it.

Just recently I was reminded of how differently people see events unfold. It’s the same sunrise but it’s seen differently on the east side of town, then on the west side. They see it differently but fact is the sun came up. No way to argue with that, or so I thought. Big. Small. Whatever the size. One thing happened and then apparently there are two sides. One from there and one from here. No matter what your baggage is, doesn’t change the fact that the sun still rose in the morning, can’t be angry that the colors are not what you wanted them to be, you can’t change them just because you don’t like them when you retell the story. That’s not how it works.

It burns me out to be misrepresented and bad mouthed just because a person can’t handle facts.

I was lit up earlier in the week when I discovered a backstory going around and it angered me. It was based on a lie they told themselves in order to feel better about who they were as a person, a parent, a human being. They have this lie they hung onto in order to disparage others. What is that? Their old enough to know better, but this ego, this chip on their shoulder sends them into an alternate reality where neither them, nor their family can do no wrong. What is that?!

I mean when I mess up, when my kids mess up, I’m the first one up to bat to take responsibility. Whether it was intentional or unintentional, I actually take responsibility. Whether it’s embarrassing, sad, or troublesome you’ve got to just stand up and say, yeah we were in the wrong. That’s it. But doubling-down and changing the story doesn’t mean you actually changed how things happened. You didn’t. Just playing mind games and drinking poison yourself in hopes the other person gets sick.

But some people, they just don’t learn. They refuse to, just stuck in their victim-mentality when in fact they were the offenders. I don’t get how people can be so old, with lives lived, traveled, married, divorced, kids and still … still remain so obtuse. It’s never about them, always about someone else.

In listening to my playlist and hearing songs from back in the day, I realized people have always had this problem, they’re never at fault. So when someone calls them out, they can’t handle it, they’re so emotionally bankrupt that it doesn’t register and they make up a story, a rumor to make them feel better about behaving like such jerks. And they hold onto that lie, tighter and tighter as time goes on. The lie gets bigger and more engrained in the head. And the cycle begins again.

You keep your distance. You’re done with toxicity. You got the truth and facts on your side. So you feel at peace. And you enjoy the playlist. The Feel Good 5 Friday works even better on Saturday or Sunday. You turn the volume up and belt out those lyrics, feeling stronger and more empowered.

Buen Camino …

Club Nouveau — Rumors

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers — Don’t Do Me Like that

Matchbox Twenty — She’s So Mean

Thompson Twins — Lies Lies Lies

Santana — Oye Como Va

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Feel Good 5 Friday … Cut-and-Paste

2 Apr

I know that people do that with emails when sending out resumes, your cover letter is the same, but you just tweak it a little bit to make it more detailed to the company. The cut-and-paste. It’s the most convenient tool. Saves you time when you just need to get that letter out.

And sometimes I get that general text message at Christmas time from people … Hey Merry Christmas hope you’re having a great holiday season, from Janette. That’s normal. She wants to wish everyone on her phone and Merry Christmas without typing out every message. Mass text. I get it. People smile.

But what’s up with an I miss you text like that?

My friend recently asked me if I had gotten one of those before, if someone had cut and pasted me via text. I said yeah, probably, most of them for funny pictures, links to Youtube or stuff like that. She mentioned that her friend, she hadn’t seen for over a year, had sent her a, I was thinking about you, hope the girls are doing well, we miss hanging out with you guys, especially our trips to Wine Country where our families got close, so many laughs, you’re one of our closest friends hope you’re doing well.

I asked her since when did she have two girls? She said since never. Just always the one boy. She said the beginning of the message was addressed to her with specifics about her hospital work but the body of this text didn’t apply to her. Apparently they had never gone to Wine Country together and she didn’t know how to respond. 

Cut-and-paste.

I told her not to worry about it. I had friendships come and go, super close for a few years and then they’d move jobs, get boyfriends, or have kids of their own and I’d hardly see them. Growing apart and then just saying final goodbyes. She said the cut and paste was crappy and hadn’t expected it. I told her she probably cut and pasted me and who knows maybe I had no idea. But sometimes people surprise you and you realize maybe you weren’t as close as you thought, or just maybe call her on it and say hey you know I still just have the one kid, appreciate you saying hello but what was up with your text. 

I don’t know, maybe it’s because we’ve all been in isolation and that’s why it had a bigger impact on her and I wasn’t seeing it. But I said maybe the universe is making room on your plate for something better, something different and you sit with it for a minute, deal with it, and then brush it off. The isolation and quarantine has served some purpose, and that’s just clearing out your plate from unnecessary time wasters. Surround yourself with people who prop you up, people who encourage you and make you laugh. People who write a text message just for you.

Sometimes the cut-and-paste is great, like on a mixed tape, or the DJ’s scratching a record back in the day. That cut-and-paste was great for my dancing spirit.

Don’t know how the advice panned out, but I felt like I imagine I’ll be more mindful of the cut-and-paste. I mean dude, if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend and they cut and paste you … c’mon now, easy decision. But the rest of us take it on a case by case basis because everyone has a bad day. Until then, buen camino.

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Stars on 45

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Banda Zeta — Nina Fresa

Gigolo Tony — Smurf Rock

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Madness — Our House

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Karyn White — The Way You Love Me

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Feel Good 5 Friday … What’s in Your Wallet?

26 Mar

I’ve been accused of having a Costanza wallet.

jason alexander wallet GIF

 

The kind, where you keep all the receipts … you know, just in case. The beefy kind of wallet where the flap doesn’t quite reach the button and it would never fit in your back pocket unless you’d want to be sitting lopsided. The kind of wallet where you still have baby and preschool pictures of your kid but he’s already going on off to college. The kind that still has your expired zoo membership card just in case.

That’s me.

I’m the keep-it-just-in-case person. I feel there are a lot of things you can tell about a person just from their wallet. Whether they have any pictures or not, says something. Pictures of your kids playing baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball. Spring, Summer, Winter Sports. Their changing faces each year and different uniforms, make you look at the pictures for an extra minute. Maybe the type of credit cards or gift cards to preferred stores. Hidden messages on post-it notes that inspire or push you in the right direction. . Business cards of favorite pastry shops or restaurants give you an insight as to whether they enjoyed pizza or Ramen on Saturday nights. All these little clues add up to pieces of who you are and who you’ve become.

Me. 

I’m the Costanza wallet keeper. I enjoy Pho on cloudy days, pizza thin crust from up the street with mushrooms on days I’m too tired to cook, Pad Prik King and Tom Yum on Friday nights when I want something savory, and fresh Sunday morning buttery flaky croissants from the French bakery down the street.

Restaurant business cards. 

Could drive people bananas, but when I reach in and get that 11th free hair cut card from Marlita, it feels good to have that just-in-case mentality set. And then there’s the coupons. CVS. It’s ridiculous.

I do clean the wallet out from time to time of course, when the receipts and paper seem to wanna bust out. I find an old lottery ticket and remember the story of the older secretary lady who was upset at her boss one day and was cleaning out her purse and found an old lottery ticket that was a Mega Million Jackpot. I think that could be you and this could be that ticket. But no. Never happens. So it eventually goes in the trash.

I find my Dad’s and Uncle Erick’s obituary. I gently unfold the wrinkled paper and look at their picture. I remember that face and that life and a twinge of pain hits my heart, electric static rises through my spine and makes its way to the top. I take a deep breath and stare at it for a minute, before neatly folding it back and tucking it back in its place.

And then I find the mini post-it notes I write to myself or the ones my kids wrote to me and a smile comes over my face. Sometimes you need that kind of advice or pick-me-up just to keep you going that day. I still have a small flyer given to me in 1995, 1996. A kid just passing out Christmas flyers for his church handed me one and it happen to be a day where I was struggling. A small cartoon of a kid and a Christmas tree, smiling. An invitation letting you know you weren’t alone this holiday season, even if you felt alone. The universe, God, Karma, the community, they were there. And so I read it, and it was a little less darker that day. Even though they might have printed hundreds, I felt the message was written especially for me.

I keep that in my Costanza wallet as a reminder. And it makes me feel good, as does the random music lists of songs piled in there. Feel good songs that take me back to tough childhood days of my youth that ended up proving to be some of the best memories. Feel good songs that made up the best mixed tapes. Feel good songs I turn up while doing chores or driving down the street in order to take me way back.

The Costanza Wallet.

Pieces of me and clues that add up to a good story.

So as they say, what’s in your wallet?

Buen Camino my friends …

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Genesis — Invisible Touch

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Cameo — Word Up

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Bando Machos — El Gato y El Raton

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David Bowie — Modern Love

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Nena — 99 Luftballoons

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Feel Good 5 Friday on a Sunday Night …

14 Mar

I remember walking into the room and looking at the tapestry hanging from the ceiling, the Grateful Dead Poster, a computer with a printer, the framed John Lennon print and beads. Lots of beads.

I was like … Holy Crap!

I was an inner-city kid and none of that was in my suitcase. Posters of Magic Johnson and the Dodgers were rolled up under my arm. We were working class she was upper-upper class. She looked like she was going to Woodstock and I looked like I bought all my clothes at FootLocker.

My first day on campus, in a college dorm and I thought … this is gonna be an interesting year. I didn’t know why … why would they pair us up? Turned out we were both not morning persons. Alarms would ring, we’d hit the snooze, or quietly get up while the other one was sleeping and get ready. If we happen to wake up at the same time, a comfortable silence, followed by a nod and a hey and we were OK with that. No need for Miss Sunshine right out of bed. We understood each other that way. We wouldn’t see each other all day, then at night we’d have our talks. Lights would be out we’d be ready to go to sleep and then we’d just start talking in the dark. Me in my year-old comforter from home, her with her brand new goose down blanket probably from Macy’s or something. We’d talk about all kinds of things. About the day. About classes. About the dude who called me and woke us up at 3 a.m to declare his undying love for me after multiple beers. About the R.A. not being thrilled about that. About her family. About her boyfriend. About the girls down the hall. We had a lot night talks before we dozed off.

A couple of decades have gone by and I hadn’t thought of Saige since our freshman year. I didn’t see her on campus once since the end of our first year. I had wished her luck and given her a hug on the last day. Learning to live with someone completely different from me was an experience I didn’t forget. But she hadn’t crossed my mind in a really lonnnnnnnnnng time.

Then today, for some reason, she did. Does that happen to you? Random channel and then bam! Reminds you of someone from back in the day. I bet everyone out there remembers their freshman roommate’s name. It was an experience for everyone.

I think I might have remembered her because the Grammy’s were on tonight and she had such different taste in music. I didn’t watch the show, but I knew it was on because as I was switching the channels this girl with a bucket hat with green and black hair sticking out from it had won. Reminded me a little of Saige, and it took me back to that first day.

She was supposed to major in Women’s Studies, but don’t know if that happened. It could have … She’s a midwife now who traveled to India and Mexico. She’s also a nurse or physician’s assistant I think. She’s helps people. I knew she would always do something in the realm of helping women, or being an advocate for women. And I was happy to hear about that.

That’s funny you’re sitting there having dinner listening to your kid talk about his history report and as he turns on the television you see someone that takes you on a flashback field trip.

Buen Camino …

Grateful Dead — Shakedown Street

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Crystal Water –100% Pure Love

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Banda Vallarta Show — Provocame

Mr. Big — To Be With You

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Extreme —More Than Words

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Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday Morning The Universe and Signs

6 Mar

One-uppers.

I’m sure you’ve met one in your life. You probably have an acquaintance at work, or at school, or in your family and right about now, you’re probably not missing them. Not at all.

One of my biggest pet peeves.

You’re in mid-conversation talking about how you just ran your first 5k and they be telling you they just ran the marathon for the seventh year in a row. You’re on the phone retelling the epic saga of a day you had on account of work, a small pay check and a parking ticket, to which they respond without blinking how they just had an even worse day followed by a parking ticket and a moving violation. You sit there talking about this trip you just went on to the beach, they talk about a yacht the rented for the weekend but all you can think about is why he or she didn’t go off with Gilligan on that three-hour tour … that three-hour tour.

Whether it’s good or bad news, there’s is always more of something. More intense. More happy. More. Just more. And they burn me out. Being a writer. it’s is always a struggle between what I was programmed to believe to what is actually possible. And one-uppers do not help the creative recovery process, if anything they make the climb up that mountain even more painstakingly difficult by adding rocks … boulders to your bag.

I’m in mid-project, well more the early middle stages, and I’ve been chipping away at it bit, by bit, with what I could do. I got a temporary side hustle for a minute there in order to raise some extra money for my project. Doing what I can to get closer. Research. Writing. More research. Calling contacts. And as I’m inching away with my good idea … here, this week comes Goliath with my envisioned project completed and with their thousands of dollars to back it and get it out there.

I was gutted.

This went above and beyond the One-Upper. It was Checkmate and I didn’t even know I was playing someone else. I didn’t even see it coming or who did it.

It just happened and I sat there in disbelief.

Now what?

Do I just stop? I thought about it. Burned out, I thought about it. I reached out to a writer friend of mine and let her know about the discovery.

Excelsior was in effect. Excelsior! She Silver Linings Playbooked me. She took it from a different perspective and schooled me on the benefits of different points of view and my own voice. I was reminded of that, of my own creative power. The odds were rough, but sometimes you do have a winning hand and The House has to fold. Don’t stop because you saw what The House was holding, you haven’t even flipped your cards over yet. Don’t fold while they’re dealing it out.

And so here I am … playing the hand. Got the pep talk from her and another close friend and I went back to work. Research. Writing. More Research.

And in the midst of all this mini drama, I heard a song, from a commercial, that reminded me of a movie from earlier days, when I wore Levi Jeans and those old school Nike running shoes but I wasn’t running back then, the white ones with red swoosh. Cortez Nike’s. Yup. That was me. That song reminded me of that person. With everything going on but she kept going. The song was a trip too. It’s so cheesy but I love it. And the movie. Montage awesomeness leading to big moments. I figured the universe was giving me a sign … so I smiled and took it. And I’m still on the path, regardless of how many one-uppers I encounter.

Buen Camino!

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You’re The Best — Joe Esposito

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Confident Dance Battle — Leap Soundtrack

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My Way — Aloe Blacc

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Soy Yo — Bomba Estereo

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Another One Bites The Dust — Queen

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