Tag Archives: inspiration

Inspiration Hiding In The Daily Mail

31 May

It was in a medium-sized manila envelope and I had no idea what it was …

Since I don’t have any magazine subscriptions walking to the mailbox isn’t really all that exciting for me. I mean I get a kick if I find a card in there for birthdays and Christmas, but other than that I hardly get anything in the mail worth celebrating.

I mean there was that time I wrote a letter to the Hawaiian Chocolate company just on a whim to talk to them about their chocolate and a few weeks later I got a sampler box in the mail.

Dude! Just like that. Customer service at its best!

But now I just get bills, rejection letters, and customer service at its worst.

You know, my most recent bill from Sprint didn’t really have all these great emotions bubbling to the surface. You see I had just gotten a bill from Sprint for $238 … a bill that was supposed to be $110. So after a livid conversation with Andrea G. over at customer service where there was nothing that could be done about the promises I received from my last interaction with a Sprint customer service representative I’d given up on the positives of mail entirely … until a couple of days ago.

I unloaded the large amounts of junk mail and bills onto the kitchen table and found that manila envelope from an unfamiliar P.O. Box. Had no idea what it was, seeing how I hadn’t recently ordered anything the contents were unknown.

So when I opened it and found the newest Zac Brown Band CD staring at me, I found a moment of gratitude right there. I had purchased tickets to their concert a while back and apparently missed the email stating that their newest CD would be mailed to me, just for buying tickets to the concert.

I remember that happening last time, but for some reason it escaped me this time around. So among the bills of adulthood I found this awesome surprise.

 

 

Inspiration in a medium-sized manila envelope. All their songs hit my heart strings and make me feel something and it was a great gift just at the at the right moment.

“Don’t give up … hold on a little longer.”

That’s my favorite line from this song … a dreamer’s song. It’s really one of my mottos. So if you’re having a rough week, trying to bounce back, catching the wave after you’ve wiped out, take a listen to Roots by Zac Brown. It’s a dreamer’s song that keeps you chasing what you wake up every morning hoping for …

The purpose continues.

Buen Camino my friends.

It Was Time To Find The Story …

22 Dec

I had to get a jump on it, between folding laundry and ironing clothes for tomorrow, I had to get on it. I had to muster up enough 5-hour energy on my own, the natural kind, the one that comes from heart and will power, not so much the one that came in the bottle. Otherwise I’d have no story this week, and with no story there is no record  …

You gotta have a record. I almost didn’t have one this week … the cool side of the pillow seemed to win most of the battles this week as I fell off the WordPress Wagon. Didn’t mean to of course. I’d like to say it was because of the holiday and all the Christmas spirit that was hanging around here, but no … no spirit. Just exhaustion.

But before the week ended I was able to summon the creative juices of finding the funny … I had to … otherwise the bitterness of the situation would fester into my Festivus celebration and I’d just turn into another angry chick.

But you know what?

Nothing is wrong with being an angry chick.

Absolutely nothing.

You just have to accept that, but I’m not always that angry chick. Most of the time I’m Zen, but anger strikes hard when people cross the line. So you have to hold tight to the things that matter to you … like dignity and self-respect and being able to tell a story before the powers of exhaustion kick in and you fall asleep at the computer.

Take for instance the chick that was suing me … she turned out to be a very angry individual who embellished the story quite a bit as she spoke in front of the judge. However the law happened to be on my side and I didn’t have to go into too much detail when it was my turn. So Judge Wapner dismissed it But I’ve learned that just because it was dismissed, doesn’t mean it’s over. She looks like the kind of person that might appeal … we’ll see. I didn’t get a good vibe from her as she walked out of the courtroom.

Or take for instance when someone flat out accused me of taking something we both knew I’d never touched, however blame was being throw around with profanity and bad attitude because they had an audience. Why not throw me under the bus while they had an audience? Drives things more in your favor. Luckily said object was found. I got no “I’m sorry,” or “thanks for finding it”. Just plain attitude that it was missing because they happen to forget where they put it …

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

People … I get that losing something sucks, but don’t go off blaming people who are standing within a 10-foot radius of you just because you’re frustrated.

So during this edition of Guatemalan Peoples Court, writer-director battles that cancelled my project, and being thrown under the bus for a family member’s lost item, I took it upon myself to remember … to remember that this stuff isn’t really important.. It sucks. Yes. No doubt. It’s not cool what they’re doing. It isn’t … but their opinion of me and what they say isn’t important. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is how you act when the shit hits the fan. And I’m happy to say that my integrity stayed in tact, my ability to do the right thing, to go high when they went low, was in full effect. So when I lay my head on the pillow I have no regrets.

I know what was said about me was exaggerated. I know it wasn’t true and my kids knew it wasn’t and that’s what mattered most. I continually focused on people and things I loved … like my kids, chocolate, friends, Netflix … plus it didn’t hurt that I was able to beat the crap out of pads during a Muay Thai boxing workout.  Beating the crap out of things helps to get it all out, because I realized that sometimes mind over matter doesn’t work out … so you have to use body over mind to get you out of the funk. Working out, getting you body active, tends to help align things mentally for me again.

And for that I was grateful.

I’d put that bitterness in the rear view mirror and was looking ahead. Festivus was around the corner, time to celebrate, time to wake up the next morning and be like … I got this! It was time to find the funny in the the not-so-funny … it was time to find the the story

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No One Ever Told Me …

23 Jan

I completely forgot about it.

Failure is not something you want to remember really, unless it ends up on an SNL skit  and you’re cracking up because that has totally happened to you.

Most of the time these learning experiences are kept to myself, but sometimes this little community of ours gets a sneak peek at my epic fails and I get some virtual nods and been there, keep your head up comments that I truly appreciate. And the only other time I’ve shared some of my multiple failures was at women’s workshop/meeting-of-the-minds kind of thing.

Something I had completely forgotten about, until I was listening to a podcast this morning and they were talking about life in general and the concept of good vs. perfect …

There I was, surrounded by strong educated women looking to get inspired and just learn from each other when it happened … the tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got here question and how this group that we were all a part of made an impact or helped you out a bit.

 

One by one, college chicks and alumni began speaking about all the good points and successes in their lives, how everything was turning out great since they left campus, career and love lives falling into place, and how this group helped them connect to others, helped them feel support, and a sense of community.

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Then they got to me …

Now in the past when surrounded by such successes I tended to bring out my own resume points, but I was in my late-late thirties and wasn’t there for that. As one of the alumniest of the alumni, I guess I was there to share truths and not just the shiny parts. So I did.

I talked about how amazing it was to hear all these great things happening in their lives, but this life — my life — was not that. I was not part of the easy connect the dots, success after success after success doors opening everywhere group. I had the Eat, Pray, Love Univision-Telemundo version happening. Failure-sucky-disaster crying in the parking lot eating rocky road out of the tub failure, that was me. I knew what the bottom rung felt like. I knew the two-steps-forward-three-steps-back dance. I thought I had invented it. And the thing is, no one ever told me.

No one.

Graduating from one of the best public schools in the country and then getting a Master’s from a great private school didn’t make me immune to it. No one ever told me. She might not fail, he might not fail, things will go right for them, but for you? You’re taking a different route. The messy kind. The learning from experience kind.

No one ever told me, you know what? You’re still going to fail, fail more times than you succeed, and fail big time.

So when it happened, it was like a disaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaster.

But being that I grew up with a Rocky Balboa-Breaking Away-The Natural-Rudy-Hoosiers mentality, I got up. I always got up and I kept going, and these group of women that were with me supported me. They saw me, and not the setbacks.

I explained to the group how awesome it was that every step of the way everything had gone right for them, but if they ever encountered failure and needed to talk about it, I was their girl. I would know what that felt like and I would know how to get up.

Seeing how I was second to last person, we finished up the introductions and then took a break.

I thought I was going to go to the table get my little Dixie cup of lemonade and be on way, but apparently there were some ladies there that wanted to talk.

It might not look good when it’s happening to you, I know it doesn’t feel good, but eventually failure is gonna help you out, and maybe someone else too.

Keep your head up.

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Just-Do-It Character Even With Saucony Shoes

29 Jun

Even though the miles were the same and the landscape didn’t change, running through it, biking through it, and swimming through it made me different every time.

I don’t do it to lose weight, to work on my non-existent six-pack, or to post pictures with you-should-be-doing-this type of headlines in order shame or guilt moms with kids who are barely trying to survive ’till 7 p.m. I do it because it makes me feel good. It’s become part of my lifestyle, part of the routine that makes me feel like me, like that 2.0 version of yourself that’s always been there, the kind that comes out in a Just Do It commercial, the one that you produced.

Although I wish I didn’t have to recover with Alleve and BenGay the next day. But that’s what happens. You can’t fool your bones. They know you’re 39. They know it and they’re passing the message along to your muscles.

But regardless of how much menthol-smelling cream I need for my aches and pains the awesomeness I feel when I cross the finish line at the TinMan Triathlon keeps me going for at least a week or two. Even though I didn’t finish first, second, third, or even in the top 10, I still felt like a champion.

The hills were tough, but I kept going. Biking Devil’s Canyon was brutal, but I kept climbing. It kicked my ass, most definitely but I kept pedaling. And the swimming … well the swimming was so much better this time. Can’t say anything about the swimming, I felt like Michael Phelps. But no matter how challenging the other parts of the race were I kept going. I got the Just Do It vibe in me, even though I was sporting my Saucony running shoes.

And the thing I realized is that I passed that on to my son.

I was super proud of that fact. Proud of the fact that my son kept going after the lady handing out water during the running leg tripped him. Proud of the fact that after he fell hard, really hard on gravely road, he still got up. He scraped up his knee and the elbow was in need of some Neosporin and Band-Aids, but he didn’t give up. He needed a minute, but then he kept going, on to the biking phase, the swimming leg, and finally sprinting, not jogging or walking, but pumping his little arms and sprinting the last 20 yards to the finish line.

And I was there to watch him do it.

He raised his hands up in victory as they gave him his TinMan medal.

I was proud of his athletic accomplishment, but even prouder of his character, because he had Just Do It Character. Gatorade-commercial worthy character.

Yeah, this year the miles and scenery were the same, just like last year, and the year before that. But when we finished the race, we both had something different. I’m holding onto that for a while. I’m hoping he does too.

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I Knew There Was A Reason She Won All Those Oscars …

23 Mar

 

Merryl Streep rocks.

Meryl Streep rocks.

 

Dude.

Me too!

I no longer.

 

 

My Radio Flyer Gets Lighter

3 Feb

I’ve been missing my Monday posts and for the most part it has nothing to do with the exciting adventurous existence of my not-so-glamorous life. It’s not so much because I’m doing something great or that I planned to shake things up a bit to appeal to Tuesday readers.

No.

It’s that people are putting rocks in my wagon.

Boulders.

And it’s effecting my uphill climb.

I’d realized it a couple of weeks ago when it started happening more frequently. But I am now coming to the conclusion that I need to avoid people like this, because they’re just not helping the whole situation.

Let me explain …

According to comedian Steve Harvey everyone has a wagon. A little red wagon. A Radio Flyer that you pull up this ginormous hill called life. You got the rope. It’s your haul, you’re responsible for your wagon. Now along the climb you got people who decide to come with you on this journey and they get into your wagon.

 

The Climb

The Climb

 

After some time you realize that there are two types of people … the kind that help make this climb easier and the ones that are just extra weight dragging you down. The ones that help you are emptying out your wagon, letting you know of any obstacles coming your way, being a navigator and informing you know about storms, pushing it up while you pull, or getting off your wagon to brush away anything that might be on your road. Everyone on your wagon is doing something to help make the climb easier.

And then there are the others.

Whether it’s intentional or not, they have something in them that pulls you down. Some just sit on your wagon, contributing nothing positive. They’re just adding weight, like rocks. Then there are the others, who are filled with clouds of negativity and they make it rain on you. They don’t help with anything. In fact they just add to the struggle with their Debbie-Downer attitude, or hater mentality, which makes the journey more grueling.

And there you are … still pulling.

And pulling.

I realized … it’s time to stop the wagon and get rid of some rocks.

Here’s hoping your load gets lighter too.

 

 

40 Before 40

10 Jan

Maybe she was doing just fine after the heartache and then she heard that song on the radio … the one that was theirs and she just couldn’t take it, and she broke down.

Maybe her brother died.

Maybe she got a call from the doctor and the results were positive.

Maybe she got fired.

Maybe it was her birthday and that someone special actually forgot.

Maybe she didn’t pass the BAR exam and it was her second attempt.

I don’t know what it was, I really don’t but there she was, in her silver 1990s Honda Civic, clutching the wheel with one hand and holding her forehead with the other. I turned because for some reason that’s what I do when I’m at a stoplight and there she was right next to me having a quiet moment of desperation among all the traffic.

Crying, really crying.

And I felt bad.

I sat there looking at her thinking what I could do to help her out, because I knew … I knew exactly how she felt, hiding behind those sunglasses. I’ve had moments like these when I’m driving and then all of a sudden it hits me, which his probably why I don’t like answering the phone while I’m on the road. I saw her and I knew that she was heartbroken and I felt bad.

I looked for my emergency stash of chocolate in the car, maybe I could just roll down my window and make some kind of gesture in hopes that she could find a moment of peace, but I had nothing in my stash. I didn’t want to roll the window down and ask ‘are you all right?’ because she obviously was not, and even if I did ask she probably would have waved me off and said she was O.K.

I felt like I had to at least ask, though. But as I rolled down my window someone honked their horn. She vroomed it out of there, I tried to follow but she turned down the street and I had no idea where she had gone.

I don’t know where she is now, but I’m hoping she’s better.

But me?

I was left feeling impotent. Wishing I could have done something nice for someone who was in so much pain, so I came up with an idea. Maybe I could help someone else.

40 before 40.

40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts Of Kindness Before I Turn 40.

 

40 before 40

40 before 40

 

Yeah.

Definitely.

That would be good thing.

Maybe I’ll make someone’s day less miserable. Maybe they’re having a moment and that little something nice will give them a break from the craziness of their life. Maybe it’ll be the something that’ll turn their day around. Maybe they’ll find a little peace in the small gesture that was meant to make them smile.

Don’t know, but maybe.

40 before 40. That would be a good present. Doing something for someone else.

So I did it.

I started the adventure.

I went to the first place I could think of to do something nice for someone else. I went to the drive-thru, something I rarely do, and ordered something for my kids. As I paid for my order I looked at the guy and said …

“I got theirs too,” pointing to the minivan behind me.

“You know them?” he asked.

“No. I don’t. But I got it. But can you do me a favor though? Tell them I said ‘Happy New Year.'”

I grabbed my receipt and drove away.

I know it wasn’t something big, but it was something I thought would make someone smile. Even if it wasn’t the lady that I had originally seen, I was still able to do something nice for someone.

And now I’m hoping. Just hoping I can run into her again, and hoping that she’s in a better state, and if she isn’t, hoping that this time I’ll be able to do something to help.

I’m replenishing my emergency car stash, just in case.

 

 

Looking For Gallons …

1 Dec

During this four-day marathon weekend of dysfunctional family accompanied by turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole,  I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a gallon type person.

A friend of mine sent me a quote about the two kinds of people out there, and whether you were thinking about relationships, family ties, acquaintances, or the chick from work that drives you up the wall, you know the one, there are always two kinds of people.

Gallon type people and pint-size.

The gallon type of person has a huge capacity to give, to love, to laugh, to rejoice, and to receive. They have a huge heart and what they put out there in the world they naively think that they’re gonna get back regardless of who is in their circle. If they love they think they’re gonna get love. If they rejoice in your triumphs, they think you’re gonna support theirs. If they show compassion and grace, they think others closest to them will do the same.

But no, not so.

Not gonna happen if you’re the only adult gallon-size person within a 10-block radius. My Dad was a gallon person, I’m a gallon person. 10-gallon size capacity.

And then there are the pint-size people who give to you, but it’s never enough. Their capacity for love, laughter, consideration, kindness, and friendship is less. It’s pint-size. It can be someone you marry and didn’t realize it until later because love made you stupid, it can be your family where you’ve always known something was off, or it can be that chick from work that just sucks the air out of your balloon just by walking into the room.

Doesn’t matter who, the feeling is still pint-size.

And the thing is you’re not asking for something extraordinary of them, you’re just asking for the basics and sometimes not even asking just expecting and it just never comes. You’re like that chic alone at the bus stop waiting for the number 44, but not aware that you’re at the wrong stop.

Sometimes it’s not their fault. Sometimes you’re asking and expecting some kindness, some heart, some hilarity and they’re giving it to you, giving you what they got but it’s pint-size and doesn’t even reach the line. They’re not lying to you, that’s just all they can do. Sometimes it’s because they’re hardened by experience, other times it’s because that’s how they’ve been their whole life. Some people were just already broken when they got here.

I recently learned I am one of the last of the Mohicans. I’m a gallon type of person currently surrounded by pint size people.

 

“We are ten gallon people, but we may have been born into families of people who have pint capacities.” TD Jakes

 

And when this happens I apparently need to lower my expectations of what others are capable of and try to meet them at their level.

That is some Dalai Lama-Nelson Mandela type of magic that I’m still working on. I’m an angry Guatemalan I need some time to get there because I’ve just recently had this revelation.

But while on this journey I can surround myself with my kids, my friends, my comadres, my peers, my WordPress buddies who are of gallon-type capacity that can fill what is missing, so that I can hold on to the best version of myself.

The kind with clear eyes and full hearts … and bar of chocolate.

I Totally Like Peaches …

22 Oct

 

In Need of Inspiration …

28 Jul
:)

🙂

 

Tina knows what she’s talking about.