Tag Archives: New Year’s resolutions

On My 1000th Post I’m Keeping All of It … Because I’m Looking for The Power of Failure

1 Jan

What is it that finds you this year?

Last year inspiration struck after watching a Seinfeld episode. Kramer came crashing into Jerry’s apartment as always and he had his everyday balloons, not his New Year’s Eve balloons but his everyday balloons and I wanted that for myself.

And so in 2017 I went out to find them. And I did. My resolutions, my quest, my mission, my goals, my bucket list items, my journeys … Whatever I called it, I found it. And being the mother of two Nickelodeon-aged kids who go on adventures and try my patience on a weekly basis … It was hard. But I did it. I found the sparkle in the everyday shenanigans and they were there to help me. A lot of things managed to push the scales in my favor.

Podcasts became the X factor for me last year.  I found all these good nooks and crannies on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Conversations, The Tim Ferriss Show, The Robcast, This American Life, TED Talks Daily, and StoryCorps. These story whispers traveled through time and space to get to me and give me something I needed, just like reading books, articles, or WordPress blog posts or watching movies or shows on Netflix or Amazon reminded me of a lesson learned when I needed reminding.

Running  in The Great Outdoors was also a piece of the puzzle that helped me get it together. The magic of the path hidden among the trees and hills was the daily therapy to help me find my center.

And the thing is … I’m still going to need the same things this year.

I may find something new, but I’ve learned that this system works for me. It helps find the everyday balloons, pockets of happiness, silver linings playbook mentality necessary to thrive.

So I’m keeping all of it.

Yup.

I need it in 2018 as well because I realized what works for me when I’m trying to find the funny. And this is my formula, so I’m keeping it. All of it. Probably adding a few things as the months go by though, because this year I’m looking to find  the Power of Failure. It seems like a downer, but it’s a glass-half-full mentality. I know that with writing and parenthood, failure is going to happen. It’s part of the process, I’ve got to take my underdog mentality and find what the power of it is this year. In the midst of the heartache, tears, frustration, and gallons, upon gallons of Rocky Road ice cream, I’m gonna try to find the power of failure this year. Because most of the time I just think it just sucks. I get back up again and I’m ready for Round II, III, and IV but I still think failure sucks.

I’m gonna try to spin it around and see if it adds to the good-time-noodle-salad moments of life. That’s the the quest this year. It’s not going to involve comparing my failures with others, or seeing how further ahead others are on their life journey, but to see if the power of failure can help me in mine. I’m gonna wait and see …

Hamilton

I’m gonna wait for it.

So on my 1000th post of WordPress on this mini milestone of a moment, I’m gonna mark it with my quest to finding the Power of Failure this year.

Buen Camino my friends!

 

 

 

 

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Everyday Balloons Rockin’ 2017

1 Jan

I saw that number one on my phone calendar after the clock struck midnight.

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Everyone probably saw it on their phones but the impact was different. It wasn’t a massive tsunami of emotion washing over me, more like a rippled water effect felt by skipping stones on a lake. A quiet peaceful a-ha moment in the midst of fireworks and celebrations.

It was a good revelation.

I entered the New Year with hugs and kisses from kids, music in the background, and fireworks from a distant celebration booming through our windows. Found some Big Magic in that space between our arms.

And then I remembered …

I mastered finding the Big Magic that hides in corners even when toxicity surrounded me  like a bad cold. I found the ninja skills it took to get to “The Juice,” that thing that I feel like bottling up after an awesome Gatorade-worthy moment. I found ways to hit the reset button and find peace when it was missing. I found the funny in 2016.

I’m gonna need me some more of that.

And it’s funny because all of that is what I set out to do and I was glad to be able to have done it. Some people don’t bother with lists, 2.0 Versions, or improvement projects. No resolutions and I get it. Lists suck sometimes. But all I’m trying to do, is do better than I did the year before, and I found that every year something new has helped me reach those goals.

This year Muay Thai Boxing helped me wake up like Clark Kent and leave like Superman …  got out of bed with my super strength and cape … ready to go. New energy. New vibe. New perspective.

I was Flawsome and it was awesome. I never knew my uppercut, left hook, and speed could knock someone’s lights out! I mean watch out if you try anything in the Target parking lot because my Marty McFly  appearance will fool you. And I like that. I like that people underestimate me. It’s amusing to see.  I like that 2016 had that surprise in store for me.

I like that I found a new adventure, that I tried something and it enhanced my life.

I like that I had new writing projects. Two this year, and even though they didn’t pan out, as you all know the downfall of my play,  I still found pages in the Silver Lining Playbook to help me out I still found stories. I still found the lesson and the funny, even though it sucked to do so sometimes.

So what’s in store for 2017?

I’d like to find more balloons.

kramer

🙂 I LOVE Kramer. 

 

I like that Kramer embraces his FLAWSOMENESS. I like that he has everyday balloons.

That’s me … that’s what I want for 2017 … everyday balloons. I want to find reasons for the positive side of things when the day sucks, because I imagine stuff on a National scale will suck, but I’m hoping for hope. I’m hoping for a resurgence … like Rogue One.

I’m hoping that I find the gratitude and grace in things so that I can celebrate with stuff like Everyday Balloons.

As a parent I’ve got to have Everyday Balloons because failure and exhaustion hit hard on Friday nights, or any day of the week for that matter. Gray hairs, Vitamin D Supplements, and anti-aging cream should be celebrated. I’ve earned it.

As a member of a family deserving of their on Telemundo Telenovela, I’m distancing myself and removing all toxicity. I’m not standing for it any longer. If you don’t like my peaches … don’t shake my tree. If you’re not on board with Everyday Balloons then this ride is not for you, I’m pulling over and letting you out. I’m a fighter, I’ve remained unbroken no matter the environment, resilient. But I find it’s better when good-times-noodle-salad vibes surround you. My Big Magic pockets are getting bigger.

As a writer I need Everyday Balloons, for those times when I sit there daydreaming and wonder what I’ve been doing for the past 37 minutes, with only a paragraph on the page … I can give myself an Everyday Balloon for getting something written down and enhancing the outline nestled somewhere in my thoughts.

 

Everyday Balloons shouldn’t take away the glitter and shininess of New Year’s Eve balloons, but they should just serve as a reminder that little victories are still accomplishments and a high-five is deserved. With humor and gratitude I’ll be looking for little victories in 2017, in between a new adventure, I’ll be looking for Everyday Balloon moments.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

Finding Our Own Adventure on Day One and Two

2 Jan

Signs from the universe are usually incognito for me, and I have to be a secret agent in order to discover a clue or what’s in store.

But not today.

When I saw this … I knew I had found my theme for 2016.

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Yup…Big Magic happening this year.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still on the quest for The Juice, finding pockets of it, keeping it, defending it, relishing in it, and maintaining it. This just added another level.

Whether I’m in the Great Outdoors, reading a book, watching a movie, writing my stories, parenting the crap out of parenthood, or hanging out with friends, I’m gonna find Big Magic, My Juice, Adventure in the year of Guat Flawsomeness, with stubbornness, humor, and gratitude. It’s gonna happen.

Now being that New Year’s Eve was the mark of endings and new beginnings I set out on a quest for all these things, not even knowing I had begun the journey. And even if New Year’s wasn’t filled millions of people, rock stars, and Times Square it was filled with an electric vibe and  adventure energy. I set a date with the most important people in my life … my kids. And we rang in the New Year with love, great food, and memories.

But it didn’t just stop there, it continued onto Day Two. And that surprised the hell out of me. Usually good vibes only last 24 hours before someone tries to take my juice away, but it was all good.

The Juice and The Adventure Seeking stayed in tact.

I was on a Buen Camino … Here’s hoping you are too.

 

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We started off with an amazing light show, with disco balls and music under the moonlight.

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Electric snowflakes in the Southern California sky.

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We watched magic storytellers illuminate the sky.

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This one was my favorite … made me feel like I had The Juice, and the adventures were unlimited.

 

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Feeling some love and strength in 2016.

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Loving the Easy Rider vibe.

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This looked like a guy who had found his adventures and loved them. I want me some patches like that.

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Star Wars was everywhere. This one was out of this world … and my son’s favorite..

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This one reminded me of my beloved Pinta … definitely missing my puppy.

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Brought out the history buff in me.

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Los Angeles sports fans definitely enjoyed this spectacular float. Swoosh!

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Then we headed home, like this Fearless Flyer, ready for another adventure.

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Finding Your Turning Points

1 Jan

It was the only thing I really asked of myself.

My only aim last year was to have more Super Soul Sunday moments.

I knew for a fact that my environment wasn’t going to change and I knew the people around me were set in their ways as well, so I realized I had to do something different, something that would change the blueprints of my life, something that would keep my Happiness Project running, and more Super Soul Sunday Moments seemed like a pretty good idea.

I loved these moments. I felt re-energized after them. I felt more like myself. I felt unbroken.

So how could I keep them coming? How could I get this feeling?

By living with one mantra.

“Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t Lose.”

I know you’ve heard me say it. After the monster binge watching session in December 2013, Friday Night Lights had changed my perspective. The characters, the story, and their future flipped the switch somewhere inside me. It’s helped me stay in that Thelma-&-Louise-this-is-going-to-change-my-life-today-kind-of phase.

That was the plan.

And somehow in between all the beaten down, weary, frustrated and lowly Ben & Jerry depressed days, I had made it.  Clear  Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose had made a shift in my morning, noon, and night. It had made it to my Hour-of-Power in the morning. And I was not just surviving despite the circumstances, I was thriving.

And one of the moments that just intensified that don’t-give-up attitude, was an amazing book I read.

 

Unbroken

Unbroken

 

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this book was to experience. You’ve probably seen the movie posters all over your town publicizing the picture. But if you haven’t seen it I encourage you to read the book before watching the movie. If you absolutely cannot wait, I understand. I do. The fact that it’s a true story blows your mind, and the book gives you a deeper understanding and connection to him, what he went through, and how he survived it.

In short it’s the amazing story of Louis Zamperini, a troubled kid who turned his life around and found a way to make it to the Olympics, only to get drafted afterward and become a Japanese Prisoner of War. But what was most amazing was not the fact that he and fellow POW Russell Allen Phillips survived 47 days on a raft at sea, it was the fact that he endured unimaginable hardships at the POW camp and survived.

Somehow Louie found the strength and courage to endure the most horrific abuse of the body, human spirit, dignity, and mind at the hands of many Japanese guards. But he found a way to thrive. He found a turning point.

And when the war was over and he was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, night terrors, and anxiety he found a turning point. Again.

It truly was a great story of “Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.”

The very fact that he found turning points during the most difficult points in his life, was inspiring.

I rooted for his survival, I rooted for his spirit to remain in tact, I rooted for him after the war. I rooted for him to turn it around, and he did. I rooted for him to remain unbroken through it all. The most amazing parts were seeing how he turned it around.

I felt so happy for him in the end, and was extremely grateful for being able to read his story at this point in my life. It put my own journey in perspective and reminded me to remain unbroken, to never give up. Everybody has turning points, everyone. Just takes courage and strength to find them.  I was happy that Louie found his and grateful that he inspired me to find mine.

So that’s the goal this year … to find my turning points.

 

 

 

 

 

More Super Soul Moments

1 Jan

This is it.

Everyone is talking about it.

The get-off your ass promises you make to yourself in order for this year to be less mediocre than the last.

And why not?

Change is good when you’ve had an Eat, Pray, Love kind of year, but without the awesome travel experiences and more George Costanza moments.

But it’s all good. Getting off your ass is important. It inspires stories, and as a writer I need some good comic relief. But I didn’t have to wait until January 1st to make changes or to get inspired for change. Living a life of I-can’t-believe-this-is-where-I-am sort of catapults you into wanting something different, or at least sticking to the dream you had when you were 20-something, on a weekly basis.

But not everybody needs change, some of you are freakin’ fantastic all year round, and that’s cool, but in truth I don’t fit that demographic. I’m just happy some of the time and when I am I’m swimming in it every minute. But I could always more.

So what’s the plan for more? What are my changes? What are my goals? What are my self-improvement projects?

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Image via OWN Network

Don’t have my entire list. I’m working on it. Although I don’t have anything to quit. I do everything in moderation except self-doubt. But I’m working on it. I did however have an epiphany during my girls night out. It was Super Soul Sunday! Except it was on a Thursday. Yeah. Super Soul Sunday on Thursday.

For those of you unaware Super Soul Sunday are awesome episodes of your-life-could-be-better-than-it-is-and-I’m-not-judging-you-but-here’s-how-you-can-improve-it-if-you-want-to. It has awesome quotes from Oprah and her many guests on the OWN Network. Their life stories end up affecting change in your own life story. It’s like free therapy.

Yeah. So I had one of those live and in person, but it wasn’t with Oprah, it was with a bunch of my college buds. And in truth, I really needed the outing, with all the stress of the I-can’t-believe-this-is-where-I-am-right-now  existence I’ve gotten some more gray hair and I’ve been perusing the anti-aging aisle at the CVS. They don’t have cream or Nice N’ Easy formula for “crappyness”. But they do have Ben & Jerry’s, and that cures any problem.

So I guess one of my plans, goals, self-improvement projects, or get-off-your-ass moments would be for more Super Soul Sunday Moments on any day with anyone. I mean it doesn’t have to be Oprah and it doesn’t have to be Sunday. It can even happen while binge watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix on a Tuesday.

Yeah.

That’s one goal. Definitely more Super Soul in my life.

The other is to always have more Ben & Jerry’s on hand, in case the Super Soul gets too deep and comedy can’t save me from drowning.

Happy New Year.

 

 

Mission Impossible … Yes. But Mission Accomplished. Tun-Tun-Tun-Tun-Tun-Tun-Tun-Tun-Tun …

15 Jan

This was it. Today was the day. 365 days.

I’ve never done 365 days of anything consecutively other than breathing and being a parent. I didn’t think I’d be able to, with all the drama and chaos that surrounds my existence on a weekly if not daily basis. Everyone has it. It’s called life. But there I was, every night when everyone was asleep, in the quiet. In the good quiet of the night, because there’s all kinds of quiet, the night-time quiet was the best for me. It rocks. And there I was all the way until 11:59 p.m. on some nights, the television on, but the sound the off. All I heard were my thoughts and the tap-tap-click-clack of the keys on my laptop.

365 consecutive days of writing, of posting, of sharing, of creating Saturday Night Live skits of my crappiest moments so that I could come out on the other side with smile instead of bitterness. You never know what funny can do, so you gotta love what it does for you in a year — a year in the life of Guat. And I thank the 300+ followers who joined me on this Mission Impossible adventure and made it better than I expected. Technically my Blogoversary was on January 1st of 2013.

Celebrating with a happy dance.

Celebrating with a happy dance.

Yeah that’s right.

It all started with a resolution, a hope, a goal, a concept on New Year’s Day 2012, but then I got the crazy idea of doing it everyday. A challenge, an additional one to the already existing challenges of motherhood and dysfunctional family drama that defines my current existence. But I did it and I’ve been patting myself on the back all day. I almost did a cartwheel, but stuck to the happy dance instead.

When the idea first came to me I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea that people outside of California, let alone the U.S. would check me out. But there they were the peeps of Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, India, the Philippines, Germany, Greece and Sri Lanka. Dude those were the top ten international stops of my blog. But I even made it to places like Madagascar, Iceland, Aruba, Egypt and of course the motherland Guatemala.

Over 20,000 views. I’m sure some of you have more, but it seemed like a ginormous number for me. That’s like half a football stadium doing the wave for me. I had no idea the adventures of the Guat crossed the Atlantic Ocean. I’m jealous of my blog, it has more stamps on its passport, than I do. But I’ve got to love the fact that people in other countries read my stories, enjoy my sense of humor, my little attempts at inspirations, my weekly photo challenges brought to you by my five-year old beat up Canon PowerShot, and my journey to be a better something … Guat 2.0.

I’ve always flown my freak flag, loud and proud, sometimes prouder with a little Framboise or tequila, but blogging encouraged me to be more adventurous on a day-to-day basis. Once I put it out there and hit the “publish” button … dude … it was on. There was no taking it back. I said it, now I got to do it. Cowboy up. So blogging inspired three triathlons, a Warrior Dash, baking a pie from scratch, undergoing a Happiness Project, writing down a Bucket/To-Do List, going out on urban adventures with my kids, enjoying festivals, appreciating the moment, reflecting, living like it’s Shark Week, and trying to find the funny at times when I couldn’t even get a ha-ha.

But what did I get most of all?

I got support. I got another “Circle of Trust”.

I found support in complete strangers, who at the end of the year weren’t really strangers anymore. They turned into people who I’d probably go see a game with, hang out, eat dinner. I found lessons, inspiration, comic relief, supporters and advocates. I found  Drinks Well With Others, Lame Adventures, The Hook and The Struggler’s Handbook bringing me comedy every week and reminding me that cracking up is a great therapy. I found inspiration from Bucket List Adventures and The Landy to create to-do lists of adventures so that life keeps improving. I found culture, food, wine, photography and awesome adventures to Italy from Blissful Adventurer. I found my TV, movie and music soul mates in The Hand-Written Life and Unabashedly Poetic. I found my comadre over at La Chica Writes. I found more inspiration to improve on life and seek out traveling the world through Another Day in Paradise and The 50 Year Project. I found spiritual and kick-ass uplifting messages through Mirth & Motivation. I found inspiration to always try to look for the silver lining and to continue my personal journey to be a better something after reading This Man’s Journey. I found a constant reminder to always enjoy the ride from wild rider Susie Lindau, who constantly brings the fresh back into my perspective. I found the courage to go on after my first follower Thoughts of the Wandering Kind posted the first like.

I’ve found other wonderful bloggers out here on Word Press that have done some of the same, but these have been my constants throughout the entire year. The encouragement I found where I least expected it. And even though I have never been Freshly Pressed, in the 365 day blogging journey, I’m still pretty badass. I am so money, and I know it.

Woo-hoo for the 365-day challenge accomplished.

Woo-hoo for the 365-day challenge accomplished.

So here at 11:59 p.m. on January 15th I raise my glass to toast … to toast the awesome journey that has made me a better a writer, a better storyteller. A toast to the journey that brought more adventure in my life, a journey that began with chocolate, continued with chocolate and ended with chocolate, a journey where I thanked my DVR for recording all the shows I missed during this creative endeavor.

A journey that has been … to borrow a phrase from my buddy Cayman Thorn  … Guatacular.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

8 Jan
Laemmle Theaters

Laemmle Theatres

 

Some people call them resolutions … they resolve.

Resolve to lose weight.

Resolve to quit drinking.

Resolve to stop smoking.

I don’t have resolve.

I have plans, promises, thoughts, guidelines, projects … hope. I had hope.

Hope for sanity.

Hope for quiet.

Hope for peace.

Hope for humor.

Hope for rejuvenation.

Hope for recognizing yourself again.

What does this all add up to?

Hope for me time.

And in week one of 2013 … hope was granted.

Ticket for one please.

One.

One is awesome when you’re a mother of two, working 14-hour shifts, being a chef, a laundry folder, a dishwasher, a bathroom cleaner, a taxi driver, Lego truck builder, fun maker, Great Outdoors adventurer, diaper changer, bubble bath maker, and story reader.

That’s me. All day, every day.

Laemmle Theatres represent me time. Two hours of me time.

Ticket for one please.

One.

Me time … the great hope in 2013.

 

A Little Encouragement …

3 Jan

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On day three of the New Year some people may have already fallen off the plans, goals, resolutions, and self-improvement wagon.

No worries. It’s all good. You still got time.

 

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Giddy up!

 

Ready or Not Self-Improvement Projects, Bucket Lists, Yearly Goals, Plans, and Guidelines A.K.A. Resolutions … Here We Come

2 Jan

Deep thoughts, late nights, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cheesecake, bags of Pirate Booty Popcorn, and Hawaiian chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

What brought on this onslaught of high fat, high calorie salty and sweet food no-nos?

Resolutions.

I’m not a big fan of that word. Too much pressure. I like to call them plans, goals, life guidelines, hopes, self-improvements projects, or lists.

 

“I have now spent fifty-five years in resolving; having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming schemes of a better life. I have done nothing. The need of doing, therefore, is pressing, since the time of doing is short…” –Samuel Johnson

 

I was scanning the Word Press world and a lot of bloggers out there were talking about resolutions or plans for the new year. The thing is I already made plans, life guidelines, hopes, goals, self-improvements projects, and lists in the middle of the year and I’m rolling them over. I’m sticking to the completion of my Happiness Project and trying to scratch adventures off my Bucket List. But I can say that I am adding a few new goals and self-improvement projects in the hopes of continuing to add “life” to my life.

Time is short and although I can’t avoid all the crappiness that life throws at me, I want to be able to squeeze the juice out of all the lemons it throws my way. So I may have added a couple of other goals and life guidelines for 2013 … Plans to finish writing my second book, plans to continue participating in triathlons, and plans to participate in roller derby classes are among a few of them.

But making all these new 2013 guidelines, made me reflect on the two that I made last year. I didn’t announce them to the world, just to myself and two other friends. One: Start a blog. Write everyday. Two: Be happy for one day. All day. Not just bits and pieces  … but all day. Dusk ’til dawn. And I’m happy to say that both of these two resolutions were completed successfully. Well technically, I have a couple more days to go on one of the “resolutions,” but overall I’ve done well.

They sound pretty simple, but with all the craziness that comes with life it wasn’t that easy. But a couple of pieces of advice helped me out.

 

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Image via happiness-project.com

 

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Image via happiness-project.com

Small steps. Small steps everyday toward a big goal was the way to go for me, maybe not for everyone, but yes for me. And expectations … fun is better than stressing out over perfect outcome. I’m hoping I remember the same advice this year.

But in all this resolution, goal setting, self-improvement me, me, me talk I failed to think of my kids and what if any experiences or goals they might want in 2013. I mean I plan all kinds of adventures and activities for them, but hadn’t really asked what do you want? Other than LEGOLAND, of course. So I’ve added a 2013 “Sandbox List” for my kids this year. I’m sure my four-year old will speak for both of them. And although my daughter can’t really speak clearly and tell me what she wants,  considering that she’s only one, her smiles and laughter tell me she enjoys the ride.

So the Guats are off … Ready or not self-improvement projects, bucket lists, yearly goals, plans, or guidelines A.K.A. resolutions … 2013 here we come.