Tag Archives: turning 40

40 At 40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … No. 28

12 Dec

I don’t see it. I just can’t see it.

Where’s the funny?

That’s what I was thinking as I was having an emotional moment over someone passing judgment on me. It burned me out and I was feeling both angry and hurt at the same time. I couldn’t seem to find my way out of it. I couldn’t shake off the nasty taste it left.

And then an opportunity to do something for someone appeared … an accidentally on purpose random act of kindness crossed my path and I smiled.

The thought of doing something good for someone I didn’t even know changed my mood. I had forgotten the stupid words that were said about me, I had forgotten the lack of common sense and sensitivity in which they based their judgement. I had forgotten about them.

And all it took was a Blood Drive to make that happen.

I know, I know most people aren’t fans of needles, on account of the pain they inflict. But I’ve got a pretty high tolerance. Plus I’m more of a fear of roaches and rodents type of person, needles aren’t that bad.

So when I pulled into the parking lot of the Target and saw a lady dressed in blue scrubs standing in front of the blood mobile hesitantly asked me … Would you like to donate blood today?

I enthusiastically replied…YESSSSSSSS! YES I am!

She smiled as she looked for the clipboard.

They’d been out there ever since 10 a.m. so being that it was three o’clock I figured they’d had 50 or 100 people. But as it turns out I was number 12.

Number 12.

I felt both happy and sad. Happy that I was able to contribute something that would help a stranger who really needed something that only I could give, my awesome rare blood. But sad that I was only number 12.

But the nurses inside were so happy and grateful that I had taken the time to do this that they didn’t care that I just was number 12, they cared that I was a mother of two taking time out of her day to help someone, to save a life. They reminded me of gratitude. They reminded me of what was important. They reminded me of the person I was before I had a bad morning.

I was grateful for having remembered. I was grateful for random acts of kindness.

Being number 12 felt pretty good.

 

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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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40 Before 40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … It’s Now 40 At 40 … No. 27 Chocolate Helps

4 Sep

It happened again, but this time it was a different woman and it made me remember why it began.

I hadn’t forgotten about my quest, my mission, my kindness adventure. I hadn’t. I just missed the deadline, something that rarely happens to me. I didn’t make it. I came up short. I failed. It was kind of a bummer.

You see for those of you just joining us, I was on a kindness journey, ready to spread 40 Accidentally on Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40.

I turned 40 … weeks ago.

I survived it, but I had only written posts about 23 of them. I actually surprised 26 people with Guat kindness, but never got around to telling all of you about that. 26 out of 40.

:)

ūüôā

That’s not even a D+, just a solid D with room for improvement. I never got a D in my life so this little setback had me feeling pretty crappy. I had learned so much about gratitude, and the unexpected throughout this little adventure. I remembered a few life lessons about the little things. I enjoyed the way these felt, but I had turned 40 and the goal was 40 BEFORE 40.

As I was thinking about where to pick up, or how I should pick up after falling off the kindness wagon, I saw her. She was just like the first lady I had seen when I started this. She was having a moment, the kind of emotional moments I’ve had before. She sat there in her blue minivan, with the windows rolled up, and her black sunglasses trying to hide what was behind those eyes. But I could see her sadness through the window, I could see her head hanging low, and the tears falling from the corner of her eyes.

I don’t know why she was crying. I just know how sadness felt, and it reminded me of the lady that I was never able to help, the one that sped off after the stoplight turned green. The lady I looked for, but never found. The one that sparked my 40 Before 40 Random Acts of Kindness.

And then something clicked.

I saw my dark chocolate cupcake, topped vanilla buttercream frosting and coconut flakes. It was just sitting there. Probably a thousand and one calories, but the best thousand and one calories you could ever eat. It was the last one at the store, the one I had stood in line for, the chocolate lover’s dream.

I picked it up and walked over to the minivan. I tapped on the window, she lowered it. I reached out and handed her the container. She looked up, confused.

“I don’t know if you’re diabetic, or on the Herbalife diet, or hate chocolate, but I figured you need this more than I do. I don’t know you, or what you’re going through, but I hope this helps you out. Chocolate always makes things better. I hope you feel better.”

I smiled the best I could, and then walked away.

I couldn’t help but think about this lady and hoped that my small gesture brought her a little comfort. Kindness counts, even when you don’t know the person. I think a little bit goes a long way, and I’m going to keep going my way until I hit 40 acts. But it’s not 40 Before 40 anymore, it’s 40 at 40.

Yup … that’s me 40 at 40.

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No Really It’s Only My Second Glass of Champagne, But This Is My Fifth Brownie

24 Aug

I got it again.

I didn’t really know it was missing, until I felt it come back. It was sort of dormant I guess. For about a month. But I got it back. I got my groove back and it felt good, the kind of good you felt when you were a kid, back in the old days when cassette tapes, Op Shirts, Vans sneakers and Jack Tripper existed. Yeah … I had that.

It came back to me at my friend’s 40th birthday party.

I was there to celebrate this milestone, this Big 4-0 that all us are experiencing this year, and I came away feeling grateful for her friendship and for the presence of all my girls, my comadres.

They gave it back to me. They woke it up … my groove. And they didn’t have to do anything, they were just there. They were present … they were the Shirley to my Laverne.

I walked into this Love Boat-Magnum PI-Gilligan’s Island-Fantasy Island-Luau type of party, and even though I walked in without my nautical or luau attire, for some reason it had gone MIA about an hour before I left and nobody knew nothing, there was still a good feeling, an instant smile, a feel-good vibe.

They didn’t care what I was wearing, they didn’t care that I was still the Chapstick type of girl who wore sandals instead of high heels, they just cared that I was there.

The thing is, with this group of ladies, these comadres, they know that there may be a lot wrong with me, but to them there’s a lot more that’s right. That’s what they see.

And that felt good.

My kids see that in me all the time, but it’s good when someone else can see you that way too. Someone who doesn’t watch Doc McStuffins or Star Wars Clone Wars.

So as you might have imagined, we celebrated this festive occasion the only way comadres can. We laughed, we danced, we talked, we remembered, we celebrated we let our freak flags fly and fly high. The DJ played tunes from our college days, and we of course hit the dance floor as if it was our college days. I had a few flip-flop malfunctions from all my Solid Gold dancer moves, but I continued on. And as people trickled off the dance floor, I continued to feel the music and work my groove. Then I noticed a girl at the party, smiling and chuckling as she watched me and my awesome dance moves.

champagne

ūüôā

I walked over to the coffee table, finished my drink, headed over to her, smiled and said …

“This is only my second glass of champagne.”

“I don’t believe you,” she said smiling back at me.

“No really, it’s only my second glass of champagne,” I insisted. “I’m running on me. This is all natural right here, baby. But this is my fifth brownie.”

I grabbed the brownie from the table, raised it up and took a bite.

She smiled and I headed back to the dance floor.

I ended up having three glasses of champagne that night, and eight brownies.

It was a good day.

Got my groove back and touched my soul thanks to some of my comadres.

The Guat Makes It To 40 … Smiling

27 Jul

I knew I’d be scared. I knew I’d be nervous.

But it was going to happen anyway.

Regardless.

It had to, there was no turning back. My life had taken a step forward and I had to follow, whether I was ready to or not. Just had to be done. So I thought I’d do something scarier than turning 40 on my 40th birthday. Something to start off this decade in a way that would change my perspective on life moving forward.

You see I wasn’t having a big party, and I wasn’t taking a great vacation somewhere. I wasn’t doing any of the awesome things that people do when they turn 40. I wasn’t able to, but I told myself I still needed to do something, something just for me, something to make me forget that I had a really tough month. Something that was bigger than 40, but something I’d always remember doing when I turned 40. Something I’d be grateful for and something that would change me. Something off The Bucket List.

And so … I went skydiving.

I didn’t tell too many people my plans, wasn’t sure if things were going to pan out, considering the personal drama I was undergoing that week and the fact that I had a vacancy in the best friend department that left me having many conversations with myself in an attempt to make sense of it all. And even though the week, or the month, didn’t go as I imagined it to be, this day did.

This day turned out exactly the way it was supposed to … and that made me smile, that made my heart feel good, the kind of good you get when someone who loves you gives you a strong hug, and holds you a little bit longer. That’s the kind of feeling I got. I had a moment that lasted the whole day. I had a Super Soul Sunday moment myself and it happened at 10,000 feet.

Perspective, passion, happiness, gratitude, inner peace, strength, vitality, amazement, and reaching Zen happens all at once.

It doesn’t hit you when you’re approaching the Pacific Coast Skydiving hanger, or when they’re strapping on the harness and belts. It doesn’t hit you when you get into the plane, or when you’re flying over the California coast and can see the Pacific Ocean. No. It happens after you face the scariest part.

The door opens and he says scoot over.

Dude.

I felt my heart drop.

There I was, my legs dangling over the edge and an inch of my butt barely touching the door frame of the plane.

sky3

There I am the most scared I’d ever been in a long time and there’s Tom, skydiving master extraordinaire … smiling.

Holy crap.

This is it. I mean I know it’s it. That’s why I flew up here. For the “it” moment. My heart started beating faster, and the nervousness was building into anxiety and fear.

This is it.

This is really it.

“Ready? I’m gonna say one, two, three,” Tom said smiling.

One … I closed my eyes.

Two … I took a deep breath.

Thr–You know, I don’t remember him saying three, I just remember opening my eyes as he pushed us forward and out of the plane.

sky5

I hate taking selfies and usually want no part in them, but having Tom take one at this point in the adventure was an awesome exception.

I screamed.

I laughed.

And then I screamed and laughed some more.

I couldn’t believe I was actually doing it.

The feeling made me forget about everything crappy that happened during the week. It made me forget about cold feet before 40, made me forget about losing a friend, made me forget about my writer’s block, made me forget gray hairs and anti-aging creams, made me forget the stress in my life and the wrongs that were in it.

It made me present in the moment, the most present I’d probably ever been.

I don’t know how long I was free-falling, I just remember how it made me feel and how glad I was for feeling it.

Then the parachute deployed, the straps tightened, and I eased my way down to the field below, but not before Tom, my skydiving partner who was keeping me alive, did some stuntman swirlee-twirlee tricks reminding me why I don’t get on the Scrambler Zero Gravity carnival rides. I laughed and screamed through that and then we landed safely.

I high-fived Tom and smiled.

sky10

I made it. I had done it and it was an awesome way to start the morning of my 40th Birthday.

40 felt good then.

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‘Twas The Night Before …

25 Jul

Only a few hours before midnight and the fourth decade of my life will have started and my head will be resting on the cool side of the pillow, I hope. Not with a wild and crazy party filled with dancing, music or a disco ball, but just with the soft, steady, breathing of my kids fast asleep and the quiet of the night that can only be the special kind of quiet when the moon is out.

Thinking of the big 3-9 that just passed me, the year that went by, the Gatorade-worthy moments that made me feel good all week and the sad moments the took pieces of my heart away where acceptance was my only option. All of this feels 40, the bigness of 40, I feel it.

It weighed on me today, nervous like cold feet before a wedding. I’ve got it. The cold feet.

I wish I had my best friend here, or just a phone call away. But I don’t. Did I tell you I lost my best friend? They didn’t die or anything the friendship just got lost with time, within the 38 and 39 year-old time frame. It got lost and not so much because of me, which is sad when a friend isn’t your friend anymore, and it’s hitting me more now that the Big 4-0 is coming up.

I still have friends though, good friends, circle of trust friends, comadres and compadres, but that best friend the first one you call when something amazing happens, or something just devastating blindsides you, crushes you and you can’t breathe, and you can’t find yourself and your best friend is there and they bring you back to you. They see the you, that you see and that very fact comforts you back into existence.

I lost them, but I’ve found ways to bring The Guat back to Guat. I’ve found moments. Through this 40-Before-40 journey the smallest moments throughout the day have given me something to be grateful for, something to smile about, something to find the pulse back to my heartbeat.

The sunset, taking a deep breath after my morning run, feeling the cool water of an early morning swim, meditating, finding Ben & Jerry’s, hitting the publish button on a new post, talking to my blogging buddies, laughing with Jon Stewart, getting an a-ha moment from a good book, or finding a life lesson where I least expected it.

But today … in today’s moment, I found that my kids’ hugs were tight enough to make me feel loved throughout the whole day. Today I found that my son’s cannonball brought a smile to my face, and that my daughter’s laughter helped me laugh too. Today I found that even though I haven’t had a best friend in a while, I had family.

I was grateful for that.

They reminded me that we drove all the way over here for a big adventure, a weekend vacation that we all deserved for my Big 4-0, and that it was going to be great.

Twas the night before … and I was feeling better.

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It’s That Time Again … Trapper-Keeper-and-L.A.-Gear Flashback

27 Apr

Yeah…It’s that time of year again, when I take you for a ride in my Delorean and cruise back to a time when you chewed Hubba Bubba, dreamed of Jake Ryan, and watched Square Pegs.

Yup, another one of my friends ventured off into the 4-0 club. She has jumped in head first and ready to rock that decade. My comadre, who, I’ve known for 20 years, blew her candles out this weekend surrounded by family in a day filled with love, heart, and laughter.

And again I felt the need to profess my awesome undying loyalty and friendship to my comadre by creating a mixed tape from the days of our youth where we hid our love notes in our Trapper Keepers and laced up our L.A. Gear right before P.E. This is the mixed tape the awesome boyfriend we imagined we had would give to us in between passing periods — the one that would melt our hearts. And, just like my last friend, this comadre also has an amazing hubby who probably rolled out the red carpet for her that night.

So I thought I’d pull out all the stops myself and make an effort to take her back … way back, and blow her musical mind, and get nostalgic for the simple days of lockers, student stores, first loves, nutrition, lunch, and high school dances. I thought I’d travel through time with a mixed tape.

Hope you enjoy this musical journey too.

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Two of Hearts — Stacy Q

Lost in Emotion — Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam

Eternal Flame — The Bangles

P.Y.T. — Michael Jackson

I’ll Be There For You — Jon Bon Jovi

Crazy For You — Madonna

Red, Red Wine — UB40

I Want To Know What Love Is — Foreigner

Por Amarte — Enrique Iglesias

Volver, Volver — Vicente Fernandez

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The Great Outdoors … My Lunkless Ticket To Fighting Fat Cells

17 Sep

 

 

The Lunk Alarm.

Apparently some people take offense to it. I thought it was funny because it’s true. There are all kinds of people¬†at the gym.¬†However just like anything else this doesn’t happen in all gyms, but it does happen.

I remembered The Lunk Alarm this weekend as I was hanging out with friends and¬†we were all talking about weight loss, eating habits,¬†and the constant¬†body changes after having kids, and¬†the changes currently happening as we are all reaching¬†40. They all talked about what they could and couldn’t eat, self-restraint, gluten allergies, and portions. We all talked about trying to keep ourselves healthy and the work it took to maintain healthy lifestyles.

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels that it gets a little harder as you get older.

Tired becomes a factor. Tired from work. Tired from school. Tired from kids. Tired from marriage. Tired from a busy life. Tired becomes a problem sometimes.

And as it became my turn to chit-chat about my outlook on the matter, I admitted, tired is a factor Most definitely. I admitted parts of my body have changed, maybe not the same ones as everyone else but nevertheless stretch marks and fat cells are part of my I had-two-kids life.

And food? I’m in love with it. I admitted to the Claim Jumper size portions. I admitted my love for pasta and that I ate it at least four times a week.¬†My adoration for chocolate. I was a food lover who had seconds, and thirds. But I did admit that because I had a deep Food Network type of amor for food, I did have to get off my ass and workout.

It just made sense.

I had to.

If I ate whatever I wanted, I needed to make sure that I got some exercise in the process. But what I failed to mention was that I hate going to gyms. All these sweaty people in one place, crowded workout areas and the Lunks walking around staring at themselves in the mirror and then staring at themselves again naked in the locker room. Yeah¬†that’s really¬†not for me.

It’s all good that you’re beefed up or that you’re “hot” … dude fantastic. You’re great eye candy, and a nice distraction for me and everyone else I imagine. High-five to you, but sometimes you’re a little too free with your body around me.

I’m all about freedom, but I love my personal space.¬† It’s mine, but sometimes staying out of my one-foot radius while you’re naked¬†becomes a little too difficult for you while you’re blow drying your hair, brushing your teeth, applying make-up or sitting down. All while you’re naked you do this. I’m clothed. I’ve got a towel. I’ve got bra and panties.¬†I’m good, but¬†skin on skin contact is not allowed, not even feet or elbows.¬†Not even accidentally.

So because I value the¬†non-naked personal space radius,¬†I don’t go to gyms. They’re just not for me. And I know not all gyms are like this. I know, but I happen to prefer The Great Outdoors anyway.

I like to do things that don’t make me feel like it’s an actual workout. Sports. Swimming. Biking. Hiking. Dancing. Boxing. Martial¬†arts.¬†Any outdoor recreation is¬†good. Triathlons are good. Races are good.¬†I’m not reminding myself that¬†I’m working out, because I’m actually having fun.

I’ve never found that working on a Stairmaster is fun¬†for me, even if I have the best playlist on my iPod, it’s just something I don’t look forward to …¬†it feels like a chore. The Great Outdoors … that doesn’t feel like a chore at all. The Great Outdoors makes it possible for me to stuff my face … to¬†eat carbs. It makes the non-workout, workout possible. Plus it has less naked people bumping into you. The Great Outdoors …¬†my ticket to fighting fat cells and stretch marks that are¬†trying¬† to kidnap my 40 year-old body.

 

 

Happiness Project Update 23: Extending Deadlines and Plan B

7 Mar

During my whole Happiness Project¬†quest there were a lot of truths¬†I had to come clean about in order to make this project work.¬†One of the things I had to let go of was My List. At one point¬†or another,¬†everyone has a list. You know, the By-The-Time-I’m-at-a-Certain-Age¬†List I should be at Point X in my life.

Image via happiness-project.com

Image via happiness-project.com

Yeah that’s the one.

I made the list as a way of giving myself a deadline. You’re supposed to be filled with certain milestones every decade, right? 20, 30, 40? It gave me something to strive for, to work for, to reach for, but when I didn’t get where I was supposed to be, well what was I supposed to do?¬† Stuff my face with chocolate? Yes. Definitely yes. But why the disappointment? I should have accounted for some setbacks, right?

Here’s the thing. I didn’t think I¬†was going to¬†fail, so when I did I thought holy crap, what should I do now? Couldn’t do anything but let go. And dude that was hard.¬†I turned¬†30 and that was that. There were a few items left on the list. Unfinished.¬†I hadn’t made the deadline, and letting go of it made me feel like a failure. This is where the chocolate came into play. The disappointment of not completing¬†My List by¬†30, probably gave birth to my love affair with chocolate, which I guess was a nice silver lining.

But as I continued reading the Happiness Project I realized that I didn’t really have to let go of My List, I just had to extend the deadline. We get extensions all the time, why not on this, right? I mean for people who get it all done by 30, 35, or 40 well woo-hoo and great for you. But for the rest of us there’s Plan B — The Extension.¬†Now some people may look down on it.¬†So there are times when you get down on the dumps, because you hear all these stories of people getting to Point X a lot sooner than they originally planned. No extension needed. But then I saw this commercial and it gave me hope. I thought dude … it’s on. I mean I’m not close to 50, but it’s still on.

 

 

I could still chase those same goals and those same dreams, I could still pursue my passions, and probably¬†experience all kinds of¬†adventures in the process. But I’d still be able to cross off items from¬†The List.¬†It would just take a little longer. Passion doesn’t run out. It’s still beating inside you,¬†like a heartbeat. The only difference is that I would no longer follow the blueprints from my original plan. I’d have to take on an alternate route. A Plan B. But just because it’s Plan B, doesn’t make it any less of a woo-hoo moment. A woo-hoo is a woo-hoo no matter what the timeline.¬†Realizing that there would still be high-fives and chocolate waiting for me¬†made it a little easier to feel less crappy about not completing the 30s List. This¬†just meant that my 40s and 50s list would be more rewarding, more adventurous and requiring more Glucosamine.