Tag Archives: Words on Wednesday

Words on Wednesday

28 Jul

It’s not always easy celebrating someone’s life while at the same time remembering someone who passed away. It’s an anniversary you’d rather forget. 

July becomes a test of mental and emotional strength every year. Finding the right balance of happiness for kids getting older and reaching milestones and fighting back the sadness because grandpa’s gone and he’s missing out on life he would have enjoyed living. No advice on how to tackle that, how to feel happiness and joy, while sadness lingers in the back and creeps up on you when you don’t expect it. You just take it as it comes and give it what you got.

Finding the happiness in kids turning double digits.  That’s 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 10! Remembering Harold and The Purple Crayon and Goodnight Moon like it was last week. Play-Doh and bubbles. Pictures drawn in Crayola Crayons and paints that come in plastic jars. Rainbows, puppies, snakes, flowers, and smiling stick figures. Now she’s using colored pencils and practicing her best Bob Ross skills on sketch pads and easels with fancy paper. Hitting home runs, watching Bear Grylls, jumping off diving boards, and learning everything about penguins. That’s what happens when kids turn ten.

Then you get a kid turning 13. Yup. The teen begins. Random clerks at a store chuckling and shaking their head at you saying ‘oh, 13, that’s gonna be a fun year for you.’ Like they know something, a parent secret, but not telling you because you’re about to find out in a BIG way. 

13.

Sounds ominous.

I don’t remember it being that way.

But then again I was the 13-year old. Not the parent of one. 

Here we go. On a new roller coaster ride and I don’t know where the turns are, but they’re coming. 

Now no more TV shows with animated characters, they got shows with people and issues. Got my own Wonder Years experience going on here with questions about getting cell phones and driver’s permit. Hang on a second! This one is a to be continued … and those three dots right there, that’s what’s gonna make it interesting. 13 and in 8th grade. I imagine a lot of goings on will be going on. It’s puberty. It’s transition. It’s voice cracking, stinky socks, and peach fuzz on the upper lip about to become a full Magnum P.I. style mustache. It’s funny. But it’s not.

But at least sports is still a common denominator and I still rock as coach and trainer and they come to me for guidance and I can give advice and they’ll listen. Through sports I can still teach life lessons, even without them fully knowing it. It’ll sink it.

I hope. 

13 and 10.

I’ve become a life coach to kids in double digits. It happens to every parent, I know. I’m just realizing it’s happening to me while at the same time celebrating someone that would have been 73, but was taken away too soon.

I imagine a lot of untold stories went with him and I feel bad about that, about not hearing the rest of them, about the unfinished life he had and the years as a grandpa robbed from him. It’s sadness and joy. He probably had so many more memories and pieces of life to share with me, about when he was 10 or 13, or the parent of one. But now I can only hold onto what I got. That’s the tough part. Knowing he had more but we never got around to it because unexpected sickness happened and that sucked. 

From one day to the next. Celebrating your kids to grieving your dad. It’s a state of funk that’s difficult to navigate. But you get up and keep moving. That’s July for me. The world keeps moving even if you want it to stay still. It moves with or without you. 

So I found myself celebrating and being happy one day, sad the next, and bumping it up again the following week. 

No rules on how to do it, just finding ways to live through it.  So even though this writing hiatus was unplanned it was probably needed. Sometimes the words just don’t come out and it was probably for a reason. Settling in and coming off my own birthday as well, trying to turn the page and get the creativity going. I got another 365-day journey around the sun, so it’s a good time to start again. So I went off on an outdoor adventure, away from people, away from the city and tried something new.

Sometimes the Outdoors sprinkles a little magic and you feel different. Sometimes not. 

But luckily that day the cloud of funk lifted and the getaway brought perspective.

 

Buen Camino!

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Words on Wednesday … An Unexpected Boost

30 Dec

This is when they all come out … The Top 10 Best Things to do on New Year’s Eve, The Top 10 Movies, The Top 10 TV Shows, The Top 10 Songs, The Top 10 Stories, Top 10 Exercises for Six-Pack Abs, The Top 10 Restaurants Top 10 Remedies to Get You Out of Your Rut … Top 10 Reasons Not to Care About Someone Else’s Top 10 Lists.

I imagine there were a lot of those lists piling up on people’s table tops or crowding people’s browsers this year. But these lists are not my jam. I tried one once but when it said that mayonnaise was an ingredient for chocolate cake I damn near lost it. In fact I did. Who. Does. That?!

Mayonnaise and chocolate.

Disgusting.

Made me re-examine the whole concept behind lists.

I mean they’re good for making you aware of events that you might have missed, but unless it’s written by someone you know, I wouldn’t put much weight on it, stick to your own opinion and balance it out with your own likes and intentions.

Like getting rid of bad moods or vibes. Don’t need a Top 10 for that one. Just tune into your being and see what works for you. Sometimes that same go-to solutions may not work and you just have to try something else. Feeling the funkiness fatigue of the grind hit mid-morning and it just ignited a burned-out-foul mood. I mean I was hot!

Even went out to a park, the one with the huge field and lots of space where we could be away from anybody if anybody were there, but that didn’t work. Walking among the trees and nature, feeling the sun, that wasn’t working it’s magic today. Perhaps the people taking a million selfies on the giant rock annoyed me too much. Couldn’t shake it loose.

Needed a boost from somewhere else…

I found it in an unexpected place.

I was supposed to help a friend of mine make some phone calls before the New Year. Big deadline tomorrow. I agreed to it last week and seeing how I still had that stank of a mood on me, I wanted to say I couldn’t make it today. But I was just giving my kids a lecture in the morning about keeping your word, and if you say you’re gonna do something, then show up and do it. Actions matter. Words matter. So I couldn’t really be a chump, a hypocrite.

So I fired up the computer, logged onto my email, and turned on my phone.

Got into the groove of the phone calls.

Some people were nice, others hung up, some didn’t answer. But nevertheless I was doing something for someone else. I was helping because I believed in them and what they were doing. By the end of the calls the funky foul mood feeling disappeared. And it wasn’t like I was building houses for people, or working in a soup kitchen, it was phone calls. Helping to make phone calls. Simplest of gestures, but it mattered.

Helping someone else get closer to their goals, their dreams … that made me feeeeeeeeeeeeeeel better. And that’s something I wasn’t looking for when I began. I wasn’t in it for me. My thoughts focused solely on helping out before the deadline. Adding my voice to ease the workload. But in addition to helping them, I also helped myself

The boost to get me through my funk sometimes doesn’t show up in a podcast, a book, a story, a show, movie, song, or workout routine. Sometimes the boosts comes from helping someone who needs a hand. I was glad to have turned the corner. And then when I walked out for some scooter time with the kids in the driveway the sky smiled down on me and the day ended with another a boost. I like closing it down on a good note.

🙂 even when there are storm clouds, the sky manages to bring its Crayolas and make you smile

Glad to have gotten two boosts in one day … both before the New Year.

Buen Camino my friends!

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Words on Wednesday … Stuck in an Elevator and Driver Licenses

14 Oct

Remember when you got your driver’s license for the first time? Remember that? You walked out of the DMV like Rocky Balboa feeling like I GOT thisssssssssssssssssss!

Granted I didn’t get mine until I got out of college, but I was living with a driving permit for years. Not because I didn’t want to take the test, but I actually didn’t need a car in school as the subway was the way to do, and walking. So I didn’t have a need for one really. But once I got out into the real world and started working, that license was imperative. Not just for work but for the independence that came with it. The driver’s license was much more than permission to get behind the wheel.

Now, driving doesn’t feel like an accomplishment at all, just an extension of the everyday. Parallel parking in a tight spot while random strangers are watching you from their porch? Now THAT still puts an extra spring in my step! I strut like George Jefferson when I pull that off.

But thinking about my license and traveling back in time, that was an epic day. One I looked forward to most definitely. And so during my little time traveling escapade I realized that I’ve been missing the “looking forward to” aspect.

There are little things here and there to be grateful for, can’t deny that. Parallel parking as I mentioned, rocks. Under current circumstances, gratitude makes this adventure we’re all going through better. But feeling the feels, like that driver’s license vibe … that’s missing. The assuredness that you’ve planned or prepared for something and it’s about to go down.

That’s been missing a long time.

I was reminded of that this week, though, as I couldn’t go to any of my kids’ soccer, hockey, or baseball games seeing how there was no season. Looking forward to seeing them play, their hard work and skills learned during the week tested out there, the smiles on their faces when things went right and the sighs when improvement was still needed. Or the feel of the big league stadium when you’re at the ballpark and it’s playoffs, the cheer of the collective crowd. I miss that. I don’t miss the damn beach balls that always seem to bounce in your line of vision when someone has an epic play at home plate.

The “looking forward to,” part was missing and it feels like I’ve been stuck in an elevator between the 7th and 8th floors telling everyone else stuck in there with me, ‘well when I get out, what I’m going to do is this …’ ‘

We’re all making plans, we’re all plotting out what’s gonna happen first. I mean I know Disneyland will probably be packed. No doubt.

But this elevator sucks and those doors are going to be closed for a long time. So I have to find moments until the doors open, even if they’re not driver-license worthy, they still give me something to look forward to beyond the everyday routine.

The race, for instance.

Most of the time my obstacle races and runs present both physical and mental challenges that make me laugh and feel good. Give me those Gatorade worthy moments. But this year it’s done with a virtual twist. I did my dad’s race that way and even though it wasn’t the same it did give me the looking-forward-to-it vibe. I had purpose. I felt that pitter-pat. So when a friend of mine sent me a link to a virtual race for our old school, I thought cool shirt. I’m in. I want a little something different.

It broke up the regular of this irregularity. So I had something to look forward to, something out of the ordinary. A little excitement bubbled as I joined others feeling the same way, participating, being part of a community even if we weren’t at the finish line at the same time. It was good to do a little something different, to reach a goal and to reach it with my kid. It was a good break from the stuck elevator.

🙂

And so my life remains in chunks, and even though I’ve been grateful for the wake up in the morning without Coronavirus chunk, I wish, like everyone else, that there were more driver’s license moments.

Buen camino my friends …

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