Happy Anniversary To Me 4-20-20

Today is my sixth month anniversary. Six months ago, I was on my walk. It was Sunday. I was praying that day asking god to intercede in my life and help me to land on my feet again spiritually, emotionally and physically. I was so tired of the anxiety, depression, PTSD, a negative mindset as well as the constant fear and worry that had taken control of my life.

This coming May will be five years that I returned from San Francisco. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve isolated myself in my room ever since. Life happens sometimes. Challenges arise, traumatic experiences happen. Health problems, relationship problems, job loss, finances…..Life as we knew it can change in a New York minute.

That Sunday, I made the decision to take my life back. I won’t bore you with the details. Some things are just meant to stay private. However, I will share I have been working diligently to take control of my mind, body and soul and spirit everyday. The result….I’m happy again. I love life again….and I’m grateful. I have a whole new perspective. I see the blessings in all things even at a time when we are all forced to be in isolation. I’m learning every day to create a better me. You too can create a better you the minute you decide to take control of your life. Good times will happen as will bad. Happy times will happen as will sad. It’s how we choose to react to every situation. Personally, I chose to react poorly.

Six months ago, I chose peace, love, serenity, joy, health, family, but more importantly life! I choose to live my life in a state of gratitude opposed to depression. It’s been six months ago today that I prayed asking God for help. He heard me that day because today is my anniversary and every day I find myself looking forward to the day as well as what the future will be that is right in front me. With any luck, the light that shines in my life will exude and shine brightly on those I encounter everyday. Life is good! It always was. I just failed to recognize it.

(Maui….my favorite place)

Self Care 4-8-20

Rest when you’re tired. Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty. Call a friend when you’re lonely. Ask God, the Universe, Your Higher Power to help when you feel overwhelmed. Many of us have learned to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard. Many of us are afraid the work won’t get done if we rest when we’re tired. The work will get done, it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe. They are well timed, efficient and divinely led.

Today I will practice self care.

Expecting Something Wonderful 4-7-20

Several years ago I found myself faced with challenging times. I’ve shared my story many times and I’ve also shared how I went to mass one Sunday. My life was overwhelming. That Sunday Father Michael shared about a challenging day he had experienced that week. Everything was going wrong. Who knew? Even priests struggle. In any event Father Michael told the story of how he found himself overwhelmed, discouraged and feeling defeated when he opened a book and at the top of the page were the words “Something Wonderful Is About To happen”. Immediately he felt a sense of peace knowing that despite having a bad day, he was reminded that at any given moment “Something Wonderful
Was About To Happen”. He encouraged us to remind ourselves that even when the going gets tough, we have to be prepared for something wonderful to happen. God, the Universe or our Higher Power is always ready and willing to provide us with something wonderful. We just have to be open to receiving the good things even during stressful times.

I was so moved by his story, that when I got home that night I entered that reminder on my calendar to remind me of “something wonderful” throughout the day. It never fails, just when I’m ready to explode or even panic, I hear that reminder on my phone. Usually I’ll find myself looking up and seeing an awesome sunset, a beautiful flower or even witness an act of kindness. At times, I’ll get a call from my kids or grandkids and all that stinkin’ thinkin’, stress or fear fades away and is always replaced with something wonderful.

I’m sharing because times are hard for so many people right now. Fear, anxiety, boredom, financial difficulties and even illness are everywhere. However, if you take a moment to remind yourself “Something Wonderful Is About To Happen” you’ll be surprised to find something really will. Your prayer might not be answered for that specific thing but you will always witness something wonderful as long as you’re open to receiving it.

I am a lover of the outdoors so every day for me. even when the challenges are overwhelming, I get to experience something wonderful and I’m often inclined to capture that “something wonderful” in a photo on my phone. I share that blessing with others in the hope that just when you think you can’t take it anymore, you too will experience a wonderful sense of peace, if only for a brief moment.

So remember, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed take a time out and say “Something Wonderful Is About To Happen!” Trust me, something always will. Just be open to receiving it.

Stay In The Light 4-4-20

I woke up this morning. My hair looks like crap. I need a hair cut. Thank god for banana clips. My nails are in a desperate need of a fill and my toes have no business being seen in flip flops. I feel a little frumpy but honestly it really doesn’t bother me. The nation is in isolation. Our new fashion trend is a face mask and gloves as well as social distancing. So many people are facing a financial crisis. Depression and anxiety I’m sure have affected many people.

Here’s what I know. I always say “In A New York Minute, everything can change”. I say this because it happened to me. Five years ago I had cancer. I lost my health, my hair, my eyebrows, my eyelashes, eyebrows, fingernails, toenails and my dignity too. Life as I knew it changed forever. I have experienced financial difficulties since as well as depression, anxiety and I’ve battled PTSD too. The experience has made me a better person and has allowed me to really recognize what’s important. In other words, I’ve managed to survive. It hasn’t been easy but I’m still here to bother everyone with all my crazy posts, pictures and even voicing my opinion for the things I’m passionate about. Homeless, health, cancer….so many things.

I’m sharing because I know so many people are facing challenges right now. I’ve seen posts complaining about the lack of frivolous things. Posts about lack of work, money, fear etc. I want to encourage you to keep going. This to shall pass and trust me when this is all over you will become “A Better You”. All that stuff you thought was important will no longer be important anymore. Life, family and health will become priorities. If you’re struggling financially, you’ll learn to live frugally. I know this to be true. In the beginning of all this I was so scared. I’m still worried and fearful to a degree. My therapist reminded me that I’ve faced many of these challenges already and I’ve gotten through it. She’s right. My hair and nails are no longer important. I know how to live frugally but more importantly I know what’s important. Health, family and gratitude for what I do have.

I’ll be going on my walk shortly. The sun is shining, it’s a little brisk but I’m grateful. This song will be on my playlist reminding me that no matter the challenge, today is what I make it. I choose to make it a “Lovely Day”. I hope you will too. Sending love and light to everyone today. Stay strong and keep the faith. Today is a challenge but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and when you finally make it to the other side you become a better you and you look back and are reminded that everything you thought was important will not be as important anymore. Stay the course and recognize the blessings in what you do have right now. Stay in the light and send that light to others

The World I Know 2-28-20

I love this song. The meaning is so profound and so relatable to many including me. We’ve all been rock bottom at some point in our life. But it never fails. The sun shines once again in our life and we look back on the bad times and thank god we made it.

The music video depicts a businessman who begins to go about his day, reading The New York Times on the way to his office. As he reads about death, and sees the homelessness and sadness on the street, he becomes disillusioned with his life and prepares to commit suicide. As he climbs to the roof of a nearby building, he takes off his shoes and looks at the ground crying. He stretches out his arms and readies himself to fall.

However, just as he is about to fall, a pigeon lands on his arm. He feeds it with the bagel in his pocket, and the crumbs attract ants, which makes the man notice the similarities of them to the people walking below. He laughs throwing all his money at the people and pulls himself out of his state.

During the entire video, periodic cuts to singer Ed Roland looking on at the man while singing the song are shown.

The video also shows sadness and happiness in the form of color hues for the video. While the man is disillusioned with his life and is thinking about suicide, the video is in a blue and purple tint, giving a dark feeling to the video. When the pigeon lands on the man’s arm, the video’s hue changes to show the normal colors of the city, also revealing the sun shining over the city, showing of the sudden change to happiness and relief. – Wikipedia

Watering The Right Lawn 2-6-20

A dear friend read this devotional at a meeting tonight. I was so moved by it I asked for a copy to bring home and read everyday. I think we’ve all been guilty a time or two in thinking the grass was greener on the other side. We make hasty decisions based on a belief that somehow the grass will be greener on the other side. Sometimes we even leave a relationship to chase another “knight in shining armor” only to find that knight was nothing more than a toad. It’s then that we realize the grass We were on in the first place simply needed a little watering.

For me this is a great reminder to find the blessing in where I am today. Emotionally, physically and spiritually. I’m not where I want to be but thank god I’m not where I used to be. I’ll just keep watering my side of the grass until the winter I find myself in finally turns to spring.

If You Want To Be Successful 8-14-19

If you want to be a successful painter, you will at first fail on numerous canvases. And if you want to be a successful mathematician, you will at first fail in solving the equations. If you want to be a successful writer, your manuscripts will be rejected endlessly until one of them isn’t. But there will never come a point when you stop failing, because that’s what creativity is about. What works can only be known against the backdrop of what doesn’t—and if you’re too afraid to ever risk establishing that backdrop, personally and professionally, then you’ll never know what success is like. In the Hebrew Bible, we have the beautiful images in Jeremiah, for example, in the potter’s house where he comes to understand that even as Israel screws everything up over and over again, God—like a potter with clay in hand—is patient and allows the remodeling to take place, allows us to try again, to become the beautiful creation intended from the beginning. If we cannot live because we fear failure, then we cannot be good Christians because it is a faith predicated on being often diametrically opposed to worldly success. If you want to be successful, you need to learn to fail well.

—from the book God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Even On A Bad Day Life Is Good 8-11-19

I love this quote and can certainly relate. I remember living in San Francisco. I was going through chemo treatments while living with Mephistopheles in the flesh. My life sucked. I had cancer. I was enduring treatment with zero support. I couldn’t work. I was financially challenged. In short, my life sucked!!!

My priest encouraged me to do some volunteer work in the hopes it would help with the depression and sadness I was feeling at that time. I ended up volunteering at the shelter at our church. I’ll never forget the first day I went. I was feeling sorry for myself. Life sucked or so I thought. Our guests were all waiting in line outside to come in for a warm meal. That day I met some of the kindest people I’d ever met in my life. I had never met so many people with so much gratitude. All of them were homeless living on a sidewalk, a park etc. Geez, they had nothing other than a place to go to for a warm meal. Most of these people exuded so much joy and happiness. They supported one another and were so grateful for the help they were receiving.

That day was so humbling for me. I had cancer. Life sucked yet I had a place to live in a great part of the city. I had food to eat. Clothes to wear. The list goes on. I had cancer. My partner was an unsupportive and extremely mean person. I was facing my battle all alone yet I was in better shape than the guests that were at the shelter that day. I found myself so ashamed of myself. I realized just how blessed I was yet so ungrateful. I went to the back room that day and began to cry. Sister Lois came in as I was crying. She said the same words to me me written on this quote. I had so much to be grateful for yet until that day I hadn’t recognized just how blessed I was. That day changed my perspective forever.

We all go through hard times. Life sucks sometimes. However, no matter what we are going through there is always someone experiencing something worse. Count your blessings. Sometimes it’s hard to do but if we don’t how in the world can we expect a bigger blessing? I remember hearing someone say “every morning when my feet touch the floor I know it’s a great day!” Isn’t that the truth? I often find myself feeling sorry for myself and when I do, God sends me a little reminder that no matter the circumstances I am truly blessed. We all are.

I’ve Seen All Good People 7-29-19

I was on my way home with my youngest son from an art festival on Saturday. We were listening to music. A song by the band “YES” came on. My son shared one of his favorite songs was “I’ve Seen All Good People”. I had to agree it was my favorite also. When my kids were young I would play the beginning of the song over and over. I was surprised to hear my son share a story of when he was on a trip in Oakland.

Derek shared he was at a restaurant with friends. He heard this song playing and became distracted. The owner of the restaurant was at their table welcoming the group to his restaurant. He looked at my son and commented that clearly his mind was somewhere else. Derek told the owner that he could hear this song playing. It reminded him of hearing it repeatedly when he was young. He shared it was one of his favorites. The owner began to cry. He told Derek that it was his brothers favorite song too. His brother had passed away when he was a teenager. Derek was so moved by the story as was I when my son shared the story with me.

We played the song on the way home. I have to admit, we played the beginning over and over. I told my son I was really curious to know what the meaning of the song was. We looked it up on Wikipedia and Song Facts.

I’ve Seen All Good People” is a song performed by the English progressive rock band Yes. Written by Yes members Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, it was first included on 1971’s The Yes Album and has appeared on several later albums. The first part of the song, titled “Your Move“, was released as a single. It became a top 40 hit in the United States, which helped the group build momentum

The tune uses chess as a lyrical metaphor for navigating interpersonal relationships. It has received positive reviews from several critics and has been considered one of Yes’s best-known songs, with AllMusic‘s Mike DeGagne stating that “the harmonies are resilient from start to finish” and that the track “still stands as one of their most appealing” works. Music critic Robert Christgau has also singled it out for praise.

The first part of the song, “Your Move”, alludes to the game of chess as a metaphor for male–female relationships. Examples include the phrases “move me onto any black square”, “make the white queen run so fast”, and “the goal is for us all to capture only one”.

A reference to John Lennon’s work is in the lyric “send that instant karma to me”, with “Instant Karma!” being a single released by Lennon in 1970. Also, the sentence “All we are saying is give peace a chance” is heard in the organ part before switching to “All Good People”, referencing another Lennon song, “Give Peace a Chance“. More generally, Anderson has stated that the line “’cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time” was an attempt to say that he would “do anything that is required of me to reach God” and that he wants the listener to feel “in tune and in time with God.” Just before the three-minute mark of the song, at the final part of “Your Move”, the chorus of Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” can be heard in the background. – Wikipedia

This is an anti-war song. The term “I’ve seen all good people” is ALL the people, including the so-called enemy.

The line, “Don’t surround yourself with yourself” refers to self-righteous behavior; “Move on back two squares” is a chess term meaning to retreat and rethink your position. The lyrics also refer to the queen, which is the most versatile and powerful chess piece. It talks about how news is captured for use by the queen, which uses forces to take control and manipulate troops against the enemy. War is like a game of chess.

With the line, “Send an instant comment to me, initial it with loving care,” this song references “Instant Karma,” which was a song recorded by John Lennon a year earlier. Lennon was a huge influence on Yes, who covered The Beatles song “Every Little Thing” on their first album.

The lines: “Just remember that the gold is for us to capture all we want, anywhere, Yea, yea, yea” refers to the rich and powerful victimizing the weak and poor. The US was taken off the Gold standard by Richard Nixon August 15, 1971 the same year this was released. – Song Facts.

LYRICS

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

Take a straight and stronger course

To the corner of your life

Make the white queen run so fast

She hasn’t got time to make you a wife

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Move me on to any black square

Use me anytime you want

Just remember that the goal

Is for us all to capture all we want (Move me on to any black square)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself

Move on back two squares

Send an instant karma to me

Initial it with loving care (Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Don’t surround yourself with yourself)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself (Don’t surround yourself)

Move on back two squares

Send an instant karma to me (Send an instant karma to me)

Initial it with loving care (Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And it’s news is captured

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

After reading about the meaning of this song, I couldn’t help but love the song even more. In my opinion, we should all strive to be better. We should also strive to be closer to God. Besides the fact this song is anti-war song, it also encourages all of us to step back and reflect on our own selves opposed to judging others. I feel we have become a nation of so much fighting and pointing fingers. The lyrics also encourage us to strive for peace. Interestingly enough, I feel our current situation with our president is very similar to the Nixon era. There is absolutely no peace in this country.

I love how “YES” uses a game of chess as a metaphor to get their point across. I’m not sure why I’m sharing all this on my blog tonight. Possibly because I can really resonate with the meaning. I would love nothing more than for everyone to find a sense of peace not only in their own lives but with others. Who knows. All I know is I love this song. I love that I’m able to share that same love of a song with my son Derek. I love the beat. I love the lyrics and I love the meaning.

This tune is a classic. It was released in the 70’s. It was a hit then and in truth is still a hit in my eyes so many years later. I’d like to encourage you to listen to the song. Who knows, maybe you too might be touched and find yourself wishing for a little bit of peace too. Like the song, I’m sending a little good karma your way. Initialed with loving care and I hope you will do the same for me. ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Chiquitita 1-7-19

Growing up my dad was a huge fan of the group ABBA. I grew up listening to all of their songs. I’m 53 years old and I still love ABBA. One of my dads favorite songs was Chiquitita. He used to play that song over and over and could sing every lyric. I think of my dad every time I hear that song.

When he passed away, my mother and I cleaned out his pickup. He had several bottles of Stetson cologne and many pictures of me. He even had copies of the ads I created while I was a Marketing Consultant. I remember asking my mom why my dad had so many pictures of me and why did he have so many of my ads. She said “because your dad always thought you were so beautiful and he was so proud of you”. I still get teary eyed thinking about that day when my mother and I cleaned out my dads pickup. In his pickup was also an ABBA cd. My dad had their greatest hits. It was no surprise that he would have that in his pickup. He was ABBAs biggest fan.

My dad and I were very close. In fact, he was not only my dad, but he was my best friend too. He was the rock in my life that was always there for me in the good times and the bad times. When life threw me a curveball, I knew I could always count on my dad to be by my side offering and encouraging the strength I needed to keep moving forward. There was never a challenge too big that I couldn’t overcome. I always knew I had my sidekick who would be by my side every step of the way. I’ll be honest, I’ve been lost without my dad since he passed away. My dad took a piece of not only my heart, but my entire being when he left. I’ve been floundering ever since. I’ve made some horrible choices, I’ve been depressed and any challenge has been just too big for me to handle without my dad by my side. I have found it hard to adjust to life without my side kick. Sadly, I still have a picture of me and my dad on my night stand. I wake up to it every morning.

This past November, depression, anxiety and PTSD finally took its toll. I’ve carried a heavy load for a really long time. Not to mention, I’ve had one trial after another. I’ve tried so hard to keep my head above water but not having my dad by my side to conquer everything has proved to be difficult. I’ve prayed, I’ve sought the help from life coaches, I’ve seen spiritual healers…you name it. I’ve tried it. I finally accepted the advice of my doctors and began taking anti-depressants. I’ll admit, my doctors have encouraged me to take them for the past seven years but I’ve refused. I really believed I would come out of this depression and everything would be ok. I was wrong. Every now and then it doesn’t hurt to get a little help. Even when that help includes an anti depressant and in my case, counseling too. I am not allowing myself to feel like a failure because I had to get a little help. I remind myself this is short term until I get my emotional self back on track. The result is I am feeling better every day. I’m even laughing again. However, I’ll be honest that void of my dad is still missing. I still miss him.

Since my dad passed away I’ve only dreamed of him once. That is, until a couple of weeks ago. I woke up sweating. I had been dreaming about my dad. In my dream, he was so disappointed in me. He was disappointed in a number of things. That disappointment was heart wrenching. When I woke up I knew I had to get my shit together. I had to pick myself up and start living life again.

Yesterday, I was having a hard day. I’ve been dealing with an issue that has weighed heavy on my life as well as emotional health. I’ve been angry at myself for not having the courage to walk away from that situation that has clearly become toxic in my life. I went on my walk and just felt beaten and defeated. I prayed the entire three and a half miles. I found myself praying for clarity, wisdom and strength. I found myself feeling hopeless and gutless. I found myself wishing my dad was here to be by my side offering the courage I need to walk away. Better yet, I found myself wishing my dad was here to just deal with the issue for me. That afternoon I got in my car. I started it and when I did, Chiquitita was on the radio. I immediately thought of my dad. I remembered how much he loved this song. As I listened to the lyrics, it became clear my dad was speaking to me through this song. The lyrics really touched my heart and led me to believe it was my dad reminding me that he was still with me. He was also reminding me of who I am as well as the strength I have to finally let go of the issue and begin to move forward. I couldn’t help but cry my eyes out while driving in my car.

I don’t feel the need to share my challenge tonight. I will share on a later post when I can share I finally got through it. However, I feel the need to share this song as well as the lyrics tonight for anyone going through a tough time. Like the song, I’d like to remind you like the song reminded me, that while you may feel there’s no hope for tomorrow, the sun is still in the sky shining above you. It’s shining above me too. If we sing a new song and try once more, together we will be dancing once again. I can get through anything and believe me when I say, so can you.

Here are the lyrics:

“Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong
You’re enchained by your own sorrow
In your eyes there is no hope for tomorrow
How I hate to see you like this
There is no way you can deny it
I can see that you’re oh so sad, so quiet

Chiquitita, tell me the truth
I’m a shoulder you can cry on
Your best friend, I’m the one you must rely on
You were always sure of yourself
Now I see you’ve broken a feather
I hope we can patch it up together

Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving
You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
Chiquitita, you and I cry
But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you
Let me hear you sing once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita

So the walls came tumbling down
And your love’s a blown out candle
All is gone and it seems too hard to handle
Chiquitita, tell me the truth
There is no way you can deny it
I see that you’re oh so sad, so quiet

Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving
You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
Chiquitita, you and I cry
But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you
Let me hear you sing once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita