This year has started off with new and exciting beginnings. I am most proud and excited for my new promotion I recently achieved at work. It was something I worked hard for and when I felt I was ready and the opportunity presented itself, I applied. Leading up to my interview was nerve wrecking, as one can imagine, but with the support of some amazing colleagues, I went in with my best foot forward. As I get ready to start this new venture, I have learned that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Of course I have always spoken of this, but I have not myself gone after something, holding myself back by listening to that voice inside me. Am I ready? Can I do this? Making changes to better your life is always a scary thought, but if we never go after what we want, we will always wonder. I have challenged myself in ways even I didn’t know I had in me, but so worth it, to now begin a new journey. I hope that for anyone reading this, you go after what you want. In your personal, professional and every day life. Nothing is unachievable unless you don’t try. New beginnings are always scary at first, messy in the middle but so worth it in the end.
As another year comes to an end, I once again find myself reflecting on my blessings. There was no one big moment, just a collection of many defining ones. I survived the year. And I don’t wish for anything more in the coming year. I spent countless times with friends, family and my greatest gifts, my monkeys, and of course snuggle. I grew as a human and learned to step outside of my comfort zone. I learned how to be accepting of things I may not have always agreed upon and embraced new ways of looking at things. All in all, it was a great year, filled with laughter, some tears, new friends, lasting memories and always new lessons learned. My only wish for the coming year is that I grow more and experience new journeys. As you reflect on this pass year, don’t look at it as what you didn’t accomplish but at everything you did accomplish, everything you survived and everything that made you smile even cry. This pass year, though at times difficult, was a gift, I hope as you say goodbye to 2019 you remember how precious the year truly was.
Happy New Year!!!!
For anyone that knows me, since dad died he has come to visit me in way of a cardinal. I could be sad and there he would be. Mad or stressed about something, and he would just appear. Sometimes for no reason, I would just think of him, and my red cardinal would show up. Many friends have gifted me red cardinals. I have one that sits on top of my frig next to where I keep his ashes. Not sure why I have him there, maybe because dad was all about food. Friday night I came home and as I stood in my kitchen I looked up and noticed that my cardinal was laying down in front of a photo frame of my monkeys. For it to have made it there someone would of had to have moved it. There was no one here. I didn’t get startled, I simply said, ok, hey dad, what’s up? I stood there for a minute and placed the cardinal back. Went about my evening. Saturday I kept thinking about this, and had an I miss you talk with him. I know that with Thanksgiving approaching, he would by now be calling to make sure I was going to have enough food. This was his and my holiday. I have been overwhelmed with schedules and kids and work and never taking time to just be, reflect, write. I woke up this morning and I told myself, today I will just be. Felt at peace. Calm. Accomplished. As my day continued, my daughter comes by and says I went to the store and look what I saw and bought you. A picture frame of a cardinal with the words Peace. I stood there in disbelief and hugged her. Dad’s message was sent, delivered and received. Believe or don’t, but I know, dad was with me this weekend, sending me a message of love and peace. Thanksgiving has not been the same since he died 5 years ago, but today, I am not dreading it but looking forward to a day of giving thanks.
It has never been said that I am one to keep my opinions to myself, even if at times not warranted. I am, as dad use to say, a human tornado when it comes to speaking my mind. With that said, I have, I believe, grown in my approach on addressing any situation, thought or concern in a peaceful, kind hearted manner with the intention to simply say what is on my mind without hurting or insulting anyone. Although not always achieved, it is how I approach things these days. As I go thru my own personal growth at home and work, I find myself having to question the why instead of the how. By this I refer to the simple fact that not all that surrounds me makes sense to ME, I ask why? Instead of wanting to say, oh wait, we can do that, but how? As individuals, we are wired differently, we think differently, we have different passions and we see things how we see things. Not always black and white, sometime we throw a little bit of gray. I would like to think that if someone had a different opinion or passion than myself, that I would not make them feel less then perfect or incapable of accomplishing any goal or even think that they were being “stubborn” for not seeing it my way. I also believe that our differences and passions are what makes us unique and what we need to focus on to accomplish any given task at any given moment as one. The way its always been done, will not always be the answer because society and economics and humans are not the same. Social media alone shows us that. Times have changed and I believe we have to change with the times. Again, this is my opinion, my thoughts. Instead of discouraging individuals that they will not be right for a task, job or promotion, lets try to encourage what strengths they have and build on those instead of trying to change their way of thinking. Why do they have to look like a cookie cutter version of the idea of how it should be? Why does it seem like unless you fit the mold, then you are not the right fit because you are not a yes man. So many good souls get passed up for things and that simply is because all the check marks are not marked off, yet they are at times more qualified than those that do get it. This is also true in any relationship. We have an idea of what its suppose to look like, that we never consider, it may look different. No, this is not the case everywhere or all the time, but I see it happen more and more and I just have to wonder why? Why are those of us that have the same passion yet looks different, why are we told we will not make it?
I do respect ones opinion and I welcome the challenge. I know when to agree to disagree, but to not stand by my believes, thoughts and passions, well, I am just simply doing a disservice to myself, and no one thing is ever worth that.
As I get ready to return to work tomorrow from my staycation, and get the boys ready to start a new school year, I had to take a moment to reflect and write, as it’s been a minute since I have written. Always to busy or to tired or something it seems lately. I did a lot of mental cleansing this week which I feel is good for the soul. Blessed for the time with the monkeys, friends, family and ME time.
It’s hard to believe that my 14 year old starts high school, and 5th grade for monkey B, both starting new schools. So many changes taking place, so many firsts, and so much to be thankful for. The madness of back to school this year seemed a bit less stressful, a bit more enjoyable and a bit more rewarding. Always a good time with the snuggles who continues to grow and learn and drive us all a bit nutty!!! A staycation is really what I most needed. A good reminder of all that surrounds me, and all that I have to be grateful for.
We all live in some form of reality. Weather created by our thoughts or actions, we in fact create our own definition of reality. Sometimes, without knowing, we find ourselves living someone else’s reality. Real or not, we accept it and live by it. As humans we excuse our ways because of past experiences, hurts, disappointments, loss, heartbreak. We convince ourselves that we are justified in how we treat any given situation or even another. We have all been there, we believe in something so much, we create a reality that isn’t really real. It is the reality of what we think we see or mostly of what we want to see. Eventually, the universe, as it always does, steps in and “slaps” you smack in the face because you are just not getting it so a dose of reality is served up in the most unexpected way and time. What we do with that is the lesson. Do we run from it, or face it head on? Do we retaliate or just be thankful that the truth is out and that all the self doubt or questions were there for a reason. That we really do always know, we just, at times, need a little bit of help getting there. It’s no fault of anyone to live as we do, but I am stuck with the how or why? How can anyone, willingly betray someone’s trust or good intentions? How can anyone believe that just because they believe it to be okay, that it’s okay. It’s not okay to deceive someone, to use someone, to manipulate any given situation and say I did nothing wrong. I do not believe or want to be perfect, I have many a fault, short comings. The one thing I do know about myself is that I will be honest. I will not hold back and I will always give the benefit of the doubt, even when you know it may not have been earned. The reality we create, well, that’s on us. Sometimes its just to get thru the day. We tell ourselves, everything is fine, it is what it is. But when it counts, when its real, we don’t or we shouldn’t hold back. Reality is only as real as we make it. We can live in denial, and hide from existence, but eventually it catches up, and fear and loneliness is what you are left with. So for anyone out there wondering if they are being real, ask yourself the following: Am I being honest? That’s really all it comes down too. Truth will set you free, truth will eventually show itself, and that, well, that is the only reality we should be living in. Truth.
Growing up my mom always told me to always be kind to everyone, even strangers. If someone is in need, you help, even if it meant giving them the shirt of your back. I have always been such a believer that if you do good, good will always come back to you. The mentality of always “pay it forward.”
It became a way of life for me, and how I have always raised my children to be. Sometimes it wasn’t about giving something, or doing something, it was just about being kind. Being present. In a world that at times seems and feels so depressing or overwhelming, finding moments of sunshine, become less and less. I have experienced so many moments of kindness in my life, moments that always left me feeling so good, believing that kind people are everywhere. The simplicity of a text, the over the top of new brakes at no cost,(as I experienced this weekend) and to simply say, it costs nothing to simply be nice to everyone. There is still so much kindness and goodness around, and to find it, or see it, you just have to look at little deeper, and always, no matter what, always, pay it forward.
It’s so hard to believe that in one week Maci Grace, my sweet beautiful snuggle will be a year old. I think back to the day my daughter told me she was expecting and how, in the moment, I reacted with such anger and disappointment. I thought, no way will I ever be okay with this. I convinced myself I will not be a part of this, no way.
As my daughter’s pregnancy progressed, my anger started to subside, and all I could focus on was her well being and that of her daughters. I saw the transformation of a mother’s love and commitment to do all the right things.
January 25th, 2018 we head to the hospital together, as a C-section was scheduled first thing that morning. I witnessed the courage and determination in my daughter to safely bring this child into this world. I think back to that day, her first cry, as I stood by her and placed my hand in her tiny little hands. I fell in love that day with my snuggle. I knew in that moment, I would for ever love her and protect her.
She has brought so much joy and love into our lives, but most important, she brought me my daughter back. The mother that she is, the love she gives, the lessons she has learned, are beyond priceless. Snuggle has taught me that even when we are afraid to love, when we think we have nothing more to give, there is always a way. It has been the most rewarding time for all three of us, a year of snuggle, a year that I would never have had if I didn’t truly believe in my daughter.
As a new year soon approaches, I reflect on a year that has been not only life changing, but full of lessons, priceless moments, and some unfortunate heartbreak. As a family we lost a key member of our family way too soon in life, but Serena left us with so many memorable lessons of courage, determination and the importance of always living life to the fullest. I remind myself daily of the battle she fought and never once complained of her pain or struggle. At times I have wanted to give up, but her spirit is always with me and I find ways to get over myself and continue. This pass year I learned, and still am learning the meaning of just letting things be, though I struggle with what happens when you just let things be and if no effort is put into it, what happens? I was blessed with my move because even though finding a place was beyond stressful, it allowed for my daughter and snuggle to be here with me, something time could never take away. The memories have been priceless. It has been a year of self growth and in growing I learned that what I use to think was what I wanted, turned out to be a thing of the past. I am looking forward to the year to come, but I am in no hurry for this one to just end. I am thankful for every day, every moment, every experience, even when I couldn’t make sense of it. There have been so many that have helped me in this journey without even knowing they made a difference, for that I am most thankful and most blessed. The humans that have been there, have challenged me and have accepted me. I hope that as you reflect on this pass year, you reflect on all the good, and even the bad that came with it, find the rainbow in it, the lesson, the growth. Don’t just want the year to end for a new one to begin because the lessons will continue to present themselves until you learn the meaning of them. May this coming year bring everyone a new purpose, always remember that happiness is within you, and no one can bring that to you.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I had to take a moment to reflect on the blessings surrounding “My Holiday” as this has always, was always my special day with dad. No matter where I lived, where I was, we always spent this day together. With his passing 4 years ago, I had to find a new normal, a new way to enjoy the day and remember all the previous Thanksgivings. It has never been the same, but always his presence was felt.
I now find myself having to find yet a new way to get thru this day with the resent passing of Serena. It’s been 4 months of heartache and at times denial of what our family has had to face. Having to find yet a new normal without her. Serena was about family, her presence will be missed but I know her spirit will be felt. She would not want me sad, any of us, instead she would want us to be together, which we will be. I am thankful for all the blessings that do surround me this year. It is snuggles first Thanksgiving. Nicole will be part of this special day. My boys, my family. We have so much to be thankful for, even if our hearts are a bit broken.
My Thanksgiving Blessings are endless, and as we find a new “normal” I am thankful that we will find peace and comfort with each other. For anyone having to find a new way of existing, never forget what still surrounds you.