Valentine’s Day is not a day I can ignore. It’s the day after my birthday, and my wedding day was on Valentine’s Day.
Getting married on this holiday wasn’t a greatest idea since the marriage didn’t last. It took years to get over the anniversary of my failed marriage.
I also get annoyed with the yearly complaints about how the day was created by retailers and that evil commercialism is taking advantage of us all, but who says you have to buy into that?
I’ve never held anything against V-Day, or birthdays, because I think they are about acknowledging of the important people in your life. A small show of appreciation is an uplifting and nice thing to do.
Huge celebrations and grand gestures are fun from time to time, but what really fills my soul is when I get a card with a hand written personal note and/or a simple flower. Look me in the eye and tell me that I mean something to you and I’m happy as a lark.
Holidays, like this one, are simply a reminder to take a moment to say “I love you”, “I appreciate you”, “I’m glad that you are here”.
So, I’d like to take this moment to say that I APPRECIATE YOU!
Thanks for reading my blog.
The thing is, I’ve always underestimated how we affect each other. More honestly, how I affect other people. I think it’s a result of being from a big family. You get lost in the shuffle.
Sometimes, when I am noticed, it feels weird. I don’t really know what to do with the attention.
My baby brother, Ernie, is an artist and I can relate to him. We don’t talk that much but I did make an effort to trek to Kentucky for a visit last year. It was a terrific time.
Ernie banters with me and I don’t really know what’s passive aggressive and what’s just fun. I decide to take it as fun and return the banter when I’m feeling quick witted.
Today was one of those days. He emailed, “…I felt a little stupid and that made me think of you sis.”
My response was “I don’t like that. Think of me when you feel like Superman because that’s who I think you are ”
He responded with a long list of unbelievably nice things about me dating back to childhood.
That’s my “holy cow!”. I warned you…
I simply, didn’t know how to respond.
I told him I was too overwhelmed with emotions to respond and that I would get back to him. I’m a big chicken! I’m in shock.
Is it only me, or are we conditioned not to embrace praise? Why does it make me feel ever so slightly, uncomfortable?
I am beyond joyous. I am incredibly grateful.
How do I respond in a way that honors him without simply repeating back the nice things he said to me?
I think I’ll just leave it here because I have an important email to attend to. Maybe, it should be a phone call.
Till next time.
Have you ever run a marathon? NOT me. I hate running. I’ve tried…oh how I have tried. It never hooked me. I did not feel the endorphins. I simply struggled to get through the measly mile or two of torture.
It has hooked a friend of mine. I recently attended a race where my boyfriend’s twin brother ran a FIFTY-mile trail race through Pine Mountain, Georgia.
Is he crazy? Half of me admires him, the other half ask, why, why, why?
I’m amazed that the body can do that, and I think that is a big factor for him too. The difference is that I can be satisfied looking on from the sidelines, while he must make the 12-hour trek to prove it to himself.
I understand this, a little. I had a compulsion to travel the globe and did so for almost 2 years. I couldn’t be satisfied with seeing cultural shows on cable. I had to see it, experience it, and immerse myself in it. It wasn’t always easy, I was lonely here and there, but ultimately, I had a ton of fun and wouldn’t trade the enriching experience for anything.
Another area I do this is when I paint a painting (www.tamara-art.com). EVERY painting has a point where I think… it’s unsolvable…just toss it, but I cannot. I have to push through to the end. I have to make it work because the end result gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment. The end result makes it joyful.
I’m beginning to think that passion is just another name for a compulsion with a payoff, that being, accomplishment, joy, endorphins…
Is stress and redemption part of the passion process? How do we choose our passions? Do passions choose us?
These are the questions swimming around in my head today. I’d be interested to hear what your passion is about. Maybe, you have the answer.
A thick fog draped across the edge of the forest amongst a giant mass of trees. Emerging from the mist, my brothers and sisters were stunned to see the faint outline of a skeleton. The white bones were rattling and shaking. Death was headed towards them.
For a moment they were confused, dare I say, horrified! Then they laughed, ran towards me, and tackled me to the ground. I, and my Halloween costume, survived the attack…barely.
I like Halloween because I get to be a little evil. Yes, I said it….EVIL. Not nice, not grateful, not peace, love and happiness but impish. Hee-hee-hee.
This is the one time of year when being bad is good. Where mystery prevails and we all ask – is magic possible? I hope so, I think so, I do believe in magic!
I also love the feeling of being scared by a ghoul or goblin and living through it to see another day.
As an adult, the opportunity to be scared by evil beings is rare. (I’ve learned how to deal with those types.) However, I think it’s my duty to, ever so slightly, scare little trick-or-treaters brave enough to venture on to my porch to ask for a piece of candy.
I don’t have kids but I do have 14 nieces and nephews. Most of them love the thrill Halloween brings especially, if they were a little surprised or scared that year. At the candy chow down, there’s sure to be non-stop chatter about how they escaped or outwitted the monsters.
I’m going to decorate my porch today. It’s time to pull out the spider web, my witch’s pot and the medieval chandelier. I have visions of grandeur but I’m not sure I’ll have the time for the full effect this year. Next year is going to be a doozy.
Here’s my confession: I love to scare people!
Does that make me evil?
It sure is fun.
This weekend Jon and I setout on a journey to the North Carolina Mountains in his 1980 Land Cruiser. I love that big chunk of metal, even if it does eat up gas. I justify the environmental assault with the fact that it’s a recycled vehicle. Anyway, the radio was broken so we journeyed mostly in silence.
Jon and I are coming up on our three-year anniversary and I’ve noticed that the “get to know you“ conversations, the ones that would keep us talking for hours on end, are lingering. We now chat about our day, and lately, about our future. Sometimes, we are together silently.
My friend Chris and I take a weekly hike up Stone Mountain. It’s one of my favorite things to do. We chat up the mountain, and down the mountain, about everything but occasionally, we run out of things to say. It can feel a bit odd. I find myself trying to think of something else to say but lately, I’ve decided not to.
For women, I think silence is harder than it is for men. Sharing through conversation is how women seem to bond. I notice in myself that silence can feel awkward. For the last few weeks, instead of filling the silent spaces with conversation, or with other alternatives (radio, TV, computers) I’ve tried to embrace it.
The more I practice the art of silence the more I notice my surroundings. I’m recognizing that there is a bigger experience happening around me, and I feel peaceful. I believe that social interaction is necessary for happiness but I am learning that I can jump in and out of a social happening and have a richer understanding of the moment.
This month, I’m finding moments of joy in silence.
My brother, and a few friends of ours, had a mystery club. We buried treasure; concocted great adventures and we were even chased away by villains once or twice during a “stake-out”.
We had a theft too. That was a BIG mystery. Who in their right mind would have dug up our dues jar for a measly few dollars. Unfortunately, I solved the mystery by being the recipient of my brother generosity of ice cream and candy. Generosity he couldn’t afford. I didn’t have the heart to rat him out.
The Member’s Lounge was a broken down shed you had to get on your knees to crawl into. Regardless, we took pride in our discovery of this unknown place and worked hard to make it into a haven we were proud of, even if it did attract snakes.
Most notably, a jet black King snake we named Blackie.
My mom accidentlly killed Blackie with a hoe while working in the garden one Sunday. She was waaayyy more upset than we were. I’ve never seen her cry like that.
I wonder what ever happened to Wendel, my childhood crush and the President of our Mystery Club. Even then, I was attracted to bad boys… a preacher’s son too.
Today, we had to cut down a huge white oak that lived at the edge of the forest at my childhood home. It was rotting and close to the house. I’m sad to see the tree go but I’m joyful about the flood of memories it brought back to me.
My boyfriend is an Arborist and took the tree down. He is also a preacher’s son and (thank goodness) a good guy. Maybe, after all of these years I did learn something about the mystery of men, trees and home.
This song popped into my head today. I can almost sing it by heart due to many years of attending church services with my family. I no longer attend Sunday morning church services but I do get that warm fuzzy feeling whenever I hear one of these old hymns.
I grew up in the south. My grandmother was one of 13 children. She wore cat-eye glasses, made the best biscuits and lived on a farm. Life was simple, but sweet. I didn’t realize how special that time was until… recently. My grandmother and dad have both passed on, and my mother now lives in assisted living.
I now take care of the home where I grew up. Although I live in Atlanta, I make weekend trips to Winder to care for the property. At first, this was a burden because I’m a city girl and have a life of my own here. I never intended to move back to my childhood hometown. Wasn’t it Thomas Wolfe that said, “You can’t go home again”? Well, I think you can.
What I’ve learned is that if I do go home again, I can’t expect everything to be the same. However, if I breathe new life into my old home, I can transcend what was and find joy in new experiences rooted in family traditions.
This new outlook has brought me joy. When I visit my childhood home I sit in a chair that overlooks the property. The deer roam freely and seem to welcome to me.
I can sometimes hear the ghostly laughter of my brothers and sisters playing in the woods. We’ve all moved on but this home is still a home and it has a promising future of happy reunions and new family traditions.
The song “Ode to Joy” is uplifting and transcending. It inspires me to open my heart, look forward and trust in life. “Joyful music lifts us Son ward, in the triumph song of life.” What a sweet song!
Is it under the bed? In the fridge? Does my boyfriend have it? Or did my niece feed it to the dog? Where is my joy? Could it be that I lost it? Heaven help me, please! I WANT MY JOY BACK!”
I hear a mysterious voice: “ When you recognize that the life you are living, is happiness, you find joy”.
Really? I happen to be at a challenging moment in my life. My mother is living with Alzheimer’s disease, my father recently passed away and my siblings are fighting over furniture… FURNITURE!
Sigh…. If that’s so, then I need to look at my challenges in a different light:
My mother has Alzheimer’s – That’s a sad thing, really sad, but the truth is I have a warmer, closer relationship with her these days. This disease, the stage it’s in, has given her a sense of peace and contentment. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff. I’m actually learning good things from her.
My father’s recent death -– I’m still waiting for him to materialize in ghost form with words of wisdom. I worked with my dad closely over the last two years and I am grateful for that time. His health was bad and even though I miss him terribly, it was time for him to pass. He is definitely at peace now. But really, Dad, can’t you just pop into one of my dreams? It’s time for a visit!
My five siblings– I credit my daily dose of positive talk radio for my current sanity. My mantra: Feed your mind; good in results in good out. It’s been hard to refrain from diving into the mosh pit but I have. I keep telling myself “Be kind, be kind, be kind,” even when someone is not kind to you.” Hard to do… but it’s working. I can’t believe how well it’s working! I still want to snap sometimes, but I’ve got it under control, and I think I’m building stronger relationships with those greedy little siblings.
Okay mysterious voice, and now my muse, you have a point. Joy lives in everything. Sometimes you have to search for joy, but it’s always there waiting for you to find it.