life

It’s the moments that matter

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Last week we were driving to do normal errands.  It was the first real storm of the winter the roads looked something like the photo below.

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We were driving a little fast for my liking, but I have been called a back seat driver so I took this opportunity to just be quiet.  I notice a SUV was baring down on us but we could not pull over a lane because another car was in the way.  Any way I was getting nervous and I said something like ” it’s kind of slippery.”   As I said that I looked in the mirror and the SUV following us was in a total spin out.  He seemed to not hit anything but the next car, a sedan, also spun out and took a direct hit into the concrete medium.

No traffic continued forward for a while, we are not sure what happened, but what I do know is the we easily could have be in the sedan behind the SUV.  That very well could have been our accident, except for the moments that got us where we were.  A displacement of 20 seconds total.  So if you find yourself wasting or rushing a few seconds here or there, in the course of your lifetime it does matter.  You’ll never know how much it matters until its right in front of your face.

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Cheers!

Mexican Squirt, listen and stop

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Around the corner from where I live there is this Mexican Grocery store.  And right now I am enjoying a Mexican Squirt.  That’s Squirt made with pure cane sugar.  No high-fructose corn syrup in it and it is delicious.   I enjoyed being in the market.  The store clerk was friendly, ask me if it was my first time there, it wasn’t.  He was super kind.

They sell all types of peppers, homemade salsa, they even prepare fresh tacos during lunch hour, and they also sell cacti.  How do you even prepare cactus? I don’t know, but while I was there I felt like I was worlds away. Away from the normal unrelenting drone of this American life.  Yet, I was less than one mile from my house.

The point here is – I think I am suffering from too much.  Too much of everything.  Seeing too much, hearing too much.  Owning too much, and feeling too much.  Thinking too much.  Worrying too much.  I am officially on overload.

I need to shut it all off.  I need to shut it all down.  I need to try not to notice.  I need to listen.

I need to listen to that voice inside that has been screaming at me – STOP!

So today I stop.  I am really going to stop tomorrow,  I don’t know exactly what I will do, but it wont require me to worry, to think, or to rush here or there.

I am officially in the stop mode.  I don’t care if I don’t know how to be  a miracle worker right now…..I am stop mode.  If I don’t learn how to meditate this week, so what?

I already feel better just saying I am in “stop mode.”  Seems silly but it appears to be helping me.

I hope you can STOP also…..it’s awesome and I just started a few minutes ago. I guess it doesn’t take 40 day to stop.

Cheers!

It (?)

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The other night I was sound asleep in a very deep sleep.  A strong noise, maybe a thud or a bang, woke me to a stir.  Wasn’t quite sure if I heard something or if I was dreaming, but now I was awake either way.  And to be honest I was a bit annoyed because I was enjoying the  solid rest.

Next thing I see is my phone lighting up.  It was on mute without a vibrate, by the time I got to it I missed a call.  This late at night?  Who? What?

My Mother had called.  She left a message which I listened to and she said it was no big deal, it was 11:30 and she couldn’t sleep.  I looked at the time of the message and it wasn’t 11:30PM at all,  it was about 2:30 in the morning.

I returned her call immediately, and before I could even think I was dressed and driving on the freeway.  I was going to pick her up to take her to ER, just to be on the safe side.   We found out she was suffering from congestive heart failure.  We had no idea.

Today we are a few days out, and she is back home on several new medications.

But what was it? A noise or a different kind of something?  What awoke me in time not miss her call?  I don’t know.  I may never know, but whatever it was it saved my Mother’s life.

So I thank you “it.”

Cheers!

Frightening

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You know what is really really frightening?

It really is scary to “not care.”  Like to just not give a rats ass about stuff.  All kinds of stuff -anything you can think of -stuff.

It’s not the same as surrendering, is it?  I don’t think so.  I don’t know.

All I know is I can not control anything, and it doesn’t matter what happens because there is nothing I can do about it.

I remember being preoccupied about so many things and trying to make everything just right.  I would stress, worry, panic, and in turn guess what happened in the end?  Nothing ever turned out “just right.”  Absolutely nothing.   

Worst nightmares became reality.   

It’s not like you or I can change the past no matter how hard we try.   And forget the future, that is way out of the human being’s capability.

There is only one thing we actually control; our minds.

We do choose our thoughts.  We can control whether we care about this, or that, or the other thing.  That is it.  Pretty simple.

I still don’t care much, but I know it’ is by my own choice.

I am ready, so ready,  to think nothing.  No thoughts.  This mind of mine needs a serious rest.

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Cheers!

Clutter wasn’t holding me back.

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734899_578938438786532_824380995_nMy previous attempt to fix my problem of too much stuff, was nothing more than me trying to resolve the symptoms and not the cause.

The cause is all the clutter in my mind, body and soul.   MsRat appears to be full of crap.  I will provide my tools and my methods for my new life.  I have been needed this my whole life and only recently have I decided that it’s time now!

It’s a new day, the best day.  Cheers.

“atta girl”

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Self sabotage.   Ever hear of it?   It’s when we know better, and yet we continue to follow ideas, thoughts and actions that will not get us where we want to be.

Why do we do this? I have no clue, but I am willing to try to figure it out.  So here are my guesses:

1. We are comfortable in habit.

2. We are afraid of failure.

3. We are lazy

4. We have no will power.

5. We have low expectations.

6. We are afraid of change.

7. We doubt our abilities.

Those are the top seven reasons that just popped in my head.  You may have come up with different reasons.  (I would love to hear from you in the comments)

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Now, I want to take those same reasons and listen to them as if a child was telling me why they could never ride a two-wheeler.

My reaction to the child’s reasons was simple and automatic. I effortlessly and instantly offered encouragement.  I quickly reassured the child that there was no harm in trying.  I let him/her know the worst that could happen isn’t that bad, and that she could always try again.

So why is it as adults we (I) fail to encourage ourselves?  I don’t have the answers, nothing is popping into my head.

As a matter of fact, I must take this little post and apply it to myself.   It’s time to encourage myself.   Wish me well.  Cheers to all of you out there who are trying to break out of your existing patterns.

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Tip: Treat yourself like you care about yourself.

Inspiration: “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn

One-day one-thing: I am going to paint or draw  something today.

?Question? box your stuff.

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Once a pack-rat always a pack-rat?  Could this be my fate? I am disgusted with all the crap in my new fixer-upper.

Even after all this time of moaning and reasoning, learning, and purging, there is still too much crap!  I give advice like it’s nobody’s business, yet here I am facing a mess.  And when I see it I feel like, “Damn what happened?”

What’s my excuse?  Tell me because I would  like to know.

My guess is that I am fearful.  All the self help books out there claim fear is the strongest of emotions that guide our decisions….so I must be afraid.

Afraid of what?

I am afraid of being without, even though being without is my goal.  So I have a major problem here.

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I was raised in the material world, with the material girl.  I used to claim to my step sons that Madonna was my sister….they were kids (little kids), they didn’t now any better.  I also told them I was from outer-space  and that was even way cooler than being anyone’s sister.  Point being materialism runs deep in my veins.  I am ashamed to say, one of my nick names was “Shoppin’-Shirley.”

I held no limits and knew few worries.  Whatever, whenever as long as it was fun, and even better if I could buy something. My life was spinning without direction or boundaries.  Anything was possible.  Everything was an adventure.  Things were fun.  Buying was fun.  For me the late 80’s and all of the 90’s were out of control.  And I liked it!

Sorry if I am repeating myself

So fast forward to reality, ugh, do we have to?  Yes we do.  Now I am still on this quest. I call it my “journey to living better with less” but I am in a funk.  I have not reached my goals.  I am slowly pulling myself out of this funk, but that doesn’t make the extra stuff magically disappear.

Now for the: What am I going to do about it question?

I am going to start over.  I am going to the Start Here section of my blog and follow my own advice.  I may skip around the numbers some, depending what I feel like doing.  I am adding a new twist, I am going to hold myself accountable.  Astonishing right?  Accountability. Wow.

I have been lax in taking photos.  So regarding photos, I am going to try something new. I am going to take Reward photos, pictures of stuff packed-up and ready to go.  No matter where it is going.  The rule is there are only four places anything can go:

1. Donation

2. Sale

3.Trash/Recycling

4. ?Question? box. 

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The ?Question? box is new to me.  It’s my last thin thread of my holding-on tendencies   Items placed in the ?Question? pile can live there a week, and only a week.  Seven days.  After that week is up their fate is sealed.

This is my plan. If you are in the same boat maybe you too can kick-start your journey to living better with less. Wish me luck.  Cheers.

Helpful link: The January Cure.  This is a day by day plan for improvement in one month. Plus Apartment Therapy is an awesome site.

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Tip: The more you put in the ?Question? box the better.

Inspiration: “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

One-day one-thing: Make a ?Question box? or area.

Thirteen days of 2013

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This time of year is particularly hard for me.  Not to go into any depressing details, because I know everyone shares having events, both good and bad, that change the course of a life.

I, for some reason, can not get past what is no longer.  I am constantly reminded of the past.  Perhaps better times draw me in at first, yet inevitably terrifying times and less-than-good choices creep in my mind.  I used to be able to say I live with no regrets.  I am not so certain I can say that any longer.

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The new year is supposed to be the time for fresh beginnings and new starts, only I am not feeling it this year.  Depressing right?  I know I am not alone, and I know it is temporary, but nonetheless is real.  I feel as if the good and the lightness of life is sitting dormant like the woods.

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Right now my count is 13.  Thirteen days I have wasted away without making one single ounce of progress.  I quit on myself.  I slowed myself down to a crawl into a perpetual holding patterned of procrastination.

Even this post took some real effort on my part to actually write. (and I don’t care if  its good or bad. ) I had to write how I was feeling or I would just breakdown into nothing for another day.  (trying to avoid day #14)

In my front yard, behind the tangled bare branches of two maple trees, I can see a yellow house across the street.  I have nothing against this house.  However, in the summer I can’t see it.  It  is completely blocked by lush green foliage   It’s a depressing shade of yellow. Sun-bleached-sad from a constant west exposure, even that yellow house has had better days.

I have to stop!  I have to stop these thoughts that are feeding an existing “sadness path” in my brain.  This path was put there years ago and it’s a well traveled path.  I know I need to stop myself before I send those negative signals.  I have to replace them with new more positive signals.  I need to create new paths in my brain and start walking them.

I know what I have to do.  My problem: I find it difficult to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and my life is good, well good enough.  It’s just some time a person feels low and these past 13 day that has been me.

Cheers!

Tip: Play music.  Listen to it whenever you feel yourself slipping into a bad place. Skip every single song until you find one that feeds your soul.

Inspiration: “The past does not equal the future.”-Tony Robbins

One-day one thing: Take a baby step.  Recognize that with every single step no matter of size, you create a path.

I voted early

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Assholes clutter a good life

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Do you know how many assholes clutter this world?

Here’s the thing, we are supposed to take the high ground and let it go.  Let it be, etc, but you know what?  The assholes aren’t getting the message this way.

I am sure you have read about the “everyone gets a ribbon” syndrome that is plaguing American youth. Well this same idea, of not telling someone they suck, applies to assholes, jerks and rude people.

We ignore them. We take the high ground.  As a result they see no negative repercussions for their rude inconsiderate behavior. They think what they are doing is acceptable, a-okay, so they continue.  Most of these people have no person close enough to them who will say , “Hey knock it off, you’re being an asshole.”…..They live in this bubble of self- absorption, only thinking about their own needs as a primary focus of each and every waking moment.

So here is the question:  Do you call them out, or let them continue?  You know if they continue they will pass it on to their off-spring, thus we are promoting the trait.  Or do you protect your own well-being and peace of mind? In other words, let them live in their pathetic asshole lives and cut them out of your circles, and move on. ( thus living in a bubble of your own creation)

Yep, everyone knows an asshole, has seen an asshole, and encounters them frequently.  From what I see there appears to be a growing number of these characters around.  Are we somewhat to blame for allowing  them to exist?  Has our choice not to get “involved”with their low-life behavior embolden them?  Are we now “Asshole-Enablers?”  (AE groups starting at a church near you)

I see both sides of this coin.  I know I want a peaceful and kind life, but can I have that when I am not doing my part to squelch the jerk?  When I look the other way, am I being selfish by helping only myself and not society as a whole?

It’s like that show on T.V. calledWhat would you do?  Notoriously they have actors acting very badly, and they wait to see if anyone (any civilian in the area), will speak up.  Audiences are joyful, even tearful,  when someone stands up to the asshole and conversely the audience is totally disgusted when the people look the other way.

I believe it takes a village to raise a community, but those days appear to be gone for the most part.

I am positive I don’t have the answer here.  I am working on this one because I think we as a people have to start playing an active role in what we see and what we deem as acceptable in our communities and in our lives.  Sadly I am not yet ready to play in the mud, but some days I get real close.

Please let me know your thoughts on this one, I am very interested in all points of view.