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Summer of George

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Many of you may remember that episode where George has an upbeat attitude and he declares “I proclaim this,  the summer of George!”

Only later in the episode he’s in the hospital unable to walk.

That was my summer this past year.  I suffered a severe trauma to my right femur, broke it and messed up all the surrounding muscles. It’s been six months now and I am still recovering.  Mind you at my lowest point after the accident, I was frail and weak.  I wasn’t eating, and my weight was way too low.  Everyone was asking me to eat.  Basically I looked like hell, but I liked being skinny.   Even if I couldn’t walk without a walker, at least my clothes weren’t tight.  My perspective was out of whack!

Next I decided to quit all pain meds because they were killing my appetite.  I went cold turkey and like a drug addict I suffered withdrawals for about  four days.   Again I was a total mess.

Slowly I began eating………and then I ate more……..and then I noticed I was out of shape and heavy.  I gained 20 pounds!

I gained 20 pounds at a point where walking is painful, and exercise is rare.  Just like that, in the blink of an eye -Boom!

My goal of living better inside and out just got bigger, with the addition of getting back to a healthy weight and making my muscles work for me again.   I will blog about progress every so often, because it’s part of my life now and forever. I have to make this a life style change for it to work.

Cheers!

Free from the grip

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This is basically how I feel and what I believe in a nut shell.

Please watch and actually take a moment to see how materialism has shaped your life.  I was forced to look at my ways, and I am better for it.  At least, I feel better and I am happier.

I am free from the grip of corporations, and I strive to become even more free each and every day.

Cheers!

What do we really know???

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Recently, more than once, I have known things before I actually saw them in real life.

Pretty weird.  But it got me to thinking, just how did that happen.  Seriously who told my brain that I would find exactly what I thought I would find, before I found it.   How did I know?

The more abstract thing is this was a physical item, a book.  Not  feeling or an event, but an actual book.  Published in 2002, today I knew would be in the local Goodwill.  I wasn’t planning to go to Goodwill, but I felt something say “go there.”  I fought that inner voice.  That is until I remembered my post from the other day saying trust your instincts.

So I blew off my trip to the office supply store as previously planned and made my way to Goodwill.

I saw a top I donated last fall, just out now because it’s a springtime top.  I still didn’t like it.  Why on earth did I ever buy that thing?  Anyway, I looked around and practiced just being  there and concentrating on all the weird stuff I was seeing.  I listened to the music playing and minded my own space.

I thought that the “book” was there.  Mind you this was only a fleeting thought in my head.  I ignored it, didn’t even look for the book.  The thought raced across my mind once again. I ignored it again.  Finally I told myself to go look for the book……it wasn’t on the side where I thought it would be.  That was the end of that.

I turned the corner and there was a 2002 edition of the Guinness World Record book.  I could hardly believe it.  It was there.

You see, when my oldest son was young I started giving him Guinness World Record books every Christmas.  I  was encouraging him to read.  Anyway, when he was in grade school he took his brand spankin’ new 2002 Guinness World Record book  to school and some kid wrecked it.  Just like that.

I’d like to find a replacement for him and that’s why I have it on my mind.  But who knew my mind could tell me when it would be at Goodwill.

So weird.   But I am here to tell you I am open to this power if there is such a thing.

Cheers.

Tip: Try to stop thinking, sing instead.  I do this in my car, it feels good.

Inspiration:”In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” -Shunryu Suzuli

One-day one thing: Let go of one regret forever.

Lies

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Geez. I don’t lie. I try not to lie. I can’t remember anything , so I am no good at lying and I don’t feel good if I lie. So I really don’t lie.

I can keep a secret. I am the best secret keeper I know. I never betray a trust. But I want you to know, I don’t hold on to secrets. Meaning, I hold them and throw them away, maybe file them away is a better term. Secrets belong to those who share their life with me. Those secrets belong to the person who told the secret. If someone trusts me, I feel it is my most important responsibility to protect that trust.

I have always believed this. It’s nothing that I can change or that I want to change. It part of me like my face. It is just there.

So when I get lied to or when someone betrays my trust, I am deeply offended. I lose total respect for the person that lied to me. That’s it. I cut them out, or at least I cut them off. I mentally attempt to erase them. Not so easy when the person is a relative.

The inspiration quote I posted yesterday is very interesting to me.

“Lying is done with words and also with silence.”- Adrienne Rich

Take some time to think about this. It may prove helpful. If you are having an important conversation, and someone isn’t actively participating, it may be a clue to their deceit. Keep alert, pay attention to body language and tone. Changing the subject is another red flag.

I have learned that if someone lies once they will lie again. I have learned that liars think it is okay to lie. They easily understand when someone lies, and they go about their day as if nothing happened. Liars hang with other liars. “Birds of a feather” still holds true.

Obviously, I have a low tolerance for liars but I know so many of them. This often puts me in a position of being the oddball. The one who “expects too much out of other people.” I get criticized for expecting people to not lie in general. Who knew standing up for the truth would be met with criticism.

I believe everyone has the right and the responsibility to protect themselves. So don’t put up with any liars they will only hurt you over and over again.

Liars never rarely change. But the truth eventually comes to light. And for that we should be grateful.

Tip: If you call a liar out they will become angry, it’s better to recognize them for what they are and ignore them.

Inspiration: “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”- Abraham Lincoln

One-day one-thing: Acknowledge who has your back, nurture that relationship.

Accepting truth

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I am taking a break because I just can’t think straight right now.

It’s no big deal, this house hunting has been a miserable experience, I don’t know how many we have lost. Oh and the one we were going to close on we found out is loaded with asbestos, disturbed asbestos. So we rescinded that offer and lost that house last week.

I knew it was hard losing our home, but I thought I did okay with that. Getting rid of a bunch of stuff hasn’t been that bad. I don’t miss any of it. (mind you I have a lot left to go) I knew having all my children disappear to college at virtually the same time, and then letting me know they are never moving back to Ohio would be hard, but I manage it. ( I want them to live in many places – that’s how I like to live) I am proud of them and support them. I miss them to pieces, but that’s to be expected.

The economy sent our business for a loop, but we are getting through that, not fun, but so what.

life should be this pretty

The killer issue: living in my mothers house has proven to be more than I can take. Funny, how when you live away from someone you tend to forget their faults. You make excuses for them, you don’t see them for long periods of time. I have faults too, but seriously, the sh*t I hear daily is so disturbing.

I used to bend over backwards in kindness, generosity and consideration, trying to win a measure of love, respect and kindness that just isn’t available in my family of origin. Unfortunately, the way they think is deeply rooted in me, and their beliefs about love lives in my core like a damaged chromosome. I do not want become her/them, but it could be too late. When I see things I have done, behavior just like them, I know it’s alive in me too. I get disgusted and sometime I don’t recognize my behavior until it is way too late.

I fear for the damage I may have done to my own children. I will forever feel guilty for all my mistakes.

For the bulk of my life, I created a different reality-one other than the cold truth, but the truth never hides. Now I have to somehow fix myself. There have been days I have contemplated should I become a drunk or a drug addict. I swear, I never saw this coming, not this late in the game. I really got f*cked up in my upbringing.

A while back, I remember telling someone else, that their mother loved them no matter how it seemed. That may be true, but there are different levels, different definitions and various understandings of what love means for each person. And when those ideals don’t line up or aren’t even close to lining up, it doesn’t work.

I know people really don’t like to hear negative whining. Repeated posts complaining of the same old situation even bores me. Hand me the happy feel good, cheerful smile, inspiration and success stories, please. So I’ll leave you with a beautiful photograph (above), and promise you I will get through this.

Wish me luck, I am very sad broken damaged and I know this will be hard. I am bitter and I regret the years I wasted. And I am unimpressed with my ability to deal with what I know.

Over and over again, I convinced myself to believe it was different, because that’s what I wanted to be true.

Happy Holidays

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Imagine
Songwriter: Lennon, John

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one;

Giving Change a Chance.

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I want to be one of those people that makes a difference.  But I’m frustrated because I never get my ideas off the ground.  For whatever reasons I lack the focused dedication that is required.  I get one idea and that may get shot down or hit a road-block and before I know it, I have another idea.

I was brought to tears today because while talking about this I began to realize that maybe I am not cut out to be the facilitator. That maybe the best  I could do was throw my ideas out there and just maybe someone else would pick one up and run with it.  Maybe someone out there has the drive, the time and the focus but needs some ideas.

So that’s what I am going to do.  Every so often I’m going to un-clutter my ideas and give them away.

Here is an old idea, which I still think has merit.

Pennies4People.  During the Kosovo war I coordinated the logistics with the Red Cross and National City Bank, (now PNC bank ), to collect and process pennies which were to be donated from students at my children’s’  elementary school. I was to make the collection containers, collect the pennies weekly and drive them to the bank, and the bank would run them through their coin machines to count and then issue a check to the Red Cross.  The Red Cross, a non-political neutral entity, would use the funds to help the refuge families struggling in the midst of the war.

The concept was that elementary school children (grades 3rd through 5th) could join together and raise donation money.  Everyone has a penny, everyone could participate no matter if they were wealthy or not.  And for one penny the students would know they were helping children on the other side of the world.  I was hopeful that this program would spread through the city school system, and grow city by city.

I owned the web site Pennies4People.  Everything was in place.  That is until I received a letter from the elementary school principal telling me that the school had a Serbian family in attendance, and they thought we had to be considerate of their feelings.  This made zero sense to me.  I tried to explain that the Red Cross was not picking sides, that they are politically neutral,  the funds would be used to help everyone.  People who needed food, water, shelter.  It didn’t matter.  The principal’s answer was NO!

I was totally dejected, my contacts at National City Bank and the Red Cross were equally dismayed, but it didn’t matter. Life went on.

(c) 1999, The Washington Post. Photography by Carol Guzy. Reprinted with permission. Kosovar refugee Agim Shala, 2, is passed through a fence into the hands of grandparents at a refugee camp in Kukes, Albania- 3 May, 1999.(c) 1999, The Washington Post. Photography by Carol Guzy.  Kosovar refugee Agim Shala, 2, is passed through a fence into the hands of grandparents at a refugee camp in Kukes, Albania- 3 May, 1999.

I believe(d) in teaching our children the importance of compassion and understanding for those suffering, and equally important showing them how the smallest action can make a big difference.  I thought this was a win-win-win, if there is any such thing.  The principal shot it down, and my idea died with that rejection letter.

Since that time, many different organizations have used the fund raising term “Pennies for People.” Back then no one was on the internet with this idea besides me, but that doesn’t matter now.  I realize this isn’t the most original idea today, but that’s not the point, it’s still an idea.

So if you see anyway you might be able to use this for something good please do.  I’ll continue to post ideas.  Maybe one day you’ll read one that will work for you.  And if you do please take it and make change happen.

(Right now watching a football game in the background I thought why not have Pennies4People on any Sunday at every stadium that has a game. All those people in the stands have pennies.  Banks need good PR -Donate to homeless shelters or for heating oil for the elderly, anything – you get the idea)

Peace.

Alone

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We are all alone.

Even those of us in the best of situations are alone.  It’s scary.  No one really knows how you might feel at any given moment.  No one can see the years of pain and suffering inside, because in our society, and probably in every other society, people put on the “face.”  The face of happiness and contentment.

Even on the internet, people say things, they think will “read well” and won’t make them look like a jerk or like a pitiful sour person.  Which, may be exactly how someone is feeling at the time.  Facebook is notorious for this.  If an alien came down to earth and used Facebook to gauge human feelings, they’d ask to smoke what all the Facebook posters are smoking right away.  “I want what their having”

Life is hard for everyone, and if it isn’t hard for you now, it will be difficult sooner or later.  And that’s most often when you will find yourself: alone.  Just you and your thoughts.

On top of that, our society has painted a picture that being alone is bad.  Having it all, isn’t being alone.  Plus did you know everyone can have it all ? That is if they are rich, or thin, or beautiful or if they buy this or that.  Maybe if you had college degree, you would be a more worthy person, or if you drove a certain car people would respect you.  If you drink this beer, you can get laid.  If you shop at this store, she will love you.

We’ve also been conditioned from an early age to worship youth, which is ridiculous.  Insane even.  The one truth in a life span is aging.  Everyone ages it can not be stopped.  And we age alone.


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So it goes to reason after hearing these twisted messages from birth,  when you find yourself alone, you may feel depressed and lonely.

No one, no thing, nothing outside of yourself can make you whole.  No one can repair your sadness or erase your fears.  No God is going to swoop down and fix you, no secret angel has your back.  There is no magic.

The only thing you can do is stop waiting, and start growing your love.  Be kind to yourself.  Try to eliminate hateful and negative feelings, especially the ones you direct towards yourself.   To grow your love, start with yourself.

I am starting with me.  For my “new me resolution” ( which I have already started, because a calendar means nothing) I am attempting to totally redesign my life to eliminate all the falsehoods that I have grown up believing.  The only thing I know is real is love.  Love is  limitless and timeless, and it feels good and it makes me happy.  And if I am alone, which we all are, then I have to make my love grow.

So during this time of year which is heavily promoted as the best of all possible times for people who “have it all” or are trying to “get it all” –  if you find yourself alone, don’t sweat it, everyone is alone.

Focus on what is real; cultivate love, be generous with your love,  and appreciate any small miracles that follow.

_______________

Recommended reading: Return to Love

Change

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Today is Sunday. My free day. My day to do whatever I would like.

I woke up full on tension and stress. I can seem to let it go.

I know I have to figure this out, because it’s killing me. There other day I ask my husband , “Are things ever going to get better?”
Then next minute my computer USB devices ALL failed. He answered, “Apparently not.”

I know my writing has been a downer lately. Even I don’t want to read it or publish it.

I desperately need to get out of this toxic environment. I feel like leaving and never coming back. Last time I felt this way, I packed up what I needed in my red Ford Fiesta and left to live in Dallas without even a job. That was over twenty years ago. And now I see even more clearly why I left.

That was then, now we have a business here and other commitments. Leaving doesn’t appear to be an option.

That is my harsh reality.

Oh it isn’t so bad. But I hate it when people say stuff like “others have it worse.” That doesn’t make me feel any better it only makes me feel bad for the other people who suffer. Being miserable isn’t a competition.

Sure I’m not on fire, but that doesn’t mean sh*t.

We bid on another house. I’m not expecting to get it. Our bid was really low. I’ve decided I don’t want to live where I have to carry a weapon and we have to install security. So that knocks out entire neighborhoods.

In the meantime my kids are getting ready to leave, their Thanksgiving breaks are over. They will be home again in December, which is good for me to keep in mind.

Maybe by then a miracle will happen.