gratitude

The time has come to do some math

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fresh new date book waiting for greatness

Yes it’s going to be a new year. And yes I am excited about it.  Why? I don’t know.  I suppose its a results of many years of conditioning.

Here the thing about my new year, I did a little math equation and to tell you the truth it kind of blew my socks off. I’ll share it below:

 1 hour of FB per day x 365 days = 365 hours

If you are at all like me, there are days I don’t go on at all, and other days where it feels like I can’t stay off.  In any case, it’s all time and every little bit adds up. Even if you are waiting in line or at a soccer practice it’s time taken.

365 hours / 24 hours in a day = 15.208 days per year

That is more than a two week vacation.  This blew my mind.

I’m not saying I will quit FB, nor am I suggesting anyone else to stop using the beast.  I’m only offering some insight to something that has been on my mind and that I hope to curtail.  Especially because I have been known to complain about not having enough time, and yet I have used my time poorly.

I have some lofty goals this coming year.  Why I chose 2016 may have to do with the fact that 2015 went by so fast that I feel like I missed the entire year.  Flat out missed it.  So yes, this is my resolution-to be aware and conscience of my minutes.

I wish you all a beautiful time ahead.

Cheers to all.

because I said I would

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The other day, I stumbled onto this little known non-profit it’s called,”because I said I would”  The premise behind the concept is that when people are true to their word and follow through on their promises and commitments the world becomes a better place.   I tend to agree.  Also the action of writing your promise down on paper really can solidify your commitment.   I found the “because I said I would” concept completely complimentary with my Dad’s mantra “be true to yourself”, which is now how I live.

Rewind back to last year when we struggled to raise funds for our dog, Batman’s, wheelchair.  It was during that process I really understood how difficult it is to raise funds after you have tapped out your resources.  So I promised myself that I would donate once a month to a cause.  Not to a huge corporate fundraising machine, but rather to an individual or a family.   (In my mind someone that’s who really needs it and I know the money goes directly to their fund, a win-win)

I wasn’t sure how I could keep this commitment because money is so very tight.  I had to come up with an amount that I could handle regardless of what other emergency pops up, and they pop up all the freakin’ time so I settled on ten dollars.  How could I remember to give ten dollars?  My answer; ten on the tenth.

So here you have my first “because I said I would.”  10 dollars every tenth of the month to a fundraiser on youcaring.com. ( a free fundraising site)

What will you do because you said you would?

Cheers!

Source: Suze Orman 8 Qualities of Success

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The Eight Qualities of Success

  • Harmony is when there is complete agreement between what you think, say and do.
  • Balance is the reward of harmony; it is when you are most calm and content because there is no disconnect between your thoughts, words and actions.
  • Courage. Is the ability to make choices that bring harmony and balance. Courage is not always about action. It takes courage to do nothing, rather than do something that you do not believe in or understand.
  • Generosity. True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share.
  • Happiness: bubbles up when the first four qualities are in abundance. Happiness is not a luxury. It is a necessity. When we are happy we are in the best possible place to be good to ourselves and those we love.
  • Wisdom: is the ability to make the right decisions at the right time. Wisdom alerts you when you are out of balance or having trouble summoning courage. It is your inner voice guiding you through and past the noise.
  • Cleanliness: When there is clarity and organization in your thoughts and your physical space you can more easily access the inner wisdom and courage that makes harmony and balance achievable.
  • Beauty is what you possess when you incorporate the seven preceding qualities into your life.

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!

I repeat.

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Old habits die hard.

Old belief are nearly impossible to kill.

I am moving to a different journey.   And it isn’t because I have succeeded at this journey, it’s because of what I have learned over the course of trying to de-clutter.   You see it’s not the clutter that is causes the problem, it is my mind.  NO matter what problem you see in your life, if you can identify it and recognize it, then you already have everything needed to fix it.

I have spent the last two years doing everything in my power, ( at least I thought I was)  to change my life.

Only the other day I looked around and saw a “repeat” of everything I wanted to change and all that I wanted to leave behind.  My new small house, within a a 9 month period, has acquired all characteristics that I didn’t like about our old house.  Why is that?

This is why; and I want you to pay close attention –It’s my mind.  It’s my thoughts.  It is my beliefs.  I fall into the same old patterns.  I am was on a replay loop. So of course everything would be the same, there was no chance of it ever changing. No chance whatsoever.

My symptoms:  procrastination, lack of focus, unwillingness to let go, believing that another day it will be different, and making excuses.

LUCES-I

I will tell you I have succeeded in some areas.  I have conquered any weight issues I used to have, and I am closer than ever to resolving the issues with my family of origin.  So now is the time I need to work on me.

My recent readings have helped me to clearly see this and so I have an understanding of what I need to do.  These are the book so far that have made a significant impact:

Love yourself, like your life depends on it.

Super Brain

You Can Heal Your Life

In addition to these I am reading the Power of Now and Tao the Ching

I am giving you these books as insight into my current journey.   I now know I have to seriously change my auto- pilot repetitive thought patterns in order to be happy and free.   And if you find yourself in the same boat, you might want to pick one of these books up and read.  I found them inspiring and helpful.

I have to concentrate on me.  All else will follow.

As always Cheers!

I held hands with Stevie Wonder just when I needed to.

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The other day, early while I was still in bed.   I got a text.  Yes, I am one of those idiots that sleeps with her iPhone.   A bad habit I will attempt to break at a later date.  Anyway the text said come see Stevie Wonder at 9:30 am today then vote early.

This was only an hours notice,  and well I had already voted early, but I convinced my Husband to get up on this cold Saturday and at least vote.  We figured if the Stevie Wonder crowd wasn’t too big and if we could get parking we’d check it out.

Here’s the thing – we finally found a parking garage and the attendant basically told us “You can turn around here and go in the lot cross the street for half price.”  Okay cool, we thought.  I turned around and at that very moment a street spot opened up….free parking.  ( I do have a parking angel – another post)  I got out of the car, and glanced at the sidewalk and found a penny shining back at me.  I pick it up.  (I always pick up money I see on the ground)

The scene was eerie, it was empty.  Long story short, we grabbed a couple coffees from a guy who just moved here from Bosnia.  He kept saying “I have no power at home, I am from Bosnia, this has never happened to me”…” never in Bosnia.”

Then two perfectly detailed Black Escalades drove pass….we run across the street and are in the first row of the small crowd.  Stevie Wonder!

He played for about 50 minutes, and opened with this song:  Please follow the words in the video….and enjoy.

After he finished his set, he walk the rails, talking to people,  shaking hands, and giving hugs…..He got to me and I asked him to warm my hand.  He held it for awhile and gave me two love squeezes.  WOW.

All I can think of is the power of his message, the power of his soul and the beauty that he creates.  I am in awe.  And I feel extremely privileged to have spent my freezing Saturday morning with him. And I thank him for being who he is.

The time to love is now.  Right now.  Stevie, you helped me when I needed it.

Cheers!

learn from the sunflower

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This beautiful sunflower shows all the hope and promise of life.  I am here, I am happy, I am spectacular.  Bring it on. I am ready.

What a glorious sight.  Nature at its finest, from a simple little seed this masterpiece sprouted .

That was yesterday. Yesterday is gone.

Today life has already sent a blow to the sunflower.  I am guessing a squirrel had a hand in this.  It wasn’t anything personal, it just happened.

As time goes on, more and more will happen to this sunflower,  most of which will be none of its own doing.  That  is just the way it goes.

So the sunflower’s couple days brought me to my message or point.  Enjoy life even though it’s ever changing, even if at times it seems unfair.

How many time have you heard the phrase,” enjoy the moment” ?  Sounds so cliche but it’s not.  Have you managed to put this phrase to practice?

It’s not easy, but it is doable.  I try everyday.  Everyday every moment is a challenge, or should I say an “opportunity” to remember to live, to enjoy, to breath, to love and to be grateful and kind.  You can just pick one of those thoughts and you’re well on your way.

It takes a conscientious effort and a consistent effort to live in the moment.  Practice make perfect.  Take right now for instance, be happy you are reading.  Just enjoy the photos if nothing more.  Acknowledge your moment and smile.  Then repeat every moment the rest of your life.

One person I know uses the phrase “don’t time travel”  meaning don’t worry, fret or ponder the future or the past, only right now truly exists….live now – find joy now, be kind now, be grateful now, choose a positive thought over a negative thought.

I may be writing this for myself as a concrete lesson I can visualize…..but it doesn’t matter.

I hope you enjoy many moments.

Cheers.

Update:

Just like starting over

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Remember when you were young, and the future felt like some distant place that would never really happen.  You felt light, and easy, optimistic and somewhat care free and in love?

Well we have reached the future and even with all our burdens, and all my processing of issues, I feel like everything is new and possible again.

So I am dedicating the following to the love of my life, my handsome husband.

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere alone

It’s been too long since we took the time
No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over, starting over

With our new fixer-upper home, we have a lot of work in front of us, but I see this and everything else, as a brand new start.  It is a wonderful adventure that we will take together every step of the way.  Who ever thought we would be here now?  It’s feakin’ awesome.

I love you Ray. xo

late 1986 - of coarse see the hair!

Take a listen to this…..”No one ca get in the way of what I am feeling…”

Five Unproven Tips

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I have an issue with getting too  close.  I could explain it away based on many things, now that I recognize much of the baggage I carry.  But that doesn’t change it, and I question if it even need to be changed? Or am I like this because I want it this way?

Yesterday I had this imaginary turn of events play out in my head that lead a friendship from casual and strong to really really close friends. And that’s when I noticed this “pull-back” inside of me, I could physically feel it.  It was like – Oh, I don’t want to do “that.

Mind you, in the past few years I have lost five different friends each by one of the following ways; two by way of death, one good old fashion betrayal, one from a realization, and one because of relocation.  Also during this same time my three children left the nest for college.   (Irish triplets; I knew this day would come, didn’t make it any easier) Feelings of loss are never easy.

In the beginning, Unpack The Rat was focused solely on material stuff, clutter and junk, but when some of that stuff made me cry I knew there was much more stuff stuffed inside me.  I realize that now, right now, is the time to fix everything the best I can.  It’s been brutal a continuing challenge.

Another thing I have learned during my journey is, it will go on as long as I am breathing.  Meaning no matter what happens, I will have to work at conquering my demons every day, or they will take me over.   My demon, disguised as clutter, boxes and disarray, is actually negativity and all that encompasses.

Much like an addiction, I have to fight negativity every day or it will overpower my mind, body and soul.

So right now, I am going to come up with five unproven tips to counter my negativity. Maybe they will help you, me or someone we know.

Five Instant Tips:

1. Stop swearing  unless it’s used in positive comment.  Example: ” That’s so f*cking incredible. I am so excited for you!” Swearing when you are upset or angry only serves to  fuel and intensify any negative emotion.

2. Do not allow yourself to get hungry.  We are grown people, we know we have to fuel our bodies and minds.  Pack a lunch box to take wherever you go, make a first aid kit for the hungries.  Suggestions for your kit: carrots, fruit, cheese,  nuts, crackers and water.  Dig in before you end up in a sour mood or even worse find yourself driving through Wendy’s or the likes. 

3. Remember those who are thirsty.  The time you waste being negative could be time spent promoting Charity Water .  I am signing Unpack The Rat up  today. ( if I can do it this way)  Of course what this really means is help anyone (a person, animal or plant) who needs help rather than filling your own cup with negativity.

4. Daydream about a ridiculous or fabulous adventure. If you want, go ahead and close your eyes for a few seconds and slip away. Envision it all as if you were really there.

5. Be grateful for having the ability to love.

That’s what I came up with.  Now I am going to Charity Water and see if I can sign up.

As for getting too close,  I am not going to worry about it for now.   Not everything needs an answer the moment you think of it.  Sometimes you just need to “be.”

I be being.

Okay, it worked…..Here’s the link to donate to Unpack the Rat’s Charity Water campaign.

Cheers!

Happy Birthday Batman!

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Today is one of my dog’s 9th birthday. Batman is nine. He is a gentle soul, a loyal buddy, and his is big fluffy and hug-able.

He has his faults, as we all do. He has a weakness for cats and not in a good way, but other than that no one could ask for a better dog. I have a photo of him when he was just a puppy with my entire family. Now I can tell how old we are were in the photo, because before I couldn’t quite peg it by sight alone. My children were 10,12, and 13 in that photo, it was taken during spring soccer season, right before my youngest turned 11.

Batman and my youngest son 9 years ago

The photo is somewhere in all my stuff that was shuffled out of our home while we dealt with the nastiness of the recession.

Our “situation”, it doesn’t change quickly because what some people don’t seem to realize is when all the work is done and you are out of the house the rebuilding starts and that takes time, a lot of time. On the contrary, nine years just flew by when I was living a normal life. Now time seem to seep away slowly as if I have a tiny leak in my soul.

I have stopped expecting anything good to ever happen, or even wishing or hoping. Too many tremendous let downs recently. I am making it through each day but I barely feel like I am here, but I know I am here because I can’t get away.

I am thinking about my escape, and I am thinking real hard, because what I am doing right now isn’t cutting it. It may be unconventional, but I am going to fix this so that I can stand the “situation” until we find a house.

Right now we are waiting to hear back on the 5th house that we have bid on. I quit looking at photos of the home, because I have really talked myself into liking this one. It ended up with multiples. Funny how that’s now happen twice with this same lister. Any time there are multiples, someone appears to get an inside tip as to what the amount needs to be offered to win – we never win. I personally think it’s like insider trading and it’s a huge scam.

In any case, one way or another, I am existing in this temporary situation. It’s temporary. It’s temporary. It’s not a healthy living environment for me or my animals. Temporary has now become too long.

Happy Birthday Batman, I love you.

I have left this environment two other times in my lifetime; once when I alone and single, and once with my entire family cutting a holiday visit short. Always because of the same reason.

Why in the world did I think that it would be any different this time?

Tip: Forgive people, but don’t forgive so much that you forget what you had to forgive, or it might just happen again.

Inspiration:

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

– Hafiz of Persia

One-day one-thing: Learning what I already knew.