A Little Wednesday Wisdom

I shared the attached story the week of Thanksgiving last year. Just like last year, I was at our local grocery store today. Unfortunately, unlike last year, I was not at all entertained.

It began as Michael and I started walked across the parking lot and spotted a new Mercedes parked far out away from the maddening crowds. The car was parked across two parking spaces in a futile attempt to protect it from door chips. Maybe that move made it a target for some angry pre-holiday shopper. The owner was rewarded with a shopping card wedged between the driver’s door and the side mirror. This was an omen for what we’d soon encounter. Once inside, it was obvious there was very little holiday cheer.

Thank heavens I have this to share from last year. Hope you enjoy re-reading it as much as I did.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” ~ Ralph Marston

It’s already Wednesday, the week of Thanksgiving, 2017.

Because I am an award-winning procrastinator, I’ve been moving faster than usual today. I’ve finally accepted this as the way I operate. Being that charter member, regardless of where I was in the grocery store today, I was rushing, avoiding, or waiting.

It was mostly a waiting game.

I was one of the very few walking up and down the aisles with a smile on my face. The more frowns I met, the more I smiled–and my smile grew wider and wider with each cluster of people I encountered. Granted,  I was probably one of the few there by choice. One of my fellow HEB warriors was a mom of three. She patiently directed her oldest son up and down the different rows as she searched up and down for the things she needed. She excused herself for the pace her little pack held, telling me she was not from here. Again–a huge smile crossed my face because I and every other local person in the store had determined that a long time before she confirmed it.

To me, she was a hero.

I had not one single minute of doubt she’d have been done shopping, checked out, loaded the car, and on the way home if she had not offered it all up by giving the keys to the cart to her son. I’m not sure how often he had been the cart pilot, but there were some close calls as he made his way around stocking cards, past full end caps, skirted other kids, and bypassed the very large representation of this community’s more elderly shoppers. Cheers to you, mom. May God bless you with a full glass of wine with a full bottle standing by when you get home.

My favorite entertainer of the day was the young dad trying to keep up with his daughter as she zigged here and zagged there, always searching for that very elusive place where she could let her wild horses ride. He managed to stay close to her, adjusting his speed and chatter as they both sped on ahead.

I had a majestically joy-filled experience.

All this and the fact that it was Thanksgiving Eve, reminded me of a late day run to the post office made shortly after I’d moved to the Denver area. It was the beginning of my first holiday season away from home. I’d had a hard week, I was on call, I was already tired, I was lonely, and I was angry. A subscription I’d canceled had sent the product anyway. That meant, I now had to return it.

All these negatives played over and over in my head as I walked to the post office. A young man and his dad were coming out of the building, the boy stopped to hold the door for me. In my pre-occupied state, I brushed quickly by them, making my way inside.

A rather firm voice broke my litany of poor me, poor pitiful me self-statements. I heard the boy say, “You’re welcome.” His dad was quick to hush; the young man, making his point very adamantly, “She could at least say thank you, dad!”

Wow. For a second, his comment made me angry. Then…I realized how rude I’d been.

The kid was absolutely right.

As I turned to acknowledge, they were gone. The dad had whisked him out to the car.

What a huge lesson I learned that evening from this young man. You never know when or who your teachers will show up or who they will be–he was the first person to help me on my path to being more aware. Since that night, I see how many others neglect expressing appreciation for simple acts of respect and kindness.

This memory was sparked by finding the quote I’ve attached to today’s story by Ralph Marston. Saying thank you takes seconds and costs nothing. Stay aware of all the kindness and care to come your way–be grateful.

For years, Michael and I subscribed to Mr. Marston’s, The Daily Motivator. If you’ve never seen these daily messages, take a minute to check it out. It will give you one other thing to be grateful for and open another gift opportunity for you.

I am…

B…simply being…

My love sent your way.

God bless.

Peace

 

 

 

 

Many Gifts

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.” 

R.J. Palacio, Wonder

I’ve been thinking about my quick trip back to Denver. It was wonderful to be back with my old group of friends–maybe it was so special because it was last-minute–meaning I had a limited amount of time to over think things–this time I packed and I went.

On this trip, I’d planned to write. I was in a place where I had great wi-fi. That first day I sat down to write a quick story from my iPad. It did not go as smoothly as I expected. I’d never used my new iPad for writing.

Lesson learned and note to self–do not start something new when you aren’t home and do not have a real back-up plan.

As I mentioned in my most recent stories, I was wined and dined by my wonderful group of friends. Ann and Jim opened their home to me first–Ann picking me up at the airport with food and wine–recharging me for a night of catching up and story telling.

That night, I climbed into a freshly made bed and slept while the cool evening air circulated in my room. What a great thing–sleeping for the first time in weeks with windows open. Allergies be damned–it was wonderful.

Wednesday I met Kelli–a former co-worker–for lunch. What a great gift to have someone take time on their day off to have lunch with me. Thank you, Kelli. An additional luncheon plus was running into a former practice manager, Julia. How grand was that?

From Ann and Jim’s I re-packed and headed to Doug and Lana’s. These two people are so talented–their home is beautiful. I was able to sit on their back patio and enjoy the deer early in the mornings while enjoying a fresh cup of coffee. Thank you both–it has been a long time since I’ve talked so much. Once again, the food and wine was grand. Thank you. I was also able to meet their niece, Elizabeth. Thanks for taking Friday off to hang with us. Enjoyed you and our thrift store adventure.

Saturday was the day we’d all come together for–the memorial for John, the husband of one of our dearest friends. Time is so sneaky–it appears to drag along some days as we struggle with our daily challenges but in reality it is flying at break neck speed by us all. I am so thankful I was there to be with Julie. It was a day I will remember always. I love you, Julie. Always have–always will.

After Saturday’s gatherings, I was able to unwind with my soul sister, Mary Beth. For twenty years she was my across the street neighbor. We would open wine and talk and talk and talk some more. This time was no different. She cooked as we talked and shared our past, present, and our concerns and plans for our futures. We are much older than we were the first time we sat around kitchen tables. I’d like to think we are somewhat wiser. I definitely know we are very grateful for the time we’ve shared together.

From Mary Beth’s I returned to Ann and Jim’s. Thank you for lending me your wheels while I was there and for taking me back to the airport. You made everything so easy and I thank you.

The day before I returned home, I had lunch with my friend, Sandi. What a treat and a relief to sit down and talk with her fact-to face. She, too, lost her husband recently. She’d been telling me she was doing okay–I needed to see her to confirm that was indeed the truth. Thank you, Sandi, for having lunch with me–loved it and love you. Next trip we need to reserve more time.

After my time with all these amazing people, I know I’ve been given a gift that not all of us receive–the gift of time. I also know I’ve had amazing people beside me all along my journey–and I’ve been able to meet with many of them this summer. I’m thinking there are few people as lucky as I am.

I am thankful and I pray we all have much more time together.

I love you guys.

Thank you, God.

“But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.” 

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, A Life for a Life  

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace be with you~  

 

 

This is Us

Then I thought, boy, isn’t that just typical? You wait and wait and wait for something, and then when it happens, you feel sad.”
― Sharon Creech, Absolutely Normal Chaos

Even though I told myself I would not do it until I had a few things crossed off my to-do list, I just watched the latest episode of This is Us. My to-do list is untouched.

As it began, I almost turned it off. I wasn’t sure I was ready.

Like we’ve all known for a long time, I knew Jack was going to die. I expected him to die in the fire. As the story unfolded, I was caught off guard by all the memories that came flooding into my mind. All those patients I’d seen in similar situations over the years–I was surprised by the flashback of faces and their tragic scenarios. I was not prepared for that.

I don’t know how these amazing writers could have thrown in anything more to trigger tears that would crescendo into sobs. From Kevin’s list of making amends to the fire turning the kitchen into an inferno to Jack escaping from the house with the dog. The images and stories this show ignites are beyond compare. I’d gone through a whole box of kleenex. I was sobbing and very grateful to be home alone. I am definitely a person who needs her space when it’s time for a good cry.

This show never fails to make me think, reminding me how fragile life really is and how I need to let go of the small stuff, staying aware and grateful.

“Thank you for the day and night,
for rainy spells and summer’s light.
Thank you for the skies of blue
and puffy clouds in grayish hue.
Thank you for the giggle fest
and midnight’s cloak to hasten rest.
Thank you for tomorrow new
and yesterday’s tomorrow too.
Thank you for “I’m glad we met”
and also for “we haven’t yet.”
Thank you for the peace of mind
a grateful soul doth always find.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless us all.

~Peace~

 

 

Last Time for Everything

Using a fake ID at a college bar
Getting caught with a girl in the backseat of a car
Running out on the field for the senior game wearing number 17
There’s a last time for everything

Like a George Strait cassette in a Pontiac
Or telling Supercuts, “Let’s leave it long in the back”
Wearing a tux in a high school gym
And she’s wearing your class ring
There’s a last time for everything

Last call, last chance
Last song, last dance
Sometimes you just don’t know when that’s gonna be
Hold me baby, give me a kiss
Like tonight is all there is
‘Cause there’s the last time for everything

Throwing the ball with the first dog you ever had
Spending all day on the lake with your grandad
Watching Glenn Frey sing “Already Gone” at the Forum in LA
There’s the last time for everything

Last call, last chance
Last song, last dance
Sometimes you just don’t know when that’s gonna be
Hold me baby, give me a kiss
Like tonight is all there is
Cause there’s a last time for everything

Kissing goodbye on her porch and driving away
Introducing her as your fiancee
Getting woke up at 5 am to see if Santa came
There’s a last time for everything

Biscuits and gravy at your momma’s house
(Last time for everything)
Spring break on a fold out couch
(Last time for everything)
Little Jimmy on the Opry stage
(Last time for everything)
Hearing Prince sing “Purple Rain”
(Last time for everything)
(Last time for everything)Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

The first time I heard this song by Brad Paisley I was caught off guard by how much emotion it stirred up. I’ve talked about this song before. In case you are not a country fan, I thought I should share the lyrics. If you are like me, as you read the words that talk about so many universal life experiences, memories will flood into your mind. These flashes back to your past will not be just for today but will continue to pop into your head for many days to come.

The words have been on my mind a lot these past few days as I’ve thought back to many Christmas dinners spent with family over the years. How many times had I assumed those dear but sometimes annoying people would be sitting in their usual chairs telling their usual stories next year?

Sneakily, ready or not, there is a last time for everything.

As you put away those decorations, head out to the stores to make exchanges, or gear up for that walk, run, or aerobics class, take a moment to reflect on your holiday. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Compose a handwritten note to those who shared their time with you yesterday.

Fate. She is fickle, relentless, unknown, and unpredictable. Yesterday may have been the last time for many precious things. Do not allow time to continue to steal minutes and opportunities from you. Tell those you love you love them. Do not rush it or make light of it. Tell them as if were the last time.

It may be…

I have talked about this expression of love a lot these past few months because it is important to me to share and make others aware. I have been blessed with so many things. One of the greatest has been the gift of time. This gift comes with a flip side–I realize the assumptions I’ve made over the years came with a price tag–regret. This lesson has been painful and costly. Use my stories as a type of study guide. Learn from my mistakes so you can test out and sidestep as much regret as possible.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you.

Peace

 

 

 

Fortunately, Friday

“Clearly, one of the major obstacles to our experience of gratitude is the habit we have of sleepwalking through life. The truth is that we are never lacking for blessings in our lives, but we are often lacking in awareness and recognition of them.” ~ Rev. Diane Berke, Ph.D

As hard as it is for me to believe, it is Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, 2017.

Our Thanksgiving was a small, easy family gathering. It was lovely. Michael’s sister, Neva, and her husband, Irving, arrived carrying flowers and a pineapple upside down cake–it was a great start to a very relaxing day.

I took the day off from writing. I wanted to focus on being present, aware, and thankful. As I sat the place settings around our table, I found myself thinking about the empty chairs around many Thanksgiving tables this year due to unimaginable events that’d happened since last Thanksgiving. The imagery of that was powerful.

I saw the faces sitting around our table a little differently yesterday. Whether it was God-given grace or that glass of wine, I’m not totally sure. What I can say is I appreciated each person on a much higher level–the little things that’d irritated me in years past were easily ignored while the gifts and time shared meant so much more.

“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

I am…

B…simply being…

Peace

 

A Little Wednesday Wisdom

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” ~ Ralph Marston

It’s already Wednesday, the week of Thanksgiving, 2017.

Because I am an award-winning procrastinator, I’ve been moving faster than usual today. I’ve finally accepted this as the way I operate. Being that charter member, regardless of where I was in the grocery store today, I was rushing, avoiding, or waiting.

It was mostly a waiting game.

I was one of the very few walking up and down the aisles with a smile on my face. The more frowns I met, the more I smiled–and my smile grew wider and wider with each cluster of people I encountered. Granted,  I was probably one of the few there by choice. One of my fellow HEB warriors was a mom of three. She patiently directed her oldest son up and down the different rows as she searched up and down for the things she needed. She excused herself for the pace her little pack held, telling me she was not from here. Again–a huge smile crossed my face because I and every other local person in the store had determined that a long time before she confirmed it.

To me, she was a hero.

I had not one single minute of doubt she’d have been done shopping, checked out, loaded the car, and on the way home if she had not offered it all up by giving the keys to the cart to her son. I’m not sure how often he had been the cart pilot, but there were some close calls as he made his way around stocking cards, past full end caps, skirted other kids, and bypassed the very large representation of this community’s more elderly shoppers. Cheers to you, mom. May God bless you with a full glass of wine with a full bottle standing by when you get home.

My favorite entertainer of the day was the young dad trying to keep up with his daughter as she zigged here and zagged there, always searching for that very elusive place where she could let her wild horses ride. He managed to stay close to her, adjusting his speed and chatter as they both sped on ahead.

I had a majestically joy-filled experience.

All this and the fact that it was Thanksgiving Eve, reminded me of a late day run to the post office made shortly after I’d moved to the Denver area. It was the beginning of my first holiday season away from home. I’d had a hard week, I was on call, I was already tired, I was lonely, and I was angry. A subscription I’d canceled had sent the product anyway. That meant, I now had to return it.

All these negatives played over and over in my head as I walked to the post office. A young man and his dad were coming out of the building, the boy stopped to hold the door for me. In my pre-occupied state, I brushed quickly by them, making my way inside.

A rather firm voice broke my litany of poor me, poor pitiful me self-statements. I heard the boy say, “You’re welcome.” His dad was quick to hush; the young man, making his point very adamantly, “She could at least say thank you, dad!”

Wow. For a second, his comment made me angry. Then…I realized how rude I’d been.

The kid was absolutely right.

As I turned to acknowledge, they were gone. The dad had whisked him out to the car.

What a huge lesson I learned that evening from this young man. You never know when or who your teachers will show up or who they will be–he was the first person to help me on my path to being more aware. Since that night, I see how many others neglect expressing appreciation for simple acts of respect and kindness.

This memory was sparked by finding the quote I’ve attached to today’s story by Ralph Marston. Saying thank you takes seconds and costs nothing. Stay aware of all the kindness and care to come your way–be grateful.

For years, Michael and I subscribed to Mr. Marston’s, The Daily Motivator. If you’ve never seen these daily messages, take a minute to check it out. It will give you one other thing to be grateful for and open another gift opportunity for you.

I am…

B…simply being…

My love sent your way.

God bless.

Peace

 

 

 

 

My New Ritual

I began my day by writing in my new journal. It was my new, but very familiar, ritual. My notebook of choice is NOT fancy. I’d grabbed it a couple of weeks ago at the Dollar General store for $0.99. I added a bunch of old stickers to the cover so it wouldn’t look so much like some kid’s grade school project–my attempt at art may have made it look even more like that very thing. My writing instrument–a good old #2 pencil. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s erasable. The added bonus–whenever my very sturdy and reliable pencil needs sharpening, I have a real reason for taking a thought break.

It was soothing giving my thoughts their freedom, allowing them to crawl out of my foggy morning head onto the paper. There was no scurrying about with each idea fighting with the one ahead of it. It took patience and some writing around the bush techniques. Slowly things came together. I found myself falling into my old routine of writing three pages–the number of pages suggested by Julia Cameron in, The Artist’s Way.  As I did many years ago, I ended my pages with thank you’s to God. My chosen number has always been five–and that is what I carried into my new ritual.

As I planned, I did all this first thing this morning. No news. No social media. Interesting, by my taking control, there was no internal struggle.

As I wrote this morning, I had a thought about the practice of Tashlich, the “casting off sins.” I am a gold medal champion when it comes to worrying. What if I used this beautiful tradition as a model for dealing with my own moments of uncertainty? Living on a hill, could I use the wind as my mode of transporting that type of negativity away from me and out of my future?

I like that.

I think I’m going to add that to my daily practice. I’ll save the walks to the river for special times.

I am…

B…simply being…

There continues to be a lot of pain in our world. Please pray for each other.

I love Y’all.

Peace