Posts Tagged With: honesty

 
 

A List to Remind Me That the Sun Shines

Aspens. My favorites.

Aspens. My favorites.

MSH reminds me when I start ranting about something and threaten to write about it on my blog, that I always intended for this project to lean toward the positive and optimistic.

Then I remind him that I’m also “keeping it real” which might not always come across as roses and sunshine.

Keeping It Real

How real do I feel comfortable with here on the blog? How real am I comfy with in person? All last month I’ve debated this with myself. And I didn’t write much during that debate. Lost my groove, I guess.

A path of shadow and sunlight.

A path of shadow and sunlight.

I felt braver a couple of years ago. Bolder. Speaking my mind came easier. Opening up about my life happened naturally and with less reserve.

This past year, in many ways, I’ve caved in on myself. I’ve tucked in the frayed edges. I keep the strained or raveled seams covered. I’ve inched toward a more hermit-like life. I used to do that during the month of January every year. I saw it as a naturally occurring regrouping and recovery from the two or three-month holiday season.

My January recovery session during the past year stretched into eleven other months. Maybe longer.

An online friend of mine wrote a (somewhat annoying) glowing top ten account of his past year for the following reason:

“Things can get difficult, and you never know when I might need to remind myself that these things happened, and how and what I felt like when they did.” ~ Brad McBride

Good reason to write up a top ten, you gotta admit. Even if it annoys semi-irritable people like me.

I’ve just survived a year (2014) where I needed to remind myself of happier times to get myself through the day or the week.

I’ve also just been through a year (2014, yes, same year) with some amazingly wondrous good things happening. I mean A-MAZ-ING! Happiness like nothing I’ve ever known.

Talk about a paradox.

I’ve felt lost and found, abandoned and loved, forlorn and supported, ready to give up and anticipating greatness, numb and electrified. At times hope eluded me and then there it shone like a stunning sunrise nearly blinding me.

So what would be my top ten good things for 2014?

  1. My oldest daughter’s new baby girl
  2. The volunteer work I get to do
  3. Hanging out with my favorite teenager while driving her to and from tutoring
  4. Spending time with a certain three-year old
  5. Snuggling from a fun-loving one year old
  6. Almost the entire family together for a weekend in November
  7. A Christmas concert extraordinaire
  8. Summer sunrise walks
  9. My family reunion – time with Mom and Dad
  10. Sitting in a high mountain meadow for hours with MSH

See, my life’s filled with wonder and joy. I just forget sometimes. The difficulties can cast such deep long shadows that block out the sunlight in such a way it almost feels like night. I just need to step out of the shade and let the sun warm me from time to time.

Am I Right? Or am I Write?

This blog has been a source of light for me as well. It’s like a conversation I have with myself to sort through things and make sense of the world. So I add a number eleven to my list.

11. This writing thing.

So I’ll keep things real. The good, the ugly, the stunning, the what-the-heck. Life as I see it written down right here just for me.

If you want to follow along, you’re welcome to join me. Just don’t make too much noise. It is morning, after all.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Hope, Mental Health, Sanity, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Accessing My Inner Two Year-Old

Two Year-old kids get a bad rap. 

Oh sure, I’ve seen the meltdowns in the grocery store, the toy wars in the sandbox, the frazzled parents trying to get a tot cooperatively moving in the direction and speed they need to go. I also raised a few two year-old kids myself, although, admittedly that is ancient history.

I suppose it’s a case of the squeaky wheel when it comes to two year-old behavior. What most people see and experience is the negatives, of which admittedly, there exist quite a few.

There are redeeming qualities in two year-olds, apart from their general cuteness, and their adorable options in the clothing department. What is up with that anyway? How come little kids have such fun, bright, practical and comfortable pants, shirts, shoes and even sock options? Can we please just design a few of those in adult sizes? I have a particular fondness for Osh Kosh B’gosh styles which I think I’d look great in. Or not.

Sorry, I got sidetracked.

That right there is a two-year-old trait. Easily sidetracked. It’s one of those plus/minus categories. It can work for you or against you. Distraction is particularly important as you maneuver past any grocery items that might not be healthy choices. If I could distract my attention away from the donuts, soda and ice cream I’d leave the store with healthier options and a bit more cash left in my wallet. Dropping some niggling problem like a two year-old changes gears could help out my stress levels. Worry, worry, worry, oh look, something shiny, no worries. If only.

Two year-olds are usually a friendly sort. They’ll wave and smile at most people who say hello or smile at them. They’re eager to play with almost any willing playpal. I’ve seen two’s dance for an hour at a wedding reception without ever exchanging names or phone numbers. They were just happy dancing! That distraction thing then kicks in when punch and cake show up and the evening plays off as a massive success.

Double the fun with a two-year-old

Double the fun with a two-year-old

Here and Now

Two’s live in the moment. This very moment. There is no “in a few minutes.” Everything is now. That’s an enviable trait to copy. This right now takes all my attention. No yesterday haunts me as I do what I’m doing. Tomorrow doesn’t loom because I’m living the moment I’m in. Sure, that leans to the negative if taken to extremes, but so can overplanning, over scheduling and overdoing.

Empathy Abounds

One particular two year-old I know acts quickly to literally wipe away tears when her mom or sister cry. If the tears last long enough she’ll run for the tissues and bring some to help staunch the flow. Then she gives a wonderful full on hug and a kiss on the cheek. What a perfect response. Twos get it. They feel that full range of emotion loud and clear and when they hear or see it in someone else their empathy sensors kick in to high gear. “I see you’re sad. Let me help, even if I don’t understand why you’re sad, I’m gonna do what I can right now to give love, attention and solace.” Perfect. Those Two’s notice, care and respond to grief, sadness and unfairness with a quick hand.

Honest to a T

Honesty abounds in two year-old, mostly. They let you know when something is “yucky” or they “don’t like it.” There’s no fudging around, wondering what the correct response should be. Yes or no rule. Maybe doesn’t exist. Count on them for a real answer. I’d like the bravery to act and speak so definitively.

The advantages of being a house dog in a home ...

Two two-year-olds sharing with the dog. (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hook-y ;o))

It’s MINE! Except when I share it

Amazingly, the mine, mine, mine mindset that two year-olds often operate from can sometimes magically morph into sharing. Fairly generous sharing if you don’t mind half a mashed cookie or squishy banana bites. They don’t wonder if the gift they’re offering is good enough, measures up to your expectations and standards, or even if you want or need it. They just give and let it go at that. Good idea, I think, to apply to my life.

And surprisingly, there are times when the “mine” mentality needs implementing. Getting adequate sleep, eating well, meeting our basic emotional and physical needs so we can give from a position of strength rather than giving until we fizzle out.

Simplicity Rules

Simple things easily entertain a two year old. No need to buy elaborate toys when they’d prefer the box the toy comes in. The top of a soft drink cup can keep some kids going for a good fifteen minutes, popping and unpopping the “bubbles” for coke, diet, and other over and over and over. This is another two year-old trait I’d like to emulate. Not that I’m simple minded, but I’d like satisfaction to come by simple, pure sorts of things that require imagination and activity rather than sitting and being spoon-fed couch potato food. I don’t need or want bells and whistles and flash and bang. A great book, a walk in the woods, a discussion with friends,  music, bike riding, art, thinking. The more basic, the better.

Wall-e and Two’s

Recently, while watching “Wall-e” my daughter pointed out that little robotic dude behaves in many ways just like a two year-old. She was right. Focused, and yet easily distracted. Curious and driven. Playful and loyal. Simply entertained, generous, direct as possible, happy to help.

I’m lucky to have a two year-old in my life. She’s teaching me to be a better, calmer, generous, happier, responsive, more in the moment me. When I access those great traits I find a simple joy in life. It’s something to keep in mind. Food for thought.

Two-year-old’s: worthy of emulation.

Categories: Humor, People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Sainted Mechanic of Rio Caballo

In recent news: “Pope Francis cleared two of the 20th century’s most influential popes to become saints, approving a miracle needed to canonize Pope John Paul II and waiving Vatican rules to honor Pope John XXIII.”-By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

Saint Bonaventure Window

With such generosity and goodwill wafting about I’ve come up with my own candidate for Sainthood. Whether or not he receives approval by the Pope or anyone else for that matter, is of little consequence. In fact, he isn’t Catholic, so I’m pretty sure he’ll be off the list on the first round. To me, this man is a true Saint by any measure.

He has performed miracles, uses his great gifts to bless the lives of many, brought the dead back to life, and brought hope to countless numbers whose hope wavered, flickered and nearly flamed out.

Who is this man and why haven’t we read about him in the news? Ah, for two good reasons.

1) he is humble and unassuming

2) he is my mechanic

Yes, you’re reading this correctly. I’m praising the man who repairs my vehicles. He deserves high praise, in fact.

How often does a mechanic receive such accolades? Rarely, I can tell you that. We’ve had some doozies when it comes to car repairs. A few mechanics in the past obviously thought we owned a money-tree orchard. If that were true we wouldn’t be driving fifteen-year old cars around, would we? I suppose desperation drives (cough) people to do ridiculous things and spend food and rent money to keep a car running. Unlike some shysters we have encountered in the past, our mechanic is honest, direct and helpful with reason and sanity.

This guy is amazing.

  • He makes house calls.
  • If the problem with the truck or car is something that MSH or my son can reasonably repair, saving us the cost of labor, he’s happy to explain the process, suggest places to find the parts needed at a decent price and answer questions if they come up.
  • More times than I care to count, he has resurrected a car past the “stinketh” stage.
  • He has taken mercy on us on occasion and moved our sole working car to the head of the line of cars outside his backyard shop.
  • Widows often have repairs done at little or no cost, because he can. What a good guy!
  • If it isn’t repairable, he’ll say so, flat-out. “Dude, you need to get a different car. Sorry to have to break it to you.”
  • Car repair isn’t his first job. It’s a kind of hobby/second job/good Samaritan thing he does.
mechanic with car

(Photo credit: anyjazz65)

Alas, I looked up the requirements for canonization (i.e. becoming a saint) here and it doesn’t look good so far. Candidates must be deceased and my mechanic remains very much alive and rolling. Thank goodness, ’cause we’d be lost without him.

On the other hand, he has led an exemplary life, blesses others daily and has no skeletons in his closet or his tool chest, which are other requirements he clearly meets astoundingly well. He is a man of integrity and generosity and knowledge, a perfect combination in a businessman and a gentleman.

Countless car miracles have occurred to which we and others will gladly bear witness. Lame, maimed, nearly dead, completely dead, gasping, choking, smoking, he has dealt with and cured or at least temporarily revived many a sad car in its day. Surely a few minor rules could slide to allow a non-Catholic some well-deserved Sainthood.

Personally I’d love to reside where I could get by without a car. But for where we live and what we do, it isn’t terribly realistic. Maybe someday we’ll live in a tiny town where I can ride a bike everywhere I need to go. Or a big town where public transportation is convenient, on-time and reliable.

In the meantime, our mechanic will remain, anonymously, The Sainted Mechanic of Rio Caballo.

Categories: Humor, Transportation, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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