It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Recently I’ve been working on staying off social media.  It’s a killer time waster and being Type A, I like to be productive.  So, I’ve taken to checking Facebook and Pinterest when I’m on the stationary bike.  It gives me something to focus on, and frequently I’m on there past my scheduled 30 minute time because I just want to get caught up to my feed!

Part of the bonus is that it keeps my mind sharper and engaged, because seriously, I want to get caught up to my feed, and in order to do that, I have to be able to read and process in a short amount of time!

It also has helped me notice some flaws in my Ego.

Per Dictionary.com: In psychological terms, the ego is the part of the psyche that experiences the outside world and reacts to it.

Case in point.  I ran across this gem the other day.

You see a person's true colors when you are no longer beneficial to their life | Did That Just Happen Blog

My immediate reaction was more on the negative side, my Ego feeling the rejection that comes from life moving and friends moving on.  “Well, he doesn’t need me anymore, he has his new friends”  which translates to “I must be lacking”.

Fortunately, just as soon as I had that thought, my next reaction was, why? Why does this have to be negative?

It immediately reminded me of a girl, she’s not been my friend the longest, but it’s probably darn near close! In the past, her life has sometimes gone off track and she has needed me.  I’ve been beneficial to her life.  And the same is true the other direction, I’ve needed her, and she has been beneficial to my life.

But right now, we aren’t a benefit to each other.  Our lives are pretty good.

Yet, she still calls, and she still reaches out, and we still get together.

And that’s when it hit me.  Her true colors are showing.  I offer no benefit to her life, except my friendship.  She loves me for me and that is all she needs.  I don’t have to be useful to her, I just get to be.

I can’t tell you how amazing it was to have that revelation, that what I immediately saw as “lacking” was in fact a message exactly the opposite.  I just needed a new perspective on things!

It's all a matter of perspective | Did That Just Happen Blog

And this happened a few days ago, but I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I had to come share it with y’all! What do you think? Do you have a perspective thought or revelation to share?

25 Songs in 25 Days – Day 7

25 Songs in 25 Days – Day 7 – A Song That Reminds You of the Past Summer

My past summer was rough.  Beyond rough.  Blessings by Laura Story was one of the songs that we played at Lee’s funeral, and while it is a beautiful song, unlike almost all of the other songs I’ve picked, I couldn’t listen all the way through!

To those that were with me last summer, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all of the support and love you showed.

For those who weren’t with me, here is a link to my favorite post, and a good summation of my life last year.

Then he Kissed the Back of my Hand. 

And check out these awesome people that are playing along with me:

Melanie Jo Moore

Surviving the Mad House

Life in the Wylde West

Bishop Eddie Tatro’s Study

Four Calders

 

 

Happy Birthday to my Brother

I’ve debated all morning long about writing this post.  There are several reasons not to:  I don’t want to upset my mom, I don’t know if I want to drag out my emotions and stomp all over them again and maybe others are tired of the subject matter.

So, mom, you probably should just stop now.  I’m not sure what I’m going to write, but if you must continue, probably should wait until you are off work.

These are my thoughts and emotions and I’ve shared everything else, I think that I want to share this with you, too.  And, if you are tired of the subject matter, I’ve decided that I’m actually okay with that!  It is okay if I write something that doesn’t connect with you because while I’d love to have a connection with every single person that reads this, it isn’t humanly possible.  Maybe I’ll connect with those that need to read this post today, and that is all that matters.

This morning in my prayers I said an extra one for my family today, and then I told my brother Happy Birthday and that I really missed him.  And I cried a little.  Lee would have been 29 today and after five months, it’s still hard that he is gone.  I deal really well with it on most days, most days I can see that I am getting stronger and able to handle his absence in my life, but I knew that today I wouldn’t be able to, that today I would struggle and today I will allow myself time to grieve.

It helps to have great family and friends in my life.  I’ve got a friend who is staying with me and willing to do anything, another friend that is coming over later to see me and another that told me if I needed, she would load up the kids and make the hour plus drive to be with me.  What blessings I have in my friends!  I am so very fortunate to have those around me that love and support me.

I’m very blessed, but they can’t fill the hole inside me.  They can comfort me when I cry, but they can’t stop the tears.  They can say the right thing and offer up the appropriate platitudes; however, the words aren’t a band-aid that immediately works on my heart.

Having said all of that – let me say this to anyone who has a friend that is grieving – don’t give up.  Keep showing your support, hold your friends when they can’t do anything but cry and keep talking.  While you can’t ease my pain, you make it tolerable.  You let me know that it is okay to have days where I struggle (and just as importantly it’s okay to have days when I don’t) and that there is no time limit on grief.  Whether it’s via text, phone, email or in person, the efforts that we all make towards each other shows our love.  The compassion and connection that we make with each other is what matters most in this life.  I probably won’t remember half of what you have told me, but I will remember the feelings you left me with.  I will remember that you were there when I needed you and in turn, I will be there for you.

And today I will allow myself to grieve just a bit that my brother isn’t here to celebrate his birthday and then I will celebrate that I had as many birthdays with him as I did.  I’ll play a little ZZ Top as he got me that CD for one of my birthdays and I will be okay.

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(Image courtesy of liveluvcreate.com)

If you don’t know the story, click here to read Then He Kissed the Back of my Hand.

A Single Step

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Saturday marked the 4 month anniversary of when we lost my baby brother, Lee.  Nine months prior to that he had been diagnosed with viral congestive heart failure, and that diagnosis started me and my family on a journey.  It was a journey of knowledge, of discovery, and of love.  It was a journey that frequently left us with more questions than answers and with tears of joy, frustration and eventually, of loss.

There were days when things looked wonderful – when we knew that all was going to be okay – and then came the day when we realized that things would never be the same again.

One foot in front of the other and continue on with the journey.

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An important reminder to enjoy the path.

This weekend I literally put one foot in front of the other as I continued on my journey.  My family participated in the American Heart Association’s Annual Heart Walk.  There was no greater way to physically represent this journey than to walk a mile on behalf of my brother.

Let me stop a moment and give a huge THANK YOU to those that contributed to my fund raising efforts.  There were times that I was stunned when I would get an email telling me who made a contribution.  I tried not to have any hopes or expectations, but I figured that a couple of my friends would break down; imagine my surprise when I had friends and family members that I did not expect stepping up to the plate.  I struggle to fund raise, always have, and this was not different.  My jaw dropped when I hit $100, my mind was blown when I hit $200 and I was near tears at the generosity of my friends and family when I hit $275!!  I have thanked each of you individually; however, I’m sure my words were inadequate. I can’t express to each of you how much I truly appreciated your generosity.  An unexpected side benefit was that I got to know a little bit more about some of you, as you shared your story with me and the fact that you opened your heart in addition to your wallet gave me great comfort.  Again, thank you.

Back to my journey!  Friday night the family gathered at my parents house and we had dinner and picked up our shirts for the heart walk.  We were walking with the local hospital, at which my mom works, and she had picked up our shirts and taken them home and customized them for us.

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Our customized shirts!

Saturday, very bright and very early, we were up and on our way downtown to the Stockyards.

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Go Team Lee! 🙂

From L-R: Mom, me, Roshonda holding Bella with her sons in front of and behind her, Amy holding Joshua, Dad, Sam, Mr. T, friends of Jayman and Samantha and ending with Jayman (not releasing names of the minors that I don’t have permission to!)

Before the walk started it was amazing to have people from the hospital come up to us and stop to talk about Lee.  We might not have recognized each other, but they knew who Lee was.  I had one nurse bring me to tears as she told us how much she enjoyed getting to know him while he was in the hospital.  It was a very blessed moment.

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Joshua enjoying the bounce house before we walked.

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Jayman and Samantha and their friends.

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Selfie before the race with Mr. T

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Starting line!

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My view for most of the race – 🙂

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My partners. Bella is already asleep!

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Mr. T crossing the finish line.

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Me crossing the finish line – obviously I had a hard time getting me and the finish line in the frame!

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We finished the race! We earned these muscles! And yes, that’s dad throwing up bunny ears, because we don’t grow up in our family – a thought that pleases me greatly!

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I found a train for Joshua to ride after the race – he loved it!

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Sweet! Our walk was recognized 🙂

And thus ends this chapter on my journey.  Thank you to all of those who have walked with me, mentally, emotionally and physically.  Even if I haven’t mentioned it – the support has been noticed and appreciated!

As this new chapter starts I look forward to you being there with me and I am so blessed to be part of your journey, too.

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Versatile Blogger and Wonderful Team Membership Awards

I am so blessed!  I’ve been nominated for a few more awards, and in the interest of saving time and not boring you, I’m going to break tons of rules and I’m also going to combine them in one post so that you aren’t bombarded by my bragging!

Mummy Flying Solo nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I love this award because the name says it all “Versatile”, embracing a variety of subjects, fields or skills.  I like the idea that I’m versatile!

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Rules:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your website/blog. Check!
  2. Announce your win with a post. Make sure to post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination. Check!
  3.  Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers. Kinda Check! 
  4.  Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post. I might do this… or not!
  5.  Post 7 interesting things about yourself.  Yeah Right!
Interesting Things about myself:
  1. I’m a Cancer.  Not that I subscribe to the mass cultural delusion that the sun’s apparent position relative to arbitrarily defined constellations at the time of your birth somehow affects your personality. (15 points if you can name that show)
  2. TV teaches me things – I’ve learned that if you are a secret Santa and you draw the name of a gay man, you get him a cashmere scarf.  A bunch of singing kids taught me this (only 10 points for that show)
  3. I’m a kid at heart and love kid movies.  Seriously, Pixar and Dreamworks have kept me going for the last several years with laughter and lessons.  The secret ingredient is there is no secret ingredient.  It’s all about you.  (20 points if you can guess the movie.)

Okay. Apparently I only have three interesting things to share about myself.  Oh, I’m sure there are more, but this really puts me on the spot – so how about a shameless plug? “If you’d like to find out more interesting things about me – Read My Blog!!!”

In no particular order:

  • Who or What Was That – if you don’t follow Karaboo’s blog full of code names and drama – you really should! Between work, family and friends, her blog covers everything – click the link above to read about The Great Mustard War of 2013.
  • Arash Recovery – I found Arash when he was Freshly Pressed, and so I’m sure at that time many of your saw him too, but if you never read more than that one post you are denying yourself the opportunity to get to know a wonderful man who shares his journey of recovery from an injury that does not define him.
  • The (not so) Secret Life of a PhD Student – I am constantly surprised at how much I learn – and how much I enjoy learning – when I open a new post.  I remember my mom getting her PhD, and it is interesting to see the struggle that the students go through.  We also get links to articles that Student has published, and I’ve been impressed!
  • Shut Up Dad – cracks me up all the time.  We recently were both lamenting the fact that we have to let go of our favorite t-shirt.  He also has a second blog about the comic book he is writing.  Talk about versatile!
  • Today’s Manager – I’m pretty new to following this blog, but I love the way Cranston approaches and offers solutions to common work place situations.  It’s not often that I have to exercise my role as Manager, but I love the articles and keeping my skills fresh and gathering ideas on how to deal with my employees.  Plus, his last article was titled “Booger Fingers”.  How can you not read that?
  • Sarah’s Brand New Chapter – Sarah is newly married, can’t cook and just got a new job.  Despite all of that, I still tend to identify with her and her struggles and her good times.  Her stories are ones that my girlfriends and I tell each other and I’m having fun reading her journey, check her out!

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Mummy Flying Solo also nominate me for the Wonderful Team Membership Award.  This one fills my heart because part of blogging goal was to participate.  I didn’t want to be an impersonal blogger that spews forth all of this gibberish, but doesn’t take time to connect.  This is harder than you think, because, at heart, I’m a hermit.  It is hard for me to make connections, and I work hard to be a better person and to connect with others.  So, I feel happy being presented with this, it means that I’m participating!  I’m mingling! (Okay, you can double your points here and get 45 if you can name that movie – but it’s old school!)

I also love this award because there are no rules!!  I don’t have to do anything; however, I want to.  I want to make sure you all know Me, Myself and Kids.  MMK was one of the first people that I connected with when I began blogging, and since then we’ve each done guest posts on each others pages and even a chain blog.  MMK has been my mentor and my inspiration.  He was there when I was ready to quit blogging shortly after starting and he is always there to offer support and encouragement and help point me in the right direction.  I highly recommend checking out Me, Myself and Kids, blog, you won’t be sorry!

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Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and follows my adventures.  I look forward to many more years together!

My Cup Runneth Over

I am so very blessed.  I try not to forget this in my everyday life; I frequently say thanks and tell those in my life how much I appreciate them; however, recently my blessing have had a very physical manifestation.

This past month it was made very clear to me how much I am loved and how very fortunate I am to have such wonderful, caring and loving people in my life.

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I used to think that everyone else was lucky to have me in their lives – I’m smart, funny, witty and a great listener.  🙂  Now I fully believe that the opposite is true.  I am the lucky one.  I’ve had more people reach out to me than I ever expected.

And it wasn’t out of obligation, either!

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I heard from people that genuinely cared! I heard from people that I new in high school, people that I knew when I moved out of the house for the first time.  Mentors that have been there for me since I started in the industry and I heard from the friends I have today.  It was amazing.  I mean, I know I’m loved, who wouldn’t love me, right? (Okay, there are a few, but I think it’s a defect in them, they must be missing the right gene!)

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I wanted to just take a minute and not brag or boast, but to tell everyone thanks.  Thanks for loving me.  Thanks for being there for me, for reaching out.  For all of the well-wished, cards, text messages, emails, phone calls and flowers, thank you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  I’m blessed and my cup runneth over.

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So, feel free to just put You’re Welcome in the comments box, cause you know I’m talking about all of you guys, too!  (And notice that it’s totally against my nature to be so mushy, so I had to throw in some e-cards to lighten the mood!)

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I Have the Best Friends

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Please feel free to look around and let me know what you think!

Okay, don’t take this post as bragging; take it as me counting my blessings.  Or, take it as bragging, I’m really okay no matter which direction you take now that I think about it.

I do have a lot of blessings in my life.  It is so very easy to get weighed down by everything that seems to go wrong and everything bad in our lives and all of the vampire personalities that seem to be thrown my way, but I like to think that they are all in my life for a reason.  Mainly to teach me a lesson; however, sometimes I have experiences or people in my life so that I can teach them.

best friend

That’s not the point.  The point is that today I’m counting my friend blessings.  I really do have some great people in my life.  In her post Stand Falling Still Karaboo described our Diva group like this: “We have a sweetheart, a redneck, an ordained preacher, the girl-next-door, the wife of an ex-husband and an evil step-mom.” (Just FYI, I’m the sweetheart of the group!!!)

They are all different types, and they all feed my soul one way or another!  Today I want to share how I have the best friends in my life.

My Amy:  She got me a guy.  No joke.  When she was single, this guy found her and she thought that he’d be a better fit for me.  So, she gave him to me.  It worked out well! (She gets called my Amy by me and several of our friends in order to distinguish her from my sister Amy.  It started with my family, they couldn’t tell which Amy I was talking about and so I started calling her “my Amy” so that they would know which Amy…and it carried over. Convoluted, I know, but it works.)

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Holly: My wonderful friend from the blogosphere helps me indulge in my addictions. I posted about my current Supernatural obsession, and she showed me a web site that had the shows I missed… for FREE!  Seriously, friends that feed your addictions are wonderful! (Except when they’re not, some addictions probably shouldn’t be fed.  That’s not the case here – Holly totally gets props for feeding my addiction!!)  (On another note, does anyone say “props” anymore?) I’m all caught up now, by the way, because I know you were all wondering!

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Karaboo:  She runs away with me.  You don’t know how awesome it is to have a friend that will run away with you when you need it.  Our last trip was to a casino in Oklahoma.  It didn’t take long, we did come back, but she gets that sometimes I just need to get away, and she doesn’t judge that I like to wander around and look at the bright shiny games more than I like to play them!

BA:  He’s my chauffeur and my adventure buddy.  Okay, he’s probably my adventure buddy because he’s my chauffeur  When we have industry functions that we both are going to, he doesn’t mind picking me up and driving me.  When I get tickets to the Cowboy games, he drives.  When real adventure calls and it’s time for the Meatloaf concert, he drives.  (He’ll remind me that he’ll even pull over so I can puke on the side of the road.  Okay, it was ONE time!! And it was the morning after the Meatloaf concert, so I’m sure there were some toxins that needed out of me.  I won’t tell you that several hours later we were stopping at Care Now because he thought he was having a heart attack… yeah, it was gas.)

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Erica: She keeps me honest and makes me cookies that she never really shares.  Erica is the only person I talk to on an almost daily basis and it helps keep me grounded and in touch with reality.  Her latest pregnancy has had her baking almost non-stop.  Every time I turn around she’s making more cookies or cake or breads.  She sends me pictures, but refuses to mail me any.  She’s a tease, but I do love her! (She also encourages me to keep up my craft making, which is a very good thing.  I get distracted pretty… hey look, something shiny!)

Heather: This is a special shout – out, one she’ll probably never see, but the other day I saw an advertisement for Burger King’s new turkey burger, and I posted on FB that I needed someone to go try it for me and let me know how it was.  Heather did it!  She texted me the other day that it was so worth it and now I see a BK Turkey Burger in my future.

my friends live in it

There are so many more wonderful people in my life, and if I’ve left you off, it’s not for lack of love, it’s because I’m running out of space! I just wanted to share some of my blessings with you!  I have great friends who are there for me when I need to laugh, cry, yell or just run away from it all.  They put up with my quirks and eccentricities and personality disorders and still love me anyway!

I’d ask and invite you to share some of your friend blessings with me below, but you all know how much I hate that!   I just want to say thanks to everyone in my life that has been there for me, in big and small ways! I’m truly blessed!