Tag Archive | life

Ants, Wasps and Mice, Oh My!

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Today’s Daily Prompt about PESTS fits my situation perfectly so I couldn’t resist!  I love Mother Nature’s creatures, but only when they are outside and not inside my home.  A few errant visitors are tolerable when I figure they could have gotten lost and wandered into my home for a short visit.  With the exception of mice, I’m not afraid of pests.  We have two cats, so we are used to things that go bump in the night. LOL

However, my new abode was sadly abandoned for a bit before the landlords entered the picture and fixed it up and then, I moved in.  I guess creatures big and small moved in when the humans moved out and it’s been a bit of a journey convincing them that the new human inhabitants are here to stay for awhile and their squatters rights have been removed.  Sadly I don’t speak mouse, ant or wasp languages so I had no way to convince them that they needed to move on.  To say it’s been frustrating and quite frankly, yucky is an understatement.

But time heals, even in pest situations and they are becoming less of a nuisance which is good for me.  No longer is my toothbrush covered in a hundred ants when I open the medicine cabinet nor is the Tupperware container filled with chocolate Lucky Charms alive with extra ant crunchies.  This is what I mean by yucky, don’t you agree?

The wasps seem to have moved away now as well which helps, but the mice, well, I think they are still hanging around unfortunately.  Sure, I’m a big fan of Minnie & Mickey Mouse, but not in my house!  Our cats are such divas that they wouldn’t know what to do if they came face to face with one.  Because they aren’t outside cats, I think they would be clueless since real mice don’t smell like the catnip mice-shaped toys that they play with at home.

It’s all a transition here – ups and downs like a roller coaster – but I can now start counting more ups than downs for which I’m grateful.  I do worry though that the mice are in the fireplace at night as the cats seem to gaze into the darkness often when it’s quiet.  So far, no mice have stepped on the glue paper which is a relief to me because honestly, if I awoke one morning to one stuck there flailing, I’m not sure I could deal with it!  YIKES!

Ok, enough about my pest situation!  I hope you have a pest free day yourselves and enjoy this lovely Saturday!

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  Those of you who are wondering, this isn’t a photo of my actual home!

 

 

The Benefits In Troubles and Challenges

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If you read the title of my post today and scoffed, I don’t blame you.  When I wrote it, I scoffed a bit too because frankly, who wants to be grateful for troubles and challenges?  Heck, those are things we shy away from, even run from as fast as possible!

Who is their right mind would say there are benefits in troubles and challenges?

Me!  And maybe even you?!

Because I’ve endured quite a few, (cancer, divorce, family with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, death of family, just to name a few), I can attest to their benefits (of course, this is AFTER they happened).  After the fact, we can see how individual challenges make us grow and strengthen us.  The challenges force us, sometimes unwillingly, to look at our lives with a different perspective.  They inspire us to deep deeper into ourselves to find the strength, the courage, and the inspiration to get through the difficult times.  We find out what we are really made of when we have challenges in life.  We are offered choices on life’s path and the beauty that we can choose again at any time makes life interesting.  Challenges and growth opportunities allow us to see how far we’ve come in our lives.

We can see troubles and challenges as building blocks on the road to life.  Our ability to endure them and to triumph over them (or to not) shapes us in different ways.  We enable our innate personality traits to be tweaked.  We learn new ways of coping.  We tune our minds into new avenues of solutions.  We can make new friends who open our eyes to finding peace in stressful situations.

The potential for growth, mentally, emotionally and psychologically during troubles and challenges can be exponential.  True, it can be maddening and frustrating as heck to have to deal with difficulties, but the benefits in the end, can outweigh the discomforts.

I know, you are probably thinking that I just don’t understand your troubles and challenges and you are right.  We all have our own path, but as I have found, they sometimes intersect and we can walk a path together with a friend (or a stranger who becomes a friend) and we can help each other, and support each other as we move through the tough times.

At least that’s been my experience throughout this lifetime.  I find that the higher power in my life, call it what you may, God, Universe, Infinite Spirit, your own higher power – helps me along the way through the hard times by planting strangers disguised as angels, friends, synchronizations, coincidences, etc. in order to help me overcome whatever is holding me back.  These in turn encourage me to grow, to learn and to accept what previously I may have deemed unacceptable.  But in the long run, I know that they were necessary growth spurts to get to me to where I am now.

It’s hard to believe for some of us that there’s a light at the end of a dark tunnel and that in the end, all the hard times were worth the changes that were hard won.  It’s mind-blowing at times that we can see in hindsight the benefits that come after enduring these life lessons.

But they are there.  Truly, they are there.

So please, if you are wondering if it’s karma or back luck or whatever you are thinking in order to blame the bad that’s going on in your life right now, just stop.  Accept it.  Keep going through it and move on.

That light at the end of the tunnel is beckoning you with sunshine!  Come on, hold my hand.  I’ll walk the path with you!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Leaving The Traditional Behind

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What’s the traditional to you?  Years ago, I would have declared I was the traditional wife, mother, daughter, niece and caregiver to family.  I would have happily regaled you with stories about the traditions as a family we enjoyed and how I came to rely on those traditions, even when I sometimes dreaded the work that the traditions held.  You know what I mean right?  Making huge family holiday feasts, plastering a smile on my face, even when I felt like crying and pretending that all was well, for the sake of the traditions that had come to be expected?

Have you ever felt that way?

But I have been released from the traditional now.  My life has changed dramatically.  No longer am I a wife, but instead, I am a divorced mom.  Today marks the first time I am completely alone as my children have gone to visit my Ex’s family on vacation.  The divorce is official and we have moved into our own little rental for the time being.

It’s a strange in-between place for me.

I was contemplating this when I saw the Traditional – Daily Prompt which I thought fit me well.  I’m embracing a limbo of sorts until I decide what I want to do next.  I have a few days of solitude ahead in which to fill the hours with whatever I choose.  I can’t remember the last time I had time like this!  Being in a new rental means I have no memories of traditions that pin me to the past.  It’s like there’s a clean slate on which to write my next chapter.  As I sipped my morning coffee, I realized for the first time in my life, I have freedom to choose what makes me happy at least for the next few days without worrying about how it could impact anyone else.  I have freedom from the traditional day of routine, of motherhood, of responsibilities.

There’s a plethora of possibilities in my head, swimming around, ripe to pluck and execute.  Do I go for a walk on the beach and inhale the enticing sea air?  Do I take a nap, curled up on the couch and eat bon bons?  Do I call a friend to meet for lunch and enjoy a glass of wine in the middle of the day to celebrate the break from traditional?  Do I stuff myself with popcorn and candies and watch a chick-flick?  Do I read in peaceful silence?  Do I go out shopping and buy myself something fabulous?

Ahhh…the release from the traditional!

All these choices are spinning in my mind and instead of being sad that I am alone, as my children are away, I am divorced, living in a rental and my life is not how I had traditionally planned it to be – in my heart I am planning on embracing the freedom from the traditional!  Of course, I’m sitting here writing to you, but it’s time for me to dip my toes in the sea of possibilities!  So off I go – into the unknown and with love and light, I send you hugs for a Tuesday!

May you also enjoy a break from the traditional – I think it’s time we all have a little moment to break free from the confines that bind us to the plethora of shoulds that cage us at times.  I’m not suggesting you go out and do something wicked.  That’s not me!  But to shake up the routine a bit, now that’s a possibility!  What new tradition can you make today?  Got any ideas?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo

Cancer Changed Me

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Hope ~ Strength ~ Power ~ Belief ~ Courage ~ Honor ~ Determination

I have been told that cancer changed me.  Indeed, it wasn’t said it in the nicest of ways.  In fact, it was taken as a disparaging comment and I was appalled by the off-hand comment.  My first reaction was to defend myself at the time, to show how cancer didn’t change me.  But I left well-enough alone and decided to say nothing.  However, I was hurt by the retort.

Had cancer really changed me?

The question mulled in my head for days and many sleepless nights, more than I’d like to admit, but it’s true.  I’ve written how cancer changes you enough times in this blog to know that the reality is – YES, cancer changes most of us.  It has to, or we wouldn’t still be here.  For we have seen into the yawning mouth of our own demise, endured the most feared emotions and have come out of it alive, so far.  Looking at your own potential death does change you.

It makes you more aware for the most part.  Some of us now see with finite definition that life is short and there are no guarantees how much time we have on this earth.  We become grateful for the beauty in nature, for the simple pleasures that kindness brings and for a real, loving hug which can cure many ills.  We look to connect with others more because we know what it’s like to feel alone.  We share our stories, encourage each other and find the courage to be who we authentically are!  We smile when we are tired.  We work hard to overcome obstacles and to be there for others, even when we feel depleted.  We take that extra moment to smile and to enjoy goodness when it comes into our lives.  We are grateful for the support that we have been given and we look to support others to continue the flow of goodness.  We share tips to help others and happily receive tips to make our lives easier.

We know that all the money in the world, with all the frivolities are fleeting and really don’t mean a damn when death comes knocking at our door.  It’s that silence between ourselves and our maker (or our beliefs) in the quiet of the night that counts.  It’s regarding peace within as a precious gift, time spent with loved ones and a centered calm in which to retreat when life becomes hard.  It’s the voice within the stillness which speaks of love, gratitude, peace with ourselves and others and God.

Yes, cancer changed me.  That’s for sure.  Perhaps it was the misunderstanding of me that caused this person to spout the ‘dig’ as I took it.  Sometimes it takes a loss for us to be humble and perhaps there will be people who simply never understand.  And that’s ok with me.

I am me, authentically me.  I make mistakes, I ask for forgiveness and I forgive.  I choose to live in a state of peace within when I can, but I am always evolving, ever growing and yet, trying to do all things with love.  I intend to do my best, at any given moment, but I’m human.  I’m a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?

What’s precious to me in my life is love, kindness and connections and I strive every day to live with those three precious gems in my life.  Cancer made me a better person by giving me so many lessons in my life.  I’ve learned so much from cancer, even though I never wanted to endure that disease.  Looking back on my life, I realize that I am who I am today because of cancer.  Even if others don’t understand me, it’s ok now.  I’m at peace and I’m ever grateful for the peace within me.

Shine On!

xo

I Am In Love With Hope

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The above is an excerpt from Mitch Albom’s book, Have A Little Faith which touched my soul and I just felt the need to share it.  So please enjoy and let me know what you think!

I am in love with hope.  That’s the truth.

Shine On!

xo

I’m Fine

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The average person tells 4 lies a day

or 1460 a year;

a total of 86,700 by the age of 60. 

And the most common lie is:

I’m fine.

How many of us go about our day telling ourselves and anyone else who asks, “I’m fine,” even when we know we aren’t.  Denying the state of unrest within us doesn’t do anyone else any good, least of all ourselves.

Sure there are those of us who think we are inner powerhouses, who believe innately that we can work through the chaos and if we just put a little more effort into it, we can survive.  We continue to take each hurdle as it comes and keep moving forward, even when our body, mind, heart and soul yearn to rest.  But there’s no rest when we are amidst chaos.  We can’t let someone else down, nor ourselves.  We have to keep on, keeping on, in order to make it through, putting our best foot forward, because we are the responsible ones.  We are the ones whom everyone else is counting on and we just can’t let them down, nor can we face that sorry fact that we need help where we are.

If we were observant, we would face the truth and tell ourselves to reach out and we would know in our hearts that there are people who can and would help us.  Sometimes we do reach out, but if the person to whom we reach out can’t help us or won’t help us, we are doubly determined to just do it alone.  And so goes on that vicious circle of “I’m fine.”

But honestly. we are not alone.  You are not alone, nor am I.

And at times, we are certainly, NOT FINE.

Sure, I could tell you to rest and allow the weight of the world to fall off your shoulders at night so that you could sleep in peace.  You could hang your worries on a branch and give them over to God.  You could pray for solutions and look for signs from above.  You could reach out to friends and family for support or to trained professionals for guidance.  You could hire someone to do what it is you are so determined to do yourself.  It all depends on what is weighing you down and what is not fine.

But will you do that?

It’s a choice to get help when things are chaotic (and even when they aren’t).  It’s a letting go of the control and of the belief that I can do it.  It’s dropping the role that you’ve lead your entire life of being the responsible one and taking on obligations that maybe weren’t really even yours in the first place, but because nobody else stepped up, you did.

There will be those who criticize you if you choose to allow yourself to honestly say, “I’m not fine.”  There will be those who simply don’t understand what’s so hard for you when they look from the outside with their perception into your life.  There are those who will turn their backs and walk away.  Then there will be those who stay, who hold your hand, listen and pick up a shovel to help you get rid of the mess.

Those are the ones I want at my side.  What about you?

Trust in those who hold your hand with a loving heart space.  Allow their kindness, generosity and love to heal you, to help you and to ease the burdens you carry.  Trust in God that He can help you through these tough times.  And for goodness sake, get rid of the I’m fine, except when you know it will fall on deaf ears or when you really mean it.  Trust in I’m not fine, with those whose hearts are open to yours.

So if you’re asking me, “I’m not fine” today, but as Scarlett O’Hara once said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

How are you?

Shine On!

xo

Progress

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“Progress, of the best kind,

is comparatively slow.

Great results cannot be achieved at once;

and we must be satisfied

to advance in life as we walk,

step by step.”

-Samuel Smiles

I know why Samuel Smiles…because he’s learned that progress takes time, patience and baby steps (well maybe just small steps).  For those of us who want to make progress, but yearn to achieve it in leaps and bounds, this is a great reminder.

Slow and steady wins the race as in the story of the turtle and the hare (turtle wins the race) comes to mind when I think of the above quote.  I guess in this day and age, we are all tethered to instant gratification and the quick and easy way to success.  Gone is patience and accepting the time it takes to make something happen.  Instead of being in the step by step progression and enjoying the trip, many people abandon the task if it ‘takes too long’ in their minds.

We are all victims of this in different ways.  Media has shown us those quick fixes which make laborious steps fewer or even obsolete.  Ads to lose weight faster,  to clean your home quicker, to do your banking easier, to get the answers now and so on come at us everyday in all different ways.  Not that I’m looking to do more work or have my work take more time, but really?  What ever happened to the feeling of accomplishment, of presence in chopping vegetables or growing your own anymore?  Or in any task?

I’m just saying that there’s an awareness in being present and a centered feeling in accomplishing something all while remaining present.  Does this make sense to you?

Shine On!

xo