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Magnolias and Memories

17 May

It’s the beginning of summer. When the air is still cool enough to enjoy being outside even when the sun is at its peak and high overhead. The wisteria and honey suckle are long since gone, but the magnolias are blooming.

Magnolias are not our state flower, but I have no idea why. They embody our great southern state of South Carolina. They represent us…Just go to any tourist jaunt and you’ll find something magnolia….a candle, a plate…a sign. They pepper our back yards and line the parking lots of nearly every place I can think of.

Magnolias = a southern state of mind.

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When my grand-precious and I take our bike rides,  her on her beloved frozen bike with silver tassels swaying from the handle bars and a fuzzy pink troll helmet a top her head, me walking briskly behind, we make a pit stop by the grand magnolia trees lining our neighborhood to drink in the fragrance. Burying our noses into the blossoms deeply, until the dream like fragrance fills our lungs and reaches our toes. They always bring a smile and a bit of amazement. Giant, bold blooms. Stark white petals, unfolding one by one to reveal the cone. The cone is a wonder all its own to be honest. Dancing with the branches, it releases the seeds (or carpels according to google) as the bloom begins to die. A last ditch effort for survival, I suppose. Hoping one of the seeds returns to ground to become a new. My grand-precious collects the seeds in her pockets as if they were treasure. “Look at this one Gigi” as she points to a new bloom. Scooping out the seeds of another to add to her collection.

I watch her and the corners of my smile nearly touches my eyes. When we first started this routine, I just wanted to point out new things for her to wonder about and to stretch her imagination. To ride around (and not over) the centipede crossing the sidewalk. To notice the way the stream moves and winds under the bridge. To see new wild flowers that were not there yesterday and wonder where they came from.

Today as I was watching her, I thought…when I’m long since gone, I hope she smells a magnolia bloom drifting through the early summer air and thinks about me.
The way I do when I think about my Gram….I can’t see a Burger King commercial without thinking about her. The lady loved her a whopper! Or the way my son does – my grand-precious’ father, when he sees a Sonic….because she equally loved a banana split and often used his visits to indulge in one with him! It’s funny the way the mind works and triggers memories.

Yesterday we were in Gram’s “neck of the woods” over on Folly Beach. We passed a Sonic and my 28 year old said “I think I had my first banana split over there.” We talked for a few minutes about Gram, banana splits and whoppers until the air fell heavy with the sadness that rises from losing someone you loved. My son said, “I miss Grandma Cox.”

“Yeah, me too buddy. But man did she love us. She loved us so hard.”
‘Yeah, she did.” He replied softly.

And so when I saw my little, beautiful, grand precious breathing in that big, bold magnolia blossom, I thought – I hope these memories get etched in her magnificent mind. When she is grown and I’m long since gone, it will serve as a reminder that she was loved. Loved so hard, and so deep, with every ounce of my being. Down to her toes and to the very tip of head. She is loved.

The way I do when I think of my Gram.

lina

 

XoXo,

Lady Chats A lot 

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You can’t always get what you want…

31 Mar

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From my IG feed: Photo Credit Very Jane.com

Ya’ll….We are living in crazy times…CR.AAA.ZY  times.

I’ve been on the search for toilet paper for the last week. We are not dangerously low yet, but we are creeping up on it!

I’ve gone to SEVEN…SEVEN  stores over the last week and have yet to find a single roll. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve google searched it to no avail. Even AMAZON.Freakin’.PRIME is out of toilet paper. FOR REAL YA’LL….WHY can’t I find toilet paper? Why is this a thing? Like a  real  thing?

I already feel like I’m taking my life into my hands when I enter Walmart. I try not to breathe the entire time. I have my sanitizer wipe in my hand. I wipe down the surface of the cart and nearly everything else. By the time I’m through, my wipe is shriveled and dry.  I’ve pre-mapped out my game plan in my mind based upon my shopping list and the store layout.  I’m half exhausted before I even walk in the door….I secretly curse anyone who comes within my six foot radius. There has been at least once that it was not so secretly ….

Now, I’m out there going in and out of SEVEN different stores looking for something I clearly took for granted just weeks ago.

My husband, who is already very picky about his TP, thinks he has an idea. When I say picky – I mean to say, we have to pack toilet tissue on any over night trip because he doesn’t want to risk using whatever they may have there, picky….SOOOO he says “well, we will just use wipes”….Nope…Those ARE ALL OUT TOO! Someone already had that idea, Fred. (That’s not his real name, it’s just what I call him from time to time.)

So I mention this  rant  to a few friends.  They have some they will share with me they say.   No, no, not yet. But I leave the door open in case I do get desperate.
Oh my geezee…

And then…then ya’ll

My coworker calls me. She is at the store shopping for her elderly parent and has found the holy grail! She asks me if I still need it, to which I practically leap through the phone YES! And, then – she offers to deliver it… To do a drive by and toss it on my porch. (Six foot Corona virus rules.)  I mean…How freakin’ great is that.

I have tears.

TP Delivery

Text between my husband and I after our delivery

You guys – I love my coworkers. I really, really do. I count myself so blessed that I get to go to work and spend time with these fantastic people. Over the years we have been through so much together. They are my work family! Today, one of them rescued me in more ways than one.

I’ve been trying so hard to find the positive in this Corona Virus mess. But truthfully, it is wearing thin. I. WANT. TO GO. BACK. TO WORK….Like physically, go into my office. Chat with my work friends at the coffee pot, argue with my work friends in the conference room, and have “ah-ha”, breakthrough, fantastic ideas to “fix” or “resolve” a seemingly impossible problem. It’s what we do. It’s my favorite work thing in the world – to make hard things simple…I want to go back to work (in the office).

I also want to go to the beach…I want to hang out with my girlfriends…I want my kid to go back to school…I want to go to the park…to the store without holding my breath….I want to stop worrying if my family and friends will get this damn thing…to stop worrying if the economy will ever recover and if my friends who have lost their jobs or those who run a small businesses will find their way back again… I want this virus thing to be over with already. The thought of it lasting eight more weeks makes my insides hurt.

And yet, with a deep sigh and adult understanding (I get it…I really do)  I will stay home – and I be grateful that I still get to work with these awesome people from my make shift desk in my home “office”.

If you don’t have people like this in your life – people who will hunt for toilet paper for you and throw it on your porch in the middle of a pandemic – get some! Get on it pronto! Seriously! It’s not to late…Because when you are stuck and a friend rescues you – it puts your world back together again, if only for the day.

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need.” ~ The Rolling Stones

Today, I didn’t get what I wanted…but I got what I needed.  I’m so thankful for my TP Angel and for drive by deliveries.

xoxo,

Lady Chats A Lot 

 

I. HAVVVE. NEVVVERRR.

29 Mar

On a recent work trip to Ft. Lauderdale, I clicked on Netflix searching for something mindless and funny. I landed upon Fortune Feimster’s comedy special “Sweet & Salty”. In my hotel room, decompressing from the day, I found myself laughing out loud. Before I tell you to check it out here is my disclaimer: like most comedians, she isn’t for everyone – she isn’t PG. She has some topics that could raise an eyebrow.  In fact, she tells you right up front – it’s a salty show.… However, she is very funny and let’s face it, we all need a good laugh these days. In her act, she portrays her mother, who is fuming mad and is denying a trip to Hooters – and she says “I. HAVE. NEVEEERRRRR” with an emphasis on the “VEERRR”. She has this North Carolinian, sweet southern drawllll that makes this moment extra special. Being a southern girl myself, I just find this so on point and hysterical.

Clip here: https://www.facebook.com/NetflixIsAJoke/videos/1027856740929163/ 

 

Fast forward to yesterday….
Last night I needed a break from isolation and ventured into my neighborhood for some fresh air. Now, I wouldn’t say I exercise outdoors daily – but I do it frequently enough that I have an expectation of how things will go. Typically, when I leave my house, I don’t see a soul, and I have to pause at a busy street that leads everyone who lives here (all 700+ houses) in and out of the neighborhood. In the evening, I can stand at this corner for what seems like eternity as cars zoom by oblivious to anyone that may want to cross the street to get to the sidewalk. (Our neighborhood only has sidewalks on one side of the street. I have no idea why….Centex decided that we only needed one side, I guess. Thanks, Centex! )

So last night when I left my house and rounded the corner, adjusting my phone to log my steps, my eyes lift to see my next door neighbor in her yard with her son. Hmmm…okay. I wave, and pass the second house – and that neighbor is in the yard with her two dogs. I’ve lived her four years and I have never seen this lady or those dogs – a Dalmatian and a Great Dane. I’d remember those dogs if nothing else, but for their size! At the corner where I usually cross the busy intersection, another neighbor has his two boys were in the yard playing catch. The two littles are giggling and have such fun. I’ve seen them a time or two before over the last several months – but now they all wave eagerly. Mom, Dad and both boys. I wave back and smile.

I cross the street without a car insight (WOAH – that never happens) and make my way to our one sided sidewalk. There I see multiple groups of people walking their dogs, riding their bikes…running. We stay our six foot apart (Corona Virus Rules) with one or the other moving to the grass to let the other pass. Everyone is smiling, happy, and unrushed.

Then I hear Fortune’s voice in my ear:   I. HAVE. NEVEEERRRRRR.
• I have never seen so many people exercising in my neighborhood at one time.
• I have never seen so many walkers.
• I have never seen so many bike riders.
• I have never seen so many dogs.
• I have never seen so many children playing in the front yard.
• I have never seen so few cars.
• I have never waived so much on a walk.
• I have never smiled so many times on a walk in my neighborhood.

I. Have. NEVEERRRRRR. (emphasis on the VEERRRR)

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Listen, this Corona virus and all it’s rules suck. Huggers can’t hug. People can’t socialize at school, at work, at a bar….shoot you can’t even go to a restaurant. (That is our favorite form of entertainment.) Yet, I can promise you, people are finding ways to still show up. It’s clear that people still crave interaction -more people smiled and waved while I was on my walk than ever before. The desire to connect to someone, anyone, is driving us into our yards and our sidewalks.

It’s like they were saying “I see you! Do you see me? We are still here! We got this! We can do hard things! ”

So can I encourage you to take the walk – but stay the recommended six foot away from each other. Wave. Smile. Notice the little things – like the turtles swimming in the pond, oblivious to the whole Corona virus hub-bub, but still happy to be alive doing what turtles do. Enjoy the simple things before life gets busy again, and you forget to go play, to go on a bike ride, to let people cross the busy street to get to the one-sided sidewalk. Enjoy it while you can friends, because this to will pass.

Xoxo,
Lady Chats A Lot

Shutting down the world

21 Mar

Sometimes I dabble at writing a blog. Frankly, if you follow me, it’s been a minute… I honestly don’t pick the topics. They roll around on my heart and stay on repeat in my mind until the only way I can get them out is to put them on paper. That is the case with the writing below. I am not a super Christian, nor do I play one on t.v..

The world is a crazy place right now. Legit, crazy. We are living in unprecedented times. No one really knows what they are doing… What we should be doing….I find it difficult to follow those in leadership because while we are supposed to be “flatting the curve” we have no way of really knowing if it is working due to the lack of tests available… In a matter of just a few weeks, we’ve seen huge layoffs, school closures and a shortage of toilet paper. If you would have told me at the start of 2020 that a virus would shut down the world, I would have thought that was an impossibility. Yet here we are in the middle of a pandemic, and the Corona Virus is doing just that – shutting down the world.

It’s a scary time, no doubt. Worry and anxiety are at it’s peak. (At least it feels like it is at it’s peak – but let the chicken nuggets my kids eat run out at the grocery and I’m at a whole new level of anxiety!)

To deal with it all, I find myself diving deeper into prayer, into scripture, into places that I can latch on to other Christians to find hope before the curtain of darkness (which feels all to close) falls around us.

In my quest, I landed on a video where our church worship leader said something that just resonated deep within me. He said something to the effect of “We are all social distancing to keep the virus at bay. But social distancing is just unhuman.”

WOW!!! 

Yes….as Christians we are taught that we are created for relationship. Wayyyyy back in Genesis 2:18 we read  “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (NIV). We were not meant to be alone. Men, certainly were not meant to be alone. (I kid, I kid…)

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Here is where I know I’ll lose some of you…but stay with me, ok!

Say what you will but I believe in the spiritual battle between good and evil. I know there will be some people rolling their eyes at this point, and maybe you’ll even stop reading. I get it.

I didn’t always know about this spiritual battle nor did I believe in it. But it is actually in scripture. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of the evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:10.12, NIV)

Could it be then that this virus is a spiritual attack meant to divide our relationships? To cause distance between “them” and “us”? I’m not disputing that this is a REAL virus. I’m saying, could there be more to it? If you believe in scripture, this is not to much of a stretch.

So what do we do? How can we prevent the darkness from taking hold, from gaining ground?

1)  Spend time with the Lord. Let him lead you; calm you. My prayer is that you hear his voice. Dive deep into your Bible. There are so many resources out there if you are not a reader or find the Bible difficult to navigate. (I was there too – a good study Bible is everything!) I love watching Joyce Meyer, or Pastor TD Jakes. Find something that brings you closer to God. Pray on your walks around your neighborhood. Look for his beauty – and you will find it. Those are some of my sweetest moments….when I’m just walking outside, looking for something good – and God sends a special moment or ah-ha thought. Try it.

2) Be kind. Look for ways to help others. Don’t allow ‘me versus them’ mentality to take root. During a crisis, we will see the worst and the best of humanity. Be part of the best. If you have a few extra bucks, donate to a blessing box or food pantry. Offer to pick up groceries for someone who is high risk. Protect yourself but do what you can.

3) Spend time with your family. The ones that live in your house. Call or face time the people who don’t! Stay connected! Don’t let this time in quarantine be sucked up with hours of social media scrolling!

My grand-precious and I have a routine that she calls “relaxing”. It’s where I decide I’ve had enough of the day – and I go upstairs to the quiet of my room. I turn on the tv or read, but essentially all of my mom, work, and wife duties are over. I’ve clocked out. At some point during her five years on the planet, she has decided that she should join me in “relaxing”. This means that I’m not officially off the clock, but it does provide one-on-one time with my girl, and that is not lost on me.

Last night I said, “I think I’m going upstairs.” Her green eyes widened, and she said “I want to go with you! To relax! I can relax with you!”

Of course I said okay and before long she was snuggled under the covers with me on her Poppa’s side of the bed. She loves to learn (a child after my own heart), and we buy her these big learning books. She already sailed through the K5 book so we are onto the first grade book. This makes her sit up a little taller, as she says, “I can do first grade, Gigi!”. We get started on the first few pages, with me reading the directions and her doing the work. She has her blue crayon in her right hand, and she is giving it her all. Sounding out the letters “kkk aaa ttt …Cat!” and learning new words. At some point, ten-ish minutes or so in to “relaxing”, and she purrs, “I looove you Gigi”.

WorkThat’s it. That’s all it took to fill up my heart and wash away the day. We are created for relationship. We need it. I need it. Baby girl needs it. Hold on to your people and to God during this crazy time.

Join me in prayer:

Dear Lord,
I don’t even know how to deal with this Corona Virus. I don’t understand its presence in our world. What I do know is that you are not caught by surprise. Lord, help us through this. Strengthen our hearts and our immune systems as we put on the

“full armor of God…standing firm…with the readiness that comes form the gospel of peace.” We “take up the shield of faith..to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”…and we carry ”the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Just like you did Lord during Passover this very time of year so long ago, please allow the virus to pass over this house. Over our friend’s and family’s houses. For you are not a God of favorites. If you’ve done it once before, you will do it again. Lord I ask for your peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray for your guidance, your protection and your wisdom during this trying time.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

xoxo – Lady Chats A Lot 

 

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An optimist, a pessimist and a realist walk into a bar…

19 Jan

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I’m not exactly sure how the conversation started. This very young, cute-sy, twenty something year old tells me how optimism is really the cure for all things painful. That’s not exactly what he said, but that is what I heard. My eyes narrowed to slits, I took in his perfectly coifed hair do, not a single black strand out of place. His slim blue suit was on point… He could have just stepped out of a magazine spread. Legit. I wish I would have taken his picture just to show you. No doubt, his broad smile had opened a few doors, and likely even more zippers. No, no he isn’t at all my type, even if I were single (which I’m not.  I’m WAAAYYY married, like 22 years of marriage – married.) That’s not where this story is going, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give you the background.

I stood there taking him in (judging this book by the cover) and wondered if he really believed what he was saying. Could optimism really be the cure for all things? Could bad things cease to exist by simply not acknowledging them? Had he been successful with this concept?

My response, “hmmm… I’m not sure about that. I’m more of a realist. Neither believing all things are good, or bad. But allowing space for both.”

He sputtered a bit and I continued to stare. I do that sometimes when I’m thinking. I stare …and blink….and remain uncomfortably quiet. Wanting to be cynical and ask him for the resume of loved lost, evaporated dreams, crushed opportunities….and yet willing myself to not go there. For one, I didn’t want to have to share my list (if asked)….and I honestly found it hard to believe that he had experienced enough to hold the conversation. I stared until I noticed him blushing and then said “do you really believe that?”

Yes, of course he did.

Would he in ten years? In twenty? I don’t know.

I know that I’ve learned that life is not all good or all bad. It certainly isn’t fair. Bad things DO happen to good people.

Positivity is such an endearing quality and I really do try to “look on the bright side”. I start each day fresh.  I forgive (even when I don’t want to.) I believe the energy you put out in the world is the energy you get back. Some call it karma, some say it’s biblical with “you reap what you sow”.

I also allow space for heartache. For disappointment. On those days I don’t simply suck it up and power my way through.

I feed it Chick-Fila….and chocolate. Sometimes vodka …I smother my self with blankets and wallow in the sorrow of it all. I take the time to be there, to breathe in the heaviness, and to grieve. I allow myself to cry. Nothing feels more lonely to a  person struggling than suggesting they barrel through to the land of sunshine and roses powered only on fumes and a fake smile.

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No. No, it is ok to be sad too. Some where along the way I think we’ve forgotten that.

The trick is, not staying there for to long. At some point, you have to bid it farewell. Pack it’s lunch and send it on its way. It’s even okay to offer a warm goodbye hug or two. He will be back….sadness, disappointment, heartache… They always return at some point, knocking the dust from their boots as the enter through the threshold. They find their way to your table and ask for coffee. While it brews, you wonder how you got here, again….We can only pray the visits are few and far between…maybe that’s just my realistic world view. Maybe it’s not the same for everyone.

The ebb and flow of life. It’s hard to appreciate triumph if you have not experienced defeat. It’s hard to know true love without first knowing heartache. Sometimes the two are intertwined and inseparable.

A realist searching for balance –  believing that to far to the left or to the right is neither right or wrong …it is just to far.

What lens do you use to view the world?

Caution: curves ahead

22 Mar

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This week I watched a recent video of myself that I made with my son.  I was shocked  at the image I saw reflecting back at me. I’ve had a rough couple of years with some things …and apparently, I am an emotional eater….or possibly an emotional drinker… maybe…I’ve found a fondness for red wine and it found a roomy home on my hips.

Over the last few months, I began moving the clothes that no longer fit to the left side of my closet. I’m still flabbergasted  when I’m unable to pull up the pants I’ve worn for the last 10+ years past my thighs….The pile on the left of the closet  is large.

This means I’ve also had to  purchased new pants – begrudgingly. My collection is minimal in comparison. It was either that or go naked… I had no choice in the matter. Yes, leggings work well and are cheap…but they hide the fact that I appear to be growing – out, not up. At this point, my ass could qualify for it’s own zip code…

So, I’m watching this video thinking – How in the world?  Really.  How did I let myself gain 30 pounds? When I look in the mirror I know I’m bigger…but this video.  Lord, please promise me that the camera adds 10 pounds…that I really don’t look that way in REAL life.

But the truth is I’m now heavier than when I delivered both of my children.  I know I’m teetering on the verge of no return….and I don’t know what to do about it.  Don’t get me wrong. I know there are many women larger than myself. This isn’t about them. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. This is about me feeling good, or not, in my own five-foot-five-and-half skin.

This is how my day starts:  I try on a new black skirt that arrived yesterday.  To tight.  I contemplated keeping it for “when I lose the weight” but more than slightly depressed at the likely hood of that NOT happening, I tossed the skirt on the bed to return later.

I then selected white slacks that I knew were a size or two larger. They fit, but the view from behind was not so cute….On went the Spanx – boy shorts.  Spanx, the well-known by ladies around the world (but rarely seen by men) undergarments that are made to make me look skinner.  Yet, I some how now feel like a sausage.  A bratwurst to be specific…But damn it to heck, I have to go with this outfit because I’ve already worn the other two pants that fit me this week.  Tomorrow it’s jeans….

I tossed on a cute shirt from a local boutique that I haven’t worn since last summer. It was a little snug across the chest but nothing terrible I thought…However, the more I moved my flat iron across my hair, I realized it was too constricting.  I no longer liked it.  Crossing my arms at my waist to lift the fabric….I find I can’t. I was stuck. I couldn’t get this damn shirt off my body.  I twisted, I tried….I grunted…I thought, “Imma have to cut this bitch off.”…For a second I contemplated running downstairs to wake up one of my children to help me pull this sucker off….I’m not sure I’d live that one down…EVVAHH… Five minutes and a few tears later, I wiggled out of  shirt looking like I’d been on a subway fight. Red in the face, hair a mess…

I promptly moved it to the left side of my closet.  My first thought?

You know you are fat when you get stuck in your freakin’ shirt. What the hell…

On to work. As I’m walking up the sidewalk I say a little prayer.  “Lord, I don’t like this. I don’t like how I feel about me. You love me and have helped me in so many ways.  Help me to lose this weight.”

Fast forward through my day.

I’m in the ladies room where a coworker asks How I’m doing. “busy. good.” I say.    I tell her she looks beautiful today.  She shrugs, not believing my words, her eyes drifting away from me.  Then she says, “You look good too. How did you gain your weight? Eating too much.”

Yessssss. She said those words.

Before you get riled up and ready to kick ass, please hear her story.

She is from South America. She LOVES curves.  Which until her recent weight loss, she had — curves for dayyyys!  She tells me, almost too eagerly, she can’t wait until she can put on some pounds.  She is serious…This I know.

I tell her I’ll shift her some of mine – If only it were that easy!   She then says with a large grin and wiggling eyebrows,  “I bet your husband is happy” as she points to my zip code carrying ass….

She is losing weight not because she wants to friends, but because of the chemo.  You see, she has breast cancer.  She wears a scarf to cover the hair loss which makes her self-conscious.  She has a hard time looking me in the eyes,  really – looking anyone in the eyes, these days.  Yet, I think she looks more beautiful than in any day prior.  Her warrior spirit is shining.  She is fighting and it shows. Without the distraction of her hair, which was indeed gorgeous, her eyes become the focal point, dancing in the light.  She is simply stunning.

I get back to my desk and think, “You know your fat when…”

Then I stop.  I close my eyes….I sense God’s hand…and I pray.

I thank God that I’m healthy.  Specifically, I thank him for my cancer free body.  With embarrassment, I apologize for believing anything different. A few extra pounds is nothing in comparison. I thank him for this lesson, for humbling my spirit.  I know I have some work to do…and I will.

Ladies, would you please join me in shifting our focus away from who we want to be and allow ourselves permission to be who we are?  Let’s not put our self-worth in our hair, our bodies, our curves – or lack of…

PS – If no one told you today, let me have the honor of doing so.  I love you. You are beautiful.

Put that on repeat.

Perspective.

Just a little more, please

7 Apr

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Dear Fashion Industry,

 

We need to have a chat…Pull up a chair and settle in.….

 

With summer on the way, I’m slowing emerging from my cocoon of sweaters and boots. Looking for a few new  items to add to my wardrobe is becoming more difficult than I remember it from previous years.

 

Let’s start with tops….Can I make a request?  Please do not  use see-through material to make my shirts.  Every SINGLE shirt I try on is see through….I don’t live in the Midwest and I don’t like to layer.  I want to wear ONE shirt….not six.  When I put my ONE shirt on, I don’t want others to be traumatized by seeing my bellybutton, moles, or random hairs that may or may not be present. Shirts are MADE to cover those suckers up.  Don’t believe me? Just ask, I’ll tell you the truth.

 

While you are at it, can you use a zipper longer than 1.5 inches on my jeans, please? I mean, really. It can’t be THAT much more expensive to throw a girl a couple of inches. I’m thinking 4 should do the trick….Don’t get carried away and use those long suckers you put in “mom jeans” but you know, just a little more zipper would be nice…Know why? Because it means you’ll also need to use a little more material to fully cover my hips. Muffin tops are not cute.  They.are.NOT.  You force me to show my muffin top and I’m not happy about it.

 

While we are talking “mom jeans”, let’s talk about shorts. Of the styles available,  I have to choose from a 1-inch, 3-inch or 24-inch inseam….can we not get something in the middle? I’m freaking serious here.  I’m 40 years old…no one wants to see me in a 1-inch inseam shorts…In fact, I’m pretty sure I own underwear with a longer inseam .……I also don’t want shorts that cover my knees…those are called capris…I just want mid-thigh length shorts.  Why do I have to beg for something that seems so reasonable to me? It is exhausting….

 

Now let’s talk bathing suits….WHY, WHY can you not give me enough material to both cover my crack and my hips simultaneously?  I know it’s possible. I have underwear that can do the job….so….

 

As I’m typing I’m thinking, my underwear kicks ass….maybe I should just wear that and be done with it…I mean if leggings qualify as pants, couldn’t my underwear qualify as shorts??

 

Frustrated and damn near naked,

Lady Chatsalot

 

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Brain Mush

27 Feb

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Brain.MUSH….

As a recovering perfectionist, I hate when I can’t seem to form coherent sentences…or when the words that are on the tip of my tongue don’t form into the vocabulary I’m accustomed to. I struggle for syllables, tripping on consonants…misplacing vowels. Apologizing for my brain mush seems silly…but I do it anyway….

I’m not one to set resolutions at the new year. I do however, set goals for fitness, finance and personal growth. Over the last few years, this odd thing started to happen…Something on the spiritual level started to tug…snag on my day until I acknowledged it’s presence.

It crops up on its own..taking shape before my eyes… and I know…I know it is my job for the next twelve months to work on the assignment at hand.Like the dutiful student that I am, I dive in…Hoping to gain wisdom and find peace on the journey.

The first time this happened, it was the year of practicing patience… THAT was a freakin’ hard year…I had LOTS of homework and on the job training. I still wouldn’t define myself as a patient person…In fact, I don’t do anything slow…but I’ve come a long, long way. I can wait in line now without turning into a two year old with behavioral problems stomping my feet and rolling my eyes.

Last year I worked on loving people for who they are…where they are. Also…NOT AN EASY TASK, folks. Some people are NOT that loveable…Just saying… But what I gained out of that experience far out weighs the pain….

I even became friends with some folks that only move in first gear….as their fastest speed…Trust me when I tell you this used to drive me C.R.A.Z.Y….

Seriously….BAT SHIT CRAZY…who knew they could be so loveable?

So this year, I was a little shocked when the knocking at the door wore a lighter coat….a trench, let’s say. Putting his arm around my shoulders he said, “Let’s work on being in the moment”….

Hmmm….Don’t I already do that?

“Not very well” he replied….

So here I am…Drinking a glass of red wine, sitting on my back porch listening to the birds chirp. I had a very successful work week, watching an event that took months to plan, come together.

I’m exhausted…and will allow my body to rest without pushing for more.

My brain is mush…and no apologies are needed.

Visualizing a job well done…and basking in it’s light.

I’m in the moment…and it feels pretty damn good right about now….

I’m a work in progress…but I’m in it…to WIN it…

PS – during the writing of this blog…I posted to soon by mistake (^ see comment about brain mush)…AND, I lost half the post having to retype it…only for my computer to do a random shutdown and software update….

Guess I could still use some work on patience…because I nearly quit…and a few cuss words may have escaped into the atmosphere…

Thanksgiving

26 Nov

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of my mantra…

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Living a purposeful life.

Thankful for blessings and thankful to be a blessing.  For we are not meant to only receive…or only to give… but to find balance between the two.

My twelve year old asked that I write about our experience today…and at first I was hesitant. Weighing heavy…I’m not sure that it is the right thing to do.  It’s not normally something I share…In fact, it makes  me quite uncomfortable to do so.

However, lots of topics on this blog make me uneasy…vulnerable, even….

-slips on the blind fold….I feel my feet bouncing on the board beneath me… I’m diving in…-

Admittedly, my life has been a bit disorganized and chaotic over the last few weeks. The lack of energy causing me to wait until the last minute to do our holiday food shopping.  By the time we crossed the threshold today, the store was packed and the aisles a bit bare. Sighing as we joined the crowd, our nerves take on the energy of those around us…It is maddening….

Our cart now full, I recant from memory the ingredients of the dishes I plan to cook tomorrow, ticking each one off as I scan my cart for accuracy…check..check…good…  Our cart picking up speed as we head to the register as if in a race.

Finding the shortest line, which on any other day would not be described as such, we wait…shifting my weight every three seconds…my hands on my hips…I’m a  bit impatient wondering why this conveyer belt is not moving and why the cashier appears to not be working.

I’m tired from a day of errands, from playing the referee  between two bickering ADHD-ers…one fully grown…to whom I happen to be married…and the other, well, twelve…

Moms around the world nod with understanding and sympathy…

At this point I just want my sweat pants and a hot cup of coffee.

TAKE.ME.HOME

Loading my groceries on the belt, I vaguely hear the lady in front of me.  She is having trouble with her new debit card. It worked at the gas station she says…she tries it again…and again. Maybe four times.  A mix of stress and embarrassment flush over her. She doesn’t have another form of payment. The line continuing to form behind her.

And I know

…I make a face in response. Twisted lips because I see the outcome before I’m ready to make the decision.

(Honest confession) I’m Torn…I’m not sure if I want to ….but I know I’m supposed to…..

I’m supposed to because I come from the belief that there are no REAL accidents, just missed opportunities.

So I slide my card to the cashier.

Done.

I didn’t have all the right words…didn’t do all the right things…It was a bit awkward for all…it wasn’t a planned moment.

Why? Because we are all in it together.  Because I know the panic that washes over you when you don’t have the money to pay… because blessings are meant to flow to you and through you….and I am blessed.

Shocked she wasn’t sure how to respond…She leaned in to hug me..clasping her hands to her face, then chest…..I mumbled quietly out the side of my mouth, “happy thanksgiving…and merry Christmas”….still not having a handle on  the events  transpiring before me.

I asked T, “Why would I…should I… tell this story?”

Proud to be a part of the day, he said,

“It was literally the meaning of thanksgiving.  You gave and she said thanks.  It was so awesome.”

From the eyes of a child it is just that simple.

A story to be told.

Take Chances. Give everything…. And have no regrets.

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Damn Bears – Part 2

17 Nov

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Driving into work, I realized that I only told half the story with my last post. The rest is harder to admit, but likely more important.

You see, when my cousins burst into my grandmother’s room, tear stained and gasping between sobs, a piece of my nine year old self felt they fully deserved the tongue lashing they were dealt.

Admittedly, a large piece.

Sure, my grandfather was over the top angry…..at the sound of children playing…. It would also be reasonable to believe he had been drinking… Was he harsh?  YES!

But I couldn’t understand how no one in the room could miss that volcano erupting.

I saw it a mile away…and I ran.

and….Over time, with repetition of the same story on a different day… a belief system was born…

Although there are variations, it goes something like this:

My behavior good or bad is responsible for how others respond or react to me. If I was “good enough” they would play nice. Simply put, they were not responsible for their outbursts, I was….Because I should have been better. Should have seen it coming…If only I had paid more attention, reeled myself in….Squished all my parts into that t.i.n.y. little box….

And… then there are the bears…

There was a time when my two story home with the white picket fence was located smack dab in the middle of a bear preserve…everywhere…as far as you could see..over populated..  Bouncing like a pin-ball from the belly of one energy draining bear to another.  In anger, bearing their teeth and slashing the air  with their mammoth claws…Exhausted, I ran….

Dragging  my baggage behind me, I searched for a new place to lay my head.  One less chaotic. Less noisy…more.. me.

Rebuilding from the ground up has been hard…painful, even…Standing toe to toe with the past is never simple.  Yet  I’m in it…neck deep.

I know it is necessary for the abundant life I’m destined…and determined… to live.

So here is a **News Flash** friends…

I’m not responsible for anyone’s behavior….and neither are you. (good or bad)

Let that sink in for a minute.

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You can’t make someone mad, angry, or act a certain way. It is ALWAYS THEIR CHOICE.

You are (I am) solely responsible for our own actions — and nothing more.

Now go forth and prosper….

Take full and complete responsibility for yourself

….and avoid those damn bears.

They are rampant….but not necessary.

As an adult, you get to chose.

 

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