Saturday, February 4, 2023

LOVE

 LOVE HURTS

(OR DOES IT)

Just the other day I saw a quote with a picture of Liam Neeson above it. I actually believed that this must have been his quote. After a bit of research, I discovered that a Bosnian writer used this quote in one of his books. His name is Mesa Selimovic. 



I believe that you may be able to see where I could have been mistaken. However, I really wanted to get into the actual quote.  So, let's start with the beginning. Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. If you remember back to the song  called 'Love Hurts' sung by many different artists including The Everly Brothers, Roy Obison, and Nazareth you may believe that it does. The song states that love wounds and marks any heart not tough and strong. And on and on and on. And I suppose, literally? It can. But let's not look at it in such a way. 

There are many things that hurt. Loneliness hurts.

     

Chemicals are released in the brain when we deal with emotions such as loneliness and rejection and envy. It is a little different than physical pain but nonetheless, it has been scientifically proven to be true. Neuroscience has concluded that it does literally hurt.

Moving on to the 'the envy' part of the quote, we all know this is not a pleasant experience. It can make us feel inferior to other people. The negative effects of envy can make us less likely to help others. So yes, envy hurts.

One more emotion that I would like to add in this blog is grief. It is hard and it hurts. It is such a personal thing and it upends our world because it is so confusing. It changes us and others may not understand what some are going through. It hits the heart and it hurts because love is real. 

What is important to remember is that everyone gets these things all confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.

Although the pain of losing the love of my life has taken me through so many different phases of emotions (and I am still going through them and will be forever) I still know my love for him in my heart is what I will always need. When I think of him and feel all of our memories come to life then I know that love can make someone feel wonderful again, even if it is in a different way.




Sunday, January 29, 2023

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

HOW DO YOU VIEW YOUR BIRTHDAY?


 

There are many different ways that people view their birthdays. Reflecting on how the next 365 days should be and what I wish to achieve is a great way to view it, in my opinion. Celebrate living, even while I am aware of all the twists and turns that may come my way. Some for the good and some not so good. The trick of it all is to figure out how I can make the not so good work for me. It is not always an easy task. 



A birthday is the beginning of my finest chapters yet to come and I have no way of knowing how these chapters will reveal themselves to me. All I know is that I need to accept the challenges and keep my expectations high. Visualization is a powerful tool. I like to imagine myself doing something that can actually help me improve at whatever task that I am working on. Athletes do this; actors do this! Why not me?



Entering a new phase can be challenging and exciting. Learning to let go of the present and embracing the future is a good way of moving ahead. A birthday age is just a number. I don't feel any different. However, I am not one that wants to make a big deal of it. Steve and I had a promise to one another. NEVER have the waiters and waitresses come over to our table at a restaurant and sing Happy Birthday. As badly as I wanted to put out a certain number of pink flamingos in the front yard, I knew better. My birthday would come a few days later and there is no telling what the "pay back" would be. All in fun, of course. Just remember, I am the one who can't remember my real age. I have told so many different numbers that I don't know the real one any more. (I took after my Mamaw that way!) Birthdays are not about the particular number. They are about what a person has achieved and where they have grown and where they are headed. So who cares if I shave off ten years or or more? 

A birthday is so much more than just blowing out the candles on the cake.


Birthdays symbolize how far I have come. It is a day that is special and I will always be thankful for the actual celebration. I just want to remember that the most important days are the days that I take the time to reflect and be grateful for my achievements and to evaluate and set new goals for my new age - whatever it may be.

A birthday wish is as simple as blowing out the candles and that leads to another path to take in my life.  Reaching a new milestone is beginning again with a  sense of purpose using my wisdom and experience to move forward. A birthday is time to celebrate.



Sunday, January 22, 2023

RESETTING THE NEW YEAR!

 RESETTING THE NEW YEAR


Now that we are well into January, I am taking the time to do a quick reset for all of the opportunities available to me. It is a fresh start - a do-over sort of. I believe there are too many times that I just go on autopilot and don't think things through and all of the what-ifs. Sometimes I just need to go back to my word of the year - HOPE  - and not be sarcastic to myself. Resetting a hopeful message to ME.



Getting rid of any negativity and working with the positive is a great method of reconnecting with the real me. The me that I want to be most all of the time. It is a way to show me my strengths and even come up with new ways of connecting with my strengths.



Even to a point of reimagining an easier way to accomplish what I wish to achieve; creating new ways to open my mind up and think more outside of that little square box. And then act on it. 



Sunday, January 15, 2023

HOPE IS MY WORD FOR THE YEAR

 HOPE IS MY WORD FOR THE YEAR


Yes, there are many words that I could focus on. For this year, I have chosen 'HOPE.' Many other words go along with it such as faith, love, believe, however, I am focused on HOPE.

Ways that I have found to work on this word in my everyday life I have listed below.
  •  Some ways that are my favorites are to reread books that make me happy or watch movies that put me in a good and hopeful mood.


Another way is to take control of only what I can control. Be realistic. Examples that I can control is how I treat other people, how I show up for work, etc. I can't control what happens within my own body except for what I put in it and get it moving. Just trying to remain positive is about the most I can do at that stage. Feelings are definitely valid but that isn't  an area to obsess over. What I do have control over is where my focus should be.

Another example is to draw, sketch, or doodle.


Think about talking to a child. They have a mind that is focused in on specific facts on what they have been reading about. 

OK...this could sound boring to some of us. But it really will help us in the long run. Check out what your phone possibilities will accomplish if you only knew how. Find out. 

This may surprise you but a nap is a great way to feel better and help me put things in a better perspective.



I feel that focusing on HOPE  helps me look more on the bright side of life and what is going on in the world. It helps me control anxiety and stress and to work on a change for the better each and every day. It starts with each one of us.

  • A new year brings new hope and new memories. Enjoy it.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

SEASONS OF SURVIVAL

 SEASONS OF SURVIVAL



Written in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985 was an article titled Seasons of Survival: Reflections of a Physician with Cancer which was aimed to transform cancer 'victims' into cancer 'survivors'. Then a few years later in the Atlanta Journal Constitution an activist named Sharon J. Lang wrote an article titled Women with Breast Cancer Are Warriors.



Based on a story by Jessica Zucker and Sara Gaynes Levy that I read, I felt very moved by their words. Anyone who has had breast cancer knows how quickly the comments start. Actually, the moment that I received my diagnosis from my doctor and started telling others, I started hearing the words that I was a warrior and I will beat this, etc.

I know that I did not feel like a warrior. In truth, I felt very vulnerable. I had something that I had no control over, no matter how hard I wanted to go into battle with cancer. The fact was that to me breast cancer was not a battle to fight. I was not comforted by the warrior language and just trying to keep up with the language of being a fighter was totally exhausting. 



Yes, I felt like saying, "F__ uck cancer." I was just not feeling like fighting my body. I did feel like remaining positive and staying on track with what my doctors were telling me. However, I am not one of those who assumes that my positive attitude alone can actually defeat the cancer. I know that is not true. What I do know is that it can't hurt the situation at all. There was a time after radiation when the oncologist was trying different medications that I just wanted to curl up in bed and pretend that this isn't happening. It felt like a nightmare.

To remain positive was really not a choice for me. I am a positive person just by nature. However, it made me feel overwhelmed when others called me a fighter. In my mind, I turned it around and just knew that it made them feel good letting me know that they had faith that I would overcome the "C" word. 



It all boils down to how the person who has the cancer feels about how to talk about it. What feels right for you? And know that your way of thinking can be changing as you go through your treatments. For me? I did not want to be called anything. Vulnerability is medicine. Openness is medicine. There are other ways than trying to be tough. Just be soft. As one cancer survivor, Rasee Govindani said, "Being broken open and being met right there is a kind of magic."

Patients say over and over again that they just want their ongoing instability understood compassionately. 





Monday, January 2, 2023

HOPE

HOPE


New Year's is here. Goodbye 2022 and hello 2023. Lots of people either just move on through it as if it is nothing to get excited about and others make New Year's Resolutions. Then they seem to get all upset when they can't seem to keep them. 

I was one of those people. Then, I discovered a new way to go into the New Year. I pick a word to live by throughout the year. No matter what comes up, I go back to that word and figure out where I will go from there based on that word. Some words that I have chosen in previous years have been perseverance, serendipity and gratitude. All based on what is happening in my life or what I would like to work on to see more of in my life.

A friend of mine gave me the grand idea of the word HOPE. She is pregnant and already has two boys. She said that as she was driving thoughts from above calmed her and said to have hope and to name her Hope. Even though she does not know the gender yet, she is holding out hope that it will be a girl so that she can name her Hope.

That is when I had a thought of my word for 2023. After the devastating loss of my soulmate and love of my life for 22 plus years, I made it though some really tough holidays such as Thanksgiving, our two birthdays just days apart, Christmas/Boxing Day and New Year's. Next will be the following month on Valentine's Day which is also would have been our 21st wedding anniversary. 

I will continue to have HOPE in knowing that he is here with me. I can feel him. I can even hear him talking to me. Even reading his words on cards and journals tells me that he is watching over me and will never let me go. We both had a special kind of love for one another and had no problem in sharing it. I know that between the two of us the words, "I Love You" were said at least a dozen times a day. And they were most definitely heart felt. It was just so many little things that he did. Such as bringing me morning coffee, making sure that I had roses around me, always picking up after himself and sometimes me and he cooked - many times being the major chef. I was his sous chef and cleaned up along the way. Even the laundry was a total teamwork project.

A quote from Barbara Kingsolver that states that the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. That is what is part of my 2023 HOPE: to live inside my HOPE, not just admiring it. LIVE IT!



This quote reminds me of just how Steve felt. Never live in fear for it will not help guide you. HOPE is what will guide you to a bright future. So that is what I want to work mindfully on in 2023. Hope is the one thing that can get us through the darkest of times. Since Steve's passing, every once in a while I can go into a dark place. Thankfully, I have family and friends who help to pull me out and with HOPE, I should be able to work on this in my own mind. Although, I will always be grateful for those who help support me through the tough times.

One particular quote from an author that we all know totally fits how I feel. HOPE is a good thing and no good thing ever dies. So I will always have Steve about me.


My youngest granddaughter wants to tell her 'Smiley,' Steve, something every once in a while. She closes her eyes, puts her hands together under her chin and talks to him. So I do know for a fact that he is here with all of us. Never doubt a 6 year old's wisdom. It just takes HOPE. What a good word to live this year by!






 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HANUKKAH

 MERRY CHRISTMAS

AND

HAPPY HANUKKAH



This holiday season I would like to take the time to say just how important it is to take it all in. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. You just never know when someone that you love will no longer be with you to share these special moments. Let every day be a special moment so if you can...start with the holidays right now! 

For a fact, Steve and I enjoyed every day together. It did not have to be a holiday. It was just being together. If for some reason you have no special someone or if you find yourself alone, then it is time to do something about that. Sounds easier than done yet it is a matter of if no family is around you or that you can travel to then it is time to venture out to other places and find friends who have the same interests as you do. Whether it be in the art world, or at the library or book shops, even a local "Cheers" bar where everyone knows your name. Get out and meet others to be with. And I would add that if there is someone who is alone on Christmas or a special holiday that you know about, it would be grand if others invited them to come on over and celebrate with you and yours. 

It is especially a very hard time for me to be without Steve. I am so very grateful for my family with me and those who live away, as well as very supportive friends who call and write. Plus, I have an Elf and a Christmas Baker making Christmas cookies plus another granddaughter who is drawing special pictures and working on decorating her new bedroom, a daughter who is the head baker and meal maker and a son in law who is taking care of the heavy loads with leaves that slip in the patio, trash (which will be loads and will take creativity to stuff it all in once gifts are opened). Always stuff to do and fix when living in a home. At least the pool is now in a mode of not having to get so many leaves out of the filters. 



Even a brother and sister in law over in England sharing their new Christmas puppy writing and calling me. This pup is so precious...and Chris named him Hippo. A sweet little French Bulldog! 


We will Facetime with the Brownies in New Orleans on Boxing Day to keep Steve's memory alive and well. And we have plans to eat lunch out at a really nice restaurant in Mid-town. 

Next will be Jenni's birthday and then New Year's Eve. She gets to choose what the meal will be and I can assure everyone that the next night which will be New Year's Eve will be spent at home hoping that fireworks will not be too loud or too many for our dogs.