Tuesday, September 9, 2014

You see, when you forgive someone, you are not granting them a wish.....

A few synonyms of forgiveness are; pardon, absolution, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency, and mercy.

On the Berkeley website, forgiveness is discussed as the following;

Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

That statement brings up a point of contention regarding forgiving those that have wronged us.

"regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness"

Once, my sister went through something really difficult. I remember talking to her on the phone one day. She said, you know that song, "The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley? I replied that I did know the song, and loved it. She said, "although a hard one to listen to right now, that's the summarization of how I feel, regarding this unfortunate situation".

"I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about......forgiveness

I'm writing this now, friend, to help you win.

I often jokingly use the hashtag #winning (thank you Charlie Sheen). But today I'm serious about winning. When you are wronged by a person, or people, it can often be excruciatingly difficult to decide to .....forgive them, for what they've done to you. What you see, while in the midst of the pain someone has caused you, is nothing but the act of what they've done. The hurt they've caused. The pain you endure. The seemingly endless agony of how you may suffer at their hand. And how you do not deserve it.And how you feel they should suffer.

But during that process, what may go unnoticed, is the heavy, cumbersome weight that is developing on your shoulders. It begins with a few pounds. With each passing day, it can grow into some serious baggage that is unfathomable to carry. Not to be outdone, the weight develops other things that have a bite. Anger. Bitterness. Betrayal. Each of these items having their own weight, adding to the overall total that you will carry, until you decide to unload all of it, and walk free, carrying only yourself, your heart, your head and your life.

To win, you have to do this unloading. If you don't, they win. You do not.

"But they did this and it was so wrong, and I did nothing to deserve this".

I know.

"You want me to forGIVE them for THIS? Are you kidding me?"

Yes, I do, and no, I'm not kidding you.

"There are people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down and hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; life goes on
You keep carrin' that anger, it'll eat you inside"

And it will. Eat you inside.

You see, when you forgive someone, you are not granting them a wish. Or giving them a gift.

What you are doing, is releasing yourself from all of that dead weight you are carrying around. You are not pardoning what they've done and releasing them from the ramifications of their actions. Instead, you are allowing yourself to walk away,  free. Nothing extra to carry. No additional, unnecessary burdens.

When you do this, you will feel as though you are walking on air.

And life will feel brand new to you.

So, to get the big win. Forgive them. And then take a deep, cleansing breath, open the door, and walk outside into that fresh air.

You will have perspective you didn't know existed.

Talk to you soon friend,

PS Fall has almost arrived and I'm so excited about this I can taste it. If you live in what I call North Southtown, you already know that you may not feel Fall temperatures until late October, and that's if you're lucky. But Breakfast at Tiffany's can do Fall regardless of what's going on outside. Pumpkin Bran Muffins it is!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Don't forget to look ahead.......

When I get older I want to be the type of friend who has people over for drinks and excellent food.

We'll spend the evening talking about the wondrous things we've seen, the places.... the people... the food....the shows....the geographical places that make our eyes search every detail with wonder, never knowing if we will be able to make it back to that place again.

Of course I want to be this type of friend now, too.

When I get older, my house will be so organized that nothing will be hard to find and everything will be in order. Can you imagine?

I want it to be this way now, too.

When I get older and things slow down, I want to travel to far off places and explore hidden alleyways in cities, and book stores nestled in corners on streets that I have never been before.

I want to see my family more.



I want to do volunteer work where it really makes a difference.

I want to do all of this now, too.

I think the cool thing is, we always have something to look forward to. I may find time to fit some of these things into my life right now. But if I can't fit it all in, at the same time, I'll always have something just around the corner, waiting for me to enjoy.

In these days of seemingly mundane things, like work and work and more work and a little play here and there, and Mondays turning into Thursdays before we can blink, don't forget to look ahead. It's all out there, waiting.....

See you soon friend!

PS I wasn't kidding about wanting my house to be more organized. Such a daunting task! But one I can master, I'm sure of it. Maybe some rainy Saturday morning will begin with Breakfast at Tiffany's, and then....organization at it's finest. I'll keep you posted.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Let's keep in touch more often, okay?


Getting back to the basics, is what I've been thinking about today.

When I was growing up, I remember being so busy. I was all over the place, especially during the summertime. Man were those the days. My sisters and I would be up and out of bed in the mornings, with the intent of squeezing every last drop of summery goodness out of the day. Freedom and youth are an extremely tantalizing combination, the possibilities are endless. School is out, so the schedule is completely up to you.

We had great ideas back then, like putting a rubber band around the garden hose nozzle so it would continue spraying when we let go of the handle, and then throwing the hose over a tree limb in the backyard. Voila! Instant fun with a way to stay cool. I'm sure my parents loved our water bill during these times. They didn't complain though. Dad would BBQ and mow the yard, and we would all play on the swingset or at the picnic table on our patio.

Did you ever take a playing card and attach it to the spokes on your bicycle with a clothespin so it would make a sound when you rode your bike? It's inventive!

Of course time doesn't stand still, so as Summer winds down to a close, and Fall is showing signs of life, I never felt sad to see the seasons change. I love Fall as you know, so the crisp air and swirly fall leaves, and the promise of Halloween made me just as excited as the last day of school did.

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"--a favorite quote from the movie "Stand By Me"

Isn't it the truth?

Time marches on and we all grow up and become the best version of ourselves if we're putting forth the effort. And hopefully we still keep in touch with some of those childhood friends.

The busy schedules don't necessarily dissipate, more like, change form I think. My "busy" stems mostly from work, so when it's time to sign off and go live life, I have no problem doing so. I'm finding as I get older, that the simplest things are my happy place. The basic things.

With adulthood comes the knowledge that if your family is spread out over several states, it is much more difficult to recapture those long summer days, where we were all together under one roof, playing hard and seizing the day. But we do try to get all of us together as much as possible, so there's always a future get-together in the making that we can look forward to.

So, Friday night, it's very, very good to see you. I purposely left the slate clean so that I could just sit still, in quiet mode, and not think about numbers or spreadsheets or system errors, and the like.

And, dear reader, who is my friend. It's very good to see you too. It has been too long!

Let's keep in touch more often, okay?

I hope your Summer is filled with all of the important things. You know, family. Baseball. Books to read and walks if you're lucky enough to live in the proper climate for them. BBQ and swimming, and evenings on the patio. And....Breakfast at Tiffanys.

See you soon!

PS I've developed an addiction for Nova Lox bagels for breakfast. Good grief are they good. If you love smoked salmon, give them a try!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"....the caged bird sings.....of freedom"

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Automatic Replies

The feeling has come over me. Hopefully you are aware of this feeling and have experienced it often.
It comes with the knowledge that you are about to go off the grid for a little while.

Oh I'm sure I won't go completely, I'll keep you posted a time or two with a beautiful picture of the turquoise waters of Mexico.

But I won't think about work. I won't think about anything stressful. I won't think about lists of things that need to be done in the future.

I WILL think about life and how wonderful it can be. How grateful I am to have real friends and having experienced true love. Having an amazing family and stories that make me belly-laugh to the point of crying. And I have to add that I am grateful for my job and for the fabulous people that I am lucky to be able to work with. I consider them friends, not just coworkers.

I will read. Voraciously.

I will write.

I'll kiss my fingertips and point them to the sky when I hear my friends say "I do" again, after twenty years of a solid marriage.

I will sit quietly near the shore as the lapping waves roll in.....and roll out. I'll breathe deeply, inhaling the delicious scents of the beach. Seagrass......saltwater.....

I'll watch the sun rise. And I'll watch the sun set. Both equally beautiful I imagine.

I'll collect seashells, while walking through warm sand, squishing it between my toes.

And then, of course, I will bring back the serenity that a week of these activities always brings.

And I'll share it with you.

See you soon friend!

PS I think Breakfast at Tiffanys beachside is my most favorite.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trust yourself....and the future

While the Rolling Stones were most likely addressing the major topics of the 1960s: love, politics, and drugs, I could very easily take this phrase and make it my own. I think we all do that at times. One song can mean one thing to someone, and have a completely different meaning for another.

Life can be so fulfilling, but oftentimes the reward comes in the striving towards, rather than the end result. I told a friend once that the hungrier we are, the harder we try. I've always believed this. If we were handed everything we wished for, without having to work for it, would the purpose of each day dwindle?

Then, disappointment abounds when we really want something, or we think we do, and it just doesn't happen the way we think it should, if at all.

A favorite quote that I have used quite often is: "Map out your futurebut do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” ~ Jon Bon Jovi

Instead of saying, the older I get, might I say, the more mature I become, *ahem*, the better I can handle life's disappointments. I just firmly believe that there are solid reasons why what we want, doesn't always come to fruition.

The cool thing is, the aHA moment. Ideas morphing into a completely different picture and outcome, and then, oh yeahhhh, THAT'S why that didn't work out. Usually followed with, Well I like this much better!

So if you're ever down and out, or wondering why things don't seem to be going your way, just breathe. Trust the future.

Trust yourself.

It's going to be okay, this I know for sure.

See you soon friend,

PS listening to some great music is always helpful, breakfast at tiffany's begins that way every morning!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Nothing is impossible in 2014

I love that time of year when everything slows down a little after Christmas, leaving us with a week of enjoying the decorations and lights and gathering with family and friends. It can often be a time of reflection, of the year coming to a close and the promise of a new year on the horizon. Some see this as a clean slate, and a refreshed feeling comes over them. Others see it as the time to make resolutions, promises to themselves to be better. To do better. To live better.

"I resolve to....." they say. Thinking out loud in list form, all of the things that they want to change in the new year. I see nothing wrong with this. Even with lifes obstacles, it's always a good feeling to know that we can become a new version, better than before.  

But, I want to say that I think we're often too hard on ourselves.

You can't climb a mountain, you say? That's okay. How about just going for a walk first. A brisk walk where you can clear your head, breathe in the fresh air, and get the muscles moving.

You can't quit the job that you don't enjoy because you have bills to pay and jobs are scarce these days, you say? That's okay. You can pick a few things that make you dislike your job, and attempt to change them for the better. I know this is easier said than done, but it's worth a try, isn't it? Beyond that, keep your eyes open for new positions that might open in the field that you actually want to work in. Then, of course, be brave. Submit your resume. Try. You lose nothing when you try.

You can't travel to far off countries like you've always dreamed about, you say? Because it's expensive, right? I hear you, believe me. So try to put just a little bit of money away each payday. Even if the amount is tiny, it does grow over time. Eventually you may be standing under the Eiffel Tower, looking up at that glorious "tallest structure in Paris".

Nothing is impossible.

Just be kind to yourself. You first, then let the kindness overflow to friends, family and even strangers. Relax. Take a nap! Read a book on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Go swimming in the summer and camping in the fall. (if you enjoy that of course).

I know people that run on full cylinder every waking hour of the day. It's hard for them to unwind, or slow down, or relax. I myself would recommend yoga, but I know it's not for everyone. Have you tried it? Get a mat, put on comfortable workout clothes, stretch, breathe....give it a go. You may be surprised at how wonderful you feel after a yoga session. And the great part of this is, you can do it at home if you don't want to go to a structured class. Try.

I'll be spending the remaining days of 2013 in the Music City with my family. Nashville is beautiful any time of the year, but especially around the holidays. The last time I was there, (2012)  I ran into the King of Rock 'n Roll, maybe I will again!

I hope that wherever you may be when 2014 arrives, that you are safe and happy, surrounded by loved ones or friends.

Best wishes for the New Year friend, it's going to be a good one!

See you soon,

PS For the latest recipe I tried for Breakfast at Tiffany's, go here: http://www.cookincanuck.com/2012/10/baked-egg-breakfast-casserole-with-mushrooms-spinach-salsa-recipe/

A Breakfast Strata so delicious it melts in your mouth!