Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanks is a Two Way Street

Giving Thanks is the Spin Cycle topic this week.  Alas, the Spin Cycle will be on hiatus for a while, but I'm thankful to have participated while it was around.  Thanks, Jen.

See there.  See what I just did?  I gave Jen thanks.

I feel we should think about turning "Thanks" around.   I want to GET thanks.  I want to hear a lot of thanks.

Thanks is a two way street.

My "Get Thanks" project has been implemented for quite some time now.  My goal: to hear thanks more than I say it.

My mission is to do or give to another human being.  To uplift the human condition ever so slightly throughout my day, at every opportunity that presents itself.  If you can get someone to say thank you then you are giving to the world instead of taking.... except for the thanks.  You have to take that.

No matter how great or small the deed, I want to create a situation where there is a thanks involved.  If I say it, I always follow up with how that person made my day, or how lovely they look, or how grateful I am of their good service, or how nice it was to meet them. I want to cultivate this ability in getting a thanks into an art form.  Better yet, maybe a super power.  

I'm not seeking acknowledgment of my goodness or to have anyone beholden to me.  I don't need to be there when the thanks is given.  It's not that type of ego trip.   I'm seeking to bring thankfulness into someone else's heart.

When the heart is trained to love, to welcome, and to thank even a wee bit, it's equivalent to getting a small jolt of positive electricity. It jump starts the heart.  It brings a smile to a face and health to the body.

Thanks is a two way street. so get more thank yous instead of saying them. Find someone and do something really nice, or tell them something nice, or just be the super sweet person that you are because you'll get a thank you and a smile.

So do both, give thanks and help create it.  Drive back and forth on that graceful road called Thanks.

You're welcome.  Ah, my work here is done.

Now go visit the Spin Cycle for more of the thankful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mid Day Malaise - Get this Earth Off Me

I've decided to blog during my mid day malaise.

In the throws of it right now.  Mind wondering, eyes drooping, my knees notice more the weight of the Earth's gravity as it pulls my upper body downward.

Get this Earth's pull off me.    Please.

But it's only one o'clock.  Grab the keys. Go.

I'm walking aimlessly around to and fro, my thoughts flitting here and there.  

I should stay up and be productive, not meaning it, can't mean it.

My will is ebbing.  Undisciplined and under exercised body wilting looking for a place to sink into for a just twenty minutes.

But first....

I must write this blog.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Whistler's Mother

Let me start out by saying, I will be 52 years old in a couple of months.  I've been told that I look younger.  I chose to believe people when they say that because I'm always grasping for straws of hope that age hasn't caught up with me yet.   But actually it's probably because I don't have that "put together look" that most women learn by now.   Anyways, I dress for comfort and warmth.  And I'm feeling and looking old.   I'm tired of it.   I'm tired of wearing clothes that don't flatter.  I look at my dismal wardrobe and think, "What was I thinking?"

So after watching a mountain of episodes of the program, "What Not to Wear" and several marathons of "Say Yes to the Dress" and rushing home every Thursday to watch my favorite program "Project Runway," I've come to learn the magical powers of the empire waist.  I've learned what an A-line skirt can do for the legs.  I learned that wearing baggy clothing to hide your body backfires. I learned that any size woman can find clothes that make her look terrific. I learned the meaning of the flattering silhouette, proportion, styling, and couture.

So after a few months of experimentation, I'm buying things I never would have even looked at before.   I went sleeveless for the first time this summer.  I bought my first sandals. Sandals that show my feet and toes. Egads!  I try everything on and if it doesn't look absolutely fabulous on me, I won't buy it.  Not even if it is 60% off!

I straightened my curly hair.  It's actually pretty long. My stomach got flatter when I figured out what foods made me feel inflamed and got rid of them. I still need to start an exercise program, but girl, I've been saying that for three decades.

Compliments are nice to hear again.  People ask me if I have lost weight.   Not an ounce.   But miracle upon miracles, I got whistled at and not by the 70-year-old, old dude down the street.  I haven't been whistled at in 25 years.   I got whooped at too.   Hells Bells!

Men, again, look me over instead of look over me.   It's a nice nod to my ego, but since I've been working on reaching an ego-less state, the effect was negligible.  Plus for some inexplicable reason, I found I didn't really miss or even want it.  I forgot what it felt like to be given a USDA meat grade upon inspection. It's disconcerting. I'm definitely not Prime nor Choice. Hoping for the Select cut.  But now, I only want to be selected by my one and only man.

I never thought I would get noticed in that way again.  I knew my whistling days were way, way over.  Apparently, the key here is flattering clothes and - great distance.  At a distance (at least a half a block) I look effin' hot!

But it's hard to keep it all up.  Lately, I've been sick, twisted my back, and hurt my shoulder when reaching too far to get something, so there are plenty of reminders of my age to keep me humble.  It's easy to go back to the comfort of my sweats or baggy jeans.  Been in them again for about a month. But I plan to keep it up and have my eye on revamping my winter wardrobe.

The last guy that drove by and whistled was rather young. He stuck his body out of the car waving his hands.  I just shook my head, perturbed that he couldn't tell the difference and yelled for him to get a pair of glasses.

I was old enough to be that whistler's mother.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Perfection, Where Are You?

The Spin Cycle has given us our mission should we accept it and that was to write about Perfection.  I having just met her may not be the right person to expound on her incredible attributes and undeniable style.  But I can say what she has meant to me and my life.

Perfection where are you?  I'd look for Perfection all the time, but she was hiding somewhere.   I looked everywhere but just couldn't find her.   I looked for her in my closet, in my mirror, in other people, but Perfection was highly elusive and great at hiding.   Maybe she was hiding in situations like in a perfect dinner, the perfect romantic date, or the perfect wedding proposal.   It seemed the harder I looked, the harder she was to find.  Where was she?  Didn't she know how much I needed her?  Chasing Perfection just made her run faster away from me.

How come everyone else seemed to have Perfection within their grasp?    That woman's relationship looks perfect.    His exciting career seems perfect.    She has the perfect kitchen.    That neighbor's landscaping is perfection.    What a perfect couple.   That woman has a perfect body.    That man is living large.   Her home is perfectly clean and decorated.    Everyone else's situation seemed to be touched by Perfection.

Damn Perfection, where you hiding, girl?

Then I tried to become her creator.  Maybe I could create Perfection.   I could set up perfect situations or make perfect children or maybe I could assume Perfection's identity.  But after many attempts, although a few were successful, I found that Perfection couldn't be created with any regularity, especially if my requirement was that everything, every point, every moment be perfect.   It took a lot of hard, hard work to create Perfection.

Finally I let the idea of Perfection go.   I understood the futility of seeking Perfection.   No more expectations of finding her at my house, or at the party, or in my relationship, or in other people.   Since she would have nothing to do with me,  ha!,  I'd forget all about her ass.

It was exactly when I stopped looking for her that Perfection started to visit me.   Sometimes she visited for just a moment, opening my eyes to something marvelous.   Perfection had a spontaneity about her.  Sometimes she would stick around for a whole evening and on a rare occasion, she'd visit all day.

I met her in the oddest places sometimes.   I could be sitting in my car waiting for my son to come out of school.  My eyes closed, resting.  The sun warming my face, melodic chirping of birds in the tree next to me.  Then a wave of sound coming from children bursting forth from the building, and a sweet little boy saying, "Hi Mommy."   Perfection.

I could be driving by a park and recognize Perfection standing at the top of a sledding hill.   Or she would give me a newborn to hold.    Sometimes she's hitchhiking and rides with us a while.    Or she'll show up in my bed transforming into the loving arms of my husband.    Perfection is an angel, a muse.   Her visits are to be cherished as gifts, not as mandates.

So when I stopped searching for Perfection, Perfection comes looking for me.   I like the arrangement much better this way.   As a matter of fact,  Perfection is with me right now.   More often than not, I find her at the bottom of my coffee cup.

Sip.  Ahhhhh....

So off to Jen at Sprite's Keeper for more topics on Perfection, because she is one busy girl.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Planning a Surprise Party Takes Over Your Life

Well hello there, Random Tuesday Thoughts.  I have so much random stuff to tell you, especially after the weeks of adrenalin rushes, trials and tribulations, and random stuff that happens to you when you are trying to put together a surprise birthday party.


Surprise parties are hard to give, especially when you live with the person who is supposed to be the surprisee.  The idea popped in my head about a month ago.  Once I got the go ahead from my sister, she's letting me use her home for the party, I made a time chart.  I made lists and lists.  I planned and strategized.  Timing was everything.

Then you start lying, and lying, and lying.  Damn. I didn't bargain for this part of the plan.  I needed to make up stories as to why I was going to my sister's so much.  Why was I making so much food?  Why was I doing all the work?  Why did he have to go anyways?  Who was going to be there? Why was my sister throwing this event?   This lying part was getting to me.

The universe can be very helpful during times like this.  One, QueenMaker really pissed me off about a month ago.  So we weren't too communicative for a couple of weeks.  Sometimes, it takes me that much time to cool down.  But I'm working on that part of my personality.  Two, the day before the party, he was called away to a late afternoon meeting.  Then the universe somehow gave him a second meeting to go to right after the first one and he wasn't expected home until midnight.

Yahoo! I finished cooking, did some last minute shopping, and took everything to my sister's.  He didn't suspect a thing and the party was a great success.

Then the universe does random stuff that can hinder you when you are trying to keep a secret.  The week of the party, when I'm doing the final push to get everything ready, QueenMaker decides to take one of our cars into the shop for repairs.  "But I NEED a car this week."  "Why, we can drive together." Mayday! Mayday! I might need to borrow a car!

Luckily it was done the same day.

Then we had to give a presentation to a local elementary girl scout troop called Stranger Smart, which took much longer than I thought it would.  I have to say it was a blast, the girls were terrific, artistic, and super fun. But time was a tickin' and I needed to get out of there.

Then all week, I was deflecting our four to eight year old students that kept running up to QueenMaker to ask about his party. I'd cover with, "Isn't that cute? They want to give you a party at the school."

By Friday, my head was swirling, running lists in my head, running around with last minute errands.  I had a premonition the day before, when I thought, I better keep focused because I'm driving. It's not good to be so scattered.  It's the perfect time to get a ticket.

Then my mother called me to ask if I would pick up her prescription.  Dear me! So I added that to the list and hurried to pharmacy.

I was so distracted I thought, I shouldn't be driving right now.  I REALLY SHOULD NOT be driving right now. And the police officer driving behind me felt the same way.  Leaving the pharmacy, I even said to myself, "Remember the stop sign at the end of the entrance ramp."  But my head was full of distractions and two seconds later, I rolled slowly past it, merging in front of a police cruiser.

I wholeheartedly agreed and admitted to him that I had just rolled past a stop sign. He took pity on me and thanked me for my honesty and instead of the 3 points and $500 fine for going through a stop sign, he gave me a ticket for impeding traffic, only $135 fine, no points. I have to thank the man.  He probably saved my life.

Damn this party is costing me more and more.  Not only do I get to add another $135 to the tab, but my brain cells are fried, my body is working on fumes, and I've lied more in one week than in my whole life.

The adrenalin drop was profound.  I've been in high gear for two weeks, trying to keep twenty balls in the air at the same time. Every spare second was used to its fullest.  I planned, strategized, worked, cooked, lied, covered every contingency, then when it was all over, I crashed.  I slept for two days.

The only thing is that the party was over so quickly. I didn't get to visit as much as I wanted. I was in the kitchen for an hour or so.  Everyone got there at 6:30pm and three hours later, they were gone.  Where did they all go?  Where's the party 'til you drop mentality I was hoping for?  Are we all getting that old? Sigh.

Go visit Keely at UnMom.  The party is still going on strong and not a fuddy-duddy in the whole group.
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