Thursday, May 31, 2012

thoughtful thursday: a second soul

To have another language is possess second soul. ~Charlemagne

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the short list of stuff that made me smile....

* i spent the weekend in laramie, wyoming visiting brother R1 and his family.

* i died so many times this weekend. i was the evil sith lordess darth marie, and i had four young jedi who continually sought to vanquish me. they succeeded on multiple occasions. we also made a movie about all this with light saber action galore. according to nephew C i have pretty good light saber skills.

* one-on-one time with each member of my brother's family. i got to hear about school, friends and books. art and drawing. being shy and having a hard time making friends, and star wars. waiting another year to go to school and how to kill a jedi. making chocolate chip pancakes and getting kisses. lots and lost of smiles and loves. deep gospel and life discussion along with a little teasing. chipotle for lunch while waiting for the first of many delayed flights.

* i went fishing for real and caught my first (four) fish. i didn't bait the hooks or clean them, because that's why i have nieces and nephews, and a brother. lake marie is beautiful. there was still 5 feet of snow on the ground.

* the memorial day ceremony. man, those old veterans sure bring a tear to my eye.

* a hotdog roast picnic at vedauwoo. filming scenes for our jedi movie. hiking to one of the most glorious views i've ever seen.

* it was a much needed weekend. pictures to follow, along with a homemade movie.

i'm already homesick for these guys.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

thoughtful thursday: wrong note

There's no such thing as a wrong note. It all depends on how you resolve it.
~ Art Tatum

It's not the note you play that's the wrong note. It's the note you play afterwards that makes it right or wrong.
~ Miles Davis

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

i don't always get it right

via here
i don't always get it right. in fact a lot of the time i don't. but there are times when i do and it feels nice.

my dad reminded in his comment on my post from a couples week ago that i didn't get it right a lot. there are still many times now where i don't get it right. you know what? that's okay.

we're not meant to get it right every single time while we're here. we're meant to try. to learn. to be humble. to choose love. to say i'm sorry. to hope for forgiveness. to let go. to remember. to try it differently the next time. to be better.

so, i hope i'm learning and growing. i hope i'm treating people around me better. i'm trying to.

Monday, May 21, 2012

stuff that made me smile this week... and last

lately, i'm feeling a little swamped and last week didn't get my list written. this one covers events from the past couple of weeks.

* i'm enjoying being back at my job. i'm having fun writing up training on one of the programs i manage. i'm finding the process of breaking down a program into steps fun, and that i'm good at it. the training was well received. i'm looking forward to working on this series.

* i've been building a raised garden bed. working outside in the dirt to make it better and sow plants that will provide food just makes me sweat and smile.

* dinner with a dear friend. it was nice to spend time winding down from a busy day while chatting with a good friend. thanks SS.

* stopping to read. i like escaping into a story. i don't do it often enough lately.

* working on consistency in my spiritual life. i can feel a difference and it's good.

* so, my new commute is only six miles one way. i didn't fill up my gas tank for almost three weeks.

* after a day at work, sitting for just a few minutes to play the piano.

* phone calls and messages from my younger nieces and nephews. so much fun to hear about their lives and what they're doing and playing.

* running errands with MW. she makes finding things so much easier, especially when i'm in a prescription drug induced haze due to pain killers. thanks!

* sciatica does not make me smile. however, just sitting and watching the sun through the leaves is a nice way to spend an afternoon when i can't move very well. ahhhhhhhh......

* cards in the mail from friends. i love getting handwritten mail. it's one of my favorite things.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

thoughtful thursday: to be really happy

To be really happy and really safe, 
one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, 
and they must all be real.
~Winston Churchill

Friday, May 11, 2012

i once threw a knife at my brother... true story

My brother and I didn't always get along well. He knew which buttons to push that would send me over the edge, and it wasn't pretty. One time I lost it, and threw a table knife at him. It went whizzing right by him and stuck into the wall behind him. Yeah, I could have taken his eye out, or given him a really cool scar with a not so cool story about how his older sister got really angry and threw a knife at him. I was glad I missed… Once I calmed down.

I remember my dad talking to me about controlling my feelings and choosing not to let others push my buttons. He had a temper too--surprise, surprise--and like me he had to learn how to not let it get the better of him. He told me something that stuck with me, "Just let it roll off you, like water rolls off a duck." A variation on the adage of growing a thicker skin.

I remember thinking this a lot during some training I went through a couple of years ago. You know the song, “I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away…” Instead I was singing in my head, “I’m like a duck, it rolls right off my back…” over and over again through some of the toughest moments, and it worked. Sometimes this technique doesn't work so well, because some things are truly hurtful.

I have learned that I have a choice to react without any thought or to thoughtfully act. Basically, I can employ my brain and make a choice about how I’m going to feel about people’s action, and then what I’m going to do about it. Sometimes action is required, and other times it’s best to just let it roll right off your back.

Over the years, I have hurt other people's feelings, and had my own feelings hurt. We can be so very thoughtless at times. Often we are completely unaware that what we've done or said is hurtful. Sometimes a clear choice is made to be absolutely mean in words and actions.

My reactions, in both cases, aren't always the greatest. Yes, I do get mad, and hurt. But for the most part I've learned to pause, take a breath and think about what I will do. I usually start by asking myself this question, "How would I like to be treated in this situation?" And the answer usually is, "Nicely, and with love." This has helped me get past my own hurt and angry feelings, and respond in a way that I hope is open, humble, and loving, even when I am standing up for myself against someone who is persistently thoughtless and mean towards me.

I also remind myself that we are all works in progress, and not one of us is finished yet. We are all scared at one point or another, and fear can move us to do some pretty mean things, when what we really need is a heavy dose of love. Coming from a place of love is so much more effective and liberating.

There are times in my life when I really have to work hard on this. These are periods of of being vulnerable, learning, and growth, and I can only hope that I’m getting better. It’s been hard to sit down and talk things out, especially when someone doesn’t want to talk it through to help me understand how I hurt them, or figure out a way to make things better.

It takes a lot of courage to talk to someone who hurt you about what how you feel. The times I was able to talk things through, fully communicating the hurts and hopes for the relationship, were scary, but served to bring us closer together. These moments are powerful real-life examples to me of how remaining open to conversation, even when I’m afraid of being hurt, hurting someone further, or struggling to find the right words, can truly make a difference.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

thoughtful thursday: do you have the patience to wait

there's a theme in my life lately and this captures it perfectly.

Do you have the patience to wait
Till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Till the right action arises by itself?

~Lao-Tzu, Tao-te-Ching as translated by Stephen Mitchell
    via here

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

things that made me smile last week

* my end of tour performance evaluation was really nice. apparently, i walk on water...

* it was fun to see all my work friends upon returning back to my old job. i work with some really great people and enjoy their company a lot.

* more phone messages from nieces and nephews who want to talk to me and tell me so in the cutest terms possible. thanks daddy (brother R2) for narrating in the background so i know what is being said.

* dinner to say goodbye, where it all began. 

* this lovely peachy pink rose blooming in the backyard.

* a little girl in church throwing her head back repeatedly and giggling every time. she was the cutest, happiest thing.

* a last minute movie date to the avengers. brilliant. funny. and the audience was great. i love going to movies in the theater when the audience is totally into the movie. so much fun to cheer and clap and laugh out loud loudly along with everybody else. plus, we look totally sexy in our 3-d glasses. B-)

* spring cleaning. i love putting away winter clothes and pulling spring and summer clothes. it's like a whole new wardrobe every six months. 

* a catch-up lunch with an out-of-town girl friend. good conversation and non-alcoholic mint juleps and appetizers and salads. although, i do miss our runs. 

* slowly but surely answers to prayers are coming.

Friday, May 4, 2012

thoughtful thursday: i can't help myself

I pray because I can't help myself. 
I pray because I'm helpless. 
I pray because the need flows out of me all the time--waking and sleeping. 
It doesn't change God--it changes me.
~C.S. Lewis