Tuesday, December 24, 2013
A year ago I was in sunny, warm Puerto Rico, enjoying the joy of being with family and friends that only comes accompanied with the drama, like a committed relationship for life. Sound familiar? Ha. It's all about being home for the holidays isn't it. Well, this year, mostly due to ridiculously prized airfares, we stayed in Ohio. Let's not forget the small, tiny it detail that I scheduled the test of my life on December 27. At least Iam focused on that this week, which is helping deal with being homesick.
What a year it has been... and I am so grateful. It has been challenging, especially from the professional side, but as challenges go, bring these on for they are providing more clarity and direction than ever before. Hence, subjecting myself to sitting in front of a computer for 4 hours exposed to having to think about circumferences, percentages and ratios. Math, ugh! ;) At least I own the fact that I "do words, not numbers!" Let's pass this test and apply away. Life has kickstarted again, classes also begin soon and I am on a deadline. The inner nerd speaks!
If I were to summarize this year in one word it would FUN. No, I don't mean the year has all been fun and games, or that everything in life, moving forward should be all about fun... or should it? :) My dearest reality check reminds me occasionally that rule number one is: to have FUN. If you are not having fun why do it. I take this to heart and am working hard to implement it in all I do.
Why can't work be fun? Shouldn't life, while balancing all that comes with it, also be fun? Every day should have something FUN about it. The morning routine, while the kid may drive me up the wall with his need to take 20 minutes to brush his teeth can be fun when he starts singing the theme song to Spongebob Squarepants. I have to laugh! Although, this time of the year he is obsessed with Bing Crosby's "Mele Kalikimaka" -thanks Chevy Chase! LOL
The drive to work can be hysterically funny as I listen to Tu Mañana LIVE and its innapropriate comments and jokes. Sorry, it's gotta be a Puerto Rican thing that morning radio shows ARE suppose to be FUNNY!
Finding the fun in every day life may not be as easy as I make it sound, but actually spending time thinking about it and committing yourself to that quest, will bring at least a smile to your face. I know. I am living it. Truth be told, life's wicked stepsister, insecurity and her best friend, loneliness, loom around and do their best to suck the fun out of everything. Don't let them in. Say, thanks, but no thank you. We have fun in this life. We see fun in the backyard hammock, in the bonfire warming our hearts, in the morning cup of coffee, in the smile on our kids' faces. In how precious life and its most simplest of things are bound to be fun, or at least bring joy to our lives.
For some of us an evening by the shore, looking up and gazing at a starry night is as fun as it is medicinal. It is a retreat, a conversation with the most High. A thank you, in a way, for bringing fun to our lives or all the beauty and love that surrounds us. For others, a empty movie theatre where life's challenges and previous conversations with insecurity and loneliness are forgotten and imagination runs wild. A journey immersed into the abyss of movie magic and storytelling is so much fun, as it is also peaceful and spiritual. A connection of somesort that only few undestand. And, yes, that can be fun.
Christmas is certainly a season that we often forget the fun that comes with the sacred. A baby was born and babies bring joy to our lives. THAT is fun. We decorate a church and set up a manger scene and make memories. That is also fun. We share meals, laughter and dance with friends and loved ones. How fun!
Today, Christmas eve 2013, as homesick as I am and as much as I need bear hugs from the most important people in my life, I plan to have fun.
My wish for you this Christmas is to look for the fun in everything. The rule number one is to have fun, especially in life. Let's have fun and enjoy what we have in our lives, the blessings, the challenges, the lessons, the people. Oh how Iove you all, my people, even if I am not with you.
Note to self: Go home for Christmas next year! ;)
Feliz Navidad a todos. Que Dios los bendiga con solo felicidad y amor.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Don't we sometimes wish we could turn back time. Don't we want to be back to the age of 8 this time of the year, sit down and write Santa a letter of all the the toys you want? Don't we wish we could have Christmas morning be as magical as it was then... If I could turn back time.
Perhaps if we could go back to high school we would pay a little more attention to the teacher, listen with more attentive ears to the geometry tutor (that's a whole different blog!) and actually care about how stretching in gym class IS good for you and necessary for your health. I DO regret that one, for my back could use major stretching to re-adjust every morning! I wish I could have also not eaten the extra strawberry i-cee from the school snack bar, because that, along with the chips and the extra Cornuts on the side, only ballooned me to chubby stage that took (and has taken) years to get over: the comments, not the taste of the food. ;) Although I admit, I have not touched a Cornut ever since high school. If I could turn back time.
I had a couple of best friends growing up. We were very close, lived in the same neighborhood. I wish I would have done a better job at keeping in touch. We connected again a few years ago, but, maybe, if I made a little bit more effort, we'd be closer still. If I could turn back time.
If only I could talk to my mother now. She died. She was sick. I was twelve. So many conversations that, even though I feel at times we do indeed have, it is only in my dreams. I should have hugged her more. I should have learned at a very young age to say "I love you" to my loved ones... for this is perhaps one of the most life and soul-saving skills I only developed as an adult. I should have told her I loved her. I never did. If I could turn back time.
I am not perfect. None of us is... but in my quest and obsession to be the good, slightly "perfect" daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, girlfriend, mother, wife, whatever, I forgot to be ME. I have, I think, learned to accept a lot about who people are, others, about myself. I have hurt some of my most beloved partners in crime and I don't mean to... for by trying to be who they want, who they need, I forget to be me. It backfires. I forget how people are complicated and perfectly imperfect, like me, and it's frustrating. I must remember to keep my self in -check. Let, love and accept people are who they are, for what they are and what they bring to this world... what they bring to me. For they compliment me and if it reflects back... WIN.
For many years I felt a bit like things in life were out of my control. Maybe they were. What I have learned recently is that I had been living in some kind of fog, waiting, waiting and waiting some more for someone to clear it for me to get out. In a way, the more I tried to get out I felt stuck. Then, recently, and thanks for a very loud "here we go again!!!" I realized I was treading water, so to speak, or walking in circles, still inside the fog. When the "here we go again" happened, I chuckled because I couldn't believe it... Seriously, THIS? AGAIN? Carajo! That's when I looked across the living room and saw an image, two eyes stared back at me in defiance, almost saying "No, you can't, you are stuck." Well, at that moment, I stopped, stretched my back (see, I remembered gym class!), stood up straight and stared right back and said: This is MY life and I am in control. I can decide when to have a conversation if I need to, but if I need to wait, I will... I can make a decision, carefully and patiently analyzed and not worry about what others will say, if it's the best thing for me (and the kid!), or decide HOW to react if a reaction is in order as a result of some one's actions.
In this season of Advent... waiting, hoping to celebrate Christmas, my wish for you, my lesson NOW, based on lessons from times past, is to indeed learn and respect from that past, live the present with appreciation for what's in front of you and make your future YOURS!
I wish I could have learned a lot of this years ago... If I could turn back time. At least I can say I did TODAY!
PS. To my family and loved ones I don't say I LOVE YOU enough, I just did!
Monday, December 9, 2013
I was honored to have had the opportunity to speak on behalf of my Emerging Leader co-hort last Thursday at the graduation reception. I was blessed to have my loved ones with me, including my kiddo, who I hope felt proud of mom's accomplishments. Below is what I wrote, then read to the attendees.
Lesson learned in all of this, my friends, is that it is never too late to keep yourself "in check" and making the necessary adjustments to be a better "whatever." I have a feeling you will feel empowered and confident to be not just the best version of yourself in the world, but FOR the world.