Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eat, pray, love... be happy, just do it!

Another month goes by and I come closer to 40! It's coming, looming around the corner, when in my mind I still think I am a few years younger. Yes, I do feel like I am closer to 30, not 40, except for the much needed extra dose of anti-wrinkle cream and lower back pain. It's OK, if all else fails, I will spend a lovely evening happy hour with my besties from UD, AND a few days later, spend a glorious week at home with my loves.

If all else fails... Hmmm, "all" better not fail, as I quickly shush the negative thought in my mind and replace it with "IT ALL will work out for the BEST!"

The last few months have been trying, I will not sugarcoat it. A jump on an opportunity to challenge and educate me has turned into daily soul-sucking, stress induced chaos, with no leadership, vision. The misleading red flags so obvious since the beginning, now flow in my face, mocking my idealistic and Pollyanna-ish "it's just me, it'll be all be fine" optimism.  With time, I told myself every morning, after a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for all I have, "it's just me, it'll all be fine."

Well, fast forward to yesterday, as I have to make an abrupt turn into Urgent Care before being sent to the ER for chest pains. The pressure was unbearable, and unfortunately, becoming a reoccurring incident, culminating in making a decision: fix it, do something about it, now, instead of hearing my voice, again,  whisper "it's just me, it'll all be fine."  Really, when? When the panic attack actually becomes the real deal? I don't think so... Life, MY life, is mine and mine only to treasure, guard with all my power and protect against the crazies that try to create unwanted drama and chaos around me.

Admittedly, I could have done a better job at wearing my bullet proof vest more often. I should have spoken up earlier--that's a tiny, little pattern I am working on-- and put a stop at the ludicrous behavior around me that can only be credited with providing sleepless nights and mood swings. Booo, I don't like myself like that. YUCK, I sound like other people I know. NO, I refuse to be like that or to turn into that person.

Health update: it's not cardiac, it's all, ALL, 100% stress related, which caused the anxiety/panic attack. Remedy: decompress...  Easier said than done, right? How many of you have been told the same thing by your family doctor, or therapist, spouse, best friend. I wish I could just take a month off... do people even do that? ;)

Well, I am starting with baby steps... and a good talking to by friends and family that remind me (especially when I feel like I am facing the world alone) that I am loved and appreciated. Prayer and meditation have been true blessings. Time heals everything, so I decided to also be patient (ha, that's a joke for those who know me!) and take one day at a time.

None of this I learned overnight as I put into practice my newly prescribed recipe for de-stressing. I have been blessed with resources, mostly in person, along with some books and tools to help with stress...

Without going on and on with this entry, I will highlight perhaps a book that has defined a turning point in my "self-care" discovery. "Eat, Pray, Love"  has been described as a woman's life's story from a very selfish and self-centered point of view. Well, newsflash, call me selfish and self-centered.

In a way, the hard way, the painful way, I have had to learn how to take care of me, myself, my soul, my heart, so I can be the smart, loving, professional, spiritual and faith-filled woman I have become. It does not come naturally, and it's not easy at times. My point is that in the novel, Liz gives everything up to go on a journey of self-discovery in order to self-care and heal. Throughout it, she learned to forgive and by forgiving others, she forgave herself for being too hard on her own self. Aren't we sometimes too hard on ourselves? Don't we criticize our looks, our skills (or lack thereof) our reactions to circumstances??  We must STOP. We need to love ourselves, and like ourselves, and laugh at ourselves, and appreciate all that makes us ourselves, US. :) When we master that art of self-love the revelation: we are all special and unique in our ways and being at peace, living in peace and in Divine Order, chaos and drama will slide off ourselves and not penetrate the shell of love that surrounds us. I am working on it.. can't wait. :)

It's late and I have homework to do (no, really, I do!)... but the best part is that it has everything to do with my passion, love and commitment to working with students in their journey to becoming professionals. That makes me happy...I "eat, pray, and love" - hehehe- working with students.

I have gone on quite a journey as I come closer to reaching the 40 milestone... and I look forward to the next 40 by finally realizing that self-care is not selfish or self-centered, it's nourishing of heart, body and soul AND, it's survival . Go out and eat, pray and love... be happy! :)

PS. Nothing is more important that your own inner peace and happiness. ;)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

For love of the game... ;)

Apparently the first week in September, not only symbolizes the start of fall, Labor Day quickly remind those of us who reside in the good ol' US of A, that summer is over, but also that our summer TV routines, or lack there of, will now change. Catastrophic isn't it? Depends on how you look at it...

According to every other TV and radio ad/commercial and your Facebook newsfeed, disrespectfully saturated by status reports from friends, who aren't really friends, because what they are telling the world about is none other than the mere fact that football season is upon us...

Pause for dramatic reaction, which in my case, is silent... or perhaps, more along the lines of a womp womp.

Sorry, dears. I know, I know, the pigskin lovin', gridiron testosterone induced man-handling, is quite entertaining. Don't get me wrong, I have had to sit myself down and attempt to figure out what the point is.

After many attempts to follow wholeheartedly, I give up, while still smiling. The reason for the smile is to see and witness the unexplainable joy in the fan's face. At times it's my former roommates, my aunt or other friends who simply love a good football game. Me? Well, meh... I am content with celebrating vicariously through my friends' eyes and when it comes to football, that's enough for me...

Of course, disclaimer follows. Many of you may agree and feel the same way I feel about football. However, perhaps others among you would agree with my sentiments, say, about baseball or basketball. GASP. How can that be? LOL  Well, bring it on. Thank goodness, we all have the liberty to choose to root for and become the no. 1 fan team or sport X ever had. 

As long as I can remember, I have loved baseball. If any of you out there ever need someone to go to a game with or don't mind the often annoying sound of my voice when I yell at the TV (yes, I am holler at the TV kind-a girl), I am your gal. Hit me up and it will be fun, even if it's watching it on TV. From the 1986 Mets, to the 1998-99 Yankees, on to the Colorado Rockies, now "home" to St. Louis and my Cardinals, and a new found rising star in Toronto, our Japanese friend Kawasaki--if you have not done so, watch on YouTube interviews with Kawasaki. He is hilarious! For as long as I can remember, I have loved baseball. :)

From the rising excitement of spring training, to Opening Day, and holiday fireworks, to All Star Games and home run derbies, infield fly balls and double plays. From managers' hand signals and gestures, to tobacco chewing pitchers, Tim McCarvers and Keith Hernandez, sigh - first crush, a girl can't help herself. May we all enjoy a 7th inning stretch as this summer comes to an end and remember the days of pop corn, hotdogs and Bud Light, pretzels and peanuts, and cracker jacks. Let's root, root, root for the home team...

And, with a loud and obvious duh... as a proud, born and raised Puerto Rican, may the spirit of Roberto Clemente, who would have turned 80 this year, live on in the lives of our players who make us proud every day on and off the field.

So, football... come on, take over fall as you should. We get it. However, this girl loves her summer sport, maybe just like the next, and will patiently observe how the season ends and post-season fun begins. I haven't rooted too loud this summer, but that doesn't mean I was not watching.

PS. I will write about basketball and college hoops, my other favorite team sport where my commentary can provide as much entertainment from the bleachers (or the living room, or bar, or restaurant) as the players can on the court. ;)