i will do it now

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I will not wait until I am thinner, richer, have my closets cleaned out or my drawers organized.

I will do it now.

I will not wait for this weekend, or Monday or March or 2016.

I will do it now.

I will not wait for the weather to cool off or warm up, for the stars to align, or the seasons to change.

I will do it now.

Whatever it is that I have put off for the “right time”.

I will do it now.

I have figured out that waiting for this to happen or be completed before I move forward on what I need to do to live a better life, is just procrastination based on fear. It means I am hedging my bets on my life. I have created truly non-existent barriers, huge walls to climb before I get to the “good stuff”.  It means that I have created an excuse long before attempting whatever it is I want to do… because of fear of failure. Today the walls come down, I lay my chips on the table and the excuses and fear stops.

It stops now.

I will no longer waste valuable time.

What starts now are all the things I’ve postponed.

Life it way too short.

It really is.

It’s time to start living.

I will do it now.

~e

my wish for growing old

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I want to grow old gracefully. I want my face to have lines and wrinkles that tell a story of a life well lived. I want my eyes to show that I have asked questions and sought out answers. That I felt joy and pain. That I made mistakes along the way but didn’t let those mistakes keep me from continuing the journey. There will be a sparkle of wisdom that glimmers in my eyes to signal that I have lived life with a curious spirit.

I want to feel comfortable in my wrinkly skin; feeling beautiful because of the stories the lines and wrinkles tell. I will dress in colorful frocks and wear interesting jewelry that I have collected during my travels. I will change my haircut and color depending on my mood. I will have developed a deep sense of my personal style and will not let others dictate what I wear.

I want to have colorful stories to tell of adventures I took and things I experienced. Adventures full of family, friends, lovers, and strangers. I want others to be able to read on my face that I have lived a life that was full of joy and hope, love and loss.

A life well lived.

I want my laugh lines to be deep and to continue to grow deeper because my days are speckled with laughter that leads to tears of pure joy.  The best kind of laughter.

I know there will be days of pain, sorrow and loneliness, but I want to be able to gather the wisdom and strength of my years and navigate these days with grace. To come out the other side with the lesson I was meant to learn.

I want my eyes to sparkle with the same curious spirit that was the driving force in my younger days.

My possessions will be few when I am old because I will have learned along the way that too many possessions  have possessed me before.  I will have sold, donated or discarded many of my possessions, paid off all debt,  and spent my money on experiences and travel that fill my heart and life with intangible gifts.

I will have life-long friends whom I speak of with a love as deep as I have for my family; because I will have learned that these people are just as much part of my family as those related to me by blood. I will meet friends and family regularly for long dinners or afternoons chatting over a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

I will have become a great listener. I’ll have learned that being a great listener is much more valuable than being someone who always has something to say. I will have learned to listen with compassion and not always try to fix the problem that might have been shared. I will absorb the stories shared with me and will celebrate the celebrations and be a soft place to land when life seems unfair. I will not preach or try to fix. I will be there to love and comfort and listen.

I will remember stories of days long gone that live fresh in my memory. These memories will live right next to the new ones that I will be creating each day. My age will not mean the end of adventures or make me shy away from learning new things. It will be quite the opposite. I will have realized the true gift of being able to get up for another day on the Earth. I may not be as quick on my feet and I might have more aches and pains, but I will know that I am lucky to be alive and will live with that in mind each and every day.

I will be someone, who regardless of the number of candles on my birthday cake, will approach each day with the curiosity of a child. Allowing the excitement of learning something new or turning a stranger into a friend to pump through my veins and remind me of the gift of another day.

I will continue to be a person who finds solace in being alone sometimes. I will still know that having time alone does not equate to loneliness.

I will be a voracious reader and will write letters to those I love on a regular basis. I will not clutter my mind with things on TV, but will fill my soul with books, music, and the love of family and friends.

I will be old and wrinkled with a head full of stories and experiences, and a heart full of joy.

When I am old and I look back on the life I lived I will not give much time to “what ifs”. I won’t reminisce about things I hoped would happen that didn’t, or spend time on “the hand that I was dealt” during the difficult times in my life. I will just be thankful I was invited to the table to play.

I will know with a full heart that I had a lion’s share of great things happen for me and I will be grateful.

 

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I am a work in progress to become the old woman I wish to be. Here are some things I need to remember now so that my wish for my old future self will happen.

Remember:

  • Faces are meant to move and bodies are meant to age and wrinkle. No matter what the media says otherwise.
  • Possessions can posses you. Only have what you truly need, the rest just bogs you down. So does debt. Do what you have to do to get rid of your debt. Sell the things you don’t need and give away the rest. Spend money on things like a good mattress, good food and travel. Get rid of things that don’t serve a true purpose in your life.
  • Listen. Don’t always talk. Don’t always try to solve what is shared with you.
  • Don’t gossip. It’s not attractive or productive. It’s also a sign of insecurity, so if you catch yourself gossiping stop to see why you feel the need to do so.
  • Be a good friend. Be honest, even when it is difficult. Be there for friends when they need you and when they don’t.
  • Allow others to be a good friend to you. Reach out when you need to. Real friends will be there for you no matter what.
  • Meditate. It’s hard, but it really does change your perspective.
  • Don’t stay in a job that makes you miserable. It’s just not worth it.
  • Travel. Travel alone sometimes as well as with others. Go off the beaten path. Explore.
  • Help other without judgment.
  • Be comfortable with silence.
  • Make time for the little things, they usually mean the most.
  • Love deeply and honestly.
  •  Be grateful and express your gratitude.
  • And most important….don’t wait. start now.

 

I am looking forward to becoming my old self, wrinkles and all.

 

love,

~e

 

 

jesus lives in ohio

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Earlier this week my phone rang mid-day. It was a call from my Dad. Now, it’s important to understand that my Dad isn’t really much of a phone-talker. He will chat for a minute or two if I’m calling, but calls from Dad have generally been reserved for bad news. Mom calls to chat and catch-up and Dad calls to let you know that the cat has died. It’s just how it has worked for us.

So the phone ringing mid-day with Dad’s picture coming up on the screen brought a whirlwind of thoughts about what tragedy had befallen the family. I answer the phone with dreaded anticipation.

me: Hello…

dad: Have you talked to your sister today?

me: (heart racing) No…which sister? What’s going on??

dad: Your older sister

[At this point I am about to throw up in my mouth. I think to myself: What has happened? Stop delaying this! PLEASE TELL ME NOW!! I CAN TAKE IT! I CAN HANDLE IT! JUST TELL ME!!]

dad: (with a slight chuckle) So, today your niece went to Vacation Bible School, and they were talking about that Jesus lives in your heart.

me: Um…Ok….

(at this point my blood pressure is heading back into the safe zone since it seems that everyone has survived whatever it is he needs to tell me)

dad: So when she got home, her Mom asked her what she learned today at VBS

(dad begins laughing and it is actually a bit hard to understand what he is saying)

me: Um…OK….

dad: Well, she told you sister  that she learned that “Jesus lives in OHIO!”

(dad is still laughing and has to pause to regain his composure)

dad: I guess she misunderstood them when they told her Jesus lives in your heart and she thought they said he lives in Ohio!

  (dad is officially cracking up at this point…and so am I)

I can only image my sweet niece sitting there wondering why does Jesus live in Ohio? Oh, well…if that’s where he wants to live, then more power to him!

The pure laughter and joy that was brought about by that phone conversation may not translate well in this post, but that’s OK. This was just one of those times in life where the innocence of children, the joy of laughing, and the importance of family was so pure and awesome, that I wanted to share it.

So remember as you go about on you Sunday, that wherever you are….Jesus lives in Ohio.

~e

cat people, unite!

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Cat people UNITE! It is time for all the cat-loving single women to no longer be referred to as “crazy cat ladies”. It seems that anyone with more than one or two cats is left to live with the Scarlet C for the rest of their lives. Although I am only a 2 cat household, I have been warned of the peril that will befall me if I choose to add to my cat family.

Living in awesome Austin, Texas it doesn’t take long to realize that this is a dog’s town. You can take your dog to the numerous parks in the city, you can take them to many restaurants and there are even bars that are dog friendly.

Now, don’t get me wrong.I am not anti-dog. Not even a bit! I grew up with dogs and am a wonderful dog “aunt” to one of my best friend’s dog. Who, I have to say is the most bad-ass dog around!  Exhibit A:IMG_1289

I also think it would be quite interesting frightening to see cats at a restaurant or in a bar. Jumping on the tables and knocking over your drinks, trying to claw up your leg to lazily sprawl out on top of the hanging rack of stem ware while giving you dirty looks for bringing them to this abysmal place.  I know cat’s aren’t meant to be taken anywhere. It’s enough to get them to the vet (which requires ninja like skills to get them into the carrier, followed by the sounds of 10,000 dying angels all the way to the vet’s office).

I’m just asking for you to consider, that labeling people who have a few cats as crazy, might not be a fair conclusion. I think it is more appropriate to just name them what they are. Cat people. Or people who have cats as pets. See, that was easy!

I mean, look at that face in the picture at the top of this post! How could you pass up that cuteness? Well… I didn’t pass up that cuteness. And there were 2 of them, brothers. So I HAD to adopt both of them!  Although Henry (the cuteness above) is now a full-grown 11lb man-cat. Here he is with his precious brother, Huck, now a 12lb man cat).

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and here is one more:

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Can you IMAGINE having to break up these two brothers just to avoid the possible life-long stigma of being called a “crazy cat lady”?  If you have even an inkling of a soul, I am thinking the answer is “NO WAY!” Here is what would be missing in my life if I only had one cat:

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 Um…..

O.K…..

I see your point.

I may have become a crazy cat lady.

Never mind.

~e

plus size…like it’s a bonus.

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Being fat has its challenges. I am working on becoming healthier, which I know will lead to me being less fat. I have been fat for most of my life and all of my adult life. I have been various “levels” of fat, but I have embraced that I have total control over it and that it is going to take time to get healthy and lose some weight.

My beef (no pun intended) isn’t about me being fat. That’s my problem and I’m working on it. What I still do not understand is why are all clothes for fat/big people given such absurd names?!? I will share with you the names and why I find them absurd. Here’s my list:

  1. Plus Size– It is a bonus? Plus what? Yes, it is a larger size but an 8 is bigger than a 6, so shouldn’t an 8 be a 6+2? I do not understand.
  2. Full Figured-O.K., yes, my figure is full. But the figure of a skinny person is not empty. Their figures are full too, just not as full.
  3. Women’s Sizes– I know for a fact that I was fat a long time before I was a “woman”. Plus, my Mom is a woman and if she shopped in the “women’s” department she would look like she was wearing a tent.
  4. Sized for “Real” Women– So does that mean my sisters, who probably wear a size 6 or 8, are not real? I mean I was just visiting with both of them this past weekend and I’m pretty sure they are real.

I know that clothes that fit me are outside the sizes that all the designers design for. I know that they label these sizes with names so that those of us who need to find them in the store can find them with some ease [even though we are usually sequestered to the 3rd floor in the far back corner of the big department stores…usually behind the luggage and/or home appliances].

I am not a “fat acceptance” advocate, I am an all people advocate. Regardless of your size, weight, wine preference, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, left or right-handedness, etc. I think you should not be labeled and sent off to a special department because of this.

I think that is time that these “specialty” departments become a thing of the past.

I am a realist in the understanding that not all clothes should be made for all sizes. You will never see me cramming my big old ass into a pair of skinny jeans. More power to anyone who wants to, it’s just not my thing. I know that many designers find fat people repulsive. That is their loss. We have money to spend too, so if you don’t want us in your clothes we will spend our money elsewhere. But that really isn’t my point.

Really, what I’m trying to say is that we all need to be able to shop in the same stores on the same department store floor with each other, regardless of the size jeans we need. A first step would be to move these bigger sizes to a space on the same floor as all the other women’s clothes. We, as women, have enough to deal with… as we are inundated with airbrushed perfection at every turn. The least we could do is be OK shopping with each other, regardless of our jean size.

It’s got to start somewhere.

Why not here?

Just a thought.

~e

 

 

is rigor mortis possible when you’re still alive and can it be caused by swimming in a neti pot?

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I think my muscles have pulled away from my bones, my joints have locked, and I don’t think my neck will turn from side to side without some WD-40. I am making a huge assumption that this is what rigor mortis would feel like.  What’s weird is that I’m actually enjoying this feeling!

You see, when your body aches with soreness from spending the day throwing your two nieces in the air, catching them as they belly flop into the pool and having winning a diving contest with your two nephews; this is a ache worth having. My face hurts too, from smiling and laughing so much. I got the best core workout from trying to balance on a “pool skateboard” and from laughing until my sides felt like they would split.

Yesterday was filled with family fun and my body is reminding me of this today. Moving my fingers to type this is about the only movement my body is making that looks natural. Walking, sitting, reaching for my coffee cup out of the cabinet; are all met with winces and cracking sounds followed by a sigh and a smile as the memories of yesterday flood my brain.

My sinuses are also clear today! We swam in a salt-water pool, which is basically like swimming in a Neti pot; a really awesome Neti pot! If you have never had the opportunity to swim in a salt water pool, I highly recommend it.  It’s like swimming in an ocean, minus all of the mysterious things at the bottom.

Yesterday was just one of those days that makes me realize, again, that the littlest things can be the most important things. One of the reminders that I am doing what I am meant to do.

I am

just.being.me.

I wish you a day of just being you. A really awesome day.

~e

 

in my mind

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This video was posted on my blog before. It’s by Amanda Palmer; an amazingly creative, courageous and authentic artist. She lives her life for her, but in doing so gives back to so many. It’s an interesting way that works. She is also not afraid of profanity, so if you are…you have been warned.

I will also include the song lyrics below. It’s one of those songs that to me, is a reminder of the never-ending evolution we go through as human beings. The dreams we have for ourselves that we sometimes don’t chase, the challenges we allow ourselves to face so that we are grow as people, and the little things we try to change about ourselves on the quest for becoming what we think we should become for whatever reason we think it. And the realization that this is who we are and that’s just how it should be.

Since I took a long hiatus from blogging, I was going back through some of my earlier posts and rediscovered this video. Upon reading that post again I see that I was searching for the same things then as I am now. The difference is that I am not just searching for them passively at this point. I have thrown caution to the wind and have theoretically walked off the precipice and am seeing what awaits below. It’s such a freeing feeling.

Where will I be 5 years from now?
Who knows.
 Do I have a 5 year plan?
That would be a negative, Ghost Rider.
 Am I OK with that?
Absolutely.

love,
~e

Here are the lyrics to”In My Mind” by Amanda Palmer:

                                       

In my mind
In a future five years from now
I’m a hundred and twenty pounds
And I never get hung over
Because I
Will be the picture of discipline
Never minding what state I’m in
And I will be someone I admire
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I’ve just forgotten how
To see
That I’m not exactly the person that I thought I’d be
And in my mind
In the far-away here-and-now
I’ve become in-control somehow
And I never lose my wallet
Because I
Will be the picture of discipline
Never fucking-up anything
And I’ll be a good defensive driver
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I’ve just forgotten how
To see
That I’ll never be the person that I thought I’d be
And in my mind
When I’m old I am beautiful
Planting tulips and vegetables
Which I will mindfully watch over
Not like me now
I’m so busy with everything
That I don’t look at anything
But I’m sure I’ll look when I am older
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I could be that person now
That that’s not what I want
But that’s what I wanted
That I’d be giving up somehow
How strange to see
That I don’t want to be the person that I want to be
And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren’t really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I’ll start pounding the lid
Saying, “I haven’t finished yet,
I still have a tattoo to get,
It says, ‘I’m living in the moment'”
And it’s funny how I imagined
That I could win this win-less fight
Maybe it isn’t all that funny
That I’ve been fighting all my life
But maybe I have to think it’s funny
If I want to live before I die
And maybe it’s funniest of all
To think I’ll die before I actually see
That I am exactly the person that I want to be
Fuck yes
I am exactly the person that I want to be