Where were you in 1993?

What do you now know that you didn’t know a few hours ago? Well, let me tell you. I posed this question to myself last weekend and I didn’t really have an answer at the moment, so I just let the question sit in my pages doc for a bit.

Later in the week the answer was revealed to me. However, I didn’t realize at the time it was the answer. I simply posted another little reminder in my pages doc. Then this weekend as I was reviewing my ideas for blogs I realized I had posed this question at one point and later unknowingly presented the answer.

What I didn’t know when I posed this question is that one of the worst years of my life, 1993, was one of the best years of someone else’s life. Now in the grand scheme of things this should have been pretty clear to me, but I wasn’t looking at the big picture.

I asked one of my co-workers this last week what year she was born and she said, “1993. What were you doing in 1993?”. I reflected for a moment and informed her that I was going through the beginning stages of a divorce from my son’s father.

She frowned a bit and said, “That’s not a fun memory to associate with the year that I was born” and I said something along the lines of her being right, but now that I knew she was born in 1993 I had a much more positive association to that year. She smiled and said, “Well that’s a very positive way of looking at it” and I agreed.

Haven’t you ever had a not so great experience with a person of a certain name and then later in life met a new person with the same name? Automatically, you kinda feel icky towards that new person because of your past experience. Well, it’s an opportunity to change the association with that name and the same goes for 1993. I am pleased to relate this year with the idea that my friend and co-worker was born that year. What a wonderful year.

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Sign of Intelligence? Sure, I’ll give you that one.

Standing next to Keri in our socked feet prior to our work out one day this past weekend we were getting a bit of a chuckle out of the fact that our toes are so different. Her second toe is longer than her big toe and her third toe is about the same length as her big toe. My toes on the other hand are all incrementally smaller than the first. This is a big reason why she’s so adept at all those damned balancing poses in yoga.

As we parted from the piggy comparison, Keri nonchalantly said in her dry all serious tone, “Having a longer second toe is a sign of intelligence” and I playfully retorted, “Yes, and allowing you to believe so, is too”.

We had a good little laugh.

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Disney presents,… Incentive

I did something this weekend that reminded me of being a little kid. It’s not surprising really because I can be pretty immature sometimes. Although I prefer to reference it as being “child like” rather than childish or immature. I guess it depends on who’s telling the story. LOL

When I was a kid I often would wait until Sunday to do my homework. I would not only wait until Sunday, I would wait until right before The Wonderful World of Disney aired on Sunday evening. I wanted to watch that program so bad it was a great incentive for my mom to use. Back then there was no Disney Channel or Cartoon Network that played cartoons and Disney shows 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There was cartoon day (Saturday morning 8-12) and The Wonderful World of Disney (Sunday evening 7-8).

The opening of The Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was like my warning bell along with my mom’s warning, “It’s only an hour now until Disney, you’d better finish your homework”. I really liked Wild Kingdom too and it was quite distracting, but I had to finish homework because Disney was like the holy grail before the school week started. Disney deserved 100% of my attention, unlike Wild Kingdom or my homework. :)

The thing I did this weekend was wait until Sunday to write my 5 blogs for the week. I usually try to write a couple or at least get started on a couple of ideas during the week. Then do a little more writing on Friday when I am off work from my paying job, so I only have to finish up on Saturday and Sunday. It takes a great deal of love, dedication and good time management skills to have a full time job, have a successful relationship and write and illustrate a blog that posts 5 days a week. I love it though. It is such a wonderful form of therapy for me.

I love writing about things that have challenged me and about finding my way to a better way of living for me. I like sharing this process and providing an opportunity for others to see that living a happy life is as easy as a single choice, even if you have to rededicate yourself to that single choice time and time again, which I do. Even though there have been some dark and challenging times in my life and there could be in your life too right this very minute, my hope is that Apozitude will create a flicker of hope. A break in the darkness, a smile on your face and a sense of levity that could bring awareness that there is, in fact, a choice for happiness.

So, yes, I did wait this week until right before The Wonderful World of Disney to write and illustrate the 5 blogs I present to you this week, but I guarantee you won’t notice a change in your subscription this week. There will be an Apozitude e-mail in your inbox every day this week and hopefully there will be a little something in one of them that lightens your day. Unless of course, you don’t subscribe and then you’ll just have to hope you catch my post on Facebook or you remember to look it up on line. Why not just go ahead and subscribe? You know you don’t wanna miss a single post.

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Relearning Self Soothing

I am applying myself just a little bit more every day to the process of being happy and maintaining my own happiness. I am talking further and further about the good feeling feelings that I am having. When I slip into recognizing something that doesn’t feel good I am going to go easy on myself and encourage myself to let it go. I am going to soothe myself into a better feeling place.

“I just decided to chill more. I just decided to focus on the best feeling things in my day. I decided to get a better nights sleep. I decided to get up in the morning and get off on a better foot. I decided to direct my thoughts towards things that feel good. I’ve discovered what a magnificent world this is and I love this world and all the people in it. I am finding so many things in every day to praise and appreciate and I think that’s what’s made the difference for me.” paraphrased from an Abraham-Hicks video on YouTube.

This is the difference I want in my life. There is nothing I can do about what you choose to focus upon and how that choice makes you to feel. I love you very much, but time and time again I come to this realization that I can not want it bad enough for you. You have to want the difference in your life for it to work for you, but I have every reason to be conscientious about my focus. I am making a promise to myself to focus on the best feeling thing I can find in my right here right now

I make healthy choices. I am alive and well and I am just allowing myself to get weller.

Yes, I said Dangly Ear Rings and Pom Poms

I think it was right about the time that I was 5 years old that I remember liking the feeling of being thought of as a boy. My feelings ran the gamut through my life on this subject. When I was young before I knew what being gay meant, I really liked the idea of being mistaken for a boy. I liked to play out side, climb trees, play sports, and I distinctly remember liking to push the merry-go-round when the girls would pile on for a spin. It seems like I enjoyed making them squeal with joy as I spun them around on that faster faster faster merry-go-round.

I can remember one of my friends from kindergarten telling me when we were a little older, probably 4th or 5th grade that she remembered me from the very first day of kindergarten. She remembered that I was wearing a green pants outfit with what she remembers as cowboy boots. I don’t remember having any green pants outfit or cowboy boots, but I remember how I felt when she said she thought I was a boy. Even as a 4th or 5th grader it created this sort of beaming feeling in me from the inside. I think because it felt more like a fit for me at the time than not knowing what my confusing feelings were about having crushes on girls.

What I wonder is how does such a little kid grasp the concept of feeling confused? I guess it has to do with societal constructs. I mean at that time and in that region of the country there were no examples of being gay. I had no point of reference. All the couples I saw were male/female and the only rational thing that made sense to me was that I wanted to be a boy.

Then there was the time in my life when I was desperately tying to create and maintain the facade that I was a “normal” girl and that I liked boys. To prove my point in my social realm, even as young as 7th grade I did things with boys that only girls that liked boys would do. (I feel an apology to my mom would be appropriate right about now. I’m sorry if this is a surprise to you, Mom.)

It wasn’t until I was 17 that I actually needed birth control, but I did start messing around as early as 7th grade. It felt awful. I didn’t like the way it felt doing it. I didn’t like the feeling of rumors being spread about me by my friends, but the confusing part was, I did like the feeling of doubt being removed regarding whether or not I was “normal”. It was the weirdest conflicting situation I can ever recall. I am so glad, I mean I can’t even tell you how glad I am that those days of confusion are over.

In high school I was on the drill team, which I prefer to call the pom pom squad because we never did ANY choreographed routines with riffles or flags. All the performances we ever did were dance routines with pom poms to music. I even dated a football player. I wore an upper class man’s class ring. I wore make up and dangly ear rings. Hell! I did every single thing I thought I could do to divert all attention away from the fact that I had a huge crush on a girl, who just happened to be the captain of the “pom pom” squad.

I simply can not tell you how happy I am now to be the woman that I am. I am a woman that loves her wife. I am so blessed to live in a place and a time that accepts and embraces the love that I have for my wife. It is my sincere desire that all love is accepted and the confusion that I endured will be a distant and unfathomable memory.

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My Vow, My Quest

As a person that works with people it is my fervent effort to keep at the forefront of my mind that it is NOT what I do that will make the strongest impression, rather it is the feeling people have as they share time with me and what they carry with them as they depart into their day. The best way I know to have an amazing and transcendent impression on someone is to be very focused on keeping myself in a happy place. I can choose to let go of any little annoyance and I have the power to focus on what pleases me.

I have a little post-it note up at my desk that reads, “I vow to offer the best of myself today”. The thing for me to remember is to be easy on myself. My best will vary from day to day, even moment to moment, as I have encounters with people and process and deal with those experiences.

I am the only one that can determine how important is it to me to be happy. I like having fun. I like feeling love. I like being real with people. I enjoy my exuberance for life. It may be too much for some, but it’s the perfect amount for me and it seems to be working just fine for me.

So, when given the choice, which is every single time, I will do my best to ignore annoyances and focus on things that please me. It’s one coin and there will always be two sides. My quest, find the good.

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Freedom Project

The other day I was on my way to work and this soothing reassuring feeling came over me and the words that ran through my mind went like this, “Today is full of opportunities. Every opportunity that I’m faced with today has two options. One that supports my intention to feel good and one that doesn’t. Today it is my intention to choose the best feeling thought, action or response that assists me with my long term alignment.”

I practice everyday placing purposeful intention towards the best feeling situation, because I know that like energy attracts like energy. I want the best of the best that life has to offer. I’m not perfect and I have my trips and slips, but with practice the recovery time is much shorter than it used to be. This pleases me.

I wanted to share an amazing conversation I had the opportunity to participate in other day. I was chatting on the phone and a friend of mine was telling me that she was going through a divorce. I asked her how she was doing and she laughed a bit and said, “I am just enjoying the process of my freedom project”.

I asked her if it was ok for me to share this in my blog because I really liked the perspective she was choosing. Divorce is difficult in the best of circumstances, but to be seeing this event in her life as a “Freedom Project” was very moving and yet another perfect example of making a choice to place purposeful intention towards the best feeling thing in that situation.

What ever the question, LOVE is the answer. Weather it is self love or love for another, love will always feel good.

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Simple Kind of Man

I was sitting in a little pub this last week doing a little bit of writing while I was waiting for Keri to get off work. I had my headphones on, as I always do when I am writing, to assist with keeping me focused. I tend to be more people oriented than task oriented. I have to wear my headphones to mask the sound of voices, so I can pretend I am in my own little world. Otherwise, I would never be able to keep myself from participating in conversations. I even wear them at home.

Anyway, that was a little bit of a bunny trail, because what I intended to write about is the fact that even with my headphones on I happen to notice a song playing in the pub. It was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Kind of Man. I’m not really a Skynyrd fan and I couldn’t even tell you off the top of my head another song by this group (Keri interjects, “Really, how about Free Bird”). So, why did I notice this song? Well, that’s what I am just about to tell you.

Several years back there actually was a time when more phone calls went to cell phones than text messages. It’s true!!! Remember???? and we wanted to know exactly who was calling, so we assigned certain songs to certain people, so when that song played through our phones we knew who was calling. Well, I discovered that the song my son, Garrison, assigned to me was Simple Kind of Man. I had not heard, rather did not remember ever hearing this song. It certainly was not familiar to me. I don’t remember inquiring too much about the song at the time, the information just sort of got filed away in my mind, perhaps because I wasn’t familiar,… I’m not really sure.

For some reason the other day when I heard it in that pub, it kinda stuck out and I jotted the title down in my notes. I asked Keri about the song later in the day and she gave me her perception of the song and it touched me deeper. I thought to myself how touching that my teenage son, at the time, would choose this song as his ring tone for me.

I came home and looked up the song on YouTube. I have listened to it about 5 or 12 times and it gives me cold chills every single time. I’ve listened to it on repeat as I write this blog. I love my son so much and it touches my heart deeply to know that he paid attention to the heartfelt talks we had in an attempt on my part to gently guide him into a happy self sufficient positively contributing member of society. It was my intention throughout his life to share with him in a myriad of ways this message, “I am your momma and you are my son. It’s true that I’m older than you, but that doesn’t mean I always know what is best for you. Before you are my son, you are your own person and this is your life. You have to live it your way. I won’t always agree with your decisions, but that will never stop me from loving you”.

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Wear Your Kindness on the Outside

You never know when you might come across someone who is right in the perfect place to receive the blessing of your kindness. I stopped by the gas station down the street from my house last week to fill up. I went to this particular gas station because I wanted to check in on a guy I met there the last time I got gas.

Not this most recent time, but the previous time, I pulled in and rolled down my window to discover this sweet faced scruffy haired man with what looked like a bite right through his bottom lip. Being the curious sort that I am, I asked him, “Oh Man!!! What happened to your lip?” and without a second thought he told me about his seizure disorder.

He recently had a grand mal seizure and bit down on his bottom lip, almost all the way through. I cringed a bit and said, “Oh geez! I am so sorry. That looks really painful. I have a seizure disorder too and I have never had that happen”. He was very sweet and open about his condition as was I and I told him I sincerely hoped he found the right combination of meds to get control. He thanked me and I went on my way.

I have thought about him often ever since. When I pass the gas station I look for him because when someone has a seizure disorder and their condition isn’t under control you just never know what might happen. Nobody is promised tomorrow and a seizure disorder kinda increases your odds, ya know?

When I realized I needed gas I knew exactly where I was going. My hope was that he would be working that day and as luck would have it, he was there. I pulled up to the pump, rolled down my window, turned the radio down and made my request for a fill up. He said, “Coming right up”.

Once he started pumping the gas he turned away from the car and I checked to insure I was the only car there and then poked my head out the window. I said, ” I think of you every time I drive by here” with a friendly smile. He spun around and tilted his head in a inquisitive manner and gestured towards himself as he clarified, “You mean the station or me specifically?” I let him know it was him specifically and reminded him about our conversation.

He updated me on his seizure activity and said, “Every day I wake up, I just keep coming to work and try to focus on the good in my life”. I took that as the perfect opportunity to let him know about this blog. I gave him one of my cards and explained what Apozitude was about and he shared some other challenges with me that I will respectfully keep to myself. I told him to keep his chin up, not in those exact words, but to remember that more people than he realizes are pulling for him. He told me he has heard some pretty amazing things and that the big guy upstairs was good to him.

I hope he looks up this blog and sees that he has touched someones life.

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