Odd Duck? Who Me?

“Angel, you’re an odd duck” someone said to me this last week. Let’s see what else,… “You never know what she’s going to do next”, “Oh my gosh!!! I can not believe you just did that” and many more.

All through my life I’ve done the unexpected, pushed the limits and stepped outside the comfort zone of most. Some might say I do it for the attention, some might say I’m immature, some, I know, really want to join me, but for some reason feel hesitation. Perhaps they fear looking crazy. I don’t really know.

What I do know is that when I do things that elicit this type of response, it’s usually because I am following my bliss. When I am in the middle of following my bliss, my level of concern about what other people think about me or what I am doing is just about ZERO!

The reason I was perceived as an odd duck this past week is because I was all excited about this new device Keri and I got for ourselves called a vivo fit, perhaps more commonly known as, a fit bit.

What does it do? It tracks the number of steps you take throughout the day. It alerts you with a little red bar creeping across the face of the watch type device when you have been sedentary for too long, creating awareness and encouraging you to get up and move. Just as I had hoped when my little red bar started crawling across my device, I’d get up and move. A goal is set based on a profile you fill out and as you reach the daily goal it adjusts and creates a more challenging goal for the next day.

So, while walking in place at work and cheerfully responding to requests to fetch this or that someone stated with a chuckle, “Angel, you’re an odd duck”. Yes, this is true of this persons perception of me, but to me, I am just my happy self doing what I do to maintain my good feeling life. I’m too happy to be concerned with what anybody else thinks about me.

Go Hunt for Nuts!!!

When I grow up I wanna be a motivational speaker and that has been my dream for a very long time. Do I really wanna grow up??? No, not really, but I believe that I can attain my dream without having to grow up.

For as long as I can remember I have stood on anything I can find that would elevate me just a bit. I’d jump up on top of that elevated surface and speak from my heart to an imaginary crowd, all fired up and ready to motivate.

Since those days, I have come around to some clarifying experiences that have helped me to realize that I could never be a motivational speaker. Don’t get too exasperated. Do you want to know why I have come to that conclusion? Well, I’ll tell you.

I can not be a motivational speaker because motivation comes from within yourself. I couldn’t motivate a squirrel to hunt for nuts if I tried, and I have. I, honestly, laid out some nuts on my back deck, waited and watched to see if I could convince the squirrel to come get the nuts. No go. Many other circumstances have clarified the fact that I, simply, CAN NOT WANT IT BAD ENOUGH FOR YOU or anyone else.

You know what I can do? I can inspire you. I can be energetic and I can be on fire. I can feel love coursing through me and I can live my life as an example, it makes me feel good anyway. So, I am doing it for myself, but if you want to be inspired? I certainly can inspire, but the motivation piece of this deal, is all on you buddy.

So, my clarifying experiences have created a more specific dream. When I grow up I want to be an inspirational speaker. And do you know what else? I already am. I am all grown up and I am inspiring people all over the place, just by being me and living my passion for life. Loving. Laughing. Hugging and having fabulous days, because that, my friends, is what life is all about.

We came here for the fun. We came here to enjoy. We came here to grow and expand. So, let’s do it!!! Anyone can be a member of Team Apozitude. It’s all inclusive. So, find something that makes you smile and march to the beat of your own drum.

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Spider Man Flipped Me Off

One day this last week Keri sent me a text at work. She was checking in to see if our schedules might mesh up and allow us to meet somewhere for a beer and maybe some dinner out. We are making attempts to take advantage of the opportunity we have to be free of puppy responsibility.

We are very much looking forward to having that responsibility again, but we also know the limits it will put on our evenings for a while. Anyway, I thought it would work on that particular day, so we made arrangements to meet at Lucky Lab Pizza in Multnomah Village.

I used to work in Multnomah Village. On my way to meet Keri, I ended up taking a route I used many times in the past. On my way there I was reminded of something that happened to me on that route to work many years ago.

It was during the school year and I was behind a school bus. The school bus turned on the same street I needed to turn on and we were on a single lane two way road, so I was going to be following this bus for awhile, at least until one of our paths changed.

It was October, the reason I remember this is because that school bus was full of little Spider Men, Princesses, Super Men and anything else you could imagine. Probably a Ninja Turtle or two in the mix as well. The one little guy I remember was probably about 7 years old and decked out in a spiffy Spider Man costume. The reason he made such an impression on me is because he was having such a good time. He was laughing it up and sticking his tongue out at me. Laughing it up, waving good bye with his class mates. Which I was fine with and was not responding at all.

Then he pushed a little further. Laughing with his friends and flipped me off. Yes, that’s right. Spider Man flipped me off. I didn’t respond to that either, and as the bus was turning into a neighborhood, he waved some more as if to say, “Good bye sucker. I’m getting off Scott free”. He clearly thought they were turning off my route. I smiled at him and do you know what I did? I followed that bus until it’s next stop. Did I have to turn off my regular route to work? You bet I did, but the next stop that bus made I pulled up right behind it. I got out of my little truck and walked myself right up to that bus.

I stood next to the door until the bus driver opened the door. Then I leaned in and said, “I thought you might like to know you have a little Spider Man on the back of your bus giving people the one finger salute out your back window”. She looked up towards the ceiling of the bus where a mirror was located and yelled to the back of the bus, “JIMMY!!! GET UP HERE TO THE FRONT OF THE BUS”.

As he was approaching the front, she explained to me that she has had quite a bit of trouble with this little guy. She was grateful I pulled over. She had him remove his mask and apologize to me. Of course I have no way of knowing what became of Jimmy the ornery Spider Man, but my hope is that he realized, whatever life has in store for him, that he never forgets that with great power comes great responsibility.

He might have felt like he was hot stuff getting away with the powerful gesture of flipping me off, but I was not about to let him get away without being held responsible for his actions. I calmly let him know that was not acceptable behavior.

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Excitement Overload

Oh my goodness!!! We are knee deep in the excitement over load portion of this year. I just had my birthday and it was one of the best ones so far. Nothing outrageous happened, it was simply perfect. For the first time in the 19 years that Keri and I have been together she decided, for some unknown reason, to let me open one of my birthday gifts the night before.

I was so excited I, literally, ran around the coffee table a couple times. We have always had this little game we play where I try to get her to give me hints as to where she bought the gifts or what the gifts might be, but she never gives in. Well, never say never. Right? She didn’t just give me a hint, she let me open one. She’s really good at surprises. She always finds a way to make me feel special and loved. Her gifts are always very thoughtful. I’m pretty darn lucky.

More about the excitement over load please!!! You’re getting sappy. OK. OK. This weekend we are wrapping presents in anticipation of my mom and Garrison coming to visit for Christmas. For those of you that might be new to Apozitude, Garrison, is my son. He’s 24 and one of the sweetest guys you’ll ever meet. He’s also very edgy and cool. Anyway, I am SUPER EXCITED to see them both.

Also this weekend I am going to a little Goodness’s birthday party. I’ll reveal what I decided to go as in another blog. In case you missed the, Princess or a Super Hero, post that is what the invitation read, “Come dressed as your favorite,…”. I am really excited about that too, because I made my own outfit.

See if you can guess the party theme for a little girl turning 4. C’mon,… think! YES!!! You’re right!!! It’s, Frozen!!! It’s going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to show up in my DIY outfit. Cast away all your “Pinterest failed” thoughts floating around in your head, because I NAILED IT!!! You’ll see.

See what I mean about excitement over load??? Plus, next weekend we are going to see our new puppy. He’ll be 8 weeks old and most of his litter mates will be going home at 8 weeks, but our boy will stay an extra special week with his sister and Grandma Judy, because we’ll be at the beach for Christmas with my mom and Garrison!!! Then the weekend after Christmas we’ll go back to Grandma Judy’s house and pick up our puppy.

My life, right now, is like a freakin’ movie. My birthday, Goodness’s birthday with dress up, visit the puppy, Mom and Garrison arrive, go to the beach, have Christmas, come back and go get the puppy. If you’ve watched a bunch of Disney movies, you might be waiting for a clincher plot twist at this point for dramatic affect, but I assure you the creator of this reality doesn’t add a twist for dramatic affect. Nope. This gal is all about sunshine, rainbows and smiles.

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Unflavored Snow Cones, Not as Yummy as You’d Think

I know I have said this before, but I also know that it takes several times of hearing something to retain it. So here it is again, Words don’t teach. You know what does teach? Experience!!! Sometimes, it can be a bitch too. I have a perfect example to share with you.

Granted, I am not sure I ever received a warning about what I am about to share and it may seem a bit unbelievable, but I assure you the details of the upcoming story are in fact true. When a was a youngster, oh I’d guess about 9 yrs old, based on my memory of the event, I got a brilliant idea. Before I reveal my brilliance, let me set up the scene.

Ok, so I was about 9 yrs old and my mom and I lived in a shotgun apartment, which is to say you could stand at the front door with a shot gun and take a shot straight forward and the shot would go straight down the hall and every room in the apartment was off that main hall way. Why is that important? You shall see. (Refer to the diagram of the apartment.)

My mom was down in her bedroom and for some reason I was in the kitchen, perhaps I was getting something to drink and needed some ice because I did have the freezer door open. Upon looking in the freezer I noticed the frost in there. You know what frost looks like inside a freezer, right? Apparently to my 9yr old eyes, it looked like a great big unflavored snow cone.

What does an unflavored snow cone taste like? Hmmm,… perhaps I should test it out. Yes! Exactly what you are imaging. I leaned forward to taste the frost and just like Schwartz in a Christmas Story, I got my tongue stuck to something frozen.

I hollered as loud as could, “MAMA!!!” and she hollered back, “What, Baby girl?”.

“Come hera!!!”

“What??? I can’t hear you. Come here.” I yelled back, “A can’t!!! Ma tong ith thuck to tha theetha!!” She replied, “I can not hear you, Baby. You are going to have to come in here.”

“I CAN”T!!! MA TONG ITH THUCK TO THA THEETHA!!!”

Exasperated, she came into the kitchen to find her baby girl standing in the kitchen with the tip of her tongue stuck to the frost inside the theetha (freezer). I don’t know what came over her, but she grabbed me and yanked me right off that mean’ol freezer. Do you know how much your tongue bleeds when you rip the tip off? I do and it’s a lot!!! I seem to remember going through a whole paper towel roll.

I also remember having a scab on my tongue. Not fun, but what is fun, is telling and retelling this story though my life. Oh my god! It can be completely hilarious!!! Not so funny though, I used to have a little scar on my tongue, but I just went and checked and it’s gone. I do remember looking in the freezer later that evening and seeing a little pink nubby thing inside the freezer. “Hey, that’s the tip of my tongue”.

It’s funny to think of all the times over the years when I would hear someone say, “I can’t think of something (whatever it was), but it’s right on the tip of my tongue”, I always imagined it was in that freezer.

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Princess or Super Hero

Guess what!!! I got invited to a birthday party!!! Yup! The birthday party of one of my favorite little people. Lexi, one of the Goodnesses, is turning four. I have had people tell me they like how I refer to these two little girls as, “The Goodnesses” and I think it’s about time I explained how they got their title.

It all started with Lexi, of course, because she’s the oldest of the two. Every time her mom would show someone her picture because she is so damn cute, every one would uncontrollably gasp and respond, “Oh my Goodness”. I mean everyone!!!

It just became a thing. We started calling her, “My Goodness”. So, whenever I would go over to visit her I would announce, “I’m going to see My Goodness”. Well, then her adorable baby sister, Taylor, was born and she was just as cute as Lexi, and sharing her picture resulted in the same response, “Oh my Goodness”. Hence, The Goodnesses.

Well, I guess I don’t have to tell you how much I adore these precious little princesses, but they do mean the world to me. I love holding them, hugging them, kissing their sweet little cheeks, playing with them and telling them stories. I just love it.

So, back to this birthday party, the invitation reads, “Come dressed as your favorite princess or super hero” and I got so excited. I sent my RSVP right away with this slight clarification, “I just can’t decide if I should be a princess or a super hero” LOL!!! Their mom, my friend Shanna, replied, “Oh I can’t wait to see what you come up with”.

I told Keri I was going to dress up and she said, “I think that was intended for the kids”. Well who’s a bigger kid than me??? I have decided what I am going to do, but I can’t reveal it just yet, because I want it to be a surprise. Don’t worry, I will share when the time is right.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME!!!!

I am such a kid, I still L-O-V-E having my birthday and I guess you don’t have to guess when it is, because of the spoiler in the title.

That’s just my way, totally open, totally happy, totally diggin’ life.

Happy Birthday to me. Check me out at one week old, that’s my Daddy’s teddy bear on the left. I don’t know his name, but for the sake of this blog let’s just call him,…oh I don’t know. How about Lefty? Why not? He’s on the left side of the picture and my dad was a southpaw. Perfect!!!

Look at that hair. Look at those lips. That, right there, is an intense baby. Destined for big things. That look says, “Look out world. Here I come”.

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Me and Lefty

Showing Some Skin

Let’s try this again. “Wow! Your hair is getting really long. What inspired this?”, someone asked me the other day. I thought for a moment and said, “Honestly, it was Shanna” and really it has been a multitude of things over the years. Slightly adjusting my perspective of myself and coming to terms with how I identify myself and how I represent myself.

The reason I say it was Shanna that inspired the change or desire to grow my hair out is because it was her suggestion that I wear a bikini on my vacation to Hawaii a couple years ago. She said to me, “You are one of the hardest working people I know in terms of working out. You should show off your hard work”. I quickly dismissed her suggestion because I hadn’t worn a two piece bathing suit since WAY before I started having boobs. I mean WAY WAY before and I have photographic proof of my bikini days as a child.

Somehow, I agreed to try on some of Shanna’s bikini’s, but I was going to do that by myself. I went to her house and she pulled open this drawer of bathing suits and I was a bit in shock at the sheer volume. I have a drawer that has a bathing suit in it. She has a bathing suit drawer. I think I went home with 6 or 8 bikinis to try on, plus some pull over beach dresses and a maxi dress or two.

As I was trying them on, I was a little bit uncomfortable. I was not accustomed to showing so much skin, but I kept trying them on and gradually I became more comfortable. I would try one on and take a picture and text it to her, “Is this how this is supposed to fit”, I would ask. She, I am sure, was cracking up. She reassured me and I finally decided I would take a bikini on my vacation. In fact, I took multiple bikinis with me to Hawaii, yes, you read that right, I took more than one. I have never in my life taken more than one bathing suit on vacation before, but I did that time and every time since. LOL

You know what? It really gave my self esteem a boost. It’s kinda hard to describe, but I finally got to a point of being comfortable enough with myself and who I really am that I could wear a bikini. I guess it’s sort of a process of self acceptance that I never knew before. I missed out on all the exploration of being girlie for my own sake, because all the years that I presented myself as a “normal” girl, which I even hate to use THAT word. Let’s change it then. All the years I presented myself as a straight girl I was doing it to disguise myself to hide who I really was on the inside.

Now, when I wear my hair longer, wear a dress or more feminine clothes it’s because I like the way it makes me feel. Does that make any sense? I enjoy feeling cute. I like feeling flirty. I like being a girl. I guess by now I should say, I enjoy being a woman. I’m still exploring and finding ways to express my girlie self, but I am enjoying the process.

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Long Haired Butterfly

“Wow! Your hair is getting so long. What inspired this?” someone asked me the other day and do you know what happened next? I opened myself up and shared a little bit more of myself than I am guessing this person originally bargained for, which, if you knew me well, you certainly would not be surprised.

I am an open book and as I shared recently in my blog entitled, It’s Got to Be Real, I believe most people are starving for real person to person human experiences. However, now that I’ve written it out again I think I can say it better. I believe, for the most part, people are starving for a real connection.

When I wrote that brief blog the other day, I wanted to elaborate a bit more on that concept, because what I find is when I share my real self with people they seem to find it refreshing and sort of gravitate to that feeling. They get drawn in to the depth of the honesty. I think it’s because when I am being my true self I am connected to something larger than myself.

When I am connected to this, larger than myself entity, I share things on a deeper level than most are accustomed to hearing in a casual encounter, but just because they are not accustomed to it does not mean that it makes them uncomfortable. In fact, the majority of the time when this happens the person I am sharing with thanks me for sharing. It usually comes down to that because I realize I am sharing real, personal things and I’ll say something like, “Wow, I’ll bet that’s more than you bargained for when you asked me that question” and then they share their gratitude with me for sharing.

This was not what I intended to write about when I opened with that, “Your hair is getting so long” comment. Often what I intend to write about is lost in the process of writing because there are so many different directions a single thought can take you and I tend to follow the passion.

The passion, in my mind is the juicy stuff, the connected stuff. The stuff that people really want to read. My intention is to be open and honest for the purpose of expanding joy. My intention is to be connected, happy and free.

I am free as a butterfly. Have you ever tried to tether a butterfly? It just doesn’t work. My intention is to expand openness for the purpose of broader perspectives. We are better off for all that we let in.

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