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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dig if you will, the picture...

I keep trying to get something done around here. The house is a mess and there is dirty laundry everywhere. That pile of towels in the boys' bathroom is going to touch the ceiling if I don't get with it here pretty soon. But I can't seem to do anything but scroll through my Facebook feed clicking on post after post about Prince. 

I've never really been one to get all wrapped up in celebrity news and gossip. When I hear of ones passing, I feel sadness (especially if I was a fan) and empathy but normally I am able to say a prayer for their loved ones and continue to carry on with my day-to-day. Robin Williams hit me pretty hard because I was a huge fan, as most of us were, and well...the circumstances were and baffling. 

This news of Prince's passing though, has gotten to me good. The depth of emotion and sense of loss I'm experiencing over this surprises me. It's not like I ever met the man or even saw him in concert. Yet, I have cried real tears of sorrow over this and judging by the countless expressions of grief poured out all over social media the past couple of days, I am not the only one. 

There has been so much tragic loss all around me this week that it's beginning to feel as though my sad news bucket is just about full for the year yet it's only April. 

But about Prince.

As I've stated here time and time again, I'm a music lover through and through. Aside from hard heavy metal, there ain't much I don't listen to. I was a tween when Prince hit the big charts and although I didn't understand many of his way-too-adult-for-my-young-ears lyrics at the time, I knew I liked the sound of that. And I never grew tired of it. He had me fantasizing about parking sideways in a little red corvette, strutting my stuff in a raspberry beret, laughing and bathing in some ethereal purple rain, hearing doves cry, getting delirious, going crazy, acting my age (not my shoe size) and partying like it was 1999, all before I was old enough to drive a car.   

I've listened to nothing but his music since the news broke, driving down the road with the windows down and the sound wide open while belting out every verse, sometimes dancing in my seat and sometimes with tears rolling down my face. Here's to hoping nobody who knows me witnessed any bit of that. Because I'm sure it was quite the freak show. (Dig if you will, the picture) Last night, alone in the house and about 7,500 steps to go to satisfy my daily Fitbit goal of 10,000, I put on Prince, cranked up the volume, and had myself a dance party of one. Reached my goal in record time.

During all this pondering, scrolling, reading, listening, watching, dancing, singing and trying-to-get-to-the-root-of this sudden, uncharacteristic obsession with this artist I never met who has just up and left us way too soon (as it seems the best ones always do),  I came across this quote that I traced to someone named Juliette who posted it on twitter back in January, after the loss of David Bowie...

"Thinking about how we mourn artists we've never met. We don't cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves."

Yes! That is exactly it, isn't it? That's what great artists do. They get inside our souls, stir something up, and awaken those sleeping parts of us that we often didn't even know we possessed. They make us feel things. All the things. Prince was one such artist for me. So thank you, Prince Rogers Nelson, for sharing your phenomenal gift with us. Godspeed. And peace be with you in the world of never-ending happiness.  

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

25 Thoughts (because 45 was too many)

Today I'm turning forty-five which does not seem right to me since I just turned forty, and because there is something about turning another year older (especially when the new age ends in a 0 or a 5) that gives me the undeniable urge to write down some words, here I am. Back from the blogger dead. Again. 

One day I do my daily assessment and think, not bad, girl. You've still got it. Then the very next day I wake up with a mystery pain in my foot accompanied by the sudden lack of ability to turn my head more than ten degrees to the left. Yesterday my right shoulder decided to shout at me, in spite of doing all the yoga moves I know.

And sometimes? Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who in the world that forty-something woman looking back at me is and oh snap, is that a new wrinkle over my right eyebrow? because yeah, I'm pretty sure she's still me, edition 45. Welcome. Pull up a comfortable chair and come on in. But don't forget the moisturizer. 

25 thoughts (and whatnot) on this first day of 45

1. Good lighting is everything.

2. Fitbit is a great motivator. I got my first one for my birthday last year and have been busting my butt daily in order to get in my 10,000 steps. It holds me accountable.

3. Multivitamins with immunity support work. I haven't been sick since I started taking them months ago. (knock on wood) I like the gummies kind.

4. Dogs just make life better. I live with four. I can't have carpet (or rugs) or keep the couch clean, and almost always leave the house with dog hair on my clothes and you'd think there was a four alarm fire each time the doorbell rings, but I am the lucky recipient of the unconditional love of four wagging tails every day of my life and it just doesn't get any better than that. 

5. Pandora and Apple Music also make life better. How did I ever survive without Pandora and Apple Music? All the music at my fingertips, all the time!

6. Falling in love with old songs never gets old. Since Merle Haggard recently departed this earth, I've been listening to a lot of his songs that I hadn't heard in a long time. Mama Tried has become a new old favorite.  Because, as the mother of one teenage boy and another almost-teenage boy, I can relate. Mama tries. It may not always take. But mama tries. Mama tries. 

7. Hearing a brand new song that speaks to you never gets old either. I first heard the song, My Church by Maren Morris, while sitting under the hair dryer at the beauty shop (remember when we called it that?) a couple of months back and had to poke my head out to get a better listen. It was an immediate new favorite, one of those that felt like it was written just for me. You know the kind. I love those. It can also happen with a book, or a poem, or a blog post, or any work of art, really. But I love when it happens.

8. Regrets. I call BS on anyone who says they have no regrets in life. I've got plenty of them and I'm sure I'll have more, though I'm getting better at recognizing them ahead of time and putting a halt to them beforehand. It's dang near impossible to go through life without regrets though. The important thing is to seek the lesson within each one and let it sink in real good.

9. Baking in the sun when I was younger is one such regret. Don't do it. Wear the sunscreen. And the hat. 

10. I can honestly say that I felt older at thirty-two than I do now. I remember the doctor questioning me on my decision to have a tubal ligation when I was pregnant with Dracen and thinking, Seriously? He thinks I want to be having more babies after this age?!  I had no idea how young I still was, though I do not regret my decision to have the procedure.

11. My hair.  I was always a long hair person, growing up and then throughout my twenties. I just felt more like myself with long hair flowing down my back. I cut it the first year Darin and I were married because I thought it'd make me feel more grown up. Not super short, but not nearly as long as I was used to. A few years later I started growing it back out again and thought how I'd have one last hurrah with the long hair for a few years before I got "too old". I cut it again not long after Darin died and thought I'd never wear it that long again. But one day it hit me that there was no age limit on having long hair and even if there was, I didn't really care.  So I grew it back out. And although it's still very thick with the tendency to frizz , I've learned better ways of wearing and caring for it. It's like getting back in touch with an old friend. 

12. My new coffee cup makes me smile. Life is too short to drink coffee out of boring cups.

13. If you don't want anyone to find out about it, don't do it is a rule I've learned to live by and am trying to instill in my boys. Mama tries.

14. Holding grudges will eat you alive. Once upon a time, I could hold a grudge with the best of them. I became a much happier person once I learned how to let things go and forgive more freely.

15. When dealing with a rude person, it helps to remind myself that he/she must either be a very unhappy person or maybe going through a difficult time to be behaving that way for no apparent reason. Then the empathy kicks in, and my anger begins to soften. Not always an easy thing to do, but I do find it helps. 

16. "Every day" vs. "Everyday". It's almost every day now that I witness everyday being used in place of every day. It has pretty much become an everyday thing.

17. I need contacts or glasses all the time, unless I want to run into things constantly (oh wait, I do that anyway), and for the last three years or so the eye doctor has been warning me that I'll most likely need either reading glasses or bifocals pretty soon. I had my yearly exam a couple of weeks ago and passed that up-close-vision test with flying colors. It's the little things, literally. I can still see them. At least for now.

18. And speaking of the word, "literally".  I had heard talk of this but thought it was nonsense until I stumbled upon an article somewhere last week that the definition for it has been altered to also mean in effect due to so many people using the word incorrectly. I can't even. I just can't. No. Nope. Why? This hurts me. Deeply.  

19. "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." This quote by Brian Andreas is one of my very favorites because it holds so much truth. I found this print on our vacation to St. Helena Island, South Carolina last year that I framed and hung in the kitchen. It makes me smile. :) 

20.  Namaste.

21. Back to the subject of dogs (because it always comes back to dogs)...I always thought that if I was lucky enough to talk Charlie into four dogs, they'd all be dachshunds. Yet, here I am with four dogs and only half of them are dachshunds. Sometimes we find the dog and sometimes the dog finds us. :) 

22. The serenity prayer is my favorite. I'm still working on that "wisdom to know the difference" part though. 

Serenity Prayer
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; 
enjoying one moment at a time; 
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will; 
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next. 

23. More advice from my kitchen... Yes, please. Always. 

24. Hate is a mighty strong word and one that I am constantly reminding myself and my boys not to use lightly, especially in regards to people. 

25. And I'll end with one more piece of kitchen advice. From the dogs,


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