Sunday, December 30, 2012

I got your Resolution right here....!

Every year around this time, articles begin to tumble out the universe telling you what to do about the upcoming New Year, what NOT to do, and whether to resolve to do anything at all.  That seems to be the most popular 'resolution' these days. Be safe and do nothing. (That and to sign up for a gym.)

Personally, I'm going to stick with the standard and resolve to keep the following:

1)  I WILL make a sincere effort to 'eat clean' throughout the year of 2013.  There will be at least 4 days in the week where nothing considered 'unclean' will cross my lips.  That means the dirty words, too!

2)  I WILL accept that not everyone is going to 'get' me and not explain myself ONE MORE TIME to those who don't. They'll just have to live with it. (It's exhausting and very frustrating....I'm sure you get my point!  No? Well, what I'm saying is...Oh, never mind.)

3)  I WILL move this body of mine beyond the distance of house to car and back (we may have a knock-down, drag-out fight over this but it's GOING to happen!  Wake up, Muscles, time to return to your former glory!)

4)  I WILL continue to love and treasure every human being and stop secretly wanting to 'thump' them on the forehead when I see or hear something silly or downright stupid being done or said.  Who am I to say that pressing the elevator button after you've seen me do it, already, is stupid? Maybe you really believe it'll arrive faster for you than for me.  (OK, I'll decrease the number of times I want to thump.  I'm no angel!)

5)  I WILL not procrastinate in any task that needs to be done.  (Starting the 2nd of January...or thereabout.)

That being said, I hope everyone has a tremendously fun and safe New Year's Eve and a thoroughly blessed, healthy, joyful, prosperous, and productive 2013!! 

(Early New Year's Eve kiss to ya, wherever you are! Mmmmmuah!)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wholly Innocent

Another sleepless night, going over the Christmas Joy felt with the beginning of the Christmas Season and tempered by what follows.

Today, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates Childermas, or Childrens Mass, or, more likely known as the Feast of Holy Innocents as part of the liturgical year that details and follows the life of Jesus Christ. 

The exact time it happened is not known, but estimated to be within 2 years of the appearance of the Star to the Magi., according to one source.  Whenever, it was, it was a malicious and horrifying massacre of the children of Bethlehem and surrounding area, ordered by King Herod, to make sure the Savior would not live to become King. (short version)

This Christmas Season has included the following:  never forgetting an unexpected tragedy in Connecticut, the remembrance of my eldest brother's death the day before Christmas Eve, the death of a young child ON Christmas Eve, the death of my husband's friend and former co-worker ON Christmas Eve, the death of another friend of my husband's on Christmas DAY, and the remembrance of the death of my beloved grandfather the day after Christmas.  In my world this Holiday, I had one day 'off' followed by today, the 28th, and Holy Innocents. 

That's a lotta sorrow if you think of it that way.  But, as St Augustine wrote, "The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory."

I believe that is how we should see it, but not how we do.  We feel the losses.  We grieve so pitifully.  We miss the departed Souls and the lives they may have had if they'd lived.  And, if we let it, we allow the thoughts and emotions to bring us into a dark place that we are not meant to stay.  If you believe what Augustine wrote then we can't possibly stay in that hole.  We are meant to be a joyful people. That doesn't mean we go through life grinning with unawareness of reality and never feel, appropriately, sad.

Anyone can relate to this, of any or no religion, who hasn't been living as a hermit in a cave with no contact with another heart.  We are social beings.  We crave all kinds of love in our life.  Without it, a voice is always at our backs whispering, "Something is missing".  That something is not in the latest pill advertised, either.

Why do you think almost every commercial or posted ad you view has the smiling-happy people WITH another person?  We are supposed to imagine that their product or service will bring that kind of happiness to us if we buy it.  Simple enough. (Personally, I hate attempts at manipulation like that, but it's a business.)

The real joy we feel, if we can remember, was when we had our innocence.  There was a time in our lives before the manipulation, hidden agendas, not-so-hidden agendas, crimes against our innocence by others, or influences of those who had no right to rob us of it.  We were trusting, loving, inter-dependent, affectionate, outgoing, brave, questioning, joyful beings once.  Would it not be the nicest feeling to wake in the morning and feel that way again? 

When we hurt, then, we ran into the arms of one who loved us and who we loved, even if we couldn't articulate it.  Whose arms to we run to now?

I watch the news and want to scream at times, WHERE IS OUR DAILY JOY?  Many believe in a just and loving Father that cares for us and wants that for us but still cannot allow that be 'the thing' that brings us joy.  We have to have things 'our' way.  Well, God doesn't operate the Burger King or duet with Frank Sinatra, so we remain disappointed (or deluded). 

The world then becomes a constant struggle against darkness, evil, dysfunction, loneliness, and the killing of innocence.  We are left with only one weapon, but it's enough.  Love.

When we fight, with our weapon, we gain light, goodness, repair of broken hearts and souls, healthy relationships with family and friends, and are able to save our children by letting them be children for as long as they are supposed to be and grow to good and loving adults.

If the children aren't pressed into adulthood before their time, if the children are not raised in environments that force them to hide and be afraid, if they aren't exposed to activities of adult-content either real or televised, if they are allowed to keep their innocent joy longer, maybe, just maybe, they can keep a spark of it into maturity. 

But, Herod seems to be alive and well and still at work destroying Innocence.  We really need to keep our weapons sharp and at the ready.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Mind is a Fun Place...but You Wouldn't Want to Live There!

Is it possible to live without fear of any man as we are encouraged to do?  Sure, it is. 

But the Mayo-Monster may still get you.  It's not really a man and I just heard of him today. Pardon me but LMBOSHIAFOOMCAHMKA!

(Translation:  Laughing my butt off so hard I almost fell out of my chair and hurt my knee again.)

Because I've been imprisioned, for the most part until my next appointment, I have been SO glad to see other people, it's bordering on insane behavior.  I almost wet myself when someone knocks on the door.  (I'm a little a chihuahua.)  When I'm "released" for appointments, I get excited as a puppy (Wanna go for a walk, girl?) and I become that annoying person who wants to talk to everyone.  They won't let me lick them.  Not that I've tried.

Remember this as you are working your job today, or whenever.  We say to ourselves, if only it weren't for this place I have to show up to everyday for pay (Ew.), I could be so much more creative!  I could crochet HATS, clean out a closet, start a business, write the Great American Novel, and I could get so much DONE!  If only I were independent of time and finances and the Master/Mistress of my own life! Then, you wake up back in your cubicle, wipe off the drool, and reapply your lipstick.  Well, guess what?  NONE OF THAT IS TRUE.

I'm so, so sorry to have to break it to you so abruptly.  If I don't do it, who will?

You would be surprised what takes over your life! It ranges from those who are still working to those pesky phone calls, texts, and internet searches for hair tutorials and kittens scaring dogs videos.  Forget about your entire day if you make the error of clicking your television on to check the news or weather.  Let's be real here with each other.  We all know it's just a gateway drug for talk and cooking shows, and lead to the hard stuff, CourtTV. 

Meanwhile, you've got little kids who are fussy about being little kids.  They have no bills, no job, no mortgage, no responsibilities, and no one but the parents on their backs.

Nap?  I DON'T WANT A NAP! And you would LOVE a nap in the middle of the day as a grownup.

(Child) I WANT A COOKIE! Can't have it.  You'll ruin your dinner. 

(Adult) I WANT A COOKIE! Can't have it.  You'll ruin your hips, plus it's made with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  And it also has food coloring that causes cancer.  And it's very low in fiber.  Crap on a low-sodium organic non-wheat cracker...just hand me the friggin' bottle of water!  Can I get a slice of lemon over here, please?

Go to school and color and debate the proper way to draw the Sun (it's a 3/4 arch in the corner of the paper with a smiley face and shooting rays!), have a story read to you, play outside on the swings, then take a 3 month 'vacation' from it.  Who wouldn't love that as an adult?  Seriously?? 

As a friend and I were discussing this earlier, they don't know how good they have it. 

Her only fear as a child was of the Mayo-Monster.  She will not eat it mayo to this day.  Apparently, his Modus Operandi is to wait until everyone is asleep, enter the fridge, and vomit into a jar of mayonnaise.  I know.  I don't get it either.  I love mayo.  Where was I, again?

Oh, yes.  My daughter stopped with the Trix-addiction after having 'unswallowed' the lovely candy-colored morsels as a child.  She found out the hard way, they aren't for kids. She can't look a rabbit in the face.  In fact, she's a vegetarian.

What's with the hurling connection to childhood fears? 

For me, it's cold spaghetti in tomato sauce.  My cousin, Linda, will gladly explain why.  Let's just say it involves scarfing it down to make HER sick, then jet-propelling it throughout the family homestead.  It's not a pretty story, or image.  I still like spaghetti. Yum. Spaghetti sounds good right now. Didn't stop me!

I was going somewhere with this...really. 

Snap!  I get it! I'm lonely!  I'm not bored.  Only boring people get bored.  Everyone is out doing their thing, living life, and feeling groovy.  Hubby's out running errands or working.  I'm contemplating my navel.

I'm not really doing that.  That would be gross.  However, have you ever laid (lain? layed? lied?) on your side in bed, closed one eye and tried to focus on your nose?  If you get a good view, you can make your nostril move and it looks like it belongs to someone else.  Now, THAT is time spent productively, my friends!

Sigh.  Gifts are wrapped, packages sent, tree is up, house is decorated, food is ordered, Fa-la-la.  I have saved one last task to make myself seem productive this season.  The cards have not been sent yet.  They haven't even been signed and addressed. I haven't even opened the ones we've received yet.  My reasoning is this:  Everyone will remember ours (wink-wink).  They'll arrive right around New Year's Day.  See?  I'm using my noggin for something besides a hat rack. 

Oh, hats.  I'm supposed to be crocheting a hat and making tamales. 

Postscript:  I do not drink or do recreational drugs just in case anyone is curious.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No one's gonna scare me outta love!

No evil, no badness, no madness, no insanity, no threats, no terrorist, no sickness, no injured minds or hearts, no contaminated soul, no sadness, no sorrow, no failed hope, no economically 'sick', no distorted views of the world and its people, no guns, no bomb, no knife, no war, no poverty, no life......

NO ONE WILL SCARE ME OUT OF LOVING HUMANITY! No matter how hard they try!

I pray for a Merry Christmas and God's Blessings upon each and every being that takes time to glance here!  May the New Year bring Peace, Hope, Goodness, and Love to everyone!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Have a heart, or a kidney, or a liver...

A recent conversation with a dear friend is prompting this one today, Folks.

The world almost lost her this year, a couple of times, actually.  It would have been a sorrowful world without her, too.  She's one of the most intelligent and hilarious people I know.  And I've known her since we were 13 years old, too, so I can vouch for this.  We are the ones that don't see one another for a while but have 2-hour phone chats about anything and everything, laughing, tearing up, reminiscing, and ruminating.

For some unknown reason, she claims she's not a 'good person'.  Having been through many experiences with her and observing her reactions, I'm puzzled why this is her opinion of herself.  It's not the one I've seen all these years, for sure, nor is it false humility.  There's nothing false about this girl!

A guaranteed true miracle happened for her in receiving a donor's liver this year.  It was a scary time when we found out she needed a transplant, having heard about the infamous WAITING LIST.  Somehow, someway, she got a call in the shortest time I've ever heard of and had a successful transplant. 

The short time she waited in the hospital was a time of reflection for her and an opportunity for all of us to pray for her.  God bless nurses!  One prayed with her the day before the surgery.  She will kill me for saying so, but she cried.  And this woman does NOT cry.  I see she has yet to figure out if it was relief, fear, gratitude, sorrow for the donor, or all of the above that prompted the tears.  All I know is when I got the call, I cried tears of joy!  My friend was going to stay with us!  She, on the other hand, woke, saw that nurse, recognized her and said, "I remember you.  You are the one that made me cry!" And began again.

Now that the drama of the ordeal is over, these days, she attends transplant patient support group meetings and is her typical sardonic self.  She doesn't talk.  She won't.  She listens and she feels, deeply for others, but won't show it.  She states, "All of these people have a story.  I don't have a story.  I'm glad I don't have a story."  Now why would she say that?  I'll explain because she has a story.

She is one of the most humble humans you will ever meet.  Instead of focusing on what she has been through, she spent our conversation discussing those who are still waiting...mostly for kidneys.  She is perplexed by why they have to wait.  She asks why their family members aren't jumping at the chance to donate.  She told me someone said their family just said, "No".  She realizes it doesn't make them bad people but is still wondering why people are being so greedy (her words, not mine).  She asks why people don't offer even a 'piece' of a liver as a Survivor Donor, as one lady's sister did for her.  It made her want to cry again but she would NEVER do that in front of anyone.  Sad and weird is how she describes the situations she hears.  Her statement was, "Why are you saving it for something you don't even know is going to happen?"

One thing she's realized is how good health feels. I could hear it in her voice and smiled. She just thought before that she was tired because she worked hard.  She got used to the symptoms, which is what we do, mostly.  We make excuses and explanations and self-diagnose for every ache, pain, fatigue, and weirdness that happens to our bodies.  Then, eventually, our bodies tell us, stop doing that and see a doctor! 

The most touching realization she expressed is that when it doesn't involve you, you don't think about it.  I do now.  It has to be such an odd experience having part of someone you don't know permanently with you.  For life! She is tremendously grateful for her donor.  She speaks to him, in private.  She speaks to her new organ.  They are still trying to get along. (He tells on her via blood tests, apparently.) She says she doesn't know why she was so blessed...that she's not a good person.  She gives thanks but doesn't understand it.  She knows no one can relate unless they've been there. I told her honestly, this is not one of those times when I can say, I know how you feel.  Only members of that group can say that.

She will be with us, on medication the rest of her life, but with us.  For that, I thank God everyday.

I told her of a young woman I knew in Arizona whose family all wanted to donate a kidney, and not one was a match.  The one who matched and finally donated was her fiance.  Go figure.  That's the Hand of God, People.

Well, her final statement on the subject...."I've been given an opportunity to do something right....but what would it be?"

My response?  "It's coming."

She laughed. 

I loved hearing it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eating Clean is Surprisingly Easy!

Well, I not only completed the weekend but have been inspired to continue the project I mentioned in my last post, supported by Takeyah Young of or @CoreConnection on Twitter.

It's amazing how easy it turned out to be.  Although, it wasn't the main goal, I actually lost 6 pounds!

Let me begin by patting myself on the back.  Takeyah provided a shopping list for the long weekend's meals and I actually had everything already, excluding the fresh produce, even quinoa and the Bragg's Amino Acid! (googleit)  As I wrote her, turns out I was on the right track, apparently.  I just wasn't disciplined enough to USE everything regularly. 

I'm used to making veggie-only meals for my husband, who could EASILY be a vegetarian except for the occasional pallomillo steak sandwich from his favorite Cuban restaurant.  Here I am the family carnivore who can't resist, well...MEAT.  For this weekend, though, I had no thoughts of it. Crazy, right?

I love to cook and love to chop veggies and fruits. I like my knives, okay?  I don't know what a doctor would make of that and prefer not to ask.

Having the support and comments of the others on Facebook was a definite plus.  When you know you are not alone in your struggles it makes a difference.  We were provided with instructions that were extremely easy to follow, additional information regarding cravings, praise for what I did and encouragement when needed.

All in all, I can see myself continuing this lifestyle.  Hey! Whaddya know? A new reboot! 

I WILL have that occasional steak sandwich but will pay attention to how it makes me feel afterwards.

Gee..who knew that I would actually start paying attention to my body's health at this point? 

Color me pleasantly surprised.