Yellow Magic Madness # 46

Seahorse, Turneffe Islands, Belize. Image take...

Seahorse, Turneffe Islands, Belize. Image taken by Clark Anderson/Aquaimages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My favorite color: Yellow.
I have to look inside for the color yellow to make me smile, like this bouncy seahorse, sure to entertain.

How can you not smile and laugh when you look at this charming creature?

Kindness: The New Normal

The Great Kindness Challenge Logo

The Great Kindness Challenge Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Equating kindness with money is a complete misconception.You don’t need to make a grand gesture to be kind to someone. You don’t have to pay their entire bill at a restaurant when you don’t have enough money. It doesn’t mean writing a large check to a charity, you can send only what you can afford. It can cost nothing but a conscious thought.   These days I try to be CONSCIOUS of my actions and interactions during the day. I try to think before I speak, I try to think before I think and no, that’s not a typo.

My intentions are good, they come from a good place inside me. However,  their impact may not always shine through. That’s a problem that I need to work on. I may be perfectly happy and walk down the street with a frown, thinking about money problems or something unsettling. The fact that I’m frowning gives off bad vibes to other people, so I am trying to change that before I start. I really have practiced grinning when I find my muscles tighten, it actually works and it does pull me out of whatever (foul) mood I am in. It’s contagious too. I try to say hello to everyone, not everyone answers back but that’s fine, some reply, some smile, some ignore, most people react in a wonderful way. It’s a small thing but it is a kind thing to do. There’s too little of that in this world.

The holidays are rough for me and for many others. Many people don’t know that or understand that, most people don’t talk about it. I’ve never been shy to talk about my emotions. I get in trouble for that sometimes but I’m too old to care. The only gift of getting older is  wisdom. If your heart is in the right place, if you are being kind and gracious that’s all that truly matters. You are not frozen in terror like you used to be when you were younger when you kept asking and re-asking yourself if you did the right thing. You do the very best you can with pure intentions and an open heart.

Examples of things to do with NO money involved:

Hold the door open for someone.

Let them get ahead of you in line at the grocery store.

Pay for your cup of coffee and tell the server you want to pay for the next person too.

Smile and say hello to the next 5 people you meet.

If you know a family is struggling, why not ask how you can help them? Or, just help them.

Free babysitting.

The list can go on and on, it’s just that in our busy lives we sometimes forget to think about others and that’s normal. So, today, why don’t you put two or three minutes aside and see how you can make the world a nicer place, a kinder place. It costs you nothing and you get back in return, everything. Let’s make kindness the new normal. Thanks!

Life, Celebrate It

Beauty

Beauty (Photo credit: TONY – M)

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness (Photo credit: mbgrigby)

I’ve been a little down lately and cranky and I feel just a bit lost. I’m trying to get my footing in a very fast-changing world and I don’t know where I will end up. I know a lot of people, my age, who have felt the same way, even worse. The world is a very scary place, sometimes a very sad place and I know that many people are feeling its effects. I feel them too. How could we not? We’re getting older, if we still have parents, they are getting older and our children are just about adults. The sandwich generation is taking its toll, we are looking back over our shoulders wondering where the last 40 years have gone?

Today I talked to a very close friend who shut me up in about 30 seconds when she told me her aunt was having much more significant problems with her child, they had discovered two masses in his body and were in the process of finding out what they were. Hopefully, they were nothing serious but the stress they were going through was paralyzing. It left me embarrassed with my petty annoyances. Sometimes you just have to look at life that way. Yes, whatever you go through is real for you, no one is going to get down on you for what you feel, but in this life we all need to keep thins in perspective. Keep YOUR problems in perspective.

In the meantime, stop focusing on yourself. Today, as I had planned, I filled out the form to be a volunteer at a Hospice, something I’ve always wanted to do. A few days ago I joined a gym for the summer to finally get myself in shape. (I’ve already lost 30 pounds now I just want to be fit) I won’t have to look away from my internist or down at the floor when she asks me the “how much do you exercise question?” I am trying to help myself, to keep my mind and body busy.

If I do more, I will get more in return. I remember my father teaching me that, long, long ago when I was looking for a summer job in college and hadn’t gotten very many call backs from companies after sending out some resumes: “The more you send out, the more you call, the more responses you will receive” he told me. That was then, when people were courteous and he was certainly right, now, nobody seems to care. I spent over 20 years in Human Resources, calling every person, acknowledging every inquiry, what they do now is horrific. They don’t do anything, even after an interview. Nobody seems to care. They don’t treat people like people. What have we become? In a country that needs good manners the most for the discouraged or unemployed, people treat others horribly. My husband went through this years ago for 2 and a half years…we know.

If you need any helpful hints or have any questions before an interview, feel free to write me.

If there is nothing sparkling new in your life now or nothing to look forward to be thankful and appreciate what you have and don’t think about what you lack. Do some good in the world, some random act of kindness. Volunteer, offer someone who is elderly your arm to cross the street or carry their groceries. Hold the door for people, it costs no money and means so much. Celebrate what you do have and don’t cry over what you don’t. It’s really as simple as that.

Celebrate your life with wonder, grace and gratitude and even if you don’t feel like it, smile. Yes, smile. Sometimes if you “pretend”smile, it can help you as well as others. A very special teacher I had, long ago, called it “The Confidence Game.” It’s worth trying. You have nothing to lose.

I wish you peace, I wish you luck, I wish you hope.

Haiku Heights – Fortitude

FREE MYANMAR 2012 - I give you my smile - Ich ...

FREE MYANMAR 2012 – I give you my smile – Ich zaubere Dir ein Lächeln (Photo credit: alles-schlumpf)

How I feel, appear

strong, confident, sparkling-gold

Inside I crouch, wilt.

***

A lonely corner

a pink crumpled little girl

Will not show her tears.

***

Inside, she is steel

Stubborn, rigid, eyes black- gold

Blonde, sweet, smiling curls.

Haiku Heights – Conscious

07_08_07 097_moons+stars

07_08_07 097_moons+stars (Photo credit: al_green)

Buying cards, sharp pain

a gasp, I am slumped over.

I forgot he died.

*****

I dip my green eyes

lower to a slice of youth

Smile to escape here.

*****

Let me sleep, I beg

Hide me, deep in my clothing

Until it’s my Time.

*****

Mellow Yellow Monday – My Home

Yellow Flowers

German Shepherd
German Shepherd (Photo credit: Rennett Stowe)

Yellow flowers

Yellow door
Yellow door (Photo credit: LondonAnnie)

Finally, I live in a small white house that has a yellow door. Imagine just locking and unlocking my door every day, several times a day, makes my smile light up like a jack o’ lantern. I don’t like too flashy or bright colors but rather, warm and welcoming. Framing the house, and in the small garden, are yellow flowers, all different kinds, but easy to take care of and maintain. In the warm weather, I sit in my garden and slowly  sip my hot tea, with cream and sugar, and I take a few moments appreciating this lovely bit of a place. My big, rescue dog, named Shep, lies beside me and I stroke his fur and he puts his head on my lap. I marvel at how wonderful my older life has become, feeling the sunshine on my face and how much I appreciate my simple life here, at home.

Haiku Heights: FLAW

Scared

Exposing My Self

Inner Feelings Blasting Forth

Now I Want To Hide.

*

People Are Different

Emotionally Damaged

Let It Rest In Peace

*

Fear, Lonely Boy Weeps

Tries To Hide Behind His Wall

Let Us Smile For You

http://haiku-heights.blogspot.com/

It’s Time To Skip, Again

My 2 children spontaneously hold hands and joy...

Fear: I know your name and how you make me feel. My fingers are deep in the inner pocket of my blue fleece jacket rubbing my thumb and forefinger over the soft texture again and again. It is part of my life and everyone’s life at some point. It takes a long time to get over it but eventually you have to and you do. It is like a lazy turtle hiding in its thick green shell and only slowly, with caution, it sticks it’s leery head out and barely looks left and right. It retreats, yes, we all do but we do come out again. Maybe it’s a little easier the next time.

Life is like that, everyone can be terrified at some point and it took me years to accept that it wasn’t just me. I am still cautious, I still get those annoying, tight anxiety strings that pull and tug until they think they can wear me down. I try to push back but sometimes I fail and that is alright. There are solutions because we cannot handle everything ourselves. We need other people or we need medicine or we need to write down our fears or do a collage to rid ourselves of the scary lion, in our minds, attacking its innocent prey. Sometimes, we need to force ourselves to jump or to take a baby step or to skip like when we were innocent children. Remember the feeling of skipping down the street with your best friend? Pure joy and innocence and no fear whatsoever. Maybe we can still be that person once in a while.

It is alright to make mistakes and to make them all over again. Some lessons are hard to learn but not impossible. I know that I feel that too. Some people hide it better than others, some quake, some sweat, some can’t speak for a moment but eventually you find your OWN path. Don’t think it’s just you because it isn’t. I promise. Think of someone who you think has absolutely no fear and then think again. Everyone feels frightened some time in their life. There are some of us that wear our hearts on our sleeves, like me. You can notice my feelings on my face ten feet away, at least some people can; others, don’t notice a thing.

Sometimes I have to play a game. You can play it too. Plaster a great big fake smile on your face and pretend you are absolutely confident. Once my college teacher called it “the confidence game” and I needed it as much as anyone else. It takes time to master it but give it a chance. You might be happily surprised.

“What if I fail?” asks the nervous me. “What if I made a really big mistake?”  I wept to one of my son’s teachers when he was in first grade, “Stand in line, she said “do you think you’re the first one to make a mistake?”  To me it seemed colossal and I did fret with worry but it made me think. My son is now eighteen and I still think of her words, I can picture the teacher’s red hair and the tears on my face streaming down like a small but steady waterfall. When I finally stopped weeping and gave her a hug, I left feeling a tiny bit better. As years went by I always remembered that and now I give other people the same advice I was given. It is okay to make mistakes, everyone does.

If I had any failures in my life most of them were because I was “scared to try.”  I look back at my life and think it might have been really healthy to have been fired once or twice, or scolded and reprimanded instead of TRYING to be the perfect me. My one badge of pride is that I did not pass on my own fears to my children. For this, and this alone, I have succeeded in a spectacular way. I have also forgiven myself for the mistakes I have made, because the decisions I made at the time seemed right. Now, knowing more and being older if I try really hard, I can make different choices. Not always, but sometimes and that’s perfectly good enough.