Friday, August 30, 2013

Letting go

This has been a heavy year of letting go for me. My daughter was at her first year of living at college. My mother passed away which completely devastated me. I have had to step away from my dad who is battling his own demons along with the grief over losing my mother. A friend and co-worker of mine left to take another job. Another lifelong friend decides to move away and does not even tell me because goodbyes are too hard. Throughout all of this, I am reminded of the frailty of life and the importance to make each moment count. When people you have had around you for so long are no longer there, it can be quite shocking to the system. What do I do now? How do I fill this void in my life? Did I do enough, did I say enough, do they really know how much they meant to me? And most of all did I make a positive impact on their lives? I know they certainly impacted my life in a good way or it wouldn’t hurt so much that they are no longer in it. My heart holds them close, but I have to let them go. I have faith that someday we will all be together again in one way or another. And I can only hope that when they left my life, they took the love I have for them with them. Until we meet again... Keep Smiling! :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Change is good...right?

Some people fear change. Usually, I tend to embrace it. Recent changes have knocked me for a loop and completely off guard. It’s when change creates an upheaval in your life and emotions that you never experienced seem to surface that I find most difficult. I start asking myself the “who, what, where, when and why” questions. And to be honest it has consumed me to the point where my OCD kicks in and then I “think, think, think”, then I “feel, feel, feel” and “cry, cry, cry”. I am trying to find the lesson in it all. I know that when a little bit of time passes, I will know that all of these changes are for the best and my faith in the universe will be restored. All in all, change is necessary to turn us in the direction we need to follow. Taking some deep breathes and hoping for the best. Keep Smiling!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Friendship Puzzle

Life relationships are puzzling aren't they? Take friendships for instance. As life goes on and we form bonds with different people, we tend to move away from friends we had before. I think this is a necessary part of life as sometimes you become friends with someone due to circumstance. Maybe you met them in school, work or church. Maintaining these types of friendships becomes difficult when the dynamics of life change. Don’t get me wrong, I have a couple of friends who I don’t see for long periods of time and when we finally reconnect it is as though no time has passed. Those are the lifelong friends with who I will always feel a connection. Then there are those people in your lives who no matter how hard you try to maintain the connection, you find that it not only got bent, but it actually broke. It's frustrating like having puzzle pieces that do not fit. You kind of have to ask yourself if they are not willing to meet you half way, perhaps that friendship has met its expiration date. That has been a personal struggle for me…still visiting the well when the well has run dry. But happily, when you are no longer wasting your time and energy on these so-called friends, it opens up the opportunity to find authentic friends. Friendship should never ever be difficult. If I feel like the relationship is forced, it is so not longer worth my effort. Real friends accept you and lift you up, not drag you around. They are there to celebrate the highs and to comfort you in the lows. If you have found real friends in life, it is like finding the puzzle pieces that fit and allow you to see the whole picture. Keep Smiling! :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

But I just want to (fix) help you ....

Recently I had heard the words "everyone is exactly where they need to be". What?!? Say it ain't But after my thought process kicked in (with the help of coffee), I realized the truth in that statement. Where I have difficulty is when I see people struggling in their journey and my initial instinct is to help them. This may be OCD or it could be my kind, generous heart...not really sure. I am not about to say "do not help people", but there are more subtle ways to "help". Of course the first way is to pray for them. It's easy and it doesn't take much of your time. And you do not have to be a churchgoer to pray or to be spiritual. A similar way is to send love and energy and light by visualizing it traveling from you to them. If you are a visual learner such as myself this is the way to go. Of course, another way is to show by example. By living your own authentic self, others will see this and when they are ready will make the changes they need to make. As I mentioned before, my gut instinct is to help others with their struggles. If someone is starving, you want to feed them. If they are drowning, you want to save them. But unfortunately, if they are not yet ready to be helped then you are banging your head against a wall and draining your energy supply. Even though you yourself may be a great place in your mind and heart and you want those struggling to have the same experience, you can't always change what journey they are on to learn what they need to learn. We are all here on this Earth for a different experience and someone else's path is not the same as yours even though our destination is the same. Obstacles and struggles are there for a reason. They are life's speed bumps. By trying to help someone who doesn't want the help, you have now become the obstacle in the lesson they need to learn and they may even resent you for it. So basically, do not give up on your quest to help others in need, just change how you go about it. Letting go of what isn't working is the first step. Take a few steps back, re-group your thoughts and intentions. For every person who is skeptical or unwilling to step out of their suffering, there are ten others who will be open to the love and energy you send their way. We are all a work in progress. Keep Smiling! :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

One Community - August

One Community is a monthly photo project in which participants photograph their homes and community with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to both showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide – and bring us all closer together in understanding through art. This month’s themes are:

ICE CREAM: Nothing says summer like ice cream. Our favorite ice cream place is called “Swirls and Scoops” and we wait every year for the countdown to begin as they are only open from April until Labor Day! That is probably a good thing…lol…but it does make it a special treat for the summer!
BRIGHT: Just as the day was getting cloudier and cloudier and we thought rain would be coming…the sky opened up and there it was….the brightest thing I know…the sun!

NUMBERS: Isn’t it amazing to think that just a few numbers on a piece of paper could be as life changing as those on a winning Powerball ticket. I didn’t win with this ticket, but I hear the jackpot is now up to $400 million. My head cannot even wrap around that number. It is fun to think about though, What would you do if you won? I would build a farmhouse with a giant wrap-around porch surrounded by acres and acres of land and my husband and I would live the rest of our lives in peace and tranquility…sounds like a plan!

SPLASH: I love to go to my local Dunkin Donuts and get my beverage of choice which is iced coffee with extra cream and a “splash” of raspberry flavoring. Rasberry was my mom’s favorite flavor and when I am having a day when missing her is really hard, I combine my favorite drink with her favorite flavor it makes me smile!

One Community participants include:

Sarah is a life-long Missourian who shares her home with her husband, one (soon to be 2) son(s), and an old grumpy dachshund. Like every good Midwesterner, she can (and will) talk to you at length about the weather. Sarah blogs at

Colleen lives with her handsome hubster and two feisty felines in Portland, Oregon. She loves rain and sun (in that order), words and pictures, and chatting up the neighbors. She blogs at

Rebekah lives in Kilkenny, Ireland with her husband. An American by birth, she's discovering what it means to be an expat on the Emerald Isle. She blogs at Honeysuckle Life

Kara is a cheerful nerd living in downtown Phoenix, AZ with her law-studying husband and an anxious pound puppy. She works full time in the mental health field but in her off time enjoys sunshine, great food and the occasional craft beer. Wife and Mom to a houseful of boys in sunny San Diego; word geek and all-kinds-of writer; maker of things both creative and useful.

Sue is now blogging again at

Teresa lives in Massachusetts with her husband, college aged daughter and two crazy cats. She is a creative spirit who tries to find the lesson, blessing and humor in everything and she blogs at

Kelli lives in Arizona with her dog, Willie Nelson Mandela, and her boyfriend, Dutch. A native Arizonan, she is enamored by the lush landscape, and looking to build community. She is a novelist, public health advocate and United Methodist. She blogs at:

Stephanie is a lifelong Wyomingite with ranch girl roots. She has her own marketing and graphic design business and in her free time, she enjoys knitting, fishing with her boyfriend, and team roping. She blogs at

Eduarda Schroder is a curious, visual creature who believes all pictures tell a story. She hails from Mozambique, via Portugal and NJ, and now is desert rate living with her husband and two teenage daughters in Chandler, AZ