Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Today is New Year’s Eve - Time to say goodbye to 2014! As I look back on the year, there were many blessings and lessons learned. I met up with two grammar school classmates whose friendships I now count among my many blessings. Our connection is familiar and I would not be surprised at all if we have traveled lifetimes together. They are my earth angels! I also cherish the lifelong friendships I have maintained over the years and am glad those friends are in my life still. Thankful for my daughter and husband as this journey would not be nearly as exciting or fulfilling without them. This year, I sadly have seen my dad spiral downward struggling with mental illness, addiction, coupled with grief from my mother’s death two years ago and short term memory loss. It is so frustrating to watch someone you love fight this never-ending battle that lives within them. Stressful, stressful, stressful…and no matter what you do it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I pray for peace of mind and heart for him, for those he is in contact with and for my sister and our families. It is not an easy road to travel. I often wonder why this is his journey and ours. I can only think that it is what it is and he is here to teach us patience, tolerance and understanding. To love him despite his issues while maintaining a healthy distance and setting boundaries is a daily struggle. I learned a lot about myself this year as well. I am allowing myself to break from old traditions and what I thought I enjoyed and instead permitting myself to experiencing new things. I used to love to read, and while I would probably still enjoy a good story, I am choosing instead to live my own story and to be present in my life instead of reading about someone else’s. After Thanksgiving, I also made a life change choice to give up eating meat and animal fat and concentrate on a plant-based diet. I am currently working on removing dairy products and sugar. I did not realize that by eating meat and processed foods that I thought were healthy that I was causing myself to have major health issues and inflammation. It has only been a little over a month and I feel so much healthier and have lost weight and inches which has been a struggle in my adult years. I plan to continue to educate myself about the food I put in my body and cannot wait to see the results at this time next year! My resolutions for 2015 are fairly simple. I plan to laugh, smile, love and live more! Happy New Year to all! Love, Teresa

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I turned around and it was November!

Oh dear, October was so busy at work and with my birthday celebrations that lasted all month (fun!)...I literally turned around and it was November. I am sorry for not posting anything lately and with the upcoming holidays I will now be taking my annual holiday leave from my blog until the New Year. Happy Holidays and blessings to all! See you in 2015!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Learning to Cope

I sometimes hear parents say “I just want you to be happy” to their children. I hear other parents say that a good spanking will teach respect. Let me begin by saying I do not agree with either of these beliefs. Trying to make your children happy all the time, will give you an adult child who is frustrated because their life is complicated and they do not know how to deal with it. Spanking in my opinion, only teaches children that it is okay for a grown up to harm them. It does not teach respect, it teaches fear. It all begins when they are young. They cry and we want to stop their sadness. They throw a tantrum in the grocery store and we immediately remove them from the situation. Whether they get hurt or they do the hurting, they are learning. Children are learning and look to us for guidance. We need to teach them to cope. You cannot be happy all of the time, and you set your child up to fail by the desire to make it all better for them all of the time. We all experience joy, happiness and love. But we also experience sadness, disappointment, anger and grief. Without acknowledging these feelings as being just as important as happiness, we give our children a great disadvantage in life. We have given them the expectation that everything will work out and run smoothly throughout their whole lifetime, but haven’t given them the tools to make it work out. Only by teaching them to cope with every emotion, can we honestly say we have done a good job in giving them the foundation they need to get through life. By promoting only happiness, we have set them up to fail. I, like everyone else, fell into that habit in the beginning of my parenting, but having a child that had her own different needs taught me the lessons I need to learn about life not always being pleasant and happy. Emotion is energy in motion, and we have to equip our children with the tools they need to understand and deal with every one of them. Life is messy, but it is also a beautiful, intricate, sometimes exhausting but also exhilarating experience. And when you learn to navigate it rather than always trying to be “happy”, it is a more fulfilling experience.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The love of a pet

There is something about me that not many people know. I love to write poetry. My first published poem was right after I had given birth to my daughter and the poem was about her. There is something so deep and meaningful when a poem is written. It is like a piece of your soul. Life has become very busy and it has literally been a year since I have written a poem. As with life itself, I don’t necessarily follow the “rules”. My poetry comes from my inner self and sporadically I feel the need to write a poem. When that happens, I write it verbatim as it comes into my thoughts. I never change it or correct it. It is the rawest form of expression and I leave it as such. Today I was prompted to write this poem and I hope that you like it:

The love of a pet

(Dedicated to those who have loved and lost a pet)

The love of a pet is like no other we will ever know

Unconditional their love flows freely to us each day

And all they ever ask of us is to be loved in return

To be cuddled and cared for in each and every way

They wake us with kitty cat paws and doggy wet kisses

And greet us with unbridled joy at the end of the day

They are family, friend and companion all in one

They teach us to trust and they teach us to play

Sadly, pets only stay a short while here on Earth

They are waiting in heaven for us to join them one day

And what a day that will be when we see them again

Greeted by furry hugs and kisses where together we will stay

All of God’s creatures are special and unique for sure

But the love of a pet will remain with you and never go away

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Onward we go

We all have days that sometimes seem like they last for weeks, months, years, who knows (insert Eeeyore’s voice). We are on this planet swirling around in space and it is constantly changing, yet sometimes we feel stuck. If we live in the past, we stay on the path of regrets with should-a, could-a, would-a thoughts. If we worry too much about the future, we live in constant “well what if…then” thoughts. It has taken me most of my life to realize we only really have today and sometimes really only this very moment. Being the first to admit, life to me was the equivalent of someone learning how to become a flying trapeze artist. The fear of leaving the platform (past) coupled with the fear of crashing to the ground (future) is scarier than actually letting go and living in the moment (now). When you live in the moment, it frees your soul and allows you to truly feel alive. We all have speed bumps, walls we have to climb and people and places we need to leave behind in order to get to where we need to be. But that is what life is all about. It’s not about standing still. Life is about learning and growing. Leave the past behind and take that first step forward. You will be glad that you did!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Why fit in when you can stand out!

Eclectic by definition is selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles. The word “eclectic” may as well be my middle name…but I will stick with “Celina” as that sounds prettier. From my taste in music, art, fashion, cooking, politics and dare I say it…even spirituality, I am not someone that fits the so called cookie cutter genre of anything.

If you look at my playlist right now, you would see Classic Rock, Country, Broadway Show Tunes, Classical, New Age and Christian music! I don’t like all of these types of music all of the time, but sometimes I like to listen to any one of these. Just not Heavy Metal, Reggae or Jazz…that is like nails on a chalkboard to me! Ugh!

Art, well yes my desire to create goes all over the map too. You definitely won’t find me sitting only knitting or crocheting (but kudo’s to those that can or that enjoy the feel of wool- I am itching just thinking about it!) But I love to use mixed medias implementing different methods and styles together to create something beautiful!

Fashion, let's just say the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue still applies!

My cooking goes without saying. My family loves my creations, but when they ask for the recipe they know that I will say there isn’t one. I have learned enough about the skill of cooking to create things using a little of this and a little of that, a pinch here, a dash there…yeah that’s is how I roll and I haven’t heard a complaint yet!

Politics is a touchy subject…you can mention super private stuff on social media and nobody blinks, but egads dare you speak on a political subject and you will suffer the wrath of those who disagree with your outlook. I don’t like political labels, but I will say that I am more liberal than I could ever be conservative. But I do believe that as with most things, there are layers to the problems and to the solutions of this world, and maybe if we didn’t think in an “either or” manner, we could actually change the world for good.

Spirituality is another subject you aren’t really allowed to talk about or have an opinion about. However, growing up Catholic and my life experiences have shown me that I do not believe in organized religion or anything run as a corporation or a business. I enjoy learning and letting life’s moments allow me to grow spiritually. For me it means believing in God, developing an ongoing personal connection with that higher power and having faith that everything I do is for my own higher good.

So while some may argue that it is because I can’t make a decision about things. I prefer to look at my thought process as being “open-minded” and enjoying the whole experience. Imagine going on a hike and only staying on one trail. You are not having the same experience as if you revisit that hill or mountain and go in a different direction, see and feel other things, maybe even climb to the top and get an entirely different prospective all together. Call it “eclectic”, call it thinking without walls or boundaries but that is me. Life is a journey and whether you go in one direction or twenty, you arrive at the same destination…I prefer to take the scenic route!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fifty will be nifty...that is my story and I am sticking to it!

My husband “lovingly” reminded me that I am almost 50…um NO…I am 47 you jerk...I mean honey...LOL

But, it did get me thinking about setting some goals for myself that will be met in the next few years. Being the OCD freak that I am I have categorized them into three categories: Body, Mind and Soul

• I will continue to cook and eat healthier • I will grow my hair long • I will lose fifty pounds…more is fine…but fifty would be lovely • I will stress less • I will walk more than I sit

• I will creatively write, paint, craft and scrapbook more often • I will create my art studio • I will do more and think less • I will use my digital camera and complete the projects that have only been in my mind

• I will learn Reiki • I will meditate more frequently • I will practice yoga more frequently • I will visit the sea more often

I have confidence that I will meet all of these goals and looking forward to turning “50” in a few years and being in the best shape, body, mind and soul that I have been in my whole life. Then it will be time to create new goals for the next fifty years!

Be Happy!

Monday, June 9, 2014

You've got a friend...or do you?

What do you do when you have a one-sided friendship? Is it only one-sided because you have too many expectations that you never voiced? Are your expectations the real cause of your stress and anxiety? Should you really have to express your needs to a genuine friend or should there just be certain things a good friend should just know? Should you have no expectations at all, therefore never get disappointed? When a friendship is so incredibly difficult is it worth having? I think about these questions far too often… I think expectations are good, and of course can be changed as life changes our needs and perceptions. Granted, there is no really cookie cutter expectation, but I do believe there are some that should just occur between really good friends. For instance, you should stay in touch so that when one of you is going through really bad times, your friend can and should be right there offering emotional support. If there is a death, that friend should not only be supportive but also show up on your doorstep. You should be considered in the good times and remembered on your birthday. You should want to spend time with each other and actually make it happen without excuses. Life’s moments should be shared with friends. When none of these things occur, I begin to question the “friendship” and that is when I say okay with “so-and-so” I cannot expect this or that. Perhaps with her/him I can only go to a movie or grab a quick bite to eat out now and then. Those are what I consider friendships in small doses because it seems like that is all they can give. I think my problem is that for so long, I had placed the same simple expectations on all my friends, but only a few actually met them. Over the years, I have learned to categorize my friendships. I realized that while they were all beneficial to my growth as a person, they are as different as the people themselves. Relationships with people are not easy, if they were I am pretty sure there would be peace in the world. Of course, there are also people who have social challenges. They need to have it all laid out for them about what the expectations are in the friendship on a continuing basis. Life has taught me that your heart has room for all the friendships you develop in your life. If you are “both” willing to work at it the friendships can grow and become what will benefit both participants. If, however, you realize the friendship is one sided and/or toxic, you need to express your needs, create emotional boundaries or walk away.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Measure your life in love

I saw a Mother’s Day quiz on Facebook that asked you to describe your mother in one word. That would be easy for me. I would describe my mother as “LOVE”. A year ago, my mother was struggling to survive during her last week of her life. The experience of the last four months of her life and her eventual death was the most traumatic of my life. It was full of every emotion a person can endure and yet it was also full of many blessings and lessons. The most important lesson was that while we are here on earth we should love one another, when we pass from this life our soul lives on and our love remains. The song “Seasons of Love” from Rent comes to mind and I wanted to share the lyrics in today’s blog post:

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets

In midnights, in cups of coffee

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?

How about love?

How about love?

Measure in love

Seasons of love(love)

Seasons of love(love)

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty five thousand journeys to plan

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned

Or in times that he cried

In bridges he burned or the way that she died

It's time now, to sing out

Though the story never ends

Let's celebrate

Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love

(Oh, you got to, you got to remember the love)

Remember the love

(You know that love is a gift from up above)

Remember the love

(Share love, give love, spread love)

Measure in love

(Measure, measure your life in love)

Seasons of love

Seasons of love

(Measure your life, measure your life in love)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lenten Sabbatical

I am taking a Lenten sabbatical from Facebook and my blog. My daughter will be home for Spring Break soon and besides spending time with her, I am taking time for me. I have plans of reading, crafting and playing with my brand new camera. See you all again in April!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Believe in yourself!

As we all know, most of what we believe in exists only in our heads. Most times we create the drama that we wish to avoid. We let fear overcome us and mixed with anxiety creates a recipe for disaster. When people exercise their body, they do it first for health, but also for flexibility and longevity. Yet while working on the body, they tend to forget to also work on the mindset. We hold onto the thinking that was passed onto us by our parents and grandparents or by experiences we had when we were children. While there are wonderful memories mixed in all that, we tend to emphasize on what was negative. Those are the thought processes that we need to re-write as we get older. What if we all took the negative and proved the haters wrong? Unfortunately, most times it is what holds us back because we start to believe it. Take the child who was told they would amount to nothing. No matter how successful that now adult may become, they may still feel the sting of that comment their whole life and always feel like a failure. Or how about the child who was called fatty by a relative then grows up to have body image issues and even after diets and surgeries still calls herself “fatty”. We cannot erase what has been instilled in us, nor can we stop people from being nasty to us in our lives. We can, however, retrain our brain to stop believing those negative thoughts. It is not about becoming conceited, but more like believing in yourself when everyone else doesn’t. We were all put here on earth to learn and live to our potential. We can’t let others determine what our potential is because that is not living authentically. When we finally reach our moment of truth and realize our true worth, then we can believe in ourselves. Let the positive voice you listen to be your own and believe it!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kindness is a gift that has no boundaries

As Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” When my sweet mother passed away last May, we asked in her obituary that people perform a random act of kindness in her honor as she was the kindest person we ever knew. In today’s world when the headlines alone can make one shudder there is something we can do. It doesn’t have to be on a grandiose scale. It can be something small and simple. But an act of kindness, no matter what the size can have a tremendous impact and cause a ripple effect of kindness throughout the universe. I am a firm believer in the “Pay it Forward” mentality. I believe that what you do comes back to you tenfold…I would rather the tenfold be of kindness and good instead of the alternative. Days are long, but life is short. Be kind to someone every day and you will be the change that we all want to see in the world! Start today and start right now!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Under the Big Top of Facebook

Step right up! Come one…Come all to the media circus known as Facebook! I tend to have a love/hate relationship with social media. As with most things, there is the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel that the only good aspect of Facebook is that I have the ability to keep in touch with folks from all aspects of my life in one format. With family living all over the world, this is a wonderful thing. That being said, there are countless bad aspects of Facebook that come along with the positive. From the constant notifications, invites to play games and/or “like” pages and friend requests it becomes a full-time job just to manage your Facebook page. Then there is the presumption that your Facebook friends are real friends. Sorry, but if we only communicate on Facebook, you are an acquaintance that I know from my life. A real friend maintains a relationship outside of Facebook and when we need each other, we show up on each other’s doorstep. As far as the ugly side of Facebook, there are the people that use Facebook as a sounding board for arguments or as an emotional diary. You know the ones I mean. There is an angry post and then an argument ensues so by the 100th comment when everybody is posting their opinion on the situation, the person who originally posted it deletes the post. Mind you, like 200 people already saw it, but yes please delete the post. The audacity some people have in their posts or comments amazes me. They say things they would not dare say in public, but have no problem putting it on the internet. Let us not forget the “selfie” pics. Yes, I want to see your pics of you enjoying your life…but the pics of you in your car or in front of your bathroom mirror…not so much…ugh! There is always one person on your friend list that feels the need to “like” and comment on everything you post. Sigh! Lastly, there are those that are just voyeurs perusing the Facebook world. They send you a friend request and then they are never to be heard from at all. Facebook is truly a media circus. You can enjoy the show for the most part. However, there will always be clowns and freaks and if you follow elephants and monkeys, be careful where you step!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Art is more than a hobby to me

I heard an artist once say that her creations were how she processed what was happening in her life. I find this so incredibly true. Art has always been a part of my life and much more than a hobby. My art serves such a cathartic purpose in my life. It centers me. When I am stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, my art is like yoga for my brain. It challenges me, it allows me to express and it comforts me. I am not into repetitive art such as knitting or crocheting, although I can see where that type of repetitiveness can also be calming. For me it raises my anxiety levels to places I do not want them to be. I enjoy art with an edge or lack thereof. I enjoy art that allows a freedom of choice, not following the rules and seeing an end result that is better than you could have imagined. I love mixed media. The combination of different things combined to make a beautiful piece is so definitive of how I view my life. What would life be if I didn’t have the fantastic memories alongside the sort of icky ones. It is the combination of the perfect with the imperfect that makes it amazing. When I scrapbook, I don’t just journal about the good memories and the good photographs. I document all of it. I want to remember all of it. This is my story and I want my grandchildren to know who I am through my art. Poetry and creative writing are another form of art for me. It is something that literally pours out of me, figuratively speaking of course. I rarely edit and rewrite my writing because I feel that is not how life works. Life isn’t perfect. Moment to moment let it flow. And if it ends up on a canvas, a piece of paper, or a blog on the internet then so be it. Art colors every part of my existence and I cannot imagine my life without it!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hello January!

January, oh how I love January…well not for the below zero temperatures, but for what it represents to me which is “Organize Me month! The beginning of the year always means a fresh start. Surviving the rush of the holiday season, I like to start the year by going through the house and organizing what we keep and what will go. Call it pre-spring cleaning. I am sometimes amazed at the things in my house that I come across, like why do we have five garden shovels when we hate to garden in the first place? Other times I wonder what happened since the last time I saw that item since it seems like years! Sometimes it feels as though I am on an archeological dig, finding either treasure or yucky stuff…lol. Either way, it gives me the opportunity to keep moving forward. My husband is of the mindset of “we might need that one day” and I am more like “de-clutter and only keep what we need now”. Somewhere in the middle of both of our thought processes lies what remains in the house. I do feel less anxious when I know what I have, where it is located and if I need to get more. Also prepping ahead for the coming seasons, alleviates most of my stress and leaves me time to enjoy life. So as we prepare for tax season, the hopes of spring breezes replacing artic blasts and the thoughts of green landscapes instead of brown snow fill our minds. Hello January…glad you are here!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A gift to me, from me

As most of you know, I took some time during the holidays to be away from things that I was allowing to take too much of my time, my blog and Facebook. We all tend to get so caught up in the social media and documenting every step and feeling that we forget to just live our lives. I decided my gift to myself would be time, so I took that precious time and spent it with my husband and daughter but most importantly with myself. As every working mother knows all too well, we always seem to put ourselves at the bottom of the list. But the older I get, the more I realize that I am not good to those I love or the world if I don’t take time to take care of me. So, this is not a New Year’s resolution that will be forgotten about by the time February rolls around. I have decided that 2014 will be about taking care of me. Not to sound selfish, but more like making sure I am okay physically, emotionally and spiritually. In 2013, I lost the most important woman in my life-my dear sweet mother! In her final months, I soaked up every word she spoke and hold those words in my heart. One of the things she said was that health is the most important thing and she was concerned about all of us keeping healthy and losing weight. My top priority is not to lose weight in a fad diet or Master Cleanse…but to change my life choices that ultimately affect my health. In 2013, I lost a lot of people in my life, some by death and some by their choice and others because clearly I had to step away. I realized at the end of the year, that this had to happen so that I could continue on the path that God has in store for me. I am ready. Did I wait until after New Year’s Day to begin this new routine? No, I woke up on New Year’s Day ready to begin this brand new year with the mindset that this year is the year to improve my health and overall well being. I will make time to meditate, exercise, pray and live! I will pay attention to the details as I always have, but this time I will just smile and be thankful for this journey and the people and things that I meet along the way. I am reminded of a Christmas video we have of my mother at Christmastime opening a gift that had a tag on it that said “To: Ma From: Ma”! It made us laugh then, but I can see the relativity in it now. Sometimes, you are the person who knows yourself the best. I have been given a gift of 365 brand new days. I plan to use each one to its fullest and when I look back on 2014, I plan to smile and say to myself…”You did it girl…you took 2014 by the horns and you changed your life for the better!” What will you do with your gift?