Holy Sheet

Mom, OK if you were still here this would be one of the moments that I call you and ask how did you do it?  How did you manage to fold sheets?  And have the top sheet and bottom sheet be the same size?  And all the sheets the same size?  How did you fold the bottom fitted sheet at all?

When you folded sheets, they looked amazing, almost like a work of art – and I am convinced the fitted bottom sheets you folded actually were.  Your sheets could be in a commercial they looked so pretty.

In addition to not being able to find what you used to make the laundry smell so wonderful, I cannot for the life of me figure out how you managed to fold the sheets and make them look so nice, and neat, and uniform and wonderful.  I have folded what seems like every sheet in the house and none of them are the same.  The tops and the bottoms are not the same at all.  Mine are wrinkled, ill sized, and look messy.

I have tried everything and every which way to get them to look like how they did when you folded them.  I have done over and under, long ways and short ways. I have laid them put of the floor and tried to fold with creases.  I have fought with them like Snoopy and the lawn chair…and the sheets won. And still, they look awful, like a four year old tried to fold them.  Kind of like when Dad tried to make the bed for the first tie…except I have been folding sheets for years.

I have said it before and will say it again.  You were magic.  Your sheet folding ability is just one example.  Love and miss you always.

 

 

Nice Guy or Good Man

“I may be a real bad boy, but baby I’m a real good man.” – Tim McGraw

If you are like most women, you want to date a nice guy.  Well I am sick of these “nice guys”.  I want a Good Man, and there is a huge difference, it has just taken quite a while to understand.  I have always said how much I want a nice guy to date, someone sweet and affectionate and honest and nice…well forget that.  Give me a good man over a nice guy any day, and I will tell you why.

The last man I dated was a “nice guy.” And he was horrible.  Nice guys are what I call the good-on-paper guys, meaning that if you look at their credentials on paper, they look perfect.  Good looking?  Check. Well educated? Check?  Good job/career? Check.  Nice family? Check.  No drugs? Check.  No prior felonies? Check.  The list could go on and on, but basically, once you get to know them you see that beyond the paper pedigree, they really aren’t nice at all.

They don’t care about how they treat people, who who they hurt, or even how or why they hurt them…as long as they get what they want and their image stays in tact.  That is exactly how my ex was.  “No one threatens my reputation!” he would text me after  I refused to stay quiet when I found out he was cheating on me with prostitutes and strippers.  No, he wasn’t concerned about the kind of person he actually was, just what kind of person people thought he was.  My answer to that is: If you don’t want to be embarrassed when people know what you do, then don’t do embarrassing things.  He should have thought about that before hand.

Now, if you met this guy, he would seem very nice and helpful, after all he is a career coach and project manager. He connects people, gives them advice, is Catholic and has a very nice large Catholic family.  He smiles, has manners and says all the right things, everyone likes him and his reputation was pristine…BUT, he is not a good man.

A GOOD MAN, is less worried about his reputation and more worried about his integrity.  This is because any person with good morals, character and integrity will stand up for what’s right and thus will inevitably make a few enemies.  A good man is more worried about his conscience than other people’s perception of him.  I would much rather have a man with enemies but who does what is right, than a good looking, Rico Suave who everyone loves, but who is secretly a jerk.

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill

A good man will treat a woman like a lady, no matter how she acts, because he has class.  A good man will not lie to spare someone’s feelings, or just to get what they want from someone. A good man will tell the truth, even when it is difficult, even when there is a chance he won’t get anything he wants.  Because a good man values honesty over opportunity.

A good man is strong enough to shoulder his woman and her troubles.  He would never leave her in the middle of a difficult situation.  A good man has compassion and empathy, because he understands humanity.  A good man will protect a woman, not be whom she needs protecting from.

A good man doesn’t care what others think, as long as he knows he has done the right thing, by God and his own conscience.  A good man will do what is right, not what is easy. It is much easier to make excuses and blame others, but a good man will admit when he is wrong and apologize when needed. A good man has backbone and the courage of his convictions, because he actually has convictions.

A good man is also strong enough to know when he needs help, or when it is time for improvement and self reflection. My last ex , a nice guy, refused any counseling, even after a difficult divorce, a death of a loved one and the demise of our relationship.

A “Nice guy” might say all the right things and be charming a sweep you off your feet, but his actions will not match his words.  A nice guy will always have motives or keep score with the what he does, and expect quick turn around on payback, with interest. A good man’s actions will always match his words because he understands that is how you earn trust. He will not require payback and will not keep score.  Getting something back in return is simply a bonus.

A good man is slow and steady, knowing that anything worthwhile is worth working hard for, whether it’s a job, a career or a woman.  A good man doesn’t blame others or make excuses, is he not entitled.  He simply is.

So give me a good man, I am through with the nice guys.  I don’t care what a man looks like on paper, because paper is two denominational, and real life has more layers and angles than can be measured.  Give me a man who has the depth and breadth to handle life beyond the paper machete cut out of himself. I want that man.

Sitcom Moment #694: The Dinner Party

It was the first dinner party in the house.  I have lived there maybe 10 months, but have been so busy with family and other duties that there has not been much opportunity for fun things like dinner parties, or parties or lots of company. Well, that has changed.  I have always enjoyed having friends over, and now that my plate is clear, it is time to start that back up.

And some people enjoy having company more than being company.  I enjoy seeing my friends, but if I can have them over to my house, even better. As long as they are not allergic to cats, we will have a great time.

So dinner was made, pot roast with all the fixings- I am a very Southern cook and enjoy southern food.  And friends were coming over.  There was talking, laughing, stories told, some business and wine.  As any good dinner party goes, most conversation ends up in the kitchen, or around the dinner table. Indeed, after much of the meal was done, friends still lingered in the kitchen area.  The comfy couch and living room was only briefly enjoyed before the food was ready.  And also the magnificent deck.

We all have the need to make were we live, our house, a home.  And the only way to do that, as far as I am concerned, is to have a place filled with love, with laughter, friends and family.  And since I moved into that beautiful house, that is exactly what I wanted. And now that is exactly what I have.

And when it was all said and done, everyone was full and lighter hated.  There were hugs and goodbyes and then dishes.  And then, after everyone had left, after the table cleared off and the counters wiped off, I looked down. And there I was, still standing in my pajamas.  Yes, I had completely forgotten to change clothes and hosted the entire dinner party…in my pajamas.

Thankfully my guest were too graceful or shocked to mention it.  Or perhaps thought they were lounging clothes and I was trying to be chic. Or maybe they just thought I was a bit of a ditz and forgot to change clothes.  Either way, everyone had a good time. Proof, once again, that my life is a sitcom.

I can hear you laughing…

Something Just Like This

Vulnerability is defined as: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.  In the past this has been hard for me.  But one of the things that has come out of the last year is an appreciation of and a desire to be vulnerable as well.

We all have those lessons we learn in life, maybe with age, maybe after an experience.  I learned about vulnerability after my Mom died.  I had no choice but to be vulnerable, I had no choice but to fall apart a little. I say a little because there wasn’t much time to fall apart.  But when I did, I had no choice, there was something finally bigger than my self control.  And I simply could not keep a stiff upper lip and keep with my rule of not crying in front of people.

I cried on the shoulder’s of my friends, of the counselors and of my then boyfriend. And I realized the value of letting other’s on, the value of having that shoulder, and the value of connecting like that.  It is comfort, it is human to need that kind of comfort when dealing with overwhelming pain.

And then my father died, and my world literally fell apart. I feel apart, consumed with profound grief, finally dealing with the death of both parents.  And Again I cried on my friend’s shoulder’s, counselors and tried to cry on my then boyfriend…but he refused to give that comfort. And in an instant I was once again reminded how important comfort is during times of trauma and grief.  When it was taken away and refused, it was needed more than ever.

To let your guard down and let someone see your pain, your confusion, your fear, your depression, your sadness, your guilt, that is a gift.  And the gift in return is understanding and compassion. Compassion and empathy is what makes humanity work. Without those there is no humanity, and without humanity we die.  Maybe  not literally, but a part of our heart and soul dies.

But it all starts with someone letting their guard down, trusting enough to be vulnerable and be willing to be hurt by another’s actions, or lack there of.  And I want that.   If I am going to have a life full of love, a life where love is so present that it is palpable, then I must lead by example.  And in that vulnerability, I will find those who will truly cherish the gift, and protect it., value it for the sacred that it is.

I don’t much believe in the romantic love anymore, but something deeper instead. Something based in deep friendship, respect and deep admiration and knowing.  When it goes that deep it comes naturally, the recognition of the gift, the protection of the sacred. There are too many lies that can be told with romanitic love, too manu that are disingenuous, and I am far too gullible. But time brings loyalty. Respect brings sacred, and those bonds are forever.

I want something just like this.

The Thriving

Merriam-Webster defines the word Thrive as: 1. to grow vigorously, flourish; 2. to gain in wealth or possessions 3. to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

I cannot think of a better word to describe my life right now.  Because right now – I thrive. Through the muck and the mess and the pain and the heartache and tears and battles and ….the everything this past year has been.  I am thriving in every aspect of my life.

And sometimes that is the was life happens. Many times it is cyclical – we go through a bad time, only to be rewarded with more happiness and love than we can imagine – but only if we learned our lessons from the hard times and do not repeat the same mistakes. These times of good remind us that we truly need to hold on and have faith in the rough times, because they won;t last, even when they seem to go on forever.  We have to always have hope that somewhere the sun is shining. and it is only a matter of time before those rays of sunshine and joy come across our face.

Spiritually, which is one of the most important to me, I am doing well.  I am incredible grateful for the opportunities which God has given to me. Every day I meditate, pray and have conversations with God.  And every day my faith grows.

My personal life is going well, as there is love all around.  Nothing like dating a horrible man who uses prostitutes ad strippers to teach you what you are worth.  And after going through that whole mess, I have learned what red flags to watch out for and I know when to make my exit. And now that all that of that drama is gone, there is room for the truly wonderful.  I am having much fun exploring the possibilities

Friendships are going well and are strengthening. I beyond blessed with the best, most loyal, hardest working, deepest unconditional loving people in my life. And they are flourishing too.  The thing is about friends is that you help each other  When one is donw, the others who are up lend support and a helping hand.  That is the way it works.  Loyalty is repaid with loyalty.

And my professional life is booming.  I have been given the an amazing opportunity with Turner – the only writer on a $30 million project.  It is overwhelming in every good way possible.  While I have done similar projects, I have never done one on this scale, with this much visibility, and this much importance.  It will be challenging and I will have some adjustments, but I can do it. The team is amazing, everyone is one point and it is one of the most fun places to work yet.  They know how to treat their people.

The only thing with which I still struggle?  That last 10 pounds.  But joining a new gym should fix that, as now there are no more excuses…the dreadmill, er, I mean treadmill is calling me. But before things were crazy, I loved running.  I loved the way it made my body feel and the challenge of a good run.  The runnere’s high is that and makes me happy. Not too mention it is a great stress reliever and I could use more muscle tone everywhere.

But this wonderful place I am in now, thriving, has not been without cost.  I spent so many days and nights working my tail off and taking care of both my parents.  Went through a horrible toxic relationship and break up and more tears and heartache than I thought one person could endure.  Bat all bad tings must coe to an end.

So when you get discouraged that life will never improve, know that it is only temporary.  The bad will not last.  It will not be like this in 6 months, one year, two years, 10 years from now.  Get rid of toxic people, cut the drama out, have faith, pray, meditate and work your bum off. There is hope.

And when you get to the other side of the struggle, you too will THRIVE.

To Love and Honor

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

We all have those books that we read that completely change our lives.  There have been two for me that blew my mind and perspective. The first one I read when I was 19 and it was a gift given to me by a dear friend.  It was The Prophet, and not only changed the way I thought, but it changed my view on life.

The second book was the Alchemist.  The theme of that book is a man wo is searching, and finds that by simply being the best he can be personally, and by staying humble and curious, he ends up attaining his goal, even when he did not think he could do it.  By following his heart and doing what he knew to be right by his conscience, he actually ended up surpassing his goals.

These two books sum up my theory of life, that you should simply be the best you can be, love with all your heart until there is nothing left and trust in God.  I decided at 19 that I would live a life where I felt everything I could, which meant, as in the Prophet, crying all my tears and laughing all my laughter. Basically, not running from life because it is painful or uncomfortable.  You love, and you take your lumps.

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

But if in your fear you would seek only
love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you
shall laugh, but not all of your laughter,
and weep, but not all of your tears.

I do feel that that is truly the only way to honor God and the life he wants for us.  Only by living every moment to the fullest, only by taking risks and feeling everything you can, can you truly experience life the way God intended.

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

In my last relationship, I truly loved him with all of my heart.  Did he end up being worthy of that love? No, but that is on him, not on me.  I can say that I did the best I could, loved as much and as truly as I could and honored what was in my heart.  And the same with taking care of my parents.  I loved them and took care of them until there was nothing left.  And I sleep well at night knowing I honored them. And by honoring them, I honored God.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” ― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

But living that way, feeling everything you can and loving until there is nothing left, will wear you out. You get worn out and burned out and weary,  Sometimes you need breaks to heal and recover.  I think that it is in this way you become “real,” the kind of real that makes you deeper, finer, more beautiful of a human being.  Of course, you get scars too, but those who think those scares are ugly don’t understand, and probably never will. Because they only want to good and not the bad, they are not willing to go deeper.  And that is OK, they don’t have to.  But recognize them and move on.

‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” ― Margery Williams BiancoThe Velveteen Rabbit

In my pain, I have become real. I have truly loved and lost.  I have paid dearly for my mistakes, but I have laughed deeper than most too.  And now I feel my energy and love of life returning, after pausing to heal from the last years.  My creativity and focus are also flourishing.  In short – I am thriving.

Loving someone is never a mistake, neither is choosing to love.  I move and love forward with a clear conscience and an unburdened heart.  That is what happens when you love until there is nothing left; God rebuilds you, stronger and finer than ever.  Because that love that you give out, originates from Him.

To experience the miracles of love and loss, to know the dark as well as the brightest light, that, to me, is the highest way to honor others, to honor life, to honor yourself and to honor God.

Hi Mom

Hi Mom,
One of the things I miss are the phone calls…I would call you when I had a minute during the day. Today is one of the days I would call you, tell you about where I am working and what I am doing.

I would tell you about how they have big hammocks and couches outside, how I am right above the studios and that the people here are really nice. And that I sit close to an Emmy Award. I would tell you about the blue hair lady I saw in the elevator this morning (literally) and the other lady with white hair…with pink and purple polka dots.

And I would tell you that I am doing good.  That I am truly getting back to happy. And I would tell you how much I appreciate how much you and Daddy did for me, and how well you taught me how to handle the world. And how you and Dad are the best example of good human beings I have ever seen. And I would tell you that you are magic, and always have been

Thank you for being such a strict parent when I was younger and my best friend when I was older…And that even though I am glad that the profound grief is over, that I never want to stop missing you.  Because missing you is a testament to what a great parent you were, and how much love with which you served.  Missing you means honoring your memory and our close relationship.

Most of all Mom, I would tell you that I love and and miss you.  Tell Dad I love and miss him too. Thank you for everything.  Thank you for being magic.

I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.