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Do you know the value of kindness? I’m not talking about those people who do things for others to make themselves feel better or those that require any kind of personal gain from their actions. I’m speaking of a wholesome kindness coming from a good heart and desire to help their fellow man—-making the world a kinder, better place. No accolades expected or needed.

Some people can live such harsh lives they may not be aware of how important this is in the world. Some may have never experienced true unconditional kindness. I’ve met just such people in my life. It’s sad, as their environment has turned them dark with narcissism. Personal gratification is their only goal.

It never ceases to amaze me the people that consider themselves to have a “kind heart” or who are “following in the way God wanted” yet everything they do is for their own personal ego. Every action to lead them to feel better about themselves. Yet when a person falls down—-they criticize and offer no assistance. When a person is impaired —-they judge. If a person has gone through hardships—-they think of themselves as better and offer no compassion. Does that make them truly kind —-or closet narcissists?

Please allow me to digress.

As an adult, I’ve been exposed to the harsh criticism of negative people. For whatever reason, these people tear me down in order to feel better about themselves. I started to believe the harsh criticism—-though it had no basis or truth. I withdrew from the people who brought out my sunshine.

Conversely, as a child, I grew up in a household with a strong Catholic influence. When I say strong —-I mean intense. It was not harsh or overbearing—-more closely related to a safety net. Church was a place to go for guidance, comfort or acceptance. Going to church was more of a requirement than something I enjoyed. Kind of like cleaning my room or doing the dishes.

In my family, my grandmother was a matriarch—-what she said—we did —-without argument. It’s a good thing she never asked us to step in front of a moving train, as I’m sure we would have done so happily without argument. We gave her all of the respect a matriarch deserves. As with most great matriarchs she was very in touch with her spirituality—-her sister (my great Aunt) a nun—-two of my aunts pledged to the convent as well. My mother was president of the Alter’s Society, which translated to the priest having dinner at our house on numerous occasions. I spent my grade school years in parochial school with nuns as teachers and my aunt as principal. We were at the convent often visiting with everyone there. We were a Catholic Mecca!

Before you think of the old school nuns that scared children half to death and traumatized with rulers across knuckles daily—-these were a different breed. The nuns that I was exposed to were smart —-happy—-enthusiastic —-spiritual yet not overbearing about it—-and calming. They could make the worst of days—-amazing. They taught me kindness—-integrity—-and to love completely without fear as a barrier.

One nun in particular was tall, slender and has a smile that intensifies a room with happiness —-her mere presence warms your soul from the inside out to a point it bursts a smile out of your heart. In addition to teaching academics, she also played the organ and piano. During school presentations, her entire face lit up while she accompanied our little voices. She would sway to and fro while she played. Her excitement beaming from her face with numerous expressions that to this day bring fond memories. One glance her way and we’d smile. A real smile—-from the core. She was—-sunshine.

Years and years have passed since those days. As adults, we get into the stresses of life. Work, children, relationships—-at times these experiences build animosity—-pessimism—-life breaks down into a rut. We forget our core and allow the world to break us down—-taint that child—- that smile beaming from the inside out. Our sunshine turns into dusk—-then darkness.

I was guilty of this. Through the years I let small things adjust my sunshine—-pessimistic people—-the loss of loved ones—-difficulty with family members—-it all shaded the sunshine.

Do you have a person in your life that is a rock? They are there no matter the mood you are in? To quote Marilyn Monroe, “If you can’t handle me at my worst—-you don’t deserve me at my best!” Wise words.

My family’s rock recently had her 50th Anniversary. After all of the many graduations—-weddings—-awards ceremonies—-for the first time all attention was on the rock. She is a nun—-Phd—-counselor—-confidant—-therapist—-exceptional listener—-advisor—-sibling—-and my aunt. Words can not describe the amazing person she is. Nor can they describe the love I have for her. She rarely places a demand, but when she does, everyone stops and listens.

As for me, I’m stubborn—-strong willed—-independent—-and moved over a thousand miles away from where I grew up. I hadn’t been home since 2006, when I made a promise to a friend to attend a class reunion. Since that time—-quite honestly—-I checked out.

Until now. Two months ago the “Rock” summoned my attendance to the 50th anniversary party to be held at the convent. It was turning into a family reunion. The rock wanted me there and that was that. Who argues with a rock? I was seriously thinking about arguing until family protocol kicked in.

I had no idea what to expect. Would there be arguments—-uncomfortable situations—-criticism—-I was planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

When I arrived at the convent, a calm melted over me. It was familiar—-soothing. One by one each of my aunts came to give me a hug. The soothing familiar hugs—- only those that love you from the soul out can give. Humans sometimes call it “unconditional love”. What is that? I define it as a love beyond yourself. A love with no expectations or demands. Animals know it well. It is a love that does not require accolades, attention or explanation. It just accepts you quietly and establishes your safety net. It gives you a raft when the flood waters of life are raging rapids.

We all went to lunch at the convent. It was like going through the line in grade school —-tray and all. As I was walking with my tray to join my family—-there she was. The happy—-smiling face from my childhood. That amazing smile still polished on her face—-her beam of light stronger than ever. My entire body filled instantly with a warm, soft, burst of sunshine—-breaking through with a smile. After all of these years, she had not changed a bit! For the first time in years—-I was “home”. I was the burst of sunshine I had always been—-the positive spirit —-the dreamer that believed I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right. Once again—-a hug reminded my core who I was —-and still am. The sunshine came out of hibernation and beamed stronger than ever. I merely needed a reminder it was there.

In life, tragedy can bring depression—-cold hearted people can bring disappointment with negativity. As humans we forget the sunshine within us. Smiles and hugs brought back my sunshine—- whose sunshine will yours bring back?

In life, we must deplete the shadow—-look into our souls—-find the sunshine! Always remember to hold your head high—-let your sunshine beam from the inside out—-and strut!

Have you ever had someone in your life that literally stops you in your tracks for a smile and a laugh? My friend’s husband is that very person for the both of us. He manages to take the most innocent of circumstances and turn them in to something hysterical!

Not long ago, my friend and I were out shopping. Upon returning to their house, we found her husband sitting in his chair putting lotion on his legs and feet. He had an uncomfortable fidget as he was rubbing his lower legs and feet—-holding the pump bottle in one hand and rubbing vigorously with the other. His face filled with a squint that clearly showed his discomfort.

“What’s the matter?” My friend asked her husband. “I have dry skin. I’ve been putting lotion on my legs over and over, except the itch is getting worse—-not better!” He continued to put lotion on his hand and rub it vigorously into his legs and feet.

My friend stared at her husband in shock, then began to laugh. “That bottle has shampoo in it!” She exclaimed in amusement. “I bought a large economy bottle of shampoo. Then I bought a small bottle to transfer it to so it didn’t take up as much room. That is the bottle I put it in!”

Her husband looked at her. The wheels of deduction spinning ferociously in his head. All of us stood in silence for several seconds, pondering what had just happened. Then hysterical laughter filled the room!

He stood up from his chair and walked into the bathroom to shower. “Be careful you don’t slip on the shower floor! Shampoo is slippery when wet!” We exclaimed in laughter! “Well at least my feet will be clean!” He yelled from behind the door.

Sometimes in life, we get so wrapped up in routine, we forget to verify what’s in the bottle. The result can lead to an undesirable result.

Always take time to enjoy life. Pay attention to the people that love and care for you. Above all—-communicate—-laugh—-and always pay attention to what’s in your bottle!

 

Are you your worst critic? It is a toss up in today’s world whether society or our own personal opinions are the worst critics. As for me, the idea of judging another person is out of my thought process. However, I constantly hear people giving their evaluations of others as if they have been given the power of evaluating others and to them their opinion matters. Those that judge the harshest, typically have the most faults to hide. It is no wonder there is such a problem with body image—-personal image—-and self esteem. How does one have any of those things in a society more critical than ever?

As a teenage girl, I was plump. If I were a boy I would have been called “husky”.  High school is where the perceptions of our bodies begin to develop in profound ways. In college, I found working out to be a fun source of entertainment and stress release. I slimmed down and met my first long term boyfriend. He used to tell me, “if you ever get fat I’m gone!” I spent most of my time stressing about every morsel entering my mouth so as to stay slim and keep him happy. Why? Looking back —-it was the person judging me based on aesthetic traits that had the problem—-not my weight. Why can’t people look at important qualities such as loyalty—-honesty—-integrity—-and moral turpitude?

I asked numerous beautiful women to give me one word to describe their bodies. Their answers were shocking. Gross—-fat—-jiggly—-disgusting—-were the more common descriptions given. Why? These women were some of the most incredible, loyal, good hearted people. Why do they not see themselves that way?

A few years ago, a guy I was dating and his family decided it would be funny to call me “big”. When I confronted him with the question of why, to make himself feel better he came up with a response of “well….you’re tall.” Since when are tall and big the same thing? So I asked numerous people to define in one word “big” for me—-just in case I was evaluating this wrong. The responses were—-large—-heavy—-plus —-not one response came back as “tall”. How did it affect me to be described to my face as “big”? I had difficulty eating. Even the healthiest of foods I looked at and worried about gaining weight. When looking in a mirror, I saw a “big” body that needed to lose weight. At that point in my life I was 16% body fat. Hardly what any medical professional would term as “big”. Words do more damage than any fist.

So why are people so cruel? Typically it is their own insecurities that cause them to critically judge others. I have known 3 anorexic women in my life. All three are the first to criticize others and yet they are offended when criticized. Why as a society do we allow insecure, miserable people to get in our minds and alter our opinions of ourselves?

Recently, a beautiful young lady made the cover of People magazine. She created a huge stir. Why? Not because she is beautiful—-which she most definitely is. Not because of her famous family—-as she isn’t part of anything famous. But because she is a size 22. In watching an interview with this delightful young woman, I noticed her very positive self image. How wonderfully refreshing it was to watch a young woman with a positive self image. Why can’t we all have the same positive image of ourself?

I was speaking with a friend recently. They are wonderful in so many ways. Yet the one constant in every conversation was how fat —-disgusting —-unable to lose weight—-my friend thought they are. Yet what I see is a beautiful person with a good heart—-who is not overweight. Yet their stimuli and morphed thought process of what “normal” is has created a poor body image. In fact, their thought of what their normal weight should be would make them too thin and unhealthy. How do you turn poor thinking into positive? Why does a number on a scale determine self worth? Some of the ugliest people I have ever met —-internally—-are the lowest numbers on a scale. They are miserable and toxic.

My challenge is to strike that thinking from your mind. See the beautiful person you are. Take pride in defining yourself in a positive way and become deeper than a puddle. Life is too short to dance with ugly people. Ugly is defined as self absorbed—-critical—-judgmental—-why be around anyone who does not see you for the beautiful person you are both inside and out. Eliminate these critical, toxic people from your world. If anyone in your world makes you feel insecure or critical of yourself—-they do not deserve to be a part of your world.

You are beautiful—-You are special —-and you deserve to be around people of the same caliber.

 

As a teenager, dating is simple. Everyone around you are single. The best part, everyone you meet has potential as no one is married. Dating as an adult is so much more complicated. Most people are married. Those wondering around single in their adult years wind up confused and dazed.

If you’ve watched any episode of Sex and the City, you know many of the challenges facing single adult women. How to act—-what to eat—-how to eat it—-what to wear—-what is the proper weight—-these are just a few of the many struggles. There is no comfort zone. Most nights, single women end up starving and baffled. If you are lucky, as the four women in the show are, you have other single women to assist in battling the maze of confusion.

In my case, I have several single friends, however we are scattered about the country, therefore, when crisis arises, we must battle via phone or FaceTime. This has proven to be effective, except in cases where laughter or hysteria overcomes and the phone is dropped, leaving the rest of us bewildered until the phone is picked up and conversation resumes.

One afternoon, I received a phone call from a friend of mine who had been dating her dream guy, Mr. Wonderful, for about 8 months. I answered my phone and immediately heard, “YOU HAVE TO HELP ME!”

Please allow me to digress to the beginning of her day. My friend and Mr. Wonderful had decided to go for a weekend getaway—-their first trip together. She arrived at his house on time. He had an emergency work call and had to run out, leaving her at the house until he returned. He was not going to be long. While waiting, she had the urge to—-well how do I put this gracefully—-number 2—-for those of you who aren’t familiar with numbers she had to make froggies—-if that doesn’t clarify then you’re on your own. Single women are never comfortable with any form of body odor around the opposite sex. Least of all the dreaded king of all smells! There was no option for her but to breach the comfort zone!

Luckily, Mr. Wonderful had 4 bathrooms. To avoid his arriving home and smelling anything in the master bedroom, she decided to utilize one of the guest bathrooms. The urge was becoming almost painful as she walked into the bathroom. Sitting on the throne she pondered why this was so unnerving. It is a normal human function. Pleased with herself she stood up and turned to flush. To her surprise, it did not flush. The lever was loose. What? How could the lever be loose? It would not flush! NO FLUSH! Panic rushed through her like a tsunami —-this is the point she called me.

The hysteria was evident in her voice. “YOU HAVE TO HELP ME!” As she unfolded the events in my ear. I chuckled. “This isn’t funny!” She chimed in panic. “I can’t leave it in there! He’ll SEE it! Oh my God—-he’ll smell it!” I could not hold the laughter in.

In between my chuckles I managed to speak. “Pour water into the bowl and maybe it will flush itself.” My suggestion was not welcomed. She had nothing to put water into—-with no idea of Mr. Wonderful’s return she had no time to look either. The dilemma grew in direct proportion with her hysteria.

“Does he have another bathroom close by that works? ” I asked. She ran to the closest bathroom and did a test flush—-success! To my amusement I suggested an emergency transport. As a joke. To which she immediately panicked—-dropped the phone—-and began her work. Hysteria does amazing things to sane people. Suddenly, the pounding of her running back and forth while screaming “almost finished” filled the phone. She washed her hands, retrieved the phone and breathlessly exclaimed, “saved”!

My laughter was uncontrollable at this point.  This Diva who can not have a dog as her stomach is too weak to pick up their land mines in a plastic bag —-is now running back and forth with her fecal matter in hand! It was Canine Karma taking it’s revenge!

With the hysteria behind her, she walked into the living room and sat down. Two seconds later—-while still on the phone with me—-in walks Mr. Wonderful.

Single life as an adult has many obstacles. Sometimes, we create our own obstacles. It is at the base of those self created obstacles we find our ability to release our aversions and plow through to the other side. Hysteria serves no purpose as it is impossible to be hysterical and think at the same time.

As women, we hold each other up and keep hysteria at bay. Sometimes we find a different path. Sometimes we have to struggle through the path. Either way we have each other to lean on to figure it out. If we are lucky—-there’s laughter on the opposite end.

 

Have you ever collected everything you need to obtain a registration for something only to find out when you get to the counter —-someting is missing?

Recently, while visiting a friend of mine who is blessed with living on the beach, it was determined she would begin her workout regimen. This included —-you guessed it—-walking on the beach. Before you question the intensity of this workout, or lack thereof, my friend considers a walk to the mailbox as strenuous activity. Infant steps on the workout program.

We spent days discussing how nice walking on the beach would be. Finally, she researched the documents needed to obtain the glorious beach permit —- Registration, driver’s license and insurance verification.  It seemed simple.  Armed with the required items, we drove to the county offices—-excitement filled the vehicle.

Our first stop—-the wrong office. It was however the DMV which gave quite the plethora of people to watch. If you’re ever feeling a bit down about yourself —- go there. We were instructed by the lady at the tax assessor’s desk to walk across the parking lot to the community center.

With excitement in our step—-we hurried over to the community center. We were burning daylight! Walking up to the counter, the woman asked for our documentation. Registration—-check! Insurance verification —-got it! Driver’s license—-no license—-where was the license? It had to be in there. My friend started to dig through her pocketbook like a dog looking for a missing bone!

This pocketbook is more like a dark hole collecting everything from gift cards to other pocketbooks! Have you noticed when you “dig” through a pocketbook one begins to pull large chunks of items out and place them on the counter in piles? This had commenced. Within seconds she had several piles—-gift cards—-credit cards—-coupons—-papers—-IPad—-IPhone—-spare iPhone just in case the first one goes down—-two empty pocketbooks in case she had to downsize for shopping —-and last but not least feminine hygiene products.  There must have been a special on Mary Poppins bags.  I was waiting for the kitchen sink to come up.  Each new pile brought laughter and explanations of what it included. Unfortunately, no license surfaced.

The clerk watched with amusement. After several shuffles and pile adjustments, the clerk decided she would just give us the sympathy permit. After all, who would go through this much trouble to obtain a permit fraudulently!

With a sigh of relief, we walked out of the community center with the beach permit in hand! Exercise can commence! We danced and laughed as we walked back to the vehicle.

In life, patience is a virtue. Kindness an asset. Having all of your documentation essential. Staying positive and laughing when things aren’t as organized as you thought—-very effective!

 

Have you ever noticed the stress of last minute shopping? People watching this time of year is better than at the airport! From the men that haven’t a clue what to get for the women in their lives—-to the screaming children demanding everything from the most wanted toys to their favorite holiday candy. Which always brings up the question in my mind, “why is everything delicious for the holidays so negatively impactful on the waistline? Most years, I swear that there are tiny elves invading my closet and stitching my clothes smaller —- as all get smaller after New Year’s! Why do we not have holiday healthy food everyone craves?

Today I had a stroke of ignorance and decided to tackle holiday shopping—-2 days before Christmas. Insanity was at peak. With the holiday shopping rush, I entered into the crazed crowds of last minute shoppers. Amazingly enough—- people survive this rush every year.

As for me—-I lasted about an hour before running, screaming to my vehicle. I left the parking lot with no hope of return. Of course my mind changed my driving map directly to the nail salon where I did what any sane woman would do—-headed for a stress reducing mani/pedi.

The pedicure was amazing! I stood up and headed to the next station for my manicure. As my back side hit the chair on wheels in front of the manicurist—-the chair began to roll backwards gaining speed with each second. My voice chirped, “Help!”, as my arms reached out for the small man behind the station. His eyes opened wide with amazement —- his arms reaching for me. Luckily, he locked on my arm before I rolled into the waiting area—-pulling me in to safety.

Why did I not use my feet you ask? I would have messed up my pedicure! Sometimes a girl must do what is necessary.

With the shopping experience over —- the rollaway manicure chair locked down—-and my digits shining brightly—-today ended with complete relaxation.

In life, it is necessary to know when to vacate a stressful environment—-when to reach out for help —- and when to relax and get pampered!

Christmas takes people to an entirely different place than the rest of the year. For some people the holiday season softens the heart. For others it brings out a sense of urgency to have everything decorated and wrapped. A select group become NFL fullbacks tackling elderly people for a discounted television or the toy of the year. Christmas also brings out the free spirited child buried inside.

A friend, her husband and myself had just finished dinner when her husband declared he needed to stop at Home Depot on the way back to their house. Home Depot—-the ultimate man cave experience. A place men should probably think twice before dragging women along. Most women know nothing about anything in a man cave store. We wonder around finding things to amuse ourselves, thereby embarrassing our male counterparts.

As we walked in, immediately we were greeted by Christmas decorations—-gift ideas—-toys—-this man cave store were taking aim at the one stop male shopper. My friend and I immediately focused in on a bin stuffed full of 5 foot tall stuffed bears. If small bears were great—-the enormous bears were incredible! We decided they would make wonderful body pillows.

Our attention spans were short, for as quickly as our focus drew on the bears, we lost focus and managed to scope out shelves of Christmas paraphernalia. Everything from a jack in the box popping up Micky Mouse to owls singing carols. The husband had already abandoned us—-he had concluded we were “embarrassing”.

As we rummaged through every item—-there they were—-the ultimate find! A Christmas helmet! What a find! Fully equipped with antlers…bells….lights….and a button. As I placed the unique hat on my friend’s head, I pushed the button. Suddenly—-without warning—-the hat began to chime “grandma got run over by a reindeer”! As it chimed the top of the hat swung back and forth in beat, complete with lights flashing! It was hilarious!

Hysterical laughter and dancing ensued. At which point each of us were wearing our own singing helmet—-dancing around and laughing. Other shoppers were laughing at our entertainment.

We searched the store and located the husband. If he wasn’t embarrassed before—-he was now. Of course we had to play the chime for him—-while wearing the helmets—-and laughing! “You guys are embarrassing!”, he said.

As adults, we forget to enjoy and laugh. It is times like Christmas, our inner child can jump out and create relaxing laughter that soothes the soul. It is true—-dance like nobody is watching!

Remember always to take the time to see the humor in life—-to enjoy what is in front of you—-dance with an open heart and never ever forget to laugh!

 

Dogs are known for being a human’s best friend. They are goofy when we need a laugh. Snugglers when we need a hug. Sometimes they are possessed by monsters causing them to do things like chew up shoes—-tear up papers—-or grab underwear out of the laundry, running through the house shaking them while you are having a dinner party with your co-workers.

My friend has a particularly interesting Boston Terrier. This little one we fear is possessed by a circus troup. There are times it is possible to hear the circus music through the look on her face while watching her run around like a ding-a-ling. She has two speeds—-lying belly down in the grass with back feet stretched out like a sunbathing frog—-and full throttle complete with tongue dangling fully equipped with a goofy face.

Living in the rural part of town on acreage affords lucky dogs abilities those in the city are not afforded. The largest benefit being they can roam the acreage as well as other properties. This little tyrant typically spends her time finding things around the neighborhood to tear up in the yard—-diapers—-shoes—-wrappers and dead snakes are some of her favorites.

On one occasion while walking to my vehicle—-she had placed a HUGE snake perfectly behind my vehicle. It looked as if it were still alive. I swore it was stalking me—-planning it’s attack. My heart skipped a beat while a shreak left my mouth. I’m fairly sure my body went numb shock for a few seconds. The tyrant remained running around—-goofy face and huge smile as if it amused her to see my complete melt down. It was at that moment my friend informed me the snake was dead. Now that I’d calmed down—-it was odd the snake hadn’t made one move—-not even a wiggle….not an inch. It seemed to be dead. However, I moved quickly, going completely out of it’s way just in case.

The tyrant has a love/hate relationship with most humans. When you get so mad you’re ready to give her to the next person driving by—-she turns to cute face, adorable causing all knowledge of the tyrant to leave your mind.

The tyrant’s mother experienced this very thing the other day. My friend had walked to the back of the house, when I heard the dogs barking and therefore, let them into the house through the back door.

As my friend walked back to the front of the house, a policeman drove in front of the house. We both heard the radio as the patrolman parked in front of the house. My friend, who adamantly declares she is not an athlete nor a runner, bolted out of the door and down the drive. She was an instant power runner! She was worried about the tyrant and her sister being hurt. As she approached the street, I yelled out the door, “The dogs are in the house.” “Whew!” She exclaimed. “I was worried one of the dogs were in trouble!” Feelings of relief were noticeable in her face.

My friend walked in the door and posted on social media the police were chasing someone around the neighborhood. To which a comment was posted back to my friend, “Tell your husband to put his clothes back on and get back in the house!” For the record, the husband was still at work.

Sometimes it takes just one character in the group to create laughter. My friend and I laughed and laughed. A stressful situation in an instant became comical. All was back as it should be.

Remember in life, the most complicated tyrant can become someone you care about. The most complicated situation can become one of a comical nature—-let us not forget the important things in life—-keep your heart open—-if you hear circus music then smile and dance—-most important—-never forget to laugh from the inside out!

If you are an adult female, at some point in your life you have probably been on a dreaded “diet”. As women, society judges us based on aesthetic definitions of what is considered “acceptable” for weight—-beauty—-or whatever else can be compartmentalized for classification. When did six foot tall and an emaciated size two become attractive? Marilyn Monroe—-an icon for beauty and female sexuality was actually a size 12. Her curves remain the envy of many to this day.

Recently, a friend of mine and I started a “healthy” eating lifestyle change. This includes all organic, low sugar and low fat. We are eating clean six days of the week and on one very blessed day—-we do not count calories and are able to indulge—- a little. What that translates to is six days of dreaming of what we will eat on our “cheat” day and one day of happiness typically leading to a sugar high or stomach ache—-or both. What we’ve learned is that our brains can dream up what our stomachs can not hold. Therefore, we start out each cheat day with high hopes but have finished with very little consumed. Each week we have the priority of things that are on the “must eat” list. Our realization has been that even though we have the free reins to cheat—-we often aren’t that bad. We do eat chocolate—-let’s not lose our minds here. In our minds, and I’m sure most women, chocolate is a necessary food group.

This week, my friend’s children decided they needed hot fudge sundaes—-not on a cheat day! We decided to to hit the drive through and deliver their sweet treats. As we approached the drive through—-the smell of sweet heaven filled the vehicle. My mouth began to water like a dog looking at food! I was safe I thought as the drive through typically will put a plastic lid on any sundae traveling—-right? Not so lucky—-no lids. Why no lids? What kind of evil doesn’t put a lid on a sundae! Do they not know this isn’t a cheat day? I suddenly found myself sitting with four beautiful—-yummy dream cups sitting in a holder on my lap. Heaven in a holder—-within reach. “Don’t look at them!” I thought to myself. Too late. The yummy flavor of hot fudge and ice cream filled the vehicle. My friend and I trying to convince ourselves we wouldn’t like them—-it wasn’t our cheat day—-we’d worked too hard to indulge—-and who would steal treats from children. Of course traffic was also backed up which caused the dilemma to extend in time! “They’re going to melt! We really should eat them!” I exclaimed in a weak moment of fudge smell consuming my brain. My mouth continuing to water. My friend looking at me—-controlled—-collected—-she calmly stated, “we can do this!” She was the voice of reason.

Then the word came to mind that will alter any weak moment we as women might have—-CELLULITE! That word will cause any craving I have to immediately exit my brain! With that, my weakness left my body.

We pulled into the drive—-all sundaes in tact. Not an ounce of drool on them. We had passed another test of willpower—-victorious! Feeling empowered we headed off for our snack of organic fruit!

Not a thing in life worth accomplishing happens uncomplicated or simple. As the saying goes—-the greater the reward the more difficult the obstacle! Challenge yourselves to greater obstacles! Hold your head high—-and strut!

Have you ever had a sentence interpreted the wrong way? You mean to say exactly what came out of your mouth. However, it is interpreted entirely different by the receiver? There are times when it is a complete misunderstanding and other times beyond hilarious!

Yesterday, I spent a wonderful day toodling around shopping with my friend and her husband. We were the Three Musketeers with no particular mission—-maybe some shopping—-find a great haunt for lunch—-some people watching—-the kind of day weekends were made for!

One of our shopping stops we hit a farmer’s market—-wonderful people watching. The crowd was the same as what attend most local fairs. One couple in particular were having the time of their lives walking from booth to booth—-laughing and cracking jokes. It was great to see people laughing so much. Then it hit me—-they are on a first date. The nerves were so thick you could feel them. I thought to myself —-it’s great they’re having so much fun!

Our next stop was a great place on the water for lunch. It was one of those places you go to watch a game and hang out with friends—-the scenery was amazing. There were three tables in a gazebo directly over the water with a perfect view. We were lucky enough to get one of them. Score! Before long, people filled the other two tables. While eating lunch—-the man at the table directly behind us apparently did not feel like he had enough attention. He began to speak louder—-telling a story of how he met his girlfriend. It was not a good story and did not paint a very pleasant picture. As adults—-if we are going to bellow a story across a public place —-shouldn’t it be one good for all to hear?

We finished our lunch and continued on to our next shopping stop. It was a blast! Bobbing in and out of rows and rows of items we either “needed” or “wanted” —- is there a difference?

We collected all of our desired goods and aimed for the checkout. My friend’s husband and I were waiting at the end of the counter—my friend waiting patiently for the moment to swipe her card. We were joking around with the clerks working at the store. Both looked to be twenty something’s and were entertained while joking around with us. In the middle of our antics, my friend chimes in, “he has to put up with both of us!” The twenty something male looked at her husband and me as though we had just taken the last beer at a party.

It hit me what his look was about. “He thinks she meant you are married to both of us”. I told him. “That did sound a bit funny didn’t it?”, he noticed. Oh no—-back peddle time! “We’re not all married, we’re friends, but he does have to put up with both of us today”, I explained to the young man. “OH!”, he stated with a stress relieving sigh. Laughter broke out once again between all of us—-realizing the missed perception.

The old adage to “never judge a book by it’s cover” still remains true today. With technology advancements, we do not always have the luxury of evaluating body language.  It is not what has been said that is important, rather how the words are perceived. We are challenged more than ever before to communicate clearly in order to be understood.

Very much like the kindergarten class whispering a secret to the first student and charged with communicating that secret to each other through to the last student in the line up. If the communication changes—-the entire focus is off kilter.

The moral of our day—-communicate clearly—-stop and regroup if necessary —-never judge —-and always remember to laugh!