Tag Archives: happiness

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

It’s not over till it’s over…

The dearest and most wonderful woman I’ve ever met was Audrey McGuinness.

The whole time I knew her she was a unity minister. Growing up she had a very hard life .if anyone had a reason to be disappointing and bitter, she would be one. Except that I have never met anyone who was able to be happy and joyful in any and every circumstance like her. Even in her early 80’s she was driving and would go anywhere at any time. She loved being your free spirit. So when it came to the point when she had to give up driving because of her diminishing eyesight, I was afraid that would be the time I saw her depressed, but no, she treated it like a new and exciting chapter in her life. She felt it was wonderful to ride the bus and meet new people. 

Audrey always was able to find the joy in life and share it.

Today I read an article about a Patch Adams, a doctor who’s mission in life is to bring laughter and enjoyment into the hospital environment. You might’ve heard about him because a movie was made about him and his signature move, wearing a clown nose while seeing patients. 

He recently had his left leg amputated below the knee. He talked about how he loves his amputated leg. He says he now has a new nickname, Stump. 

He’s thrilled to be getting a prosthetic. A friend made him a cover for his leg in the shape of a shark and when he puts it on, it looks like his leg is in the shark’s mouth. At 75 years old, he’s delighted at the prospect of having new material about his leg to cheer people up in the hospital.

Reading about him, I was moved in the heart, the same way I was with Audrey. They both have the ability to find joy in everything and not be depressed by anything.

Now, when I have the urge to feel sorry for myself, I can just remind myself of Patch and Audrey, and ask myself, “what would they say?”

~Steve

Appreciation Post

Appreciation post….

It is Sunday night after the holiday. My trusty sidekick is at my feet snoring very loudly. I have finally decided to bust open one of the non alcoholic cocktails I got myself for a treat. It claims to be a take on a Whiskey old Fashion… not sure if that’s true. But it’s yummy nonetheless and filling the void I sometimes feel now that I don’t drink.

I wanted to say thank you …

To you all.

To those who stop here.

Read what we write.

Maybe you smile.

Maybe you don’t.

Maybe you can relate and that helps.

Or maybe not.

But a long time ago after feeling helpless too many times I made the decision to take control of something I could. Something that might make people feel better.

And that was telling them they were appreciated.

Cared about.

Thought about.

Missed.

Loved.

I could tell you all the ways I feel like my life has fallen off the tracks at one point. I could tell you how I got frustrated and hurt that everything didn’t line up to make a perfect picture I could post on Facebook and brag about on Instagram.

But the reality is that is my reality and I can’t control it.

And I really believe everything happens for a reason.

What I can do is cheer lead for the people who held my hand when I thought my world was falling apart.

Never stop thanking my friends who sat with me every weekend until I could sit alone.

Always wish everyone Happy Birthday.

Send someone a song. 

Say hello to a stranger at the store and try REALLY hard to smile with my eyes.

Tell my people I appreciate them.

Hug my daughter.

Tell her I love her.

Compliment someone.

Say please.

Say thank you

Over and over again.

These are things I can control.

These are things we need more of.

That small hi with me  making the eyes over my mask maybe I’ll at least get a giggle?

It’s a start.

I have no answers for this past year except I am happy to see it gone.

And move into 2021 with a Mr. Rogers quote as my mantra: the greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know that they are  loved and capable of loving 

 

Be safe

Much love 

Happiest of New Years my sweet wonderful Mamas

💚

Caprise 

Happiness Is A Pyrex Dish

Happiness is in a pyrex dish…

It is Sunday night. No music. There is a pretty important football game on. More importantly my team is winning. 

It has nothing to do with me wearing game day gear but we will pretend it does. I am sipping on a non alcoholic riff on a Brandy Old Fashioned and for the first time in a long time since this dumpster fire of a year started I am calm.

I am still worried. I am still scared. I still want all the things and wish more than I could say I had done things differently in March.

But I didn’t. I can only go forward. No amount of wanting to go back will change anything. Or make things better.

I still don’t have answers and if I am being honest I don’t have any for you. I wish I did. I really do. I am a fixer by nature. You tell me your problem. I immediately start thinking of ways to make you feel better.  To fix things.

I have to catch myself. Not everyone wants their problems fixed. Sometimes. A lot of times, people just want someone to listen.

I also don’t want to be a burden. So while I may have problems I have a hard time sharing them and an even harder time asking for help.

If I am being honest I am struggling. I am a shy people person who can’t see her people. I am a music person who can’t see live music. I am a food person who can’t eat out. I am a person who absolutely treasures her trips to the salons for more than just the magical transformation but it is my time-out. I can’t. I can’t. All my normal go to’s when I start to feel like the firefly in a jar. I can’t.

I also worry. Will I have a job? A home? 

I am 49 and know how I feel… then I think of my daughter. All her can’ts. All the things that abruptly stopped. Gone. 

I start to crumble.

Then… you lean on social media and that’s a whole nother kettle of fish.

So today I baked my proverbial banana bread. 

I found my happiness again.

In a Pyrex dish. 

There was a time I cooked. Not a lot but the weekends I cooked and baked. Then life started changing and meals became a necessary convenience and the only baking I did was thanks to Costco’s bakery department.

When everyone was talking about baking banana bread. Honestly, I didn’t get it.

I chose instead to become besties with my iPad. Watch an abundance of Netflix. 

I wallowed a bit.

I also became restless. 

And addicted to cooking shows something I just didn’t do. Anymore. The ironic thing is I spent from ages 16 to 26 working in the back of the house of a restaurant. It was my least favorite and favorite time of my life.

Because of that time I always have to have music on. A clean kitchen to start. A clean kitchen to end. There is a definite process and steps.  I lay everything out. Put everything away along the way.

So for the first time in a long time I cooked. I love tacos. Obsessed. I have many taco themed gifts and an inbox full of taco recipes. I also can’t keep eating chips everyday at work. I pulled out one of the recipes and went to town.

Food is also my way of saying I care. So for good measure I baked some cookies for friends who like me are feeling the last few months.

Everything is carefully packaged for reheating and delivery.

While I didn’t solve my problems or anyone else’s I might have finally found something. A little happy at the bottom of a Pyrex dish. Who knew?

 

Much love. 

Be safe Mommas.

<3 Caprise 

My Sage

My sage….

This week has been hard for me. It has definitely improved. I am listening to a new song by my favorite band basking from the glow of their performance on Saturday Night Live.  Knowing in February my Valentine will be a new album.

I have happy ears. I treated myself to a homemade Vanilla Latte for good measure and am proud of myself for picking that skill up along the way over the last seven months.

But back to this. I keep a lot of my life private even from my daughter. She’s a smart cookie though and knows what’s up. She sees more than I give her credit for. Also, I wear my heart on my sleeve so she really sees things.

She has been opening up to me a lot lately about everything. So yesterday at lunch I asked her point blank what she thought about me dating.

When my daughter was little she made it very clear I was never to remarry or date. I think there are too many Disney movies with wicked step parents.

As she has gotten older her Dad has been very open about dating, and she has friends who have parents who are remarried and have blended families.

She looked at me and said I want you to be happy. But Mom I want someone good enough for you.

What?

I love Dad but he sleeps until noon. 

Oh honey, people can be different and still work.

I know Mom you deserve someone who appreciates you. 

You don’t think your Dad did?

Not like he should have.  Mom you get up with me. Get us going, go to work, come home, hang out. Do it over again. All day everyday.

Well …I do take naps.

Mom you know what I mean.

And you’re cute. Someone cute. 

Lol. Ok. 

She hugs me and heads for her room.

Stops and turns around.

Mom, you deserve someone who will make you happy. They shouldn’t make you sad. If they make you sad. They gotta go.

I smile.

My beautiful sage goes to her room and I hear playing video games with her friends.

Mommas, my heart is full and she taught me a lesson. A few. It’s ok to talk to her. Obviously some editing. She wants to talk to me. I am really excited she is talking to me.

Be safe

Much love Mommas 

💚Caprise

‘Resilient’ TWSM Book Review

Resilient by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

If a book has ever jumped out at me as one that I needed to read, it is Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. Although it was originally published in 2018, it has 2020 written all over it.

Hanson is a psychologist, bestselling author, and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Resilient delves into topics including mindfulness, confidence, courage, intimacy, and generosity. The book uses detailed examples and exercises to teach the reader how to calm the mind and optimize opportunities to connect with others.

Some of my favorite quotes from Resilient include:

“You can’t always count on the world, other people, or even your own body. But you can count on durable inner strengths hardwired into your nervous system — and this book is about growing them.” (Introduction)

“Thankfulness is not about minimizing or denying hassles, illness, loss, or injustice. It is simply about appreciating what is also true: such as flowers and sunlight, paper clips and fresh water, the kindness of others, easy access to knowledge and wisdom, and light at the flick of a switch.” (Gratitude)

“To establish a calmer baseline for yourself plus recover more quickly after stress, set aside a few minutes or more to relax deeply many times a week. Also look for little moments to relax in the flow of your day, especially when the needle of your personal stress-o-meter starts creeping up into yellow, orange, or red. In our overheated culture, relaxation needs to be a conscious priority.” (Calm)

If I have one complaint about Resilient, it is that portions of the book read like a neuroscientist wrote it. If you are a geek like me, this won’t bother you, but some readers might be more inclined to put the book down or at least skip around to the parts that appear to be more interesting and helpful to them personally (which is always a valid approach to reading a new book in my opinion).

If you are interested in becoming more resilient (and who isn’t these days?) Hanson’s book is a helpful addition to your self-care toolkit.

Rating 3 ½ out of 5 stars

 Copyright 2018 by Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson 

Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family — usually around a fireplace or a lake. She is savoring the time that she still has with her daughters under her roof, yet she secretly dreams of being an empty nester who can travel more and not have to worry about other people borrowing her socks.

Sometimes You Just Have To Make Joy

Joy or no joy, happy or unhappy…that choice is yours and yours alone.  Contrary to what you believe, things and people and circumstances can’t make you ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’, only YOU can do that.

Granted being happy for no reason or being joyful no matter what takes skill and determination, however it CAN be accomplished.  You can be happy and joyful no matter what, whether you are shoveling crap out of the cat’s litter box or dancing at a ball with a gorgeous partner…the choice is yours and yours alone.

To be happy and joyful no matter what requires you to develop the skill of making something up out of nothing, generating pure unabashed enthusiasm for no reason what-so-ever.  This CAN be done and I know this because I was trained to do it…when I was about 14 or 15 I wanted to go to the mall with my friends and my Mom wanted me to first help her wrap some presents.  Being a cooperative teenager (NOT) I did not wish to wrap the presents first, I wanted to go to the mall…

My Mom said that if I could wrap the presents with her displaying an attitude of joy and enthusiasm, I could then go to the mall, mind you now the wrapping of the actual presents could have taken about 30 minutes if I had been more willing…instead it took all night…

I said that I would wrap the presents, however I was angry and sullen and if you know my Mom that was just plain unacceptable…we had a swinging door from our kitchen into her office and she said “go into the kitchen and come back through that door with enthusiasm”….so the sullen, angry teenager went through the door stomping her feet and came back through with some pathetic version of “happy” to wrap gifts….Mom said, “NO PASS” —do it again.

Keep in mind now my Mom is a Prosperity Teacher and a Results Coach so my whole life was a classroom and this incident was no different…back I went madder than ever through the damn door…back again I came, madder…”NO PASS, do it again”…

Back I went, complaining that I WASN’T happy, so how could I generate ‘happiness and enthusiasm”, my Mom “just MAKE IT UP, do it again”…

Back I came crying about how MEAN she was and how none of my friends mothers did this crazy stuff, blah, blah, blah….”NO PASS, do it again”

This went on for several hours, back and forth through that silly, damn door and then FINALLY I got it…I had to just CHOOSE IT, I had to MAKE IT UP OUT OF NOTHING.  Was there a “reason” to be happy?  NO!  Was there evidence to support my enthusiasm???  NO!  Did that matter??? NO!

I just had to generate something out of nothing to get the damn job done and in that moment I mastered it, I got it and I came flying through that door the happiest son of a gun you ever saw!  Mom said “PASS!!!!!”

That was one of the defining moments of my life and one of my greatest lessons, my Mother knew what she was doing, she still does…she was and continues to train me for excellence, she trained me that day that it doesn’t matter what is happening all around you, you CAN CHOOSE to be joyful, happy and enthusiastic no matter what.  That choice is yours and you simply make it up.  You can do this whether you are sitting in traffic, waiting tables, cleaning toilets, parenting kids or sitting in the sun on a tropical island.

Life brings to you what you bring to it, if you bring complaining and despair then life will bring you more of that…if you bring happiness and enthusiasm then life will multiply that for you.

So today….run through that swinging door with CRAZY JOY AND ENTHUSIASM just because you can…I dare you!

XXOO,

~N.

My Friend Bill

I would like to tell you about my friend Bill. You may know him. He’s made a few movies. Big sports buff. Very quirky and he got his start on one of my favorite television shows.

When things in my life were feeling their lowest I started looking for positive outlets.

Me being me I needed them. It couldn’t be a glass of wine that would easily turn into a bottle. It couldn’t be a beautiful pastry my sweet tooth doesn’t ever seem to know when to stop.

It couldn’t be a trip to Target because it would mean a cart full of things I have no budget for.

It couldn’t be a night out because it can’t.

So…

I listen to music.

I read.

Watch movies, but I will be honest I am also easily distracted. 

I began digging deeper.

Looking for those things that would fill the gaps but wouldn’t lend themselves to my somewhat self destructive old habits.

Dear friends, I’ve sugar coated them. My bad habits.

Maybe a blog for another day.

Around this same time I watched the Razor’s Edge and Stripes. Two decidedly different movies from Bill Murray.

I mentioned to a friend how amazing I thought Bill Murray was. He suggested I read The Tao of Bill Murray.

My new friendship was born. Bill just doesn’t know it.

I also started digging into some amazing quotes from his.

As silly as it sounds these quotes have me some perspective I needed.

Here’s one:

“Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions.”

Welp… lol, yes.

But this one, this is the stuff.

“Don’t think about your errors or failures, otherwise you’ll never do a thing.”

That is exactly what started happening. I got so bogged down by all of the things that went wrong, I either didn’t do anything or did WAY too much.

I always looked for the other ball to drop. The bad.

I keep saying this but not only is 48 my year of no filter it’s also the year I work hard at happy. The year maybe I can give that happy to other people too.  As it has been to me in so many ways. One in particular a picture of one of my Chewbaccas with the man himself. It’s my screensaver and it makes me smile.

There are still going to be bad days, but to paraphrase my friend Bill… maybe it will be a day that a slice of pizza and cold beer can make feel better.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

The Hardest Time Of The Year

The Hardest Time Of The Year.

The countdown til the guy in the red suit is officially arrives is on.  It also means I must start planning on how I will spend my Christmas alone. I am working. As much as I can. It means tense emails and texts about where my daughter will be and with who.

Some of which has been dictated by a  judge and lawyers who don’t know us.

Some of the decisions I have caved to, to avoid a fight with my daughter’s Dad.

After almost nine years of this- at my daughter’s Grandpa’s urging I asked G what she wanted.

She is twelve. I feel like in the midst of thinking I was doing the right thing I did a lot of the wrong things over the years. She missed out. I should have fought harder for her to have more of a Christmas, instead of being so afraid of her Dad.

So … like I said, I asked her.

My girl is a diplomat. I think a lot of kids of divorced parents are. She insisted she hasn’t felt slighted, she enjoys Christmas but she has not waffled from what she wants either.

This year she wants Christmas Day at both our houses. I know I can manage it, but her Dad will put up a fight. He will have dates and times and examples. He will make threats. He will make this hard on me.

I will take it for my kiddo, and stand my ground. This time of year isn’t about me.

It’s about her. Like it is everyday all year long.

When I told her I would figure it out for her because it’s what she wanted, she smiled and grabbed my hand. Said” thanks Mom”, and gave me her twelve year old smirky smile that I live for.

That will be my  present over the next few weeks.

Being a Mom is tough. Being a Mom during the holidays can be downright bananas. It’s hard. But at the end of the day we have these amazing incredible humans who love us.

I am wishing you all so much joy and happiness over the next few weeks and into the next year.

<3 Caprise

Feel The Sadness Not Fill It

I’m sitting in my backyard reading “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lisa Terkeurst for inspiration to my life, to my healing,  to my blog.  She speaks about disappointment and how easy it is to fill the sadness with nonsense.

I have found myself filling my disappointments with shopping.  In hopes that those sassy shoes or that amazing outfit would bring me the happiness I longed for.  Anything to not be IN my sadness.  And they did !!  But only for a little while.  Only temporarily.  Only on the surface.  When the excitement wore off, the sadness  re-emerged it’s ugly head, shouting it’s lies of deception and ridicule.  Reminding me of my faults and disappointments.  And not caring one iota of how it left me feeling.  THAT my friend, is the enemy.

I have learned over the years that the enemy is a liar, looking for the weakest place, in me, to attack.  And the enemy doesn’t come to just harm us and make us feel bad, oh no…..the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy.

As much as we might try to fight off the snearing and sneaky ways…we can somehow be captivated by it.  Wanting to hear what else needs to be said, what other lies exist.  But if we’re not careful the sweet taste of knowing one more crumb, might lure us back in to the sadness we so long to escape.

So you ask, what do we do with the sadness left after disappointment?  I’ve learned to walk through it, to embrace it, learn more about me from it.  Then see where am I REALLY weak and does it matter to me and if it does, what can I do to grow stronger in that area?  If it truly is a lie to keep me tied down, then to find the TRUTH there and proclaim it over and over and over again.  I’ve seen the disappointment turn into a valuable lesson.  Again & Again & Again.

I hope you do too.

xoxo
Your God Girl,
Tracy

Let Those Grudges Go

Grudges. The old me…circa 2016 and back…100% held grudges. It’s all I knew. Or maybe it was what I was forced to know. What it did was cost me my first marriage, and countless mistakes after that. Then one day my wife (new marriage) told me it, along with my bitterness for life, it was one of the things she hated most about me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Along with the wondering why she married me to begin with, so many questions flooded my existence. Circumstances had made me that way. The many years of continuous hurt and betrayal from so many people I had given my heart to had turned me into stone. What a reality check and more importantly an awakening.

And so I committed to myself, and those I loved, to change. And I did. I absolutely changed. I let all the negative that had been drowning me go. And slowly I fought my way back. I learned to forgive. And I did it. But along the way of forgiveness, somehow I ended up with a broken heart all over again. Was this how it was supposed to be? Really? I had fought an internal battle to change my hardened heart, all for it to happen all over again?

Over the past two years I have fought through some of the darkest days of my life. Places I never thought I would be, I have been. I don’t think I will ever understand the reason, the why’s or the how’s, nor will I ever run out of tears when my mind wanders back in remembrance. They flow uncontrollably. What I do know is that I have to stop questioning it, and somehow find the strength to leave all of it behind once and for all, let go of the grudges. My life has to have some kind of purpose, and while I may not know what that is right now, I have to believe that one day I will find it. I will not revert back to being bitter. And when it comes to two people; as far as forgiveness goes, it will never work if one person forgives and the other does not. I know what side I was once on, and more importantly I know what side I was on in the end. All that’s left for me is to close the door and never walk through it again.

Keep on keeping on!

Virtual Hugs,

BLag