Great news, I’m expecting!!! No, no, no – not THAT kind of expecting – no need to alert the media or search the eastern skies for a star, I’m not pregnant, but I am expecting.
In precisely sixteen days I will be receiving something that I’ve been wishing for, well, for months. And today I’ll find out exactly when I can accept delivery!
You cannot imagine how excited I am – well, sure you can. All you have to do is think back to the last time you knew for certain you were going to get what you’d been hoping for.
Maybe it was a job you wanted, or a promotion at work. Maybe the buyers agreed to your offer on their home, or the sellers put a contract on yours. Anyway, THAT feeling – that certainty you are about to receive what you’ve longed for – it makes you positively giddy. Giddy and expectant!
Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted something to look forward to because I always thought the looking forward part – the right before it gets here part – was always the most fun. Usually, anticipation turned out much better than whatever it was I was waiting for.
As I plan and prepare and make ready for the wonderfulness arriving in less than two weeks, I am beside myself. Maybe, in part, because I know for almost certain that what I’m hoping for will arrive.
Oooh Whee. What if we could manifest that same excitement, anticipation, and enthusiasm when we’re not exactly certain of the arrival date, while we’re still in the wishing “gestation” period?
What if we woke up every day expecting something outrageously wonderful to arrive at any moment?
Coming from California, I’m quite familiar with the term “irreconcilable differences” – the State sort of coined the concept. But married or not – we all know what they are, and we’re going to have them from time to time if we are going to engage with other mortals on this orb of ours.
Not long ago, my mate and I had one specific, seemingly, irreconcilable difference. It doesn’t really matter what it was, could have been the temperature to set the thermostat on – but it sure didn’t seem that either one of us could have our own way.
We’re not talking about compromise, here – I’m talking about the times where you absolutely want a specific outcome, like the choice of where to live. If you’ve both decided on a here, and they aren’t the same geographic here, you’ve reached an ‘impasse’.
Our friends at Wiki depict an impasse like this:
"It seems to me the thing's an impasse. French expression," I explained, "meaning that we're stymied good and proper with no hope of finding a formula.
No hope, no answer, no solution.
My mate and I tabled our discussion and that night, I distinctly prayed for a right outcome. Not MY way, not a compromise, but a right outcome. I closed my prayer with the affirmation: If _________________ is to happen, it will happen, and in the best possible way. And so it is.
Within the month an outcome presented itself that was NEITHER his nor my original desire – but a better resolution than either of us had even conceived of.
And here are the two lessons for me – it wasn’t that there wasn’t an answer, it’s just that neither of us was bright enough or open enough to see it, or was ready to see it. The best possible outcome was always an option, just waiting around the corner.
Usually when you are at an impasse it's because the right outcome hasn't found its way to you yet! So see? We're never really stuck – or ‘stymied good and proper’ – we’re just waiting!
The full moon last night was spectacular – the kind I imagine inspires poets, lovers, and the rest of us mere mortals. It was bold and bright, with aspects of its face clearly visible, and just a scant, gossamer veil of cloud wisps. Sigh. Definitely worth sharing!
I texted a friend to go outside and look at it, and was somewhat dismayed that I didn’t receive a message back responding with equal enthusiasm as to its beauty.
Turns out that just six hundred miles away there was too much cloud cover and meteorological interference to see what I was seeing. I was disappointed we couldn’t share the same view.
BINGO! What an object lesson!
I immediately “got it” – my friend couldn’t see what I was seeing because she wasn’t uh, to use some clichés, walking in my shoes – looking at it from where I was.
And, see? I didn’t get frustrated with her. I didn’t blame her. I didn’t try to coax, cajole, or convince her to see things my way. Why? Because I readily accepted that since she wasn’t where I was and didn't share my perspective, she might not see it exactly as I did.
Wow. If I could just keep this life lesson on my front brain burner! Sometimes, due to life-cloud cover or other experiential interference, we can’t always see things exactly the same way.
Okay, Brave hearts -- wherever you are and whatever your individual perspective? Treat yourself and see if you can't catch a glimpse of lady luna tonight. She should still be showing off!
A few minutes after the noon yesterday, the woman I’ve been assisting this summer received a surprise, the delivery of a dozen and a half long-stemmed, American Beauty roses. The nice delivery guy wrestled his way through the door, and yes, after I got my jaw back in alignment, I helped him.
The photo above does not do justice to the arrangement – it was ginormous. I have never seen such an incredibly large presentation of flowers – I couldn’t lift the vase.
Now, me, personally? I’ve never received eighteen roses in my life, much less, all at once, but then, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything to warrant such a gesture either. In fact, my mind reels wondering what I’d need to… but that’s not my point!
After the delivery, same said boss received two calls of a personal nature. Okay, I’m a snoop; we can judge me later, back to the story.
The first lasted about two minutes, all serious whispers and hushed tones. The next call lasted much longer, and throughout it, through the closed doors, I could hear muffled giggling. Then louder chuckles. Then peals of laughter, the infectious, contagious kind, like those wind-up giggle dolls, She snorted and chortled and carried on so much I started in too!
I sent her this message over our intercom system: “Forget the roses, find someone who can make you laugh like that everyday”.
In my book a sense of humor is the secret to a long, lasting, happy relationship – it’s the most precious thing.
So this Friday, just for fun, Brave Hearts, why don’t you share your “One Thing” If you were counseling a young woman on the “Secret” to a happy love relationship, what would you advise her to look for?
"There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control The firm resolve of a determined soul." Ella Wheeler Wilcox
When my friend and I are similarly unmotivated to tackle our respective business-building pursuits, we can waste, er, “spend” vast quantities of time playing with words. We enjoy discovering them, using them, tracing their roots, and bending them to our will. Great fun.
I cannot wait to show her the one I found rummaging around for a good synonym for tenacity. It all started when I was ruminating over why I have succeeded in attaining some goals and not others in my life.
I thought at first it had something to do with how badly I had wanted to achieve some of them. That’s close, but that’s not it. I think some dreams, like their nocturnal counterparts, just won’t leave you alone, they nag at you, leaving impressions that stick with you a long time, while others are scarcely formed before they vanish like vapor.
Whether the dream persists or dissolves like so many ice cubes on a hot day may just determine its attainment.
Case in point. I wanted to graduate from college. Not attend college, graduate. It seems looking back that's all I thought about from elementary school on. I was obsessed with that cap and gown.
There were huge obstacles to completing school -- family, finances -- but nothing dissuaded me. It never occurred to me that anything was going to keep me from my sheepskin, which was disappointingly parchment, but who knew?
I had some ephemerally fuzzy hopes and wishes for my post-grad career – to be a world renowned broadcaster, corporate mover and shaker, wall street hotshot -- but they were never fully defined, persisting, unrelenting, visions. The college degree thing had its tentacles on me from the get go.
Hmmm. Tentacles. Must be where the word tenacious comes from. Hah! I may have discovered the recipe for goal attainment: tenacity coupled with persistence – pertinacity! Wait till I tell my friend.
Maybe this weekend you can spend some time with your big dream -- you know, the one that has its tentacles on you and refuses to let go?
The lady I passed on my walk this morning smiled at me. I know, you’re thinking, “Whoa, Ellen, you are writing strong now!” Hear me out. She SMILED at me. I’ve been working on her for ninety days, normally it doesn’t take 90 seconds to get a smile back, and people are usually incapable of resisting it! It’s part of my charm.
See, I have what is known as a million dollar smile – nothing I can take credit for, we thank genetics and my Creator, the Great Celestial Orthodontist; I was born with good gums and straight teeth with no obvious imperfections.
I learned early on my smile could work wonders; it tames lions, soothes savage beasts, and sometimes gets me my way. It has gotten me in a lot of trouble and out of a lot of jambs, but few have ever outright resisted it. Except, “The Walker”.
This woman, you can tell, is a force to be reckoned with. She has a mean stride, I’m surprised there isn’t smoke trailing behind her. She uses those walking poles, you know, the kind that amp up your speed? She is awesome! She’s got a couple of decades on me and leaves me in the dust. I’ve learned to deliberately walk the opposite direction she’s headed so I don’t get disheartened when she whizzes past me.
So, since April, every time she comes my way I flash her a smile. At first it was just the grin, head nod, acknowledgement thing. She ignored me. Since then I have steadily upped the smile wattage. Still nothing. Now I’m up to at least $900,000 worth of my proverbial million dollars, and -- nothing. Nada. Zip. No response.
Finally, I stopped trying. And then I felt guilty every time I passed her and didn’t smile.
I know. I’m a head case.
Recently, I started smiling at her. Not to get her to smile back, but just because I’ve found it’s so much easier to smile than to not to. And, today, she smiled back. A big old teeth-showing number. It was great to see. We both smiled broadly and laughed.
The object lesson here? The one with the gift is responsible for using it. Shame on me for ever withholding one megawatt of its power.
So? What say you? What gift have you been withholding? Hmmmm?
Going in to the new week marks my 20th week in breaking yet another bad habit. I’m becoming a bona fide professional bad-habit breaker. It doesn’t matter which one I’m wrestling with at the moment, the process, I’m discovering, is pretty much the same.
Right now, I am in the ‘cautiously optimistic’ phase. I do believe, if I continue doing the positive things I have been doing, I will be successful in keeping this habit at bay and eventually putting it completely behind me.
A couple of my friends who have been patient in walking with me on this latest journey have asked me if I feel like I have “it” licked. I told them that I’ve learned this is a precarious time in habit-breaking, for me. If I’m not diligent and careful, it’d be easy to give in to over-confidence. Ah, Cockiness!!! Where all great lapses begin.
I quit nicotine 8 ½ years ago after an addiction that ran more than twenty years. (Yes, I know what you’re thinking, go ahead, you’re right, I was a kindergarten chain smoker). I quit cold turkey. For me, abstinence is the only way, I never could taper off my demons.
I made each day without smoking count, and I counted each day. Sometimes, I counted each hour. Quitting tobacco was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ever. By comparison, this habit I’m foregoing is child’s play. But the really great thing about conquering one bad habit is we program our subconscious mind that we can, in fact, do it. We’re brave enough, strong enough, convicted enough, down right tough enough to do it again.
So that’s my encouragement for you today. If you aren’t ready to wrestle with your “big, bad habit”, pick a small one. Conquer it. Show your subconscious you’re the boss!
If you can do it once, you can do it again. Trust me. I know of what I speak.
My first day of Junior High School, my mother sent me out of the house in ankle high, brown and white houndstooth bell bottoms. (I’ll pause a moment while you form the visual.)
Now, pair them with a fetching, long-sleeved fisherman’s cable knit sweater. Knits – always a nice touch in hundred-degree weather, doncha think?
Better still, she’d recently lobbed off all my hair to one scant inch around, which definitely showed off my thick, black-framed glassed to their fullest. (Need more time?)
Naturally, this was the day the school took class pictures, prompting the Vice Principal to ask: “You there, the short one in the funny pants, are you a girl or a boy?”
Ah, my life before mascara! Back then, yes, when we wrote on cavewalls, stores didn’t carry seven hundred and thirty six kinds of mascara, there were two – your mom’s brownish powdered stuff, never did figure out how to use that -- and Maybelline’s Great Lash, in the original pink and green plastic tube. That formula still makes my eyelids itch.
Here’s my point – we are blessed. There isn’t any reason why we can’t get up, get out, and face the world looking our best. No one else picks out our clothes, limits our cosmetics, makes our choices.
If we need a little enhancing, we’ve got plenty of options. No matter what the issue, there’s a product to help, whether you need something boosted or held in, flattened, lifted or separated, you can get it all at Wal-Mart.
Everyday is a new chance to be your best you, inside and out. Love yourself enough to sparkle – you owe it to yourself – and to all the scary-dressed seventh graders everywhere.
Uh, oh, uh, oh, uh, oh, I repeat to myself – it’s starting. I found myself saying out loud, something that sounded creepily like something my father would say. Uh oh.
Like many of us, probably, I’ve had myself on “uh, oh” alert since childhood. I promised myself to self-monitor and stay ever vigilant; to stop myself if I ever heard myself utter anything like my father’s, well, “Dad-isms”.
Don’t get me wrong – my Dad was a tremendous human being. He had a zillion sterling qualities and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss him mightily. But bless his heart he could be so judgmental, strident, and, uh, harsh.
YOUCH! My own moments of harshness remind me just how close this proverbial apple fell from its tree – and they give me pause. Dad was just so certain he was so right. He’d form an opinion and get so locked in you couldn’t even talk to him about it. And, he felt he had to share his opinions with everybody. As he got older, his tendencies towards judgment and negativity got more and more pronounced.
So. It caused me some measure of concern when I heard some of his words emanating from my mouth. Uh, oh. Immediately I beseeched the great Editor to grant me some grace, and “X” out such phrases from my speech.
In this instance, my offense was seemingly minor – “Why would she wear that to the office?” I was referencing an especially low cut blouse I found completing inappropriate for the workplace. But if you could have heard the “SHE” and the “THAT” you would have heard all the derision in the tone of my voice. It just wasn’t kind.
Gratefully, I muttered this comment to myself and no one else had to hear it. But I did. As a result I have recommitted to doing a better job of being me.
I’m reminded, happily, that every day is a chance to start over and so is every moment. We can become the kind of generous, supportive, loving women we want to be in an INSTANT. Just one instant at a time.
Today I’m hoping you have lots of “Ah Ha!” moments, and few “Uh, ohs.” And may the “Uh, ohs” you have, motivate, encourage, and inspire you to dig a little deeper, and reach a little higher!
I’ve told y’all the story of how Johnny Weismuller, aka Tarzan, couldn’t get me to jump off the high dive. (See earlier Post dated: 5/16) But before Johnny there was the nice swimming instructor, Preston, he couldn’t even get me to wade into the shallow end of the pool. “I c-a-a-an-n-n-‘t”, I’d wail, stretching the contraction into seventeen syllables.
Abject terror doesn’t begin to describe my fear. I was so scared I would get sick to my stomach the night before swim class, and lay awake all night hoping I’d die so I wouldn’t have to go.
Now? I can’t wait to get into a pool. Make no mistake, I’m probably no more proficient than I was when I finally waded in at age five, but at least I’m not afraid. I love the water. I’m a proverbial fish now (in joy, not in ability).
I used to be terrified to fly. If you were unlucky to have flown with me in the late ‘80s you would’ve asked the flight attendant to move you away from the shrieking toddler, well, until you found out the one making all the noise was a lot older and carrying a briefcase.
But, now? I can’t wait to fly. I’m taking off on a two-hour flight today and I am beside myself with joy and anticipation. I can scarcely think of something funner. Hmm, except to combine flying and swimming – whoops, let me re-think that.
My point is – and I know you get it – there’s very little space between can’t and can’t wait. Just a letter’s worth of pause.
Now… how I made the leap? That’s a whole ‘nother story. But let me encourage you today. If this anxiety-ridden, uber-phobic, fraidy-cat can make that journey? Have no doubt, you can too!
The world looks a little different when you glimpse it from 30,000 feet, which I got to do yesterday! The vistas to behold – unfurled cloud blankets, blue skies and streaming rays of brilliant sunlight. My eyes watered from the beauty of it.
I always feel so privileged when I get to fly. I used to take it for granted until I moved to a small town where almost no one had every flown on an airplane. There’s something inherently crazy in all of us that thinks we all share the same life experiences – I’ve learned we seldom do.
This is a great vacation for me – I’m not getting away so much as going back to. I’m getting a chance to revisit one of my favorite places and see some of my favorite people. When I’m in Dallas, I always try to take the opportunity to play tourist and see some of the attractions I missed when I lived here. I’ve never seen the Dallas World Aquarium, and I lived in the city seven years. I’m hoping to take that in. Isn’t it funny how we’re so busy living life we often miss what’s right there waiting to be savored and enjoyed?
While my friend and I were foraging for food yesterday afternoon, we stopped at the local Wal-Mart and got caught in a brief rain shower. The sun was still shining so we figured there was a good chance for a rainbow. Sure enough, one formed – a brilliant, full-arched, seven banded wonder. The photo off my camera doesn’t do it justice, nor do any words I can conjure.
We stopped and gazed at that rainbow for at least five minutes – maybe more. Somehow we recognized that such sightings are both wondrous and fleeting. We stared at that beautiful bow till it dimmed and dissolved, and we sighed, moment over.
My point is? I guess you don’t have to fly to be privileged, or buy a ticket to an attraction to see something extraordinary. All you have to do is look around. At home, away on business – look up, look about – we are so blessed.
I hope today brings you many opportunities to gasp in delight and wonder!!
I had an opportunity to do my daily two miles on a high school track the other day. It’s a whole different experience from walking up and down the streets of my neighborhood. When you walk on a track you don’t have to pay much attention to where you are or where you are going, so you can really lose yourself to your thoughts. It was a treat.
The last time I walked around a track was over ten years ago, when I participated in a Relay-for-Life charitable event, which ran from six o’clock p.m. to six o’clock the following morning. I remember that particular night it was very humid and very hot and I wasn’t in as good of shape as I am now. As I’d finish a lap and near where my co-workers were set up, they’d comment on how beet red my face was. I also remember with crystal clarity the woman that seemingly walked all night.
My team consisted of maybe a dozen good deed do-ers. Collectively we walked a lot of miles, but our individual contributions were just a few per person. We’d take turns walking. We switched out often so the walkers didn’t get over tired and the watchers didn’t get over-bored. Whether I was walking or watching I noticed this one woman going lap after lap after lap – never resting or stopping. Sometimes she jogged, sometimes she walked, sometimes she sprinted. Lap after lap. Number 137.
On one of my laps I caught up with her and asked her how many laps she’d done. She reached in her pocket, felt around, then said “31”. I had to know how in the world she could possible keep track of her laps, it was always easy for me to lose count. She said she started out with 43 pinto beans in her left pocket. After every lap she’d move a bean to her right pocket. When she ran out of beans she walked one more lap and she was done.
She went on to explain she was walking for her husband. She’d lost him to cancer when he was forty-three, and every year she walked in the Relay-for-Life in memory of him. She didn’t say how many years she’d been walking.
I couldn’t think of anything to say to her in response. So we walked, she and I, quietly, side by side, bean by bean, for about an hour. Then she stopped and smiled at me and thanked me for walking with her. She said she needed to finish up and started jogging away. When she was half way around the track, directly opposite from me, she smiled broadly, waved, and started running.
I’m reminded we never know when we’re being watched, when we inspire others, or how we’ll be remembered. That night I learned about love, commitment, pinto beans and a cause.
Flying home yesterday was not the usual hop, land, and hop again excursion it usually is. Tropical Storm Hermine had other plans.
Hermine and I, not sure if that’s a he or a she, well, I’m a she, played tag most of the day. I was to fly into Harlingen, Texas, where the storm had made landfall earlier. As I was venturing, or should I say “adventuring” South, the winds and rains were barreling North.
Except for that little airport closure in Houston, and a momentary bout of pretty scary turbulence, the trip went rather well. It’s amazing how the good folks at Southwest Airlines can completely re-choreograph equipment and crew to accommodate the demands of an unexpected, rather temperamental, meteorological snit.
What I found so interesting was the incredible disconnect between my experience of the storm, and the broadcast news reporting of it. Hearing of deluges and gale force winds it was nice to hear my husband had weathered the mess playing nine holes of golf. Apparently he’s especially adept or it wasn’t so bad after all. I suspect the thunderstorms were “spotty”.
I think somewhere in this piece you’ll find some life lessons – I did. 1) In the face of sudden, unexpected change, it is best to be willing and adaptable – seems to make for a better outcome all the way around. 2) Just because it’s reported on Network News doesn’t mean it’s true. 3) One person’s experience is not necessarily another’s. And, 4) when the going gets tough, the tough go play.
Here’s hoping today you weather whatever life storms come your way – if you can, go around them, and if you’re able to, play!
Exactly seven months ago I lost my beloved fur-bearing human, Bob, a Rottie-Lab of mysterious origins who showed up under my truck in his puppyhood, a very long time ago.
From the time he first bared his teeth -- I later learned he was smiling -- he had me. He kept me wrapped around his little dewclaws for fourteen years. That's him, in the photo above, looking pensive and deep -- he was both.
The only way I’m even composed enough to type those words is because I have a new being to love again. Not a replacement love, a new one. After some time and some healing I realized I really needed that dog affection in my life again. I needed to receive it and to give it back.
I heard somewhere that there is a good reason that “Dog” is “G-o-d” spelled backwards – that a dog is a human’s glimpse of the Almighty’s tremendous affection and devotion.
Whatever your personal beliefs and ideologies – I wish you a day filled with great affection – doglike or otherwise. I cannot wait to introduce y’all to Rex.
There’s something missing in my brain that makes it impossible for me to visualize how things might be, physically, spatially, were I to make some changes
For example, I cannot look at a dress pattern and a swatch of fabric and imagine the one made from the other -- I cannot see the finished product. Nor can I take an inch square wallpaper sample and imagine my living room transformed – I just see my existing blank wall with a one-inch piece of paper taped on it.
So – I couldn’t possibly envision how a ten pound, compact, force of nature could alter my world. But in less than forty-eight hours, life on planet-Ellen has changed dramatically.
With the energy to activate a super-collider, puppy has moved in. What wasn’t, is. What was missing, isn’t. There is life and movement (yeah, buddy, a WHOLE lot of movement), sound, power, and joy.
My friend, CAREN4U, I love her posts, has been writing about her cross-country move. It looks like her possessions may actually go ahead and follow her now. I know she’ll be creative as she tries to accommodate the furniture into new spaces.
When we add more to our existing structure and routines, we wonder if it’ll fit – how can we add any more time, stuff, anything to our days than is already there?
I suspect, when it comes to wonderful? We can always make some more room!