So Much Goodness

For a long while, I had been posting Angel cards on Wednesdays. I’ve decided to change things up and just come here and pour out a little of my heart and soul instead. I’m not sure if I’ll be bringing the cards back, but I will say that at this point it isn’t my intention. I’ve missed showing up and just chatting about the things that matter. So, for the time being that’s what Wednesdays will be for. It’s hard to tell what will bubble to the surface, so I hope that you’ll stick around and join in.

Today just feels like a good day to think about the good things in life. In this time of shifting, social unrest, and what can only be described as upheaval, it can sometimes feel as though there is little hope and kindness in the world. There are times in which I briefly feel that way, and then something happens to remind me of how much love there is around me. My family isn’t a large one, but the few that I have make up for size with true love and acceptance. My friends may be few, but those that I have are not just acquaintances, they are part of my family.

In addition to the wonderful people in my life, there are a lot of good things happening on a personal level. Things which excite me. Things which bring me joy. My editor Melissa Scott and I have finally put my novel to bed. She was a joy to work with, and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. It feels so good to see this project completed. The next step is to put together a kick ass query package to send off to an agent this week. I have one who is interested in the concept, which is a great first step. The momentum is in high gear.

In addition to all of the above, I’ve recently taken huge measures to take control of my health and the inflammation in my body. I kept getting nudges to go vegan…at least for a while. I had been vegan for a few weeks last year before my father’s passing. It seemed to be agreeing with me, but honestly after the events of that time, I kinda just didn’t care for a while about much of anything. Anyway, fast forward to a little over a year later…the nudges kept getting stronger and stronger. There was even a dream in which a male voice said loud and clear, “If you want to heal and survive you will go vegan.”

Well, there was no more ignoring all of the nudges after that. So, as of today I’ve been vegan for almost 4 weeks. So far, it is agreeing with me. My levels of inflammation and overall pain are slowly decreasing, my skin has cleared up to the point that I no longer need to use my topical cream for rosacea, my mind feels clearer, and I’m losing some weight. It’s hard to tell how things will go in the long term with all of this, but as of this moment in time, I feel grateful that I am doing what I’m doing because it is making me feel better. This is not a moral or political statement. It is about me, taking measures to help my body to heal.

The whole point of this post is that even in the midst of chaos, there are good things and people to be found and remembered. These are the things which keep us going each day. In every life, there are regular occurrences of difficulty and stress to some extent. Impermanence is one of the things which I am in total agreement with Buddhism about. Here are two of my favorite quotes on the subject:

Life is fragile, like the dew hanging delicately on the grass, crystal drops that will be carried away on the first morning breeze. – Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality. – Pema Chodron

While we walk the face of this earth, there will be challenges. In the midst of them however, there is still good. Remembering how transient the events in our lives are is so good for the heart and soul. It is in the certainty of the temporary nature of things that we can find so much comfort, especially in times of difficulty.

Pap-Pap Was Right

I can remember my grandpa, who was always pap-pap to me, telling me when I was a teenager that life was short. Being so young, I couldn’t really identify with his words very much. He was a really great grandparent who played with his grandchildren before doing that was the “in” thing to do. When myself and my cousins were little, he made up our own version of hide and seek, in which he was the Big Bad Wolf. We always played around dusk and he was the one who would hide and our job was to try to avoid the big bad wolf. I lost count of how many times he jumped out from behind something growling and grabbing at us. That was the only time in my life that being scared shitless was actually fun.

My loud, hot-tempered, warm-hearted Italian grandfather was full of wisdom. There were some people who used to say that he was rude and crude, but he was one of those people who made the world feel safe to me when I was growing up. If he loved you, you knew it. If he didn’t, you knew that too. The older I get, the more I appreciate about him. He spoke his mind. You never had to wonder what he thought of something important, because you could ask him for his advice or opinion and he was always honest..without being mean. I could talk to him about anything.

One of the many wise things that he said to me which has come back to me with clarity was the one I mentioned at the beginning of this post about life being short. He told me that time seems to move faster when we get older, and that it was important to live your life…to do things that made you happy. Now here I am, at 43 years old and I am really starting to see how true his words were. In the past few years, a lot has happened which has brought home to me how fleeting time is.

It’s hard for me to believe that he has been gone for over 20 years, my mom for over 13 years, and now my dad is at the last stage of his life. My other grandparents are all long gone too, as well as other family and friends. I’ve seen a lot of illness in the past few years. While it hasn’t been easy, these experiences have been very eye-opening. Now, I totally get what pap-pap said.

Time flies by, no matter what we are doing with our lives. None of us know how long we have on this earth. This is what makes it so important to follow his advice and really live life, doing things that make us happy. He also said that I really shouldn’t give a damn what other people thought of what I did or who I was. Many years ago, someone accused me of being like him like it was a bad thing. They used the words, “you have the same attitude as your crazy dago grandfather”. The person who said this to me was lucky that they were someone who I would never dream of slapping, no matter how badly I wanted to. I feel the same now that I did then…proud to be like him.

He took good care of his family, but he still had fun. He built awesome homemade kites, took us fishing, went swimming with us, caught lightening bugs, drank his wine, played his harmonica…all kinds of stuff. Looking back at him at this very moment, I have such a deep appreciation for the gusto with which he lived. Not only that but I want to be more like him. I want to laugh, have a good time, love with all of my heart, speak my mind, and not give a damn what anyone thinks. Thanks for the advice pap-pap.

Happy Birthday Mom

Even though Mom has been gone for over ten years, I needed and wanted to acknowledge her birthday. She would have been 72 years old today. I also wanted to remember the best parts of her here, and she had quite a few!

One of the most creative, full of life people I’ve known.
Hard working.
Knowledgeable about many things.
Taught me so much about plants and herbs.
Fantastic decorator.

Those are just a few of the things I admired about my mother. We had our hard times, but we sure had a lot of good ones too. Summer picnics by the creek, catching lightening bugs, blowing bubbles, dancing, shopping excursions, and all sorts of other adventures. Some of you might think that it’s silly for me to post something like this, and for anyone who is sitting there thinking that… here’s a nice virtual raspberry for you….PFFFFFT! Seriously though, even though she is no longer here physically, I know that she’s around me.

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you!