author moments

Brain Dump #1

As I work through a task-driven book on inspiration in 2022, I am given many reminders or smacks in the face on things I should continue to practice daily/weekly instead of putting them on the back burner.

Keeping with the above statement, reading is one thing that gets pushed aside a lot. However I have found that reading a few pages a day at breakfast is very manageable and self-soothing. Almost giving me a calm balance before my chaotic day begins. Not sure how long I will keep it up but for today it’s working for me.

Another is writing. I write on this blog often but not as often as I have in the past. Maybe life gets too messy and drains me of my creativity. Maybe it’s I feel redundant. Maybe I wonder if anyone is reading my entries. However, my inspiration book has told me I should write a brain dump in the morning that will clear my mind for the rest of the day. Ironically I’ve been reading in the mornings and enjoying it. Instead of a daily brain dump I am offering this post as a compromise to my assignment. Hence the title Brain Dump #1. Obviously the numbering will allowing me to keep up with the task should I desire.

In this blog I will bounce around a bit. I will dump out what’s in my brain. Today. Now. In the moment so to speak. This morning I have already read some. I already had a good breakfast of eggs and a bagel. I chose to wash it down with an Alani Watermelon Wave drink for a sweet treat. I spent a few minutes working on my creative project for 2 Chicks and a Pen. An ongoing practice that will payoff down the road, but for now it’s a creative outlet.

I’ve done my household chores. Some sweeping. A little vacuuming. I made breakfast for two kids and myself. I played with my dogs. I did some research on GWVR for some vehicles. This may sound odd but it was purposeful for me. It was also a learning experience. I went outside and felt the warmth of the air. 

I just gazed at my faithful companion sitting by my side as I blog. She is sleepy from playing outside but never far from me. The most loyal dog and not to mention adorable. 

Just before I snagged this picture she was using all her energy to gaze out the window. She was intently listening to the birds chirp outside. Simply mesmerized by their symphony of sorts. She slowly slid down the high back chair to her resting spot. Ah to live like a dog who has a queen lifestyle.

And then there were two. 

It didn’t take long for the younger sister to notice she was guarding mom. They both moved closer to my feet for their siesta. As I write quietly they rest and protect. The sweetest damn thing you could ever see. And how full my heart is to know my fur babies want to be right there by my side even when I do nothing.

Circling back to what I’m reading currently. It’s the Indra Nooyi Book: My Life in Full. I was given this book to read by my oldest. Intrigued, I picked it up. As it started out I was like he isn’t going to like this book but I kept reading. I picked out a few nuggets along the way that I could relate to. I pondered a few things. I read on. I’m about to wrap up the book and still wonder why he chose to buy this book. I had to ask. For he read a quote from her recently in a newsletter we both read. I missed it. The quote caught his attention and triggered the purchase. 

Now I wondered what did I miss. We are very much alike but maybe I was skimming instead of reading. Which leads back to the beginning of this brain dump. I need to read with focus and intent first thing in the morning. This way I am actively reading or engaged vs skimming and maybe missing the finer details. Simply put, if you slow down a bit sometimes you can see what’s right in front of you. That’s an awakening for me.

I guess that leads to part two of my brain dump which is related to pace. The pace of one’s life or my life. I am going to purposely slow down in some areas at times to rediscover or reacclimate to things I may have overlooked due to speed of life. Not sure if any outcomes will change but I’m going to be purposeful about my time.

As I speak about time, I have had to split my time between people and places of recent to cover things out of need. It hasn’t been fun. It’s been tireless work. It’s also given me a chance to reflect on the why’s. The why not’s. The who gives a shit. The who doesn’t give a fuck. And so on. My time is mine. I use it for my purpose(s). My purpose may include others but it won’t include those who wouldn’t do the same for me. That means if somebody around me is knocked down I will help. However I won’t help those who can’t or won’t help themselves and I won’t help those who won’t ever be around to help me when I need it. That’s a mouthful but true for many.

 For now my brain dump is over as I need to run an errand. I hope you had a glimpse into my early morning hours via my brain dump. Maybe I will provide another dump at a later date. And I do mean brain dump not the other kind of dump.

perspective

If There’s Anything I Can Do…

There are so many overused sayings right now. Phrases that are just float in one ear and out the other…a year like no other. Unprecedented. Look a little different. Blah blah blah. We hear them so much they lose their meaning.

And then there are the ones that are not only overused but undermeant. One biggie: thoughts and prayers. And the subject of this little rant-ish post: “if there’s anything I can do…”

It’s natural for many of us to want to offer help. Really, it is. I am in this camp and readily offer to give aid when people are in a pinch, a tough spot, or in a full-blown crisis. It’s in my nature (and my enneagram.)

But in recent weeks I’ve wondered… do we really mean it? Or is it just empty comments to make us feel better about the powerlessness we might feel in times of turmoil? What might helping mean?

A friend has a relative in the hospital. They need someone to sit with them in the waiting room. They may need a disinterested friend to sit with them as they talk to the doctor. They need childcare. They need someone to clean their house, take care of their dog. They need grocery shopping. They need respite support.

A co-worker has car trouble. They need to get to work. They need someone to pick them up, take them home, take them out on errands. Take them to the repair shop.

An elderly neighbor is isolated at home. They need technical help with online billpay. They need someone to drive them to doctor’s appointments. They need companionship. They need someone to connect with. A ride to the senior center. A walk at the park. A help with household tasks and chores. They need stimulating talk and even the occasional adventure.

So many people have needs. It’s actually overwhelming to think of all the ways that others may need help. Some of these remain invisible. People don’t ask others for what they might need. We are afraid of inconveniencing others. Afraid to share our vulnerability. Afraid to need others.

I do get this because there are many times we ask for help and people bail out at the last minute. Why say “if there’s anything you need” if you don’t really mean it?

On the flip side, if you do ask someone for something, expect them to come through. It’s frustrating to sign up to give help then have that blown off at the last minute. If you actually ask for help, mean it.

Logistics can be a nightmare. Yes, there is often some measure of juggling, reprioritizing, shuffling needed. People are worth it. There is no merit badge for suffering in silence.

Whatever it is you say or do, mean it. Don’t drop in empty offers of help to make yourself feel better. Be sincere. Not someone who gives too much lip service and not enough actual service.

giving

Life

A big sigh. A deep and hearty breath was expelled. A yawn. Another big sigh. A controlled exhale.

Here I am before bed. In my super comfy pjs. It’s late on a Friday night. No big plans on the calendar tonight as it’s been a long week. My adorable fluffy dog at my feet. The most loyal companion that ever did live. She missed me today. I had a Zoom call that took me away from her for a good bit midday and an errand in the afternoon. She missed me terribly. Oh, and I missed her too. Guilty as charged. All is good as we wind down for the evening. We are reunited and calm because we have each other. Just being present is what matters. Just being present. 

When one is present there is no worry. No anxiety. No stress. No silence. No wondering when one will be back. A calm. A reassurance. A beautifully peaceful place in time. Can you picture this in your mind?

As we have each other I think of many who miss loved ones or miss out on true connections or companionships. Life happens. Life isn’t always a bed of roses. I wish it was but there are more thorny paths in life than I care to share. However I will always find ways to shift to positivity in life.

I’m currently working with a person who is single raising a young child. This person is amazing in so many ways and is doing the best for their child. Sometimes the two that make the miracle end up being better apart. In this case it’s definitely for the best for many reasons.  As the single parent/child duo emerged from the thorny road they travelled for too long, the puzzle pieces were left scattered. Not just on a table. Literally scattered to the point one had to search high and low for the pieces to put them back together. This is life for them. Many twists, turns and more thorns. 

Unfortunately, a cheering squad is missing as they out the life puzzle back together. Maybe it’s the ex’s side who fails to show up for visits today. Maybe it’s the temporary accommodations at night.  Maybe it’s just the lonely road of single parenting another day. Maybe is the constant juggling act with school shutdowns and balancing work/home all by oneself thanks to Corona. Maybe it’s missing the parental figure that was lost before the grandchild arrived. So many obstacles. So little support. Or so it seems to the one carrying the heavy load.

Fortunately I am there. Jumping up and down, cheering from a far, offering a listening ear, and so much more. Today more than ever I recognize people need people. In many different ways at different times. Companionship, trust, love, loyalty and overall presence. It seems simple in concept but many miss opportunities be present for others. The chance to be present in life. Or be a present to that person in need.

For me, I feel the universe whispers to me at times. The special times when certain people around me need to have a friend. A support. An outsider looking in. A new perspective. An unbiased party. I am to others what my dog is to me. I may not be all snuggly, cute and fluffy but I’m purposeful in my undivided attention to the needs of others.

My dog is purposeful in her loyalty to me. She recognizes I care for her. I support her. Much like a child relies on a parent. A parent needs support at times as well. In the case above I mentioned the single parent scenario. Another scenario may be an aging parent who needs the support of their adult child. The support that is just being present. No parent wants to feel like they are a burden.

Do you have a friend to family member you could do a better job being present for? Why not make present and see how much that gift is appreciated?