celebrations, challenges

The Last Hoorah

Every year I take a glance back at that year I’m in around October first. I celebrate. I reminisce. I shake my head. Then I say boom this is what I’m going to accomplish for the remaining days of the year and here is how I’m going to set myself up for success in the upcoming year.

This year is a little different. When I look back I sigh. I celebrate all that has been endured. I shake my head at the insanity. I high five myself for conquering fears and trying new things. I reminisce on this and that. I sigh again and say when is this year over. The shit show has been constantly flowing all damn year. I looked forward to 2022 but now that it’s here I think okay it’s time to go and hit 2023 ever so fast.

Three loose ends dangling in the air. I have to be in limbo until each gets sorted out. Each has its own set of complexities, costs, consequences, and of course risks. The end of year trips are less than exciting. More have to’s than want to’s. Family away for the holidays. I seem to be missing the wow factor to finish out the year. Maybe it’s a new kind shit show that hasn’t hit my radar yet, but hopefully not.

As I take out that calendar for 2023 I see some blah on the horizon in January. A roadblock to maneuver in February. A pivotal decision in March. What I don’t see is the break in the chaos. I see higher expectations. I envision bigger shoes to fill. And then there is taxes. Another thing I love to hate come April.

I guess 2022 didn’t wow me. I’m thinking 2023 won’t wow me as I’ll be recovering from a 2022 hangover. I’m going to have to find some creative mechanism to help shovel the shit for the year ahead because it still looks like shit is going to be around me in droves. Maybe that is just the hint of manure I smell at the farm? As I revisited the post as I do all my writings I thought to myself I don’t really need to post this rant but that’s exactly why I do.

When I began this post I was wallowing in the pitiful mess of life. However reading, revisiting and revising was very beneficial for me. Not only the writing but in life. I allowed myself to be reviewed. I made note of some things I could control and jumped on them.

I added a little sunshine to my end of year. I put a little hope on the horizon. I said no to something I really wanted to show self discipline. As an added bonus others around me became inspired in ways I didn’t see coming. Actions have meanings. We may not always know what or why at the beginning but in the end if you are open to growth you can see. Funny how life works.

In a short 24 hours I saw motivation, action, desire, support, and those around took notice. You do become what you surround yourself with: your environment. Your people. Your motivation. Your success. Each hinges on the other. My final note to you is simple:

Step away. Do something spontaneous. Enjoy the moment. Everything will still be there when you return. You just might see things a little differently to endure the shit show for longer or maybe even find a way out of the rabbit hole.

adventure

Price is Not Right

Oh a few years ago I booked my first flight on Spirit Airlines. It was a treat to say the least. Discount airline means you need to have really low expectations. For this trip I went with the low price deal having no idea how thrifty the experience would be. In the end I vowed never to fly Spirit again and have held true to my word.

However, I had to use Jet Blue recently to get to a destination that carrier frequents on short notice. Cheap was key. My memories of Spirit were tugging on my emotions. Don’t do it my subconscious was saying, but I didn’t listen. I went with the cheap seat as it was just one day in and out. I could pack light.

First email: warning no baggage with this ticket. Just a personal bag like a purse or backpack.

Reminder: no overhead storage with this seat.

Attention: if you have to check a bag it’s a minimum of $65 at the gate.

I have a backpack. I’m packing light. Somehow I think putting my underwear in the bag might cause me to check the bag for $65. I’m seriously having anxiety over the 10 email warnings I’m getting what what I can’t do. Holy cow. Does this leadership team think this wins over customers? For the first time I took out a measuring tape to make sure my backpack fit the dimensions. Insanity.

I can’t wait for the bumpy flight. The no leg room. The lack of snacks. The grouchy people. The overall shitshow I signed myself up for. Why oh why do I torture myself to save a buck? But of course I need to wait. 7:32 pm departure. The time comes and goes.

It’s dead silence on the dark plane while we sit at the gate. Still have a glare from the screen in front of me that I can’t turn off. Just the normal babies crying despite me wearing headphones. I know I said it was quiet, but the babies pierce through with their cries amidst the silence of others. The screen in front of me is all advertisements to pay money for access.  Taunting me during this wait. I wonder how many cave in. Oh, how I miss Delta.

I get an email before I hear an overhead announcement. Take off is now 7:59, but it’s already past 8. The first announcement says we are waiting on bags to be loaded. Okay sounds legit. Or does it? Then I stew on that for a bit since I have time.

15 minutes later, the update is well they are short staffed with laborers to load. It’s taking longer than expected. This is funny. Good thing I still have internet. The guy next to me also has the nervous shakes. One leg goes up and down. Fast. Slower. Super fast. I think it’s nerves but it could be time to go to the bathroom. If he keeps it up I will have to go.

 I almost forgot to mention the poor dad with 2 boys under age 10 who were split up. The dad is in one of the front rows. I’m guessing a six year old is across from me. The other 8 year old is between them. The one closest to me has no headphones. No family. No stacks. I feel for him and the lady next to him who is trying to help him cope. Just heartbreaking. I guess that’s another downside of cheap airfare. You don’t get to sit together unless you pay the fee. 

Just got another email. Another 15 mins are added to take off. I guess the cheap airfare accounts for your time wasted which would then equate to the cost of Delta. I guess I have learned another lesson. Plan ahead to avoid having to choose cheap again. Deadline missed again. 

I will end this post here as it’s about as much negative as I can stand to write about. Well, it’s enough for today anyway. Tomorrow I rant again if I am at the gate for hours.

awareness, challenges

My World Erupted

Shaken to the core.

Abruptly awaken.

All seemed taken.

I blinked. I sighed. I swallowed my pride.

One lonely night a medical emergency hit home. The challenges that go with this situation are taxing to say the least. This wasn’t about me, but it spiraled around me. Time spiraled to the east. Memories spiraled to the west. What if scenarios spiraled to the south. Family spiraled up north. The spirals met and formed a chaos cyclone. A circus show in my brain. Who? What? Where? When? Why? Oh my!

Amidst the chaos another lingering shit show keeps rearing its ugly head. Unfortunately, this one is a one and done meaning the gas tank is empty when it comes to help or support. No mental energy. No funds to spare. No support to give as it all falls to the wayside. The taker in life. The taker in my life. The mental strength it takes to keep the takers at bay is not for the weak. A wall of sorts is built. Carefully crafted to shield all my loved ones from the mayhem. Managing this on top of life and unplanned medical challenges is just wow. No words to really describe today. The now.

When I breathe deeply and let it settle in another blow strikes. This one is hard. Straight to the gut. Straight to the heart. Straight to the mind. All the feels. All at once. The pressure is intense. Every calming mechanism is put into play. Repeatedly.

Bend. Flex. Shift. Rebound. Reset. React. Refresh. Think. Act. Recoup. 

One would think I just played a hard core tennis match, but I didn’t. It was just life. The uncertainty of life. The unplanned chaos that can ensue without notice. Sure there are worse scenarios, but in that moment my life was in disarray. It’s seems unforgiving. Relentless forces striking at once. Repeatedly.

Life is full of wonder. Life is full of surprises. Life is full of happy, sad, ugly, fear and so much more. Life is about living and living means shit happens. When life throws the shit show your way, it’s up to you to see the perspective. Don’t crumble. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Live through the turmoil. Learn from mistakes. Find opportunities in the chaos. Fight for you. Fight for those around you.

Bend. Flex. Shift. Rebound. Reset. React. Refresh. Think. Act. Recoup.

Do it as many times as you need to. Be relentless. Be daring. 

inspire

Recent Spark

I had a recent spark in creativity. Oddly enough it appeared during the chaos of life. On the day many would feel defeated I felt energized. Somehow I channeled the negative around me into positive production. Almost like stepping in a bucket of shit but coming out smelling like roses. A funny statement a sibling says to me often. I accepted the sign of creativity and began setting the groundwork for my next purpose project.

The ball is in motion. The creative juices are flowing. The map is outlined. Resources are allocated. Sometimes amidst the crazy there is a calm. It might be hidden like a diamond in the rough, but it’s there. You must awaken all senses to see the hope. The dream. The vision. It may take some time to find it but it’s there. Let the excitement build as the journey is beginning to unfold.

Over the years I have come to realize I enjoy the creative outlet. The rare find. The golden nugget of sorts that nobody seems to care about but me. The building of something, somebody, of substance. The validation point. After all the steps of the process there is a natural handoff. When no more visionary work is needed, I am on to the next big thing. It’s how my mind works and it’s what fuels my soul.

I usually have partners or find great like-minded individuals to share in my purpose work. The power of numbers. The magnifying of resources. The value of human capital and mind sharing should never be underestimated.

Much like growing a garden or nurturing flowers from seeds, life is about growth. Sometimes it’s your growth that is visualized. Other times is the growth of those around you. Whichever is natural at the time, I always celebrate growth.

For today I am celebrating the start. A new beginning. A fresh outlook on the undiscovered or rediscovered. An outlook for somebody in need. A chance. A chance for success. A chance for failure. Either option allows for growth. The growth is the goal of the project for the many involved.

Some may leap at the chance to partake while others may say no not today. A choice. An option. Solution to one. Hard work for many. Signing off today from creative land.

challenges, perspective

Sleepless Shit List

Do you ever have a sleepless night? I do. Sometimes I’m worrying about a kid. Sometimes I’m thinking about a deadline. Sometimes I’m mad. I could even be excited for an upcoming trip. Anxious for a doctor appointment. Any number of reasons.

Today’s reason was just the normal bullshit that built up over the week. Anger would be the feeling or distraction. Wrestling with my kids to find solutions. Planing ahead.

Thinking about rainy day scenarios. Covid blah. Sort of like playing a game of chess with yourself inside your brain. Sounds fun right? Not exactly.

If I don’t sleep good my workout sucks in the morning. If my workout doesn’t flow my morning usually blows. From there the day goes down hill. Add in the crazy of a normal day and everything magnifies.

I am sure there are people in worse situations and that’s why I hit the reset rainbow button in the morning. Training my mind to see the rainbows and sunshine in the day vs focusing on life’s blunders.

Some days this works better than others. Today I decided to make a shit list in my head. Hopefully to tire myself out. Ironically I fueled it. Like gasoline on a fire. Poof. The shit list went from in my head to paper to the white board.

Who is on it? What did they do? How does one get off it? Is it even possible to get off the shit list? So many questions. The point is I have a shit list currently. Funny how my sleepless night turned into a shit list.

I tried to soothe my mind as the weekend approached. I put the AirPods in for a cardio session at the gym. I eased the anger a bit it not enough. I spent time with a loved one. It took the edge off but not enough. I mowed acres of grass. The fresh cut smell of grass was soothing. I found an escape even if temporary.

I circled back to my environment and the shit list was still there. Each of the top three independently made selfish decisions yet again confirming their status on the shit list. How funny to be awake and realizing what I dreamed in my sleep was factual.

So crazy. The shit list remains. Those on it know. Now it’s up to them to get off it. But will they?