Category Archives: Inspiration

CARPE DIEM….LIVE…LIFE……

“We need UP people. You are an UP person.  I am an UP person.”  She proclaimed with childlike enthusiasm.

IMG_20160221_183515Then, she continued.  “My neighbor on the other hand, she will be outside on the most beautiful day, and when you remark about how gorgeous it is she will find a way to see the negative by saying that it probably will rain tomorrow.”

The draining negativity, the malicious calling others names, and the inability to enjoy life is what both of us agreed were who we wanted to surround ourselves with.

 

“Which one is your favorite?”   I asked after sitting down sitting down looking out at the art exhibit that was on the walls before us.

Often, I hear how difficult it is to open a conversation with someone.  “What do I say?”  That is one of the most common questions.

Instead, I simply ask questions.  After she pointed out the paintings, and photographs, that were the most intriguing (although we mutually liked all of them) I followed up by asking where she was from originally.   That led into a lengthy conversation about her family, her children, and included her mother who lived to be over a 100.

“My doctor said he is going to keep me alive to be a 100.  That is nice, as long IMG_20160215_153859as I have my health, but equally so that I have people to lay with because we need to be connecting with others.”

Each of us was equally shocked when we revealed our ages.  She thought I was somewhere around 30-35, and I thought she was around 60-65 years old.

“I know.”  She smiled. “There is no way you would have ever known that I was 91 years old.”

Her kids, spread out across the nation, all tell her to live and enjoy.  Her son who is a teacher, him himself being in his 60’s, tells her often to “go out and do whatever you like.”

Such great advice no matter the age, simple yet powerful – live!

She does and it shows.   There are no visible signs of wrinkles, she moves about freely without any hesitation or limitation and her mind is completely coherent.

IMG_20160219_182913Living life to its fullest has a unique meaning to each individual person.   We all live, but we are all living our lives a little bit differently.   Each of us our own perspective on how we view the world, and our place in it.   What gives each of our lives’ meaning, it is ours alone to find.

Some may view my time as being wasted as I sat there for what was probably an hour speaking to a woman who I will never see again.  There was no monetary gain to be had nor was there anything either of us wanted from each other.

We simply sat there and enjoyed one another’s company.

“I really enjoyed our conversation.” She expressed as she was leaving to go get ice cream with her two other female companions who came with her to the gathering.   “I really enjoyed connecting.”

There is such beauty in letting go and being present.   I gain so much connecting to others in a genuine authentic way.

It feels good.   And feeling good is, at least for me, what it is all about.

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PEOPLE ARE AMAZING!

Have you ever seen those videos on Youtube where people perform unbelievable feats?   The beauty though is that there are amazing people every single day performing amazing feats of kindness that will never make it onto video.  There are amazing people showing compassion that will never make the headlines, but they are out there, every single day.

Yesterday, it dawned on me that I had not received the text notification that it was time for me to change out the air filter in my house’s A/C unit.  It is probably actually way overdue, so I went through the process of opening it and realized quickly it needed some tender loving care.   Then, went about the process of cleaning it, and spent several hours doing so.  What I neglected to do, in a rather elementary mistake, was to turn off the power and ended up shorting out the unit.

It is what it is.  I am not handy.  I have much to learn.

Most of life’s tasks are pretty simple, like cleaning the A/C unit, but I only know what I know.    Once something goes awry, then I’ve exceeded my limited knowledge.

What were my options? I could call someone for service, although that is not in the budget.  I could, and did, call my parents, which is my normal first line of defense and their advice was sound, but I felt it best to listen to my intuition.

Do nothing.

I left the house, went to see a friend and let it be.  It is what it is.

I like, like most of us, experience stress and anxiety.  Mine is centered around financial, which I would gather to guess, that is to some degree common with most of us.   The beauty of listening to my body is that it is telling. And, of late, my body has been screaming at me.

By letting go, and detaching from the situation I let myself become at peace with the situation.  The problem will be fixed when it does, not a second sooner or a second later.  That minute, hours, possibly days in between, that is where we tend to experience worry, which leads to anxiety.   So, my focus instead was being in the moment.

When I got home yesterday evening, there were many blessings to count.  It was overcast; it has even rained, so the house was not in direct sunlight all day.   I also don’t get overheated easily.  As a result, I was rather comfortable and slept soundly.

This morning, the garage door next door was open as I mowed my grass.  My neighbor is much the opposite of me. He is incredibly handy.  He makes amazing metallic art, is building his own furniture, and guess what?  His profession is A/C work.

I knew that he does and knew eventually he would be available to ask his advice, and furthermore, he too only knows what he knows.  Computers are not his forte, so I go over and help him when he has questions.   In return, he will give me pieces of his artwork, sometimes fish if he has it, which I love all of it.

I am not someone who is going to go over and knock on his door and say, “Hey, my A/C is out.”

I won’t.  When his garage door is down, he is with his family, and I am not going to interrupt that.   Mine can wait, and it did.

When I saw him in the garage working, I went over and told him my situation.  Easy fix, he told me.   All I did was blow my fuse inside the A/C unit.   He asked if I had a fuse (which, of course, I did not) so he gave me one and told me that it is easy to replace, but if I had any questions or needed further assistance, he would come over.

I opened up the panel to discover the fuse staring me in the face.   It was as plain as day, and it literally took me less than 5 minutes to complete the entire task.

Before I had left his garage after he gave me the fuse, I asked him if he needed any storage containers.  I had extra and offered to give him some.  He accepted, so when I went over to tell him thank you, I took them with me.  It gave me such great pleasure being able to feel like I was able to contribute.

In fact, it gave me more pleasure than it did getting my A/C fixed.   And, what truly was amazing about my neighbor is something I call “the thought before the thought.”   When I told him my situation, he knew it was a problem with the fuse.  He immediately, even before I answered if I had one, was looking for one to give to me.  He was happy to help me, just as I was happy to help him.

While there, he asked me about our new neighbors.  I am the one everybody asks, because I am the first to go over and introduce myself.   When I moved into the neighborhood, I put a hand written note in everyone’s mailbox and invited them to my house that upcoming weekend for some lasagna and an opportunity for them to meet me, and vice versa.

When we meet someone, it is an opportunity to set boundaries as well as expectations.    Beyond that, for most people, first impressions mean a lot, and in some cases what is remembered most.

What do I think about our new neighbors?  “They are awesome!!!”

Granted, whenever someone asks about any of my neighbors I say the same, but it is true.  As long as someone is kind to me, that is all that matters. Even if they are not, I am not going to express that to someone else, because it is my experience.  It does not mean they will have a different experience.   I wouldn’t want to taint someone’s perceptions based upon something negative that I had to say. Plus, I like to treat people like I like to be treated.

It matters not what their interests are, what they believe, or if we have any common interests. I am not dating them.  They are someone who lives next to me, and that means if I see them outside, I will smile.  I will waive.

After getting my AC operational, I went back to mowing. I have a large corner lot with a sizeable amount of grass that I mow myself.   Most of those living around me ask why I also mow the commons area behind my house.   “You don’t have to you, you know.”

That is true. There is a lot in this world that I don’t have to do.  I don’t have to, but I do choose to do so.

“Why?”   (The question that starts at 2, but seemingly never ends).

“Does it look better when you walk by?”   I ask.   “Do you like the way it looks?”

Yes, of course, they do.   What they do not see is the line drawn from my property to the common’s area.   Furthermore, if it beautifies my entire property, making it a more pleasurable sight not only for myself but for others, then the question I would ask would be, why wouldn’t I mow it?

Speaking of the way it looks, I have come to a place where if I like something, I make it a practice to tell someone.   Yesterday, while in Ft. Lauderdale, I was walking back to my car and a woman was looking at herself in the mirror of her makeup thing (I’m sure that’s the technical term).  The thought before the thought in my head was, “You are enough.”  So, I said aloud, “You look amazing” and kept walking.

Everyone has something amazing about them – that special nuance that makes them unique and special.

And, while kindness does not make headlines, and compassion is not something that draws an audience, it is amazing to find those amazing people who practice both.   Today, for me, it was my neighbor.   Tomorrow, it may be someone else I know, or it could be a total stranger.

 

People are Amazing!