Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Attitude is Everything

My friend H and I went out to lunch today. You know the feeling where you don’t have the money to go out for lunch but you just need to get away from the office before you go insane? Well, H and I know that feeling very well. Don’t get me wrong, we love our jobs, but there are times you need to get away from it all. H and I get away from it all quite often. Today we went to restaurant here downtown. I must tell you that we have gone to this place before and one time, a year or so ago, we had a waitress that was so unpleasant we vowed we would never go back there again no matter how huge their baked potatoes may be!! At that lunch our waitress did not care. She acted like we were bothering her. As if she was too important to take our order or bring us our food. She was horrible. She was clearly in the wrong profession. Heather and I did not go back to this establishment for a very long time. And it was all because of our waitress. The fact that we still remember this a year or two later should speak volumes!! All because of ONE PERSON we had a bad feeling about this place. Today our waitress was Alysse. She was delightful. She greeted us by telling us her name and telling us that she was going to take care of us. She said that at our lunch, while we were at her table, she was going to take care of everything. We only had to ask her if we needed anything. Alysse smiled and laughed. She was engaging. She made us feel special. She made us feel important. She made us feel cared for. She brought us things before we even asked for them, a glass of ice, a ton of butter, a fresh glass of soda. She even asked us if we wanted to take a soda or tea to go when we left. She was attentive. She made our stressed out lunch a joy. At the end of our meal she told us to please ask for her the next time we are there. And if she is not our waitress she will still stop by and see how we are. WOW!! Talk about a great experience! Alysse is a tremendous asset to this restaurant. Do we want to go back there and have Alysse as our waitress? Well YES! Did I think about asking her if she wanted to work for us….oh you know I wanted to! In doing our jobs we need to all be more like Alysse. Smile. Engage. CARE!! Too many times we are caught up in complaining about our day, complaining about our co-workers, our bosses, our jobs. That is doing a terrible disservice to those around us and to ourselves. I came back to work today inspired by the waitress I had take care of me at lunch. I answered my calls a bit more friendly. I put myself in the place of the person at the other end of the phone or email. I tried to be everything that Alysse was to me at lunch. I can get caught up in myself and my problems and be a little snippy (don’t tell my boss), so, anyone who called me this afternoon owes Alysse a thank you for my attitude adjustment. I had forgotten just how important it is to have a good outlook! It is so very important. One person can make all the difference in how others experience the day. Remember that you are an important person, but the person you are taking care of is just as important!! They do not want to hear you complain. Frankly, no one wants to hear it. If you complain or whine or if you have a bad attitude maybe you are in the wrong profession like our waitress from a year ago? People remember the bad attitude. But they also remember the outstanding!!You can be the difference. You can be the reason this is a memorable day for someone! Go out and be the person who brightens the day for everyone.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just Fluff

THE other day my new cousin (wife of old cousin, well not OLD but you get the idea) was posting on Face Book about Marshmallow Creme; also known as Fluff. What the conversation was about is not really that important, talk about whether it was a "Northern" thing. How my "old" cousin had never had it. http://www.marshmallowfluff.com/pages/homepage.html

Anyway, as I am sitting here today crying over my bills, and trying not to be so scared that I make myself sick, I am trying to think about Fluff.

If you look it up, fluff has many different definitions that don't seem to jive with each other: something of no consequence, a mistake, when an actor flubs his lines, pieces of a junk car that are not metal and cannot be recycled. Those are all so negative!! My favorite definition of fluff is: light & airy, to become fluffy; Soft & light like summer clouds. To move, float, or settle down like fluff. It sounds peaceful and pretty.

Maybe we need to let go of fears and anxiety. Instead of the jitters and tears of not knowing what tomorrow will bring or worrying about how to crawl out of the hole of debt....I think today....I am going to be fluffy. I think I will also eat a peanut butter, Fluff and blueberry sandwhich. Then I am going to settle down like fluff♥

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Disney Movie is Proof I've Done a Good Job

My Son and I are Disney FREAKS! We are not ashamed to admit this. We are proud! Our favorite place in the world is Walt Disney World in Florida. We have taken many vacations to WDW but now due to finances I have no idea when we will get back there. BUT WE WILL BE BACK!! It is our safe haven. Our place to recharge. Our place to calm down.

The only time I was ever sad when I was in WDW was the trip we took right before dad went into the hospital for "the surgery". It was a good trip. Son and I were there for his birthday. Weather was good. Christmas decorations were up. But for some reason there was a sadness I could not shake. There were times sitting on the bus when I was in tears. Maybe I knew. Maybe somewhere inside I knew what was going to happen with Dad. But I have many nice memories of Dad at WDW so that sadness was an isolated, crazy thing like that entire episode of our lives that just creeps into places unexpectedly.

I have been going to WDW since it opened. My grandparents lived in Florida less than an hour from WDW. Ryan's first trip was when he was 6 months old. Disney is in his blood.

Like I said Disney is all over our lives. I do not think that is a bad thing. While I am not too fond of Disney movies lately. I mean The Frog Princess?? Really?? I LOVE the classics. Back when animation was by hand and it was beautiful. That is not to say that everything needs to be done the old fashioned way. I love the Toy Story movies. They are wonderful. And so....comes the meaning of my title.....

Son and I went to see Toy Story 3. There is no one on Earth I would see this with but him. I will not go into reviewing the movie. Let's just say it is emotional and hit us very hard. In the movie Andy is going to college. Son is in college. Andy is giving away his toys. Son HAS those toys. It is about growing up and moving on and love. OHHH it is a good movie. VERY emotional.

At the end of the film I look at my 20 year old son who is in tears. So many tears in fact that he has BOTH hands over his mouth to keep from sobbing out loud. At that moment I KNEW I had done a good job raising this amazing, sensitive young man. In an age of crime and utter callousness, I have a son who cares. Who feels. Who is not afraid to show his emotions. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. I have done a good job. I have a son who is not afraid to cry at a movie, just like his gramps!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

TV & Cell Phones Have Ruined The Theatre

I went to the Theatre with my son Thursday afternoon, I know, Thursday afternoon, but he won the tickets so it was free and a good reason to take a day off. I must preface this by saying I go to a LOT of theatre. My son is a Theatre Major and has been acting since grade school so I see a lot of shows. All I have to say to the masses is SHUT UP! Oh my gosh it is annoying to have people talking during the show. Not WHISPERING mind you but TALKING! I think this stems from TV. You sit in your home and have converstions with the characters on the screen. And that is fine YOU ARE AT HOME! I have laughed and cried and pointed and sighed at my TV. I have screamed at just about everything that Jack Bauer does (goodbye 24) but that is because I am in the privacy of my very own home. Sitting on my sofa. Alone. Not bothering anyone.

It was bad enough with people talking about the folks on the stage as if they were sitting at home watching....oh she sings good, he is so tall, this is what is going on so I will give you a blow by blow description in case you don't understand Honey. But now we have the cell phone! Dah dah da....oh this is awful too. It is one thing that you cannot go to the grocery store without thinking numerous people are asking you a question but they are really on the phone. I have even taken walks around a lake at a county park to enjoy nature only to run into umpteen people talking on cell phones. Now theatre goers check messages during the show...or even have PHONE CALLS during the show.... and at Intermission it is like everyone is on cellphone crack the way they turn on their cell phones! The entire place lights up!
And what about the people who bring in snacks and unwrap candy when the entire theatre is silent? Or crying babies, loud kids....it goes on and on.

Point is.....LIVE THEATRE is happening LIVE. You really are there. And so are hundreds if not thousands of others. Unless this is some rock concert you pretty much should shut up and enjoy! Because the person next to you may have spent $75 for their ticket and they are hanging on every word. No one wants to hear your vibrating phone, half whispered dinner plans, candy wrappers, etc. If you cannot respect the people sitting around you then you need to stay home until this show is made into a movie and released on DVD!

I shall now step off my soapbox and retire to my sofa for some alone TV time. ♥

Monday, March 15, 2010

Religious Tolerance

Shouldn't there be religious tolerance? After all this is the year 2010! But there are still people who feel that what they believe is the ONLY answer. I am floored by things like this! My son was baptized Presbyterian & attended Catholic high school. My beautiful son is the picture of pure tolerance and freedom. My son wants to be a Jew.

I was totally taken aback by a friend when upon learning this fact actually had emailed me:
I think that would totally crush me if my son renounced Jesus as the Son of God. You seem to be taking it well- much, much better than I would. I would be totally freaked out! Oh yeah and she added 4 "wow"s to make a point. Well that was very opened minded of you my friend. Thank you! BLEH! Truthfully, the only thing that freaked me out was HER! I do not even want to imagine what she thinks about same sex marriage or people's right to choose how they live based solely on that person's own right and beliefs and choices! I wonder what she really thinks of ME. After all I got pregnant outside of marriage and raised my son as a single mom! She makes it sound like he wants to become a cannibal or club baby bunnies! He just wants to worship and love. Why would I ever be freaked out by that?

We turned a new century 10 years ago now but I still think there are some out there who would be burning people at the stake for not conforming to what THEY think is right and proper. People have died protecting this country, to make it what it is, a land where everyone is free to believe what they will. And yes, that includes people like my friend who think that only what they believe is the right thing. She has a right to believe what she will but I do not think that is tolerance or peace. I am sad for people like that. Open up your minds and your hearts. After all, Jesus was a JEWISH carpenter ♥

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Let There Be Peace

I sit here at 8:30 in the morning and my son is a world away and it is 5:30 in the evening. He has been flying for over 10 hours to get to a place he has dreamed of since he was very young. Israel. The Internet has been a source of information to me about his flight. I can log on and see a little map of where the plane is at this very moment. Or yesterday for both legs of his trip how very late his flights were. The flight from STL to Newark was delayed over an hour due to weather. The flight from Newark to Tel Aviv was delayed over an hour for maintanence. Which just means I have been staring at airline pages for hours the past day. Worrying and praying.

I must make myself stop looking at the Internet and searching for pages of news from Israel. It just makes me crazy. There is unrest in Jerusalem. Of course the last 5 nights of his trip Ryan stays in, yes folks, Jerusalem. Most of the trouble has been at Temple Mount...you know Wailing Wall, Mosques, all the things he has dreamed of seeing. The place they are supposed to spend all day next Friday.

It is all perspective I realize. People can read about awful things happening in North St. Louis and even though I live in St. Louis I that does not mean the bad things are everywhere or widespread or near me. Oh Jesus I love this child. Please keep him safe from all harm.

I need to stay away from the Internet or it is going to make me sick. But I can't. In some insane way it makes me feel like I am protecting him. But I know all the protection is from above. God...and my dad. I know he is right there taking care of my son. Thanks Dad I know you will do a great job. Please let there be peace.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Son is Living His Dream.

As I type this my son's plane should be taking off from St. Louis to Newark where he will catch a connecting flight to Tel Aviv and spend his spring break in Israel. He was supposed to take off 50 minutes ago but thanks to the Internet I can tell his fight was delayed.

It is hard to let go and let your kids go off on adventures. Going to Israel is a dream for my son. But as I sit here reading reports on the news about Israel closing the West Bank due to fears of violence and I know that the places they are putting restrictions on include all of the places he is longing to go to next Friday it is hard for a me to just breathe.

How do mothers send their children off to war? How did pioneers do it? How did cavemen women do it? Long ago when your child walked out the front door more times than not the mother never knew what became of them. How did they do that?

My son does not get homesick. He does not travel with a laptop or a cell phone. I will not hear his voice until next Sunday when I pick him up at the airport. Which is 8 days, 208 hours, 12539 minutes and some seconds from now....yes I have it programed into a countdown clock! Who wouldn't? Doesn't everyone do this?

I will be on my knees daily praying for God to protect my son. I will think of him every moment and I will try to breathe. And I will continue to wonder just how a lifetime of mothers watched their children walk out the door and smiled when they sent them off on their big adventures into the world. I will wonder how were they able to hide their tears? ♥

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who is That?!?

Have you ever looked in the mirror, or at your image in a photograph, and wondered...just WHO is that? It is almost scary to not recognize yourself. When did it happen? When did I get old and fat and sad? Where is the smile, the twinkle? Just who is this person who is looking back? Maybe the world would be a better place without mirrors? Some days you walk out of the house and you feel downright cute....maybe even pretty... and confident and awesome...and then you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror or a reflection in a window and you stop....hey...who is THAT???!! Then that slow, shocking realization....oh...sadness...that is me! UGH.

Inside I swear I am still the same person I was when I was 16 and running around with my friend Mary. We had a great childhood with no worries. We were young and innocent and clueless..... and we were happy. I guess the more we live the more we live with. Debt and responsibility and worry all pile up and make us weary of life. Some of this aging must be reflected in our outward appearance....that must explain it....that and time. But why then is it that some moments, some rare moments, you can feel the joy and freedom you did when you were younger? Why can't THAT be the reflection that comes back at you?

I guess you just have to live with it. Time marches on and sometimes it looks like it has marched all over you. You can moisturize and brush and paint your self up. Or you can find that inner happiness and light from when you were young and go out feeling THAT beauty and glow....OH....and avoid mirrors!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day? Love Always!

Today is Valentine's Day. It is such a silly holiday. It puts pressure on those in relationships and makes those not in relationships feel somehow lowly and sad. It sells tons of candy and cards and flowers to those trying to conform to this silliness. Stop it!! If you save all of your love for one day then who is really the sad one?

I have had a handful of what may or may not have been serious, meaningful "couple" relationships. Looking back I see they were probably more dysfunctional than real. I have had my heart broken. But was it really because I was losing the love of my life or was it more correctly my hurt pride that something I had tried did not work out or the shear disbelief that someone did not want ME!? I think the latter two.

Maybe I have yet to find my soul mate. The love of my life. The ONE! I used to believe the fairytale of happily ever after. The all consuming passion of your love for one man. How your heart beats faster and your soul glows brighter. The little cottage, picket fence love. I clearly have watched too many movies and been to Disney World one too many times.

I am sure my mom had that with my dad. And I know that is why it is so hard for her to put one foot in front of the other each day. It must be such a terrible sadness to have lived the dream and had it torn from you.

As I get older I realize that I do have love. I have passionate, all consuming love. Just not the way I thought I would. I may not have my husband, boyfriend, soul mate. But I have relationships that touch my soul. There are so many and they fill my heart. Too many to even count. But I must touch on .....my son. The love of my life, the center of my world, the joy of my heart. Yes I adore him. He is my only child. How could I ever love anyone as much as I love him? I am so proud of the man he has become. He is caring and loving and respectful and everything I could have ever asked for. He is my love. My family. We are small but mighty. My mom is trying so hard. She is lost and we are trying to find a path for her. It is hard. We are at the age when it is almost like I am the mother and she the child. It is a very hard adjustment for both of us. But I know that she loves me and that makes me glad. My cousin Karla. Well who could ask for someone as wonderful as her?? She is savage! My friends. They are my rock. I have old friends and new friends. Friends who are close to genius and ones who are a little off. I love them all. MT you know you are the dearest to me. You are the only one who can get to the hard places in my heart.

Valentines Day? BAH! Go out and make this day what you will. Maybe you will be lucky enough to get some candy or flowers out of it. Or maybe even a nice dinner. But please, whatever you do, do not make this the only day you show your love. Love is in all forms, in all faces, in all hearts and not just this one day. Happy Hearts ♥ Always.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ain't No Sunshine.

It is hard to believe that January is almost over. Whew! There ya go. It means that we are that much closer to Spring! I am not a "winter" kind of gal. I do not like being cold. I do not like ice or snow. The sun has not been out in over 2 weeks! They say we may have sunshine this week but it will not last more than a day, if it lasts that long. Why is it that the coldest time of the year is also the most sad and dreary??
It is hard to smile when there is no sun. It is easy to be lazy and tired and clueless this time of year. The demons are darker, the depression is keener. Not that I am crazy depressed or anything...I just mean it is easier to fall into it this time of year.
My dog, the lovely Babette, had an awful eye ulcer. In the past 2 weeks it has cost $400 for her to get well. I have no money. I buy my clothes at Goodwill. I skimp on groceries to try to pay the bills. There are things on my house that desperately need to be fixed but I cannot fix them And let's not even go into the amount of dental work I STILL need even after the $1,000 I have already spent on my mouth. But there was no hesitation when it came to making my dog better. Funny how a little bundle of fur can depend 100% on you taking care of her. It makes you aware that when you take responsibility for a life you need to really mean it. Even if that little life has four legs.
So when it is cold or dark and life is distressing you can look at the little dog and she will trust you completely without question. She knows she cannot do it on her own....she needs your love and care. Maybe it is very good to have a dog in the middle of winter. Maybe we could learn a lesson from them. Maybe every once in a while all we want is someone to take care of us and pet us on the head.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jack Frost is nipping at my nose.

It is so cold in my office I think I might get frost bite! I mean Jack Frost must be in some kind of a bad mood! The other end of the office is warm and toasty but down at this end if feels like a meat locker, as if I have ever been in a meat locker! But I imagine it feels like this. At lunch today I had to walk over to the bank and it was 9 degrees with a MINUS 6 wind chill. When I was a kid we did not have wind chill factors. We knew it was cold. We just did not know how cold it really felt. In grade school the girls still wore dresses back in the day. We could wear long pants ONLY if the temperature was below 32 degrees in the morning when school started. And jeans?? We could not wear jeans at all period. I think I was in junior high before we could finally wear jeans to school. There was a big high school walk out to protest us not getting to wear jeans to school. This was the early 70’s. I mean the age of Woodstock and Vietnam and we could not wear jeans to school. That seems like it would not be possible… but it is. Funny how things change and you don’t even notice. Seems almost unbelievable that I went to school back when girls could not wear pants! Today I have on pants and tights and fuzzy socks and 2 shirts and 2 sweaters but Jack Frost is still nipping at my nose and ears and fingers…..Thank goodness I don’t have to wear a dress!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A new year

Happy 2010. A new year. A new decade! I have to say that I was not that fond of the past 10 years. Maybe this new decade will be full of surprises and joys! I sure hope so!
Where do you think you will be in 10 years? Oh you are right, I hate things like that. How about where were you 10 years AGO? I was 43 and did not know how YOUNG I was! (You know it is like the thing where you think you are fat and then years in the future you look back and think DANG I looked so GOOD back then...now I am 20 pounds HEAVIER!) LOL I was discussing with my friend Gale this weekend that we used to go to dinner AND a movie and now we have to decide which one we would rather do because we do not have the energy or money for both!
10 years ago my son was 10 and in grade school. He is now 20 and in his second year of college! He went to Ireland last year and will go to Israel this year. In the past 10 years he learned to drive and graduated from high school. He has come a long way! Maybe it is fitting that your life comes so far when you are young enough to handle the changes!!
If you are reading this then you have access to the Internet. I think the thing socially that has made a change in how I meet new people and stay in touch the past 10 years is my computer and the Internet. I have made some wonderful friends over the Internet. And no it was not Internet dating or anything like that! It is a way to stay in touch. I stay in touch with my cousin who lives in Tennessee. We can chat or she can text me and we help each other make it through the day. It is a way to say hi to someone you love but not have to bother them with a phone call. With an email they can answer at their leisure!
This year I stayed in touch with Gabriela ,who I knew vaguely, but when she had to go to Romania when her father was ill it was a way to reach out to someone in pain and to cultivate a friendship that is now very dear to me! I got to know a kind soul in Jeffry (who claims he is from the planet Saturn but we love him anyway) on Facebook. I got back in touch with Digger who I went to grade school with many moons ago. Email has been a way for me to get in touch with a big group at one time so we can all meet up for dinner! SO much easier than making 12 phone calls.
I want to send a special Internet hi to my blog friend Walker! You make me smile! And a hug to Donna who is probably the only other person who wanders on here to read my thoughts. I am glad we can be in touch and I hope to see you at more plays!!
The Internet is not the only place I made friends this year...This year I met my dear Hera in a high school lobby while buying tickets to an awesome production of Les Miserable! It pays to strike up a conversation with the person next to you in line. My life is so much richer with her in my life. I also met Beth at an awards dinner. If I used every colorful word I know to describe her I still could not.
It goes without saying the single event that had the largest impact on my life the past 10 years was the loss of my beloved dad. It has been 2 years now. We have survived even when we thought we would not. I am at a place now where some days he seems so real to me. I still carry him in my heart and use him to stay strong.
So here we are ready to face a new year. Excited. Scared. Bewildered. It is like a blank page ready to be written on. Some of us will pick up a pen. Some of us a brush. Others of us will type. As long as we try, we think, we love, we create....We are not alone. We have each other.
We can do this. Happy new possibilities to us all.