Seasons In Life

As we grow older and hopefully wiser, we realize that over the course of our lives a diverse group of people have come and gone.  Some staying briefly, others for a season and on that rare occasion we’ve met someone who has stuck with us for a large part of our lives.

Ahh, the Memories

Recently while thinking about simple times, memories of my childhood came to mind.  My friends who made junior high fun, crazy and sometimes naughty, like kissing boys under the bleachers (yes, I did that a time or two…who didn’t?)

My youth was spent in the 1970’s and for the most part I cannot recall a dull moment (okay, well maybe when I had to babysit my younger sisters.) mendy-circa-late-70s If I wasn’t cheering for our recreation club’s football team (my mom sewed my cheerleading outfit as most did back then) my friends Sheri, Karla, Kim, and Amber and I were deciding whose house we’d be sleeping at on Friday night. We would spend those nights talking about boys (as they were never far from our minds), listen to the radio and have pillow fights.  We all attended Sligh Junior High in Tampa, Florida which at the time was a 7th grade center designed for cultural integration in the community; it is now called Sligh Middle School (named after the street it faces) and is home to middle school kids in grades 5th – 7th.

In the late 70s, we would play 4-square in the school’s courtyard after lunch and talk about boys (again..we were 7th grade girls) and on rare occasion other topics which ran the gamut. We wore the hairstyles of the day, one side straight down and the other clipped back tight against the head (a bit of a bizarre style if you ask me) or a long and feathered look, such as in my picture. School offered home economics class, shop and typing, I took all three not remembering what I made in either home eco or shop, but I do recall standing at an ironing board (who knew back then we’d have was and wear clothing in the 21st century?) We wore dresses that were at or below our knees, pantyhose and black baby doll (flat) shoes. We had “patrols” (with the orange patrol belt) who patrolled the halls making sure we didn’t run and kept order on buses during the rides to/from school. Oh yeah, an on the rare occasion we would go to the mall…there would always be a line at the photo booth, you know…where you would go in, sit down, draw the curtain and start making goofy faces, then step out and wait a minute or two for your four shots to magically appear!  The picture above is a photo booth sitting.

I remember quite well my time in junior high and physical education class, pfft! (rolling eyes!)  Oh how I hated P.E.!  I still believe the only form of exercise our Phy. Ed. teachers knew were laps; everyday without fail and as soon as we hit the basketball courts (after dressing out) we ran laps.  I ran around that basketball court so many times one year I could tell you the location of every divot, crack and dip. I was determined not to have P.E. the following year so I got a part-time job at McDonald’s on Busch Blvd across the street from Busch Gardens and signed up for the school’s early work release program which allowed student to work in the afternoons on school days, usually reporting to work around noon. When a student was on early release P.E., home economics or shop were the classes of choice to drop from our class schedule; all the kids in this program thought it was the best thing in life, especially if we had the day off from work we still left school early.

GrandbabiesAlthough Karla, Sheri, Kim, and Amber are not part of my life on a daily basis, a few of us still keep in touch via social media and texting. We are spread across the U.S. with Sheri in New Mexico, I am in Northern Kentucky and Karla, Kim and Amber are all in Florida. It’s hard to believe some of us are grannies and these are my four precious ones.

Ahh, the memories are a nice escape from the hectic life most of us lead in adulthood. Just writing this article has conjured up some really great visions of years gone too soon. Wow its so hard to grasp that I turned 50 in February of this year, W-O-W…where has the time gone?

As I grow older by the day I’ve found that its the simple things in life that make L-I-F-E an adventure. As a Nona (grandmother/grandma in Italian), I love that I can love on my grandchildren and when they get cranky… I hand them back to mom and dad. I love that I don’t have to put up with other people’s drama and there’s no law telling me I have to keep them in my life. I love that because of where I’ve been…I know where I’m going and planning my future has never been so much fun. I love that my “lifetime” friends love me for who I am and accept me completely, without question, ridicule or judgement.  They just love me! And lastly, I love walking down MEMORY LANE and bringing all those great memories into the present. Thank you for letting me share a smidge of my past with you.

A New Year, A New You With SPICES

The Christmas and New Year holidays are traditionally the most celebrated annual events worldwide. As the new year begins to unfold  a large majority of us seek ways to find a more balanced and fulfilled life.

A friend recently shared with me the acronym S-P-I-C-E-S which is a stress balanced-stones-blogmanagement and overall wellness concept in filling your life with a balance in the six areas of Social, Physical, Intellectual, Career, Emotional, and Spiritual.  Each element plays an important role in leading and successful living a well-rounded life and being genuinely happy with your life and the decisions/choices made.

As many know in a balanced life, “being well/wellness” is much more than being free from illnesses and/or a sick body.  It encompasses a positive attitude which incorporate a person’s sense of responsibility and uniqueness.

Social

Being socially active allows one to build and maintain relationships, both personally and professionally.

Physical

This is just as it states…being physical, exercising and maintaining the physical movement for balanced wellness (physically and emotionally.)

Intellectual

Being involved in mental activities which are stimulating and creative.

Career

Never underestimate the power of having goals and/or a direction in your life.

Emotional

Being aware of your emotions and feelings and express or respond in a positive manner.  You’ll be happy you did.

Spiritual

What describes you?  What are your personal beliefs, values, and ethics? These things have an impact on your “balance.”

Let’s strive to add balance to all areas of our life this new year.  Learn to be a little more patient with others, choose our words so they correctly express our true feelings without breaking down others.  Make it a goal to genuinely convey our gratitude to others and build them UP with encouragement.

Make 2015 your best year yet.  Try something new, make life an adventure, make a new friend or two and make memories!  Get out there…you’ve got a life to live!

Resources

Julie T. Lusk, M.Ed., R/CYT, Stress Solutions Now

Eighteen Years Ago Today

Eighteen years ago today at 6:38 pm, a special bundle of joy entered my life.  Over the years he has brought me immense amounts of joy and laughter; has shared his thoughts, kisses, snuggle time, tears, scrapes, and heartache.  The Boy has grown into a respectful man and has made his “Madre,” as he now calls me, very proud as I reflect and think “yeah, I did a pretty amazing job raising this young one on my own.”

Looking at the pictures through the years his physical appearance has changed dramatically; yet his soul has remained compassionate and full of love.  He is a man of character, has a humanitarian heart, is humble, respectful, and honorable.

Son, your life is an open book, waiting for you to fill the pages with adventure, love, laughter, family, and friends. Dream big and never be afraid to follow your dreams; you’ll be wonderfully surprised where they can lead you.

The world is your oyster.  Happy Birthday son; I am honored to be your mom and I love you to the moon and back a billion times!

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Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (and don’t you know it)!

9781435118645_p0_v1_s260x420My friend and I planned a girls night out for this past Wednesday night (March 26th).  We decided to see the one-man comedy show at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” which is based on the book of the same name written by John Gray.

As we sat in the auditorium waiting for time to pass and the show to start, we chatted about everything from the Salvador Dali Museum, to family and dating, as well as any musical concerts and stand up acts we’ve previous attended.  I looked around the theater as the seats were filling up and thought to myself that my friend and I might very well be the only “female” couple in the theater as many seats were occupied by male/female couples.

Its Showtime

The lights dimmed and the noise level lowered as darkness fell over the crowd.  Our entertainer of the evening “Peter Story” comes on stage doing some sort of a “I can’t really dance so I’ll just move and be funny about it” dance.  I think he may have actually thrown in a 1970s “robot” move or two.

Men are from Mars - Women are from VenusAs the evening progressed we laughed, learned a lot about Peter and Megan’s (his wife) relationship. Peter did an excellent (an quite entertaining) job in explaining the differences between men and women’s brains and how we process information.  Without giving too much away, I’ll share a little piece of info Peter shared with the audience.

Women need and want from men: Attention and Understanding

Men need and want from women: Trust and Approval

Guys, Peter gave an easy way for you to remember what a women needs; and that is done by referring to the Periodic Table of Elements where Attention and Understanding = AU which is the chemical symbol for “gold.”  Guys, treat your ladies like gold and you’ll be good to go.

Ladies, oh ladies…you already know how to be in the continual good graces of your guy.  Yes, yes you do, it is right there in their needs/wants of Trust and Approval = TA.  Girls, give your guy a little T&A and you’ll forever be treated like gold? 😉

A Little Explanation Please

I have to share with you a quick story about the elderly couple sitting to my right.  As Peter explained the AU and TA examples the audience was roaring with laughter.  Then in my peripheral vision I noticed the lady sitting on my right lean closer to her partner (who I would safely say was well into his 80s) and in a loud whisper she said “it means T-s and A-s.”  I lost it!  I laughed so hard my stomach started hurting, I had tears running down my face and found it somewhat challenging to regain my composure.  Peter’s explanation was hilarious, but hearing the old gal explaining it to her fella….that was priceless!!

Group Picture

We are somewhere in the center. Look for a blue scarf around my neck.  My friend is sitting to my left. (Photo: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MarsVenusLIVE

 

Highly Recommend

I recommend that you get online and get tickets for this show, grab your partner or make it a girls night out.  You won’t regret it!  I promise!!!

I have learned…

As I age, I have learned that some people are short-sighted “just enough” to keep screwing up that which appears to be fate (and their own happiness.)  Imagine that!  Guess they’re “content” with life and have no real desire to experience true happiness.  Hmm?