Tag: better choice better life

Find Your Words

I spoke with Hercules before lighting the firepit. He’s my neighbor and ‘good choice’ guru, but he’ll tell you it’s because he’s made a lifetime of not so good choices that he can offer better answers today. He said, “Barbara, if you want to light your pit, then you should do it. Just drop a hose nearby.” I mentioned writing about him in a Blog and our conversation went something like this…

Him: I didn’t think you were Blogging anymore.

Me: Yes, I renewed my website for another year.

Him: But, the last time we talked you were going to stop Blogging.

Me: I tell myself that all the time.

Him: Well, I stopped reading the Blog because you said you were going to stop. I’ll go find the Blog.

Me: Awesome. You are Hercules!

He laughed and said, “Barbara, it’s from thinking I was Hercules all those years that got me in the shape I’m in today!”

Hercules supports my crazy ideas and doesn’t mind that I write about him. When I first met him it didn’t take long to realize how much wisdom he holds and I told him, “You should write a book!” He laughed, and shook his head, but now he lives next-door to someone who will.

I ran across a Blogsite where a man stopped Blogging last year and wondered if he lost his voice, but blogging helped me find my voice and refines it. My disclaimer is, “If you’re in my life, you’re probably going to be in a story.” The blogger who lost his voice was in a season where family was involved in every storyline, and he didn’t feel it was solely his story to tell. As writer’s we get to tell our side of the story.

Finding your voice is a path paved by alphabetized keys, or pen to paper. This Blog began in 2014, and you’d never know by reading it that my divorce was one of the nastiest times of my life. As a writer, we get to choose the parts we want to tell and can uncover the good parts if we want to badly enough. I’d venture to speculate the blogger who lost his voice didn’t lose it, but instead someone voiced their opinion about his writing, and their words cut his vocal chords.

We have a voice and writing is like pushups for finding it. You haven’t lost your voice my darling, but you may need to sit with yourself in front of the blank page until you find your words.

The Second Half

Last week I posted a series of memes on FB about aging. I want people over 50 to be excited about the second half of life. One of my walking routes through the neighborhood takes me by a couple of old Ford trucks that have been cared for. They’re gorgeous, and I think about my truck being considered a classic one day.

My neighbor is older than me, and he’s my life mentor. When I’m perplexed about the best way to fix, or do something, he’s my Guru. He shares what he would do, and then has several suggestions on what not to do. I tell him all the time, “You know everything!” He chuckles and says, “No Barbara…I’ve just been here longer.” In the book I’m writing, he’s called Hercules, and there’s a chapter entitled, “A Hammer, Screwdriver and some duct tape”, filled with his wisdom.

The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

Andy Rooney

I love a clean truck, and growing up, we hand washed our cars. I’ll still hand wash my truck, but it’s too hot outside to be enjoyable, so I’ll run him through a carwash. Hercules has a Ford F150 older than Steve, (my trucks name) and he takes it through the Glide carwash. When I ask, “What are you doing today Hercules?”, he’ll say, “Today we ride the Glide Barbara.” He loves that carwash, so one day I took Steve.

This carwash felt like walking through a hurricane. It’s powerful, and I told Hercules I couldn’t ride the Glide after it almost ripped one of Steve’s sideview mirrors off. He said, “Don’t you fold them in?” I said, “Yes, but the force of the wash popped it out and bent it backwards!” This is when he realized a girl drives this truck. Hercules, would have shrugged it off while reattaching the mirror with duct tape.

I found a more gentle car wash for Steve and drive him through regularly. He’s 14 years old, and at the stage where things give out, and parts are replaced, but fortunately he hasn’t let go of anything major.

I’ll be 58 this October, and to some that sounds old, but I’m excited. Everything we learned in the first half, can be applied to the second half, and by refining our experiences we get to do it right in the second half.

A Second Chance

Every moment allows space with endless possibilities. My goal is to not add so much to it that I ruin the moment.

Our cat has this new thing he’s been doing this week. I make my bed every morning, usually within 30 minutes of leaving it, but Friday I left it a mess. He casually strolls into my bedroom, hops up on the corner of the bed and curls up for a quick nap. He normally does this after I make it up, but today it’s unmade, so that doesn’t seem to matter to him. Maybe it’s the moment he’s after.

He looks guilty to me.

Now it’s 2:30 PM and the bed is still unmade.

I walked in to see what remnants were left behind from a Zoom earlier in the day, and spotted my favorite notebook, classic Kate Spade laying on the bed. I love this notebook, but earlier this week, I noticed it was almost out of pages. It was originally purchased to be used as a journal, but somehow transitioned over to notes from work. It has a hardcover, so it also doubles as a sturdy mouse pad.

They don’t make it anymore, but I asked my daughter to search and see if she can find it. She found one that is brand new, still in the package and for sale. She emailed me the link and it was purchased without hesitation.

I’m excited about getting the new one and it feels like having a second chance to use it more intentionally. Notes from work can be placed in any type notebook, as this notebook proves, not everything we love is easily replaced. Here I sit on a Friday, in a messy bed with the cat nearby, simply thrilled to have a second chance.

A Better Choice

I enjoy writing about choices.

This weekend, I chose to stay home. Normally, I’ll run some errands or visit local shops and markets, but not this weekend. It was nice to stay home and do whatever I chose to do. My truck got washed. 🙂

Some decisions don’t come to an end on our timeline. I made a choice when Big Red arrived that could have very easily turned into tragedy.

In Meet Big Red, you see him resting in the dining room, but I had to make room for him beforehand.

There was a large plastic container sitting in the dining room ready for storage. Yes lovely….It contained our Christmas ornaments! When the paddleboard arrived, I sat the container on the back porch.

At least it was closer to storage.

A few nights ago, we had a huge wind and rain storm. I wasn’t concerned about the rain hitting the container because it was plastic and shut tight.

What I didn’t consider was the wind.

The wind blew the rain up under the lid into the container. The next morning I looked outside to see if any damage was done from the storm and saw the plastic container sitting there half full of water.

Of course, I laid the ornaments out to dry and there was no permanent damage done. The one thing I was worried about were the paper stars I made for my daughter during Breast Cancer.

They were in a cardboard box within the plastic container. The cardboard box was soggy and so were the stars but they held up rather well.

stars

They are not quite the same as before the storm, but nothing ever is. I was just happy to see they needed help so soon after the storm.

Now I know to place the stars in plastic container instead of a cardboard box before storage.

As I was drinking my coffee this morning and the sky became dark. It rains without warning, so I ran outside to gather up the ornaments that were now dry. I brought the container into the house because the stars are not quite ready to be repacked.

I made a mistake leaving them once.

The second time I made a better choice.

 

 

This Ain’t Easy

If you had $20 to your name, how would you spend it? Years ago, I would spend that money on diapers. Today, I would spend $13 on my favorite candle, and the rest would be a toss up between a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or actual food.

Does that sound silly? I try to be a good steward of everything God gives me, including money. I think He knows, there are a lot of small things I would rather buy before food. It’s just not that important to me. A home that smells like fall from an amazing candle? The moment of savoring my favorite fall coffee drink? Those are important to me.

faithIt’s not easy living in the calling God gives you. God put a desire in me to write and that is what I do. Is it perfect grammar? I’m from Texas, it ain’t gonna be perfect.

I know one of my God given gifts is an Encourager. God prompted me once my legal separation began to start writing publicly. I have always kept a journal, but He wanted to show people my life. Walking through alcoholism and a divorce wasn’t easy, but it was possible. That is all my daughter and I need. Possible.

It is all thanks to God. He gets all the glory for it and that is what I’m here to share.

I’ve had the life of get up, take kids to school, go to work, pick kids up, eat dinner, go to bed and start all over. When it was time for my son to attend high school, the thought horrified me. He was such a good kid, I was afraid he would be eaten alive, so I homeschooled him. Then my daughters school closed down after her 3rd grade year, and I chose to homeschool her. That was the beginning of quality of life for us.sky

When she was younger, I would take her to work with me. As she got older, employers started to frown upon that, so God opened a door for me to work from home. When she turned 13, the beginning of her teenage years, I worked virtually for a friend of mine in California and still do, part time. It was less hours and less money, but the rewards!

That was when I found it to be true that we can make better choices and have a better life. My daughter took this picture of the sky behind our house. She goes outside almost everyday between 6 and 7 pm. The time she goes out depends on the colors reflecting in the house from outside. It’s the beauty factor that gets her attention.

This morning, I was going through a file I have for her in my email. In it was an email she sent a year ago, wishing me a Happy Birthday. The words that jumped off the page this morning were, “I want to be like you when I grow up.” This humbled me as gratitude just spilled out for this beautiful life God has given us. Once again, this must be God.