Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life...

I have a skinny Moleskine notebook in every single part of my little house...and in my car and in my desk at work. I need there to be one close at hand when I think of an idea or subject that I want to write about! I am constantly scribbling in these notebooks, needing to get my (brilliant!) thoughts out on paper as quickly as I can. My most thought-provoking moments are when I'm getting ready in the bathroom, when I'm driving, all day at work, and, of course, in the middle of the night. Lately, I've actually overwhelmed myself with the number of things I think about!
The last couple of days I've been trying to consolidate a few hundred of these thoughts, as well as a few of the notebooks...and came up with this:
A (random) collection of blogging ideas, (somewhat) thoughtfully arranged into a list of things I (try hard to) do to help keep my life on (the right) track.
I thought I might pass them on to you...

  1. Be the most encouraging person you know
  2. Listen with your eyes
  3. Take the statement, "I don't have enough time" out of your vocabulary.
  4. Use the good dishes and light the candles. Drink the champagne you've been saving.
  5. Be forgiving and say you're sorry
  6. Return everything you borrow and consider things you loan out a gift
  7. Make a list of things you want to do...then start doing them
  8. Donate blood (my blood type is B positive!)
  9. Take lots of pictures and get in your own
  10. Dance more. Sing more. Really listen to music ('Music is what feelings sound like...')
  11. No more blaming others for where you are. Take responsibility for your life and let others take responsibility for theirs.
  12. Take "I'm tired" and "I don't feel good" out of your vocabulary (and PLEASE never tell someone else they look tired!)
  13. Remember people's birthdays
  14. Say please to everyone
  15. Exercise and drink water like it's going out of style
  16. Have a job that you love
  17. Get out of debt. It's not about making more money--it's about spending less.
  18. Lose the weight and be done with it. And stop talking about it (yes, I'm still working on this one!)
  19. Use people's names when you talk with them. Read name tags
  20. Don't top a friend's story with one of your own
  21. Be kind and give lots of compliments
  22. Be positive and enthusiastic
  23. Laugh out loud. Smile at people.
  24. Simplify your whole world by giving away (letting go of, selling, getting rid of) as much as you possibly can. Less is so much more.
  25. Be a hard worker and praise the work of others. (Then watch them smile!)
  26. Put the past behind you once and for all. Let go and move on
  27. Make it a goal to never complain. Ever again.
  28. Be truly happy for other people...and let them know!
  29. Your home is a reflection of your life--keep it clean, organized and in good repair
  30. Open the door for someone. Insist that someone go ahead of you in line. Tell the checker she looks nice today
  31. Say thank you. Be grateful
  32. Wear sunscreen. Take good care of yourself!
  33. Have a good attitude. Seek out the bright side
  34. Get up as early as necessary so that you never have to be in a hurry
  35. Enjoy every moment of now and stay curious about the future!
This is your life. Be happy!

....oh, now that's a good one.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yes! I will be there!

Peter Frampton was my VERY first concert in December 1976...
How in the world could I NOT be at the 35th anniversary tour?!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Drip irritation system...

I took a bath on Saturday in my big, beautiful bathtub. Unfortunately, as I was thoroughly enjoying every second of the experience, the water was slowly, yet constantly, disappearing. Despite my multiple attempts to secure the plug and my constant re-adding of more water, it just kept going down the drain. Here I was, doing everything I could to hold on to something that was very obviously not meant to be. Not for that day anyway…

Interestingly, this morning as I took a shower, the plug nowhere near the drain, I found myself ankle deep in water (in my own filth is what Allison would call it.) The water was NOT going down the drain--at all! I washed my hair and shaved my legs, enjoying the experiences as always and hoping that it would just start draining...No such luck. Again, I tried to figure out what to do, what was wrong, what was blocking the natural flow?! As the water reached my shins, I once again surrendered. And finished my shower.

It’s amazing the amount of inspiration I have been able to feel from these two experiences. I thought about bathtub analogies all day!

These situations are so much like life. (Mine anyway) There are things I want to get rid of and things that I want to keep. There are things that fill me up and things that drain me. (Sometimes it’s the same thing.) What messes up my life? I have got to find a way to get it to go away. What fills up my life? I have got to figure out a way to keep it in!

Funny how a situations can be totally opposite, yet help me with the same lessons: What can I actually control? And what is it that I can’t? Can I force things one way or another? Why do I want what I can't have...and vice versa? Then here's the obvious thought that sometimes my life is going down the drain...

But honestly, most of the time, my life simply overflows with JOY. The real key for me, no matter what the situation, is enjoying the moment and, of course, accomplishing a goal, despite the setbacks.

Life is a series of clearing out the bad stuff and finding a way to keep in all the goodness.

Of course, then there’s an analogy with the tub itself. Just like my life, it looks so dang good…always clean, always organized, big, beautiful, and shiny.

But it’s obviously in need of repair…

Perhaps it's just time for a little Draino and a call to the maintenance crew at my complex.

I know I know.

My analogy doesn’t hold water.

But today, it’s keeping me afloat.

Perfect Timing

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Calling all Angels

Went to my first (and quite possibly my last) Dodger game of the season last night. Two hours to get up there, a PAINFUL if not HORRIBLE game, and nearly two hours to get home.
Of course the 'in between' of that was a beautiful night at the ballpark--PICTURE PERFECT weather--a great big Corona in one hand and a Dodger Dog in the other--and a night sitting with my darling dad, Sweet Sunny and my high school friend, (and ultimate Dodger fan) Rosa.
All in all, I gotta was quite enjoyable...
Angels beat the Dodgers 8-3

Friday, June 24, 2011

Kenya feel the love

Everybody wants to change the world...
Some people just go out and do it.

(When I grow up, I want to be just like Allison...)

Allison is heading back to Kenya this weekend!
To keep up with her travels and to find out why she loves it so much, check out her KenyaKenyaKenya blog (CLICK HERE) over the next few weeks...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Gina!!

With love on your 29th...

Go ahead...

Little things that make my day:
  1. Breakfast with a friend (especially if it includes deep conversation...and bacon!)
  2. Playing my iPod on 'shuffle' and saying, "OH, I love this song!" with each song that plays.
  3. Someone saying, "Good Morning Beautiful!"
  4. Making someone truly laugh out loud (not LOL)
  5. The Dodgers winning THREE in a row!
  6. A personal, hand-written note in my US Mail Box.
  7. When someone says, "NO WAY do you have a 28 year old!"
  8. Being recognized and becoming a 'regular' somewhere.
  9. Clean Sheets
  10. Someone who totally GETS me!
  11. Having lunch outside...just me and "The Help"
  12. A new body scrub and lotion (Grapefruit!)
  13. Inside Jokes
  14. (Lots of) whipped cream on just about anything...
  15. A sweet text message
  16. An afternoon nap
  17. A $6 bouquet of Peonies from Trader Joes!
  18. A note on my desk
  19. Being with someone who knows and can quote movie dialogue!
  20. A French pedicure by Tu
  21. Making someone else's day
  22. A bubble bath in my huge tub
  23. Living in the "Smoke Free/Dog Free" building!
  24. An evening with NOTHING to do...just me and Vinnie...and "The Help"
  25. Realizing that EVERY day is the BEST day yet...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
~Henry David Thoreau

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I have the best Dad ever!
My sweet dad has been there for me...always!
At every softball game I ever played, every awards dinner, bowling tournaments, Blue Bird camp college graduation, the birth of my kids...and every single thing in between...and since!!
My dad has a hilarious sense of humor and an enviable desire to love and make people happy! He is also the root of both my passion for baseball and my dedicated work ethic! Having five daughters, I think my Dad was determined to make each of us "well-rounded." Taking us fishing and camping...teaching us how to to check our tires and add oil to our car. We all learned how to mow the lawn and to fix things around the house. He encouraged us to play run for class office....and to love Vin Scully. Obviously, there were no "boy things" and "girl things" in our family. There were just a whole lot of great things we did with our dad. I honestly think my sisters and I are all better people for that.
And, I gotta tell ya, to this day, a day at the ballgame with my dad is still my happiest place on earth. How lucky can a girl get?
Love you Pops!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Do you hear what I hear?

'Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music...'
George Carlin

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Web browsing

I've been watching a spider spin a web between two planters out on my patio the last few days. Not sure why this beautiful spider chose such an expansive space for this creation (well, compared to her size) but I certainly admired her for attempting such a feat. I knew it would take a long time for her to construct such a large web, but she didn't seem to mind...and it was beyond fascinating to watch her as she worked. Taking one step at at time, working intentionally and diligently, she went back and forth and back and forth. She worked for a couple of days on that giant web, slowly and steadily, at what truly became a masterpiece.
And then, she just sat there.
She just sat there in her amazing web.
I'm so attracted to her patience and her ability to be so still.
So calm.
Obviously very fragile, I knew the web wasn't going to last very long. Though I was careful as I watered the plants around it, there was no doubt that the wind or a slight rain would be enough to knock down the web, and that beautiful, hard-working spider.
Today, when I got home from work, she was gone. Remnants of the web were left hanging from the plants. And it made me kind of sad.
I wondered right away if she was sad. Or maybe angry? Was she upset that what she worked so hard to build was now gone? Was she crying in a corner thinking it was all over? Was she off somewhere brooding about how unfair life is?
No, she wasn't.
I glanced up to the back of my patio...and there she was...up in the corner of the roof...starting over. Working one step at a time, back and forth, back and forth.
Building a new masterpiece.
And tonight, she sits patiently, still and calm.

Inspiration from a spider.

“What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.”
-Mother Teresa

Monday, June 13, 2011

Smiles everyone, Smiles!

Every day I walk through the back halls at work smiling and saying hello to each person who passes by me. I've been there over six years now and I've loved getting to know everyone and being able to call them by their name! (No sweeter sound) I say GOOD MORNING or GOOD AFTERNOON to every single person who crosses paths with me. I SO love if I can bring a smile to their face! The majority of the people I work with are incredibly kind, loving and happy and most of them know MY name too. It's a thrill for me to hear, "Good Morning Julie!" 32 times down the back hallway.
Seriously, this is probably what I love most about my job.
Then there's Robert. Oh Robert. Think "Eeyore" and "Raincloud"...Yep, there's a little black rain cloud over Robert's head every single day. You know, he's busy, he's tired, he's the hardest worker at Montage, his wife is sick, his dog needs an operation, some kid beat him up when he was in 3rd grade--it's ALWAYS something--some 'reason' for Robert to not be happy.
One of my goals EVERY DAY is to say hello to Robert and remind him of what a GREAT day it is! Today, I spotted Robert as I came down the hall toward the cafeteria. I smiled and said, (over dramatically, I confess) "Good Afternoon Roberto!" He stopped what he was doing and just looked at me. So I stopped and looked right back.
He said, "Don't you ever have a bad day? Aren't you EVER mad or sad or pissed off or angry?" The thing is, he was kinda laughing and I could not stop smiling and was holding back giggles as he rattled off his questions to me. He finished up with, "Julie, what are you so happy about?"
The door was open. I have been hoping to put a smile on Robert's face for six years!
I said, "Today? Well, let's see...the Dodgers won and I just talked to my son, (then I realized I had started a little poem so I tried to get really funny)... my hair's in a bun, I don't weigh a ton, and I don't own a gun....(ok, at this point, he is laughing--out loud--and I want to keep going) work is real fun--we should go for a run!"
And ROBERT says, "Out in the sun??"
We were really laughing now--me and (raincloud) ROBERT! I was literally wiping tears from my face. (Laughing til you cry is the BEST laughter!)
I hugged a smiling Robert and, as I walked away, added the last line to our poem,
"My work here is done."