Christmas: A State of Mind

With only 5 days left until Christmas, I have only picked up a handful of gifts. Quite honestly I am struggling with the ridiculousness and madness of the so called traditions of the holiday season.  Traditions of…

…fighting over parking spaces

…arguing over the last hottest and must have item

…pulling plastic out the wallet when the green runs out

…folks getting upset with the Pollyanna’s because they hate their gift

…Frantically shopping and thoughtless purchases on Christmas Eve

Retailers scheme and plot on how to manipulate every dollar out of unsuspecting and over-zealous consumers.

About a week ago, I walked into TJ Maxx. I was surprised to see more shelving displays of crap in the center of the store replacing clothing racks.  Off to the side were five huge racks of sweaters!! I thought to myself, Lord, please let me not get an ugly sweater as a Christmas gift,  “I just can’t.” Lol!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful for gifts, but I am so over getting unwanted gifts. You know stuff that I won’t wear, I won’t’ use, or won’t’ put on display in my home.  It is the thought that counts right?  I guess so.

I am more about connecting with family and friends.  You know, catching up on what everyone is doing.  Playing games, eatting that favorite dish that only comes around once a year, watching football, taking fun pics, and more.  Oh the fun! :0)

Several times this month, I’ve been asked what do I want for Christmas.  Don’t buy me anything.  All I Want For Christmas is…

Peace.

To witness more kindness.

Quality time with those who matter most.

Joy and laughter for all.

More forgiveness.

The spirit of giving year-around.

Stillness.

Better health for all.

Be blessed and enjoy the weekend.

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The Morning After

Exhale…

Happy Friday! It is the day after and the hype of the Christmas holiday is over.

I’m chillin big time this morning and I am also feeling unusually sluggish. Ugh!  Yesterday I indulged in crap that I don’t normally eat (mac & cheese, apple pie, and cookies) and… I sipped on two drinks (vodka with a splash of mango grapefruit juice).

My body is not used to the sugar, white flour, cheese, and stuff, so I am not feeling my normal energized bunny rabbit self. 😦

Between the diet and all the running around, I decided to rest this morning. I don’t think a gym workout would have been best.

This morning my heart is full of joyous memories from spending the day with my family and friends. The joy and the love I feel on Christmas is priceless and has nothing to do with receiving gifts.

Quality time with my family and friends, laughing, playing games, watching movies, and getting up-to-speed on everyone’s’ life is heart warming. Images of genuine smiles and twinkling eyes are priceless!

My favorite moment was the look on my mom and my aunts faces when they each received a copy of their own photo book. The photo book was 21 pages of unseen photos of the grands, great grands, nieces, and nephews.

The remaining aunts ( 6 of 9) are well over age 70 and are not on any of the social networks.  The younger generations often share photos and events online, but the elders don’t get to see them, so we put them together in a book.  Their ooh’s and ah’s were the highlight of my day. Absolutely priceless!

The past few weeks were hectic but worthwhile, so I thought I’d share some of those moments with you. 🙂

What’s next?  Something I rarely get to do.. a midday nap!

Enjoy the day! 🙂

 


Are You Still Thankful?

Happy Post-Thanksgiving!

I am up early this Black Friday morning. Hubby left for work and B’Dazzle has 10 o’clock football practice.

One place you won’t find me today is engaging in the BF frenzy. I’m sipping on my java watching GMA (Good Morning America). Grown behind men are throwing themselves on to boxes of TV’s. Why? Some folks have lost their minds!

Another image shows a poppy-eyed suspect in the back of a police car… then there’s a blurb of a witness talking about the girl who punched a guy in the face over a Barbie. Why?

Seriously, I just don’t get it.

In 24 hours, folks go from being oh so “thankful” on Thanksgiving Day to out-and-out Greed the very next day. What the heck?

TV’s are a dime a dozen– always on sale somewhere. The retail industry is more competitive than ever, so with Wi-Fi and a little patience, you can find a great price on whatever you want or need.

When our 25 year-old daughter was little, on Black Friday, hubby and I would hit the stores before sunrise to get whatever the hot item was. But still, we didn’t fight over stuff; that’s just silly.

These days, I’m all about the simple life, with absolutely no interest in crowds, lines, traffic, and chaos.

Our extended family usually does huge gift exchanges. This year, I am putting them on notice, to give to a charity as an alternative to giving me a gift that I don’t want or need.

I am still in the mode of gratitude. I am thankful for the love, warmth, and support from my family, extended family, and friends. My life is wonderful and I don’t take it for granted. I am wealthy in health, spirit, and attitude.

Yesterday was relaxing. Our family shared good ole fashion soul food—I still cooked some clean eating food for me too. Lol!

Alex

My pooch Alex.  I can’t believe he sat still for a pic!

family pic

My peeps!

football

Thanksgiving isn’t the same without football

me and curt

According to my daughter, we’re the “coolest 40 something’s” around. 🙂

Today’s agenda? Football practice, the gym, and begin the holiday house decorations.

I hope you enjoyed your holiday and if you’re going shopping, be safe!

Happy Friday! 🙂


Precious Moments

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While I am annoyed and disappointed that I did not make it to this morning’s CrossFit class, I am forever grateful for precious moments like the one in this picture.

This morning B’Dazzle and I put up Christmas tree number four. One more to go! LOL! Both of us LOVE Christmas. For me, it’s the spirit of giving and helping others in need and spending quality time with family and friends.

Happy Saturday!



No Thank You to Resolutions in 2013

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

-Buddha

There was a time when I was obliged to compile an annual NYRL (New Year’s Resolution List).  Much of the list was self-indulging and included one tangible item after another, dreamy vacations, and much-needed behavior and attitude changes that never included a realistic plan of action.  Pretty much the same list reappeared annually.

Over the years, sudden deaths, tragedies, and other life altering events have ended the insignificant ritual for me.

Instead my focus  now resides on what really matters.

  • Family:  The mere fact that I have healthy relationships with my extended family is a blessing.  The core foundation of the family structure is shattered in many family units.  Massive amounts of future generations  will not experience the benefit of knowing family history or simply  bonding with family.My 79 year-old mother is alive and well.  My children are alive and healthy.  I have a wonderful husband who generously loves, respects, and provides for our family.  My big brother is a survivor of what most would succumb to; he has an awesome sense of humor and a kind heart.  My inspiring big sister who fearlessly hikes solo all around the world.   Seven of my aunts and uncles (age 70 and older) continue to thrive and bring joy and laughter to my life; we continue to share holiday dinners.  My relationship with many of my cousins resemble that of loving siblings.
  • Health and well-being:  Today I have good health for which I am thankful.  I wake up every morning because of God’s generosity with the ability to squint at the bright ray of sunlight that beams through my bedroom window.  The gift of health grants me a capacity for independence.  Bathing, walking, exercising, playing with my children, driving, and feeding myself are simple tasks that are often taken for granted. My focus is to continue to keep up a healthy lifestyle and to share this knowledge with others.
  • A home:  Not just a home, but also a safe, warm, loving quarter that I can retreat to each day.  No worries about where my next meal will come from or memories and fear of bullets smoldering holes in my walls.   Just a quiet peaceful place where I can recharge and nurture my family.  A home that remains in tact after several devastating storms ripped through our state. Other families are not so lucky.
  • A Career: While the unemployment rate has slowly declined, many are still unable to provide for their family.  I am thankful for a meaningful and rewarding career that empowers me to help others who are in need.  Is my job perfect?  No, but no job is.  As with everything in life, it is the attitude that we bring to the table that determines the outcome.

As I write this post, I am sitting with my family by the fireplace enjoying the blazing heat.  Echoing crackling and popping noises rip loudly from the fireplace and drowns out the voice of Giselle in the movie, Enchantment.   We anticipate the countdown to 2013.  These moments are special.  There is no guarantee that we will live to see December 31, 2013. Faith says that we will, but the reality is that we don’t know this for sure.

A part of me is still saddened by the recent and senseless murders of those babies in Connecticut.  The tragedy is yet another wake up call to live a purposely filled life.

Eliminating and minimizing the trivial, meaningless and shallow aspects of our lives is a huge step to opening the door to living a peaceful, spiritual, and consequential life.

In 2013, make a choice to disengage from the senseless drama and negative energy from family, friends, or colleagues.  Walk away from it and re-direct your energy to give a warm smile to a sad face, buy a cup of coffee to the person in line behind you at WaWa or an open ear to someone desperately needing to talk.

While I have a few personal and professional goals, overall my purpose for the New Year is to simplify my life and to be a better person; to give more, to love more, and to be a little kinder and patient, especially when the situation dictates other.

My wish for you all is that your New Year is safe, peaceful, healthy, prosperous, and BLESSED!