If I could just….

Having a moment of sentimentality today. And I think back to the film “The Guardians of the Galaxy” and how the mom’s playlist (mix tape as it were) was an integral part of the piece. So I thought what would my mix tape I would hand off be?

So I thought of some titles:

Renaissance’s ‘Carpet of the Sun

The Monkees’ “Randy Scouse Git’

The Moody Blues’ “Question’

Jane’s Addiction ‘Been Caught Stealing’

Fastball’s “The Way’

Dream Academy’s ‘Life In a Northern Town’

The Thorns’ ‘Think It Over’
The Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’
Crosby Stills and Nash’s “Teach Your Children’
Paul Simon’s ‘The Obvious Child’
Todd Rundgren’s ‘I Love My Life’
Michael Franti and Spearhead’s ‘Sound of Sunshine’
Cat Steven’s ‘Peace Train’
Michael Kiwanuka’s ‘I’m A Getting Ready’
Frank Turner’s ‘Recovery’
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’ ‘Home’
Tuneyard’s Water Fountain
Midnight Oil ‘King of the Mountain’
The Fixx ‘Driven Out’
Bob Marley and the Wailers ‘Three Little Birds’
Frank Sinatra’s ‘Three Coins In a Fountain’
Ella Fitzerald’s Cover of ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’
The Smith’s ‘Suedehead’
Beck’s ‘Mixed Bizness’
Ohio Players’ ‘Love Roller Coaster’
Al Green’s ‘Love and Happiness’
Chicago’s ‘Saturday in the Park’
Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Stand’
The Staples Singers’ “Respect Yourself’
In Living Color ‘Cult of Personality’
Indigo Girls’ ‘Closer to Fine’
Talking Heads’ ‘Take Me to the River’
Alice in Chains’ ‘Man in the Box’
XTC’s ‘Dear God’
Belle and Sebastian’s ‘Expectations’
Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence’
Metallica ‘Nothing Else Matters’
The White Stripes’ ‘We Are Going to Be Friends’
War ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’
The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’
The Isley Brothers’ ‘It’s Your Thing’
And then for fun…
The Superions’ ‘Fruitcake’

Be good to yourself but practically so

In today’s society it seems that “Keeping up with the Jones'” is the norm. But the Jones’ we don’t know their story as much as we do our own.

I wrestle with the choices I made to live well beneath my means despite what banks told me was within my means. Had I listened to them I would be a giant stress ball worried about money all the time. Instead I chose to choose practical means which allowed the small indulgences every day. (Like eating out regularly, having that treat purchase every now and then and knowing I had a padding in my account for any emergency)

We could have bought the house in the 200K arena but would have lived on boxed mac and cheese nearly every day to keep afloat.

I wanted the luxury car but chose the practical options with the high mpg and the exceptional safety rating and reliable trade in rate to keep protecting the finances.

I look back on it now and wonder, should I have risked it all with testing the limit for my vanity? And I have to say no.


If I had to do it over, I would have chosen to set aside money instead of going out for more vacations. Travel to wonderful places. The one regret I have in life is that I did not explore enough. I did not take the time off when allotted to rest and take care of me.

I worked so very hard for 30 years with no stamps in my passport. Not many great travel memories.

What I recommend is that you do that very thing. Take vacations — make memories outside of the day to day. Get out of Dodge as much as you can.

Life is oh so short; and at this time in your life that means little, but when you are nearing 50 and realized you haven’t really lived– it will be the one thing you recommend to others.

Go to concerts, to shows, to museums, to natural wonders. Take in what delights you.

Eat well. Not stupid. Make sure the food you put in you is nutritious and full of flavor and excitement. Feed your body too. Do not let the stress of life or the lack of time allow you to make poor choices. That is not to say you cannot have that delicious prime rib or the burger that tops all burgers, but do that sparingly so. Your wellbeing depends on keeping your nutrients high and the carcinogenic, artery clogging crap at a low.

But remember to always have cake. Never pass up an opportunity for a good slice of cake.

I wish for you an epic love

Love is such a wild thing. Like Al Green says:

Love and happiness (yeah)
Something that can make you do wrong
Make you do right

Love has so many levels and I hope you find and embrace every level. Finding friends for whom you love beyond reason. People you would be willing to lay your very life down for if necessary. And then of course the love you get filled with passion and devotion.

I can say with some confidence if you open your heart to let in love in all forms your whole being glows.

You may even find when thinking on it, you are near tears with the overwhelming emotion it brings. No matter what the level.

I have dear friends whom I love and care for deeply. I would gladly give all that I have to assure they are happy and they are loved. They are my extended family.

And speaking of family, familial love is such a bond that is your haven. Your home. No one knows you more and will support you more than your family. When life has you up against the wall, they have your back and they will do whatever it takes to get you out of your hole and get you back to center. Your parents, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all have your back.

But then as you go along in life you will find that network of friends who become your family away from family with whom you would donate a kidney or anything they need to see that they are happy and healthy as they would you. I wish that for you so very much.

But mostly I do hope you find the love(s) of your life. That epic intimate love which sets your passion aflame, inspires you to be more than you are and that person you would devote your all toward. That romantic love which inspires you to greatness.

There will and should not be just one. For you I wish for many. Soulmates, those who get your geeks, your kinks and your values. Those who see you at your best and worst and still find you fascinating and sexy and everything wonderful.

Those who do listen when you speak, console you in your sorrows, pull you up when you are down. Those who find you worth loving even when you feel not worthy of such.

Never settle for anything less than that, in your friends, your family and your lover(s).

You know it is true love when you think of them over and above your immediate needs. When you put all that aside and they become your focus. Your needs are totally secondary to theirs. That is when you know that you are fully loving.

Some loves you may encounter may not work out and you will go your separate ways but the tie that binds you is strong. That is a devoted love. Hold onto that because it is so worth it.

I would love that you could have a view into my heart to see how much love has affected me and whom I would give my all for at any given chance. Love fills your soul with a warmth and fulfillment that nothing else can. When you have this love, no matter what happens you will always be happy and grateful.

There are many directions of love. Bi-directional — which means it goes both ways and uni-directional — which means a one way love; where perhaps you may love one but that love is not returned, or one loves you and you cannot return it. For the first of the uni-directional, never let that embitter your heart. Keep your heart open and giving, because in time, it will be worth it. For the second of the uni-directional, be respectful of the love that is given to you and never be an ass about it. Receiving love is a gift and should never be taken for granted. Be sensitive to that kind of love but be ever honest in a graceful and giving way if you cannot return it in the same manner.

Love is currency. The more you have/give the richer your life will be.

And just know when you love and it is not returned, do not close your heart. Keep it open for there will be new opportunities. Your heart will be marked with virtual tattoos of each kind. The more the walls of your heart is decorated, the richer your life experience is.


On Strength and Weakness

I stumbled across a click bait slideshow of the 20 bitchiest quotes from Bette Davis a few days back and had to smile over the featured quote in this post. (source: flavorwire.com/512679/20-of-the-bitchiestbettedavisquotes)

I could think of several people who fit her description with whom I came into contact in my life. As such, her quote seems to me  brutally honest and I had wished someone would have shared this pearl of wisdom with me so I could have been more prepared to identify it before my energies were wasted in those relationships.

I find that what impressed me most is learning that Ms. Davis, in real life outside of acting, was just as brassy and open as many of the characters she portrayed. I always admired her craft. She chose such complex and outstanding roles of women, often intimidating, steely, cold and, yes, bitchy. But strong. Even when she had the challenge with the tragic Charlotte Vale, in “Now Voyager” she knocked the viewers’ socks off with her stunning performance, letting vulnerability and weakness take the forefront. That film was a game changer for me in my fandom of her work.

The thing is, I was surrounded by very strong and considerably bitchy women in my life. Never once did I see them exhibit any weakness which I thought was daunting. The expectation was that to be a survivor, a success, one never showed weakness. No matter how heavy the burden, you shoulder it. No pity parties, no crying. You do what needs to be done.

I survived because I was tougher than anybody else”– Bette Davis

I thought it was the norm that when the going got tough, you pull up your big girl/boy pants, take a breath and keep going. Mostly this is true because it is so easy to get lost in the drama of the situation and feel sorry for yourself and simply give up. Lately this week has given me pause in terms of not letting some of that weakness show. I cracked a little and finally let out the stress, the anxiety and the fear. I cried on the way to the grocery store. When I pulled in to park, I realized my eyes were more than likely swollen, puffy and my face very flushed. So for that moment of release, I sat there spending the time to pack it all back in, taking that deep breath and carry on.

I learned right there on the slow walk into the store, that moments of weakness are needed. I had to let it out as keeping it in was tearing me down, mentally and physically. Sometimes one can find more strength from showing or recognizing weakness and tending to it for just that moment. Asking for a break, a little help, or just disconnecting to let it out some.

One cannot be strong all the time and it is okay to take that moment to let the stress of the burden out; briefly, but out.  Denying the toll life’s challenges take on one’s self will manifest in different, more self-destructive ways. Recognize it and tend to it.