Yes, I understand that nobody is going to look at a cryptic title.  I also know that if I want more readers, I have to come up with more interesting titles.  I don’t care.  We are in November and in a little over 365 days, I will be the big 5 – 0.

Let’s face it, this year has been interesting and not always in a nice way.  I have seen the two most important men in my life struggle with their health.  I have discovered up close and personal what dementia is and I’ve had some setbacks of my own.  This paragraph was written with the sole purpose of keeping it real without being rude.  If you know me personally, you know what this is about.

The thing is, I am still here.  In two weeks, I celebrate my 49th birthday. I refuse to let life get in the way of celebrating another year of life.  Yes, there are always interesting things along the way.  Some are great and some are not.  The important thing is not that you fall down, it is how you get up.  Me, I plan on spending the day doing something I like, because we’ve had so many days of doctor visits and hospital stays and people looking sad.  It is enough.  Let’s celebrate life as much as possible.  Forget about the past and the future, think about today.

I know some days we don’t feel like celebrating.  We all have those.  You maybe are having one of those days right now.  Just think about what you do have.  If you are reading this, you have a computer or a cell phone with internet access.  You probably have a roof over your head (even if it is not yours) and food.  More importantly, you are alive.  Do you have any idea how many people wish they had a chance to be here for one more day?  Don’t waste it.  Enjoy it.  Bad days don’t last forever.  Find the beauty in even the worst of days.

How are you feeling today?  Leave your comment below and don’t forget to donate $5 HERE so that I can finish writing the book.  Thanks.

Day 315: How to Survive

Today’s NaBloPoMo challenge is all about writing a How To.  It made me question what I could write a post about something I know how to do.  To be honest with you, most things I have skills for are not the kinds of things that would take a few steps on a blog post.  I like having one person in front of me, going step by step and creating something together.  There is only one thing I know I can talk about and give tips, not so much steps, and that is How To Survive. In exactly 11 days, I will be 48 years old.  I’ve survived three miscarriages, two dead brothers, plenty of friends and family members passing on, gallbladder surgery and many other surprises along the way, good and bad.  The one thing that I know for sure is that attitude defines how you will survive anything.  So I decided to make this post about ten tips you can use on how to survive anything.

1)  You can cry if you want.  I have always fascinating that mothers teach their boys not to cry and then if the girls cry for too long, it will ruin your looks.  Who was the idiot that came up with the idea that you should not cry.  There are two types of things that make me cry – Disney movies and situations that anger me.  It is quite ironic, sad situations in real life don’t bring tears to my eyes. You cross me, and that is it, I will get so mad that tears will well in my eyes.  There is nothing wrong with crying people.

2)  After you cry, you can now stop crying.  I am not being sarcastic or funny, you cannot keep crying uncontrollably.  The thing about mourning is that everyone is different.  You might cry for an hour, go on with your life and six months later, start crying for apparently no reason.  Other times, you might cry for a week and then never shed another tear ever again.  The important thing is that after a good cry, you pick yourself off and go on with your life.  If you can’t find a reason, think about this.  Would your loved one want you to stop living because they died.  No, they would not like to be burdened with that.

3)  Do not abandon your current relationships.  Whether someone dies, you are going through a divorce or have major surgery, never stop hanging out with the rest of your friends and family.  Your support system will only assist you if you ask.  Good friends will not meddle, they will wait until you are ready, at first.  There will come a time when they will see you there, feeling sorry for yourself and one of two reactions will happen: – they will pull you by your hair and get you out of the house – they will abandon you. This is not the time to play the martyr.  Be a friend, always.

4)  Do what makes you feel good.  Lots of people will give you advice on how to get over (insert your tragedy here).  Only you know what feels good to you.  If taking $200 and blowing it on a casino is your idea of fun, do it.  If reading a book is your thing, go for it.  It is really that simple.

5)  The best thing you have been given in life is the present.  It is a gift.  Take it one minute at a time.  Breathe.  Live.

6)  Do something silly and laugh with abandon.  I don’t care who you are or what tragedy you are going through.  There is nothing a good laugh cannot help heal.  Every person is different and we all have our own way of dealing with things.  At the same time, we all laugh at things that we find funny.  Some of us feel guilty if we laugh while mourning.  Who says?  Go ahead, laugh.

7)  Black is a great thing to wear for no reason, so is red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink…I think you get the idea.  What you are wearing and what you look like has nothing to do with how you feel, unless you want it to.  You also have to be careful with the message you are sending out.  Looking like a person in mourning will only gather the victim lovers, those people who are all too willing to console you and pity you.  They are mostly well intended, and some are just sucking the life out of you.  They will all keep you in the past and you don’t want to live there.

8)  Find an outlet.  I love writing, and drawing, and playing music.  Those are the ways I find relief from the world.  Look at what lets you get all your frustrations out in a positive way and do it.

9)  Go for a walk.  I don’t care what the weather is like.  If it is sunny, walk in the sun.  If it is snowing, walk inside the mall.  Surrounding yourself with other things will help you in ways that you don’t imagine.

10)  Volunteer.  I left this one for last because it is that important.  I don’t care if you just help someone out for an hour or ten, volunteering will take your mind out of your troubles and make you understand that most of us are hurt but not broken.

So what would you add to this list?  Leave your comment below.

Day 207: Motivate Yourself To

It is an interesting thing, life.  Every once in a while, you find yourself in some sort of rut.  Every week feels the same, every day has a different connotation.  For me, it has become Fridays.  They feel odd.  They are the hardest days of the week for me.  It is in days like this that you need to motivate yourself to do whatever it is that you are doing.

Let’s face it:  some of us love our jobs, some of us like our jobs and some of us just know that the job is a means to an end.  There are those who are happy to go to work every day and some that are not.  It is however, the one place where you spend most of your waking hours and you should at least enjoy the experience.

I will tell you a little secret:  even those who love their jobs have days when they don’t want to work.  In those days, they use a little secret to motivate themselves to do what must be done.  Today I share what my strategy is.

The way you motivate yourself to do anything in life, is by reminding yourself why you are doing something in the first place.  For me, it means going into my journal and making a couple of lists.  The first list is the gratitude list.  If you start the day on a positive note, reminding yourself of the good things in your life, you are probably going to change your outlook and notice more of the things that you love.

The second list I make is of the things I would like to achieve in life.  I am not talking only about the important things, like having a good family, happy marriage, love and health.  I am talking about the silly things like wanting to scuba dive and surfing for the first time.  It is my motivation.  The silly things make the big ones even better.  And let’s face it, on the days that you don’t want to get out of bed, that trip you want to make to Australia sounds like a big reason to get to work.

So the next time you don’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything productive, take out your notebook and make a list that motivates you to conquer.  And if you have another way to get yourself psyched up to do something, leave us your suggestion below.  Thanks.