Keepin’ it 100

While some of my posts are short and sweet (maybe just a quick thought or short poem), I reached 100 posts and I am proud♥  I am proud of myself for engaging in something I passionately love, writing.  And I am thankful for anyone out there reading this, anyone in this universe (or maybe another universe) that connects with my voice and the words I write.  Those same words that mold my thoughts and feelings into sentences, later paragraphs and stories of my life.  Sometimes I feel like my life is simple and uneventful but as I review my first 100 posts, I realize something – my life is wild and amazing, filled with love and adventure, and my brain is alive and well, pumping with thoughts that are chomping at the bit to be put to paper.  It feels really good to sit and write either about whatever comes to mind or about a topic I have been dwelling on for days.  It feels even better to realize you have found something in life that makes you happy and feel like yourself when you do it.  The definition of contentment, to me, is when I am both happy and relaxed as I dive deeper into a passion project such as this.

So please join me as I continue into the next one hundred posts during this 35th year of my life.  My mind is still brewing up more writing ideas, including one of my larger goals of writing either a series of short stories or a book of the three loves I know of and admire.  The first love story is that of my neighbor Pat and her husband Mark.  Mark, as you may know from my recent updates, passed away from this earth, relieved from his painful bone cancer battle.  The best of friends in every way, Mark and Pat were a beautiful couple who we enjoyed having in our lives for the past eight years as neighbors.

The second love story is that of Hugo’s grandparents, Polly and Bob.  Married for over seventy-five years, they weathered every type of storm imaginable, with both of them living into their mid-nineties (Polly is still chugging along at 95!).  As husband and wife, they traveled, raised their four children into confident, successful adults, and worked in various industries, including Bob’s time in the Navy during World War II.

The third and final love story is my fairy tale with Hugo.  In my opinion, this is the most beautiful love story of all.  We are the best of friends and he is the true puzzle piece to my life.  As I reflect on the three stories, side by side, I can see the common threads of friendship, trust, loyalty, and deep love running through them all.  Stand by for my series of love stories, coming soon to a blog near you ♥

What is socially acceptable?

Hugo and I have always found it rather funny how drinking alcohol to excess is completely socially acceptable yet using and abusing other drugs, or other destructive behavior, is absolutely not.  It is laughable and strange yet I believe this phenomenon only exists in this country, and possibly a few others.  In the United States of America, I can buy beer at 6am and start my day.  I can arrive for an outbound flight and enjoy a mimosa or two at the airport bar.  I can giggle about it being ‘happy hour somewhere’, as I pop a bottle of wine mid-afternoon in reference to it not being too early to start drinking if I were in another time zone.  And I can crawl into work or to a kindergarten conference the next morning, chalking up my hangover to a rough office party or night on the town, all while everyone looks on, doesn’t judge and understands because they have most likely been there before themselves.

Now just imagine if all of my above scenarios involved heroin.  If I hit the street at 6am to score a bag of heroin or shot up in the airport lounge before boarding my plane, we might not be giggling about it being ‘happy hour somewhere’.  Or worse, if you dragged your ass into your children’s school, with a hoodie and dark shades on, looking like hell because you used too much heroin last night and your body was struggling to come back to life.  What would the commentary be then?

Well, for starters, I bet those children at that kindergarten conference would be taken away from you.  And your employer for the office party may not be your employer for much longer.  And every relationship would suffer and all respect would be lost as you were now labeled as a heroin addict with a pathetic problem.  A gross person who had slid below the moral and ethical threshold, who lacks common decency and is completely socially unacceptable in the upper middle-class, suburban bubble.

It doesn’t make sense, particularly when you look at how outrageously destructive alcohol is for everyone it touches.  From elevating some imbibers to yelling, fighting, violent individuals, to causing those behind the wheel to take another human being’s life, alcohol is an awful, oddly acceptable drug.  While it is perfectly legal in most areas of the US (I say most because there are still dry counties), it is also responsible for some of the most horrific domestic violence incidents and murders, whether by someone’s hand or a drunk someone’s car.

We have been affected by alcohol in our own family and this is partly why this topic comes to mind for me.  Hugo’s pregnant cousin and unborn child were killed by a drunk driver in Florida – she was just 22 years old with her whole life ahead of her.  Her father, a now-retired air traffic controller and Hugo’s uncle, never recovered from the loss.  Since that tragic night, he has begun and ended every day with a travel mug full of straight vodka.

Both of our families through the years have also been heavy drinkers, with some members of the family drinking more than others.  Hugo’s mom drinks vodka like water after 4pm every day and since she was raised in a drinking environment, she knows nothing different and thinks nothing of it.  My father, right before being diagnosed as a type II diabetic, was overweight, depressed and drinking heavily, at times to the point of passing out in his underwear while sitting on the basement stairs.  Or better yet, passing out while seated at the dinner table, resting his head on his hand, in front of 16 year old me, my mother and maybe a friend I had over for dinner that night.  Thankfully that embarrassing and sickening behavior came to an abrupt end when he became sober a few short years later.

Our close friend Andy has been a struggling alcoholic for almost two decades now.  Just this month (January of 2020) marks his 15th or so round of rehab and yet another shot at reaching and maintaining sobriety.  We hope and pray to our spaghetti god that Andy can make it out of his nightmare alive.  He deserves better than barricading himself in a cheap motel as he downs quarts of cheap clear liquor and nothing else for days on end.

And finally, as I believe I have written on before, Hugo and I were affected by the nasty effects of alcohol.  Luckily and thankfully our experiences were nothing more than arguments over nonsense when we drank.  Arguments that we didn’t want to have but somehow always found ourselves in.  We made the decision to treat one another better and not engage in that lifestyle so I can now proudly say we no longer drink to excess.  The occasional glass or two of wine or beer (and by occasional, I mean once or twice a year) is our new, healthy routine and it works well for us.

I bet if you looked at most American families, their stories would be littered with similar experiences about the devastating effects of alcohol.  Too many relationships have been compromised, too many lives have been lost and too many people have lost themselves to addiction, yet this drug is completely legal, readily available, and actually celebrated in many ways.  And it is all relative and based on geography because heroin, in contrast, is legal in other parts of the world.  I am sure people in those areas have tales of how heroin has affected their family members, but I imagine it isn’t quite as ‘Category 5 hurricane’ as alcohol is here.  While there are always extremes and every drug carries its own set of issues with it, I do believe that particular intoxicants are more devastating to human beings than others.  There is also something to be said about how drugs are craved, abused and respected when and once they are legalized.

 

 

The best panic attack

I can’t put words around my feelings

that fit the wholes inside my brain

I try so hard to find the meaning

of what is going on with him.

 

And then I lost my fucking mind and feared I’d never get it back

Crawling outta my god damn skin, caught in the best panic attack.

 

Sitting frozen on the couch

Waiting for him to come carry me

Out of the feelings that I’m feeling

and back to me just being me.

 

Thoughts flooding my confused emotion

A million fears keep creeping in

If I can’t stop this flooded ocean

I might drown right now, I’m dead.

 

And then I lost my fucking mind and feared I’d never get it back

Crawling outta my god damn skin, caught in the best panic attack.

 

Now several weeks have passed us by

And I still feel just all the same

Grateful for him beyond all words

Wouldn’t wanna thing to change.

 

Right before I lost my fucking mind and feared I’d never get it back

Crawling outta my god damn skin, I escaped the best panic attack.

 

 

Writer’s note:  This poem was written on November 29, 2019, in the midst of a very transformative experience with Hugo by my side.  I can still hear the music that goes to the words as I sing it out loud.  If you, the reader, happens to be a singer and/or musician capable of strumming a simple guitar chord, please message me.  I would love to hear this set to the beat I have in my head.

Happy X Nature Skyglow Jumpsuit

I was so excited by my recent order that I had to share this immediately.  Kate Hudson just debuted her new brand, Happy X Nature, which is an eco-friendly fashion line that nicely compliments her other outstanding lines that I have already fallen hard for, including Fabletics (don’t even get me started on how much I love those damn leggings!).  Anyways, upon opening my shipping bag, I immediately fell in love with my new Skyglow Jumpsuit in Recycled Polyester.  My beautiful jumpsuit arrived in size 8 today and I can’t believe how well it fit.  It is almost as if it is tailored to my body and meant to be worn by yours truly.  I am ecstatic with the purchase and looking forward to wearing it at Hugo’s cousin’s wedding in July ♥

Maybe it is right in front of me

As odd as it may sound, what I have been whining about seeking, while on my quest to find my true passions and a possible career change, may be right in front of me.  Literally, it might be the keyboard I am typing on and the screen I am staring at on a daily basis as I grind away at my loving blog.  Moaning on and on to you, my loyal readers, I have continued to explain in detail about my heartfelt pursuit of self-employment, meaningful work days and something to motivate and excite me again.  Maybe, just maybe, what I have been looking for is right here.  What I am suggesting is this – maybe I am supposed to be a writer.

Let’s face it, I like to write and I am not the worst at it.  Whether you enjoy listening to me vent about my random feelings, thoughts and dreams, I really enjoy jotting it all down, packaging it up and slinging it onto the information superhighway that is my mildly trafficked site.  I have been writing for the entirety of my life and it has always originated from a place of honesty and rawness, only done whenever I felt the need and about topics that came from my inner being.  Because of this, it is one of the most enjoyable activities I have in my life and I realize how true this is, even more so now, in 2020.

While I can’t make any money off doing this (because, let’s be honest, who is going to pay me to chat about how much I love my Hugo and how much I despise all of the ignorant ridiculous things I observe every day), I intend to continue doing what my long fingers seek – type away as if I was a trained pianist, sometimes not fast enough to keep up with my racing brain’s output.  Just the fact that I came a little bit closer to realizing what makes me happy, well, that’s a pretty great thing.  And boy do I have something to say (about nine topics in my queue as of tonight) so stand by…

Twenty twenty

Happy New Year (plus three days) to anyone out there in this vast universe that is reading this.  As I always appear to be doing, I continue to marinate on all of the tasks I have left undone, all of the places and opportunities I want to explore, and, most importantly, how I want to devote the remainder of my time here on Earth.  I am about to receive an email from the California Department of Real Estate, that will allow me to schedule my state exam, and I am very excited about that finally happening.  With a new chapter of my life looming in the near future, I am antsy to begin.  Part of me wants to quit my job, jump head first into the real estate ocean, and give it everything I have.  The other practical part, which also has Hugo’s voice of reason anchored at the core, knows I should get licensed and begin working, while maintaining my current career.  Basically, see how it goes before fully committing and risking everything I have worked extremely hard for.  In short, it is tough because I feel this entrepreneurial fire burning in my soul and I am resounding to not grab the proverbial fire extinguisher.

Hugo and I finished out 2019 as strong as ever and that is my most proud accomplishment of the year.  After nearly sixteen years together, we grew even closer this year.  Not an easy feat after so much life together.  He has impressed me since the day I met him but the fact that he continues to age so beautifully, both on the inside and on the surface, is astonishing.  He has a heart of gold and he pours it into everything he does.  He showers me in kindness, care and love in everything he does, from cooking me gourmet vegetarian dishes to listening to me go on and on about my thoughts, fears and goals, on a daily basis.  I am so happy to have met him and even more thankful to call him my husband.

As the year drew to a close, we discussed what our collective relationship resolutions would be for this new decade.  We celebrated how far we have come and expressed the deep love we have for each other.  Love is the most vital aspect of existence and it permeates every culture and all species – we relished in the fact that ours is strong, healthy and meant to be.  He is my soulmate and I am his.  We looked into each other’s eyes and gazed upon the bodies that house the person we love the most.  As we did so, we resounded to continue trying to be better for one another, to communicate more effectively, to finish discussions respectfully rather than destructively engage in arguments, and to always make one another the top priority.  I am so impressed with having a partner who wants to keep growing, both personally and as a couple, with me.  If after 16 years together we have gotten to this place, I am excited to see where we go from here and lucky to be his wife and partner ♥

My hopes for this year, beyond my career and relationship aspirations, include the following items (some of them may appear cliche and to that I say, yeah!…cliche just means that a lot of people strive for similar things and that only makes me feel more united with those around me):  Take better care of myself, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Pursue my dreams of having more animals in our family.  Garden better and more beautifully around our home, for our visual pleasure and for the love of the thriving hummingbirds and others who call our organic acreage their home too.  Explore more of what Los Angeles, the United States of America and our globe has to offer.  Try new activities like falconry (we just discussed our plans for this today).  Visit more museums and read my unfinished books around the house.  And, finally, write more often.  All of my wants are positivity-fueled pursuits that are fun to me.  In fact, over the past couple weeks, I found my brain  dribbling out writing ideas that just kept coming to me – as they did, I jotted down notes on my cell phone, scribbled on scratch paper I have in every room of the house, and typed up email reminders of must-have blog post ideas.  My brain and heart want to speak so this audience better get ready to listen.

I wish the world more of what I am blessed to already have.  Hopefully you can understand who I am well enough by now to know that I do not intend to appear pretentious when I say that.  I only wish love for those without it in their hearts and lives.  Many people are walking alone in this world and they crave friendship and romance.  To them, I wish them a 2020 filled with new beginnings that will lead to love in their lives.  And to those in the world who do not treat others with love, by being unkind, rude, disrespectful, or, even worse, with hate, bias or violence, I wish more love into their hearts as well.  If we could all just learn to lead with love, many of our collective world problems would naturally dissipate into a thing of the past.  Finally, I wish more love onto all corners of our planet because we abuse her with toxic chemicals, deforestation, hurting the animals and ruining our oceans.  As everyone hears every day, we must act now to make significant changes in our world and that begins by loving the place we call home.  Let us all resolve to take better care of one another and our beautiful Earth as we embark on this new decade.

The thing about fights

Writer’s note:  This post was written in late October, 2019, before I took an unintentional hiatus from writing and posting.  After marinating on what is important to me over the past few months, coupled with the fact that I was wrapping up my real estate work, travelling with Hugo for the holidays, and continuing to focus on life in general, I decided to get back into one of my true passions – exploring my inner dialogue and writing on the topics that matter to me.  So here you go and sorry for the delay.

 

Everyone has one from time to time.  The only difference between all of us is the words that are spoken and to whom they are spoken (or yelled) at.  Thankfully, Hugo and I don’t bicker or squabble too severely but we are human and it does happen.  In a funny kind of way, I actually enjoy an argument from time to time.  The mere act of going head to head, like two rams fighting for ownership of their steep hillside, reminds me that we have different opinions and are deeply passionate about them.  It also reminds me that the little things really don’t matter. Of course at the time we feel like whatever minor, dumb topic we are fiercely defending is worth its weight in gold but whenever we turn a little difference of opinion into a shouting (and in my case, crying) match, we normally come full circle, just in time to remember how none of it means shit.

Case in point:  Sunday, early afternoon, 89°, Southern California.  Hugo was washing dishes while I sat on the couch, laptop in lap, working on my second real estate license course.  Meanwhile, the dogs lounged in the air conditioning on their recently-washed beds, enjoying a reprieve from the heat.  Hugo began asking me all sorts of questions and repeatedly interrupting me as I tried to read and take notes – questions about what I was doing and random anecdotes about life.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is one of my favorite qualities, among many, about him, but on this particular occasion, I was making a real effort to focus and absorb my class material.  Because I was trying to remain focused, my fuse was a little shorter than usual (and let me tell you, my friends, I am operating with a half inch fuse on the regular).  After the fifteenth interruption, I got a little snippy – Hugo tells me I am part ‘snip’ so maybe it is just in my blood.  If that’s the case, is any of this really my fault??!?

I digress.  We talked a little more and an argument ensued over something dumb.  Hugo was asking me about washing his truck and I wasn’t as nice as I should have been.  In my defense though, I was trying desperately to focus on my task at hand.  So, in turn, Hugo called me a liar, over a statement I made about a car wash coupon.  That was his way of pecking at me.  The altercation ended with a few nasty words and some time apart, as Hugo washed his truck and I continued working, in complete, slightly blissful, silence.  As I sit here typing, I realize even more so just how ridiculous this all was.  But like we all do, in the moment it felt worthwhile and we bickered until the point of getting truly angry at one another.

Now, at this point, I have to advise you, the reader, that Hugo and I are all good.  We are better than good, actually, because not only are we chuckling at how merit-less our ‘fight’ was but we are also appreciating the fact that we both engage in similarly annoying behaviors to one another.  And that’s the best and most real part – we are just two people who love each other and are trying our best.

As fire literally rages all around us today in SoCal, it is important to remember what is truly important in life.  We all know that while we are in the moment, the littlest of things can appear monumental.  We all also know, or should after entering adulthood, that life is fleeting and none of this is guaranteed.  While a squabble from time to time happens with those closest to us, let’s continue trying our best to be better partners for one another.  I know Hugo and I are, one day at a time.