Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Shack

Two roads diverged in the middle of my life,
I heard a wise man say,
I took the road less traveled by
and that's made the difference
every night and every day.

Larry Norman (with apologies to Robert Frost)

The Shack by William P. Young

Highly recommended!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I know from whom my blessings come.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My "Go-To" Women

Okay! I did it already! I changed the blog description from "slightly left of mid-life" to "slightly right of mid-life" 'cause I turned 50 about a month ago. Technically I won't reach mid-life til 52. I've always told my husband I wanted to live to be long as I could still reasonably take care of myself. It's been great thus far. Can't complain! Been married most of it to my wonderful husband, Tony. Of course, it hasn't been all roses. There have been some rough spots and some gut wrenching feelings come and go. But I would re-live it all over again to be in the exact spot I am now .... well, minus the nerve pain. Though even that has taught me to be kind to myself.

I recently went out for an evening with some girlfriends from high school. We had a great time! Went to dinner and saw a movie. Eat, Pray, Love. It was fabulous! I'd already read the book by Liz Gilbert twice and gleaned so much from it. I read it closely behind A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. Both spirit moving works. It's taken me years to feel comfortable in my own skin and these books helped nudge me more into that general direction. Though I'm still not totally at ease injecting my opinions ... especially in opposition, into conversations, I'm more confident I won't be dropped from the "A list" before the next social event if I do!

I've also made a new circle of friends over the last three years as I have been on this art adventure of mine! They have all be willing to share tips and shortcuts and opportunities with me, the new kid on the block. Again, our opinions and our tastes in art may be different but I've been accepted into a group of wonderful, talented artists and that is both comforting and exciting at the same time! Another great circle of virtual girlfriends exist on Facebook as well! I may not have personally met each of you but rest assured it brings a smile to my face exchanging greetings when I log on! Love you gals too!

I certainly must mention the friendships that have been ongoing most of my life. Those I have interacted with over the last thirty-five years. Several who are also neighbors. Many I see once or twice a year at Mardi Gras functions or on the Island. Especially one who has been my closest friend since highschool. I've had a couple of very meaningful friendships that have simply fizzled out....wasted really....either because of misunderstandings or which simply slowly drained the joy from my life.

I love reconnecting with old friends, getting together with new ones and spending time with long time friends. I miss my "go-to" women. The ones I talked to for hours about everything under the sun. One especially. My great-aunt Pete....affectionately called "Petie" by our family. She was my rock. We lost her a couple of years ago within two weeks of a cancer diagnosis. I still miss her terribly. I also lost my mom last year and another close aunt earlier this year. They were all mentors to me and from each relationship I brought away something valuable. How to be a wife, a mom, a friend. How to keep house. How to just listen. How to love unconditionally. How quietly observe. When to keep my mouth shut. How not to be. When to just let it be.

I thank God he placed these women in my life. And I thank God for the women he has brought back into my life since each of them passed away. All of my girlfriends fill a spot that can't be filled by my husband, my daughters, my pets, my art. All of these factors complete me .... for lack of a better phrase!

God bless you all and I look forward to sharing life's ups and downs and in betweens with each of you!!! Thanks for being my "go to" women now!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

YES! I loved, loved, loved this movie!

I loved the movie! Eat Pray Love was grand! The scenery was beautiful! If you didn't like it and haven't read the the book and see the movie again. There's a lot from the book not included. It's worth the read.

The message for me? Same as I got from the book both times I read it. For me it was about forgiveness. Not just forgiving others, but forgiving yourself. Forgiving yourself for holding back...for eating something you love and gaining that extra few pounds...for hanging on to the past...for judging others when we don't understand their culture, their religion, their views...for not living life with passion for everything. I needed reminded that we all matter and there's more to life than climbing the corporate ladder and trying to be recognized for something. That need perhaps is more a need to be affirmed and appreciated for whatever we contribute. To serve others is well and good. We all should want to make life better for the other person. But there comes a point ... call it burn out or whatever, that we need to regroup, find our center of balance, and toss caution to the wind, all the while feeling comfortable in our fat jeans!

From the Movie: “There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”

I am a better person when I have less on my plate ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Make Someone Smile Today!

Each day is a new canvas to paint upon. Make sure your picture is full of life and happiness, and at the end of the day you don't look at it and wish you had painted something different.-- Author Unknown