Posts Tagged ‘Home’

Funeral Arrangements-Part 2

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*****It won’t be long now.  I knew that as soon as the hospice nurse checked my dad’s oxygen levels.  He didn’t recognize me or the nurse.  His words were unrecognizable.  I leaned over my father and kissed his forehead.  I thanked him for being my father.  I thanked him for passing on his work ethic.  I thanked him for providing for me and my siblings.  I thanked him for everything he did for me as a child and all things he did for me as an adult.   I glanced down at my watch to check the time.  It was a gift from my father.  As I walk around my house his generosity is everywhere.  All of the really nice things in my house were gifts from my father.    The hall table, the sideboard, the dining room table and matching chairs, the curtains, the bookcase, the TV stand, the media cabinet with the flat screen TV, and the curio cabinet to celebrate the big 4-0.  It’s not the material things, but the expression of love and the desire to see me have the things I wanted.  It’s so easy to say, “I love you”, but those words must be coupled with complimentary actions.  It’s staying in a bad marriage to preserve the family unit.  It’s getting up and going to work every day to keep food on the table.  It’s setting aside savings to send kids to college.  It’s paying bills on time to show the example of responsibility.  It’s all of those things and many more.  It’s why I am the woman I am today.  It’s why I value hard work and sacrifice.  It’s why my word is my bond.  It’s why I value education and hold two degrees.  I am my father.  I am an extension of his hopes and unfulfilled dreams.  I hope I have made him proud and why I am proud to call him my father.  I love you Daddy.

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A Product of My Environment



          I am a product of my environment.  Unopened mail on the floor, a mound of clothes in the bathroom and a layer of dust thick enough for me to write my name in the mirror makes me feel like a loser.  The bigger the mess, the harder it is for me to get motivated to do something about it.  I call it my slippery slope and I avoid it all costs. 

After having lived in apartments for most of my adult life, I crossed the threshold of home ownership a few years back and I took it to heart to maintain my investment. Day after day, I would walk around my new home being very proud of what I now owned, but as the months passed and the bare walls looked back at me I knew something had to change.  The flat, eggshell paint that came standard in new homes was slowly eating away at my happiness.  The bare walls and the lifeless color did not reflect who I was.  I needed some color and I needed it now.  A visit to my local home store was the remedy I was looking for.  My eye examined each paint sample hoping to find a color that inspired me, a color that filled me. I found the perfect color for the living room and in subsequent trips I would select colors for my dining room, hallway, bedroom and finally my office. 

Each painting project turned an uninspiring canvas into a warm place I call home.  The earth tone colors were an outward expression of my inner spirit and visitors to my home always comment on the colors I’ve selected.  I am sitting here in my office now.  It was my most recent painting project.  Prior to painting and organizing my office, I was unable to get anything done in there.  I had to go downstairs to my dining room to be in an environment that gave me inspiration.  The color I selected for my office is called “Gentle Rain.”  I am soothed by the silvery, gray color and every time I enter, I am inspired by the neatly organized book collection.  As a writer, I need my mind to be unencumbered so my creativity can flow with ease.  I am glad to be back in my office doing what I love to do.  My home reflects who I am and inspires me to live in harmony with those around me.  To someone else, it may seem trivial that a gallon of paint can be this transformative, but to me it’s a balanced approach to life.  It’s creating an environment I can thrive in and that has made a world of difference.

When Waiting Seems Like Forever

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             I hate waiting!!  I have always been impatient.  It’s one of my many flaws that for years I projected on others.  “These people need to get their act together.”  “How long does it take to do such and such?” “I have another appointment.” You know the routine.  My foot tapping, loud voice and rolling my eyes never advanced my cause.  Honestly, it probably hurt it.  Over the years, I have grossly abused the concept of multi-tasking in order to get things done quicker.  Take for instance cooking.  Ever filled a pot while popping chicken in the microwave to defrost and cutting vegetables and talking on the phone while watching television at the same time.  Guilty as charged and the result is an off-tasting meal because in my haste to get things done I’ve skipped a few steps like adding certain ingredients or not cooking according to the recipe. I watch in utter amazement people who are patient and wonder what’s their secret.  The frantic pace in which I move to get things done often leaves me exhausted and quality is sacrificed.  I sometimes justified my actions by telling myself, “At least I finished first,” but deep down inside I was disappointed in myself because I knew I could have done a better job.  Now that I am officially over the hill and have taken stock in my life I decided to make a conscious effort to be more patient.  Not just with cooking and other mundane tasks, but patient with people and certainly with myself. 

            What I’ve come to realize is that my impatience is an imaginary race with myself and my fears.  I’ve rushed through moments in life when I should have paused and appreciated the moment for what it was.  Those lost moments add up to a significant amount of time where I’ve deprived myself of the full experience of life. When I am patient I am amazed at what unfolds before my eyes in the form of resolutions to problems or a better understanding of what is happening.  By being patient I am able to respond appropriately and in a manner that relieves stress and anxiety from the equation. I am most amazed at what people will do on your behalf if you are just patient enough to give them a chance.  Patience is truly a virtue and something we should all strive for in our personal and professional lives.  As I approach the second half of my life, I feel better prepared to handle the ups and downs because I know the importance of patience and what it brings to my life.  Make a commitment today to be more patient.  You won’t be disappointed.  I promise.