What is more important in life than the sun? What is more important in life than water? What is more important in life than being hungry? I was reading an article by Tony Robbins and thought about all the times in my life that passion has motivated me to do things that I would not normally do. My passion for deeper spiritual understanding drove me to study metaphysics at an early age. I was all of 15. That passion at times concerned my parents. When I was just eighteen years old and attending college. I made the command decision it was time to go to India on my vacation break and attend Darshan in Meherabad. I was working in a factory and at a music store part time. I saved my money bought my ticket. Received the most painful shots to travel to India. Secured my passport. To my surprise my parents asked me how much money did I actually have? I thought wow this is great. They will help me. I had $15 dollars. My father and mother then said,” Well have a good time. ” Surprised but not discouraged. I made my way to the airport and met up with my fellow travelers and made my way across the globe. We stopped in London, Frankfort, Kuwait, Cairo and then Bombay. (Not named Mumbai when I visted). I had the best time. One of the group leaders heard about my plight and I ended up with the Mayor and his wife who treated me like royalty. It was the best time of my life. They bought me gifts. I was even able to bring home a present for my father. A small brass animal.
A small trinket but all the same I brought my parents back some other tapestries. I collect small rocks where ever I go. The shot includes some of the precious stones I brought home.
Years ago, my mother explained how angry she was I was leaving. She made my father promise not to give me spending money. She said she was sorry. I never even gave it a second thought. When you believe in something things just work out.
My passion also allowed me to travel to England and follow my dream as a young woman in my twenties. My passion drove me to work in the music industry and become a road manager and audio engineer. My passion for being creative pushed me to work for Zoetrope Studios in San Francisco. Below is the link to my credit on the film. Well you will see.
Passion does not stop there. Passion included love. Love means risk and even though the risk was present it did not stop me from exploring relationships. Some that were enriching and others that were great lessons in truth.
Passion means trusting your heart and being driven to accomplish things that would make someone else run away because having passion for what you are meant to accomplish sometimes does not turn out the way you dreamed. When you have passion for life you squeeze every drop from the day and make that drop feel as if it was the most refreshing glass of cool water you ever had after a hot day working outside. Passion means creating dynamic changes that your receive no credit for. You do these things because you know it is the right thing to do. Others may receive the credit but you know what you did.
This has happened to me with some of my writings and the contract I had with my dear publisher. It happened with a major music project with a very well known concert venue. Even though these glitches in life happen it does not deter me from the driving relentlessly towards my goal. My goal now is to create that community of others who have that same passion. I have a gift and it is time I share it again with others. My son just said to me today. “Mom, why aren’t you running your own workshops like you did in the past?”
This brings me to the there for today! I will be running a workshop on that very topic and sharing when and where in the up and coming weeks. I feel compelled to share with others how to find that burning passion in yourself and set your world on fire. It does not mean burning down the house. It does mean firing up the rocket in your heart to make your life soar!
Welcome to another one of my posts. I wanted to share something I am certain everyone might be able to relate to. Have you been running so fast you forgot to take care of yourself, lately? Have you been piling on the stress and forgot to just take the time to notice your life. Not just your life but honestly, how have you been living? Listen to this in the background. If I could get rid of the commercials on the video I would. Please come back and leave it as the background track to this post. I wish life had background music then I would know what was going on instead of trying to figure it out. That is for another day.
So, there you are just enjoying life in general. Or are you? I know I have been working a little too much lately. At times, I just work and forget to take the time to just be. It is my own doing. There are times I am feeling just too &%^$#@ tired to take up the offers from friends to go out. I ran into that situation over the weekend. I was so very tired that I was unable to gather up the energy to go out and just be.
It took a lot of encouragement from within to make a decision on what to do with my day. I woke up very late for a overcast Saturday afternoon. I had the opportunity to just take a moment and have an enjoyable cup of tea.
What was missing from my energy level for the week? It came to me in a flash while I was enjoying my morning. I needed to let it go. There were so many things on my mind. ( Sound familiar?). I had to wait on medical reports for my son. It took a lot out of me. I decided I need to just pay attention to my body and rest.
I have to reverse my thinking. I was not reflecting on things. I was in perpetual motion on auto-pilot. It was draining me and I was not even doing the normal running around that I enjoy on a day to day basis. It hit me like a ton of bricks last night when I realized I had not been up walking and doing what I would normally do in a day.
Then it came to me like a bolt of lightning. ( without the pain usually associated with being struck by lightning). I figured it out! What I needed to do was as simple as reminding myself of what I had control over. No one else can do it for me. It was just acknowledging I had so much to be grateful for. I decided to share this with all of you.
Increasing your bliss can be as simple as staying in your pj’s. It is staying home and saying I don’t have to do a thing. I just need to care of myself.
It can be as simple as standing on the scale and finding out you lost 5 pounds in a week!
It also is finding out your son’s tests result. He does not have cancer. It has been a long month of waiting. Really big smile now.
It is also knowing you are loved. It is also knowing that friends want to share their time with you over the weekend.
It is waking up in the morning and that alone is good enough.
Other ways include deciding to save money a little at a time and over the course of the year you also realized you decreased your debt more than you planned.
It also is taking the time to breath while you are reading, walking, standing, cooking, cleaning, working or just being.
It is in the breath. When you take the time to notice you increase your bliss. Take if from Jack Kerouac he followed his bliss. Well, Ok, maybe he had the habit of overdoing it just a little bit! But you get the point.
Taking the time to observe your breath will help you slow down.Literally, observing your rate of breathing. Do you take in deep breaths? Like right now are you holding your breath or just shallow breathing. Hey, let’s get some oxygen into those lungs.
So first, allow yourself to get into a comfortable position. If you are sitting in a chair then sit up straight! Do your body a favor. Be kind to your body.Move the shoulders back and put yourself into a comfortable position. Good posture goes a long way. (Reminds herself) If you are laying down then stretch out. What ever you are doing just make your body comfortable and just breath. It is that simple. Breath! Focus on your breathing.
Say to your self out loud or from within. ” As I Breath in I notice my breath.” ( Inhale with a slow deep breath). “As I breath out, I am releasing stress.” ( Taking the time to really exhale slowly). “As I breath in, I breath in peacefulness.” ( Deep breath again) . “Out breath, I release stress.”(Exhale) “In breath, peace.” “Exhale, stress.” As they say repeat until finished. Once you start the process, continue along those lines until you feel the peace you were seeking. It is that simple. It is not complicated. Give it a try. You might find it helpful sometime. Just another tool in your toolbox of life to pull out when needed.
So, that is how I increased my bliss today. I was able to share with you my joy for the moment. Have a wonderful rest of your week. Write down all you have to be thankful for. I am sure the list is longer than you know.
Don’t worry be happy! Like Bob says put a smile on your face. It will pass what ever it is.
There are days when I am not sure what is going on in life. There are times when I turn on the news and I wonder where are we headed. Then I do one important thing. I turn off the news. I walk away from my computer and I do something that is really very retro.
I decide to live in the present moment. That is right. I walk away from it all and make the command decision to sit outside and listen to the birds on the trees. I sit and watch the clouds and day dream. That is really where all living begins.
We need to just take the time to walk away and hit that reset button. I listen to all types of music. Speaking of retro enjoy this song for a moment and get up and dance. I understand that if you stand while you are on the internet or doing anything it helps increase your health. So take a minute and listen to the music.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_53s3skoh8
I hope you took a minute to just put it in the background and just relax or get up and dance. I am very excited about the future. I have lots of travel plans up ahead. I will be sharing with you my thoughts and dreams. I hope you are enjoying the start of the summer and plan on enjoying the more important things in life.
Take a vacation from everything that is on your …it annoys me list. Life is too short to keep all that noise in your head. Relax, laugh and remake your life. Remember only you can make the life you deserve your own.
Peace to you Denise
|Life is a series of lessons. It is not unlike the picture I added above. Using some fancy changes I made this block image from my phone. This is not unlike travel. You start out with the image of what you think will be a trip or an adventure and by the end of the journey it is very different from what you imagined.|
|I know that in planning for my excursions I have to ask myself what is important while I travel. Since lately I have been a solo traveler going to either visit friends around the world I have the opportunity to shop around and find the best seats I can find at the least expensive price.|
|When looking around at airlines I have a tendency to use the Star Alliance Program. I use my miles wisely and many times fly for free. One of the best deals I have found is using the two credit cards I applied for recently and had an instant 50 thousand mile placed into my account. I recently have found that for my area flying on US Airways has been very painless.|
|Even though, the lions share of my miles approximately 150,000 are with United. I have a modest 60,000 miles with US Airways. I range from Silver to Gold status depending on the year. I do not regularly fly for business. I fly mostly for pleasure. That makes my world a happy place.|
|So how does this woman do it? Well in various posts I have spoken about the value of flying the best way possible for the least amount of money. I do this all the time. It does take dedication. If you are a college student you can do this very same thing. It is about the journey not the destination. If you focus on how, what, when and where you will lose the process of enjoying that life is a game. It is knowing how to play the game that makes it a breeze.|
|Let’s get to basics. How much money do you have now! I mean right now! Not tomorrow. Not next week but, right now. Sit down and grab a piece of paper or add it on your notebook. Write down your assests. I mean everything you own that has value. Once you do that I want you to focus in on where you want your finances to be in 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now. Simple I know but believe me it does work.|
|Then write down your monthly expenses it is really important that you do this. Write down next to the credit card, college loan, rent, phone, electric, cable, internet what ever bill you have the amount you must pay. Add it all up. Now take a breath and multiple that times 12…ok bills for a year. Now put in your monthly salary, income, allowance, stipend, interest on accounts…where ever you have income. Write that number down. Multiple it by 12 and that is your yearly income. Now subtract your income from your out-go (debt) that will give you an idea of how much money you have for the year. Now subtract $2,500 from that amount. That is any emergency funds. Believe me it will be ok. Now take that amount you have left and divide by 12 that is actually how much money you have extra to spend a month.|
|Monthly Income X 12= Yearly Income|
|Monthly Bills X 12 = Yearly Debt|
|Total Yearly Income – Total Yearly Bills = Money for the year- $2500= Actual disposable cash for the year|
|Actual cash available divide by 12= Monthly cash to invest and use for travel|
|That is right I said save. If you are not saving and only spending then you are not going to enjoy living life on the beach, mountains or your underwater vacation. You will be coming home to a mountain of pain. I have all my trips paid for before I leave. I work a regular job ..well sort of …and work for myself. I spend many hours ( as I like to call it my planning before the trip time) working, saving, and enjoying all that is free in my local area.|
|This is what is known as working it to make it happen. I am really very happy to say that my bucket list was started way before the term bucket list became popular. I was traveling to India, England and many places beyond my home at the age of 18. My parents were so unhappy with me at the time. There grew to appreciate that they started it by taking me all over the US. I have shared this with my son.|
|Back to the plan at hand. You are here on Earth to explore yourself and enjoy all the world has to offer. There are times that life is not fair. I believe that is the way is.|
I was reading an incredible blog by another fellow traveler. Check her out. Tell her I sent you.
That is what blogging is all about. Meeting people online who share the same wanderlust that you do. It is an amazing feeling to know that the earth really is your playground. I say that to myself all the time.
It is strange that sometimes when I am home I spend countless hours day dreaming about where I will travel next. I know that in a couple of weeks I will be in Chicago enjoying attending Date With Destiny for the second time. Its my Tony Robbins experience for the year. It is part of my journey in self discovery.
I have been forced to travel since I was a young child. I hated going on those long trips at the time. Now they are great memories. Funny how that works. My parents( George and Odilia) like clock work would pack the car with countless sandwiches, fruit, and water.My brother and I would torture each other and my parents had to intervene more than once on the “no you said” ” no you said” conversations.
We would head off on the highway from New Jersey to Del Rio, Texas to visit my grandmother.We would travel down through New Jersey thru Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and through the Southern States until we reached Texas. That is a planet unto itself. Do you know that Spain is roughly the same size as Texas. That is a fact.
We would ride in at night and the bugs would be splashing on the windshield. My father would call them elephant bugs. When you are little you actually believe everything your parents say. It took many years to realize there was no such thing. As we drove down Highway 90 past Ulvalde and entered close to Del Rio it was flat and desert. You would see the deer rush up. The Milky Way was the night show.
We would roll up on West Garza Street in Del Rio and my granmother was at the door to greet us. She had chickens in the coop and as soon as we walked up her wooden steps and into the kitchen she had food to great us. She was beautiful. She had silver hair braided against her dark skin she looked amazing.She could not speak English but love has no language barrier. I grew up on tortillas and Spanish music.
Growing up in New Jersey was really interesting at the time since in northern Bergen County there were not many Spanish speaking families at the time. I remember being corrected by my teacher saying that I was mispronouncing the word Tortilla. I needed to pronounce the “l’s” geez.
Well back to the travel bug…My parents started it and I continued with wanting to travel where ever there was a place to visit. I still have my target places that I have not visited yet but I am on the way.
This November I will be in Kona, Hawaii thanks to my great friends Sue and her husband Jim. December 26 I will be back in Madrid to visit my son. He was offered a job! He graduates from his Masters Program in August. I am so proud of him.
Soon after that I will be developing a 12 Step Program for those who are infected with the travel bug. I tell you there is no cure. You need to first admit you have a problem. Then you need to embrace it.
I honestly believe we are born here to explore. We are so fortunate that we are able to explore the world and see the plight of others. I believe that is why I changed careers and chose a life that assists others grow through their life’s challenges.
Our world is so beautiful. Why not go out and enjoy it. I will throw down the gauntlet and ask you to share about your town. Travel begins at home. I know there are families out there and people who are unable to take the time off like I am. How to fill the void. There are so many beautiful places here in walking or driving distances. I recently went to Greenwood Lake, NY. Every Friday night in the summer they have free concerts on the shore. It is so beautiful I am in awe.
Yes, this is maybe 20 minutes from my home. What other amazing places are near your home. So while I may be writing about some fantastic places I am ready to visit. There are plenty of beautiful places right outside your door.
How about this for a thought. You have heard of vision boards! If not they are simple I have used them for years. Focus on where you want to go and what you want to do. Cut out pictures of places you want to visit and the style in which you want to travel. Put it somewhere you can look at on a daily basis. Spend time at night focusing on what you want out of life. Where you want to travel. How you want your bills paid. Find your partner. Get the picture…just do it. It has worked well for me.
You will find that as you think so does your world go. So think large. Be happy. Enjoy the moment and live well. Take care my fellow travelers..I welcome your thoughts. Have a great time looking around at your world. Denise
So here you are. You are on the vacation of a lifetime. You have always wanted to visit- Paris, New York, Rio, St. Kitts, or San Francisco. You are where you want to be. Even if the city or destination is not what I have written you are on your way visiting the city or the country side.
Just because you are on vacation my fellow travelers and dreamers you have not entered into the world of all you can eat. The world does not become an endless table of consumption. So how do you balance enjoying the local treats and still come home in even better shape than you left?
Stay active! While visiting Barcelona, Spain my son and I enjoyed all the treats the city had to offer. We had the fixed price lunch meals, pastries, amazing coffee with cream (cafe con leche), and so much more.
When I came home from that visit I noticed that I had lost 6 pounds. We walked all over the city and did not use the metro for short stops. We clocked an amazing amount of miles and enjoyed ourselves in the process.
It is simple math as far as I am concerned. Calories in versus calories used will always do one thing. Weight loss or weight gain. No matter what plan you use that is how it is calculated. No matter how techno advanced we become one thing is for certain our body is as how it was made since we first entered on the this planet.
Vacation is just that. A time to relax, enjoy and explore or for some just sit by the beach, pool or lake. What is your definition of vacation. Mine is for exploration and seeing new places. To embrace different cultures, meet new people, and broaden my knowledge.
When I am home it is a vacation. Sure I have chores and home repairs. This past week I was using pre-mixed cement to fix the foundation around the house. Repair the cracks on the steps and other places that needed mortar. Dragged bags of mulch in the hot sun to places around the yard. Lifted heavy bags of marble chips and placed then in between the concrete patio. The earthquake last year shifted part of my back yard and the steps shifted. I use my push mower to do the yard. I work hard at home.
However, I also have made a small oasis to enjoy the moments I am at home after working with clients and being at the hospital taking care of patients. Home for me extends itself when I go on vacation. I have shifted the way I look at travel and how I see myself when I am visiting new places.
I have stumbled upon a website called Loseit! The name of the site is exactly what it is for. Weight loss. This is a handy tool for those of you who are traveling through out the US or Canada. You can track what you are eating and put in your exercise for the day. It is not for a guilt trip. It is there to help you track every delicious morsel that you put in your mouth.
It seems to work. I have lost 4 pounds the first week. I have a goal It is me vs. me. I am no longer that hard on myself about life.
So why the discussion on travel and taking care of yourself? Quite frankly, from conversations I have had with people on how they feel after a vacation. There have been more times than not that I see the joy in someones face when they relay their amazing vacation and then they cast their eyes downward and say they have put on more pounds. One person grabbed their belly and laughed. Then quietly said ,”I guess I will have to work out harder to lose it.”
Vacation is designed to renew the soul. Give yourself the time to relax and enjoy life. Vacation is not designed from my humble opinion to create more guilt. We have the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We have the capacity to work and grow. We have the capacity to know what we want out of life.
In the book,”The Path of Least Resistance” the author speaks about “knowing what you want,” That is a simple phrase. What do you want out of life? I want to be able to enjoy life. I want to remain healthy. I want to have enough to always pay my bills, travel and save. I want to share my joy with others.
So far what I want seems to be on track. Enjoy your travel. Make plans. Find creative ways to stay healthy while you are enjoying all the food and drink of where you are. That was my thought for the day. It is just what I wanted to share. Check out that website and let me know what you think. Continue reading
Have you ever wanted to travel to somewhere new but, did not know where to go? That is not an uncommon question that I hear from many people who are getting ready to take off for parts unknown.
There are so many things to keep in mind when deciding what to do and where to go. Lets start with the basics.
How much money do you actually have to spend? If you have been reading my blog all along it is all about comfort before, during and after vacation. If you have to take out a small home equity loan to fund your trip. Well, does that make you feel relaxed? I do not recommend taking the dream vacation of a lifetime only to find out it has become a nightmare to pay back.
Everyone knows what their personal budget is. If you have money to burn and luxury is your mode of travel then break open the bank and jump in with both feet and if you are able fly in a private jet. It is not bad if you have people to share the cost with.
If that is not your plan and you want to have the trip of a lifetime on a shoe string then it also has its challenges. I have read about people who have finally done away with money and travel in a van and use solar power for heating and washing. They also sleep in their van in various and sundry places around the North American continent. If that makes you feel like you have landed the lottery go for it.
If you are somewhere in the middle you need to decide. How much money can you afford to take that vacation? You can have the vacation of a lifetime if you plan. I know that is boring and self gratifying immediately but, if you plan the right way you can have the most amazing journey no matter where in the world you would like to go. If you are planning as a solo traveler, couple or family each has its own set of unique circumstances and goals.
Do you want to fly or is it worth it to drive 18 hours to Disneyland and save the hassle of the airport, luggage fees, eating at the airport, baggage pick-up, car rental pick up , car rental drop off and all of that outside noise. For families it can be challenging to drive a long distance but, look at the perks. You stop when you want. You can pack any food you want. You can pack as much or little luggage as the car can hold. You get to take your time and have your car to drive.
Of course the down side will be the miles you place on the car and wear and tear on your vehicle. The positive is family time or friend time. You can plan that trip and then hit Disney or where ever and not worry about missing a flight. You just have to plan properly so you will have enough time to drive home.
Think of it this way. By the time you read this blog look at the clock 18 hours later. Where are you now? Most of us are still home or at least in the same town , state or country they started in when they first read this. I always say to people so if it takes 18 hours to drive where would you be anyway 18 hours from now. A road trip is amazing if you do not put pressure on yourself. Not highly recommended for people who do not know how to relax in life or especially during vacations. For those of you who like to relax it is an amazing journey.
So its all about the cash to start. You have to plan on what your budget allows or increase your focus and have the goal in mind and plan. So what if it takes you a year or so to get to Fiji. If it is all paid for and you have money to spare who is having the best vacation of all?
What do You Love to Do?
That is the other part of the puzzle. What do you love to do? What would you really like to experience. I have been on vacations that I reluctantly took with one person and never did we ever enjoy the same thing. It was like going to the dentist and having a drilling without novocaine. Honestly, my idea and their ideas were so off the mark. I enjoy off the beaten path type of things to explore. The person I was with was not one to explore new things and booked every excursion and event that I never was ever interested in. Granted, you can find the good in all things but, this did not add to the vacation at all.
You need to know what it is that you are willing to compromise on if you are traveling with someone and what is a deal breaker. You will be going to places you have never traveled to and what do you want to experience. Make it something that you cannot do at home! Why look for a chain restaurant or deli to go to. Really! Where is your sense of adventure. Ok now I am just expressing myself but think about it. When I was in India I decided to go exploring. Maybe not the best idea alone but, I was safe and saw things that no one in my group knew existed. I took the advice of the person at the hotel and went on a journey to see simple things and they have stayed with me to this day.
When Are You Able to Do This?
When is a good question. If you think outside the box and travel during the off season you will have bargain airfare, hotels, car rentals, etc.. If you are going to Europe you need to be aware of the exchange rate. Possibly pick up money ahead of time when the Euro to Dollar conversion is in your favor. Just keep watching the exchange rate. One thing to make sure of is to call your credit card company and let them know you are going to Europe so you are able to use your card. Make sure you can use your ATM card as well. It will save you lots of time,money and headaches when you return home.
Exercise a great deal of care when handling your money. Know that smaller bills are appreciated in shops, taxis, restaurants and most places. It is not uncommon to receive a look of disgust in Europe if you do not have smaller bills. So insist if you are picking up money at your bank that they have smaller bills. Word of caution. The exchange rate at your bank is usually done with a 10 per cent increase. They are legally allowed to charge you for the conversion rate. My recommendation is take out approximately 500 Euro or less. Have it as emergency money and use your card for the rest of your purchases. You just never know when an emergency might pop up.
Zombies are everywhere! So think about where you want to go. Dream- LARGE. It is your life. You get one shot at having fun, exploring and learning new things. I also highly recommend learning key phrases in the languages of the countries you are going to visit.
If you are going around the United States find out where you want to go. I recommend all the states. I love Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Maine,Texas and Florida. In Europe I enjoy Spain, France and for the UK- Wales, Scotland and England. There are more places in the world I have seen and places I love to visit. I enjoy Scuba diving, hiking, wine tasting, exploring and just general knocking around the Earth. I have plans to see Australia, New Zealand, and places beyond. Fiji is on my radar screen. Where do you like to go and when will you get there. Enjoy your life. Dream big everyday and remember to just explore where you live. Hope to hear from you soon. You are the best person you know. Remember to create a list.
Remember first and foremost. Before, you go out on the next big adventure of your life. First write down a list of what you are grateful for right now. That is right my friend. Right now! If you are not feeling it just do it anyway. You cannot go anywhere in life if first you are not grateful for where you are. Who you are! What you have already in your reach!
The last few months I have not posted has included some life changing positive moments and some life changing moments that created a significant timestamp on my life. The most powerful moment in my life changed in February when my mother died.
Life has a way of changing our perception and this was a huge emotional awakening for me as I am sure it is for those of you who have lost a parent. I am in a new club of adult orphan. I no longer have a mother or father on this planet to go to for advice. One thing that is for sure is that I did everything in my power to make sure that I was there for my mother when the time came.
December of 2012 I had been focused on travel I spent time that past year.I was attending “A Date With Destiny” Seminar in Palm Springs, California the week of December 1- December 8, 2012. I had been changing up my life and asking for my life to change. I was working on my life and fears. I decided to investigate what stops me from living the life I know I can have.
In the end I realized it was the limitation that I gave myself and no one else. It is funny that I did not realize I would be working on those powerful techniques I had studied as soon as I finished with my workshop on December 8, 2012.
I was on my way back from Palm Springs and had a connecting flight to Newark(EWR) at San Francisco Airport (SFO). I was reaching to to turn on my phone. As soon as it was on it rang. I looked at the number it was my brother calling me from Del Rio, Texas. My mom had fallen and from the description of her fall I said to him , ” Mom has fractured her hip. Call 911 immediately.” I knew that it would not be a good for my mom at her age to have such a fall and a tremendous break.
I continued home. I was already getting ready to call out at work and make plans for my turn around trip to Del Rio, Texas. I looked up all the flights and you know things do not work out the way you want them to when it is an emergency situation. I called a few friends and one girlfriend, Yvonne to be exact. said to me,” USE YOUR MILES!” Oh how could I be so dense at this time. I used my miles and flew to see mom right away. She did not look well. I stayed for the weekend and came back. The following weekend I was flying to Madrid to see my son.
It was the Wednesday night before my flight to Spain and the phone rang. It was the physician who worked on my mom and stated her surgery needed to be redone. I questioned the physician on why. Her response was not satisfactory. I spoke with my mom who said, “Go to Spain and give my grandson a kiss.” I was in Madrid and my son and were enjoying our time together tremendously. We kept track of our journey through countless pictures, train tickets, metro cards and receipts. I wanted to share with my mom as soon as I returned to the US.
I came home to New Jersey and made travel plans to Texas. When I arrived I took one look at mom .She was not in a good way. I stayed again for the weekend. My mom was always saying I spent too much on travel and tickets to come to see her. Spoken like a mom. After a quick visit I went home.
I was talking to my mom on February 10 and said to her “Mom I love you and remember I will be there Thursday.” Mom repeated back twice “I love you. I love you too.” Only I would end up being there on Tuesday not Thursday. February 11, 2013 I received the phone call I knew I would receive one day. I just did not want to receive it. It was from a nurse who was incredibly compassionate.
Of course all the phone calls began. I found my son right away in Spain. My son reminded me to use my credit card and use the service they provide for flights. I used my United Mastercard and it was definitely worth the price I pay for yearly membership. This woman worked miracles she found flights from various carriers that would put my son and I in Washington, D.C. at the same time and make the connecting flight to San Antonio together. It was the kindness of a stranger on the plane who gave up his seat so my son could sit next to me on the flight to San Antonio. The rest is a rather surreal experience with the service and packing up my mothers things at home. The only things we wanted were her photos and a place setting that she had for silver. This is my mom ,Odilia, in her finest in New York at Central Park, back in the day.
So where have I been? I have been in a very reflective state. I am really very blessed to have been able to see my mother so often. I am really very thankful I have the ways and means to be able to make this all happen.
I am very happy that I have had a good relationship with my mom. I know that not everyone has the same type of relationships. It was not always a relationship that was harmonious we had to work at it. In the end I realized that my mom did the best she could. I could write a book about that but who couldn’t.
We really only have one set of parents a lifetime. We may have people in our lives who love us like parents and they are gifts in our lives. Gifts that we can carry in our hearts forever.
I know that I appreciate the fact I had recorded all of my moms messages that she left on the phone. One I love is the happy birthday that she sang to my mom for his birthday. These are the small things in life that we treasure.
Life is one big journey. Never forget what is important in your life. Keep moving and life stops for no one. I know that to be true more so now then ever before. Travel well. Stay healthy and go out and tell someone you love them. Peace to you and enjoy the ride.
I almost forgot. My mother gave me her jewelry before she died. I put it in a really safe place in July 2012. I could not remember or find it for months. I cleaned my house and it is so organized now it is bizarre. I found my fathers dog tags from WWII and other treasures he had from the war. I found my back stage passes from when I worked in the music industry and letters from college. Ok I found other things but where is the jewelry. Well after Mom died guess what happened. I found it in the kitchen.I looked there countless times and cleared all the cabinets. I know I did not put it there. There it was. So maybe she left the earth but, she has not left me. Amazing. Mom’s do the most loving things.
What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? What did it change? That is something to think about. I cannot answer for you. It is a thought provoking question. Is it that you wanted to change your relationships? Is it that you wanted to change jobs? Is it that your health changed or you wanted to change it?
What ever it is completely changing your life is an amazing journey. Today, I will discuss one of the biggest changes that ever happened to me that changed my life forever. I have so many so today I will pick health. I had cancer oh 11 years ago. While I was home after chemo therapy I would have a tremendous amount of energy. Who knows if it was the steroids!
What would happen is that I would go out and complete these amazing projects. I was very focused. My son was 10 years old and my mom came out from Texas to help me. I had just started my second year of my masters at Fordham University. I would have chemo on Thursday at Memorial Sloan Kettering and attend Fordham University on Saturday. It was on Saturday night where the chemo would kick in and make me tired for days. The couch was my bed.
It upsets me to this day that my son thought I was dead laying on the couch when I was sleeping. During this battle of the cancer cells I experienced many things. I had set my sights on the prize.The prize was completing the treatment and death was not an option for me. Each chemo treatment I was getting closer and closer to winning the battle. I actually saw a golden ring for each round of cancer treatment. I was set for 8 rounds of chemo and then radiation.
During this time I had set up what was important and what was not important. I had my goals and values straight! Time passed and then I re-entered the work force. I had an employer who was kind to most but, it seemed to me that he never really appreciated who I was and had already made a snap decision on who I was. It was not the most comfortable interactions. He always appeared to me that he was uncomfortable with who I was.
One of my co-workers, we will call him DB. DB would always seem to find a very strange pleasure in sharing with me, of course in secret, that my employer had it out for me. Is there anyone one out there that can relate? There is always that one person who has personal issues who likes to make others uncomfortable. Not everyone was like that.There were plenty of good hearted individuals who made it a pleasure to be there.
You cannot take in what people say about you You know what is true about you and what is not! You know who you are and what your intentions are. It does not matter how someone else judges you or what they say about you. You need to hear your own voice and not give in to the voice of others.
I decided that travel was my passion. At least one of them. I wanted to share seeing the world with my son after I was finished with chemotherapy. It is something that I felt was extremely important. Since, I had a job that offered paid time off I took full advantage of my days off and planned accordingly. I scoured the internet and took hours upon hours looking for the best deals. I also looked at hotels vs bed and breakfasts. It seemed that most times B & B’s were the best bet for myself and my young son. He is a grown man now and we still have a great time. This was taken in Alaska.
For longer vacations I chose apartment style residents. It saves a tremendous amount on meals. Car rental vs trains, buses and the metro. It depended on where we were. The best days to fly. It is fly on a Wednesday and come home on a Monday. Short vacations vs. week long. Jet lag vs why the heck not!
I noticed once or twice I would come home from either Europe, Alaska, or Hawaii (This was on the beach at our resort in Maui )or where ever I had just come back from, my former employer would ask why I took so much time off? I know he had a different view of life. He was somewhat constricted at that time when he thought of time off. Many people do. He was a good man just not seeing the big picture. You never know when you may leave this planet. I did not know if I was going to live or die at that time. Evidently, my physicians felt the same way.
People in your life, workplace, or wherever have their own opinions of who and what you should and should not be. You do not have to follow the pack and live in a state of, “What will they think of me.” Honestly, if the truth be told they do not think of you at all. People who are toxic or unconscious say things and do not remember the next day. There are some people who are very lonely and scared on the inside and say terrible things to others so you do not look to deeply at them and see what they are really made of.
I have since left that place of employment. I work for myself and have taken a part time job that I enjoy. That is the key. Do something that you enjoy. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do what you want to to.
One thing I know to be true is that you can do what ever you want in this world. What ever your mind believes you are capable of you can do it! I throw the question back to you and please write back. What was the one experience that completely changed your life?
I am committed to assisting others fulfill their hopes and dreams. No one on this earth should have to wonder what if. I have met many people along the way who have been dealt a hard life. I have watched in awe how they have pulled themselves out of the dire straits they had found themselves in and made life a life worth living. I will continue to share my experiences in the hopes your find inspiration or at least relate to life as life appears to me.
Travel well, eat wisely and never let yourself think you cannot. I know you are able to do great things. No matter where you are on your life’s journey I wish you well.