Monthly Archives: May 2012

Reflection

A friend of mine is going through a difficult time right now.  He and his wife are dealing with the probable loss of his father.  He’s in a coma and doctors say there’s almost no chance of him recovering, so they have removed him from life support and expect his passing any moment now.

Speaking with them has reminded me (not that it’s ever far from my mind) of two losses I’ve suffered that have impacted me in a major way.  The loss of my grandmother, and the loss of my mother.  Death is never an easy thing to deal with, but we all are faced with it at some point or another.  Sometimes tough choices have to be made, and though our emotions take us on a rollercoaster, we are forced to deal with things in a rational fashion.  When I reflect on my situation, I’m reminded of my grandmother; the last moments I had with her.  I visited her at her home in Brooklyn…a very familiar place to me during my childhood.  We had a chance to sit and talk.  I couldn’t tell you what we spoke about, but it was a long conversation.  I’ll never forget, that when it was time for me to go, she walked me to the door.  A small rather insignificant move to most, but big to me because I didn’t expect it, and it wasn’t something she normally did.  To this day, I’m sure that she, or a higher power, knew that it would be our last moment together.  We got a chance, in some sense, to say goodbye.

I didn’t have such an opportunity with my mother.  Her passing was unexpected, and though she had been sick, no one could’ve predicted that the night before, where she asked me if I wanted to share her mac and cheese, would be the last real conversation we would have.  I’m not mad.  I understand how death works, and saying goodbye isn’t always in the cards.  But I reflected on those last moments tonight, as I listened to my friend talk about his last moments.  As we took a drink in celebration of his dads life.  My friend was strong, and was able to rationally accept the inevitable.

It’s not easy, but it forces us to remember the good.  All of the things that we probably took for granted, become etched in our memory as the foundation of our relationship.  The good, the bad, and the hilarious.  I still remember how my mother asked if she could have some of my 40.  LOL, she wasn’t ghetto on the outside.  A successful young woman by all accounts, raising her kids in the suburbs.  She had roots in the ghetto.  My grandmother who refused to leave the ghetto, even though as a little kid, I’d vowed to get her a house elsewhere.  We always want to give those who did so much for us, something better.

The things that make us who we are.  Life, in itself, is a big cliche.  But you can’t help but fall victim to those cliches.  How short it is, how you should cherish every moment, and how the only thing in life that is certain, is death.  I can’t say I find comfort in that, but I do find comfort in the fact that they made huge impacts on my life.  Made me who I am.  Maybe not alone, but in large ways.  I can only hope to have that same impact on others.  So, as I reflect on their lives, and their deaths, I reflect on mine.  My life and my impending death.  I’ve got work to do, but I’m confident, that the lessons they taught me, the words they said to me, and the guidance they gave me, will guide me to live my life in their name.  Carrying on their will, and sharing their words of wisdom, even if I speak them as myself.  I am not who I am because of me, but because of them.  I am lucky to still have my father riding with me.  His influence is just as great as theirs.  And part of the lesson is to not take him for granted, for even though I have loved one’s who have passed, I have loved one’s who are still impacting my life daily.  I am grateful….I am blessed.

So I end this with a thought and prayer for my friend and his family.  I can’t know what they’re going through because I am not them, but I know that they will be okay.  I know that they will reflect, and continue to live the lives that this man tried to lay out for them.  Death is not easy.  But its lessons are there, and we need to see how the lessons of life are amplified in death.  Our loved one’s last loving gesture to us.  To remember, reflect, and keep the memory…the dream…and the battle for something better, alive….so their love was not in vain.  God bless.

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What Savings

Is it me, or is it nearly impossible to save money these days?  I swear, if it wasn’t for my 401k I’d be completely paranoid about retirement funds.  Not that I’m really even thinking about it, but I do know that if I plan to live that long, I need to have some funds if I don’t want to work into the grave.  And since social security will be, in all likelihood, done, I can’t even count on that money.  It’s a bit scary.  I mean, conventional wisdom says to put away 10% of your salary each year…yeah, right.  It’s sad because I bought a place that I thought I could reasonably afford, and I don’t have any major debts looming over my head.  Truth is, I have a little something put away, but not nearly enough.  It’s just that life in general can be expensive.  I certainly could cut back on my entertainment spending (drinks, travel, and the like..) but I don’t want to be bored until retirement age either.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out.  I also know that there are plenty of people who are probably worse off than I am, so why should I cry?  And I’m not irresponsible with my money, so I won’t be completely broke, but I’d love to be comfortable when the time comes.  We shall see.  Guess I’d better start playing the lotto.  If you know of any sugar momma’s out there, tell them to look me up.  LOL.

 

flush…

What are you looking at??

When I was young, and much dumber, I opted to get an earring.  I thought it would be so cool, and I would look so cool because of it.  I mean, what girl wouldn’t like a guy with an earring.  Yeah, rebel.  So, with the weak approval of my parents (they just thought it was stupid, but what do parents know), I went out and got an earring.  As far as I can tell, it did nothing for my reputation with the ladies.  I did have a girlfriend at the time, and I’m sure she liked it, but no big fan fare as I had hoped.  However, in my head, it still was a cool thing to do.

Unfortunately, at some point, while removing one earring for another, I stabbed my ear in an awkward way.  It began to bleed, but I thought nothing of it.  In a few months, I started to see and feel a bump.  It became so profound that it was impossible for me to place an earring in the hole.  What was this?  I soon learned it was a keloid.  Without going into a deep medical explanation, a keloid is mound of scar tissue.  The body, for whatever reason, continues to build scar tissue above and beyond the original scar causing a bump.  Sometimes it’s small, and sometimes it’s large.  They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are definitely noticeable.  It’s a genetic thing, and unfortunately I have more than one, but that’s not the point.  The one on my ear has gotten bigger over the years, and has grown to at least 3x the size of my earlobe.  Needless to say, people see it and even stare.  In recent months, people have even asked about it, which is okay.   I don’t mind explaining it, though it is a little uncomfortable but I’d much rather that than people staring at my ear while talking to me.

Anyway, don’t cry for me, it’s all good.  The reason for this blog is, I no longer know why women are looking at me.  LOL, when walking down the street, I wouldn’t find it strange for an attractive woman to give me “the eye.”  I’m no model, but I’m sure there are some (many….lol) who find me attractive.  The thing is, I no longer know what the reason for the look is.  Are they looking at me because I’m attractive and they’re kind of flirting, or are they looking at the abnormal growth on my ear?  It doesn’t matter because nothing would happen even if they were flirting, but I’m human and I have an ego that likes to be stroked every once in awhile.  Just sucks that I don’t know if I should let these looks satisfy my ego, or make me self conscious.  Ha…I’ll just go along thinking that they find me attractive since I’ll never actually know what they are thinking.  Oh well…..

Lucky Me…seriously…

Today, I decided I was going to buy and put up a ceiling fan.  It’s the “unofficial” start to the summer and I this weather has provided enough heat to get the air conditioner going.  My hope is that the ceiling fan will use less energy than the air conditioner, but hopefully I won’t have to use the air conditioner as much.

Well, as most other household projects, this one threw me a curve ball.  In short, there was an extra wire that the instructions accounted for in an optional way.  However, it never accounted for the wire if I were not going to use it for the optional reason.  So we constructed the fan without using the extra wire, but I was worried that the unused wire could somehow be a fire hazard.  Before completing the assembly, I wanted to be sure that there was no issue with the wire, so I needed to get on the internet and do some research.  In order to get my router working again, I had to turn the power to the room back on.  I turned the switch back on at the circuit breaker box and did my research.

After getting the answer I needed, I disassembled the fan so I could get to the wires.  I then took one of the wire connections apart, and reassembled them with the extra wire.  After which, I realized I never turned the power back off.  I’m not 100% sure, but I’m thinking I never touched the ends of the live wires.  That’s the only reason I’m not currently in the hospital I assume.  It was a scary thought after the fact.  Maybe I was never in any real danger, but I think I understand a little about how electricity works, and because of that, I consider myself lucky.  Today could’ve ended much different.  Lucky Me….

Unofficial summer kick off

The summer is unofficially here.  With memorial day weekend here, it is finally the time of year that we all wait for. The bitter cold is gone and even though the winter didn’t provide us with too much cold or any snow, knowing that it’s nearly impossible at this point, is comforting.

I don’t normally do anything to kick off the unofficial start, but this year is different. I’m down the shore (it’s a Jersey thing) and I’m all in. Excited for the summer and the adventures that it might bring.  Camping, golfing, and D.C are on deck but other adventures are yet to reveal themselves.

So in preparation for the summer I am naming some of the things I’m excited for…

–  refreshing watermelon
–  sun showers
–  the breeze after thunderstorms
–  long island iced tea’s
–  cold beer
–  evening drives with the windows down
–  at least one swim in the pool
–  homemade fruit smoothies
–  sitting outside for brunch or happy hour
–  my rooftop with sweeping views of the nyc skyline

I’m sure there’s more, but those are what immediately comes to mind. I hope and pray for a good summer. It looks like it will, I just hope it holds up that way. Hope you have a great weekend and summer as well.  Let’s make it happen.

Higher Powers

Yesterday, I was supposed to go running.  Some of you who have kept up with my blogging know that I ran a 5k a few weeks back.  I am still running because I am participating in a corporate challenge in central park in June.  So, since I haven’t run at all this week, I decided yesterday had to be the day.

My day at work had been pretty busy, but bearable.  But around 4:30 things got a little hectic.  I’m supposed to leave my job no later than 5:20 to ensure that I can catch the shuttle bus to my condo building.  Well, before I knew it, it was 5:25 and I clearly wasn’t going to make my shuttle in time.  This was a bit of a blow because I wanted to run and be home and relaxed for the evening.  I certainly didn’t want to stay at work, and I had known that a few coworkers had gone to happy hour across the street.  The plan was now to join them for a few minutes, before taking the 15 minute walk over to my shuttle bus whose next departing time was 6:30.  So I was at the restaurant waiting for 6:10 to arrive and staying away from alcohol since I didn’t think it was a good idea to drink before running.

At approximately 6:09, I said my goodbyes and turned toward the door at which time, the skies opened up and it began pouring.  Determined to stay focused and get my run in, I headed out, even though I didn’t have an umbrella.  Two minutes into my walk, I had begun to regret the decision to walk because it had begun to rain harder.  Oh well, I’m already wet now…can’t really get more wet, so I walked.  It rained the entire walk, but it did let up once I got to the shuttle van meeting point, but one thing was missing….the shuttle van.  6:30….6:35….6:40….6:45, the van finally shows up.  Appears as if he had gotten pulled over for talking on the phone.  Well, at least I was on my way home.

But……not so.  There was traffic beyond what was normal for that time of day.  In addition, I had received a text message from a friend who had recently suffered a traumatic event, who wanted to go have drinks with a few of his friends….he wanted to leave in approximately 45 minutes, and I wasn’t even home yet.

All in all, home by 7:15 wet, cranky, and tired, I never made it to my run.  I’m not sure if all the obstacles were trying to set me up to be there for a friend, or if something bad was going to happen if I went for a run, but one thing is for certain….powers greater than me, did not want me running yesterday.  Hmmm

Life can be funny at times….

Life can be funny at times.  For quite awhile now, I’ve been in a really good place.  I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of life, and still been able to smile and stay positive.  I had already known that this was possible because I hadn’t really been dealing with anything too serious.  Part of my new philosophy is to be happy until life gives you something to really be unhappy about.  Reminds me of how many of us heard a similar phrase from our parents when coming up… “you’d better cut out that crying before I give you something to really cry about…”  LOL, funny now but I hated that when I was younger.

But it really has been a good philosophy.  Recently, I had been thinking that I feel so good, that I think I’d be able to handle a truly stressful situation with a good attitude.  Life can be funny at times….I am now faced with what I perceive to be a truly stressful situation.  I understand that my perception is not everyone else’s perception, and I know I can be hard on myself, so that’s why I phrase it that way.  In any case, it’s a work situation and though I think I’ve built a strong positive reputation, I still hate making errors or doing anything that could put my department in a negative light (note, we do not know if I actually made an error, but I’m working under the assumption that I have). 

So, this has been at the top of my mind for the past 36 hours and I feel as if life is testing me.  It’s saying, yes things have been good for awhile now, but have you really changed your philosophy or are you only carrying on as life dictates you should?  Though I don’t like it, I must admit it’s a good challenge.  I need to know if I can still smile in the face of adversity.  Admittedly, I’m not doing so well at this point.  Partially because it feels unnatural to be happy and joyful after having potentially made an error, at least while at work.  Maybe that’s just my misconception of how being truly happy works.  In any case, the initial sting is what I’m dealing with and having to find a way to drag myself away from the initial shock is the issue.  Life can be funny at times…Lessons need to be learned and personal traits need to be challenged to test them, and to ultimately make them stronger.  My goal is to truly smile while dealing with this issue and not let it affect any other aspect of my life.  Adversity tends to have a domino effect, and that’s also what I’m going to fight against.  Compartmentalizing tough times, and allowing the happiness to run free.  There I go sounding like a hippie again.  It’s weekend time…..