Take Your Time

Standard

Today we rented tubes and we floated down the Salt River. It was a four hour ride. At first we started off laughing and racing. We were kicking and using our flip flops on our hands as paddles. We were rushing the ride. We were having a great time but we were in such a hurry to get around the next corner or to reach the nearest set of rapids. By the end of 2.5 hours I was spent. I surrendered to the flow of the water. I just let the water pull me at its own speed and I put my head back and enjoyed the ride. I took in the the beautiful mountains in the distance and I am still amazed at how many different types of cacti there are.

Today was a reminder to go with the flow. Take time to look around and enjoy the details. Don’t miss them because you are busy rushing around to get to the next day. The next day will come in its own time, regardless of the pace you move at today. Slow down. Take it all in and be grateful for the beauty all around you each and every day.

Room With A View

Standard

20140729-111033-40233958.jpg

Our vision for the day is so important. What you see out your window when you wake up is so important. Do you imagine a day filled with endless tasks or do you see life as an adventure, an opportunity to truly live another day.

This is my view today. I am grateful to see this not only with my eyes, but to really feel it in my heart. Life is amazing if you take time to enjoy and explore it. That’s what I plan to do. Anyone care to join me?

Sedona, A Piece Of Treasure

Standard

It feels so good to get away. It’s exhilarating to travel to new places and experience a different pace of life and a change of scenery. We just finished exploring Sedona. Actually, this is my second visit. I was there a few years ago and it has remained very much alive in my memory.

I’m not sure I can capture Sedona with words. It is truly a place of awe and the way it makes you feel is just amazing. It may just be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The natural panoramic beauty captures your heart and makes your spirit soar. You can’t help but feel the peace spread through your entire being as you sit there silently taking in the picturesque scene. It is a place that will tug at your heart strings and make you want to stay, or at least for me, place a stamp on your heart that someday will call you back to visit again. I hope the pictures do it justice because it is surely a gem nestled in Arizona. 20140729-100620-36380397.jpg

20140729-100621-36381383.jpg

20140729-100615-36375266.jpg

20140729-100616-36376386.jpg

20140729-100623-36383173.jpg

20140729-100618-36378347.jpg

20140729-100619-36379839.jpg

20140729-100623-36383487.jpg

20140729-100617-36377850.jpg

20140729-100619-36379307.jpg

20140729-100616-36376703.jpg

Surrounded By Beauty

Standard

Ooh Aah Point. That is where I am sitting right now. I think I may have found the most incredible place in the world to blog. I feel so peaceful here. So small. Not small in a negative sense but rather in a rejuvenating one. Every direction I look is perfection. Beauty beyond words. The Grand Canyon is an amazing place and I feel blessed to be here sitting in this beautiful spot writing these words. It is a perfect mix of nature and solitude. In a world where everything is fake or man made, this natural beauty is a sight for sore eyes and healing for the soul.

As I sit here, I think how much as humans we carry. We carry the responsibility of work, raising our children. We carry guilt and sadness of watching our loved ones survive disappointment and pain. We carry the weight of the world in our minds and in our hearts. Sometimes it’s important to remember how small we really are. In this great big world, we have to put it all down and remind ourselves that we are just one little person in a great big world. We are not perfect but we all do the best we can. We can’t fix everyone and everything but we sure do try. We can’t carry the weight of the world but our actions and our decisions can make it a more peaceful place.

There are some moments you wish you could catch in your hand. There are sights so beautiful that you wish you could stay in a particular place for an endless amount of time. This is truly one of those moments. I feel blessed to be here and I will sit here quietly to take it in just a little bit longer. I will leave with a pounding head and tired legs but every second, and every single step brought us closer to an even more beautiful place. I am full. Completely filled up with the beautiful peace that only nature brings. Here are some pictures so you can enjoy our magnificent view.20140728-184943-67783492.jpg

20140728-184945-67785175.jpg

20140728-184950-67790352.jpg

20140728-184948-67788228.jpg

20140728-184945-67785467.jpg

20140728-184946-67786547.jpg

20140728-184947-67787896.jpg

20140728-184949-67789861.jpg

20140728-184948-67788776.jpg

Just Another Crazy Day

Standard

Some days of my life could be straight out of a sitcom. Yesterday was no exception. We started off on vacation and the excitement really started to build about 45 minutes before we pulled into park. I could hear the little ball rolling around in the cans as the kids shook them up and down. Even my husband got in on the action.

As soon as we stepped out of the car the pungent smell of manure immediately filled our nostrils. There we were, the four of us marching elbow to elbow, holding our guns and ready to shoot. Like experienced graffiti bandits, our steps quickened and became purposeful as we scoped out the scene and chose our next defenseless victim. There it was in the distance, a perfect Cadillac just waiting for us to leave our mark. Tops flew off and spray paint started to fly. You couldn’t hear a pin drop except for my own voice shouting at the kids to point the can with the wind. “Don’t get paint on your clothes I screamed, but it was too late. They were like maniacs pointing and shooting in every direction. It was corny, it was weird. It was awkward but I must admit, it was kinda fun.

There we were in Amarillo Texas at a place called Cadillac Ranch, where 10 Cadillacs were there waiting to be transformed by another can of paint. It was a place to let loose and let the paint fly as you sprayed your name on the car of your choice. Just for a second, it was your creation, at least until the paint ran out. Then, off we went, elbow to elbow back to the car fighting headaches from the strong smell of paint.

After we left I couldn’t help but think how similar we are to those cars. We come into the world leaving ourselves open and vulnerable to each person and experience that crosses our path. Each person is like a can of paint and every interaction changes who we are. Like it or not, everyone leaves a mark. Some leave a beautiful mark forever stamped on our hearts, but others leave something ugly and we are forced to keep putting ourselves out there. The good news is that the only thing that is really constant in our lives is change. Every person and every event gives birth to a new person each and every day. We learn, we grow and we adapt as the picture of who we are changes with time.

It was a neat experience. Like I said, a bit corny but a crazy kind of fun. If you look closely at the pictures you can see how serious we took the responsibility of transforming our car. And yes, even I couldn’t help but spray my name there at least for a moment until a new family came along. Hope you enjoy the pictures, it was a unique experience we will never forget.

20140727-223200-81120586.jpg

20140727-223206-81126532.jpg

20140727-223203-81123983.jpg

20140727-223158-81118401.jpg

20140727-223205-81125018.jpg

20140727-223202-81122705.jpg

20140727-223201-81121586.jpg

20140727-223156-81116203.jpg

20140727-223159-81119273.jpg

20140727-223208-81128419.jpg

What Are You Looking For?

Standard

I was awake last night contemplating what it is that makes us all so different. We can read the same words but turn them into a different story. We can watch the same movie yet walk out with different ideas of what it was really about. I think life is just like that. Who we are and how we see and react to different circumstances depends solely on our own perspective. How do we get the way we are? We all live through trials and tribulations. We are all showered with blessings and things to be thankful for. Time holds us prisoner to our own attitudes. What we live through and how we respond to every single stone in our path determines how we will get through the next thing that stands in our way. We can also stand before the very same roadblock and one of us can see it as a tiny pebble and the other will see it as a permanent deterrent and never move on. Our perception is so important. Ask yourself, is your perception of the people and events around you holding you back or is helping you live a better life?

I’ve learned this in my forty something years. Thoughts become things. If you allow your mind to fully believe something, good or bad, that is what your eyes will allow you to see. If you focus on one day or one sentence or one characteristic of a person or situation, your view will be tainted. Sometimes it takes some courage to look at the whole picture and not allow ourselves to become fixated on a small part. It’s hard and it’s a challenge especially if we really want to believe what our minds are telling us is the truth. There are many truths out there if you choose to look. You always have a choice to see something different but what are you focused on? What do you feel in your heart? Do you feel peace, love, hatred, blame? Your heart will pick and choose what you will feel next. Ask yourself this? What do you think about the people and world around you? Pick one or two words. Are they positive, negative, hopeful, defeated? Sometimes you have to check in with the thoughts and emotions inside of you. They are a great gauge to let you know if you are headed down a road filled with joy or a road filled with pain.

Remember, you will only see what you allow yourself to look for. My advice, look for something good or the world will look like a horrible place.

Do You REALLY Count your Blessings?

Standard

They say we don’t really know what we have until it’s gone. Well, I’d like to think I take time out each day to be grateful for all the blessings around me. However, I learned it is one thing to talk the talk and another to walk the walk.

If you regularly read my blog, you know I haven’t been feeling well lately. I am happy to report that today I am feeling so much better than the last several days. I was really down and out. I may have said I was grateful for my health in the past, but I can tell you, after feeling so awful and miserable, I am surely grateful for my health now.

Maybe there is some silly truth to that simple statement. Even the most grateful people can take the smallest and simplest things for granted. It is only when we lose something and then gain it back, do we truly understand it’s magnitude and importance.

Count your blessing today and in each moment. You just never know if tomorrow one of them may be gone. Appreciate your health and your body and all the people around you who share your journey in this life. Don’t waste time being angry or miserable or ungrateful. We really don’t have time for that. Remember everyday is a special gift, what will you do with yours?

Packing

Standard

I don’t know why packing is so difficult for me. It’s always the only part of vacation I really dread. I wonder if it’s because I have an adversity to planning. I don’t want to decide what I’m going to wear three days from now. I don’t even like to plan what I am going to eat a meal from now. I am one of those “see how I feel in the moment” kind of girls. It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself if you pay attention to what comes easily and what you are most resistant too. I guess over the years I have learned that plans fall through. Most of all planning leads to an attachment to some kind of outcome and we all know things aren’t always the way we expect them to be. So, I packed a little of everything and worse case scenario? I buy something there that I’ve forgotten or decide I need. Either way, it’s finished. I’m done. The hard part is out the way and now I just have the trip ahead to start getting excited about. What part of going away is the hardest for you?

A Minute clinic Follow Up

Standard

I guess I am most disappointed as a nurse at the lack of proper diagnosis and follow up of care. If you remember, 3 days ago I went to Minute Clinic complaining of fatigue, and pain on ONE side of my throat especially when opening my mouth. So, today I woke up with severe pain in my ear and my throat hurts so bad I can barely speak. I took my allergy medicine like a good little girl but I just knew there was something not right. So, today the lovely nurse practitioner who missed it the first the time discovered I had a peritonsillar abcess.

Funny how I noticed the small white pocket before I even went to be examined days ago. And now, it is bigger and much more evident. I guess what really bothers me is it starts out feeling just like strep throat. Then, it takes a few days with no new symptoms for this unfriendly little pocket of bacteria to form. What should have given it away if someone was listening was that it was only on ONE side. First clue that it was indeed not allergies. Also, I believe if she took the time to really look she would have noticed the small development of the sore the first time she saw me. So now, here we are 3 days later, much worse because of not having been on antibiotics and I can barely open my mouth to speak. I now have pain medicine for my throat, pain drops for my ear and no energy to get out of bed and pack for the vacation I am leaving on in 2 days. Oh, and did I mention if the abscess becomes bad enough I have to rush to the hospital because I may not be able to breathe? What if I hadn’t gone back today? What if I had believed this nurse was right and continued to take allergy medication that never would have worked? The worse part? When I called to try and talk with her I got a switch board operator who took my information and told me someone would be back in touch with me in 24 hours. Are you kidding me? I jumped in my car and drove there and in 10 minutes we were sitting face to face. I reminded her she didn’t even take the time to look in my ears when I was there. I seriously thought I had an ear infection that had backed up into my throat. It was the redness that had grown on one side and the ear pain on the same side that alerted her to look a little closer. What really gets my goat is she knew I had swollen glands in my neck when I was there. Even if I didn’t have a fever, there were signs of infection. What in the world is happening to our health care system? We call back a doctor or a nurse and get a switch board operator from where? I am disgusted and truly worried about the lack of attention to the patient and the amount of time spent talking into and typing on a screen. As a nurse, I am devastated and desperately hoping for some kind of change.

As for me, I am back in bed hoping one of these days I will wake up and be able to talk and swallow again pain free. The infection is worse and now I have less time to get done what it is I have to do. But, for now I will trust my body that is screaming for me to stay in bed. I will rest and be patient and give myself the time I need to heal. It’s by listening to others that we learn the most. Hopefully, you have learned something from this unfortunate story. It is your body. And when you truly believe there is something wrong, usually there is. Persistence and trusting your own instincts is the key.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Standard

Have you ever met anyone in your life who says things they really don’t mean? Sometimes I’ve discovered that people’s circumstances are sometimes so out of their own personal control that they have this need to control everyone and everything around them. The second things go a way they did not plan for. this maniac escapes through their mouth and they say everything they can think of to force a reaction out of somebody else. These people aren’t cruel. In fact, they don’t even mean to be unkind. They just have absolutely no control over anything including themselves. They want love and attention more than anything but they act out so negatively that the reaction they receive from the other person is the exact opposite of what they are secretly craving and hoping for. It’s a cycle that after years and years of being repeated never has a happy ending.

Remember this. Everything you do, everything you say influences how others feel about you. Even if you don’t mean the words that come out of your mouth, eventually they will have a negative effect on the person who has been patiently listening to them. There comes a time when you have to take responsibility for yourself. There comes a time that you have to admit that it is your very own words and actions that drive away the people you claim to love. I remember I chose this reading from the Bible when I got married so many years ago. Not even then did I understand how important those words really were when it came to forming and maintaining healthy relationships. That verse and every single word are worth repeating. Listen carefully.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The answers are always there if you choose to look for them. Do not allow yourself to be anyone less than the person you should be. No excuses. No conditions. You always have a chance to do better. When you know better, you should do better and these words are a pretty good guide to start you in a new direction. Every day is a new day, a chance to start over and start living a brand new life. The question is will you have the courage to take the first step?