Archives

Keep It Positive

In life there are always ups & downs, goods & bads, chances & choices.

You have the choice to say what’s on your mind either good or bad.

You have the chance to make an impact in either a positive or negative manner.

In any case, why choose anything other than being positive?

Yes, life can throw you curve balls. You can encounter people or situations who breed negativity. It’s up to you to find the positives. It’s up to you to make the choice whether you’re going to let the negativity overshadow. There’s ALWAYS something positive to be found in every situation. Sometimes it just takes a bit longer to see it or find it. Sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to bring it to light, but I firmly believe you can & will find a positive if you TRULY want to.

20130519-073441.jpg

It doesn’t always come easy. Be persistent. Take control of what you don’t like. If you see or hear something that bothers you you can ignore it or address it.

20130519-073904.jpg

Within any given day, any given situation, you have the opportunity to voice your opinion. Say what you mean & follow through with it. Don’t say something just for the sake of saying it. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. There’s no point in blowing smoke.

20130519-074252.jpg

Staying true to your word is a way of living. What you say is a reflection of who you are. Be genuine, be encouraging, be supportive. Think before you speak. Your words can & will always leave a lasting impression. One that sticks around long after they’re said. Sometimes when nothing is said, the message comes across more clearly. Think about it.

20130519-075052.jpg

This is where it becomes tricky. People don’t always mean what they say. I’ve learned that the hard way. Some mean it in that moment. Some say it because they think it’s what you want to hear. Some say it because they want to get something. Some say it without even thinking or realizing potential consequences. Just because you mean what you say, doesn’t mean everyone else does. At times that can be disheartening, I realize. But, as with anything in life, nothing and no one is perfect. My point is, What you say (or don’t say) and how you say it makes a difference.

I digress. Back to the original point of this post.

We only have this one life to live. It is what you make of it. You get out of it what you take from it. Look at the bright side of life and all it has to offer you.

20130519-081009.jpg

Be honest. Keep faith. Life is for living and living brightly. Life is for loving and loving wholly.

Your words reflect your actions. Your actions influence thoughts. All of which have an impact on your path which also may impact those around you. If you have the choice to keep it positive, why choose anything other than that?

20130519-081518.jpg

“Keep your head up
Try and listen to your heart
Be kind always, no matter
We all grow up
And someday we’ll say goodbye
So shine your light while you got one”
-Drunken Soldier by Dave Matthews Band

Be kind, always no matter. Be positive, always no matter. ‚̧

Today is beautiful

Laugh.

Love.

Live.

Brighten someone’s day with a kind word.

Don’t worry about that which you cannot control.

Take a step back & think about what truly matters.

Take a minute to appreciate what you DO have.

Make today a beautiful day.

And just smile.

20130430-063746.jpg

The High Road

Quite honestly I think in today’s world it’s quickly becoming the road less travelled.

I just don’t know what’s going on sometimes … but in all honesty my BS meter is full. So feel free to put your 2 cents in a different meter. ūüėČ ¬†KIDDING…. JUST KIDDING. ¬†Although there are days I feel as though that is the truth…

From people bashing each other because of differing beliefs … to blatant lies & partial truths… to individuals boasting & bragging incessantly… when is it going to end? Continue reading

Heartstrings

We all have them… some never think about them.

I am reminded of mine on a daily basis…

HEARTSTRINGS   (härt string) n.

1.  The deepest feelings or affections: a tug at the heartstrings.
2. One of the nerves or tendons formerly believed to brace and sustain the heart.
In times of great happiness and excitement and moments of sadness and disappointment, I feel the pulling of my heartstrings.
When someone I love hurts me or someone I love is hurting, I feel the tugging of my heartstrings.
When the little nephews flash a chubby cheeked grin or tears start rolling down those same chubby cheeks my heartstrings pull a little.
With each loss of a loved one, their absence pulls the heartstrings one way while memories of our time together enter into a game of tug of war, insisting that the heartstrings be happy and not filled with sadness.
With each¬†betrayal the heartstrings grow fragile, become worn… with each kind gesture or warm embrace they grow stronger, more resilient.
When people just “get” me and understand me… when they know how I’m feeling and say what I can’t… or when there’s nothing to say and they know that is a-okay too…
Heartstrings are embedded into your very being…
Always being tugged and pulled in every which direction, by a billion different emotions one experiences in their lifetime. ¬†Lately they seem to be pulled more than I care to happen… but it’s not something I can totally control.
but… such is the way it happens from time to time…
You have days, such as today where the heartstrings are tugged a little harder in both directions… One of those conflicted days when you celebrate the life lived and miss the life lost.
It’s a hard balance to maintain, but the man I remember, the one I miss, the man I try to celebrate not just today but everyday wouldn’t want me or my mom or my sisters or my brother or his grandchildren or¬†siblings, nieces or nephews¬†to be sad. ¬†I KNOW in my heart of hearts with every single heartstring that is being pulled in every which direction, that this man would want us to remember the happy times and the healthy times.
He’d want us to celebrate the time we spent together with him, as well as the time shared in the years since his leaving.

He’d want us to honor his memory going forward; ¬†Not living in the past wishing and thinking of what was or what could have been; What wasn’t or didn’t happen.

Life isn’t always a walk in a park full of sunshine and daisies. My step-dad’s life and the example he lived was sure-fire proof of that. ¬†Life is going to throw¬†curve balls¬†your way. ¬†You will be faced with challenges but you don’t stand a chance of coming out on top if you don’t face them head on with a “go get ’em” attitude. ¬†If ever there’s a thing that my step dad taught me it was that. ¬†He chose a noble path, opting for experimental treatments saying “even if they won’t help me they could help someone else down the road.” ¬†Faced with the ugliness that was cancer, he chose not to think only of himself and his family, he thought of the positive effect his treatments could have on others. ¬†Not many would be brave enough to think in such a manner when faced with such a challenge. ¬†But, he did. ¬†That is amazing.
Every day, because of him, I am reminded that life is all about choices… in everything you do in and everything you say, you have a choice. ¬†A choice to react and a choice to ignore. ¬†A choice to celebrate and a choice to honor. ¬†A choice to take a beast head on or cower in the shadows.

No matter the difference you have the choice. ¬†It’s yours to make. ¬†And it’s yours to live with the consequences.

With each tug of the heartstrings, I am reminded of these choices.  I choose to live life going forward.  Not looking back and pondering couldas, shouldas and wouldas.
That being said, here is something someone recently said to me and I am just LOVING it… it is so true and how I want to go about MY life and honor those in it….
I’m¬†choosing¬†to live. ¬†Live life happily.
Without regrets… Without looking back.
Life is NOT a rehearsal. ¬†You only get one shot at it so make one you can live with… one you can be proud of.

…NEVER forget…

September 11, 2011…10 years later…

TODAY…

As many others have commented and contemplated upon the tragic events that occurred in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, I have found myself¬† thinking of nothing but the same today.¬† It’s a hard feeling to shake.¬† The utter shock and disbelief that our country, our FREE country could be subjected to such an outrageous and devastating tragedy still reigns true till this day, 10 years after first hearing the news.¬† The hows and whys that were muttered by millions replay in my head as I begin to think of what my eyes stared at on the television and ears heard on the radio stations.¬† I, among others, stood in disbelief as¬†each report broke over the sound waves.¬†The trademark skyline, no longer pictures the World Trade Center… The world changed that day…Everything
just stopped.

For me, not much has changed in 10 years.  The shock and disbelief still linger on, but are intermingled with sadness, anger and pride in the present day.

After watching several documentaries in recent days and reading reports and articles, I am taken right back to that initial moment 10 years ago when the world STOPPED…¬†¬† Overflowing with emotion, I sit and watch and relive the horrific scenes and emotions.¬† Still seemingly fresh wounds ever after time has transpired since the actual events occurred.¬† Here are my thoughts and tidbits about the day’s happenings on September 11, 2001 as well as my thoughts today.

Never Forget

HOW could this happen????

I still find myself asking this question.¬† How could something so devastating occur…How can so many people have lost their lives without a chance of escaping…How so many individuals gave of their own lives so freely while trying to save those trapped, hurt and afraid.

The fear that took over me, was something I had never experienced previously.¬† Staring at the images on the television have not gotten any easier.¬† As I sit here watching all of the coverage today, the chills down my spine and¬†tears down my cheeks are as fresh and real as they were in 2001.¬† The emotional response that my body endured 10 years ago is still ever-present in today’s thoughts and experiences.¬† I was fortunate to not have any loved ones directly involved in the attacks or collapses or rescue efforts…yet I was still affected so strongly.¬† The outpouring of emotions I went through during those initial moments were inexplicable.¬† We as a Nation, were in shock..disbelief…angered…mourning… No matter where you were or who you were, you stopped what you were doing and watched, listened, cried¬†and prayed…

…Sadness…

The sadness I experienced in 2001 is the much the same as the sadness I experienced today.¬† The sheer fact that the event occurred and that lives were lost saddens me.¬† The loss of so many lives saddens me still.¬† Sadness for many reasons… lives of innocent people were lost that day; lives of children, parents, firefighters, policemen, rescue personnel.¬† People were minding their own, going about their day-to-day when their world stopped and ended without them even so much as getting the opportunity to say good-bye or defend themselves.¬† Their lives were taken by sick, tormented individuals.

I think my sadness lies deepest with the families that were torn apart by the ruthless actions the terrorists carried out.¬† Children losing a parent… Unborn children having lost a parent… Wives losing husbands… Husbands losing wives… Parents losing children… SO many lives ended… THE WORLD JUST STOPPED on 9/11.¬† Eventually, many of us started to “pick up the pieces” and get our emotions in check, resuming our normal, day-to-day routines.¬† The families directly effected by¬†that days events would never be the same.¬† Their normal, day – to – day just got ripped right out from under them.¬† The healing process is a long and hard road that so many had to embark upon much too soon…

…ANGER…

The fact that a group of individuals could be so ruthless as to carry out the events that occurred, sickens me beyond belief.  I hold such anger that there are such disturbed, evil individuals walking the same planet as me.  Anger that so many lives were lost, loves lost, breaths stopped.

So many lives were changed without warning, without care that I just simply get angry.  There is no further explanation I can provide.  I have such disdain for those whom orchestrated and carried out the terrorist attacks that occurred on 9.11.01.

…Pride…

One nation, indivisible…If ever there was anything good to occur out of these attacks this would be it.¬† Americans took pride in our country.¬† We banded together, stood strong and supported each other.¬† We came together to aid those directly affected by loss or injury.¬† We took pride in ourselves, in our rescue personnel.¬†Words of encouragement were shared, patriotism abounded immediately.¬† Flags flying, hymns blaring.¬† Sadly it took something so tragic to help us exhibit such pride in our nation so freely.¬† Americans spoke out of their pride.¬† Americans stood behind each other.¬† We became ONE NATION in support of all those lives lost and loved.

I take pride in the fact that so many individuals displayed such heroic actions on that day and coming days afterwards.  The individuals aboard the hijacked flight that crashed near Somerset, PA come to mind first when thinking of heroic actions of that day. Their strength and endurance, ambition and selflessness amazed me.  The rescue personnel that so freely risked their lives or gave their lives during the rescue efforts at Ground Zero,  are the epitome of heroes.

TEN years ago….

WHERE I WAS and WHAT I was doing…

Seems like it was centuries ago at times…then again it seems like it was just yesterday.¬† I was 23 years old.¬† Had already graduated from college and was enjoying my job at Kennywood.¬† I was part of a group that worked at the Amusement Park in the offseason, wrapping things up for the current season and getting things situated for the following season.¬† We did odds and ends such as taking inventory, tagging merchandise, and restocking items.

One seemingly ordinary day, us girls were up in the gift shop in Lost Kennywood doing inventory.¬† One of my friends was upstairs folding shirts, another counting something else.¬† I was sitting outside, on a milk crate, counting key chains.¬† They¬†looked like bouncy balls, were yellow and had the trademark Kennywood arrow on them.¬† The exact item bares no significance to the days events, I just find it interesting that I can remember those details of something that occurred 10 years ago and I can’t remember if I turned my flat-iron off when I leave for work on a daily basis these days, but that’s neither here nor there.

The radio was blasting…given the time of day, had we been in the warehouse, Howard Stern¬†would have been on.¬† But I can almost guarantee that since it was just us girls in the gift shop, we probably had B94 on.¬† My friend, folding shirts upstairs yelled down that something happened in New York…we didn’t think much of it, but as she continued to listen and share and more reports kept coming over the radio, our world just STOPPED.

…TODAY…

Today I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a citizen of this great nation.  Albeit a nation that has seen such horrific tragedy, our nation came together on that day.  We came together in support, strength and prayer.  I continue to keep those whose lives were lost close to my heart, their families in my prayers.  I continue to pray for those who are haunted by their memories of that day. The heroes who risk their lives everyday to keep us safe will forever be honored.

  I am thankful for those who defend our country so that I can maintain the freedoms that make our country the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Our world stopped 10 years ago…we continue on.¬† Honor those who defend us.¬† Remember those who died for us.¬† Cherish those with us.

How were you affected?  Where were you at that very moment???

Expect the Unexpected

I know I’ve heard many a person say, “You never know what to expect”.

¬†Time and time again I’ve heard those words or uttered them myself in relation to various situations, circumstances and events.

This has always held true in my personal experiences in life so far…

Just when you think you know, you find out in reality you really have no idea…

But you see, life always has a way of changing on ya… the path in the road winding in a different direction of sorts…

Some days you’ve got your plan all set and the floor comes out from underneath you…

While other days you’re so lost you’re driving around in circles having not a clue as to which direction you should go…

You never know if what you’ve always done and what you’re used to doing is what you are meant to do…

You never know what opportunities will present or how you are to respond to them…

You may find yourself doing something you’ve always wanted to do in a way you never thought of…

You may find yourself doing something you never thought you’d be doing but loving it anyway…

Whether your dream is your journey or your journey is your dream, take hold and live it out…

Don’t limit yourself with expectations… expect anything and everything and all that lies in between.

A lot of triumphs arise in direct relation to the way you respond to life and all it throws your way.

Whatever your dream may be, live it.  

Love it.

If I’ve learned anything at all in the last two months, it is to ALWAYS expect the unexpected

It’s a little less of a shock if you prepare yourself for the best, worst and everything in between.

AND

Just roll with the punches… tomorrow IS a new day. ¬†Why not make it a good one?

Loves to my loves!

Celebrating the gift of “YOU” to the world

Have you ever wondered how birthday celebrations became so important?

To some birthdays are a huge ordeal.

To others, birthdays are just another day in their time here on earth.

I’d say that I’m right smack dab in the middle of the mix. ¬†While I like a bit of a fuss to be made on my day, it is in actuality just another day in my life….

But this “just another day in my life” is truly a gift in and of itself. ¬†Time and time again we are reminded that life is so very precious; never knowing which ordinary day will be your last here. ¬†Illness, Accident or nature… you just don’t know when your time on earth is up; when a normal day will be your last.

Your birthday is your own personal “Happy New Year” celebration. ¬†It’s the day that we celebrate you making your appearance in the world.

In my family we don’t have any traditions that are set in stone but we usually have dinner at my mom’s that most often includes corn on the cob and fried green tomatoes (all of our birthdays are in the summer ūüôā ). ¬†Summer birthdays always lent themselves to fun in the sun… from slip and slide birthday parties to weekends on the house boat in Erie with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins to weekend birthday celebrations at the cabin with little bro and friends.

Often we got flowers from our step-dad on our birthdays along with cake and ice cream. ¬†Many birthdays have been spent at work in my days at Kennywood or on field trips at the daycare I used to work at. ¬†Concert tickets have made some pretty cool birthday gifts I’ve received including several Dave Matthews Band concerts and the Paul Simon & Bob Dylan show I saw with an Ex.

All things aside though…. YES, the gifts are nice & the cards are heartfelt or funny. BUT, the biggest gift we receive each and every year is more time to walk this Earth. ¬†More time to leave your mark on the world… More time to¬†forage¬†relationships with those you love and initiate new bonds.

The gift of you to the world is the most amazingly spectacular gift that can be given… for on YOUR day, you and only you are celebrated. ¬†Your talents, your being, your treasure. ¬†Celebrate the gift that you are to the world. ¬†The gift that you are to your friends and family… the gift that you are to yourself. ¬†Acknowledge your awesomeness and celebrate the fact that you are unique. ¬†You are the most precious of gifts that could ever be received.

So on your special day each year… I celebrate the gift of you!

CELEBRATE each breath that you take… every move you make.