Friday, January 17, 2014

Poised to move on...

This was in my email inbox today, from the Daily Om website.
Lots of food for thought here...

Poised to Move on
Aquarius Daily Horoscope
A thoughtful mind-set can put you in the mood to reflect upon your past today, and you may not be pleased with all you find in your personal history. Pain from long-forgotten wounds can assail you and even cause you to feel a renewed sense of bitterness. The very considerate point of view that inspired you to look backward today may also compel you to look forward, toward reconciliation. Whether you feel that this is the right time to reach out to those you clashed with in years gone by, or you would prefer to let such people remain in your past, you will likely find satisfaction and freedom in offering up your sincere forgiveness

We do not have to address each issue that contributed to the difficulties that were a part of the relationships we have found to be challenging over the years to let go of the pain we feel. When it comes time to move on, we need only forgive those whom we believe wronged us in some way before continuing forward with our lives. While these individuals may never know that we have absolved them of any responsibility—and indeed, we may not feel comfortable approaching them at all—something changes within us as we divest ourselves of any lingering pain. The ties that bound us to these hurtful experiences are dissolved, and we are free to leave them behind without retaining even the slightest ill will. You will feel more amenable to reconciliation today when you realize that all that is required of you is your ability to forgive.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Donnie, Jr.

While going through a few more boxes stacked in our garage from our move, I came across a doll I've had for more than 20 years. It's a Cabbage Patch Kid dressed in a New York Yankees uniform. One shoe and sock is missing and his uniform has mysterious brown stains on it, but I won't toss it for anything in the world.

The doll joined our family in 1985 (or thereabouts). My mom, who was a giant Yankees fan, had gotten it into her head that since I live and work in New York City, it would be a piece of cake to meet one of her favorite players, Don Mattingly, and eventually marry him. I thought she was joking and laughed, but she seemed fairly serious (or she has my type of sense of humor - the straight face not letting on that I'm actually joking). I became slightly alarmed, thinking she *was* serious about this. She made my dad drive us up to the neighborhood where her #1 favorite Yankee, Lou Piniella, lived, to see whether we could catch a glimpse of him mowing his lawn (as if!).

Around the time my mom starting telling me to find Don Mattingly and date him, the company that makes Cabbage Patch Kids came out with a line of dolls dressed in MLB uniforms. My two younger sisters and I combined our money and bought a New York Yankees doll to give our mom for Mother's Day. She loved it! She named the doll "Donnie, Jr." and propped him up next to her to watch Yankees games on TV. I thought the heat was off, but she continued to mention how pleased she would be if I would meet Donnie Baseball and date him. I finally told her he was married and that settled things. Besides, I never had a thing for Don Mattingly (no offense to him). The last Yankees crush I'd had at that time was Bucky Dent, and he hadn't worn pinstripes since 1978.

When my mom passed away in 1990, we went through the motions of dividing her belongings among my dad, my three sisters, brother and myself. I didn't really want anything, except for my mom's Timex watch... and Donnie Jr. I got both, along with some jewelry and clothing. The watch stopped working in 1995 but I still have it, along with little Donnie Baseball.

As I sit and think back on my mom's love for the Yankees and her wish for me to marry Don Mattingly, I finally have what may be a glimpse into her belief that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to doing. Until now, all that comes to me when I think about those years is how many times I failed my family and myself. I could go into details, but that will be for another blogpost, should I desire to actually write about it. 

Sitting here, I remember an aunt telling me, after my mother had passed, that she had been amazed at my independence at such a young age - traveling to New York City at age 19 to work at a Chinese take out, work for my older sister as a temporary secretary, land a radio show that broadcast down the Jersey shore, move into NYC at age 20 after landing a full-time job at a record company, singing in bands and seemingly having no fear. I remember being stunned at her revelation and promptly dismissed it as my aunt trying to sugar coat my mom's true feelings of disappointment. But then again, how could my aunt know about all of those things? I didn't keep in touch with her on a regular basis. We didn't have Facebook, internet or cell phones then. We had snail mail (who's got time to write a letter?) and phones (who's got the money to make long-distance calls?). 

It's taken so long for me to sit and look at myself without distain and disappointment that I squandered so much of my life away; to look back at my life and see the bright spots (as well as the dark ones) and see how everything has helped shape who I am today. I hope one day, I can see the positives in a brighter light.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014: A new approach to goals

It's 2014, which means it's time to lay out goals for the new year. Last year, I resolved to NOT make any resolutions. It was freeing in one sense. In another, I felt as though I'd been cast adrift on a sea of indifference with no land in sight.

This year, I'm experimenting by making a list of goals (I REFUSE to use the word "resolutions") to aim for this year, to see whether I'll feel more motivated and less adrift in 2014. I welcome you to join me. Make your own list and let's check back in with each other each month to see how much we're accomplishing and how we feel about it.

Here goes:

  1. Be more present for Ian to help motivate him to finish his senior year
  2. Carve out more time to work on my novels
  3. Be more pro-active in promoting my first novel - both with social media and setting up interviews (and accept help!)
  4. Adhere to a better work schedule - ie, DON'T stay at work until 6 or 7pm at night!
  5. Find a fitness program I will stick to!
  6. Incorporate more healthy foods into my meals

These should be good to begin with.
I'll check in next month with an update. 
I look forward to seeing how you're doing, too.