Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Keep the Pulse Beating for America

This is my city, the City of Orlando, with a heart beat so strong it's felt around the world.  Born and raised in Orlando, I have had the opportunity to see many changes take place over the years, but nothing has ever impacted my community the way the Pulse shooting did. Shock was the emotion that day, with hands over our mouths in disbelief, we could only hope it was just a bad dream... this does not happen in Orlando.

As the city awoke that Sunday morning, word about the tragedy traveled quickly around the world, that terrorist had come to our city to inflict fear in an attempt to disable us, make us weak.  Instead, something beautiful happened....The Pulse Movement came to life!  

Political correctness no longer mattered...my city came together, people of all races, religions and gender, together as ONE!  Blacks, white, Latino, gay's, lesbian's, straight, rich, poor, together, displaying that all lives mattered.

Arm in arm, singing, crying, praying, strangers would embrace each other with the love of God as they consoled each other. Hearts were changed, the community rallied around the victims families and sheltered them from this little group of heartless people that thrive on intimidation and threats of lawsuits. This little group thought they could take on this City of Love but what they received was the most incredible outpouring of love and strength our community has ever witnessed.  Standing tall and strong, not allowing the taunts to provoke the human chain members was an amazing sight to witness; the flesh wants to war openly but something kept these members strong. LOVE.

My prayer is that the love coming from my city will impact the hearts of the heartless, those that try to hurt us and those that feel they have the right to judge others.  Just imagine if every town in America came together like Orlando to help their community and put judgement and hate aside, what a beautiful country we would have again!

Through this tragedy there is hope, through hope there is vision with vision there is a dream and through the dream, there is change. 

    #OneLove #God #PeaceLovePulse #Rainbow 


Monday, December 7, 2015

Working on 30

I considered myself to be a passionate person, someone who found flight in fantasy a felicific place to land;  so when I heard people say 50 is the new 30, I examined areas of my physical & spiritual being that might reflect this youthful image.
My reality however, is not looking or feeling 30 but the true signs of 50. Since having foot surgery a year ago I've found myself in a downward spiral that continues to increase my signs of aging.  I've spoken to others who are beginning to feel the same signs of aging as we strive for our youthful appearance to remain perennial.
Personal struggles come in a variety of styles. How I move beyond those challenges is harder for me more than others.  Being a supportive friend or family member requires a true loving heart, an investment of time and we know having an abundance of time is a hot commodity these days. 
If you are that friend or family member, remember what works for you may not work for others, so sensitivity is beneficial in your efforts. 
Sharing my personal experience in aging is very hard for me. I always thought of myself as a strong positive person, someone that would live a long life, see my skinny side again, be healthy and happy all the fantasy thoughts, pursuing my passion.  Since having foot surgery, I struggle with chronic pain, I withdraw from people and activities I love to avoid someone seeing my struggles.  I get depressed, I get angry because of my situation and find that being alone is safer than having to tell someone how I really feel.
I am not giving up, I will not present myself as a woman who has "given up on life."  With all that I have, I will succeed beyond these struggles and get my happy back.  I've lost a few friends along this journey and have the pleasure of making new ones.
I am not sure what my future holds but I know what I want and will give all I have to achieve happiness that reflects my new 30! 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Welcome to Grandma's House

I dream about the day I arrived to my happy place.  The place where my inner-spirit begins to unwraps like a cocoon, spreading my wings to new adventures.

I will live on a small farm-like setting with a front and back porch. Watching the sunrise and sunset is important to me.  Small animals perhaps goats, chickens for fresh eggs and big dogs roaming free, perhaps a cat to keep the field mice away.
I have beautiful gardens filled with succulent flowers and my favorite vegetables.  Perhaps with that much vegetation and flowers, a small bee hive would be appropriate to keep the balance of life moving in my yard and fresh honey on my table.
There’s an old work shed around back, that’s my studio.  I’ll have large canvases stretched wall to wall for my creative sessions of splatter, I’ll have learned how to weld and blow glass to create beautiful gates or other unique pieces of art.
There will be a freedom for my family and grandchildren to come play, make messes and snuggle by the fire at night.
This place is better known as “Grandma’s House” where you are welcome any time...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Achieving Personal Goals

As a woman, we experience many highs and lows of life.  It's not hard to loose focus on accomplishments with so many distractions we face on a daily basis. 
Take a minute to write down some of your challenges you have successfully overcome over the years; think about areas that truly tested your ability to function as a woman, that you managed somehow to work through and realize there is no longer a challenge. Gaining the ability to work through challenges will help you develop the confidence you need to be a confident woman.  
Some successes women face occur during the career building phase, perhaps you took courses to develop your passion into a career or after achieving personal goals, settling down to raise a family.
After you have written your list, you may realize how much you have already achieved in life. Women over 50 may think they have not accomplished much in life and become depressed.  Stop robbing yourself from the beautiful life you have created.  Step back and look at yourself as if you were someone else looking into your world...you may find that you really like the person you have become and will begin to see yourself the way others do...a beautiful, confident woman!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Keeping Yourself Healthy with Aging

There are several ways to reduce the risk of heart disease that are simple and easy to implement into your busy lifestyle.

I get my bloodwork checked once a year.  Even though my Dr tells me most of my results are within a normal range, I still go online and research each test to see what the range should be and what causes the results to lean more to one side of the scale. 

My recent results revealed that my LDL (bad cholesterol) and Triglycerides were elevated slightly. Both, if left unchanged would increase my risk of heart disease.

I did some research and found eight simple steps to reverse my chances for heart disease and aid in additional weight loss and continuing to live a healthy lifestyle.

1. There are 8 simple ways to increase HDL Cholesterol by making a few changes in the foods you eat and simple lifestyle changes.
2. Including three cups of orange juice or high antioxidant fruits and vegetables each day increases HDL levels by 21% within a three week period.
3. There are foods that raise your blood sugar and based on a standard serving the “Glycemic Load” is determined. When you eat certain foods that raise your “Glycemic Load” your HDL (good cholesterol) goes down. To have a more stable Glycemic Load to increase your HDL levels, eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits and fat-free, low-fat dairy foods.
4. Substituting three servings of Soy instead of some animal-based products can increase your HDL!  Soy is lower in saturated fats and higher in unsaturated fats and also includes more fiber which can help reduce your chances for coronary heart disease.
5. Drinking alcohol in moderation will also increase your HDL level and is associated with lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.
6.  Active movement of your body for up to 30 minutes per day will increase your HDL level and increase your level of satisfaction with yourself.
7.  Eliminate smoking. Understanding the impact smoking has on your body should encourage you to eliminate smoking from your daily lifestyle, but it is a choice.
8.  Dropping a few pounds will also help to raise your HDL levels. By incorporating items #1-7 should provide the opportunity for #8 to become a reality!
 Reducing any risk will increases your life to live it the way it was intended.  Take one day at a time, make small changes until it becomes a habit.
Share your story with others, ask for help, get your bloodwork checked on a yearly basis and know what foods you should and should not eat. 
Here's to "Healthy Women" taking control of their lives! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Memories & Traditions of October

October welcomes special memories of smelling pumpkin spice, the scent of burning firewood drifting in the cool autumn air;  its enough to make anyone close their eyes and smile at the first scent. 
One of the first traditions for me is to carry down the decorations from the attic. Opening each box and begin pulling treasured items out to be displayed.  The cut-out Halloween decorations the kids made in school, still fall from the box of buried treasures and somehow still make their way to a special place to be displayed as it was the first day it was brought home years ago.

Searching for that perfect pumpkin is another tradition I love. Cutting out scary faces, pulling out strings of sticky seeds while making silly faces always makes the younger ones giggle. The proud moment when you place the candle inside and display the beautiful work of crooked faces and acknowledge another memory has just been created.

Building traditions with family is important. Watching my adult babies build traditions with their children, lets me know I did a wonderful job creating memories. They remember, they add their special touch while creating their own traditions...it's a beautiful sight to see my granddaughter watching her mommy as she creates this new tradition of memories...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Know Your Place in a Blended Family and Supporting Your Partner...Who said it would be easy?

Being a helpmate to a partner with children is no easy task, especially when it comes to discipline and normal everyday living.  Developing a strategy early on, for blended families is easier said than done. According to Marjorie Engel, PhD, and President of Stepfamily Association of America, children's biological parents should take responsibility for enforcing house rules and the stepparent, helpmate or partner acting as deputy to ensure consistency in the home and reduce tension between the adults living under the same roof.

Experts agree that developing a routine for children to follow, such as how much time spent on TV, computer, cell phone or other electronic devices, a time when homework should be completed, bath time, dinner and bedtime schedule, show that children learn to trust and become more productive when they receive effective and consistent discipline in routine. The system fails when parents are not able to follow through with the structured routine, causing the children to sense a gain of power to not follow the rules, including rules outside the home.

The most important relationship in any stepfamily is between the adults or partners. Showing the children that you are a team and support each other will strengthen the adult relationship and allow the children to see you as a strong team who care about their well-being.  The parent, stepparent or partner should schedule time  to discuss two problem areas to focus on monthly as well as consequences for children who fail to adhere to family rules.  Decide on a solution and inform the children as a supportive team.  Together you work through the challenges, teaching the children to work as a team is critical to their development and will allow them to begin feeling empowered as they successfully achieve success when completing a task that was on the "problem list".  Consequences must be followed through for failing to follow family house rules.  

Children have so much to deal with after a family separation. The separation of the family structure is the most challenging task for them.  Not only do they have to divide their time between two households, their schedules are different, parenting styles are different and the children may appear as though nothing is wrong.  All the more reason to maintain some sense of structure so they feel secure and know when they get to your home, the routine is sound. This creates a protective barrier for children that allows them to know they are safe and have responsibilities to follow through on. 

When you have achieved this challenge, know that you will make mistakes, you will learn from them as you go but you will become a better parent and your reward is a happier family.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Special Mother's Day Message from a Blessed Mother and Grandmother-2013

The anticipation a new mommy feels after the long-awaited birth of her child enters the world, paints a picture full of emotions, questions, hopes and dreams displayed on the canvas of her heart.
In the grandmother role, I painted my own picture before the birth of my first granddaughter Willow. Let me begin by telling you how overwhelmed I was, when a bubble of emotion exploded and began pouring over me as I watched Willow take her first breath.  

I was blessed a few months later with my first grandson Levi. Again,  the emotional feelings of joy and love connected a missing link in my heart that only a grandparent understands.

Little Willow and Levi, two beautiful bundles of love; you opened our hearts to a love like no other.  What a beautiful gift to behold when your heart unwraps the sights and sounds of a new life beginning with a simple breath.
A mother's love is so complex when you think about the interrelated emotions that surface from a mother's soul. There is no greater love than the love between a mother and her child. 

When her child grows and becomes their own person, the mother's love continues to grow with them, even when her heart gets broken, she never stops loving...

The love for my children runs deep with powerful emotions that manage to take over when the heart strings are pulled, I call the "Released Love".

The "Released Love" a mother gives her children, will run through her grandchildren and will return to her in abundance; trusted love ensures confidence; tough love provides direction; sweet love invokes playfulness; forgiving love strengthens; all very important factors in this emotion we call love. 

Two babies in one year, their "Released Love" is in the making. Two new mommies have begun to impart love into the young hearts of these two beautiful babies sent to them from God.

As they celebrate their first Mother's Day, they will see the colors they have painted on their heart and know those colors of love will remain there forever....

                                                                                Happy Mother's Day Kristina and Alisun 2013

EagleRiders in Orlando Made Our Day!

Today was suppose to be a rainy day in Orlando, so pre-planning for inside task had already been scheduled. As most Floridians know, the weather reports are not always 100% accurate, it turns out, today was one of the most beautiful days in Orlando and a perfect day to ride a Harley.

Tony reserved a Harley Softail Custom from EagleRiders in Orlando. We arrived this morning, the staff had the bike ready, check in and a brief orientation of the bike had us on the road in not time.
Today was an amazing experience.  We began our day taking the beautiful back roads that we would not normally travel in a car. We made our way through Clermont to Tavares and into Howie-in-the-Hills. The winding roads were lined  with beautiful old oak trees that waved Spanish moss in the wind like hair blowing in slow motion. Small country homes nestled on acres of land with horses roaming the fields, baby goats and occasionally someone mowing their lawn with a riding mower.

One of our favorite roads to travel was Hwy 455 in Montverde, FL. The roads presented themselves like the ones we have traveled in the mountains, beautiful winding roads, majestic countryside with beautiful wildflowers lining the roadside.

We ventured to Mount Dora, where we stopped to enjoy a quick lunch and continued our journey back though the town of Winter Garden. Even though the sun was setting in the west, we were not read to park the bike for the night.  We continued riding into the night, after we stopped to bundle up in the jackets we were able to rent from EagleRiders for $15. So glad we did because it was unusually cool tonight so the jackets made the ride more pleasurable.

We've made our way home and are ready to plan another day trip with EagleRiders.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Remembering The Love Behind A Quiet But Powerful Woman Today....

Most of us remember someone in our family that made an impact on our life when we were little; others may remember a friend, neighbor or perhaps someone they did not know, that left an imprint on their life from a random act of kindness. From what ever means, this person made an impact in your life and you carry their memory on to the next generation.

The person that has made the biggest impact on my life was my grandmother, Memaw. When I was 5 years old, I flew from Orlando to Louisiana by myself to spend some time with my grandparents. I do not remember anything about that trip except for one very special day.

First let me tell you what made her special to me. She had the most beautiful smile that made me feel safe. She would hold me on her lap in the rocking chair on the front porch while singing old gospel hymns as if she were singing in a choir on a Sunday morning. I am sure the neighbors that lived in the surrounding area could hear her sing from that little house that sat on the hills in Sharp La.

The house was modest, my grandfather built it with his own hands. It was a small two bedroom house with a simple fireplace that opened up to my grandparents room and the living room. The front porch screen door had that the "need to be oiled" sound as it opened welcoming friends that came to visit. Remembering the sound of rain as it fell upon the tin roof brings me comfort now, as I make my way to an outdoor covering, just to hear the sound of the rain, because it brings me closer to her memory.

She use to say, "Naney, you know God love you, He told me so Himself, you are a special little girl and he will always look after you." I remember one day during my visit that summer, she took me across the street to the little church my grandpa built by hand including the pews that were used daily by a group of praying women that would gather at the church around two o'clock to pray. 

I remember sitting on the pew on the second row, feeling safe, loved and comforted as I watched these women begin to pray.  They didn't sit quietly, oh no, they were roaming about the church talking to God as if He were standing on the front line while these women shouted out to him the names of people He needed to visit. They waived their arms with white hankie as their hair piled on top of their heads would begin to come loose from the bobby pins that kept it all together.  Memaw and I made our way back across the cattle-gap and into the house, where she sat me in the middle of her big white bed and waived her hankie over me as she sang her song to God in praise for all He was going doing in my life.

Memaw knew more about me and my life than anyone realized. She knew what was coming in my life; she knew because God told her. Throughout my life she was always there, writing me letters when I was little, encouraging me to remain strong; not to look at the things people did that hurt me, but to love with unconditional love the way God loved.  She taught me to see the good in everyone, not matter how much they hurt me; she helped me to learn to appreciate the simple joys of life, like walks in the rain, stopping to see a bug climbing on a leaf, noticing the sunset and all the colors it shared.

I came to understand the meaning of this memory with her when I became a mother and now a grandmother. I wanted to be so much like her when I was growing up, I wanted people to know the same lessons she taught me to love and appreciate. I want so much to share these truths with my grandchildren. Memaw left this earth many years ago, but her Spirit lives within me and can never be touched or taken from me.  It never bothered me that I did not get her special Bible she always promised me, but I pray that the person that received it, appreciates it as much as she would have wanted them to....I just wish they could have known her like I did.  I love you Memaw and miss you deeply, but I still hear you singing and when I am really sad, I can hear your voice saying, "Naney, you know God love you, He told me so Himself."

                                                                                 Happy Birthday, I hope you have a tin roof up there!
                                                                                                                 I love you, Renee'

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pebbles In My Pocket

Do not look at the stones in my pocket and get the wrong idea…they are “Pebbles” and they are reminders of my journey of uncovering dysfunction, long-suffering, gaining understanding and learning “I am responsible” for me.

I was born and raised in Orlando, FL; spent 27 years of my life married, divorced twice, raised two children along with two beautiful grandchildren, and now at the age of 50 have begun the journey to discover who I am.

My creative passion took a back seat to my “need to provide” for my family, while learning how to survive and carry these pebbles in my pocket that I picked up along my journey through crisis situations. My biggest challenges after the kids were on their own were, understanding the reasons behind “why I never pursued my dreams”, “why I face emotional traumas alone”, “why my lack of confidence” had crippled me from achieving success that I know was mine.

Understand that my success lives in my mind and is felt in my spirit. Success became my comfort like a friend who stayed by my side. I recently gained the understanding that “this is not my fault” mentality is healthy and learning to love myself enough to step out and make change happen has begun to release success from the chains of bondage and are now free to roam about the country!

During this “discovery” phase, I found myself at life’s cross-roads, looking for the right path that would lead me to my long-awaited happiness. As I glanced in each direction, a consuming cyclone of confusion blew through my cross-roads. Falling helplessly into this vacuum, I saw glimpses of my lost hopes and dreams, forgotten passions, all the chances I never took, out of fear of failure were circling around me; my first thought was, “they are taunting me” but the pebbles in my pocket enabled me to understand the cries from the cyclone, were cries for help, to be pulled from purgatory, to enable the intended purpose for my life to be fulfilled.

I will share MY story as I continue to discover myself, my family and why struggles have made me a better person. I will share how special people along my journey, helped form me to be who I am today. Looking back, I remember asking myself why God put people in your life to later remove them…now I know…they represent some of the pebbles I carry with me today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Grandmother Willow...

By now it's obvious my life has had beautiful colors added recently! In June, I watched one of the most beautiful miracles unfold that changed my life forever...the birth of my first grandchild, "Willow" who has managed to capture a piece of my heart I never knew I had. She is teaching me a lot about how I view life, family, and friends and how I will spend my years getting older. I see my daughter Kristina in her little dark eyes filled with determination, attitude and strength, what a beautiful thing to see through grandmother eyes.

I have another little one coming in February, little Levi will be the son of my oldest child Jeff. I want so much to be around to see my grandchildren grow, to be a part of their lives in a way I've never known myself. I want them to know me for who I really am as the beautiful woman at heart; a loving mother that was met with the challenges to be all she can be to her own children; their grandmother who is overflowing with love, traditions and trust. But somehow there is a shadow that brings reality to life that may change all of my hopes and dreams for my family.

Life is different when you the parent; you know where your children are, who they are with and can manage to direct their path until the time they leave the nest. As a grandmother, you can no longer manage the day-to-day lives of your children much less your grandchildren...where will they live, where will they move to, will their partners welcome me into their lives, will I be in my grandchildren's lives as they grow or will I be alone due to reasons beyond my control wondering what life would be like to have them around... Some of you may be thinking, "Wow Renee, that's really depressing!" I would say, "You're right", it is, but realize there are people who have lived this way and it is something I think a lot about.

 My family life was not perfect growing up but it was a good life overall. I did not however have the blessing of having grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins around me all the time to know what real family feels like. I have seen it though in my children's lives and the lives of others with large families. I want to know this place, I want my children and grandchildren around me as I age; I want to take them for walks, help them with life-issues, teach them how to have friends and forgive, I want to be the safe place when mommy and daddy are busy...I want it all. I want to live to see my family grow together like the roots of a Willow tree, known for their remarkable toughness, size, and tenacity to life.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just Letting Go

As I sat in front of my computer tonight, I tried to remember how far back it as when I stopped blogging...it's been longer than I want to remember. I love writing, but I have also had life events that have taken my time away from some things I love doing.

Since the last time I blogged, I found out I am going to be a grandmother in June. I look at this event as one of those moments in time when you realize the path you were on suddenly comes to a fork in the road and you have to decide which way you are traveling...I carefully made the choice to leave my downtown apartment that I loved so much and step into my daughters life to help her in her new venture of becoming a mother. What a wonderful opportunity I have to be there for my daughter as she begins this wonderful time in her life...Motherhood.

We are moving this weekend into a beautiful home, big enough for the three of us and then some. The house is nestled in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood that has matured trees and quick access to my son and parents, should I need them. Funny, I always need them...

I have learned a lot about this time in my life, nearing 50 this year, I reflect on my life and see so many things that I wish I could go back and change but it's not possible to do, so I think, what can I do to make things different moving forward?

One thing I know for sure is I have to make the most of every day, from the time I awake to the time I finally give into the closing of the sun. I want to focus on areas of my life such as what inspires me to become creative, stopping to look around me long enough to see people and places that cross my path and impact me somehow, those are moments in time that will never repeat themselves, they must be noticed and captured in time in some fashion...perhaps through my art.

That is truly my passion and I look foward to expressing myself more once I move into my new home and allow myelf the time and opportunity to explore my talents and allow myself the permission to just let go...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Starting a new chapter

This was the view of my little piece of heaven that I grew to love and find peace when I needed it. My heart will always remember this place, now that I have left...it's time to move on to another chapter in my life.

I recently found out I am going to be a grandmother, so the desire for a home has became very real to me once more. The exciting part is I am remaining downtown, but I want a small cottage-style home with a front porch, fireplace and a lot of character. I want a place to put a potter’s wheel, my easel and paint brushes and a quiet street to push a stroller on my way to the city park.

Gosh, I sound like I'm transitioning my life to a slower pace...I thought I would never say that but here I am so looking forward to a simple life, one without drama or chaos, but filled with tranquility, personal pleasures, self-discovery and my family... now to find the house~!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Look out 2012!

I have to admit, I've really struggled this year with my writing. Don't get me wrong, it is not because I do not have anything to say, it's been finding the time to sit down and write.

I cannot believe how fast time has passed this year, I will be 50 next October! I am so excited that I can say, "I'm so excited" while most women are sulking, cringing when someone asks you your age, I'm like someone please ask me, please card me, even when they do, you know it's only because they are in training! hahaha

I can finally breathe, knowing life is good after all. I may not have achieved a few short-term goals this year, but I did manage to move them to the top of the list for 2012.

I will be attending a music festival soon with my son, I honestly cannot wait. The weather will be perfect, no cell phones, internet, only a tent, the open outdoors and a lot of free-spirited people listening to great music.

I feel sorry for people who have never experienced outdoor living, there is something to be said about sleeping under the stars by an open fire with nothing to discuss but agreeing how beautiful the sky is...

I am ready to get my shit together and begin to blast out some serious writings this next year. It's taken me this long to get my ducks in order and I am so excited about focusing on moving to a tranquel location, where I can start painting and really focusing on the things that are important to me like playing the piano again, molding clay with my fingers, painting those long-awaited pictures, as well as a few personal writings.

It's Halloween and I'm going back to the fire pit with my glass of wine and think about what I will write about next.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Venturing Down the Path

Reflecting on my life, I know one thing will never change; and that is my spiritual awareness. I have lived my life knowing there was something special about me as I recall the snap-shots of impressionable moments that bookmarked events in my life, I knew one day I would understand it's meaning.

I am confident in my hearts library of events that have been cataloged, that now enable me to reflect on my life with knowledge, wisdom and confidence. Regardless of my choices to venture different paths in life, I set out to learn more about life and allow life to continue teaching me about myself so I can uncover hidden secrets that will lead me to yet another adventure.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Looking Forward to Something in the Past....

I realize that paying attention to my daily activity has revealed habits that have developed over a short period of time that are consuming my free space.
As technology continues to advance, so does our need to be in the middle of it. I walk in the elevator and everyone is looking at their mobile device and never once look at the person entering the elevator. Driving on the highway the car in front of me is in the left lane, occasionally making their way into the middle lane due to texting while driving.

Why is this feature so important to us that we can not wait until we reach our destination to read the latest comments? What is happening to our society that has us so glued to these gadgets that we have lost sight of verbal communication and eye contact?

Honestly, I will confess, I sometimes hate my iPhone and all that comes with it. If I choose not to respond to someone immediately, don't question me. If I do not respond to an invite, don't question me, if I do not change my attendance status to an event, don't question me. Who made these rules so important that nothing else matters unless they are acknowledged? Don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place for me when it comes to this 3x5 piece of mind control but I find that I am missing the old days when a phone call or a voicemail even a letter was something to look forward to...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Satisfying my Love Language

I began to read the book, The Five Love Languages for the second time in 8 years. The difference this time is grasping the concepts of understanding and the importance of focusing on how attentive I was to my own love languages and the languages of others.

As I began to identify my primary love languages, I ask myself why; why were these languages so important to me? As I reflected back on my early childhood to where I am today, I wanted to understand the reasoning as to why I needed my love languages satisfied.

I have listed the five love languages in the order of importance in my life. Physical Touch - Quality Time - Words of Affirmation - Gifts and Acts of Service.

As a child I learned to suppress my feelings of disappointment and sadness as a way to cope with certain areas of my life. There were times when I was fearful of rejection and held on to feelings of insecurity for many years.

We lived a modest life, my mom made most of our clothes while my father worked hard to support 4 children. I remember him leaving early in the morning for work and not returning until late in the afternoon and how much I looked forward to Saturday mornings with him. I remember my mother, working hard to make our house a home. To this day, I do not know how she did it. I remember her baking bread and how the smell filed the house or the smell of clean bed sheets after they had been removed from the clothes line. My mother taught me to cook when I was eight; I also began babysitting for families from our church as well as my younger sisters. I quickly learned that folding laundry, changing dirty diapers and house cleaning were now part of my responsibility. I did not realize at the time that my chore duties helped my mother so she could care for my three younger sisters.

I learned not to expect the material things that cost money. We had a playhouse my father built, we skated, rode bikes and had an imagination that made the world come alive with adventure while my friends drove golf-carts and rode the social network like a tidal wave.

I suppressed my desires for material things and accepted life for the way it was. I continued that mentality through adulthood and denied myself the right to pursue after material possessions that might bring satisfaction or joy to my life because I did not feel entitled.

My grandmother, "Memaw" taught me how to focus on the simple things in life, like the smell of flowers in the air as they bloomed; observing the sky at dusk and how the sun sets in the west. To be attentive to how the moon looks at night. She also introduced me God when I was five and taught me to always trust Him, that He would always be there for me.

As I pull these memories together, I began to understand more about myself and realized this is where the craving for satisfying my love languages comes from. Understanding my love languages now allows me the opportunity to observe the languages of those closest to me and focus on communicating how my own languages need to be filled.

Love languages are not just for lovers, they apply to everyone; your children, parents, friends, spouse & co-workers, all have a language that requires direct attention and a need to be satisfied.

I have found that some of these simple task, fill my love bank to overflowing which then brings happiness, security and tremendous joy to my life: Being with my grandbabies, holding hands, a note or card, attentiveness to my conversation even if it means nothing to the other person, my children telling me they love me, public displays of affection, being told I am beautiful, walks at sunset, watching the sunrise, surprises, family time, being touched, foot rubs...my needs are still simple but the value is priceless....

Take the time to evaluate your life, your past, present and future. Do not be afraid to step out and begin this discovery of your own love language. I am learning the secrets to opening my world and sharing my desires with those closest to me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Forgiveness is a Choice

Forgiveness is an action that requires thought, decision making abilities and a strong sense of self to achieve the true desired result. If you think about using the words "I Forgive You" be careful because there is point where forgiveness cancels out anything that previously occurred and removes any reason to hold on to bad feelings, resentment and bitterness.

I know this action all too well and publicly confess my forgiveness to those that have caused me pain, heartache and sadness. I can no longer hold onto those feelings as they have begun to cause health issues that I do not want or need.

I forgive those that have for whatever reason chosen to venture off in a different direction, forgive those that may not like the way I've raised my children, forgive those that do not like my lifestyle, forgive those that think I am too much of a "free spirit", and anyone else that has an opinion about me and my lifestyle. I choose to live my life the way I feel best suites me and will not seek you out for your approval.

Live life for yourself, seek out everything that brings you pleasure and remove those things that cause you pain...Do not justify your actions to anyone unless you choose to do so.

Life is yours to live, not to live for others.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting a Clear Perspective on Life

For some reason tonight I find myself thinking about life...where I've been and the direction I am moving towards. My life is like a new flower in bloom; there are so many buds preparing themselves for the bloom.

There are so many things I want for my life. I cannot settle for a simple life, because I am not a simple minded person. I cannot settle for the mid-life mentality, I am alive and well and do not plan on settling for the "average way of life."
I am young at heart; I have places to see and places to visit. Don't expect me to conform to the mentality of those my age, because it's not happening. I will remain young at heart, mentally young and as a result I will gravitate to those that think as I do, do as I do and have fun as I do.

This is my life and I am moving forward with or without those that come along my path...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Don't Be So Afraid Of Words....

Love is one of the most sought out words ever on the internet? Why is that? Basically, no one really knows how to define “Love”. There is not one clear description that can encapsulate the true meaning...
Webster describes “Love” as: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; maternal “Love” for a child, attraction based on sexual desire: affection and tenderness felt by “Lovers”; affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests; an assurance of affection; give her my “Love”.

So when you say you “Love” someone, it could mean so many different things, so why do people abstain from using these three little words more freely? Is it because they do not want the other person to misinterpret its meaning? If that's true, why not define your interpretation when using the words "I Love You". For example, you spend a lot of time with someone, you enjoy their company, and you feel an emotional attachment. Saying “I Love our time together" reflects your exact interpretation of your feelings, you “Love” time spent with this person. Or, I “Love” the way you do....means you enjoy the action from the other person in the way they do an action.

"I Love You", opens a door that causes some people to question its meaning. Think about the phrase..."I Love You"... what's wrong with saying those words? To me, “Love” could mean you “Love” something special about that person. The word "Love" encourages the receiver to respond to the deliverer. Responses to the word "Love" can vary from a simple smile, a hug from a friend, or an act of passion for “Lovers”; a relationship found do be worth holding on to should be filled with “Love”. Using those three little words can transform a relationship in so many positive ways.

If you find saying “I Love You” difficult to say, you should ask yourself why. Is it due to a past relationship gone wrong? You cannot go through life being afraid of using the word “Love”. That word brings life to others, to relationships and to broken hearts just needing to hear those three little words. Saying "I Love You" does not commit you to anything but a feeling wanting to be shared. Nothing should be expected as a result of using the words.

We are so free to say what we hate, what we dislike, what annoys us, what pisses us off...but God forbid we should say what we Love too freely out of fear someone might misinterpret the meaning...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moving On

I can't believe it! I've finished another year of school, finished for this year tonight and I am so excited to have some free time to do other things I've been holding back on for years!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow, I will begin another chapter of my life by making the time to learn the piano again. It's been almost 40 years since I played the piano. I purchased two keyboard a few years ago that have been waiting for this day to arrive and here it is, the time has come to begin this dream, this color on my canvas. I'm so excited!

My reward is, when I master the art, I want to purchase a baby grand. Not sure where it will go but I must have it.

My life is good, I control it. Its like learning the secret of life...no one controls your world but you unless you give that control to someone else.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Learning How To Live Alone and How To Trust...

I can confess, that living alone has its advantages...no one knows if my bed is not made or if the dishes are not done; however, anyone that knows me knows I always make my bed and my kitchen is clean because I do not want to come home to a mess.

When my daughter returned to college, I was apprehensive about being alone; maybe it was because it would be my first time to experience it. What I have discovered is, I enjoying my alone time.

My life has taken different turns through the connection of new friends and for those special people that have become dear to my heart; I thank you for allowing me into your life. These groups of people are a part of various social networking groups within Meet up Orlando, and when we are together, it's like an extension of my family. We recently went boating and had the best time just having fun. We attended a downtown concert which began with a social hour on my balcony. I encourage anyone that finds them self alone and friendless to join a meet up group and get connected to some pretty amazing people.

Life has a funny way of showing us how silly some of the "so-called-issues of life" really are. You can't always be serious about things that really do not matter. Be spontaneous; take a chance, like NIKE says, "Just Do It".

Something I have learned while taking chances is to trust that inner-most part of my heart, the part that says, "Hey, what are you worried about?" Have I not been here to guide you, to see you through? You see, that is the voice that some people ignore, I do not, because it's the voice I have trusted for so many years, not that I've always listened to it... but I have learned to not become anxious when stressful times come creeping up my backside. Instead, I find something that brings me joy and I focus on it. Think about it, if I were to die tonight, I would know I was in control of my world, not my world controlling me.

Another area in my life that I have been working on is Trust. This is BIG in my world. If I do not trust you, you might as well keep moving on. I have learned that trust is the foundation and stability in my life. Without trust, I have nothing. I trust my heart, I trust my children and I trust a few others very close to me.

I have deep gratitude for those that have remained in my life, offering support, friendship and love during some of my life's biggest challenges. Some of you have kicked me in the ass when I needed it; others have comforted me when I was discovering my weaknesses, while some offered me insight on alternate perspectives. All together, it equates to a well-balanced lifestyle that is working for me.

One thing I will leave you with is this, life is too short to be angry, sad and depressed.....find that place that brings you comfort, love and happiness. I have finally discovered that special place...it's deep within my soul and I control it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Discovering my "Inner-Diva"

I have learned many new things about Renee, that were hidden secrets recently discovered. I was invited to be a part of a fashion show for hair and was told that my "do" would be a fantasy do. After watching the video at a friends newly opened salon, I was both excited and scared. Am I to get this "what ever" hair style and parade around like a peacock? I wanted to but had never done this type of work before...would I be good, would I look stupid...these are typical feelings right?

After my hair was finished and makeup complete, I didn't care what anyone thought; I felt amazing! As if someone came into my world, pealed back the skin and revealed the inner diva within me. I paraded around like a proud peacock, loving those that I mingled with, laughing at what ever was amusing and realizing for the first time,I was having fun doing something I loved doing. My friends at "I Love My Hair and Skin" made this happen for me.

I'm a pretty open vessel, I love to have fun, welcome challenges and will speak my mind. I can honestly say, this salon made me feel like I was beautiful, stunning and desired. Tony was expecting me afterwards and when I greeted him upon arriving home, he made me feel even more beautiful by expressing his approval of the look...that was an important moment in my life that made me feel freedom like never before and to later be greeted by the man you care so deeply for, reinforce what you've been feeling all night, well, ladies, I felt like the most beautiful woman on earth! That was a first! I want my friends to experience this moment for themselves.

Salons come and go, but this one stands out to me because of the needs I had as a woman. They met me where I was, provided a solution for what I wanted and made it happen!

Try it for yourself and expect to find your inner diva.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Living Alone for the First Time

Ok, so you know you're slacking when your friends write you and remind you that they are wanting to know what's going on in my life because I have not been blogging since July. Where has time gone over the past few months...I have come a long way since April when my life change suddenly. My daughter Kris, had just come home from college to live with us during the summer when the bottom fell out of my world. I was so thankful to have her home at that time, I could not imagine being alone during that time, but here I am, four months later and it's time to take her back to school.

Tonight she packed her clothes, sorted through items she would take back with her while I cleaned closets, sorted through memories that were thrown in forgotten places four months ago; as I prepare myself for another "first" in my life. You see, I've never lived alone, and I will be as of Saturday.

I have to admit, I am somewhat nervous about being alone, but I believe it will be a growing experience for me. I have learned so much about myself over the past few months that I now look forward to changes in my life, embrace new opportunities, and I challenging myself to step outside the box and take more chances than ever before. I've been successful in loosing 35 lbs. since April, it's funny, it took me seven years to put the weight back on and only four months to take it off.........hmmm.

I am in the final weeks of my last semister, with the understanding that knowledge is the key to my success, puts me in a mindset that having my career goals well defined while uncovering my passion in life, is going to be a challenge, but will enable me to achieve the ultimate feeling of accomplishment that most people never experience.

I appreciate everyone that made deposits into my life, as I feel more alive today than any other time in my life. I wake up each morning and look out over my beautiful city and thank God that I have the privilage to see the sun rise in the morning and to watch the most beautiful sun sets in the evenings when I return home. God knew those moments were important to me, as my grandmother use to remind me how special those times were, to witness God's blessings of light and darkness while reflecting on my life...to those of you that are still reading my post, I love and appreciate your friendship, your faithfulness and strength that enabled me to reach this place in my life.

Oh, Bob, I didn't forget about you. You wanted to know about my personal life, well, Tony and I are enjoying everyday we have together, we still have busy lives and are managing to balance our time pretty well. We have mutual friends and attend social events often; we also spend time with his children which provide me the opportunity to sit back and reflect....There are nights when we do not see each other, but that does not mean we are not thinking of the other...life is good. I will keep you posted on the next phase of my journey in life...living alone for the first time........