What Makes Life Happy?

Today I saw this meme on FB. From Writers Write. It describes me of late.

editing

Sometimes it’s a paragraph. Sometimes it’s a poem. Sometimes it’s a whole blog. But I find myself writing, editing, over and over, and then once I have fixed it as much as possible, deciding it’s a bunch of drivel, and deleting it.  Or saving it to “Unpublished stuff.”

So is that writer’s block? I don’t know. Really.

I used to just sit down here, and write about whatever was on my mind, as a way to find out what was on my mind, and look at it, and observe it. Doing that is a good thing, but not always something that should be published. I found that I got caught up in the drama, either self-created or created by someone else, but caught up in it.

That realization brought me to want to make changes in my writing, at least, in my published writing. But it leaves me trying each day to find a worthwhile subject. A positive thought, an idea which, while perhaps not new to the world, might be an epiphany to me.

The epiphany I’m having this morning is this. That not getting caught up in the drama, that allowing life to unfold at it’s own pace, doesn’t always bring the day to day profound thoughts that I dreamed about writing, once I gave up the day to day drivel. I’m not going to have an epiphany every day. Thank God, I realize. My head would probably explode.

My days are filled with laughter, friends, fun, and a time of reflection. And housework, and errands. It’s a wonderful life, here where the weather forecast for the next 10 days is sunny, and 82. It doesn’t make exciting reading, and it’s repetitive, but I’m so lucky to have it.

I had 3 friends over for an Easter dinner yesterday, 3 friends who would otherwise have been home alone. Which, actually, would not have been a problem for any of us. But instead we got together, they are all in my loosely formed “writers group”. We discussed writing, spirituality, lessons learned, and somehow interspersed those discussions with laughter, the kind of laughter that makes your stomach hurt, and tears roll down your face.

Tomorrow I’m going to my sister and brother-in-law’s over on the island til Thursday morning. Before tourist season, which hits my sister hard with revolving company, I was going over about once every 2 weeks. I’ve only spent one night there, the one I was with my son, in the last 2 months. Things are settling back down now, company is not so fast and furious for her, and I think we need some sister time.

This week I will be going to a play that a friend is in, and Sunday doing a fundraiser for the Veterans Art Center. And of course, open mic night.

These are the small things that I do, that make a nice life. There is nothing profound in any of it, but perhaps the joy I get from a well-lived life. It was not always that way. You know the saying “The best revenge is a well-lived life.” I don’t think it’s revenge. I think it’s just evolution maybe, that collectively takes most of our lives to arrive at.  At least, it has for me.  To be able let go of old hurts, and to let go of worry over outcomes, to find our passion, to spend time with people we love and enjoy, and put it all together in a place where we just want to be.  Doing the “living in the present moment” thing.

I know I’m blessed. I am so grateful that I’ve arrived where I am in time to spend some years of my life just being happy. I want to share it, and maybe help others find their way to it, if that’s possible. At least, to show that it is possible to just be happy most of the time.

My friends yesterday said to me, “Remember in high school where there was one person’s house that you always hung out at? Whose mother was the cool mother? This is that place for us, your house.” Is that not a cool thing to have someone say to you? Especially, these people who are collectively some serious creative genius. One is in a play at the community theater this week, and sings regularly at open mic night.  One is a sculptor and she’s making me a sculpture of Quanyin, the Goddess of Compassion for the alter I’m creating, and she’s also an writer who just wrote a one-act play which was entered in a competition, not to mention she is an actor and a teacher of acting.  One is a professional singer, who has encouraged 2 people I know well to get up and sing at open mic night, and she writes very deep poetry.  I am happy, and so grateful, to have a place that nurtures these friendships, and creativity.

I guess this blog is all about reflection, and understanding what makes life happy for me.

Love and light, everyone.

The Return of Summer

Florida has returned to warm summerlike days and cooler nights. This is my favorite weather here, so far. It was like this much of the fall, and into the beginning of winter this year, which everyone was saying was so unusual.  On Christmas and New Years it was 80°, and I had my bathing suit on.  We only had a handful of days or nights that were actually chilly, where the heat actually came on in the night. We’ve returned to hot dry days, and warm balmy nights.

We need rain, to be honest. Things are still very dry, I still need to water my plants every other day or so.  There are a number of brush fires inland a little ways.  My grass has not really started growing yet. There are large brown patches still. I’ve been watering them too, when I do the hibiscus tree in the front. Of course, if the grass grows, I guess I’ll have to see if my lawnmower still works, lol. The lawn has not needed mowing in months. Probably not since last October. That’s crazy, isn’t it?

My small town is having a Spring Festival this weekend. Yesterday and today. They have a carnival in the center of town, and there’s a stage. A few of the people who regularly perform at open mic are putting in performances there today, so Beth and I are going over this evening to watch them. Maybe eat some carny food. It will be mobbed, I’m sure, but really, the tourist season is on it’s last legs this coming week, I think, so it won’t be as crowded as it would have been a couple weeks ago.

I noticed the end of tourist season when I went for a walk the other day. There was no problem finding a place close to the water to park my car. The sidewalks were not crowded, and, had I wanted to stop at my favorite breakfast/lunch place, Stellas, there were tables available outside. I remember when I got here, everyone said there are two seasons here. Monsoon and tourist. Well….monsoon season is coming, I guess. I think that’s probably when it rains somewhere here every day. For about 10 minutes. It also means the beginning of hurricane season, which is a fearful time here, as it is in any coastal community on the east coast. I know the hurricane tides have often submerged our commercial district down by the water. My house sits on high ground, 20′ above sea level, and I have a new roof, and some new hurricane-proof windows, so I am not too afraid, except to think of being out of power for a few days in the heat of the summer.

Tourist season is short, really not much more than February and March. Here, in this small town, it’s not bad. We consider our town the best kept secret in Florida. Tourist season doesn’t make a huge impact here. It did make open mic night interesting though. People who were just visiting for a week would sometimes perform on borrowed instruments, and the crowd, which usually started small, would spill out onto the sidewalk by the end of the night. The restaurant would put out heaters, and we’d all be hovered around them by the end of the night, trying to warm our hands. It was short-lived. Now everyone is back to wearing summer clothes and drinking cold drinks.

I still love life here. I love the laid back atmosphere. I love knowing a bunch of people who just go with the flow, and live their lives following their passions, enjoying life instead of trying to direct it. Of course, we are all retired, and what a difference that makes in one’s attitude, not to have to join the rat race every day.

Tonight when I go to the spring festival, I’m thinking I’m going to ask any of my friends who have no family around for Easter, to come over and eat with me. Beth is already coming. I’ll see if any other members of my writers groups and their significant others want to come. Just seems like it would be nice. Easter is not such a big holiday with me, but all holidays are a good excuse to make a good meal! I’ll be going over to my sisters this week for a couple of days too, which will be nice.

Good things are coming, for sure. Love and light, all.

Radiance

sunflowers

Come to me
In the darkest night,
Or
In the light of day.
Let me feel your breath
On every breeze
And your heat in every sunrise.
Fill me
With the radiance of the universe.

What was, was
What is, is.
What will be, will be.

In uncertainties lie possibilities
Which can be fearful,
Or beautiful.
I choose to hope
for the amazing
And wonderful outcomes.
Hope makes me strong.

I see now,
It’s been there all along.
Hope, in every sunrise
In every sunset,
Advancing me in the direction of my dreams.

I have been doing a 21 day meditation from Oprah and Deepak, called “Hope in Uncertain Times”. This poem is an outgrowth of that meditation. I am trying not to be attached to specific outcomes anymore. I just hope for good outcomes, and try not to be afraid of uncertainties. Trying to let go of the wheel, and let the Universe drive the train, and trust.

Love and light…..

By Deborah E. Dayen

Image from Far East Fling via Google Images

Smiling A Lot This Week

Happiness and gratitude are my partners this week. I guess one doesn’t come without the other, and I am surely both.  Just smiling a lot.

Having so much fun hanging out with my son. I love the adult he’s become. He’s still funny as hell. He has a kind heart. He is passionate about some things, like the EDM music he mixes. He has 1 for sure gig in two weeks at a Denver club, and maybe one at a 420 festival in Denver on Thursday 4/20. Someone is trying to get him into the line up. I guess Denver is a world hub for this kind of music. He’s just a good kid, a good sense of right and wrong. He has an incredible work ethic, too.

I am so grateful, so utterly grateful, that he’s such a good kid. 25 yr old good kid, lol. I’m grateful that he wants to hang with me, that he wanted me to stay up and watch a movie with him last night, that he can tell me anything, and does.

He says he wishes he had family close to him in Denver, and I so wish he did too. I had no family in CT when I moved there when I was 21 or 22, and I am sure that’s one reason I was so sucked into the relationship with my ex. Isolation is not good for you. We’re social animals, us humans.

We spent a couple days and one night at my sister and brother-in-law’s house. It was good to see them, they loved seeing my son. Everyone has drama in their lives, but really, he has none, and hates it. He doesn’t have a girlfriend at the moment, and when he does have one, the minute they introduce drama into the relationship, he’s outta there. I guess he had enough drama growing up for 15 lifetimes.

The weather was really hot the first few days he was here. Now it’s cool, highs in the low 70s’s. 57 overnight! Tomorrow it’s back to the 80’s but not as humid as it was, so it’s all good. Been very windy though. The Gulf of Mexico looked a lot more like the Atlantic with crashing breakers. We went to the beach one afternoon, but only stayed an hour, because we were getting sand-blasted by the wind.

This morning I’m going to help him on his taxes. Tonight I’m going to take him out to the Italian restaurant in town. I’ve been dying to try it, it has a good reputation. He might meet a couple of my friends today. I told him I brag about him a lot, so they all want to meet him, lol.

I will be so sad to see him go tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll go out there this summer, just because he has used up his time off until September. If he can run a 3 or 4 day weekend, I would go, but we’ll just have to see.

It’s been awesome. Love and light to everyone.

Couldn’t Be Much Happier

He likes my little house. That’s a big deal to me, because he was not happy at all that I sold our house in CT, and decided to move here. Change is hard for him, and we were so happy in that house, after the years of abuse with his father. We were ok in the rented condo I had for transitional space, but the house we had there was a dream come true for both of us. Now that he’s happy in CO, and has a life there, he is happy for me, and he really really likes this cute little house. Kept saying, “You did really good Mom. I get why you just had to buy it.” Because, he felt for the longest time that buying this house pushed me to sell the house in CT immediately. But fact was, that house was going on the market when it did, and he gets that now. You have to sell between March and November up there, because very few people buy a house in the winter.

It’s so funny, how it used to irritate me so much to find his stuff stuck in the couch, or spread on the coffee table, his shoes on the floor somewhere, or a light left on somewhere. And now…it just makes me smile. Like, oh, this is how it always was. It is so familiar, the way the things our children do are.

We can, and did, just sit in the living room, each in a recliner, and talked for hours yesterday. The TV was on for noise, as was the habit in our old life, but we just talked and talked about our new lives. I could tell he loved the familiarity of our furniture from the old house. You’d think there’d be not much to say, because we talk every day anyway, but there was. He was way too tired to do any sightseeing, and I think it was cool, that he just kind of wanted to stay here and reconnect.

My son loves to mix this EDM music, and he uploads it to SoundCloud and has like 5000 followers. He got a gig to play the Saturday after Easter at a club in Denver. He played there once before, and they liked him well enough to invite him back for Saturday night. He doesn’t get paid, but he gets his name out there. He’s meeting a lot of the artists that have made it really big. He’s really breaking into it. He says he spends most of his free time making new recordings. I love that he has a passion for it, that he follows his passion. He landed in the right place to follow this passion, since he says Denver is probably the hub in the world for this kind of music, and the wild shows that go with it.

We’re both looking forward to going over to the island tomorrow to see my sis and hubby. My sis has a big really nice apartment over the garage, overlooking her pool, that he and I always stayed at. I told him maybe we could share my mom’s old room, where I stay now, in the house. He looked so disappointed, lol. He said, “Idk, Mom. I really need my own room, you know I stay up way later than you…..” But I know it’s just because he loves that space, it’s like a really nice hotel suite. So I’ll tell my sis that he’s staying up there, so he can watch TV late, and go to bed late and sleep late, lol. Just going to tell him to come to the house to shower etc….so she doesn’t have to clean it all up for one night’s stay.

He also knows my sis is a great cook, and the food will be awesome, lol. And we’ll hang by the pool, and the hot tub and go to the beach. It will be fun. My sis just loves my son too. I know at one time her hubby was appalled that I wasn’t insisting he go to college, but he’s doing so well, I know my brother-in-law has changed his mind on that. And it’s hard not to like my kid. He’s funny, and kind, and smart. His priorities are good, and he’s set his own boundaries, that make it easy to be with him.

I’ve had a few moments of wishing he lived close to me, but I am trying not to get too attached to those, because that stuff will just ruin the time we have. Just going to enjoy having him here, and then begin to plan the next time I’ll see him. Probably in the summer sometime, I’ll head to CO for a few days. He has all kinds of places he wants to take me now.

Couldn’t be much happier this morning. Love and light all.

Pizza, and Other Tidbits

I’m sure some of you have iPhones. The newer ones, and maybe even older ones, now will translate a voice mail into text. It can get pretty funny as all voice to text can, although I will say it’s surprisingly accurate at most times.

Anyway, I got an angry voice mail yesterday, from the nameless one. I have had a few voicemails from him in the last few days, all saying he just wanted to talk to me, he wasn’t angry, etc. Instead of calling him, which would only lead to an angry exchange, (because I was still angry, even if he wasn’t, at the audacious things he said and the lies) I sent him an email asking him to just let it go, and also told him and posted on here that I was seeing L last night. The voicemail that I received after that went from “please call me.” to calling me a “piece of shit” for ruining his relationship with B. (I did email him and ask him to consider that it was the lies he told both of us that did him in with her, particularly telling me that he was not “with” her, that they were just friends who had coffee together occasionally. Seriously, he’s out shopping for women, and I’m the cause of his demise? Hmmm. I think not. Narcissist….)

The iPhone however, didn’t comprehend “piece of shit” and changed it into his calling me a “pizza”. It really made me laugh. Pizza. Don’t think I’ve ever been called pizza before! LOL. Really took that anger and kind of made me laugh at it.

So ends the last act in that ridiculous drama. Pizza. With pepperoni, please….

My dinner with L was wonderful. He’s going to cook for me early next week. We talked and laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company. Respectful, and kind, and and funny, and a little shy, which is very endearing on a big, good-looking, football player type! Can’t wait to see him again.

I thought my cough was gone, since I didn’t cough all day yesterday. Until he got here, and kept making me laugh, deep belly laughs that made me cough….I was a little embarrassed! But it didn’t seem to put a damper on us, so that was good.

Early next week is a good time to see him again, because I will be very busy with the grand opening for the Veterans Art Center for the next few days. I think the actual event will be a lot of fun. I’m hoping that a lot of vets artwork is sold and that they make a lot of money, as well as the center raises a lot. It’s such a wonderful project. Today I’ll go over and help my bestie who’s the curator to get all the galleries organized. She said we’ve gotten in 100’s of pieces of amazing artwork for it.

And I have open mic tonight.  Won’t be home too much today!

Exciting things happening here. The shift I felt a week or so ago is well underway, and life is amazing. Love and light, everyone.