have a dog or a cat? If you’re a pet owner and your fur baby needed help, whether
special care or a visit to the vet, would you go out of your way to make sure
they got what they needed? If you have a child, to what extent would you go
through to help your child? The subject of this article is to treat yourself as
good as you would treat your child or fur baby. In otherworld’s, it’s time to
There are people that take such good
care of their pets that they’re like children, my guy Skylar is a case in
point. He’s in renal failure and needs a lot of daily treatments as well as
medications. I’ve had people tell me they’d like me to adopt them! Skylar gets
all kinds of vitamins and really good food. He likes his water bubbly and fresh
and he loves his greenies that clean his teeth. I’ve even started to use a
liquid that cleans his gums to help with gingivitis. Skylar especially likes me
to kiss his head and purrs when i tell him Mommy loves him. Sometimes it’s hard
for me to do all these things for myself!
Do you make sure that you eat
properly, have clean water to drink and get exercise? To what extent will you
go to make sure you leave space in your life for friends and love in your life?
I’ve asked one of my close friends who runs around for mothers doing for them,
helping with their lives, with her own children yet rushing to get her hair or
nails done. Sometimes I feel that I have to remind her to take time for
herself…real time. She does goes to her yoga class but there is very little
down time… then she gets headaches; it’s no wonder with the pace of her life
and what she squeezes in.
Everyone gets the same 24 hours.
How you divide it is up to you. Allowing some time for others is great but
leave time for yourself. Love yourself enough to do for you as you do for
others. Adopt yourself!
Ever walk by an interesting tree and wonder about it? How old
is it? Do animals live in its branches or inside part of its trunk? What
stories could it tell you about people who have walked by. Some trees are
called witness trees because they’ve seen horrible events… or maybe two people
got engaged under a tree. All of these are possibilities if a tree could tell
you what it’s seen or heard.
What is precipitating
this question for me? Recently there was a tree that fell across the walking
path behind my townhome. As I stood looking at this huge brown tree devoid of
leaves, essentially dead, it fell across the path, having fallen due to
excessive rain, I wondered about its life. It was a very large tree and yet during
a bad storm it was taken down. After many years of standing tall, its root
system gave way to old age and poor drainage. It was a product of a bad
Yet, this downed tree lying on the ground still had a story
to tell. I stood there and just looked at it. There were lots of holes where
animals could make a nest and live. Perhaps birds were born in its branches
when it stood tall. I’m sure that it provided shade to other smaller trees, to
animals that ran through the nearby vegetation as well as for people who might
be passing underneath. There are many possibilities of how this tree could have
been productive during its life. Even now in death, this tree will eventually
decay to nourish the soil around it to help other plans and tress flourish.
I’ve heard stories of witness trees. These are trees that
are normally over one hundred years old that were standing during revolutions,
wars, major events, hangings, or other atrocities. Or, on a happier note, there
are trees that have witnessed people falling in love, making babies, having
lively conversations or passing important information along. One can only
imagine what a tree might say, if it could talk!
take so many things for granted. Sometimes even the simplest things in life can
be really fun. This is an article about how we can miss the simple things in
our quest for the Holy Grail – that is, for the big things we think are more
On my recent trip to
Brussels, Belgium I had the opportunity to ride the train to Ghent. For the
locals, taking a train is no big deal. For me, each step of the journey was a jigsaw
puzzle requiring a complex analysis to figure out and once completed, a sense
of accomplished was attained. Anyone looking at me must have been amazed at how
much joy I was getting out of successfully procuring my 18 Euro roundtrip
ticket to Ghent and then actually finding the right train track, correct car,
and then a seat. Each piece of the puzzle coming together to accomplish the
first task – get on the train! I sat there so pleased with myself! Others must
have wondered why I was smiling to myself. I was so happy to just be able to
figure that much out.
it’s really not that complicated; it’s just when it’s a different country and
you have no idea where a place is, the concept of first or second class seat in
a special car and many trains travelling on a single track the whole thing
becomes more complex. Where I live in Washington, DC there are rarely more than
one train travelling on the track at a time. And if there is, I find it
difficult to tell which train is arriving. Now multiply this by very many trains
going to ever so many places all on each track and going in either direction,
one must decide, and quite quickly I might add to jump on the train. Trains are
on time and everything moves very quickly. One cannot stare at the trains and
wonder too long. People are jumping on with or without luggage, and it’s
important to get on and find a seat; unless it’s a reserved spot. Whew! So,
again, I was quite pleased with myself.
had briefly checked out spots to investigate once in Ghent. I was in Brussels
for the Tango Festival and had completed the 5 days of the program having
danced my legs off. I was sufficiently tired and could hardly get up the
morning of my trip to Ghent, yet, I was determined to ride the train! Ghent was
a good destination, being less than an hour and easy to maneuver, or so I was
told. However, when one is on foot, getting around can be a project.
there was the issue of which station to disembark. One of the websites
indicated one station while fellow travelers informed me that no, in fact it
was better to get off at a different station. So I complied with the advice.
After disembarking at the station, the next piece of the puzzle was to get to
the downtown or centreville. There were many trams running on tracks to take
people here and there. I had no idea which was the one I should take and. I
became a bit panicky until one of the attendants indicated that I could buy an
all-day tram pass inside the station. I was really having trouble buying the
tram ticket from the machine outside. There might be a button to push to get
English, but I had no idea of how to get there. Even for a bit more money it
was worth it to me to get the all-day pass so that I’d know that I could get on
the tram to get back to the station. It was only 7 Euros, so not a lot of
back inside the station I waiting in the line to buy the all-day tram pass and
with a bit of explaining was successful in procuring it. Yeah, step two
completed! Then I went outside once again and looked for Tram No. 1 that would
take me into town. Now I had to make sure I was going in the right direction. The
Tram was packed with people on this unusually warm Tuesday afternoon in June as
I watched the landscape change from the station through winding streets to the
centreville. Just that little trip was a bit of a sightseeing experience. It
all was a wonder to me.
arrival in the actual center of Ghent, I disembarked and realized that the main
sights I had in mind to see where nearby. I headed towards the canal and walked
along as many tourists were doing. I really felt like I was in Disneyland
except this was a real place. The United States is only a couple hundred years
old but this area of Europe dates back many centuries; this charming town had
cathedrals, churches, and other types of buildings dating back to the 15th
century. It was definitely a walk back in time. I loved it all! What a joyous
day, totally alone with no one to talk to but happy within myself.
I understood how the streets followed the canal I felt safe that I wouldn’t get
lost and began to wander around looking at this place or that for several
hours. Of particular note was the Castle, called Gravenstein of which I took
the audio tour. Whoever wrote the script was a real comedian and listening to the
voice describing stories of the goings on in the castle during its history made
me laugh. I must have been a sight myself walking around laughing to myself.
One fun story credited this Castle as having the first fireplace.
I got tired, I found my way back along the canal, like Goldilocks with her
breadcrumbs, took the Tram No. 1 in the opposite direction to return to the
station. Within minutes the train came to Brussels. The train system in Belgium
is amazingly efficient and very fast! I never waited more than a few minutes
for a metro or train even on Sunday.
arrived back at my hotel about 9pm very tired and ate a salad that I’d put away
in the room frig happy that I didn’t have to find some place to eat. Sometimes
it’s just nice to go into the kitchen and get something to eat and not have to
go out. As this was a hotel, the next best thing was to keep food in the frig
for one of my meals.
in all, I’d had a very good day filled with simple activities, yet quite
satisfying. I appreciated not getting lost, all the people along the way that
had said a word or two of guidance, and especially those that could speak
English! Sometimes the best things are very simple! As always, comments are
There is an old adage of how we look at life” do you see the glass as half empty or half full?” This is a common theme that plays out time and time again when looking at situations. How one sees things is always in the mind of the beholder.
Recently, I sent a photo to two friends while visiting family out in California of Palm trees with a mountain background taken during my early morning walk. The caption to my one friend was simply a good morning to her. I received a reply that the photo looked serene and peaceful. In other words, she had a positive response to an image that was pleasantly received. As my other friend lives in a northern climate still experiencing chilly weather, I captioned the photo that I was sending sunshine. His response involved questioning the temperature to which I told him over 100F… “an oven” was his response… he knows that I totally enjoy my morning walks in the sunshine because I don’t do it at home. Yes it’s a bit warm even at 7 am, but it’s so beautiful looking at the mountains and the Palm trees that it’s my favorite thing to do while out west. We don’t have Palm trees in Virginia.
So where are we in this story? My
first friend is a positive person about most things so it’s not so surprising
that she’d have a positive response to the photo I sent. She takes life well
and I enjoy being with her. She holds down an important management consulting
position and juggles being a Mom to two young adult boys. She’s a genuinely
My other friend tries to be a nice person too but he gets lost in the negativity of the world. As a result he sees the negative in little things that people do or say and in this case, he missed the beauty of the moment or the kindness of the act by over analyzing the situation. I still like him for he has some lovely qualities, but he struggles to get through life. Such a small thing like looking at a photo and deciding what you will see. But that’s the point.
It’s a decision how we will
interpret what comes into our mind. So will you see the glass as half empty or
half full next time? Try to catch yourself if you start to be negative. With
practise we can move into being more positive people and in the process we will
be happier too. Comments are always welcome.
Inspirational memoir capturing a love that extends beyond the veil of death, of care-giving, of the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease as well as a widow's restructuring her life after the only man she ever loved was gone. Buy safely via PayPal