Caring for Others

The most rewarding things that I’ve done in my life involved doing something nice for someone else.

Many times, the recipient has been not so thankful. But, I still felt good anyway. I think it’s important to not let other people’s reactions rob us of the joy of kindness and good deeds. This is VERY hard for me to do, but I’m working on it.

I thought about writing this today because I made some meals for my elderly uncle. I cannot cook like his late wife (my aunt) but I know that he will appreciate my effort.

Do you appreciate other people’s efforts without being critical or an asshole otherwise?

I think that’s easier to do than we think it is.

When I was a kid, I hated bananas. I’ve grown tolerant of them as an adult because I put them in smoothies and the potassium makes my old body feel a little less old.

But honestly, I could never see another banana again and be fine, even happy.

But, when I was a kid, one of my grandma’s friends used to love giving me bananas. It was her favorite fruit and perhaps she thought that she was really being kind to me by offering me one.

I still hated them.

But my grandmother, in all her wisdom, instructed me to not eat the banana but to always, always take it and be completely gracious and thankful.

Eventually, I went from kind of pretending to be thankful to having a better understanding of what grace is. Eventually, my thanks was heartfelt and not at all pretentious, even though I never ate the damned bananas.

I learned to be gracious when someone thought enough of me to do something. I learned to not take the joy from them for being kind. I learned not to essentially punish people for being nice. I learned a little bit of what it’s like to not be an asshole.

And now, when I do nice things for people, I get to learn how to be on the other side of the equation. Sometimes something that I do that I think is kind is met with welcome and enthusiasm. Sometimes, it’s not. But regardless, I’m working on not attaching my feelings to the behavior of other people. I take the pleasure and reward of kindness from what I can control: only myself.

What do you think of this topic?

Until tomorrow my friends…

It Doesn’t Matter

Do you ever feel like no one understands you?

How you feel? Your humor? Your off putting affinity for skulls? Your not so secret desire to live on an island?

Do you ever feel so alone?

Maybe you share some of those feelings and maybe you have some quirks of your own that make you feel ostracized sometimes.

I can relate. Some days, it feels like “Ostracized” is my middle name.

I don’t regularly do the two seemingly most common American activities: drink alcohol and watch tv.

If I had to guess, I would say that on average, I have about one martini every 8 weeks and watch about 1-3 hours of internet videos a week. I watch no regular tv shows, even though I do plan to catch up on “The X-Files” soon.

Do you know what these facts make me? Well, they make me almost a social pariah.

People are so strangely uncomfortable when I tell them I don’t drink much and I watch almost no television. They think that I’m odd, and technically, they’re right.

I feel odd and I feel misunderstood.

I use the examples of television and alcohol as somewhat light hearted examples, but I’ve also often felt deeply misunderstood, sometimes even telling myself that I will NEVER find someone who understands me.

Well, here’s the thing: IT DOES NOT MATTER. So the f*ck what?

Recently, I was listening to an Eckhart Tolle talk and he addressed the ongoing need that we can sometimes have to feel understood. And of course, when our version of understanding does not come, we make ourselves feel miserable. We tell ourselves horrible things, like no one will ever understand, or we are terrible for being so odd, so on and so forth.

But all of those things are unknown. Maybe you’ll find the jelly to your peanut butter. Maybe you’re just a singular, delicious nut spread.

Regardless, the better focus is on understanding yourself. There’s so much focus that we can develop on what other people are giving us that we neglect to give ourselves anything.

So, maybe your family thinks you’re nuts? You might actually be a little weird. Maybe no one does understand you.

SO WHAT?

Do you, who has the most access to you,understand you?

No?

Then you’ve already got enough things to do.

So many, in fact, that you might not have much time to watch the tele.

Until tomorrow my friends…

I’m Tired Of This

Whose idea was it for me to write every day for a year?!

I haven’t made it through even 60 days of the challenge and I’m kind of sick of it!

Me and my bright ideas!

Maybe today I’m just feeling tired and a little burned out, but also, I know that almost no one is reading this,which is demotivating.

Is this important enough for me to keep writing just to keep the promise to myself?

Well, I suppose keeping a promise to yourself is the best kind of promise you can keep.

But today, tonight, honestly, I just want to throw the whole blog and promise in a big, shiny trash bin and light it all on fire.

Speaking of trash bins, I keep mine in the garage and I swept the garage early this morning. Have you ever swept a garage? After it was done and the floor was all clear, it was SO SATISFYING! My gawd! I actually stood there, still wearing my robe and bonnet, hands on my hip, and admired how nice it looked after I swept. It was amazing.

Maybe I should start writing about cleaning hacks? Just kidding, other than sweeping the garage once a year, I know almost nothing about being a super tidy person.

How was your day?

If you’re out there in Internet land, please like or comment on this post.

Let me know that you’re reading my weird blog and are enjoying it.

If you hate it, keep that to yourself. I have enough critical nature in my own mind and I don’t welcome it from outsiders.

Unless you mail me a snickers bar.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

What It’s Like: Medical Visits Alone

Have you ever been to the doctor all by yourself? Maybe for a check up or for something more serious?

In my opinion, it’s not the greatest feeling in the world, but it’s one that I know very, very well.

I can’t remember how I felt, as a child, when my momma would take me to the doctor. I am willing to bet, however, that I wasn’t as grateful as I should have been.

Going to the doctor for any reason at all kind of sucks. I am very thankful to have easy access to medical care, but is there a place I can go get easy access to the emotional support that I sometimes need before or after an appointment?

The obvious answer is to ask a friend or family member, but who wants to be a big ass whiner and ask for company to go to the doctor? Especially when you’re old enough to drive yourself and have the funds to pay your own co-pay?

Today, I went to the “doc in a box” to get my insect bites checked out. Thankfully, my foot did not fall off over night and the doctor said I was fine and sent me on my way with some itch medicine.

As I sat there, just looking around, trying to read the pamphlets without actually touching one (because flu season), I realized that I wasn’t feeling sad or lonely. I felt like I was doing something routine by going to the doctor alone.

This realization made me feel an odd mix of relief (yay for not feeling lonely) and concern (have I lost touch with a part of my emotions? Is another one of my interpersonal needs slipping away?).

I was called back into the examination room before I could figure it out and I still have no idea, as of this entry.

What do you think?

Until tomorrow, my friends…

Ice Pack and Chill

You know what I hate?

I hate it when I have to use an ice pack for something. Do you know why?

I’ve never been an athlete. No part of me is even remotely athletic. The most physical thing I regularly do is splash around the bubbles in my nightly soak bath.

So, when I actually have to use an ice pack, I feel like such a poser! How dare I, a chubby writer with no athletic abilities, use the swelling reducing remedies of the athletic gods? How dare I do something that surely Michael Jordan has done!

I’m not worthy!

Well, whatever insect that bit me decided I was worthy of having to use an ice pack tonight, so here I am, all propped up in bed, about to read until the pain relievers kick in and perhaps my foot has become numb.

Needless to say, a doctor’s appointment is in my near future and I could also buy stock in itch medicines at this point.

At least my new book came in the mail today…

I hope your day was more exciting and MUCH less painful and inconvenient than mine has been, my dear reader.

Stay out of harm’s way. May the force be with you.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

Cheat Day

The past two weeks have been so busy. My candle wick has been burned down to a tiny little nub.

Here’s to a cheat day!

This is a poem that I wrote on January 8, 2018. Not that long ago!

Have a great weekend and as usual, see ya tomorrow, friends…

What’s in the sun’s rays?

It’s the boyish grin of a fella on a first date,

It’s the warm smile that a balding father gives to his kids,

It’s the delight of children who know that they picked the right day to play sick,

It’s the lonely eyes of the writer, the observer, who watches it all

A Visit to the Houston Tea Festival

Have you ever been to a tea festival? Have you ever heard of a tea festival?

Well, neither had I until today. Thanks to one of my very best friends, I had the opportunity to travel a little bit south of Houston today and attend the Houston tea Festival.

The tea Festival was held at a hotel near the Johnson Space Center. I have never been to the Johnson Space Center either, but I now have a reason to go back to this part of Texas.

There were a lot of people there, including the driver of this car and owner of this bumper sticker.

Based on all of the dirty Subarus in the parking lot, I was eager to get inside and check out all of the funny free spirits lurking about. I joked that the tea festival might just be a cover up for some kind of fun illegal drug operation, but turns out I was wrong. It was a seriously legit festival of tea.

Our wait in line for tickets was both long and lively. We chatted up a couple of ladies behind us. We talked about the perils of growing up in organized religion and the humor of Sunday school, bible study, and priests who were too hot to be priests. Turns out, female parishioners from every religion have eyeballs, and occasionally, there exists a religious leader who could easily put down his Bible and pick up a leather vest to make serious money entertaining the ladies, if you catch my drift.

However, I realize that you might not catch my drift, so to be clear, we talked about preachers who were handsome enough to do things other than preach, you know, like modeling or stripping. My friend and the ladies behind me had personal knowledge of such gentlemen. I have to admit that there were no such gentlemen at the church where I grew up.

I always have the most odd conversations with strangers; I swear.

Back to the tea…

The first stop was the matcha tasting experience. I call it an experience because we also had the chance to make origami pinwheels. We were given a choice of several different origami projects and the pinwheel was supposedly the least difficult. I asked for something lower than level 1, but the instructor either didn’t hear me or thought I was joking. I wasn’t joking. My pinwheel was cute but completely non functioning.

My friend’s turned out cute and it worked better.

Next, we got to sit down and try the matcha. The instructor showed me how to use the bamboo whisk to make foam. I was decent at it and she enthusiastically said GOOD twice.

The tea came with a tiny cookie, which I arranged to photograph with my pinwheel and another piece of origami, a hat, that a delightful young instructor gave me.

Next, we went to the main area where there were tea purveyors and a terribly unfunny comedian / yo-yo dude. We found out that the poor guy works for free and was reprimanded once for taking off his shirt during a performance. I felt kind of sorry for him after learning that he is both unpaid and must remained fully clothed.

I bought this magical tea, because who can resist magic?

On the way to lunch afterwards, I got this video of the aircraft outside of the NASA area .

What a nice day!

And I didn’t have to write about soap again today!

Until tomorrow my friends…

It’s a Slow News Day

The problem with writing every day is you quickly discover that most of your life is pretty mundane.

I already knew this, at least intellectually, but it is really apparent some days, like today.

Today, I’m writing about soap. Kirk’s Castile Soap.

We used this soap when I was a kid. This soap could “scrub the black off yo ass” , according to many elders. And, it was cheap.

Nowadays, the manufacturers have gotten hip to the fact that more than poor Blacks are buying it and it’s actually kind of pricey.

I recently bought a bar at Whole Foods and was almost appalled to have paid the better part of three dollars for a single bar of this soap. That’s more than Dove prices, for crying out loud. I bought it anyway because I’m a sucker and a goober, apparently.

Is there anything from your childhood that you now think is super expensive?

Let me know in the comments below.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

7:03 AM

I slept a little too well last night.

I didn’t wake up until after 7! Oops! I have been cranking out lots of hours at work and I’ve been a little stressed. I see the late wake up as my body needing a little extra rest.

Today I tutored the elementary aged siblings and we played two riveting rounds of BINGO at the end of the lesson.

The boy child won and chose a pink necklace as his prize. The girl child looked on with a sadness and disappointment that I didn’t expect.

Having worked with children before, I knew that they can be REALLY overdramatic. Perhaps they get it from their parents.

The boy child gave her a devilish grin and put the necklace around his neck. She looked at me and said, “Can I have the purple one?”

I kindly replied, “No, he won, so he gets the prize.” She looked over at the pink necklace with longing eyes.

The boy child then takes it off, and slides it across the table.

“I got it for you! Duh!” He exclaims. Aww! How sweet! I just want to give him a hug for being such a nice brother.

She puts it on and coldly replies, “Thanks.”

I began to talk up the boy child, saying “Oh what a lovely brother he is!” thinking she would cheer up a bit. But then, I looked in her eyes and I saw a little piece of myself staring back at me.

Her brother giving her the necklace WAS a nice gesture.

But do you know what she really wanted?

The VICTORY

The DOLLAR STORE SPOILS

The BRAGGING RIGHTS

The HONOR OF BINGO CHAMPION

Him giving her the necklace was almost a slap to her perfect little face, which continued to remain contorted in displeasure as we played the second round of BINGO and he won again.

I didn’t laugh, and I managed to not make any faces while I packed up to leave. But, I really wanted to pat her on the head, in a loving, non-demeaning way, and say, “It’s going to be all right kid. One day, that’ll be life sitting across the table from you kicking your ass and you won’t know up from down. And life won’t pick the pink necklace just so it can give it to you later. Life is going to pick up the heaviest turd and hurl it at you. And you know what? In that moment, you’ll learn how to keep going.”

Those are the things I wanted to say, to her and her familiar feeling little ego.

My own ego is much older and maybe a bit more intense, but we, me and my ego, are learning to get along just fine.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

PS…do you have kids? Are the monsters? Kidding!

A Challenge Within A Challenge

Hey, is it your first time visiting my blog?

It is?

It is not?

Welcome or welcome back. Let’s start to make things interesting.

Two days this past week, I didn’t feel like there was much going on upstairs. A writer needs a brain to, you know, write.

Some days are like today, when I was actually zonked out on the couch watching YouTube videos, until I looked at the clock and thought OH SHIT! I forgot to write my entry for today.

Other days produce posts like what I wrote yesterday, when the words seemingly poured out of my mind, with ease and emotion. Only three people have clicked on the post from yesterday, even though I think it’s the best one I’ve written so far, so please check it out, if you’re so inclined.

For the next five working days, I am going to throw myself a bone and do a challenge. You know what a challenge is: it’s when someone says they’ll do something for a finite amount of time and then talks about it for that finite amount of time.

So, for the next five days, I am challenging myself to get out of bed whenever I first wake up, if the time is 5:30 am or later. So, if I wake up at 4:45 am, I am taking my ass back to sleep. But, if I wake up at 5:41 am, I am going to do the thing where one moves their body from the bed and into the waking world, ready to take on adventures.

I wonder how this will go? I am sure this activity will give me some fodder for the next few days. I am sure it’ll suck, too, because I change the sheets on Sunday nights, so I am basically dooming myself to spend less time with my fresh sheets come morning time.

What do you think? How will I do?

Have you ever tried this? Leave me a comment below…

Until tomorrow, my friends…