Above All this Bustle

Above All this Bustle.

It’s early Friday morning,
and I have a day off work.

I woke up early just to soak in
some extra hours.

I could be (should be?)….
– wrapping
– baking
– shopping
– cleaning….

The list could surely go on.

But instead…
I turned on the lights of the tree,
poured a cup of coffee,
sat down and caught myself singing Silver Bells.

Remember to be kind to yourself.
Be good to you and to others.
It’s not about all the bustle.

If you sit quietly….
If you put your heart in the right place…

Above all this bustle – you’ll hear…
Silver Bells.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Reflections in December

Reflections in December.

Happy December Friends!

I spent a good part of yesterday putting up our Christmas tree.

I’m being a bit more “minimalist” about decorating this year.  I’ve decided not to put out all the santas or all the snowmen I’ve collected over the years.

Instead… I’m opting for a more white and silver and elegant kinda vibe.

But I did spend hours working on the tree.

I had forgotten I bought a brandie new 9 foot tall beauty last year until we brought it out of the attic, and I realized the box was completely sealed.  What a fun “surprise!”
What a lot of work “fluffing” the branches!

But, unlike past years, I didn’t care how long it took.  No rushing this year.  I put the movie White Christmas on, and I sang along with Bing and Danny and Rosemary and Vera.  And I fluffed and reflected.

I reflected on Decembers and Christmases and trees past.

I smiled remembering cutting down live trees and decorating them with handmade ornaments from my mother-in-law and vintage balls painted with my name and the year on from my childhood when we were so young we were still kids ourselves.   Money was tight but the joy was so joyous!

My eyes teared up remembering hubby lifting our little boys high up in the air so they could take their turn every other year reaching the tippy top of the tree to crown it with the star.

I laughed remembering the magic of Sammy our magical elf, who came every December 1st – long before anyone had ever heard of Elf on a Shelf (oh why didn’t I think to market it!!!).  He is the one “ornament” I put on the tree no matter the “theme” each year.  He’s been coming around for 30 years.

I felt melancholy remembering loved ones who we spent Christmases with who are no longer with us – those who have passed, but live in our hearts forever.

I remembered the emptiness of those first empty nester years.

I reminisced about the first Christmas being reunited with my Dad and the wonderful, loving extended family that came along with him.

I rejoiced in the renewed joy and magic that grandchildren have brought to Christmas.

And I celebrate life.  I am choosing to celebrate the woman I’ve become through the time and experiences I’ve been given.   I am making an effort every day to be the me I am meant to be – not comparing to others – those younger or thinner or smarter or wealthier or more talented or whatever we all compare each other about.  I am telling myself every day that I am enough.  As Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  December is also my birthday month (even if it doesn’t come until the very last day of the month!).  And as a very wise friend, who faced and battled cancer years ago once told me when I said I don’t want to celebrate birthdays any more as I get older… “Celebrate!  Each day and year is a gift.    Not everyone gets this opportunity.”

May you find time to reflect on the memories, joys, sorrows, blessings and gifts of your life.  Have a beautiful December!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Opening Up- Being True to Me

My everblooming yellow rose bush of friendship from bestie JRH – 08/19

Opening Up.

I need to open up about something.
I have recently been struggling with blogging on a regular basis.

I want to keep this space true to me.
I want to be positive and encouraging and inspiring
(even though we all have bad days – right?).

Many times the things I write about (like my recent post, “Confidence“),
are not only to inspire you, but they are because I need to tell myself.

I’m working on being confident.
I’m working on being fine with just who I am.
But those that know me best,
know I often struggle with that.

I want to be liked – well – really…
I want to be loved (LOL!) by everyone.

I know it is impossible,
but it is something I struggle with….
a people pleaser?
part of my DNA?
identified in personality assessments!
my crutch!

But I’m working on it.

Something about getting older
allows us to be truer to ourselves.
(One of the great perks!)

As a 56 year-old, post-menopausal woman – mother – grandmother…
I am basically invisible to most strangers.

That 20 or 30-something year-old girl that every once in a while
got a whistle or a honk or a drink offer…
or any of those silly things that made me feel validated as a woman…
is ancient history.

And I do kinda like it.
It let’s me be okay with being me.

The me I am in my heart and soul
and mind.

Don’t get me wrong – I still want to look and be my best
(and I wouldn’t mind a drink offer!),
but I know I will never be that “attractive” the world defines for women anymore…
(if I ever was!).

It is fun to wear clothes I wouldn’t have before
and experiment with things I was afraid to be judged on – like art and poetry.

But I digress…
Oh how I digress…  GAH!
Ramble Ramble…
Me being me!

The struggle I want to share with you today is that I am feeling obligated lately to post blog posts at least three times a week on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays like I have been.

When I started blogging almost five and a half years ago in May of 2014,
I blogged every single day.
I kept that up for the better part of five years!
I scheduled posts ahead even when on vacation,
and I obsessively replied to every comment
and followed back most of the bloggers that followed me.

Most of the time I enjoyed it.
I shared things about me.
I shared recipes I loved.
I shared art I created.
I shared photographs I took.
I shared thoughts and words I wrote.

I love(d) the interaction –
and to be honest – the affirmation.

I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process,
and I’ve met some amazing people, many of whom I consider friends.

But the job of blog posting is becoming a bit of a chore….
a bit of an obligation.
And I don’t want to do it that way!

I hate when I have to come up with something for a Tuesday or Sunday or Thursday,
when I feel like I have nothing, and I create something just to have something.

So here is the deal…
I’m not quitting.
I really don’t want to.

But I do want to post just when I want to.

It might be once a week sometimes.
It might be once a month sometimes.
It might be every day some weeks.

If I feel I have relevant material,
and/or if I WANT to post,
I’m going to.

Heck with stats, number of followers,
getting somehow “famous” or recognized or whatever
my original intention might have been.

Going forward, I’m doing this for me…
for the enjoyment I get from it –
not from what I hope to get back.

I hope you will stay with me.
I understand if you won’t.

I want to open myself up to any glorious opportunities
that I may be blessed with that come my way.
I am allowing myself space to grow and expand my horizons.

I will continue to cherish all the moments!
And I will share them when I desire
for those who desire to read about them.

Thanks for listening.
Thanks for being here!
It really does mean so very much to me!

Cheers & Hugs until next time,
Jodi

Celebrating Friendship at Stony Brook State Park

Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY - Girlfriend Camp GFC 2019 - August, 2019

Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY – Girlfriend Camp GFC 2019 – August, 2019

Celebrating Friendship at Stony Brook Park.

Climbing stairs

Crossing bridges

Converging pathways

Circulating blood

Conversing thoughts

Circumventing hazards

Communing with nature

Connecting souls

Contemplating life

Considering options

Challenging opinions

Cooperating ideas

Confessing truths

Collecting memories

Celebrating friendship

#GFC2019 Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY - August 2019

#GFC2019 Stony Brook State Park, Finger Lakes Region, NY – August 2019

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Celebrating Friendship at Stony Brook State Park

Cherish the Moments

Sunset over Lake Ontario, Rochester, NY - August, 2019

Sunset over Lake Ontario, Rochester, NY – August, 2019

Cherish the Moments.

As the sun sets
and closes another day,

collect moments
to cherish as memories

on this page…
in this chapter.

For this time…
in this season.

For every day may not be good,
but there is something good in every day.

Find it.
Hold on to it.

Cherish the moments.
Treasure the memories.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Lemon Love

Lemon Love.

When life gives you lemons,
paint them!

I don’t know why lemons get such a bad wrap.
(you know – the old, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”)

I guess because they are sour,
but there is so much to LOVE about them!

This year, they are all the rage in summer decor.
I even bought a few faux lemon trees to decorate with.

And then there are ALL the wonderful
things you can bake and make with them!

Give me Lemon Crinkle Cookies
or Fresh Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cake.

Give me Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake
or Lemon Lavender Loaf.

I’ll take Lemon Butter Scallops
or Pan Seared Lemon and Garlic Mahi Mahi.

Give me Lemon Butter Chicken
or Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

I’ll take it with a crisp, lemony Chardonnay
or Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy!

But for today,
I’ll just paint lemons!

Bright, summery,
happy, sunshiny lemons!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS.  Don’t they look fun on these pillows?

And these bar stools?

And make cute cards?  🙂

(click on the photos for information on how to purchase any of these and many other fun, lemony items in our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY and Society6 shop!)

The Only Way

The Only Way.

The only way to fully embrace
Your life…

The only way to move forward
and see the beauty all around You…

is to have the strength
and the courage

and the wisdom
and the love for yourself

to let go of the things
and the people

you cannot
change

even when it goes against
what you think is “right.”

Let go of the guilt.
Let go of the burden.

Own your truth.
Own your dignity.
Own your worth.

When you do,
you will find peace.

You will discover You.
It’s the only way.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi