What is the Answer?

Foggy Morning – Mars, PA – June 2018

What is the answer?

What are the questions?

Why is it happening?

What can we do?

The recent suicides of two very famous people last week – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain  – have brought back a lot of memories for me and have had me thinking a lot.

Those of you who have been around here for a while may recall I lost my brother to suicide a year and a half ago.  He took his life two days after Christmas on December 27, 2016 by stepping in front of a train.  He left a note stating “no Clarence for me.”

There are moments – some clumped together in periods longer than others – that I dwell in the sorrow.

I want to have some magical answer…. some greatly insightful advice.

I don’t want to just talk about it.  I don’t want to just be sad.  I want to declare the solution.  I want to shout out the answer.  I want to rid the world of this grief.

But I can’t find it.

Except to say let’s love one another.

Let’s be there for one another.

Let’s hug.

Let’s listen.

Let’s support each other.

Let’s hold each other up… allow others to lean on us, and allow ourselves to lean on others.

Let’s embrace our humanity.

Let’s accept each other.

Let’s accept ourselves.

Let’s belong to each other and to this world.

We are each here for a purpose.

Let us seek and declare and own that.

You are loved.

Keep on keepin’ on.

Love,
Jodi

I want to ask you …

I want to ask you …

What makes your heart skip a beat?
What memories cause goosebumps on every inch of your skin?

I want to ask you …

Who has hurt you so deeply that you have lost all confidence in who you really are?
What loss has caused bitterness in your soul?

I want to ask you …

If you could be anywhere right now, doing anything you wanted to..
where would you be, and what would you be doing?

I want to ask you …

When you take a deep breath and close your eyes, what is the first thing you think about?
Does it make you happy, or does it make you sad?

I want to ask you …

What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
What makes you smile when you go to sleep at night?

I want to ask you …

What do you think life is really about?
What is our purpose?

I want to ask you …
but is it okay?

Maybe I should just ask you …
How was your day?

Isn’t that
the polite thing to say?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Into the Woods

Into the Woods in our Backyard June 25, 2017 Mars, PA

Into the Woods in our Backyard June 25, 2017 Mars, PA


“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Yesterday was one of those
most amazingly glorious
Summer Sundays.

No agenda,
bright sunshine,
cool breeze.

I woke early,
sipped my coffee on the deck
with the birds and the rising sun.

I made old-fashioned macaroni salad
to chill and be just right
to accompany grilled burgers for dinner.

I took my watercolors
out onto the patio,
and I painted for hours.

And when it was time to move a bit,
Charlie and I headed to the woods
in our backyard.

We hiked until we got lost,
and then we found our way out through a neighbor’s backyard
on an intersecting street to ours.

It was a sauntering walk
with stops to breathe it all in, smell the fresh air,
and commune with nature.

The woods are a great place
to learn how truly small you
and your problems really are.

It’s a place to be small,
but come out feeling bigger
and better and complete.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Transient

Finding Purpose: Why I Blog

meaning-of-life-purpose-of-life

Everyone needs a purpose in life.

The older I get, and the more I experience new life (like the birth of my first grandchild), and the deaths of those I love (like the recent loss of my brother), the more I ponder my life’s purpose….  the legacy I might leave behind…  how people will remember me.

When I started this blog two and a half years ago on May 18, 2014 – just for fun and on the encouragement of my BFF’s daughter (my McHendy daughter, Jackie), I wasn’t sure what I was doing or what to expect.  I think I secretly thought I might be the next Ree Drummond or Rachel Ray and get rich and famous.  It was all about me.

But after posting daily for almost 1,000 days, it’s become something very different.  It hasn’t brought me the kind of fame or fortune I clandestinely fantasized about in the beginning.  But what it has become – is a purpose…  a personal mission of sorts…  a small way of giving to the world…  a place to encourage (and maybe even inspire) people to embrace the simple moments of life to cherish… especially those “in between” moments.

I have a very fulfilling career and full-time job I love that keeps me busy as the Director of Strategic Projects and Office of the CEO for a hospice and home health company.  I have a husband of almost 35 years, two grown sons, an amazing daughter-in-law and another soon-to-be, and a baby granddaugher that bring such joy to my life (and of course there is also Charlie!).  I have the most amazing BFFs a “girl” could ask for.

Yet, I still believe I need to have something that is my personal legacy, and that is what my blog has grown to be for me.  When I consider my few talents and gifts, I have often been told my greatest is that of an “encourager” or “influencer.”  I’ve taken many a DISC Personality Asssessment, and I am always an out-and-out straight High “I.”  I have taken “Spiritual Gift Assessments” that tell me I have the gift of “exhortation” or encouragement.  Hubby tells me I have the gift of “gab!”  So why not use that gift – one that comes so easily to me – to benefit others?

I have never had difficulty talking with strangers.  My goal in any situation, whether it be greeting the receptionist at an office, the UPS delivery person, the garbage collector, or a less-than-happy cashier at the grocery store, is to leave them smiling.  Not sure why it is important to me – but it is.

And that is my goal here too.  The goal of this blog is not to “show off” what I have or what I can do or to make you think my life is all peachy and perfect.  My life is not perfect.  That is not what I want people to think.  In fact, my life is far from perfect… like all of ours are!  I have an estranged relationship with my mother, I was separated from my birth father for 39 years until six and a half years ago, my brother struggled so severely with alcoholism that he took his own life by stepping in front of a train…  I struggle with my weight and have always been “chubby,” I’m not particularly attractive, I have no musical talent whatsoever….  the list could go on.  I tell you this not for pity or sympathy or for you to disagree.  I tell you this so that it might allow you to know that despite life’s challenges and adversity, we can still seek to find the joy.  We can still be kind.  We can still feel love.  There are still many, many moments to cherish…  And we must seek them, and we must appreciate them.

So no matter how busy my day, and knowing there is no monetary or fame reward or prize to be given for posting every day, I still make sure I do.  I spend a bit of time, often late at night, writing a post that might encourage you, that might make you smile, that might inspire you to bake or cook something new or paint something, or just look at something differently.  It might be a few words that will remind you of something that makes you happy.  Sometimes I am typing it at 11 pm with only one eye open.  Other times I get ahead by four or five posts and give myself a break.  But I still make it a personal goal to post something everyday (that appears at 6am EST) for my dear followers to either start their day (if they are living in my part of the world) or end their day (for my cherished blog follower friends in Latvia or Ireland or Australia or Japan).

So even on my toughest days, I seek to find something good and encouraging, because in encouraging you, I am rewarded in an even more profound way than could be achieved with fame or fortune.  I feel my life has a personal purpose.  I feel I am giving something of value to the world.  I feel I might be remembered… for being kind.  I might be creating my legacy.

Do you think about your life’s purpose?  Your legacy?  What you will be remembered for?

None of us know when our last year or day or breath will be, so my simple message is: Cherish the Moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Laugh, Smile, Giggle, Snort

giraffe naples zoo

Giraffe – Naples Zoo – Feb 2015

Laugh, smile, giggle, snort

This journey called life is much too short

To frown or grumble or sigh

Oh my

Let joy be your purpose, your passion, your port

 

In an effort to expand and evolve in my writing, I am participating in The WordPress Daily Post Writing 201 Two-Week Poetry Challenge.  Poetry is definitely a challenge for me.   Today’s assignment consists of three parts: 

  1. The word prompt is Journey:  Write a poem about anything that word evokes for you.
  2. The form is Limerick:  The traditional rhyming scheme of a limerick is a a b b a — the first two lines rhyme, then the next two, and the final verse rhymes with the first couplet.
  3. The device is Alliteration:  Using the same consonant multiple times in close proximity.

To me, the greatest journey of all is life and letting joy be our purpose and passion is the ultimate goal.  This is what inspired my limerick for today’s challenge.

Wishing you laughs and smiles and giggles and snorts!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi