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The "Wu Word" Blog

April 2015

The Promotion

I have never embraced change. 

Say the word to me and I get this look of terror on my face, the shakes of my body, and the rampage of thoughts attacking my mind until I am absolutely brain drained. 

I am a creature of habit.  I like to stay in my comfort zone.  I embrace predictability, yet I crave these traits I desire from afar: adaptability and flexibility.  A big part of me believes that I love and savor regular because the journey of my life has been quite irregular, so I yearn some control in a life that has been fully out of my control.  But, then again, when do we ever have control over anyone or anything?  Control is only an illusion. 

So when my boss who is only a couple years younger than me called me in his office to announce that I received a promotion, I plastered the plastic exuberant expression on my face while my insides started to vibrate uncontrollably like a tuning fork gone awry. 

Don’t get me completely wrong. 

I certainly did feel excitement.  Miniscule excitement at that.  The feeling of apprehension overpowered the miniscule excitement I felt only because my supervisor had recognized me for my hard work and efforts.  Many outsiders may have viewed that my hard work and efforts stemmed from trying to get ahead and climb up the ‘corporate’ ladder in life, but, actually, my hard work and efforts stemmed for wanting to do everything and anything I can and then some more for the cancer patients and their family members that I work with. 

I have told just about no one about this promotion.  Only my closest friends and family know about it.  Their immediate reaction is natural: Clamors of “Congratulations,” immediately followed by the question: “Are you going to get more money?” 

And, here’s the thing about me.  I have never identified money as the most important thing in my life, nor have I ever identified it as equivalent to success.  To me, my most important thing in life and as I get older is “time,” or freedom, and good health.  Time to spend with our loved ones.  Time to do what we want and when we want.  Good health going hand in hand with time to do all we can do to the fullest extent and in this one life to live.  We live in a world and a society where the more education, the more money, the more overachieving we are (no matter the price or people involved), the more of anything or anyone is always better and improvement.  To contradict with this belief of “more is better” is the phrase “be happy with what you have because you do not know when it will be taken away from you.”  Isn’t this quite the struggle then to want more to be better, yet then told to be happy with what he/she has? 

When in doubt about the conundrums of life, I turn to my Father who is probably the wisest person I know of.  I asked him my question that has been burning on my brain since I was working over 10 years ago: “At what point should a person just be happy with what he/she has versus the motivation to become better?  Like, I’m just happy to have a job and do not feel any desire for a supposed better-paying job.  Does that make me lazy and unmotivated then?  How can that be lazy of me when I am already happy where I am and with what I’m doing?”

I asked him this question while I was driving us to a restaurant for brunch.  My father and I have had some of our best conversations in the car with the windows cracked open for fresh air and the mellow music playing softly as we chatter away.  My father explained the balance to have motivation in life without obsession.  Life requires and needs the little bit of stress to motivate and get a person out of his/her comfort zone while never losing sight to who he/she really is and staying true to the self.  Obsession is that danger zone of becoming overly stressed of the illusions of supposed more or better and losing sight of who a person really is in the process. 

I’ve been thinking of my father’s words after these last few brain draining days of training for the new promotion.  And, as the days are inching closer to the go-live date of a storm full of changes revolved around this promotion, I hear so many conflicting voices in my head: Surrender and Let whatever is meant to happen to happen, Set up boundaries of what I can and cannot do, Try my best, You can do it and you have nothing to fear, and the voices go on and on in a dizzying circle. 

And, when I close my eyes, the voices quiet down with the simple truth that everything will be OK.  But, most of all, the clarity that this ‘promotion’ is not about the job, but about myself and leaving behind what was to go towards what is to come in as easy and even welcoming of a manner as possible.  The promotion is about transitions of the self on this journey of life and adjusting to them while staying wholesome to oneself.  And, the promotion is not about the paper money, but the personal rewards of myself in the past, present, and future in life and not on the job. 

Here is what is to come not on a job promotion, but on a personal promotion and growth of learning, embracing change, becoming more adaptable, and being about balance.

Keep smilin’,
Mary

Song for the Lonely

Song for the Lonely
 
It is another hard day
You want to burst into tears
You want to give up hope
You go home instead
 
It is an empty home
Silence greets you
Polished wooden floors shine
The sound of the clock ticking echoes through the halls
 
It is too much to take
You go for a glass of water to tame the suffocation in your throat
You turn on the TV for the background noises
You begin to cook to occupy yourself and your tired soul, spirit, and mind
 
It is a night for a steaming bowl of soup
Comfort food to hold and hug you when no one else will
The hot liquid touches your lips and nearly burns your tongue
The waiting for the soup to cool down begins
 
Night is descending like a dark blanket to envelope everyone
You see the house across your empty house
You see a woman crying and a man holding her as if he would never let go
You look around your kitchen table and you are alone
 
No one to hold you and whisper words of comfort in your ear
No one to listen to you and your terrible day
No one to talk to
No one to listen to
No one to share with
 
This is the song for the lonely
This is for the lost souls who wish to find a soul mate
This is for the dreamers who dream of finding the perfect person when no one is perfect
This is for fairytale lovers who grew up on illusions of “Once Upon a Time…” and “Happily Ever After…” 
This is for the searchers who crave and search for love, but have not yet found it
This is for everyone who wishes to grow old with someone, but can’t even find someone to live life with
This is for someone who will understand, when no one seems to
This is for anyone who is in a crowded room only to feel broken down and alone
 
This is a song for myself
To sing aloud when no one hears
To dance to when no one is watching
To hold me when I need to be held
To listen to when no one is listening
To sing me to sleep when no one will
 
 
 

Sing Me Your Song


Everyone has a story to share
Everyone has many masks to wear
But does anyone really care?
When we play our outer parts
With such broken hearts
But just because we are breaking does not mean that we are broken
 
So, please, tell me your story
Because you are such a mystery
I wonder what is your history
And what you have been through
When life has been so cruel
 
Sing me your song
Strum the strings
Play the keys
Make your music
While the night is young
And the sky is bright with a crescent-shaped moon and sprinkles of glittering stars
You can reveal to me who you really are
 
You look so sad
I see it in your eyes
Your inner anger is making you mad
There are no lies
Because I can see who you really are
But you are so far
And fleeting and flying like a shooting star
 
In this world of coldness
Remember the warm kindness
And that I am not scared
And you do not need to be afraid
No need to hide or feelings of shame
You are much more than a face or a name
And, our lives will never be the same
 
Sing me your song
Strum the strings
Play the keys
Make your music
While the night is young
And the sky is bright with a crescent-shaped moon and sprinkles of glittering stars
You can reveal to me who you really are
 
It is just the two of us here
You have nothing to fear
I’ll hold you tight
In my arms from the sunrise of days to the sunset of nights
I’ll collect all your tears
I’ll place them in a glass jar
You just be who you really are
 
And always know this
Time with you is sweet bliss
And, most of all, let me tell you this
All your broken pieces and jagged life scars
Make you beautiful just the way you are
 

The Firefly's Lies

This is a story of a firefly that possessed a great gift of shining the brightest and most blinding light that could flame the darkest of skies
The firefly was also endearingly charming
With wide, innocent eyes
A smile always on its face
Hugs to always embrace
The firefly basked in the glow that it had its own special place
 
Followers, worshippers, and lovers always surrounded the firefly
They saw the firefly as flawless and perfect
They could never suspect that the firefly had any doubts or secrets
 
But, the firefly was actually very afraid
That its bright light would eventually fade
And that it would be all alone
And it would, someday, be completely unknown
 
When the world slept, the firefly asked to the midnight blue sky with glittering stars:
“Who am I if I could never shine this bright light to guide others into flight?  Would these other fireflies love me for me, or are they with me because I provide this shining light in the darkest of nights?” 
There were no answers from anyone and only the quiet
Not a friend or caring soul in sight to provide any wise and real insight
To this dear firefly that was fighting an internal fight
 
The firefly tried hard to keep its lies of perfection on the outside
While the insecurities and fears ate away and alive on the inside
And, as the firefly became achingly grim
Its bright, warm, glowing light began to dim
 
But as the firefly and its light started to die
Not all, but only a very select few flew to the firefly to flutter its wings and provide flickers and shooting sparks
As ways to show their love, comfort, support, and honor in the darkest of dark
As the wings of the very few flickered, they whispered that they understood that outer perfection was not a true reflection of inner imperfections
 
 
The firefly’s light began to brighten and blind again and up the night skies
It comprehended then when it was nearly at its end
All this wasted time with its fake façade lies
That could have been spent on finding who were its truest of friends
And that truth and true others were rare, few, and hard to come by
These were the ones who gave the shining, bright and blinding light that could flame the darkest of skies

ColorBlind

Before I met you
I was ColorBlind in my mind
My world were Grays, Blacks, and Whites
These monotones made up my days and nights
Everything and everyone was simple, predictable, and alright
 
Then, you were there
And the swirls of colors began to appear
Reds, Blues, Yellows, and Greens
I wondered what was happening and what could this all mean?
 
Reds for the heat I feel and the way you make my heart beat
Blues for the cool and cold sensations that appear when you are no longer there
Yellows for fears that I can lose you and you will no longer be here
Greens for the unexplainable feelings that I can never explain with transparent meanings
 
I was no longer ColorBlind in your presence
There would be memorable moments of symphonic sounds or sweet silence
When together, it was the simple things that I wanted to last forever
Our time together meant the most without any paper money cost
 
But, we were not meant to be
My world now consists of only me
Now I know it to be true
That I was ColorBlinded by you
 
The reds are fading
The yellows are mellowing
The blues are cooling
The greens are graying
The colors are disappearing, yet somewhat still surprisingly staying
 
My world is filling again with Grays, Blacks, and Whites
But there are still the swirls of colors in my life
You in my life for only a short time was worth more than a lifetime
Making me understand and find
That I am no longer ColorBlind
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