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The "Wu Word" Blog

September 2016

HAPPY

HAPPY
 
When I was young
They said study hard
Get the best grades
Forget about fun
Compete and do everything
Please yet beat everyone
Make all your plans
You will know but you will not understand
So you will be someone
So you will be happy
 
In my 20’s
I was advised to go on eharmony
Make yourself really pretty
Don’t reveal who you really are
Drink lots and search at the bars  
So you will go really far
To find a perfect guy
When I asked why
So you will have someone
So you will be happy
 
Time and time again
Society quietly loud says to marry
Have a family and lots of babies
What happened to the elderly? 
We welcome birth
We fear death
All of these people, they explained
Don’t be odd, avoid alone, and fill the void
So you won’t be lonely
So you will be happy
 
Throughout my life
I heard it came down to my career
Oh, but do not fear
Make lots of money
You are really lucky if you win the lottery
Rolled in riches, fortune, and fame
Fancy diamonds, pearls, and dresses
Become a household name
So you will be a success
So you will be happy
 
Now that I am in my 30’s
Treasure your loved ones and your health
As the greatest priceless wealth
Have and enjoy the fleeting and freeing fun
For everything and everyone is only temporary
Cannot please,give,receive for or from everyone
Unable to plan and understand because life forever interrupts and intervenes
Do not depend on others, the money, and the materialistic to provide meaning and the means 
Life is unfair and you cannot help but compare and waste energy asking: “Why me?”
Live your own life that is a twisted and turned journey
That has great purpose of what not want you want but what is meant to be
I find the little and the simple make me happy
I create and savor my very own happy

Class Act

It started when I was 11-years-old when I shared with my friend in a hushed whisper that I never thought for a second would carry on throughout my life:  “I’m scared.  I do not want to be like my mother.  I just want to be like my father.” 
 
My friend said: “You have choices in life.  You can bend to the light or away from the light.” 
 
I have always tried to bend to the light, but, sometimes, it is hard to be good and to do by right to bathe and bask in the light that can also burn you at times with so many inner demons of mental and emotional battles raging on. 
 
When I look back now, I would call my confession under the general umbrella of: “Class Act.”  What’s a ‘class act’?  Alas, a ‘class act’ can only be explained through examples and can only be seen under the worst rather than the best of conditions and situations.  I’ve come to understand that it is in the worst and most stressful and pressure-filled situations that “class acts” emerge or non-exist.   A ‘class act’ realizes how their actions and words affect others in the best or worst and to be like or not to be like.  A ‘class act’ is someone to admire and to try to be like. 
 
The first person who was and always is the truest of “Class Acts” is my father.  He is the ultimate survivor who worked hard for what he earned, never believed or gave in to charity or entitlement, always selflessly gave, loathed pity, did all he said he would, laughed loud when he could have cried hard.  When I asked my father years later how he did all he did as a single father and after all he has survived, he shrugged nonchalantly and said: “You don’t think about it.  You don’t dwell.  You do what you have to do.  You just act.  You do it.” Now, that’s a ‘class act.’
 
The first person I did not want to be like was obvious: My mother. I need not say more about why I never wanted to be like her except she plays a good victim and makes everything extremely dramatic, stressful, and that the whole world revolves around her. 
 
The two other people who will always remain a ‘class act’ are my aunt (my dad’s eldest sister) and my stepmom.  My aunt was the first motherly figure I had after my mother left.  She spent and still spends her life doing for others because, essentially, doing for others was doing for her to forget pain.  She was always in pain, but she never said it.  My aunt and I were like two peas in a pod with joints that eventually fell apart, endured chronic pain, never spoke or shared, and did what we had to do.  My stepmom was my long-term motherly figure who quietly gives, always does, and never asks for anything from anyone; She is unbreakably strong. 
 
From the moment I met both women, I wanted to be like both of them.  I’ve always wanted to be like my father.  I never wanted to complain when there were others who had it worse than me.  I never wanted to dwell and wallow when I could not change the circumstances, but had the power to change the consequences.
 
In my life, there are very few who I strongly admire and consider as ‘class acts’ outside of my family, but these select few who I can probably only count them on one hand who have had a profound affect showing me how I want to be. In this life, you are lucky if you have good role models who guide and show and steer you towards the light from all they do and not all they say.  In this life, you are also lucky if you have bad role models who show you how you DO NOT want to be.  You are smart if you can decipher who is or is not a class act.   You are wise if you can work and live up to being a ‘class act’ AND owning it.  

How are you under pressure and stress?  Do you carry on without going on about it to go through with it?  Do you rant, grumble, complain, and vocalize all your worries and thoughts?  Are you dramatic and somehow make the whole world revolved around you and your problems?  Do you stay silent and do what you have to do to survive and thrive?  Do you make everything about your circumstances rather than changing the consequences?  I’ve been blessed to see the broad range of those who clamor, complain, and crack under pressure to those who silently and strongly survive and strive under pressure with such calm and artful grace and style. 
 
Bottom line: I want to be a ‘class act.’  I want to smile, stay strong, always appreciate, and never take anything or anyone for granted.  I want to stay calm and quiet through the storms of life to ride those rough waves and enjoy those ebbs and flows.  I never want to be about the cause and I want to be about the results.  Ultimately, I do not want to be defined by my problems and I want to be the creator of my solutions.  
 
Who do you admire?  Who do you see as a ‘class act’? 
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,
 

Mary ;-) 

Silence

“I don’t get it,” I confessed. 
 
My friend who seriously had the patience of a saint repeated again, “This is a quarter rest.  Your fingers do not do anything.  They rest.  You do not play any note or key.” 
 
I was baffled.  I thought sounds were to be heard, listened, and savored.  How can there be a sound in silence?  How could the fingers rest and do nothing while still doing something as evoking emotions?
 
She pointed to the squiggly lightning bolt and explained, “Silence is a sound, too.  It is probably one of the most powerful sounds.” 
 
I gazed pensively at the sheet music of Mozart’s “Eine Klein Nachtmusik,” which was full of lightning bolts that startled and enraptured me.  Something so small and simple that required so little and, in fact, no movement from fingers had such an impact. 
 
“Listen,” she instructed.
 
I stared upwards as I oddly always do when I play the piano. I closed my eyes.  I was learning that music was not what you played, but what you felt.  I felt more when I closed my eyes—when I slept, when I prayed, when I laughed, when I cried, when I was contemplating deeply, and when I was wrapped in serenity.  By all means, I sucked theoretically with music, but I was stunned at how much joy and peace I felt when I practiced and played piano now. 
 
She played “Eine Klein Nachtmusik” methodically following the quarter rests and then not following them at all. 
 
“Do you hear and feel the difference?”
 
I opened my eyes.  Yes, I did. 
 
I was rewound back in time to when I was a little girl that had experimented without any ill intention with my family by not speaking for a whole day.  I was not angry.  I just was not in the mood to talk, which was very unlike me since I was and still am always the sayer, talker, and speaker. I wanted to be left alone in a quiet zone.  My family was extremely worried about me and kept asking me throughout the day: “What’s wrong with you?  Why are you mute?  Why aren’t you talking?”
 
I think that was my first glimpse into how powerful silence could be and how probably one of the most hurtful things is to not acknowledge or respond when spoken to. 
 
Even now, I was so accustomed to always doing and saying throughout my life that to do nothing, rest, pause, and be silent was foreign and even a bit frightening to me.  We live in overly busy times.  When was the last time you were in complete silence from your own personal choice?  Have you ever tried to drive in your car without any music?  Have you ever been in your home all alone without any background noises?  How about the silence from others, such as the silent treatment or when their NO RESPONSE is, essentially, a response that can inflict utmost hurt and annoyance?  How about the world of someone who is deaf or hearing-impaired?  What about those who have speech delays, impediments, or who cannot or do not speak at all (aka: mutes)?  Parents seem to have negative and fearful feelings of their children who are silent.  Yes, indeed, how powerful silence and its sounds make and echoes that rock us to the very core.  Yes, silence speaks volumes.
 
Silence has its own sound and ‘rest’ is just as vital, yet probably the hardest thing to do.  There is an art to doing nothing.  There is sound in silence.  It takes a lot of and often unnecessary energy and exertion to always do and speak, yet saying and doing less are actually very hard to do.  I am always a work in progress of doing nothing, saying less to nothing, and embracing silence.  Does the sound and act of silence scare you at all?  Or is it something that you embrace?  How do you feel about the sound and act of silence given and received?  When has silence spoke volumes and louder than ever for you? 
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary ;-) 

The Beginning of the End

It was a Sunday tradition when I was a little girl and became even more so implemented after my mother left when I was 8-years-old. 
 
My father would leave me a bag containing the sausage egg McMuffin with a crispy hash brown encased in an oily envelope and tart and tangy orange juice to wash down the salt, oil, and fat.  Next to the grease-stained bag was a note by my father.  Sometimes he would write paragraphs.  Other times, he would write a couple sentences.  But, always, he signed it: Love, Dad.
 
On one particular Sunday, my father wrote in this note about “Divorce.”
 
My father explained, “Divorce just means that things didn’t work out.  It isn’t anyone’s fault.   Sometimes things in life happen that will not always have a reason or explanation.  Just because your mother left does not mean she doesn’t love you.  Just because your mother and I do not love each other anymore does not mean that we do not love you anymore.  We both love you—very much.”
 
Unlike most children, I welcomed my parents’ divorce and my mother leaving, but I did not fully understand and could not accept how a mother could literally leave, a marriage could finish, and people who claimed they loved each other and vowed until death do them part in a Church could just end everything.  How can people be so enamored with each other at one point in their lives and then leave and not even acknowledge or talk to each other at another point in their life?  How can people (especially a mother) just abandon and leave the family making something so bad even worse?  I was particularly angry that none of my friends’ had divorced parents AND all of my friends had mothers when I did not. 
 
In my life, I’ve been accustomed to people coming and going and knowing that nothing and no one is permanent and forever.  I do not hold high expectations for and of others because I’ve learned the hard way that people disappoint—not purposefully or with any ill intention, but because of a multitude of unexplainable factors that mostly revolve around the constant changes of people and life.   
 
People have commented to me, “It is sad that you do not have any high expectations of people because you deserve the best.” 
 
My simple response: “I do not have high expectations, but I have high hopes.” 
 
The two are different.  Wouldn’t you say so? 
 
I have never been the one to really leave.  I’ve always been the one who was left.  It has to take a lot for me to really leave, and I’ve always been the one that stays and sticks around during the worst times because of my own experiences from mother as the first person who left and my father who was the first person to stay around during the worst times.  I have learned from my mother that sometimes there is no choice but to leave when there is that sense that “this is the beginning of the end.”  There is the kind of love to stick and stay around during the worst times, but, sometimes, love is also leaving and letting go.  This is the kind of love from a distance and in the spaces in between the worst and best.  Sometimes, love is knowing and accepting deep down inside that staying and sticking around would actually be worst and the best thing and only right thing to do is ending what was the beginning that never lasts forever.  It takes courage to both stay and leave, depending on the situation at hand. 
 
It has taken me awhile to say that I can now finally understand how people can fall out of love with one another and relationships drift apart.  It is never anyone’s fault.  It is about what has happened in life and how people and things are constantly changing.  Who I am now is very different from who I was ten and even five years ago.  I can also understand the desire for closure and the lingering and longing feelings and thoughts even after an ending occurs. 
 
Have you ever loved to the point of leaving?  Have you ever loved to the point of staying?  Have you stayed even when you sensed and knew deep down inside that the relationship was in the throes of the beginning of the end?  Would you have or did you ever have the courage to accept an ending and leave? 
 
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary ;-) 

PARTYEVERYDAY

PARTYEVERYDAY. 
 
Now that I am quickly approaching my mid-30’s, I think it is about high time that I share the story about “PARTYEVERYDAY’’—one of my many signature sayings that I just about daily clamor out with thrilling joy and giddiness. 
 
The birth of PARTYEVERYDAY occurred in the chemotherapy unit that I worked in for at least five years of my life.   Many would think that a chemotherapy unit is the saddest place to step foot in, but it was actually a joyous place where the meaning and importance of life was epitomized.  My direct counterpart colleague and I had own special and unique language that made us burst out in fits of giggles, loud laughter, beaming smiles, and to joke and chat freely with patients that we saw just as frequently as our very own family members.  In the midst of patients fighting for their lives and cocktails of chemotherapy being processed, my “PARTYEVERYDAY” phrase totally and completely unexpectedly came into play on a day to day basis that we said and especially lived.   
 
The only rule about how you say PARTYEVERYDAY is this: THERE ARE NO RULES to how you say or live out PARTYEVERYDAY.  You can say it really fast like a tongue twister to get super hyped.  You can say it super slow as though you are tasting and savoring the happiness all around you.  Oh!  The verbal versatility of PARTYEVERYDAY!! 
 
Now, you ask: “What is PARTYEVERYDAY?”
 
One person confessed to me that he thought I was a party animal dancing on tables and drinking alcoholic beverages just about daily.  Someone else said to me: “When I heard you say PARTYEVERYDAY, I thought everyone partied everyday but then I realized it was you that just really parties everyday.”  Another asked: “How do you say ‘PARTYEVERYDAY’ like that?  I’ve gotta work on it!”  Another said: “You are seriously bonkers!  Where do you get your energy to PARTYEVERYDAY from?!”  My Stepmom: “OK, OK, don’t party too hard!  Calm down a bit!”  My closest friend: “Yeah, that’s your signature saying: ‘PARTYEVERYDAY!” 
 
So, here’s the deal about PARTYEVERYDAY: It is NOT about guzzling down alcohol, dancing on tables, or blasting the music until you are tone deaf.  Simply put: PARTYEVERYDAY is ENJOYMENT- enjoy yourself and life and to live it every single day.  Now, enjoyment is different for everyone at different times of life.  Enjoyment can be the calm, the quiet, and the meditative in the midst of stormy times.  Enjoyment can be daily predictable routine of punching in and out of work to rush back home to be with family.  Enjoyment can be doing, being, living, giving, and receiving the unexpected and unforeseen.  Enjoyment in the company of you and yourself, with strangers, with your friends/family.   Enjoyment to not take the little things and the people that mean the most for granted.  PARTYEVERYDAY is your life, your party, your learning curve, your process, your progress, your people, the strangers who will become your familiar faces, your experiences, and yours to own and be that occur every single day.  There are no rules with your party.
 
How is your party of life so far?  How is your PARTYEVERYDAY?  What is your PARTYEVERYDAY?  What is your saying in your life that you try to live by everyday?  What is your catchphrase? 
  
So, my peeps, this is the story of PARTYEVERYDAY.  Almost a week later of being 34-years-old, I say loud and clear for you to savor all flavors of life: PARTYEVERYDAY.  Here is to many more parties for all of us!
  
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary ;-) 
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