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The "Wu Word" Blog

July 2018

Ready

One of my very good and dearest friends just moved away to California.  She had been methodically planning this move since I met her at least five years ago.  I still remember when she told me that her goal was to move to California.  The words became a process and plodding pace of actions and executions.  I still remember saying to her in the wicked New York winters, “I’m right behind you!  I’ll see you there in sunny California!” 
 
Over the last few months, I’ve seen my friend had to decide what was worth keeping and what was worthless and needed to be given up and given away.  Through her and throughout my life, I’ve seen the value of things and that things are really just things until there is are sentimental memories and moments attached to them.  Invigorated and inspired by my friend and her move, I started to dig through my messy closets and cabinets as to what were just things to me and were more than things.  The mass majority of things were, indeed, things.  However, hidden in the darkest of places were ‘things’ I could not part with: my yearbooks, my over 50 journals that I started writing in when I was 8 or 9-years-old, pictures of friends and family, my research into a hip replacement surgery, my kidney advocacy work, and, most of all, multiple pieces of paper written in 2013 when my book was about to get published.  The papers contained my goals, plans, and preparations in the years to come in my life.  My handwriting was clean, crisp, and confident.  I had many expectations.  I was and am my own worst critic and enemy. 
 
The years have gone by.  Here I am in the now.   Many people may think that I am ambitious, but I do not have a desire to ‘succeed’ in the sense of ‘climbing up the ladder’ or ‘going to the top of the mountain’ where it is lonely and lonesome.  I am, however, determined.  Determined to meet the goals I made for and of myself.  However, it is the anticipation and aftermath that will change you and your life and never the goal itself.  It is never a singular or solo moment, but a build up to that moment and then everything thereafter.
 
When I re-read my goals that I had met and faced with, I realized that there were so many obstacles that had come my way that the goals being met were a slow-moving and a painstaking process.  I had fallen more times than I could count.  I had failed and risked more times than I could tell you.  To win, you have to lose.  To succeed, you have to fail.   Life interrupts and throws more curveballs of the unexpected, unplanned, and unforeseen that we are NEVER really ready for what is to come.  I had never really been ready for the results or how I felt after a goal I made was met.  You can plan and prepare and have all the goals you want, but to actually be ready for meeting and accomplishing them is a whole other ballgame.  I think about my friend who had met her goal to move to California.  I think about if she is ready for what is to come for her.  I think about if we are ever really ready for what is to come for all of us.  And, the answer is “NO.”   Life is always, always happening, moving, and living on as we are planning and preparing that I’ve reached a point to just try to be ready for the unplanned. The main goal I have for myself now is to be OK and to be OK with everyone and everything else.  We are never really ready for the reality until we are forced to get real. 
 
Are you goal-oriented?  What goals have you made for yourself?  Do you prepare and plan ?  When you met or supposedly accomplished what you set out to, were you ever really ready for the aftermath of meeting those goals?    
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,
Mary
 

 

Houses

I had a dream yet again about houses. 
 
In this dream, I lived in a house that was dilapidated and in a poor area by the train tracks.  Inside the house was absolutely immaculate and gorgeous with plush and exorbitant furniture and rooms that looked like something out of Buckingham Palace.  In the rooms, there were different scenarios playing out.  One room had a young girl all in white rocking back and forth on a bed crying hysterically.  I kept asking her what was wrong, but she would never show me her face and just kept wailing hysterically like she was suffering and dying a slow and painful death.  Another room had a dog and cat playing tug of war with a chew toy.  Another room had a group of people I did not even know laughing and chattering. 
 
I wake up completely confused and asking aloud: “Where am I?”
 
I dream so often about houses that you would think I am meant to be in real estate.  My dreams about houses are so vivid and real that I wake up truly believing that I am in that house and no longer in my home.  These house dreams always vary slightly, but they do revolve around certain themes.  I am rearranging furniture.  I am overwhelmed by too much stuff and want to throw everything and anything out to start anew.  I am overlooking a gorgeous balcony view of a sky full of stars and a bright blinding moon that I am wishing upon.  I have a huge and massive kitchen that looks like something out of “Better Homes & Garden” magazines with all the food in the world for me to chop, cook, sauté, and bake.  The houses have been falling apart, manicured mansions, a cozy bungalow, or a picturesque two floor house in the center of suburbia.   I never dream about an apartment, a farm house, or a place in the hustle and bustle of a city. The houses have many different rooms and in the rooms are people or pets laughing, fighting, or crying. 
 
 I asked my good friend who is the ultimate dream lover and analyzer what this means and she says: “A house represents your sense of self.   Everything going on in the houses is everything you are experiencing or trying to rearrange.” 
 
I thought about my sense of self.  I thought about ‘house’ in the literal sense that I had been living on my own and in my one bedroom apartment for nearly a decade.  It was only when I lived alone that I was forced to learn to handle household and handy troubles (i.e. electrical and plumbing issues), developing dynamics and relations and dependency on the kindness and care of neighbors with an emphasis on community, and the logistics and mechanics of devices that I never even thought about (i.e. the air conditioner, the heating, window screens, etc.).  I recently realized that it has taken me almost a decade later and still counting about how my sense of self has and is always changing, moving, developing, progressing, and rearranging.   It also dawned on me that as the years have gone by that I invite less and less people into my home.  When I first moved in, I wanted to and did invite everyone and anyone to my place.  Over time, I have become more protective, selective, reclusive, and even isolated with just wanting and wishing to enjoy and savor the simple, the peace and quiet of being in my home and place.  It reaches a point that a house is no longer a house, but a house becomes your home and is the becoming of you. 
 
Our experiences put us in a constantly moving, changing, developing, and rearranging ourselves.  How has your sense of self changed and developed? How have you had to rearrange yourself and others?   Do you often invite people to your house, or vice versa?  At what point (if any) did it dawn on you that your house is the becoming of your home and of you? 
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary

Do-Over

It was only a 45 minute train ride from Grand Central Station back to where I live.  I just about never go into Manhattan on a weeknight, but I mustered up as much energy and enthusiasm as I could to go into the city this night to root on my sister who was having her documentary screening.  I was extremely wired tired with replaying probably one of the worst weeks I had in awhile that left me exhausted, stressed, anxious, and extremely mistrustful of many when those I came to depend on couldn't come through--no one's fault, but left me disappointed.  Strangely, I was actually able to muster up a heavy dosage of almost euphoric enthusiasm for an event that showcased my sister’s talents.  I was/am so proud of her. 
 
Truth be told, a lot was playing and replaying in my mind on that train ride—mainly  revolved around the past few weeks where certain people from my past who I thought I would never see again and that had ended through no fault of his/her or my own were slowly making their way and presence into my life again.  This was not a bad or good thing.  It was just a thing that had me thinking about how I never purposefully cut off ties with anyone because I have this strong belief that fate, God, destiny, faith (whatever you want to call it) will play its hand and make its magic if certain people are meant for a certain season and/or reason or to stay, leave, or come back when you least expect it.  
 
Most people I know seem to do one of two things when it comes to dealing with people or a relationship that is on the brink of toxicity: (1) Terminate or (2) Tolerate, with ‘tolerating’ meaning to ignore and/or accept one’s ways as long as they are not full out toxic to you. For me, I try to find and live the middle ground of letting whatever happens, happens and take people as they come.   I am no saint.  Neither is anyone else.  People are prone to make mistakes, and even making the same mistakes with the same people.  Everything, everyone is changing, and yet there is a kind of core same to all of us that we hold on to or have as life puts us in a place of change.   Though I will never bluntly say to someone “Hey, we are over,” I do have a strong sense when someone/something is over and I silently and quietly sort of let go—not for the other person, but for me.   I am just thrown off when someone I let go of inside me revisits me again, because this puts me in a  place of total confusion that what I was convinced was an ending will suddenly be a new beginning when I never even imagined that there could be a new beginning ever again.   I kept asking and wondering: “Why do certain people come into our lives again just when you are convinced and made your own certain peace in you that it was over?”  I pride myself on an answer, but this, time, I was left with continuing questions over answers. 
 
I was trying my best to quiet my mind by falling asleep on the train when an ad caught my attention.  I had no clue what the ad was about, but through my half-closed eyes, all I saw was the word “Do-Over.”  I suddenly perked up with the wheels in my mind churning at lightning speed that maybe the reason certain people come back in our lives is so you get the chance to ‘do-over’ what you believed was over and done with.   And, how often do we really get to experience ‘do-overs’?  How often do we get to experience the beauty of making rights from wrongs, re-living our mistakes to learn and make it better again, and the ultimate beauty of second chances? 
 
So, I think I am learning and maybe even getting this.  Nothing and no one is really over and done with.  Nothing and no one is ever permanent.  The purpose of people from the past or anything from the past coming back is the gift of second chances.  It gives you a chance to say what you couldn’t say and do what you couldn’t do.  It makes you confront yourself and others.  If ever you are given the gift of a ‘do-over’ with the someone or something that you believed was over and done with then take it to make it better, to make yourself better, to make life better. 
 
Here is to second chances.   How often do we get to do-over what we believed to be over and done with?  How often do we get to re-write and re-do what was believed to be done?   How often do we get to make something right to someone that we originally made wrong and made a mistake that was certain could not be taken back? When we you revisited by the past so you could go forward in your future?  When were you given second chances in life with certain people or life experiences? 
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,
Mary

 
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