March 19, 2011

Bitterness or Joy

Posted in Identity at 10:27 am by Julia Garcia

As I settle into middle age, I find myself observing others in my generation and wonder if bitterness comes with age.  I find that I am complaining much more…about everything!  I feel bitter and angry and I see others who respond to life in the same manner and I have to ask…what happened?  Did many dreams of yesteryear shatter, thus creating indifference and bitterness towards the here and now?

I wonder if bitterness comes more out of giving up and stopping our progress forward in life.  I have been sidetracked from my life goals, but my hopes and dreams remain intact and somehow I always refocus my direction.  A path that swerves is not always a bad thing.  If I remain flexible and accept change, more doors open for me.  Granted, the direction that I originally followed has taken me longer due to the swerves, bumps, hills, and mountains I have encountered, but I have become a richer person for it.  I would have missed some of my enriching experiences if I was not sidetracked.

I have come to a realization that my complaining, regret, and bitterness are a direct result of self-talk.  You know the talk:  I am getting too old, my kids will be grown up before I have a chance to give them opportunities that many children have, my brain works too slow, I am tired and I do not feel well.  My self-talk has turned into a big pity party and it stops me in my path.  I am the one who stops me and no one else does.  I am the one who can change my opinions about my capabilities.  

So does this thought answer my question about bitterness or joy as we age?  My life has been very interesting for the past few years, true.  The way I view my experiences are up to me, and I believe that I have viewed them in a very negative way; thus, creating bitterness.  Does this create bitterness in others my age?  Perhaps, but what I do know is my own experience. So my thought is this; always remember that it is never too late to realize your dreams, never give up, be flexible, talk kind to yourself, and as you move forward, remember your progress so far and never stop.

March 11, 2008

Popcorn

Posted in Family & Friends at 8:40 am by Julia Garcia

My eleven-year-old neighbor was over to my house playing with the kids on one of those  cold, snowy days last week.  I was preparing to make popcorn as he stood by and watched.  He told me that he always eats microwave popcorn.  I smiled as I told him that I chose not to own a microwave and I like to make popcorn the “old fashioned” way.  He asked me if it’s microwave popcorn that I dump in the pan.  I looked at him in confusion and hesitantly said no.  He said he’s never seen popcorn any other way.  I gave him an incredulous look as I said that the popcorn comes in a plastic container.  Wow, I thought, the art of popping popcorn is disappearing.  Okay, I will educate this young mind much in the same way my father educated me. 

Many nights, during my childhood, my father popped popcorn…the old-fashioned way.  It always gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling to hear the popcorn pop and the shake of the pot as dad kept the kernals on even heat.  He dumped it in a yellow basin and we migrated to the living room to watch a t.v. show or talk about our day as we munched on the fresh, hot, salty popcorn.  Mmmm…good memories.

As for the neighbor kid, I did not regale him with my childhood story, but I took great pleasure in passing my knowledge down to this child.  I have hopes that he will carry the art with him and keep it alive.  Probably not, but I can hope.

The Beach

Posted in Family & Friends at 8:39 am by Julia Garcia

We went to the beach today.  The sky was overcast with gloom but looked as if the sun was straining to appear through the weakened space of gray.  Elizabeth pointed to subtle strips of color in the sky above the water…pink, purple, blue.  She thought it was a rainbow.  The beach was under a yellow flag but looking out over the calm waters, I wondered why.  I found the answer as I approached the beach and observed the waves crest at waters edge to an amazing height.  My children squeeled with anticipation as they sped across the sand and into the water.  In a matter of seconds, they scrambled back on land as the next wave leapt up behind them.  It was cold!

The day was fun regardless of the cool temp, wind and lack of sunshine.  We older children felt as if our toes were frostbitten but the younger ones remained warm with high levels of excited energy.  Samuel challenged the waves with his boogie board.  Sara wanted to be buried in the sand and Elizabeth was more than happy to oblige her.  I experienced pure joy as I watched my children, with chattering teeth; engage with nature and each other.  While I taunted the seagulls with my potato chips, I smiled…as I realized…I’m living a perfect day.

Play

Posted in Family & Friends at 8:38 am by Julia Garcia

I took my children to the park today, but instead of sitting on the bench watching everyone interact, I decided to participate.  I yelled, “Follow the leader!” and observed my children scramble into a line.  I took the end position, determined to keep up and not be left behind in their dust.  When my turn came up, I smiled wickedly at the kids and said, “Now let’s see if everyone can keep up with me!”  I turned back around and ran.  I grabbed a pole and swung my agile body around it (okay, I tried).  I ran up a slide and down another.  I sped up a hill, plopped my butt down and rolled.  Yes, my ten-year-old soul and my forty-one-year old body were rolling down the slope at warp speed.  I heard screaming and laughing (not coming from me) as I came to a dusty stop.   I immediately jumped up.  Foolish, foolish girl!  I have never been so dizzy in my life!  Oh yeah, and nauseas.  When will I ever learn to act my age?  Okay…never.  

As I take stock of my scruffed elbows and knees and my aches and pains that weren’t there before the infamous roll, I wonder—was it worth it?  A resounding “yes!” would be my answer, and I would do it again in a heartbeat with no attention paid to my achy body.  Live in the present.  Love, laugh and enjoy life to the fullest.

Choice

Posted in Identity, Uncategorized at 8:36 am by Julia Garcia

Life is difficult.  I find that I can conform to expectations placed on me, or I can resist and forge my own path.  Either way, it is my choice.  Being one’s own person takes courage and strength but the outcome can open doors of unexpected opportunities in career, family and life.  We are always learning.  We are always changing.  When learning and changing stop, so do we.   

Respect

Posted in tolerance, Uncategorized at 8:28 am by Julia Garcia

 

One of the best moments spent talking with friends are the thoughts that deep conversation provoke.  Respect is a lost art, or it has never been an art that has been considered relevant.  This action is valued in my household as I believe while we respect one another, all else will fall into place:  love, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, joy, empathy.  I believe that respect plays hand in hand with these other actions and feelings.  I feel that those who show respect from deep within their being are the ones who know true happiness; the ones who will go far on their life’s journey.  This thought is one that presents itself at crucial moments of my life.  It is a thought that I frequently need to remember; an effort that I continually need to work on and put forth.

December 2, 2006

Less is More

Posted in Family & Friends at 1:35 pm by Julia Garcia

It was good that I read an article in my magazine, Yoga Journal, about simplifying life.  Life gets so hectic and stressful with the idea that material things are necessary for a good life.  Now that the Christmas season has started, we are being bombarded with media pushing for consumer spending.  It is hard to resist the message from advertisements showing an idealistic Christmas with the implication that love and gifts are synonymous.

My childhood memories of Christmas are not of the gifts that I received; in fact, there are very few gifts that I can even remember.  What I do remember is family time and activities centered around the Christmas season: handmade ornaments,  decorating Christmas cookies, handmade gifts, carroling, candlelight services.  These memories give me the warm, fuzzy feelings of love.  

The reminder to simplify my life comes at a perfect time.  I will simplify my Christmas season by maintaining those old family traditions of Christmas for my own family and perhaps creating new traditions.     

November 14, 2006

Tolerance

Posted in feminism at 11:47 am by Julia Garcia

Two weeks ago, my family and I attended a candlelight vigil for victims of hate crimes.  The vigil encompassed all oppressed groups who have endured hate because of difference.  Creating change with love and tolerance for humanity is easier when it comes from the beginning–through our children.  I hope to plant the seeds of respect and compassion in future generations starting with my own family. 

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reiterate how thankful we are for difference, and the gifts each individual can bring to this world through our gender, race, and religion.  I smile when I think of all I have learned from others who are not like me.

The following link is about teaching children tolerance.  It touches on the benefits of tolerance individually and as a society.  

http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/tolerance.html

November 4, 2006

My sense of family

Posted in Family & Friends at 10:45 am by Julia Garcia

During the past few years, I have learned to be true to myself so that I may grow and become the woman that I know I’m meant to be.  While I have been evolving, I realize that my sense of family has always been off kilter.  My loyalties were for blood relatives and never for myself.  I have learned that blood is not thicker than water and vice versus.  If I spend time with an individual and they leave me with a sense of emptiness or exhaustion, then I know that person is not right for me.  Distancing myself from these people, whether they are family or friends, has left me to create my own sense of family.  One that is filled with loving, respectful individuals who add joy to my life. 

This discovery that I can choose my own family has given me a sense of freedom.   True friends with pure hearts may be difficult to find, but when you do, what a blessing it is to have them share in your life experiences.  I have discovered the blog of  “Grace” who shares her insights regarding family.  Her words are wise and her site is intriguing.  Please visit her at:

www.gud2.wordpress.com

October 28, 2006

Holiday Stress

Posted in Family & Friends at 4:20 pm by Julia Garcia

I received an e-mail from a family member reminding us that the holidays are near.  It’s time to gather together and share conversation, laughter and love.  Yeah…right.  I felt the muscles in my neck tighten as I worked my way to the end of the e-mail.  Holidays can be stressful, but when you throw in family the holidays are near intolerable.  There are tips on how to stumble through the rough spots a little more smoothly such as breathing techniques and learning the word “no”.  Check out some tips at  http://md.essortment.com/stressholidayt_rkpq.htm

Usually I keep in mind that what I believe is the true nature of Christmas is time spent with loved ones.  I do have to keep that primary thought in the forefront of my mind though, or it will be easily lost in the midst of commercialism, Christmas decor, Christmas cards—am I the only one who questions who should get one this year, and who I can drop from my list?  That goes for gifts too.  Happy Holidays.

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