Love Has Many Faces

Love isn’t limited to lovers. Lovers aren’t always in love. But everyone deserves to know someone loves them. Everyone deserves to be passionately desired at least once. And everyone deserves love bonded in friendship always.

For me, music is my favorite way to express love and/or passion.

Deana Carter does a great job of describing the unselfish love necessary to a lasting long termed relationship. The BDSM photo montage to depict it in this video? Sooo apropos.

And then there’s this one. Don’t mock; yes, it’s from Glee, but it’s an awesome sone of love, friendship, acceptance, and inclusion. And really, couldn’t we all use some of that these days?

And then there’s just that body and soul love and acceptance. John Legend sings it well here.

And Thomas Rhett, of course, does a pretty great job of showcasing what happy endings could look like.

What songs speak your love language & why?

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Make It Memorable; Love’s Many Faces

Valentine’s Day. The day for lovers, right? Romance, flowers, whatnot…

Yeah, maybe.

But that’s not my most memorable Valentine’s Day.

Don’t get me wrong, there were elements of those things in that day, but that’s not the BIG MOMENT.

My day?

It was supposed to be my day off, but I had to finish making a schedule (and hubby was working anyway) so I stopped in to work for a few hours. I didn’t stay long; was out by noon. No sooner had I left that my office was calling again. Turned out Edible Arrangements had been there and delivered a gift from my guy.

GREAT start to my Day, right? I headed home to start cooking hubby his favorite Filipino dishes…chicken adobo (adobong manok), fried rice, and broccoli.

Hubby walked in to a great smelling house and a hot, tasty meal… There were probably gifts, but I can’t remember now. What I do remember is that he loved the meal, that I went to bed early as I had an early work day & a 14 hour shift the next day….

Right about now you’re scratching your head and wondering what is so memorable, right?

Well, I hadn’t gotten there yet.

Sometime after 11 pm, hubby came in and woke me up. Said he was having pretty severe abdominal pain and wanted to make sure I was ok. Apparently, he was worried it might have been food poisoning except I’d been sleeping like a baby. So then he narrowed the pain to his lower right side.

Googling his symptoms, I realized it could be his appendix. He was scared, but also worried about me and work. So I talked him into going to the ER alone, making him promise to call me if it turned out to be anything serious. At about 1:30 am, I got the call. He sounded a little terrified.

Him: Lovey, they told me I have a necrotic appendix.

Me: Oh no!

Him: Can you come here? They told me I need surgery. I tried to ask if they could write me a prescription to slow it down in the meantime so I could call a doctor and schedule it.

Me: (choking back a chuckle) Yeah. Pretty sure that’s not gonna happen.

Him: Nope, but it was worth a shot. They told me they didn’t think I understood. The ambulance is on the way now to take me to surgery. Can you come, please?

Me: I’m on my way.

Him: I can’t believe you poisoned me for Valentines Day.

Me: I did not. And stop saying that or there may be people who believe you or at least start to wonder. I’m on my way.

And that’s how I found myself in the emergency room on the 15th, calling out from my job, calling friends to walk my dogs during the day, and headed for the hospital to be with my husband.

So, yeah, my most Memorable Moment had everything to do with the ‘For Better or Worse, In Sickness and in Health’ part of our vows. Those moments mean more than any random superficial stereotypes. And that he hadn’t lost his sense of humor, even through his fear and pain? That just shows I married a badass.

So tell me about your most memorable Valentine’s Day. Did it embody any part of the wedding vow? Or are you an non-believer, feeling this only lines Hallmark’s pockets with gold?

Power In A Name

Ever have someone ask you something and the first thing that comes to mind is…”that’s an epically bad idea?” That’s what happened to me this week, and it was all around names.

Who knew I could have such a visceral reaction to something so simple?

But it makes sense, right? I mean, names help to define who we are expected to be by the world as well as who we feel we can become, right?

And as writers, haven’t there been characters you’ve agonized over, trying to find just the right name to suit their appearance and their temperament?

So what name set me in such a tailspin it shoved me back onto my blog (which I’ve missed, by the way, and I’ll go into where I’ve been another day)? The name Judas. One of my sweet co-workers asked me what I thought of that name for a little boy.

I admit it. I was pretty horrified.

Me: Why would you do that to a child?

Her: What do you mean?

Me: Do you have any idea of the connotations behind that name?

(She gave me that confused head tilt thingie that all dogs have down pat when they hear strange noises)

Her: Huh?

Me: Dude, Judas betrayed Jesus and got him killed! For 30 pieces of silver.

Male Co-worker chimes in: I think it’s a cool name.

Her: (looks over at me) She’s right, though.

Guy: But who was Jesus back then? A nobody. Why should he have cared? It was for money.

Me: (gasping in shock) Uh…even if you think back then Jesus was a nobody (and I definitely had no plans of getting into a deep theological discussion with two kinds I suspected weren’t very versed in that subject or history), he was supposed to be one of his best friends. They were together non-stop for 3 years! And he betrayed that friendship for 30 pieces of silver.

Her: That’s true. They were best friends.

Me: And, he felt so shitty afterwards that he committed suicide. Why would you want to put all that on a kid? Don’t you know that even to this day, when someone calls someone Judas they’re calling the person a traitor? And that happened a long time ago.

I didn’t even go into how much more time had passed compared to Benedict Arnold’s and how the negative connotations never disappeared.

As I thought back on that chat I got to thinking about all the effed up names out there. And I’m not just talking some of the sillier ones celebs come up with like Apple, etc. I mean, a good friend of mine in healthcare was telling me that she’d seen several people come in and write this ‘La-a’ one admission paperwork for their little ones. Unsure how to pronounce, she asked and was told (with a look telling her they thought she was stupid) “It’s La-dash-a!”

Am I the only one not cool enough to know that the proper words for punctuation marks are now to be part of the name?

And what names do you feel give bad juju anyone with the misfortune of having it? Are there certain names you feel predestine people for questionable career choices? And are there ones you absolutely love? How did you get your name? I’d love to hear from you!

Stepping Outside the Box

We all have our comfort zones. I confess. I can be pretty bad. If I can’t win something, if I’m not good at it, I usually won’t participate. I’m competitive and I hate to lose. This is why I don’t do tennis and rarely do bowling. But, at least I know because I tried it.

But…

Trying something new is important. It’s exciting. It can be such a rush. Energizing. Envigorating.

Which is what I did this weekend. Although I can sing and write, I’ve always thought art was outside of my wheelhouse. And then, for one of my closest friends’ birthday, she decided to book a painting party at this place called Painting With a Twist.

Because we had a bigger group we got to use our own private room AND pick our painting. They supplied us with music, a teacher, smocks, easels, paints, and paint brushes. We got to bring our own wine and munchies.

The teacher walked us through the painting process step by step. This is my base. We were supposed to make the backdrop a streaky gray. My inner rebel came out & I added a touch of magenta to give it a bit of my personality.

  

As you can tell, I started to get really into the process….

Next step was coloring in the feather. Turns out I either don’t take direction well or I need to dance to the beat of my own drummer because whenever she’d tell us what color she wanted us to use next, I went with the opposite.

But, I think my feather turned out pretty well, and I was finding the process to be interesting and a challenge. I painted, chatted, and sang along to the music they had playing.

  
This particular creative process was never one I thought I’d be any good at, but I was doing pretty well…

And then came the dreaded birds. They almost did me in… Can you see how serious I got?   

In fact, our whole group got pretty hard core… Determined not to be done in by the birds. This time, I tried it the instructor’s way. It didn’t work for me. Until she helped me touch one of my birds up and I found my own way.

  
By the time I was done it felt like I’d really accomplished something. Something I never knew I could. And it felt good! 

  

Not bad for an amateur, huh? 

What I’m saying is that this was a great reminder of why it’s so important to try something new. Something outside of your comfort zone.

When was the last time you did something you’ve never tried before? What was it? Did you have fun?

Life Lessons in Losing and Loss

Steps

Losing and Loss. Both can teach such strong lessons. But what we learn is entirely up to us. How we choose to view these potentially defining moments.

For example, Derek Redmond, a runner in the Barcelona Olympics was supposed to be a shoe in to win the gold, but the unexpected happened….

Imagine training your whole life for this one moment, and then something like that. I remember the first time I saw this… I knew it was a hammy. I’m pretty sure he did, too.

But he also knew he had a choice. What would you have done?

What he did blew my mind and had me in tears, applauding his courage.

His father ran out to him. (Yeah, that was his dad…who, in today’s world would’ve probably landed himself in jail at the very least for interrupting a sporting event.) He asked him what he wanted to do. At that point, there would’ve been no shame in giving up. But he didn’t come to the Olympics to give up! He may not have won, but he finished. And he had his father, who held off all the officials who tried to stop him, and the crowd supporting him.

In my book, that choice he made in what had to be one of the most devastating moments of his life, made him a winner. And someone to look up to.

And when it comes to loss, we have choices, too. Nothing has brought that home, lately, quite the way the attacks on Paris have. And yet, through the fear and terror…people reached out. Despite the danger, people reached out via Twitter to let others who were stranded and with nowhere to go where they could find a safe place, an open door.

The rest of us watched in both horror and heartache, offering what comfort we could by letting Paris know, much like they’ve supported us through some of our hardest times in history, that our hearts and thoughts were with them. We put up pictures and banners on Facebook, hoping to let them know we stood by them.

There was courage and friendship and unity. In that moment, it was all about love and support…as it should have been. (Unfortunately, that didn’t last, but that’s all about hate and politics, which I choose not to give a foot hold on my blog.)

I think we were all praying this sort of prayer for those stranded…. (I thought it appropriate to select a song from Les Miserables).

And in honor of all our French friends and allies… How awesome that this scene in Casablanca was already there for them when we needed a reminder that freedom requires folks to stand up and protect it?

So that’s what’s been on my mind lately… What about you?

Celebrate Love

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Today is hubby and my anniversary, so I wanted to take a moment to share how utterly amazing it feels to have someone who loves and supports you and your dreams through thick and thin, good and bad, and the failures as well as successes.

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He waited patiently for me to be ready, and it took me years. He took the heat as the guy dragging his feet about getting to the altar when it was really me, not wanting to rush or make a mistake…because I will only marry once. Yes, I believe in happily ever after.

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I’m blessed with a guy who loves God, me, and the Dallas Cowboys.

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Someone with whom I can share my adventures.

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Who isn’t afraid to get up and dance..

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Who appreciates my brand of humor and my naughty mind…

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Who loves coming back to Chicago as much as I do…

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Yup! He’s my home, my soul mate, and my best friend….and he’ll be my life long adventure.

My wish for all of you today is that you all have or find someone who loves you unconditionally, flaws and all.

(BTW, in honor of our anniversary,  my book Three For All is only $.99. Click the link on the sidebar if you’re interested.)

W is for Wanton

Wanton

I’m not going to lie…. When I went looking for the literal translation of wanton, it bothered me. Why? Because I wasn’t thrilled with the way the archaic version of the word singled out women. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all cheers for anyone who is sexually immodest. Who embraces their bedroom beast. But considering how, historically speaking (especially in patriarchal societies), women have been oppressed into hiding that they even have a sex drive, to see my gender singled out… Grrr.

…And off my soapbox. Just to be clear, when I’m talking wanton, I’m being gender neutral. Mostly because I believe that overall life in general and sex in particular should be lived with wanton abandon.

Be wanton enough to chase your dreams, uninhibited by fear or judgment of others. Throw yourself feet first into your passion. No safety net.

Be wanton enough to explore your passions and desires. Share them with a lover. Don’t be afraid to try something at least once.

Be wanton with honestly sharing your feelings. Fear of rejection can destroy many wonderful life opportunities before they’ve even started. You’ll never know until you’re honest.

Love wantonly. It’s never a mistake, even if it isn’t always reciprocated.

Give yourself over to the life you deserve by pursuing it with raw, wanton passion.  And when those times come that it doesn’t work out? Learn from them so that the next adventure you wantonly chase is even bigger and better than the next!