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Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh, the Insanity!

Arms braced on the dash, my 17-year-old son turns to me with terror and bewilderment.  I know this not because I am looking at him but because his gaze is burning holes into my heart. Guilt and shame rise in me like steam in a pressure cooker.  I have just slammed into a snow bank after driving way too fast down a windy mountain road covered in snow and black ice.  I groan as the layers of foolishness flash through my thoughts and I hang my head low.

I accepted long ago my level of insanity, which is not to say I believe myself more unbalanced than my neighbor, but a little crazy nevertheless. Perhaps I should back up a moment and define insanity as I depict it here:   to knowingly and willingly do harmful or destructive things to myself or others.  Why do I make these ridiculously idiotic choices? To avoid a long psychological thesis, I will simply conclude it is part of my human condition.

Here are some observations from a single day in the life of me:

1.     Eating candy which has a momentary pleasure, but is followed immediately by muscle swelling and joint pain
2.     Cooking dinner, balancing my checkbooks, talking to a contractor, riding a stick horse and packing lunches simultaneously and all within 30 minutes
3.     Attempting to control my children’s behavior by losing my patience and screaming profanities
4.     Getting angry about choices someone else makes that do not affect me directly
5.      Not communicating needs with my husband and hoping he will “see the light” and change

What the Fox Says?!  Hello? I know things will only end badly.

In taking my own inventory, (I believe to be good and healthy while taking others - totally insane) I observe my lunacy and in that moment a light flicks on in the factory of my mind and the little plastic thingy that holds my six pack together is secured.  With little effort, I can hold all the important things together without loosing my mind. I give myself a mental hug realizing I am just fine and so is everybody else.  Tomorrow I will wake up, partake of the madness and try to remember never to take life too seriously.


Have a great day everybody!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

God Bless America
It’s Not Just for Patriots…Anymore


“WHAT THE FOX SAYS?!!”


Title and lyrics to the incredibly irritating song by Ylvis?, I only wish. This colorful outcry comes out of the mouth of my pretty sweet and not so innocent daughter of four.  I often wonder the fate of my little girl surrounded by three teenage brothers and two over zealous parents in her formative years.  No, this is Alaya’s creative use of profanity.

When I was a young mother of my three boys, I believed it was my job to raise good boys in a bad world; I protected their eyes and ears from all things I deemed inappropriate.  My heros - the Proverbs 31* woman and June Cleaver, so it came as quite a shock when I heard my 3 year old youngest son belt out, “JACKASS!” from the other room.  I did not know whether to laugh hysterically or wash his mouth out with soap.  Unfortunately, I chose the former and fought his abbreviated use of the word for two years, the inventive little “Jack”.

Beginning with my divorce over 8 years ago, I embraced the use of an uninspired, yet powerful vocabulary. Bottled up emotions erupted like volcanoes spewing fire and lava onto anyone and everyone within range. It felt a bit like a cleansing - rather unpleasant and destructive, but out nonetheless. Since then, I have sought better methods of dealing with stress and powerful emotions.

At least one morning a week I perform Yoga by Hemalayaa; I release tensions by making loud animal sounds and flapping my arms like an enchanted tree.  My boys are sure there is something very wrong with me and struggled to manage their own embarrassment. J

Another philosophical technique is to observe the behavior without judgment.  For instance, Laido and I were driving in the Rocky Mountains on a weekend get-a-way without the children this past fall.  As we drove the snowy mountain roads, we were suddenly overtaken by Tourette’s Syndrome.  Every four letter, rotten, disgusting and inappropriate word burst forth from deep inside our guts…then we looked up more in the Urban Dictionary.  We yelled our profanities out the open windows while tiny snowflakes melted into tears of laughter rolling back into our frosted hair. True story, except for the hair part with Laido, he has none.

Lastly, in an effort to bring more positive, loving words to my profuse list of profanity, I have adopted my husband’s unique brand of releasing frustration; so next time I lock my keys in the car or smack my elbow on a wall corner while vacuuming, you may now hear, “GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

Love & light to you all now and always,
Jody



*From the Book of Proverbs in the Bible

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Forty:
A term used to express poor ability in aspects such as balance or speed or agility in the real world… ud (Urban Dictionary)

My life is coming to an end. My days are indeed numbered.  In fact, I will have breathed 14,600 days (that is approximately 252,288,021 inhalations – yes, I am counting) on February 5 of this year.  It all seems so slow.  It has taken me forever, well 40 years, to get here and now the media tells me I will begin to slow down and my mind and body will not be as sharp? My teenage children question my mental acuity, methods and even my physical strength.  I suppose I should listen as they are blessed with a higher, all knowing power in this precious decade of omniscience; still I have not embraced the idea that I am slowing down in any way or that my body has begun to make irreversible changes without my permission.  What is with my aching joints and two day hangovers after a little wine?  Balance, especially mental balance, I see; my brain and emotions fly all over the map at any given moment, but I am not entitled to a little insanity after living 40 years on this crazy planet?  Plus, it’s fun.

Today I had a colorful conversation with Gary at the Whole Food’s Bakery near where I live; we commiserated about raising teenage boys.  He told me he did not swear at his children. I thought, you poor man, how else do they hear you unless you speak their language? The deer in the headlights look immediately shifts to shocked disbelief, then total clarity when I throw a few bombs into the conversation.  Of course, this no longer works for me because I over did it…just a bit; must be that balance thing again.  The beautiful thing about 40 is I do not care about the judgments of store staff – now just give me a screaming toddler – I’ll fix ‘em.

I have long anticipated this milestone birthday, not unlike my 4 year old who dreams of ponies and Santa arriving to help her celebrate her special day. If only the world would revolve around me like it does for my daughter for five minutes.  I imagined myself financially secure, knowledgeable, patient and ready to begin the rest of my life. My life is not how I envisioned it, not even close, yet I have to say it is good – really good. The skeletons in the closets removed while the stories and memories, both positive and negative, collect on the shelves.  Spills and clutter of daily life cover my floor, but now, more often than not, I lovingly accept. I understand the mess as part of the dirt in the garden of my life – entirely necessary and good.

At 40, I am no longer Grody Jody. The child in me still exists, but now I have options.  I can scream, cry, be sensitive, understanding, wise or throw things at any given moment. I find it a bit strange, but friends, family, clients, random people in stores have always called me Kiddo.  Most bear no relation to one another, it is just the name I am given.  Fortunately, I find it endearing.  I wonder how long I will hold the name after 40?
 
Memories pop into my mind like popcorn in the movie of my life, but as I watch the show, the person in the film is no longer me; certainly part of me, but mature and complex like a good Scotch Whiskey. The best thing about being 40 is as my youth passes away, I feel like I get to start over again only this time, I have a secret decoder ring and super powers I lacked as a kid.  Now I am unstoppable! By the way, has anyone ever see the movie, The Incredibles?  The mom’s super powers of elasticity is totally awesome.  Who thought of that?  Probably someone over 40.

In my dreams, I am a super writer. Contemplating what I want to say is interesting, but how I want to say it is infinitely more amusing. In a moment of temporary brilliance, or perhaps weirdness, I discovered the perfect idea:  Funny + Profound = PROFANITY.  Look for it in the next blog post in 2 weeks.

Have a great week and visit me again soon.

Jody


p.s. Gary just left for the day from Whole Foods where I am writing.  He knows my name.  Guess what he said? Good Night Kiddo. Must be on my forehead.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Go With The Flow

We just completed our first farmer’s markets for Kuzala Gluten Free Delectables - it was a smashing success.  It was great to be outside, meeting people, sharing our products and stories with other vendors. I met a self published children’s book author who had fantastic books with imaginative illustrations.  I find it interesting to hear the journey of another writer.  His booth did well and had a steady flow of customers all day.  I am encouraged by his success and look forward to my own in the coming years.

Saturday night after our first market, I snuggled up in bed to watch a “chic flick”.  I have to admit, I really did not enjoy the movie, but I was able to look at the film in a way I never have before.  I marked the scenes from beginning to end; the rise in action, the conflict, the transition.  It became clear how to transfer this to my novel in a new way.  To know it in my brain is one thing, but to make the connection to my writing is another.  Without effort, clarity in something I love became apparent.

My writing, business, family, relationships, etc. work in a similar way.  Removing resistance patterns produces harmony which promotes creativity.  I am constantly amazed by the synchronicity I experience on a daily basis.  My days plans are completely altered making way for new opportunities I had not seen before.  When I “go with the flow” I loose less energy on being frustrated and the day unfolds as it will.

I have experienced moments of resistance with our new business because I know that much of my life has to be consumed with its birth and growth.  My “free” time is minimal - reading and writing are a great privilege not assumed.  However, I find I enjoy this venture and I do have the wit, energy and perseverance to make it succeed.  It is what I do now and when this moment is over, the next one flows into itself with perfect unfoldment. 

Thank you for sharing my journey.  I love your comments and the community we share.


ps  Please send me your opinions on new biscotti flavors:
     a. chocolate, cranberry, pecan
     b. orange spice
     c.  bananna walnut

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Obstables

Do you ever notice life seems to fly out of control at the worst possible times?  I am not sure this is entirely true, but it sure seems that way.  This week I should be preparing for my first 2 farmer’s markets - baking away and gathering the last minute items I need for a successful sale.  This weekend is important.  We need to make our first sales and start generating income, but low and behold, a major challenge is hindering my progress.

With a baby whom is sick and contagious with a nasty virus, life as I know it has come to a near halt.  After canceling most events of the week and baking late at night or early in the morning, I press on.

I promised myself if I ran into major obstacles with this business, I would stop, breathe and find the way around, over or through the obstruction.  My mind and emotions wage war against one another.  My mind and experience know it will all be okay, but my stomach gurgles, my body retaliates with physical manifestations of my stress and I want to run and cry! 

I stop.  I breathe in love. I breathe out love.  Everything is okay.  I have help, support and an ingenious mind.  I will overcome.

 Monday morning money stress hit like a tidal wave and the fear Kuzala may not be as successful as I have envisioned took root, but with Alaya’s sickness, the toxic thoughts disappeared.  Even this early in the week, I know I am not alone and of course we will succeed in this venture.  When I keep my priorities in order, all will find a place and the “to do’s” that don’t may not have been as important as I once thought.  Optimistic - no, experience has proven it.

May you see the challenges in your life as a way to lift you higher in every way.

Love & light,
Jody

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Optimism

Optimism: The doctrine, or belief, that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong.
        
Ambrose Bierce
Kyler's Optimism - I'm Awesome, why don't you get it?
I got a good chuckle when I read this quote on my Google Home Page.  I am an optimist and to keep myself from wallowing in the mire, I am sure I have tried to think this way just to keep from falling into the pit of pessimism.  “Good” things come with great trials, frustrations and lessons and it takes a positive attitude to keep moving through them.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Looking back on the events of my life, I can truly say it was all good and for my growth and upliftment, but in the midst of the struggle, it just plain stinks and I can not wait to be free from its hold.

Kegan's 16 Year Old Optimism - My teachers are out to ruin my life!
I’ll use marriage as a perfect example.  When I met my husband and we began dating, our relationship was flowery and giddy.  He appeared to be the answer to all my prayers and no matter the obstacle, we would overcome.  We were strong, optimistic and crazy in love.  (Yes, I do fully mean insane - for the mind cannot think clearly with the biological forces at work in a fresh, new relationship.)  As we faced the challenges of family, finances, personality traits, leftover baggage from the past, all the schmaltzy love disappeared.  Like sandpaper on weathered wood, we scraped against one another with painful realities of the truth of our nature.  I just wanted to get away from the situation; it seemed to be a disaster.  As we accepted the fact we were stuck together because there was no escape, we began to work together, forgive and listen.  The rough, splintered boards have transformed into a work of art.  Not to say the work is done, but the renovation on us was well worth the effort and I am a better person for forging on and I believe my husband is as well.

Perhaps the trails in my life really are all good though they may have been caused by my own foolish choices, the final result is something quite beautiful to behold.  I remember the common, yet wise cliché, “This too shall pass” because it will and I have the opportunity to grow from it if I choose.

Let me know if you can relate or if you disagree.  I love reading your comments, for they too smooth my rough edges.

Jody

Monday, April 9, 2012

Do Something

Don’t Just Sit There, DO Something!
Or it is
Don’t Just Do Something, SIT there! 
mansanity.com
Finding the balance in life is no small task; it’s a constant challenge for me.  In December, I began working with a book/class called The Artist Way by Julia Cameron.  It is a spectacular resource for opening up your creative self.  I found it to be helpful not only in writing, but in basic problem solving as well.

It’s one thing in life to be a dreamer and another to be a doer.  I believe the perfect balance is a blending of the two.  I can visualize my goals with precision, but getting there is my enigma.  How do I balance my creative imagination with physical results?  Do I follow my heart and write when our finances really do not allow for this luxury?  Do I return to what I have done for years in the construction/cleaning business and hope the time for writing will come?  Neither one works for me.  I can not effectively survive without “X” amount of dollars and trust me I have tried and cut every expenditure imaginable.  Yet, I would betray my heart if I returned to a job I no longer wanted to do nor am physically able to do.
Kegan with the same dilema!
I woke up one morning a few months ago at 3 am with a business plan in my head.  Could this be the answer?  After much research and advice, I am moving on the venture with the hopes of meeting my financial needs in a positive way which will eventually allow me to write.  I am excited to introduce to you a healthy, innovative, environmentally responsible company, Kuzala Gluten Free Delectables.  I am privileged to be partnering not only with my immediate family, but my brother Jeremy, my parents and friends to make this company a success.

 

Kuzala opens for business at the end of April and will bring low glycemic, naturally sweetened, gluten free products to Denver and the surrounding area. 

Putting trust in myself to make this endeavor a success has been a task all its own.  Gently refining and balancing the priorities of my spiritual and physical life will prove to be prosperous either way.
Shared journey’s make light the way.  I’d love to hear from you about venturing into the unknown.

Love & light,
Jody