Who’s ready to take the first step?

cafe con leche

My father used to say that intent wasn’t the same as getting things done.

Intentions are actions placed on pause; projections of what’s to come. They are not the same as those actions that are actually executed.

My lack of execution is all I could think about this morning.

You see friends, before I left home, I had every intention of publishing a post where I would inform you that I was on my way to Spain.

I had every intention of taking pictures of Roxy at the airport.

I had every intention of donning a disguise and setting off in search of Javier Bardem the minute I landed.

I had every intention of writing a whimsical post that would describe the hot Spanish sun and the blue-green hue of the Mediterranean Sea.

I had every intention.

But alas, such has not been the case.

On the day Roxy and I were supposed to fly, after waiting for more than five hours, we were informed that our flight had been canceled.

It appeared that the good French air traffic controllers had chosen that very day to go on strike.

Two days later, we again made the journey to the airport, and this time , while we were successful, we were surrounded by grumpy and irritated people who could only talk about the inconveniences they had sustained.

Perhaps it was the absorption of the negative energy that surrounded us or the cramped seat that did not allow for any leg room, what was responsible for putting me in a funk.

Yet the truth is that in a funk I have been for the past four days.

This morning, as I sat drinking my third cup of cafe con leche, patiently listening to my mother’s banter, I saw a man on the street below.

He must have been around 90 years of age.

He walked slowly but with purpose.
Carefully, he pushed his walker and dragged his left foot which desperately tried to keep pace with the one on the right. After taking only five steps, he stopped to wipe his brow with a handkerchief. He then paused for ten seconds before continuing on his way.

I watched him until he reached the end of the street.

Looking at the clock, I realized it had taken him twenty minutes to walk less than 200 yards.

A countless number of steps, 12 pauses, and three brow wipes later, he had made it to the end of the street.

As he turned the corner, I hung my head in shame.

Not merely intent, but execution, was what the elderly gent had accomplished on this warm Wednesday morning.

I was humbled.

Here I was, just four days into my vacation, sitting on the terrace complaining about my inability to walk the same way I had walked last summer.

Yes, I had every intention of attempting to regain my gait, of going from point A to B, yet here I sat, hosting my own pity party with only my mother in attendance.

Every great journey begins with the first step.

The old adage seemed to perfectly describe what the old man had started and I had yet to begin.

Feeling inspired, I donned a pair of old sneakers, my sunglasses, and a sun hat.

“Mamma,”I said, “grab your hat. Our search for Javier Bardem begins today!”

Pain be damned.

One way or another, one step at a time, I am determined to be reacquainted with my old self, to mimic the actions of the old man and reach the finish line.

I am determined to not allow excuses and self pity stand in the way of reaching my goal.

I smile to myself as I take the first step.

Do your actions stay at intent or do you get things done?

Reporting from sunny Spain,

How dare you snub me?

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When we last met, Roxy was chasing a pup into the cemetery...

The minute the Significant Other and I saw the man and his furry friend, we stopped in our tracks.

I heard the Significant Other mutter, “I just gave chase to this one and her cohort and I am in no condition to do another back breaking sprint.”

We tentatively took a few steps. I whispered to Roxy and pleaded with her to be nice.

The man and his furry friend came closer.
And closer.
Until they were a foot in front of us.

Roxy, in her usual modus operandi, leaned in close. This time, the other dog did not pull away. He lifted a paw and gave a sharp bark. Soon, the two were playfully running in circles.

No teeth were barred.
No growl was heard.
Just two furry friends who had connected instantly.

Watching the scene unfold, I was reminded of how many times we humans react similarly to Roxy.

The moment we feel we are not being appreciated, liked, or acknowledged, we become angry. We lash out. We say unkind words to the person who is making us to feel this way.

We are so busy feeling nursing our hurt pride, that we don’t realize what a huge waste of time it is to expend energy on something so trivial.

If only we took a minute to process the scene before us, we’d realize that the person who is ignoring us does not have the power to render us powerless.

If we took a moment to process our indignation, we’d realize we’re reacting this way because we are letting ego get in the way. We are taking things personally and allowing the actions of others to dictate how we feel. And in the process, we are allowing our insecurities to rise to the surface.

If we recognize that we have no control over how others act or feel, we’d realize that the only one we are responsible for is us.

Had Roxy chosen to ignore and walk past the dog that snubbed her, she wouldn’t have been involved in the gnarly dog chase that ensued; she wouldn’t have pursued someone who simply wasn’t interested.

Likewise, if we recognize that it’s not a given that everyone we meet will like us, we will spare ourselves a lot of angst and frustration.

If we are able to dismiss those who cannot appreciate all we have to offer, we will realize that only we are responsible for allowing others to make us feel bad about ourselves.

In taking back our power, we will discover that our sense of being does not have to be disrupted. Instead, it can remain tranquil, at peace, the way it’s supposed to be. We will realize we don’t have to spin out of control and lose our cool.

And like Roxy, we might discover that sooner or later, someone who is smart enough to truly appreciate us will come along.

Are you ready to take back your power?

Captures of the place where Roxy lost her cool.

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Thank you for being a friend!

There are many reasons why bloggers choose to blog.

Some do it because it’s a great way to practice writing skills.

Others do it because blogging can be a great creative outlet.

And some aspiring writers do it because it’s important for them to have both a blog and a regular readership.

Nevertheless, there are also some who do it because blogging is a great way to build friendships.

I am one of those people.

When I first started blogging, my readership consisted of the Daughter, who read every now and then and rarely commented, my sister, who read rarely but commented every time she read, and the Significant Other and the Son, who never read but were forced to listen to my posts as soon as I wrote them.

This quickly changed as more people began to read my blog.

As my readership grew, my family members seemed to disappear into the woodwork, never to be seen again.

You’d think this would make me sad, but it doesn’t.

I’ve come to realize that you can’t force people to do what you want them to do.

Actually, you could, but the results would not be pretty.

But I digress.

My point is that even while family members pulled a disappearing act, it didn’t matter.

Why?

Because I discovered that in other bloggers, not only did I have readers, but also friends.

Sadly, I have yet to meet any of the lovely people who take the time to read my posts, or leave a thoughtful comment.

Nevertheless, when I read a comment left by one of my readers, I feel like a dear friend has left me his or her thoughts.

With this in mind, I have something I want to say to you all.

I marvel at the encouragement and support your words inspire.

I get emotional whenever I read the lovely words you leave on the pages of this blog.

I sigh at the wisdom and intelligence exhibited by your remarks.

I giggle, chuckle, and laugh out loud as I read your funny comments.

Yes, we may not have met, but every one of you feels like an old friend.

Time after time, I have wondered what it would be like to host a party where you’re all invited; to sit down for a cup of tea or coffee; to laugh over a glass of vino.

I wonder what makes you laugh, smile, and cry.

I sigh as I realize that we are separated by many miles; every one of us living in a different city, a different country, a different continent.

I pondered this tonight as I lay out the items needed for tomorrow’s dinner.

And it occurred to me that today was the perfect time to express my feelings.

This post came together in a matter of minutes.

Because that’s what happens when you speak from the heart.

Tonight, I wish to express my gratitude.

I am grateful for your readership.
I am grateful that you take the time to comment.
But more than anything, I am grateful for your friendship.

Thank you!

To all those who celebrate Thanksgiving, Roxy and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

And to everyone else, Happy Thursday!

XOXO,

What does pretty smell like?


cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Eduardo Deboni

I accidentally dropped a bottle of my favorite perfume today.

As I heard the sound of shattering glass, my muscles clenched.

I quickly closed my eyes not wanting to witness the remains of what used to be a lovely, elegant bottle with a pink stopper.

I heard the Son ask if everything was okay.

I shouted back that it was but nothing was further from the truth.

I was filled with regret.

Why hadn’t I been more careful when opening the closet door?

Why hadn’t I returned the bottle to its rightful place the last time I used it?

Why did I insist on not wearing my glasses when I couldn’t see a foot in front of me?

As I spyed the perfume seeping under the nightstand, I became angry with myself.

I had bought the funky strawberry scent this past summer in Spain.

The inner child in me had been drawn to its fruity notes.

I cursed my carelessness and quickly made my way to the laundry room to grab the mop.

Walking back, I noticed a delicious scent hung in the air.

Entering the bedroom, I realized it smelled “pretty.”

As I stooped down to pick up the shards of glass, I felt the fragrance enveloping me.

Not stopping to dwell on the fact that I couldn’t remember the last time I had mopped the hardwood floor, I placed the mop in the puddle of perfume and started mopping.

Left to right, up and down, the smell of strawberries and cream filled every corner of the room.

Drawn by the scent, Roxy sauntered up to the doorway and curiously peered in.

Meanwhile, I stood in the center of the room and twirled.

Slowly at first and then faster.

Strawberries and cream swirled around me in a giant spiral.

I smiled as I realized that my earlier mishap had allowed me to discover what “pretty” smelled like.

The sound of the Significant Other’s deep voice interrupted my impromptu dance.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m twirling to the scent of pretty. Can’t you see?”

Grabbing Roxy, he said, “And is Roxy an eyewitness to your madness or an accomplice to whatever’s going on here?”

I replied, “I want to think a little of both.”

When was the last time you got whiff of pretty?