Sunday, October 31, 2010

Be Happy Make Happy

I started my own little campaign. It's called Be Happy Make Happy.


Because I have had to realize very quickly that people and events will make me sad and how I react to them will determine how I make others feel.

Little things have happened around me that caused a serious wave of anxiety, anger, betrayal, the list goes on.  Bottom line, intentionally or not, people have done things that to me seem unprofessional and lacking of good moral character.  My immediate response was to run and find them and ask them WHY did you lie, WHY did you betray my trust, WHY couldn't you extend me the professionalism and courtesy I deserve.  Thankfully I had too much to do, too many kids to entertain and I had to exercise self control.

After a good nights rest and reading several pages of inspirational quotes and stories my mind was once again at peace. 

I place a high moral value on the way people behave. I find it repellent to have a lot, and to behave with anything other than courtesy in the old sense of the word - politeness of the heart, a gentleness of the spirit."~ Fran Lebowitz
This was the first quote I found and it was the one that started the process of letting go.  Understanding in my own mind that while I expect people to be courteous it doesn't mean it's going to happen and I need to learn to let go.

My friend Lori later sent me this little quote in FaceBook:

Speak when you are angry--and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret.- Laurence J. Peter
This really hit closest to my heart because I was ready to send a typed message saying everything that was going through my head, in the end I did not and IT was the best decision I'll never regret.  Today, Sunday morning I woke up feeling refreshed and thinking only of how I could continue to bring happiness to the people in my life, the people that matter.  So I visited my friend Lance at the Jungle of Life and found this truly amazing quote:

"What you do for yourself – any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself – will affect how you experience your world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world. What you do for yourself you're doing for others, and what you do for others, you're doing for yourself." ~ Pema Chödrön
This message sums it all up for me.  Treating myself with civility, kindness, love, and honesty help me to do the same for everyone else.  No matter what you do or say or how I may feel in the moment, I will come back to you and I will treat you with courtesy and kindness.  I will accept you for who you are and in time, maybe, you will begin to see that I will not let your attitudes and behavior change mine.

I am happy, therefore, I will make others happy!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I believe I have a very forgiving heart.  I am able to be angry, forgive and then forget... in other words, I get over things very quickly, except maybe during PMS.  I think many of you can understand that.  Outside of that time frame when hormones are going crazy I believe I am a pretty even keel person.  I love people, I love to make people happy, I love to make people laugh, though I am not a comedian nor do I aspire to be one.  I believe that everyone has the potential be be good and do good.  However we have to choose those good deeds and behaviors for ourselves.

I live in what one would consider to be a tight knit community.  During my time of ignorance I loved the idea that everyone got along, everyone was nice and civil to each other, no one went around bashing anyone, and I truly believed with all my heart that the people here were special because even if they didn't exactly like someone, they would still try to be kind to them and share the same space and time in honor of peace, laughter and joy.

Well, that's not the case and my eyes have been opened.  People here are just like people everywhere else.  They can be catty, ignorant, rude, annoying, and inconsiderate.  The only difference is that here we only have "us" there is no other community, there is no other church, there are no other schools, gyms, grocery stores or ball fields. Here we will come in contact with each other.  Don't get me wrong.  If you take these individual groups and set them outside of the circle of people they don't like, they are a fun group. 

The problem here is that there is a huge break in the natural way of things.  For example, if I throw a party and invite everyone I know (a lot of people) some might not attend simply because the person or persons they don't like will be at the party.  That would probably not be a problem if it was just that one person.  However, that one person has a best friend and now the best friend wont go either because they want to support their friend, understandably so.  Before you know you have a group of people not socializing with me because I socialize with someone they don't like.  Surely by now you must see how this is sounding like High School.

Sometimes we get stuck on the things we don't like about people and fail to see how that person might be an asset in our lives, how they just might make a huge difference and even become a trusted source.  I believe it is extremely important to overcome the disagreements that generally happen among people and move on.  If I chose to disregard someone simply based first impressions or someone else's views of that person I would probably not have any friends and would likely be a very unhappy person making everyone else unhappy.

I choose to accept people for who they are, after all, I too have my quirks and expect others to accept me the way I am.

I choose to forgive and really FORGET because I hope that if apologize to someone, they will forgive me and not ignore me.

I choose to embrace every single person I meet and all that they bring to the table - some are chatty, some finish your sentences, some complain, some cry, some are always happy, some are sad, their beliefs and disbeliefs, their likes, dislikes and differences.  

I believe that in order for people to really be happy they need to be able to appreciate others as they are. They need to respect the opinions of others without prejudice.  Life would be so boring if we all agreed with each other.  

Many speak of the Golden Rule which is repeated in many different religious beliefs but mainly in Judaism, Islam and Christianity "Treat others as you would want to be treated." Then why is it there are so many people who can't even follow this rule?

There will be times when my heart will be broken, my trust will be tested, and my life will be changed and I know during these times I will feel like I need to get revenge, make someone pay, or retaliate in some way.  I also know that the feeling will pass and I will simply chose to learn from the situation.  I hope to continue to be who I am today, happy, forgiving, loving and trusting. Life is just too short to hold on to bad feelings.  I will forgive and I will forget! 


Monday, October 18, 2010

Blue Monday - The Caribbean Sea

"Glass Beach, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba"

I could not resist sharing this beautiful "blue" view of the Caribbean Sea. Truthfully, I wanted to just stand there and stare for hours because it is just breathtaking.

There are stairs that lead to the beach which is not visible in this shot. But it is here that we go to feel like we're in a resort with a private beach. It is here where we go to collect the prettiest sea glass and interesting pieces of what once was someone's china, not sure but it would be interesting to find out where some of these treasures came from.

Enjoy the view, I hope to come again soon with more blues... in the mean time, visit SmilingSally to see what other's are sharing.

Have a great week! Happy "blue" Monday!


Friday, October 15, 2010

When parents get old

My entire life I saw my parents as hard-core, indestructible people who can do anything, know everything, and will be around for ever. 

About 5 years ago a friend lost a parent.  He was about my dad's age and lived an active lifestyle.  She, too, thought he was invincible.  It was then that I let myself consider the fact that my parents will die and that I will have to deal with that.  It was then that I realized that I needed to learn to accept the facts of life in order to better cope with an inevitable future.

Since then I see each year as a gift.  While I don't get to see my parents often because of where I live in Cuba and where they live (Dominican Republic).  I know, seems traveling between the two places should not be an issue but it is. Any travel in and out of the island (the base) requires several people, signed papers and true planning in case the one flight going my way is cancelled.

My mom (actually she's my step-mom) has Alzheimer's disease, my dad has type 2 diabetes. She doesn't remember much and he has to take care of her. I know this has to be exhausting for him and she doesn't really remember much.  I feel useless.  What can I do from here? Even the Internet is pointless if I don't have some type of lead.  How do you find that trusting visiting maid or nurse to come over weekly? What if she needs specialized care or needs to live in a home? What can I do?

This is a source of stress for me.  I think about them daily, I call them often and I pray that somehow they will be OK.  For now they are doing fine.  I dread the day when I get a call telling me I have to travel due to family Emergency. 

I will continue to call, write, and visit when I can.  I just want them to know how much I love them.  I want them to be there for them and they know that I would if we could.

In my heart, my parents will always be undefeated!

XOXO Mami y Papi :-) Los quiero mucho.