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Ten Things Thursday…

Yup, today is #TBT a.k.a “Throwback Thursday” as we’ve come to know it where we travel down memory lane via pics of our past selves, often embarrassing yet comical pictures of who we were when…..!

sarcastic smirkInstead of posting pics of days past I thought I’d do a “Ten Things Thursday” especially since it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything (I SWEAR I am working on doing better).  PAUSE.

I’ve actually had plenty thoughts about things I wanted to get off my chest or put to paper just to rid myself of the idle chatter in my head but then somehow I get distracted and just like that blogging becomes a distant thought.  (This too I’m working on).

So back to this “Ten Things Thursday” which I am committed and dedicated to doing and perhaps enough to even make a regular thing which could be a GREAT way to up my blogging. (One step/thought at a time [note to self]).

Back to my current situation…….

10 things

 

1.  I wonder sometimes how social media would’ve changed my childhood.  We played outside, actually had to work in school (no internet to easily look things up), had to have real interaction with others, etc.

2.  Do shorter work weeks often feel like really loooong work weeks?

3.  Remember when only a certain type of woman drank stiff cocktails….now seems like EVERYONE drinks!

4.  Does anyone else want to see “The Fault in Our Stars” or am I the only one?

5.  In life, sometimes the RIGHT thing and the HARDEST thing are the SAME thing.  <—let that marinade.

6.  Social media is both a blessing and the devil, moreso the devil because of those who taint it and use it for bad.

7.  Remember when “baby daddy” was not an acceptable term nor mainstream?

8.  As a dear friend of mine would say, “an empty wagon makes a lot of noise” to which I often wonder why do people who are really empty, insecure, etc. always have so much to say.

9.  Why do people (of a particular age, 30+) still make excuses for their lives, for what did or didn’t happen vs taking the present by the reigns in order to make changes in the future.  We all have a past; we all have to face life (some with more challenges than others yes but still) so why not use the numerous resources available to do differently.

10.  Finally, my current thought while paying homage to the dearly departed Maya Angelou (may God rest her soul):  “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

nothing will work_maya angelou

 

That is all!

Welcome to Bali…..my Birthday Experience!

It’s Sunday, January 5th and our journey to Bali began with our flight from LAX to the Asian hub in Taipei, Taiwan…a mere 10+ hour flight followed by the 6 hour flight to Bali from Taipei! This would be the first of about 7 flights for me during this journey for my 40th birthday.

The Arrival – Day 1 (January 7th)

As Bali is 16 hours ahead of LAX (our departure location), we left on Sunday and arrived on Tuesday, January 7th local time.  First, was the shock as we emerged from a long line in customs to what felt like 900 smoldering degrees outside.  There were a sea of drivers with cards of names in which I was trying my best to search through for my own name.  I was slightly overwhelmed to say the least but eventually found the driver with my name.  After telling the 2 drivers that it would just be us vs the 6+ that were anticipated, we piled into the air conditioned vehicle ready to start our adventure.

First thing we noticed were all the scooters, motorbikes on the road not to mention the driving being totally opposite of that in the Western world.  Our driver – Gusti took us to a little restaurant enroute to our villa which was our first intro to Bali.

The Villa

So when I first started planning and even before I chose Bali, I knew that I wanted to rent a villa just to add to this once in a lifetime experience and intro to 40.  Let me say, this villa did NOT disappoint!  It was just what I envisioned and then some.  It would have been the perfect accommodation for the larger group that originally planned to partake in this journey.  It was a 3000+ sq ft 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom, living room, kitchen, private pool villa in South Kuta, Bali (Indonesia).  The pictures really don’t do it justice as you would probably think it’s the entire property but really it’s an individual villa (#104 was our Villa #), spacious and uber private.

Before the trip I came across the spa packages, all of which were to DIE for which included a 6-day Body Purification that was the equivalent to the cost of 1 spa treatment here in the US.  Of course I had to snag that for us as my way of saying thanks….and it was pure HEAVEN each and every day.  By the 3rd day though it was just too much so we opted not to do our 2 sessions that day as we were (believe it or not) “massaged-out” lol!  Did I tell you the showers were outside?  It was the most liberating thing EVER….once I got past the idea of bugs and snakes trying to snack on my nekkedness lol!

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In and around Bali

So I left the schedule kinda open to ensure I didn’t wear myself out which I tend to do alot when I travel, however I did have a few things in mind that I either wanted to do or see to include both a temple or 2 and riding the elephants – both of which we were able to accomplish.  The first couple days were more or less just exploring and figuring things out.  The only constant was probably our appetite and my cocktail intake which after all it was a Sselebration lol!  We were ready to eat even before we finished the meal we were eating which made us crack up each and every time. Because the language was totally foreign to us, we also found comedy in randomly calling out food when someone spoke in their native tongue…..then again we were always talking bout, looking for, ordering, and partaking in food.  Indonesian food put you in mind of Thai cuisines, lots of rices and spices.  The local beer and alcohol was “Bintang” and “Arak” respectfully however I traveled with my own favorite – “Ciroc” peach and regular lol!

Transportation was interesting and thankfully the villa provided a driver which was really convenient for us not to mention he was soooo friendly and cool!  Given the 200+ million people in Indonesia and 4 + million in Bali alone, it’s no wonder that the major transportation method was scooters/motorbikes and they were EVERYWHERE!  I believe I died every time we went somewhere because these bikes were all over the road with babies, 2 and 3 people on one, helmets no helmets, dodging in between cars etc.  I just had to close my eyes a few times while saying “I’m bout to die” which of course didn’t happen lol!

All in all I’d say we did what we wanted, played tourist, relaxed, ate, turned up a little, and over all had a fantastic time.

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My birthday – January 9th

So the day finally arrived and I can’t tell you how excited I was especially knowing that I would technically welcome it twice – once Bali time then 13 hours later EST time.  We started the day thinking we’d ride Elephants at the Bali Zoo but was told the weather was a little questionable so we decided to nix that.  Instead we decided to go to one of the beach clubs to lounge on the beach, kick back some cocktails and party before visiting one of the temples, the Kecak Dance, and finally dinner in Jimbaran Bay.

As with the preceding days we started off with our massage IN our villa vs the spa itself just to change things up and as usual it was the cat’s meow!  Creole Queen had to run out so I went to the restaurant to partake in a cocktail and this seafood chowder I absolutely fell in love with.  As I was preparing to leave Creole Queen was returning so we went to the front desk to arrange our afternoon program.  To my surprise the staff at Mahagiri Dreamland Spa and Villas prepared a birthday presentation for me with a cake, floral arrangement, and Balinese song from the entire staff.  I was totally moved and honored.  Afterwards we had our driver take us to Karma Beach.  This was absolutely beautiful but all the loungers were already taken and we didn’t want to sit directly out in the sun so we asked our driver for another beach which lead us to Tanjung Beach (I believe it was) where we rode jet skis and I did fly fishing.  I wanted to go parasailing but the winds were too high so I was advised against it.  No matter because fly fishing was exhilarating and a little scary but I was all in.  This consisted of me lying on my back on this raft thing while being pulled out into the Indian Ocean until I appeared as a dot from the shore.  Before I knew it the guy says, “are you ready” to which I say “hell yeah” and we take off.  Next thing I know I see the ocean moving further away from me as I am elevated what feels like 30 feet into the air.  OMG this was craaaaazy fun!  After we finally made it back to the shore I hopped on the jet ski which was a total thrill ride.  I think I nearly lost my bikini bottom in the process.

After returning to the villa to freshen up, we once again hopped in the car with our driver and headed to the Uluwatu Temple where we experienced the Kecak Dance on the cliff.  Once it was over and we exited we were wandering around looking for Gusti, our driver, only to stumble upon the local monkeys walking around freely.  Earlier leaving the temple, a couple of the monkeys grabbed the sunglasses of some local Australian tourist and scurried off.  My scary ass was frightened to death at the site of these animals just walking around freely.  Gusti appeared just in time.  We then headed to Jimbaran Bay for my birthday dinner on the beach which was absolutely amazing!  We literally picked our seafood and how it was to be prepared before it was presented to our table.  Needless to say after all of these festivities and the start of my lingering cough, we headed back to the villa to shut it down for the eve.

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Final days (January 10th – 12th)

After a good nights rest and me trying to sweat out the cough that tried to ruin my experience we decided to forego the massage and instead sleep in a bit.  Since our Elephant ride was nixed on my birthday due to possible rain we decided to get it in on Friday followed by shopping and a night at the discotheque!  The elephant ride was pretty darn cool even though I was internally frightened to death lol.  My Elephant’s name was Budi like our friend at the villa and he was 24 yo.  I’d obviously seen elephants before at my local zoos but this was a totally different experience….up close and personal.

Leaving the Bali Zoo we made a few stops along the way to this spot that was known as the Silver and Gold (a Jewelry emporium basically), a Batik market, and a place where Creole Queen got her much coveted Kopi Luwak. <–research that…it’s pretty cool actually.  We had a tea and coffee tasting that was amazing right there in what seemed like on the side of the road.

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Farewell Bali, Hello Hawaii

So we said farewell to Bali on Sunday, January 12th and it was definitely a fantastic experience but we were ready to move on and make our way back home.  Our next stop was our 24 hour stay in Hawaii which was really cool.  Although I didn’t get to see my elementary school (it was after all on a military base), we did hang out with one of Creole Queens’ friends who lived there and was ironically celebrating her birthday that next day.  So we did cocktails followed by dinner on Waikiki Beach at Ocean Reef which was cool.

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With that the journey ended as it began with me on a flight back to Atlanta where I was all too thrilled to be!! Thank you for celebrating in this journey with me!  Bali was everything I imagined and then some.

My Bali Birthday…..the pre-show!

*Exhale* I did it……I went to Bali for my birthday, my 40th birthday no less just as I planned.

Bali, Indonesia Immigration  Visa for Indonesia

I am still detoxing from this whirlwind of an adventure which took me from Atlanta to LA to Taipei and finally Bali, Indonesia all in celebration of turning the B-I-G 40 *home alone face*!  The return was even more exciting as we threw in a stop over in Hawaii for the night before rounding out our journey as it started, to LA then me on to ATL.

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I guess you can say I am sort of a dreamer, but some would say visionary, I say I’m just a gal who doesn’t believe in limitations; a gal who believes anything is possible if you put your mind to it and follow-up with a little (or a lot) or work behind it; one who believes if you can dream it you can certainly achieve it.  So a year + ago I was thinking of my 40th, largely in disbelief that it was upon me, but moreso as in what the hell am I gonna do…..see my last post (http://godivaworld.com/2014/01/03/my-journey-to-bali-and-40/) on how it came to be.

So the journey started by wrapping up all the holiday activities which at this point seem like a blur. First of all, my crown slipped on New Year’s eve resulting in me sorta panicking about being able to get into the dentist with just 2 days between the holiday and my first flight.   I had to get my mom/sister/niece & nephew home followed by picking up my Aunties the next day who were kind enough to house sit for me for the 10 days. Got all that behind me (including repairing my crown) and was able to sorta exhale….but still not as excited as one would imagine me to be.

Next was tryna figure out what the hell to pack which I was finally able to make some sense of.  See it was gonna be tricky because it was nearly 3 trips in one:  My LA ‘fits, my Bali wears, my Hawaii ‘fits, followed by my “return to Winter weather” outfit for my flight back to Atlanta.

SelfieSo began the journey on Saturday, January 4th with my flight from Atlanta to LAX.  Let’s just say it did NOT go as planned.  Immediately upon checking my bags at curbside I was informed that my flight to LA was delayed resulting in my connecting Vegas flight being missed and no other flights available til the next day….WTH.  I, of course explained to the Southwest rep that in no uncertain terms could I miss the flight because I HAD to be in LA by 9 PM the next night for my flight to Bali. At the gate there was lots o’ chatter as several of us were making arrangements to rent vehicles in Vegas and make the drive to LA if the flight was in fact delayed or cancelled. Needless to say the panic was for naught as it all worked out.  I even met a cool chick from Fresno, I believe, whom I chatted with nearly the entire flight.  Actually there were several cool folks I befriended, especially once they heard I was going to Bali AND turning 40….funny how many people were shocked by both lol!

Pre-Bali.....Hollywood

Anyhoo, arriving in LA nearly 10 PM PST, Creole Queen picked me up from LAX ready to get the show on the road.  After a night in her corporate digs, we rose the next day and enjoyed a little last minute shopping and brunch that included the absolute BEST fresh-squeezed OJ I’ve EVER tasted (at this spot called Lulu’s)….gosh I can still taste it.

Now it was time for our flight and one of the funniest things to happen was enroute to LAX, I spotted Jack in the Box (which we do not have in ATL but I have to have whenever I go to a city with one…..go figure).  Creole Queen was nearly on 2 wheels as I screamed “oooh Jack in the Box” and turned the car almost illegally onto a one way street so I could get my fix.  We hollered all the way to the rental car return.

LAX - China Airlines departure

Once we got on the shuttle though we almost had a moment because the shuttle driver set us off.  As we arrived at LAX he asked all the passengers for their airline info to which I responded with “China Airlines” and he kindly said okay that’s terminal 2.  Well we get to terminal 2, tip him for our bags, and lug our 6 bags between us to a cart and the counter before realizing that er uh this is “Air China” not China Airlines.  We plum had to walk from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5 I believe….we were slightly heated but let it roll.  So began our journey to Bali.

To be continued……..more pictures on next post!

The Power of Purpose and Possibility

“It’s safe to share my gifts with the world.”

purpose_life with

Standing in the collective heart of humanity, one begins to be pulled toward their unique contribution to the world.  Uncovering your soul’s purpose is not always the easiest task.  Throughout life, we are influenced by what we have done in the past, what we’ve been told we can/cannot do, and what our present circumstances seem to dictate.  In order to reveal the gifts that lie beneath the surface of our heart’s greatest desires, we must invoke the agent of change called purpose.

You must not look to the past or even the present to see why you are here, but instead bring forth your soul’s legacy into the present moment.  An entire life can be lived yet forgotten so very quickly.  What better way to celebrate life than by following your soul’s purpose.  The yearning to make a difference is your need to express your purpose and derive meaning from your time on earth.

purpose of life is to live and giveThe world is waiting for you.  Inspired by the depth of your courage and strength, the Divine opens its arms to you as a fully integrated being who carries the seeds of hope, health, happiness, and prosperity.  The ground is now prepared for you to continue to plant the seeds of your greatest desires to breath life into possibility.

To follow the call to new, uncharted land, you must trust in the possibilities that exist.  For the opportunities and possibilities are endless.  The challenges and losses; the shifts and the changes, will be plentiful, but the goal of a soul that is satisfied, filled up, inspired, happy, passionate, and fully alive is worth everything you will go through on your journey!

This will be a trip worth taking!

Moments like this…….

Right this moment, I am on the cusp of a major life change and couldn’t be more excited about it!

replace fearAt the same time, I’d be lying (to you) and myself if I said this does not bring about bouts of self-doubt, second-guessing, fear, uncertainty and the like.

With change and growth comes discomfort and it is in that period that the magic actually happens if WE are open to embrace the discomfort.

Being the planner and [overly] analytical human being I am, trust that the WORK has been done and done again and again and again to enable me to reach this point with any sense of certainty.  I believe (and live by) the mantra that if one has done the work upfront then they themselves are better prepared for what may come.  Meaning, I’ve looked at the what ifs, if nots, benefits, potential disasters, and such.  I’ve answered the questions and still returned the answer of “YES this can be accomplished; YES this is the right move; and YES you are prepared” which further substantiates my decision.

The irony and beauty (at the same time) is that during this moment of execution is the moment when most of the second-guessing occurs.  I was reminded however that the things being hurled my way are merely “fools gold” and presented to test my faith, believe, and trust in myself.  No truer words have been spoken…..so back to my plan.

In these moments I chuckle internally that the fact that most [who know me] assume I have it all figured out and most times I do.  However the work behind that confidence and can-do attitude is tedious, long, taxing, repetitive, and sometimes chaotic.  I’ve learned over time that there is always a method to my internal madness and as long as I can arrive to a place of calm, peace, certainty then all is right with the world.

living vs existingHaving a plan does not guarantee that everything will go well, but a thoroughly laid-out plan will ensure that one has at best accounted for all things – those things that can go right and that which could go totally sideways.  Most importantly prepares you to handle the less than desirable even if you have ZERO answers.

So as I sit on the edge of my life, looking internally from the outside I see the power of being fully present, the power in NEVER riding passenger in your life and especially not that of another, the beauty in controlling your destiny as much as possible by making those difficult, frightening decisions when the other choice is often as simple as doing nothing.  The countdown has begun and I admit I am quite excited about whats to come.  One thing’s for certain, I will ALWAYS control my life and make decision for me.  Simply ‘being’ and ‘exiting’ is never enough for without action and forward motion life is not and the time given is not maximized.

too much too beGo forth and prosper.

Believe. Have Faith. Hope.  Dream.  Live!!

Social Media….Socially Overloaded

Facebook.  Twitter.    Instagram.   YouTube.    Vine.    LinkedIn.    Pinterest.  Path.  <—those are just a few that come to mind.

Suddenly EVERYONE has something to say or share with you. How does one keep up?  As I sit here looking at my twitter feed transfixed by my curiosity of a link that has led me to an Instagram picture with a background story to Facebook I suddenly became caught up in this vicious Social Media cycle.  Mad once again that I have somehow allowed myself to get lost in the images and updates and allure that is Social Media.

Watching the random thoughts, news updates, opinions, beef, opinions, lies and tall tales (often let’s be real) etc flow cross this 3″ x 1.5″ screen day in and day out at times is much too overwhelming.  YES, I can turn it all off by ignoring or taking a “tech” break but then what would I do with my idle time?

Now I am in no way banishing Social Media as it is truly a beautiful thing when used properly.  Nor do I feel inclined to partake in every new and improved social media app (I was sorta late to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – in that order and stopping there).  What I will say however, is that because of social media, we regular, every day individuals have become a myriad of things from poets, to preachers, to inspirational motivators, rappers, writers, bathroom models and all things in between.   THAT is in no way a diss but actual factual!!  We’ve been able to connect with folks who’ve merely been a distant memory; careers have been launched that would never have been imagined; friends and connections have been made in ways in which those paths would NEVER have crossed.  Many have had the pleasure to interact with [stalk] their favorite celebrities even or at best get a real-time glimpse into their lives for what its worth.  For the many of us who use social media for good I think all of those things and the audiences in which we are able to connect with is no less phenomenal!
social media smorgasbordWhere my downward spiral begins in my path to social media overload is the constant flow of info at the ready; when I’m bored I hop on any one of the sites just to fill the idle time only to be reminded that hmmm I’ve not posted anything in a while <—-that while sometimes being an hour or so (Twitter especially); or the constant barrage of images or celebrity gossip that draws me in and turns that 1 min life break into an hour of time lost trapped in Social Media.

My biggest social media life drainer is watching the untruths lived out loud on social media sites.  I’m still slightly confused by people who live a lie online as if no one would know.  Thereby being someone they aren’t, portraying a life that doesn’t exist or deflecting their bad behavior, transgressions and blame onto others as if no one would be the wiser.  How does that happen?  It is one thing to profess that you are in fact “ok” today when in fact you’re in tears but to lead folks to believe that say you are living this life that is nowhere near actual factual is baffling.

Now granted if you really dissect the myriad of social media sites they operate much like we do as individuals, in that they each have their very own personalities and modis operandi.  I break them down like so:

LinkedIn is the realest of the real you as it is all about the business of you and even in this time of social pretend and make believe, not too many play around with their business as you either are or are not Head of Marketing at said company where your connections alone will discredit.

Facebook is more about family and friends which align more to the realer, closer to the truth you.  Now granted many untruths and fantasies are told on Facebook but trust that those who know you are laughing in hysterics as they read your status if not giving you the *side eye* as they reflect on the truth.

Twitter is more of your alter ego on steroids yet with a splash of the true you in some cases.  In other cases the Twitter “you” is all make-believe and fantasy based on the you with no limits, tact, boundaries.

Instagram is the combo Facebook/Twitter version of your true self as a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

Now these online untruths and tall tales is truly about all I can take on any given day.  THIS is what becomes overwhelming because more often than not you are left wondering if it’s make believe day.  You know the kind, bragging about how their life is fantastic when you are most certain it is in shambles; or lets not forget those preaching and low dissing (kinda like I’m doing here I suppose) when in actuality the very thing they’re low dissing someone else about is the very thing they are known and proven to do on a regular.  Come again?  Is it me or do you too often miss certain things on Facebook because perhaps you’re out living *confused look*.  I admit I don’t always see my ‘friends’ posts because well I just wasn’t on Facebook or it didn’t come up in my feed and because I don’t go sifting through folks’ pages I just didn’t see what the hell you had to say.  For the record can we stop this subliminal shade throwing because 9 times out of 10 whether the intended recipient saw it or not, unless they are confrontational they WILL never let you know that they did [probably because they are out living or could care less]!

Now for my Instagram overload.  Why do people feel so inclined to say whatever happens to flow through their head on Instagram?  Who cares if Celebrity “A” looks like a whore in the pic they posted, who are we to comment?  What happened to just swiping past the picture while thinking to oneself that they look like one?!  The accessibility of celebrities via social media has turned people into rude, disrespectful, and just plain nasty individuals!  The time spent commenting negatively is time you could have had a good laugh and screen shot the pic to send to your best pal for some real comedy!

So at the end of the day when it’s all said and done I have a love-hate relationship with Social Media for all the things that make it phenomenal yet the very things that make it a pain in my fingertips!

Slacking because you’re living….

Phew it has been a little while since I last let my thoughts bleed out through my fingers – well maybe not bleed but let’s say flow.  Being one who doesn’t move unless there is purpose behind it or a force creating the wind beneath my feet, today just felt like a good day to think aloud.

Let’s first welcome Spring, who finally decided to show up (atleast here in the dirrrty south a.k.a Atlanta).  With its appearance this year I am finally able to experience the sun shining through my windows alerting me of sunrise while reminding me that it is in fact a brand new day<—- exhale on that!  The question is….whatchu gonna do with it?  

Since I last wrote – which I believe was the better part of a month ago – there’s been a lot of living, loving, laughing, libations, loss, and the like.

Living – well I think I’m known to just LIVE and take life by the balls so I’ve just pretty much been doing that as much as possible.  Divas Dining is back on track and really keeping me motivated as I plan this year’s “things to do list for the ladies” and THAT is something to smile about.  Our most recent outing brought out 18 lovely ladies on a rainy Georgia night (check us out –> divasdiningatlanta.wordpress.com). Been stepping up my she-dates with my she-girls who make life interesting and enjoy my company as much I enjoy theirs…..LOVE THEM!!  Reconnected with a few I’ve missed for waaay too long but as usual, just like time has stood still as we picked up right where we left off <–those are relationships worth having I tell you.  I believe my entire life I have moved in many circles when it comes to those I spend my time with meaning, I enjoy the company of nearly anyone as long as they are cool with me.  THAT is how I determine who gets my time.  

Finally got my BIG BIRTHDAY bash villa on the books – YAAAAAAY!!!!  Next step:  Send out the update to those who are eager to embark on this experience and celebrate my BIG day with me on the continent of Asia – whoooohooooo!!!!

Loving – well I don’t kiss and tell so won’t talk much about that except to say I am enjoying the love of my friends and acquaintances.  I am fortunate to know the difference between those that are good for me and have my best interest and well those who need to just watch from outside or get a “do not pass go” ticket. Life in that regard is good!  Lots of good energy has been circling about and although I rather work under the darkness of night I will say, I can feel some really good things a-stirring and not just for me but a few very close friends of mine. Time reveals…..

Laughing – what more can one say, “laughter IS life’s best medicine” and I try to have a daily dose multiple times a day.  The Tom Foolery of a foolish few continues to leave me laughing as I watch the universe work its magic on them….again in life sometimes the best thing to do is “nothing” (in the literal sense) and let the universe take care of the rest.  You think people would learn – every action has a Reaction <—-LESSON clearly NOT taken.

Libations – I guess this pretty much goes with all of the above.  Let me be clear however, libations in the sense of casual drinker NOT “AA is calling” as there IS a difference.  Tried those Straw-beritas and I’m gonna say ‘pass’ but hey I don’t throw away liquor so I WILL finish that last 2 or 3 copping a squat in my fridge.

Loss – oh minor meltdown (almost, okay medium-to-major meltdown).  Motherboard on my nearly-new laptop tanked out on me!!  Of course I didn’t know I just knew the stupid thing wouldn’t turn on after a power save.  Not to mention it was during a moment of a major breakthrough AND within days of my article deadline for www.destinationstravelmagazine.com/ but luckily my editor is sooo understanding and well I was able to work around it.  Happy to say it is being repaired by someone I totally trust with it so not a total loss.  In the interim I’ve been working from my other systems.  Ooh the thought still hurts my soul a lil bit…another reason I didn’t totally break down is because I DID do a back-up not too long ago <—had I not this would be a different song.

The Like – not much more than that just rolling with it all the while trying do a little bit of the above!

Onward to the next bit of living………what will you do?

Small change; loose change; spare change…..the only Constant is CHANGE!!

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.  – Sri Ram

Life is so interesting and such a prankster!  Isn’t it amazing how life often has a way of ‘encouraging’ us to make changes in our lives?

Some of us need a little extra nudge to get moving; to change our ways or even our lives for without that nudge we will continue down the path of familiarity.  This path of course is sometime wrought with less than desirable outcomes or even mediocre existence.

Don’t believe me?  How about that minor toothache you refuse to have checked out, only for it to eventually turn into a pain you can’t ignore. Yup, been there before….too many times!  Without the unbearable pain I would’ve continued to push my dental visits out as far as they would allow.

Life…..much the same!  A personal experience near and dear to me was due to one’s lack of doing the right thing, just because, not when asked and for no one other than themselves.  Said individual was given multiple opportunities to turn the corner at their free will.  Yet, you guessed it, they shirked their responsibilities; attempted to deceive [themselves]; tried to hide behind time until all of those things caught up to them resulting in an abrupt halt to life as they knew it.

The problem with being FORCED to change is that you aren’t give much if any time to weigh your options, to assess the present or outcome of your choices.  Change is usually made on the fly and usually without care for feelings, opinions or your desires.  You see, when life makes the change for you, it does so without care, without warning, and without you.

Being FORCED to change or make a change in your life usually comes after life itself has given you multiple warnings and/or opportunities under the guise of lessons to be learned.  Doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results (also known as insanity) will eventually force you to choose differently by FORCE or by CHOICE.

So why relinquish your power for CHANGE when it [change] is the only constant in life?  Being proactive in life does not ALWAYS render the results you want nor hope for, however it puts you in the driver seat of a life that you help to create.  Be accountable for your life by controlling those things you can and bobbing and weaving through the unexpected blows thrown at you.  For if nothing else doing nothing renders nothing or perhaps nothing you would have chosen if you’d been proactive and made a choice.

Will you be FORCED into change or make the CHOICE to change?

Loss of Self: October In Reflection

End of October already?  If your month has been anything like mine then you’re probably asking yourself the same thing.  Where DID the month go?

I have been largely traveling the entire month of October for my day time life (i.e., career or something like that) due to a milestone in my project which signals the end of hard work, trials and tribulations, new lessons, new relationships, and often a year or so of ups and downs known as the Implementation/Deployment of managing change initiatives!  This alone can make time seem feel like it’s on crack.

To support this part of the project I’ve been traipsing off to Providence, Rhode Island every week since September 20th with this last stint being a total of 10 consecutive days.  Having traveled much of my Change Management career, I am no stranger to living out of a suitcase or being away from family but this time was definitely different.  Now although it’s been a year I’ve been managing this project and have spent atleast a week of each month in the lovely little state, I’ve had the luxury of being home for more than just a weekend in between.

Not only has this project been an emotional roller-coaster of sorts with plenty valleys and peaks, but this year in which I’ve been on the project has been filled with just as many ups and downs unlike any I’ve seen or experienced in my life.  I experienced a random mishap featuring our cities finest costing me thousands; a fire in my home the 4th day of 2012; dental work that left me even less favorable of the dentist, not to mention other random oddities within this 12+ month time span.  Due to this roller-coaster ride of life [of late] I am now left feeling a bit of project post-traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety (like shouldn’t I be in a meeting right now), discombobulation, disconnect, and a sense of total loss of my faculties!

Case in point….Friday after returning Thursday afternoon I totally walked into the house with my keys in the car only to ask myself and the car (whom I call “Eva”) whether her lights should still be on.  I even looked into the car to ensure the “Auto” light option was still on as I choose this option so I don’t have to worry about turning them off/on.  After confirming yup, auto lights is on, I proceeded into the house.  My co-captain in life – my voice of reason – kept telling me to check one more time.  Only after this convo and going into the house did I think to return to the garage just one more time only to find that “OH” I left the keys in the ignition.  NEVER have I done that….EVER!

Simple day-to-day things I find myself stumbling through in just these 3 short days I’ve been home which before were just second nature.  Clearly exhausted, my sleep pattern has even been off.  I thought I was catching a little tellie [t.v.] at about 5ish on Saturday yet it was watching me for about 4 hours that evening almost before I even realized it I might add.  Napping is just not something I do but my body clearly had other plans.  When I woke from my slumber I was dazed and confused but did a quick walk around the house, checked the teens before I politely poured myself fully into bed, under the covers for proper sleep to close out the night.  I slept another 8 hours as if I was totally deprived.

My memory is a bust as is my coordination.  It is sorta kinda comical when I really think about it as my normal Type-A, controlling, orderly, and structured self is clearly feeling like she’s been dropped into a foreign world totally unfamiliar to her.  Unlike her ‘normal’ self, she, I mean, “I” am going to embrace this time of disconnect and ride the wave as I am sure I will return to my normal self before too long!!

In addition to this and on a more serious note, I learned (while in Providence the day before I was to leave) that a dear dear friend of mine suffered a loss of a spouse in a motorcycle accident just that week.  Ironically she and I just spoke about how our travels just missed each other as she was leaving Hartford, CT as I was getting my luggage at baggage claim in Providence.

So you see, all in all, I’d rather lose myself momentarily than lose another for a lifetime.  As out of sorts as things may be, just knowing that life is but a cycle which we must continue to forge through and stay the course as this TOO shall end!

Weekly Photo Challenge: BIG

My voyage to Rio (2006)

This entry into the “BIG” Weekly Photo Challenge symbolizes so many things for me in the realm of “BIG”.

1.  Cristo Redentor, is a statue of Jesus of Nazareth in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world.  (BIG)

2.  Christ the Redeemer is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. (BIG)

3. It is 39.6 metres (130 ft) tall, including its 9.5 metres (31 ft) pedestal, and 30 metres (98 ft) wide.  It weighs 635 tonnes (625 long,700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city.  (BIG)

4.  As such, the Cristo Redentor statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, is photographed by thousands each year. (BIG)

5.  I, not only, visited this massive statue (as seen in the photo, albeit a few pounds heavier – don’t judge) but I am one of the millions to have photographed it with my own lense and myself in the photo. (BIG) 

6.  Christ the Redeemer statue (or Christo Redentor as it’s known in Portuguese) is a worldwide symbol for peace. This amazing statue took nine years to complete, and is made from reinforced concrete with the outer layers being soapstone. These materials were chosen for the Rio de Janeiro statue due to their hard wearing qualities and ease to work with. (BIG BIG)

7.  I was able to make something happen that I’ve only dreamed of.  (BIGGEST)

With the 2014 Olympics scheduled to go down in Rio de Janeiro I am hoping to have the opportunity to return.  Is Rio de Janeiro BIG on your list?

Godiva Days

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An International Affair

My BIG Birthday CelebrationJanuary 9th, 2014
I celebrated in BALI INDONESIA! It was A-MAZING!

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Godiva World – Birdseye view

Godiva’s Fave Things

Godiva World

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