“The thing that I valued the most was your time, Leonardo.”

Leonardo was a determined man with a lot of ambition. He wanted to be wealthy. Have plenty of money. To be able to give his wife and child everything that their hearts desired. He worked at the Stock Exchange. He bought and sold stocks. While studying, Leonardo lived at home with his mother. He had a neighbor by the name of Anthony who taught him the most important things a child needed to know. He taught him to tie his shoe laces, to count, to write his name…. Leonardo lost his father at the tender age of one… and the only male figure that he had was his neighbor. When he completed his degree, he decided to leave home and moved away to another part of the city. He wanted to try his own luck and it was there that he met his dear Margaret whom he married shortly after. He had not seen Anthony since his University days. Leonardo was a very busy man … he had no time to think about the past, and sometimes he forgot about his family. He was engaged enough with his work. He worked for his future and the future of those he loved. One day he received a phone call from his mother saying that “Anthony had died the night before, and that the funeral would be in two days.” He was astonished to think of his past. He only stopped when he heard his mother tell him that there was not a day that passed without Anthony not asking for his son. And talked about how many times he would go to his house when he was a kid.
Leonardo, let some tears slip away as he reminisced about his past. Leonardo knew he had a lot of work pending but promised to be at the funeral and kept his promise. He took a train and off he went. On the eve of returning home, Leonardo wanted to go to Anthony’s house with his mother one last time. As he entered the house, he paused for a moment. It felt like he was crossing over into another dimension. Thoughts of all the memories, the good times, the laughter suddenly immersed. The house was exactly as he remembered all those years ago. The same paintings were hung on the wall. The furniture lies exactly at the same spot. With every step he took, more memories came. He could still hear Anthony’s voice in the background telling him stories,  He looked around the corner for a blue box he remembered seeing. “It was a small box that had a lock on top that he kept on a table. I must have asked him a thousand times what was  inside the box, and every time he said it was something that had a lot of value for him.”

It was nowhere to be found. Everything in that house was exactly as he remembered, except for the blue box. He thought maybe some family member had taken it. He thought now I’ll never know what the blue box had. Leonardo said his final goodbyes to Anthony and kissed his mother on the cheek as he returned home. Upon arriving home he found a note to go to the Post Office and pick up a parcel that was sent. Leonardo went to the post office to get his box and as he opened it, he saw the blue box that he was looking for. It was the blue box that belonged to Anthony. There was a note with it… “Leonardo, thank you for your time.” Along with the note was a very small key that opened the box … and inside the box was a very old watch … the kind you keep in your pocket. Behind the clock was a phrase that said … “The thing that I valued the most was your time, Leonardo.”

 

That night Leonardo held his family so tight and did not work for the rest of the day!

Advertisements

Our Land is Beautiful…

We all have a place where we go to from time to time, to escape from this world. In that place we can be ourselves without feeling any judgment from anyone. No embarrassments. For me … I find myself going there almost whenever I can. It is there where I will lay down my joys, sorrows and often doubts. Any uncertainties I may have, any obstacle that I want to overcome, or if I need some advice, I go to that place and … I meet my friends there.

Everybody knows my name there. Everyone knows my soul. I hardly ever need to utter a single word, since they know what’s going on with me through my eyes. It seems they’ve already entered my head, and are reading my thoughts.

Nature knows me too. I speak to the birds, to the waves of the lake, to the trees, some of which are older than my existence.
Everyone is there to help. To find a solution in this long journey that is life. This place is a paradise. It’s huge. Doors do not exist as it is all outdoors. Whoever goes there will never leave without promising that he will return. Love reigns, and although one cannot stay there forever, longing remains … waiting for a new reunion. All the birds that cross paths with the people talk to us with their sweet eyes. They understand us. They understand our suffering, which is basically the same as theirs. The suffering of wanting to survive in this jungle of a world where it is “to each their own”. They also want to be accepted for what they are. Isn’t that really what we all want? To want to be recognized by the wonderful person we are inwardly, truly…

The trees also complain about it. That no one accepts them and does not value them for what they do to this world, which they are indeed an important element.On this land – on our land – our batteries are chargeable. We gain strength that we do not always imagine we have.
There we can play, walk, exchange impressions and really hear what others have to say. And all this, for nothing. We give our minutes and later someone will give theirs. Smiles spread through the air. There is not one who does more than the other. It’s all the same. Those who have their lower spirits, the whole team will be willing to give strength to lift them up.
Helping others is the key in this land of wonders. The waves even sing your song. It is impossible to be sad there and each one can always bring one more. They are always accepted. Your real person stands out there. Everyone is free to say what they think, without receiving disapproving looks. If you feel like screaming, no one will tell you to be quiet. If the tears appear on the face, those tears will not come alone, because everyone will cry there with you.
If you need a hug, all possible arms will be extended. Wings will exist to help you fly to new horizons. Dreaming is the main thing on this land. All who appear there have all aspirations! Sometimes they dream of the impossible … knowing that one day they will get what they want.

The determination lies there. No one complains about persistence, because they know how to wait. They know that good things happen to all who are patient. Time is not in a hurry. For life is made of moments and anyone who passes by knows how to enjoy these moments at every step.
In our imagination, there are endless possibilities. We can be anything our heart desires. There is no rush. Just moments. We live at every step. We are the ones who draw the road of our circulation. And although the masterpiece may already be pre-intended, the choice of the draft is to find out. It’s so good that we can escape into our little big world…. As the famous Richard Bach said, ‘if you want to be with the ones you love, don’t you think you’re already there?’

4 Ways in Dealing With Negative People

negative-image

Everywhere you go you will find at least one of those if not more. Let’s face it, they are literally everywhere and if you’re not careful you’ll fall into their web of negativism which is easy to fall in and harder to fall out of.

How do you stop them? You can’t really stop them. People are what they are! You can however, recognize them from afar by their interactions so that when they do come to you, their attitude won’t influence you in the slightest way. Remember it’s only half the battle when you’re prepared for what you’re up against. They are everywhere. They are in your class. They work with you. They are part of your family. They were standing behind you in line while you were waiting for your coffee from the barista. They belong to your church group. Well enough said you get the picture!

Here are just a few tips on how to deal with Negative People.

1.      Set Boundaries

Negative people will always come into your life one way or the other. Sometimes more than once a day. With them they will bring that negative attitude. The one that says, “woe is me” kind of attitude. They will try their best to suck you into that whirlwind mindset and if you’re not careful they can succeed. The best thing to do is set limits. Do your best to keep interactions short as possible. Always keep a distance between each other so their energy won’t affect you.

2.      Choose Your Battles

People will do anything to irritate you. Some might not realize what they are doing and some might do it on purpose. Not all battles are worthy of your response. Don’t waste your energy on people that are not deserving of it. Do your best to ignore any negative comments. Be aware of your surroundings and who’s in it. Would you like your little sister or mother to watch you lose your temper? If  the answer is most certainly “no”, than the best thing is to control your emotions so you can prevent things from escalating. If nothing else helps just walk away.

3.      Avoid Complainers

People who complain about anything will not bring out the best in you, what they want is to bring out the worst.  Misery loves company so much that many of them will want you to join them in their crusade. Whatever good is happening to you they will always find something to criticize and eventually bring you down. Stay clear from them and only deal with them if you really have to.

4.      Negative Co-Workers or Employees

For any business to excel, it definitely has to be the face of the company to make things happen. If you have a frontline man showing signs of toxic behaviors, the overall business will slowly begin to feel jeopardized. One staff member with obvious types of negative thinking and bad attitudes can cause customers to think twice before adhering to a service. Perhaps the person is going through a rough patch and is not fully aware of their demeanor. In cases like these a simple meeting to find out what is happening and convey your concerns and/or expectations can work wonders. Once enough time has been given to see a change and nothing has improved then it might be time to re-evaluate if the persons integrity fits with what you’re looking for as a team player.

 

Do you still think a parent’s job is easy?

Minority woman with her children fighting in the background

I’ve always heard that being a dad or mom was the hardest job around, but I never really gave it much thought until I became a mother myself and as I write I realize how really true that is.

It’s a job that doesn’t come with an instructions manual or manufacturing manual. Every day is an opportunity to learn. It’s with the mistakes that we assimilate our “trial and error”. We could have thousands of people give us endless advice, but at the end of the day, what counts is how we deal with situations and their stressful moments.

               Everything begins the second the baby is a tiny seed with the countless hours of morning sickness in all times of the day. Our maternal instinct takes a hold of us while we carefully walk slowly to not slip and fall.  That unbreakable bond grows along with love as soon as you discover you are not alone. There are things you can’t explain, only feel. You start to notice your clothes no longer fit you the way it used to.  You don’t complain because you know it’s for a good purpose, the birth of your child which is priceless. Gradually that little one takes control over us, not letting us eat everything that we want without having his or hers approval first. To sleep or not to sleep? Depends on the position, otherwise you will feel a little tap letting you know to quickly move it.

               All this loses its precedence the second you start to feel your little miracle moving inside of you that you helped create with a true feeling of LOVE. Your little bambino recognizes your sweet voice and the sound of your beating heart. Before your little one wants to make his or her debut, stress befalls you with questions of concern regarding labor. Will I do everything right? Will I be a good mother or father? The questions are overlong filled with doubts… Curiously what instantly calms the nerves is when someone reassures us that we’ll be great parents and when that big day arrives -gratitude and pure joy is what we feel on knowing how everything worked out well. What about the pain? What pain, that all is forgotten the moment you hold your baby for the first time. We grasp that we are so much stronger than we comprehend and with this strength we can do anything.

                After the birth of your little angel come thousands of uncertainties. Cries and more cries… You’ve changed dirty diapers and you fed your little mini you but still the sobbing continues. Since communication is still not their forte, you have to put on your thinking cap and decipher what’s going on in that little ones soul. Colicky, tiredness or simply a tooth wanting to surprise everyone could be some of the culprits and all are reasons to keep you up at night. In times like these is when both parents have to put aside their thinking cap and now put on their patience hat just so they can attempt to clown around in hopes that the baby will forget about the pain that caused the tears.

Not always do tears have a concrete explanation. Sometimes they just want to be embraced in their parent’s arms or want to hear a lullaby that they remember hearing in the womb. Months go by and sleepless nights as well, and when that occurs you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as you realize that the small victories are really the big ones… Just like the first time your little one started crawling or the first reactions to certain foods worth documenting on camera. The joyous sounds your angel makes while laughing. The first steps taken without any assistance. Nothing compares to hearing “mama” or “dada” as the first words the very first time causing you to weep emotionally while you experience joy.

Once again time passes as it always will, and a little brother is born. There you will be introduced to the green eyed monster except this time it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your firstborn. The toys that they don’t want to share with the stranger that has been around now for some time but to a child that was an only child up until a few months ago, his sibling is still a stranger. Now comes the tough parts, instilling important values on our offspring. Sharing is of course one of them. Just like in all phases of life, there are ups and downs, all of which requires you to use your patience hat.

More so when you have three little ones and two eyes sure aren’t enough!  Especially when all they want to do is explore as if they were little Christopher Columbus’s and they end up getting into trouble! It doesn’t matter how many times you say “no” they interpret as a “yes” and they only stop at timeouts. Than those tantrums surface and a cry triggers another cry that triggers another cry. When you have three small kids it’s a symphony of cries. It’s not too bad when you’re at home, but when you’re out in public it’s a different story. All eyes are gawking at your every move like vultures waiting for their prey. You look around embarrassed knowing that if there was a whole in the ground you’d jump in. You begin to transpire as you silently pray that this episode will stop. Then you realize, wait a minute these people don’t know anything about us to be judging, most likely they don’t even have any kids to know what it’s all about.

If they knew they would know that kids need a routine to know what is expected, and if you change it even a little bit, and it’s bound to happen because that’s what life is made of, change, you will throw them off. Unfortunately people will judge without knowing the facts. They don’t know if your child didn’t have his or her routine nap, or if they are hungry or even if they wanted that chocolate that you refused to give. However if they had kids they would sympathize and perhaps give a sigh of relief that it’s not their kids! If you give in boy are you in trouble! Being a parent is knowing when to say yes or no. It’s also curing wounds after the many falls. Which are many not because no one was looking but because you say “walk” and they automatically hear “run”. As a parent you’re working overtime every day. Your time for yourself happens when they are fast asleep that is when you don’t fall asleep yourself first after all that chasing around.

You do your best to plan your days but know that not everything goes as planned. It is making memories with your children. It’s being nervous on your child’s first day of school. Listening to the same stories being told countless times. It’s keeping a watchful eye when the fever doesn’t drop. It’s being present when the first tooth falls out and then convincing your child to sleep so that the tooth fairy can do her surprise visit. Its letting them sleep in bed with you when they are frightened at the lightening. You’re always going to be a parent your whole life. Even when they grow up and think they know it all, and have a lot of friends to go out with. All those sleepless nights come back again. You start to pray that your kids are not in the wrong place at the wrong time and come home safe… Do you still think a parent’s job is easy?

 

 

Her name is Confidence

image

 

I have a green box that I fill with things very special to me. Things that I will never forget in my lifetime. The box was normal coloured box until I decided to paint it green. Perhaps it was so to remind me that better days are yet to come. That a rainbow always comes after the storm. As grIeen is the colour of hope, it helps me to not forget that at times I might not understand the reasons why things are happening the way they are but it could be because God is taking me to another level. God takes away things that no longer belongs to me to give me better things even things that I wasn’t expecting. Or maybe if too many things are happening all at once it’s happening to prepare me for what is coming my way. In my green box that I have named Confidence, I have pictures of amazing scenery with unforgettable moments. Images that I have taken with friends, family, alone or with my better half. All those moments are documented in my soul. It is there that I find true spiritual peace.

When I feel like throwing down the towel, I grab Confidence, open her and in mere seconds can restore my faith and find strength to keep going as if I was re-born. All the movie ticket stubs of movies that I have seen alone or with company I keep in Confidence. They are kept to remind me of all the happy moments spent and moments of which I was afraid with a scene or two of a horror film. I also have the moments that I cried in a cinema as when I watched Titanic or the Passion of Christ.

In my box you can find all the people that I met in my life. Some that have already left my life. Others that will be leaving me life. While others who will remain with me in my journey. Those that have left me I am grateful for their leaving even those that have hurt me. Without the hurt they instilled in me I couldn’t have learned to LOVE completely and deeply. I also learned of what I want and what I don’t want for me. With eyes wide open I learned not to repeat the same mistakes again.

I also have memories of those people that didn’t believe in me and tried to take me off course from my goals. They taught me how to get strength from all avenues and keep on trying to reach my full potential.

In my box I have memories of everything. Even memories of people I believed were really my friends only to find out they never were to begin with. Even wearing masks I am forever grateful, without their mask I couldn’t see the real person behind that mask and only when it fell off did I learn the true value of friendship. That betrayal comes from where you least expect it and not everyone will be happy with your successes. Now I know that I cannot make everyone happy except for myself.

I also have memories of those people that made me fall which just made
me get up as fast as I fell. Only then did I realize that I was on the right path and kept on going except now I was accompanied with determination!

You Are The Lion You See In The Mirror

Lion-Cat

If you’re like me and many people, you may find yourself at times losing your motivation to do projects that you set yourself doing and somehow couldn’t stay motivated to finish.

You started off the right way with your best foot forward but somehow lost your excitement along the way. You didn’t realize all the work you were getting yourself into and felt overwhelmed. Before you even had a chance to step away and breathe a little bit, you were hit with the procrastination bug. I’ll get to it tomorrow or after tomorrow or the day after that and before it had a chance to soar it was placed in the back burner. On the street of someday I’ll get around to it! The thing that happens to the best of us is it’s not always because of that bug that we stop doing what we start off to do; sometimes it’s that voice in our heads that doubts our true potential. Thoughts of not able to do something barge into our minds leaving us alone and filled with questions we might not likely get answers too soon for.

What I’ve learned in the process is there are many reasons why we don’t get around to doing something from start to finish. Procrastination might be one reason or fear another. Lack of confidence can cause those voices to sound like loud bells. Even just these are perfectly legit excuses however; we all know there’s more. Nothing stops you more from doing something for your benefit or others than yourself. You are your worst enemy. You’re the one that sabotages your own growth and mostly don’t even realize what you’re doing to yourself.

We are not an island. We don’t live on Jupiter or Mars. Although we all know some people that could do with a trip to either planet besides our beautiful green earth. With all kidding aside, I have tried a couple of things that I find doesn’t awake the ant in us leading to those voices of unworthiness but instills a very strong lion that focuses on what she or he wants and has no problems getting it. We are all lions living in this jungle called world. We all come from different backgrounds. We all have a past. Things we are proud of and things of shame. The latter of it all is to keep going even when you yourself don’t even know where. It’s that failing and starting again.

Just remember it’s your life not no one else’s. If you only have one life to live why would you not want to live up to your full potential regardless if no one believes in you. What matters is you believing in yourself!

 

How will you leave your mark ?

I used to think that the older we were the more patient we are but now I have my doubts on that! I find as we get other we are more selective of our emotions that we are too busy with other things. Therefore we have a zero tolerance for others, situations or things because we did it all. We gave our all in our younger years. We did it all as well. We spent time with the wrong crowd. We did things we most likely regret as we got older. We did crazy things that now looking back wasn’t worth the energy and effort we put into it.

As the years go by like a clock ticking away, we see our time is limited. We spent half our lives trying to prove ourselves to others. To be accepted or fit in that we lost the essence of whom we really are.  After awhile, we realize that the things we took for granted were actually the ones that really mattered. The extra hours we put in a regular nine to five job were actually not worth it because in the end result we’re just a number that without a moment’s notice will be replaceable.

However, those hours that you missed out on your child’s recital… Or a parent teacher interview to work late will not come back. Those endless soccer or baseball games that you did not see your child’s victory face or dry the tears away from a loss… That’s ok; he or she will forgive you but not forget that you were not present. As we get older we regret those times we missed out on because of a bad choice.

For those that were actually there all the time, will regret that they didn’t pamper themselves. Or that they didn’t take that once in a lifetime trip to a Dubai, Bali, Thailand or any place exotic and worth visiting. They will regret not following their dreams to finally be that singer or writer that they so longed to be and so the quest begins. Life after children begins and if you’re lucky enough to be a mother or father again in your life as a grandparent you will vow not to make the mistakes you did with your own children. You will spoil your grandkids and let them have chocolate until their hearts content. Some will be very present as they weren’t to their own kids due to career opportunities. Others will actually adopt an “I did the child raising once now it’s the kids turn to do it.”

They will concentrate their energy travelling the globe while on their retirement. Others will take this time to actually go back to school to finally get that degree that they put on hold for the responsibilities of raising a family. For that matter, there’s no time like the present to set our priorities straight and see what really matters to us. Without a doubt there’s people going to soon. Some might have left their mark in this world and their legacy will remain on as positive, others will leave their mark too, but will it be on a positive note?

What mark do you want to leave in this world? What will people say about you? Have you done everything on your bucket list? There’s so much I can write about this but for now I have to check off -playing with my kids while making funny memories!