Life is a Highway, I Wanna Ride it all Night Long

Saturday, April 30, 2011

THE SOCIAL NETWORK: A 'Click'ish Life and The Great Escape

It's force can suck you right in.  It's master virtual mind is like a magnet with a gravitational pull that is addictive and before you know it you are  living out your life in 'clicks'. 

Similar to fishing; creating a profile is like bait on a hook that just hangs there waiting to hook up with friends from the past and present.  In the meantime the lure of games, pages, groups, links of all kind grab hold and soon you find you are swimming with the fish in a bowl the whole world is peering into.  You now are feeling drawn  to create a daily status, post comments, RSVP to events, it's neverending.  One day you get a revelation; "hey I have a life outside of this, what am I doing?"  

Yes the virtual world of social networks can lure you into the addiction.  The very sad part is that for some, this is their world.  Imagine those that find comfort and security behind a screen with fingers popping buttons, click! and wait, click! and wait, click! and wait.  God forbid a friend should 'unfriend' you, it fills your mind with all sorts of horrors; "what did I say or do to cause that?" and so on.

We are naturally a social creature and we need stimulation, we need touch and feel too!  One on one, and group interaction in person.  The Social Network has grown due to our interaction attraction.  One smart kid figured us out in one night!  Wow, imagine that, alittle code, algorythyms, and an audience and you can make Billions off of our needs to attract and interact.  

Watch out for the symptoms of a 'Click'ish life...when you start clicking more than talking and listening you know you have the bug, it's a bug that will go through and through your inner most being and grab hold to your brain cells.  Before you know it you are sucked into the lie and black hole of virtual reality!  Your healthy sensory need for human touch and feel begins to die off and you settle for touching and feeling the 'keys' on your keyboard,, no human touch can match the 'click', and your voice is silenced by the 'clicks' output on a screen, a 'Click'ish Life is all yours without asking for it....The Social Network has you by it's hook and it isn't a good sport either, it doesn't let you off the hook easy, you have to opt for the Great Escape :)

It's Just me Val,  Ciao!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding- A Breath of Fresh Air on a Day fit for a King and Queen

Our lives are clouded up with internal and external garbage only to be invaded by the gynormous stress of the state of things around us, economy, jobs, gas prices, food prices,  weather changes and the like.  It all just becomes a bit much and can make me want to crawl in a hole and stay there, or as a friend said recently, hop in my car and just keep driving hoping to avoid it all.  

Just when life really hangs it's heaviness on you, POOF we have a Royal Wedding and if only for a moment in time, we float away on the "Fairytale" ride of a lifetime.  We are so engaged in the moment that all stress and worry outside of that seems to ease, if only for the moment.  A commoner and a Prince...truly a 'good' Cinderella story. The pomp and circumstance, the regal royal ambiance, the beautiful and breathtaking stunningness of the bride...her handsome Prince in full royal highest honor uniform...a site that certainly does take your breath away, and YES, just for a couple of hours...the stresses of reality are out of mind!

I appreciated that break.  Every little girl dreams and believes in the "Fairytale"

Can you imagine if we had "Royal Wedding" moments more often, embraced them by taking advantage of that "Calgon Take Me Away" break...can you imagine  the positive affect that would have on our life?  How healthy would that be?

We must find a way to enjoy "Royal Wedding" moments more often, it doesn't have to be a real wedding.

Healthy minds are those that look at the bright side of whatever life hands them, and remember you can always find someone who has it worse.  Find a way to rise above the worries of life and remember that happiness in life is healthiness and a CHOICE.  

I plan on looking for the Royal Wedding moments in life and letting the rest of life's stresses work themselves out whenever possible, they always do, with or without my involvement of worrying.

Congrats to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and thank you for giving me a moment out of reality!
It's just me, Val  Ciao!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I'm in a Poetry kind of mood this week.  Life is a Dance! 
It's all about how we move on the floor that counts
Starting with what we take with us to make the steps just alittle easier to learn and execute. It is with that in mind that I wrote:  Life Is A Dance


Life is a dance, so many moves to learn and master
Sometimes I want to move slower when life's force just seems to move faster

I finally learn a move, and without any notice life changes it's course
Finessing through it's ups and downs,  as it rears it's challenging force

My dreams and faith are what I count on, 
without them I would be a mere spec pummeled to the ground in defeat
No hope for a future and life's frustration would yield the spec found under someone else's feet

So I learn to dance moving sometimes awkwardly, sometimes smooth
With a faith that when someone steps on my toe, it's protected by more than my shoe

The dance can be difficult or easy all depends on where I'm at and what I'm called to do
I use the move of Love to always see me through

To other's my dance may seem to not have a rhythm or even any point
To me my dance is moving closer daily to reach my goals and dreams and not just to move around the joint

So if you'd like to join in, this stunning dance of life, 
the first step you must learn is to minimize the strife
The Tango, HipHop, and Boogaloo will all come into play
But the very best step to learn is the Waltz on any given day

The Waltz is easy to pick up, with benefits galore
It's all about the Hopes and Dreams you take with you on the floor
Remember to dance slowly, a slight bend each move at the knees
The first step is your faith and the rest will come with ease

May all your Hopes and Dreams be realized in your Dance of Life!

It's Just Me, Val  Ciao!

Monday, April 18, 2011


THIS morning during my normal workout I watched a segment of Joyce Meyers.  Many people are skeptical of her program but I find it grounded in the word of God and that happens to be the test that I live by to determine what is worth giving my time to.  Nonetheless today her segment was on "Letting Go Of GUILT"  Now this is the area that I believe plagues anyone that is looking to move into a new chapter of life the most.  We all have it and we all carry the baggage of REGRET.

WE have to finally get that we can't change the past but can only make the future right.  It's then that the burden of baggage can truly be lifted from your shoulders and a new life awaits you.  Life is a Highway and there are many curves, narrow paths and crossroads.  I have found my navigator in life to keep me on course and in line with the best possible road to take at all times.  While I'm not preaching here and don't intend too, I will mention as you already know if you keep up with my blog, my  navigator is Jesus Christ.  So this morning in her segment, the story she read had great meaning to me and was just what I needed to move through my day.  I want to share it here so that no matter who your 'navigator' in life is, you might benefit from this too.  It all starts with making a choice!  Choose to forgive yourself and heal.

Written by: Larry Harp

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year,and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly.This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come out of it.
I'm talking about my annual ''GUILT TRIP''.

I got tickets to fly there on WISH I HAD airlines.It was an extremely short flight.I got my baggage,which I could not check.I chose to carry it myself all the way.It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been.No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the REGRET CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.

As I checked into the LAST RESORT HOTEL,I noticed that they would be hosting the years most important event, THE ANNUAL PITY PARTY.I wasn't going to miss that great social occasion.Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

First there would be the DONE FAMILY,you know,SHOULD HAVE,COULD HAVE and WOULD HAVE.Then came the I HAD family.You probably know ol' WISH and HIS CLAN.
Of course,the opportunities would be PRESENT,MISSED and LOST.The biggest family would be the YESTERDAY'S.There are far too many of them to count,but each one would have a very sad story to share.

Then SHATTERED DREAMS would surely make an appearance.
And IT'S THEIR FAULT would regale us with stories(excuses) about how things had failed in his life,and each story would be loudly applauded by DON'T BLAME ME and I COULDN'T HELP IT.

Well,to make a long story short,I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. AND,as usual,I became very depressed.But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past,it occured to me that ALL of this trip and subsequent ''pity party'' COULD be cancelled by ME!!

I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there.I didn't have to be depressed.One thing kept going through my mind,I CAN'T CHANGE YESTERDAY,BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY.

I can be happy,joyous,fulfilled,encouraged,as well as encouraging.
Knowing this,I left THE CITY OF REGRET immediately and left no forwarding address.Am I SORRY for the mistakes I'VE MADE IN THE PAST?YES!  But there is no physical way to undo them.

So,if you're planning on taking a trip back to THE CITY OF REGRET,please cancel all your reservations now.  Instead,take a trip to a place called,STARTING AGAIN.I liked it so much that I have now taken permanent residence there.My neighbors, the I FORGIVE MYSELF'S and the NEW STARTS are so very helpful.

By the way,you don't have to carry around heavy baggage,because the load is lifted from your shoulder upon arrival.GOD bless you in finding this great town.If you can find it--it's in your own heart--please look me up.I live on I CAN DO IT street. 

I'm Leaving the City of Regret, How about you?
Have a great day!

It's Just Me, Val  Ciao! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Journey to a Great Life with Grace and Contentment...Past 50

There is Life after Empty Nesting
I never realized the void that follows empty nesting of our kids. In our case, we even filled our home with furry treasures that needed our love and still this void existed.  Trying to fill it is just that, a filler, and not a healthy solution.  Looking at life as different Chapters of our complete Journey, is definitely a healthy solution, at least for me.  

This blog post is my journaling a revelation in that journey that is making me a better person, and allowing me to step into my next chapter of life with grace and contentment.  

As I approached this chapter there is more 'letting go' that needed to take place before finding the "Condos and Boats." (Private Benjamin was just a favorite movie of mine)

In my last Chapter of this great life of mine, I went from Single Parenting a beautiful young lady, to marrying for the first time in life and blending a family of two great stepsons with my daughter, now our daughter.  
I worked hard at treating the boys as if I gave birth to them, and that is good for them and a serious goal of mine.  You see I grew up in a blended family as well and saw my mom incapable of loving her blended family equally.  Instead she spoiled us (my brother and I) to death and simultaneously treated her blended in children with a less than loving attitude.  She just was unable to give that love to my step brothers and sisters, who by the way I also consider my brothers and sisters. I found this the stepping stone for me to make a difference in my family so that the experience was not repeated.  I sometimes am blamed for being over the top on a fair and equitable field but I would much rather be blamed for that than to pass on that part of her legacy to my kids.

First Things First: Unpack Your Baggage
It's true that baggage carried through life from life's experience causes and nurtures dysfunction.  It is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, but when we do overcome this, we can find contentment in ourselves and the result is living life with contentment and grace.  We have to learn to let go, trust and finally unpack and put away our baggage for good, otherwise we are settling for a victim mentality which will hold us back from moving onto the next chapter of life.

Deciding to take responsibility for me and accepting that I can't change others is a great first step to unpacking.  

1. Look inside ourselves and decide to heal the wound by forgiving ourselves in the process of facing our demons.  Yes we need to forgive ourselves...why?  Because the baggage we've been carrying and our responses to others in life may have been and likely have affected those relationships.  

For instance:  I once judged a friend of mine way back in the 80's on a moral issue.  I not only judged her but I let her know and exhaustively vented on the issue.  I became her moral compass and lost a precious friendship over that.  We are not anyone's moral compass and that was wrong.  So first I made sure to send a letter of apology with no motives other than to say I'm sorry for what I did, and next I forgave myself.  I truly healed and felt healed after doing this.

Don't be afraid to face your demons, it is so freeing and allows you to work towards 'loving who you are by just being YOU!'

2. Focus on YOU, not selfishly to the point of not being there for others, but rather give yourself attention, engage and concentrate both physically and mentally on the things that mean the most to you and you will find an incredible sense of fulfillment and happiness.  I just saw a post on my FB friends page that said:  "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." ~ Bertrand Russell  (Thanks Paul!)

3. Journal journal is so revealing and healing.  I experience so much growth from this.

4. Read...I just read a great book, it was a Christian book but that doesn't matter, what does matter is that it taught me to focus on the greater good and not allow my time and energy to get spent on things that pass out of our lives as quickly as they came into our lives.

5. If you're an empty nesting parent, let your kids know you love them, you would give your life for them, and then LET GO...give them the space they need to establish their lives now independent of you, and nurture their own family as life's course takes them.  Enjoy them but don't suffocate them with your love.  AND don't puff yourself up and think that they need your advice always to get through life...

MOM, DAD: Guess what? ,REVELATION:They'll survive and do well without us involved!  
I had this big fear that if I backed off it would look as if I wasn't interested anymore and didn't care, or want to be part of their life,  but that would have been the furthest thing from the truth.  Our kids have to learn that for themselves too

6. Learn to Love who YOU Are!!!  You are an awesome creation with so much to offer...problem is you've been offering it to everyone else and leaving yourself out...start sharing today and contentment and grace will be yours and your legacy passed onto your kids and their kids!  It's never too late!

Just sayin...

It's Only Me, Val  Ciao!