Where the Happy lives.

Wishing, waiting for happiness to come.
There is a phenomenon that has swept us all up. The idea that happiness is around the corner. That it is product of reaching blank, being able to afford blank, or when this specific thing happens. The problem with attaching your happiness to some entity outside of yourself is that that goal is always movable. It serpentines away from you. Things are shiny. There is always something behind the blank, a new blank tempting to steal the happy and extend it out. The blank steals our attention and takes away from what is.
I wish that people could see what is right in front of them.
They are missing out, always looking for the future. The future is unattainable, for it is always further than one can touch. People that spend their lives worrying about the future, or looking back in retrospect to what happened years ago. Living in the past or the future robs you of the present. It robs others too. Oftentimes, people that are stuck in the idea that happiness is the product of an outside event or position; have people around them that enjoy the now. It is exhausting to always trying to help them appreciate what they have, to be grateful for what is. I’m tired of listening to people waiting for their lives to be nice. When and if blank happens.
Please do not mistake, I see definite value in thinking about the future in reference to taking care of yourself when you are older, however, make a damn plan, work the plan and look up at what is happening right now. Depression is another thing. Get some help. Make a damn plan and work that plan. Then get on with it.

You are missing:
Being happy holding hands on the couch listening to the rain. Looking into the eyes of child who is still filled with wonder and brightness. A surprise package at the door. A phone call from a friend. Your favorite sandwich. A smile from a stranger. Remembering that time you were a hero to someone. Finding something you thought you lost. Rifling through a box of old photographs and seeing a funny hairstyle you had. Connecting to a new book. You miss seeing the daisy open for the day. Your child’s excitement when they score well on a test. Feeling proud. Getting pulled into the plot of a movie. Your wife wearing a dress and making herself pretty. Having lunch with a friend. Taking a walk with your love. Doing a puzzle with your kids. A walk in an antique mall and seeing your old toys displayed. Remembering when you were a kid. When your Dad took you fishing or your Mom let you lick the spoon. The site and sound of the ocean. The First snow of the season. The sunlight on your face. Wrapping up in a blanket with a hot chocolate or coffee. Brand new rubber boots. You are missing your bliss.
A (happy) distractor- Retail therapy. Stuff is just stuff. Perhaps spending money you don’t have on things that you kind of like in an effort to be happy. Trouble is that most people that cope in this way, don’t have the extra to be able to sustain it. It is unsustainable. There is always something new and then the debt builds up, stealing the happy, extending out the happy to the unknown.
If you look around and see that stuff is what you will remember when you are on your deathbed and people and memories are unimportant, I invite you to open your eyes. And see.

Another happy distractor- Addiction. My uncle drank himself to death. An amazing, creative and hilarious man, believed that success was always out there. And when it didn’t show up on his schedule, he drank to forget. He drank to escape, he drank for whatever reason he could. And he died. Without reaching the success in writing and film that he wanted. It’s over. This one encompasses retail therapy and drugs as well.

A way to start seeing and feeling your happy is to Love. Remember what you love. If you love flowers, plant or buy flowers. If you love a movie, watch it and remember why. If you love to paint or you love art, go to a museum. If you love animals, visit a shelter and care for them or take one home. Follow your love, as much as you possibly can and soon you will feel happy bits enter your life.
Say the word love. Say it a lot. I love this coffee, I love this outfit, I love this restaurant. Love is not only for your partner and your family. The architecture of this building can be something you love. Love everything. Sometimes I just say Love, because I Love love.
If you don’t love something, move on to something you do.
My wish is that you see the potential happy that is around you today. Smile at the people you see to show that you see them. Do something that helps someone. Appreciate the little things. Expand yourself.
Feel the happy in the waking up Late on a Sunday. Your favorite song on the radio.
Feel the happy in everything you do, see and touch.
I know it can be hard. I promise, though, that it is worth it.
The happy lives in you.
With Love, Hazel

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A tear.

A tear fell from the corner of my eye and streaked down my face. It was not a tear of despair, or sadness, but a tear of change.

For so long I have played small. Not doing everything in my power to shine. I hid, afraid of being seen and afraid to show up my loved ones. There is a passion in me. The essence of giving and of my storytelling needs to be seen, and felt and heard.

The tear was there as a reminder of time that had passed. Time that could not be retrieved, it was gone. There was only now, this moment. I stand at the gateway of my new life and gather the confidence to step through. A long sigh. More tears.
Years back I had let go of the shame of crying. I had seen my strong grandmother do it, my mother and my children. There is a flushing, a cleansing when it is happening that helps or soothes.

Tears of happiness, sadness, great disappointment and love. Watching your child walk for the first time, their first smile. When you graduate from school. Events. Events that are yours to keep in your heart. Things we have done.

Tears connect us.
They say “I understand, I’ve been there, I am with you.”
There is no shame in connection. I have seen tears of pride, tears of joy and tears of pain. How amazing it is that God has provided such a way for us to express our feelings. People fight it, they say crying means you are weak. I think when we fight this urge we are disengaging in the very thing that holds us together. The One.

Another tear falls, and another. It is the One who has made me, gifted me with the ability to tell stories, to speak my truth and to share with others. And I have hid it away. Ashamed of being different, ashamed of being me. Who am I to walk into the world and introduce myself, who am I to ask for more than what I have right now. Who are any of us?
Yet, who are we to hide away, to not live our most ultimate life? The gifts within ourselves nurture others, give life to others. Moments of inspiration, healing and courage. It is a must that we all shine as brightly as we are meant to. It is in honor of the world that we barrel through.

If we don’t do it now, when will we have a chance? There is only now, only this moment. Shine on.
Big love, HIMG_3912

Nostalgia is only for older people

DSCN4321Walked through the mown down forest by my home (soon to be a large, tight housing development) and thought, remember when these were trees, and you could hear the birds and animals scurrying about?

The sounds now were of children laughing in their small yards completely oblivious to the scalping of nature right next to their homes.

They will grow up with neighbors and have friends that they can go to school with through the years. Perhaps they will find their future spouses and have families of their own.

The current twenty something’s are into the latest technology, just as we were years ago. We had been dazzled with the VCR and a microwave that could cook our food in no time at all.  Cable TV and  movies you could rent anytime you wanted. Drive in theaters.

Every generation becomes nostalgic of what they had in their younger years. They watch with great excitement the new stuff that they got to see come into the world. The older stuff is set aside as obsolete.

Yet, those that came before, sat amazed, and felt nostalgic of the things that they remembered back in their time.

So is the cycle. Looking back and remembering.

My time was better than now, better than theirs who came before. We all feel like that. That our time was the best, feeling sorry for the rest.

It is only when you are older that you miss stuff. Moments, certain fragrances, clothes that were hip. Music is a big one.

The current generation has no idea what we had, and we have no idea what they have. It is my hope that each generation will feel the feelings of belonging and what life is really about.

I am nostalgic for the open spaces and the games played with friends outside until dark. The playing so hard you forgot to eat, and running next door to see if your friend was home.

Many of those things are going away. Life is complicated. Different.

That’s why I miss the good ol’ days.

~Hazel

Apples, oranges and bananas

orangeWith mid-life, one has some time and experience to look back and really assess the situation of one’s life. It is a good time to make sure you are being your best self. That the decisions you are making are your own and that you can live with them.

A big part of my decision making, has been my desire to make my daughters’ proud. I wanted them to see me succeed in a general sense. And I have at times done that.

Now, as I ready for a change again, due to circumstances I will not go into, I am faced with telling them I am on the move again.

I think the reason I didn’t want to tell them and the reason I maybe stayed longer than I might have, is two fold. I like the money and the stability, however, I really didn’t want to tell my daughters’ I was quitting.

I have figured out why. Their father, a very good man, is as stable as they come. In this disastrous employment environment called the 21st century, this man has managed to stay with the same company in similar roles for 37 years. THIRTY SEVEN.

Now in comparison, I have had numerous jobs, three start ups and am also writing a book. Sorry, four businesses.

If one would make a side by side comparison between us; obviously one would be a winner and one would be a LOSER. However, it came to me recently that we are measuring people as if they come from the same mold. Apples to Apples.

I must be an orange. I love the thrill of a start up. The brainstorming, the dynamic mind melding that comes when a small group decides to chase their dreams. If not dreams, an incredible idea that they want to share with the world. The creative juices flowing and overflowing until you look down at your sweaty, blistered hands and realize that you have made something. Made something from nothing.

There must be great satisfaction in having a nice comfortable life with plenty of money, a job you go to everyday and enjoy. The contentment of a nice stable, career. I applaud those who have that. I celebrate that you love that or have that. Go Apples.

But it is when it is not wanted, but a self imposed necessity, that I find sad. Some have a fire inside that they let become embers. That the societal belief that one should stay in the same place and for the long term, and the shaming that happens when one chooses another life than that, is what we need to change.

We need to start appreciating the ones who take chances, the ones who looked at the odds and made the jump anyway. There is bravery and pride in going beyond the proven way.

Oranges have made the Iphone, they have built up cars that run on alternate fuels. They have built empires, and have struggled, each of them, along the way. There are Oranges that never make it, but they just keep trying.

What I cannot get behind any longer is the shaming. The expectations that one has to fit into this mold to be considered successful. I hope my daughters will see a Mom that went for it. That she might have been a little more nomadic than some, but she was always excited about creating and searching for the next big thing. Something to build, something to make. Something to write.

Apples make a huge contribution to society, and I am thankful for apples. I am thankful for oranges, and my God, those bananas. They are fabulous. We all have a place, with a job in being in this world.

There is room for all of us in this fruit bowl called life. Enjoy ~ Hazel.

Writing and Reading, and not reading.

Feather from JonathanI have a favorite author, one I watch, and follow and listen to, but I have never read her books. I have picked them up and purchased them, but I always set them down.

She has a highly intellectual, academic way of writing that really taxes my brain. Big long words. Many of them. Too many of them per sentence.

When I read a paragraph, I end up putting the book down, going to the dictionary three times and having to sit and let it sink in. It just doesn’t move me, like it should. Like I know it is supposed to. Like I know it does for others.

I wish it did.

Maybe it’s because I am a story teller myself. The way I write is the way I talk, I can use big words; but I rarely do, as the simple ones do just fine.

Sometimes, it feels like these academically charged self help books are for an upper class of people only. The ones that went to college for fifteen years, have multiple degrees and huge boxes of vocabulary at home just for fun. They sit at the breakfast table and discuss hyperbole, and what they will have for dinner in the next fortnight. Ugh, who talks like that?

When you are working on yourself, you don’t want to have to work to think as well. Your brain is already rearranging a lot of inner thoughts and judgements about the way you are; into the way you want to be. That is hard work in itself.

I appreciate everything she says when I hear her speak, but the way she writes, makes me nuts. And it’s ok. Because others like it. And she’s successful. And that’s great.

I am grateful for TV, and the internet for showing me who she is as a person, and for being able to hear her say the things that are in her books. Sometimes with big words because she cannot help herself; but also with regular words that the brain can digest when open.

Gratitude that there are all different types of people. Grateful for the many ways to see and hear them.

There is room for us all. ~ Hazel

Challenge your thoughts

I have noticed that some people are harder to bring back from the brink. They hear things that may or may not be true, but they hold them as true because they are the worst possible scenario for them. They believe that life, and the world in general are not their friends.

Today I thought of someone in my past, who took his life. I wonder if there was anything I could have done to stop that from happening. If I could have helped him. Before it was too late. He was in my life a long time ago, so many years had passed since we had seen each other and he was not in my closest circle. I still cared about him. I doubt he knew.

We spend a lot of time telling ourselves and others that everything is ok.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.”

But are we fine? Are we one bad day from wanting it to end? What is the tipping point? Is it friendships, love?

I think it must be the overwhelming belief that nothing will ever be ok again. Mixed with timing and opportunity.

What would happen if we all just got very real, and said when things were shitty? If we reached out with a hug, to a stranger in tears on the street? We spend so much time in our own head that we miss what challenges others are having. We walk on by.

Some just have it harder. Certain circumstances, hardships. No support structure. This country doesn’t have a good way to help people through mental illness and depression.

We are losing people. People that have something to give and to say.

They are gone. They leave behind questions, regrets, that we didn’t do more.

Ask them out for a cup of coffee. Send them a note.

I’m sorry.

We need to stop assuming that because someone says they are fine, that they are.

And all of us, need to challenge the bad feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness that we feel and know that the sun will rise, and a new day will come. Things are fixable and we are not alone. We all have a place in this big wide world.

Ask for help.

We love you. IMG_6395

 

Friday night

After a week of pouring out creative energy for my job, I have little left and plop in front of the TV. My mind numbing design shows waste my time, and help me decompress, as I pop in and out of my Facebook page. No likes.

Whatever.

I am on a roll at work, not that I am getting much credit for it. My ideas are being drafted into a large presentation that will be given by someone else. I asked for the position of doing this full time, with the title that would come along with it. It was not answered.

Whatever.

The rain continues to fall. Late winter, spring when we have made it again through the cold, but not seen near enough sunshine to put a permanent smile on our faces or flip flops on our feet. I try to enjoy the rain and the gray days. But this is getting ridiculous.

Whatever.

What about my book? The one I have spent almost 15 years writing. The one that is inside me? Not much time for that. If there is time, my brain is just too tired. Too tired to remember where I was in the story without taking an hour to read it first to get into character. Not writer’s block exactly but writer’s fatigue. The creative place in my brain is alive and kicking but being taxed by another purpose. The purpose that pays the bills.

Whatever.

I spend my nights waking up with ideas to fuel the fire of the campaign for my job. Names and epiphanies about how to convey this information to the masses. I wait for it to stop. It is good that I can bring something else to the table than that of which I was hired. I can develop my own position with the stuff I come up with for the company and I have no serious guidance or overseeing. There is a freedom in that.

I know that I could get up early and write for myself, look out over the morning mist with the sun peeking it’s rays up over the park across the street. That would mean missing sleep. Without sleep I couldn’t do what I need to do. The stuff that pays the bills.

Paying bills is a very significant reason to use your brain cells and tire yourself out trying to impress.

So tired. But at least I wrote something.

Whatever. fullsizeoutput_3137

Maybe tomorrow~ Love Hazel