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Seeking a cure

Te das cuenta how quickly you can go from positive to negative? It happens in a matter of hours. Zas! For example, two weeks ago, I had a great weekend in terms of fitness. I went to outdoor boot camp with my gym, back to Zumba at 24 Hour Fitness, and then Sunday #sambachurch.  I got huge doses of natural endorphins while being around fun people. Then I braced myself to face yet another nightmarish Monday morning.   How did I go from positive energy back to the grind of negativity?  Maybe I’m afraid of the natural highs. They feel too good to be true. The negativity is predictable.

So last Monday morning, instead of jumping onto social media or checking emails, I held my daughter. M said, “You haven’t cuddled me in a long time.” This is not necessarily true; we’re big on affection. But her standards are clearly higher than mine. After I hit the snooze button, I went over and held and cuddled her. Porque darme por vencida? Nope, I decided to do things differently.

Why am I comfortable with the negative? Why do I gravitate towards the routine, mundane, the Mondays? I want Mondays to be good from the beginning. Monday evening has a positive connotation;  I attend boot camp and M goes to dance class with her team.  But Monday mornings is everyone’s least favorite time of the week. It’s unfortunate because we are kicking off the work week.

At samba class, our teacher asked that we shake off the previous week. I really shook it off, from my hands, off my ears, from my mouth (where it really needs to be gone). Then my teacher asked us to carry that into our work week. This is common practice for SambaFunk; we always look to be positive.  Samba Sundays have become the true beginning of the week.

I changed one Monday morning. What if I consistently make an effort to start Mondays differently?  What would my week and my day look like? I’m done accepting my case of the Mondays.  I’m hopeful for a complete cure.

2015-08-25-1440538534-7002988-uhohsounds

Office Space is a classic 

My choice

“The haters gonna hate, hate, hate…” Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
What would it be like to begin each day in anger?  What would it be like to step out of my car and feel my breath get shallow, my neck stiffen, my stomach seize,  and my jaw clench?  What would cross my mind as I enter a room full of people I can’t stand?  How would I address these people whom I fail to understand and respect?  I might rush away from them, to my own work space, to my daily duties, to the clients and their incessant complaints.  How would I make it through each second, each minute, each day, with my heart pounding away in rage?
I wouldn’t. I would drop dead.  If the physical toll didn’t force me to a doctor’s office, I would quit.  I once left my car in an apartment complex parking lot, took BART all the way from Berkeley to San Leandro, walked three miles to my mom’s house after 11 at night because I couldn’t take a tense, angry environment.  That’s me.  I truly cannot understand how it is physically and mentally possible to live that way.
Now has M said that I have moments in which I’m mad like Ren in that one episode of Ren and Stimpy?
Yes.  Am I sometimes enojona?
Yes. I’m human. I’m as overscheduled and overwhelmed as the next person. But am I constantly negative? Hell no. I’ve invested too many hours(and therefore lots of money)into redirecting my mind to a place of health and happiness. Nothing will move me back to that low place. Life is too precious.
As happens in life, I do cross paths daily with folks who struggle to see things the way I do. In fact, they criticize and reject me(if only behind closed doors.)
Now I may fantasize about going down several levels and reacting in anger.
But I won’t give them the satisfaction.  Instead, I breathe deeply. I smile. I speak my truth. I keep my goals in mind. When I get into the comfort of my vehicle at the end of a rough day, I listen to my favorite gospel singer. When I get home, I speak to my man and call or text my friends for advice. I send funny memes to others affected by these people. I hug my child. I pray for comfort. I pray for the strength to be kind.
“You can get with this,

or you can get with that,

 

I think you’ll get with this, for this is where it’s at”

 

Because as the Black Sheep once said, the choice is yours. I choose to move forward in love and joy.

The ease of being green

I know exactly when I first began to love Kermit the Frog. It was when he sang “The Rainbow Connection” in The Muppet Movie. I was seven years old.  If I remember correctly, I saw the movie with my family at the Lorenzo Theater. I do know I cried. (Still do sometimes.Y que?)  I  liked Kermit, his usually calm demeanor, his mostly positive attitude, his sensitivity and common sense.  Though he was soft-spoken, he was respected and trusted. Kermit was proof that you didn’t have to be loud or big to make a difference.
I was thrilled when the Muppets made their comeback. M enjoys their movies and we are both looking forward to their new show this fall. But Kermit, in particular, has had quite an impact in the world of the interwebs. Kermit memes have gone viral over the past few years. I may be late to the party but I am having the time of my life. Kermit continues to speak for me.  
He lets you know when I’m choosing to keep quiet. (Even though I’m judging away.)
Overwhelmed. (By other people’s nonsense.)
Distraught.
Over it. (Or over you.)

Most of all, I use Kermit memes to make light of situations.In the past, I allowed people and events to sadden or stifle me. These days, I know to face whatever comes my way with acceptance and humor.  
Kermit and I are winning.  

The changes in my world

“Sounds of laughter, shades of life

Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe” The Beatles
Dearest B,
This morning, it feels like a hundred years have passed since you died and yet it seems I talked to you last week.  As a matter of fact, I talked to you on Sunday during that last mile of my ninth half-marathon.  I asked you to help me do it. I told you I wanted to quit.  Every time I want to give up on something, whether it is running or work or any other challenge, I talk to you.  In death as in life, you continue to be a coach. You push me and I am grateful.
My world has changed so much. I am the happy mother of the most amazing child.  She knows you as her uncle in heaven. I know you would have liked her. 
I am still teaching across the boulevard for the cross town rival. While it is a dark, demoralizing time for most teachers, and I can’t lie and say I don’t struggle with low morale, I still love what I always loved: the kids, the books, the conversations.  When I get too assistant principal with my students, I try to channel you and be more of a coach and more of a kid. 
The greatest change is that I embrace life.  Life used to be such a struggle for me.  It is ironic that I had to lose so much before I could finally love this great gift of life.  I am humbled and grateful. 
I know you are well. I like to picture you driving that gold Camaro down the Pacific Coast highway, blasting LL Cool J. 
With love,
JC