Happy Sprinkle 14: Puppy Love

I spent the past weekend puppy sitting for an adorable one-year-old lab named Arya.

I met Arya when she was just a puppy and in the throws of obedience school. She is the fur-baby of some family friends.

When they asked if I would be willing to puppy sit, I of course was like:

“Willing?!”

Would I be WILLING  to puppysit?

Ummmm do you know about the serious contemplation I have between missing my people family or missing our dog more?

Needless to say, I excitedly accepted the invitation to puppy sit.

These past few days were glorious. They were also exhausting and made me realize that I am in  no position to be having kids right now, let alone adopting a puppy for myself.

The girl was crazy! She couldn’t have cared less about it being a weekend and my want to sleep in. To her, waking up at 5:45am is a late start to her day.

So, for the past two days, we promptly woke up at 5:30am whereupon I fed her breakfast and played with her until it was time to make the trek to the dog park.

The dog park.

It’s like she knew we were going there before I even clipped the leash to her collar.

I don’t think there was a milisecond during the 20 minute walk to the park that she wasn’t pulling on the leash as hard as she could.

Then, when we go to the park, it was almost as if she could not have been less amused!

Yes, she was clearly happy to be in the company of fellow canines, and yes, she did play with them, but this did not come without periods of seemingly not giving a crap and laying on her stomach on the cool pebbled ground while her furry friends yipped and yapped around her.

While being surrounded by dogs was a definite highlight of the park, I think it was the people that I met that made it so enjoyable.

A lot of the the people there frequent the park and upon recognizing that I was not the owner of Arya, they quickly introduced themselves and made me a welcomed part of their “dog park” community. Arya and I even walked back to the house with one of  the neighbors who also was at the park! I left the the park feeling like I had known some of the people for years.

Where I live, I am not allowed to have a pet, and the people don’t speak to each other accept for the occasional hello or head nod.

To be surrounded my seemingly good people and to love on Arya made my heart happy, a perfect contribution to the holiday spirit 🙂

 

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Happy Sprinkle 12: Realizing your worth

Throughout my life, especially within the past few years, I have struggled with trying to be everything for everyone.

It is quite a self-centered and selfish way to live, really.

What gives me the right to think that I am at the center of everyone’s universe?

What right do I have to believe that I am the reason why things work out a certain way, or for the way that people behave?

In reality, to think that “highly” of yourself, to put yourself at the center of everything, is a demonstration of lack of self respect.

It is a showcase of not knowing your worth.

To put yourself at the center of everything is to hold yourself accountable for the happiness of others. It is to make yourself the reason for all of life’s negativity.

As a result, you rid yourself of happiness.

Consequently, you reward yourself with pain. You allow feelings of anger and frustration to snake around your  breaking heart, cutting you off from the light of reality.

The reality is that you are not responsible for anyone else  but yourself.

You simply cannot be everything for everyeone (or anyone!).

It is not up to you to make others like their job.

It is not your responsibility to make sure they make the most out of their experiences, even the difficult ones.

It is not your duty to pull people out of the depths of their immature graves.

Your responsibility is to yourself. Your responsibility is to be the best person that you can be.

Your duty is to be the friend that you wish you had when it felt like you were drowning and on the verge of losing consciousness.

Your job is to be kind to others and to offer words of praise and encouragement.

You see, once you realize your self-worth, you can let go of experiences and people that do not enrich in your life anymore, if they ever did, and you can welcome experiences that make you feel whole again.

To realize your self-worth is one of the greatest gifts that one can give to him or her self.

Coming to terms with my self-worth is a daily struggle. But the moment that I realized I was living my life in detremental way as an illustration of my lack of slef-worth, was the moment that I began to feel alive again.

Realizing my self-worth is my happy sprinkle, and I hope that you realize yours 🙂

 

 

Happy Sprinkle 12: What I like about you

WhSunflower Gatheren my best friend passed away over two years ago, her family printed a postcard of her “favorite things” list. That got me thinking about my life and the things that make me who I am.  So, here is a list of  some of the things that me tick:

Good music/concerts: Jack Johnson. Paramore. Young the Giant. Four Year Stong. Maggie Rogers. Fleetwood Mac. The Story so Far. Foster the People. The Lumineers.

Listening to people speak about their passions. Their voice gets all warm and fuzzy and it basically makes me swoon with happiness.

The family dog, Sheldon- He always knows just what to say, and he is always there to lend a listening ear. He is just the best. He also gets this crazy glint in his eyes before he jumps up on me and it is absolutely amazing and it makes my heart happy.

My nana- She is always, always there for me, and she always smells of her Miracle perfume that she has worn for as long as she has been my nana. She is just the best.

Dark Chocolate! Don’t even think about feeding me white chocolate. White chocolate is an abomination to the chocolate world. I mean, it isn’t even chocolate!!

The smell of freshly brewed coffee- It could be the middle of summer, but the warm smell of coffee always makes me feel cozy and nostalgic and Christmasy!

Thunderstorms/rain- I love everything about rain: its’ sweet, earthy smell. The pitter-patter of rain drops splashing onto shingles. Getting caught in a sudden rain storm drawing my senses to attention. There is something so romantic about rain.

The color red: Red has been my favorite color since I was a kid. Not sure why this is, though. I do really like the color, but I think it might also stem from wanting to share something in common with my dad. I also used to wear these sparkly red shoes all of the time as a kid. I called them my “Dorothy shoes” becasue they reminded me of the shoes Dorothy Gale weares in the Wizard of Oz.

Driving with the windows down and the music up- Living in New England for the past few years, I don’t own a car. Most days, I don’t miss driving too much.  But then I think about the hot summer days when I would wear my shades, roll down the windows and blare the radio or whatever CD was in the car, and I’d give anything to experience those moments of freedom.

My early mornings watching the news and sipping my coffee-  Coffee and the news, two things that I couldn’t stand when I was growing up, have now become my simple pleasures in life.

Breweries- I don’t know a whole lot about beer, other than I enjoy drinking it. Porters and stouts, if you must know, but please keep those IPA’s away from me. It just baffles me that people can actually tilt one of those back. Regarding breweries, I live in an area that is basically a brewery breeding ground. I love how each brewery has a distinct feel to it and it is fun to try new concoctions.

Sunglasses and shoes– I have a slight obsession with sunglasses and shoes. I constantly complain about having too many shoes, but then how am I supposed to say no to the rare pair of size 4 or 5 shoes that actually look like they are made for an adult gown-ass woman and not a toddler? You see, I have no choice, I have to grab them!

Rustic pottery/mugs- I love mugs that look homemade and like they were just talken out of the kiln.

Toasted, (i.e. slightly burnt) cinnamon raison bagles with plain cream cheese- again, one of the greatest simple pleasures in life

The first snowfall– yes, it is very, very magical

Retro BMW’s

My brother- My brother, Chris,  is one of those people that you just know that there is something special about him, and you can’t help but to admire him. He is unabashedly himself, and he pours his heart into the things that he loves the most, i.e. swimming and horseback riding. I rememeber when he was little, my horseback riding teacher would call him down to the ring. He would climb on the horse, and I would walk next to him on the ground, leading him around the ring like the proud sister that I was. Yet, despite my love for him, I am not sure if one would describe us as “close”. In my opinion, we are as close as he allows us to be. I try to text him, try to reach out to him to see how he is doing and what he has been up to. Often, my texts do not get a reply, or he stops responding after one or two messages. I know he is busy, and sometimes I doo egg him on by doing “sibling love” type of things, but I would love to have more frequent conversations with him. But then, there is that rare moment when he sends me the first text, telling me about his swim meet or a concert or asking me a random question.  I live for these moments, because they let me know that he cares. My brother will always be one of the most amazing people that I have ever known.

Travel- Despite my anxiety in new and unfamiliar experiences, I love to see new places. When I travel, I often feel moments of sheer amazement as I realize that this is what life is all about: remembering and being thankful for where you come from, but being open to color your life with the smells, tastes and sights of new places and people.

 

 

 

Happy Sprinkle No. 11: Paramore-After Laughter

I am so thankful for this band! I fell in love with Paramore when I was a diver during my high school years. They became my go-to band when I wanted to listen to something that had all the feels, when I needed to get pumped up and when I just needed a straight up jam-sesh.

Over the past few years or so, I found my obsession with the band begin to wane as I was slightly disspointed with their newer songs.

If you follow Paramore, then you know that their sound has morphed from pop-punk to bouncy pop–not at all the adrenaline inducing, head-banging, blood boiling sound that I was proudly accustomed to.

In 2017, Paramore released their fifth studio album After Laughter. Talk about a total change in soundparamore

You think back to their older songs like I Caught Myself, Decode and Misery Business, and you wouldn’t even think that After Laughter is from the same band.

Almost every song on the album has an upbeat yet experiemental pop sound, and I’ll admit, at first I was not taken with it.

Then I attended Boston Calling this past summer. Why did I go? Why, to see Paramore, of course!

And my obsession with this Godsend of a band was renewed, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The more I listen to After Laughter, the more I love it. The experiemental pop sound is intriguin (in a Talking Heads kind of way), and you would be a fool to not admire the album, if only because of the angelic vocal talents of Hayley Williams.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorites from Paramore’s latest album, After Laughter:

Idol Worship

Rose Colored Boy

Caught in the Middle

Tell me How

 

 

 

Happy Sprinkle No. 10: A Weekend on Cape Cod

Today, my heart is full.

I spent this past weekend on Cape Cod helping at an estate sale.

About three months ago, my colleague, whom I had grown to see as family, passed away from Lymphoma.

He had been everything to me.

He was my mentor when I needed professional advice. He was my friend when I needed one the most. He was my family when I had none.

He is my guardian angel.

He and his wife had a second home on Cape Cod. Over the past five years, he spent many weekends there, doctoring it up and making sure it was the perfect Cape getaway for he and his wife and their guests that rented the home via AirBnB.

The Cape Home carries a piece of his heart.

After he passed away, his wife decided to put the home on the market; she no longer had the love of her life to share it with, and she had enough on her plate with taking care of their year-round home and finishing her doctorate degree.

The house sold in a matter of days. She is set to move out of the home by mid-November.

The estate sale was for this home.

It was a difficult couple of days.

It is emotionally draining, selling the belongings of a deceased loved one:

Handing off the books whose pages he turned with his hands, the cothing that covered his back, the tools he used to build his home, the paintings that touched his very soul.

Yet, through it all, I met some of the most wonderful people.

His wife, one the most intelectual and spirital people I know.

His sister who, until the last week of his life he had been estranged, so spirited and loving.

The Cape Cod residents that came to the sale, some of the most kind and conversational people I have ever met. I could have talked to some of them for days and I felt like I knew them for much longer than only a mere 30 minutes.

This past weekend, despite the emotional and physical difficulties of it, was a gift.

It was Gordon (my colleague), bringing myself, his wife and his sister together to help us to grow and to heal.

It was a reminder that through all of the things that make life confusing and difficult, sad and frustrating, there are other things, bigger things, that make life so beautiful and worth living.

 

 

Happy Sprinkle No. 8: Authenticity

Today, I am thankful for people who make me feel unabashedly like me.

There is something so special about sharing yourself, all of yourself, with another person, without the fear of being judged, ignored or otherwise.

There is something to be said about spending time with someone who makes you feel safe and comfortable, yet more alive than you have ever felt before.

There is something so heart-warming about someone softly tickling your back because you mentioned once that is one of your very favorite things in life.

I don’t know where this is going, but I am glad that I am giving it a chance to grow into something beautiful.