2018-07-07 He’s Not Wrong

I met up with my friend Josh for a coffee late yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve seen him in weeks… life, you know. With Josh it might be a different day, but the story is always the same.

[x]Girl complications

[x]Diet analysis

[x]Exercise routines and goals

[x]The employment puzzle

[x]Philosophy and the meaning of life

He hasn’t worked for about 8 years and lives with his mom. A millennial that is ahead of his time, blazing that new lifestyle trail. Money is not a concern because he makes just enough doing side-gig Work for People, mostly home/yard improvement projects. The employment puzzle is his search for the ideal job for him. Not a desk job, a physical job but he’s not willing to even try anything. Why would you if you didn’t have to. After 8 years, if there’s nothing motivating you enough to get your own place, why change now?

I think the only thing that would force the change is if he met a girl he liked enough to move out. But, he’s not really looking so it’s unlikely. Since I started dating and have been unavailable for hangouts, he’s replaced me with another girl, Rachael. So he’s capable, but no girl is ever good enough (also always the same story). I thought my life was a record on repeat but he takes that to the extreme.

Of all the rehashing we did yesterday, there was one bright, shining statement that resonates within me. He said his conclusion about life, and what to do with it was thus “Figure out what makes you happy and just go after it”. That may seem obvious or over simplified, but when he said it, I was just like “Yes!!!”. That’s it.

If there are truer words, i don’t know them. Of course much of life is the “figuring out” part, but by now, i believe I’ve got that nailed down. (At long last) In true Miss SugarCookie style, I kinda want to make a list, but I’ll save that for later. The point is, Ive arrived at the “go after it” part.

If I do a deeper self analysis and life evaluation, it becomes obvious that I’m doing a damn fine job right now. It stands to reason because I AM so much happier than just a few short years ago. My friend Ryan texted me last night and his observation is that it seems like things are going well for me and my reply was that I’m happier now than I have ever been.

Thinking about this in the context of Josh’s comment, it’s because I am doing all the things that make me happy. Is it really that simple? Yes and no. Yes because the road is now paved. The foundation is there and I’m coasting along almost effortlessly. No because it has been rough at times, and getting it all smoothed out is often no small or easy task.

I’ve also learned valuable lessons along the way… 1. There will always be bumps in the road, don’t think to much about that and 2. Just enjoy today and all that the present moment has to offer. Recognizing life is short is key. We have limited time in this beautiful blue planet 🌎 and we should make the most of it.d

Josh might be his own worst enemy when it comes to most of the aspects of his life, but on the life philosophy front, he’s not wrong. If only he would learn to listen to his own advice. Maybe someday he will. 🤷‍♀️

As for me, I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing. I’m more than ok with my current broken record…. I’m fantastic!

Peace 😉,

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-07-06 All’s Well That Ends Well

Yesterday I was in a funk for most of the day and felt highly UN-motivated about pretty much everytging. Then about 3:30 in the afternoon things started to turn around. What happenened? Well I picked my kids up from their dads house. A very not-noteworthy event but I dare say it was not a coincidence that after that things started popping.

When we arrived back home, I got back to work and had a call at 4pm which was very productive. Productive in the way that things are when an ever-elusive co-worker is actually present and hot on the trail of fixing something which has been blocking forward momentum (for me anyway). With that one, getting an ack that there’s a problem is the first step.

After that Z and I went for a drive to get our favorite fast food. It’s actually about a 20-25 minute drive from our place. Totally worth it though. Some QT in the car with just her and I and then the delish dinner. C elected to stay home and “fend for himself” since he was so newly reunited with the PC and gaming with his friends. I told him that would be ok as long as dinner wasn’t a bag of microwave popcorn (yeah, that’s me trying to parent). Whatev.

When we got back home, the aforementioned Work issue had been resolved so I was FINALLY able to do some real work. Not that the other stuff I was doing wasn’t real work, it just wasn’t real satisfying. I’ve decided my newest favorite thing to work on is AWS QuickSight. That’s the new hotness.

I’m connecting to data sources and writing custom fields and pulling all the data into some beautiful visualizations which can be published on dashboards. Sweet sauce. Don’t get me wrong, I still dig documentation, but let’s face it, That stuff is sometimes monotonous and boring.

After I pulled the trigger on sharing my results, I was super pumped and decided to use that burst of energy to go for a walk. I went to the track at the High Schoil and as I came over the hill to get there, I was provided with the gift of a pretty amazing sunset.

I walked as the Sun went down and the fireworks started again. No doubt with the storm that blew in on the 4th, People packed in for the night and ended up having a supply of unlit explosives. As I approached 15k steps, I heard back home. The Fitbit on my wrist buzzed before I arrived, signaling I hat hit my target goal for the day. More sweet sauce.

Despite how late it was, I still felt pretty awake so I decided some editing was in order. I’ve been remis at doing revisions of some of my poems based on feedback and it was on my to-do list to circle back and finish that up. I did a few and then got stuck on one particular one that’s a new style I was trying out. As I sat there thinking about the best way to describe the smell of gunpowder from a discharged air-bag, I started to feel myself fall asleep. That was my cue to call it a night.

It’s good to know that even when there are dips, things can bounce back easily. That’s life I guess.

Riding the Waves, 🌊🌊🌊

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-07-01 Holy Shit, It’s July

It should come as no surprise since 1.) Yesterday was June 30th and 2.) It’s felt like July for weeks now. I haven’t done any biking or tennis this year at all cuz it’s either too hot and humid or it’s pouring down rain. Is this Nebraska or some jungle deep in the heart of the Amazon?

Well even though it should have dawned on me before just now typing the date out, it still kind of snuck up on me. Like most days, weeks, months, I came out the gate strong and full of vigor and motivation and ended tired, unsatisfied with my progress, and forgiving myself for being human, but I AM human, so it’s ok. Like Jack White says in Little Cream Soda, “Oh well oh well”.

My brain is scattered this morning. Am I really going to continue to talk about the weather or am I going to put down a solid Sunday Status or and I going to recount my experiences yesterday with the writing workshop or perhaps the family pool party that the kids and I attended last night? Too too much!

How about I focus on one magic moment.. from the pool party…

There I was, tentatively taking a quick dip in the pool, one eye on the other party goers/summers and the other watching the low dark clouds above defying nature and moving in several different directions at once. We all were. I’ve never been swimming in a storm before. We had checked the radar and the current cell was well south and east of our location and moving north east. It was sure to miss us so we decided to get in. There were rumbles in the distance and knowing how foolish it is to tempt fate, we were ready to book it inside the house at the first real sign of trouble (lightening).

Then the rain began to come down. Everyone sitting in chairs headed for the house but the rest of us were already wet. Instead of booking it to the house, a few folks said “hot tub time!”. Well ok. So the kids and I and Jim and several of his relatives got out of the pool and into the hot tub and there we sat, under the protection of a massive pine tree.

The sensation of being in the hot water and looking out at the rain just pouring down all around us was incredible. The best part was sharing that moment with my favorite peeps. I looked over at Z and C and could tell they were having fun. It was a brief moment in time, but priceless. Those moments are few and far between and I need to take all I can get.

Soon after we got in the hot tub there were a few bright flashes in the Sky and that was it, time to give up the moment and head for the safety of the house. We grabbed the towels out from under an umbrella and made a beeline for the back door. The party continued inside and it was good. His family didn’t stay terribly late and after that the kids and Jim and I sat in the kitchen talking about random things. It was a great night.

Like I said, few and far between and before I know it, these last few teenage years with my children will be in the past. Just like July snuck up on me, so will Spring of 2020 and Summer of 2022 and then they will be off making their own way in the world. That means I have to try and make the most of each day and the time I’ve been given. It truly is a gift and I have to remind myself to not waste it worrying too much about what I did or did not get done, or how many steps I got, or whatever.

With that, I’m going to turn my attention away from yesterday or this past week or month and focus on what’s next… something else Incredible (Incredibles 2). 😉

Happy July Ya’ll, Make the Most Of it!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-28 Back to Good

Back to reality means back to the basics. Achieving balance and focus is key. My day yearerday was inspiring, and as the day unfolded, I was reminded time and again of the truths around me. What’s important and what is good.

It started with some nice reflecting on current events and how I really have learned some lessons and how that has helped me make better choices. I had lunch with my mom and as always, it gave me a perspective on some of my potential futures. Learning lessons from our own life experiences is good, but if we can learn from others, that’s priceless. My conversation with her lead me to a few conclusions and if I can course correct to avoid her same pitfalls and mistakes, so much the better.

I also had several conversations with my boss and with each one I felt better about not making it to Cali. In another week or two my missing it and any negative thoughts about it in people’s minds will dissolve and whatever priority thing is now the target will be in the spotlight. That’s the nature of things. Good or bad, the significance of it softens the more that time passes.

I worked through the afternoon because hey, the reality is that I still have to pay my bills. But I took a break in the middle to turn my attention briefly to something I’ve been missing.. poetry. I realize now that at the end of the semester I was so overwhelmed with stuff that as soon as all the requirements were met, the cadence I had had with writing, reading, and editing came to a complete halt. It was a break I desperately needed, so I could focus on other things, but that break has gone on too long.

It’s time to dive back in and I started by editing one of my last submissions of the semester based on my mentors comments. I decided to post that one to my main poetry blog. It’s actually such a satisfying thing to do. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it or likes it. It’s like putting a peice of myself out into the space of the universe and letting it float free.

After work I took my kids to the pool and we only stayed a little while but it was fun. One of those lessons I was referring to earlier has to do with life and relationships and the passing of time. In a few short years, my kids will be grown and gone and I need to enjoy every moment I can with them. It’s more important than any work I will ever do.

After the pool we had a nice dinner together and despite their constant teenage bickering with each other, everyone was in good spirits. At dinner I decided to pop the cork of a half full bottle of white wine I had in the refrigerator.

I drank a glass at dinner, and another as I tackled another work task, and another as I sat on my back patio talking with Jim. That conversation was moved inside as the bugs started to bite and then up to the bedroom as I got sleepy. Before too much longer we were saying our “goodnights” and I was turning out the light.

There’s just something about falling asleep completely content and satisfied with life. It was a good day and i’m extremely happy to wake refreshed and do it all again.

Day After Day,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-23 Key West Day 4 – Meeting Hemminway

Don’t blink or you might miss it. The days of vacation seem to fly so fast. Why is it normal life goes so slow sometimes, but when times are good it’s all just sand slipping through an hour glass? Oh what will be will be I guess. I just want to have enough time to write a little bit so I can remember all of it in days and weeks and years to come.

The first few days of this trip were action packed for sure with lots of scheduled activities. The last couple have been a little more chill and impromptu. I’ve said before that Key West has a lot of history to offer, one of those things involved one of the most decorated US writers of all time, Ernest Hemminway. I didn’t have to say a thing about this to JS, he knew I would want to visit the house that he lived in which is now a national treasure.

I’ll admit going in all I really knew was that he was a celebrated writer, and not a whole lot more about his life. Now I do. We took the tour and thus got the full story from our tour guide. His life was fascinating and also tragic. Most of his prize wining novels were loosely based on people, places, and events of his own life.

He was a romantic, married 4 times, lived mostly in Florida (the Key West house) and Paris, and suffered as individual with bi-polar and several other physical ailments that he had his whole adult life. One of those injuries kept him from being drafted during the First World War yet he still volunteered and ended up getting wounded from shrapnel in his legs.

The end of his marriages and beginning of the next was a pattern of having affairs and being caught. His wife would ask for a divorce and within a few weeks he would be married again. In touring his house it was clear that he loved boats and being in the water. One typed note I read was a letter to a friend confessing he was broke and needed to make a certain amount from his current writing endeavor to cover the cost of the boat he had his eye on.

Another pattern of behavior with the wives was that each was richer than the last. He married into money and most of what we were touring was bought and paid for by the families of his wife. Besides his legacy of writing, he had 3 children (all boys) who have had a number of children of their own.

When the Hemingways sold the house it was bought by a woman who had the mind to keep everything “as-is” and that’s how we are still today able to see what his writing studio looked like including original furniature and typewriters. I got emotional seeing that. It was like an amazing pilgrimage for an aspiring writer to experience. Among the treasures preserved for future generations is something else he had an affinity for.. his six-toed cats.

He had a fascination with the six toed cat and had been given one at some point. He had other cats and they had litters and to this day the same line is being kept in the house. At present, there are 56 cats on the premises and each female is permitted to have one litter of kittens before being fixed. All are given famous peoples names in keeping with the tradition he started, naming them after some his favorite people, who were actors and actresses. Most of them have the six-toe trait. On the tour they were in almost every room of the house. Just laying around on the tables and chairs living a life of luxury.

The tour guide explained how they were cared for and how every night part of her job is helping to round them all up and get them to the kitty-cat condos which are in the back yard. People asked if they ever wandered off to which she replied, “no, they have it so good they never go missing”. If they wander off property, they always come back. That’s a lesson People, recognize when you have a good thing and don’t mess with it.

Hemingway lived a full life, and I can see how all the drama could lend itself to inspiration. At what cost though? What I did not know before the tour was that his mental suffering eventually led to depression and subsequently shock therapy treatment. He was only in his sixties when he ended his own life with a gunshot to the head. There’s another lesson there which I just don’t have the words for right now…

***

After that tour we did the lighthouse tour across the street and I was somewhat brought back to the reality of the day. Hey, did I mention it’s effing hot in Florida? Just walking around in that heat for an hour wears a person out and neither of us felt like more sight-seeing after that.

That afternoon we cooled off in the comfort of our AC before venturing out again to get my other vacation destination “must”.. a Key West Cheeseburger. Of course the area is teeming with fresh seafood and I’d already had several crab cakes, but my time on the island would not be complete without some cheeseburger experience. That deserves a post all its own so I’m going to save that one for later, but trust me when I say it was good.

So good in fact that I ate every last bit and ended up not being so hungry for dinner at the fancy place we had reservations for. Among all the days touring and eating was a fair bit of day drinking. By the time dinner was over, I was exhausted and ready to finish the night off with one last cold one back at the condo. We sat on our patio watching a storm roll by in the distance. It was a nice ending to an incredible and satisfying day.

At every turn Jim has been making sure my every need has been met. I mean, all I had to do was say I wanted to find the best Cheeseburger on the island and he was immediately researching how to make that a reality. I feel a bit like those spoiled Hemminway cats. I know a good thing and intend to stick around… for as long as life will allow.

Feeling is Believing,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-20 Miss SugarCookie Reporting Live from the South Coast

Most of life is fluff you know. It’s all long pauses made up of eating and sleeping and working and not much else (for the average person anyway). Getting through those days and nights happy and healthy is the slow roll that leads to the crest in the waves where the magic happens.

Right now I’m on an elliptical machine on the Southern most point in the United States in Key West and sort of in disbelief. How is this even possible? I keep telling myself not to question it and just ride the wave. Most of the time I’m recording a record stuck on repeat and now I find myself in the middle of some real substance.

At the same time, finding myself somewhat disconnected from reality and the everyday leaves me open to pontification on topics I don’t visit very often. I’m open and ready to receive inspiration from any angle. At this moment it just happens to be the National crisis of the day. At this little resort exercise facility there’s a TV running CNN. Gross.

I’m not a CNN hater and I’m not a Fox News hater. I’m a media hater. Most news is polarized and either they are motivated by attempts to get viewers with shock value or driven to push some political agenda/viewpoint. It’s disgusting. Today it’s “news” coverage of the immigration crisis. Children being separated from their parents.

I’m not going to have an opinion on this because I’m in no position to judge the actions of the immagrents or the people trying to manage the situation. Is it necessary? Perhaps. Does it seem wrong? Yes. Are there better alternatives? Probably. But it’s a long chain of command and most people are just doing their best with what they are being told to do from the person who writes their paycheck.

It just makes me grateful that I was born in a country that is not being torn apart by conflict and riddled with poverty. I don’t have to risk leaving my home with my children to try and find a safer place. I can’t even imagine what that’s like. I will never know what it feels like to be separated from my children and not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I just can’t.

From my vantage point all I see is CNN reporting a story that’s directly bashing Fox News coverage of the “crisis”. Is that the story? Is THAT news? I don’t think so. It’s just their own version of day after day life eating and sleeping and work. Today it’s immigration and tomorrow it will be back to gun control or North Korea or the Royals announcing another baby or some other flavor of the day. It’s really all just fluff.

The Universe forbid any real crisis. I mean, the immigration issues are a crisis for those people, but for most Americans watching the coverage it might just as well be another reality TV show. That’s it.

For me, it’s a reminder how fantastic my life has been and to cherish every day and live life to its fullest. Right now that means getting off this machine and going out to seize the day!

Time to Hit it and Git it!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-20 Sunrise in Key West

Today I am waking up in Key West Florida. Yesterday at this time, I still didn’t know where I was traveling and so far it’s been an incredible adventure. You know you are on to something when even the longest travel day turns out to be an amazing experience. JS has spared no expense to make sure of it. Just being together through the “fun” that is air travel made it not as bad.

First thing in the morning we had a three hour flight to Miami which was delayed by about 45 minutes due to a thunderstorm in the area. When we arrived in Miami it feels like we walked like 5 miles to get our bags and get to the rental car. After that, we drove for 3.5 hours to get to our final destination with just a few stops along the way.

We drove through all the Keys to get to the very last one.. Key West. I had heard of the Keys but never researched much. Some of the drive was across bridges that connect the islands and on the map, it looks like you are just driving out on the ocean. We got out of the car a couple of times to check out different things. The first time it was to see a monument to a hurricane that hit the area in 1937. The second time it was just to get out of the car and take some pics of the vanishing horizon. At one point, you could look out at the ocean and the sky and not tell when one ended and the other began. I’d never seen anything like that before in my life. While we were stopped we also climbed down to the water on some giant rocks and saw the biggest iguana I have ever seen in my life (including at the zoo). There he was, just basking on the rocks. He ran away when we got close to take a pic of course, but it was neat.

When we arrived we got settled in and had a quick rest to recover from our travels. Our condo is just a few blocks from the southern most point in the US and it is absolutely spectacular here. After that, we got back in the car to head to a fish market in town for drinks and a late lunch. I had a crab cake sandwich and a tiny little bottle of Rose. The town itself is very quaint and all the houses and businesses are nice. The buildings have a sort of Caribbean feel (lots of white) and of course there is a ton of lush vegetation and it’s quite tropical.

We went to the grocery and got supplies for the condo and then drove around at sunset looking for a good vantage point.

When we arrived back at our home away from home we had a few more drinks on the patio overlooking the water (which is when we realized we forgot bug spray). JS cooked a late dinner and we settled into the couch for a relaxin evening. It was truly a full day and a great start to what I can now call our Florida getaway.

It’s 7AM here now and the sun is up. He’s planned a fun day for us today which includes a glass bottom boat ride. I can’t even describe how lucky I feel to have met him. We’re going to have such amazing adventures together. First thing is first though – back to bed! 😉❤️

Loving Life,
~Miss SugarCookie