on attitude & perspective

Attitudes are self-created. You are free to choose to be victimized by circumstance or people, or you can choose to look at life with an open mind and be victorious. No one else can choose your attitude for you. Your perspective and choice of attitude gives you the power to be in control. That is the essence of true freedom. ~ Irene Dunlap


This was one of my favorite quotes I hung in my cabin when I was a camp counselor at Camp Oasis, a camp for kids with Crohn's and Colitis. There were others too that I brought with me to decorate the walls and the girl's minds, wrote with markers on colorful construction paper that my mom and friend John helped me make, some that I still have hanging on my wall in my office below, reminding me of that experience.

I paid over $1000 to volunteer at this camp, all told, in the summer of 2006 in St. Louis, MO- now that is saying something! They say you should ask yourself what you would do for free, or if money was no object- and whatever it is, do that. I've certainly volunteered for a lot of camps over the years, so it will most definitely be a part of my what-I'm-going-to-be-when-I-grow-up plan!

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all we have is now.

This is a portion of what I have on my facebook "about me" section, since the day I signed up in 2008 (as close to any "profile" as I get):

Life is beautiful and short. Enjoy it and each other while you can. The end. I have a glass full disposition on life. I try to always see the good in people & situations. I believe in living each day as if it were the last. I don't beat around the bush. I'm not afraid to be real. I believe in dreams. I believe everyone has an intrinsic, authentic truth & tend to seek it out. I will never stop learning and exploring. I ask a lot of questions, especially why & what do you mean? I like being alone. I like being with you. What you see is what you get. I'm an ordinary person. I'm an extraordinary person. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

The world lost a special lady named Hazel today. She was someone that was sweet, loving, generous, and affectionate to me, she was a grandmother and mother, among other things, had a cozy house filled with cherished memories and photos of loved ones, comforts, and vintage delights in that pink and moss green hue of the 60s.

Was I nice to people at the grocery store serving me today? Not consistently, no.

Did I take the time to smile to people I encountered today? I did attempt this, but wholeheartedly and always in the moment, no.

This pains me because we are so often on autopilot, so self-absorbed with our own thoughts, so hurried, that rarely do we even fully acknowledge each other.

I learned the lesson early on that people are what matter (another post to get into the why). Do I live every day and each moment like it is my last? Sadly, no. I know it might be difficult to do so, but for as much as I know and believe that
all we have is now, there is a disconnect in the daily grind from experiencing this kind of reality more often, as much as I wish I did.

Only with hard losses, struggle, and unexpected wake up calls are we jolted back into remembering.

I'm going to work on getting to this place more, hopefully without the painful paths it usually takes to get me there.


The heart may freeze
Or it can burn
The pain will ease
If I can learn

There is no future
There is no past
I live this moment
As my last

There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret
Or life is yours to miss

No other road
No other way
No day but today

There's only now
There's only here

Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way

No day but today.

~ From my favorite musical Rent

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Today.
grannyhazel

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betty maxine.

My Grandma, Betty Maxine, is my heart. We've always been very close, and she is the only grandparent I've ever known. She fills me with joy, makes me laugh with her quick wit and terrific sense of humor, and is a lot of fun to be around. She makes me smile. She loves to snuggle. I definitely got my sense of style (and love of shoes!) from her, and maybe also my strength. She is incredibly strong and has been through so much in her 92 years. She gets knocked down, but she gets back up every time, and never gives up.

We've had great fun over the years- many, many sleepovers where we lie in bed together talking until the wee hours (she loves this, as do I!)... cooking at 1am, playing cards, laughing, watching Hallmark channel movies, visits to the Secret Diner. She lives with my parents now, more frail than in the past, but still giving it everything she's got.

This is a bracelet I made her because her wrists are too small for conventional bracelets. It is simple and didn't take me long to make. She loves it, wears it every day, and says it brings her good luck. It means so much to me that it means so much to her... she shows it to me proudly every time I visit. My Grammy is love.

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Getting pretty at my vanity
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That one time I beat her at cards... very rare! Happy
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