In A World Full of Distrust: Dare to Believe

I began blogging again more than a year ago and without even knowing or understanding it I also began a path of self discovery.  Along the way I had forgotten many things that made me the person I was at almost 47.

One of the first pictures I featured on my blog at Blogger. This is shrine in the Arizona desert, one of my daughter’s pics.

Actually I began writing because it was my way to shout out,

“Stop using church to pursue your demagogic!”

Or so I thought at that moment.  Once I began getting into this wonderful world of bloggers I just couldn’t stop.  I don’t blog as much as I used to at the beginning.  I’ve  fallen into a routine of trying to post something now and then that has stretched to twice a month, but bottom line (I get to use all the clichés I want to), I blog when I feel like it.

My posts were mainly about church (which is still one of my greatest muses).

Without even knowing it I opened my heart and spirit to a whole new wold out there. I’ve read some great content that has influenced me in many ways, I’ve also read some pretty crappy stuff.

For instance, I follow a blog written by a waiter.  I no longer view waiters as I used to and each time a waiter comes across my life I see him or her in a very different way.

Another great thing about blogging is that I’ve connected with other people who suffer chronic illnesses. One of my favorites is Julie’s Spoonful of Sugar because she talks from the heart.   This has helped me cope with so many things in my life that if I’ve need to list them it would be an impossible task.

Stephanie is the first from left to right.
Stephanie is the first from left to right.

I’ve blogged about missing my daughter with all my heart, she left home almost two years ago this August and I’ve felt the support of other middle-aged moms in Blog Her and Midlife Boulevard.

I’ve blogged about my husband’s transplant journey in a blog titled Atrium of Dreams, that lead me to another great community at Transplant Friends. Opening up and healing after eighteen years as I wrote about our experiences waiting for his liver transplant to happen.  Or at least I’ve tried to!

From my personal collection.  Taken at Mall of America, MO.
From my personal collection. Taken at Mall of America, MO.

Then my blog became my editorial on life and discovered my writing style.  Something I couldn’t carry out while I got my degree precisely as an English teacher (blogging is so lax and you get to do so many things that are so wrong) grammatically speaking.  I use my passive voice without hesitation and the best part is that I really don’t care.  I’m never going to become a grammarian so I stopped trying.  I love writing in first person because that’s what blogging is all about.

Like every editorial it might be biased towards what I think or want out of life.

My blog began for all the wrong reasons, but it has amazed me on how well it went after a while. Nowadays I vent sometimes, but its nothing major and still is usually about church.  The great thing is that also I get to share my experiences with friends I’ve made along the way.  I appreciate every comment or read and I’m not into back scratching.  I’ll read your blog if its interesting and I can connect, but I don’t expect for a click back to mine out of appreciation.

I’m not into making a living out this and I do it basically because I enjoy it.

I’ve become part of amazing online communities, I’ve had my blog featured in some other great blogs, and most of all I’ve learned to respect the diversity of opinions.

So, what can I say “queridos amigos y amigas”, Believing is what life is all about.  You have to believe in something or someone basically because it gives you the push to move on.  Nobody said life was perfect (that’s another demagogue), but it’s sure worth while living it.  Enjoy life because at the end that’s what it’s all about.









Our Quests for Youth: Bad or Good?

What’s wrong with getting old?

It’s true we usually struggle with our weight when those forties come around the corner. That’s something we can live without.

It’s also true that wrinkles and grays are all over the place. L’Oreal becomes our middle name, at least for us ladies.

via Google images A middle aged couple!

But, what really is wrong with that anyway?

With our years comes an understanding of who we are, where we’ve been, and most important of all where we’re heading.  I’m not saying that with age regret comes along once in a while, and the dam what ifs, but there is no way we’re not going to have those.

I’d say its more about counting the good things and marking off as experience the bad.

I’m not a hypocrite when I say that I really don’t care a bit on staying young, don’t get me wrong I do want to look good for my age.  There’s a slight difference there, just bear with me so I can offer you my insight.

via Google images

Trying to hold on to your youth it a total waste of time and by the way its a myth. That forever quest to reach the so called fountain of youth can prove to be tiring.

Reality is years do pass and they leave a trail behind not only on our body, but also on our soul. The truth to be told is that we’re scared one day we’re going to wake up and discover its over.

Going back to my youth,  I can honestly say it was an uncertain time.  I didn’t have much experience in life and I made a bundle of mistakes.  Some I’ve repeated during my life a couple of times because I failed to reflect and learn from them.

I was raising my children and trying to cope with a relationship at a very young age.  Not something I would want to repeat!!!  I’m more than happy we’ve remained together and in love over the years, this after all has given me the emotional stability I was in need of.

I didn’t value my health as much as I should have, and now I know the importance of that.

The years have given me a maturity I lacked, and most of all have given me peace of mind.

I no longer have the beautiful skin I used to, but it’s fine.  I’ve learned to accept that these wrinkles are the price for what I’ve gained.

My knees hurt a bit when I go to sleep at night, however I’m grateful for them because they’ve taken me many places and they’ve been good to me.

My back hurts as well, but that’s also a small price to pay for all the countless times it has helped my hips carry my children and care for my beloved husband while he was sick.  I have faith that it will keep me going as one day I will care for my parents towards the end of their lives.  It still has work ahead of it, so I might as well treasure it with love and care.

Time never stops and it’s useless to want to recapture our youth and go backwards instead of forward.  It’s all about embracing who we’ve become.

I’m not saying to let yourself go in a sense where you no longer care how you look, but face who you are and take care of what you’ve become.

You know my dear friends it’s all about being able to do the balancing act because at the end we just want to know we’ve lived a worthy life.

Sunset at Aguadilla's Crash Boat.

What better words to end this post, then those of an abstract of a poem I hold close to my heart since the very first time I read it a long time ago,

In Peace

Amado Nervo

Very close to my sunset, I bless you, life,
because you never gave me no hope failed,
no jobs unjust, undeserved punishment;

I see the end of my rough road
I was the architect of my own destiny;

… True, my blossoms will follow the winter:
But you did not tell me that May was eternal!

I loved, was loved, the sun caressed my face.
Life, you owe me nothing! Life, we are in peace!


Where do you want to be in life?

Where do you want to be in life?

My daughter told me more than a year ago that she wanted to move to Arizona.

To which I shouted on the top of my lungs,

“Why would you want to do a stupid thing like that?

(Think about beaches all year round, tropical weather and home vs. desert, extremely hot or cold weather and far away from home!)

To which she answered, because that’s where I want to be.

It takes guts to get yourself where you want to be because sometimes we would have to get out of our comfort zone.

How far would you go to get where you want to be?


Shit Happens

“Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions. Their lives a mimicry.  Their passions a quotation.”  Oscar Wilde

Crossing the line between knowing ourselves well and not knowing at all is a bit scary.  Nobody can say they know themselves one hundred percent.  You can say,  I know who I am, but you don’t.  Why?

Basically because life is dynamic, it’s always changing and bringing you with it along the way.   Being the worst part that nobody really knows for sure what the future will look like and like Forest Gump said, “shit happens”.

Our lives are full of these unwanted or wanted events that make us evolve, even if we don’t want to.  You can think for a moment that life is good and all of a sudden tragedy strikes and you no longer think life is that good.

You may have a job and all your financial issues in order,  and suddenly lose your job and there goes all your financial security down the drain.

You may have love in your life and be happy, and suddenly no longer love is around and there goes your emotional security.

Sorry if I’m sounding more and more pessimistic (really????) because no matter our own circumstances life is good is you concentrate on the stuff that really matter.

A great place to begin with would be finding pleasure in the small things.

A quiet afternoon in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
A quiet afternoon in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Nevertheless, it’s not that simple!  Life events make us review who we are.  Some face these events and basically remain unchanged, others (like me), need to go back and sometimes waaaaay back and asses who we’ve become.

Sometimes I look at the lives of a few around me and think, “Gee, have I had bad luck or what?”

Only a couple of years into my marriage and I had to readjust and configure a new path because of my husband’s illness.  All our plans just washed away, we couldn’t even save a penny for years, nevertheless buy a new car, or invest some of our money in our house.  Every thing was a struggle for a while.

Yet, not all was bad because we learned to appreciate the small pleasures in life. It’s so easy to let life pass you without enjoying it on your own terms.

Now a days the media even tells us how we are supposed to enjoy life.

Let’s look at the concept of vacations for a moment, television commercials tell us how before hand how our vacations should look like and that’s what we aim at when we are able to take them.  But, not necessarily everyone can afford an expensive holiday, so what can we do?

Look around and make the best of whatever we have at hand because our clocks never stop ticking.

Simply enjoy whatever opportunity we have.

If we’re forced to review who we are over and over, FINE.  It’s probably because some of us come into this world with just a peck of bad luck or misfortune.  Never and I say never think you’re less because you don’t have this or that.

Because at the end of our journey through out life  we can take nothing.

We should never let events (we can’t control) take over of who we are.

Our experiences and what we believe in make us who we are.

So my dear friends lets give ourselves a hard look inside and out and I hope you see good in your life even when “Shit happens.” because I sure do in mine and certainly will not allow myself to live through the eyes of others.



Our Energy Powered Lifestyle

Three days ago I was sent back in time!  The time where no electricity, water, or internet connections were available for the residents of this beautiful mountain, and I’m not sure I liked it.

My cooking water supply!

A land slide caused some serious damage to our power service.  Posts were down and a high tension electrical cord was on the ground.  Did I forget to mention that the company who provides us with the service is government-owned and are currently frolicking with the idea of going on strike. So, they weren’t really in a hurry to fix anything.

Probably you’re thinking right now, “Why did you say at the beginning of your post that you also had lost your water service?  Well, because we have a community based water system that’s powered by electricity.  So, after a losing it’s source of power,  our water runs out as well.

That’s the technical stuff!

Now let’s visit the nitty and gritty of this all.

I strive for simple, and you wont get simpler than living like we’ve done for the past three days. Yet as I came to terms with my temporary loss of technology and electricity (don’t forget that energy ensures our modern-day lifestyle), I modified my view on simple.

How could they do this each day, twice a day? It would have drove me nuts!

Saying my two sons were even more aggravated than I was is an understatement. Wow, no smartphones, no tablets, no computer and no internet for a couple of days.  During the night we used candles, drank chocolate and talked.  That was fantastic!  It had been a while since I’ve had them for myself (no texting, Facebook, tumbler, messenger, etc. etc. etc.). At least on this bracket I don’t have complaints.

On the other hand, talk about doing the dishes and cooking.  I began bringing water in the house from outside (where we had it in containers) to be able to do the chores around the house.  One nasty subject was dealing with bathroom issues, I didn’t want our bathroom to become a letrine so the boys would go outdoor for number one and used the toilet for other matters and then bring in water to flush it.  Is that difficult or what?

At the end of each day I was exhausted.

Using the sun to dry my towels, I should do this more often. My dryer needs a break!

To make things even worse, the folks who were working on our problem were saying that it would take at least six more days to get things done.  Whaaaaaaaaat? I was overwhelmed, we would be forced to live six more days without our commodities?  When I told my husband by phone (he was at work), he just said not to worry that he would get our generator fixed and at least I’ll have electricity,  and we would work around the water issue.  Puff! What a relief!

Than all of a sudden it hit me.  I thought about our neighbor country Haiti,  and how they were forced into even worsened living conditions after an earthquake hit them some years ago.  I thought about our own seismic history and how we also live on a fault, one of these days we’re going to have a big one.  Are we ready?  I don’t think so.

Why?  Because I’m not such a fussy person and I became super fussy as I dealt with all the situations that were going on.  Thank God I’m not at the level of my neighbor who has a high power generator basically because he doesn’t like to sleep without air conditioning at night, so you could kind of guess I heard his generator all night long for three nights in a row.  Probably now I wont be able to sleep without the blissful sound it makes each night.  I can only hope  to  never share his view on sleeping, but you know what they say “never say never”.

But there is a point where I become super fussy, and it’s with my morning cup of Joe.  For a couple of days I brewed old school way, using a cloth filter that looked more like a dirty sock.  How disgusting is that?  But actually that’s how it was done back in the day when my grandmother was around. No Mr. Coffee for her! So, if I wanted to drink coffee (believe me I did) there was no other way.  So I sucked it in and did what I needed to do.

As I write this post, sip my cup of morning coffee and think about all of what has happened I can’t shake off the feeling that we really don’t no what others suffer until we suffer a little bit to.

Actually now that I think about it, it really wasn’t such a big deal.

We were hot, aggravated, and disconnected for a while.  Yet that really isn’t anything, we ate, slept, and had enough water to survive for a couple of more days.  What about those who don’t have food, water or any time soon, electricity coming around the corner?  What about those who live in places where land slides are the word of the day and there are no Home Depots, Sams, or Sears (just to name a few) available to purchase supplies or generators or money to buy them.

What if we would depend on a National Guard helicopter to supply us with food and other things?

So many thoughts, but one remains at number one.  Our lifestyle is powered by energy, what would a world without energy become?

Finally I came to terms with the fact that I do live a quite simple life, not in a way my grandparents did (I’m not sure that doable/don’t forget about the coffee brewing), but my simple is anchored in modern-day technology and energy.

If your thinking what finally happened, we got our electricity restored last night and our water is back to normal.  My boys fled to their rooms to connect with friends, play on-line, watch their games, check U-Tube and so many other things they can’t live without and my toddler laid on the carpet as he watched his favorite cartoons. So , last night I drank my chocolate alone and read a magazine while I waited for my husband to come back from work.

Life was back to normal.