Category Archives: Random

Just random stuff

Soul-Searching For The Meaning of Life

“The wise use of intelligence requires more than academic intelligence; we need soul-searching and deep reflection to live a more balanced and meaningful life.” ~  Dr. Paul TP Wong

Life, what is it? Besides breathing and living, what is it? Why are we here? What are we here for? All these questions popped into my mind just a few years ago when life began to change for us.

As a child, it never occurred to me to think about life. I’m sure, like many other children, I was anxious to grow up and be an adult never thinking about the responsibilities that come with it. Then, it happened. I became an adult with everything else that follows – love, children, college, work… is that it? Is that all life is about?

When I reached the “adult” age I didn’t have any of the above questions. I guess I was too busy being a wife, mother, and employee which left me drained enough to keep me from wondering what life is. Then everything changed. From running around every day dropping off children at school, work, pick up children, doctor’s appointments, children’s extra-curricular activities, church, homework, etc; to only go to work. Well, there’s still doctor’s appointments, church, and work but it’s not that running around as before like a headless chicken.  

So now what? Now that I have the time to sit and think about life I began to question it. With the questions arose curiosity. What is there beyond these oceans? What kind of life do other people around the world live? I only knew what I had seen on TV, read in a book or learned in school. All of a sudden I felt like if I were in the Jim Carey movie called The Truman Show. I always thought that I lived in the best place in the world and never doubted it. But, what makes us think such a thing? It was time for me to explore what life is all about so I began soul-searching.

Prayer and meditation were the basis for my soul-searching. I have always believed in God and in prayer. I prayed every day and still do. But, after I began meditating did I realize that, while I prayed every day, I really never sat down to listen to God. So when I meditated I began to silence my thoughts and only listen. That is when I finally awakened. I loved the comforting peaceful silence that goes along with the meditation which has opened up a whole new outlook on life and answered some of my questions.

I began by doing things I had not done before – nothing illegal or bad. I wanted to explore the world, go beyond the ocean walls. I wanted to learn about other countries, their people, culture, and traditions. I wanted to meet new people and connect with like-minded people. I realized that life is not only about living to work. But only if we stop overworking ourselves, complaining, fighting or worrying and think about life will we awaken enough to see all the beauty this world has to offer and we’re missing. There is so much to do in life, so much to see and discover and so little time.

So, if you’ve reached the stage in life where you’ve slowed down, take some time, not only to pray but to meditate and listen to God speak. You will realize that you were not put on this earth only to work, but to discover the beauty of Life.

How Many of You Dream While Taking a Nap and What Does It Mean?

It is not uncommon for me to take a nap when I’m home. It’s a boost of energy for me. Today was no exception. I was off from work and working on my blog when I felt sleepy so I laid down for my nap and fell into a deep sleep. I don’t ever recall dreaming when taking naps but today, I had a dream. The dream was nice but at the same time disturbing. I wasn’t planning on sharing it but since it hasn’t left my mind, I figured I’d share it. Maybe putting it out there will eliminate it from my mind. I don’t know much about dream interpretation but here it goes.

In this dream, I came across various family members and friends which I have not seen in a very long time. The first one was a friend I had more than 30 years ago. Debra was a special friend. We spent a lot of time together, went on day trips, parties and she would sometimes stay overnight at my house. The last time I saw Debbie was between 1990 and 1991. She was the same Debbie I last saw, with her beautiful huge smile, so sweet and impeccable manners. We hugged and talked for a little bit but I don’t recall what we talked about and then we parted ways.

Then I came across a cousin, well my mother’s cousin actually. Lydia was a loud woman but so nice. Her outgoing personality was still prevalent in the dream. She received me with a huge hug and kiss. We talked for a little then we parted ways. Again, I don’t recall what the conversation was about.

After Lydia, I came across my uncle Alex. Tío Tinito, as we lovingly called him, looked just the same as the last time I saw him. Young, healthy and handsome. He received me with open arms and greeted me with a hug. We chatted for a bit, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

Then my grandfather appeared. I did not recognize him at first since the last time I saw him I was very young – probably a teen but I’m not sure. He did look the same as what I remember. He approached me, gave me a hug and told me he was my grandfather. I do recall responding that I knew who he was. The conversation was short, but just like the above, I don’t know what it was about and he was gone.

The last person to approach me was the wife of my cousin, Ivette. She looked glorious – just her crazy loud self that we all loved. She came over to me hugged me with a loud “PRIMA” escaping her mouth. We talked for a bit and then she was on her way.

So, remember when I mentioned above that this dream was nice but disturbing at the same time? Well, it was nice seeing all these people again and having spent time with them. The disturbing part is that they are all dead. I’m not afraid of the dead, but dreaming with people that have moved on from this life, well, it’s not exactly fun. I don’t know how to interpret dreams, so if anyone of you knows, can you give me an insight into what this means? Or is it insignificant? I’m not worried but I am curious so your feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

Helping Other’s Feel Better While Healing

I might get some heat because of what I’m about to write, but you know what? If I can help someone else feel better while healing, then it’s worth it.

A little over a year ago, I underwent a partial knee replacement surgery. While the surgery was a success I was given a prescription for pain. I began taking the painkiller every 3-4 hours as instructed and they worked. But, when the doctor said he could not authorize me to drive until I was off them I knew I had to endure the pain somehow. That night, I decided I would not take the pill; but I could not sleep because of the pain. At that point, I considered taking it and that’s when I realized this is how people become addicted! I wasn’t about to go towards that route so I got up and took acetaminophen. It didn’t work but I continued it for a couple of days. I switched to ibuprofen and nope, that didn’t work either.

My son, seeing me in constant pain and little to no relief, brought me CBD Oil and explained the benefits to me. I was not thrilled nor convinced. In fact, it bothered me that he would think I was going to take such a thing. “Are you crazy? No! I’m not taking that!” But he was insistent that it would help me and I would not feel any highs or lows or whatever happens when drugs are consumed. With no remedy in sight other than returning to the addictive painkiller, and needing to get back to work, I reluctantly decided to try it. But first, I wanted to do research. According to what I read, CBD does NOT contain the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the ingredient that causes the “high” effect. CBD Oil is used to reduce pain and inflammation, among other things. I read article after article with most of them talking about the positive results and little to no side effects. After a couple of days researching and reading I decided to give it a try. Still, with skepticism, I took less than the dose recommended before I went to sleep. Low and behold it worked. It was the first night, after stopping the painkiller, in which I did not have to wake up every 3 hours to take another dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The next day I was fine until around 10 a.m. – about 12 hours after taking the CBD Oil. At that time I took another dose of the CBD Oil. The second night I increased the dose to what was recommended. Thereafter, I only took one dose before going to sleep. I went from taking painkillers every 3 hours to taking CBD Oil once a day! Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH It was funny to hear the doctor ask me if I needed another prescription for painkillers and when I responded that I did not he asked, “Are you sure?” He was surprised to hear that I rarely took the painkiller but I never told him why. I was no longer in pain after about a month of my surgery, therefore, I stopped taking the CBD Oil.

But it didn’t stop there. Right after the surgery, I began to experience ankle pain on the same leg which was operated. At first, I blamed it on the surgery. I just had surgery on that leg so it was normal for my ankle swelling. It made sense, right?  Well, it turns out that it was not related. Unbeknownst to me of how it happened, I had two torn tendons. While taking the CBD Oil, I didn’t feel the pain but as soon as I stopped taking it the pain returned in my ankle area. I had to return to the doctor and was prescribed another painkiller, a CAM  boot for 6-weeks followed by physical therapy. I didn’t fill the painkiller prescription. I was so happy with the results of my knee after taking the CBD Oil that I preferred to take the oil instead.

 

As of today, I am completely healed. Other than my immediate family, I didn’t tell anyone what I was taking until one day I came across an old friend. We began talking and he told me his wife was having a real hard time with fibromyalgia. He said that most days she could not get out of bed and was suffering from severe pain. I debated whether to tell him or not but decided to give it a shot. I explained to him how it had helped me. He told me he would speak to his wife and asked for information on where to get it. About two months after that encounter I saw him again and the first thing he did was give me a hug and say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I asked, “For what?” And then he explained that his wife began to take the oil. She was feeling better than what she’s felt ever since diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was back to work. I also shared the info with another person that I know is suffering from fibromyalgia as well. And I’m happy to report that she got back to me with great news.  She tried and it’s working. She told me she had not had a good night’s sleep, without pain, since before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 2 years ago until she tried the CBD. I am so happy for her.

Even though it was the CBD Oil that helped them both, not me, I still feel so happy for them and vowed that I’d share my experience to whomever I knew was suffering from an illness and needed a natural remedy. Granted, it is not something you can share with everybody. Not everyone has an open mind and may still consider it illegal. I’m a 55-year-old woman, and I can assure you, and anybody that knows me can also assure you, I am not a drug addict. I’ve never even smoked a cigarette! However, I will continue promoting CBD Oil because I am living proof that it does work and no one should live in pain!

Overwhelmed with Joy

courtesy of pexels.com

I finally released my book, Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart, on Amazon. I didn’t know what to expect and frankly, I was a bit worried of people’s reaction. I know that should not bother me. Part of putting myself out there is accepting all constructive criticism – good and bad.

This book is not a figment of my imagination. It entails all the love I have for my son, my fears, joys, sadness, faith, anger and method of survival to get to the place I’m at now. It wasn’t easy or fast and there were many ups and downs. But, just hearing and reading what my family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and even strangers have said about my book have left me overwhelmed with so much joy.

I feel that I’m at a good place right now. Don’t get me wrong, I still do grieve my son. I miss him every day. But, I’m at a place of peace where I can talk about him with a smile and I can view photos of him and feel his love. My main goal for this book was to be able to reach as many grieving mom’s as possible. I want all grieving mom’s to know that the spirit never dies, and if there is any way that I can provide that glimpse of hope to a grieving mom, then I’ve accomplished my goal which makes me happy.

Blessings to all!

2017 A Good Year For Me

Looking back at 2017, I must admit that it has been a wonderful year for us. There were some ups and downs, but who doesn’t have those? It’s part of life. The year began with a very good tax season outcome that brought me new clients. That was a plus which I didn’t even prepare for, but it was good.

It was followed by an awesome trip to Amsterdam, Bruges and Paris in which I had the pleasure to be accompanied by my husband, our daughter, my mom and my friend. Yes, I did come back with pneumonia and asthma, but I saw it as an extra 2-week “vacation” to lounge around the house while recuperating and that was good.

A couple of months later we were able to “forcibly” upgrade our bathroom. Well, we found that the culprit of the asthma that I was having was caused by the mold in our bathroom, so it had to be taken care of. Since it was already gutted, why not go ahead and redo it, right? So, with the help of my sister’s design, D&R Designs, we redesigned our bathroom and that was good.

In June I underwent a partial left knee replacement surgery. My knee had been giving me problems for a while. It began either buckling or locking this year, so it was time to do something about it. I was finally going to have a stable knee. It would no longer control me, ha! I went into surgery on June 26. It was a successful knee recovery and that was good.

However, the same wasn’t happening for my left foot. It had been swollen since the surgery. I thought it made sense since I had knee surgery on the same leg. While my knee healed, my foot continued to swell and was painful to the point where I ended up in the emergency care where x-rays were taken. The doctor said I had sprained my ankle. How? I had no clue. I was given certain instructions and an ankle brace to use for about two weeks. Two weeks went by and it just got worst.  I went back to the orthopedic group to have my ankle checked. The doctor claimed to have seen cases like mine after knee surgery. I always sensed it had to do with my knee surgery but I’m not a doctor. More x-rays were taken, and I was given a steroid shot. He told me to use compression socks, elevate my foot and ice it and he’ll see me in two weeks. It didn’t get better, it worsened. I was sent for an MRI and finally, had an answer.  I had two torn tendons on either side of my foot. I had to use a boot for six weeks and with caution because it could affect my recently operated knee. I wore my boot diligently and followed all his instructions. I even added kinesis therapy and used the kinesis tape. Six weeks went by and I began going to physical therapy. As hard and painful as it was I stuck to it until I completed all my eight sessions. I was willing to do this because I had another trip coming up in November and I wanted to be fully recovered. Therefore, I continued physical therapy at home on my own. I was finally discharged from all doctors and physical therapy and that is good.

In September I began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection. You can subscribe at  www.debbiesreflection.com. I write about my trips, grief journey, spirituality and restaurants. It’s still in its beginning stages and not fully exposed but I’ll get there. The comments received thus far have been positive and inspire me to continue blogging.

In November my husband and I took a wonderful trip to Italy (Rome, Venice and Pompeii) with the awesome company of my daughter, son and son-in-law. It was a great trip – so much fun, so much laughter. It coincided with our 33rd wedding anniversary, so we contacted the priest at Basilica San Marcos to see if we could renew our vows on November 22. I really didn’t expect anyone to respond to my email and was surprised to receive an email from Monsignor Giuseppe Camiloto letting us know that he would do it on that day at 11:30 a.m. after the service, so we did it and it was good.

Arriving in Rome and after a bit of walking, I realized that I would not be able to walk too much because my foot was still in recuperating mode. We ended up renting a vehicle to get around – not that we needed it. We were well centered in the heart of Rome with walking distance to all the major sites, but my foot couldn’t handle it and that’s okay because I didn’t want to put too much strain on it and injure it again. Even with my foot acting up I had the best time ever in Italy – best trip so far and that was good.

The year went by fast and the Christmas season was already here. Our Christmas Eve party was a wonderful one – the food, the company, the games – a great night! Today is December 31, 2017, the last day of the year. For me, it was a very good year with all the good things and the bad things. But I take those bad things as blessings that have opened up a door to improving some part of my life.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my friends for their moral support with your comments on Facebook and on my blog. Thanks to my co-workers for keeping our work environment a fun and exciting one. Thank you to my immediate family (Mom and siblings) for times spent together. Thanks to my daughter and son for being the loving, supporting children that they are. Thanks to my son-in-law for loving my daughter and being the great person, he is to us.  Special thanks to my husband for taking care of me when I was sick and disabled, for loving me unconditionally and for being there for me 100%. Most important of all, thank you Lord for all the blessings you have bestowed upon me, for always keeping me in a positive attitude, for lifting me up when my grief emotions begin to surface,  and for your love. Without you I would not have had such a wonderful year.

Yes indeed, 2017 was a good year and I know that 2018 will be better. My advice for all is to never let go of your dreams, believe in yourself, have faith, look for the positive in all the negative and have a blessed 2018. May all your dreams come true. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 EVERYONE!

Bullying Among Adults

 

 

 

 

 

I often hear about children being bullied in school by their classmates and sometimes among siblings. I never heard about bullying among adults in the workplace. I once experienced a bullying situation among adults – more specifically – elders!  I did the bookkeeping for an elderly community some time ago. I’ll call the bullied elder, Jane. Jane was a volunteer at the elderly community. Jane was a sweet, compassionate lady in her 80’s, about 5’ tall, porcelain white skin, beautiful blue eyes and a smile that brightened the office every time she walked in.  Jane came in on a weekly basis to help the office manager (the bully which I’ll call OM) with her daily chores. OM was sometimes a sweet elder in her mid 80’s, but most of the time a scornful, perfectionist who was always looking at other’s flaws but never found any within herself.

One day, when I arrived OM was in the office with her abhorrent self.  I did not allow OM’s negative attitude to disturb my day.  Most of the time I brushed off her comments.  Every time a community elder approached the customer service window OM received them with a scornful face.  Most would look at me but all I could offer them was an apologetic smile.  Many had mentioned to me how rude and obnoxious OM was.  Other than let the board know, there was nothing I could really do.  OM treated the elders as if they were a plague and had no sympathy for anyone.  She seemed to intimidate them and no one dared to stand up for their rights.  I didn’t personally know the elders in the community but it did bother me to see OM’s treatment towards them.

However, none was as hurtful to me as the treatment towards sweet Jane.  Jane arrived at about 10:00 a.m. with her glowing smile and warm greeting.  I’m not quite sure what the issue was but OM apparently was waiting for Jane to arrive to discuss a recent “issue” of wrong doing by Jane.  Apparently, Jane mistakenly gave out wrong information and OM jumped at the opportunity to reprimand Jane.  Remember, Jane is a volunteer helping OM.  OM’s voice did not conceal the anger and frustration that she held inside because of Jane’s mistake.  Jane giggled a bit.  I could tell that her giggles were from nervousness.  Jane apologized and vowed to ask OM next time before offering any information.  But OM’s emphasis to make a point did not hear the apology or preferred not to accept the apology because she continued to accost Jane until no one else’s voice, other than hers, was heard.  No more than an hour after the first rant came the next one and all because Jane stapled the documents in the wrong spot.  OM was adamant that the documents be stapled on the top right side of the documents and the staple needed to be straight.  Jane stapled the documents on the left.  Frankly, I don’t know why Jane continued to volunteer her time to help OM.  I took the opportunity to talk to Jane and let her know that she didn’t have to tolerate such belligerent behavior from OM and encouraged her to speak up or just stop volunteering her time.  I mentioned to Jane that OM’s behavior, for me, is sort of an adult version of bullying.  I asked her if she wanted me to speak to OM about it.  Jane was so sweet that all she did was hug me and said she would be fine.

To make the story short, in the 2 ½ hours I spent there, OM tormented Jane 5 times for petty things.  Even though I tried not to let OM get to me I was already a bit upset at the attitude towards Jane.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, OM was as rude to me as she was with everyone else.  I just chose not to let it bother me – until that particular day.  Om’s constant badgering at us took a toll on me and I stooped to my lowest level.  She was surprised at my reaction and asked me why I was giving her an attitude.  I replied that I was giving her the same attitude that she had with everyone during that morning.  I let her know that she would benefit from some meditation and told her that there really was no reason for her to be so stressed out at work.  After all, it’s not like if it were a Fortune 500 company losing millions of dollars.  She just looked at me and did not reply.  I had not anticipated losing it but I did.  I then left the premises.

What compels an adult person to be so obnoxious?  It’s not an age thing.  I’ve had the privilege (and continue to) spend a lot of time among elders and more than 98% of them are as sweet as can be – at least with me they are.  I really wish that OM would take my advice and find a place that offers meditation so that she can find that sweet person within herself.  It’s no wonder her daughter’s live up north.  I pray OM to find peace and happiness in her life.  Lord knows she needs it.

A Full Body Massage

There I was waiting…waiting for Carlos to be ready. Carlos, a young, tall, thin, well-built, muscular Costa Rican male with dark, long, black hair pulled back, green eyes, and a skin so tanned that it shimmered like gold. He wore white sweat pants and a tank top shirt that contoured his well-built six-pack abs and muscles. And his low, strong, sexy voice just made it all too perfect.

As he approached me, I noticed his strong, big hands. His finger nails were short and well-groomed, yet very masculine. I sensed his eagerness to begin the session as he handed me a clear glass of white, sparkling wine. I, too, was eager to begin. The wine was succulent and felt cold against my lips as I sipped it little by little. But its sweet, delicate taste kept me wanting more. I loved it.

The atmosphere completed the scene. There was soft music that filled my ears, the dimness of the room glowed with the flickering of the candles, and the aroma of the scented candles filled the air. It was the perfect stress-free environment. The smooth wine was just the last touch to make me feel at ease – no worries at all.

Carlos signaled for me to lie down. I felt blissful. The fragrance from Carlos body was intoxicating, but it was a sweet intoxication. It, too, made me feel relaxed. He slowly poured the warm oil over my skin. I moaned softly as his fingers penetrated my skin. His soft, smooth, long fingers stroke my neck slowly, but intensely. He followed a circular motion throughout my shoulders and upper back. It felt so good – like a caress. Slowly, he continued to my lower back. Soft, gentle, circular strokes caressed every inch of my back and arms.

I moaned with delight as he reached my thighs and legs. I felt the warmth and scent of the lubricating oil on my skin. His circular strokes were tender – yet strong enough to feel the power of the effect. I did not want it to end. It was just perfect – so invigorating and refreshing. He continued towards my calves, ankles and feet. His fingers caressed each and every toe in just the right way. With his circular strokes he reached the heel of my feet. Oh, that felt so good. Every inch of my body tingled with his touch. I was in pure ecstasy and nearly falling asleep.

Then, all too soon, I felt it. It was feathery-like, yet strong enough, to jolt me up from my blissful state. The feeling of Carlos fingers massaging the arch of my feet as if he was tickling me. I just could not contain myself. Laughter disturbed the peacefulness and joy of my massage at the spa, and all too soon, it was over. Had I let Carlos know that my feet were very sensitive and ticklish, he would have not gone that far. Had he not touched my feet I would have enjoyed it just a little bit longer.