The Old Lady and the Hot Balloon

One hot and humid afternoon, I got my lazy ass off the couch and placed it on the hammock that hung between two trees  in my yard.  Being a procrastinator has shown me that if I move from one location to another, it makes the day go much faster.  It teases the eye  into seeing something other than the tv  or the poorly painted four walls.   On this one particular afternoon I was having a feast as I looked above the trees into the bright blue sky.  It was quiet.  Not a bird or a squirrel were talking.  The birds and squirrels just perched in the quiet and the heat. As I mourned  that this would be one of the last times in my yard, my eyes averted to see an Old Lady stand beside me.

 Some might say she looked like a bag lady.  She was old and squat. She wore a floppy large brimmed hat with a daisy pinned to the side of it.  Her long skirt met the tops of her leather work boots that were worn and crusted with dirt and mud.  She was plump in all the right places.  Her gray blonde hair was unkempt underneath the hat brim that shaded her bright blues eyes.  It was the eyes that took my attention as they seemed to light up her face. Beneath the deep wrinkles I could tell that at one time this woman was a beauty. Her skin had a healthy glow.  She was welcoming as those bright blues eyes looked at me.

            ” My name is Hermina.  Would you mind if I sat awhile? Your yard is so beautiful and I would love to just sit and take in all of it.” Her gaze moved as she looked closer at the gardens and then up into the tall trees above. She didn’t wait for my reply, but took the garden chair next to me and sat.

 

I should have been startled at the least, but I wasn’t. I felt a warmth move through me as I offered her a glass of sweet tea. She nodded with a smile as her wrinkled hand took the glass into her hand.

            ” What a beautiful day to have been blessed with,” she said after taking her first sip “You are truly blessed. We all are you know.”

            “Hermina, it’s good you came. I was just thinking the same thing. It’s nice to share if with someone.”

 Actually I was thinking too much before she came walking in my yard.  As I was enjoying the birds and the nature I lived in, I was also hurting inside. I was going to lose this place soon. I was going to miss it. Money was too tight. Work was tight. My love life was failing miserably. Nothing was right other than being right here for these few moments of peace.

            “I sense you have some troubles,” the Old Lady said as she took my hand and looked into my eyes. ‘What a blessing!”

            I pulled my hand away and exclaimed, ” A blessing? I must have a lot of blessings! My life is a mess. It is not a blessing to be broke, to be alone, to be losing so many things in my life at once.”

She smiled at me as I began to rant about all that was wrong in my world. “No, it’s just a nudge telling you that this chapter is over and a new one is about to begin. It’s all in your attitude and the choice to make the changes towards the new. It’s like this.  If you were in the basket of a hot air balloon, you wouldn’t get too far if you just kept the sand bags on the ground, and wouldn’t light the fire. You would just sit there. However, if you  lifted up the bags and placed them in the basket and lit the fire, you would lift to the clouds. Don’t be afraid to lift the bags, pack them away so you can move!  What sites you will see as you leave the old behind and float into the new open spaces! It’s your choice you see.  See the possibilities! Feel the excitement of the newness that is just around the bend! Don’t just chase balloons, be in the balloons! You have the choice to reinvent yourself. Fly with those choice!”

 The Old Lady was right. I looked to the sky in a different light and studied the clouds, felt the warm air blowing against my face.  When I looked down to thank her, she was gone.

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This little story is just a representation of how we all can keep the sandbags down in our lives rather than changing our attitude. Life can be like riding an air balloon!  We just have to let go of the bags so we can float to a higher level and place to acceptance and happiness. Why would anyone want to be grounded if they have a choice not to? Now I see that’s what I did. I stuck myself on the ground never moving forward, and wallowing in the thick damp shit of my mind and emotions. All I had to do was let go of the bags.

 For those of you who know me, you know that I have gone through troubles the past two years. I lost a marriage, a business partner, nearly my home, my business of 15 years, and an emotional beating I don’t ever hope to have again. My problems aren’t any worse or better than any else who goes through hell. I know we all suffer from our own private hells. Fortunately, for me, I woke up out of the daze and chose to see these negatives in my life, and turn my life towards the new and positive. It’s not easy.  Sometimes I want to drop the bags and come down to ground level again. I’m sometimes swept up in the rain clouds and storms, and it just seems easier to land until the storm blows over.

 I have abundance!  I have happiness! I have a smile, a warm touch to share. My life isn’t perfect, but now I know that the balloon can take me to better heights, and share with me all of everything good. I struggle everyday against the negativity around me, but I look up, see the sky, and feel the “me” inside. It’s much more fun seeing the positive in small things.  It puts the joy inside me, and the best part?  I can share this with everyone with only a smile or a touch.  It is catchy!

 What is the best thing I did to bring me to this place?

1. Forgiveness. Oh that was hard. I still struggle with it.

2. Acceptance

3. Letting the past go.

 Check your bags at the door! I want you to let me know some positives in your life, and I’ll be sharing the positives in mine. Here is my list for today.

1. It’s a beautiful day!  The sun is shining.

2. It’s Sunday and I finished my billing for work

3. I had billing to do!  Now that is a wonderful thing!

4. My birthday just passed.  Older now, but what a great thing to be able to say!

5. My family, despite all of our past issues, is strong and well again.

6. I have abundance in love, passion, and life!

 How have you reinvented yourself to bring happiness into your life? Please share.

 

 

Imagination

“I like nonsense.  It wakes up brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.  It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”  Dr. Seuss

Today I was with a high school student to take her to an informational interview with a police officer. I provide these informational interviews to students who are interested in doing career searches. She lives in a rural community so we had quite a distance to travel to the State Police department where she would be met by the officer.

 

On our drive there we were talking about the kids today and how they don’t have imagination. I had to agree with her to a point, as I feel that with all the computer games and tv shows available to kids today, they lose their imagination when the pixels do the work for them. She said she had no imagination, not because of computer games, but because her father told her she didn’t have an imagination anymore since diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. If you are interested in learning about Asperger’s Syndrome, you can find information at http://www.aspergerssociety.org

 

I cannot attest to that as being true or not true, but it made me think of how my life would be colorless without my imagination. As a child, I was friendless because of no kids to play with in the neighborhood other than boys. My mother hated it when I would sneak off to play with them, and would always punish me if I came home muddy from playing war in our dugouts. It was my girlish wish that I had been born a boy because of the fun they could have, while we girls had to sit pretty with our curled hair and starched dresses. How boring being a girl was- especially for a girl who didn’t get into playing with dolls.

 

So began my imagination.  I used it to be my friend and my constant companion while I wrote stories and poetry of adventure. I would read whatever I could get my hands on, and while most kids were out having real adventures, I was reading about them, and creating adventures in my own little world. I was told I was a strange girl by the neighbors because I would create these stories just to get some shock value from them. I guess I was a bit passive/aggressive in those young years. My mother would always ask me “why?” Out would come another story, until I realized that storytelling in that way was not conducive to being accepted or believed.

 

As a mother of six, my imagination again rose as I saw life through those young eyes. They came up with some “stories” of their own as all kids do, but I relished in their play and their laughter while making their own little worlds of fantasy. I never told them to  put their imagination to rest. It is best shown in my adult son’s artwork as he pulls out his imagination in his illustrations, ( http://www.vonecker.carbonmade.com ) and in the humor of my other adult sons, and the empathy my daughters have for other people.

 

As a writer we all have our secret worlds, places to escape to, but imagination is also good for reinventing oneself as circumstances in our lives change, or what we have done just doesn’t work anymore. After life threw me some real curves, I have been on that path of reinvention. In my next post I will be discussing the ways one can reinvent themselves through imagination.

 

I’m interested in how you have used your imagination to reinvent yourself.  Please share with me your stories.