Posts tagged thanks
Okay – I know the difference between a bad blogger, a good blogger and a great blogger is the frequency with which they post.
I am admitting – I have been a bad blogger.
I have not concentrated on writing – I have let ever single thing in my life distract me from the purpose of this blog. The very focus of this blog was to acknowledge the ironic twist one’s imagination can lead their thought process and life to. 2015 has been one of those years that has proven to expand my imagination; make me question the past, enjoy the present and be excited about the future, even as I hit the milestone 50th birthday!
The last post I made was about “The Meatball Experience”. We had a fun day with food, great company and wine!! My mom imparting her skewed side of the world and her meatballs, my cousins easing nicely into our old comfort zone (or maybe new comfort zone as we have rarely been able to spend time together as adults). That day was shortly after one of my posts “Oy Vey! Only Two Years Away”.
Well, the blink of an eye has happened and here we are two years later. I am on a flight to Miami marking my third trip down to the Sunshine State this year. I have been working with a business coach,one who is helping me figure out what I want to be when I grow up (ha-ha!) – someone who has made me look at the things that I have done throughout my fifty years on this earth and realize that I can work with others to bring about change in their businesses and help them create events, strengthening their personal brands.
I have tried to leave my pessimistic self at the door. My mantra hasn’t changed much but I don’t think it’s “I hate people” it’s more “I hate stupidity”!
I am continually happy that God gives me another day. Another day to appreciate things, people, circumstances, whatever. I can no longer pat my puppy on the top of his head; my Bailey plays with his Grandpa again since he crossed over that Rainbow Bridge in May. The news still stinks everyday – watching it becomes a trial in keeping panic attacks in check.
Then the day happens. Thankfully, the day happens.
My mom is now being well taken care of after she broke bones in her back in June of 2014; she made a decision to permanently reside in a facility in her Astoria neighborhood. We packed up, cleaned out and sold a home that had been in my family for 64 years. The uncle who had meant the world to me as a child passed away and letting go of angst that had come between us seemed the right thing to do. After a twenty-two year run, my partner and I have decided to close our businesses down – as I have always said, it’s fun when things are going right but when things go wrong, boy do they ever! Superstorm/Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy knocked the wind out of our sails and we never really recuperated fully. One of my childhood heroes, my cousin, Theresa, suffered from the ravages of ovarian cancer and succumbed to this terrible disease within months.
Amazing things have happened also.
I applied and was accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program in July of 2014. I met the best group of “Cohortians” (as I called them) and benefitted from many of their experiences, our instructors and our business advisors. Graduation in December 2014 gave me a new perspective on business, my direction and what I needed to do moving forward. I received a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from LaGuardia Community College and Goldman Sachs and also completed a business college course of study giving me a Certificate in Management Consulting. Opportunities presenting themselves in the strangest places (or right in front of you); I am a “Lord-Mechanic-Accumulator” and am embracing my strengths and running with them.
I am creating a new business opportunity for myself and will be helping other small business owners steady their foundations and move forward to build their businesses and brands.
My partner and I bought a beautiful home in a wonderful neighborhood and are looking forward to welcoming family and friends for wonderful dinners and backyard pool parties for years to come. We can finally have our moms come to a house that is more easily accessible for them and we can’t wait to see what the next fifty years have in store. I have closer friends, more relaxed days, more ever expanding experiences. I’ve become a “Networker” (VP now President of our BNI Chapter), I’ve become a consultant and, not to be forgotten, “The Third Twin” (blog post with an explanation to follow later).
But taking stock of things, as my birthday gets closer, I have to be grateful for many things. Although I make many a joke about being placed in a reed basket and floated down the Nile (or East River), I am the person I am today – slightly cracked, a wealth of useless information, a business owner, someone you can ask for anything, supporter of many (whether they realize it or not), critical of some but one who knows when they are out of their league. I believe in open-mindedness. I believe in education. Flowers winning over guns; candles to remember those lost; feeling safe again when everyone in the world remembers we are all the same. Love can and does conquer all.
This year, I am thinking definitely and positively. And instead of “Let’s see where this will take me”, how about this…
“Don’t believe me? Just watch!!!”
…or more aptly titled, “The Day of 1,000 Meatballs”!
Those of you that follow this blog know that my Aunt Flo passed away in May 2013. We celebrated my Aunt’s life, remembering her with stories and jokes and reminiscing of all of our collective memories of and with her. A lit of wine and tears but it was a true celebration.
At that time, my cousin Colleen asked my mother if she would teach her how to make her mother’s meatballs – my Aunt Flo and my mom had a few recipes in their repertoires – their meatballs being a shared one. My mom agreed and we planned to schedule the “Meatball Fest”.
This past Saturday, we drove to my cousins’ home down the Jersey shore with all the Brooklyn fixings for a pasta and meatball (sauce included) feast; picked my mom up on the way.
It was one of the best days ever!
My mom was throwing her “weight” around, telling my cousins and me what to do. Jokes flying back and forth – “You haven’t cooked in fifteen years, how are you going to tell us how to make meatballs?” John made sure my mom had a “cold beer” at her fingertips, staying cold in a wine chiller as she gave us direction and sampled the fixings. “Not enough of this…”, “Too much garlic”, “Cook them longer” – she was full of them! We stood around mixing the ingredients, rolling the meatballs they way our mothers and grandmother had, the “men folk” hung around, waiting for something to eat. “I knew I needed something… oh yeah, more wine” was heard throughout the day.
The neat thing was this…
We spent time as we had when things were simpler, less busy and more fun. My family always knew how to do things with great “heart”. When we laughed, we laughed heartily. When we fought, we fought the good fight. But we could always come together and enjoy each other’s company. And we could have fun like no one else.
My mom said many times during the course of the day, “It’s not easy”. She is usually referring to putting up with me teasing her or telling her to “be nice”. All in good fun but she likes to tell people that it isn’t easy for the sake of conversation. It was easy this Saturday family get-together; albeit some of our missing family members, my dad and Colleen & Pat’s mom, but we knew they were there. My cousin spoke of a trip to Italy and waiting for a sign from her mom to let her know that it was all right for her to be where she was and to enjoy herself. – her husband pointed out a street sign that gave direction to another town they were near. “Guadagno”, which was our grandmother’s maiden name – sign enough for all of us.
I don’t know if anyone else saw the same sign I did but as I sat at the dinner table for a bowl of pasta with a few meatballs, I thought of how simple things would be if everyone just took a day, did something they never did before with people they haven’t spent enough time with in forever. You begin to see each other in a different light – with everything else stripped away, just a good old time, wine and meatballs for all!
So I am trying to get the word out there about A Vivid Imagination and I truly thank all of you who have chosen to subscribe to this crazy compilation of strange ramblings! It always amazes me when I check up on my subscriber list and see a few more people added to the list – I can’t believe anyone would want to read about what I am thinking!
I have to ask you for some help….
If you are a Twitter user (a Tweeter, if you will), please follow me @vvdimagination. Sometimes short notes, pending writings, questions to you and requests for comments will show up there too!
I am also working on a Facebook Page but need to pull some more background stuff together (pictures, writings, etc.) before I could even ask you to check out my page!
Any follows would be greatly appreciated!
I promise if you “follow”, I’ll try not to get us lost!! : D
Today is my 48th birthday. So far, it’s a good day!
And being my usual pessimistic self, I’m sure it won’t stay that way.
You know those e-cards everyone posts on Facebook? There’s one I find particularly funny and way too true – “I try to like people, but then idiots happen!”.
Why is that??
I wake up everyday but especially on a day like my birthday and really am happy that God gave me another day. I know the big 5-0 is right around the corner. Another day to appreciate things, people, circumstances, whatever. I pat my puppy on the top of his head, I think about breakfast and what there is in the house and I stop to think about my schedule for the day. Nothing ever stays on schedule but it’s worth the ol’ college try.
Then the day happens.
The news always provides something you have to shake your head at. Sometimes it’s an unexpected phone call. Being a small business owner, a text from a staff member can do it. Being responsible for my mother at this point in her life is always a challenge.
But taking stock of things, today, on my birthday, I have to be grateful for many things. Although I make many a joke about being placed in a reed basket and floated down the Nile, I am grateful my birth mother saw it in her heart to give me a chance for a better life. I am grateful for my parents – the only one’s I have ever known. I am grateful for my cousins who have always made things interesting. I am thankful for my friends, old and new, not so new and those who are no longer part of my life. I am even thankful for the people who have made my life challenging. All these people along with the experiences I have had, have come together to make me the person I am today – slightly cracked, a wealth of useless information, a business owner, someone you can ask for anything, supporter of many (whether they realize it or not), critical of some but one who knows when they are out of their league.
Just for the record, I had one of the best birthday days I have ever had. I spent the day enjoying everything as opposed to waiting for the next shoe to drop. The day was capped off with a wonderful martini, a perfectly cooked steak and wonderful company at a great Manhattan restaurant. Enjoyed the day thoroughly, however, I am sure realty will return tomorrow as always.
But maybe, just maybe, I can take the lesson of my birthday day through to the rest of the year – this year, I’ll be thinking positively. Let’s see where it takes me!
How many children have ever asked for that one simple thing?
Now, you may say “Well, its simple from a child’s perspective but dogs are a lot of work”. That much is true. There is the training and housebreaking, trips to the vet, the groomer and more. Play time, sleep time, time to eat, treat time and more.
But here’s the thing – the big payoff in the end – the undying, unwavering, unconditional love and loyalty from that furry, four legged bucket of love – something that once you have, you never want to lose. That is the one irreplaceable thing – the reason we dog lovers do what we do!
My first confession? I purchased my puppy. I didn’t go to a shelter and rescue – I walked into a pet store and paid outright for my pet. Maybe not the “politically correct” thing to do in this day and age, but you will soon see why it may have been fate that I did. Not knowing too much about dogs, I trusted the store owner and was surprisingly disappointed to say the least. After one week and an insane level of attachment to this puppy, he became violently ill. The largest animal hospital in Manhattan basically told me that he was in very bad shape and “needed to be hospitalized for a week or so”.
Here are the lessons learned from my experience: first, “buyer beware” – stand alone pet stores really are not “regulated” per se – with only themselves to answer to, cutting corners and shady practices with the care of their animals is a strong possibility. Secondly, if you choose to purchase a dog, do your homework – find a reputable and licensed breeder. Visit their facilities – make sure to look everywhere and ask plenty of questions. How many animals are kept at any time? How often is the facility cleaned?
Third on the list would be to bring your new puppy to a recommended veterinarian – one recommended by someone you know who has a dog – not one that the breeder recommends. Have the puppy checked for everything at that first visit – worms, parasites, deformities, etc. Not to say you wouldn’t keep the pet but it is good to know what you are dealing with.
Remember, this is not just another purchase or an investment – this is a living, breathing new member of your family. The level of attachment escalates very quickly – you fall in love before you even realize it. Take the time to insure that your new little puppy will be around for a long time.