Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On my way home

As I walked along Commonwealth Avenue on my way home early last evening, I felt inspired to make a little video to show the beauty of the blossoming magnolia trees. I hope you enjoy it!

Love is all around . . . I embrace it, cherish it and honor it.
My heart is forever grateful for the love that surrounds me.
My mind is at peace, clear as the blue sky.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

After the Marathon

Those of us who live or work around Boston’s Back Bay could never forget the tragedies that took place around the Boston Marathon two years ago. The amazing spirit of our beautiful city however has made this event more illustrious than ever. Thousands of enthusiastic spectators lined the 26.2 course despite the inclement weather this year. My husband and I didn’t attend in person, but watched on live TV at a local brew pub. Normally I like to watch it at home, where I can be emotional in private, but somehow I was able to hold it together.

One of the heartwarming stories I heard on Tuesday was about a runner who had to drop out at mile five, and a kind policeman gave her his jacket without hesitation. Like an angel, he soon disappeared, but thanks to social media, he was later found. And another story was about a gentleman with Muscular Dystrophy who walked the entire route, and finished at 5AM to chanting admirers. 

I always see lots of runners in their official jackets for several days after the race. The restaurants are packed at lunchtime, and I notice them greet each other outside the bar next to my office, which always has the front open during nice weather. Thankfully Monday’s conditions didn’t last, and flowers are blooming everywhere, telling us that spring is truly here.

I’ve attended the marathon in person just three times, when my father ran in it. He’s an extremely motivated guy who started running when he was about 50. I remember that year,1996, and it being the hundredth anniversary. My mother and siblings and I had a long, chilly wait on the Boston Common. Later on we waited at the finish line, cheering him as he crossed. The poor guy looked like he was about to drop. I can’t even imagine accomplishing what he did, and then he went on to do it two more times. I am so proud of him.

Getting back to two years ago, I’m in awe of those brave souls who jumped in to help victims, especially employees at the Marathon Sports store, where the first bomb went off. My husband and I were in complete shock when we saw it happen on TV. It’s impossible to not think of what happened whenever I walk down that area of Boylston street. One of the victims, Krystle Campbell was a friend of dear friends, whom we met once over beers at Bukowski’s. The sudden, violent loss of of someone you love must be the worst thing a person could possibly endure. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all those affected, including the family of MIT Officer Sean Collier.

I’m certain that in the years to come, the memorials will continue, and so will the “Boston Strong” spirit. My father won’t be running in future marathons, but he will stay active, and continue to inspire me, as does this wonderful city.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Barriers to Being

Today I walked by the Boston Public Library during my lunch hour, and noticed that they already have a stack of barriers ready for the Marathon. It got me thinking about barriers in general. First of all, I think our thoughts are so much more powerful than most people realize.
If we think we can’t do something, then chances are pretty good that we won’t do it.

Everyone knows the saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. I think for the most part, that’s true. But I also think that we’re not meant to always have all the things that we we wish for, or at least not at the time we necessarily wish for those things to happen. Sometimes it takes a long time for dreams to come true. And dreams change a lot of times, too.

I think something that’s very important is listening to our inner guidance. When we get busy living our lives, it’s so easy to forget to slow down and just be aware. Whenever I’m out walking, this is when I truly am aware. I love to look at the sky, and notice what patterns the clouds are making. I love seeing and hearing beautiful things, such as birds. If they’re tweeting in a tree or bush as I’m walking by, I talk to them, or just feel grateful for their presence. This morning there was a male cardinal singing on Cardinal Medeiros Avenue. My husband and I like telling each other sometimes how we heard or saw “Cardinal Medeiros”.

For years I’ve worked on becoming more aware of my thoughts, and try to notice when they’re negative. Negative thoughts tend to just lead to more negative thoughts. They don’t help anything. My new year’s resolution this year was to be kinder to myself, and it’s really challenging sometimes. It’s so easy to feel discouraged for example when you get on the scale in the morning, and see that instead of losing, you’ve actually gained weight. Today when this happened, at first I was disappointed, but then I decided that this is the weight I’m supposed to be. I know that the times in my life when I decided to accept myself the way I am, and to appreciate my body the way it is, these are the times when I feel the best and actually lose weight. I think constantly dwelling on something in a negative way has a counter effect. So if I don’t lose weight for awhile, I will be okay with that.

My goal is to be aware as much as I possibly can, and to eliminate any and all barriers to my life’s purpose. I hope that when I reach the end someday, I’ll be able to look back and see some great accomplishments. Sometimes beautiful things I see take my breath away. I can only hope that the things I share with the world have that kind of effect on others as well.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Angels in the Neighborhood

Every Saturday I get up early in the morning to go to the laundromat. My husband kindly prepares the two laundry bags and heavy duty folding metal cart for me, and I schlep it behind me down the sidewalk a few blocks or so. I like to think of my Saturday mornings as my “fun Saturday adventures”.
For a while I really dreaded this chore, but then realized after I got to know so many people in my neighborhood that this was actually a gift. My neighborhood is an interesting place with wonderfully diverse people. Not everyone I’ve met is someone I’ve met at the laundromat, but I’ve gotten to know quite a few from just being out and about. I think Mr. Rogers would love the people in my neighborhood. I’m also grateful for the fact that I don’t have to go down to the Charles River and bang my clothes on rocks.
For years I have wanted to take photos of some of the people I’ve gotten to know, and perhaps someday I will . . . But for one thing, I personally don’t like my photo taken, and know lots of others feel the same way. It also would be difficult for me to lug my good camera with me to do laundry. I’ve spoken about this with one neighbor friend, and she thinks it’s a good idea, but the timing would have to be just right. Karen is one who I usually see every Saturday. She and I are both the same age, and have different lives and backgrounds. She is originally from Venezuela and speaks very softly, so it can be a challenge understanding what she’s saying sometimes with her accent and with the washers and dryers making so much noise.
One day when Karen was at the laundromat before me, there was a friendly junkie guy loitering there who was hitting on her, so we decided to go out for “coffee”. Since it was raining out, and the coffee shop wasn’t open yet we decided to go to her apartment. I enjoyed seeing her place, which made my place seem big in comparison, and I got to meet her pet turtle. We hung out for a bit, and went to the pastry shop together before heading back to the laundromat. Thankfully the guy had split. This is someone I saw on the bus one day. He actually greeted everyone who got on, and loudly blessed the sneezers.
There have been times when homeless men have camped out overnight in the laundromat. Or they show up while I’m there to put their stuff in a dryer. There are also people who need help with the machines. If I see that they don’t have enough quarters or something, I like to help them out. I feel that there’s a reason for me being there, other than just to do my laundry.

It’s amazing to me how many people I get to see on any given Saturday. There’s Jeff next door, who will yell across a busy street to inquire as to how you’re doing. There’s Jim with his walker who always stops to say hello on his way to get his scratch tickets. And Kevin, the Vietnam vet who laughed with me about the froufrou restaurant that just opened down the street. One of my very favorite neighbors is Reyes, with whom I mostly communicate through smiles and handshakes. Seeing his smile always makes my day. And it’s always a treat to see Mac the school crossing guard. He probably knows more about the people in the neighborhood than anyone else. If it weren’t for him I also wouldn’t have met Theresa, and her little pug, Ben.

I actually asked Mac once if I could take his photo, but he said no. I can respect that.