Posts Filed Under Ramblings

I volunteered to watch a scary movie with my husband the other night. I hate scary movies. I haven’t cared for them since seeing Amityville Horror at the tender age of EIGHT (thanks, Aunt Connie). I can’t even watch 48 hours when I’m in the house alone.

But, my husband said if I’d watch Jeepers Creepers with him we would turn the lights out and there would be snuggling and air-popped popcorn, so I had that going for me. If there had been Raisinets, I would have submitted to a double-feature. He likes me because I’m easy.

So we settled in and went in search of Jeepers Creepers, which we couldn’t find even though both of us had seen it listed on HBO, or Netflix, or somewhere. This left us with surprisingly few options given we were just days away from Halloween. Get your act together, cable. What good are you if you can’t make a women pee her pants with fear?

After scrolling through the selections, we stumbled across Children of the Corn. I had never seen it, so it seemed a good choice. You can’t go wrong with Stephen King, right? Wrong.

The acting! The music! The special effects! The 80s!

I could make a better movie with my iPhone and my dogs playing the lead roles. I mean, honestly, it didn’t even turn me off of running between rows of corn, which I’m pretty sure will never happen, but if it were to happen I should be terrified, which I wouldn’t be. So, if you see me running between rows of corn, you’ll know why I’m not scared.

Now I feel like I need to watch more horror movies, because maybe they aren’t scary at all and I’ve been missing the chance to have a good laugh. Next up: Leprechaun in the Hood.

leprechaun

A Few of My Favorite Things

posted by Momo Fali on October 8, 2014

Do you ever think about the things that make you truly happy? If you don’t, you should. When you’re searching for peace, you think of them a lot. Trust me, I know.

I’ll give Maria raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but she loses me at bright copper kettles. I mean, you’d REALLY have to love tea. I like tea, but I don’t care how the water gets boiled. Plus, I think you have to polish copper and I hate chores.

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So, what does make me happy – or, rather, peaceful? In no particular order:

1. Sunshine.

2. My husband touching my face or hair. The touch of a cheek or gently holding the nape of a neck is intimate and lovely.

3. A clear, starry sky. For making wishes.

4. Intense, exhausting workouts. I don’t look happy while I’m doing them and I complain A LOT, but pulling a rope with a 400 lb. tire attached to the other end makes me feel strong, powerful and confident even though my face is purple and I’m dripping with sweat.

5. Watching my kids try anything. A new food, a new experience, a new activity; seeing them attempt something makes them achievers in my eyes, even if they fail.

6. Cold beer. Duh.

7. The beach. Sand between my toes, the sound of the waves, and saltwater making my hair look pretty without any effort – I’ll take that ALL DAY LONG. Combined with #1, #5 and #6? Heaven.

8. A clean house. I never get this one. Never.

9. A good movie. Throw in Milk Duds and it’s even better.

10. Puppies, good friends, flowers, board games, slow-dancing, campfires, music, and snuggling. Not all at once, but I didn’t want this list to get too long.

While things have seemed kind of bleak lately, I’m finding it helpful to come back to this list to seek out, and give myself, the things I can. Thankfully, that hasn’t resulted in too many Milk Duds, but don’t even come near me without expecting a snuggle.

What would your list look like? What are your favorite things?

How to Achieve Spontaneous Happiness…Gradually

posted by Momo Fali on September 24, 2014

I’m reading a great book right now called Spontaneous Happiness by Dr. Andrew Weil and last night I came to a passage about how creative-minded people often do the most self-reflection. This can be both good (leading to positive changes in oneself) and bad (leading to regret and bouts of depression).

Just a few hours before I read that section, I went on a walk and actually yelled at myself to stop looking at everything metaphorically. Every falling leaf is not a sign that I’m getting old, every flower blooming from a crack in the pavement is not me reaching beautiful heights despite broken beginnings. I think Dr. Weil has me nailed.

Honestly, if I were to really look inside myself I’d likely just see cell inflammation and I’ve yet to find a metaphor for that in nature. I think the only way I’ll really know what’s lurking under my skin is if I come across a puffy, bloated, dead fish.

The thing about the brain is that it never stops. You can not set it to pause or control its reactions. The brain has a mind of its own. Get it?

So, while the massive self-reflection I’ve done lately is leading to bettering myself, I’m kind of in this non-stop spiral of looking inward. I barely have a second to figure out how to improve upon a flaw, before I find something else to fix. Hello, chaos? It’s me, Momo. My hygienist is totally going to yell at me for all of this teeth-grinding.

What I want is immediate change so I can get to the next task. Find it, fix it, move on. This, to me, is the key to happiness, but of course it’s completely unrealistic. My expectations are set to freeway driving, while real life is in a school zone. I think I have metaphor problems, for real, you guys. *adds it to list of things to work on*

While this book has been incredibly beneficial to me, I think it should have been named Slow, Steady Happiness, because happiness doesn’t come with the snap of one’s fingers. We have to search, then focus on what brings us joy and work to maintain it. Unsolicited, permanent, giddiness is not a normal human condition. Apparently, hot flashes are, but that’s another blog post.

It’s hard to know this is going to be a long journey when I just want to get to the finish line, but at least I have well-fitting, comfortable shoes. I can’t stop. I just can’t. Before I can start, though, I have to wrap my mind around the long haul. I have to know that the first few miles are going to be painful, I will feel heavy and every step will be a struggle, but by the end I will be lighter and happier.

Then, and only then, will joy be spontaneous. It’s not going to happen without much toil and trouble, but I like to think you get more satisfaction when you’ve tried really hard.

On my next walk, I’m going to go ahead and think metaphorically. I choose to believe that someday my happiness will be evergreen.

A Recipe for Kindness

posted by Momo Fali on September 9, 2014

There has been so much going on in my mind lately that I’ve struggled to find words for this space. I felt no doubt that I would begin writing only to have far more spill onto the page than I wanted to share. I am mostly an open book, but my loved ones aren’t. I have to respect that.

Some of you who subscribe to this blog via email, may have received a post (twice) that I published, then deleted, then published, then deleted again. I tried to talk about self-reflection and things I have learned about myself lately, but the truth is that those things are changing every day and it just didn’t feel right to leave the words stuck on this page when my life is so fluid.

But, there is NO WAY I would stay silent on the matter of Bay Village and the 14-year old, special needs boy who was duped into doing an ALS ice bucket challenge. In case you haven’t heard, the bucket wasn’t full of ice water, it was full of feces, urine and saliva. I hope the criminals face swift and harsh punishment and I hope that when they’re finished with this life and face another, the punishment is eternal. It’s not my job to judge them, but I’m free to have an opinion.

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This incident is at the heart of what I’ve struggled with lately; where is kindness? Is it really that hard to share good will and to treat others as you want to be treated? Why do we struggle to love, give and understand – to fight against ignorance, hate and judgement? Can’t we just be nice to one another? I think we can if we take the right steps.

1. Educate yourself. Kindness starts with you and if you think you’re witnessing injustice or think you may be guilty of perpetrating it, read about the topic. Part of my self-reflection is being honest with myself that I haven’t been my best self, so I went to the library and got two books about how to fix it. I’ve read dozens of articles, too. I’m a work-in-progress, but at least I’m looking for answers.

2. Educate your children. Insist they read books about people who face struggles and let them know they can make a difference simply by understanding that people are different. Tell them that it’s never okay to be disrespectful. You can voice an opinion without name-calling or bullying.

3. Smile more. Smile at the mailman, the cashier at Target, your spouse, your children, the stranger in the park and the woman in the car next to you at the traffic light. We’re all in this together. Spread a little light.

4. Have faith in people. Believe that people are good and find goodness in them. If you’re lucky, you may even draw it out of them and you’ll no longer have to search for it.

5. Lift someone up. It’s hard to be angry when someone is showing you kindness. Once you find the goodness in a person, tell them so. Let them know you’re thinking of them, you appreciate them or you’re proud of them. Compliments feel just as good to give as they do to get.

6. Use your network. Share stories like the one about this 14-year old boy with your friends and family. The more we talk about the pain we see and feel, the more aware we become. After that, refer to #1.

7. Listen. When you don’t have the words or the means, do a lot of listening. You don’t always have to say something. You don’t have to fight every fight. As a matter of fact, you can’t.

8. Be the friend you would call in a crisis. We’re all busy. We all have stress and crazy schedules with no time to ourselves, but if your car broke down and you needed a ride, wouldn’t it be great to know you could call someone and they’d be there. Be that person. Let people count on you.

9. Share your love. Tell your friends and family you love them. Don’t be scared of the word. When people feel loved, they are less likely to act out.

10. Don’t tolerate bullying. Ever. Not in your house, not in your schools, not in your neighborhood. Insist upon consequences and if the adults in charge don’t make something happen, they should face consequences too. Vote. Use your voice. Write a letter to the editor. Start an online forum. Start a petition on Facebook. Stand up for what’s right.

There really is goodness in all of us, but sometimes we need help finding it when it’s buried under shock and pain. Find your virtue, then show it to others and maybe it will spread. Let’s stop standing around, wishing for a kinder world. Let’s make it happen.