Do You See Dead People?

With Halloween fast approaching, you hear more talk about ghosts and people more readily share their “experiences” and “stories” with one another. After all, it is that time of year when it is fun to have the hair on the back of your neck raised by a good tail of a haunting or strange occurrence. The veil thins and gives other worldly beings a chance to slip through and say hello. Sometime these can be comforting visits from loved ones who have passed or maybe occurrences that you just poo poo away as being your imagination. Other times, it’s creepy things happening that leave you nervous to be home alone.

As I am writing this blog, I am listening to music and the songs in my iTunes are randomly playing. Ghost by Halsey just came on. Is this manifestation, a coincidence, or is Casper trying to influence my writing?

I have always believed in ghosts. Adults around me would gaff at my stories of the ghost that lived in the school. Well, most adults. My 100% Irish grandmother would match me tit for tat in the ghost story department. She would share stories of loved ones who came to visit and the banshee. She never made me feel like my stories were made up. Do all families have tales of spooky happenings?

My favorites are told by those that so profess to ‘not believe’ in such things. For example, my Dad tells of one hot summer when he and my brother were on the deck at the lake. They were grilling food and chatting when all of a sudden it got very cold. So cold they could see their breath, he tells me.  He says it passed as quickly as it came. Did a spectral spirit walk across the deck? Was it some freaky weather occurrence? Or was it a little chill, from a passing cloud, that was exaggerated into quite the yarn? I guess we will never know, but I like to believe that a ghost was traveling through their space and it’s presence was made known by the change in temperature.

A lot of strange things would happen at the lake. Maybe this was because we had time to notice them or spent less time in front of the TV. I once bought a book of goofy ghost stories because I thought the kids would like to hear them around the campfire. We were taking turns reading the stories from the book. My Dad was playing it up big time and making faces and really acting scared. So much so I snapped a picture of him. It was so much fun even if the ghost stories were not great. When I got the film developed (Yup, film. It was several years ago) there was a giant orb just behind my Dad’s head. It seems we were not the only ones enjoying the goofy ghost stories that night.

As we grow closer to Halloween, you may be more likely to have a visitor from the other side. As I said earlier, I do believe in ghosts and I have had many experiences. I also believe that we are safe from these ghosts if we define our space and let them know they are not welcome in it. Then they may not enter. We get to say who can and cannot violate our space. So when you feel the goosebumps raising up on your arm, because something seemed to have moved across the room, remember that you can ask them to leave. Stay tuned for a future blog on ‘protecting yourself.’

Enjoy the spirit of the season! Enjoy your friends spooky yarns and tell a few of your own. Feel free to share your ghostly sagas in the comments. You never know who might be listening over your shoulder.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you feel safe in all your experiences, as if by magic.

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Our Missteps Can Be a Reason To Laugh; Why Let Problems Steal Our Joy.

Do you ever have one of those days when you think you should have just stayed in bed? How do you choose to deal with them? Do you get frustrated, mad, and let it ruin your whole day and everyone that you interact with? Do you roll your eyes, come up with a counter plan, and laugh at the day? Can you carry on without letting a couple missteps ruin your whole day? I want to share with you my ‘Monday’ this week. Where circumstances fell into place to give me just such a day and a ‘choice’ to make.

I typically travel Monday through Thursday every week. My husband enjoys driving me to the airport. It gives us a last few precious minutes together. He is such a gentleman and really works hard to take care of me to ensure that all my needs are taken care of. So, well before the crack of dawn, ourMonday morning started. I packed my suitcase and rolled it into the kitchen, as I always do. I set it by the backdoor where my husband always grabs it and puts it in the trunk of the car. Typically I put my computer backpack onI; he dutifully and lovingly places both in the truck of the for me. This morning, I decided to carry my backpack myself and placed it in the backseat of the car. On the way to the airport, my husband asked about the computer backpack, stating he didn’t remember seeing it with the suitcase. I assured him that I had carried it to the back to the car. When we got to the airport he opened the trunk, said, “It’s not back here”. I am sure I looked like one of those wide-eyed cartoon characters who silently blink in shock. What did he mean it “wasn’t back there?” I asked him, didn’t you put the suitcase back there? He said he thought I had put it in the car. I let him know that I had left it by the door, like I always do for him to carry to the car. So there we stood. In front of the airport, 45 minutes before my plane was due to depart. There was no possibility of going home and making it back in time for the flight. I could either not go, which since this is my job, was not really an option. Or I could be the ultimate light traveler today! I grabbed my backpack, told him I guess I would be going shopping. Kissed this sweet, wonderful (and easily distracted) man, and headed into the airport.

I could have been angry at him and thrown blame his way. But ultimately I am a grown up and responsible for myself. I trusted him to bring it but I did not verify that he did indeed put it in the car. He had arrived home after midnight, the night before; having gone to a family funeral about 7 hours away. The alarm had went off early, for my departing flight. So I know he had likely only had about 4 hours of sleep, if that. I had offered to make my way to the airport by other means but he said he enjoys those extra 20 to 30 minute together in the morning and so he would drive me.

I could have been frustrated with my job and cussed and carried on about the lifestyle I lead; always the go and burning the candle at both ends. I could have blamed it on my busy weekend that had left me exhausted by Sunday night.  All of these choices would have negatively impacted my day in a big way! Instead I decided to laugh at it. How funny that he was able to walk past the bag in the doorway and that I so trusted him, to bring it, that we got all the way to the airport without it.

He let me know that my stepson called him in a panic when he realized it was still in the kitchen. Poor boy thought his Dad was going to be in big trouble for leaving the bag behind. I had decided why spoil my day and everyone else’s, by being mad and throwing around blame. In the end it is my responsibility. Marty works very hard to take care of me but on this earlyMonday morning he thought I was embracing my independent streak and carrying my own bags. We got some good laughs about it. I encouraged myHusband to go home and go back to bed for a bit before going to work. He was evidently more tired than he realized.

I have a couple new outfits in my immediate future and a great story to tell. Embrace these days when you feel you should have stayed in bed. Look for the humor in the missteps along your human journey.  Life is too short to be angry and frustrated.

 

I love you. Thank you for reading my blog today! May your life be filled with smiles and laughter, as if by magic.

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How Are You Improving Yourself?

I am always trying different things to improve myself. Are you also obsessed with becoming the very best version of you? I have multiple ways that I am working on myself at any given time. Some are very successful; others take more effort and require that I try again and again. I often think about the goals I have set for myself. Which ones are realistic and which ones are more grandiose ideas.

Currently I am working on going 21 days complaint free. Despite the fact that I have been working on this for several weeks I am still on day one. But with this I am finding that I am becoming more aware of my complaining. I am finding that, depending on who I am around and what I am talking about, makes a huge difference in how many times I need to change my bracelet. To learn more about this, please read my blogs: Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining? and OMG! Read This Book! It will take you places you didn’t know you need to go. (An update on my Complaint Free Adventure)

It is the first of October as I write this and I am thinking of writing a blog every day in October, sounds like a great idea, right?! This maybe one of my more grandiose ideas for a couple reasons. Blogging everyday takes time and that is not always a luxury I possess. Another is that, Adventure Sister Emy and I make sure not to post blogs on the same day. This avoids overwhelming our readers and helps make sure both of our important messages are heard. But what would be realistic number for me? To write 20 blogs in October? That certainly seems reasonable and I can write them without posting them. Just save them for a day when I don’t have as much time but need a blog. Okay – that is “now” my goal for October.

Continuing to improve my health with intermittent fasting is another. Somedays I do better with this than others. It remains my goal to start eating somewhere between 10 and noon and complete my caloric intake for the day by 6pm. It is a worthwhile goal to me and I have lost somewhere between 10-20 lbs. doing so.  I remain horrible about keeping track of my weight but maybe that is not such a bad thing.

I’m also trying 28 days without having an alcoholic drink. I feel this is also a worthwhile goal. I like the way a glass of wine helps me relax and causes the stress of the day to role off my shoulders. I like the way I can decompress and the stress seems to melt away after a glass. Specifically, because of the way wine helps me not have to deal with my things, is precisely why 28 days without it is a great goal. To remind me that I don’t really need it and by working through the lessons of my day is really better for me.

Another goal I have is to start running again. I cannot say I am currently really working towards this goal… unless you count reading How to a Lose  Marathon by Joel Cohen. I keep planning to start training again but so far it is all just talk. I need to overcome the fear that my knee injury is permanent.

Doing a really great job at work is always a goal for me too. I want to continue to improve my skills at my job, learn more, and be more of an asset to my co-workers and boss. Sounds like a lofty goal perhaps but one I feel strongly about.

With all of these goals, I move forward little by little, step by step. I can make big strides in one, while the others may stay stagnate for a time. At other times I move all goals forward in someways. Of course I have many more goals than those listed here. I wanted to convey to you that it is “okay” when goals do not go according to our plan and that when it comes to being the best version of ourselves, we can work on several things at once.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you make progress on all you goals, as if by magic.

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Nature Will Always, ALWAYS Take Back What Is Hers

Have you ever noticed that when humans step away from things, Mother Nature is quick to say “Ok, I’ll take that back”. Sometimes she even takes it back before we might be ready to give it up. This thought has occurred to me several occasions over the last year or so. In the end, all that we think is ours, (including our bodies) will belong to Nature once again. IMG_1612

Have you seen where a store has closed and no-one has gone into the parking lot for awhile? It doesn’t take long before there is all kinds of green grass and weeds growing up through the blacktop. I tried to look up how long it would take for New York City to revert to nature if humans disappeared. The answer was not as easy as I thought it might be. Somethings would happen rather quickly like wildlife returning, vegetation growing up, and things starting to decompose. Within 10 years Nature would definitely have an eco-system functioning quite well within the city. Give it another 50 years, 100 years or 200 years  and it would be nothing more than ruins among the wilderness.

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Sometime the human race doesn’t even need to step back. Sometimes Mother Nature decides she wants something back and will force herself on a certain area until once again it is hers. Sometimes we can do something about this; like fill in a sink whole, rebuild after an earthquake, or divert water to another course. Other times there is nothing we do can to persuade the natural world to give us back what we “think” is ours. IMG_6458

When you really think about it, if Mother Earth decided that she was no longer going to tolerate us, and wanted to take back all that we think is ours, there is not a thing we can do to stop her. Have you been through a natural event? Hurricane, tornado, flood or earthquake? Have you ever truly seen the power of nature? Have you been there when she swoops in fierce and angry? There is nothing we can do to stop her when she is like this? DSC_0231

Even when she is not full of turmoil and destruction, even when we think we are living in harmony with her, she is slowly taking back what is hers. It is only through our constant maintenance, presence, and a pushing back, that we maintain a delicate hold on our corners of the world.

So the next time you see a crack in the sidewalk filled with “weeds”,  an IMG_2702abandon building that is over run by vines, or the pigeons sitting on the head of your favorite statue; realize that this is Mother Nature. Patiently waiting for her opportunity to take back what was once hers, alone. Remember to thank her and offer her blessings for allowing us to coexist with her. Respect her and try your best to take care of her and the creatures that are part of her. Keep in mind that she could wipe us from the face of the earth at a moments notice, if she so chose to. Nature will always win in the end. She will always take back what is hers.

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Thank you for reading my blog today. May you easily and happily coexist with Nature, as if by magic.

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The Roman Theater at Pula, Croatia

I have been fortunate enough to see the Coliseum in Rome. Coming from a country where all the architecture is brand new in comparison to Europe, I am always awed to walk in something built so long ago.  The trip to Rome was on our honeymoon. My husband and I were walking along the streets when suddenly, there it was. This huge ancient structure rising up out of the city. It seems so out-of-place with traffic lights blinking and delivery vans zooming by. But there it was, none the less. Giant and majestic and so old it boggles my mind.

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Colosseum  Rome, Italy

The Roman Theater at Pula, Croatia is small in comparison to the Roman one. It is still well worth a visit though and has some very interesting things to offer.

Doing some research on the Theater at Pula, I learned it is thought to be the most intact of Roman theaters. Another fascinating thing, about the one in Pula, is that it is still being used as a Theater today. Concerts and film festivals are held there routinely.  It is still fulfilling its original purpose of entertaining the people. Thankfully, we no longer watch Gladiators destroy one another, but people still flock through the entrance anticipating a great show.

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Roman Theater – Pula, Croatia

When we traveled to Croatia, there was one main purpose. This is the country that my husband’s family originated from on his Father’s side and our purpose in visiting was connected to that. We brought my stepson along, thinking what an excellent opportunity for him to see and experience his roots. I was reading a guidebook, my mother-in-law had loaned us for the trip. When I happened across the mention of this Roman Theater.  We adjusted our plans and added several hours of driving, in order to make the track to this part of Croatia, to see something history left behind for us.

It was well worth that drive. The setting sun painted the theater again and again, changing its appearance.

We sat where crowds of people sat and were entertained by events of days gone by.

IMG_6272We Walked where Gladiators had walked, pumped up for the battles they were about to fight.

We were surrounded by shadows of the past and hope for a bright future.

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Even having seen the Colosseum in Rome, which is bigger and more famous, the Roman Theater at Pula was well worth the drive. It was a visit that I will relive in my memories. and I am glad that my 14-year-old stepson was also able to experience something so old. Hopefully it will live on in him, inspiring creativity, dreams, and the promise of future adventures to come.

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Thank you for reading my blog today! May you find yourself on adventures and experience snapshots of history, as if by magic.

** Thank you to SydneysByDesign for doing photo editing to a couple of these photos. Your work is breathtaking!

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The Most Beautiful Place I Have Ever Been; Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

When we were planning our trip to Croatia, I was very excited to be able to visit this park full of waterfalls. I was sure it was nice but I had no idea how breathtakingly beautiful this visit would be. I have loved waterfalls since I saw my first one in Ireland. I now try an see them every chance I can get. I have heard that there is healing energy that is released by the cascading water. If you have ever stood near a large waterfall, I’m sure you have felt the energy it releases.

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I feel my words cannot adequately share with you the beauty of this park. Please enjoy my pictures with the hope that they might give you at least a little glimpse of the amazing glory of this place on earth. If you get the chance to visit, go! I suggest trying an early morning visit as this park is very popular and very large.

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The color of the water is breathtaking. From some quick internet research it seems limestone deposits are to credit for the stunning color of the water.

The water is also crystal clear too. My stepson’s quick eyes noticed this boat sunk under the clear water, pushed up against edge by the flow of the water, trapping it there for us to discover.

Of course, the beauty of this natural world is not without it’s dangers. This park is full of cliffs with drops-offs and some caves that offer fun climbs for the brave.

This park is dazzling because nature made it so. The park is also full of thoughtful walkways made to blend in gracefully with the lovely natural surroundings.

Veliki Slap or Big Waterfall brought me to tears when I saw it and I am not a person easily moved to tears. The magnificence of this fall did, what few things have done before.

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I have traveled a lot and I have been to many amazing places both natural and manmade. It will take a lot for this place to be dethroned as the most beautiful place I have been.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your life offer you adventures to beautiful places, that take your breath away, as if by magic.

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OMG! Read This Book! It will take you places you didn’t know you need to go. (An update on my Complaint Free Adventure)

A recent post from a FaceBook Friend set me off on a journey I didn’t know I needed to go on. My other blog, Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining?, explains the journey and how I found myself on it. Until I started this adventure, I had no idea how much I complained. Until I read the book, I did not correlate how complaining and focusing on what I did not want to happen, was stealing from me the opportunity to live my dreams.

I am about 2 weeks into my “Complaint Free World” Adventure. I’ve been using my cute little happy turtle bracelet to switch back and forth on my wrist every time I complain. The articles suggested this action as a way of bringing my complaining to my attention. I thought I could easily whip through the 21 days and be off to my next adventure. Nope. After 2 weeks I am still on day 1. Because I am struggling so much with this challenge, I decided to buy Will Bowen’s book, A Complaint Free World; How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted.

This book has taught me so much.

1 I am not alone in the fact that I complain “way” more than I realized.

2 I modeled this for my children and taught them to complain, as they grew up, without ever realizing it.

3 It is robbing me from living my dreams.

4 Complaining is contagious.

5 It does make for easy conversation starters.

6 I have a lot of work to do to become the best me I can be.

These are just a few of the lessons I have learned from reading the Will’s book. I felt it was necessary for me to read the book because I was wondering what was wrong with me that I could not make it “one day” without complaining. It was a comfort to me that even the author of the book, as well as most other people who go on this journey, find getting through one whole day complaint free, a struggle.

I continue to push on towards living a complaint free existence. I will continue switching my bracelet back and forth until the day I notice it has rested, undisturbed, on the same wrist for a whole day. I will then work towards going another and another day until I break this habit of complaining.

I am currently at the stage where I am starting to become aware of my complaints. Hopefully, soon, I will enter the stage where I stop them before they even cross my lips. Luckily, no switch of the bracket is required for unspoken complaints. I will strive to live my great grandmothers advice. “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all”, she would tell us.  Ura McGurran was so wise.  I am human; a work in progress that is striving towards practicing what I preach and in search of living my dreams.

I did decide to go to Will’s website and purchase the purple bracelets he sells for this challenge. I have been using my cute little turtle bracelet but, after hearing how many people broke brackets switching them back and forth, I decided a purple silicone bracelet would be a great idea. I really like my little turtle bracelet.

Will you join me on this adventure? Will you walk this journey towards a Complaint Free World with me? I hope so but make sure you bring a lot of bracelets if you do.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find yourself moving easily in the direction of your dreams, as if by magic.

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