murphyormel

wacky reflections from a nutcracker wannabe

Category: Random Thought

live your way into the answer.

The cool part of living your way to the answers is that you will be living the questions too.  And better yet, in the now.

Sounds a bit bass ackwards, but it isn’t. If we choose to take each day one moment at a time, truly living in the breath and present, our answers will simply arrive. When we over-think the questions, our own head actually gets in the way.

Sure, I enjoy my lists.  And yes, I did actually place large pink sticky notes on the wall to itemize searching my dharma* (our true purpose in life), but in creating these lists of what I love, what makes me happiest, how can I find balance and wellness, even how salary plays a role in my future, I was still thinking…over-thinking…looking for the solution rather than letting the solution find me.

Even this past week, I walked away from a meeting feeling like my peer had spun me in a circle 50 times and sent me off in yet another direction of intrigue.

I continue to remind myself that I am safe today (even when anxiety says the opposite), and in each day, I get to begin again, forgive, be gentle with myself, love, nurture, show gratitude for higher learnings and lessons, and “be” again.

They say the “present” is not an accident. It is in fact a daily gift.

Cheers to being given opportunity to live our way to the answer that is right and good and safe for only us. 🌺

Metta,

Mel

Type A in search of Dharma.

Type A in search of her Dharma.

 

live the questions now, by my Buddha Board.

 
 Psychotherapist and yoga teacher Stephen Cope’s new book The Great Work of Your Life challenges us to find our true purpose in life, which he believes all of us can achieve.

The only place the head bob is acceptable.

I am currently sitting between flights in Atlanta- as I have done dozens of times before- and I must smile to myself at this silly, unpredictable, loud, over-stimulating, professional, traveling life I purposely chose to leave behind. 🙂

The bald man to my left is doing a full-out head bob asleep in a sunny corner as he awaits his flight. They just called for Nashville. Do I wake him up with sunscreen or the possibility he just missed TN? (And no, I can’t judge the head-bob, as anyone who has flown with me knows I too have placed my sleepy head on many a shoulder, stranger or not. Something about walking on a plane says, Melissa, no one needs you, the phone won’t ring, emails can wait and that darn 4:30am wake up call to get your arse to the airport at all, deserves a catnap.)

The young girl across from me is on the phone and clearly panicked about weather on the East Coast. What about travel misadventure requires her voice to soar an octave higher, quicken and may require a decibel meter reading? Apparently, they are expecting 6-12″. Lol, I still smile. My days of panic are long gone.

Folks are clinging to limited USB ports with wires draped over each other and talking as if old friends while sharing the ports (ironically) to text (not talk) to the people they actually know and love at home.

And is it just me, but is it an addiction when we need the communication medium charged at 100%? Anything less feels like we might lose our connection to the real world.

Even me….using my iPhone to craft this while listening to an old school iTouch with an iPad in my carry bag.

And the people watching in any airport (!!!!), fantabulous! You know what I mean, right? To be fair, I’m here in my fav skinny jeans, a pink shirt, black shortie combat (but cuuuute) boots with hot pink socks, a darling banana republic briefcase and my yoga bag, so while not a fashionista, I have makeup, comfort and weather-appropriate fashion and function for East Coast fun. It is great however to watch the breadth of fashion fun in airports.

Looking around right now…a less than attractive dog attached to a man with gold bracelets, the dog has attracted two young kids (unrelated to the dog or man) and they are petting him backwards (against the grain), the mom (unrelated to both the dog and gold chain man) is well, representative of all moms who bravely travel with small ones….hair frazzled, face slightly contorted, past exhausted and just tired enough to wear silly socks with flip flops and convince herself she can manage two kids, three carry-on bags and a car seat. Man, that is parenting. (And another validation why drugs during childbirth are key- traveling isn’t listed in the “what to expect when you are expecting” book.)

Cheers to parents traveling alone with small ones. I’ve been there, and it is always, always, always harder on the parents than either the kids or the people seated around the kids. Shame on you, professional snooty traveler who scoffs when a baby is near you. Get that parent a cocktail, and I promise the trip will be better for everyone. When my daughter was young, I used to offer to trade with business travelers to be near kids just because the mom needed to know it was ok to fall apart in peace. Thank goodness for computers on planes these days! Crayons, fruit snacks and a teddy bear aren’t the answer. And a shot of Jack, well, that is illegal.

Additionally observations on today’s ATL Concourse T:
– women over 40 should not wear turquoise nail polish or mimic the middle school fourth finger shade change
– how many coffee and bagels can people consume?
– before phones, did we let people know we were safely at the mid stop? (Oh wait, direct flights existed.)
– remember pay phones with sit down booths? And funnier still, the Ethernet line to get internet off the pay phone?
– we went from large ear phones in the 80s to buds to now, these huge Beats? Seriously, is Bieber going to market a boom box over-the-shoulder option soon?
– no one follows the “your carry-on must fit in this display”. Why bother?
– the “herding of cattle” movement toward the door as boarding begins. Enough said.
– is there a speed limit or again, noise limit, on those internal airport motor vehicles? In 25+ years of travel, I have never seen an actual emergency.
– Why is the large electronic sign of departure listings just outside the exit doors causing a jam of frantic, silly travelers trying to find their next gate?
– And finally, no matter how many times I’ve traveled or checked my gate or departure time, I still check it multiple times as if the number has changed in my hand. (Not unlike your number in a fast food restaurant, right? You are 22. Always going to be 22.)

High waters, high heels, cowboy boots, ball caps, backpacks, golf bags, paperbacks and jewelry galore…they do say “life is a journey, not just a destination.”

Safe travels. I have a flight to catch.
Mel

High Achiever May Lose it at Dishwasher

I’m going crazy at home. I run an errand, need a nap. Fold the laundry, need a nap.  Bring in the groceries, need a nap.
Being a type A, high achiever is an awfully depressing place to be when a trip to buy shampoo is the highlight of the day. Feels helpless and so non-productive.  I really am the high achiever who may lose it at the dishwasher.
Everyone says, “enjoy the rest”, “your body needs the time to heal”, “take the time for you”, “meditate”…seriously, do you people know me?  It’s truly as if my brain says one thing, and my body can’t keep up.  Or worse, my brain wants it to come together, and my body can’t keep up.  It’s frustrating.  I feel generally fine most of the time and my usual flaky self, just exhausted.  Surely, some smart marketing can come from fatigue, right?  (and yes, a marketer trick is to add “right” to the end of the sentence.  How can they disagree?)
I am the oldest of three and will still end up with the least education at a master’s level.  Yeah, we were all pretty much screwed to be high achieving adults.  And yes, we should own stock in sticky notes and list making.
My grandparents met in a one room school-house and both had college degrees.  My parents have second degrees and both of my brothers will each have third (PhD and Law).  I worry for my daughter and niece, even as much as I say “you can do whatever you want”, there was still that moment in kindergarten when my than five-year old said, “I want to do nails and hair but don’t tell mama”.  Oh dear, what have we done?  Healthcare cost the US more than they spent on the Department of Defense last year, and education is outrageous!  MBA’s are a dime a dozen, and employment is still scarce.  The brick and mortar, mom and pop, five and dime opportunity has been altered forever, and my generation has enabled this high achieving, fast-moving, preservative-filled, intrusive, technological world. (Not to mention what I alone did to contribute to global warming with excessive amounts of aerosol hairspray to manage my 80’s hard rock bangs.)  It’s a train far out of the gate.
Are we all type A, high achieving personalities, or have I lost touch with those who are not?  Someone asked me today if a farmer in Wyoming feels the stress or requires the Rx this generation does.  Is it cyclical, have we enabled our own fate, success, loss, excess?  And who can possibly judge and change, but each of our own reactions to these life transitions?  I am told it isn’t “life- work balance” anymore but “life-work integration”. We did this to ourselves.
My girlfriend just emailed me that I can certainly lose it at the dishwasher, but the dishwasher cannot explain the meaning of life.  That is for each of us to find on our own path through acceptance, moments of silence, prayer, nuggets of wisdom and movement forward.
While I figure that out, I believe I will take a short nap.
Mel

Quirky Murphy….and Mel

As you’ve seen in previous posts, Murphy’s Law* moments tend to bring me laughs along my windy, curvy, ridiculous, scary and ‘made for TV movie’ path. Feel free to laugh along. 🙂

– On a recent night out, I wore a lovely tangerine tank dress shear enough that I was covered, but not quite shear enough to notice my tattoo could be seen from the outside. While small and dignified, it’s not exactly that which I like to showcase for strangers. And of course, it wasn’t until we were at the event that I was alerted to such a fashion faux pas. Course that is still better than my young daughter announcing to strangers at the swim club that “momma has a tattoo” …..in her outside voice. 🙂

– Who else gets ‘Kiss Cam’ attention at the Cardinal Stadium ballpark sitting next to………… a work colleague? My colleague, Scott, and I kidded about it happening before it did, as I had just been on the stadium camera a few weeks before, and agreed to stick our tongues at one another something so far-fetched actually happened. Sure enough, there we were. Both of our cells immediately started ringing.

– ……and sadly, this isn’t my only unusual STL moment of big screen infamacy…..at a previous years St. Louis Rams game, I was with a friend who accidentally spilled his adult beverage on the folks in front of us. Because my parents tickets were third row on the ten yard line (not a mistake I suspect on my dad’s part to purchase seats directly in front of the Rams cheerleaders), we most certainly received a laugh from the camera man and some face time on the internal big screen. Now, the laughs were bigger than just the camera guy.

– My first time to visit Düsseldorf, Germany with a former and favorite rehab equipment employer, I was surrounded by my new distributor friends of which only a few spoke any English but hugged, toasted and smiled a lot. With very German grandparents, I proudly ordered without help off the German menu at a big celebration for our week together. After several large adult beverages, two complete entrees were delivered to just me. After that trip, it was necessary to ask for placement next to an English speaker on all future foreign travel opportunities.

– In trying to cook flash fried spinach like one of my favorite Italian restaurants on the STL Hill, without knowing, I purchased Okra rather than spinach. I could blame it on the grocery store header signs, but the reality is I am not a cook and wouldn’t know the difference unless Okra too came packaged in the pre-made salad bag. Regardless, I cooked the green stuff and forced my husband to enjoy. But as my sweet friend, Marla, says “You ain’t learning, you ain’t liven””.

– Never drop a Junior mint on your car seat on a 110 degree STL day.

– Years ago, I politely encouraged my husband to join me in dance lessons. He wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but he was open to give it a shot. Heads up my wise women friends, don’t select Monday night football as the evening for a six-week dance class.

– After a long travel day to Europe alone, I arrived in Amsterdam to not have luggage and less than an hour before our first distributor meeting. The local rep encouraged I shop at the airport, and my luggage (and work stuff) would show in the next 24 hours. (lol! Does he know me?) While I did pick some darling European fashion, I was without some of the “essentials”. Yes, those essentials. After a few days of washing in the sink and hanging to dry after the luggage followed us one city behind every move across the Western part of Europe, I begged my friend, Bert, to take me to a Belgium department store. He however wanted to work, and well, I’m a big girl, so I shopped on my own only to find that in the middle of Belgium, English speakers are not so prevalent. Instead of bras and panties, I now fancy a nice collection of Belgian sports bras….and in the wrong size. (Luggage arrived the evening before my flight home, but I purchased a beautiful leather briefcase in Pisa to house my new sports bras.)

Murphy and me. Like peanut butter and jelly.

Mel

*http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html

Mister Rogers had it right.

I’ve lost touch with reality in light of the perfect life storm, and I know I am not alone as I receive countless emails, FB posts and Twitter direct messages confirming what I face is what you face.

At 41, am I simply wiser to life changing, or is it truly being jaded, over-thinking and being an over-the-top pensive thinker?

My music choices seem to favor darker artists these days such as the amazing Brandi Carlisle, Steve Gold or Evanesence, but my heart can be brought out of a funk when I see my daughter pin up photos of One Direction or some other boy band hottie out of Tiger Beat and just smile at me knowing I’ve been her.

Is this where each of us in our early 40s land when life is just that…..life?

We all have our own story.  And no one can live in our backward shoes, randomly tossed and sometimes flaky mind and up/down roller coaster of a heart except us.

How come no one says : “Go outside and play in the street”, like my funny grandpa? At least we knew he meant go play, be free, embrace life and innocence, give him some time for a nice cocktail, and keep yourself out of the police station.

Carefree and a summer of no shoes and catching fireflies.  Mr. Rogers really was right.  “the child is in me….and sometimes not so still.”.

Those days rocked. 🙂

maybe tomorrow I will wear yellow shoes, and prove to myself I still can be that young girl with the world in front of her.  I am grateful for a grandpa who knew catching a firefly was indeed a monumental moment to a kindergartener.  He believed in me and knew I would catch whatever I set my heart to catch.

Cheers on this Dad’s Day to my late grandpa’s and my own dad who cheer me on beyond the fireflies.

Mel

My mom. My superhero.

She always believes in me. The real me. The authentic me.

My mom, my superhero. She just knows.

She loves who I am. At two. At 10. During puberty. At 17 and taking me to Mizzou J-school for the first time. In my early 20s when I married my daughter’s dad not knowing what marriage and parenting truly entailed. As my career evolved, and I called home from all over the world.

She embraced every adventure as if she was next to me on the plane, and closed her eyes and sent me white lights when I made choices that a mom can endure but can’t stop……(parasailing in a foreign country, being the passenger on the back of a motorcycle in cities far away from home, working a trade show with a shooting, being ill in Tokyo, Vegas, Mexico and other distanced cities all alone, living away in Summers in college with strangers on Long Island and loving NYC on weekends with other adventurous and underage 19 year olds, enjoying my share of New Orleans and many a trip with the college girls- even when missing the state lines. Lol.)

She gave me the courage to be who I am, and the guts to rock some adventures most folks wouldn’t consider.

She has empowered me to speak my mind in light of conflict and challenge, and be the person I am meant to be. She taught me to be strong, speak up and laugh along the way.

It is because of her I am able to take on anything and know – with my whole heart- I will not just survive ….. but own.

It is because of her I am not afraid.

It is because of her that I want to be stronger, better as a friend and mom and a new me. A healthy me- both in body and mind, heart and soul.

When my daughter was born, mom held her for the first time and looked at her as if that single loving moment could never be enough or more powerful. When divorce followed, she held my hand and cried with and for me. When the wild side of being single and newly divorced hit, she laughed along with girlfriends at my misadventures. When dating the wrong boys went on and on, she kept laughing, only now, she was sharing with her own circle of women friends. They laughed too. When the cancer came, she held it together, but I know privately she grieved for me.

She always believes in me.

Most folks don’t know she has a bachelor’s in political science and a minor in Russian from the University of Illinois. She taught school in inner city Chicago during the riots while dad was in law school. And when her own world faced challenge, she followed her own life’s path change and worked full time concurrent to achieving a master’s in social work to start her own FT private practice in psychotherapy. She rode her bike across Ireland in her 40s, started a band (the aging hippie band) and climbed the Grand Canyon in her 50s.

She embraces friendship and love as most people never fully appreciate. And as her own wise circle of women friends would concur, she is lovable, artsy, quirky, incredibly bright, cultured, polished and an amazing feminist woman to adore and idolize.

She is my superhero.

I am grateful, blessed, honored and only hope, I too can give my own sweet girl the same gift some day.

Om shanti…..
M

Murphy, Mel’s way… yep, the path continues…

Most of the time, I want to cry and laugh at the same time. Especially in these last 15 months. My perfect storm (or life’s path for me right now), whatever you prefer to call it, just keeps moving along, and ready or not, my ‘Murphy Mel Moments’ have joined me every step of the way.

And thankfully so. A little humor keeps us real, right?

Perhaps that is what is needed when it feels so hard that we must get through just one more day or even just a moment….a good giggle and a profound (or not) look at our own humanness. A recent Myers Briggs analysis again demonstrates I am on off the chart ENFJ for the third time (extroverted feeling with introverted intuition). I am so out there, I could be a serial killer or Ronald Reagan and represent only 5% of the population. But the reality is, I am a perfect combo of my psychotherapist mom and attorney dad. In other words, a perfect manipulator….ok, yeah, a diplomatic markete(e)r and rockin’ saleswoman who can ask for the order. 🙂 And the fun of this role allows me the comfort level to share my own humanness and be who I am, as ridiculous as it sometimes may be. Who wears a red boa for work with red striped stockings in honor of Heart Health month? Only a marketer!

So what has happened since we last reviewed the Murphy side of Mel:

– My new car was parked on a hill last week, and while the day before I had 45 miles worth of gas, the hill was just steep enough not to allow the automatic start to catch…LOL! I am 41, and my dad had to bring me gas to get it over the hill/start line to catch. Really? Never in my life has this type A run out of gas. (for the record, there appears to be a problem with the fuel indicator)

– As recent Administrator on Call for the hospital, I was doing my due diligence at 7:30am on a Saturday to check in, while on my way to an engagement opportunity to work our booth, I ran a red light by accident. (not trying to increase volume, I promise). Thankfully, I was safe, but really? I work for a hospital.

– First day back to work after medical leave, and I can’t find my phone. Where did that darn thing go? At lunchtime, it appeared. It was in my lunchbox in the fridge. 🙂

– Would you guess only one dept. can have an office that resides on the 4th floor of one building but connects directly to the fifth of the neighbor building. Only my team can live on two floors at the same time. Perfect and quirky. No one else holds that honor.

– The week before trading in my previous car, I backed out of the condo garage to tear off the right side rearview mirror completely. I park out front now. But I have a very clean (and empty) garage.

– I realized in boxing up and donating more books to Goodwill I have purchased and read the same book 3x. Apparently, I enjoyed each time.

– New condo. Three months. Microwave stops working. Do they think I can cook, or is this a trick to get me out?

– Prepared a lovely iMovie on my personal Powerbook Mac for fun after a work event, only to have our CEO love the piece and ask to show at the upcoming BOD meeting. As I went to finish this past weekend however, I added the “juice app”- meaning, spilled juice into the machine. Yep, the machine was a goner and out of warranty. Can’t understand why the Geek squad doesn’t have a juice clause.

– Did I every mention a bird hit my spokes while training for a serious cycling event? Yeah, pretty much a downer for the rest of the ride.

– Don’t attempt travel to Brazil without a Visa. It’s important.

I’ve missed writing. Thank you for your patience and kind notes. Just feeling much fatigue and still working to find the old me. I did however Zipline with a great group two weeks ago and have a Mud Run in June, so every day I try a little harder to find my way back to good health.

Thanks for believing in me.

M


Microscope or Kaleidoscope…know your teen talk & let the colors bloom.

A good friend told me this week that his son, Levi, articulated the difference in how people use their lens on life; meaning, a microscope, a telescope, or in his case, a kaleidoscope.  I love what this says about how we each perceive the world differently. Cheers to a young man with this type of thinking.  Let the colors bloom!

My own world has entered tweendom (i.e. the edge of puberty), so our “lens on life” changes moment to moment.  It happened in a flash.  Just two years ago we were dressing American Girl dolls and holding hands in public.  Public!  Today, not so much.  Brand name clothes, texting, anxiety over the boys and fashionista challenges.

She always knows in hindsight when one has hit, but in the moment it is occurring, the rolling the eyes or stomping down the hall doesn’t make sense to either of us.  Just moments before, she has asked for ice cream or a Webkinz.

Moms and dads everywhere, how and when did that happen? No one asked me if I was ready for the transition 🙂

I’M NOT.

So, together my daughter and I have created a list of tweendom thoughts for adults.…no differently than Mr. Rogers told us in grade school (when putting on those blue sneakers with that big smile and great soundtrack), the same thoughts and approach to communication apply to all of us….young, tween, teen and old(er).  

Consider the following and apply to your own partner, sibling, parent, child or friend.  And be present.  It’s not easy, and I see myself do the same things, but hearing my own girl call me out makes it much more real.

– “I need space that is my own and alone time.”

– “I can’t do more than one thing at a time.  And if I am to do multiple things, tell me what to do first (i.e. prioritize).”

– “Don’t talk to me when I am doing something else.  What do you really want me to do?”

– “Don’t assume I understand.”

– “Don’t interrupt.  It hurts my feelings.”

– “I don’t actually know (even when you want me to) WHY I feel the way I do. Sometimes I’m just sad.” (Hormones and/or physiological balance are part of being human.)

– “Don’t leave me in the dark without information.  I jump to conclusions ” that may/may not be more harmful than you trying to protect me. (If you are upset, fragile, angry or scared, tell me why. Don’t make me guess. I don’t read minds.)

– “I don’t want to talk right now, and it’s not because of you.”

– “IDK means I Don’t Know.”  Tweens may use language differently than an adult perceives.  Ensure you are speaking the same language- both live and in text.

Good luck to all of us.  Attention span, technology, teendom, generational differences……they are ever-changing and without a handbook.  But the greatest gift of all. 🙂

Let the colors of our “lens on life” bloom!

Melissa

p.s.  In a college course I taught last Fall, they told all of the instructors that how we taught years ago doesn’t work today.  Kids’ attention span is 10-15 minutes.

Find comfort in the uncomfortable.

Do you process comfort and/or feeling uncomfortable in your life as healthy, or accept as contentment? Is that good and/or good enough? And when the uncomfortable arrives at your door- either expected or not- how do you process the feelings drama-free?

I know I’m not alone. We simply want the hole in our heart – for whatever reason it feels needy- to be filled again with light.

I’ve been taught recently the transition is about 1. attachment, 2. self-love and 3. much patience. Letting a higher power guide me to my truth, never allowing anyone to pull me from my true self again, and patiently waiting the knowledge of what will be my future.

But darn, for a type A, who likes lists and action (yes, I’m the girl who used to add “shower” just to cross off the list and enjoys a good sticky note or two), this is a tough call to action. I am in charge of my own reactions and choices- good and bad, wrong and right, past, present and future. (And I readily admit I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the path.) You see, logically, I get it, but my heart (inner guide) and ego aren’t always in the same place at the same time. And they both have a voice in each of our heads. (Example: “I don’t need the 4K sq. ft. home.” (inner guide) “But it’s so beautiful and fits my career/lifestyle.” (ego))

We are human. We are conditioned for comfort. Finding comfort in the uncomfortable is the work and perhaps a wonderful reality. But, it is work, and we must be open and gentle with ourselves.

But really, wouldn’t it just be easier to wear my shoes backwards for a month to learn the same lesson?

Sometimes you are the bug. Sometimes you are the windshield.’- Mary Chapin Carpenter (lyric)

 

Today, I’m the bug. But down the road, I will be the windshield. The rock-star feeling is a great high and very comfortable, but when a ‘kick in the stomach reality’ hits, it is icky, dark and uncomfortable. Sometimes we earn that reality. Sometimes we don’t. But it still happens. And to ALL of us. Who are you in this exact moment? And when can we accept that comfort IS possible when we are uncomfortable? Does it, in fact, push us even more, when feeling uncomfortable and that “edge” are in our midst?

“We all have both good and bad feelings. Bad is a judgment based on discomfort. Learn to accept your uncomfortable feelings as important messengers. In the balance of truthful, constructive expression, you will find harmony………….Your body holds pain from the past in pockets that manifest as illness; your emotions hold negative feelings that surface as issues, fears and behaviors; your heart holds the loss of love that causes loneliness; and your mind has misunderstandings, judgments and beliefs. Each of these becomes like a suitcase full of unwanted emotions, shut up in a forgotten closet….”*

Cheers to opening the closet and embracing our own truth.

Melissa

* Angel Blessings, Rev. Kimberly Marooney, Ph.D., p. 128. Mother’s Angels: Charmiene-Harmony

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