Tag Archives: Friends

You Want To Make A Difference, You Say? Encourage Someone!

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A year ago I got some of the worst news of my life. Someone I loved dearly, someone I just assumed would always be around as long as I was, died suddenly, and at a relatively young age too. This past year has seen me pretty much at a loss trying to fully accept it and to move forward. Truth be told, you never really get over or past something like that. It’s just too shocking, too rage inducing, too sad….and too much. But, you can learn to incorporate the new reality into your reality. And you can find something positive to make of it, because there is always something positive to be made from what is left behind, no matter what. 

The friend that I lost was largely responsible for a major positive turnaround when I was in my mid to late 20’s…when I’d lost faith that I’d ever overcome the circumstances of my life, and “make something of myself”. When it seemed that everyone who was supposed to love me the most had turned a blind eye, or their backs, or both–this person believed in me. I mean really believed in my potential, and even in who I was right then and there, because he didn’t seem to think there was a damn thing wrong with that either. And then a funny thing happened…I started to believe in me too. 

If you’ve ever had someone like that in your life, when your life happened to be particularly hard, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. If you’ve always been surrounded with people like that, and grew up with loving, unconditionally supportive family around you, you may not totally get it. But, I think just about everyone can appreciate the value of encouragement…sometimes it’s a special teacher, or a career mentor, a family member, a religious leader, a friend, etc. 

I think it is Native American culture that honors those who have left this world by adopting one special trait that person displayed in life as your own. That has to be about the smartest thing I’ve ever heard. And it is definitely the best way to ensure that someone you loved, who was important to you, lives on forever. So today, January 11, the same date on the calendar that my friend left this world, I will make it a point to encourage someone who needs it, and to help them believe in themselves, because that is the thing that will make a lasting difference. I’d like to ask everyone who reads this to do the same. 

Choose someone who is having a bad day…or a bad year…or maybe yet another day of what has been a chronically bad life. And then say something, or do something, that will make a difference to them. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, or anything that seems like a big deal. Trust me, it will mean the world to them and they’ll never forget it–or you…

“I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down”. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

The 6 Greatest T.V. Couples, By The Decade

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Tonight is Emmy night…the evening the world stops and honors excellence in television. As a card carrying member of the television generation, and an unabashed romantic as well, here are my top picks for the greatest t.v. couples of all time, by the decade…

THE FIFTIES

LUCY & RICKY

Despite their separate twin beds, the Latino/Redhead heat between these two was hard to miss…much later in life, I met a real life Lucy & Ricky…my two younger boys’ grandparents! RIP Dorothy & Tony Casas…:*) 

THE SIXTIES

MARSHALL DILLON & MISS KITTY

Did they, or didn’t they? I guess we may never know…but we all loved the hint of romance between Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty, a classic Good Boy/Bad Girl attraction…:-) 

THE SEVENTIES 

THE BRADYS

Mike & Carol…ahhh, the perfect, unrealistic blended family (see, The 80’s, 90’s and 2,000’s)…oh man, did they set us all up for disappointment! 

THE EIGHTIES

MADDIE & DAVID

Sexual tension as plotline on television…and Moonlightling taught us a little something about that, now didn’t it? Once the golden couple actually begins a relationship, the party’s over…

THE NINETIES

ROSS & RACHEL

The One That Taught Us That Maybe Our Soulmate Was There All Along…

THE NEW MILLENIUM

MARY & MARSHALL

Partners…Equals…Lots in common despite being opposite on the surface….hmmm…the perfect couple perhaps? We’ll see! 

Best Friend, Or Narcissistic Leash Candy?

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I think she has my eyes, don’t you? Not to mention my long, pointy schnoz….

Every morning when I leave the house to take my youngest to school, I have about a two mile drive to the gate at 25 MPH, or thereabouts anyway. It’s really hard to drive 25. Anyway, every morning, since I’m going so slowly, I am treated to a show–Lookalikes On Parade. They travel in pairs, one is holding the leash, and the other is peeing on the grass. That’s right! I’m talking about people and their dogs. And it’s my personal observation, totally unscientific of course, that people who get dogs do tend to choose a pet that looks a lot like them. Not exactly, mind you, because how much alike can a canine and a human really look? A LOT, if you ask me!


If you think you look like your dog, there’s even a contest the two of you can enter: Do You Look Like Your Dog?

And, there’s science behind it too…

“Researchers at Bath Spa University in the U.K. asked 70 people who didn’t have dogs to match pictures of 41 canine keepers to one of three breeds of dogs: poodle, labrador or Staffordshire bull terrier. The guessers correctly matched dog breeds to owners 50 to 60 percent of the time…”

“In 2004, researchers in San Diego found that subjects in a study were able to correctly match pictures of dog owners with their pets more often than not, but only when the dogs were purebreds. Simple traits like hair and size played a smaller role than things like facial expressions”.

“Also in 2004, a psychologist at the University of South Carolina challenged the findings in a separate study, pointing out flaws in the study designs. When the San Diego researchers countered with a reanalysis that confirmed their initial findings, the debate seemed to be at a standstill”.

Some researchers seemed to conclude that if people do choose pets that look like them, it’s likely because of a preference for the familiar, and the comfort that brings. Either that, or people are likely to choose a companion that mirrors their own traits, physical and otherwise.

As the debate rages on…and we let the scientists duke it out, I think I’ll stick to what I know to be true–people do pick dogs that look like them! Just look around you for plenty of anecdotal evidence! In the meantime, whether you and your dog look like you were separated at birth or not, take a little time today to appreciate all of the joy that your best friend brings to your life…

The canines in my life…A Music Video

And please, if you’re in the market for a new addition to the family, consider adoption and rescue first! There are so many animals in need of good homes…Find One Here: Adopt A Pet

5 Things I Learned About Life When My Best Friend Died

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On January 11, 2011, my longtime friend Mark Davidson died suddenly. There was no prior warning, no illness which might have given a clue…nothing. One day he was posting on his Facebook Wall about kicking off the New Year wrong by showing up for work when the office was closed that day, and the next he was gone…just like that. While it is always hard to lose someone we love, the death of a peer, particularly when it is completely unexpected, is especially jarring. In my search to find comfort since the moment I learned that one of the best friends I’ve ever had was no longer spinning around on the planet with me, I have learned one of the reasons peer death is so difficult is that, more than any other type of loss, it really forces you to take a harder look at your own life—particularly your mortality. It also makes you think about life—a lot. This is what the loss of Mark taught me about my life and life in general;

1)      No matter where you go, there you are.

When I first met Mark in the early 90’s, he used to say this—too much. In fact, he said it so much that it annoyed me, especially after I found out he probably got it from a car commercial. His death made me realize that no matter how far we run, how we think we’ve moved on and never looked back, those people who have touched our lives, and those experiences we’ve lived through remain with us, because now they are a part of us. Everyone you’ve ever known…everyone you’ve ever loved, has made you who you are.  Mark, and everyone I’ve ever lost or even purposely left behind, looks back at me each morning in the mirror because they ARE me.

2)      Tie up your loose ends.

Oh boy did Mark leave loose ends—probably more than most. This has taught me that we all have those things we’ve been meaning to do, to get around to, but keep putting off for as many reasons as there are things. Do them—now. Because you may not have a tomorrow, and you owe it to yourself, as well as your family and friends. Just make a list and start checking them off…once you do this, you’ll learn a lot about what’s really important to you and your priorities will straighten themselves.

3)      Learn to live with loose ends.

Mark’s last words to me three days before he died, I kid you not, were “And keep playing that lottery! And if you win big, be sure to remember me!” Now that is a loose end I’d love to tie up…Earth to Heaven, Attn: Mark Davidson! Winning numbers, please! It’s just my luck that those cryptic last words didn’t include a well deserved easy payoff. Sometimes loose ends can’t be tied, and they will just stay loose forever. That’s just the way it is. We have to evolve to the point in our life journey where we can be okay with that, because it’s just the nature of living.

4)      Strive to be who you are.

Mark was always doing something new—he had a very short attention span, but jumped into new activities with great intensity. In the months before he died, he had watched that movie about eating organic foods, so he became obsessed with the Farmer’s Market…he made a foodie blog…he preached the virtues of organic, and the evils of the food industry establishment. He did that for a couple of months and then evidently went back to his curly fries and Krispy Kremes, because it was radio silence on the food front. He did that—a lot…over and over with different pursuits throughout his life. It occurs to me that Mark never really figured out who he truly was, but man did he try! I’ve learned that, in life, we should all have that same strong desire to first discover who we are, then BE it, in every sense of the word. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog…because I AM a writer. I just am…so now I write.

5)      You are the sum of your moments.

After Mark died, once I moved past the initial shock, I remembered not days I had spent with him, but moments. My mind would recall some insignificant (at the time) thing that he had said to me, or some silly thing he did or said—and Mark was always doing or saying something silly. Now that he’s gone, I have realized that is one of the things that made me love him so much. They say that you don’t remember people, but you remember how a person made you feel. This is true, I guess, but those impressions, aka feelings we associate with others are comprised of moments. And I have learned just how important those moments are, because once you are gone, moments are what you leave behind.

This one’s for you, Mark! Save me a seat at the cool kid’s table up there, will ya? 😉

Click here to view Mark’s Memorial Video on You Tube:

Until next time…