The parable of the “Love Cakes”

Love is like a tray of cupcakes.

You wake up every morning with a silver platter full of your unique offerings and take it with you as you walk out the door.

One by one you share your love with those in your life:

your friends

your family

your co-workers

your significant other

even strangers..

and as you do

your  tray gets lighter and lighter until it’s empty

freeing up both of your hands

to live..

beautifully,

freely,

fully.

💜

Unless you don’t.

💜

You see some of us hold on to love

and we lug around our increasingly heavy tray

every

single

day..

and our hands are so occupied with the burden

and weight

of this unshared love

that it becomes impossible

to think of anything else

or serve anyone else

but ourselves.

💜

Then there are times when we are so focused on

one person

one passion

one problem

that we dump every single one of our love cakes onto this

one single area..

day in and day out and..

 until suddenly

what we thought was a healthy offering

becomes

a sticky, overwhelming, sickening pile

of unappreciated

goop.

💜

Love is like a tray of cupcakes..

 how are you going to share yours today?

 

 

 

 

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photocredit:13 – Drawing cartoons,Pinterest

My Husband, My Hero.

My quest to find a furry companion led my husband and me to the doors of a Charlotte Pet Smart this past Saturday.  The local Animal Rescue group was “showcasing” about 30 dogs who were up for adoption. I had seen a little pup on their website earlier in the week and when I inquired about him, the lady told me to come to the event so I could meet and play with him.

I’ll spare you the chaotic details, but suffice it to say, this is not a good way to try and find a pet; at least it’s not for me. It was hot and crowded and had the feel of a going out of business sale at MACY’S. No one was fighting over the “merchandise” per se, but it was still very intense.

When we found the dog I saw online, I asked the woman in charge if we could walk him to a quiet corner so we could get to know him better. She said “sure,” but within minutes  an overly aggressive guy showed up looking for the same dog. He went on and on about how he and his husband had recently lost their dog and how they fell in love with this little terrier the moment they saw his picture ..blah, blah blah.

What could I say? I mean this dog wasn’t mine..so I eventually handed the leash to the guy so he could have some private time with the pup as well.

My husband and I walked into the Pet Smart and spent about ten minutes roaming the aisles and talking.  Bless his heart, my man was ready to go right back out there and wrestle that dog away from the big, loud guy. “Do you want him Cindy?” he asked, ready to roll..

My answer was an exasperated “I don’t know!” I hadn’t had any time to get a feel for this dog’s personality or anything else for that matter ….and by golly, this is a huge commitment!

I asked my husband what he thought about the dog.. not that I didn’t already know.  He isn’t crazy in love with the idea of having another pet (and all the work that comes with it)…. but he is crazy in love with me. So there we stood for a while amongst the leashes and squeaky toys, looking out the window at all of the dogs and all of the people until I knew for sure that I wasn’t sure..at least not sure enough to make this decision under this kind of pressure.

Later on that evening in a quiet booth at a local tavern, I reviewed the day’s events over a glass of bourbon. And there, sitting across the small table, listening to me analyze the situation for the 100th time was my husband, my hero, patiently reassuring me that things would turn out just fine in due time.

My gosh, how I love this man.

 

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.photocredit:www.pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

Looking for love…💜

I have been wrestling with the idea of getting a dog or a cat ever since our old Bichon died. It’s a big commitment to be sure, and I’ll admit I’m hesitant because there’s a part of me that’s become downright possessive and protective about my time, my freedom AND my new floors..😉

This on again, off again, passive search for a furry companion includes logging onto ‘Pet Finder’ every so often to see if there’s a pooch or a kitty who’s clearly “calling my name.” I haven’t found one yet, but cannot help being drawn to these animals and their stories.

Pet Finder does a great job describing animals’ predilections, predispositions and personalities. A brutally clear portrait is painted and where possible, histories are transparently shared. This organization isn’t just about placing pets, they want the match-ups to be longterm, mutually beneficial and successful…. i.e. – no sugarcoating, no surprises.

I couldn’t help but compare Pet Finder to the dating site my daughter was recently using; Match.com. While the service for placing dogs puts value on being honest, the same can’t be said about the service for “placing” humans. Forget the bogus, inflated bios, you’re lucky if the photos even remotely resemble the folks searching for “authentic love.”

And heaven forbid you put anything in your profile that even hints of a less than perfect past or present day life…

When it comes to people, we simply aren’t touched by the hardships others have overcome in the same way we are when it’s an animal.  In the dating world there’s a whole different “guide book” being used.  Call it evolutionary prejudice, but we don’t want our mate to have, or to have had, any major issues. Bad prior relationships? Recently lost 100 pounds? Had to go back and live with mom and dad after a job loss? Yeah.. no thanks-  pass…swipe…delete. Whereas we are drawn in by an animal’s less than perfect history, we are often repelled or frightened by a human’s.

Of course I know there are differences between animals and humans..the biggest one being the baggage so many of us insist on carrying through life. By contrast, most animals move beyond pain and suffering with remarkable resolve.  A lot of love, newfound trust, a healthy environment, some habit breaking and most of these sweet souls are ready to slam the door on their old lives forever and move on to the new.

 In that respect, we could learn a lot from our four legged friends about what a fresh start actually requires.

But I also wish we lived in a world where grace and patience and understanding were extended as freely to humans as they are to animals .  Just think about what a relief it would be not to have to pretend to be so perfect, especially for those looking for love..

..and in the final analysis, isn’t that what we are all looking for?

 

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photocredit:Orange County Humane Society,HappyTango,Adopt-a-Pet.com,Sticky Branding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once a jerk, always a jerk?

This past Saturday evening, my husband and I were able to enjoy a real unique tennis experience.  The Powershares Series had come to Charleston, SC and a few all-time favorite retired pros were there to play. Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis and John McEnroe duked it out in games that while certainly competitive, featured plenty of hilarious banter and antics.

Everyone was having a good time; everyone except John McEnroe.

Do you remember John? He was the bad boy of tennis when he was younger, always cursing and complaining, tossing his racquet and having pitiful fits. He was a great player, no doubt about that, but he was a real jerk.

Well, here’s an update- the guy is still a jerk.

While the other players were fully engaged with the audience and each other, McEnroe was brooding, quiet and with the exception of a few comments about being an old man, he just kept to himself..you could tell he did not want to be there. When each match was finished, the winner and the loser walked up to the mike to talk to the crowd- not John though. He played one game and after he lost, simply walked off the courts.

I “get” that McEnroe is the headliner in this series, but honestly..the event would have been even better without him. His sour-puss attitude was depressing.  Not only did he bring nothing to the table, he stole from it.

My son’s karate teacher used to tell the kids that “attitude is everything.” And while I may not agree that it’s literally everything, it’s pretty darn close. I also know for a fact that change is possible in every person’s life..but the longer we wait to address our corrosive attitudes, the harder it is to reshape them.

Harder- but NEVER impossible.

How great it would have been to experience John McEnroe as a gracious, elder statesman happily promoting the sport that made him a (very wealthy) star. What a unique platform he has in his present capacity to reflect upon his career and share his stories, lessons and insights with loyal fans whom he instead chose to ignore. What a pity that he is just as tightly wound and cranky as a white haired 58 year old as he was back when he was 18.

Does he love tennis today?

Did he ever?

One thing’s for sure, while John was clearly able to make the difficult transition away from those miserable, wooden racquets, he obviously was never able to transition away from his miserable ego.

What a shame; what a missed opportunity.

pride2

mc3

 

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 photocredit:Punchnels,Volvo Car Open,Leadership | First Presbyterian Church,Pinterest

 

 

 

Thanks for calling.

talking

I was meandering through a local nursery yesterday looking for some herbs to plant when my daughter called from college. I found a bench that had a few concrete bunnies on it and sat down amongst them while we talked. I sometimes wonder what my kids think before they call me..

“Oh, oh..it’s been a week, I’d better call mom..”

“I am so excited, I’m calling mom!”

“Ugh, I’m so bored.. I bet mom’s available..”

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All I know is no matter the reason, it warms my heart every time they reach out. 💜

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photocredit:Mommyish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trusted enough to be “real.”

hands2

I was able to spend some time with a wonderful group of women yesterday. We talked about grand babies that were due, vacations that were planned and Spring.

And then, like a soft breeze, the mood changed as one of the ladies began to share a painful experience she was dealing with..then another opened up..then another.  There were tears of sadness and solidarity; words of encouragement and prayer.

Later in the evening, I thought about what a solemn privilege it is to fully share in the lives of our friends..to be valued and trusted enough to be real.

friend2

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photocredit:blogger