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Thinking of Kyrzayda…

So you may all ask why am I blogging about Kyrzayda,  when I didn’t go to the wake. Well I have my reasons and my story.

I met Kyrzayda in 2009.  The Riverside Manor.  Paterson, NJ.  What I most remember is her perkiness and positive energy.   She always complimented me on my style. Ha!  I was ten years older and I dressed well but I wasn’t styled.  Not like her. 

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This is about the time that I met K.!

But we connected.  I remember one of the first conversations we had was about her wanting a boutique.  She loved fashion.  She loved clothes. She wanted to go places.  She wanted to do things. 

She was this petite bundle of energy with a beautiful smile and BIG, BIG, BIG dreams.  Now let me back track by saying that we were in the hood and this was way before fashion blogging and social media were anything familiar to many of us here, at least me.

Anyway, eventually I became a bartender at the Riverside and it was always refreshing to run into K (as I heard she was lovingly called by many).  She eventually started working at Once Upon A Skirt and she helped me choose outfits a few times.

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This is how I want to remember you!

Always had an eye and was always honest with me about what worked and didn’t. We talked about life and boys and fitness while I tried on outfit after outfit.

So, being a non-fashionista-wanting-to-have-my-own-boutique kind of person, when Kyrz started blowing up my FB thread with image after image of her fitness and fashion journey I unfollowed her.

For no other reason except that it would take me 3-5 minutes to get to any posts of family or other friends. Seriously.  (Not understanding that this is part of the business, right?) Building your brand.  

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Even while dealing with her health issues, she continued her hustle. One of my favorites!

Fast forward to last year when I believe it was that I saw www.liverpooljeans.com post something about her that I started following her again and learned of her diagnosis.

I began to follow her journey which now included cancer.

Some people may have loved her and some may not, but there is a lot to be learned from her journey.

I recently watched a Super Soul Sunday with Oprah featuring Dr. BJ Miller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0TAs_QQKHM.  (If you guys haven’t heard his story, you should head over there and watch it.)

In a freak accident Dr. Miller lost both his legs below the knee and his arm.  Instead of feeling defeated, he decided to embark on a career in palliative care (caring for people who are dying) and now works with the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco.

That is neither here nor there.  What I want to share is that he says this of death: We view death as an occurrence separate from life, when in reality death is a part of living. Because we are all going to die at some point.

When we hear that someone is dying from some incurable disease, such as cancer, we automatically start viewing or treating that person as if they are already dead, when in reality, they are living to the moment of their last breath.

Kyrz was the epitome of this theory.  I mean a week before she passed she was “deciding” whether or not she would go to NY Fashion week and had her outfits laid out. 

This was a woman who was in so much pain, but still kept her faith and believed she would be there.  No she didn’t attend, but that’s beside the point folks.  Imagine the joy she felt just believing and imagining herself there.   

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Grace under fire…

The morning before I learned she had passed I watched an episode of Dr. Oz and his guest speaker, Dr. Sam Parnia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHcZc-JJEFw who conducted a research study on what happens when a person dies. Guys! It sounds morbid, but let me tell you, what a refreshing eye opener.

We fear death so much.  And we worry so much about the pain and suffering.  But this speaker explained what happens physiologically to our bodies right before we die.  The first thing is we start losing oxygen, when this happens we fall into a deep sleep – a coma.  He describes it as going under (anesthesia). 

He then said that of course your heart fails.  This is when doctors record a time of death.  BUT! you’re not yet done.  Your cells can take a few hours to shut down.

So it is in this space when your cells are still alive that near-death experiences occur. This is the time when people who have had this experience and come back describe a very blissful existence, they see the doctors working on them from above or a removed space, they see a flashback of their life.  They oftentimes don’t want to come back because it is such a beautiful feeling.

I know, I know ! Kyrz didn’t come back but what a relief to know that she was in this space of bliss and joy and comfort.

Listen, I lost touch with Kyrz however her journey touched me too.  I kept thinking and I have often said this to people like “we” could be her.  What happened to her can happen to any one of us.

As humans we question like “why?”.  “Why” .  She was in her prime.  Her blogging career was taking off.  “Why?”

We can be angry at God for taking her.  But I am a firm believer that though she served her “fashion and blogging” purpose here on earth, her death is meant to serve an even greater purpose.

That purpose is that she and her journey will hopefully teach people how to live! Now! because folks as we all know and say – “Life is entirely too short.”  And our time of death is pre-written and set in stone. But we forget quickly.

Kyrzayda’s journey left an indelible imprint on me.  I found myself constantly sending prayers for her, I started reading the bible in her name even bargaining with God to give her more time.  Lord, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll go to church, I’ll volunteer with the needy.  Anything to gain her more time.

It broke my heart to hear she passed, but it also cheered me (after hearing these podcasts) that her transition was easy, and pain-free and joyous.

I chose not to go to the wake because #1 I am way too emotional and didn’t want to be that person in hysterics and #2 I wanted to hold with me the memory of Kyrzayda as I knew her back in 2009.

AND #3 I had a dream with her the night she passed.   Random, right?

I dreamt we were in this outdoor space like a vineyard or some kind of outdoor courtyard.  We were talking and laughing and she had on this flowered two piece flowy pant suit.  She kept saying she wanted to go down to beach and so she went.

I didn’t follow because I felt like she was happy and she was joyous and ok.  So she went down this staircase filled with flowers and gone. 

I woke with this sense of “Oh! She’s fine!”  Kyrzayda is good.

Kyrzayda did what most people wouldn’t dare do and even if some do not agree with her decisions or her way of living – who fucking cares?!?!

What we should be focusing on is how we are going to live.

We shouldn’t be questioning God or the Universe or whoever we believe in “Why her?” or “Why did this happen?”

We should be asking, “What have we learned?” What has she taught us?” “How are we going to live OUR lives NOW?”

Hey we could even ask: WWKD? “What would Kyrzayda do?” 

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Continued to work, blog, shop, post..

I am not concerned with K now and where she is because I know she is fantastically and amazingly and joyously existing in another space. Happy, pain-free, resting.

I just ask the Universe to comfort her mother, her family and her friends in this difficult time.

And more importantly, I pray that we figure out “Why?” not for Kyrzayda but for ourselves and how is having known Kyrzayda going to fundamentally push us to not be left with the question “Why?” at the end of our lives.

Kyrzayda, may you rest in eternal peace and may the Lord grant your mother and family the most comfort at this time.

It was a pleasure knowing you doll! 

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She did more than most … without fear!

LolaUncorked♥

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This is 40….Something…

Hey guys and gals! You know how I do!!! I don’t post for a few weeks and then I bombard you with posts.

This past week I had the pleasure of collaborating with the young, handsome and up and rising, YouTuber – bello_kevy! Finally!  Please go subscribe and follow.  Plug Plug!

Anyway, I was doubtful if it would turn out good.  Shame on me because all his other videos are A-mazing!  Anyway, we decided last minute to head over to Martell’s Tiki Bar and do a little video blogging about life in my 40s.  His mom, my BFF, joined us!  I’ll make sure to add link below so you guys can go check it out.

40 is what you make it !

I have to say that Kevin had some great questions and I sense a follow up video because there are so many things we can talk about as far as life in our 40s.  He wanted to call it “This is 40!” Considering I will be exiting this decade soon, I suggested “This is 40-something!” but you know kids. LOL.

Anyway regardless, he asked some insightful questions which is inspiring to me as an adult to hear this from a young man in his 20s.  We talked about what 40 means to us, aging (gracefully), the downsides of life changes, and how we party in our 40s. Oh! we also highlight my new boobs! LOL. Thanks Kevin for the boob plug.

Go subscribe to Bello_kevy YouTube channel! NOW!

So I felt I wanted to come and blog about this and add some lessons I’ve learned in my 40s with you all and hopefully you guys will share with me too.  I think in every decade we learn stuff.  Sometimes we repeat the same mistakes, but my hope is that as we age, we learn and grow and spread our emotional, spiritual wings.

So what has 40 meant to me?

Here goes. Me and my lists.

  1. 40 to me means that I have finally settled into myself and my own skin.  I feel like the dust has settled — in my professional life, personal life and spiritual life.What did I learn in my 40s?
  2. 40 has meant becoming freer and liberated from all the bullshit society says I should be doing and being.
  3. 40 has meant that it really is just a number.  I have felt just a young spirited and energetic as I did in my 20s and 30s.  Hangovers suck at 40.  Takes longer to recuperate but overall, I kind of feel the same.
  4. 40 has meant finding my voice.  Not the young aggressive angry voice of my 20s and 30s, but a calmer, more confident voice.  I learned how to express myself without being angry, and learned that you get so much more with honey.  Finally.  Of course, not all the time.  Every now and then the only voice that works is the bitch voice! So I keep her on reserve.
  5. 40 has meant not giving up on myself.  Being more forgiving of myself.  More loving.  Kinder to me.

And what did I learn? In my 40s, I have learned…

  • to accept that I am not ONE thing.  I am not just a mother, or daughter, or teacher. I am not just a woman or Latina.  None of these define me on their own, but rather all the roles I play make up who I am as a person.  I’ve also realized that I am always evolving.  Who I am today is not who I will be next month or next year, or even tomorrow.  And that’s ok.
  • not to settle in any area of my life, especially relationships.  I deserve the best from people, just as I have learned to wake up everyday with the intention of giving my best.  Yes, sometimes I fall of the wagon, because we are not perfect, but I get right back up and try again.
  • I am not perfect, but I can make daily intentions to strive to be better.
  • Broken hearts heal and you come out stronger.  I have never felt such pain like the pain I felt in this decade after having my heart broken by the one person I never thought would deceive me.  It hurt like hell.  And I remember thinking I would never be good again, whole again, confident again.  Guess what? I’m good.  Time heals E V E R Y T H I N G! Family and friends help too!
  • Forgive others.  Hanging on to anger and hate is so draining and damaging only to yourself.  So forgive and let go and move on.

My 40s have been good to me!  Through it all, trials and tribulations, financial woes, breakups, illnesses, I can’t complain.

40/40 Club

I still have half a year to go in my 40s, so I am sure there will be more lessons to be learned before I exit this decade.

But I have to tell you, if any of you are approaching 40 and/or sad about aging, don’t be.  I honestly believe that life only gets better!!!  I am so looking forward to what 50 brings!!!

Like promised here is my first video collaboration with YouTuber bello_kevy! Make sure to go show him some love too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VjXx-f-vSY&t=0s

Thanks for stopping by loves!

♥LolaUncorked❤️

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We are raising (insert 8 letter word – starts with A and has two Ss)…

Disclaimer: As you will be able to tell this blog was written on Friday.  Due to my daughter’s baby shower it just sat waiting to be revised. Hence, the Happy F-ing Friday! LOL

This week I was completely enchanted (good word) when:

  1. I walked into a bar and someone who follows my blog came up to me and was like “What the hell?!?! You haven’t posted a blog since May 10!!” It was May 15th.  She continued on to say that she went onto the blog at work looking forward to a new post and was totally disappointed not to find one. (Insert tear here).

   MY blog guys!  She looked forward to MY blog.  I feel like this officially makes me a     blogger!!!!blogger

2. I was speaking with a co-worker who I invited to read my blog back when I started.  She never mentioned it.  After a seriously rough day at work (I recognize I am blessed, but still it was rough) she said, “OMG, Ms. Formentin!” She still calls me that making me feel all old and shit.

Anyway, she was like “I have been reading and following your blog and I love it!

“I especially like the one about the guy with the socks.” LOL.  She said it is so relatable and “I love how you express yourself.”  (insert second tear here)

Both of these made my day and it reminded me that I need to be more consistent with my blog.  And so here I am!  Because it really is all about connecting with people.  The images, the followers, the comments – THOSE are all secondary, maybe even third on the list of why and how I want to grow this thing.

Anyway, so here I am!  Happy FUCKIN Friday!  Yes, HAPPY FUCKIN Friday! What a week!!

I need to talk to you guys about our kids! Kids growing up now. Little boys and girls. The little monsters that we are creating!

As you all know I am educator.  I am in my 13th year of teaching.  Three years longer than I originally anticipated.

I’ve taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.

I’ve taught in urban and suburban schools.

Over the span of my thirteen years in teaching, I have witnessed what I describe as an epidemic decline in the integrity of our children.  This is manifesting itself as a severe lack of empathy for others. I know I sound dramatic, but that’s because this current situation is serious.

Every year, educators all over the world, face behavioral challenges in their classroom.  Author included.  However, I have never experienced some of the issues like the ones this year.  Challenges is definitely an understatement.

These kids are downright rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate and mean.  BULLIES!!! (Another disclaimer: Not all of them.  A select few.) .

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There’s actually a book about it!

They have no fear of authority.  They talk back.  The mock.  They mimic.  They hit.  They gossip.  They walk out of classrooms.  Talk about teachers to their face.   They want to have the last word.

OMG! I am a grown ass woman and let me tell you I still fear my mom.  These kids do not care.  And they will tell you.

  • I don’t care about my grades.
  • I do it because I want to.
  • I do it because I can.
  • She’s so annoying and ugly. (Talking about a sub)
  • You’re a ________________ (insert N word here). (Yes, the “N” word!!! At the 4th grade level.)
  • This is boring.
  • I just want to go home.

The responses run the gamut.  I’ll tell you what, had I ever responded this way to any adult and it got back to my mom, you best believe I would not be here today.  Back then it was a community affair – that saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” village.jpeg

My brothers grew up in the Dominican Republic.  I remember one time they were acting up on the way home – I don’t know what.  But I do remember that by the time they got home, my uncle had heard about it and he took a branch right to them in the alleyway.  Yup.  Community affair.

The crazy thing is I can’t even blame the kids today because as we all know this is LEARNED behavior.  Kids are born with a clean slate.  Yes, some traits are inherited but we also know most traits are learned.

Who are the real culprits here? Parents!  Parents in combination with technology are single- handedly ruining this generation of children.  And I believe it is going to get worse before it gets better.

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Put the technology down and TALK to your kid!

As parents we are so wrapped up in whatever it is we wrap ourselves up in – careers, fitness, homes, making money, travel, socializing – that we forget that our single most important job is – OUR KIDS!  If you’ve been blessed to have them.  Raising them, loving them, protecting them.

Clothing and putting a roof over their heads does not make us parents.  Loving alone  does not make us parents.  Making sure our kids go to school does not make us parents.

Parenting involves talking to our kids and engaging in conversation.  Listening attentively without the phone in our hand.  Being present.  Listening to both the spoken and unspoken words.   Modeling behavior like speaking properly, helping the elderly, volunteering, kindness, dressing age appropriately. The list is endless.

We think that because kids are absorbed in their technology that they are not paying attention to us, when in reality, I feel like they are way more aware.  It’s like the brain is soaking up the conversations around them and being filed for later use.

Have you ever had a conversation with let’s say your best friends while your child is playing on an iPad or smart phone nearby?  You think your kid is completely absorbed paying you no mind.

A few weeks later your kid will ask something like, “Who got arrested?” or “Oh, like daddy’s friend who went to jail?” You’re like mouth-wide-open because you swore at the time he wasn’t paying attention.

THIS IS TRUE STORY.  My grandson Max did this.  He will bring things up a week or two later that he subconsciously listened to and stored.

It’s the same thing with behavior.  You may think that when you are cursing out the salesperson because they were rude or disrespectful or just having a bad day, that you’re teaching your kid to defend himself, when what you’re actually modeling is to be rude and disrespectful.  If you’re not explaining why you are doing what you’re doing, and this is your pattern, it becomes their pattern.  kidadults

What do you think happens when you call that kid’s teacher and lie that the child was sick and that’s why he didn’t finish his work?  But in reality he was fine.  The child learns to lie, to make excuses, to not take responsibility for anything because his parents got his back.

Your children spend a good portion of their day in the classroom with teachers, other adults and other kids.

There is nothing uglier to me than that kid that E V E R Y O N E knows because of his shitty behavior.  Parents THIS is NOT cute.  Start modeling the behavior that you want to see.  You want an honest child, don’t lie.  You want chivalrous young men, open doors.  You want a classy daughter, don’t be twerking and then posting that shyt on social media. PARENTS BE WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO BE

Look I am not and haven’t been a perfect parent.  We all make mistakes. But as we grow older and we see this overwhelming inundation of technology and the effects it is having on our children, we need to be more mindful of the things we say and do in front of our children.

Because once that foundation is rooted, it becomes twice as difficult to undo.

Just don’t be the parent with the a*@hole kid!

This is one of my favorite quotes about kids! We have no idea how we damage our kids…

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”
― Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven  

LolaUncorked♥

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Because you are worthy and deserving..

Hey! Guys and Gals!  Happy Friday! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Happy long weekend! Happy almost end of the school year to my fellow teachers everywhere! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

However, that light for many teachers is a dim and “POOR” light.  Summer is a struggle for lots of teachers.  Even teachers who set up summer bank accounts somehow manage to run out of funds two weeks before September.

Recently, I was thinking of my impending summer break and my bank account.  And you now how that is: One thought led to another.  I thought of how much money I needed for summer bills, then to having to dip into the little savings I have, to finally thoughts of the realization how “poor” I really will be and should stick to peanut butter and jelly.

And like all crazy folks I started thinking about why I didn’t have more. Why can’t I be rich? How does so and so have so much making less?  Right? We all do it.  Am I not good enough, smart enough, savvy enough to have more?  We start thinking there is something wrong or some reason why we are unworthy and undeserving of having more.  Perhaps we are repaying a karma. Who knows?

But, why do we believe ourselves unworthy and undeserving off all the wonderful things we want?

Why do we believe we don’t deserve that awesome house? or job? or car?

Why do we believe we don’t deserve to travel to our hearts content? Or get paid what we believe we’re really worth at work?

Why do we believe that we don’t deserve a fantastic relationship with a wonderful loving partner who takes care of us mentally, physically and spiritually?

I’ll tell you why – because we live in a society with a scarcity mindset or a scarcity mentality.

Many people have what’s known as a scarcity mindset or scarcity mentality. In the simplest terms, the scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough — whether it’s money, food, emotions or something else entirely — and as a result, your actions and thought stem from a place of lack. 

https://www.debtroundup.com/scarcity-mindset-keeping-you-poor/ Jul 16, 2014

Currently, only 3.5 million (or 3.5%) of the 100 million households in America are considered wealthy.  As of 2016, there were 43.1 million people living in poverty in the U.S.  That leaves approximately 53 million Americans that are supposedly “ok” financially.

Of course, this is based on a poverty line of $25K for a family of 4.  I mean can even one person live on $25K a year? Probably not, making that 53 million totally skewed.

Anyway, back to this scarcity mentality.  With all this said, yes we live in a society where we hoard whatever we have or come into because we are afraid there isn’t enough to go stephen-covey-570749around. We don’t care if in that hoarding we are taking away from someone else because it is every man for himself in this country.

 

What we don’t realize is that our thoughts create our reality.  If we believe we don’t have enough we will attract not having enough.   Our universe and everything around us is energy.  Our thoughts are energy.  Our words are energy.  Emotions are energy.  From science class we know energy  makes things happen.

Energy lights up a bulb.  Energy makes a car move.  Energy makes our pulse quicken and our heart pump faster.  Energy makes our thoughts turn into reality because what we focus on is what we manifest.

When we think we don’t have enough, we begin to behave as if we don’t have enough.

Folks!  Listen up: There is more than enough food, money, and love to go around!!!!!  It’s a matter of thinking it into existence!!!

Think about this scenario: Have you ever been up at night stressing over your bills and bank account?  Maybe you stay up all night thinking about it.  Tossing and turning. You lose sleep.

You are so exhausted in the morning you might oversleep and get to work late – getting yourself in trouble with your boss.  Your tone for the day has unfortunately been set and you keep falling deeper and deeper.

You’re so cranky you snap at co-workers or clients (maybe killing a deal).  You are so exhausted you can’t focus or complete a project – getting yourself in further trouble with your boss. 

All this negative energy continues impacting your performance (over time) and before you know it, you’re let go and NOW you really are in lack because you’re not getting a paycheck.

Listen, this is an extreme, but not far-fetched.  This is how our thoughts create our reality.  You think so much about scarcity and lack eventually you really end up lacking. However, this whole scenario could have and would have played out differently if our thoughts about it and reaction were positive.

But wait, know that these thoughts and feelings are not rooted in money itself.  They are rooted in feelings of unworthiness.  Feeling that we don’t deserve EVERYTHING we desire because of a bunch of baggage we have been carrying around for years.

If you want to get all the things you desire, first and foremost, be grateful for everything you have because at the end of the day someone has less – way less!

Believe that you already have whatever it is you are wanting. Act as if you already have it by giving thanks for it.  Visualize having it, feel the feelings of joy of owning it.

This is not only for material things. This works for that relationship you want.  It works for emotional and mental health.  Speak it into existence.  Don’t worry about how or when its coming just be thankful that it’s already here.

This sounds like mumbo-jumbo but the energy and thoughts you create when you are feeling happy and abundant attract more things that will bring you those feelings.

There is enough to go around and the moment you think it, see it, speak it, it is yours.

abundantt5

♥LolaUncorked

 

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Half centuries’ worth of lessons….

I remember as a kid thinking that I would never make it to 40.  To me 40 was so old.  I always said I don’t want to live past 60.  No lie! With each passing decade, I would push it back.  Ok, 70 doesn’t look too bad and now as I am embarking on my last year in my 40s, I am thinking that hey, 80 is looking pretty good. LOL!

As I approach 50, I’ve been thinking a lot about my life up until now, lessons learned, and things I still want to do!

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This is what 49 looks like!PC| Joanna Martinez

This blog is about the important lessons that though I wish I had known then what I know now, I understand that these lesson came at the time I was ready to receive them.  I am not going to share 50 lessons, but I will share a few important lessons from my 20’s, 30s and 40s.

In my 20s, I was already married.  I got married, had my first by 23, bought a house, two new cars, worked.  I had lots of friends and my family.  By 25, I was separated.  All of the wives from our circle dropped me, except for two.  I guess I was contagious.  I noticed that the wives who dropped me were the ones that would run their mouths at get togethers.  Talking about how horrible their husbands were, and how they checked their phones, and lied about going out.

In the beginning of my marriage, I was like hey! My husband is great and so is my marriage.  I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t leave their marriage if they were so miserable.  I noticed that as time went, I started to pick up some of their bad habits.  Became negative.  Didn’t trust my husband.  Wanted to go out and party.

We started having lots of trust issues, which led to arguments and fights and eventually a separation.  These women were by no means the cause of our separation, but I can definitely say that the culture they created influenced me in some ways.

It’s like that saying in spanish “El que anda con perros aprende a ladrar.” He who runs with dogs learns how to bark. Well, I was surrounded by so much negativity, I became unhappy.  I started to become like them, miserable, distrustful, at times, many times dishonest.

Instead of trying to make it work, I ran.  I wanted out.  Marriage was too hard.  And all those wives made it seem like it would only get worst.  So I left and guess what, many of those women are still with their husbands.  Some of them even hit on my ex husband while we were separated and even once we were trying to make things work.

The lessons that I learned is that couples need to KEEP YOUR ISSUES PRIVATE! Nobody needs to know about the argument you had, or that he or she cheated, or didn’t come home.  Misery loves company!  Men and women alike can be vultures circling, waiting on prey, literally.  The minute there is dissent between a couple, especially, if you guys seem to have it all, there is someone waiting to step in and snatch it up.  Keep your business to yourself and if you go out after a fight, put on a HAPPY FACE or stay home.

DO NOT CREATE A CULTURE OF MISTRUST by going through pockets, emails and telephones and whatever else these days.  Most times when you go looking for something you will find something and unless you are ready to address it, leave it alone.

COMMUNICATION is key!  I was a horrible communicator.  Didn’t want to talk about the issues, clammed up, shut down.  This is the worst thing EVER!  Talk, talk, talk, address the issues as quickly as they come.  Have weekly or bi weekly check ins just to gauge the relationships’ health status.

REMEMBER YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS SACRED! TREAT IT AS SUCH!

Moving along to my 30s!  Well 30s was fun!  I had my second daughter at 30 and officially got divorced.  But my 30s wasn’t about any relationship lessons, though I learned some more.  My 30s was really about my kids and raising them.  I learned how observant children are.  With today’s technology, we see kids walking around with cell phones and Ipads.  We encourage it because half the time we are so busy and exhausted, we welcome the downtime we get when the kids are busy engaged in social media.

We believe they are not paying attention! Well, trust me they are. Kids are really SPONGES!  They may be engrossed in their technology and social media, but they are absorbing their environment through their pores- words being spoken, arguments being had, actions of adults, music, people coming and going! They listen as we curse out the jerk who cut us off.  Their ears perk as we sit with friends judging or making fun of someone.  They feel when we are being not so kind and also when we do something good!  Be careful of the things you say or do or who bring around because kids are learning lessons from the people around them and their actions.

And finally to my 40s! Wow this was the age I thought I’d never get to and here I am wrapping this decade up within the next 365 days a year.  One lesson is how fast time flies as you get older.  The years just start to blend and it really blows my mind.  It is also a reminder that there is still a list of things I want to do, places I want to visit, experiences I want to have.

I did a lot of work in my 40s, personally and spiritually!  I’ve come to live by two mantras, one a good friend of mine said one day and has stuck with me – “I want to have experiences, not things!- (tweetable!) and the second one is – “Do all things with love.” (bible quote 1 Corinthians 16:14).

do evverythingwith love

These both carry me through out my days.  They are part of my gratitude journal writing.  I repeat them several times a day especially when I am teaching to remind myself that every person I encounter, student, staff, parent or stranger on the street needs to be dealt with love.  This past year, I have really, really worked to embrace the now. To not let stress get to me.  To leave work at work.  To stay in the present in all activities and interactions.

And I have to say that my days are easier and more fulfilling.  I focus more on the type of person I want to be rather than being so hard on myself for mistakes made.  I forgive myself quicker.  I reflect a lot.  Even though I’ve been on this spiritual journey for at least 20 years, I can say the most growth has occurred in the last couple of years.  I am so excited to continue the work in my 50s!  To keep learning and growing and living my best life!  I am ready to have more experiences, more travel, more learning, more loving and sharing!!!

I went to a birthday party not too long ago, a 50th, and the birthday person, was basically like “ugh” about turning 50.  They couldn’t figure out why I was so excited and looking forward to it!  I guess to me it’s just another year to do more, be more, be better, kinder, to grow!  And hell, everyone knows I love a good party, so 50 is going to be huge!

♥lolauncorked