Tag Archives: Universe

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Sometimes doing the right thing can be a bit of a challenge.

I have a peanut allergy, so I have to carry around an Epi-Pen in my purse at all times in case someone tries to knock me off by slipping me a peanut. I’ve told my friends and family all about my peanut allergy and how the slightest bit ingested could land me in the hospital or worse. Even with this knowledge, you would be surprised at how many times my loving friends and family (even my mom!) have forgotten and offered me mixed nuts or a chocolate-peanut butter-fudge dessert. That’s why I carry the Epi-Pen with me at all times. It’s a syringe containing epinephrine that is big enough to administer through jeans and into my thigh to help treat anaphylaxis. Thankfully, I have never had to use it.

My Epi-Pen expired last week, so when I went to the pharmacy to pick up a new one I asked them if they could please dispose of the old one for me. They said no, and that I would have to go to the Police Department for proper disposal. So, being a good steward of the community I drove over to the Police Department. It was after five, but the Police Department never closes, right? Wrong.

The doors were locked, but there was a sign next to a phone telling me to pick up the receiver and dispatch would be at the other end. Sure enough, they were and they told me they would send someone down to meet me. Ten minutes later as I was pulling out of the parking lot a police officer appeared. I turned back around and explained that I was trying to properly dispose of my medicine. He told me that I would have to come back during business hours and fill out paperwork in order to turn my medicine in. He couldn’t take it from me. Really? At this point my desire to be a good citizen was seriously waning.

Today I drove over to the Police Department determined once again to safely dispose of my Epi-Pen. The little old lady speaking to me, through the second glass window that I was directed to, informs me that they can accept medicine but not syringes. She asked me if I could separate the two and I explained that I couldn’t—the medicine is loaded into the syringe. She told me that only the Fire Department can accept syringes and asked me if I needed directions.

After a two-minute rant by me on how the city makes it incredibly difficult to dispose of old medicine properly, and having the old woman belly laugh at my tirade, I slumped back into my car. An inner Good vs. Evil battle over whether or not I was going to drive the few blocks to the Fire Department ensued.

When I got to the Fire Department, I found another old lady behind a glass window eating her lunch. I explained the situation and she promptly came out from her glass enclosure and took my medicine. No forms. No fuss. Plus, as an added bonus, a super cute fireman worthy of a calendar spread was standing by the door smiling at me and ready to assist if needed. Eye candy in exchange for my old meds. An even trade indeed. Plus, I got the satisfaction of knowing I did the right thing. A small victory, but I’ll take it.

This experience got me to thinking. This isn’t the first time the universe has made it challenging for me to do the right thing. It seems that every time I try to make some lifestyle improvements the universe decides to throw a barrage of obstacles in my way. Whether it’s fulfilling the dream of writing and publishing children’s books, eating a “clean and low salt” diet, or developing a daily exercise practice, something always seems to discourage me from succeeding.

My husband says that it’s the universe testing our convictions. The theory is that if we want something badly enough, nothing will stop us. Once the universe sees that you are serious, it will help you achieve your dreams by sending helpful people and resources your way.

And sometimes you even get a really hot fireman as a bonus. That’s encouragement enough for me to keep trying.

Photo Credit: alanjohnson.deviantart.com

Photo Credit: Hunky Fireman by alanjohnson.deviantart.com

“I Spy…”

“I spy…something red.” – Parent

“Is it the apple?” – Child

“No.” – Parent

“Is it the lady’s shirt?” – Child

“No, but you’re close.” – Parent

“Is it the Exit sign?” – Child

“Yes! You got it! Good for you!” – Parent

I think we’ve all played the “I Spy” game at one time or another. It’s a parental favorite, right up there with “The Quiet Game”, which much to my mom’s chagrin, I never won. I did however, excel at “I Spy”. I’ve always been very observant and I enjoy a good puzzle.

Lately, I’ve felt like the universe has been playing a game of “I Spy” with me. I keep finding clues everywhere, except I don’t have someone to tell me if I’m getting close to the right answer.

I’ve been trying my hand at writing lately—the blog, children’s stories and the occasional freelance job. My husband and I have been tossing around the idea of designing, marketing, and hopefully selling our own line of products and books—perhaps even starting our own publishing house! I‘ve been thinking a lot about this possibility lately.

The other day, while flipping through the TV channels, I happened upon the second half of the movie, “Wanderlust”. In this movie, starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, a couple in their 40s loses their corporate jobs and finds themselves in search of employment and a new place to live. (Hmmm…strikingly similar to my situation sans the new place to live part.) Along the way, they meet a very interesting and comical cast of characters, find themselves in some absurd situations, and eventually end up OPENING A PUBLISHING HOUSE. (Whoa.) Also, the wife writes a children’s book, which they self-publish. (Is this a sign that I’m on the right career track?)

But the “coincidences” don’t stop there. They are popping up everywhere, and about everything I am thinking, considering or pondering at the moment. Thinking about my dog, Hooper, I see an ad with his name in big bold letters in the headline. Considering going back to school to become an Art Therapist—I randomly meet two different therapists that week. Up all night with an aching back and thinking about making a chiropractor appointment the next day and—POOF!—I run into an old friend that I haven’t seen in months, and he now works at a chiropractor’s office!

Now, I do believe in fate—sort of. I believe we have certain “check point destinations“ that we are supposed to reach in life, but how we get there is up to us. We are graced with certain talents to help guide us on our way and helpful people and “signs” appear as needed to steer us toward our destiny or confirm that we are “on the right track”. Case in point, I was driving and listening to Oprah radio and the topic was “following in the path of grace”. Just then, I realized that I was driving behind a giant white truck with the word GRACE written across the back. I was literally following in the path of GRACE! (GRACE is a non-profit relief agency which provides food, clothing, financial assistance, and other vital necessities to people who are struggling with a limited income or recent emergency.) 

I love the movies, “Serendipity” and “Jeff Who Lives at Home” which both deal with the topics of fate and synchronicity. In “Jeff Who Lives at Home”, Jeff, at 30, lives in his mom’s basement, unemployed, and looking for signs about what to do with his life. He answers a wrong-number call for “Kevin”. Later, on a bus, he sees someone wearing a jersey with “Kevin” on the back. He keeps searching for and following the signs that the universe is providing until his destiny or “special purpose” is ultimately revealed.

It all works itself out in the end, but he runs into quite a few problems when he greatly misinterprets some of the “signs”.

I would very much like to learn to reduce the amount of signs I misinterpret in my own life. I can definitely spot the signs, I just need the universe to say, “Yes! You got it! Good for you!”

(Photo Credit: www.redbeacon.com)

(Photo Credit: http://www.redbeacon.com)

The Universe is as Subtle as A Dog

Picture 6

To the casual observer, my 75-pound Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab/Border Collie mix mutt is anything but subtle. He bangs on the blinds covering the back door when he wants to go outside. He carries his metal food bowl and drops it in front of you on the hardwood floor when he’s hungry, rattling your skull in the process. If he’s feeling mischievous, you better guard your socks and underwear because they are bound to go missing in hopes that you will soon be in hot pursuit to retrieve them. He definitely knows how to get his point across.

With my background in marketing and advertising, I consider myself somewhat of an expert in communications. But recently it has come to my attention that the loud, über fast-paced, deadline-driven, visually, audibly and chemically over-stimulated world that we live in has actually deadened our communication skills as a society. (Or at least mine.) Subtlety and innuendo are a lost art. If you want to be heard you better shout and it better be in 140 characters or less because we don’t have time or the attention span for anything else.

In the last few weeks, I’ve made a concerted effort to s-l-o-w  d-o-w-n, and in doing so I discovered something amazing. My dog is a master of the art of subtlety, but I’ve been too distracted to notice. He gives a series of nonverbal cues as to what he wants and only escalates them to an annoyingly loud level when I don’t acknowledge his previous attempts. For example, when he wants to play fetch he will look in the direction of his toy bin and then look back at me with inquisitive eyebrows, a big smile and a wagging tail. Then, he will bring a ball to me. If I don’t get the hint he will drop it at my feet and stare at it in hopes I will follow his line of sight and engage in playing. If that still doesn’t get my attention he will demonstrate “throwing” the ball by standing on the back of the sofa and dropping it. If I haven’t started playing by now he assumes I must not like his initial toy selection, so he will get a different ball and go through the motions again. It is only as a last resort that he will drop the ball in my lap and start barking incessantly and at an eardrum-piercing level, because by this point it has become apparent to him that I will only respond to the most obvious and painful of tactics. The universe, it seems, uses the same playbook as my dog.

More often than not, I’ve had to learn my life lessons the hard way. In looking back though, there were always numerous opportunities to learn the same lesson through a less painful method. The trick is to slow down, be quiet and observant, and listen. The universe speaks to us in whispers all the time, giving us the advice we seek and steering us toward the right path and helpful people. If we don’t listen to the whispers we can eventually expect a shout or worse.

Don’t wait for life to bite you in the butt. Quiet down, observe the subtle cues, throw the ball and get into the game. Life is a lot more fun that way.