Pura Vida

“Only you can decide if you are able to do this”, said the zipline worker. “We have a van. We can take you back to the waiting area if you aren’t able to do this today.”

Above the trees

I’m afraid of heights. Very afraid of heights.  My whole body was shaking as we hiked the nature path and then climbed the stairs up to the first platform. I imagined myself falling to my death. I also imagined myself not being able to step off and having to walk back down to the van.

I was the last person to start the canopy zipline course. I was the first in line to start the zipline course when we reached the platform but I  kindly let others go ahead of me. I watched all 7 of my fellow adventurers be hooked up to the safety gear and step off the platform. They glided to the second platform alive. I was still hesitant. I’m scared of heights and it is a long way down.

Group photo.jpg

“Once you start the course, you have to finish it”, said the worker. “Do you want to do this today?”

“Not really”, I said.  “I’m scared of heights. But it’s something I need to do even if I have to do it scared. I may never have this chance to go on a zipline in Costa Rica again.”

The zipline worker hooked me up to the cords and I stepped off the platform screaming with my eyes closed tight. The last thing I heard was the worker saying, “Pura Vida, Amee. Pura Vida.”

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I finished the zipline course. I did all 11 ziplines. I was scared every time I stepped off each and every one of those 11 platforms.  I kept going.  I even opened my eyes a few times and saw the trees during the ride.

The Accountant and I have heard the saying “Pura Vida”a lot on our trip to Costa Rica.  It means “simple life” or “pure life” in Spanish. Today it means I ziplined scared but I did it anyway.

I was so proud of myself at the end of the course that I gave a loud victory shout.

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¡Pura Vida!

When it’s not the most wonderful time of the year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, belted the singer on the radio.

I think I’ve heard that song hundreds of times before and I never batted an eye. It’s just a Christmas song but today it was different. I heard the words and then I started crying. It isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year. In fact, sometimes it is the worst time of the year. I cried for those whose loved ones were lost in 2017. The shootings at the Las Vegas music concert. The church shooting in Texas. I cried for my family and friends who got a cancer diagnosis this year and the pain they’ve experienced during treatments. I cried for job losses, home foreclosures, unfulfilled dreams, divorces, hungry children, war and the pains of getting older. I cried for my friend who has watched her mother’s dementia progress into a changed personality this year.  I cried for Puerto Rico and how there are still so many of our fellow citizens without reliable power. For Houston. For the people who lost homes in the California fires. I cried for a country that is more interested in political parties than helping people and enacting real progress. There’s been a lot to cry about this year and it all came out when I heard that song on the radio.

Sad Amee

And then I cried for myself. I cried, because like you, I’ve had my own grief battles and unfulfilled dreams. The whole time I cried the radio kept telling me it was the most wonderful time of the year. It was a little annoying.

So, I turned that silly radio off. It’s  not always the most wonderful time of the year and that needs to be said.

I’m a Christian and I believe that someday Jesus will come again and make everything right. I also believe that we don’t have to wait until that glorious day. Be a little kinder to people today. It may not be the most wonderful time of the year for them.

Merry Christmas, Everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza and Prayers

 

Pizza picture

I had an interesting experience tonight. The Accountant and l went to a pizza buffet for dinner. We don’t normally go there due to the cost, but we had flyer from our insurance guy stating that buffet was only $3 for a customer appreciation special. When we got to the buffet, the cashier told us we had to get the discount meal ticket from the folks at the table in the back of the restaurant. I should have asked which table, but l didn’t. Instead l marched to the back of the restaurant and said hello to the people at a table. They turned out to be a group of preachers not the insurance company.
Me: I’m here.
Preacher: That’s great. I’m sure God has brought you here today.

Accountant: Amee, you’re at the wrong table.
Preacher: We are a group of ministers and we’d love to pray with you.
Me: Okay. I’m not going to turn down a free prayer.
Preacher: Do you believe Jesus is your personal Savior?
Me: Yes. I do.
Then the table of ministers reached out their hands and all said a little prayer for me. I’ve never been prayed over by total strangers at a pizza buffet before. I liked it. It made me feel really loved and important. It was a sweet experience.

The Debate

Whenever we go on a road trip, the Accountant and I end of having the same debate. Do we stop and smell the roses or do we get there as soon as possible?

It’s always a debate. I want to get to the destination, but I also want to enjoy the beauty of the moment. I’m glad we stopped the car for this one. It was a gorgeous view near the border of California and Nevada.

I will be announcing a new challenge tomorrow! I’m super excited about this one and think it will make me work really hard.

Let’s Go to Jail

This is the time of year where items like the good stapler and self-adhesive envelopes are a hot commodity. For my non-teacher friends, that means it’s the end of the year and everybody is doing report cards.

I was working on mine when a dear colleague announced to me that she was a thief who needed to borrow my stapler. I just started laughing, because she was the kindest thief I had ever met.  She asked permission, apologized for stealing and then promised to bring back the item as soon as she finished putting together her summer math packets.

I couldn’t let someone “steal” without going to jail though. So, I stopped writing comments on report cards and did this instead.

It told my friend all about jail and the terrible fate that awaits her for the crime of “stealing” a stapler.

You get a swimming pool.

A 60 minute relaxing massage every single day

Unlimited Netflix to watch movies

A $2,000 bonus check

And a chef to cook your food

Welcome to Stapler Jail!

The Viral Blog Post

This post is going to go viral. It has everything that’s really important for written communication these days.

A cute baby

A heart-felt message in 100 words or less

And a million people liking the post without really reading what it says.

Yes, this post will defiantly go viral.

 

My Palm Sunday Psalm

Father,

The world is in motion. Changing. Moving. Shifting. The bombs drop. The hearts break. Anger is stirred and kindness seems to be forgotten. Will peace ever again be here upon Earth? –Amee

Dear Little Child,

Hold on. The crashing wind can destroy the outer branches, but the roots are still strong. The billowing tide can tear down the old but the truth is still here. Ever present. Ever faithful. There is nothing lost that won’t be found and God will somehow make everything right in the end. –Father

Father,

It’s hard to have faith when the world is in on fire. I do what I can, but there are more fires than I have strength to put out. –Amee

Daughter,

A little faith is all you need. Love one another. Do what you can. Be still and know that I am God.  –Father

Father,

It’s me again. I tried to be still. I did a great job for 5 minutes. Then, I watched the news. Did you know there are wars, pain, poverty, disease, so much inequality and broken hearts all over the world?  What are you going to do about it?    –Amee

Amee,

I created you. And your sisters and brothers. It’s time to get off your knees and get to work by making the world a better place for all. Jesus will come some day, but you don’t need to wait for then to make a heaven here on  Earth. All who praise God and serve his children can find rest to their souls. –Father

Father,

I love you. You are my God so I will do my best. This is my Palm Sunday anthem to you. With all love and deep respect.

–Amee

 

 

 

 

Wearing your Heart on the Wall

I got my feelings hurt. It wasn’t a serious offense, but sad enough in the moment for me to tell myself that I needed to toughen up so I would never have hurt feelings again.

I was going to become a Vulcan and master all emotions, and then I looked over my shoulder.

The light fixture in the room when hit with sunlight made a gigantic heart on the wall. I was mesmerized. It was a heart! A giant, adorable heart. My resolve to never feel again melted away in that big heart.

It was just too cute not to smile.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” –Brene Brown

Random Thoughts on the day before

I’m turning 39 on February 27th. It’s kind of weird to be turning 39. I don’t know what to expect for my 39th year of life. When I was 15, I wrote my life history.  It wasn’t your normal life history. Instead of writing about my past, I wrote the life history for my future. It was 25 pages long and included a month by month analysis of my life from age 15 until my 20th year high school reunion at 38. I ended my life history at 38.  I had quite the epic life that included normal dreams like going to college, getting married, having twins and some not-so-ordinary plans like being an ambassador to Russia and fighting aliens in order to save the world. The last line on my life history was this. “She retired at 39 from her job at the space station. Amee’s little family, which included her handsome husband and their four kids, moved to a tropical beach paradise planet where they lived the rest of their lives in absolute happiness. The End”. It sounds delightful and I only have one more day to make it all happen.

When you are young, you know you will grow up but it’s a far-away fantasy thing. You believe anything is possible including intergalactic space battles and two sets of twins.  I am now twenty years removed from writing my life history. I still have a dreaming heart, but I’m old enough to realize that some things will probably never be. Unless there is a quick miracle in the next 24 hours, I won’t be fighting aliens above planet Earth or be the mother to four children.

I’m not really, really old yet but I’m not young anymore either. I’m standing in the middle land staring at my future that I never thought to imagine when I was 15. The future is really unwritten from this point on.

Amee on the path

I love this photo of me. My very talented Aunt Marla took it  when we were on a hike. I’m on the path but I can’t see behind the curve. I have to just keep going on and hoping that the view and journey will be marvelous.

Life is kind of like that sometimes. Here is my future. Unwritten. Unexplored and ready to be beautiful.  I hope to make it a good one.

 

 

My ramblings about the power of creating something

An idea is born. A powerful, creative, joyful idea. I hold it close to my heart afraid that it will somehow die if I let it go into the cruel world. But an idea left in my hand will  also die. So, I release the idea to the world knowing that some ideas live and some must die. The creation process can be cruel at times.  I blow life into the idea’s little wings so it can fly while it is still young. Some day it might have power to fly on its own or it might sink to the bottom of the ocean after being struck by a fiery dart.   I don’t know when I  first get an idea if it will be a success or a flop. There’s so much hope and so much fear looking at the idea in my little hand. I’d rather keep it safe with me but risk is needed in the process of creation.  So, I let the little idea go. And wait. Will into it turn into project and perhaps  ignite movement? It’s a  beginning and I am the artist.

That’s the power of creating something new.

Climb the Stairs