Be F-ing Awesome Today | Page 45 of 49 |No B.S. Inspiration & Motivation for Time-Crunched Humans google4228e52aa5dfebc8.html
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Be the Helper
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Meet a Friend for Oatmeal
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Be 100 Percent
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Be The Best Thing To Someone Today
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Dare To Be Different
6
Go Out And Play
7
A New Day
8
Self Judgment Day
9
Thank Full
10
Take The Plunge

Be the Helper

www.befat.netLip service. We’ve all gotten it. It’s when someone tells us the thing we want to hear and never follows through by actually doing the thing they promised. “Sure I’ll help you move on Saturday.” And then they don’t show up.

Maybe their intentions were honorable and something unforeseeable happened. Tough to believe this, but perh

aps their words were meant to appease us, to shut us up for the moment and shoo us away. In either case we’re disappointed because a couch is really hard to carry up three flights of winding stairs!

In the real world, I call this “The Little Shit”; annoyances and aggravations, the stuff that momentarily pisses us off but we’ll get over. Then there’s what I call “The Big Shit”. Trust me on this one, you’ll know the difference.

When life throws a major curve-ball that hits us like a sucker punch to the soul. Everything we know is turned upside down and our life is thrown into a flux. We’re shocked, paralyzed and suddenly alone, living in a bad B movie. We’ve not prepared for this. Who does?

You’d choose to carry 10,000 smelly couches up three flights of winding stairs if doing so would make the big shit go away.

This is when lip service is harmful.

We must choose to seek out comrades for their wisdom and knowledge and guidance. And accept help.

Whether professionals, friends or complete strangers, we need to hear from The Helpers. They’ve crawled around in the trenches, walked the walk and will show us their battle scars, only to prove by standing in your presence, they’ve survived and so will you.

Call them The Helpers, Angels, God-sends, Blessings, Companions, or Supporters. They will show us the way, the path to healing, from experience. No lip service.

They can’t do the hard work for us. But they will be the solid foundation, the resource we go to over and over.

Whether the eventual outcome is what we hope and pray for, or not, is anybody’s guess. But along the way we’ll have learned some valuable lessons on compassion, love, strength, courage, humility and survival.

And then it’s our turn to be present, hold a hand, bring resources; grab the other end of the smelly couch. No lip service. Be the helper.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio
Image: Volkan Olmez/Unsplash

Meet a Friend for Oatmeal

blueberries-531209_1920

Oatmeal is as arbitrary as coffee when you meet up with a friend. It’s the catching up, sharing, laughing and reminiscing you enjoy. That’s the reason you made the time to be together. Have coffee, or tea. Or a doughnut. Or a beer. It’s totally fine.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Be 100 Percent

www.befat Give 110 Percent

If you agree with quotes from famous people like former newsman Sam Donaldson, the great basketball player Larry Bird and actor Will Smith, to name a few, winners give 110 percent.

Which makes the rest of us who only give 100 percent what? Losers? Slackers?

Let’s call us “realistic achievers”– hard workers who give everything they’ve got, 100%, to their professional work, family, sport, passion, recreation, etc.

“But my observation has been, certainly in the news business, you’ve got to give 110 percent.”

SAM DONALDSON, newsman

Is it fair to chastise an Olympic sprint runner who finishes in second place and point to his giving only 100 percent effort as the cause? No. It’s stupid.

To win a Silver Medal or (gasp) Bronze and call the effort less than best, only diminishes the blood, sweat and tears of a highly motivated achiever. After years of body conditioning, elite level training plus personal sacrifices, I’d say anyone who’s made it to the Olympics gave every ounce of their human potential to their performance.

“You never make any of the shots you never take. 87% of the ones you do take, you’ll miss too. I make 110% of my shots.”

LARRY BIRD, Hall of Fame Basketball Player

For argument’s sake let’s call “Give 110%” just a figure of speech. You gave everything, and a little bit more, something extra. But that extra 1 percent, or 10 percent if you insist, is not measurable. It’s a fluff term.

“If you’re not willing to work hard, let someone else do it. I’d rather be with someone who does a horrible job, but gives 110% than with someone who does a good job and gives 60%.”

WILL SMITH, actor

Consider the the story of Langston Coleman who gave 100 percent  to his dream of becoming a college football player. A tough, African-American kid from the slums of Washington, D.C., in 1963 Coleman hitchhiked to the University of Nebraska. He “walked-on” at football practice hoping to make the Husker football team. His efforts were rewarded with a scholarship and a position on the squad. Coleman went on to become one of the most legendary recruits for the Nebraska Huskers.

“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.”

LANGSTON COLEMAN

Can we let this silly quote go once and for all? Anyone who demands of their team or employees to give 110 percent most likely flunked math class.

“All I ever wanted really, and continue to want out of this life, is to give 100 percent to whatever I’m doing and to be committed to whatever I’m doing and then let the results speak for themselves.”

JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE, Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist

It’s not a case of winners versus losers, World Champ versus Runner Up. Effort is what matters. Your absolute best is your 100 percent. A totally achievable, noble goal. Go and do that.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Sources: Langston Coleman
Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

Be The Best Thing To Someone Today

Graphic quote You are a blessing www.befat.net

Without you being aware of it, you could become the person who changes someone’s life today for the better. In fact you most certainly may be the best thing that happens to someone today. That’s how powerful you are as a human being.

It might go undetected by you, but the person you grace with your presence (intentionally or not) will be forever changed. And grateful that you showed up in their life today.

***

I sat in a tiny waiting area. Tense. Afraid. Sick to my stomach. Again.

In this one there were six chairs, two side tables topped with a variety of magazines all battered and torn. A coffee table centered between the chairs held a gratuitous plastic flower arrangement. Why bother? Someone had tried to cheery up the room with honey-colored walls and unremarkable framed prints of forests and wheat fields. I hated this place just like I hated the place before it.

Across from me sat a little old man, maybe in his 80s, the only other person in the room. Where I hadn’t acknowledged him at all, he offered a kind and friendly smile.

I dug out my nearly-filled notebook and scribbled in today’s entry: date, location, doctor, procedure. Keeping notes was my sanity, a way to control the uncontrollable. It gave me a sense of purpose; that I was doing something to help, to be productive, to keep a handle on the only thing I could manage. Notes. Names. Medications. Lab reports. Specialists. Surgeries. Chemo schedule.

I wrote with desperate intensity; fast, in a panic, worried I’d forget something, one tiny detail that once having escaped my brain could never be retrieved. And that detail would end up being the important clue and I’d beat myself up again for not having recorded it.

This was my purpose as a caregiver. A meticulous keeper of notes.

What started as a “just the facts m’am” reference grew into a filled journal of raw emotion. Writing became the only trusted reliable friend on the dark days.

Feeling angry and pissed, I had no trouble telling off everyone and anyone on paper, including God Almighty. Sometimes I punched people in the face. On paper.

Writing kept my sanity especially on days when I felt the entire world around me had gone insane.

This was one of those days.

I pressed the pen so hard my fingers trembled until the point tore through the page. That’s when the old man laid his hand on my knee making me flinch.

He smiled without showing any teeth and, with a surprisingly firm grip, took both of my hands in his. “How long have you had cancer?” he asked me.

I shook my head. “It’s my husband.” He nodded as if he only saw my lips move but didn’t hear my words. “My husband.”

“Yes,” he said. “How long have you had cancer?”

I repeated “my husband” again but louder, in slow motion, so he could read my lips.

He massaged my hands a moment.

“My wife,” he said, his eyes looking to the door, “she’s in there too.” He turned back to me and smiled. A full set of rather nice old man teeth. “We’ve been married sixty-two years. This is the second time we have had cancer.” Emphasis on the word “we”.

His eyes, mocha colored like my Dad’s, softened. He went on to tell me that he is present for every appointment, blood draw, chemo and radiation treatment. Holds her hair back when she throws up then wipes her face. Spoon feeds her when she can’t do it herself. Wraps his arms around her when she is too tired to cry or weak to walk. “We” meant they are so close and bonded, what happens to one is felt by the other.

He palmed my cheek, still smiling. “How long have you had cancer?”

“Two years.”

We talked a short while before he retreated back to his chair and worn out Yachting magazine to wait for his wife.

I thanked him when he and his equally sweet wife left, then returned to write in “our” notebook with a more peaceful stroke.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Image credit: Unsplash

Original graphic and quote: Stephanie DelTorchio

Dare To Be Different

www.befat.net Happy to be me. Positive affirmation quote

We label people as “different” or “weird” or “strange” or “an odd duck” when we describe an individual who is far away from our belief of “normal”.

What is normal?

A conformist?

A rule player?

Someone who looks and behaves exactly like us?

Can’t we be good citizens, productive workers and still be different?

I’ve always liked the term “free spirit” (in the positive context) to define individuals who dance to their own drum. This person lives in harmony with themselves, Mother Nature and without treading on other people’s weirdness. Sign me up.

As a teenager I went braless because I was a teenager, and honestly there wasn’t much that needed support. A pink t-shirt I wore printed in gold lettering was a public testament to my personal freedom. (I’ll never forget) it said: The Itty Bitty Titty Committy. Funny then. Cringe-worthy today.

The 70s hippie crowd, my generation, plastered the country with demonstrations of free love, drugs, and to this day, the best rock music ever made by a slew of musicians and artists who dared to be different.

We were anti-this and pro-that in the face of “the man”. www.befat.net We thought we were cool.

Hairstyles were long and stringy. Fashion styles ranged from jazzy prints, denim, go-go boots to the  beginnings of preppy, non-hippie (men wearing matching pastel sweaters and socks) and the two didn’t meet in the middle. I chose the former; bell-bottoms with thick embroidered bands sewn on the bottom, peasant shirts and halter tops that drove my parents’ generation crazy. We were different. And I didn’t care.

Truthfully I was a fringe partner of my generation. More a middle of the road, closet non-conformist who loved the style than a true card carrying hippie. I did well in school, played by the rules and despite the veil of hippie, honored my parents’ values. I did my own thing for sure, but once the 70s moved into the 80s my perspective on being different shifted. The 80s matured me.

I wore a bra every day. My judgment of others became a live and let live attitude of peace and love. As a homeowner and parent, I had mediocre tolerance and success with heavy metal and big hair, but also silently cheered those who lived by their light. Different is still different and that’s okay with me.

Imaginative and creative people are different than logic driven types. Perceived as aloof or introspective, detached or (yikes) insane, those are the very people “normal” society looks to for innovative advances and artistic expression.

Putting aside the true psychotic personalities out there, the certifiably different, the free spirit types spread their vibe just by being present. The hip and trendy cycle repeats itself with each generation. New styles, music, opinions, fights to fight, causes to defend. Most people evolve and change, perhaps substituting one oddness for another quirk, while others get stuck. There’s plenty of leftover hippies tripping in the 70s man.

Before we label each other, we need to understand it’s our differences that make us unique. I’m cool with that.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio
Images: Bird in flight/Breano Machado/Unsplash; Hippy Town/Pixaby

You might also like: 7 Struggles of Being a Free-Spirited Woman

Go Out And Play

Adults at play caution www.befat.net

Play isn’t just for children. The big kids need time out to relax and let go too.

And it’s not all fun and games. Playing relieves stress, provides physical and mental stimulation, and opens up opportunities to share time with friends, or make new ones.

Some of the reasons we enjoy playtime as adults is to:

  • Learn a new skill: Power Tools, Tiling, Knitting, etc.
  • Create something: Painting, Woodcraft, etc.
  • Feel challenged: Rope courses, trail hiking, etc.
  • Calm down and focus ourselves: Retreats, Canoe trips, etc.
  • Compete: Team or individual sports.

Many children’s play centers have tuned into the needs of adults to play. After the kiddos are tucked in bed, places around the country and the world, open their doors for adult only play. They feature theme nights (e.g. dress in your favorite team gear), adult beverages, and prizes. Play centers and adult only sports are favored as fundraisers, corporation team building and events and private parties.

Here are a few fun adult game centers –not open to children!

Battle Axe Throwing is popular in Canada and England.

Axe throwing

Battle Axe Throwing

Adult Bubble Soccer is touted as both physical fun and great for team building.

Whirly Ball is played in a “whirlybug”, a bumper car you drive with a joystick and a foot pedal. Add a whiffleball. Swat it around the court while spinning in circles, and you’ve got whirlyball.

250px-Whirlyball

Whirlyball

Legoland Discovery Centers opens up in the evenings where adults can channel their childhood memories and get lost in construction.

Unique play centers for adults around the world.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Sources: Battle Axe Throwing, Whirly Ball

A New Day

www.befat.net

By it’s very definition, Zen is a total state of focus

Zen incorporates the togetherness of body and mind. Maybe a little “out there” for some people, but I challenge you to look at a beautiful sunrise or sunset and not feel your body and mind come together.

The moment this photo was snapped I felt that whatever (bad stuff) had happened the day or week or month or year(s) before wash away.

With the new tide, the beach is reborn and gets another chance to be a beach.

A new possibility.

New feet will sink in it’s sand, new birds will scurry at the shoreline, new children will collect the shells that gather. Can you tell the beach is my happy place?

“It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life, for me…and I’m feeling good.”

This is my anthem for today.

Anthony Newley and Leslie Briscusse wrote the song lyrics to the song It’s A New Dawn for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd.

Nina Simone recorded the song for her 1965 album I Put a Spell on You and it became a standard. It’s been recorded by many artists. Listen to her version. My apologies to Michael Bublé @MichaelBublé, my favorite contemporary version.

Please forward this graphic to your friends who need a prayer, a note of encouragement, a nudge or a KICK IN THE PANTS today.

It’s a new dawn, my friends. And I’m feeling good.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Photo and Original Graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

Self Judgment Day

www.befat.net

So you’re waiting in line at the Pearly Ones trying to get your story straight.

Maybe you’ve kept a running list and brought it with you– the general accounting of your life, written in your best penmanship. Years of good deeds, annual generous donations, personal sacrifices, and a few token sins tacked on the end (c’mon now people). You figure a comprehensive list along with a humble dose of humility and apostolic reverence just might be enough to squeak by. Good for you.

I don’t have a list.

Not sure it would do much good.

There isn’t a person alive (or an angel-winged Bouncer at a Gate) that will ever judge me harder than I judge myself. Where I excuse others and give them a pass, this gal spent years wrapping her own knuckles with criticism, judgment, condemnation, and unforgiveness. Years I can’t get back or do-over.

See, I think about this life a lot. Every day. All day. At night, as lay me down to sleep, I take an accounting of the day. Did I waste it? Did I spend it with people I love, eating delicious food, laughing, helping? Was there wine? Lots of wine? Did I contribute rather than burden? Was I available? Aware? Involved? Kind? Thankful? Did I learn something? Did I grow?

I can’t fall asleep until I give thanks and forgive myself with the promise that, if given the chance, I’ll try better tomorrow.

With aging comes the awareness of the finite time on this planet and the realization that I need to stop screwing up and fly straight. I don’t want to end up a bitchy old lady still wondering when my happy days plan to show up.

It is my responsibility to own this life and enjoy it. And because I now know this, damn it, I need to live this way until the very end.

I truly believe the only accounting necessary on my last breath is an answer to a simple question: Did you enjoy your life, Steph?

The rest of my time here is dedicated to making sure my answer is: “You’re damn right I did!”

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Original quote and graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio
Quote from A Few Good Men: “You’re damn right I did!”

Thank Full

www.befat.net

On this day I am thankful for…you fill in the rest.

If you are living and breathing, (Hallelujah!) I know you are thankful for Today. Beyond that it’s up to you  to give thanks for each day. Count your blessings — just like Grandma preached before she cleaned the potatoes from your ears and told you to be thankful you had two ears to hear!

Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Gracious. Be Safe.

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

 

Take The Plunge

Thanksgiving Day Swim

Thanksgiving Day Swim

Around 8 a.m. Dick and MJ open their front door to welcome all ages to participate in the Annual Thanksgiving Day Swim. They’ve organized the neighborhood tradition of taking a dip in the river for 27 years.

This is New England. It’s cold in the early morning. Air temps in the 20s or 30s is typical; water temperature, 40s or 50s. Snow and ice floats always a possibility. A Turkey Day swim is not for the thin skinned.

The swimmers arrive, dressed head toe in warm gear, towels draped around their necks, some with just a bathrobe to cover their swim suit. Boots and flip flops are both appropriate footwear.

All swimmers sign the guest book -– a signature binds the swimmer to take the plunge. A warm drink, breakfast treats, and then the year’s group gathers outside for a photo.

The procession of swimmers and spectators makes its way through the neighborhood to the river’s edge. For many it’s a reunion. Kids who’ve grown up and left return for the holiday weekend and the swim. As the years pass, older folks (now spectators) give way to another generation.

www.befat.net

There’s no official announcement, no whistle, no ready-set-go shotgun. Swimmers peel away the layers and (depending on the tide) walk across large rocks to the hard sand and the waiting river.

Spectators, who often outnumber the swimmers, cheer on their braver neighbors and friends.

Swimmers dunk in and run out. The hardiest (or warmed by liquor) show off with a few leisurely strokes. They wrap themselves in towels and blankets, their frigid baptism complete.

One teenage girl shivered: “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” followed by, “and it was awesome!”

BE F-G AWESOME TODAY!

Images: Stephanie DelTorchio