Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

I’ve heard the saying “fake till you make it” or the new version by Amy Cuddy “fake it till you become it.” My thinking runs more to “I may not know it now, but I’ll figure it out.” Sometimes that’s just me messing around till I get it right, could be asking someone for help and guidance, or I’m not above saying I don’t know but I’ll find out. Faking it doesn’t even cross my mind. Why fake it when I have the will and the confidence in myself to be able to just do it. 

Growing up the oldest of three sisters, out in the country, with parents that worked long hours breeds resilience and perseverance. Anyway it did in us girls. My sister’s are different from me in there own way, but we have a solid core that is called WILL. Don’t tell us we can’t because for sure we’ll thumb our noses as we do it or give you the finger. Keeping it real here!

Oh the younger years!

Making responsible decisions were an expectation not a fluke. When we made poor choices our parents called us out on it. It’s the same with my son. I love him but I’m also raising him to make sound decisions and to be accountable. I can be harsh or in another light it might be called tough love. High expectations are the norm. If you set the bar low then they will achieve low. When he needs a hand up I’m more than willing to support him, but he is putting as much or more effort than I am. I’m not slacking and neither should he. Of course there is time for fun and I feel he does a good job of being a teenager too. He kills me every single time we play some game on the Xbox. He thinks it’s hilarious and an opportunity for me to improve my game. Obviously I have none. Definitely a win for the kid.

I think my sister is the same with her kids. They are fun and lively, and they are being raised in a household that holds achievement and education to a high standard. My brother-in-law is a testament to that with all his degrees. They all have their own interests and they pursue it. It’s awesome to see!

My middle sister is the entrepreneur with her own photography business. Starting a business is never easy but she has taken advantage of every learning opportunity to advance herself and her business. She was so patient with the process of launching. I certainly wasn’t and it’s not my business! She thought through everything from branding to a website. Super proud of her and what she’s doing. 

It takes some real grit to start a business or to raise kids to be responsible adults. We have taken those experiences of our youth and we have put our own stamp on our lives and the lives of our children. I know my son is already working on his own stamp, figuring things out, and making decisions that will lead him down a path of his own making. It’s exciting to watch and at the same time, as a parent, I want to give advice from my own experiences. Cause you know we’ve all had those rough roads that we want our kids to avoid at all costs. It’s a continuous prayer that I follow Gods plan for my life and wherever it might lead and that my son does the same. 

I’ve been traveling again and I was telling my fellow road dog that there are many times I’m saying God I see all the signs – I know what path I should be going down – yeah that is a path/sign. Wasn’t that you?! I’m sure that was you saying here’s your sign. I’m just trying to do what you’re indicating. Um ok maybe that was me looking for a sign and called it God. Hmm that’s a real possibility. Now I need to pray for discernment, not for what I want to be seeing cause you know you’re going to see it EVERYWHERE! 

Now I’m back to having the perseverance to see through all the crap life is throwing at me to know what’s true and real. That’s where the grit comes in. Road dog says I’m overflowing in grit. Totally got that covered. God filled that cup up real good. As we are sitting at the Pittsburgh airport I bought a book that has a grit assessment. Yeah I couldn’t resist that purchase. I was an easy mark for that bookstore.

That title is probably what inspired this blog. Of course it took a left from where I started…like normal. I’m trying to get in the groove of writing more and I saw a quote yesterday that made me go hmmm.

Stephen King says “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Love Stephen King and all his scary horror books. The Stand is one of my favorites but IT scared me the most! Only book in all my years of reading that I read ONLY during the daylight hours. So with this tangent: Read if you want to write, have the will and the grit to persevere through the easy and the hard times, and don’t look for the easy signs cause they might be wrong – pray hard.

-G.

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Let’s go for a ride

Let’s go for a ride

Last week, I was in Florida working and extended my trip through the weekend to spend time with my friends. Taking a mini-vacation! Like super mini. We had things planned out pretty much, but a ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle to the beach totally turned my head. 

It has been so long since I’ve ridden I can’t even recall the year. I just know it was with my dad. When I was a little bitty thing my parents put me on a bike in a diaper and a dew rag…favorite picture ever! The picture is gone thanks to a house fire when I was 15, but the memory lives on. That last time riding with my dad I remember I was finally tall enough and strong enough to hold his bike up. Well I still had to lean heavily to one side. Those short legs of mine and that Yamaha didn’t go together. He had more than one so he took one sister and I took the other! I was excited because I’d finally earned the right to ride by myself on one of his bikes. Dad would normally take two of us or one at a time. Off we went for a ride down the back roads enjoying our time together. As a kid of divorced parents sometimes it was tough, so I loved those times with him. I miss the opportunity to spend time with him but cancer is a real bastard. 

I didn’t realize until we were tooling down the road how much I would be reminded of those times and would miss him in that moment. It about brought tears to my eyes and I didn’t want to ruin a happy time with sadness. I sucked it up and knew that it was going to be another awesome experience to go along with the times I spent riding with my dad. There was a huge grin that could NOT be wiped off my face…my joy was apparent cause my dimples were showing! 

I’m on the controlling side so it says a lot when I have trust in the driver because I never worried or got anxious. There are people I’ve ridden with that I never wanted to get behind again, or I wanted to take over! He wasn’t one of those – because I got on that bike any time there was an opportunity. Cold as hell that last time out but totally worth it. Too bad for him I spent most of my time sight seeing, so I didn’t say a whole lot. I know my head was on a swivel. I had never been to the Tampa area and I was taking it all in. Lots of farm country – more than I expected. Well I did give notice to be prepared for my cold hands cause I tucked them anywhere I could. Lol No shame my fingers were freezing!

The tiki bar was fun and the music was interesting. Karaoke would’ve been way more entertaining. The views of Tampa Bay were exceptional. There was a cruise ship coming out of Port so the sun was an amazing backdrop. Food was good…my shrimp tacos were delicious. On another day we saw the manatees. I had never seen them in person or mangroves so that was fun. Check out the video of the manatees swimming around by the coal plant. They like the warm water this time of year…it’s about 20 degrees warmer. 

The horticulturalist in me was excited to see and touch the mangroves. I did not remove any since that’s against the law fyi. I’m a bird watching enthusiast – my nerdiness knows no bounds. Really. Did a little bird watching, saw a sea turtle and some huge redfish. Ummm just hand me a rod and reel cause redfish are good eating! I’ll just need someone to bait it and remove the fish. Yes I have high expectations when it comes to fishing, but I will catch a ton if they’re biting! After some wildlife adventures we were off to the Hot Tomato. Holy cow the BLT has 10 pieces of bacon on it. Excellent little hole in the wall. Highly recommend that place. Sorry I ate the sandwich and never thought about taking a pic. Just trust me on this one.

Cruise ship in the distance

Mangrove roots
Brown Pelican

So the weekend didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was what I needed and didn’t even know it. It was relaxing and I enjoyed the people I was with and the places we went. Obviously I need to do this more often – find that work/life balance. Don’t get me wrong I would’ve had a great time with the original plan this was a fabulous alternative. Go for a ride on a Harley with a fantastic person or just tool down the road on your own!

HAVE FUN! Enjoy life’s little moments!

-G.

Sparks start fires

Sparks start fires

True statement – I don’t think I have the power to tell anyone what to do, but if I can spark a thought, a change in attitude or even make you wonder I’m doing the job I set out to do with this blog. Ok maybe that wasn’t my orginial purpose but I like the idea. 

I know I can’t get everyone on board with Star Wars…Lord love ya! I do want to spread some positivity. Am I positive all the time…ummm no. I have my moments of being in the pit of negativity, but it’s all about how we pull ourselves out and move on. I did say I would try to keep it real. I’ve held to that even when it’s a bit on the personal side, and feels very much like I’m exposing parts of myself I’d rather keep hidden. This is a journey, an experience, a voyage possibly to a new frontier…well maybe not space but in a direction inspiration takes me. 

I’ve been inundated with Star Wars memes this evening and they’ve obviously gone to my head. Along with the Stars Trek movie I watched. As for travel I’m about to hit the road some more. In some cases to places I’ve been and other times it will all be new. With the new year I plan to incorporate both blogs into this one. Just easier to keep up with. Plus I’m sure a little travel, food and adventure will interest a few. 

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes…my roll as a parent and mother gives me plenty, work has its own set, and then there’s my personal decision to make new choices or take the road less traveled because I can. As I start this new year I hope to continue in those choices. I realized as I started writing the travel blog that I had to do more than just travel. I needed a plan or idea of what I would like to see or do in the places I visited or else nothing would be seen or experienced. Yes it’s tiring and requires some serious motivation when you’re working and putting in the hours but it’s worth it. Go with some places or ideas in mind, ask locals for suggestions, be willing to get in the car and drive till you see something interesting or take a walk. 

This year includes some bucket list states for my son and I. A pirate adventure….for real I’m going to Gasparilla. Got a wedding in Colorado in the mountains to attend…omg you know there will be pictures galore. Plus so much more!

So fire up your inspiration and find your inner spark and light it up! Let’s start 2017 off with a flourish and finish with a bang!

Continuing to keep it as real as possible.

-G.