So, obviously, as the world knows, the 2012 Olympics kicked off last night. And the opening ceremony, in my opinion, was phenomenal. It was absolutely breath taking from the moment it kicked off. And it made me so nostalgic.
First off, I flat out love the Olympics. The competitiveness. The excitement. The glory. [The hunks in bathing suits]. Everything. But what I really, really love about it is the fact that the entire world comes together, and gets along. You have countries that are waring, and yet can compete against each other harmoniously. I just love it.
But this time around, the opening ceremony made be sad. And I know why. It is the first set of games since I went to school in Ireland. And seeing all the sights of Europe, and the music, and people, made me miss living there SO much. And as much as that saddens me it also makes me kind of happy…because I have that memory to look back on.
So on my way out of the house this morning I grabbed my digital camera and all my memory cards from my time in Europe. And as I sat at my desk at Petty I clicked through all my adventures in Ireland, France, Wales, Scotland and England. Momentarily reliving each laugh, hike, drink, dance, tour. Remembering the sunny days in the gardens. The rainy days spent with a cup of tea. Making new friends. Visiting old. Experiencing new cultures. Exploring majestic mountains and crowded city streets. Visiting places that most people have only seen in pictures and history text books. It was such a bittersweet moment.
Not a day has gone by where I don’t think of something or someone from my time in Europe. And with all that I’ve experienced in my life, those few months are held incredibly dear. What a pure, and glorious blessing it was.
These Olympic games just seem all the more special. So I urge you all to tune into the magic of the few weeks. But also, make it a point in your life to go experience a far off land filled with adventure and knowledge. How the world can change you is beyond words. Dont just be a part of the world….live in it.
It dawned on me today that men are fisherman.
They spend their free time baiting the hooks, casting the lines and just waiting until something bites. Most of the time they have more than one line out there in the sea of fish. And as soon as one line gets a bite they kind of forget about the others, reel it in, and bask in glory. And Lord knows, if a bigger, better fish starts a-biting, the one he has gets tossed back in, and his attention swings elsewhere.
Sound familiar ladies?
I’ve got a wall built up. I’m no idiot. And yes, I’ll be the first to tell you my wall is exceptionally high. And it is so because I don’t like fishermen. I don’t want to hear nor need to hear lines that you use on other girls too…just to see who’s getting hooked. This is not to say that guys cannot have girls who are friends, or vice verse. It is so incredibly important to maintain friendships outside of relationships. But there is a huge difference in how you speak with a friend verses someone you’re interested in/dating. If you’re going to promise me the stars, don’t promise the next girl in your contacts the moon. Get it?
The ol’ “hook, line, and sinker” doesn’t work on this chick. So save the bait. I’m not biting.
[So appropriate for today].
So last night, after watching Food Network Star, I was flipping through the channels. I stopped on Bravo and watched the rest of the new episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey [ok, so it’s a guilty pleasure, so sue me!]. And then after that, just as I was about to turn the TV off and head to bed, Bravo’s show called ‘10 Things That Make Me Happy.’
It caught my intrigue and I ended up watching a little bit of it. It’s a show that has celebrities [last night was RHWOBH’s Kyle Richards] who simply show/tell about ten different things in their lives that make them happy. What an awesome show concept! Granted, as one would assume, most of it was materialistic, but still, a pleasant, POSITIVE, show. I didn’t watch the whole thing but I did catch a few of Kyle’s favorites.
#10? Her Chanel handbags. #9? Her chandeliers [see? some of this stuff is redic!] #8? Her first menorah after converting for her husband [ok, there we go….that’s better].
And then I turned it off. Bed [and a sleepy puppy] were calling. But as I stood in the bathroom in my over sized tee shirt and boy’s basketball shorts, I thought to myself, if I had to make a list, who and what would be on it? Here it goes:
10. Tea. And I get this from my mother. Hot, cold, green, sweet, homemade, Starbucks, you name it. It’s liquid happiness and I more than likely always have it
9. Books. They can be fiction or fact. Written in 1800 or 2012. I love to read. I love sitting on the deck in the sun [or rain] and getting lost in another time, place, life. Or snuggling into my bed and driving into a book that will continue out in my dreams. I always have a big purse with me and people always ask why? Well, more than likely I’ll have my notebook, a reading book and a magazine with me.
8. Driving. It gets me from here to there most certainly. But it’s more than that. It’s clarity on wheels. A place to think. Unwind. Cool down. Relax. Explore. Discover. And my car is just so cute :)
7. Airports. The possibility in an airport is phenomenal. I could walk in tomorrow, close my eyes and point and be whisked away to a place that I’ve never been. Or back to a place that forever changed my life. Thousands upon millions of people going in every direction. Some for work. Some for pleasure. Some happy. Some sad. All the hope and possibility in a global microcosm. It’s astonishing.
6. Woods/Camping. I grew up camping. And it was always the one thing I always had to look forward to. At one point we even had a camper parked at a campground seasonally where we would go every weekend. There’s just something about being in the woods. Living calmly. Simply. I’m a sucker for fresh air, full trees, starry nights and a campfire. And now that I live in NC, dense parks with walking trails are everywhere. And it’s definitely a step closer to heaven.
5. Family/Friends. Ok, so you’re probably thinking, wow, why isn’t this number one or two? Well, it’s easy. My family and my friends are the center of my world. Why not be the center of my list? Also, over the past several months I’ve become an incredibly independent person. I don’t rely on others for really anything. And just because they aren’t around, or number one on my “happy” list, doesn’t mean I love them any less. I have a huge extended family, which, considering we’re Cavanaughs, and live all over the country, stays in touch fairly regularly. And I talk to both my sister and Momma AT LEAST twice a day. And as for my friends, I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t have a boat load, especially having moved 14 hours away from most. But the ones I do have, man, are they truer than true. There at a beckon call. Inspire me. Challenge me. Make me flourish. And if those kinds of things don’t make you happy……well, you’re the kind of person I don’t care to meet.
4. Sunshine. One of the most gorgeous things on the planet and all too often it goes unnoticed. I live in a place of constant sunshine [unless it’s about 4:15pm in the summer, then it’s raining for 10 minutes then sunny again]. And one thing that makes me so, so happy, is closing my eyes when I’m outside, even if its only momentary, and feeling the sun on my face. The warmth radiating through my body, the cool breeze dancing across my skin. In that moment nothing every matters. You’re taken away from issues and reminded of the beauty of life and nature.
3. Nilla. If by now you don’t know who Nilla is, you don’t pay much attention. Nilla is my best friend and her boyfriend’s dog. They adopted her as a puppy of only a few weeks…she’s now about 8 months. And she is my pride and joy and my whole heart. Kyle, my best friend and roommate, has been dating Ty for 8 months. And she basically lives at his place when he’s home.Tyler, Nilla’s daddy, works in racing too and is gone a lot. So most of the time when he’s gone Kyle will come home. And so is Nilla. Dogs really do become best friends. My heart is SO incredibly happy when she’s around. And occasionally, both Kyle and Ty are gone and I have Nilla. And we play, and go on hikes, and she cuddles with me at night, and she’s just an angel. And if I were to wake up tomorrow and she was gone, I’d be beyond devastated. I adore my Nilla bean more than words can express.
2. Christmas Season. Christmas is NOT about presents. Period. From the moment Santa is seen at the tail end of the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, the most beautiful, heartfelt season of the year is upon us. And I try my best to carry the joys of the season in my heart all year long. A time to put others first. A time to appreciate what you have, and give to those who do not. To tell those you love that you love them. A time to reflect on and cherish the past and brainstorm and hope for the future. Take in the world and hold it in your heart. And yes, celebrate Jesus. A guy I’m sure you’ve heard of……he’s pretty amazing. Another one of my favorites ;) [And with this comes Christmas lights. The glow of those mini bulbs take me to a magical place….no matter the time of year. Man made yet awe-inspiring. Have white ones on my headboard all year round].
And here it is….. and I’m sure it won’t be a shocker in any way, shape or form:
1. NASCAR. I was in Elementary school when I got my first taste of a live NASCAR event at my “home track” in Tennessee. And I’ve never been the same. I can’t look at a number without automatically thinking of the corresponding driver. I can’t think of a state without naming the track. My iPhone auto corrects common words for racing related words [ex: speed walk becomes speedway, and Richon becomes Richmond, etc.] The smell of burning Goodyear Tires, the growl of an upward of 750 horses under the hood of a stock car, the close knit nature, the speed. The entire sport makes my heart race. [Yes, pun intended]. They say to know what you really love you need to look where your mind winders. Well mines always to the track. Or the race shop. Or the custom built driver seat securely fastened to the roll cage. I can’t imagine my life without the sport. I can’t imagine a world without this sport. And I will PROUDLY say, that NASCAR is the number one thing that makes me happy.
And although some of these are no-brainers for me. This list was hard to think of. There is so much that I love in life that to pick ten things that make me happiest and then RANK them. Like I love amazing hair days, and “I miss yous” and vanilla milkshakes. But enough to have them here? It’s tough! I encourage you to do it. It’s kinda of fun…..and its one thing I love….putting things in perspective.
When you work like I do, in an industry like I do, off days are hard to come by. So when you need things done, planning is involved.
Today is my first day off in weeks. And hallelujah it’s a Saturday! And, after logging three thousand miles, it was time for an oil change. So I made an appointment for this AM. 7:45 to be exact…. Which is nuts for a Saturday but it needed to be done.
Get up at 7; shower; get ready; and head to the shop. Only to find they don’t have the filter I need. Now I have to bring it back at 9:30.
I’m sorry. But what’s the point of making an appointment if you aren’t going to be ready and, consequently, throwing a kink in the schedule of my day? And, not to mention, I COULD HAVE SLEPT IN!
I could have very well bought all the stuff and done it myself, or given it to the guys at Petty to do. But when I got the car I got free oil changes.
Next time, be ready. Thanks.
Ever have one of those weekends where everything is jolted into perspective? Standing on the dawn of another life change. Realizing what makes you tick; realizing what you want. Coming to terms with changing relationships. Letting go of the anxieties that go along with others. Hearing a total stranger tell you that they admire what you’re doing with your life. And having those comments reaffirm why you fight and work so hard. Taking a (quick) breather because you realize how hard you work. Oh and of course add to that extremely hot temperatures, two injuries, exhaustion and dehydration. Just one of those weekends where you blink and everything, even if only slightly blurred, is as clear as crystal and relevant.
I’m tired. Hot. Sore. Cranky. BUT, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life at the moment.
This outlook? Blessing.