lola guerrero

50-something empty-nest-search-for-God-and-happiness with more than a dash of humor

Leave a comment

His Dirty Socks Are On The Floor, Again

My brother’s girlfriend, Shauna,
and I were at Starbucks waiting for our

Our conversation led to relationships.
We both knew this one couple that
she was talking about.

“I got a call from Teddy the other day.”

“Yah, what does Teddy have to say?”

“He said, ‘Nigel and I are not getting along these days
he is so inconsiderate. He is late
on everything from getting ready to go out
to paying half his share of the bills. And
his dirty socks never make it to the laundry room.’ ”

My Dumbo ears turned toward her. I know all about
dirty socks on the floor.

“I told Teddy . . . when you met him
and fell in love, you fell in love with
all his sweetness and his carry-on luggage.
He was already late and his socks were already on the floor.
You can’t change him. You can
only change who you are.”

“Hellelujah.  Isn’t that the truth,” I said.

Slowly sipping my coconut latte, I began to think about  one of my favorite prayers — the Serenity Prayer.

It is used by Alcoholics Anonymous
and similar 12-step programs.
From alcohol to drugs to
dirty socks on the floor — it is all relevant.
You cannot change the other person.

The Serenity Prayer goes like this:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change ,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.


Leave a comment

You Know I Can’t Handle Not Having AC, Part 2

FullSizeRender-33Because I am my mother’s treasurer. She has very little
treasure in the bank.

Mom will write a check to cover the cost of the car repairs.

“Hold on here . . .,” you might be saying. “Why is your mother paying?
It should be James. ”

That’s not how it works in my family.
We are all co-dependent and
we lack boundaries.

Mom will write a check.
James who is 50 years old has only zeroes
in his checking account.

I worry about my mom’s finances because
she is at the age when hiring a nurse or
major health problems may be on the horizon.

There are times, I point and wag my finger at my mom for rescuing her five children too much. She should have stopped doing it 30 years ago.
We are all grown now. Yet, she won’t let go and let her children figure it out.

Though Ol’ Wise One and I miss our sons a lot.
I’m actually happy that they live far away. I want to break the cycle
of co-dependentcy and with years of therapy I have learned how to create

Having the boys live far gives them the opportunity to
see that when you ignore the maintenance light, it’s a sign that the car needs some love.

Lets pray.

Dear God
Take away my worries when it
comes to my mother’s finances
and her rescuing ways. She is 75 years old.

She will not change anytime soon.

I put my hands up now and say to you,
You are in control, whatever happens will
Amen, Lola
*from ILLUMINATA, M. Williamson

Leave a comment

You Know I Can’t Handle Not Having AC, Part 1


Do you have siblings and
and a parent that say and do things that
annoy the sh– out of you?

James has borrowed my mom’s Honda for one year.
The maintenance light has been on for 10 months.
He has never bothered to say
“Hmm . . . the car might need new oil . . . or a tire rotation” or
“Maybe this light means something important like the car needs some tender loving care?”

My sister Rita-May came to visit for two weeks and she
stayed at my mom’s apartment. She also borrowed the Honda.
During her stay, the temperature went up to
95 and beyond.
The car’s AC failed to work.

Nine a.m., my cell rings .
“Good Morning. Did you know the AC decided not to work?
That’s right . . .”
I can just see her sitting right in front of mom’s clip on fan
with her orange toes perched on top of her Louis Vuitton luggage devouring a Cinnabon.

It was only a matter of time before the Honda
was going to break down, but I was not going
to nag my brother James to get it serviced. I have my

“You know . . . I can’t handle not having AC, ” my sister complained.
“We always have the AC turned up HIGH in our home, car, and office.  I can’t believe no one has AC here. This is upsetting.”

First world issues for Rita-May.

“Well, of course you have AC ,” I told her.

She lives in 115-degree, dry heat
year round, so she would be DUMB not to have AC.

Does she not recall being born and raised in the Pacific NW?
Having AC is a luxury. For sure, my next home will have AC just so when Rita visits me, she can put her feet up, relax, and enjoy her apple fritter. For now my AC are two fans.

Rita took the Honda in for
service. It needed oil, A/C compressor, coil set and filter.
She’s smart. She didn’t ignore the maintenance light.

But, I got another phone call.
“Lola, the car repairs on the car cost $1,500.00. That ‘s with my military discount. I just saved ya’ll $250.00.”

“Relax, Lola,” I say. I will now recite my meditation mantra:

Show me how to love
Teach me how to extend my light
Remove the barriers of my soul*

I feel a migraine coming.

Why did I answer the damn phone!?

****Part 2 tomorrow

Leave a comment

Lemons But No Juicer, Part 2

IMG_5257-2*Arise (from the depression and prostration in which
circumstances have kept you -rise to a new life)!
Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord) for
your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen
upon you!
Isaiah 60 v 1

I knew what I DIDN’T want. I didn’t want to be
under the covers, sleeping until noon, with life passing me by.
I didn’t want to blame others for my dreams and goals
not coming true. I didn’t want to be bitter, overweight, unhappy, lifeless, and
without energy.

Deep inside myself, I wanted to get better. I decided to

What I do know: You gotta want it.

I desire to be all that I can be.

During my bouts of depression and anxiety, I still
had my faith. I knew that God was still in the healing business
and that he still cared for me.
I began to pray in my bed with the covers up to
my ears . . . I prayed around the kitchen
and in the bathroom.

Suddenly, I had this smile in my face.

Here I am asking God for direction
for my life and yet I am still in my nightgown.
How can God use me and all my gifts
if I ‘m not properly dressed?

It hit me. I realized when you are in bed and can’t
seem to get up, you just need to do one thing so God can help you. Put your clothes on!

But, not the T-shirt that has spaghetti stains on it.
Dress well. Put on clothes that make you feel good and say out loud

Start with small goals. Email that one person who
may know of a job opening. If you take the first
step toward a goal, the God of the universe will
step forward to meet you.

He is a God of
miracles and he can open doors of opportunity
when in your mind you are thinking “that door does not
exist.” God will say to you
“Yes, it does and if it doesn’t I’ll build a door.”

Write down small goals and follow through.
Next week, challenge yourself and make your next goal bigger than the last one.

Do what I do: Pray over your goals. I do this all
the time. I ask God to help me achieve what is on my
list. If it’s his will, he will bring the items on the list to fruition.
If not , he has something else better in mind.

We all have lemons in on our kitchen counter. Today, go get a juicer,
plug it in, and turn it ON.

Cheers to you.

Dear God,
I surrender my brother to you. I don’t know
what to do anymore.

I do know that
you love and care for all the lost and depress souls.
May you turn their lives around, bless them
with renewed interest, and a fresh direction
like you did with me.




Life Gives Lemons But No Juicer, Part 1

FullSizeRender-27Has life given you lots of lemons
and no juicer to make lemonade?

My 50-year-old brother James is smart and hilarious.
I love him and right now that is all I can do.
Every year when I have Thanksgiving at my home,
he gets his own cherry pie. He loves cherry pie.
I like to make him smile.
His life is never sunny.

James has a basket of lemons he holds on to.

For some unexplained reason,
he can’t seem to or won’t
channel his smartness to getting in his car, driving
to Target, and buying a juicer so he can make lemonade.

I have learned that when people in your life
throw you lemons, you can always say
“NO, thank you.
I don’t have a juicer.”

And I have learned, that when I have to, I can make pretty good lemonade from the lemons that do come my way. It isn’t always easy, of course.

But, my brother, hasn’t ever quite figured out what do to with the lemons in his life. He doesn’t throw them back. And he doesn’t make lemonade. Here are the lemons in his life:

*Our dad was an alcoholic and was never was around.
*He had bad case of acne as a teenager.
*He never graduated from high school and can’t seem to keep a job.
*He got a divorce.
*The bank foreclosed on his home after he neglected to pay his mortgage.
* He has filed for bankruptcy.

With that many lemons, he could have
gotten himself a lemonade stand.

I believe my brother suffers from depression.
I went to the doctor with him to see if
he can get on medication . . . the doctor gave him a prescription.

But my brother slipped it into
his wallet and there it stayed.
Ol’ Wise One offered him a job,
but my brother never filled out an application .

I could go buy him a juicer, make lemonade for him, hook it up as an IV on his arm, and give him a shot of B12 in his ass, but I don’t think it would help.
Hmmmm . . . as much as I want to fix him, I retired
from fixing other people’s issues. Too exhausting.

I do know this from my own journey,
I have done my best to beat my depression, panic attacks, and
anxiety. I have had 12 years of therapy.
I was on lots of medication, but now I’m down
to one . Yahh. I have had lots of lemons
thrown at me or the lemons just magically appear in my life without my asking for them.
But, one day I drove to Target
bought a juicer and began making lemonade.

My road back to healing has been a lot of work.

********Part 2 tomorrow

1 Comment

You Are Unstoppable, Part 2

Today, if you want to do something big and rewarding for yourself
and for the universe–get started.

MELVIN PHAN came to the United States from Vietnam
25 years ago.
Melvin worked in his chosen field of engineering.
With his love of learning and a desire for more for
himself and family he wanted to go as far as
he could with his education.

He set his sights on getting his PhD in Management and Organizational Leadership. With support from his wife, son,
and mentor he now has a PhD by his name.

He said in his speech
“When you know your purpose and have the desire to

A candidate that I know oh too well that is
unstoppable is my cousin Jerrie.

She is the eldest of three children.
We have similar traits.
* We are first-born children.
*We are both ambitious.
*We love our families.
*We like to tell others what to do.

Jerrie has been a nurse for dozens of years. When
I sense a pain in my body, I will email her wondering
what it is. She will email me back a ten page outline explaining “This is what ‘s wrong with you . . . .”

She has a full life. She and her husband, Tyler,
are raising two boys. She works fulltime. She cares for
her elderly mom and our aunts. NO kidding.

Two years ago during our lunch date
she mentioned to me she wanted to get her
Masters degree in nursing. “Go for it!” I said sipping my wine.
“Oh and I’m going for my Masters in Health Administration, too.”

“Oh pleaseee Jerr . . . don’t stop at one.”

As I drove home that day, my mind could not
wrap around the idea of how she would pull it off.

Geez, I’m an empty nester and my Masters degree each day is to master getting out of bed. Studying for two Masters degrees sounds
insane to me, but leave it to Jerrie to get the job done.

Today was her day to shine as she walked up the stage to get
her two Masters degree. When her name was called
her family of 20 were loud and proud.

During her graduation party I talked to her mom, Sue.
“I told Jerrie to get her PhD,” she said.
“Oh, I told her that a month ago to get started on it.
“You encourage your cousin.”
“Oh, you bet,” I said.
I do know this–one of our many purposes
in life is to inspire, motivate, and support each other.

Do you work with a single full-time mom
that is going to college? Give her a word of
encouragement. Support her all the way to the finish line.

Do you have a family member
who is looking for work or struggling to make it
happen. Tell them to pray to God and not give up.

Do you know someone who is going through a nasty divorce?
Tell them to learn from it and move on . . . . cheer them on and tell them they will get through it and that you are there when they need to talk.

Let’s pray.

Dear God,
You know very well all our hopes and dreams.
And if we believe . . . our time to shine will come at just the perfect moment.

Help us to pray without ceasing and never give up.