lola guerrero

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


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Thanksgiving Day ( wine begins at 11 a.m. ) Part 2

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I ran Plan B by my mom. Her eyes lit up.

“Ohhh . . . no terkey? You lazy to cook on Tankgibing? Ok with me . . . too much cooking. You relaxxx. You tell your brather to take me to casino. I play penny slot machine. You know, my hand bery itchy.”

I nod. She tells me all the time that itchy hands and palms is a sign of money coming your way.

“So I go to casino, ok?”

That idea was brilliant. I became lighter. My spirit in me began to dance.

My point is to ask yourself what will make you calm, centered, and grateful on this holiday. Do that.

Thanksgiving is a tradition. It is being with families and friends. However, life is in constant motion. Go with it . . . our kids grow up and move far away. The landscape of the family changes.

If you are hostessing make sure you have your big girl britches on and an effervescent smile.

Otherwise your visitors will feel that undercurrent of being stressed out. They will experience how much shopping, cleaning, and cooking is a chore. Do you want that for the people you love? If not, then do what works for you.

Ol’ Wise One does. He is on the couch. It works for him.

Are your hands and palms itchy? Go to the casino, but just this once — I’m not saying to make it a habit, I’m saying “Enjoy yourself. Be light.”

And what about me on Thanksgiving? Oh, I have great plans. I will go to Starbucks get my latte and use their WiFi to do some social media. Then, I will head to my gym before they close their doors at noon. My church will be open, so I’ll go light a candle for everyone in my tribe.

The rest of my day will remain a mystery. That works for me.

What works for you on this holiday?

Dear God,

Thanksgiving is a day to take note of what we have and what we are grateful for. It is a tradition of getting together and celebrating. As life changes, we change, too.

Remind us each day to be grateful. Being grateful doesn’t just have to be on this day. Open our eyes to take note of what is in front of us and it is enough. Thank you.

Amen, Lola


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Buh-Bye Now

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When do you know when you had enough?
When do you say “Buh-bye now” to someone who is
not pleasant to be with?

Eunice is a relative of mine.

Sunday Ol’ Wise One and I drive up to
her favorite casino in the middle of
the Pacific Northwest where the roadsides are
dense with fall-colored trees. We have
done this drive for the last 28 years. Suffice to say,
before the journey I say to myself “Please, God, help me today” prayer.

Eunice loves celebrating her birthday inside Casino Royale where
it is dark , smelly, and filled with chain smokers. Just where
you want to spend your bright sunny Sunday.

I go along for this ride and this birthday lunch
out of respect for Ol’ Wise One.

When lunch is over and we are walking to her car,
I hug Eunice to say goodbye and she doesn’t hug back.
It is as if I have some incurable virus. And she doesn’t care to
say thank you for for the gift, the lunch, and our time to make the three-hour drive
to meet her for her birthday.

Eunice has always been this way. Why expect anything different?
I keep hoping she will change her ways. But, this particular
day something in me awakens. I finally realize it is me
who needs to change. I have had enough of her rudeness and ungrateful
ways.

Eunice is now in her own car and we walk to ours. I am deep in thought.
Suddenly, I tell myself,“This is where it stops. This is where I draw the line.”
I have clarity. I will not be deterred in any way.

I have been patient for 28 years. Now it is time to say: Buh-bye now.
No more birthday lunches with Eunice for me.

When we begin to honor who we are . . . we make room for the
universe to bless us with something better that is more meaningful and enjoyable.
Our choice honors and symbolizes our appreciation for our precious time left on this planet.

Dear God,
I release this situation to you.
You blessed me with wisdom and guidance to
do the right thing for 28 years. I have shown up, honored and respected this relative.
I will now step aside.

Amen. Lola


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His Dirty Socks Are On The Floor, Again

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

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.

Amen,
Lola


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DYNAMIC BADASS

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My BF Mish and I had an uplifting phone conversation this morning.
I shared about our 12 days in Manhattan — how Ol’ Wise One and I had a relaxing time seeing our son, Ralph. We spent time  with him by strolling through Central Park,
attending three plays, and visiting the top of The Empire State Building.

In the middle of our trip, we bought  tickets  to a Yankees game in the Bronx. After the game, we hailed a cab back to our hotel. An intense conversation ensued with our taxi driver  who we thought understood the address we gave him. Apparently not, he thought we said Harlem. Really. Do we look like we have things to do in Harlem?

“We had a fantastic time doing tourist stuff. The only thing we didn’t do was ride the scenic tour bus, and I prayed before we left that God would open our hearts and to enjoy each others’ company. My prayers were answered.”

Mish shared what was going on in her life while I was on vacation.
“I have another client,” she announced.
I gasped. “No kidding? I was praying the other day that God would put women in your life to counsel.”
“Thank you for that. Yes . . . this one woman called me and said she wanted to know more about the book The Desire Map and how to apply it in her life.”

A little background about Mish. In the past, she has looked for ways to reach out to women who are survivors of abuse. She is a survivor, too. The Desire Map: A guide to creating goals with soul
landed on her lap and she began to apply the principles in her life.

This book spoke to her. It has given her balance, awareness, authenticity, and energy to go after what she desires. In addition to one-on-one counseling, she leads retreats at
her home that teach women how to meditate and develop goals that make them feel good. She is a guide who helps people unleash desires and goals that have been hiding out in their hearts.

“My new name is Dynamic Badass,” she said. We both laughed.

After the call  with Dynamic Badass, I thought why not call my mother? I’m already on the phone.  I’m sure she would love to hear my voice.

“Hi Mother. How are you? Did my brothers take care of you?”
“Ohh, a miracle,” she says.

Oh nice, Mother has good news.

“You know, I pray to God one night. I say, “Oh Lord, please tell my son, Ed, to call me. I want to go to out, to casino. I have no driver. Lola is in New York. Then, next day your brother, Ed, call me. Oh my God, Tank you, Lord. I say.”

I can imagine my mother the night before fervently praying . . . twirling her rosary beads asking God to produce his next miracle — Ed picking up the phone to call our mother.

After talking to the two most important women in my life, I’m in awe of how God works in our lives.

My son, Ralph, is growing and maturing. He is finding his way in and out of Manhattan. I saw him in action with our New York cab driver who spoke  no English.
I was impressed, he takes no sh– from these guys! Right on! I say.
I keep telling myself, if my baby can make it in New York. He can make it anywhere. New York is schooling him at moment. But, he seems to be a fast learner.

I thank God each day for giving me the strength to let him go and be the man God wants him to be.

With respect to Dynamic Badass and my mother, I have never met individuals more generous
than these two ladies. Dynamic Badass is known for giving free counseling and my mother is known for her own version of Meals on Wheels.
I know that it is because of their giving spirits that God keeps blessing them with goodness in their lives. This I know — God blesses you as you bless others!

Dear God,
Thank you so much for listening to our prayers.
And for caring for us.

Continue to transform our minds each day. May we put our lives and concerns in your hands first knowing that you have the best outcome in store for us.

Amen, Lola

P.S For information on The Desire Map retreats/ counseling  email Mish at
jewelryfromtheheart@gmail.com

Pictures from NY

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This Lil’ Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine! P.1

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Early afternoon I walk around
in my condo singing to me and to the wall.
You know the gospel song.
Sing it with me :
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
let it shine, let it shine, ohhh, let it shine

“Wall, where can I shine today?

I head to Starbucks to do some writing, but then my cell vibrates and I answer it. It’s my sister Rita. We talk for about 40 min. Dang, there’s goes my writing time.
Next on my to do list is going to the bank and gym.
I didn’t do any shining at those two locations.

Back home from the gym.
I figure out what to do for dinner.

I glance at the clock and it’s 5 p.m. Surely it’s cocktail time.
While pouring a glass of Pinot Gris, I ask the kitchen wall,
“Where did I shine today?”
I hear no reply.

But I continue, “Talked to my sister today. She is heart broken time after time because she is having a hard time conceiving a baby. Maybe it’s not meant to be.”
I told her that.
I also said that she is meant to be a career woman and pointed out that she is up for a promotion.

“That’s a huge, huge sign if you ask me. Right Wall?”

Oh, the life of no more kids running around inside our home. It has now come to
me talking to a wall. Welcome to my world People.

“Wall, how about cooking dinner? Oh please, I have no desire to shine by seasoning a piece of salmon and making a salad.”

It’s now nighttime . . . my husband and I sit and turn on the Discovery Channel.
We watch a show about a family that lives in the Alaskan Bush. They have no cell phones, they live in the woods, and they hunt for their own food.
It’s not what I would sign up for.

Part 2 Tomorrow


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To be 100 years old is an accomplishment. Let me process that. P.1

 

Old Wise One (my husband) decides to join me at at a “Centurions Birthday Party”
given by our next door neighbors, Bob and Nadine.

This throws me completely off guard.
I’m thinking, is he on meth?
Since when does he like to socialize on his day off?
He doesn’t enjoy crowds.
He hesitates to shake hands because hands are bacteria carriers.
Duly noted!

We live in an old brick condominium on the beach.
The owners are just as old as the building.
Our building is as close to assisted living as you can get except we have no
doorman or nurse on duty.

Once a year, someone dies
or they fall, break a hip, and scoochy on down to a rehab center.
We bought our condo because of the view and because noise was not
going to be an issue.

I was excited to attend the shindig. Had my outfit laid out. Never been to a
partay for centurions before. Have you?

Another reason I wanted to show up was that I needed a topic for my next blog.
Plus, I can’t pass up cake. Who does not have time for cake?
Simple pleasures in life.      IMG_3043

The guests of honor are Violet and Ellen. Their birthdays are one day apart.
I get their name confused
when I see them in the lobby getting their mail.  But not today, Violet is wearing
a sweater the color of her name.

Our hostess Nadine makes a toast. Her voice rings out, “Happy Centurion!”

Violet smiles, I can tell she enjoying the moment.  Then I  see my husband go
over to offer a handshake and give her half a hug.
How sweet of him.  Now why can’t he like that when my relatives come over for
Christmas ham and pumpkin pie. Hmm.

I am sad to say that Ellen could not make it. She was not feeling all that great.
Understandable.
She is 100 years old.

I was disappointed not to see her because I enjoy talking to her inside the
elevator as she takes her own recycling and compost bin outside. She never
wants my help. Her flaming red permed hair is always curled and never combed out.
Her back is C-shaped.