Posts Tagged My Life

#42 ~ Long time no see….

Wow, it has been over a month!

Long long long story short….I’m still here.The project is still a go. Things have just been extremely busy.

I had to unplug from the online social world for a little while in order to keep things in line. It’s no secret that things like blogging, Tweeting and such can get me a little distracted. 😉 I’ll be back in a little while with updates. The new blog is coming soon…it has been my fault it isn’t up yet.

Hope everyone is doing well! Miss you guys!

~melody~

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#34 ~ Wrinkles … wear them proudly

What’s the very first thing you think of when you hear the word WRINKLE?

On Monday, I blasted a very unscientific Facebook and Twitter poll asking this question and here is the response I received:

  • 23 said “old” or something along those ‘lines’ (pun #1)
  • 18 mentioned products ranging from skin creams to Botox
  • 14 said Shar Pei dogs
  • 8 said “baby butts” – which is just too funny!
  • 7 said things related to ironing (I do not iron, for the record.)

My favorite (no offense to the others who graciously participated) were the 13 who mentioned things such as …

  • “Wrinkles only go where the smiles have gone,”Cindy (quoting Jimmy)
  • “I think of wisdom, a life well-lived and that more people should embrace them.”TweetingMama
  • “Sprinkles? Ya, I love cupcakes. Oh, you said wrinkles? Who cares. Beauty is fleeting.” ~ Linda

There’s a phrase that has been stuck in the wrinkles of my brain (pun intended and thank you Marci for that line) for decades. I overheard some adults in the family talking about a friend…

“She’s aged so much recently.”

I was maybe six or seven at the time, but I understood what they were talking about. Live long and hard enough and you’ll grow a few wrinkles of your own. I have.

It saddens me to see such enormous focus in our society on ridding the evidence of our lives. I was driving across town the other day and noticed a ginormous billboard on the side of the freeway advertising how to look 10 years younger by getting rid of the wrinkles. Erase your story.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in love with aging. Who doesn’t want to have perfect skin? I am just choosing to focus on how they got there rather than dwelling on the fact that they aren’t going anywhere.

Is it strange that I’m proud of my wrinkles?

The thick one on my forehead … that came from the painfully stressful two weeks I worked with a private investigator undercover to find my missing cousin.

The other ones on my forehead … those came from the stress and heartache of when I almost lost my husband.

The ones under my eyes … they came from the seven weeks of crying and worry when my premature baby was in the NICU.

The ones between my eyebrows … they come from all the hard times life deals you on a daily basis whether it’s working on maintaining a healthy marriage and family or helping friends through the difficult times.

The crows feet and lines around my smile … well, those are from my insanely large smiles and laughs. You can hear me belt out a chuckle from across the room. I’ll only apologize for it if you’re hearing aid is turned up too high and it physically hurts you.

Now, the itty bitty lines around my lips that cause my lip liner to not stay in the lines? Those just drive me nuts! I haven’t a clue where they came from either. Just age, I’m sure….or from whistling. I whistle songs all day long.

This week I encourage you to embrace your wrinkles and share the stories that brought them to your life. Whether from pain or joy, sorrow or laughter, you have a remarkable story and you have the evidence to prove it!

“Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be.” ~ Lauren Hutton

What stories do your wrinkles tell?

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#25 ~ Evidence of Circumstance … good-bye funk

I’ve been quiet lately. For those who know me, this is a rare occurrence and most likely it’s something you wish would happen more often. har har

Difficult circumstances leave traces of evidence. The first evidence that shows up in my life is usually quietness….but not the peaceful quiet we seek by going on vacation. The sad kind of quiet that makes me want to not to talk to anyone. Hide. Be alone.

Melody wants not to talk? That never happens.

Life had just been getting me down and I couldn’t shake it. I hate it when that happens. What I hate even more is when circumstance changes your attitude. I can’t really say my perspective was changed, because I know better than that….which is another reason I fell deeper into a funk. I know better than to let a circumstance change who I am and who God made me to be.

I was in a deep funk. I hate funk. I hate all things funk related. Especially the funky chicken, but that’s another blog post.

Just as I dove into the deep end of despair, I was asked to help out at my church’s six Easter services. I immediately said yes without thinking about what all it entailed. Long story short, I assisted the creative arts team by climbing up on scaffolding and writing descriptive words onto plexi glass (backwards mind you…I’ve developed some mad backward writing skills) at the beginning of each service. After the message, we erased those words and wrote FULLY ALIVE.

Of course, when I wrote “fully alive” I dotted my ‘i’s with little suns. I’m cheesy like that…

I love it when God steps in and says, “Just turn it over to me. It’ll be alright. I got this one. Trust me,” and then invites you to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself allowing the evidence of circumstances to be erased so that you can once again become FULLY ALIVE.

If you’re interested in taking a peek, click here for a video clip of the first portion of the plexi peeps (get it ‘peeps’… Easter…yeah, I know). I’m on the left behind the guitarists and piano player. I start with the word “LOST”…not as in the TV show, although, I am still pretty lost on that show.

Here is a video of the entire service. It’s pretty amazing and the pre-service video cracks me up…”Connection Card….LOVE it!”

The Project….

I have a cool update for the ‘project’ tomorrow. Let’s just say I hope the wind storm that is brewin’ where I live calms down for my project-related flight tomorrow. Oh and let’s hope I DON’T miss the flight this time.  I haven’t lived that down with Mr. Pres and VP.

I’m sure I’ll be tweeting about it now that I recently set up a Twitter account…because that’s what this world needs…one more person tweeting about absolutely nothing that others really care about. Ha. (Follow my tweets here.)

Happy Monday to ya. Make it a good one!

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#21 ~ Breathe in. Let it go…

I’ve been a little silent here lately. I’ve had something on my mind and wasn’t quite sure how to wrap it up in a nicely packaged blog post. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should share it. I can be a bit old school when it comes to divulging certain info, especially anything to do with money. I don’t mind reading about it on other blogs (because I’m nosey like that, er, I mean I’m intrigued), but somehow putting things out there for the world to read just makes you a little more vulnerable … and more human, I guess. Somewhere along the way, we have learned that being human isn’t a good thing. Shameful.

So, last week we got the news that my husband was receiving a rather ginormous pay cut. And by ginormous, I mean extremely-overweight-bloated-dinosaur sized. Cutbacks and pay cuts have been slinging all over the place. We’re blessed that he has a job in the midst of these harsh times.

We live in one of the worst hit cities by this horrid economy. People are losing jobs like little kids lose teeth, yet the tooth fairy is nowhere to be found. Homes are foreclosing left and right. Strip malls look like ghost towns. Fear is everywhere. Stress can easily be seen in the eyes of those passing by.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we started investing in real estate when we were practically babies. Again, that chapter has slammed shut. I’m aware of this on so many levels.

Over the weekend, I walked around the house thinking about the cold hard facts that this economy is dealing us. Stress started to fill my already clouded head. I began to fold laundry (my husband’s t-shirts) when it hit me all the sudden. Five years ago, I would have begged to have the promise of today’s worries had it meant that my husband would live…

Five years ago, my husband almost passed away.

Very long story short, he was given a medication that nearly killed him. He had an allergic reaction which caused pulmonary edema, double pneumonia and his liver started shutting down. At one point, the doctors also thought he had a heart attack. He was 30, in the best shape he had ever been in (thankfully so, since he lost 22 lbs in less than a week) and, at the time, nobody knew why his body was failing so quickly.

I was warned several times that he may not make it. I spent hours crying uncontrollably. In the ICU waiting room, I fell asleep in the arms of concerned loved ones while tears drained down my face. I didn’t even have enough energy to pray.

My husband had completed his EMT certification so he knew medically what was happening to his body. He tightly held my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and said things to me that are only supposed to be in movies…because what was happening to us at the moment surely didn’t feel real. He knew he might not make it.

I remember coaching him through what seemed to be hours of breathing. He avoided being put on a ventilator several times, although he actually begged for it. I’ve never witnessed someone struggle so hard to breathe. I literally had to tell him when to breathe in and when to let it go.

At that time, I was trying to mentally prepare myself for a life without my best friend and man of my dreams. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what it would be like to spend a single second without him by my side. I didn’t know how I would get through the following 30 seconds, much less the next 30, 40, 50 years without him. I would take ANY struggle in life as long as it was a life WITH him.

Praise God that prayer was answered.

As I finished folding the laundry, I smiled, held back a tear and reminded myself that this economic hardship is nothing compared to what we went through five years ago. This is merely a detour on a road trip that will provide stories that will last a lifetime. I’ll enjoy the scenery (because flowers will still bloom) and send postcards along the way. I’ll also think of those who have it so much worse and try to do my part to encourage them to keep going.

Breathe in. Let it go…

So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:10

Working on an update for the ‘project’…things are moving along…

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#19 ~ 20 Years

What were you thinking 20 years ago?

Really, what kind of thoughts ran around that pretty little head of yours? Or, maybe I don’t want to know.  heh heh

Let me be more specific – 20 years ago, where did you think you would be now?

(By the way, that photo of me is from 16 years ago. The whole ’20 years’ thing will make sense in a minute. Yes, that was my school’s mascot and yes, I wore an outfit to match the bengal. I had WAY too much school spirit, I know.)

I was cleaning out a cabinet the other day (clutch the pearls, yes, I was cleaning something) and came across some old high school stuff. Recently, I was in charge of my 15 year high school reunion (OK, I just had to take a deep breath. Please, lock me in a closet next time I volunteer to do that again.) and I still have remnants of the event stuffed in the corner of my office. I thought it was about time I did something with it…the reunion was last October.

Being the sentimental sap I am, I had to thumb through the pages of the last school newspaper. May 1994 – seems like yesterday, seems like forever ago. I chuckled as I read through the articles… That one guy is most likely to go bald. You know who will one day be Hollywood bound. What’s his name will surely become a monk. Prom Queen and King were crowned. Scholarships and other honors awarded. Fond memories all bound into a few sheets of paper.

Of course, the article labeled “Melody’s Notes” caught my eye. There was a little section of the paper reserved for ramblings of my own. I was Student Body President and a tiny part of my job description involved writing something inspiring on a monthly basis for my fellow students. The last paragraph in my last article in the last school newspaper read this: (I’m going to quote myself right now. Weird…)

“Twenty years from now you might be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So, GO FOR IT!! Reach for your goals; they’re not as high as you think!

I must admit, I just got a little twinge of pride for my teenaged self. I remember being ready to conquer the world. I was itching to dive into the next chapter of the book of Melody, but to be honest, I had NO clue where the story would lead me – and THAT is what I have always thrived on. Newness. Fresh beginnings. Bold new projects…

I had goals back then. They morphed and transformed into a life I hadn’t quite imagined. A different life, but a great one. College bound, I wanted to become a broadcast journalist. I changed my mind about a month into my first semester. I always swore I wouldn’t get married until I was 30 and set in a career. I got married when I was 19 (and still very happily married 14 years later, by the way). For a brief moment, I wanted to become a private investigator. (That’s a whole story in itself.) I started a wedding business instead. I just knew I’d be doing that the rest of my life and then nine years later we had our first child. It’s true, a baby changes everything.

If I had led my life according to the plans I had in mind 16 years ago, I would be a completely different person now. Life takes us on side trips. There are so many lessons we have to learn along the way and, if not learned, sometimes we have to flip a U-turn, take a detour or go a route we never even knew was on the map.

So, here I am walking down an unfamiliar trail with yet another goal. The ‘project’ … at times I am still overwhelmed by it. I constantly have this banter between my brain and my heart, “You’re crazy. You’re gutsy. This is insane. This is exciting! Seriously, you’re tall and all, but this is way too big. You’re so tall, those jeans aren’t long enough…”

As I look back at the 17 year old who told everyone to ‘go for it’ so boldly, I can’t help but feel the self-induced kick in the butt.

Twenty years from now, I don’t want to be disappointed by the things I didn’t do.

Go for it.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#15 ~ Photo shoot, 4 hour call, project #2 and a giveaway…

OK, lots to cover so I’ll just dive in…

I had another fabulous coffee date with my girls Jessie and Blair yesterday at Starbucks. Love this weekly tradition we’ve started. We talked and laughed way too loudly which caused management to turn the background music up. Sad to say, this isn’t the first time in my life that’s happened. 😉 We sat next to another gentleman on a laptop … he didn’t put earphones on though. Instead, he joined us in conversation. In my opinion, if you’re talking that loud, you’re giving the invitation for others to join in. I’m totally cool with that.

Had an extraordinarily FUN photo shoot with Jessie. If you want a sneak peek, click HERE.  It even involved me walking into a tree…for real. Seriously, these things happen when you’re 6 feet tall and you wear 4 inch heeled boots. I’ll be using these photos to spruce up this blog soon (blog makeover coming) and when needed for the project. Jessie did an amazing job. I can’t wait to see all the shots. If you need an awesome photographer, look her up. She travels for photo sessions, too…like AROUND THE WORLD. I stayed up until an ungodly hour reading about her journey to India where she captured every detail of an amazing adoption. I don’t suggest starting to read it at 1:30 am…you may become too emotional to fall asleep after. Just sayin’. 😉

I slept in late this morning (thank you dear husband for allowing me to do so) because I was on a four hour call with Mr. Pres last night. I got off the phone around midnight and didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 am. I was just too excited. We made lots of progress. I received the approval on some PR and ad proposals I brought to the table. We’re getting lots of legal matter done, too. We’re also solidifying a relationship with a ginormously known company. Ugh…I hate keeping secrets! I am getting pretty good at it though.

Speaking of how well I’m keeping secrets…I’ll now add project #2 to the mix. I was contacted yesterday in regards to another enormous project, which of course, I can’t go into detail about yet.  Let’s just say that it involves TV. I’m meeting with the creator tomorrow afternoon. It may not pan out in the long run, but it’s exciting to have been approached with the opportunity. The adventure of it all is worth it even if it doesn’t come to fruition.

Now on to the ‘giveaway’ portion of this blog post. I’m SO SUPER EXCITED (picture me practically jumping up and down) about Monday’s motivational interview. The woman being interviewed was on ABC’s Shark Tank last week and she’s offered to do a fun giveaway that will add a little ‘bounce’ to your life….and I’m not talking dryer sheets. 😉

I want to thank everyone for the awesomely supportive emails, comments, private messages, etc. Really, you don’t know how much encouragement you’re giving me. To my fellow bloggers, I haven’t had much time to visit lately, but I will soon. 🙂

Have a fabulous weekend and Happy Valentine’s Day!

headshot photo by jessie baldwin

photo by spekulator

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#14 ~ Nickel, dime, penny for your thoughts…

Ever since the “Life is like a bowl of bananas” analogy hit me like a ton of bricks, I’ve been thinking. (I know, scary.) I’ve been thinking about other reasons we raise the white flag to our bucket lists…

I look at my precious daughter and I see how sweet and innocent life is to her.

When I tell her that she can do something, she trusts me. Then, she does it.

When I reach out to her and tell her how proud I am of her accomplishments, she believes me. It gives her encouragement for her next challenge.

When I snuggle with her on the couch and tell her that I’ll always be her cheerleader, she smiles and says, “OK, Mommy. Tanks.” (Translation: Thanks … she’s two.) She knows I will always be at her side cheering her on.

She’s a clean slate. She trusts, believes and goes about her day without a doubt in her heart.  She tries new things. She’s adventurous. She doesn’t let anything get in her way.

So, at what point in our lives did we learn we can’t reach our dreams? Who taught us that? Did we teach it to ourselves?

I’m sure the answers to these questions will vary drastically between each of us. To be honest, I’ve had a hard time answering them myself. I have very encouraging parents who believed in my dreams…and they still do. Sure, I was picked on as a kid like anyone else. In many ways, that fueled me to strive harder at my goals, be kinder to others and even try to understand the instigators.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to find answers.

And then it hit me…

I’ve shared this story with maybe a handful of people. It’s really not a dramatic event. It’s nothing most people would think twice about, but it’s something that I have carried in my mind for years and years.

I’m pretty sure I was around five or six years old. It was after school and blistering hot. In our Texas neighborhood, that meant there were children running amuck outside. Building clubhouses out of scrap wood. Riding bikes up and down long driveways. Playing Dukes of Hazzard with friends. (I always played Daisy.)

On this particular late muggy afternoon, the ice cream man’s chime could be heard lofting from a street behind our house. Everyone stopped what they were doing, ran quickly in their houses, gathered pocket change and then darted at warp speed towards the truck’s melody. I ran inside, begged Mom permission to buy a piece of frozen heaven, received her approval then ran to my room for my little coin purse. It was filled with gobs of nickels, dimes and pennies.

I wasn’t much of a sprinter, so I was the last one to make it to the truck. I tried not to pant like a tired old dog, but I was out of breath. I had no clue what I was going to get. The choices seemed overwhelming. I didn’t want to spend my life savings on something I didn’t like. I went over the list… over and over and over…all the while panic rushed over me. I had to make a decision now.

He asked, “What would you like today?”

I was so excited to get something on my own, but I instantly felt beyond embarrassed. I wanted to cry. I held back tears.

“Nothing.”

He asked a few times if I was sure. He was confused. What kid rushes to the ice cream man with money in hand and doesn’t buy anything?

I realized I didn’t know how to count my money. I was embarrassed. So embarrassed. I didn’t even want to ask for his help. He would think I was dumb. I, for sure, wasn’t about to ask any of the other kids. They would laugh. They’d think I was stupid.

I was just a little kid.

Right then and there, I “learned” to be embarrassed.  I learned to be ashamed that I didn’t know how to do something that, at the time, meant so much to me. Ever since then, I’ve often felt the same rush of emotion when embarking on a new adventure…a new dream.

I can honestly say that the fear of embarrassment has always far outweighed my fear of failure. Everyone fails from time to time. Nobody can win at everything. My embarrassment comes from the possibility that others would think I was crazy to dream so big or the lack of ability to reach the finish line in a race that never should have been run.

As if there would be crowds of people pointing and laughing at me? Well, you never know.

Perhaps prior to this event someone laughed at me when I tried my best at another challenge. Probably. I was a kid. It’s what kids do to each other. Maybe that’s where I learned to be embarrassed, but sad is the day when I can’t brush that off as an adult.

I’ll tell you what…I’m not too ashamed to ask for help this time around. I’m running to the finish line (in heels, of course) with my little bag of coins in hand and I’ll gladly ask the ice cream man anyone for the answers I’ll need along the way.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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