Thank You To The Men In My Life!

A shot out to the manly men in my life who never made it a dull moment.

PAPI:

Thank you for being the first man to ever love me. To show me what it means to be loved and respected as a girl first and then as a woman. Thank you for being a no-nonsense kind of man. You meant what you said and said what you meant. Thank you for showing me how to fish, even if you got mad when I caught bigger fish than you. Thank you for letting me be a tomboy and getting dirty.

Thank you for showing me what empathy and gentleness from a man’s hand look like. Thank you for teaching me to be proud of my name because it’s a strong name. It’s my family’s name and the name of my grandmother. Thank you for also showing me what tolerance is. Having English as a second language was hard for you because of the ignorance other people had shown you. You stood tall and I thank you for showing me that. Thank you, most importantly, for being an amazing grandfather. Your love for her is remarkable, but I’m not surprised. I love more than you’ll ever know.

STEPDAD:

To the man who taught me what a man’s man REALLY is. They don’t make ’em like you anymore. You taught me that if you get hurt, you wipe it off and keep ongoing. Thank you for that. Thank you for making me work with my hands. It showed me what I am capable of doing, but also how to take care of things when I need to. You taught me not to rely on anyone. Thank you for being tough on me. You knew I needed that upbringing. I needed that Southern, hard to the core, no time for mess upbringing.

Thank you for showing discipline. Thank you for 22 years in the Army. You fought for me. Thank you for the unwanted mansplaining about my boyfriends growing up. What can I say? You were right. Thank you for showing me where ‘sympathy’ is located in the dictionary, which is between ‘sh*t’ and ‘syphilis’. When I start feeling sorry for myself and want to mope, I would think of that then laugh. Thank you for loving kids who aren’t yours, and thank you for being a grand-grands. You allowed her to show you what a granddaughter’s love and grace can do to an old man like you. Your granddaughter loves you and your stepdaughter misses you.

BROTHER IN-LAW:

Thank you for showing me that a man can be both patient and kind as well as rough and tough. Through you, I learn how most of life’s hardest moments can be softened with laughter. Thank you for seeing me grow from age 12 to now and wanting to still be my friend. Thank you for sometimes being that soundboard and believing in me when I had goals to reach. Thank you for our relationship.

I thank you the most for loving my sister. She is my world. You raised the bar on what a husband should be. I thank you for that. Thank you for being the best father to my nephews. Because of you, they are the men they are today and I know you wouldn’t settle for less. You showed them how a man is supposed to love, treat, and talk to a woman through your relationship with my sister. Thank you for being an amazing uncle. There is no one in this world like her uncle. And now, thank you for being the best granddad to your granddaughter. You are truly one of a kind man.

IN LOVING MEMORY, bILL-MY STEPDAD

12 Ways to Selfishly be Positive Without Feeling Guilty.

The only thing to feel guilty about is not putting yourself first!

1. When you are tired, stressed, and don’t want to do a task… SAY NO! One simple, freeing, yet powerful word.

2. When no one is around, EAT THAT LAST PIECE OF CHOCOLATE. Actually, just go ahead and eat that piece of chocolate anyway.

3. CUT YOUR HAIR SHORT. Despite yourself or whomever else thinks that you can’t pull it off, yes you can. Be brave and bold with the new you!

4. BUY THAT DRESS. It fits you like a glove and hugs your curves just right. You deserve it and you know it.

5. When you walk into the kitchen and the sink is full of dishes, keep on walking. WASH THE DISHES TOMORROW.

6. TAKE AN EXTRA 30 MINS for yourself in the bathtub. Use all the hot water on yourself with zero remorse.

7. TURN THE MUSIC UP. Who cares who hears it? Not like you blast it every day anyway. Turn it up and enjoy your favorite music.

8. DON’T ANSWER THAT CALL. Just because “they” are calling you, doesn’t mean you have to answer right now. That’s why you have voicemail.

9. You know that you have a Target addiction and girl I don’t blame you! So BUY YOURSELF THAT PURSE you’ve been eyeing.

10. Every time you think of it, it puts a smile on your face and fills your heart with joy. GET THAT TATTOO just for you!

11. DON’T SHARE YOUR SODA! Enjoy every last drop of goodness without the kids, husband, and even the dogs.

12. ORDER THAT STEAK. Tonight is the night that the prices don’t matter. Tonight is just about you!

There is nothing wrong with being selfish a time or two. Especially when it’s done to boost your self-confidence, self-esteem, or to make your world a little brighter. Most importantly, don’t forget to put yourself first. You are important too. In what ways would you be selfishly-positive?

Hot Towel or Not to Hot Towel? When in Doubt, Do!

Is using a hot towel necessary during a massage session or does it just feel good?

When that ‘awww’ sensation takes over…

That’s a hot towel to the body! It’s equivalent to you holding that hot cup of coffee between the palms of your hands when you’re chilly and you begin to warm up. ☕

I caught myself using a hot towel for almost all my sessions with my clients. Rather it was in the beginning, mid, or towards the end of the session, I was using one. But I wondered if using a hot towel really necessary? Or do therapists use a hot towel just to use one?

The answer is yes and yes.

What are they?

Prep work makes the dream work!

Using a hot towel is extremely beneficial to a client during a session. It helps ‘prep’ the area that the therapist will be working on. Let’s say you have back pain and wanted your therapist to work it out; a hot towel will warm up the soft tissues and muscles for you. It’s easier to treat any area warm than cold.

It’s kind of like mixing chocolate syrup in hot milk rather in cold milk: You spend less time stirring and it mixes better together. That means any soreness you may have had will not be as significant due to warming your back first by using a hot towel.

Relax the mind, you can relax the body!

A hot towel relaxes the mind. There is not one session out of the hundreds I have done that a client didn’t let out the biggest sigh of relief AFTER I placed a hot towel on them. In that sense, we as massage therapists just have to wait and let the body do its thing, sorta say. In a way, it does our job for us. If the mind ( the control center of the body) can relax then the body will follow, literally! It is truly amazing how much the body can respond when the mind is ‘shut off’ and how massage affects each of the systems of the body.

It just feels amazing!

Plain and simple: a hot towel feels AMAZING! You get a sense of relief that just washes over your body and in a way it feels like a security blanket. It just makes your massage session even that better of an experience. There is no wrong or right time to use a hot towel during a massage session, but if you rather not even bother just let your therapist know. No problem!

Rather if you like a hot towel or not during a session is all up to you. Let me know what you think! Are you a hot towel kind of a gal or guy?

Don’t Lose It, She’s Just a Mini-Version of You. An Emotional, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Version.

When your daughter ‘suddenly’ grows up and you are faced with a person you don’t recognize and barely like

One day your little girl is looking up at you with the biggest, roundest, and brownest eyes ever. She is asking you 20,000 questions about the sky, trying on all of your jewelry so she can “look like you mama”, asking about the -what if’s- of the world.

Than it happens:

Puberty.

Your little girl is now 13 and the only thing she is asking you is when dinner is ready and if she can go to a friend’s house.

What makes it all sting a little more is that your kisses no longer make things better. You singing along with her favorite song is no longer cool. Your jokes sound more like -dad jokes- than them actually being funny. If you try to help her pick out any outfit, God forbid if you do because your style is -outdated!

But how did her turning into this 13 yr old person happen so quickly? Wasn’t she just losing her first tooth or stuck to your hip while you two watched a movie together on the couch? Wasn’t she randomly crossing her arms and legs with each other as she was reading a book with Teddy by her side?

What happened to that girl? Better yet…

What person replaced her?

She looks like your daughter, but now she is eye-to-eye with you. This person smells of B.O. because they refuse to use the hundred and one bottles of deodorant you bought them. And this person argues and cries at a drop of a hat about the most minute things: a video they watched, the calm and collective way you thought you told them to do something, or if they have ‘nothing to wear’ when their closet is still half full.

Who ARE you and what have you done to my daughter?

It all happened so quickly and without warning. You literally just tucked her into bed, gave her kisses, said your prayers, and then it was as if ‘IT’ woke up in your sweet daughter’s place instead. The Mr. Hyde to your Dr. Jekyll.

Never in your life have you wanted to put someone in their place. Maybe even knock someone so badly, but you can’t. Legally you can’t because it’s your daughter and you know you still love her because she is still standing in front of you- back taking. Or trying to backtalk, but she even knows better so she is trying to backtalk without back talking you.

What kind of an emotional rollercoaster of a person did you create?

Where did you go wrong?

The other worse thing about this hand you have been dealt with is that person standing in front of you reminds you of someone. Oh, you know who! The way they cut their eye at you, or the way they say ‘huh?’ when asked the same question over and over, or the way they try to give you a hug and a -I’m sorry kiss- after an argument. Yeah, It’s you. They are a mini-version of you.

How do you win against that?!

When all seems lost with your new ‘roommate’, something out of the blue happens. It is as if the skies parted and for a moment this person does the unthinkable…they smile… on purpose because they wanted to. Then they laugh WITH you because you were funny. And when you thought that your heart was full…

She gives you a hug before going to bed.

She literally, at her own accord, came downstairs to give you a ‘just because’ hug. Then there she is, your little girl. Even for a brief moment, she emerged. Now you know with all the craziness of her growing up and you finally accepting the fact that she is growing up that you two will be ok. You two still have each other’s back and you need each other. That you two will still be close, but just in a different and better way.

Do you agree?