You’re Too Old To Wear That

Wait, what?! Who said that?! Let me just tell you, that is a bunch of hogwash! 

Over my many years of reading various fashion/beauty magazines I would always come across an article or two on what you should and should not wear based on your age. The referenced topics always seem to include makeup, fashion, hairstyles, etc. When I was younger, I remember thinking “oh of course that makes sense”, but now that I am a tad bit older my perspective has certainly changed.  

Just last week I came across an article of things people over 40 should not be wearing. Here are a few of the items that stuck with me: 

Bold Lip Colors – Ok, let me just stop the presses right here. I am a sucker for a great lip color, and if I can make those babies pop you better believe I’m going to. As long as the color is complimentary to your skin tone then line those lips, fill ‘em in, and pucker up! 

Bold Eye Shadows – Ok look, I get that there is a time and a place for dramatic eyes, and application technique is crucial, but again, no age restrictions here in my “eyes”. Granted, you probably do not want to wear neon green eye shadow smeared up to your eyebrows for your weekly staff meeting, but you could sweep a little on your lid for a subtle flare. Just remember to keep in mind your skin type. As we age, we may not be able to wear powder shadows as well as we once did, but don’t let that stop you! There are plenty of cream and liquid shadows out there that stay put all day long. 

Shirts with logos – Now I am not sure where they were going with this, but if they are trying to tell me I can’t wear my Van Halen t-shirt anymore then they need their heads examined. One of the most fun outfits a woman can throw together is a perfectly fitted pair of jeans, a band tee, a blazer, and some sassy flats or edgy ankle boots…Trust Me! 

Hairstyles – The nonsense continues… I have seen “do not/should not over 40” for every hairstyle imaginable. Your hairstyle is a perfect way to express who you are. So if you want a hot pink pixie or down-to-your-booty hippie hair then go for it; no one dictates your style but you! 

Short skirts & low-cut tops – Listen sister if you’ve got it flaunt it! Just be tasteful about it. There is a fine line between sleezy and sexy, which most of us have mastered by the time we are in our 40’s (we’ll just continue to block out the fashion faux pas of our 20’s – YIKES!) and if you’re not sure where that line is, don’t be ashamed to ask. We all need a little direction from time to time. 

So, there you have it, my two cents on over 40 do’s and don’ts, aren’t you glad you asked? Come look for me in another 44 years, I’ll be the sassy old broad with long grey hair, still wearing my Van Halen t-shirt, rocking the boldest red lip I can find, and hopefully chilling in a cantina in Mexico, doing a shot of Cabo Wabo tequila.  

Cheers to the 40’s (and the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond) and to being our truest selves! 

XO ~G. 

*Side note, my personal fave lip color right now is Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink in Shot Caller (not pictured here). 

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Welcome 2021!

Goals! Resolutions! New Starts! It is what each new year is all about. Most of us go into the new year feeling excited and optimistic, saying all the things we want to become/achieve, but do we ever have a plan on how to reach those goals?

I think it is safe to say that most of us are starting off 2021 licking our wounds from the previous year, a year which I prefer to never speak of again. With that in mind, I think it is even more important this year for us to really put in the work. Find ways to be focused, consistent, determined, intentional…make those goals come to fruition! We can say every minute of every day what we would like to achieve this year, but without those aforementioned mindsets it will be nearly impossible to do so. Being positive and having faith are certainly necessities in life, but if you are not willing to put in the work then that faith has nothing to get behind and push. It’s like praying to win the lottery and never buying a ticket. Faith needs a foundation to repel from.

I also think it is important to keep things in perspective. Don’t try to make it all happen overnight. This is going to take time, and that is where your consistency comes into play. I say this as much to you as I do to myself. I am a natural born dreamer, but not a natural born go-getter. If nothing else I am consistently inconsistent, and I am not proud of that. It can be so daunting in this day and age to get wrapped up in the comparison game, something I am extremely guilty of, but we need to continuously remind ourselves that we are all on our own individual journeys. Don’t look at the abundance of makeup bloggers and think there isn’t a place for you; there is. Don’t look at the immense number of writers and storytellers and think no one needs to hear your words; someone does. And don’t think just because you may have failed at something once means you should never try again; you pick yourself up and get right back at it.

Take this opportunity to be kind and gentle with yourself, but also be firm. Hold yourself accountable and be honest with yourself. If something doesn’t work out the way you had hoped, then take a moment to reevaluate things and try a different approach. If it is truly your heart’s desire, then you will find a way to make it happen.

I will leave you with this thought: “No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” – Chris Hardwick

Happy New Year, and I wish you an abundance of focus, determination, and success!

XO ~G.

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Farewell Daddy-O

What can’t I say about Dad? He was the kindest, strongest, most humble, laid back man. He had the biggest heart, and the greatest ability for understanding. He told the best bad jokes, and gave the best advise – sometimes, I think without even realizing he was doing so. I remember this one time we were golfing and I was grabbing my 7 iron, Dad said I should use my 9, but I said “I like my 7”, to which he replied, “Well, sometimes what we like isn’t what we need.” It was like a light bulb went off in my head, and I don’t think he realized the weight of those words, how they impacted me, and how I still carry them to this day. Now, it hasn’t helped my golf game any, but it has definitely helped me in other areas.

I mentioned his bad jokes, boy were those a treat, and the worse they were the more he seemed to enjoy telling them. We always knew when they were coming too, either by the way his stance would change, or hearing him say, “Hey, did I tell ya…?” Dan and I were privy to his final bad joke the day he went into the hospital, and I feel it is my duty to share it.

Why didn’t the Mexican go to the bullfight? Because he didn’t habanero.

I could easily go on and on about how great Dad was, and how important he was to me, but for time and anxiety management I’ll condense things. I do want to share a poem I wrote for him several years ago. Thankfully, I had given him a copy.

Many of us have heroes

Who lead remarkable lives

But few could ever measure up

To the hero in my eyes

Sacrificing and unselfish

Never asking for praise

Always willing to give his all

Never expecting to be repaid

Dependable and loyal

Strong and always true

Yet even with a human flaw

I model my son to be like you

Faithful and devoted

Always there for me

I couldn’t be more proud

Of the father God gave to me

Dad, I will miss your face, your smile, your voice, your laughter, your wisdom, your unsolicited preachings, your perfectly executed bad jokes, and simply your mere presence. Always the gentle giant, and the strongest man I knew – you never failed to provide love, comfort, understanding, and acceptance. I always knew I could come to you with anything and be free of judgement. Thank you for teaching me how to be a good person, for allowing me to be myself, for always being supportive, and for being my rock all these years. You are leaving an irreparable void, but I made you a promise years ago, and I will hold true to that. I am so very sorry you had to go through what you did to get to Heaven, but I am glad you are now at peace, and hopefully golfing up a storm up there.

I love you Daddy-O

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I have something to say…

And it’s not because I actually think anyone cares (in fact I’m pretty confident I am the most ignored person on social media, and that is perfectly fine with me) but because I need to say it for myself. I am sad, and heartbroken.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times a day I find myself with tears in my eyes. What is happening to us? Why is everyone so hell bent on hating everyone else? Personally, it does not matter to me what color your skin is, what religion you choose to follow or not follow, what your sexual preference is, or who you voted for. I am not going to assume you are a criminal because your skin tone differs from mine, nor am I going to assume that because you choose to follow/not follow a specific religion that you are evil. I am also not going to assume that if you choose a same-sex partner that you are perverted or going against God, or that if you voted for President Trump then you are a white supremacist, likewise, if you voted for Hillary Clinton I won’t assume you are a terrorist hugging liberal. Why do we have to label everyone?! This doesn’t help anything. The more we place labels on people who “differ” from the “norm”, the more separation we are causing. And what is the “norm” anyway? Aren’t we all just human? Shouldn’t that be perceived as the “norm”? Everyone right now is basically just yelling over each other, and calling each other names, and for what? To prove you’re right and they’re wrong? Well guess what? You are all wrong. You’re wrong because you won’t listen. Arguing solves nothing because you can’t hear the other person when you are screaming at the top of your lungs. And if you can’t hear, then you can’t learn. And if you can’t learn, then you can’t grow or evolve. You are stuck. You are stuck with your stubbornness, while screaming that you are right. And here I sit in silence, willing to listen, wanting to learn, but afraid to speak because I don’t want to be screamed at.

We have to stop attacking each other for having different points of view, because at the end of the day we all want the same thing. Don’t we? Don’t we want peace? And happiness? And kindness? And respect? Well those things do not come from judgement and hostility. They come from understanding, and a willingness to accept that we are all different, and that we will never all see things the same way, but that we can all work together to make things good. Can’t we? Or am I just so far gone into a state of delusion, that a happy world is an impossible feat? I hope that is not the case.

All this anger, and hostility, and madness breaks my heart. People are trying to get their points across, but no one will listen. And so what do they do? They resort to actions. Are their actions right or wrong? I believe that is for each of us to interpret for ourselves. Obviously anything criminal is never the answer, but right now there is so much upheaval over our beautiful flag, that I am devastated. I think that if you are someone who feels that they don’t want to show respect for the flag, then that is your choice and your right do so. I do, however, wish that you would not disrespect it. I say this with fear because I know so many will have missed my point, and turn this into something it is not, but what it is is honesty. My father, grandfather, uncles, cousins, and friends have all fought to protect our country, and that flag is a symbol of their sacrifice, hard work, and our gift of freedom from them. Maybe things aren’t perfect right now, maybe we aren’t getting along as well as we once did; but we are all with the freedom to voice our opinions, scream our demands, and cry over the hatred we see because so many men and women fought for us to do so. So, again, if you don’t want to stand and honor what our flag represents then that is certainly your right to do so, but all I ask is that you please do not disrespect what it stands for. For me, I feel that taking a knee is the equivalent of spitting in my father’s face, and let’s be honest, no one wants anyone to spit in the face of their family members.

Again, I really only write this for myself because everything is weighing on me so heavily. I know others will pick it apart and look for reasons to ridicule and judge me, just as they do everyone else, but all I can do is just be here; silent, waiting to listen, waiting to learn, and hoping someday you will all join me.

Peace & Love,

`glo

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What is a Friend?

I used to think I knew, but what I have experienced, and what I have seen others experience, simply does not match up. For me, it has been a ritualistic experience of betrayal and backstabbing (I on the receiving end of such unpleasantries), while others have someone who is supportive and loving, and prefers to nurture the friendship, not decimate it. Now it is true that this deceit has given me ample fuel for writing, however, I think I would much rather be without scars on my back.

I know that there is no friendship where you get along and agree on everything, but I am still of the belief that you do not have an affair with your so-called best friend’s husband. Nor do you go behind their back to interfere with other relationships, including that which involves their children. And if by chance you see them making a horrible decision that is clearly a life-altering mistake, you do not encourage such self-destructive behavior; you instead pull their head out of their ass and tell them to knock it off. Or am I way off base?

See, I don’t have the kind of friendship where I can call someone at four in the morning because the insomnia is just too bad, and I don’t have that person who will sit by my bedside just to comfort me when I’m ill. I don’t have this, and now I’m at a point in my life where I fear it. That’s what betrayal does. It takes a once hopeful person and shuts them down.

I now find that I shy away from overly social situations because I feel everyone has an agenda (Hellllloooooo anxiety brain!), and I don’t go out of my way to make plans with people anymore because they always cancel them. It’s like that saying…no one is really that busy, it’s just a matter of them wanting to make the effort for you (or something to that effect). It seems I have always been the prioritizer, while everyone else prioritizes others. And let me pause here; please do not read this as a boohoo session or venting, I am simply stating facts and honestly looking for insight on the subject. And there have been people in my life who have been there for me, and helped me tremendously, and I am not discounting them one little bit. In fact, I adore them and miss them very much! Life just is what it is (T & T).

I think it would be great to have people to talk with, maybe have a game night, or movie night, and especially a wine night. But most people I see doing those things, do so with life long friends. My life long friend has been anxiety. Honestly, knowing what I know now, my childhood makes so much sense. I’ve managed to stay in touch with some people who have known me pretty much my whole life, but we never forged that bond to become truly close friends.  I’m sure if you asked them they would probably tell you I was a strange child. Painfully shy and awkward, and never really fitting in (hell, even my own family will tell you that)…though it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Maybe that’s it, maybe I tried too hard or maybe not enough, but I just wanted someone to be there so I didn’t feel so alone.

And there it is. That big fear of being alone. So enormous that it makes you believe any friend is better than no friend. Well I learned the hard way how untrue that is. It took years before I realized what I was allowing to take place in my life, but eventually I put an end to it, and believe me I am so much happier for it.

But now here I am, at 40, trying to find an answer to what seems to be an unanswerable question.

So tell me. What is a “friend”?

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I have no rights to image used. All photo credit given to owner of image.

Fell On Black Days

I sit here this evening like many of you; sad, hurt, confused, and listening to some form of Chris Cornell billowing from my speakers. At present we have Soundgarden’s Superunknown licking at our ears. I also sit here with the same thought as you; Why, Chris? This question may never have an answer, and to be perfectly honest, it is not ours to know. Those answers belong only to his closest friends, and his dearest family. Pause with me for a moment to think about them, and the great loss they have just suffered.

We have lost a music icon, the voice of a generation for most of us, an undeniable talent, and a beautiful soul. We have gained yet another painful reminder of how fragile life is; how fragile we all are. It is so easy to sit back and say, “I would never…”, but the truth is that none of us know how we will be in any situation until we are actually faced with it. The mind is incredibly fantastic, and unbelievably fragile. One can only hope, and pray, that they will have the strength to overcome every hardship and devastation they encounter. Not everyone is so fortunate.

One important thing to remember is that depression, and feeling depressed, are two entirely different things. Now, again, we have no knowledge of what led Chris Cornell to the decision he made last night, but it is clear he found himself in the bottom of that suffocating pit, and was unable to find the light to get back out. We all feel depressed throughout our lives. Sometimes it is because we lose a job, or a friend, or a favorite musician. Maybe it is because our weekly television show that we have watched for years gets cancelled, or maybe our book was rejected by a publisher. These are things that simply just occur in life. So, you get depressed, you feel sad, you may even cry, but ultimately you go on with your life. You make new friends, you get a new job, you find a new show to watch, and you submit your book to a different publisher…you always miss your favorite musician, but you will have their music with you forever. Depression will not let you bounce back so easily. Depression will push you, and shove you until you are face down in the dirt, and then it will stomp on you until there is nothing left. It is a battle of brutality that millions of people fight every single day, and yet, so few people understand it.

It sickens me to no end how some people will sit back in their chair of righteousness, and call someone selfish for taking their life. Let me be perfectly clear here, I do not in any way, shape, or form condone the act of suicide. I am simply stating that another’s actions are not for us to judge. Even if you have battled depression, and won, that does not give you the right to fault another for losing their fight. Congratulations if you made it out alive, but do not act like every day is a cake walk for you now. You know you have to continue to work hard to maintain your strength. You must always be ready for the battle to return.

If we can take anything away from this tragedy today, I hope it is to be kind. We know nothing about each other. We are all just beings wandering around this planet trying to figure it all out. What we see on the outside is almost never what is on the inside. I am a perfect example. Some people look at me and think I must be such a bitch (thanks RBF), but I would probably run into a fire to save your kid. Some people might think I am just super chill, and nothing phases me, but I am frightened to the core and consumed by an anxiety ridden mind. Some people think I must be so strong, and things are easy for me. Well, I am strong, but it is not because it has been easy. I am strong because I have battled, and I am fortunate because I won.

So be kind. Be considerate. Be thoughtful. Do not judge another’s struggle. I know it is all easier said than done, but if you try it will get easier. And remember, if you are faced with the darkness, just keep fighting. I know it feels empty and impossible, but I promise you it is not.

Now there is one last thing I must ask you to do. Go to your CD collection, or YouTube, or Spotify, whatever your preference and find some Chris Cornell. I do not care if it is Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, or his solo works, just let the man sing! Turn it up until your speakers are shaking, and you can feel his voice move through you!

We love you Chris! Thank you for sharing your gift with us. God bless you, your family, and your friends. Say hello to Heaven, and may you rest in peace.

g.

chris cornell

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credit to Ken Settle.

Stop Asking, Start Doing

As some of you know, I am becoming increasingly passionate about preserving and protecting our oceans. I have made some efforts to try raising funds for charitable contributions, but so far that has not been very lucrative. I continue to look for new ideas of things to create, but I do not always have the necessary free time to bring those ideas to light as quickly as I would like to. It is a bit frustrating for me because there are not many opportunities available to do anything that is “hands-on” being that I live in the mitten state. Recently though, while on vacation in Florida, I was sadly faced with such an opportunity.

It was day one of our vacation, and we made our way down to Ft. Lauderdale beach. The sand was glistening in the sun, and the sea looked as lovely as ever. After spending a few moments in the sand, absorbing that glorious Florida sunshine, I went to join my boyfriend Dan in the wonderful salty waters of the Atlantic. It was a spectacular day filled with radiant sunlight, warm temperatures, a gentle tide, and plastic.

Yes, before I knew it, I was faced with countless pieces of plastic items floating all around me. It all began with a potato chip bag, then another, then a water bottle, and so many other random pieces of plastic drifting in the surf. After making a few trips back and forth to the beach with hands full of plastic items, Dan said to me, “Gloria, you could spend all day doing this”. I sensed that he felt I was wasting my time. My response was simply this, “I know I can’t save all the oceans, but I can do this much.” At that moment, he paused, looked around and began retrieving plastic as well. We spent about an hour, if not more, cleaning the ocean, and when we were finished we had collected approximately a gallons worth of plastic from the Atlantic. I make the guess of a gallon because all the items fit into, and filled, the plastic gallon jug we also pulled from the ocean.

This was not exactly how I envisioned beginning my vacation. And while it deeply saddened me to see such carelessness and disregard by humans, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to make a difference.

Now that I am back in the chilly little mitten, I feel more determined than ever to find ways to help the oceans, and in turn, our planet. Our beautiful planet Earth cannot sustain itself without our oceans being able to thrive. We cannot simply sit back and ask, “What can I do?”. We must stop telling ourselves we cannot do enough to make a real difference, and then choose to do nothing. Because the truth is, every little bit does help. Dan and I could not clean the entire ocean, but there is a gallons worth less of plastic in the Atlantic, and we did that!

Please be conscientious of what you are doing. Think before you litter. Look for ways to make a difference, no matter how small they may seem. Opportunities always present themselves, you just have to keep your eyes open. Do research. Write a letter. Sign a petition. Make a donation, even if it is only $5. Just do something.

I have found several organizations that are committed to making a difference. I will list them below, and I hope you take a moment to look into them. And it does not matter if you “believe in global warming” or not. The fact of the matter is that our oceans are polluted; our entire planet is polluted, and we are the only ones who can make it better.

Together we can all make a difference.

Peace & Love,

glo

IMG_20170318_191815026

For more information, please visit: 

Home

http://oceana.org/

http://leonardodicaprio.org/

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

life is only as difficult as...

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When Pandora Radio unexpectedly gives you writing prompts…

I got caught up in a hurricane that lasted about thirty seconds and projected me to Mars. There I found my muse who was telling me this is war before being violently pulled into a supermassive black hole. I heard myself scream, “Ten more minutes with you!”. Suddenly, there was a seven nation army marching toward me wearing white stripes and trying to kill Hannah before we had to go wake up the sleepers.

(to be continued)

Blah-music

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I do not own any rights to photos used in this post.

Humanity…

Can you tell me the definition of humanity? According to Merriam-Webster it is as follows:

: the quality or state of being human
: the quality or state of being kind to other people or to animals
: all people

That sounds simple enough, but why then is it so difficult for most of us to display it?

I have been spending a lot of time lately observing society and I must say it frightens me. I am finding the world we live in today unrecognizable from the world I grew up in. Hate and judgement have always been around, but it seems to be running rampant more than ever. People are so quick to judge anyone and everyone, but refuse to take any accountability for themselves and their own actions and/or behaviors. Why is that? What makes any of us better than someone else? True, there are some that are morally hopeless and commit horrendous acts against others who are clearly exempt from this discussion. I am referring to people who choose not to “conform” to the “normalcies” of society. We all come from different backgrounds, have different beliefs, and different lifestyles, so how is it that we are all expected to be the same? Just because one person does not agree with another’s choices, or finds it hard to understand them, should not make them any less of a human being. All this talk about equality, and this groups rights and that groups rights, I believe is just making the problem worse. By constantly putting people into different categories all that is happening is more separation. I am not saying you have to agree with everything everyone does, because I certainly do not, but there is no need to make anyone feel like less of a human because they want to live their life a certain way. If they are not harming others or committing crimes, then what does it matter?

I’ll give you an example of where I am coming from. Whether you watch the show or not, it is most likely that you have been unable to avoid the talk about the Kardashian’s and Bruce Jenner’s life choices. I will admit when I initially heard about it I thought it was completely absurd. At first, I thought it was nothing more than trashy tabloid gossip, but as it became clear that it was in fact real my thoughts turned to confusion and curiosity, some sympathy, and yes even judgment. I could not fathom how someone who was at one time the greatest athlete in the world turned into “this”. “This”? What was I doing? He is not a thing, he is a human being and regardless of how he chooses to live his life he should be treated the same. He is not an object for ridicule and shame, he is someone’s family, he is a father and like the rest of us, he is human. I do not care how much money someone makes or where they live or if their life is public and put on display for the world to see, we are all the same. We all have concerns, we all have bills, we all have jobs, we all have people to care for, we all have emotions, and we all fight to make it another day. We need to stop judging and start supporting. Regardless if we agree with it or not, no one knows everyone’s struggles and stories, but we can certainly appreciate that we all have them, and just because yours were different from someone else and you chose to handle it how you did, that does not mean others have to do the same and it does not make you better than anyone.

I tend to look at things with simplicity, and quite often I am left confused by how complicated people make things. I will say it again, we are all human beings! There is good and bad everywhere in the world, but if we could just be a little less judgmental of each other maybe the good will begin surpass the bad. Again, it does not mean we have to agree with everything, just accept what is. As much as I would like to believe my words will change some people, and they might, I know there are some who will hear nothing. So go ahead, judge me for siding with the Kardashian’s (gasp!), judge me for having tattoos, judge me for being a single mom – just know that while you are busy judging me someone else is judging you.

To Bruce Jenner, I will say I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this, as I am sure most people are, but at the end of the day this is about you and your family. Your appearance may continue to change, but your heart will remain the same and that is what everyone needs to remember. I hope you achieve your goal with going public and are able to help others facing the same struggles with openness, and I hope one day none of this will even have to be a topic for discussion. I would like to someday see there is no longer a need for separation by gender, race, sexuality, etc., and people will just be able to live how they choose. No one has to agree on everything, we just need to be decent to our fellow humans.

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

They All Started Somewhere…

I am what you would call an avid music lover. On any given day you can find me listening to anything from Thirty Seconds To Mars, Filter, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Pantera or Barbara Streisand (just to name a few). There are few genres that fail to please me, but at the core of it, I always go back to rock. Lately though I find myself searching for more to feed my musical ear, and it is in some local talents that I have been finding what I need. I think a good portion of us tend to forget that our local music scenes are continually buzzing with new and exciting things, especially here in Detroit.

Easily one of my favorites right now is The Derby Girls, a new emerging band of bright, talented “kids” (because at 38 everyone under 30 becomes a kid to you) from an area we all like to refer to as Downriver. The energy displayed when they take the stage is fierce. I love that they perform 98% original music, with only one or two covers thrown in for good measure. There’s a vibe reminiscent of The White Stripes, yet something of its own, allowing them to stand out from many other performers I’ve seen in the past. I highly recommend giving them a listen at, which you can do at http://thederbygirls.bandcamp.com and I definitely recommend catching them live! I have yet to hear someone say they were disappointed with a (The) Derby Girls  show. In fact, the consensus has been the same…impressive, original, entertaining, and worth every ounce of time and money spent!

So take a moment and show your support. Remember, all of our favorite artists had to start somewhere, and I would be exceptionally pleased to see The Derby Girls achieve their dreams and goals.

G

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©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photos courtesy of Gloria Tassen. All rights reserved.

In Her Madness…

As she peered out the window, studying the delicate rain, she came to one clear and concise realization….It was in her madness, where she made the most sense.

She herself was not mad, but the world she endured throughout her life. A world of lies and manipulation, filled with mental instability, addiction, and abuse. She found herself consumed with confusion, pain, and guilt, but most often, she just felt alone.

For years she suffered the judgment of others, but those who sat with their judgmental eyes were never able to see what was behind the closed doors. And the ones who did see, they were shunned and kept at bay.

Fighting, lying, hatred, hoarding, suicidal night watches…the helplessness she felt was enough to destroy a person. It was madness. Yet somehow she made it through, somehow she found herself. And in sorting through the bits and pieces, she finally realized she did make sense.

It wasn’t always that way though. There were times she felt she might lose herself, times she wanted to give up, but she pressed on. She searched for answers, for understanding, for peace….and somehow she found it.

She found it in the eyes of her children, in the comfort of friends, in the warmth and safety of her lover….she found it in her mirror’s reflection. There was a moment, when faced with herself where she had to choose. She could choose the frightened little girl still hiding in the corner, the misunderstood teen still looking for acceptance, the tormented wife still looking for truth, the betrayed friend still looking for answers, the damaged, misguided whore still looking for forgiveness. She could choose any of these lost souls staring back at her, all who were frantic and eager to emerge.

As she considered her options, she noticed one more. Standing quiet and peaceful beyond all the tormented eyes there was a woman. She was scarred, but it seemed as though the scars gave her strength. She had focus and purpose. She had love and confidence. She had contentment. As she studied this stoic figure, her choice became clear. All the haunted, despairing eyes peering back would forever be put to rest.

She chose the woman of strength and character. She chose herself. She chose me. For it was in my madness, where I made the most sense.

gj

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why So Sad…?

Sometimes there is no easy answer. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe you feel like you failed at something. Maybe your pet ran away. Maybe you have no explanation at all. For a lot of us, we know why we’re sad and we manage to cope with our sorrow until it passes. But for some of us, the sorrow never goes away, for some us we just can’t cope.

There are many of us feeling a terrible loss right now. The passing of a beloved man who was one of the funniest people on the planet has broken our hearts.

If you’re like me, he came into your life in “alien form” as the charming, funny, and lovable Mork (my brother and I even had Mork suspenders) 🙂 From there I remember seeing him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, as Popeye the Sailorman, and so many more entertaining roles. As an adult, his stand up routines have brought me to tears from laughing so hard.

But now I find myself with tears of sadness.

Shock and disbelief has filtered into our homes. To hear that someone once perceived as eternally jolly, was in fact struggling for happiness, is completely unfathomable. Sadly, this is another reminder that we are all facing challenges, and that we should be conscientious of others.

There are some who want to say he was “selfish”, when in fact your disrespectful comment was selfish, and heartless. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/todd-bridges-apologises-calling-robin-4039235) Just because you’ve had your own battles with personal demons and came through it does not mean others will. And if they can’t find their way, if the darkness consumes their spirit, it is for no one else to judge. You weren’t fighting their battle.

Now, while I am not able to comment on the clinical aspect of depression, I can comment on the emotional aspect. Depression has been ever-present in my life. Whether it be family members, friends, or my own personal struggles, it is something I am familiar with. I know the weight of darkness, the suffocation of despair, and while I may not understand reaching that point of no return, I do understand the magnetism. I know what is to be surrounded by people, and yet feel like you have no one to talk to…to feel you will be judged and misunderstood.

There is a difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is something you share, sadness is sometimes felt by a group of people, much like what we are feeling now. But depression…depression is personal. Depression isn’t a “mood”, it is an altered perception, a disorder, an illness. Unfortunately though, there are still people who don’t see it that way. There are still people who judge, and therefore, the ones who are suffering are fearful to speak up.

So, to those judgmental souls out there, I have a question for you. If someone you knew was diagnosed with cancer, and then began chemo and radiation treatments, and took medication for the pain, and maybe even sought out a counselor to help them learn how to cope with their illness, would you criticize them? Would you judge them? Would you make snide remarks and call them selfish? Most likely you would not. So why the stigma on mental health disorders?

We need to shed more light on these illnesses. Just because it doesn’t show in the physical form does not mean it isn’t real. Sadly, by the time it does present in the physical form, it is often too late.

If any of you reading this are struggling, please know that you are not alone. You do have people to turn to. You can even call (800)273-TALK. There is always someone somewhere who can help. But you must reach out…please reach out! There are people who love you, and who need you. Do not be afraid to strive for happiness. Yes, it will be a battle, but it’s a battle you can win. And yes, some days will be better than others, but that’s the good news! Just because today may seem like the worst day of your life, it doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best…so get to tomorrow! Stay with us…Fight…Do not give up!

To our beloved Robin Williams: I am so sorry that you suffered, and I wish you could have found just one more ounce of hope to hold on to. I pray for peace upon your soul, and for strength and love upon your family. “Oh Captain, My Captain”, we will all remember you fondly, with nothing but laughter and smiles. Until we meet again….Nanu Nanu ❤

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I own no rights to photos and/or video used in this entry.

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The past is ever present…

and detrimental to your future. I have been going through some things as of late. Things unexpected and out of my control…but some things I have no one to blame but myself.

Here is a quick little background on me. I grew up in a family of mental illness, and learned early I was unable to trust my mother. I married the first guy who ever said he loved me (literally) at 20, he was controlling, possessive, abusive and a cheater. One of his conquests was my “best friend”. I forgave him repeatedly. I forgave her years later (only to be stabbed in the back again and again). Eventually we divorced after 12 years and two kids. I then suffered a terrible lapse in judgement, once again about who I could trust. I tried dating someone after a couple years, but he was all about games and lies too, so my heart said enough. Then one day, while at my new place of employment, I was graced with a wonderful sight. It took sometime, but ultimately I had discovered love.

The past few years with my boyfriend have been nothing short of amazing. We’ve had ups and downs like anyone, but at the end of the day, I think we understand each other in ways no one else ever could. We laugh, we talk, we irritate each other, we make fun of each other, we support each other, and we try to enjoy life the best we can. But I have been suffering (somewhat silently) and I am just now realizing why. Trust has been a place of torment for me in the past, and while I wholeheartedly trust my boyfriend, I often find myself losing my thoughts to a scary place. And it’s not the “gut feeling” we sometimes have, it’s truly in my head. Tonight I let those thoughts torment us both. After talking with “my person”, I realized I still suffer effects from the past. Fear of unexpected loss, abandonment, betrayal…even though I know in my heart he would never do this to me.

So, I guess I’m writing, one: to publicly apologize to my boyfriend, and two: to maybe help someone else that suffers from the same things. We need to make peace with our pasts, and as much as we need to leave them behind, we need to also take notes. I didn’t realize until tonight what was making me this way, not fully, and maybe I still have more to sort through, but I feel a bit less crazy now that I’m on the right track. I just don’t want it to take anyone else several years to figure it out!

We’re all human. None of us are perfect. And we all make mistakes…all of us!! Accept what is, forgive yourself, LEARN FROM IT, and move forward.

Your past will always effect your present, but don’t let it destroy your future!!

I love you babe! I am sorry for being a jackass! 😉

XOXO

G

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I have no rights to image used. All credit given to owner of image.

Addiction…it can happen to anyone

Sad, scary, frightening, infuriating…real. Is it an illness? Is it a lifestyle choice? People will answer this different ways. I seem to always find myself riding somewhere in the middle. Yes, I do believe it is an illness, but whether you seek treatment or not is a choice.

Now before everyone starts screaming at me, please hear me out. I say the things I do from a place of hurt. My brother has been afflicted with addiction for 20+ years now. It has been terrifying and heartbreaking to say the least. To watch the one person I most admired and wanted to be like, slowly descend into the darkest abyss known to man has deeply scarred my soul.

Looking back at all the signs that were missed, I can’t help but feel guilty sometimes. Had we only been educated, had I only been older and able to make better efforts to help earlier on, but why should I feel guilty. He made that choice to take too many pills. He made that choice to inhale the poison. He made that choice to inject the devil into his arms. Why am I the one to be responsible for saving him?

Save him I cannot. Only one time did he ever come to me for help, and without hesitation I dropped everything in my world to get him treatment. I searched for the best clinic I could find that would accept his insurance. I drove from Michigan to Ohio and back to get him there, to check up on him, and then to bring him home. I allowed him to live with me so he could get back on his feet, but that didn’t happen.

I knew relapse was a most likely occurrence, as it is with most addicts. I even told him if it happens to just let me know and we’ll get him right back on track, but he went right back into denial. I suppose we all did. He went to meetings for a bit, but then said it was too depressing. I found him passed out in a cereal bowl one night. Another time my daughter wanted to know why her uncle was asleep on our front step. At this point I was about to have him leave, but he decided shortly after that he was going to leave the state.

We thought maybe that would be good for him, getting away from all the triggers so to speak, but that was a pipedream too. What was so frustrating for me was that no one would listen when I said he was relapsing. I can’t tell you how alone I felt. As if I was in the wrong for saying such things.

Fast forward a few years. He had flown back and forth for visits and such, and eventually moved back. Nothing had changed. I noticed secretive behavior while he was at my house visiting with me, trips to the bathroom with a tote bag, a spoon disappearing from my drawer. And still no one would listen. I almost started to think I was imagining it all.

Finally one day our mother came to me and said she heard from someone that he was using, and asked what we should do. I told her we needed to confront him and get him help again. She agreed. I went to their house (where he was, and still is, living) and we all sat down with him. It was the stereotypical intervention. He was angry, how dare we accuse him of using, and what about everyone else and their problems, and then our mother started yelling at him. It was a failed effort, I basically stood alone with no one backing me up. It could not have gone more wrong.

I saw him a couple of days later. I told him I was not trying to hurt him, I just wanted to extend the offer of help to him, and that if it turned out I was wrong I would absolutely apologize. He said ok. He also told me that while he was not using heroin, he did inject oxycontin, but that it wasn’t a problem. That was probably the last conversation we had.

We have exchanged some text messages at times, but it’s nothing like it used to be. I miss him terribly, and still to this day, if he were to come to me for help I would drop everything to try and save him…because that’s just what I do. However, as a mother, I had to make the painful decision to keep a distance between us. I will not have my children in a potentially dangerous situation. As the little sister, I had to accept the fact that the brother I once adored is lost and may never return. As a woman, as a human, I had to make the difficult decision to stop allowing myself to be hurt.

Maybe you think I am wrong for my decision, but as long as our parents continue to enable him, all my efforts will fail. Now, I can’t say 100% that he is still using because I haven’t been around, but realistically speaking…how many addicts just woke up one day and said, “eh, I’m done with this”, and moved along? I can only hope.

Now, what has stirred all this incessant chatter from me? Clearly, the passing of beloved actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has everyone stirred up. It was shocking, and tragic, and a perfect example that none of us are immune to the effects of addiction. Regardless of your background or lifestyle, we are all human beings, we all struggle day to day, but for some of us the days are just too much to bare. All we can hope is that someone will learn from this horrible loss. If even only one person gets treatment, then his death will not be in vain.

I tell my children every single day, “Don’t take drugs”! Yes, I got that from Almost Famous, ironically enough, but I do this every day with the hope that if one day they are presented with that decision, they will hear my voice and walk away. Taking drugs is never the answer to your life problems. It may take the sting away for a moment, but when the sting returns it will return with a vengeance, and you will find yourself with more problems than you ever dreamed of.

A little off topic, but still relevant to my point, I tell them the same thing about suicide. Sadly, this is an issue that kids do deal with, and I tell them it is never the answer. We all have bad days, we all have bad moments, but those pass. You just have to tough it out for a little while, and before you know it things fall back into place. I saw a quote somewhere, I can’t remember who it was by, but it went something like this, “Don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling.” Wow! To me that speaks volumes, and can be applied to so many aspects of life.

Something I cannot understand is why our society is so quick to kill the pain by any means possible? Pain isn’t always a bad thing. Pain gives us strength and character. It gives us humanity. It gives us life. Without pain, how could we ever appreciate pleasure?

So why do I share all of this with you today? I do it with hope. Hope that if you are an addict reading this that you will get help. On behalf of your family, friends and loved ones, please seek treatment, it is out there. Don’t be embarrassed, or ashamed to ask, there is no shame or embarrassment in being strong enough to take the needed steps to better your life. Sure, you may fall down a time or two, we all do, but you get back up and keep moving forward. Yes, I bet you’ve had some bad breaks, and I bet a lot of people have let you down, but none of that matters…all that matters is today, and today is your chance to change your world. It is never too late to make your dreams come true. It does not matter what roads you have traveled, what matters is where they brought you, and now you have the opportunity to choose the path of hopes and dreams. People love you, people care about you, people miss you. Take your life back today!

XO

G

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©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Men…

Now that I have your attention…What do men want? What do they need? Questions they often ask about us right? And they sit, just as confused as we are. I think we are all equally complex in our own individual ways, and in order to maintain some sort of balance and stability in our relationships we need to realize our needs don’t differ all that much.

Men are the heroes, yes? They have a natural instinct to save the day, to be the protector, the provider…that’s true to some extent, but they are also human beings with emotions just like the rest of us. (Gasp!) Men have emotions?! Yes indeed, they very much do. The question is, how often do we as women give them the platform to express them?

Women are the damsels in distress, right? It’s true, many of us would like to be “rescued”, to be taken care of, to live the “fairytale” life…but this is not Walt Disney World that we live in. We are human beings as well, and while we are generally more expressive with our emotions, we are also quite capable of taking care of what is necessary without our male counterpart.

Now, I am not trying to make one sex out to be more superior to the other, quite the opposite actually. I would like for us to broaden the spectrum when we think of one another.

Women have the ability to be strong, independent, go-getters, to provide for the family, to keep that family safe, but it should never come at the expense of your man’s ego. Yes, it is a real thing, and it is very fragile. There is no need to degrade, or belittle him, nor should he ever do that to you.

Men require the same emotional support that we as women do, but it is so easy to forget that. We get so consumed with our own wants and desires, that we don’t realize they have their own wants and desires too…and no, it’s not only boobs and beer! They have bad days too, sometimes people piss them off, etc. Whatever it is, it is important to remember men have insecurities, fears and vulnerabilities just like us.

I think it is important for us ladies to allow our men the opportunity to express those feelings. Sometimes we need to be strong for them. Sometimes we need to be the one listening, and not the one talking. Relationships are never perfectly equal, but there should be equality in the care and concern you have for one another.

I certainly do not claim to be an expert on any of this, and some may argue that I am completely wrong. These are simply my opinions and viewpoints, but it is something I take to heart, based off unpleasant situations I witnessed growing up.

So to sum things up, be considerate. If you are in a relationship, remember you are not in it alone. Neither one of you is better than the other. You each bring something to the relationship (at least you should be) and we need to appreciate each other for that. Regardless of who “wears the pants”, you both share the love, so show it.

XO

G

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Curveballs…

Life sure does throw a few doesn’t it? Believe me, I have caught my fair share, some I have even taken square in the face. Nevertheless, I just keep trucking along. What else can you do? None of us have time for the much needed nervous breakdown we all deserve, at least I don’t.

My life revolves around two extremely important beings…my kids. They are the sole reason I am even able to function at this point. I know no life without them, and I strive every moment of every day to give them what I feel they deserve.

Unfortunately, life just does not always cooperate. By this stage of the game, I would have preferred to have us in a somewhat decent size home…nothing extravagant, just something where we wouldn’t be tripping over each other. I’d like to give them stability, and security, and believe me I try. It seems the only thing I am able to give them consistently, without any interruption, is my love. I just hope one day that will be enough for them.

As I take a swing at yet another curveball ejected in my direction, I pause. Things may not be ideal at this time, but I know they could be worse. So while I constantly strive to better our life, I do not take for granted the blessings that I do have.

My children are incredibly talented, they are kind and good-hearted, intelligent, healthy, and for the most part they are happy. I could not have asked for better children, and I will forever be proud they are mine!

I am thankful for the true friends and family I have. It is nice to know there is always someone nearby to lean on if need be.

Now lastly, but certainly not least in anyway, my boyfriend. He may quite possibly be the most complicated man ever (not that I have much room to talk hahaa) but he has the most amazing heart, and he truly cares for me and my kids. So even though we can relentlessly aggravate the shit out of each other, and I’m sure at times have wanted to simultaneously strangle each other…well, there is no one else I’d rather have the urge to strangle. 😉

In all seriousness, life is one big ball game. We battle through the innings, we try to get on base, and all just so we can get home.

So thank you, to all the amazing people I have in my dugout. It’s been an interesting game thus far, but hold on tight, I just may have a few curveballs of my own coming! 🙂

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What Makes You Better…

…than someone else? Is it success? Is it wealth? Is it an overabundance of friends and family? No, the only thing that could potentially make you “better” than another human being is how you treat people in your life. For example, maybe you have worked very hard to achieve your dreams, while other people are still making the climb to reach theirs, but if you are going to look smugly down upon them as they battle through their challenges, then you may as well still be at the bottom.

Really and truly none of us are better than the other; we are just all at different stages of the race. Instead of stomping each other out we should work together to reach our goals, and maybe then we would reach them a lot quicker. But the key is once we get to our goals we must remember who was there to help us along the way. They say success changes some people, and I have seen it happen, but maybe it’s not that they have changed…maybe it’s just that the ugliness hidden in their hearts is now exposed. By reaching success and bringing themselves to the light they are no longer able to hide in the shadows.

As I struggle with my climb to reach my goals, I always find myself happy for others who have reached theirs already. For me it is encouraging to see them make it. It reinforces my belief that we can all do it. And once I get there, I will forever be thankful for every single person who helped me no matter how small of a role they may have played; because really, no role is small when it comes to helping another realize their dreams.

So I guess that’s one of my starry eyed wishes for 2014; that people be a little more thoughtful, considerate, caring and encouraging, and a lot less dismissive, judgmental, heartless and cold. We all struggle, some of us more than others, but no one really knows what the other is facing until they are in their shoes…and trust me, most of us want to stay in our own shoes. Stop judging, stop assuming, and if you are curious about something, ask. Stop with the hearsay because most of it is garbage anyway.

If you have good people in your life, keep them there. If others cause drama and gossip, leave them behind. Remember this; if they are gossiping to you, then they are gossiping about you!

The bottom line for my squirrely thoughts today is simple. It is not success, wealth, nor friends and family that make you a better person…it is your heart. If it is blackened by judgment and conceit, then you are far from being better than anyone.

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Time…

Little Christmas Babes

Kids Christmas

It is passing far too quickly. There are only 6 days left until Christmas and sadly it doesn’t even feel like it. Does anyone else ever feel that way with the holidays? There is so much hoopla to prepare, and before you know it it’s gone. It seems as though I blink and time passes, seasons change, life changes, people come and go, kids grow up. Kids…my babies are getting so big now, almost 16 and 12, where did the years go?! It is sad, and exciting, and frightening all at the same time. I wonder what this world will offer them…I wonder what they will offer the world.

As this Christmas season inches closer to its end I find myself incredibly grateful. Even though things may not be “perfect” they are not horrible. And as the New Year rapidly approaches I find I am filled with excitement and hope for all the possibilities that lie within it. Anything is possible, anything can happen, and I believe this next year will be my year. My dreams have slowly begun inching forward into the light, and I know I will see them come into full bloom in 2014.

I see my writing career going into full swing, a new home on the horizon, and even great accomplishments for my children. “It’s all happening!” 🙂 This is why the New Year is magical and full of wonderment. It is a time for change, for opportunity, for fulfillment, you just have to believe.

Believe in everything, but most importantly, believe in yourself! This is our one shot to be everything we always dreamed of being. Life moves so quickly. We must remember to embrace every single moment for the precious gift that it is. Simple things even, like watching your child play soccer, or perform in a school concert. These are gifts, not obligations! We as parents have to start realizing this. We are blessed, and fortunate, and graced with the greatest gift given to man. To be entrusted with the care of a child is like nothing else on this planet. We are to protect, and teach, and love, and enjoy these children.

Sorry, I don’t mean to turn this into “Parenting 101”, but it is so important to build a balanced relationship with your child. Have fun with them, don’t dictate to them. Yes we need to be the parent before anything else, but take it from someone who has worked from the depths of her heart and soul; they will respect you and appreciate you even more if you are able to also offer a friendly shoulder or ear from time to time. Let them be themselves, and support their dreams and ambitions. Make irreplaceable memories. Show interest in their life, get to know their friends, be there for them, and spend time with them. I have always enjoyed my children, I am more than happy to let them have friends over, because quite honestly then I know where they are and what they are doing. And in doing so, their friends have shown respect and appreciation for me too. I now have many “adopted children”, and it is a wonderful thing. I am so extremely blessed. 🙂

My wish to each and every single one of you is to have the Merriest Christmas possible, and to wish you the arrival of all your greatest hopes and deepest desires in this upcoming New Year! I always find joy in the happiness and success of others, especially when they have worked so hard and are so deserving. These are more of the things that give me hope because it does really happen.

Remember, just because one day may seem a bit dreary, it is only temporary. The sun always shines again, but sometimes we just have to weather the storm to see it. Don’t take your time for granted. Don’t make hasty, hurtful decisions you know you’ll regret. Don’t give up on anything that matters to you. And don’t ever stop believing in yourself!

Time…it passes far too quickly, but it is a wonderful gift given at Christmas and all year long. Embrace it, share it, and use it wisely.

XOXOX

G

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gone Too Soon…

How many times have we said this, heard this? Thousands perhaps, and now here we find ourselves saying it yet again. The passing of Paul Walker is nothing short of tragic and shocking, and I certainly send prayers to his family and friends, but let us try to take this tragedy as an opportunity to learn. An opportunity to reflect and appreciate the precious gift of living.

Let us also take this opportunity to learn to be sympathetic. Regardless if you were a fan or not, this is not a place for “celebrity status”. This is a place where a fellow human being has perished in a most tragic way. A little girl lost her father, a family lost someone they love, he was just a man with a job that was bit more thrilling than most of us know. Please be respectful, and please remember he did not die alone. His friend Roger Rodas was lost that day and his family now grieves as well.

Those of you who know me have heard me say this countless times, and I am sure those of you just getting familiar with me will soon grow equally as tired of hearing it. However, don’t take your life granted! We have no guarantees for tomorrow. I’m sure Paul and Roger must have had a million things planned for this week, maybe some Christmas shopping, or dinner with family, or time spent with friends.

These are simple everyday things that we take for granted every single day. Why can’t we all just learn to live, to be happy, to be grateful for what we have no matter how little it may seem? We have to stop comparing our lives to others because we’ve not had the same journey. We have to stop judging others because they make choices we wouldn’t. We have to start paying attention to our own lives before one day it all just disappears.

  “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? –every, every minute?”  ― Thornton Wilder Our Town

Find a reason to be happy. Each and every day, find at least one thing that you are grateful for; even if it is a cup of coffee or a snooze button on your alarm. (Personally, I am always thankful for these!!). Just find that one thing and remind yourself how lucky you are to have the opportunity. Because at that very moment, someone else is wishing they had one more opportunity.

Live. Love. Be Happy.

G

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday. It was a cold day here, but easily warmed by being with the ones I love. I am so very thankful for them! It was also warmed by the Detroit Lions winning over Green Bay! Let us give thanks for this holiday miracle!! 🙂

True to my nature, while busy preparing for our bountiful feast, I was unable to keep my thoughts from wandering. I thought about friends and family, and hoped they were having a lovely day. I thought about the nonsense of “Black Friday” that has now inconsiderately spilled over into Thanksgiving Day. I thought about myself and how I wish desperately that I didn’t have to work two jobs, one of which requires me to work at 5:00 am tomorrow morning. And I thought about people I don’t even know. People, who at this very moment are wishing they had someone to hold, wishing they had a home, wishing they had a job, wishing their child was safe at home, etc.

In thinking about all these things I realize how lucky and blessed I am. And I try to remind myself that even though I may go through a tough time here or there, somewhere someone is going through something far more difficult.

Now, I am not writing this to depress you, or to make you feel bad. I am writing this because I wish more of us would learn to appreciate what we have while we have it. I wish we would learn to be more thankful. I wish we would learn what the holidays mean again.

“Thanksgiving”…to give thanks! That is what this day is for, not to see who you can trample over to get the best sale in the store. Not to shorten your celebration, running out on friends and family. It saddens me that these stores are so money hungry nowadays. It saddens me even further that I am currently a part of the madness (but this is only temporary until my writing career takes off! 🙂 ).

Maybe I am over reacting to the whole thing, but it seems as I press further into my thirties I find myself wishing societies values were that of what my parents had growing up, even what my grandparents had. They didn’t have every shiny new toy under the sun. They didn’t have the most stylish of clothes. Sometimes they didn’t even have food. I remember stories that my Grandmother told me of the hand-me-down clothes, the meals made to last for days, etc. I remember all of that and I apply it to my life as much as possible.

At this time in my life I am not able to give my kids every single thing their hearts desire, but I am fortunate enough to have two extremely understanding children. They know I would give them the moon if I could, but they know circumstance has not allowed me to do so…yet. I have tried my best to teach them what is truly important in life, and what is truly important has so very little to do with material items.

So again, let’s take this time to show our appreciation for what we do have. For the love we can share. For the time we can spend with each other. For the life that we have, even if we haven’t reached our goals yet. Because while you may think you’re lacking, someone else is looking at you thinking you have the entire world.

G

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I do not own any rights to the following photo.

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Dallas Buyers Club

‘Tis the season of being thankful, and while I have many things to be thankful for I now have a new one to add to the list, Dallas Buyers Club.

I often find myself drawn to indie films more than mainstream, due in part to their realism. And quite often, in my opinion, much better writing, cinematography and storytelling. But I am unable to recall the last time a movie has touched me so deeply, in fact, I am not certain that one ever has.

This film evokes emotions unknown, opens eyes to a world ignored, and reminds us that we are all human. We all live. We all breathe. We all die. And sometimes, some of us struggle through it all.

Matthew McConaughey is fierce as Ron Woodruff. He brings an intensity to the screen that unknowingly draws you in. You want to be by his side fighting the battle with him and standing up for what is right. To make a difference and show people it is ok to question things, especially where your life is at stake. I have to say this is by far his best performance.

Jennifer Garner is flawless and brilliant as the compassionate Dr. Eve Saks. She brings to life what humanity should be, and shows us that sometimes we have to walk away from the pack in order to do the right thing.

Jared Leto is nothing less than stellar. His portrayal of the beautiful Rayon is unremarkable, and if you have never seen his films before, I insist you must see this one. He effortlessly displays all facets of this complex individual; vibrant, hopeful, caring, fun-loving, confident, determined, terrified, heartbroken and strong. I don’t know that there is another actor of his caliber in this generation. His performances have yet to disappoint me.

The devotion to this film by these actors cannot, and should not, be ignored. There is no question that they gave their hearts and souls to these performances. The physical transformations alone show that, but when you see them on screen you are not watching Matthew, Jennifer and Jared act, you are watching Ron, Eve and Rayon fight for life.

Dallas Buyers Club, to me, is magical, haunting, inspiring, and in some respects life changing. Thank you to all involved for such a beautiful gift.

G

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I do not own any rights to the following photos.

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Decisions, Decisions…

We all have to make them. Sometimes they are as simple as deciding what pair of socks go best with an outfit, or if you want your hair parted to the left today. But sometimes the decisions that need to be made take a little more time, care and consideration.

With these more complex decisions we sometimes tend to look to others for advice. Lord knows I have done my fair share of consulting my trusted inner circle, as have they consulted me. But when we do this, is it because we are truly incapable of making a decision for ourselves, or is it that we just want someone to talk things out with?

How many times have you given advice to someone you care about and then they do the complete opposite? And there you are saying to yourself, “What the hell?!” We have all been there, but here is something to remember. We can give the best advice we have to those we care about, but at the end of the day they are the ones living their life, not us.

This is why I tend to give advice in the context of “if it were me”, and I always tell them they have to do what they know in their heart is right, because again, they have to live with the decision. And the “if it were me” scenario isn’t always accurate either, because quite often we don’t know how we will react to a situation until we are faced with it.

So when you have given your advice and/or opinion, and they do the complete opposite, don’t get upset with them. They have their own reasons for making the decisions they do. Just be happy, and even grateful, that they felt they could trust you and count on you to be supportive. I mean, think about it, do you really want someone dictating to you how to live your life? Probably not, but it is nice to have someone who will listen. And sometimes it is nice to hear another point of view.

I know for me, I always appreciate all the advice I get, and I do take it to heart. I may not follow the advice to a t, but I do always take something away from it and apply it to my decision.

So to those of you who have been there for me, thank you! Your advice was not ignored. And to those of you that I have been there for, I understand.

We only get one life, and we have to live it the way we are happiest, whether anyone else understands or not. One thing is for certain, we cannot get through it without a shoulder to lean on from time to time.

G.

©Gloria Tassen and Life According To G, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gloria Tassen and Life According To G with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.