Learning Life Thru The Eyes of An 8-Year-Old

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I’ve been spending time with my lil 8-year old niece god-daughter lately.  I’m totally that “aunt” or in my family “nina”, as we are all godparents to our kids, most of them know us as “NinaCarmen”, etc..     You better know that I love all of my godchildren as if they were my own.

Don’t ask me why, but a child’s 8th year has always seemed very special to me.   I notice that these lil ones are starting to find out what they like, they start saying what they want to be when they grow up, they’re still not afraid or embarrassed to talk about what scares them, what they don’t like, things that bother them, what makes them happy.  For some, the major issues haven’t engulfed them completely:  drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs, negativity.

I feel a huge responsibility to be there for them a lot, to listen to them, to ask them questions, to try to show them that I’m there for them no matter what, to guide them a little, to show them new parts of the world, to have an influence on their young lives, to try to keep them safe and secure, so that when the major issues come along, they may be stronger than drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs, or negativity.

At some point in their lives, usually at 8 years old or so, I’ve brought in my godchildren into my business to show them how things work.  This month, we’ve been promoting an upcoming event:  I’ve been teaching her how to get up in front of people, pass out flyers for the event, we even put flyers on hundreds of car windows in 4 large parking lots and she did better than most adults I know.  I wasn’t sure how she’d like this kind of work but, as we kept on with it, I could see her really working it.

As we drove around in the car, my lil mamita started to ask question after question after question, “Nina Carmen, why…?”and we talked about everything –from why she liked her 2nd grade teacher better than her 3rd grade teacher, about books that she reads at school, random things she’s learning about science, and how she does not like learning fractions this year.  But what really got me was her desire to want to learn how to work it, to speak in front of people, and “how old were you Nina Carmen when you started doing this work?”  Her lil mouth flew open when I said “EIGHT years old”.

I remember how cool it was to be the one chosen to run events when I was that little, granted, I didn’t do that much but it was such a big responsibility to me and it made me feel very special.   I have never lost that feeling of how cool it is to be in charge and to run events.  To this day, it is a rush to see how my events turn out, especially when there’s a full house and when people are having a great time.  And, if any of the TorresBabies get behind a microphone, or start taking charge at an event, the smile is on my face for weeks.

On this day I was “training” this child to promote events.  We were going into businesses to ask them to place some our event flyers near their registers.   I was more nervous than my lil one was and, while she was apprehensive at first, I almost cried tears of pride when I heard this girl give what we in marketing call the “elevator speech”.  Mamita worked it, expressed herself well, was poised, purposeful, confident and she got people to place her flyers by the register :).   She even told me later that day, “Nina, I feel confident”.  I would give every cent and dollar I will ever have that this baby girl always feels confident and ready to work it.  My mamita can and WILL do better than I ever have.

I can go on and on about how I want to change the world.   Being here for all of my godchildren and helping them to feel confident will be the best that I can for them.  The TorresBabies will change part of the world I’m sure of this.  I am happy to step aside and watch them move forward and soar.

But first, I will enjoy watching them live life thru their 8-year-old eyes, learning, having fun, and doing what makes them happy.  Watching my lil one do what I did so many times as an 8-year-old, made me smile.  She was writing down songs that she liked as we heard them on the radio.   It’s amazing, that with so much technology to make our lives “easier”, isn’t it cool that children truly need none of that mess, all they need is a simple pencil and paper to write down the songs/and things that are important to them … and they need to be around people who love them, listen to them, support them.  Hope this never changes.

 

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Just My Imagination? O que?

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“You will never leave where you are until you decide where you’d rather be” –Dexter Yager.

Great quote. Once I read it, all I could say was ‘yup’.

I spent so much time moaning and groaning that I wanted to make a change in my life for so long and that’s where it ended. I decided to open up my mind a little and imagine what my life could be like. There’s no way that I was going to be destined to feel as if I were a failure because of bad judgement or stupidass decisions.

I’ve been reading “Imagine Big” by Terri Savelle Foy. I really like her exercise for starting your new life. Live as if you already have everything you want, write down 20 things that you want to do, be or have. I’ve only gotten that far in the book 🙂

Last night, I decided to write down my 20 things…it turned into 30 and, even then, I thought of a couple more as I was on my drive home. It’s funny, I started out very brief, ‘I want to pay my bills’ and at the end I had such detailed descriptions of what I wanted. It was very liberating to write all of this stuff down and, as I looked back on it this morning, I saw that if I changed the order a little bit, that I could see a road map for my life.

For so long, I could not visualize past my own four walls. I was existing and letting life happen to me – well, regular readers of this blog know what a straight-up disaster that turned out to be. I’m grateful that I have been able to get back into the driver seat of my life.

You become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis. –Dr. Gail Matthews, Dominican University

Writing goals down is so powerful.  Thinking about them can overwhelm and sometimes leave you stuck.  Writing starts the ball rolling, opens up your brain, and moves you into action by setting goals.   I journal a LOT and, from time to time, I go and read past entries, and I’m always stunned when some of these goals actually happen!  It’s like I write down what I want or need and GodJesusVirgenOfG and the universe conspire to help me fulfill these dreams.

Try it.  For the next 7 days, find a journal, laptop, piece of paper, and write down your goals/dreams in 4 key areas of your life:

  1. Health & relationships
  2. Love & relationships
  3. Vocation
  4. Time & money freedom

Remember to think as big and bold as you like, write down what you would love to happen, not what you think you can have or what seems possible now, open your imagination, no matter how crazy it sounds.

Things may not change right away but the one thing that WILL change is you.  You will have a clear set of goals and dreams and you begin to have a stake in your own future, you start being aware of opportunities in front of you, your focus starts to get more serious than just randomly thinking about what you want.

I noticed the difference RIGHT away, so many opportunities for me to think about that it’s almost overwhelming.  I know that I will not be able to do everything and that it will be hard to let some things go but where, only a few short months ago, I was hopelessly stuck in ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’ and ‘I can’ts’, it is great to know that there is life after sadness and that it’s up to me to do my part to make it happen.

I just wrote down my goals last night so it’s too soon to share them with anyone but it will be fun to look back at my journal and see that I have finished what I started!

 

A Laptop or A Journal?

 

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Trying to find writing inspiration this week.  Looking through all of my drafts, looking through pictures, looking at books, and trying to visualize life when I’m on a roll, when the words flow through my brain to my fingers flying to the keyboard or to my pen, when I cannot stop, even if I may want to take a bathroom break or take a nap, so not happening when I’m on a roll, as I want to get my ideas on paper before that coveted inspiration decides to move on, leaving me exhausted and breathless.  What works best?  A laptop or a journal?

What I have found, when I’m stuck, is that I need to 1) live life and not worry about writing,  and 2) find one of my current journals.  (I usually have 2 or 3 current journals going at once.)  Most times, I find a cool place (Starbucks, a park, somewhere near the water), I find a comfortable pen, and just start writing.  Once I start writing, I can go on and on for hours and. most times, I write 10 pages or more at a time, back and front.   This is truly when my hand can write out those thoughts that I have been afraid to even think about, much less verbalize them.  When I go back to read what I have written, I’m often surprised/shocked at what I see on the written page.  Some lines are in all caps, complete with cuss words in Spanish, English, or Spanglish when I’m trying to get my thoughts together on an emotional situation, some lines feel like I’m crying the words out and I see a lot of ‘whyyyyyyyy?‘, and the most unattractive sentences are those where I’m straight-up whining and complaining.  Ni modo, when I journal, everything comes out through that pen, all of my emotions fly out, in no particular order.   It’s supposed to be messy, fast, unhinged, chaotic, emotional, sad, slow, happy, proud…as fast as I think it, I write it down.    Writing in my journal reminds me of a therapy session:  where you never know what will happen but it’s usually something that has needed to come up to the surface for a long time.   I’m usually mentally exhausted after a journaling session.  I have tried to journal via laptop but it just isn’t the same.  I like how the pages feel once I’ve written on them, the crispy/crunchy sound of the paper as I turn the written pages, the smell of the freshly written ink, ink spots on my fingers, laughing at the comments I tend to put at the edges of the pages, mostly song titles that pop into my mind as I write, people’s’ names, especially if I need to call or see someone.  If I look at a past journal, it’s the same feeling and sometimes my mouth drops because of something I’ve written in a past entry that has come to pass , this type of journaling is almost like visualization – if you write it down, it does come to pass.  At times, I’m completely humbled when I read an entry in a past journal, if it’s about an issue that has brought me down and is STILL bringing me down now, it’s a huge wake up call for me, depending on how long ago I had written about the issue — that all I’ve done is cry about it and I need to get a handle on said situation and move the eff on LOL.

I call my laptop case my “office” as I work best on the laptop when it comes to work writing:  articles, social media, blog posts, proposals, etc.    I lose patience if I have to write any work things down in a pen LOL!  I need to get this stuff done now not later.  It’s almost the same pace as writing in a journal when I’m on a roll and it feels more organized.  I usually have a list near the laptop of what I need to write so that I can just work it and check it off once done.    When inspiration hits, it’s the same feeling I get as if I were writing on paper with pen.  I love when the words flow out of me and, especially when blogging or updating social media, having access to my thousands of pictures and graphics is great.

Now judging on the size of these blog paragraphs, it is obvious, most def, time for me to write in my journal until I get my writing groove back!

De 2016 al 2017, Happy New Year!

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2016 has been my year to embrace my new reality and to make serious changes in my life. Gone was the drive for “been there, done that” projects and jobs. Sure, my wallet is feeling the loss of revenue but I had a straight-up blast doing all kinds of event stuff: training people to work booths this event season, watching them get into having fun with people and bring in sales. Loved working new festivals – a challenge with entirely new audiences and much bigger ones, man I learned a lot!  I had so much fun coordinating Vanessa and Erick’s wedding this fall, and when I translated documents for folks, I watched people’s faces turn from fear into straight-up relief as I helped them find their power and get some justice from their issues, and the one event where I told BFF Lisa, “girl, you know that I am your friend” as I helped her coordinate a walk for dogs and their owners at a winery…and y’all know that I am not an animal person LOL. Working events for my Latino community is something I will a l w a y s  do and it’s always fun to be amongst the raza.  The key for all of these events is that I was ready to do things differently, to take charge of a different aspect of an event, to get those nervous chorros that make me more prepared, to learn how to be more effective. Sometimes, you have to shake things up and shake them up I did. I had the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire professional life.

One of my 2016 goals was to work it for my familia. Very happy to report that we remain as close as ever and my roommate Mike Torres and I still get along. My Dad is an original, he does things his way, when he wants, where he wants. The days at the Ranch start at night – Dad’s drilling, hammering, doing the laundry, working on his papers, and playing music. While working an event, I get a picture texted to me of Dad in his new convertible, all I could do was shake my head and smile.

I am the one who needs my space and quiet time – the space I’ve found in our “girls’ room” and the quiet time well…I’m just happy that my 81-years-young Dad is still running around, doing his projects, playing music, and helping to keep us together. We Torres5 are finally getting back into a routine, each taking a day to be with Dad, and it’s so funny when a bunch of us are at the Ranch when it’s ‘not our day’ LOL   Torres Babies, old and young, are the JOYS of our lives. The little ones are all doing all of the firsts, talking, going to school, playing together, etc. So much fun.

We still get together to pray for Mama on the 11th of each month, I didn’t know if Dad would want to keep it going and, he’s cool with it, so you will find the Torres Fam praying together which keeps the family united.

So many milestones in 2016: Our STE2 graduated with his Master Degree from SFSU, Our Antonia celebrated her Quinceanera, Our Lucia was baptized in Texas, our Olivia started preschool at 1-year-old and was ‘promoted’ to the next level because she’s so smart, Jami and Michael got married, Sabrina is helping take care of us and the nation somewhere in the MiddleEast,  we celebrated Mother’s Day at the Ranch taking “serenata” to all of our mothers, we celebrated Mama’s birthday at Jackson Rancheria, one of her fav places, we had a fun Ranch Día de Los Muertos/Halloween party and we celebrated our 14th Grijalva Girls Christmas Reunion and this weekend, we celebrate our Christmas/Dia De Los 3 Reyes.  Sadly, at the very end of the year, we lost our cousin Chella in Mexicali and our prayers go out to our cousins.

I just got my results of the State Interpreter Exam and I passed THREE parts out of four, y’all know that this is an all or nothing exam so no passing, and, once I get over the disappointment and the urge to analyze every little thing I may have done wrong, I will be back at it studying.   This is a pride thing now LOL.  I’m all over this MF after the New Year LOL!  I will be so happy once I pass this test once and for all.

My BFFs and I have tried to meet once a month all year to catch up on the chisme, love them. It was a very sad time during the summer as BFF Maria Garcia was battling cancer and I was very sad the day that she left but grateful that she was no longer suffering. She gave me so many little things that I randomly come across: purses, makeup, clothes. Miss her.

My writing will move more front and center in 2017.  If I am to call myself a writer/blogger, then I will be much more authentic and work it like I never did before.   I will be participating in a year-long challenge to write one essay a week in 2017 and am very excited about starting!  I hope you will enjoy what I am putting together, and, if you do not, I hope that you will still read and let me know what you think! #52essays2017

So much has happened in our world in 2016, especially during the last weeks of the year.  It feels as if disappointment, uncertainty, sadness, and hate have taken their place front and center.  As Mama always said, “this too shall pass” and I believe in the goodness of people, of this country and this world and pledge to be part of the solution and not the problem.   There will be many changes in my life in the upcoming year and I fully intend to “buscar el lado amable”, look for the good in people and situations,  and strive to come out of 2017 happier and healthier.

I have lots of plans and lots of ideas for how I intend to spend my 2017. Gone are the days of living head down without any joy in my life. It took me many, many years to start living my life rather than watch my life go by. I don’t know where I will end up next and I have a lot of faith that GodJesus&VirgenOfG will lead me to the people, places, and situations where I need to be. Thanks for your help and support this past year, thanks for visiting my blog and reading what I write, thanks for loving me and my familia, and I hope you all have a Happy New Year.
#52essays2017

Ya Es Hora: Turn Thought Into Action

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It seems as I’ve been on a constant journey to find my place in this world, to find something to achieve, to climb that mountain, to walk that mile. I always remember how I could move forward, from a very early age, to get what I wanted. While the tactics have changed dramatically with every ‘logro’. I could always see the big picture. Once I had achieved goal 1, my eye was always on finishing goals 2 or 3.

So, to come to a point in my life where it all stops has been straight-up scary, emotional, crazy, and unbelievable, not to mention humbling.  Getting myself from Point A to Point B, which used to be ‘asi de facil’ now seem so overwhelming and insurmountable some days. My process has always been to turn inward and basically hibernate as I figured things out. This was easier when I was living on my own, I could be in my own house and think, see, feel, say, do whatever I wanted. No one has ever seen that side of my life, until very recently. Dad worries about me when he sees me like this, “mija, go somewhere, you need to go be with your friends”, I know he cares but what I need is to be comfortable in my “safe space” these days.   There HAS to be a reason why I’m left to figure out my next moves in the place where it all started:  at the Ranch, in my home, in the “girls’ room”.  This was the place where I first started to dream about what I wanted for my life.  Full circle.

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A lot of women of a certain age hit this ceiling – been there done that, where you feel adrift, lost, not-cool, not ‘in’, washed-up. I was relieved to see that I am not the only person who goes thru this. Lots of women “are less likely to share their opinions in a group of people, most likely to apologize for things that aren’t their fault, less likely to take risks, more likely to take criticism personally and less likely to consider themselves competent in their work” (Allison Fallon, 2015) Who hasn’t had these thoughts? Have you had the courage to voice these thoughts, even to yourself? I want this back:  it will require a lot more than wishful thinking. I love this quote:

“CONFIDENCE IS THE STUFF THAT TURNS THOUGHTS INTO ACTION”                                            (Richard Petty, Kay & Shipman, 2014).

To live the kind of life I want to live now requires mega confidence. I want to work when I want, how I want, on projects I want – easier said than done. Making things happen is what I’ve always done my entire life. The difference being that I was making things happen for s o m e o n e  e l s e. Easier because it wasn’t my money, not my resources, not my problem if things didn’t go as planned, I could always walk away and continue with my life. Now that I’ve come to the edge, the ‘now or never’, the fork in the road, the ‘do or die’, it is time for me to do some major work.

Not everything or everyone is invited or welcome on my journey, I have got to take this time and get those things, situations, and people weighing me down out of my life, my thoughts in order, my plan worked up, and I’ve got to get through my lack of self-confidence. It’s time to stop thinking that I’m “lucky”, like I haven’t worked my ass off to be here, it’s like I’m ready, but my body and mind don’t believe me yet.

Therefore, the remaining 2016 posts will be dedicated to getting myself in training to receive 2017 opportunities,           and to B E L I E V E that this is how things are gonna go. I will be driving this car, once and for all, back to Confidence. There is no way that I’m going out like this, with no fight. But the first task is to stop seeing myself through someone else’s eyes …

TO BE CONTINUED

The ULTIMATE Ten Commandments for Being a Chingona! #InnerChingona Food for Thought.

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I loooooove this!   Especially as I’m always trying to channel my Inner Chingona to work it for me in all aspects of my life.   I decided that I wanted to start writing when I couldn’t find my story in any book that I had read.  One summer, I decided to read books by Latino authors from A to Z:  A lot of the great Latina authors, and some of my favorites, were books I read first because their last names ended in A, B, C:  books by Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, Denise Chavez, and Sandra Cisneros among many others.  Some books were ok, some I didn’t like, most I totally LOVED.

The books I loved best were the ones by Chicana, Mexican-American authors like Ana Castillo, Denise Chavez, and Sandra Cisneros.  In their stories, I began to hear snippets of “my” story, I began to see in writing, in black and white, English and Spanish written together as well as Spanglish — just like I talked all of the time!  When I started to practice writing, I also started to notice that it was easy for me to write as I thought, that it came out ok, that people understood it, that they ‘got it’, that I lost none of the Latina flavor that I loved — and I felt like I was finally home.

While I have yet to read my exact story, probably because I have yet to write it LOL, I was highly influenced by these authors and especially empowered by Sandra Cisneros:  straight-up Chicana, no holds barred, hilarious, insightful, and she wrote about experiences that I had gone thru like moving out of the house without being married…OMG, I was either the first or surely one of the first in my entire familia to do this so who could really understand what that was like?  Sandra Cisneros put it out there and I so related to it.   

One of the things that I try to do with my writing is to be myself, to be as authentic as possible, to embrace the fact that I am not perfect at all, to try to talk about my experiences in the hope that someone will relate to them, find that little pedacito that they can identify with and maybe we can all do great things by channeling our perspective Inner Chingona.

So when I saw the Ten Commandments of Chingonas written by none other than Sandra Cisneros — I just HAD to share it!  Believe me, there are some of these commandments that I must work on more than others!  But, finally, there is a road map LOL.

 

How to Be a Chingona in 10 Easy Steps

  1.  Live for your own approval. Center yourself. Be alone. Create your own space.
  2. Discover your own powers. What floods you with joy?
  3. Find true humility and practice it.
  4. Keep your palabra, your word.
  5. What are you using to cover or mask your pain? Address it.
  6. Your only true possessions are your actions.
  7. Seek forgiveness.
  8. Live in the present moment.
  9. Depression has a purpose if you use it before it uses you. Transform it to light. Compost it through art. If you can’t do it by yourself, see a professional curandera (healer, therapist).
  10. Listen to your body.
    – Sandra Cisneros

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In Search of Peace or a Safe Place, Whichever Comes First.

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While walking at the beach, I came across a little crab and, when I got really close to it, the crab retreated into its shell.  The crab goes straight off of instinct, if something doesn’t feel safe, he doesn’t go there.  My family has always told me that I have a sixth sense, that I can sense when something doesn’t feel right, I’ve been this way since I was a little girl.  Some days, I would love to be able to hide out in my personal shell as that crab does…to be able to just BE, to be myself, to dream, to plan, to cry, to work things out for myself, to THINK

It is so important to have that kind of place to recharge, reflect and vent…what does my personal shell look like?

Lots of green around me, breezy, with my huge comfortable green reading chair near a window, and within arm’s length there would be  a combination of books, music, a journal and my laptop.   I like to just stare out of the window for a long time, trying to decompress as I watch others live their lives.   When I’m in this mode, I usually pick a few songs and play them over and over, usually something to match the mood that I’m in or to match the mood that I WANT to be in.

Only after I decompress will I get this nagging feeling to deal with my problem at hand, why do I want to hide? what happened in my life that day to make me feel this or that way? who needs to be in or out of my thoughts?   This is usually when I pick up one of my journals and start writing and writing and writing.  Some days, I can get out my issues in one page or less and other times, it’s 20 or 30 pages.  In either case, by the time I finish writing, I’m usually exhausted and my hand usually hurts 🙂    It is very powerful when the ‘moment of truth’ hits as I am writing — sometimes I start crying right then or I say something like ‘yup’ as I write!    Only after I see it written in black and white can I start to find a temporary solution to whatever is making me crazy at that moment.

Behind the wheel of my Jeep does wonders for me too.   If that steering wheel could talk…I’ve practiced many a speech, request, pitch, conversation while driving — not to mention screaming at the top of my lungs in anger/frustration/fear;  cried my eyes out, watched the sun and the moon come up and go down.  I’m convinced that I have saved myself and my reputation by going off by myself instead of going off on someone else.   As I usually have a commute, my badass moods are usually over by the time I reach my destination.

It’s important that everyone find their own safe haven, to be able to gather yourself and your thoughts while you figure out what your next move will be.   For many months,  I needed to step back and escape for a minute but I wouldn’t do it…it didn’t feel that I deserved yet it I guess.  Once I started listening to my Inner Chingona, I started to make the time to work thru my big chunk of issues.  Taking care of yourself is very powerful and it’s one of the first steps to getting your life back and getting to the peace and happiness that you seek.

Which brings me to the final thought for tonight by John Maxwell…”…if you don’t have peace, it isn’t because someone took it from you; you GAVE IT AWAY.  You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens IN you.”    Once I stopped the blame game and giving in to the drama of others, Inner Chingona came back to ‘high five’ me and to get me to listen to myself, take care of myself, and more important, take responsibility for myself.

My soundtrack as I wrote tonight?  Carly Simon’s Greatest Hits over and over and over and over.

Haven’t Got Time for The Pain

 

That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be

 

 

Milestone Day: 16 Belonged to Me Today

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Love Milestone Days:  My journey to passing the State Exam begins again!   Part 1 to the State Interpreter Exam is 0ver and done now I move on to Part 2.  The studying paid off.  I totally felt my mom’s presence during the Exam, especially during the grammar part as no one had English grammar down like Margaret.

Love that 95 score and all of the support and love is great too!  Total motivation for me to get back into study-mode to pass Part 2 of the State Interpreter Exam!  I must close this circle eso si!

Time Management Inner Chingona Style: Getting Me Back on My Personal Track

images (5)Check out my horoscope for today:

Hi Carmen! Here is your Daily WorkScope for Tuesday, August 26

You’ll be easily distracted now, so breaking everything down into little steps is crucial. Set goals you can actually achieve, and don’t let frustration diminish your focus.

Sometimes, these things hit it right in between my eyes. Yesterday, Inner Chingona had to set me straight. A fuerzas you might say, while I was laying on a hospital bed, and told me that it was time to get my ish together, that it was not by chance that I had not been feeling well, that I had a lot to do with why I was stopped in my tracks. So, laying there toda enferma/ill, I started to think of what needed to happen. And Inner Chingona was not going to make it easy either, I had to come up with something to start ASAP for the next month.

Today, I continued my talk with God, Jesus and the Virgen of G to help get me back on track. These days always coincide when I don’t feel good physically. When I’m down physically, even with a cold, it is always a sign that, if nothing else, I’m moving too fast in most or all areas of my life. Today, as Inner Chingona gave it a break LOL, things were much more soothing, so I was able to think more clearly.

I took time to break out some short-term goals that I want to reach within the next month, my 3rd Quarter Tune Up if you will. While it’s unrealistic that I completely stop all that I do, it’s time to be smarter about it.  Time to disconnect from some of the distractions that are driving me crazy and catching up with my productivity.

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In no particular order:

1. Take a break from Social Media. I’m such a chismosa and love to see what’s happening but it should not be at the expense of my health, my time or my responsibilities.
2. Make time to get my health back on track, including taking the time to sleep and rest.
3. List and actually finish the projects that I’ve started.
4. Kill the distractions that do not allow me to get thru my goals/day be they people,projects,  ideas and straight-up pendejadas.
5. Don’t worry about long-term goals for this month, concentrate on finishing what you start this month, that way, you’ll have time to accommodate the rest of your ‘to-do’ list.

It’s all about shutting my mouth, pulling my sleeves up, and working my 30-Day List.  Looking forward to getting thru the month working it smarter, not harder.

 

What are your Top 5 ways to get yourself back on track?

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Milestone Day: My Published Article

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Love Milestone Days!  Got to my folks house last Friday and was pleasantly surprised to see that my article was published!   It’s always fun to see a dream realized and my parents were beyond proud of me, which is also very cool.  This article was an excerpt from a past blog entry on the joys of being Trilingual!   The article can be seen at http://www.joaguinmag.com  or you can read my blog entry below in Spanish, English and Spanglish…hope you like it!

Spanish Sunday Nights: Soy Trilingue

 

Soy Trilingüe:  Hablo en ingles, español, y en Spanglish!

 

Ahora que estoy estudiando, de nuevo, para tomar el examen Estatal para Interpretes, me la paso aprendiendo nuevas palabras y me pongo a pensar en el momento que comencé a hablar en español…bueno, disque en español porque fue una mezcla “mocho” tratando de buscar la manera de sonar natural, que mi vocabulario fuera fluido, donde no tendría que pensar en lo que quería decir…

Al escucharme hablar hoy en día,  a mucha gente le parece increíble que, en mi casa, no nos crecimos hablando en español – fue puro ingles.   Y bien me acuerdo, que de vez en cuando, algún familiar me diría algo como “porque no sabes hablar en español?”   A mí me daba mucha vergüenza – y no porque mis papas no nos hablaron en español sino porque yo quería aprender a hablar bien.   Estoy eternamente agradecida con mi Mama Margaret Torres – siempre nos hablo y nos enseno la gramática correcta en ingles y nosotros los 5 siempre hemos podido hablar y escribir muy muy bien en ingles.  Creo que fue a los 13 años que decidí aventarme a la lumbre y hablar en español, saliera como saliera.

 

Mi Tío Pascual (q.e.p.d.) fue el #1 en darme “carria” por mi manera particular de hablar en español.  Una vez estábamos en una fiesta familiar y me dijo, “si tanto sabes de español, entonces deletréame la palabra ‘Tzintzuntzan’ y lo hice perfectamente!  También me atreví a decirle que yo iba a aprender a hablar el español un día y que si quería ‘bailar’ conmigo, que aprendiera a hablar en ingles!   Me cerré los ojos esperando que me reganara o  algo así, pero no, simplemente se rio y nunca jamás me volvió a decir nada al respecto.  Pero si contaba la historia de “Tzintzuntzan” de vez en cuando con una sonrisa!

Como hubiera querido poder haber conversado mas con mi abuela, Ma’Lupita, sin duda la mujer más chistosa y única que he conocido en mi vida.  Porque yo SE que nos hubiéramos divertido mucho – ella con sus locuras y yo aprendiendo y riéndome.    Cuando sentí que ya estaba aprendiendo a hablar más español, ella ya estaba enferma del cáncer y, para la gran tristeza de todo el Rancho, falleció.

Más de una persona me ha dicho que tengo un buen sentido de humor y que se chismear y contar historias muy bien ya sea en ingles o en español.   El hecho de que pueda hacerlo en español se lo debo a mi papa, Mike Torres, a mi Mama Lupita, todos mis tíos del Rancho y una que otra persona quien nos llego de visita de Michoacán con su manera de hablar tan divertido y singular!  

 

Si tengo que hacerlo, puedo conversar inteligentemente completamente en español o en ingles;  pero a mí me encanta hablar en mi idioma principal, Spanglish, una mezcla de las dos!  Mucha gente dice que no es idioma oficial, que esto es hablar ‘mocho’, que no sabemos hablar ni una ni la otra, pero no es así:  es un producto de los dos mundos donde siempre he vivido y me siento en casa dondequiera que este!

 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:  I’m Trilingual:  I speak Spanish, English, and Spanglish!

Now that I’m studying, again, for the State Interpreter Exam, I am constantly learning new words and it got me thinking to the time where I started to speak in Spanish…well, it wasn’t really Spanish as much as it was a mixture that everyone would call “mocho”, I was trying to find the way to sound natural, trying to find a way that my vocabulary would be fluid and natural, where I didn’t have to think about what I wanted to say, that I would just be able to say it.

 

When people hear me speak Spanish today, they think that it’s incredible that we did not grow up speaking in Spanish – English was spoken at home.  And I remember that more than one family member would tell me, “why don’t you speak Spanish?”   I would get really embarrassed, but not for the reason that you would think, not because my parents didn’t speak to us in Spanish but because the Type A in me wanted to learn to speak well.   I’m eternally grateful to my Mom Margaret Torres – she always spoke to us and taught us her correct, flawless, English grammar thus the 5 of us were always able to speak, read, and write very very well in English.  I think that I was around 13 or so when I decided to go for it and learn how speak Spanish, and speak no matter how it came out.

 

My Tio Pascual (RIP) was the number 1 person who teased me constantly about my way of speaking in Spanish!  I remember we were at a Ranch party one time and he starts up, he tells me, “if you’re so good in Spanish, then spell this word for me, “Tzintzuntzan”; which I did, and perfectly!  So then I got all bold and told him that I was going to speak really good Spanish one day and that if he wanted to make it a fair fight, that he should learn how to speak English!  Man I closed my eyes just waiting for him to go off on me but, to my surprise, he just started laughing and he never teased me again although he did bring up the ‘Tzintzuntzan’ incident up from time to time with a smile on his face!

 

How I wish that I could have been able to talk more with my grandmother, Ma’Lupita, who remains by far the most unique and funniest woman I have ever met.  Because I so KNOW that we would have had a blast – she with her hilarious self and me laughing and learning.  When I felt that I was learning how to really speak in Spanish, she was already sick with cancer and, to the Ranch’s great sadness still, she passed away.

 

More than one person has told me that I have a good sense of humor and that I can tell stories and do the gossip thing really well whether in English or in Spanish.  The fact that I can do it at all is because of my Dad Mike Torres, to Mama Lupita, all of the aunts/uncles on the Ranch, and random folks who would visit from Michoacán with their fun and unique way of expressing themselves!  

 

Now if I HAVE to do it, I can converse intelligently in English or in Spanish; but my favorite mode of expression is in what I consider my primary language, Spanglish, a mixture of both.  Lots of people go crazy saying that it is not an official language, that it is a bastardization of the language, “mocho” if you will, that we cannot speak one language or the other, but it is not like that:  it is a product of the two worlds where I have always lived in and that has allowed me to be at home wherever I am.

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