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The “Right” Time .. What Is That Anyway?

20 Jul

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You hear it on a regular basis, “Well, the timing wasn’t right” or “it’s not the right time”. So when IS the right time and what if you run out of time before the time is right? The right time is now, when it’s weighing on your mind, when you feel so strongly about it that you can’t stop thinking about it. There’s your sign. What do you want God to do? Tap you on the shoulder and yell “yoo hoo” in your ear first?

We miss so many opportunities because we were so busy paying attention to other things that we miss the “right time” and the right people. God’s done His part, now it’s up to you to act on it. You’ll know when that time is right, He’ll make sure of it so don’t be so quick to write timing off when it comes to circumstances or people. They’re both placed in your path when they need to be.

Start embracing right now and stop using the excuse to do something later. You might not have later. Opportunities present themselves ALL the time, not just at the time that’s right in your mind, but at times that are right in God’s mind for you. Right now is all you DO have.

Why Support Independent Artists, Songwriters and Musicians?

19 Apr

Actually it’s pretty simple, they’re the ones that write and perform the songs that get stuck in your head, that cause you to tap your foot, make you sing in the shower and provide the words for karaoke on a Saturday night. They’re the reason we have good music to listen to and to save us from the monotonous sounds of the same old manufactured “music” over and over again. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have that first song that meant something to us, music to dance that first dance to, or that song that brings up memories you’d long forgotten. They breathe life into every day, give us reasons to smile, reasons to cry and reasons to feel. They are the creators of something that every one of us can relate to and something that makes us all the same for at least 3.5 minutes. It’s because of them we can forget the world around us and immerse ourselves in a world of harmony and melody.

Independent artists are more likely to be in it for the love of the music, not just the money.  They take pride in their talent and they stand up for their creativity and don’t want the major labels to mold them into something they’re not and take away their ability to do THEIR thing.  Music is a way of life and a means of support for these artists, not just a hobby or something to pass the time. It puts food on the table and keeps the lights on. I believe if they believe in the music that much and I am able to take part in the result of that love the next time I turn on my iPod, then I can support them in any way I can. I thank them for what they do and what they give to those that love good, honest, heartfelt music.

I started promoting independent artists almost 10 years ago because of one song, “The Key”, by one country writer, John Griffin, who wasn’t getting any attention for his wonderful writing. I learned to take a minute and not simply hear, but actually listen to the words and music these independent songwriters have written and chances are it applies to some situation that has occured in the pages of your mind and in your life. I know they have in mine. I also promote signed artists, but mostly those you aren’t hearing regularly (if at all) on radio and those veteran artists who have “aged out” of today’s younger demographic but continue to sell out night after night and release amazing music.

If you listen to a song and you like what you hear, please let them know, talk about it on your websites and social media pages, and talk to your friends and family about their talent. People don’t know unless you say something. Go to their official websites or social media pages and let them know how you heard about them and what you think of their music. Every artist appreciates support and loves to get feedback on their music. Thanks so much for your support. Buy their merchandise, attend their shows, and most importantly, BUY the music.

Check out my country music promotions page, www.lovinlyrics.com and connect with me on Twitter at @lovinlyrics, Facebook and Instagram.

Today I Am Blessed

27 Dec

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Today …

I opened my eyes, took a breath and am able to live another day. There is still a purpose for my being here … I am blessed.

I hear my dog snoring in the hallway, he’s 12 and still with me … I am blessed.

I turn on my iPod and am able to hear some of the best music ever made … I am blessed.

I can hear my parents, aged 73 and 70, laughing in the other room … I am blessed.

I have the ability to love and to feel for other people … I am blessed.

I may be single, but I am not with the wrong person … I am blessed.

I have a job that pays my bills and provides insurance coverage. It may not be the career I’d love to have and I may hate it sometimes but … I am blessed.

I have amazing friends who are always really there and not just when it suits them. They make me laugh, cry, think and sometimes even piss me off but … I am blessed.

I realize how lucky I am to have the freedom to think and speak my mind … I am blessed.

I believe in a higher power that gives me hope and leads me with faith … I am blessed.

I sit back and think about all of the good in my life and ya know what … I am blessed.

Today and every day … I am blessed.

Go For the Win … #WinAtLife

13 Apr

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Positive mindsets create positive outcomes. Stop holding yourself back from doing amazing things. You’re just as capable as the next guy, maybe even more so. Forget what society thinks, forget what your friends think, stick by what YOU think. So many people settle for mediocre when they were created for so much more and they settle because of fear and no confidence in themselves. You have to want it more than you’re scared of it and if you can’t believe in you why should anyone else. You get ONE shot at making your life the best it can be, ONE. Go out knowing you gave it all you had, that you tried your best and being able to tell yourself that honestly is success in itself. #WINATLIFE

Two Small Words … One Big Meaning

30 Nov

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I guess when you hit your 40’s, you start to reflect and see life a little differently. I’ve always been a deep thinker, an observer and a “payer of attention”. I think it’s taught me to see what I need out of life. It seems to have become a lot more evident that not only do I need to live life, I should focus on learning to LOVE LIFE.
Life’s full of ups, downs, disappointments, achievements, surprises and obstacles. Those are things that are always going to be here, they’re not gonna change but I can change the way I handle them. Complaining is just that, complaining. Wasting breath trying to change things that are most of the time out of our control and truth be told, it just makes us look like whiny, ungrateful, entitled jerks. If it’s something you can change, then stop bitching and start working on a change. If it’s something you can’t change, then start figuring out a way to work around it and adapt. Life was here long before we were, situations were here long before we got in the middle of them. Life wasn’t meant to adapt to our needs and our wants, so we have to learn to adapt to what it throws at us even if it’s not the easiest thing to do.
Since hitting my 40’s, I’ve learned to pay closer attention to life’s details, to work on self improvement, to love more and listen a little closer to what my heart tells me instead of always listening to my head. For me, I think the cliche is true, “Life really does begin at 40.” I’m 45 and it’s really starting to make more sense to me and to mean more now that I see things happening around me. I see my parents aging, I’ve lost both sets of grandparents, I see high school classmates who have passed away, I’ve had friends take their own lives, I’ve seen marriages crumble that I thought were made in Heaven, I’ve seen spouses cheat on their partners, I’ve seen relationships end and then start right back up with someone new before the person broken up with has even had time to process the break up, I see friends that were once sitting on top of the world wondering why life now has them scraping rock bottom and wondering how they’re gonna make it to the next day, I’ve taken a gun out of a crying suicidal friend’s hand in the middle of the night and let them fall asleep mentally exhausted on my lap, I’ve left my house in the middle of the night and driven 3 hours just to be with a friend who’s self esteem was shattered because her husband called her and told her he was leaving her because she was too fat, he couldn’t stand to look at her anymore and wasn’t someone he could love. I’ve seen those struggling to make ends meet lose their jobs, having gone through unemployment myself for 4 years. Every day I see the world around me changing in a not so good way and putting us in situation that create self-doubt and turn us from fun loving people into negative shells of who we once were. Life creeps up on you while you’re busy partying, complaining, working, and while we’re not realizing just how fast it’s happening.
Don’t let life turn you into someone that would make you uncomfortable to be around, someone that people shy away from, or someone that isn’t who you know you are. Don’t become the same kind of person that you personally can’t stand to be around, you know, the kind that you complain to other people about. That’s the great thing about the human spirit, it’s adaptable and changeable if you teach yourself what’s more important to you and what matters. Get out of the house, get off the computer, go enjoy your life. Go spend time with friends. If you’re single, get out and meet people. If you are already interested in someone and want to see where it goes, ask them out and see what happens. Travel, do something different, step out of your comfort zone, stop being such a tightwad and spend some money on experiences that create great memories.

You were put here to do more than simply take up space and exist, you were meant to LOVE LIFE.

The Real Strength of a Man 

30 Sep

Ladies, the guys in your life do more for you everyday than you realize. Remember to thank them for the small things they do, the gestures, the smiles they put on your faces, the hours they work, the weight that’s on their shoulders to make sure you have a roof over your head and that you’re taken care of without you having to be the one to do the worrying. It’s in the way they love your kids. It’s so much more than just material things that the men in your lives provide. It’s security, love, friendship, confidence and stablity. Let them know that you appreciate them. They need to hear it just as much as we do and have just as many insecurities about themselves as we do. To the guys in my life, I love y’all and am so appreciative of each of you for who you are and what you bring to my life every day whether you realize those things or not. Thank you. 

The Strength of a Man 

  The strength of a man isn’t seen in the width of his shoulders. It’s seen in the width of his arms that circle you.

 The strength of a man isn’t in the deep tone of his voice. It’s in the gentle words he whispers.

 The strength of a man isn’t how many buddies he has. It’s how good a buddy he is with his kids.

 The strength of a man isn’t in how respected he is at work. It’s in how respected he is at home.

 The strength of a man isn’t in how hard he hits. It’s in how tender he touches.

 The strength of a man isn’t in the hair on his chest. It’s in his Heart … that lies within his chest.

 The strength of a man isn’t how many women he’s loved. It’s in how he can be true to one woman.

 The strength of a man isn’t in the weight he can lift. It’s in the burdens he can carry.

The Perfect Shell – The Second Best Conversation I’ve Ever Had

28 Sep

“The Perfect Shell” – The Second Best Conversation I’ve Ever Had …
Originally Posted on Facebook on October 23, 2011 at 2:09am

Author: Me

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I posted back in 2009 about the best conversation I’d ever had with an elderly man on the bus from Downtown Disney to the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World. What is it about some people that make a conversation so fascinating and insightful, thoughtful, emotional? It’s their experience and the fact that they’re speaking realistically, from the heart.

A couple of days ago, I decided to do something I NEVER do, wake up early and walk on the beach just after sun up. Those of you that know me know that morning and I are not friends, we are mortal enemies. Morning to me, should come around 3pm. Whoever came up with this whole morning concept just sucks or at least they did until last Wednesday morning. I dragged myself out of my nice warm covers, threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt, walked out into the crisp cold fall air and drove to Ft. Macon, my favorite spot for shelling and solitude. There are high sand dunes, a historic military fort, crashing waves, sand and the sound of seagulls and rarely any people on the beach this early in the off season. I got out of the car and started my long morning walk and time alone with my thoughts. I was absorbed in my thoughts about finding a job, missing my friends, wishing I had someone to share this kind of time with and hating the loneliness of being a 41 year old single woman when someone walked up behind me and scared the hooey out of me. I turned around and there was this smiling woman, with skin that was starting to show it’s age and her expressions of years past, and there a friendly light in her eyes. She was maybe around 70. She apologized for making me jump out of my skin, grabbed my hand, introduced herself as “Barbara” and asked me if I’d found any good shells yet. I showed her the two, one that was an angel wing that had a few barnacles attached to it. She took the shell and told me how to get them off of the shell without harming the surface. She said she had been coming to Ft. Macon shelling every day for years. You know how some people just tell you their stories whether you want to hear them or not? This was one I wanted to hear and she obviously wanted to tell it so I asked her to walk with me. As we searched the sand for treasures washed up from the ocean, she would tell me that “Ron”, her husband, used to walk this same path with her, doing the same thing. It was their “morning togetherness routine”, not to find shells, but to find each other. I asked her to tell me more about Ron, he seemed like a wonderful man from the glimmer in her eyes at the mere mention of his name and the excitement that was obviously in her heart that someone would express interest in her memories of her longtime love.

Barbara told me that they met on the beach years ago. She had been out doing just this very thing, collecting shells, when he came walking from the other direction. He smiled at her and introduced himself and asked to see what she’d found. He’d just moved here and wanted to know where the best place to look for shells was, his sister was an avid shell collector and would be visiting soon. She told me they parted ways on the beach and when she looked back over her shoulder to see where he was, he was turned around looking back at her. He walked back, got her contact information and said he would be in touch, maybe they could spend some time getting to know each other a little more. Little did she know that a year later, they’d be married in a small Beaufort, NC church and having a family a year later with the birth of a daughter, Mary. It was a wonderful romantic story, one that I was surprised she was telling a perfect stranger, but it made her happy to recall the good times so I let her continue with the story. She told me she never expected to meet someone here, she had moved here to start over and put some bad things behind her. She didn’t specify what those things were and I didn’t ask. She asked if I was married or dating anyone and you know me, I rolled my eyes and said no, haven’t been that lucky and went on to explain how when it comes to love and that kinda thing, I’m not really good at it and can’t seem to have good luck and have pretty much resigned myself to being the single crazy old lady with her dog. She told me she felt the same way when she met Ron in a totally random unexpected way. She said she certainly wasn’t ready to get married, or so she thought. She had written romance out of the picture, felt she was “past her time”. Apparently time found her and she said it would find me too. She used the analogy of shell collecting, said when I am least expecting it, I will look down and find my perfect shell, the one I’ve been looking for, one that’s perfect in my eyes and is exactly what I was hoping to find, that one of a kind shell that washes up once in a rare while. It really made me see things alot differently. I guess most single women my age probably think the same things – what’s wrong with me? Why am I always good enough to be someone’s best friend but no more than that? Why can’t someone see what’s so great about me? Am I not pretty enough? You know, the same questions we all ask ourselves at one time or another. Blah blah blah. She’s right, it’s not me, it’s just not the right time. The ocean decides when it’s the right time to push that perfect shell onto the shore and it’s God’s decision as to when it’s the right time to push the perfect person into my path just as Ron had walked across her path at the right time. He passed away from pancreatic cancer. She told him before he passed that she would still walk the beach everyday and thank God for letting her find her “perfect shell”. We reached the pavillion and parking area and Barbara said this is where she was parked and it was time for her to meet Mary for breakfast, that she enjoyed our talk and hoped to meet again on the beach. I thanked her for giving me something to think about and we waved goodbye. Will I ever see her again, probably not. The more I think about it, was she even a real person or was she possibly an angel? The Lord works in some mighty mysterious ways and you can’t help but wonder … we’ll see. Until then, I’ll keep going out and looking for that elusive, perfect shell.

GETTING BACK TO MORE THAN 140 CHARACTERS AND AVATARS ….

10 Jun

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These days everyone is all about social media, branding yourself, trying to be a bigger name than the next person, and trying to show that they can have more followers than anyone else. It’s all about 140 characters, tweets, status updates, posts, emails and texts. We tend to see each other more these days by a tiny square default photo on a web page rather than up close and personal and that’s so ass backwards from how it should be. Yes, social media is awesome, I personally love it but at times I personally hate it. It takes the real connection out of life. Are you connected? Yes, but are you REALLY connected to your friends and family? When’s the last time you spent time with one of your social media friends offline? When’s the last time you picked up a phone for a real conversation instead of picking up your phone and sending a message? We should be spending the hours we spend on social media thinking of ways to connect with people personally, not just via text characters and then making those connections happen. Social media is such a warped place, some people are awesome while some people simply use it to be rude and express opinions in a way they’d never do to someone in person because they’re “anonymous” online, they’re “untouchable” online. Be touchable, don’t be anonymous, don’t be just an avatar to someone and don’t let them just be 140 characters or less to you. People are so much more important than a digital communication. We thrive through real contact, hearing each other’s voices, holding hands, spending time together. We already have a following that we tend to pay less and less attention to, those who are offline and there for you anytime you need that connection. Don’t put those who are really there on the backburner. The longer someone sits in your background, the sooner you’ll look up and notice that your background isn’t how you remember it and they will either take themselves out of the picture or they will slowly fade away with time. Your picture will eventually change and when you spend less and less time focusing on it, the quicker it changes. You don’t need a million people to tell you how awesome you are and think you’re the best thing ever, you only need the small handful that actually mean it and are the ones that would come to your side when you’re not so wonderful. It’s easy to build an online persona that isn’t a factual representation of who you are and people get to know who you want them to think it’s who you are. How about using that time and energy to reconnect with your life offline, with those who love you for who you really are and don’t have a picture built up in their heads of who they think you are, to re-energize yourself by taking a deep breath away from the keyboard, to enjoy who and what’s around you?

Social media is a great way to “meet” people and in many cases, a great way to make friends for life that you do eventually connect with offline, just don’t forget those who were here long before Twitter, Facebook and even Myspace. Don’t let your background fade. There are people in your life that you choose to connect with and keep in your circle for a reason, you find them interesting, there’s something in them that you see as special and that you want to get to know better. Take that time, get to know them better, find out what makes them special. They keep you for the same reasons. Build your relationships offline and don’t spend so much time away from them that they start to dissolve and disappear. It’s fine to be on social media, to build your “brand”, and to spend your time working, just don’t let it become your life and don’t find that your main circle no longer exists outside of a digital connection. Live your life in more than text, more than numbers and more than avatars. Get back to the basics of building relationships and doing what it takes to maintain them.

POSITIVE THOUGHT FOR TODAY – FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2015

3 Apr

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We’re all trying to figure out the meaning of life – don’t say you’re not because you’re human and somewhere inside of you, you are trying to figure out what your story actually is. You’re just like everyone else – confused and just taking life one day at a time, building your storyline towards your own ending.

Hmmm let’s see. Life doesn’t have just one meaning, the combination of so many things make up the meaning for each of us differently. It’s made up of relationships, people, resolve, determination, inspiration, motivation, encouragement, discouragement, strength, passion, dreams, disappointment, heartbreak, love, laughter, tears, friendship, spontaneity, romance, music, dancing, weathering the storms, getting back up when you’ve been knocked down, prayers – both answered and unanswered, faith, hope, giving, taking, helping, caring and being there for people when you’d rather be somewhere else. Each story is different. You can’t tell from the cover what someone’s story is made up, what their plot is or what their ending will be but you can decide to take a chance and take a deeper look inside.

“My Name is Jennifer and I Am An Addict …”

22 Jan

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My name is Jennifer and I am an addict. Some people are addicted to drugs, some to food, some to love. Me? I’m addicted to music.  The majority of my days involve music … listening to it, telling other people about it, writing about it, researching it and just breathing it in. Music is my drug of choice. It gives me a high that I don’t come crashing down from, it fills my heart with a permanent happiness and takes my mind off whatever madness is going on around me. It drowns out the noise of the world and keeps me in tune with my soul. It’s made a difference in my life, one that I am proud of and one that I feel I can share that can help others dealing with situations in their lives. There’s better therapy for a bad day than putting on a pair of headphones and immersing yourself in a good song.

My world is full of enablers and dealers. The dealers are the songwriters, the musicians, and the singers. They are the ones who give life to the songs that make me feel good, the songs that keep my mind in a positive place and the music that keeps me sane at times when most people would be pulling their hair out. The writers deal in words and thought. They put down in words what most of us feel but either can’t find the words to say or what we emotionally can’t say. They write from personal experience, tragedy, life’s experiences and sometimes just a drunken night. Whatever means they use to come up with the right words is usually something most of us can identify with, they’re just given the gift of translation that most of us weren’t blessed with. They can then take those words and make something beautiful from them once they add the right notes. This is where the musicians and artists come in, the middle men, if you will, between the dealer and the addict. The deal only happens when the musicians come together to play the melodies and join with the artist to sing the words with the necessary emotions. The final product is a drug that is delivered by the artist who cuts the song and presents it to the addict. The addict becomes hooked and can’t stop listening and has to have another song, and another, and another. And so the cycle continues.

Music is a great high, a great way to mentally get away from it all. It’s the kind of high that can literally change your life if you inhale the perfect song at the perfect time. It can take you to a place you never imagined you’d see, take you from a dark place into the light, it can be a key that opens the most tightly closed heart, and it can turn a life around. To quote Bono of the group U2, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” It can and it does, every day.

If you have to find an addiction, find a healthy vice in good music. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your soul. We should all indulge in good music daily and appreciate its long term effects.