Monday, December 14, 2015

Live Music

I went to a live show last night and it was amazing. The guy had such a great voice, he was brilliant like his CDs, letting me know how they weren't ever over produced, but just as he is. He stood but 10 feet from me and my husband - a proper date - one we hadn't endulged in in too long. 
The artist hopped from piano to his guitar, it was a solo acoustic show. He had a way of turning his guitar into a percussion instrument by sneakily slapping it, mimicking a drum beat. He engaged the audience in a very sociable, humerous way. He wasn't awkward, over the top, or under the influence. He was just perfect!
A couple times a big man would have to signal audience members to put down their phones as they tried to capture this whole experience in a hard fast way other than in their memories. Several times, the ladies in front of me posted photos of him mid verse to their instagram accounts, others texting friends about it all, no doubt with excitement.
I remember a line by Gavin DeGraw (not who we saw, but he would be awesome) "I'm looking at the crowd and they're staring at their phones." Weather he means they are communicating with the virtual world while he's singing, to gush about where they are, or the screen is in front of their face while they try to get the best video or photo, I don't know. Maybe both.
But I can say, I went to this live show and took absolutely nothing tangible home. No ticket stub ( I printed paper tickets) no t shirt, no video, and not one photo. (Sorry, I had a flimsy wristband devoid of insignia.) I didnt watch him sing through the the screen of my phone, I didn't post a picture to Facebook, I didn't even snap one for myself. He sang purely to me and not my own personal social audience. 
Months ago, when my iPhone broke, I opted to use an older generation iPhone we had saved and chose not to load my email or any apps on it. It is not capable of sharing a photo, though it can take one. I did this intentionally to see if it felt any different to not use my phone for everything so much. There were times, I'll admit, that sitting at a traffic light for those 60 seconds, that I used to pick up my phone and see what was new. But I wanted to take my idle minutes back. I did, since the summer, and it has been nice. I can't say I feel anything revolutionary though, all I can say is that it feels, simply, normal. 
This show last night was just that - it felt normal. Like when I was younger before cell phones and kids carried recording devices, when my friends and I went to concerts and just listened, laughed and were THERE. We knew where we went and held only memories. People today seem to orchestrate their experiences and capture it in a way to display it - a summary in pictures. And that is nice; it is fun to look back on things, and for sure, I have TONS of photos of my kids. But because of the choice I made with my phone, I exprienced this fantastic show and reminded myslef that how it happened is really only in my memories, and I love it there. I can tell stories to anyone else with words limited only by my literary capacity and imagination that can make this memorie come alive - more so than if I whipped open a photo and said only, "Here, look."
Eric Hutchinson came back out after he said he was done, as most musicians do and said he was going to sing a Christmas song. He stepped away from the mic and left his guitar still, and poised his fingers before no piano. He snapped his fingers to a beat and sang acapella "Have Yoursefl a Merry Little Christmas" It was brilliant. The audience snapped too and quietly, as he prompted, and we heard him crystal clear. He had a wonderful voice.
It was a great intimate venue, with my wonderful husband, and it is only mine to see and replay... in my mind.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A-Z Reflection

After doing the a-z blog challenge I was instructed to do a reflection. I reflected a bit in my last entry, but here goes:

-I liked the challenge and I'd do it again.
-I am not used to putting an entry in every day. I am a once a month, often five of them being skipped, person these days. But it was a great way to get writing again.
-I tried to look at some other blogs of fellow challengers, above and below my own blog's title, but it is hard to comment genuinely on such specific niche subjects I know nothing about - for example, if a person writes about British royalty - the history, families, technicalities of the government and thrown - I am not personally interested in it, and if I read a random blog, as if I jumped into the middle of a detailed conversation, I will be a bit lost and detached. If the blogs could have been organized and listed according to genre that would be good. 
-This was a good way to increase exposure and broaden your audience. I had more comments than I usually do, but I am not aware that I gained any additional followers. 
-It would have been nice if I got an email reminder about the start of the blog or now for the reflection

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Z- Zen

Wow, one more day in the A-Z Challenge. Though I do love writing, I am not used to writing everyday and my creative flower has had stunted growth as of lately because of the all too common- family commitments, kids, time, other interests - other things demanding my time. I chose to do this challenge because I love a challenge- creative, physical, mental- I'm up for it! And they always say, don't wait for a good time to do something, because that perfect time will never come. (We're talking about a blogging challenge here, not some other major life events :) 
So I am closing the challenge on Zen. 

Zen is a form of buddhism, simple meditation as well as a whole life state of mindfulness. 
From the everyday man's urban dictionary: Zen is a state of focus that incorporates a togetherness of body and mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without the distortion created by your own thoughts.  

Steve Jobs was a buddhist. He took meditation retreats and spent weeks "facing a wall" in an attempt at observing the activity of his own mind. He was married in a buddhist ceremony and was well read on all things zen. 
When the 15th century poet Ikkyu was asked "What is the meaning of Zen?" he replied, "Attention." It means moment to moment awareness in every ordinary thing you do. And just as Zen monasteries and centers are constructed and designed with mindfulness and simple, beautiful detail, Jobs spent meticulous attention and precision to all aspects of the user experience of Apple devices. From the cases, to the fonts, to the layout of the store, to the commercials, Jobs was said to have paid attention to every detail giving Apple an image and a "feel". He brought something so new, but so strangely intuitive to the market (for those who can afford it). Essentially, the devices are meant to do their job so seamlessly so that our creative energies can flow uninhibited by pop-up boxes, user difficulties, error messages and other unidentified failures. 
Jobs created products that look calm and ready for your input, like a little metal monk, always open minded and centered. Of course he had other influences and lacked kindness at times, but the attentive philosophy of buddhism and zenfulness likely had an impact in his iconic career. 
He found his passion and approached it with many aspects of Zen ideas like, question everything, and have a "beginners mind". These are ideas which can really be brought to any profession and practice.

(It makes you wonder about all those Apple circles - not unlike the buddhist practice kinhin of walking in circles while meditating...very reminicent of the revollutionary "loading" circle of steps on apple devices...)

It takes time "staring at the wall" and noticing life before the calm exudes over you like an uncased iphone sitting alone. Sometimes the busyness just makes life messy, unlike all the hours and ideas and tinkering that led to an apple product into which we see no guts, no mechanisms, no wires - even on the products with wires, these "flaws" are almost pretty.

Zen doesn't have to be a reclused onslaught to your life, but everyone of us can find a bit more peace in ordinary moments, just noticing them. Here's to Zen.

Y - Youth

Nora Ephron said we should wear a bikini until 34, no matter what. 

"If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're 34." From I Feel Bad About My Neck:d And Other Reflections on Being a Woman

Many of us are not fully satisfied with our physical body, but our body right now is better than it will be in ten years. And in that decade later, we'll wish for exactly what we're looking at right now! 

Enjoy the illustrations and enjoy YOU!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X - The X-Factor

X-factor - In the singing competition show, X-Factor, the "X-Factor" refers to the unidentifiable "something" that makes for star quality. It's that intangible thing you can't place your finger on, but you know it when it's there. The attempt at putting into words the X-factor of love, of life, of hope - these intangibles - makes for beautiful poetry and prose. And it also makes for a revealing therapy - when you figure out, in a way you can understand, what it is that makes you tick, what underlying feelings motivate you, and where those old wounds are. Why when you meet a person, young or old, you can see some extrapolated character? The X-Factor of life is such a beautiful enigma and trying to grasp it makes for a lifelong insatiable game!

Monday, April 27, 2015

W-Wonder: have a wish to know something; be amazed at

Back in the 60s, Paul Simon was in England trying to make a name for himself, wandering around playing his songs. At 18, he met Kathy and an intense love blossomed. Fueled by his passion and this carefree love, as he called it, he wrote dozens of hits he would later perform with Art Garfunkel in the group we all know and love. Kathy is mentioned in America, Homeward Bound and the beautiful song, my favorite, if I can pin such a loaded word on it, Kathy's Song. She is pictured on the album cover to Song Book above, with Paul.
But now, as the public is left with the testimony of their heart songs, we know that they are not together. As the story goes, she came back from America scared by the fans and fame and attention they were getting as Paul grew more well known. She was always shy and very sensitive and was never comfortable with that life. 
She presently lives in a remote mountain village in Wales and has had the same job for more than 25 years at a college. She has declined all requests for interviews over time and is simply a private person who has never spoken publicly about her relationship with Simon, and probably never will. She is married with three children and her husband claims that they are all good friends and there has never been any strife with them and Simon.

I was fascinated by this story after trying to find out who that Kathy was in Kathy's song. Well, she was a real person - and the story itself is interesting because these two paired off in what seemed to be a love-igniting match, but they were obviously not matched beyond that chunk of time as young adults. Does that in fact mean they were never well matched at all? Was it circumstance and their own youth's curiosity that made this affection? Whatever it was it made for good music!! It's also funny to find these two seemingly different people paired off - one so recluse and shy to live in a remote rural area, walking to the village bus stop to a nearby town to go to the same job every day, and the other traveling the world, three marriages later, having embraced fame and tumult. 

The chemistry of love is interesting and this is a case and point of that. (Though they do say Paul Simon is private as well.) My husband and I can be seen as different in several ways but that little heart dancer on the inside of our souls still move in fluid step with one another, without the words, blind beyond touch.
Love is a wonder!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V - Names that start with V

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I wanted to name her something with a V. I liked Victoria, Vanessa, and Valentina. I knew a really beautiful, morally-sound girl in college named Valissa (she is Greek). My grandmother's name was Vincenza. Vs are underrepresented in names, but to me, they all sound powerful, profound, a bit exotic and dignified. My perception is funny now because when I proposed some V names to my hubby years ago he made a distasteful face and said, "I knew a girl named Valentina in high school and she was a huge slut." I think this spoiled, self-disrespecting chick ruined all Vs for him!
So, we'll just say my V impression is quite different from his!! And our girl does not have a V name :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

U- unique

Be unique!!
This photo is from a field on my walk :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T- Teenagers

I hear such nightmares from people who have teenagers so I am scared for when mine grace me with their evolving, immature-frontal lobe, risk-taking brains. But I heard a piece on the radio (good old John Tesh) and he said that because our brains are so impressionable during those teenage, high school years that peer standing, pressure and self image, etc. have a real defining impact on our personalities. He closed by saying there is still a piece of us that will always be in high school! It made me laugh for a second, then think. 
Ultimately, what I wanted to do in reaction to hearing this is be nice to a bunch of seemingly defensive, unconnectable, snotty teenagers.  If this period of time is so intensely affecting to these young people, I would hope it's not terribly negative so that it follows them like a chipped insecurity for the next few decades. 
If you have one chance, albiet a 5 or so year span of time, to offer that teenager some tools that you want to see incorporated in their personality, try to remind yourself of that and stay in the game for those handful of years while they evolve. I'm sure it will be painful as a parent, and really, I can't offer much advice except keep trying! In that it is similar to many other phases of childrearing - just keep trying and trying and hopefully you'll infuse some positive stuff!! 
Parenting is such an enduring game, it's the brick by brick foundation seen as a whole, and every layer counts. Some may turn out crooked, some may even crack but if we keep at it, stay on the job and lay the brick, we will soon have a wall that our child can then continue to build up themselves to its fullest potential.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


As humans we have this feeling of scarcity all the time. And as a dietitian, this pertains to my work in how we are always on the quest for inner nourishment which often manifests itself into soothing ourselves with food. But as the creatures we are, it is in our DNA to search for things, because at one pint in our evolution, scarcity was a very real threat and a threat to our life. We have a tendency toward a feeling of emptiness, and like animals (or your dog :) they are always on the search for food. When they find food, the gorge on it, especially on foods that would be unusual or rare, like those that are high in carbohydrates. So, one thing to know is that this is not a character flaw. This is part of how we are made and evolved. Somehow, to know that your lack of willpower is not solely responsible for overeating is helpful for many to get it under control, though counterintuitive. Basically, you need to rewire and retrain your brain against its nature.
Aside from how this relates to my line of work, it is true of other aspects of life, the "keeping up with the Joneses" parts. 
Psychologist Rick Hanson, who has done tons of work illuminating how the brain works and how it relates to our sense of gratitude and happiness, suggests pausing in the ordinary moments of life and really internalizing the positive experience for a minute or two. He says if you do this a couple times a day, cumulatively, you will grow a true sense of happiness, which will lead of feeling emotionally "full", not lacking.

(How funny is this picture? That is a real bird's nest pice of furniture. I thought it relatable to this post because of the illusion of comfort in that nurturing period of life.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R- Raindrops

As I drive in my freshly waxed car
I see these drops, 
Most larger than normal,
Struggling to stay up,
Or stay down,
Only they know. 

One will join the next
Into a community drop
Poised in motion
Hoping to be the one who lasts

In this case loneliness is survival
With too much camaraderie,
Eventually the group succumbs. 
But those that stand firm
In their own voice
Will last the ride

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q- Questions


Questions are a great way to learn! Never be afraid to ask questions. If I have a dumb question, I'd ask it sooner than later because the more time goes by the more silly I'll feel. A dumb question to a newbie shows innocence, which is endearing after all. 
According to the great little book, The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, "We make also sorts of assumptions because we don't have the courage to ask questions." If you find the courage to ask questions, you'll be able to express what you want and find out where others are at, avoiding making assumptions which impacts our well being and contributes to inner turmoil. 
Communicate clearly and ASK QUESTIONS!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P- Parenting is Purposeful

Parenting is often not rewarding but purposeful. Yes, that statement meant to catch attention sounds strange, but what I mean is that the feeling of "reward" from being parenting doesnt fill the present moments as much as the nitty gitty moments of guidence and real PARENTING.
Day to day, moment to moment, there are more instructing and sometimes aggravating moments than blissful when parenting kids, of any age. Maybe this is the perspective of an overwhelmed mama, but really, parenting is disproportionately discipline (which is teaching and preparation) and instruction mixed with smaller amounts of open observation and also moments of joy. The joy really comes in reflection - back on the observation, back on their responses to discipline, back on the long trek up a mountain that got you to a certain peak. Its not always a smiling moment that brings joy to parenting, but the look-back on the months and years that brings paralyzing joy.
This is a project that is never finished. It is not a presentation that you've concluded at work or a huge puzzle that is finally together. The satisfaction will not come when the work is done because the work is never done. I guess this is why it is so challenging. You must keep on your toes, ready for the next change and anticipate how this will effect them in their ability to be a respectable adult, then execute your parenting course. 
I am not their "friend", I am their guide.
It is challenging to create something, then let it off to be its own creation. Like that puzzle - it's like spending days on a 3000 piece puzzle then finishing - and watching it morph, muddle up, bend, crack and slowly, slowly rearrange into its own scene. I can only watch and advice hoping a piece wont fall off the table. I can only tell them how I managed to get some of my pieces in line despite a gale and storm around a younger me. I can cringe as the theoretical puppy walks by sniffing to take a piece away with him. I can yell "That wont fit there!" Or I can bite my tongue while they try and flip, turn and force... only to come to the same conclusion without me. (Or like some of them, stubbornly jam a slightly larger pice into a smaller curve, and insist it fits, and insist they're right while every time their arm moves, they peel back a bit of puzzle flesh because it's awkwardly sticking out above a should-be-flush surface.)
Parenting is such a dance, with no guarantees, and heart swelling waiting around every turn.
Parenting is purposeful.

Friday, April 17, 2015

O- Open-mindedness

The other day, a child - we're talking between 6 and 8 year old, made several negative comments to my daughter about her religion. Obviously this was passed down from her parents, and I am guessing that with the emphatic nature that this girl said these things, the contention at home around religion must have been very high and very sensitive. We are catholic and live in the Deep South, but I have also heard of kids back north being made fun of because they were not catholic, but go to a christian bible-based church in the north. 
This is so ridiculous! 
They worship the same God and are supposed to have the same values of being Christ-like - but yet they are ostracizing and putting down someone for not being in their "club". 
This is not a post about religion, this is a post about open-mindedness and I am perplexed at how far we in this country have to go. Forgetting about the Middle East and the major problems outside of this country. 
My daughter should stick up for herself, but I also told her that when she suspects that someone is immovable on their stance, esp. on a subject like religion, than don't even bother giving it your energy and time. Let it go, let them feel right and move on, because more bad can come out of trying to convince an intolerant person you don't know well something just. When you've established someone is irrational, don't give it your time.
People can only change, or understand others if their mind is open enough to hear them. And when you realize that kids are already shutting their windows down at elementary age... you get worried for the future!
Keep your mind open.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N- when in doubt, write a poem

When something sits right
Stay by its side
Like a friend
Seen seldom in your harried life
Upon rejoining
Time lapsed only in wrinkles

A tessellation viewed from afar 
Is but two or three collapsed colors,
If that,
But steps that take advantage of
Serve to confuse
Beg to decipher

Toe touch your emotions and 
Bear we weight on your 
For one is the work of a master
And the other a fraud

Stare not into the pattern
Expecting your clarity
When within you carries 
all the knowing you need
As simple as a friend
Who's smile was never a mystery

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M - Moving

Moving. We're moving again. Moving and emptying out a house can be both cathartic and stressful. It is an immense project with a beginning and a very clear end. With tangible results, a project can be satisfying. But, there are many layers of stress to this move, as well as the last one that brought us here. For some people growing up, they moved so much, military families, etc. that this is no big deal for them. So I could make a huge deal out of a move, or just take it in stride, like all the other families. 

When I was unpacking this last time, I would rip off the tape on each box so that if packed again, the box would have fresh tape and adherence. I remember thinking that each time i took off the tape, a bit of box fuzz would go with it. I ripped and flattened, ripped and flattened, and came to think that with each move, we lose a little piece of our self, like the box. With each move, our core feels weakened a bit. 
But, each time we feel weak, we are actually getting stronger. Each box that looses some of its fuzzy soul learns to still hold the same contents. Each half millimeter gone allows the box to ask for help and accept an extra strip of packing tape it wouldn't have normally needed. It goes from "I'm strong, I'm perfect, I can handle it, I meet my edges perfectly, no big deal" to "I'm not so rigid now, I'm tolerant and flexible.Yes, I'll take a little extra tape."
So, in a way, we've been torn and drawn from moving so much, but in another we are resourceful and quite adaptable, which in this world, makes us stronger.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L - Letters

In retrospect, when I look at these letters to choose my topic for each A-Z blog post, I have found that I chose things that may not be the most paramount use of the letter in my life, and of course I blew A. I have passed family member names and a big 'ole disease that starts with C that has affected us, but I did not choose it for my C entry. Is that a good thing? It may be simply that creativity finds your true soul burrowed beneath all the kids and illness and circumstances and that is what matters when you write and paint and sing - that old you gets a chance to shine through. How freeing to find me in this format! 

It's like when they show you a picture and ask you to say the first thing you think of - it cuts back to the you you knew before you had a reason to analyze. 

I surrender to my letters!

Monday, April 13, 2015

K- Knots

K is a tough one. I actually looked in the dictionary and saw the word knot, which reminded me of Shipping News, a book by Annie Proulx, the talented woman who wrote the original short story that was Brokeback Mountain. In this book, she introduced the chapters with a picture and description of different knots.

Here, knots exemplify how the human experience is both versatile and variable.  They are certainly essential to nautical world, but to many other realms as well. It is interesting how they were woven into this book- (the book was quite boring to start so I am not encouraging anyone to read it here, it wasn't another Brokeback, but aside from that, the theme of the knots was memorable :)

Each specific knots has its own strength and way of connection - they are similar in a very simplistic way to relationships - and yet part of the beauty of knotting is that each knot can be tied and untied, made and remade, again and again. One of Proulx's themes was that some relationships must go through an examination of how they are bound to the past and how they can be loosened, remade or reformed into a totally different knot.

I love the idea that a simple rope can be twisted on itself in order to hold onto boats and docks and have a million other uses. Like our unimaginable strength when we are in the right frame of mind, the right knot. 

The reason I looked into Annie Proulx's writing is because Brokeback Mountain was a profound story. And in thinking of the knots and their symbolism in this movie, sometimes you get contorted into a knot that even if it is unwound, and forced open again, the kinks and turns from the last knot still remain, despite any new form it is put into. The muscle memory of the knot that held you best cannot really let you go. 

From The Ashley Book of Knots

Saturday, April 11, 2015


J to me a hook I find
like I've hooked your heart 
in kind
but as they say with rescued pets
who has usurped who?

In voice, a Blue Jay is there
solid and perfect no matter where
we could take a message from nature,
I see
God made us exactly as we should be.

A pirate, a whimsical story
to my children thats J in its glory
memories of mommy or daddy 
with imagination, nothing superseding.

J is just a letter
could start a word for hate or better
a simple alphabet could build the world
in words
or tear it down with ill intention.

Just joy.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I - Intuition

For I", I chose Intuition. And I am at a loss for a catchy, relevant story this morning, so I wrote a poem:

That chip behind your ear
the scratch under your nail
a wire of sudden hints
details do not entail

Mind that quiet creature
that rights your moral code
your gut stretches your torso
and can move you head to toe

But its nature is inconspicuous
and at first it trusts you full
until you avoid the effort
and cave into the pull

If you ignore it once
it may simply give a shrug
but twice you get a minor pinch
Then a screech if you get smug

Just ask yourself the question
"What is it should I do?"
and the first convicted answer
will ring for you as true

If we could listen to our gut
our quiet intuition
without an explanation
and rationalized suspicion

Then quicker our decisions made
and less the consequence
of emotion, or error, or fault
as guidance into life's suspense

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H- Homeschooling

I took on homeschooling my son for a few months in the end of a school year, for multiple reasons, and this temporary arrangement was the right decision for us and has taught us all a lot. It was a difficult decision to make but we knew it was right when the outcome was positive on all accounts.

I jotted down some reflections when I started homeschooling him, and here are a couple things I learned:

I have learned more about who he is and how he learns by teaching him and being with him all day.

When I am teaching him, I am very present. And that is peaceful.

He loves to learn anything! There are subjects I historically found boring but to see someone so interested, it makes me interested too. My curiosity grows vicariously through his.

Life will send you down bunches of situations from which you can learn and teach. Life is a classroom and that is no more apparent than when you are charged with teaching a moldable young mind.

Homeschooling or not, the flowing is true:

It is a huge responsibility to impart your angle on the world to a child. They will probably inherit your biases, your opinions, and your temperament. You could pass along political stances, religious beliefs, and prejudices. Wether inadvertently or purposefully, we perpetuate our mindset on to our children. This is both scary and beneficial- but it is in OUR HANDS which we had over more predominately to our kids- the fear or the benefit.

This is my boy using a typing program in his free time :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G - Gratitude

Gratitude. I bet a lot of A-Z bloggers will pick Gratitude. I am grateful for big and small things, and small things that could be big things. I am thankful for my sight and my hearing. I am thankful that my neck doesn't hurt and I don't have a tooth ache. I am grateful that I am safe and loved. 

I believe gratitude is an important piece of having a positive perspective on life so I started a Gratitude Bowl in my house and on my kids' daily chore sheet, adding to the Gratitude Bowl is on there - it's there like a chore, but really it's a reminder so that we actively practice gratitude. Not all things come inherently, day in and day out. We need reminders and tangible, frequent ones. They started by adding generic papers saying "my mom" or "my dad" and evolved to specific notes like my scooter, the Christmas tree, or my dog's nose. I hope this practice reminds them that there is always something to be thankful for and always a positive position to take amidst the unfairness that will inevitably come. 

The Gratitude Bowl, of course, overflowed because we've been doing this for about a year now, so it evolved to a drawer. When I look in this drawer, it warms my whole soul with a beauty that is almost painful. My little children have followed their chores and have written what was in their heart, that day, what made them happy, what they appreciate. I started the idea, but they've done it and liked it and surpassed any tangible example of practicing gratitude by any adult I know. It is overwhelming for me to look in that drawer. I am so grateful! I asked them to do it and they reflected back to me how it's done well. I hoped it would extrapolate for them into an adult life well lived, but they have showed me it's right now, each moment, that is gratitude inducing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F inspiration (...just kidding)

Something that inspires me that starts with the letter F.... the future. You could see the time ahead of you as grim and arduous, or see it as full of possibility and mystery and supremely engaging. Whether or not the future works out to be what you think as being in your favor, if it's not that good of a situation, it can teach you something. It can give you an experience with which you can teach someone else - there is something to be gained in all the experiences that will come. So either something good is coming, or a new tool in my mental tool case, or a new value that I will have for having lived through a bad thing. 
It makes it difficult to have this perspective when you're posed with the question, "So if XY happens you will be better off??" There are a lot of terrible XYs that could happen, but by me not wanting them will not ward them off. I have no choice in some of the things that happen to me, so with what I am given, my hopes and choices completely out of the picture, I will have this attitude. The future inspires me.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

E- Eve Ensler Quote

I listened to a TED talk with Eve Ensler and I took down two quotes that resonated with me:

"When we give in the world what we want the most, we heal the broken part inside each of us."

"Happiness exists in action. It exists in telling the truth and saying what your truth is, and it exists in giving away what you wan the most."

So if you didn't have security growing up or an unstable family, you could now work in some capacity with children in need, or be a consistent presence to someone, and would probably feel highly rewarded and fulfilled. If you always felt criticized growing up, you can offer your friends a nonjudgemental ear and heal yourself by giving her that. These are clear ties, but there are so many blurry ways to heal our selves in service of others. And I believe there is a way to give that to yourself and your recipient in your work, your home or your community. Look for what you do that feels good, and it probably just smoothed out an old crack on your heart. 

D is for Dog. My Reflective Dog Year

I have had a very reflective dog year. I lost one old girl and welcomed one young boy. In stepping back from it, it is symbolic of the cycle of life. But it feels dishonorable to my old girl to simmer her life down to the Capital letter at the beginning and the period ending her sentence. She was an experience and a slowly molding stream that ended up carving me out a ravine I never knew I had. She enabled me to love this new boy. And the sad part is that she gave me that gift, but in order for her to give it to me, like a little sacrificial savior, she had to die. 
She also emboldened my already strong thoughts on death, and honoring life during the dying time. (I have since become a hospice volunteer) Her death made her whole life enlivened. She died in a way that I can only hope for myself, and remained true to herself and her character her whole life. And now, I am so much more aware of this new puppy. I am aware of who I am and who he is and our interactions. I am able to reflect and learn from this divine animal. My old girl gave my new pup a mirror that he holds in front of me every day, and for that I send her a grateful thank you.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C - creativity, (plus a little commitment and character)

So I committed to doing this blog and tried to think of some ideas in advance knowing that when April came along, I'd be quite busy. And sometimes busyness squelches creativity. I have to schedule a moment from my brain to wander free in order to pluck inspiration, and then write. But when April 1st arrived, I forgot until I saw an email from a friend who is doing the challenge too. This was dinner time with a whole evening of busyness ahead of me - no good material was going to come out of me for an entry! So hence my first post for "A". But because I said I was going to do something, I must do it and I did. Better to stand up and say I am here, but I am not prepared, than to cower away in an unknown absence. (Even though there is only a tiny crew of people who read this blog... that is beside the point- do the right thing even if no one is looking :) So for C - commitment, character and creativity. 
Commitment -make them and follow through, even if it's not your best, be a person of your word, hence...
Character - yours.
Creativity - allow time to be creative. 

I once saw this quote:
"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better." John Updike

I like this because it reaches out to all those who say they are not creative. It broadens the definition of creativity away from the arts that we automatically think of - painting, song writing, etc. There is so much to being creative and so much benefit. Find your niche!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B for Books

B is for books. I choose to spend much of my free time with them, (not that I have a lot of free time) I love books, I love their spines looking at me. I used to work in nursing homes and sometimes I'd see one of the old ladies sitting in a sprint of sunshine through her window reading a book. Book after book, because there wasn't much else to do. And although they would complain to me about their physical ailments, and their situation really wasn't to be envied, I felt just a bit of jealousy for their time spent with books. Then I'd think When I retire, I'll read a whole lot of books!

I came across this quote about books this morning:
"I've always loved books. I'm passionate about them. I think books are sexy. They are smooth and solid and contain delightful surprises. They smell good. They... can be carried around and opened at will. They don't change. They are what they are and nothing else. " - Sue Townsend

No, books do not change tangibly, but our experience of them will. I could read one book, like Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh when I'm a teenager, then young mother, then retiree and have a whole new experience with the book each time. 

So here's to book! and heres a shelfie:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A- AN entry about keeping commitments

I commited to doing a blog challenge, A-Z blog, a letter for the days in April (more or less). Well, for today I just remembered now and have nothing to say because my mind is scurrying over the events of my day. So my blog is this- an entry for the sake of keeping my commitment :)