Vote for my son-last day, he’s in number 2 to win 10,000. to work on his car-Painkiller. His name is Spike=he’s in second place now, ends tonight-12/28/12
Our connections to each other, are what make us “human”.
Angels, elves, faeries, trolls, leprechauns, they’re all much more independent “beings” than human beings. Trolls will hide under a bridge and beat you up, but they don’t form gangs, with matching bandannas. Faeries can be friendly and sweet, but they’re much too flighty to be good parents, or medical professionals.
We are these flawed yet wondrous “beings”, due to our connections. Not to minimize our brains, physiques, or THUMBS! It’s just that loving, co-operating, learning, sharing, these are the BEST parts, of being human.
There was a time when I wrote fairly often. I have less interest, because I’ve lost my wonderful cheering squad of one-my Mom.
Whether or not she liked something, she was honest. THAT part is easy-I’m pretty honest and outspoken myself. However, she had the rare gift of finding the grain of goodness that exists in all people, all situations, and all blogs : ) . She led her conversation, with positive statements. Her first words, were kind ones. In sad situations, she looked for the silver lining, or the humor, or the important lesson that it afforded-the POSITIVE! THAT is difficult! I try to do that, but I’m not very good at it. <—–That statement, is proof!
If someone makes a careless remark, I often ascribe deep meaning to it. When friends or relatives make poor financial choices, or don’t follow through with what they promised, or should have done-I’m immediately disappointed. Somehow, my Mom was able to minimize the damage in such situations. My Mom could extract the one gem, in a pile of rubble, when others would have swept it all in the gutter. Finding the good, is like playing a game of hidden pictures, there is usually SOMETHING in there, if you look hard enough!
To act on faith or love (or whatever it was, that SHE had so much of) is one of the hardest things you can do. She did it , with speed and elegance! It was effortless and natural, for her. Until the end, each gesture or word, was the one most welcomed, or appreciated, by the listener. No matter what I told her, her reaction was always better than I thought it’d be. I never feared telling her the truth, because I knew she would (try to) see it my way. She never accused, or recriminated. That would be a HUGE challenge, for me. I could be a prosecuting attorney-I only lack the degree.
As I look on July 16th (the day my Mother passed away) it is with deep regret. Stupidly, I was not prepared for that. I used to brag “I’ll never feel guilt or regret about Mom, because we had so much time together”. I was wrong. Although she taught me a lot, I still had a lot to learn from her. That thought sinks in daily.
We were both teased often, about our extremely close connection. My Father’s statement, and it still makes me laugh, was “She’ll lie, and you’ll swear to it”. As with most humor, it’s the TRUTH in the statement that makes it funny, and makes you relate to it. IF she lied, I WOULD swear to it! I thought the world of her, it’s true! We were not very much alike. It was a mutual admiration society, and that’s why it was so gratifying, to both of us. We were meant to learn from each other.
In some ways, I wish she had been more like me-more adventurous, or at least, less home bound. She could have used a bit of my vanity-I’m a firm believer that a little hair combing, and a bit of mascara, can be a GOOD thing! I tried mightily to make her understand that the culottes, from the Blair catalog, were not that flattering.
We needed each other. As a human, she really needed MY help! As a spirit, I will ALWAYS need her help. I don’t know how much time I have left-but I hope to become all those wonderful things, that she already thought I was.
Lately I’ve been distracted, due to Pinterest. Not JUST Pinterest, but the whole world of photo bloggers, which Pinterest has plopped me square in the middle of! The talent, imagination and vision out there, overwhelm me, in a good way. It’s wonderfully entertaining to indulge my little fantasies of art and architecture, fine hotels and beautiful people. What beautiful people DO in fine hotels, would be pictures for an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT VENUE! Here, flowers and fairy tales, landscaping, FOOD (upper case) and dieting (lower case), are just a few of my new “boards”. I think I’m up to 29 now. For 11 weeks? I’ve been pretty much consumed by it. It’s already hard to remember my life, before Pinterest.
It seems to fill a void for me. One that I never knew existed, till I got there. An eye for beauty is a dangerous thing. I’ve acquired so many things through the years. You’ve all heard my travails about excess, and my great desire to simplify. It takes a lot of thought and work, to live simply! I’m trying, but I’m not there yet. Jack and I spent a few hours, over the weekend, moving furniture into my booths at the antiques mall, in order to sell it. Every Holiday, I go down and reconfigure my “spaces” to put seasonal merchandise out. I’ve already used up all the space that I SHOULD be allotted, here on earth!
Mental space, I still seem to have plenty of……….which is nothing to brag about, I guess. “Yes, there’s nothing but empty space, up there, between my ears!” Naaah, even MY brain is pretty cluttered up, with scathingly brilliant ideas, visions of sugar plums, and the like. Pinterest is a way to SHARE that vision, make a few smart ass remarks, and see what captures the imagination of OTHERS, all at the same time. It’s like collecting baseball cards, or the trade cards, of old. “I have a gorgeous sunset in Greece, and a classic painting of a brooding child, with golden curls………….what do YOU have?” But you don’t need to “trade”, you can have them all. They’re free. You can look at them, up close and personal, anytime you want to, and other people have the best ideas. All those things you WISH you’d thought of? Other people already thought of them, and posted them! NOW, they’re “MY” good ideas too!
Some things, you “like”. Some pictures or videos, you “repin” to your own board. If you’ve ever had fantasies of being an elementary school teacher (and I haven’t) you get to post these treasures, to your own little version of a public bulletin board (THAT, I always wanted to do, even as a student!) You have the FEELING of ownership, without the cost, the worry or time to take care of, dust, wash or move them. No need to rent storage space, or clear shelves, although there are plenty of tips, to help you FIND, or make space, at home.
Just thought I’d test a link. It works for me…………hope it works for you. If you feel like joining, I can send an invitation, the fastest way to get in.
Try it out, if you have time, because SOME times……..a picture IS worth a thousand words! Of course, some times, one kind word, can save you.
Much love, Jackie
The reason I’ve always liked school supplies, is that I am the QUEEN of Fresh Starts! Blank pages, call to me. “Fresh” is my favorite adjective. Although I’ll be revising, rehashing, and rethinking my life, (all year) I won’t be trading it in for someone ELSE’S. It will not be an altogether new life, or new year. I’ll be dealing with the same habits, good and bad, that I’ve already accumulated. I’l be living in the same place, and know the same people. The same creditors, will expect payment, even though I haven’t purchased ANYTHING in 2012………….yet. Most, will be unimpressed with my efforts to streamline, redefine, and perfect my “new” life. I mean………..I want to MINIMIZE expenses, but Comcast and Waste Management don’t care about all that! The world around me, will present the same obstacles it always does. When will the rest of you learn to CLEAR a path for me, and let me “fix” everything? MmmHmm, just as I thought…………never.
Luckily, I’ve learned to work around obstacles, and other people, pretty well. Somewhere around “Happy New Year 1999”, I learned to minimize the impact of third party criticism, and maximize the encouragement of those that really know, understand, and love me. It was just about then, that I realized, I’d better not just be a MEMBER of that club-I need to be the PRESIDENT!
I love all the posters with a crown, saying “keep calm and carry on”. Wish I could hang one in my room. But, I’m never going to be “calm”. It’s just not ME! I’m more like Ike and Tina Turner. I NEVER do ANYTHING nice and easy. This year, I EMBRACE the raw energy, that is me-it’s carried me INTO 2012, and I hope it carries me through it. Yet, there are no promises. It’s a lot like my job at Sears! The best I can do, for now, is to keep showing up, and do the best that I can. The rest, I leave to fate. It’s never a bad idea to look at all possible options, though. Many options are hidden from view, only because we we’re focusing on the present. Truth is, there are many possible work places, in my neck of the woods. In fact, I pass them, on the way to MY workplace, I just ignore them, because I’m focused on my past, and present………at Sears. A little bit of “future think”, combined with responsible “living in the moment”, should contribute to what I hope will be- “a very good year”.
My favorite part of today, will be the recollections of people that have left this veil of tears-Amy Winehouse, Andy Rooney, Joe Frazier, Steve Jobs, Nick Ashford, Dan Wheldon, Mikey Welsh (of Wheezer), Cliff Robertson, Betty Ford, etc.etc. I prefer to immerse myself in appreciation, for the contributions that other people have already made. The suspense of the first baby born, doesn’t intrigue me. Especially today, when so many births are planned, and timed. When deliveries are induced, and rewards are given, it’s too phony. If you’re relying on a stopwatch, and honest record keeping, it’s no longer fun to see “who’s first”.
It’s funny and sad at the same time, that getting drunk is something so closely associated this Holiday. If there’s anything that makes sad memories sadder, it’s alcohol. If there’s anything that gives you a poor start, on a new day, it’s alcohol. I’m super glad that it’s never been a huge lure for me. Especially since I start work at 7 am tomorrow, to start a new week, AND a New Year!
I wish you all the best, and the ability to accept the rest. It’s not all fun and games-but you didn’t need me to tell you that! Health, and wealth to you………….I find that happiness usually comes along for the ride, if you have those.
How is a “home” made?
“Anywhere I hang my hat”, or more accurately, “throw my jeans”, is home- to some. For most of us, it takes more than that, to feel “at home”. I’m “at home”, living with my Mom, but it’s still not MY home.
Living alone, has never been my preference. I’ve done a bit of it. Enough to realize it ISN’T my preference, at least. I lived in a very traditional home, growing up. I created a somewhat traditional home, when I married, and had my sons. Apartment living, I’ve found, is just as comfortable as living in a house. In some ways, it’s easier. In all ways, apartment living is more expensive. If money were no object, I’d live in a Westin Hotel. It’s a pretty big chain, so I could see a good bit of the US, just staying with them.
I don’t think The Westin is a viable alternative (at over $100.00 a night) but I would be comfortable and entertained with THAT plan, for sure. So, I’m dreaming of my next move, and trying to figure out, what, in the long run WILL keep me happy and warm, for a little less money (a LOT less, actually). This winter has convinced me-I’m a Florida girl, after all. Not by birth, but-I’ll probably die here. As mentioned to a friend……….I’m postponing THAT part, for a while, if I can.
How we, as individuals, view comfort, varies greatly. Pets, trees, entertainment, transportation, safety, beauty, climate, convenience, proximity to medical facilities, there’s a limitless group of variables. Pools, spas, paved areas, natural areas, gardens, skylights, windows, privacy, ease of maintenance, not having to climb stairs……..what’s important to YOU, may mean nothing to me-and vice versa.
Closet space, is a big one…….for fashionistas. I’d rather have some shelves and drawers for my “play clothes”-and almost all of my wardrobe, is in that vein. I’ve had gardens. I’ve grown flowers and tomatoes. I’d find it more cost effective (and I’d stay a lot cooler) if I bought an occasional bunch of longer stemmed flowers (3 bouquets for $10. at “Publix” the great Florida supermarket) and a basket of tomatoes, for $4.- at the local farmer’s market, each week.
If the people across the street have a nice garden, I’d have some great (free) photo ops-with less time on my knees. Especially if they’re at work during the day (I’m devious, like that) In fact, I once used up some film, in a rented video camera, by jumping out of the car-in front of the premier nursery in town. Saying things like “my zinnias are coming in nicely”, I bent down, to lovingly show them off, by cupping them in my palm, toward the camera, as my son filmed it all. Of course, the flowers were maintained by a team of pro’s! This, was for my own amusement, and long before YouTube. But keep that in mind, and have a BIT of skepticism, when YOU watch YouTube videos……or get pictures from relatives!
Likewise, the shade of someone ELSE’S tree, can cool YOUR house, for free! If that tree is struck by lightning (which happened to the huge pecan trees, in my old yard) it wouldn’t be MY thousand dollars spent on tree removal, either!
It might be too much to hope for, but developing a relationship with someone else, who HAS a pool, works out pretty well too. When I had a pool and spa, I felt very much like a chemist. Chlorine, algaecide, clarifier/ shocking, balancing, skimming, vacuuming-I was only too happy to share the use of the pool, that cost me so much time and effort. If someone offered to oversee the kids, as they swam-that was a Godsend. If someone had offered help with pool expenses, or maintenance, they’d have lifetime pool privileges-as far as I was concerned!
I guess the biggest issue, with comfort, lies in being with some ONE, with whom you can PEACEFULLY and HAPPILY co-exist. That one, I have covered. Then, it’s a matter of feeding your senses, while keeping the tab within your means. Just as I looked for a “rate” at the Westin ($79.! YAAAYY!) and use 2 for 1 coupons, at restaurants-there are WAYS to do EVERYTHING, for less.
Feel free to ad YOUR tips, for life on the cheap!
Last Sunday, I attended a gathering, in honor of my friend’s son. A wake. He had passed away, due to unnatural causes. It was the end, that was almost expected, in one way or another, when every other resource had been exploited. To lose a child, must be the most gut wrenching experience that any human being can endure. My friend, had suffered through it twice. Once with an infant, and this time, with a son in his forties.
My Mom, has also been down this road, a couple of times. It’s a path, that as a mother of two, I can’t afford to travel-ever!
Another friend, struggles through the SURVIVAL of a “child” that lost her way……….a good while back. That road, is another, that’s awfully hard to navigate. When do you extend “tough love”, and let them “hit bottom”? When do you give a “hand up”, extending a second (or 48th) chance? Intervene? Or butt out? Good parents try hard to trust, and to love “unconditionally” ! (I still hate that word.) To keep going, to keep trying to reconnect, with those that don’t make any of it easy, is sometimes HARDER, than accepting an inevitable and unfortunate fate. It’s a lifetime of hanging by your fingernails, at the EDGE of the LEDGE………..till the child (or parent) passes away. All love, is tough love.
The good, the brilliant, the healthy? They,(I mean “we”!) all struggle, at some point. I remember when people looking for a date, or partner, used to say “no emotional baggage”. I’ve always wondered if those making the request, ever found ANYONE, that fit that description.
Whether by courtesy of genetics, or environmental factors, most of us have some sort of physical problem too. It’s ticking away, silently. We are time bombs. We just don’t know WHEN we’re set to go off. Knowing that, creates a lot of MENTAL problems too………….so don’t think about it! Okay?
Physically, mentally, emotionally…….maybe even spiritually, we’re all pretty frail. We all need love and kindness, just to get through the day, let alone the night. I’d hate to make it anyone’s job, to love me “unconditionally”. Why challenge those, that have a struggle of their own? I don’t think I’d even appreciate it, if those that loved me, loved everyone “unconditionally”. Unconditional, is the stuff of God-not mere mortals. Why not be as bad as I want to be, or stay as obliterated as I can, or sleepwalk through life?
Because I want to INSPIRE love, by living my life- AWAKE!
When I started blogging 4 or 5 years ago, it was tremendously therapeutic, yet fairly private. It’s STILL fairly private, but far less therapeutic. Less soothing, equals more challenging. I try MIGHTILY to be funnier, smarter, more insightful, creative, and poetic. All, while being less repetitive, and more surprising. Why? It’s all in an effort to keep up with the folks who are all of those things-effortlessly. Or so it seems, from the outside, peering in.
“Effortless” and “success” are two words that shouldn’t even be found in the same sentence. Even when you hear about someone dirt poor, hitting it big in the lottery, it was rarely their FIRST, or only ticket. Sometimes they BECAME dirt poor, by purchasing losing lottery tickets……for years! We forget that “Gamblers Anonymous” is a bigger group than ” Former Lottery Winners”. It’s not a coincidence, that pawn shops exist in cities WITH casinos, in greater numbers, than they do in cities WITHOUT casinos. Every horse track, every line for lottery tickets, every slot machine generates a certain amount of money BECAUSE hope springs eternal, in the human heart. You’d THINK that the concept of “easy money” would get harder to swallow, since there are so many “losers” For every man that loses his shirt, come two more that can’t wait to lose theirs.
For every “star” there are 52 “wanna be’s” and 22 “has beens”. For every money making band, there are 346 that never get out of the garage. You could NOT open a neighborhood book stand with the small number of books chosen by Oprah’s Book Club, or The New York Times. From thousands of manuscripts, a handful are read. Fewer YET, are “chosen” to go into print. Of those that go to print, even fewer sell. The REST, are the reason there will always be Warehouse Book Sales, and Giant Book Clearinghouses.
We need a LITTLE optimism, just to lift our head from the pillow. We may SAY that we’re “atheists” or “skeptics” or cynics, but we still think that SOMEHOW………our ship will come in. We believe in true love, and see a glimmer of it- in our own, or someone ELSE’S life. When we LOSE, we say “nice guys finish last” . We all believe that WE are the nice guy! When we’re FIRST in line, or the winner at the casino, or the most beloved? We think, “I deserve this”. We don’t……at THAT time, look over our shoulder and say “awww, look-way back there! There’s that NICE guy, finishing last. I’ll give HIM this prize!”
When we look at others, we see them in the rear view mirror. We see a pale reflection of what goes on…. back there. We fill in the fine detail, from memory of “similar” circumstances. We have an idea of what “they” are like. If/when we DON’T have cancer or heart disease, we assume it’s BECAUSE we have great habits, or, a strong genetic heritage, that protects us. When we hear about others? We figure that “they probably smoked all their life”. When someone we LOVE gets cancer, we say “life isn’t fair, only the good die young”. We KNOW them, we LOVE them, we see them up close and personal. It can NOT be their fault.
We all make good choices…….. and bad ones too. In different ratios, of course. I like to think that I make BETTER choices than most. You probably like to think that TOO! And you know what? You’re right! We have to give our SELVES the benefit of a doubt, because few OTHERS are willing to do that FOR us. They don’t KNOW us, or love us. They don’t see US, like WE see us (or, the others that we love.) They don’t see how great my hair looks today, or know how hard YOU worked, to move those heavy shelves to the other side of the room, thereby making the room look larger, and letting the light in! They don’t see us, or know us, or love us, up close and personal. They see US in the rear view mirror.