I have never been a fan of making resolutions. Like most diets, they are broken rather quickly. A very simple rule is reigning in the missing dwell. My husband and the life we lived together. Concentrating less on the voids and filling those wells of sadness with what I have in my life. Occasionally, the pity party invitation arrives, whether welcomed or not, but I have learned, not to stay too long. I have my glorious memories and his energy and spirit for life. Going through the motion with no emotion is not emotionally healthy, and that is the time for the grateful list to come out. You don’t necessarily have to write it all down, but if it helps, go for it. I do quietly in my mind, and then realize it is so much longer than the other list, and just like that, a down mood lifts and the joy cover comforts. I wish everyone a New Year filled with good health, silliness, joy, laughter galore, and peace, for all you love and who loves you. Happy 2015
Archive for December, 2013
A little metaphor based on Rainbow Bridge.
You see them all over town. On the ground, in the subway, on the bus, on top of the mailbox, outside a taxi, inside a taxi. A single glove just sitting there all alone. Sometimes covered in dirt, rain, or snow. No match in sight. Sad little glove. Actually they come in all sizes and colors. So this is a story about a lost glove. I am giving this one a personality. The glove felt useless because it was no longer in use. Nobody wanted one glove. The little glove had nowhere to go, but be put in a drawer and not be used again. The little glove wondered how it’s match was lost, it happened so fast. On a lap perhaps and fell off when someone stood up, left on a counter, fell out of a pocket? Oh well, how much time can be spent on why and how it happened. It happened and the glove wasn’t really a glove anymore. Just a thing, not keeping anyone warm and cozy.Oh well, at least I wasn’t thrown in the garbage. One night the glove fell asleep and had the most wonderful dream. Walking across a beautiful bridge built over a lovely pond. The glove found itself over the bridge, and in a land unlike anything ever seen before. Surrounded by scented flowers of every color, rainbows covering the sky, mood evoking music playing and way far away in the distance, the little glove saw hundreds and thousands of gloves of all sizes and colors dancing and singing, and laughing. All of a sudden, silence…quiet..and very quickly a very large dark leather glove came up to the little glove and said “Welcome to the Land of Lost Gloves. We have a surprise for you little one…and then it happened. In the distance, her match, her mate was coming right up to her, and they were together again, never to part..and they lived happily ever after in Gloveland.
How about Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men, Women, Children, and Animals…..Let Kindness Reign…Please… This was originally written December 23, 2013. What has changed for the better? Innocent people are still being killed. War is still with us. Child and animal abuse still going on. Women still struggling to have rights. When do things get better? Trump or Clinton will actually do something that hasn’t been done before? I try to live a positive mellow life as best I can, but not feeling safe in my own city is frightening, and that is getting worse not better. I meditate and practice yoga and the philosophy of Buddhism, but at times, the news that I try to avoid is always there. The simple answer is just to live our own lives with kindness and the larger answer? There are no answers.
May all who reads this be healthy, safe, and find joy in your life..Happy Holidays to All and to All……May 2016 be filled with Peace on Earth. I wish…..
Perhaps it has to do with the holidays, perhaps it has to do with being alone, perhaps it has to do with the end of something, perhaps it has to do with no new beginnings in sight. Who knows what really causes one to feel down. I hesitate to use the word depressed, because it is so overused. TV commercials galore boasting of this pill or that pill to lift your depression. My brother has been a psychiatrist for over 50 years and he has always said that there are no happy pills, and most suffer from what they consider to be an unhappy life, or the inability to deal with life, and there are no pills for that ailment. What they are? Mood elevators, as he put it “life still sucks, but you can deal with it.” I have chosen another road when feeling down or sad. I chant, go down the good stuff list, get out and about. But, then again there are those times that you just have to let it in and hope for a quick exit.
Sadness arrives, and if your emotional tools kick in… it passes. I know women who are alone, and prefer it to the unhappy marriages they had. One woman, when I was on a hotline, told me she was more alone when she was married. Everyone suffers occasionally I am sure from feeling low, no matter how long your grateful list is. For me, when I am down, the one void on my not so grateful list overtakes all the good stuff, and then I have to reign it all in, and work on myself. I never chose therapy. My family and friends as I have said so many times before, are my emotional transfusions..Most of the time I don’t bother my children because I have friends who feel exactly the same way, and we relate to one another, talk about it, cry about it, and then magically, but not really magic but hard work, it leaves. It lifts and the sun comes out again. I don’t numb myself with many pills or alcohol because I’m afraid of overusing. Not one to judge what works as long as it’s positive. Not against a little Xanax to sleep . So would a new love make everything all better. Sure, I would be happier to have another soul mate, but even though I still have hope, I don’t obsess about it. I need to live the life I have and relish in the things I have. We can never ever take good health for granted. So good health, thankfully, nourishing family and friends, and living in, for me, the best city in the world. So now you have it, I started this post in a funk and already feel better. A friend wants me to audition to do a one woman act and sent me the information. I have to decide by January 3, and one minute I think “why not, if not now when?”
…and then I think “have you lost your mind?” I haven’t decided, just thinking about what material I would do. 35 years ago Jack Rollins wanted to sign a woman comic, and a writer I was working with at the time on material, wanted to do it. She was the one who got us the meeting. I was in my early 40’s and didn’t think I wanted to be a stand up comic. My jobs at the time…. wife, mother and volunteering. We went to the Jane Street Cafe since that was where we were going to perform. It never happened because I wasn’t going to take a risk. Mr. Rollins soon signed Paula Poundstone. He was a gentle man and a gentleman with great class and kindness. In every Woody Allen film, he is listed as Executive Producer. He is about 98. I have no regrets about that decision, but this new opportunity? Maybe I would have regrets for not trying, and there are no guarantees I would be chosen. One has to audition, and you have to be over 40. That is one requirement I can say with certainty I fit in. So whoever took the time to read , I would like the message to be life affirming. .Not about sadness, but about living in the moment with joy. I wish all a Healthy Happy New Year and may 2014 be filled with joys galore….and some dreams actually coming true.
The holidays, any holiday, but there are holidays, and then there is a holiday season. The holiday season is what I’m addressing. It’s that time of year, when applying behavior modification has to be very strong. By that I mean, think only of what I am grateful for, and not my voids. Controlling your thoughts may be one of the most difficult emotional tasks. It can be done, but requires work and energy. A favorite quote of mine is from the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin… “One should become the master of one’s mind rather than let one’s mind master him.” The words certainly seem easy enough, putting them into action, not so easy..The investment of effort brings positive results. First I try not to go back into my other life when the holiday season was full of joy and excitement. Festivities galore, topping it all off with a very formal New Years Eve. The ultimate joy of being with someone I loved and who loved me back. My husband. I am not going into all the details, because then I will be stuck in a time warp. Dwelling and longing for the past is not healthy for me and I love this Russian Proverb. “Longing for the past is like chasing after the wind.” Memories are lovely, but the longing can become obsessive and that I what I am trying to avoid. A wonderful happy life affirming event will be happening soon in my life. A dear niece of mine and her husband are about to give birth to their first child within a week or two, a most joyous occasion. Christmas with my family will be lovely, and a fun grab bag dinner with two special friends, and if weather permits, a New Years early supper with a friend who is exactly on my spiritual level, and we have some very interesting conversations. So, my holidays will be about family and friends, and if I get down, poignant words are never far from my mind. A Wally Lamb quote. ” I cried because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.” So one and all, I wish Happy Holidays and all good wishes for the New Year. Merry? Merry!!!! A wonderful new addition to the family and on Dec. 31 the new little girl will be one. She has brought such joy to her family. Happy 2015 and may the New Year be filled with many joys for all.
I define myself as apolitical. Very little understanding of politics and politicians. A recent article in the New York Times echo’s my feelings and I quote from David Brooks, The Stem And The Flower. ……………………………” In an act of amazing Public Service, I have not written a column in three weeks. In the course of that time, I’ve stepped back from politics, a bit, and thought about other things. That naturally raises the question: How much emotional and psychic space should politics take up in a normal healthy brain?” He goes on to say, “If you live in a functioning society, you can say politicians are just a bunch of crooks. But if you live in a place without rule of law, where a walk down a nighttime street can be terrifying, where tribalism leads to murder, you know that politics is a vital concern.” I’m not going to re-write the entire article and will end with his last paragraph. If interested in reading, you can google the article in its entirety. ” I figure that unless you are in the business of politics, covering it or columnizing about it, politics should take up maybe a tenth corner of a good citizen’s mind. The rest should be philosophy, friendship, romance, family, culture, and fun. I wish our talk show culture reflected that balance, and that the emotional register around politics were more in keeping with its low but steady nature.” Thank you David Brooks, I can now be totally apolitical, without guilt.
Turns out, it seemed like a good idea at the time—–wasn’t…..I have several teenagers as Facebook friends and hundreds on Twitter. I recently read, and you can google for more information, that more and more college admissions officers are checking applicants Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages.
If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
Holiday time , and once again looking forward to spending precious time with family and friends. Over the years, I have noticed , many have fewer friends and family to share this special time with. It saddens me to observe, and makes me forever grateful to have the treasured people in my life, that I value heart and soul. Difficult to express when it runs so deeply. Just returned from almost a month visiting my brother and family in Virginia. My “sister” his wife, makes me feel loved and cared for, there are no words to fully describe. I don’t want to gush because it would embarrass, but she knows how much I dearly love and appreciate her being in my life. My visit is like being at a spa where the food is nutritious, delicious, and homemade. The night I returned to my home ,quickly called the little cafe across the street and ordered take out. WHAT a difference. I posted pictures of my greeting when I arrived. Beautiful flowers and goodies I relish. Everyday was special with lovely memories. My niece and her two daughters, my GREAT grandnieces, whom I adore, give me overwhelming joy with their love. . The entire family radiates good feelings, and makes me realize how easy family can be when it works. Volunteering on a hotline called Women In Self Help many years ago, taught me that family can be most destructive. The people you so need in your life to love and understand you are just not there. I had such an issue many years ago, and have put it where it belongs, In the past. Living in the moment works best for me. I have too many people in my life who “get me” to dwell on that which is negative. My wonderful husbands niece, since his untimely death ten years, has called me everyday. Another emotional jewel to treasure.
So for this holiday season, I reflect and give thanks to all that make my life so full. My sons, my “daughter” my granddaughter and my two grandsons. My Virgina joys…. The rest of my family and friends of so many years, and new friends that are not really new. My belief….. people are in your path for reasons……forever long friendships, or experiences that teach and turn into life’s lessons.
As 2014 comes to a close, I wish all , including mothernatureisaman and Twitter followers, all that you wish for yourselves, and if I can give just a few words of wisdom. Your health is the most important aspect of your life. Take care of yourselves by eating nutritionally, exercise, and get to really know and love yourself. To be your own best friend may sound banal, but it’s one of the most important relationships you will have. The only one that is 100% everlasting. Having the capacity to love and be loved is essential, and be forever grateful for all in your world who know the meaning of those words.
2015 May it be a year filled with joys!!!!!!!!!
New York Times today, December 1st, has a small blurb written by Sarah Moroz, about the British fashion photographer Tim Walker. He has a new project called “The Granny Alphabet.” A collection of pictures of grandmothers. some of his first models were his 80-year old neighbors. The book is meant for children and the models are dressed in a whimsical way and paired with the letters of the alphabet. “There is beauty and elegance in age that isn’t celebrated enough,” Mr.Walker said……In my opinion a major understatement, especially in this country where the “older woman” is just an old woman. So as I said once before, you can either become old and older or old and interesting. Given the choice, I choose interesting!!