30Nov

She Thinks She Knows Everything

Cadence F5E4F86C-76B0-40BD-B991-E01F03088653 AD383B8A-E189-430B-A03E-D4517F497421 67B15615-7638-4D98-934D-F4FDA95C9B90 7CC16644-729A-4F82-A910-B71D640B2D67 A96AD6F8-8EF9-4783-AC44-5FCA02031301 5BE24DC8-DDFC-4471-B933-4EAB0C1E43E4 17E71E81-FFA3-4652-9045-4CE43A0B384D 3678D167-D957-497D-B35A-8BE22E640BD3And why not, she has certainly earned it?  She is not the simpering miss telling people what to do just to prove power.  Instead she is a strong and experienced woman, who does know.  She knows you.

Yes she understands you, and yes, you are even a bit scared of her.  You are scared of the depth of her understanding.  She reminds you of your mother, or perhaps your grandmother.

Maybe she is prettier than you, or smarter than you.  Maybe she is successful and has power.  Perhaps she has more money than you or a handsome husband.

So you hate her and you want to hurt her.  She has done nothing to you, except to be.  You will try very hard to destroy her .  You don’t need evidence that she has committed a crime, All you need is your own fear of her.  You are afraid that she knows you, you are afraid that she is “better”than you, so you will not forgive her.

You will do anything to destroy her and remove her, how dare she be better than you, how dare she be better than a man?

Her name is Hillary Clinton.

We can do better, as women, we will do better.

It’s time, we must take back our power and we will.  We will take back our power by working together, by supporting each other and by believing – in each other.

 

08Oct

Worrying Crowds my Brain and Pain makes Me Dumb

I have made a couple of poor decisions in the last couple of weeks, and, I cannot apologize.  Those decisions have come from a brain crippled with worry.  At my age, one gets very good at disciplining the emotive side of the brain.  My brain leans towards the analytical thinking side on most days anyway.  But, when I worry for my children, I turn into a full blown idiot.

There is something primal about love for children.  Specifically, it is a love that has no cause, it is simply consuming; part of the universal law of survival.  To concern ourselves with our offspring is to ensure that life goes on.  Perhaps this is why parental love is so enduring and encompassing.  It must be, or humans would perish from the earth.  (I digress.)

My daughter, my youngest, coincidentally, also the smallest.  She is the fiercest mother I know.  She has had to be, the challenges are astronomical.  I have heard that her situation is more and more common in today’s world.  My daughter is held hostage 800 miles from her home and family because of the fact that she had a child with a resident of a state that she visited.  This hostage situation has turned into the worst nightmare for her and (of course) by extension to her family.

The most common activities that I can take for granted with my other grandchildren are an impossibility.  My daughter has two sons, both handsome, smart and kind.  I cannot see them unless I buy a plane ticket and they are an impossible driving distance away.  (But enough about me.)

Imagine my daughter’s life, no familial support, an ugly and mean man as the father of one of her sons.  Every time she works she needs a paid babysitter, must do all of the driving, and all details of life sit squarely on her shoulders.  Getting the boys to school Monday morning can be a huge ordeal because her work schedule may keep her into the wee hours of the day.  Most difficult, most painful, is the fact that she is alone – and for the time being – nothing can change that.  So when a trauma occurs; can you imagine the length of the long distance calls?  When that trauma cannot be remedied; can you imagine the tears cried into a pillow, no strong shoulder to cry on here?  When the worry for her children cannot be abated, the suffering begins to show in her body, her eyes, her life.  Because this suffering has gone on so long, it becomes a pervasive part of this life.

I know for sure that this suffering will end.  It has been going for so long, I know that it must stop.  In the meantime what damage has been done?  What hurts have been internalized?

I also know for sure that the best path for me is not to be her mother and tell her what and how to do.  This fierce woman is in survival mode.  My best path is to be the quiet and kind friend.  Please, please God, deliver us from this evil and give me back my daughter and grandsons.

17Sep

Why Do We Have to be Strong A.L.L. the Time?

It is as if, there is shame in weakness.  Worse yet, illness is a condemnable offense.  I don’t understand this, because as mothers, we realize that there are good days and bad days.  As mothers, we don’t hesitate to provide love and care to our family members no matter who and what they are, or how they behave.

My challenge is this: why aren’t we women defining society?  We understand, we acknowledge the different faces of the human condition.  As women, we should be defining the societal structures of being human in America.  It’s ok to be weak, it’s ok to be sick, it’s ok to be ignorant, why add insult to injury and shame those less capable than the strong?

This strength thing has become its own illness, in the sense that lots of people say and think, “I don’t need anyone and I don’t need anything.”  This can go past the point of wisdom and could even cause self harm.  Look at those who die after refusing medical help, or women who are murdered by a husband or boyfriend because they refuse to go to the police?

This norm of strength is fostered by our society.  Perhaps it is the pushback from the way people are treated when they are in economic need.  Our society is not very nice to the poverty stricken, but again that is because we all believe in this notion that strength is enough to overcome anything.

Needy people are normally put down, made fun of, ostracized and of course, they are deprived of very real and very normal opportunities.  This can become a hamster wheel of frustration along with denial that keeps those in need – in need.

How do we balance all of this out?  Strength and weakness, need and satisfaction?  How do we ensure equality in spite of the fact that not all humans are strong?  Those that are strong, what price do they pay to exhibit that strength?

Mother and Son, modern life

15Sep

To Women Everywhere

PinterestMM by WarholI hope you are beautiful for as long as you want to be.  And I hope that when you lose your beauty that you love yourself enough that you don’t care what happened to your beauty.

I hope you admire the beauty in others.  I hope you know that you are as important as any other human being and as important, that you treat other women as if they are important also.

We deserve to be loved for our being.  We don’t deserve to be thrown away at age 40.  We have the power and with each other, we are ridiculously strong.  It is up to us to redefine the social structure.  It’s up to us to make women important, to make beauty unimportant.  It is up to us to give meaning to just being.

We can’t possibly create equality if women will not support each other.  It is just too difficult to navigate through society and to deal with another woman’s hatred, jealousy or condescension.  How can we show the world women’s strength and power, if what we do to each other is brutal?

So please be beautiful inside and out, proud and happy with your looks, with your brain and with other women.  It’s our only route to equality and ultimately to equanimity.

 

25Mar

Stop Telling Me How and What to Eat

I don’t know everything about food and nutrition.  But there is no way that you know more than I do. I am 58 years old, I am fairly intelligent and I love good food.  I have spent my entire life in the kitchen, that is 50, count them, fifty years.  I am also engaged.  I listen, I read.  I know enough to know that gluten free is a fad unless you have celiacs disease, do you?   How old are you, 24?  You have not been alive as long as I have been cooking.  You are presumptuous, you are ignorant enough to think you have the answer, even though you have asked no questions of me?  You know nothing of me.

Who are you to tell me that cauliflower is better for me than potato, you put butter on them and they become the same?

The fact of the matter is that women my age need 400 less calories per DAY, not week, not month, but day, every day.  That’s right, because older women need less calories, we often gain weight.  Do you know why women my age need less calories?  Because for the last million years older women have sacrificed their own needs for others eventually responding to “survival of the fittest” we made our bodies work on less.  We just don’t need as much as men or as the young.  We get by, we thrive, we live on less.

Now, in this day and this age, women my age don’t need to eat less, because there is more food in this world.  We just need more patience to put up with people who give advice without knowledge.

30Jan

Letters to My Granddaughters

Letters to my Granddaughters;

  1. Understand that there is billions of dollars in advertising aimed at you *to get you* to believe certain things that the marketing industry is selling: Here I state the opposite of those commercials.
    1. You do NOT need expensive shampoo to get clean hair.
    2. You do NOT need an expensive hair color to feel “worth it”.
    3. You do NOT need to buy $231.00 of make up to “feel pretty”.
    4. You do NOT need to wear size 2 in order to be sexy, or pretty.
  2. You are being virtually bombarded with untrue images of women on a minute-by-minute basis.
  3. Use this information to gain what you want, not to be what “they” want.
  4. Do not believe that your life is about sex and sexuality: it is not. Sex is an important part of life, yet it is only a part.
  5. What you look like and who you are is separate, it is not the same.

Listen, listen to your body.  Again, the advertising industry wants you to believe that you need, or you must purchase something in order to have good health or perfect digestion.  Your body will tell you what you need.  Read research on appropriate self care, and then listen to your body.  Your body will tell you what kind of vitamins you need and when.  I did in-depth research about why I was craving chocolate before my menstrual cycle.  I found out that I was missing a crucial dose of magnesium.  I began taking magnesium for a week each month and I was able to get chocolate cravings under control.

Listen, listen to your intuition.  Your own intuition will never steer you wrong.  You know when you are making a mistake, when that voice in the back of your head starts screaming “Stop!”, listen to the voice, it is your own voice, it never steers you wrong.

Be proud of who you are.  I was 13 years old when I became aware of ‘Jordache’ jeans.  I remember thinking “I don’t want someone else’s name on my behind.”  There is no designer who is as good about your looks as you are and you can be proud of that.

This is letter number one, there is more, so much more to being a woman.

28Jan

We Must Take Action

Take Action

23Jan

My Quest for a Perfect Appearance

New Years Eve 2016

New Years Eve 2016

No one notices it quite like I do. No one is at all concerned about the perfect match of my earrings to my outfit. I was quite deflated when I realized this. But then, something happened, I became immersed in my own standards. To heck with whether or not others realized that my lipstick was a perfect match for my fingernail polish, I realized it and I cared. At some point, I became the approver of my perfect appearance. When that happened, I was relieved! I didn’t become less caring about my appearance, I was the same.

21Jan

Our Brain Can Change the Reality of History… And What is the Point of Guilt?

My own mother evoked gratefulness and love.  I am not sure why I was particularly present with her, but I was.  I invited her to be with me as much as possible.  Before my mother passed away 21 years ago, we spent an entire day together, one on one and I enjoyed every minute.  She was the kind of woman you could feel comfortable with and it was easy to respect her.  When she died, I didn’t feel regretful because I told her over and over again “I love you, Mom.”  ”You are the greatest mom.”

For Ella Mae, my mother-in-law, it was quite a different matter.  When she passed in 2005, I had not prepared in the same way I did my mother.  I loved her and told her so, but she never knew how important she was to me and our family.  Because she was a formal woman, there just was not the casual love that was available in my family of origin.

I have valued Ella Mae more in retrospect, than I ever did while she was alive.  My own mother knew how much I valued her, I wrote cards and letters and expressed my joy and love in many different ways.  Ella Mae, not as much.  I am very grateful for her contribution to our family and for this reason, I have for the last 12 years been valuing her “things”.

I know better than most that guilt is no replacement for current action and present love, and yet, here I am indulging in guilt because I did not treat her the way that I would want to treat her today.  I find myself thinking “I must hang onto to Ella Mae’s china so that I can pass it on to my daughters.”  Why would I want to imbue value onto the china if I didn’t feel some measure of guilt?  I didn’t value Ella Mae enough while living and so now I must value her china to show the kids how important that she was.  It’s just not necessary with my mother’s things because her value was so well established while she lived.

In this case, I think the point of guilt is so that I can convince myself that I loved her enough and that she knew it.  If I didn’t love her enough while she lived, I am trying to make up for it.  This is a burden for all of us.  It is a burden that I do not wish to bear, nor do I believe that there is any way to make up for my behavior once someone has passed away, nor will I make promises about future behavior.  I simply must say that Ella Mae gave us much, she taught manners and in this way made us comfortable in any environment.  Ella Mae taught me that birthdays are important, my family never celebrated birthdays, it was Ella Mae who brought that tradition to us.  She loved step grandchildren and biological grandchildren and tried very hard to be fair.  She was not fair; the attempt was there.  For this I am grateful.

Ella Mae was a very gracious woman who welcomed everyone into her home.  She saw holidays as a means to give me a rest and she would never let me lift a finger or ‘bring’ something.  She cooked like a chef and hostessed like a queen, and it was those talents that she passed to me.  She had a beautiful silk hanging in the dining room.  For some reason both of my sons had to touch it every single time they passed by on the way to the kitchen.  She may have grimaced and she may have said something, but she never got mad.  Her graciousness extended to everyone.

Maybe now that I understand why I am hanging onto the china, I can actually put it down.  No one wants that stuff anymore.  I do hope that I can pass on graciousness, that’s a gift worth giving.

18Dec

The Kind of Woman I Cannot Be…

What happens when you are faced with a person who embodies all of the things that you have been taught are wrong?

I do not condemn women who are manipulative and indirect in their communications.  I believe that it has been and continues to be an evolutionary imperative.  Women (with very few exceptions) have always been dominated and often by those who are careless of their wants and desires.  In this environment, it has always been far safer for a woman to keep her peace and find her own means of gaining what she needs and wants.

Our history tells us that if a woman disagreed with the men around her, she could be beat, tortured and in some cases, even killed.  I was taught to make my own way, to not depend on a man for my own sustenance.  My mother role modeled independence and the direct way to get there.  She did not appreciate indirect communication, if you wanted something, please say it.  If your desire was not a popular idea, it doesn’t mean your desire should be abandoned, it means you can re-evaluate, including others input, but you do not change your mind because ‘another’ has told you to change your mind.  I was taught to be direct, which leaves very little room for the fine art of manipulation.

Many women I know did not have the benefit of a strong and direct mother.  It seems that the alternative to being direct, indirectness, teaches us to be manipulative.  Often, there is a very good reason for manipulation.  Often, being manipulative turns into a default zone that a person operates in.  Over a period of time, this personality can become unable to be direct and even honest.  For some relationships this can be a satisfactory state, but for business relationships, it can be disastrous.  What happens when you have been taught to rethink commitments, and change agreements to suit yourself?  In most business environments this kind of thinking will damage relationships, particularly relationships with a boss or supervisor.

The other part to this indirect and manipulative personality style is a feature of secretiveness.  Sometimes, even often, the secrets are unnecessary, yet there is a piece to secrecy that can make one feel powerful.  Practicing secrecy is the hallmark of this personality style.  Secrecy, when recognized, can make those around you feel very uncomfortable.

The alternative, direct communication, can cause disruption and create confrontation.  “Can”, but not always, often the direct personality style is assertive and possibly aggressive.  It’s important to delineate between direct communication that can be confrontative; and aggressiveness, as aggressiveness only causes the indirect person to become more manipulative and secretive.  Aggressive people just want their will to be done.  Direct communicators are not necessarily focused on their own will.

So it is that my entire lifetime, I thought that the manipulative woman was somehow “less than”.  I do not respect this woman and I cannot communicate with her as she is completely unreliable.  How do you have a relationship with a woman such as she?  Yet, on the other hand, it is the evolutionary imperative, necessary for survival in a world where everyone is larger and harsher than you.  Where is the balance?  And how do you navigate when dealing with those who may be damaged?

I don’t know.