Making Things Work; Making Life Work

I know so many people and can think of so many incidents where people do whatever they can to STOP the process.  When I say process, I mean movement forward towards a good or towards a completion of a goal.

It doesn’t matter what the process is, it can be good, bad or indifferent, it just doesn’t matter.  These people are interested in just stopping the process.  They have a reason, an elaborate justification to keep you or your cause from moving forward.  Perhaps they do not want to see you succeed.  Perhaps their life has stopped and they do not know how to navigate a forward motion, be it their own or someone else’s.  They have lived in stagnation for so long they can not understand forward motion.

You will have met these individuals; they often work in government jobs as bureaucrats.  It is uncanny how they can smell your need and then trounce it into the ground, killing it for all time.

Unbeknownst to most people is an understanding of human behavior.  We are creatures of habit.  We rarely do anything today that we have not done yesterday.  This is important to note, because when we stop the workability of other’s lives, we also stop the workability of our own lives.  Destroying another person’s effort often comes with a price tag of destroying one’s own effort.  This is a factor not known to most.

Why do we stop forward motion?  Why do we question and halt the effort of others?  Why can we not facilitate the lives of others in the same way that we would wish others would facilitate our own?  Why do some people take pleasure in halting and crippling the efforts and success of others?  Further, who has the time to focus on another, in order to destroy their efforts?

More than likely, it a minor thing that piles up into a life.  It’s that nugget of resentment that you harbor for that person that makes you want to clog up the workability of the process.  It is a remembered upset or a frustrating exchange and now you want that person to suffer for your memory.  Or, perhaps, you are just jealous, you wish you were that successful and you cannot stand seeing someone else being successful.  Clogging the workability of the process stops all of us from being successful and it is very sad that everyone does not understand this fact.


What is Next

We choose times in our life to reflect and review and New Years Eve is just such a time.

After you have survived dozens of these reflections, it becomes clear that change is inevitable, pain is necessary and Love is the stuff that makes the years worth living.  

We may never know what is the thing that will make us happy.  We could live our whole lives, never figuring it out.  Or, we can work in a direction and be totally knocked out by life’s circumstance.  We know what we want, and no matter how hard we work we cannot attain our dream.  And yet, life can bring us great treasures from the most unexpected of places.  We can find a deep satisfaction from watching something happen that we could never have guessed in our wildest of imaginings.  We can be surprised by great love and happiness.  Love and success can come to us surprisingly.

Given this random nature of life, how do we evaluate success?  It is not to be, as soon as we claim it, as soon as we think we own success, it flees.  The act of evaluation changes life into something it is not, a contest or a game, a race.  Life is none of these things, but is instead the experience.

Plan, do, judge and even evaluate, but know this, it matters not.  Life will give us all of everything, it is us that must turn it into an experience that is right for us.  It is us that must turn it into success and love. What is Next?



It’s Not About Religion versus 🔬 Science

It’s really about a group of people who want to spin reality according to their own benefit.  Religion allows us to tell great falsehoods because there is no standard for the truth.  All one must have to be in this exclusive club is faith.  Those with no faith are found to be lacking and therefore denigrated into silence.

The issue with science is that, it asks for evidence of a stated truth.  With science you cannot get away with opinion.  This is really the cruxt of the problem with our current presidential administration.  It is an old problem, one that has been argued for many thousands of years.

Do we believe the ministers of faith about the way of the world, or do we ask for a more objective truth?  The objective truth stands on its own, however, it is often unkind.

We humans have made a fine art out of self deception.  We want to believe in a good father, we want to believe that we are beautiful, we want to believe that everything is going to be alright.

When a man preaches that he will take care of it all, it is difficult to ignore.  We are hard wired to listen to old men.  We go to old women with our problems, but listen to old men for our truths.

As humans, our old behavior does not serve us well.  But before we even begin to ask questions, we must ask ourselves how important is the truth?  For most of the humans that I know, truth is an unwelcome reality.  Most people don’t want to know the truth, they’d rather not know how bad off they are, how much they have been tricked, or how much they have lost.

Most don’t even want to know the small details, such as “I am overweight” or “I am angry” or “I have a drinking problem”.  Indeed, many diseases of the modern world are built upon the very fine art of denial, heart disease, obesity and some types of diabetes are diseases that are completely avoidable.  How do you justify drinking a 350 calorie coffee drink and a 1,000 calorie bowl of soup?  What untruth do you tell your body in order to have that bit of body destruction?

This whole religion vs science isn’t really the question.  The question is, how much truth can we stand?

Why can’t we just relax and let the nice man take care of everything?  The truth is that the nice man is a liar.



So Now, He is Dead and Gone

They met in the mid 90s when it was still cool to be a hippy.  The classical bohemian vibe meant intelligence and caring.  They met at the midtown methadone clinic that she managed, crumbling and falling, you could hear the rats running through the eaves and the attic.

He was pushing 50 and she was barely 35, always married with kids.  He was in the association that helped addicts access treatment for heroin addiction.  His passion for his cause was palpable.  He wanted to open a clinic in Ft. Myers and carried around pictures of people suffering because of their addiction.  He talked her into going to meetings.  They met monthly somewhere in the state and helped to make clear decisions that were empathetic and caring.  He didn’t like the for-profit treatment centers (his organization was non-profit) because he thought that they “sucked” money from their patients only to give it to shareholders without concern for “real” treatment.

They had friends in the state legislature and were able to get things done.  In 1999, she moved away and that was that.

About a year later, she decided to return to the work of addiction medicine.  It was a hard decision, but she realized it was still her purpose, even though she had walked away once.  She applied and applied and applied for work.  One day over the intercom at her job, she was being paged to the phone.  She rushed to pick up the phone and there he was saying, “I have this job, right down the street from your new home.”  She could hardly believe it.

For a long time, they were able to get things done.  His power (brawn) and her brain, along with his trust in her, made their work unstoppable and progressively successful.  He loved systems engineering and so did she.  No task was too small to be acknowledged.

But, Later;

Him “You have to own that.”

Her  “No I don’t, you put me in an untenable situation with a personality disordered nursing supervisor.  No matter what super-human effort I made, it was going to fail under those circumstances.”


Him “I think I made the mistake of my life, I should have asked you to marry me.  Is it too late?”

Her  “Yes, you’re drunk again, goodbye.”


Him “You made the biggest mistake, you should have gone on that fishing trip with us.”

Her “Ugh.”


Him “Go see him, Marc needs you, let him know that you care.”

Her “Ok.”


Him “I’ll promote you later, when there has been more time.”

Her “Ugh.”


Him “I have to fire her, look what she did!”

Her “She did nothing wrong, but if you want to fire her, go ahead, you have the power, so use it, but I won’t agree with you, she did nothing wrong.”


Him “I wish I could talk with you before you leave.  I want to say good-by and let you know how much you have meant to me.”

Her “Ugh. Liar”

Still, she cries.

All through the “scared years” he was there.  Ugly and mean, but he was there.


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.


No High Heels for Me, Not Ever

I know they are beautiful and sexy.  If you check out National Geographic you will see that most societies put their young women on display via the high heel.  Arched back, Breast thrust forward, and you have the true makings of the young in pursuit of mating.

The high heel is uncomfortable and discourages walking.  For many, many years I wore them anyway.  My legs are gorgeous and always have been, but boy, with a hi heel, they are magnificent.  It wasn’t the best choice.  First, I did not need to mate.  I had a great husband and more kids than I could handle.  I received so much positive attention, I thought it was worth while. In retrospect, not so much.

Walking on high heels damages your body and leads you to a sedentary lifestyle.  Both of these facts are not good for you as a person.  I have been reflecting on why women do these things and I think it has something to do with advertising and emulating the rich.  Advertising tells us to emulate the rich and unfortunately, we do it.  What is nail polish but a way to prove that we don’t engage in manual labor?  What are hi heels, past mating, they are but a way to prove that we live in leisure and elegance. Unfortunately, advertising has a powerful effect on human behavior.

I am very proud of my second cousin – www.Whitneydolo.com, as she explores body mythology and body identity.  Whitney was born missing an arm and a leg.  She is committed to finding herself and being a woman. She is doing a great job.

She encourages me to speak out.  I have long believed that the female culture is a farce.  I say so now because it is time.  Thank you Whitney.  😍😝


Some Truth for the New Year

Accept yearning in your life, you do NOT have to fulfill every desire.

Everything WILL change, you can’t stop it.

Will this matter in two years?  Study it, look at it, decide it: if it will not matter in two years, save your energy.  Don’t give energy to the unnecessary.

Don’t imagine that anyone is better than you, they are not.  Much of life is luck, you nor they control circumstance.  Some people will have better circumstances, some people will have terrible circumstances.  This is true.

Memories are nice, but they are not now.

Remember that big companies have proven that they do not want to “save you money” and remember that advertising is highly successful because it “makes you think…”  Consequently, beware, if you “buy into” the concepts that Coca Cola is about love and McDonalds is about home and hearth, then you have been fooled and you will buy products that do harm to your body.  The same is true for the “new” big companies including the “Whole Foods Grocery” stores.  It is up to you to take responsibility for researching reality.

Other people’s thoughts and actions are not within your purview, you cannot control other people.  Accept this idea and make decisions from this knowledge.

Doing hurtful things to others is NEVER okay or correct.  Those who do harm must be restrained.


Parenting Adults

Is different for everyone.

Is different for everyone.

Don’t try to orchestrate other people’s lives: even if you have given birth or otherwise parented these people. Life often gives us unintended consequences. If you orchestrate another person’s life, you own any consequences, including unintended consequences. If you don’t believe that you do ~ don’t fret, because everyone else believes that you do. The point is that we make life decisions for ourselves, our young children and no one else. The exceptions include, any loved one who has a disease that interferes with thinking; or anyone that you own responsibility for because of mental incapacity.
As I have gotten older I have become acquainted with some obvious American characteristics that I was not aware of earlier in my life. One is that, young people often believe that they know more than older and more experienced people. Another is that older people, particularly parents, believe that they are wiser and know better than younger people.
This disparity in perspectives often causes disagreements and hurt feelings. This can be avoided when we understand a few things. One is that our culture encourages young people to believe that they are superior to everyone (and thus never need direction or advice). Another way to avoid disagreement and hurt feelings is to realize that even though young people may make very bad decisions that take them down dark roads, they own that road.
So while we may believe that we know what is good and right for another, the best approach is to bring the information to the attention of the young person and let them decide. It’s important to bring the young person’s attention to the choosing, because it may bring a dimension to the choice that was not previously realized by your young person.
Like so many human conditions, communication appears to be the answer.


Your Background Belief Guides Your Everyday Actions

Which is what forms your practical structures.
If you believe that people are essentially good and want to achieve, you will treat them this way, if you believe that people are essentially lazy, you will treat them a different way.
This is another reason for being in the now, it allows you to deal with the situation in front of you, instead of the situation behind you.
How you treat others is essentially the groundwork for how they will treat you. If you believe that your “rank” protects you from the consequences of how you treat others, that is a mistake. While subordinates very rarely give honest feedback to managers, it does not mean that their actions will follow suit. If given a chance, subordinates will find a way to treat a manager the same as they have been treated by that manager.
In any case, beliefs are the the practical structure that gives sustenance to daily chores and thus creates the foundation for how our work affects ourselves and others.
Think of it this way, when you approach someone, and they smile broadly, welcoming your approach, you feel much differently than when you are scowled at. Whether we know it or not, we broadcast our beliefs about the world, and each other, in a myriad of ways, every single day.
I always encourage everyone to understand their own thought processes, so that the underlying beliefs can be identified. It is only through identification that these beliefs can be managed. Often, people think that their own beliefs are reality and do not need to be examined, but nothing could be further from the truth.
It is fundamentally important to identify your beliefs and to understand their relevance to your everyday life and behavior. By doing this, you become better able to be here now, which is the only time and place for reality.


Our Schizophrenic Relationship with Food ~

Our Schizophrenic Relationship with Food ~
I was raised to hoard food. My mother survived the depression in Oklahoma and as a child, she often felt hunger.
We were told to finish our food, no matter what. As a six year old, I sat at the dining room table for 45 minutes because I did not want to eat my greens. I remember that at 10 years old, I had cans of Chunky Campbell’s soup under my bed and I too felt the pain of hunger as I grew up.
Later, as I became a mother and listened to older mothers, there was always love and kisses for chubby baby cheeks and thighs. You were thought to be a good mother if your child was hefty.
My own mother believed that my “skinny” frame was a punishment and insult to her nurturing ability. Some of the things that my family did to celebrate included luscious ham sandwiches with potato chips for lunch. We had ice cream as a very special treat on Sunday evenings.
My mother taught me to use pasta and bread to stretch a meal to feed more people and we always had to stretch. There was never a time when there was just too much food.
We were not allowed to drink soda per se, but kool-aid was thought to be an excellent beverage and we could even drink orange and grape soda on special occasions. Did my parents think that the orange and purple colors indicated fruit juice? I don’t know.

How do we move from this reality to today? Not any of these practices are good for optimum weight and health. To believe that food must be hoarded is to believe that deprivation is right around the corner and this is a harmful and untrue belief. We do not need to eat like a bear to hibernate during a cold winter, when we wake up tomorrow, there will be food.
It is not a good idea to finish all of the food on your plate. Not only do we have too much on our plate at home, but restaurant plate sizes / portion sizes have doubled in the last 40 years. Having a larger stomach means that we eat more, eating more means that we are bigger. We can’t just keep eating because food is served to us. We have to change the way we feel about waste, it is not good to waste food, however and this is a big however, putting that food in our stomach after we are full is the biggest waste of all. It serves no purpose except to make us fat. It’s important that we understand waste in an all new way: waste is eating food after we are full.

Chubby cheeks and thighs are NOT signs of health in a child and definitely not a sign of good mothering. Babies don’t need an extra layer of fat any more than adults do. In fact, it is more harmful to babies to be fat because it is the beginning of a short and uncomfortable life: because if new habits are not formed to change the habit of over-eating, terminal illnesses will ensue.

Pasta and bread are both great fillers, but must be kept in their place – as fillers. If you have a very limited amount of hamburger meat and vegetables, then you may want to increase the size of your meal by adding bread or pasta, however, if there is plenty of meat and vegetables to go around in appropriate portion size, there is no need to add these foods. Particularly bad for humans is processed food of any kind and included in this group is white flour. White flour does not provide the right kind of nutrition, nor does it provide the nutrition intended by having a healthy diet that includes grains. People who do not suffer from celiac disease may find that their wheat intolerance is due to white flour rather than to a plain old whole grain.

I don’t even know where to start with sweet drinks…It’s a difficult subject. I believe this because even though it is generally understood by the public that soda will kill you early, most people who drink soda, continue to drink soda. Even though people know that diet soda is not beneficial in any way, they continue to drink it daily. Even though we know that some sodas have a ton of caffeine, we often see parents purchasing this soda for their children, even young children. Additionally, we all know that drinking red or blue drinks is not natural, yet not only do we drink these colors, but again, we offer them to our children. Why? Why do we continue with these practices? There is something lovely about that sweet flavor in our mouths. We identify it with nurturing, with feeling good and with a myriad of other feelings of satisfaction.

How do we overcome belief structures planted in childhood? How do we stop our brain from believing that happiness is related to food or drink consumption? How do we move away from the belief that our children should be thick around the waist in order to prove they are healthy? How do we get away from the belief structure imbedded in us as children by our parents’ fear of deprivation?
We have to create a new conversation around food, beauty and satisfaction. We cannot say anything specific, as our journey to where we are has been traveled by many different routes. There are many truths that brought us here and we must honor those truths in order to set a new path to health.