04Oct

My Mother’s Burden

Grampa Becky Gramma 1979 Grampa Me Boys 1979From my Dad’s Mom to my MomGramma and Grampa 1979 Gramma2:

Dear Pat,

We want to apologize for not showing up at Shannon’s.  Without parking places, John felt like giving it up, so that’s that.

I am very appreciative of the one evening, we were to see almost all the young ones.  I was also grateful to everyone being so kind and loving to me.

Hearing the young ones saying, I love you sounds so sweet and open, like an ordinary, glad to see you.

I guess I could have learned from them.  If I had practiced saying instead of that noble old saying “to love is to serve.  It might have helped a wee bit.

Then again, the older generation didn’t blurt out “I love you.”  It just seems like we were too shy and backwards.  This is all bologna.  I do feel a bit dumb.  They are all lovely and I wish we had seen more of them. 

Every good thing should come to you.

Love to every one

Ma

My mother, always in the midst of an emotional tornado.

From Me to My Mom

To ease her pain because I was 3000 miles away:

Tears for you because you will always fight too and because you must watch us – stumble through journeys you have already made and you know you cannot help us and yet you are bound by some invisible magic and mystery that once made you our lifelines.

 

18Jun

This Post is Amazing!

https://warningcurvesahead.com/2016/06/04/24-things-women-over-30-should-wear/

24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

02Mar

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.

31Dec

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?

 

23Apr

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.

 

09Apr

Not the Best Grandmother

The one who was born on 10/07

The ones who were born on 10/07

I always give all of myself to whatever it is that I am doing.  It is who I am.  I make my choices very carefully, after all I cannot give myself wholly to what I do not care for?

There is this misunderstanding in my family, well actually, a couple of misunderstandings.  One is that my kids believe that my agenda for their kids should be the same as it was for themselves.  Not even close.  My agenda for my kids was an intense laser focus that is not duplicated with grandchildren.  With my grandchildren, I am completely in love and the best way to describe this love is relaxed.  Gone is the need to impose perfection.  Gone is the need to demand performance.  Gone is my own ego.  By this time in my life: I am not feeling responsible for anyone.  I realize that my child’s life is not my fault, therefore my need for the child to make me proud is gone.

My grandchildren are people who like to play (much more fun than their parents).  My grandchildren are beautiful to me.  I don’t care who agrees.

My definition of human success has changed dramatically.  I once thought that my kids all had to have formal education and high paying jobs, I no longer define success in that way.

Success:  the ability to form meaningful relationships, the ability to maintain those relationships without using money as a weapon of control.  A deep and abiding concern for another human being, the ability to be introspective, the ability to care, nurture and love one’s self; these are definitions of success.

So it is, that in this sense, I cannot be the grandmother that my kids want me to be.  I am however, the grandmother that I want to be.

 

27Mar

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.”

Later;

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.”

Later;

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

Her “Ugh.”

Later;

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

Her “Ok.”

Later;

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

Her “Ugh.”

Later;

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.”

Later;

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.

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.

23Oct

Epic Misunderstanding

We have a misunderstanding and it is of epic proportions.  Damn, my daughter told me today that what she remembered about her teen years is me going into the bedroom and staying there no matter how much noise they made.  Okay, I was newly divorced, my mother died, I worked full time, and had a second job and I was cooking for these kids endlessly.   Not to mention putting food on the table.

And what my daughters remember is that I was not there, in my bedroom or gone.  How did that happen?  I’ve noticed this disconnect before, for example, I didn’t know that I had to explain being a hippy…

I was horrified when my daughters wanted a “boob job”.  What happened to bra burning and long hair and being free from “the man”.  I tell you what happened, it’s 40 years later and I didn’t explain anything to my girls, I just thought they would understand based on who I am.  Geez, I wouldn’t let them eat at MacDonald’s ~ wasn’t that enough proof?

It turns out that kids do not understand anything about their parents’ life unless it is explained.  That’s all, you have to explain it, all of it.  I knew these kind of misunderstandings happened, I just didn’t think they happened to ME.  Are you kidding?  I did everything in my own power to ensure that I was talking to all of my kids all of the time.

Then I remembered, my mother often worked two jobs to make sure there was food on the table and a roof over our heads.  All I remember is that she was not there.  That was me.  I was not there.  My daughters were wild during that period and often my kids seemed lost.  The truth is that we were all lost, all of us were lost.

Here is the thing, just hang in there.  No matter what, hang in there.  Continue to love the people that you love and know that life does work.  All of your love is worth it.  Giving is the best gift, never doubt it.

28Jun

My Husband Sees Only Good in those He Loves

My husband sees the best in everyone that he loves. No matter what they do, if he loves them, they did the right thing.
If he loves you, he defends you. He can do this to the point that he makes things up in his head. In my husband’s mind, you are wonderful, so of course you must have sent a thank you card (even if you didn’t). He will give you credit for the thank you card because he loves you. Plain and simple.
When I was younger by 20 or 30 years, I thought it was important for everyone to see truth and to be only honest. Brutal honesty with self was the only way to have successful relationships (or so I thought). I gave classes on how to be genuine, because I myself thought that the world had given goodness to each and every individual. Teach people to be genuine and to be open and accepting because everyone is basically good and therefore your experiences will be good.
I might have argued with my now husband, back then. Ironically, back then I thought I was a great person arguing for honesty. What would be honest about casting aspersions on a kid who forgot to send a thank you note? What would we gain by thinking of this kid as lazy or ungrateful? Now I know I would never interrupt my husband’s train of thought. I like it that he believes that his loved ones are wonderful people. I like it that he sees his loved ones as making the very best effort in every case. Of course, I am his beloved.