Tuesday, May 23, 2017

     I thought I was at the age where nothing would shock me. Wrong. Last night, as Mr. Wonderful and I celebrated his 77th birthday (you realize he was born in 1940), we witnessed an over-sized Rick Sleeves-Looking man at the next table talking, talking, talking louder, talking some more. He was surrounded at this round table by 7 other people who barely got a chance to say a single sentence in the almost two hours we were there. How can one person talk non-stop like that and not ever think that someone else might want to contribute? I have witnessed this numerous times, but I am always amazed that someone doesn’t interrupt or that the clueless character doesn’t wear himself out. I guess Narcissists have more energy than most. The worst thing you can do with a moron like this is laugh, nod or, heaven forbid, ask a question. I guess it’s good for introverts who don’t want to make an effort or for those who can lose themselves in their own thought despite a mouth flapping across the table, but for my taste (and I would like to taste my food), people like this sicken me. It’s rude, inconsiderate and low class. Fortunately, I have a good grasp on blocking out loud-mouths, so it didn’t spoil our lovely dinner. 

     When we returned to our hotel, there was a young woman sitting in the lobby, her feet up on the couch, talking to her phone as loud as she could. The family sitting on the couch behind her were all on their phones but not talking. They didn’t seem to be bothered, but I thought to myself, “Aren’t we over showing off our tech prowess?” And who taught this woman manners?

     A couple of years ago, I saw an offering in a college catalogue for “Manners 101.” Yes, a course taught at a university to 19 and 20-somethings! Where were their parents all those years? Now they have to pay their kids’ tuition for something they should have taught them in kindergarten.

     I don’t get it.

     It was much more fun waking up in the middle of the night when Mr. Wonderful was exclaiming, “I don’t know why those dogs wouldn’t get back int the jeep. The other dogs got in.
And then that very fat woman at the podium in the square dress. What was that? I wanted to tell her she shouldn’t wear something like that, but I didn’t.” His dreams are hilarious, and I had to hold my stomach at 3:47 a.m. laughing so hard. 

     All in a day’s work, my friends. This comes from Mr. and Mrs. Observer. Enjoy.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Quand j’écris en français, je peux m’exprimer plus honnêtement parce qu’il n’y a que quelques-uns qui peuvent le comprendre.

Aujourd’hui, je vais monter dans notre voiture de sport, nous deux (M. Merveilleux) et moi, et nous commencerons notre voyage de 35 jours à travers le pays. Nous visiterons les parcs nationaux (vite avant que le gouvernement les détruise). Nous monterons les montagnes, nous respirerons l’air frais, et nous regardons le ciel qui sera mille fois plus grand. Nous nous embrasserons dans le soleil, et nous exprimerons notre joie et bonheur. Nous prierons au sommet d’une montagne, ‘Merci, Bon Dieu, de tout ce que vous nous avez offert.” 

C’est un voyage très long mais vachement amusant. Je prendrai des photos tous les jours pour ne jamais oublier ces jours magnifiques dans la nature. 

Je ne m’inquiéterai pas. Je ne penserai pas à ce que je devrais faire; je ferai ce que je veux.
J’aurai beaucoup de temps pour réfléchir et pour prier. 

Quand je me sentirai l’air frais sur ma peau, je saurai que je suis libre, contente et reconnaissante.

Oui, demain, c’est l’anniversaire de M. Merveilleux. Il aura 77 ans, et je l’aime toujours, même après 24 ans.  (Moi, je suis beaucoup plus jeune, c’est évident.)

Merci, Bon Dieu, et Au Revoir.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

     If you had asked me twenty years ago where I would be today, I never would have guessed the answer. Are you the same person you were twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Five years ago? Where will you be and who will you be ten years from now? At this point in my life, I just hope I’m struttin’ this planet in my 4-inchers healthy and sassy.

     Twenty years ago, I was teaching at a wonderful high school in Michigan under a principal we all admired and respected. Shortly after that, she left and moved to Florida. Eight years later, I retired and moved to North Carolina. We didn’t see each other or have much contact during those years. Maybe a Christmas card, an email, if that. Last night, I sat on her brand new billion-dollar leather couch in her new home, and we talked about choosing light fixtures and the drought we have been experiencing here in Florida where I now live too. We live about 25 minutes from one another. She is married to a different person, and I am still grateful I am married to Mr. Wonderful. She has had a couple of careers before her present one as Vice-President of a real estate firm. She is the age I was when I left Michigan 11 years ago. We share the 25 years we worked together in Michigan, our love of kids, our passion for teaching, our talent in music and our thirst for learning, adventure and purpose. It was a delightful evening of sharing with our guys beside us, laughing as the skies let loose for the first time in months, and we left each other promising another outing over the summer. She is the same high-energy, driven-to-lead person I knew all those years ago. I am the same energizer-Bunny, leader and performer I was then. We mused about how everything changes, but nothing changes.

     How about you? Are you a different person than you were twenty years ago? Will you be a different person ten years from now? None of us knows what is around the corner. As I watch friends of my 40-something daughters fighting for their lives and watch my own friends deal with medical issues, I know there are no guarantees in this life. As scared as I am sometimes, I just tell myself, “You gotta go for it. You can’t worry about what could stop you; you have to keep going so you don’t have time to stop.” 

     A friend told me the other day, “You love to learn. That’s part of why you can’t stop. Learning is your passion..” She’s right. My father taught me early in my life that its’ all about learning—not just book learning, life experience learning, success and failure learning, false start learning and collapse-in-the-ring learning. It’s all part of growing which leads to believing that every day is a gift—another chance to learn something to build our own character or to help someone else. 

    What will you learn today? What will you teach today? How will the results of either affect where you will be 20 years from now?


     

Friday, May 19, 2017

     If I touch one life, make one person think about something meaningful, if I challenge one person to take “the first step,” then my daily blogging is worthwhile. I have said before that I don’t know 98% of my followers. Every once in a while, someone will write me an email and tell me they have been reading my daily musings, and I am always surprised. I am a
blogger, not a bloggee. I don’t read other’s blogs, not because I wouldn’t enjoy them; I just don’t know of any, and it’s all I can do to write my own and get on with my “to do” list.

   Today, I got down on my knees once again to say thankful prayers to the Big Guy. I told my daughter last week-end that if I died tomorrow, I have done everything I ever wanted to do, been everywhere I ever wanted to go (some numerous times), experienced all I could ever have dreamed, and I have no major regrets. I wasn’t saying that to brag; I was saying that to let her know that she should never grieve for what I didn’t get to do or be. After my thank you prayers, I prayed for friends who are ill, some who are recovering from surgery, some whose problems weigh heavy, some who are in constant pain, some who are simply clueless. I pray for our country to somehow find a place “in the middle” where the happiness and prosperity of all are more important than one party’s agenda or one man’s power trip. I pray mostly for strength for myself to be able to help those in need and keep perspective when my own issues begin to cloud the picture. So many prayers. I know He hears them, and He will answer them in HIs own time and His own way. 

     Today, the sun shines again. It shines everyday where I live, and for that, I feel blessed. It’s amazing how much more I can accomplish even when I’m not lying in it. Today, I will work hard, spend time with a good friend, do errands, have dinner with more friends and hug Mr. Wonderful. I am grateful that I can see, walk, drive, hear, chew and talk. That may sound pathetic so some, but we take all these gifts for granted, and until someone we know loses the ability to do any one of them, we don’t stop to think about how fortunate we are for the “given.”


     Some days, it’s not about my touching lives; sometimes it’s about others’ touching mine. I celebrate my friend, Betty, who will blow out her birthday candles tonight. She is a role model of strength and positive energy having fought a horrific cancer battle for years after they told her she only had six months to live. Her story touches my heart and speaks to what really matters. Today, I celebrate Betty and all like her whose quiet battles remind us of how we all need to squeeze every ounce of joy, gratitude and fun out of every day.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

                         
BURNED OUT/BUMMED OUT?

     I have made a recent discovery that has given me pause. It’s not that watering the plants more often keeps them from drooping or changing the water in my flower vase every other day keeps the flowers fresh longer. No, but there is a correlation, actually. When we get tired of watering the plants and changing the water, things die. Maybe we don’t care, but if we do, we recognize that it takes effort to keep things fresh. I sometimes burn out, and often when that happens, it makes me sad, even depressed. Recently, however, I have found that I am burning out of some things, and I am not at all sad or depressed—I’m simply burned out. No little stubborn flames, no smoldering ash—just done. Well, maybe a flicker here or there, and that’s the rub.

     I have been in a certain organization off and on for over 30 years. I have served as President of two chapters and have truly enjoyed every moment of my tenure. I have made some wonderful friends and have learned more than I could have ever imagined. But I could be done. The question is, “Am I done?” Yes, I’m burned out right now, but if I don’t spend all the time participating in this organization which takes not only time and energy, but courage, what will I do to replace it in my life? Where will I find the challenges this organization offers me and the opportunities it has given me to grow both intellectually and socially?

     I am a Performance Addict. If I am not working toward a performance, I am lost. Preparing several months, often an entire year, takes discipline, sacrifice, hard work, patience, stamina and a huge amount of emotional energy. I love the process of preparing my programs, but the pressure is there every day when I wake up. Will this program be as good as the last one? Will the script engage the audience? Will my music inspire and touch souls? Can I cover up the mistakes? Can I make people laugh and cry? This is a lot of pressure for a woman of a certain age, but this also keeps me sharp and young. The process fuels my soul and buoys my self-confidence in more than just the performance. Yes, I am feeling burned out, but if I abandon this yearly project, with what will I replace it that will give me the daily sense of satisfaction and accomplishment? What can I do that will touch lives and give me an identity?  Burned out or bummed out that I have nothing unique to offer the world or to shore my self-esteem.?

     When we are burned out, what are our choices?  Quit whatever it is. Take a break. Reboot and reframe it. Take the idea and turn it into something else equally as rewarding. Find other things to replace it. 

    If I were 40, no problem. If I were 50 or 60, no question. But I am getting up there, and I don’t know how long my health and stamina will hold up. Can I do all this into my 90s? If I’m healthy, absolutely. Health is a crap shoot. Every day, a friend or acquaintance gets diagnosed with some horrible disease. Someone else has to have something replaced. People are getting tired, cranky, cynical. I don’t want any of this, obviously. Who does? But it happens, and sometimes it comes out of nowhere. I have just dodged a few minor bullets, but there are some larger ones threatening, and I feel like I have to hurry up before I can’t do what I was meant to do:  use the talent God has so graciously given me to create and, hopefully, inspire.


   Burned out or bummed out? Hmmm. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017



You didn't really say those three words, did you?! 


                                 FYA


     FYI, don’t hand me your FYA. Not hearing of it. Nope. Not going there. Nor are you. Well, you are, and then you won’t like it there either.

     FYA stands for “For Your Age.” Are you effen kidding me? When you tell me I’m beautiful, sexy, attractive, cute, energetic, and you add the three-letter word to it, I just want to poke your eyes out. Yup. I do. FYA should not describe anyone under the age of 80. Haven’t you heard “60 is the new 40?” Well, this means that 70 is the new 45, right? 75, the new 47. I wasn’t a math wiz for nothing, you know. I know when I’m being played. 


     FYI, FMA, I am one hot maman, and you’d best not mess with me, especially when it comes to fractions. 





Tuesday, May 16, 2017

                  WHAT IF?


     You know that voice in your head that whispers, “What if. . . ?” I hate that voice. That voice has no face because if it did, it knows I’d smack it to shut it up. That “What if. . . ?” haunts, incites fear, creates worry and stress and basically just pisses me off. So what to do about it? How do we get rid of it? I suppose it’s a child’s voice. If so, maybe it’s one that doesn’t have the ability to sort through issues logically and with experience. Maybe it’s the innocence and ignorance of one who hasn’t endured enough good and bad to realize that there will always be good and bad, and we will celebrate the former and survive the latter.

     I know one thing. The middle-of-the-night “What ifs?” are the worst. For me, if they wake me up, I get up. No lying in bed tossing and turning for me. It is best for me to haul my butt out of the nest, pour myself a cup-a-Joe and get down to some serious analysis and list-making. Yup. That’s what I do at 3:12 a.m. or 4:09 a.m or, heaven forbid, 1:38 a.m. 

     How many of the “What ifs” in our lives never happen. We waste all that time, energy and lack of sleep worrying about stuff that never occurs. I sometimes wonder if somewhere in my pathetic psyche, there’s a voice that says, “If you worry enough about this, it won’t happen.” Then when it doesn’t happen, it’s a reenforcement of this feckless thinking. 

     There are serious “What if?s” and frivolous ones. The former somehow seem more justifiable. We know the silly ones like “What if the bill doesn’t get there in time?” or “What if her plane got delayed?” are the most pointless. Like we think we can control the postal service or the airlines. Sure we can.

      So what can we do to avoid falling into this self-defeating thought pattern? If I knew this, I wouldn’t be sitting here at 4:39 having my breakfast wondering “if” I can wait 9 hours until lunch time. If not, what will that do to my diet? omg. And who’s the fool who told you to simply “Stop worrying?” 

     Here is my very short list of what I do when the worry takes over:

  1. Distract the mind
  2. Work out
  3. Eat
  4. Listen to music
  5. Write a letter to myself asking myself why I’m so stupid

     Now none of these will stop the “What Ifs;” they will just help you ignore them so you can function. I’ve been up for almost two hours, and I can honestly tell you not one of these is working for me. The good news, however, is that I’ve enjoyed some nice music, gotten my mind off my worries by writing this blog, and had a yummy breakfast. I can’t bring myself to write the letter, as I’m afraid I’ll get so depressed, I’ll start worrying. 

     What if you read this, and you start wondering about my mental health? Not to worry. Just go get yourself a cup-a-Joe, and remind yourself how lucky you are that you got to sleep longer than me. Have a great day.


P.S. I was searching for famous quotes about “what ifs,” and I made an important discovery. Every writer has some version of a “What if” in her head before putting pen to her plot. Every inventor asks this question before he creates something new. Every director, every photographer, every artist, every composer begins with a “What if.” So maybe if we reframe the “what if” to be a “and then, just think. . . ,” we will not stress out but look at the “what if” as an opportunity to create, solve a problem, or give the world something beautiful to ponder. Hmm.