My favorite show on TV is The Voice. I was watching it recently and a contestant, talking about how his dreams were on the verge of coming true, said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” This is an oft repeated phrase in North American culture, meant to motivate people to great heights, but it’s only partially true. Can we do anything we put our minds to? Strictly speaking, no. I can’t touch my nose with my tongue. I can’t wiggle my ears. I purse my lips and blow and no whistle comes forth. EVER. I can’t keep a hula hoop swiveling about my hips and I try every time I come across one, much to the amusement of those around me. I can’t find my missing socks. I can’t command the weather and this is a sore spot for me. I can’t change another person and I’ve learned it’s not advisable to try, because it ends badly. I can’t stop myself from getting old, shriveling up like a pea with freezer burn, and dying. I can’t see with my eyes closed. Now I’m just being ridiculous, but maybe not. Words have power. Why don’t we say what we mean? Why would we want to set people up for failure? Continue reading “What Can You Do?”
My Prayer for 2021:
I believe it was March 2019, Pre-Covid. It’s all rather fuzzy. The moments are piling up and describing them in regards to when they happened is becoming more difficult, trying to extricate them from the pile is too arduous a task. Maybe it doesn’t matter. It happened regardless of when. I was staying with my sister. She had planned a get together for the young ladies of her community and had her daughter invite her friends and spread the word. She gathered poster boards, magazines, coloured papers, felts and pencils of every hue, stickers, jewels, glitter, and glue. She encouraged the girls in attendance to think about who they wanted to become and what their future might look like and make a visual representation. I live 10 hours from my sister and usually fly there. I wasn’t interested in carting an unwieldy poster board onto the plane, but I still wanted to participate in the exercise. A scaled-down version would have to do. At the beginning, my sister handed out a small, sturdy card to be used to record our thoughts and it was just what I needed. Brevity is a good thing. Something I’m not known for. 😀 When one has an excess of goals, one often doesn’t reach any of them. We must hone in on our heart’s desires and leave the periphery lie. Continue reading “I Have a Dream”
I’m giving up Social Media. After a good and maybe not so good 10 years or more of posting, scrolling, skimming, perusing, liking, and commenting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I’m done. I’ll leave my accounts up for the purpose of contacting people. Otherwise, I’m putting my phone down.
I’ve only had a cell phone for five years. I remember the days when I left the house and the now antiquated payphone was my only means of communication. I always liked being unreachable, which is why I resisted getting a cell phone. Every day, I free floated through a beautiful, bustling collage of sights, sounds, and smells with all my senses firing. It’s a rich world we live in. It’s too bad we’re so often tuned out. Continue reading “Sayonara, Social Media”
The word fat has been in my vocabulary since I was a child. I’m sure there was a time when I was small in size, but I don’t remember it. I was never a wisp of a girl, it’s not how I’m built. When I see pictures of myself in preadolescence, the first word that comes to mind is stocky. I’m reminded of an impish boy pointing at me on the playground, his eyes flashing, as he sang, off key, the popular, Ball Park Frank’s jingle, “They plump when you cook ’em”. He wasn’t inaccurate. Plump. That’s me, for most of my life anyway. Continue reading “Move it and Lose it: A Former Fatty on Going Lean”
Take control of me, Jesus. The current management is woefully incompetent.
Almost 6 years ago, I went back to school to change my career. To say I went back to school is incorrect, because I’ve been in school now for 52 years. The school of life is always in session. Life lessons are a moment by moment occurrence. If we’re aware, we’ll acknowledge the lesson, learn from it, and be changed for the better. If we go through life on autopilot, never recognizing what life is trying to teach us, we may someday regret our inattentiveness. Just as in school, there are some lessons we want to learn. We lap them up, like a parched dog slurping noisily at a water dish. We apply ourselves with every ounce of our time, concentration, and giftedness. Other lessons, we must push ourselves to learn. I have a friend who received a grade of 62% in one of his high school courses. Worried that this low mark would affect his chances of getting into university, he went to the trouble of taking the course again only to end up with 63%. I do find this humorous, but also baffling, because I get it. It’s true, some things we can only learn the hard way. Continue reading “Lessons from the Valley and the Mountaintop”
We bought a bowl once. It’s a shiny gold with vibrant splashes of red, green, blue and orange and we thought it would make a striking centerpiece for our table. We did not, at the time, consider what, if anything, we would put in it. Nor did we consider how much an empty bowl might beckon us to fill it. I’m ashamed to say this beautiful bowl has become a bowl for bills; piles of important papers now cascade from it completely blotting out the original reason for which it was purchased. Now instead of looking at the beautiful bowl and experiencing joy, I look at a bowl of bills and feel frustrated, worried, and depressed.
Continue reading “Unearth the Bowl”
Those of you who’ve been following my blog know that I’ve been running to improve my fitness level. The city I live in has two sides divided by a river and coulees or, if you’re not familiar with that term, ravines. I live a few blocks from the trails on top of the coulees, a pleasant place to exercise with a beautiful view of the river valley. Yesterday, I awoke at 5 am to get my run in, because I had to be somewhere to volunteer at 6:45. I know, an ungodly hour, but I work in healthcare. A 5 am start to the day isn’t unusual for me. What was unusual about this particular run is it was in the dark. I still opted to go out on top of the coulees, because running on trails is gentler on the body than smacking the pavement, but I didn’t consider how challenging it would be to run without being able to see. Continue reading “Out of the Blind Side”
I recently had a visit from the relatives. I don’t know how it’s for you, but I find it exhausting. It was fun, but it’s like eating too much–after awhile you start to feel sick. They left on Monday. It’s Thursday and I’m still recovering. There’s something wrong when a person has to recover from a holiday. We took our kids to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo this year. We did it in seven days. It was busy. All along the way, we were dazzled by creativity and enchanted by the magic of make believe. We made some happy memories and I’m glad we took the trip, but I noticed the attractions begin to repel quickly. The noise-level, flashing lights, bright colors, and crowds of sweaty tourists are over-stimulating and that’s an understatement. There’s a lot of standing in line, straining to see, listening to whining and crying (I couldn’t help myself), interspersed with snippets of glee, spontaneous “oohs” and “ahhs”, and a year’s supply of french fries. We waited two hours to find Nemo and my daughter said when she found him, she would slap him. The cheery attendant standing nearby was horrified. Three days at the Magic Kingdom and we were sprinting for the drawbridge. We started using it as a disciplinary tool.
“I told you to stop it. Don’t make me take you back there.”
Continue reading “With Rest Like This”
Your story needs to be told and you’re the only one capable. Speak up!
Adolescence was a predominantly unhappy time for me. I existed a number of years in a fog of depression which I was convinced could be remedied by ingesting copious amounts of chocolate. I was pudgy, Pudgy Polly. My ability to smile and laugh without self-consciousness was hampered by my protruding front teeth. I had a number of peers ask me why I always looked like I was preparing to blow a bubble. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t easy for me to close my mouth. I had to stretch my lips down over those sandwich boards. I spent my teenage years hiding behind my hands. (See pictures of me as a teenager here.) On top of all this, my family moved regularly. I was often the new kid. Being teased became a way of life and I was bullied a couple of times. I usually had one friend, but I was a serious loner.
I loved to ride my bike. I rode around for hours at a time. It was my way of feeling good.
Continue reading “In Your Face”
Be bold enough to do more than just leave the house.
I’m remembering a visit to the dermatologist. I had a nasty mole that kept burrowing up through the skin on the tip of my nose, a place, in my estimation, a mole should never be allowed to surface. I had it removed previously, but it’s stubborn and wants to be seen. What I didn’t realize until I sat down in the examination room was that the fee for removal had doubled. Unfortunately, at that moment, I had more mole than money and I sat there agonizing over whether or not I should go through with the procedure. When the Doctor came in, I shared my misgivings with him. What he told me has never left me. He basically said, “Nobody cares”. He went on to explain that people are so focused on themselves and their moles that my mole would have to be the size of the Eiffel Tower for anyone to take notice. He graciously allowed me and my mole to leave the office, free of charge, relieved and a little less self-conscious.