It’s that time of the year again, where everyone is looking back, and letting everyone in on the best of, the most popular (viral) videos watched on YouTube, the best movies, the best books, the best of this and the best of that. You know what I’m talking about.
I won’t be letting you in on my favorite anything, except, just one; this is my favorite email that came from a friend…take a look:
It turns out that the friend who sent this to me is not into FaceBook. I know what you’re thinking, “Now who doesn’t like FB?” Well, it turns out that there are a lot of people who don’t. When I ask those folks why, they usually all respond with the same reason: they just don’t like everyone to know what they are up too, nor do they care what their “friends” are doing. Even the ones that do are in a love-hate relationship with it. Unless you are just in love with it!
You see it seems like everyone is doing their own thing these days, which I like. The world didn’t end, but something feels different. Maybe it is the New Age where mankind does not live in fear of things, and accepts each other just the way they are; what a wonderful world that would be!
I want to wish everyone a Wonderful New Year ahead…I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.
P.S. If you are on FB, go like our page before the year is up…you don’t want to have that on your list of “Things to Do in 2013”. Thank You!
This past week was intense. We’d been having days and weeks with highs in the upper 70’s, temperatures that make this part of the planet enjoyable as winter approaches. Then the temperature dropped to the upper 30’s, and the wind didn’t stop for 3 days. I didn’t sleep much, because wind is something that makes me nervous. The power flickered, but didn’t go out.
I felt so much compassion and love when I started to see the pictures of the storm’s damage named, Sandy. It seemed unreal. I don’t know if it has anything to do with global warming, or if Romney did it, or if the full moon made the tides higher than usual, but I felt uneasy.
I have friends and relatives who were affected by the storm. I’m sure you know people too.
When things like this happen, I feel that we all become connected. Our hearts open and there is this stream of compassion going towards the place where people need comforted.
The other thing that seemed to happen was that for those days the 2012 presidential race and all those name-calling nonsense ads and news stories seemed to take a back seat to the devastation and destruction. I think just about everyone I know has had just about enough of it already anyway, right? I can’t wait until it’s over next week.
Here’s a little clip I saw of someone who shares my feelings exactly:
And one last thing before I go is that while I was only a kid during the 60’s, many of the songs during that time left their impact. The words made sense and the music was good. Here’s one that I remembered recently that I love to hear, even today. It’s by the Youngbloods, with Jessie Colin Young singing lead vocal.
Take a listen, feel the message, because it’s high time to love one another right now.
In my first writing for OOPS 50, I mentioned several words that have impacted my relationships with my parents and with all people I encounter. These chosen words shape my living and my writing and should be shared again. My chosen words:
ALLOW-TRUST-REMEMBER-STAND-give CHOICE- BE RESPONSIBLE-RESPECT-CREATE AUTHENTICITY- LET GO- and have GRATITUDE
You may, from time to time, experience similarities or repetitions in my word usage or phrases. They all relate. They are all my foundation. Today, I am adding GRATITUDE to my list, but I want to talk about TRUST.
Let’s see what Webster’s and the thesaurus have to say about TRUST.
Trusting could be viewed as a ‘thin’ line between knowing and not knowing, between asking “is it real or Memorex?” One of my many mentors states that, if you question, an opportunity presents itself to look within yourself—and the answer will be there.
As we mature, we become wise women, or at least wiser women, acquiring from experiences the processes and effects of trusting or not—who, what, when—those nagging questions and details.
I am speaking here about trusting SELF, the big trust! The scary trusting! The questionable trust. The fear that comes just from the thought of trusting self is a BIGGY! To do so, for me, requires constant, conscious awareness of self, allowing—here again, utilizing another one of my words—that the work must be done: going to the edge, jumping off, and trusting that there is a net below!
Trusting in something we cannot see, touch, or feel is scary. Or does feeling even have value? Feel what you are feeling!
For my parents to have unconditional trust in me to care for them required some releasing, some trusting that they had done a great job in raising me, that they will be cared for—some letting go, to a degree, of being in charge, moving from being the doer to being done for. Bottom line: a lot was required of them!
He died in 1981, July 7th, seven eleven, kind of hard to forget that one. He was 65. We had a sick family joke of him kicking off just when he was starting to collect social security; then my mom died at 65, five years later, and so did that joke.
My dad was born in Asheville, the baby of the family, when my grandmother was 40. He had two older brothers and a sister. He loved horses and playing basketball. He played high school basketball and then in the mill leagues. I have a large wallpaper sample book that my grandmother turned into a scrapbook with clippings of his games. He joined the National Guard so he could be in the Cavalry unit. He was offered a basketball scholarship to Wake Forest, but his best friend Crowell Little was going to UNC – and, on his way to college, my dad went to visit Crowell. He never left Chapel Hill.
He found ways to earn money and played on the Tarheels basketball team. He became president of Graham Memorial and was in charge of entertainment for the campus. He ran with the likes of Terry Sanford and even dated Margaret Rose before Terry married her. He was the caller for the square dance team that was so good, they even played the Waldorf Astoria in New York. His nickname was Fish, and for years I tried to find out why. I was always told it was something to do with his being at the Y and swimming so much. After he died, Crowell told me it was because the girls liked him so much that it was just like tossing a line out and reeling them in.
Like most of the Greatest Generation, my dad never talked about WWII, and I am ashamed to say that I didn’t prod him about it. I never expected to lose him so soon. I do have several newspaper articles that were written about his time there, and, before he died, Crowell told me some stories as well.
One of those stories involved flying from North Africa to Italy and bringing back the plane loaded with wine. Another time, he was the pilot for Jimmy Doolittle and as he was taxiing the plane down the runway, he put on the brakes too hard, and the nose dived, and Jimmy Doolittle had to find another plane to continue on.
The only scary story I heard was of the time my dad returned from a mission, and there was a hole in the plane right behind his seat. An altitude exploding bomb had gone right through the plane and had exploded high above them. I’m sure there were other tense times. He flew 75 bombing missions. I just recently pulled out all of his colorful bars and medals and have been looking them up on the internet to see what they all mean.
My dad came home from the war, married my mom and settled in her home town of Chattanooga. He worked at a furniture store for the rest of his life. To me, he had the glamor of a Don Draper from “Mad Men” – but without the smoking, drinking and womanizing. I just recently realized that this year will mark the beginning of my having lived longer without my dad than with him. I still miss him.
But I did hear his voice yesterday.
Ever since my mom passed, and her house co-mingled with mine, I’ve had this cassette tape from 1969, a recording of a retirement dinner for one of the furniture salesmen. Too afraid to play it without breaking it, I took it to a studio and had it transferred to a CD. I had suspected that my dad might have been the host of the evening, and I was right. There were many people talking, and at first I didn’t realize it was him – but then dim memories from 30+ years ago spread a smile across my face. I listened as his gentle humor led what essentially was a roast of this person. I tried to pick out my mother’s laughter out of the crowd. What a treasure this tape is! My daughter will be able to hear the voice of the grandfather she never knew, and I can go back and close my eyes and for a moment, have my dad again.
At 5, which is the first age where I can remember the feeling, I worried that I would never see my favorite red-and-white cardboard bricks again, since my parents had “loaned” them to my cousins as we were leaving for a four-year Army tour in Germany.
At 10, in addition to worrying that our house might burn down, I lost sleep thinking that if Santa Claus wasn’t real, then what other lies might my parents have told me? And, since Tony Ludholz had stuck a ring with a blue stone in my hand and said “now we’re engaged,” did that mean I really had to marry him?
At 15, I spent a lot of time worrying about that horrible guy who killed the nurses or those two men who killed the family in Kansas ‘in cold blood’. I worried that the first men on the moon might not make it back home safely–and that every single person who had a chance of saving the world would get assassinated. I also worried a lot about nuclear bombs, when I wasn’t worrying that Michael Krick would not ask me to dance at the end-of-the-year dance.
At 20, I worried that I would never, ever finish all the work I had to get through to graduate from college, that we would never get out of VietNam, that even if I graduated, I would never get a job because all I knew how to do was go to school and pass my classes, and that I would never, ever fall in love because men were all sexist pigs–and that I would never be able to tolerate my father ever again because he sat and read the paper while my mother fixed dinner–and because he thought “Ms” was an unnecessary addition to the English language!
At 30, I worried that my new marriage would end in disaster, that childbirth would hurt worse than anyone had said it would–and I would die in the process–and that nuclear war would happen right at the point where I had discovered I could love someone.
At 35, I worried our baby girl would grow up in a world full of pollution, nuclear bombs and global warming–and would blame us. I also worried that she would die of SIDS, be kidnapped, get injured, have a life-threatening illness, or choke on bacon.
At 40, I worried we would never get out of Iraq, that my son would end up being drafted, that my children and my parents would die at any minute, that nuclear war would destroy us all, that Bush would always be president.
At 45, I worried that I had not read to my youngest child enough (or ever taught her to floss), that my parents would die, that I would die of heart failure caused by obesity, that my son would end up a crack addict, in jail, or a paraplegic from a skateboarding accident, that, despite all the changes of the ’70’s, my daughters would live in a world of sexist pigs and their souls would be trampled.
At 50, I started worrying about growing old before I could ever finish a single good poem, that our troops would never get out of anywhere, that my parents would die before my kids were old enough to remember them, that September 11th was just the beginning of a horrible end to whatever was left of the American dream, that there might not be a God, and that my children might hate me forever, since I was making daily mistakes with their teenage psyches.
At 55, I worried that my children were growing so fast that I couldn’t even take a breath before they’d be grown. I worried that my brain would stop working before I could finish anything, that my daughter/son/daughter would hate college, be unhappy away from home, get hurt without me there to fight off boogeymen, not want to come home because they took a Sociology class that made them realize all of their parents’ inadequacies. That I might be turning into my mother!
Looking back over this list, I realize that 1) some of these things came true, and, although they were bad, they were not as bad as I had feared–some of them were worse 2) there was nothing I could do about it, no matter what.
I wish I could say that now, at 58, I’ve stopped worrying. But I can’t. I think I might be addicted to worry because of the elusive sense of control it gives me. If I can make sure I worry about something, maybe I can stave that thing off for a few more seconds, keep that wolf away from the door. After all, bad things always happen when you least expect them.
I do know one thing: after all these years, I have at least learned to take some of my worries with a grain of salt–like , for instance, the one about the ice caps melting and carrying away our house. I have a few years before that could happen, right?