life lessons, love

The Things No One Tells You

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That’s the crib in our sitting room upstairs.  It’s ready and waiting for our first grandchild who is due later this week (of course it’s up to her to decide when she’s ready).  Pretty exciting stuff.  Other than the arrival of one’s own children, there are few other heart-in-your-mouth moments in life.  And I could wax pseudo-poetic on the magnificence of pearly toes and downy ears, that indescribable smell on the back of a baby’s neck, the sensation of little breaths against one’s cheek.

What they don’t tell you is that part of you re-awakens..the part that looks at your child-who-is-now-a-man and remembers how he would cling to you like a little monkey – arms and legs tightly wound around you so that there was no need to hold on to him for he was secure against your body (though you held him just the same).  They don’t tell you that as he anticipates his daughter’s arrival or marvels at his wife’s equanimity and calm or imagines the awesome child that they are going to have, you are left alone with a sense of mild imbalance.  For you can’t pull him onto your lap and remind him that you have been there – you had the experience of awesome children.  Somehow there aren’t words that you can say any longer with the same forgiveness extended – that you’re a mushy, soppy mom who still is completely in love with her kids/men.  And I am watching my son prepare to be a parent.

They don’t tell you that there is something surreal about it all.  How this cycle, as reliable as night following day, moves in a rhythm of its own design.  How you wish and wonder, hope and dream, fret and agonize, invest a love that defies description into years that you feel will be forever (certainly some phases that seemed endless too).  I mentioned this to my sister – ‘when did this happen, Deb?  How did we get here?’  She told me that when I was pregnant, my mother said something similar – though she never mentioned it to me.  Undoubtedly I was far too wrapped up in the experience of becoming a mom to give much thought to her becoming a grandmother.  To think of her children having children.  I wish she was here – if only for me to tell her that I get it.

If there is any dissonance, its feeling so much love that I feel as if the heart can’t hold it all (for some of it must be held back or there’d be no dealing with me – as it is I can be insufferable).   That love?  Oh yes, baby girl it awaits you from so many corners of your life.  But there is a certain love – that love that happens between a parent and a child.  The one you hold onto forever while still letting go – that’s in there too.  And that is the legacy of love you will inherit when you arrive.

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents can do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children” — Alex Haley…I promise you stardust.

friendship, life lessons, love, mindfulness

Dear Universe

I’d write this to Santa, but being way over the age of majority and Jewish, it would seem remarkably disingenuous to do so.  Instead, I’m sending this to the universe, because based on my calculations, it’s large enough to handle a few requests from me.

Hi Universe,

How’s it going where you are?  Hopefully well, and you’re approaching the holidays with both anticipation and delight.  I hope you get all that you ask for and realize that you already have all that you want.  I’m not a big one for lists – I’ve been blessed too many times over to look at a gifted life and seek more.

And yet.

There are some things I desperately want this year.  You see, we’ll be welcoming our first grandchild into the world in February, and while I spend a ridiculous amount of time wondering what our relationship will be like, I’m spending more time perseverating about the world she will be joining.  And there’s some work we really need to do.

–  This year I want the world to work on forgiveness.  If we’ve done something wrong – to the world or to an individual – let’s own it, apologize, forgive and learn the lesson.  I feel emotionally assaulted everyday – whether it is the horrific senselessness of murder and ill-defined parameters of justice; too many homeless for my extra coats to warm; so much vitriol and judgment and too little shared compassion and faith.  Anonymous haters spitting venom in virtual environments where pain is the currency and absence of accountability is assured.  Can we have a body politic that agrees that a good foundation is one predicated upon us not hurting each other and/or this fragile earth we are only borrowing for a short while?  Can we eliminate the ‘yeah, but…’ and replace it with ‘maybe we can’?

–  This year I want families and friends to recognize that we can be extensions of our best selves to those we love the most and reflect a better self to those who we may never see again.  I want memories to be filled with limitless possibilities that we inspire with the merest of actions, the most innocent of exchanges, a smile.

–  I don’t want any more children to be hungry, or cold, or denied the feeling of being held in love and safety.

–  I want gratitude to be as contagious as kvetching and just as colorful.

–  I want the world’s religions to remember that the shared predicate is love.  I’m no scholar, but I’m no fool either.  If there is no love as a foundation, what is there to believe?

–  This year, I want this whole growing up thing to be a little easier.  I thought I’d at least know what I don’t know instead of finding the list increasing and expanding each day…Universe, I ask that we give ourselves the gift of the better part of who we are.  Chicken soup for the world, I guess.

“It’s funny:  I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools:  the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience.  But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendship, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do.’  And mostly; against all odds, they do.”  — Annie LaMott

inspiration, life lessons, love, mindfulness

Compulsory Cocooning

Well, Bogey navigated us to the mountains yesterday, and despite his insistence on looking behind or beside us, we made it.

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And now comes the snow, with no estimates even suggested for those of us at ‘higher elevations’.  Clearly this ain’t no gamblin’ town.

It’s a cozy Thanksgiving this year – one beloved son and daughter-in-law, Andy, four Sirs (one grand-dog included at the Round Table) and yours truly.  One cherished son in Toronto; the other adored one, with his in-laws.  My sister is up in NY; Andy’s family in CA.  I’ve never prepared Thanksgiving for four.  And since I’m not sure how successful I will be at re-calculating measurements, there will be plenty of leftovers.  It feels a little strange – and yet it’s ok – for everyone is where they want/need to be.  And they’re fine.  Let’s move on.

Something about the silence that accompanies snow forces one to pause and listen.  It is right to pay attention at times like these.  When the world continually reminds us why we’re angry, impotent, righteously indignant and not righteous enough, the snow blinds me to all of this vitriol.  It provides a day of muted noise –  a compulsory moment to feel something other than head-shaking disillusion.

Gratitude and giving thanks – it’s as white and clean and pure as snow falling.  Despite some chronic pain stuff (yawn), which has compromised aspects of my life lately, I am choosing this moment of grace.  To be thankful.  Thankful for family and friends who are generous with their love and laughter; meager with their criticisms and callousness.  Thankful that I’m going to be a grandma in February and hopeful that I may be a vital part of this little girl’s life.  Thankful for new friends who expand my view of the road ahead, and old friends who have rejoined my travels and have myopic vision that forgives much of history.  Thankful for giggles that cause stomach aches, tears that cleanse and puppy kisses.  Thankful for books that transport and bring me home again.    Thankful for music that accompanies all my moments.  Thankful for featherbeds and drool-y naps.  Thankful for t-shirts warm from the dryer.  Thankful for those spaces in between – when my breathing slows and I bow my head.  ‘Please.  Wow. Thanks.’ – to paraphrase Annie Lamott.  That is the prayer; the alpha and the omega.  We are blessed.  We love and we are loved.  We have limitless capacity for a limited time.  Gotta get your grateful on.  And I do.  Before I get to the chestnuts that will be roasting and sweet potatoes baking and turkey brining…before the smells begin to infuse the house with hints of tomorrow’s yumminess.  Get to that place where the greatest tradition is observed – where you go to whisper ‘thank you’.

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inspiration, life lessons, mindfulness

When All Else Fails

I can’t believe I’ve written nothing for a couple of weeks – yet there has been so much going on that I can’t quite get a grip on my reaction to it all.  Horrific events around the world, virulent illnesses, the passing of iconic talents, thirteen years gone by since 9/11.  I was in NY that day – and yet to write of that day seems disingenuous.  How the air stank as a disgustingly grey cloud forged uptown.  Shock and disbelief trumped any sense of reality.  Yet, I am here; my family is fine; I didn’t have that much innocence left for the thievery that occurred that day.

And still, this all seems like too much stimuli – I am too pained to be numb and too numb to reveal or touch the pain evinced in my heart.  For reasons unknown to me, I can’t rise above this ache and feel stymied by my limitations with the English language.  Somehow it feels like there’s no recovery period, no chance to re-group, cry the needed tears or resume breathing rhythmically.

This morning broke a bit differently though.  The air is clear, the sky so blue it seems almost as if in a cartoon.  The weariness of the leaves hinted at the promise of colors so vibrant, that the landscape waits with impatience.  And I felt myself inhale for the first time perhaps in weeks.  I drove with all the windows down, letting the breeze in and maybe suffusing the air around me with something fresher and kinder.  Hope, hope – in the moment, for tomorrow, for the moments unseen.  And finally, I bowed my head and cried.

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Listening to NPR, this was playing …and I sat in the parking lot and was lifted.  I hope.  And I hope you do too.

inspiration, life lessons, love, Uncategorized

Ever Present; Usually Hidden

My parents were a great-looking couple.  More than their physical appearances – they looked vital, engaging life with much the same grace and rhythm with which they danced.  Something remarkable happened when they entered a room – they flirted and laughed and played and delighted those around them.  They did it differently, for in many respects they had completely individual life constructs and approaches.

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And today marks the eleventh year since my dad has been gone.  Eleven attenuated, inexorable years.  Eleven years that have passed before I took another breath.  To say I miss him is a cliché; to diminish that fact would be a lie.  He was my touchstone, the person I sought out when I needed to talk ‘work’ or topics which I held most private.  He brought me up short without hesitation and he delighted in my successes.  He was the most loving role model for my sons when they were little.  If they have integrated any of his values, curiosity, warmth, etc, they are the better men for it.

We listened to John Philip Sousa marches when we went into work together.  He would try to excite me about the book he was reading – whether it was about the life of a cell or the biography of some vague historical figure.  He read the New York Times on the subway, folding the paper in that efficient way that commuters did that allowed them to hold on to an overhead strap simultaneously.  And he would occasionally look over and laugh as he saw me nose-to-armpit with another commuter.  We would always drive in the next day.

The words I spoke at his funeral were buried with him.  Somehow I felt that they really didn’t matter to anyone except him.  And with him gone, there were some thoughts that I would never utter again.  And yet, I speak to him in some way or another every day.

This morning Bill Wooten @ drbillwooten.com posted a poem (re-printed below) that felt like it was meant for today and for me – as if my dad and I were walking down 82nd Street in Jackson Heights, heading for Shelley’s bakery.  As if he were still reminding me to look past that which disillusions me and find the aspect that brings a greater calm.  He is always here though he has been gone for so very long.  He is the lump in my throat.  He is the secret in my heart.  He is the presence I seek in the subtle gestures in each day.

The Invitation

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for, and

if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,

for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.

I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,

if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or

have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,

without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,

if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you

to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be

careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true.

I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;

if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every

day, and if you can source your life from God’s presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,

and still stand on the edge of a lake

and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,

weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,

and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”  — Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book ‘The Invitation’

friendship, inspiration, life lessons, mindfulness, Uncategorized

July 4th On The 7th

I know I’m a few days off – we had friends with us over the weekend, and I have yet to figure out how to secret myself away to write, while trying to maximize time with our guests. Sure, I could get up earlier still – but that’s when I catch up on reading your posts!

A weekend of weather so perfect that remaining inside would have been an insult to Mother Nature. The wind whispered its secrets through the trees, the sun stood front and center, daring a cloud to engage in a game of hide-and-seek. The clouds knew better than to try.

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We decided to watch the fireworks from a mountain overlook. Not exactly a novel idea – chairs were set up and ‘reserved’ before 9:00AM. Nonetheless, we had great seats. I brought my new (and first) camera – it’s point and shoot (because that’s pretty much the breadth of my talent). The pictures I took of the fireworks themselves are truly terrible, but I promised someone I would post at least one. Somehow the time between ‘point’ and ‘shoot’ is where I failed miserably.

I know...
I know…

My words won’t do them justice either. Our elevation was such that we were almost eye-to-eye with the fireworks. The whistle, the booms and cracks echoed in the air as thousands of stars exploded, raining down with sizzle and shine. Multi-colored or bright white mattered little; we were sitting in the sky watching magic happen all around us.

And it’s that ‘all around us’ that’s circling my thoughts this morning. To our right a group of young people were drinking a lot and talking too loud about tawdry topics that had Suz and I giggling – a lot. Behind us, people who were definitely AARP members (of greater seniority than yours truly) wore red, white and blue wigs and hats, neon necklaces and delight that a child couldn’t parallel. Children – yes, all over the place. Jumping, yelling, falling over each other and everyone else. Dads and moms, golf scores, shout-outs to kids; lovers young and old. Somehow it felt like we all huddled closer, as the temperature dropped and the winds made their presence felt. People in shorts, wrapped in blankets, waiting for wonder.

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And there was the greater wonder for me. People who didn’t know each other, acting as if they did. Friendship exchanged without names or judgment or pretense. Nothing mattered except being there for a shared purpose and an air of collective anticipation. That’s the 4th of July. The stars on the ground – recognizing that at the end of the day, we can share moments of tremendous delight and pride, decency despite differences that ultimately are not elevated to a level of such importance that they dwarf the heights of people enjoying being a part of something bigger than dissent. Lucky for you, I didn’t even try to take a picture of that.

friendship, life lessons, mindfulness

Hiding In Plain Sight

Hi everyone,

It’s good to be back – though I was never really gone.  I tinkered a bit under the hood of the karma truck, checked all its levels and kicked the tires.  And since I know absolutely nothing about cars, I’m assuming we’re good to go..

Live and Learn (davidkanigan.com) gave me a figurative kick in the butt the other day with a post containing this cartoon from Calvin and Hobbes.

funny-calvin-life

I get it – there are some who feel it could always be better.  Life is acknowledged first and provided with a caveat after (‘everything’s ok – but…’).  But.  Dangerous word I think, and one I consciously seek to avoid in my thoughts and actions.  Of course things could be better, but how flippin’ self-indulgent to diminish the reality that in and of itself it’s pretty damn good.  This morning I listened to the unscripted conversation between the trees as the wind traveled through their leaves, watching how one would nod, and another shake its leafy head.  I am sitting outside as I write to you, looking for bears from my safe perch (haven’t seen any yet) and laughing to myself as I wonder just what I’d do if in fact I really did encounter one.  The Sirs and I have been exploring the road, the foliage, the wildflowers, before returning to our aerie for a nap (them) and a bunch of books (me).

Is it perfect?  Of course not.  I can provide you with an impressive list of things that are not okay.  I’m just not sure why I would want to do that.  There are people who spend an enormous amount of time considering what wrongs have been visited upon them by others, listing shortcomings and offenses with righteous indignation.  I’ve started to re-frame the thought – what kind of person am I to others?  Am I bringing a little bit to the table that is more about others than it is about me?  I’m trying.  Because if I intend to live a good life – and I am and I do – it’s less about the injustices or pain that I have known – and far far more about the good stuff that happens every time I step outside myself.

Thanks for waiting for me to get the truck in gear – we’re heading to points north, south, east and west – though which way first, I have no idea.  There’s no GPS in this thing.  Have a great day – see you soon.

friendship, inspiration, motivation

Saturday Smiles

Remember that poem that began “Monday’s child is full of _____; Tuesday’s child is _____” ?  I forget which child is endowed with what characteristic.  I was a Saturday child, and regardless of what I am supposed to have, I do have smiles.  Earlier this week, Ray’s mom at justiceforraymond.wordpress.com accorded me the award for ‘Most Influential Blogger Of The Year’.  I appreciate her vote of confidence, especially given the substantive and important issues she raises on her blog.  By comparison, I am arguably the “Lightweight Blogger Of The Year” – seriously.  I don’t want to diminish my appreciation with self-deprecation, tempting though it is.  I do want to express my appreciation for her high praise.  And thank her doubly because the only requirements in accepting such an accolade is to share it with others.  Clearly this is an abbreviated list – and I tried to include a mix of old and new.  These are people who prompt me to think more, feel deeply and enhance my life.  Thank you again Ray’s mom – drumroll please (two fingers working in syncopation on a table works well too):

most-influential-blogs-of-2012 (1)

davidkanigan.com (Lead.Learn.Live)

abundelic.wordpress.com

misifusa.wordpress.com

letlifeinpractices.com

keiththegreen.wordpress.com (A Western Buddhist’s Travels)

sweetmotherlover.wordpress.com

positiveboomer.net

theothersideofugly.com

thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com

ivonprefontaine.com (Teacher As Transformer)

jmgoyder.com

angelinem.wordpress.com

almostspring.com

drbillwooten.com

anyshinything.com

Now – I’ve got more, but I realize that this list is getting quite attenuated.  To those I adore and didn’t mention this time around – trust me, the year is young.  To me, each person I follow is The Most Influential Blogger Of The Year.

friendship, inspiration, life lessons, mindfulness, motivation, Uncategorized

Very Sweet And Low In Calorie

It’s been a cocooning kind of week.  I’ve only taken the karma truck out to visit friends, read their posts and marvel at their talents.  I was beginning to worry a bit that I had run out of gas (so to speak), but realized that isn’t the case.  Sometimes you just have to idle for a little bit. Perhaps not the most intriguing scene to set, but the most transparent.

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So it came as a complete, out-of-the-blue surprise when I received the Super Sweet Blogging Award from Vicky, the author of the absolutely gorgeous ‘This Abundantly Delicious Life’ (abundelic.wordpress.com).  Vicky’s blog successfully meets her intention – she has created a space of gratitude and appreciation.  Her delight with all that surrounds her and her awareness of so much within her, brings me back all the time.  Thank you so much for including me in your thoughts Vicky – I am in rarefied company!

Though I am not known for my ability to follow directions, I will do so now.  The rules are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you. Check.

2. Answer the questions.  Next paragraph

3. Pay it forward to a baker’s dozen and notify them. The paragraph after the next one.

Questions

1.  Cookies or cake?

Yes.

2.  Chocolate or vanilla

Chocolate.  Unless I’m having a soft-serve ice cream cone, in which case I have to have a combination of the two.

3.  What is your favorite sweet treat, cheesecake or frozen yogurt?

I thought frozen  yogurt was just good for you – it’s a treat?  Sigh…

4.  When do you crave sweet things most?

Late afternoon.  When others are pouring a glass of wine, I am looking for M&Ms.

5.  If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?

I did actually..My dad called me ‘cookie’.  It was easier to say than ‘linzer tart’ or ‘apple turnover’ (the two forbidden treats that we would always get when sent to the bakery to pick up some seedless rye bread).

My baker’s dozen – as you know, I struggle with this, for there are so many bloggers I admire (and Vicky already named quite a few of them!)

makebelieveboutique.com

renardmoreau.wordpress.com

jmgoyder.com

thejolynproject.com

russtowne.com

drbillwooten.com

thehandwrittenlife.wordpress.com

universalmusings.com

almostspring.com

ivonprefontaine.com

life-with-the-topdown.com

throughmylens365.wordpress.com

gotoppm.com

 

Wait – there’s more!!  There really are more – there’s so much talent out there.  It is humbling to part of this community.  Thank you Vicky – your timing was truly karmic.

 

discretion, friendship, inspiration, life lessons, love, mindfulness, music, parenting

Home Ec.

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel”

Good advice, though I can’t sew.  I can’t even loosely baste a seam.  I failed sewing in the seventh grade, for the teacher didn’t consider it fashion forward to have the armhole of my jumper positioned at the hip.  I didn’t do much better at home economics (yes, they had courses such as this – let’s save the shock and awe for another day, shall we?), though I excelled at pudding.  And passing notes.

Which retrospectively suggests that I had my priorities straight even then – as long as you had good people around you, everything else would follow.  Take care of the ones you love.  Pass the notes, hold the secret, righteously defend (“Mimi would be an exemplary student if she were a bit less social”).  Ah well.  It is with this limited skill set that I have built my house.  Ultimately I bought the drapes and learned how to cook.  And though no one would mistake me for Martha Stewart, I’d say this is a pretty awesome home.  People curl up when they get here, they nestle in.  Shoes come off, defenses are shed, talk is uncensored, silence is religious.  There is nothing more transcendent than this.

Our Thanksgiving plans got derailed by my little surgery a few days back and we’re staying here instead of heading up to New Jersey.  The kids will be with their in-laws.  And as much as I will miss the noise, the laughter, the hugs – I am fortunate enough to have all this love around me every day.  The air is filled with “I love you’s”,  each room holds secrets told in whispers that repeat as favorite lyrics co-written once upon a time, and there is comfort in the sighs of the couch as I settle in to listen to the stories of home.  When I feel the sun on my back and I find magic in this very moment, I know that my bounty is as massive as my gratitude.

So as many of you head points north, east, west or south – travel safe.  Eat a lot, laugh more, grab a nap.  Take a walk, give out hugs.  Share your love.   Enfold these moments in your heart, for they will become the most gorgeous aspects of your home.  They become the most treasured parts of you.

discretion, friendship, humor, inspiration, love

Acceptance Speeches

When I was a teenager, I fully expected to win a Grammy, Tony, Oscar and an Emmy at some point or another.  I used to practice my acceptance speeches in the shower (typically after singing for the shower tiles, who as I have mentioned in the past, were always so appreciative they would sweat with enthusiasm).  Certainly I would look fabulous (proof enough that this was fantasy) and make sure to gracefully acknowledge everyone who contributed to the moment.  And I’d be witty and brief (further proof that this was self-indulgent make-believe), ensuring that I wouldn’t get cut off by music or a commercial.

And though I still tune in when an award show airs, I now find them to be almost as good as an Ambien.  I fall asleep after the first “Thank you so much!  I can’t believe it!!”  I’m sure some speeches are sincere, others may be funny – most are simply disingenuous.  And most of the recipients can’t move their faces any longer,  which makes it difficult to determine whether or not they are feeling anything at all.

I on the other hand have the joy of accepting awards that are given with far more generosity and sincerity.  This virtual community supports its members with acknowledgements that come from a lovely, honest place and I get pretty ferklempt (look it up in a Yiddish dictionary – ‘very emotional’ is probably close) when I am graced with one and permitted to pay it forward.

Renee@positiveboomer.net was kind enough to nominate me for two awards earlier this week.  I am very appreciative and grateful and a little embarrassed.  The embarrassed part is just me – you can just ignore that – it doesn’t diminish my thank you.  Renee and I share a slower, longer learning curve than most of you when it comes to anything technical.  And we both love Twinkies.  I love the joy in her posts – from the simple advice to the thoughtful expositions, the title of her blog suits her perfectly.

I’ve never been part of a Sisterhood before – though I have been asked to join the Sisterhood at our temple.  I have a sister who just rocks my universe, but in a family of  two sisters, I don’t think we had the numbers to qualify.  And I have a sister-in-law who I love very much..hmm..Anyway, I am now part of a larger Sisterhood and that is very cool.  I do wish though that the name of  this award could be changed so that it included men – for some of my favorite bloggers are men.  “Personhood” doesn’t sound very inviting … Something to think on..

Anyway, I believe the following bloggers are definitely Sisterhood material..

Deanna@deanaohara.com – her blog is titled ‘Redemption’s Heart’…

Paula@paulaacton.wordpress.coom

Laurie@passionateperformance.com

Amber@wordsaresuperfluous.com

Joanna@momentumofjoy.com

Jill@universalmusings.com

Susan@susandanielseden.wordpress.com

Maureen@magnoliabeginnings.org

As for Inspirational?  I don’t see myself that way, and it is incredibly humbling to be so considered.  If something I write gives you a smile, or provokes a thought, a nod – I’m beyond happy.  To me the real inspiration is found in the friendships and conversations that seem to uniquely define the special group of people who I’ve met through this blog.  And I am to list seven…

David@davidkanigan.com – one of these days he is going to acknowledge an award from me.  Well, he may not, but he was the first person I started to follow when I began this little journey, so he’s just going to have to deal with it.

Rhoni@help-me-rhonda.com

Anake@anakegoodal.com

Cathy@largeself.com

Bill@drbillwooten.com

Bonnie@paperkeeper.wordpress.com

Elizabeth@almostspring.com

Simon@simonmarsh.com

Andrea@thehandwrittenlife.com

Please give yourself the treat of reading these wonderful blogs – and then you will know why I can’t seem to step away from my laptop.  I guess I went on longer than the two minutes accorded most acceptance speeches – thanks for not giving me the hook..

 

friendship, humor, inspiration, life lessons, love, mindfulness

So Many Lessons, Not Enough Time

It has certainly been an afternoon rife with instruction.  I sit here before you a far brighter soul than I was this morning (ok, I’m looking at a computer screen, but that didn’t sound nearly as wise).  How much can one learn in an afternoon?  Prepare to be amazed..

1.  Do not try and untangle the vacuum cleaner hose in a swimming pool while it’s on.  Definitely do not do this right before you are heading out the door.  Unless you like driving in wet clothes, in which case – please invert this lesson and go right ahead and try this regularly.  You will get the result you seek.  That said, you could also just hop into the shower after you’ve got your clothes on, make-up done and hair dried – it will serve the same purpose..

 Although this isn’t a picture of me, the resemblance is uncanny.  I will say, that if you can do this while your dogs are happily barking at said dancing vacuum, or better yet, while you have people around watching you wrestle  – even better.

2.  My sister can still silence me with one sentence.  This time it was (I’m paraphrasing) ‘the one who drives the narrative, drives the response’.  Now you tell me – how lyrical is she?  How smart?  Yeah I know I have typical younger-sister-syndrome – I think she rocks the world every which way the world can be rocked, but come on – who comes out with stuff that good off the top of their heads?  The good news for me is that we’re genetically connected, so I may come up with something like that without a script or an edit one of these days.

3.  Laughing over lunch with a new friend is the best way to spend part of an afternoon.  Perhaps sitting outside when it’s ridiculously hot and humid isn’t the best idea, but if you’re both glowing it makes it okay.

4.  While we were away, I was given ‘The Commentator Award’ by the very inspirational and candid author of the blog GenieSpeaks.wordpress.com.  My understanding is that this is an acknowledgement of my comments when she posts.  She makes it easy – I enjoy her blogs and her sheer delight in the world around her.  Travel.Culture.Food.wordpress.com was kind enough to give me ‘The Sunshine Blogger’ award.  If you ever want to be transported visually and carried away in your daydreams, visit this blog.  You will enjoy the commentary – the exuberance is almost palpable.  I have received this award once before from SimonMarsh.wordpress.com, but have just figured out exactly how to post these images without the assistance of one of my kids or kids-in-law.  If there’s a ‘Really Smart Blogger Award’, I hope no one ever thinks of me as a possible recipient – it would be disingenuous, I think.

5.  I don’t want to minimize this praise, nor diminish the fact that I am continually surprised by such largesse.  I am beyond appreciative and I thank you.  But today I  learned that there aren’t sufficient written alternatives in the English language (or perhaps it’s my limited vocabulary) to express the sheer joy that I have found in this welcoming, forgiving and generous new group of friends.  For I feel that those who read this blog have become my friends.  I look forward to your posts, I run back to the computer to read your comments, some of us have emailed separately, others reblog…And in this way, we continue to get to know each other and show each other who we are without some of the filters that might exist were we to be introduced in person.  I started writing this blog in January – since then it’s been visited by over 10,000 people (presumably most of them have come in error) and there are hundreds of people who are following with intention.  I’m not sure why.  I do know that five months ago I thought I would try this and see where the road led.  It led me to you.  You give me far more than awards – you give me your laughter, your stories, your tears,  your encouragement, your opinions, your perspective, your talent.  Certainly you have given more than I could have asked for or expected.  How do you thank people you feel you know but have never met, for the gift of trust and love and friendship?  This is a meager attempt to express the abundant gratitude and joy that you have given me.  Which leads me to…

6.  There are surprises in each day.  There is krazy karma and indescribable, head-shaking moments of wonder and humility.  And if you know that, no matter how drenched you may get, you’re never all wet.