The surreal world we’re living in…

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I was speaking with my husband this morning and he mentioned that we are
living in surreal times. I stopped to think about what he was saying and wondered
what (of the many different examples he could choose) particular event had triggered
his need to make the statement. He began by mentioning the bizarre words and
behaviours coming from leaders and countries all over the world that were heretofore
unthinkable. Nuclear weapons threats, bullying and immature behaviour by people
who should not only know better but with positions that demand they conduct
themselves with more elegance.

The world events relating to weather might or might not be the effects of climate change.
It is true that hurricanes have been happening for a long time and so have earthquakes;
but what is mysterious is that everything seems to be happening at the same time. We
no sooner minimally recover from one disaster when we are plunged into another.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, landslides, volcanic eruptions, that’s Nature. But what
about genocides, nuclear threats, bullying, corruption, have we lost our minds? Are all
our world leaders so bent on their own creed of greed that they have no empathy at all
or any thought whatsoever that “what goes around really does come around”?

All my life I have sought to be “good”. I know that I am more Pollyana than cynical
and most days, I am grateful because of my ingenuity, I can still be shocked by what
is becoming more and more “normal” behaviour. Even on television and in popular
music, what we say and the words we use to say things are showing exactly the same
lack of creativity and laziness which are replaced by violence and shaming or really
foul language. If my children were toddlers now, I am not sure what kind of schools
or neighborhoods I would be comfortable being part of.

It saddens me for our young people. I, at least, was a child when the world was still
a pretty good place to live and I had plenty of sunshine, fruits and family to make me
feel special and loved. Today’s fast pace (where are we going?) means that children
are left with caregivers who may or may not have what it takes to really nurture a child.
Children are largely left to their own devices but unlike in the past where a child could
venture to a park or a friend’s backyard to play and make discoveries about him/herself
and the world, today their world is indoors and under the dome of a technology they
may not be ready to tackle.

I am a writer. Exploring ideas is how I get my characters to move from one point to
another. Lately, I am not sure what traits my protagonists need in order to navigate
the complicated world I create for them in my mind. Today’s surreal/real world, the
one my husband mentioned is scarier than any Stephen King horror novel I have ever
read. Heck, even he says so!

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An unusual gift

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The most unusual gift I ever received came from a little boy in kindergarten.
At the end of the school term, he brought me a beautiful plant pot with a single
leaf.  Although I recognized it as an African violet leaf, I had no idea what the
gift meant. I had long loved blooming African violets but always felt they were
better off in someone else’s life.

I put the pot in a spot where I could see it every day so that I could water it as
regularly as possible and was wondering on a daily basis if anything was supposed
to be happening. Because I was always so busy (small kids and a job and it was
before google was in my life, I never researched anything, just waited as patiently
as I could for something.

About six weeks into the process, I noticed some leaves were coming and I was
very excited. I kept up the regular watering and the plant did actually continue to
grow healthily but it didn’t produce any flowers until almost a year later. I can
recall how excited I became when I saw the first really deep purple flower and
how in love I was with the whole process. I began to entertain the idea of having
a small collection (once you start, it’s hard to control) and at one point I had about
20 different African violets in my home.  Unfortunately, they do require care and
I have had to limit myself to no more than 10 at a time. But it is a lovely hobby and
very relaxing when I do it properly. My patience was rewarded, something I need
to remind myself of when I impatiently rush other aspects of my life.

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So much devastation

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The past month has been excruciatingly painful worldwide.

Today Mexico suffered two strong earthquakes within minutes of each other; it makes
me wonder what is going on with the world. And of course, we are still dealing with the
aftermath of Hurricanes Irma, Jose and now María is devastating different islands. My
heart goes out to the small island of Puerto Rico, a place that is close to my hear for the
18 months of almost absolute bliss that I experienced when I lived there.

I pray this weather will soon calm down and people can begin the arduous process of
rebuilding their homes and their lives.

 

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Where’s my money?

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I own a tiny small business. Among other things, I do event planning and translations.
My ambitions are not great with this little business so I rarely advertise and don’t get
crazy if I am not busy because other aspects of my life are always full-steam-ahead.

Last month, I did a great deal of work though. I sent out my invoices and one of my
clients told me that the invoice needed to be corrected to reflect a different name. As I
was traveling in Europe, I told my client that I would bill them as soon as I returned home
which I did, promptly on September 8th. Now mind you, the work was completed a month
before so according to my logic, the payment should have been “floating” somewhere and
the instruction to deposit to my account should have been immediate.

I am not depending on that money for anything, it is not even that much but I find myself
really annoyed that more and more people are unwilling to pay quickly after a job has been
completed. Perhaps because I know lots of people who do live from paycheck to paycheck I
am very conscious of meeting my obligations promptly. I guess one word of advice to me
is to add interest rates to my bills or demand an advance; neither of those things did I do
with this new client. My accountant just smiles!

Any thoughts?

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A gorgeous Sunday

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I wake up to one of the most gorgeous sights in the world! Sunshine and layers of
green mountains in the distance. It always makes me feel so centered and focused.

I love my life. The older I get and the younger I feel in comparison to others my age,
the more I confirm to myself that having a positive attitude in the face of life’s
vicissitudes is at least half the battle. My life has not been the fodder of  successful
pulp fiction but it has fed the spiritual needs of my family in ways and for years they
have never been aware of.

I have always believed in God. Maybe not the God that is portrayed by an elderly,
thin, long haired, white-bearded man but rather what Jesus embodied, a gentle
long haired  hippy-type guy. Open, non-judgmental and ready to carry a cross for
one when one is simply too defeated to do so. I am not sure why my faith has always
been unshakeable (well, almost always) and it is something that I discuss with no one,
but there you have it, and my (good) life is a reflection of the bounty of blessings that
I receive on a daily basis. Just when I think I cannot go another step, from somewhere,
a strength materializes that I was unaware I had.

I wish more of us could feel the way I do, but short of becoming an evangelist (and the
world certainly doesn’t need another one of those), there is little I am able to do but
lead by example and let my day-to-day existence reflect the inner joy of knowing that I
am never alone no matter where I find myself.

Have a good day, everyone who stops by today!

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Ghosting? Stashing?

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I was never really into “dating”. I sort of fell into relationships because it seemed like the
logical next step after spending time with someone. My first marriage took place pretty
quickly after “dating” for a bit, lasted 8 years, produced no children and essentially taught
me many things about myself, most importantly my acting abilities. A really horrific one-
time incident of physical abuse ended that relationship and I gave up on the idea of true
love, dating, etc. I thought I would go back and live with my parents and take care of them
for the rest of my life with no plans to ever fall in love or remarry. But I digress from what
I really mean to write about in this blog.

Social media has changed the way we live our lives and dating is an area which has been
affected. Because I am an observer of human nature and a writer, I spend quite a bit of my
spare time reading about social media, dating, aging, etc. There are terms to describe modern
dating, like ghosting which is when someone you think you’ve been getting along with and whose
company you enjoy and vice versa, suddenly disappears from your life without a word. Something
like fugue … another new word for me is “stashing” which seems to be increasing more and more.

I need to get a dictionary of all these modern terms because I realize that my writing ambitions
will need to be updated to include these new ways of having a love life. But to get back to the term
“stashing”, that’s when you are dating someone seriously and they (and you, I guess) do not take
them to meet family or go out on double dates, etc. I think in my time, this did not have a name
but was practiced when one was going out with someone who was either married or engaged or
cheating or playing the field. Or when one was not really serious about the relationship or was
unsure of what one’s status was so it was not addressed. It seems so complicated and now that I
think about it, I was a “stasher” or “stashee” several times in my life after my divorce.

Life is getting more and more complicated. In my opinion, dating, love, marriage, child-bearing, etc. have become less a natural progression of growing relationships and more complicated than ever
before. Any thoughts?

 

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The past is in the past

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I don’t really know where to begin this post, except by saying that I am appalled and
sickened by “normal” behavior all around me. We are dealing with the current, strong
hurricane season. The most recent one, Irma,  has yet to disappear; Jose is waiting his
turn and Katia is right behind that. All the while, people are still struggling to recover
from Harvey.

By accident, I happened upon a cable channel today and Joel Osteen was preaching that
the past is the past, ain’t gonna do us any good now, so let’s get on with life. I am not sure
how old or current the program was. Joel Osteen is not someone I think about very often.
He last came to my attention in the early days of September when it appears he turned
away people seeking shelter from Harvey, then tried to make up for it, but then it sounded
like only people who gave to the church were allowed to take shelter there…it is really all
too much for me to follow. I have been spared any of this weather related trouble because
I live in a tropical paradise that is not that close to the equator so we are usually safe from
harm, although last year, Otto did visit us at the end of the season, in November.

But back to Joel. So there he was preaching about the past is past and I just focused on
his face, his grooming, his pitch, his message…all very positive, nothing you haven’t heard
before from simpler men like Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, The Secret authors. Yet
looking at Joel gives me the creeps…although he is not attractive to me, I can see where many
would find his “type” appealing…but his message, I don’t know, it just doesn’t ring true. He is
not the “millionaire next door” exuding a certain frugality in living or being modest. Although
I find talk of people’s wealth or possessions vulgar, I will address this about Joel because he
can take it.  I subscribe to the idea that if people work hard, don’t live above their means, and
generally live a good, decent life, they will be rewarded by the best kind of wealth there is:
health and self-respect. Of course, that is not enough for those who believe that living
in a huge house, having lots of jewelry, going to doctors for tummy tucks and face lifts and
enjoying all the luxuries of life on a daily basis is what constitutes wealth. I have no moral
grounds with which to defend living in a huge house because I do so…what I object to is
the fact that Joel’s charity did not allow him to open the doors of his church to the very
people who depend on his message and support his mission. I am sick at the very sight of
him, which I am sure keeps him up at night.

For just one full day, I would like to be a fly in his home. Do he and Victoria wake up, pray,
exercise, prepare meals, go shopping, pay bills, sort laundry, etc. Or do they have a staff that
takes care of every little detail so they can pay close attention to the numbers on their books
so they can plan their next…I don’t think he cares about my day and I am frankly glad that I
got this post done because except for Tony Robbins (whose work I used to love and admire
until it became all about the money), I don’t think I have ever devoted so much time, energy
and space to another man! This is in the past now, like Joel says, time to let it go!

 

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Just musing

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I was recently in Europe. I usually live in a tropical paradise. I have to admit
that although Europe is beautiful and has a lot of history and wonderful food,
I actually missed the simple things that have attached me to my birthplace.

Over the last 15 years, I have gotten to know a lot of expats who settle in my
homeland expecting some kind of magic. They seem totally unaware that wherever
they go, they take themselves with them. So if they are unhappy in Colorado, let’s
say, they will probably be unhappy in a tropical paradise. It just follows and it makes
sense when you think about it.

I was a Girl Scout. I often think about the guidelines (I love rules and guidelines, if
only as a reference to what one can rebel against!) I was given and I am grateful that
they were specific and unbending. Be prepared is a motto I live by. Cooperation is a
character trait that I continue to develop to this day, more than 50 years later. I don’t
feel old per se but writing that I was a Girl Scout +50 years ago proves that I am old!

In any event, I will continue with my observations on human nature and I will try to
devote more time to the very worthwhile pursuit of sitting and musing and analyzing
rather than filling the time with lots of activity so that musing and analyzing are simply
not possible. I wish more of us were thinking and just taking care of our own things, just
that would make a “contented” life on this planet feasible.

Have a great Labor Day, cheers to September!

Back from the Blahs?

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Wow! I just reread the last blog entry I made just before embarking on my
vacation.  I wouldn’t change a word of it, everything rings true and authentic,
and while I won’t say those feelings of blah have completely left me, I am glad
to admit that rest, relaxation, sunshine and good company in the presence of
my daughter have done wonders to restore my usual good humor.

The feelings of blah mostly stem from frustration that people don’t seem to care
about what goes on in their world. Not necessarily in the crazy world at large but
rather in the every day acts and events that go on in their own surroundings and
where it seems they forget that they are not the only ones who live in their area.
But if I let those feelings of blah keep me from being the cultural activist I have
been all of my life, then I have let “them” win and above all, I cannot let “them”
win and squeeze out from me the very core of my being which is to be a person who
gets it and cares about her world.

So let’s all go out there and have a good day, remembering that we are all part of the
same world and are connected intricately in ways that cannot be seen but can be
felt everywhere. Life is hard, there is no need to add further to it by being grumpy,
careless or just downright mean.

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Feelings of Blah!

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I am so glad I have this blog. I have another blog where all I write is inspirational. Today,
though, I just feel blah and it seems my inspiration has taken residence elsewhere right now.
This is probably okay, it will give me room to indulge the feeling of blah which I have rarely
allowed myself to do in my lifetime.

I’m the kind of person that everyone else looks to when they are feeling the blues, or the
overwhelm that life can sometimes bring upon us. They expect me never to have these
feelings, believing me immune to life’s challenges because I have made it my mission to
be the sunshine, the one thing that can be counted on to remain cool, calm and collected
despite external conditions that would defeat anyone. Most days, I am proud and happy
to rise to the occasion. Lack of sleep, anxiety about not being ready for an upcoming long
trip, worry about my children and the direction life is taking them has made me a stranger
to myself the last couple of days.

This morning, I woke up after a restless night and although I can feel the fatigue in me, I
am bolstering up my “fake” enthusiasm so that my daughter (herself facing life challenges)
does not add to her burden by taking on mine. It is easy for her to do, she is a lot like me.
So, I am glad for this blog, because even if not a single person visits it, I can vent and not
have the guilt factor that I’ve used one of my children or other family members as surrogate
therapists. That would be a terrible thing to have to remember at a later date. Sometimes,
it is best to vent anonymously, thanks to this blog, I can!

 

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