hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Days of Whine and Lost Libidos

Alright, maybe my sense of humor is slightly demented but I have to go here.

I don’t want to be too personal but this is a personal matter. Do you remember Rod Stewart’s song “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” My peers and I were twenty to twenty-something. If anybody was sexy, we were, at least we thought so. I make that statement simply by virtue of biology and physiology. We still felt the need to have an “air of mystery” about us. Singers and songwriters delivered  romance and love in opposed to pure lust and sex. No matter that this was at the heart of the love and romantic songs. It was softer, nicer, and I for one miss this terribly.

It is being reported that now a new individual is on the rise. The independent, happily single adult. At one point in our recent history the irreverent single man or woman was thought odd. Folks either stayed away from them or felt very sorry for them. However, recent studies are also showing how very lonely some of the unhappily married folks are. It seems that being unhappy in a relationship is quite a bit more lonely than simply not being with someone.

Okay you are in a marriage and you are not happy, but you are committed to the marriage. There are the children to think of, the mortgage, the car; there are too many reasons to stay you have no choice but to stay. This is where the casualties begin to appear.  She is dissatisfied and does not try to spurn his interest, he is disinterested and would rather watch the game. The way her smile used to light up a room, the way he made her feel safe in his arms and the laughter; yet you wonder why your sex life is dwindling or totally diminished.  Clearly, your whine does not come from a bottle.

What of the poor single counterparts? It is not all”wine and roses” for them. What they do not experience is constant company without companionship. Therefore the majority of their alone time is by choice and is purely physical.

One can never feel more alone than when they are lonely. The married couple who live under the same roof, but fail to spend time with each other are NOT together.The same feeling of isolation exists even when you have a significant other, as one feels when there is not, if the couple does not communicate. Perhaps that is why we view these new singles as odd, but more and more their lifestyle may become one more and more people decide can and will work.

I have to remind my fifty-something peers, we are living longer so let’s LIVE! Take a lesson from our younger members of society and don’t be strangled by what your old notions of “what is and what should be”.

On an ending note I found an unlikely light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel; one of my favorite trash reality/ rock stars threw an “old dog a bone”, kudos to you Brett Michaels for your actions on The Bethenny Frankel Show the week of June 2012!

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It’s Not For You To Say

Johnny Mathis had a song, “It’s Not For Me To Say” in the song he sings about how it is not his place to talk about certain things(love of course) at this particular time. Well for the era in which the song was popular our society was attempting to appear more modest and non-controversial. It stands to reason a song like that would be popular. It made it clear the relationship would go along slowly, but at the pace in which his lover felt comfortable with and of course what was proper.

Fast forward, today people seem to take for granted that one will say whatever is on one’s mind. There is a failure to recognize some of the same people you are in relationships with were raised by or exposed to the generation which lived a sheltered life. My psyche is held captive by what I was exposed to, and no matter how hard I attempt to be as society is presently, my hesitations come from that which was all to familiar to me during my formative years.

Upon further investigation I found that people find it very easy or palatable to be able to render judgment upon themselves in a positive light and if they are fortunate enough to be in a close relationship with an individual who has adopted some of the same philosophies that I carry with me, “they” are home free. I am not saying the neither “I” or another person who thinks like I do on these subjects are push-overs. I am merely pointing out there are some areas that you are probably getting a pass on  a particular behavior you possess.

Think about it ho many times do you think, “I haven’t been a particularly good spouse in relation to _____” or “My  parenting skills could use a bit more _______ ” or “I bet my parents would like to see me do ________”. Be honest we all can convince ourselves we are the best we can be, and if the individual who should truly be the barometer for this remains silent it is that much more simple. However, are you really being truthful and upfront with self here? This is the place where it is for you consult and confer with the other party(ies), question is will you.

Relationships have certain obligations attached to them and if you are in one you are therefore obliged. Since this is the case I will task each of us; every-so-often ask if you are truly being a good”whatever”, don’t be combative or defensive look at this as a fact finding exercise. On the part of the other individual of whom you are in a relationship with;  everyone is entitled to honesty, you don’t have to be nasty though. With cards on the table no one can say, “I didn’t know, why didn’t you tell me, or ” I should not have to ask/tell, but I will”.

On Letting Go

Memories, as we encounter them in a somewhat different fashion now  that we have more and more of them, let’s visit them as they used to be for us.

In a time not so long ago we had a relationship with our hearts and minds that was filled with vim and vigor. You were sharp and on-point. Therefore, things that had occurred were as fresh as if they were happening in the current moment. I am not trying to “date” us but the name of the blog does that already. We went from telephone books and roledexs to data banks. We existed in a time when the cell phones were not readily available and then in what seems like a span of less than five years pre-schoolers had them.  All of our information is a touch away now and we are carting it around with us in a piece of equipment that is becoming increasingly hard for us to read without our spectacles.

At first when I started forgetting things, I brushed it off. I accused my organizational skills or lack there of as the culprit. After all I was the person who had a phone book in her head. I knew my social security number, driver’s license number, and employee i.d. like the back of my hand. Then one day it happened, I wasn’t even being put on the spot by someone standing in front of me asking for an immediate answer, I was filling out paperwork at my leisure and the question was “what is your phone number”. Now you all know the excuses and explanations… ” I never call my own number” yeah that’s true but you do have to give the number out sometimes was  the rebuttal my personal smart-ass shot back to me.

I began the “blame game”, it was technology, it was too many things to do, it was the insufficient hours in the day. I imagine I could have gone on but the last place I summoned and rested at was things used to be so much simpler. I found myself mesmerized and wishing I could go back to when…. Funny, how we never really think we will become our parents.

I discovered the reason I could not return was because I was holding onto something that was long gone. The only thing I had a hold on was what was existing in my head and that was not the best source of information available. Now that I had come to terms with the fact “I” was impeding forward progress what was going to be my  solution. What defense did I have for myself? I had to remind myself and refresh my mind with some pretty convincing facts. While the past held some wonderful memories, the present had some pretty special gifts, and I wanted to be around to see what was in store. I  told myself the best was yet to come, not that this was as good as it gets.

Up Popped “Happy”

It is true about the state of being happy. Smile and the world smiles with you… Laughter is contagious

As silly as it may sound and seem, I wanted to be angry. I had been damaged and no one could truly appreciate what I was going through. This was a bad day and there seemed to be no end in sight. Each demonstration of concern only made me sink deeper and deeper into my personal “hell”. I felt dark and my writing was dark as well. I thought “No one will want to read this s%$@!” I completely understood why so I refrained from writing.

On my way to do yet another daunting task, another nail in the coffin, one more testimony to my hard-knock-life I came upon my neighbor as he was walking his wonderful little West Highland Terrier(my all time favorite dog).  I was going to wave and keep on driving, but some strange force made me roll my window down in order for me to actually speak. After the ritual “hellos” he asked about my spouse and as the adage goes, “It not what you say, but the way you say it…” well that says it all.

As I talked briefly with this concerned neighbor, I laughed to myself as I recalled how terribly upset these two men were with each other behind a difference in political views not so very long ago. Yet, there was a display of genuine concern and it was consistently ongoing. Each time he saw me and we talked, the concern was there. It just took a different form this evening, this evening there was something in his voice and mannerism that was a tap on the shoulder for me. They obviously had found some happy medium amongst themselves and now when one of  them was down the other felt a sense of loss. The human spirit is amazing. All I had been thinking/ could think of was how terrible things were for me, but in an instant light shone forth, I found a little happy.  The smile stayed with me as I drove out of our sub-division. I noticed what a clear beautiful summer evening we were having. Conscious overtook me and tried to shake me with,” Hey don’t you see what is happening here, you’re forgetting all about your worries”.

However,  this was so good to me I fought off the reality check and wallowed in the happy feeling just a bit longer. I had what I was searching for; a place to rest those rambling, hostile thoughts which ran interference for sadness and a feeling of hopelessness. Now the problems did not disappear, they did not even get smaller what happened in those few moments was there was realization that I will get through this.

What about it folks, did you get what happened here? The Lord never promised us life would be easy, but He said He would never leave us alone. I could have never imagined, would have never thought that my renewed strength would come in the form of a simply neighborly conversation, that I was almost successful in avoiding. I had no idea how,when, or even if things would get better for me in even the slightest way.  But God did.

Keep This To Yourself

On a gray, cloudy Georgia morning I am feeling about the way it looks outside. This is not unusual, people’s moods often are reflective of their surroundings. Yet during this quiet time I have a chance to think back over some events.

There was a game show once upon  time called “I’ve Gotta Secret”, the object of this game was to guess the contestant’s “secret”: something that is unusual, amazing, embarrassing, or humorous about that person. The show ran from the early 1950’s through 2006 sporadically. It was entertaining and funny to watch. The reason I mention it is because of the irony attached to “secrets”.

By definition in it’s perfect form a secret is something done WITHOUT the knowledge of OTHERS. As always open to different interpretations, the secret has “metamorphosised” into whatever anyone wants at any given time. However, the revealing of anything that is remotely associated with the word secret brings the same response and result.

We all have secrets; but the reality of it is we all generally share secrets, whether they are ours or someone else’s. The word sounds so good, so important, so forbidden and who does not want to be in on something that allows you to feel special, privileged among a unique group?  Not saying these secrets are all bad, but their existence cannot be denied and their revealing can bring about some negative response or reaction if just for the fact they are revealed. Now you have to address betrayal, but who is the one who ultimately betrays. Is it the person you told, who did in fact tell or is the culprit you?

In our society where social media reigns supreme we cannot hope to or even suggest private thoughts when we plaster everything all over our “walls”. Therefore, closing I want to say something that you do not have to “keep to yourself”. Stop wasting your time on negative thoughts.

Body Image

In our ever changing, ever evolving selves we are probably beginning to come to grips with the physiological transformations which have begun.

When we were young when a model named ‘Twiggy” came on the scene we realized being heavy was not something we wanted to be. Kate Moss and the waif look may be more familiar, for she was a product of the 90’s when we were well into our adulthood.  I am not going to let the guys get away”scott-free” here; think back to the hairy chested mustached idols Tom Sellac, Fred Williamson types or the “Miami Vice” generation, where not wearing socks and sporting pastels was cool for a man. However, the main point here is our society is “looks-conscious” and whatever”flavor-of-the-month” look is popular “we” fall victim to  the fashion that best suits “them”.  Heaven help us if our body does not work with that fashion.

In the parts of our country where seasons change, we are afforded an opportunity to hide ourselves for a few months, given the chance to tone and thin our bodies out in time for the skin revealing seasons to come. The problem is we generally do not use our cover up periods wisely. Instead we pile on the food, calories, and fat right in line with hybernating habits. Then we wonder why we cannot fit into last years’ shorts.

There is always the “moo-moo” for the ladies, guys you are stuck with “DGAF” fashions; no where to hide and I must add there are some ladies who will adopt this mindset as well, Star Jones and Monique ushered this  era in with a vengeance so…. what to do?Too thin or too heavy both come complete with health risks, and ultimately healthy is what we want to be. Yes we want to look in the mirror and see that rock hard body or at the very least the thin  sleek figure from our pasts, but what price are we willing to pay? Plus in a society that exists on instant gratification, how long are we willing to wait to attain the goals? There is surgery and  the starvation diet, there is also acceptance of who we are and what our bodies look like now. Are you happy or do you want to implement change?

Say good-bye to the milkshake and french fry diet of old, embrace the spinach, fresh salad, and green drink as today’s reality. Know that exercise and stretching needs to become a part of your daily routine. Smile when you think of how much longer our generation is living and how much more healthy and vibrant we are, just don’t forget we must put in hours of work, planning meals, etc. to maintain the gifts we have been given.

Doing Things You Just Don’t Want To Do…Still

Doing things you just don’t want to do…Still .What a prospect, what an observance.

Remember when you were a kid, it seemed everyone was telling you what to do. Every adult in your life, every older kid, in your world in your mind everyone. Did you hate it as much as I did, did those word, ” I’ll be so glad when I grow up….” and I will not finish the sentence because you can fill it in for yourself. The trouble is at the time as now one did not realize that the mere fact that you were grown up was not going to fix the dilemma.

As all of us do, I have a vice or two. I battle with these vices from a worldly and Christian standpoint. My faith would tell me to rise above these evil weaknesses. Yet, the worldly being says otherwise. The fact that the vices are a part of me tells me I have not quiet achieved the desired result, my sought after station in my beliefs. However, I handle my vices so that they do not handle and dictate me.

There I was exhausted, feed-up, angry. I wasn’t able to sleep, because I do not know how to relax. The one alcoholic beverage I do enjoy the taste of sits atop my bar. I wanted to do a piece and name it in honor of that beverage. I had a catchy title too, but I did not want to take that drink. My favorite drink, my vice would not be something I indulged in when I did not feel good. There have been more than one occasion over the past few years that have made me think about it, but up until today I held my ground. I took that one drink and at first it was rather nasty, then I decided to use it as I wrote. For as much as I want to say I did something I did not want to do( drink when I was feeling bad) I also did something I wanted to do( I wanted to take that shot of tequila).  I did not drink it in hopes of feeling better, I did not take it to solve my problems, I did not take it so I could forget or at least cope, I drank that tequila because I like the way tequila tastes and I had some available to taste.

The next time I am wallowing in how much I dislike doing things I don’t want to do, I will remind myself that there are a few things I do because I do in fact want to, and sometimes I distort and disguise them to look like they are “my crosses to bear”.

What’s In A Name?

The first thing that identifies you, how you connect and recognize the persons in your life. Do you like your name do you know what it’s origin is, do you know how it came to be yours? Have you ever asked yourself, what does it all mean?

I never liked my name. Growing up I was teased about my name. Throughout school year after school year I had the familiar rhyming song ringing in my head. I longed to have the pretty, simple, common names the other girls had. I believe I was an entirely too serious child, for if I had not been I would have shaken off the teasing. I would not have internalized the hurt I felt, but I did. The crazy thing is one morning not so long ago I realized the silly little song should not have hurt my feelings so badly, I should have not just ignored what was being said for it clearly had no basis in fact.  I should have asked the question that changed the way I felt about my name and even if I was not able to explain it in a manner that would stop you in your tracks, I would have possessed the confidence that would not have allowed the hurt to penetrate. I even had to laugh at myself for allowing that song to shape the way I approached so many things.

Given the horror(I am being facetious) that was synonymous with my name. When I really examined it the worse thing about it was that it was a name that could be considered “old”. Nothing could be worse than to be a young girl with an old woman’s name and a name that a rhyme could be associated with…. I lived out my school years carrying that name. My family and people who were close to me only knew me by that name. One day after a particularly  difficult experience I told my father I was going to change my name as soon as I was old enough. I hated my name so, I asked him who had named me and why?

Years later I wanted to make sure I did not give my children names that would allow them to be made fun of or have names that made them feel bad for any reason.  Living through eras where children were named for fruit, planets and combinations of words that the very folks who name them cannot explain and/or oftentimes spell. I could never forget what I had gone through for all those years.  Yet, I know everyone does not hate their name. Some people are actually happy with the name that says”This is who I am”. I wanted to caution the child-bearing individuals about the label they attach to their little ones. Stop yourselves and think it through. In present times we are able to know what the sex of our children will be long before they arrive. Therefore give yourself all of that time to work on and work through what you want the world to think of when they hear your precious baby’s name and the reason you gave them that particular name.

Presentation can truly make a difference. My name, the name that I could only associate with being old, the name that allowed my classmates to  create a mindless rhyme that haunted me all through school, the name I WAS going to change, was given to me by a man I had nothing but love and respect for, MY FATHER. My name was from biblical times and described a fragrant beautiful flowering tree. It was s said to be held sacred to Venus, an emblem of love. My father named me for three ladies he had nothing but respect and admiration for. It was his way of saying to them, this is my precious baby who I love with all of my heart and there is nothing that would give me more joy than for her to bear your name and follow in your footsteps. I never changed my name as I told him I would when I was old enough.

When you name your children I hope you are able to tell them something as wonderful as my story about their names. Tell them early in their lives and tell them often so they never forget.

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