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Archive for the tag “memories”

An Election To Remember

Every year for the past 12, Lexus has held it’s “December To Remember” Event. It was/is an advertising masterpiece. The holiday style music, the beautiful snowy landscapes, images that have you smelling essence of evergreen Christmas trees and warm vanilla cookies in the kitchen and it all crescendos into the excited, teary eyes realization that someone has gotten damn near the best big ticket present imaginable, if you like that sorta thing. Lexus make me want/ imagine/ believe that one day I too could have the Lexus of my dreams waiting in my snowy driveway, perfectly shoveled clean of course. It doesn’t get any better than that and each time the commercial comes on no matter how hard I try to look away and tell myself, “Lexus is full of it”. My eyes and ears and mind wander or are drawn back to the exact place Lexus wants me to be in. If I had the money, I’d be on a Lexus lot somewhere in Georgia making this MY” December To Remember”.

Needless to say, I believe Lexus’ ad campaign has worked. However, you are probably saying this is a rather lengthy introduction to…. “what is this piece about?” It is about the 2012 Presidential Race. Today is the day when some people will be happy and others not-so-happy. It is not going to be the end of the world, but it will be a new beginning. I take a deep breath as I write this, I have been up since 6 okay 5:50 A.M. I have done everything in my power to stay away from the television and news websites. At this point in time I have been successful but it is not quite 9’o clock in the morning. I, like most of my friends and associates, have work to do. Fortunately, for my state of mind, the schedule is  rather light,  unfortunate for my state of finances though. Nonetheless, I still have time to think. I think back to  a day in November when history was made in this great country of ours. A day when people of color, black people,  sighed a sigh of relief and shed tears of disbelief because a country that had not always been kind to us, a country that had not always been fair to us had a meeting of minds and hearts. A day when a collective cross-sectioned group said, I want this guy to run our nation and I don’t care what he looks like.

I am not a political analyst, I am probably not the most informed individual you will meet. I am passionate though, therefore when I read something or see something on the airways that upsets me, I am more prone to turn it off, close the book on, or move along, than to continue with the prospect I may become incensed. This has not been a clean campaign but I do not think it was the dirtiest either; partially because the President’s opponent could NOT drudge up a significant amount of dirt, but mostly because there isn’t any of significance. No one can question Barack Obama’s character, so they question his birth right. No one can question his intelligence, so they question his decision making. No one can question his ability to lead in dire situations, so they try to take credit away from him and give it to someone/anyone but him. President Obama called for change last time, well his opponents are using that battle cry against him now.

It is perplexing and I am perplexed. I guess it can be summed up    as , “you believe what you want to believe”. I have blamed and/or credited this campaign with everything from my departure from a church I thought I loved to loosing clients. I have argued, debated and pleaded with my husband and sons about the rolls of this election, voting in general, and what it all means. In my small family I have a cynic, a bleeding heart, and a radical. My role is to referee these people, while sifting through MY feelings .

This has been a battle, an emotional roller-coaster for many, myself included. Yet in a few hours it will HOPEFULLY be over. I hope and I pray that it goes the way I want it to go. I have to be honest. I want this to end with me felling like I do when I finish watch one of those Lexus commercials. The music faintly playing from another room and you still can recognize this is in fact one of those commercials, but you are still drawn in. I want to feel like,”WOW.. one day, soon, maybe even tomorrow, AT LAST”, this is possible again.


When It Just Stopped Being Fun

I cannot remember the moment, but one day I recall there was no more joy attached to it. Then there was a sense of emptiness. I didn’t know why. When I finally put my finger on it, there was the feeling of loss. How does one recover from such a thing?

I am going to start with a positive and use it as a mechanism to get us thinking. Cooking… now our generation grew up with some fabulous cooks. We will say mother, grandmother, aunts,  sisters,  for starters(because I realize there are some fathers in this list as well). It was important for us to be able to cook and these ladies saw to it that we did. My family had some great cooks. We had Sunday dinners that were reminiscent of the ones depicted in the movie “Soul Food”. Two of my childhood friends fathers were great cooks in  their own rights.  To say that cooking and food surrounded my life would be an understatement. I  have cooked and baked since I was about 10 years old.

A natural deduction would be I must be a pretty good cook as well, that would be correct. Another one would be I must enjoy cooking, that would be incorrect. You see I was an overweight child; but that didn’t turn me against cooking, if anything it motivated me to do it more and more often. Later I married a man who did not object to cooking, and often took it upon himself to cook because of our working hours. I will give this point as contributory. However, my not enjoying cooking stemmed from what stated this entire dialog.. It just stopped being FUN. Cooking is an art, a talent. It is for sustenance and pleasure. A way of sharing feelings, if you will. It can be sensual, down right joyful, and let’s not forget the all important it just plain tastes good.

What began to happen was I attached a negative to a positive. The food tasted good but it was work,the food tasted good but it put on weight, the food tasted good but there was an easier way to feed the family. The negative took over and won. Instead of finding reasons to cook, I gravitated to the reasons not to. Without warning it happened and it stopped being what it used to be pleasurable, joyous, fun. The purpose still existed, but it was all too serious now.

Acknowledging all the things we experience in our lives are NOT going to bring a smile to our face or a sense of joy in our heart, but some of those the things that can should. Otherwise, they just become yet another task.

Bon Anniversaire

First let me  say, I do not speak French. I wish I did, I wish I spoke another language along with English. This post is for my friend “Samantha” :0) I wanted to post this yesterday, because that was actually her birthday. Life interrupted that plan.

Whatever your age, if you are fortunate, you have celebrated a birthday and are still around to talk about it. Some birthdays are great more than you can hope for permanently carved in your memory forever. Others go but as uneventful 24 hour periods. In general most of us have more of the latter. Yet, each year we are filled with expectation and anticipation, whether we admit to it or not.

Landmark birthdays; the 1st one for obvious reasons,  the 12 and/or 13th transitioning the child to the teen years, “sweet 16” truly a girl thing and rather archaic in today’s world, 18 and 21 the cross over point to  respective legal rights. The ones that follow while equally significant, are reminders that we are THANKFULLY getting older. I say thankfully because celebrating another year, being able to complain about more gray hair and wrinkles, beats the hell out of the option.

I  am an autumn baby, I love this time of year. I must confess that as much as I love this time of year, “Sammie” and I shared a text chuckle about how jacked up our birth month usually is for the both of us. It made me feel connected and it made me feel good that I was not the only one who felt happy they had seen another birthday, but couldn’t wait for the month it is celebrated in was gone.

Anticipation, expectation every thing that goes wrong is magnified with the unconscious thought, “and of all days/months this one”. This one being the magical, glorious day/month of your birth. How can that be? I’ll tell you, we are delusional. I know I was/am. For years as a working individual I would make it my business NOT to work on my birthday.why because it was my birthday. You don’t work on your birthday, but if you go back to the actual day your were born on… it was probably a laborious one, Cesarian or natural.

My point is the days we face come as they may, are equally good or bad no matter when they occur. Do they culminate on “our” day… maybe, but that has more to do with our state of mind than what actually is happening. So I say, CELEBRATE absolutely,  but take some of that same joy with you everyday and thank the Almighty that He has allowed you to see, yet another day.

Happy Birthday, “Sammie”! I hope it was… well know what I hope.

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!

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.

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.

Ooooooh Weeeee Moments

Angrily, I left the grocery store. I am at wits end. There is so much built-up inside of me I could burst. I am feeling a little sorry for myself, the self-proclaimed martyr, when I look up and see one of the grocery checkers riding one of the shopping carts to the resting spot, so he could collect them and return them to the inside of the store. I could not take my eyes off of him, and I smiled. The only thing missing from this scene was the sound that was undoubtedly being silenced with extraordinary control. OOOOH WEEEEE! The night was a bit cool, way unusual for June in Georgia. The lights of the parking lot gave off a fluorescent blue hue to all of the cars and it was quiet, not silent for there were sounds of the road above the lot and faint voices. I took a deep breath and still smiling I went to my car.

Every-so-often we all need a shopping cart ride or to spin around in a circle, to remind us that one of the wonders of life is that it doesn’t always take something monumental to make us feel good, but feeling good is monumental.

By The Standards Of Others

Someone else’s wants, needs, and desires. Their schedule, their clock. Where do you fit in, well it is simple you are for their benefit, placed in a spot most appealing and useful to them. Not since my children were infants have I been willing to accept such a position. That does not mean I have not found or put  myself in that very position, though.

Jobs and society place these requirements upon us all the time. However, there are other areas that make an attempt to do this as well and often time it is not well received. Personal relationships are a challenging area, because these are self-inflicted choices.

Let me start with I hate the feeling of being controlled by tyranny, be it animal, vegetable, mineral, individually or collectively. In my most eloquent way of expressing myself, “It Sucks!” Bound by what YOU think I should do. Where does it end? Time space, or place is not immune either. However, we must all submit to this  standard on one level or another. Generally it is not constant and there is some underlying benefit to one submitting to such.

As we keep our vantage point on our “mid century being”, this experience will take us back, way back to childhood. While many of us cherish and reminisce our youth, this aspect of this type of control is rarely endearing. I’ll take a does of energy and fun, over disciplined control every time. Yet what guides, drives, and keeps us in places where we expose ourselves to this phenomenon.  It is simple; needs, wants, and desires. Satisfaction of these are  necessary and reasonable. The problem come into play when there is not a fair equitable exchange, or when you can no longer see it as being such.

I will not give you case studies or examples here. Realistically, we all have to submit in some area(s). We all choose to submit or not in others.  What we have to do is know OUR cut off point, and be able to do just that, in each of those instances.

I Never Met A Westie I Didn’t Like

For the dog lovers out there I have to talk about my favorite dog. The West Highland White Terrier.

Spunky and independent, never mind that  they are some of the cutest little creatures you will lay eyes on.Their little black noses and  penetrating deep brown eyes guarantee you will be in love. Ours were “Romeo and Julie (not Juliette). We have known Bailey, Lucky, and Muffin. They have  donned the monikers of Bentley and Kellie. No matter what their names they all exhibit the  chief characteristic of a Westie FANTASTIC!! They are so special that the mere sight of them makes you feel as though EACH Westie you see is the one you love. You easily forget they are individuals and they are different.

I may be doing my favorite dog a disservice here, though. What started out being a praise-a-thon has transformed into another self-realization piece. For as much as I love and admire those cute little dogs, I have found out most recently that I no longer am a card-carrying animal loving fanatic.

I do not want to go from one extreme to the other though. I have to point out why and where this process began.  As I found myself  responsible for the chore of cleaning out liter boxes that serviced three cats, each time I scooped out the domed pagoda styled units I became increasingly biter. Three cats with three different time-clocks, three different habits, three different personalities, three different stages of life and I was their servant. Suddenly, I did not like that. Being caregiver was not attractive and then there was the dog… This was way too much for me.

Sometimes we take on too much for our own good. I had arrived at that point with the pets. Even though each pet theoretically belonged to a different individual in my house too many needs were being met by one individual, ME. The cute little animals started to take on the look and feel of an annoyance. I grew closer and closer to the” dark side”, the place where I no longer cared if the cats got outside and they were strictly indoor pets.  Maybe it truly was me and my incessant need to have a perfectly clean, odor free home that finally cinched it. Maybe it was the dog’s barking and cries for attention. All I know is I did not like it. I was disliking them more and more each day, and I was disliking me for the way I was feeling. Something had to give.

My problem gave way to a solution on it’s own. I had to make a tough decision, but it also made me recognize and realize a couple of things.  First, and this is not profound but it can easily be overlooked; NEVER say never (i.e. the title). While I have/had and overwhelming LOVE for my West Highland Terriers that was not a love that was transferable. Next, know when enough is enough or even too much. Finally, make a decision ; indecisiveness benefits no one and it is a disservice to all.

In closing I want to point out if it is not clear, this  piece really was not simply about pets.

Cleaning Out The Closets

This being a milestone for this is the 50th post on my blog, I think realizing one of  the new awakenings at this stage is important. The Closet; what does it represent, what is its purpose, and how is it being used? It has been a place that housed things properly, it has hidden things, and things have been lost in there.

Walking into my closet made me aware of many feelings. I remember when it was a place of turmoil and confusion; what on Earth will I wear today? Where are my black pumps? I recall it being a place of awe; There is so much room in here. Then there is the present in which it represents need; a need to clean out, be it throw away, donate, or organize, it is still a place of need.

Certainly there are some shoppers out there. I have always been one myself. I cannot attest to particularly good taste. I do believe I have made some good choices over time. Now a great deal of my shopping is for another generation. My granddaughter, mi nieta,  as I like to call her has managed to do what her grandfather is incapable of; she has space in my closet in our master bedroom. She didn’t ask for it, I gave it to her. The family laughs and are amazed at the same time by the fact that this phenomenon has occurred.

Now space is not really an issue, there is still plenty of room. What I see is there are things that no longer belong in there. Items that no longer “fit” for one reason or another. Like the decision to no longer color your hair, one day YOU realize that it isn’t working anymore. Not necessarily that you don’t like it, but it isn’t believable or it just isn’t who you are. Then I must face the fact that there are still uncertainties here. As some colors and styles are no longer flattering, the question arises, what does work now?

This will be a process and it will begin with organizing. Organizing thoughts, I have to have a plan.  The plan must be carried out with intent,  methodically. The way the plan is carried out will demonstrate how successful the process will ultimately be.

Phase I: Removal. When and where do I start? As I take away the clutter, the unnecessary things in that space as well as that space itself will begin to become clean, clear, and unprotected. Huummm, am I ready for that?

Phase II: Re-Organize. Put everything remaining in a proper space, perspective.

Phase III: Replace. This must be done carefully, for there is a danger of the same clutter returning and returning rapidly.

Phase IV: Revel and Realize. This is a nice change, but it an ongoing process that requires attention and maintenance.

Phase V: Repeat and Re-apply. Move on to the next  “closet” or area.

On an ending note, Good Luck!

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