“The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”
Photo by Betty Rawlings
– Rachel Carson.
I always smile when people tell me they want to figure out how to live in the present moment. My response is – it’s impossible not to live in the present moment, the present is all there is . . . this very nano-second in time.
I’m simultaneously blessed and cursed. I remember very little of my past (including yesterday) and have difficulty thinking about the future. I have to concentrate to plan ahead, only have goals if they have been imposed and my sense of time is . . . if it weren’t for the sun or the clock I’d have no sense of time . . .
My brain doesn’t “think” whole thoughts but rather gathers impressions, patterns, concepts. When whole thoughts, words, come out of my mouth (or the computer keyboard) it’s the first time I’ve heard them.
It’s not that I practice living in the present moment . . . it’s simply how my brain is hard-wired. If your brain is similarly hard-wired you know exactly what I’m talking about. If your brain is wired differently you may be goal-oriented, remember details about your childhood, even be prone to anxiety and stymied about what I’m trying to describe.
It’s our THINKING that focuses on the past or the future. The measure of our peace of MIND is determined by how much we are able to focus our thinking in the present.
That’s largely why meditation, reading, sewing, exercise, painting . . . doing anything that captures your attention as you experience it creates the “flow” where past and future are not in your thoughts.
Every time we think “should have”, “could have”, or “would have” we are THINKING about past experience. Every time we become anxious or fearful we are THINKING about a future, which may or may not happen.
Maybe your reaction is . . . that doesn’t make sense, for someone who spent decades as a psychotherapist analyzing, dissecting, bisecting life’s experiences, expectations and beliefs.
Because we are a composite of all our past choices and experiences, thinking, reflecting on the past is important IF our focus is to learn and grow. Reflection about our past or future, without learning, is not usually helpful when we stay stuck in “shoulds”, “coulds”, “woulds” or “what if’s”.
Irrespective of what happened yesterday or last year and what may or may not happen tomorrow, the present moment is all you have, however, your brain is wired.
The Fate of young ladies who “demurred”
with Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg
In my opinion, one of the most “damaging” things we can tell our children, or ourselves for that matter, is that if we set our mind to it and have the perseverance we can do anything, accomplish anything, be anything. WRONG.
No matter how much I may want to be a nuclear physicist my brain simply will not grasp the finer, much less coarser, points of physics or math. No matter how much I might want to be a sumo wrestler, my body, dexterity and athletic ability forbids it.
So if I were going to talk to The Cat in the Hat I would tell him to change what he preaches to:
“This is what a group of researchers from the University of Kansas found after taking a close look at some extinct as well as living species . . . analyzing the physiology and evolution of as many as 299 species of aquatic mollusks — including present-day snails and slugs — over last five million years.”
“They delved into the occurrences and extinction of different species over the said period as well as their respective metabolic rates or the amount of energy each of the creature in question needed for survival.”
“Much to everyone’s surprise, the findings of the work revealed that metabolic rates make a reliable factor for predicting the likelihood of extinction of a certain animal species or community of species.”
“We found a difference for mollusk species that have gone extinct over the past 5 million years and ones that are still around today. Those that have gone extinct tend to have higher metabolic rates than those that are still living . . . those that have lower energy maintenance requirements seem more likely to survive than those organisms with higher metabolic rates.”*
*Luke Strotz, lead author of the study
**co-author Bruce Lieberman
I told a psychiatrist friend about my memory “affliction”thinking he would suggest decades of psycho-analysis at best and in-patient treatment at worst. He looked passively at me and without the slightest hesitation said, “All that indicates is your childhood was boring.”
This is one of my aha moments that I DO remember and spurred me to investigate the neuro-biology of emotion. What does that have to do with hang-over? Read on!
You already know without a doubt that most of your memories are ones that were highly emotional experiences.
“Emotional experiences can induce physiological and internal brain states that persist for long periods of time after the emotional events have ended, a team of New York University scientists has found. This study, which appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience,also shows that this emotional “hangover” influences how we attend to and remember future experiences.”
“How we remember events is not just a consequence of the external world we experience, but is also strongly influenced by our internal states–and these internal states can persist and color future experiences,”explains Lila Davachi, an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science and senior author of the study.”
“‘Emotion’ is a state of mind, . . . findings make clear that our cognition is highly influenced by preceding experiences and, specifically, that emotional brain states can persist for long periods of time.”’
“We see that memory for non-emotional experiences is better if they are encountered after an emotional event,” observes Davachi.
I do not like being an old lady. There’s not much I can do about it but I don’t like it. I don’t like it! I do NOT like it! If there was someone watching right now I would lay down on the floor, pummel my legs up and down and scream out obscenities which I’m too embarrassed to write down proving I’m an old lady because I was taught that ladies, no matter their age, don’t swear. Even now, when I can’t be sent to my room, I hesitate to say “hell” or “shit” much less utter worse. The problem is I don’t even know what current swear words are. (There’s even a bigger problem if I lay down on the floor. With no one here to watch I might not be able to get back up without help.)
Why would I want wrinkles? . . . to prove I’m as wise as I have ostensibly become? Phony baloney, I’v never seen a wrinkled owl. Rather than look wise it’s easier to look down my elongating nose at people who have plastic surgery, botox or collagen treatments. If I weren’t scared of pain and had the money I’d get rid of my wrinkles. Instead, I’m doomed to cultivating a self-righteous attitude about my aging, sagging, bagging body and pretend to embrace how old I am.
I’ve tried political correctness – how wonderful it is to be wise, to have accumulated all this worldly experience and be on social security . . . I’ve tried to embrace aging, smile when people ask me what I do and act like it’s wonderful to have no career, no purpose, no energy. I’ve tried wrinkle creams that promise me youth. I’ve tried laughing at the “old age” cartoons that appear in my in-box and sting in their truths.
I’ve even considered moving to another country where old age is supposedly venerated. But I’m too tired to pack so I live in these here United States where I’m wise enough to know it’s the youth who say it like it is and have the energy to make this world a better place.
A Cautionary Tale
In my hope
Bahá’ís are encouraged to see in the revolutionary changes taking place in every sphere of life the interaction of two fundamental processes. One is destructive in nature, while the other is integrative; both serve to carry humanity, each in its own way, along the path leading towards its full maturity. The operation of the former is everywhere apparent–in the vicissitudes that have afflicted time-honoured institutions, in the impotence of leaders at all levels to mend the fractures appearing in the structure of society, in the dismantling of social norms that have long-held in check unseemly passions, and in the despondency and indifference exhibited not only by individuals but also by entire societies that have lost any vital sense of purpose.
Though devastating in their effects, the forces of disintegration tend to sweep away barriers that block humanity’s progress, opening space for the process of integration to draw diverse groups together and disclosing new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. Bahá’ís, of course, strive to align themselves, individually and collectively, with forces associated with the process of integration, which, they are confident, will continue to gain in strength, no matter how bleak the immediate horizons. Human affairs will be utterly reorganized, and an era of universal peace inaugurated.
(Universal House of Justice, To the Bahá’ís of Iran, 2 March 2013)
(Oh yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees – days and days and days and daaaaaaaaaaays of celebration. You can send me gifts in lieu of flowers or cake per my birthday season RULES, #3).
To celebrate I slept-in late . . .
Oh nooooooooooooooooo – I have vertical ridges in my fingernails. So, of course, I googled “fingernail ridges”:
“There are many reasons for ridged nails but the most common is aging,” says Dr. Phoebe Rich, M.D, clinical adjunct professor of dermatology at Oregon Health Science University. “As we age the nail matrix becomes atrophied in areas resulting in longitudinal ridging of nails. I tell people they are like wrinkles in the nails.”
Changing behavior is VERY hard work. I think conserving energy is very important in this hectic world and that’s why I’ve always tried to avoid toooooo much behavior change toooooo fast.
HOWEVER, as I get older there is less and less time to do all the things I want to accomplish. So this year I’m determined to keep my resolutions.
My 2016 Resolutions:
Wish me luck!
Have you missed me? Have you EVEN noticed I’ve not been blogging? Well, I’ve been mishuga, fermisht and verklempt.
In my never-ending quest to feel better . . .
The short version: Went to an endocrinologist because I thought some of my exhaustion might be due to an adrenal problem. They took a quart of my hard-earned blood and I peed in an “orange juice container” for 24 hours to be told my adrenals are fine but I have Hashimoto’s disease.
Whaaaaaaaat??? I’ve never been to Japan and don’t even speak Japanese. Seems my immune system is eating my thyroid all up. Put me on thyroid medication and said I should have about 20% more energy. With my continual state of exhaustion 20% sounded good.
Three months later . . . maybe 10% more energy. So endo doc suggested I take Topomax, a tried and true medication, that will put my brain into deep sleep (my brain stays in REM sleep and I don’t get restorative sleep – that’s the main reason I’m so exhausted all the time). I researched it and checked it out with my fibro doctor who said it was worth a try.
NOT ONLY DIDN’T THE MEDICATION PUT ME INTO deep sleep it didn’t even put me into REM sleep!!!!! I was up for 3 nights and 3 days. Couldn’t even nap. My brain thought it was a stimulant. I couldn’t think straight, walk straight or talk straight. I’m just barely beginning to feel normally exhausted.
Those of you who are regular readers know I’m a fragile flower. I blame it on the fibromyalgia (at least fibro is good for something). My system goes on overload if I watch, read, see, hear ANYTHING that is violent, sad or frightening. I went to the Minion’s movie and it was too violent . . .
So when I watch TV it’s either HouseHunter’s International (lookie-loo travel), The Hallmark Channel (always a happy ending) or the Golden Girls. Sophia is my new role model. She is wise beyond my years . . . and we have similar taste in food:
The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) apparently was first sighted in the temperate rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula on the west coast of North America.
However, since octopi, or more grammatically proper, octopuses (crediting Maggie Wilson , The Zombies Ate My Brain, for this important research) , are extremely intelligent (“Some evolutionary theorists suppose that ‘arboreal adaptation’ is what laid the groundwork in primates for the evolution of the human mind.”) it appears tree octopuses are acclimating to harsher and milder climes in their quest for survival.
I give up – “J” is for judy. I’ve been resisting the urge but finally my ego gave in . . . and out.
My split personality Who am I anyway? Identity Crisis Coming to a Computer Near You is more split then ever.
Judith, the suave and sophisticated, is tired. She has gone to bed and crawled under the covers. However, I’ve caught her sneaking out and writing about emotional things from her past. She’s informed me that I’m not to publish them on the blog to “blow her cover” (sorry, I couldn’t resist – it just slipped out).
judy has been the one out in public. I am pretty sure she’s trying to keep things light because Judith is so tired (and cranky I might add . . . most unbecoming). My judyJudith personality is not a gimmick, not a joke. I am a person of contradictory extremes. My mind embraces total possibility while my behavior is all-or-nothing. I dive into doing one thing and am consumed by it until the next “possibility” captures my attention. Then I abandon what had been all-consuming and become immersed in something new.
This blog is an example. I find possibilities for posts in almost everything I read, see or experience. Proof: I have bits and pieces of articles, personal experiences, inspirations etc. stored in 934 drafts on this blog! That’s because something intrigued me and then I moved on to my next fascination before I finished the post.
I am fascinated by process rather than product. I like the “doing” better than the “done”.
My curiosity pulls me through life but I’m much more like the mad-hatter than Alice – driven wildly from within rather than focused on a way out.
D-Day is a military term indicating the day on which “a combat attack or operation is to be initiated“.
I’m trying to decide if I should ATTACK the clutter in the garage or OPERATE on getting a better attitude about planning on cleaning the garage.
The latter seems like the better plan so I found a “Survival Kit”* to COMBAT (ahem) low motivation and procrastination (among other things) that bedevil me. I picked out the ones that will motivate me (and made sure there was “D” in them because today is “D“- Day!!!).
*Irwin Greenberg was a painter and teacher. He circulated a “Survival Kit” – 100 pieces of advice – to his students at the High School of Art & Design and the Art Students League of New York.
Here’s the link to all 100, some of them without a “D”.
There are so many recipes for Oreo Lasagna on the internet I taste-tested them all to make sure you, my loyal subscribers, had the healthiest. Note: If you are allergic to chocolate substitute ingredients that aren’t chocolate.
Healthy OREO LASAGNA
2 packages Oreo cookies (One package to eat – for energy – while you are making the lasagna and the other for the recipe)
4 tbsp. butter, melted
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (This is good as not only is it reduced fat but it’s softened so it won’t be hard in your arteries)
1/4 cup sugar (An excellent source of energy)
2 tbsp. skim milk (This is good as it’s a major food group)
12 oz fat-free cool whip (This is good as it is low-fat like the cream cheese.)
6 Snack Pack Fat Free Chocolate Pudding cups (This is good as there are preservatives in the pudding cups which will help the Oreo Lasagna from going bad before it hits your stomach
2 bags of mini chocolate chips (One bag to eat while you’re waiting for the lasagna to set in the refrigerator)
1. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray (Do NOT use butter and add fat to the recipe)
2. In a zip closed bag, crush the Oreo Cookies (Taste the crushed topping as you go to determine the proper consistency. Do NOT use a food processor to crush the Oreo’s so you benefit from the exercise of pounding the cookies into submission)
3. Set aside 1 cup of crushed Oreos for topping
4. Combine remaining crushed Oreo’s with melted butter
5. Press Oreo-butter mixture into the bottom of the dish
6. In a small bowl whip the softened cream cheese using a handheld mixer until light and fluffy (Make sure it’s fluffy as air is a life force)
7. Mix in sugar, milk and 1 1/4 cups of cool whip
8. Spread cream cheese layer over the Oreo crust
9. Layer chocolate pudding in an even layer over the cream cheese (or just mush it all together since it will eventually end up that way)
10. Spoon remaining cool whip over pudding and gently smooth (It’s important that you are gentle so as not to agitate any existing fat molecules)
11. Sprinkle on mini chocolate chips
12. Refrigerate to chill for 4 hours (Eat the remaining chocolate chips while Lasagna is chilling)
Each serving is 8 WW+ points (I’m not sure if this is short-hand for Weight Watchers or 8 out of 10 points on the Wowza Wowza scale)
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 127 Total Fat 14.1g Saturated Fat 7.0g Cholesterol 20 mg Sodium 265 mg Potassium 46 mg Carbohydrates 42.9g Dietary Fiber 1.0g Sugars 28.4 g Protein 3.5 g (Obviously a good source of protein – almost 4 grams)
Vitamin A 6% – Vitamin C 0% – Calcium 7% – Iron 6% (This is good as it’s better to get your vitamins through food than pills)
Nutrition Grade – D (“D” as in DEEEEEElicious . . . of course)
Most of you read my blog for cultural awareness and fast breaking scientific events such as Pi Day on March 14 . This year it’s even more special because it’s 3/14/15!!!!!
The Greek letter “π” (pronounced pi) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. That’s why Pi Day is an annual international celebration.
Since pi is a Greek letter if you are cutting down on sugar you could eat Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) instead.
*”Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.” SEE!!! Culture and science can be fun!
My Human-being always had very thoughtful clients (the others fired her when they figured out she doesn’t do well with people who aren’t nice).
Margo, who is very nice and extremely wise, hand-made this retirement present for my Human-being.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET
Canine Dog Therapist, Retired
I don’t know about you but I secretly harbor “anticipations” when there is a first in my life – a hope that I will miraculously be a different person when I wake up the day after.
Because two big firsts – my 70th birthday and retirement – occurred almost simultaneously just MAYBE, I think, maybe this time I’ll have a genuine epiphany – spectacular insight into who I REALLY am at the core of my being . . . or at least a surge of renewed energy.
I was trying to describe to a friend what it felt like the first day after I turned 70, saw my last client and was officially retired. “. . . kinda like right after my first sexual “experience” – I was disappointed that I didn’t feel like a different person, more mature, sophisticated, enlightened, intelligent, alive, but I did wonder if other people could tell.”
Same experience all over again: Don’t feel any different; Don’t feel more mature, sophisticated, enlightened, intelligent, alive . . . but perhaps other people can tell something big just happened to me by how I walk or talk or act?
So far no one seems to notice anything . . . maybe that’s because I’m trying not to walk funny.
(inspired by and with apology to Helen Reddy)
I eat all the leftovers in the refrigerator. I make a batch of brownies from a mix and eat the batter slowly, very slowly, breathing in the chocolately aroma, feeling the slightly gritty grains of batter between my tongue and roof of my mouth. Spoonful by spoonful the intense sweetness permeates every sense of my being. I eat all the batter because turning on the oven is too complicated and not understanding what temperature or how long they need to bake too dangerous.
I search all the kitchen cupboards. The only thing left that is edible is a box of Saltine crackers and ketchup, necessities of life when you are a student and working your way through college. Intently focused, I carefully break the crackers apart into their neat little squares and slowly, carefully arrange them on a plate. It takes time to decorate them with swirls and globs of ketchup before I carefully spread the red with the tines of a fork marveling at the artistic lines I’m creating in the ketchup.
“Taste this – they’re delicious, like the best pizza ever.” I walk slowly, carefully balancing the plate, into the living room toward my roommate Shelly who’s sitting on our Salvation Army couch, her feet propped up on the wooden spool coffee table that once held wire cable for telephone repair and abandoned on a Berkeley street corner.
“Taste these – just like pizza, they are delicious,” I repeat, shoving the plate into Shelley’s line of vision as she blankly stares in the direction of the orange paper-mache flower in the milk carton that decorates the wooden spool. Mechanically, and without the enthusiasm I think warranted, she chews slowly, very slowly, silently, reflectively. Not waiting for her response I eat the rest of the pizza crackers while carrying the plate back to the kitchen to make more.
by Angus Chen
“Shortly after toking up, a lot of marijuana users find that there’s one burning question on their minds: “Why am I so hungry?” Researchers have been probing different parts of the brain looking for the root cause of the marijuana munchies for years. Now, a team of neuroscientists [led by Tamas Horvath at the Yale School of Medicine] report that they have stumbled onto a major clue buried in a cluster of neurons they thought was responsible for making you feel full.”
“An effect when cannibus is introduced in the brain . . . “creates a kind of runaway hungry effect. “Even if you just had dinner and you smoke the pot, all of a sudden these neurons that told you to stop eating become the drivers of hunger,” Horvath says. It’s a bit like slamming down on the brakes and finding weed has turned it into another gas pedal.
” . . . Last year, researchers foundthat cannabinoids lit up the brain’s olfactory center, making mice more sensitive to smells. Before that, other researchers discovered cannabinoids were increasing levels of dopamine in the brain; that’s the swoon that comes with eating tasty things.”
To read the entire article click here
Good news! I was neither eaten nor chloroformed to live another day and tell about Part II of the:
PASTURE-IZING THE ELDERLY
“It was the world-renowned physician William Osler who laid the scientific foundations that, when combined with a compelling economic rationale, would eventually make retirement acceptable. In his 1905 valedictory address at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he had been physician-in-chief, Osler said it was a matter of fact that the years between 25 and 40 in a worker’s career are the ”15 golden years of plenty.” He called that span ”the anabolic or constructive period.” Workers between ages 40 and 60 were merely uncreative and therefore tolerable. He hated to say it, because he was getting on, but after age 60 the average worker was ”useless” and should be put out to pasture.” (I’m 70, that means put out to pasture . . . and . . . plowed under . . . for the next crop)
THE BIG PAYOFF
By 1935, it became evident that the only way to get old people to stop working for pay was to pay them enough to stop working. A Californian, (Of course California . . . where else . . . ) Francis Townsend, initiated a popular movement by proposing mandatory retirement at age 60. In exchange, the Government would pay pensions of up to $200 a month, an amount equivalent at the time to a full salary for a middle-income worker. Horrified at the prospect of Townsend’s radical generosity, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the Social Security Act of 1935, which made workers pay (and pay and pay and pay) for their own old-age insurance.
“What used to mean going to bed suddenly meant banishment to an empty stage of life called ”retirement.” If people were not going to work, what were they going to do? Sit in a rocking chair? Eleanor Roosevelt thought so. ”Old people love their own things even more than young people do. It means so much to sit in the same chair you sat in for a great many years,” she said in 1934. But she was wrong. (Yes, she was wrong. I sit because it’s too hard to get up) Most retired people wished they could work. (That’s because we are scared of being eaten or plowed under) The problem was still acute in 1951, when the Corning company convened a round table to figure out how to make retirement more popular. At that conference, Santha Rama Rau, an author and student of Eastern and Western cultures, complained that Americans did not have the capacity to enjoy doing nothing.” (the verdict is still out, I’ll let you know)
SENIORS ARE BORN
“The publication in 1955 of Senior Citizen magazine was the first widespread use of the euphemism (If Senior Citizen is an euphemism – “OLD-WOMAN” is a swear word) that, while intending to reconfer respect, instead made a senior citizen sound like an over-decorated captain in ”The Pirates of Penzance.” Its merely partial success may also be linked to the fact that there is something inherently suspicious about an age group that has to offer its potential members discounts to induce them to join.”
THE R WORD
In 1999, The American Association of Retired Persons, once the Welcome Wagon of retirement, dropped the word ”retired” from its name and became The American Association of R****** Persons. This change was effected in recognition of a basic reality — many of its members are not retired — and in anticipation of the baby boomers’ threat never to stop wearing Lycra, turn gray, stop carrying around bottled water or retire. (I have the Lycra, grey hair and bottled water . . . now to find me a job)
(Since this is the first time I’ve ever retired it’s important to understand what lies ahead . . . and behind. I hope history doesn’t keep repeating itself even when I do.)
“In the beginning, there was no retirement. There were no old people. (Very true – in the beginning I was much younger) In the Stone Age, everyone was fully employed until age 20, by which time nearly everyone was dead, usually of unnatural causes. Any early man who lived long enough to develop crow’s-feet was either worshiped or eaten as a sign of respect.” (I’ll take the worship and pass on being respected)
“Even in Biblical times, when a fair number of people made it into old age, retirement still had not been invented and respect for old people remained high. In those days, it was customary to carry on until you dropped, regardless of your age group — no shuffleboard, no Airstream trailer. When a patriarch could no longer farm, herd cattle or pitch a tent, he opted for more specialized, less labor-intensive work, like prophesying and handing down commandments Or he moved in with his kids.” (I have no kids to hand down my commandments to so I’ll concentration on prophesying)
“As the centuries passed, the elderly population increased. (Very true – as time has passed I’ve increasingly gotten more elderly) By early medieval times, their numbers had reached critical mass. It was no longer just a matter of respecting the occasional white-bearded patriarch. Old people were everywhere, giving advice, repeating themselves (I’ve always repeated myself, my occupation has been giving advice that is worth repeating), complaining about rheumatism, trying to help, getting in the way and making younger people feel guilty.”
“Plus they tended to hang on to their wealth (I hang on to the fantasy of being wealthy) and property. This made them very unpopular with their middle-aged sons, who were driven to earn their inheritances the old-fashioned way, by committing patricide. (. . . a few benefits to having no wealth) Even as late as the mid-18th century, there was a spate of such killings in France. In 1882, Anthony Trollope wrote a futuristic novel, ”The Fixed Period,” in which he foresaw retiring large numbers of old men to a place where they would be encouraged to enjoy a year of contemplation, followed by a peaceful chloroforming. (ANYTHING peaceful at my age is appealing) But this was hardly an acceptable long-term strategy.”
The whole world is witnessing my identity crisis. I grew up in a time where there was no internet. If you had an identity crisis, no one knew – they just presumed you “missing”. Since I’m on lots of internet and social media sites I realize I should rewrite every cyberspace bio, intro, profile out there . . .
My first rewrite: Former child star (I once was a child and being the first-born grandchild I was the star in the family) who gave up the limelight for a degree in English literature, traumatizing her to the extent that she never read another work of fiction for 30 years (skipped over high school years because they were even more traumatic). After working in the banking business (I was a data entry person when teletype machines were cutting edge) she traveled the world (not the exactly the world but I did hitch-hike in Europe) . . .
. . . too wordy since so far I’m only up to my early 20’s:
Second try: Former child star (gonna keep the star stuff – start off with a bit of dazzle to capture the reader’s attention) who quit being a psychotherapist to pursue her life’s dream and hasn’t a clue what that might be and is a bit afraid that if she knew she couldn’t afford it. Keep reading her blog because when she knows what, who or why she is you’ll know too.
Maybe I’ll just leave all the bio’s and profiles as-is and let people think I’m the oldest psychotherapist on the planet – which might be a good bookend to being a child star . . .
“Make your own recovery the first priority in your life.” (Robin Norwood).
That was the journal class free-writing (stream of consciousness – no thought to spelling punctuation or even if it makes sense) prompt this week.
Here’s what I wrote (but you must promise not to tell anyone because it’s my private journal):
Recover from what recover from life recover from love recover from being me recover from being covered by life what covers can smother what covers can warm what covers can hide what covers can protect so recovering from what I’m not sure it’s more about just living life and learning not recovering from anything that just about covers it.
Don’t ask why I pasted that particular picture on the page – I just did. It felt right. But . . . now . . . that I consciously think about my unconscious choice . . . perhaps that picture is about how it feels to struggle to recover when there is nothing truly to recover from . . . not sure . . . what do you think?
P.S. Feel free to use the prompt for your own free-writing . . . it’s free.
Here I am AGAIN picking up the pieces for my Human-being. She is still a bit discombobulated. Since you are all my loyal friends I shall share a bit more about myself via Cee’s Share Your World” questions which, as usual I read on Mama’s blog.
1. Do you prefer shopping or going to a park? That is the most idiotic question I’ve ever heard. It’s so obvious I’m not going to respond.
2. If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why? That is the second most idiotic question I’ve ever heard. I go bare-pawed.
3. What’s the story behind a time when you got locked out? The third most idiotic question I’ve ever heard. If you don’t have keys you can’t lock yourself out.
4. Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts? The fourth most idiotic question I’ve ever heard . . .
5. Bonus questions: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful that I don’t have to carry keys and have no allergies to nuts . . . unless they are the human kind.
I’m looking forward to going bare-pawed in the park.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCB
Certified Canine Blogger
My Human-being says she’s “under the weather”. “What does that mean”? I asked her. “Under the table, under the blanket I understand. Weather? We don’t have a lot of weather in Southern California”. She says it means she’s too tired and achy to post and I have to do it so the blog subscribers keep reading . . .
So, for ideas I read Mama Cormier’s blog called Mama Cormier and Mama follows the blog Share Your World and Mama answers questions from the blog she follows and I like Mama and how she is so honest when she answers the questions so I thought I’d answer the questions too so you get to know me better . . . and keep reading.
Here are the question ( . . . they don’t make any more sense to me then being “under the weather”):
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CB
“What happens if you need to catch your own dinner, but you’re just not fast enough? (send out for pizza delivery . . . ) If you’re a slow-moving cone snail with a yen for sushi, you drug a bunch of fish.”
“The tropical sluggard kills by overdosing fish with a toxic cloud containing insulin, (the last toxic cloud of insulin I overdosed on was Ben & Jerry’s Totally Toxic Delight – a blend of the finest refined sugar and high fat cream) . . . Plummeting blood sugar levels throw the victims into a stupor.” (I know that feeling)
“Cone snails are notorious for stinging scuba divers tempted to pick up their beautiful shells. But the geographic cone snail —the most venomous cone snail of all, with several human deaths under its belt (which is a variation of Ben & Jerry’s taking credit for expanding belts)—takes its practice of poisoning to a whole new level.”
“Once the fish are in a sugar coma, the cone snail reaches out with what’s called a false mouth—it looks like it’s throwing a cape over its prey—and drags a stupefied animal into its mouth. The snail then stings the fish with another set of toxins, just to make sure its victim is completely paralyzed.”
(I do not currently have a sped-up video of me eating Ben & Jerry’s)
“Other compounds in cone snail venom produce similar results, says Helen Safavi-Hemami, who studies the toxins at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Victims become dazed and confused, leading researchers to call this group of toxins, including the insulin, the nirvana cabal.” (Ahhhhh, sugar NIRVANA, I know it well)
“But no other animal that researchers know of—except perhaps people (Jane J. Lee’s words, not mine)—uses insulin to kill like this, lead study author Safavi-Hemami says. A sensational case in the early 1980s involved a husband accused of trying to kill his very rich wife using insulin injections.” (It would have been less suspicious if he had taken her to an all-you-can-eat ice cream parlor)
“How brilliant is this,” says Meyer, who has observed a close cousin of the geographic cone snail—named Conus tulipa—hunting and killing fish in the same way in Guam. The fish almost look like they’re passed out drunk, he says, and now we know why.” Article by Jane J. Lee, National Geographic
In preparation for my coming birthday I’m studying what “learned” people know about aging. I just found out that a definite perk of “getting old” ensures me of ALWAYS being in the present moment! Fritz Coleman (who is very “learned” says: “When you are old you can’t count on the future and you can’t remember the past.”
Fritz Coleman, Comedian
Senior Conference On Aging. Held at the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena. Keynote Speaker Fritz Coleman NBC4’s weathercaster is a Southern California broadcasting icon” and a . . . comedian.
This comes under the heading of “If I knew then what I know now”.
After years of hearing from Daru Maer, my friend and colleague, about how wonderful, creative and incredibly accomplished her daughter Jenn Maer was I finally got to verify that myself when I met Jenn last year.
I’m sharing Jenn’s article that appeared in the San Francisco Egotist because it is timely. During the holidays we are particularly sensitive to other’s expectations, needs, wants and their “feedback”. Jenn’s realization that feedback, most of the time, is given for precisely the reasons she identifies is spot-on. I wish I knew that when I was Jenn’s age.
(Sorry Jenn, I couldn’t resist the parenthetical feedback)
“This was the year I finally learned to take feedback.”
“Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been “addressing” feedback for my entire career. Early on, I mastered the art of smiling whenever somebody eviscerated my work—nodding thoughtfully while saying, “Hmm. Interesting. Let me have a think on that.” But until recently, I never truly meant it. Feedback was something to be dodged, outsmarted, and begrudgingly incorporated when pressed to do so.”
“I realize this makes me sound like a world-class a_ _ _ _ _ _ (Feedback: Sorry for the edit, Jen, but this is a PG 13 rated blog and your description is not appropriate for those of us emotionally under the age of consent). But I don’t think that’s the case: I love (and insist on) working collaboratively, I always look for opportunities to help other people shine, and I’m pretty easy-going all around. I think I just hated the feeling that I hadn’t done something perfectly right off the bat.”
“Then, after having a really enlightening conversation with a mentor of mine, something shifted in me. I would get a piece of feedback and listen to it. I mean, really listen to it. Like the kind of listening a therapist does, when you say, “I hate the color blue” and they hear you say, “I’ve got deep-seeded issues with my mother.” (Feedback: Sorry Jen, your mother IS a therapist – how could you NOT have deep-seeded issues with her?) (Sorry Daru, but since you are a therapist you know that all things lead back to the mother . . .)
“I stopped being so quietly, inwardly defensive, and realized that each piece of feedback is delivered in service of making things better. Now, with every comment or red-Sharpied suggestion, I ask myself, what’s behind the issue that’s being raised? How can I use this as a chance to make my work clearer, tighter, smarter, funnier…whatever it needs to be?”
“I’m not saying I’ve got this new skill down pat. There are certainly still moments when people make inane, counter-productive comments that make me want to bash their heads in with the Polycom. (Sorry Jen, but I don’t know what a Polycom is so if you want to bash in my head I hope it’s soft . . . ). But you know what? I’m learning to hear what’s beneath those comments, too. It’s usually something like, “I need to feel important here.” (Sorry Jenn, I am important here – it’s MY blog) Or, “I don’t know what’s happening and I’m freaked out about it.” And with a little bit of empathy, I can help them through those issues, as well.” (Sorry Jen, if you don’t want to help me with my issue of compulsively commenting, maybe your Mom can?)
(ALL things are ultimately the mother’s fault – You are one smart, insightful daughter)
Read more at San Francisco Egoist
I’m searching for my focus in this next phase in my life. (I’ve probably always been searching – this is the first time it’s conscious). In my search I found this Holstee Manifesto video.
My 3 favorites are:
The more I think about it the more I realize I’m in a pickle. The Holstee Manifesto says: “Do what your love”. Well, I love my job and . . . I’m quitting. Now I’ll have more time to watch TV . . . I’m feeling more and more lost. But it feels good to know we are all united differently in the same search . . . I’m very confused.