RSS Feed

Category Archives: Turning 50

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#27

Posted on

“Even though we are all different, we are all the same.  We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are.”

 chip-2883

One of the greatest challenges in life is cooperative interaction with others. We hit walls we don’t want to climb and cross bridges we don’t want to meet…half…way. We guard our personalities and beliefs with our life.

Why? It took a long time to figure out who we are and no one is going to mess with that…right?

However, sometimes we have to step out of our deep rooted convictions and venture into neutral territories. It is in this place that we will find one thing in common. When we look underneath egos and actions, we will find the vulnerability that makes all of us human….the need to be validated and loved.

This is where hearts will align.. in spite of ourselves.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#25

Posted on

“Strength can be silent.”

W7509

This one is still very hard for me…another lesson in progress.

Why?

My shyness crippled me when I was a child, a teenager and even into my twenties.

It took me a long time to grow “a voice”.  It took me a long time to be confident about my own opinions and a longer time to not care what others think of them. I find it very hard to be silent in a situation that is harmful to others. I want to fix things. I enjoy making a case. I enjoy writing a letter of complaint. (Can you get paid for that?) I am actually pretty darn good at it. Speaking up for something that I strongly believe in?  My cup of tea.

Despite this, I am learning that sometimes I just need to listen…even if it means listening to the silence. Sometimes the silence says that I am saying too much, that maybe I am over compensating for my own inadequacies or maybe I am speaking on the behalf of others, when they haven’t given me the floor.

Sometimes…I just need to be quiet shut up!

Strength is not always about raising your voice. Sometimes it is about restraining yourself from doing just that.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years..#24

Posted on


“Reality is sitting in a canyon,  watching the eagles fly.”

for 50 post 24

There is so much noise in this world.

Technology makes so much noise.

People make so much noise.

My mind makes so much noise.

We have dressed up this world so much that sometimes we can’t even see it. As we cover it with technology, politics, materialism, media…egos, we have forgotten about the world in it’s natural state. Within the simplicity of nature, we can find the truth. The truth is spoken in the wind, written in the clouds and carved in the rocks. The truth is lying in the grass and examining one blade… because one blade of grass is a symmetrical masterpiece.

Yeah, I know, I know…we have so much to do. Where would we find the time? The funny thing is, we have created our own complexity. We have built our own obstacles. We can make our lives as simple as we want them to be.

All that we desire and all that we “accomplish” in a day is trivial, compared to the miracles of LIFE.

We just have to clear away the clutter for a moment in order to see it.

We just have to silence the noise in order to hear it.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#23

Posted on

 

“If you constantly blame others, you will never see your own mistakes.”

50 post1

Pretty self explanatory. You’re not perfect. You never will be perfect. You can be 99.9 percent right, but never 100 percent. If you are, then you may have landed here from some unknown planet because this planet, my friends, is full of humans. Humans falter on a regular basis.

Breathe…falter….breathe…falter.

Catch those breaths in between.

Look in the mirror. Reflect on your actions.

It might not be pretty, but you will discover something amazing…an enlightenment, so to speak…a realization of your own flaws and blunders.

This can change your life.

I remember an extremely difficult workplace situation years ago, that took me close to a nervous breakdown. I look back now and wonder why ….no make that “WHY OH FLIPPIN’ WHY” would I react the way I did!  Even though I truly had been treated very unfairly, that is all I saw. They were wrong. That was it.

But that isn’t it. In every interaction or relationship, we have strengths and weaknesses that come into play. Even if we are “right”, we can present it the wrong way. Presentations are like a land mine of misunderstandings waiting to happen…and in our quest to be heard and understood, we make mistakes. And that isn’t all of it. Sometimes, we really are wrong. We forget or refuse to take the time to look into that crystal clear stream of reality and see our own imperfections.

Enough said.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#21

Posted on

21. “Give me ten crying babies…please….but don’t ask me to do a jigsaw puzzle,  or any  other tedious task requiring patience and hand eye coordination. I will probably throw it at you.”

baby-crying

 

I work with babies.

I work with babies all day.

I work with babies all day, five days a week.

Do I have your attention?

Yes….waaaah, waaaah, waaaah and more waaaah.

Diapers, rocking chairs, plugs from heaven, pacifiers, air-borne food, catnaps, fevers…I’ve only just begun.

BUT…or shall I say BUTT…

I love it.

Babies are the epitome of life. Think about it.

YOUTH.  INNOCENCE.  ENERGY.  OPEN MINDS…little blank slates ready to absorb the world around them.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Despite the necessary acrobatic skills required to care for six infants at the same time (with one co-worker),  I feel I am blessed every day to have the opportunity to nurture, educate and care for these bundles of wonder. Yes, I said educate.

The screaming crying does not bother me.

Do you know what agitates me?

Threading a needle, figuring out the “features” on my car stereo, untangling Christmas lights or…

Trying to text more than two words on my cell phone without back spacing.

 

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#20

Posted on

“I am guilty of prejudging people.

x

It’s a good thing I can change my mind.”

Let’s start with chihuahuas.  I have called them rats and swore they were one of the ugliest looking dogs on the planet. Then I met my mother in law’s dog. She likes to knit and while she does, her dog likes to sit on her lap with an afghan over her head. She doesn’t move. She guards her from anything bigger than her, which would be everything. She is completely loyal. She doesn’t like me…even though I consider myself a bit of an animal whisperer, she just doesn’t like me. I think she knows that I have judged her. Now she’s judging me.

On the human side of things (shhh, don’t tell her she’s not human)…

It is our nature to judge. We obviously need to use this handy skill for other aspects of our lives.  Heck, if we didn’t, we’d be back floating in the middle of a lake eating ho ho’s (o…kay, maybe just me).

We assess situations. We criticize and analyze. We judge ourselves.

So it is only natural that we would judge others.

I don’t think there is any magical learning experience here. I think when it comes to scrutinizing those we meet, we have to force ourselves to change. It is just a button we need to turn off. We need to tell ourselves DON’T DO IT! Be objective. Ask yourself why would I judge when I do not know. When it comes down to it, we do NOT know.

We generalize.

We stereotype.

We assume.

Now scroll back up. Look at that face and remember……

“You……know……nothing”.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#19.

Posted on

#19. Parenting is lifelong.

DSCF7076

When your children are small, you think this is the most difficult time of your life. Diapers, fevers, tantrums, oh my!!  It has to be easier when they are grown.

“Grown”?

What does that mean? Do they ever stop growing?  I haven’t stopped growing!

We are always waiting for the next stage in their development whether it’s walking, talking or starting school. There is always a step, as though we are accompanying them up the stairway to ADULTHOOD…some magical place where we are no longer responsible, no longer needed, no longer of service.

This is so far from the truth.

Parenting is not a job that simply ends at 18 or 21 or 55. They continue to grow and change every day and you are part of that.  You never stop worrying about them, caring for them and loving them. Everything they do has some effect on you. There are feelings of pride, guilt, concern, sadness, relief, excitement and fear that run through you as they continue on their journey of life.

The hardest part of being a parent is when you no longer have the right to be involved. Your involvement becomes a privilege. Your knowledge of what is happening in their life crosses lines of confidentiality policies and ventures into new territories of friendship, mentor-ship and consultation…if you’re lucky.  Suddenly, the flashbacks of boo boos, band aids and kissing it “all better” are sweet memories. It was so simple then. As your children get bigger, so can their problems.  When you no longer have the ability to protect them the way you used to, it can be the most unsettling and frustrating feeling you have ever felt.  Your colicky baby that kept you up night after night was still SAFE in your arms. As they get older, it is much more of a challenge to let go and simply pray for their safety and well-being.

Parenting doesn’t end when your children are not children. As long as you are worried, you are still a parent.

They are part of you forever.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#18

Posted on

#18. “Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures.”

NM October 2011 493

The last “best thing I ever ate” was a Green Chile Cheeseburger in Hatch, New Mexico.

What is green chile?

It is NOT a jalapeno.

It is NOT just a chile pepper that happens to be green. It is what it is…green chile.

There is nothing like it. The flavor is so unique and the first time I tried it, it reminded me that there is so much in life that I still need to discover!! I know, I know, it’s just green chile. My point is that along my journey of 50 (ahem) years, I have become more open to new experiences, new places, new people and new foods.

Life is too short to waste a minute saying “eww, what is that, I don’t think I will like it”.

Green chile is now a staple in our house as an addition to breakfast burritos, chicken enchiladas and my personal favourite, green chile stew.  Yes, this Canadian girl can make a mean green chile stew. Hatch has it’s own brand of green chile and you can find it by the can in many local grocery stores.  You can also buy it freshly roasted or roast it yourself!

roasting chile

My husband and I go “home” to New Mexico approximately once per year to visit his family. My father in-law has made it a tradition to drive to Hatch for the green chile cheeseburger experience. Consisting of the freshest ground beef I have ever tasted, a perfectly melted slice of cheddar and….drum roll please….a slathering of one of New Mexico’s greatest treasures…GREEN CHILE!

SAMSUNG

NM October 2011 491

 Hatch, New Mexico is located about 40 miles north of Las Cruces. Rows of red ristras dress up this quiet rural town and can be purchased for a reasonable price at many roadside markets.

Driving into Hatch, you would not expect to find any culinary magic happening here.

Actually you would not expect to find much of anything happening here.

Population:  1,680

NM October 2011 513

Then you see it…a line of people gathered in front of a small restaurant called “Sparky’s”. This speaks volumes considering the unusual array of familiar, yet unrelated statues adorning the entrance. Maybe they are there to disguise the true identity of this gem. Seating is minimal, after all.

SAMSUNG

You can choose to dine outside with Ronald McDonald and Sparky the robot constructed from tractor parts or inside surrounded by even more whimsical decor. I know what you’re thinking, but trust me.

NM October 2011 495

Whether you find this place to be amusing or just plain odd, one thing is for sure. If you’ve been here once, you will be here again….and again.

It may be a good thing I am only in New Mexico once a year because the spicy potato wedges and old fashioned milk shakes are also delicious!

NM October 2011 505

So if you are ever in the area of Las Cruces, New Mexico, be sure to visit Hatch, the self proclaimed Green Chile Capital of the World.

NM October 2011 500

http://sparkysburgers.com/

What’s the last “best thing YOU ever ate” ?

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…..#14

Posted on

#14.  “I’d rather be taken advantage of once in awhile than have a closed heart.”

Random thoughts…

~When you give to another and they deceive you, it can hurt beyond words. The only thing worse is the nothingness you feel when you don’t give at all.

DSCF7042

~I honestly believe that to truly give, it has to leave you without something, at least for awhile. Something may be returned to you or it may not. It shouldn’t matter, if you gave for the right reasons.

~I was never a risk taker in my younger years. No way. I used my shyness as a wall. It protected me from disappointment, failure and rejection. Unfortunately, it also isolated me from life. It prevented me from finding out what COULD happen and what I could MAKE happen.  I eventually chipped away at the wall, taking the last of it out with some good swift kicks, finally breaking free ! On the other side of the wall, I was vulnerable. You have to be vulnerable in order to grow.

DSCF6349

~Opening your heart is really a personal choice. All I can say is that the odd times I have been taken advantage of  are small price to pay for the friendship, gratitude and personal reward I have received from reaching out.

~If I based my willingness to be open and generous on some of my past experiences, I could easily decide to hold everything I have and everything I am very close to my heart. That would be a burden. I would rather liberate myself from  bitterness, suspicion and doubt. It feels good to lighten the load

…and simply give.

DSCF6353

Lessons in the Land of Enchantment (50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years)

Posted on

#11.”The best fry bread I’ve ever had was made by an elderly Navajo woman at the edge of a dusty road leading to Shiprock, New Mexico.”

scan0002

New Mexico is my other home. It was there that I met my husband and discovered a new landscape. I fell in love with both of them.

There is a peaceful feeling that I can only find there, a need to explore the rock formations and lonesome desert flowers, a desire to just sit and feel the sun caress my soul.  I have had many opportunities to see the Land of Enchantment but this particular adventure will be forever imprinted in my mind.

This was a day trip in the Four Corners Area highlighted with a visit to “Shiprock”.

We were travlling on Red Rock Highway that takes you to this glorious sight.  At the side of this deserted road, we could see the figure of an elderly woman dressed in a long dark skirt sitting by an outdoor grill of some type.  As we drove closer, I insisted that we stop. My sons were with us and I believed this was one of those “once in a lifetime, you just have to stop” moments.

Getting out of the car, the aroma of oil and bread combined was surprisingly wonderful. The desolate desert backdrop transported us to a place of long ago, of recipes passed down….a place of simplicity, family and survival.

As we approached her, she smiled slightly, which pronounced the deep wrinkles set into her weathered face. Her long hair was pulled back with a beaded barrette but the dry wind of the southwest sent it in a few different directions. As she poked at her creation in a cast iron skillet, I noticed her hands. This was a working woman. She placed the fry bread on a paper plate and handed it to us.

4708057612_c63bac4ea6I pondered about what this meant to her compared to what it meant to us.

This was her living. This was our…..hmm…..entertainment?

Fry bread was a common staple to her.

Perhaps to us it was an initiation into an unknown land that was only a privilege to visit.

We paid her the four dollars she had advertised with her cardboard sign and thanked her.  The bread was round, flat, yet puffy, soft and warm…..delicious.  Our first bite could not wait until we returned to our car. We were in the moment, cacti at our feet, surrounded by blue skies and sunshine. Most of all, I think we honored the old woman by eating it right away. It was too good to wait for.  Driving away, I thought about the way we had a brief encounter with another place, another time and then we simply moved on. We leave it there and come away with a few photos and a memory.  We carry on with our travels, our lives, our problems, our ways, but our past is someone else’s present. The native woman selling fry bread still sits there, waiting for her next customer to slow down, completely intrigued by her or maybe just hungry.

Shiprock is the name of the small town governed by the Navajo Nation as well as the amazing landmark itself.  This magnificent peak rises 1500 feet above you, but it is not the height that makes this formation unique. It stands out in an otherwise barren and flat desert plain, and the shape of Shiprock reminds me of Disneyland.  The only difference was that this magical place is real. Geologically speaking, it is a stunning tower of volcanic rock, the neck of a volcano that erupted millions of years ago, with rugged walls of lava leading out of it. To the Navajo people however, Shiprock is a sacred monument. They strictly prohibit anyone from approaching this religious and historical site that they call “Tse Btai”.  As I looked towards this masterpiece of nature and the long, dusty road towards it, my husband warned me that we could only admire it from afar. That was fine with me. As much as I love to be hands on and this mountain screamed “climb me”, I found myself scanning the wide open desert, half expecting someone of authority to jump out of nowhere or fire off a few warning shots. It was not the only thing that stopped me from getting closer to Tse Btai.  I felt a presence. It was as though a spiritual circle surrounded this beautiful creation. The Navajo have many stories and legends about their “rock with wings”. It didn’t matter what Shiprock meant to me because what it meant to others brought it to life.

This isn’t really about Shiprock.

It is about appreciating a natural wonder without touching it, without invading it, allowing the wind to be the only one to carve and caress it.

It’s about restraint and respect of others beliefs.

 

This isn’t really about the fry bread.

It’s about a quiet lady at the side of a dusty, desert road, trying to make a living and at the same time, upholding the traditional ways of her culture.

It’s about entering another world, another time, another feeling and then leaving it behind.

It’s an exchange between curiosity and a few dollars.  It’s real. It’s pure. It’s sharing at its best.

scan0004

Shiprock Oct.2003 -3

lava wall

Shiprock Oct 2003

scan0003

Shiprock Oct. 2003-7

Shiprock Oct.2003-5

lava wall 7

lava wall in sun

Shiprock Oct.2003-4

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#9

Posted on

#9.  “Happiness and contentment in your life only happens because you are happy and content with yourself.”

Throughout my twenties and thirties, I had a vision of what would make me happy. It was a perfect world and time.   It was just outside the box of reality I lived in, but completely achievable….or so I thought. It was more than just career goals or personal milestones. It was this imaginary idea of what my life should be like. I constantly pined for it . I was always waiting for it.  I like to think that I had some kind of epiphany about this but maybe it was just a few hard knocks that forced me to finally free myself of these ridiculous and unnecessary expectations.

As I approached 4O,  I found myself again…under the rubble of wishes and good intenti0ns. Wow, I was M.I.A. and didn’t even know it!

Why is it that different things make different people happy? Maybe it’s because it is our own particular state of mind that reacts. Happy things make happy people happy. They don’t work as well with unhappy people. People in my life have suffered similar challenges and losses. Although they all found themselves drowning in  despair and self pity, some have not come back up for air. They are still swimming around in the aftermath, hanging on to what happened to them, their only strength is their pain. It’s really easy to be unhappy. It requires no work on our part. Acceptance requires action but believe me, it is worth it in the end. Our own contentment welcomes the laughter, the warmth, and the beautiful stillness.

California 2011 040

California breathin’

Feeling inspired to write a poem today…….

SEARCH FOR SERENITY

Taking, needing, wanting

All the while believing it is the goal

To find, to get, to hold

A dream deserved

Only to realize

The illusion of plans

And the truth of fate.

Giving, accepting, feeling

As each moment ignites only briefly

Feeding the soul for only now

Is there anything

Not conjured up

Or wished upon

Only within is there light

To find, to get, to hold.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#8

Posted on

*8. ” Nothing can change the past. You can only change how you feel about it.  Move on.”

DSCF8613

Reminiscing about the past was something I valued. I thought it meant I was deep. I reflected on my experiences. I analyzed. I let myself be consumed by the emotions and the images and the……..

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..rewind.

Reminiscing is something I still value.  I still think it makes me deep.  I like to reflect.

Ok, now I’m being honest.

The truth is , it’s hard to keep your focus on what is ahead without looking behind you. You know what is behind you. It’s your story, your identity, your true but slightly fabled account of how it went down. It gives you fuel to make a point. It gives excuses for your daily behaviour. The past can hold a lot of negative power.

The future becomes a tale to be told later. Right now, it can give you hope. If you are oblivious to it, it will simply pass you by and join the other dead parts of who you were and what you did.

Look at your present moment.  Feel it.  Know it.  Own it.  “Now” is something you can choose. The past is no longer a choice.

You can’t change the past but you can change your feelings about it. I am not talking about denying yourself the emotions you need to move through stages of grief or divorce.  These are necessary, healthy steps in your journey. When you can’t bare to take the next step however,  you may find it helpful to ask yourself some questions.

Will I let this hurt me to the core of my being?

How do I want this to change who I am?

Can I think of new ways to handle this, cope with this or accept this?

Did I do anything to contribute to this event? Am I being honest with myself about that?

Is there something I can salvage from the wreckage that is new to me, something I can use to move forward?

If we dwell on what has been, then it will be again….and again…..and again, in our minds.

Good memories can be treasured and filed under A for awesome. Take them out and bring them back to life whenever the urge strikes you…because they give you joy! It is cruel to relive our tragedies, losses and broken dreams. File them under D for done.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#7

Posted on

#7. “Don’t be afraid to take a stand. The people that matter will not hold it against you.”

I used to care….REALLY care about what others would think if I was more aggressive with my opinion. I still care. The only difference is that these self conscious feelings will not stop me. I don’t let them. I can only hope that those who are important in my life will accept me no matter what I stand up for or what I believe.

“ Why not go out on a limb? That’s where all the fruit is.”

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

~Mark Twain~

Now that’s a good quote, truly better than mine. Love the imagery.

I spent at least the first half of my life sticking like glue to the trunk of the tree, afraid to move. It took me a long time to ……change? That is really what it boils down to.  There was no divine  intervention that took place to transform me. I just got tired of the  “me” that I had become. Somehow I was enlightened that change happens by changing your mind. It is purely psychological. You can remain the way you are, if you’re happy with that, or you can move on.  Find new ways to interpret and live your life.  Some significant losses and events in my life also gave me more reasons to venture out of my safe haven. When people you love die young……I think you know the rest.

Recently I took a stand by supporting a movement for environmental issues. The group made headlines around the world. Like many other movements, it has a strong message although not always delivered in a consistent, united or organized fashion. The cause reflected my beliefs, my morals and certainly my love for a clean world or “Mother Earth”, as this group refers to it.

I am a non-native working in a native community surrounded by chemical plants. I “get it”. I breathe it.

Taking a stand for this group took me on a couple walks of peaceful protest. I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it.  The prospect of change taking place because people speak up, people reach out, people  stand firm, is at the very least, inspiring.

Taking a stand can be easy, if you don’t think about the risks. You just get out there, balancing with whatever you have to stop you from falling. Pride, determination, strength or even disregard for what can happen because you believe it can’t be worse than playing it safe. There are times in your life when you gamble more. First day on the job….not so much. Veteran in the field…..let it rip. Just my opinion.

Limbs can break.  Sometimes what we’re standing on is not as solid as we thought.  We may or may not have been aware of that, but we got out there anyway. That’s the beauty of it.  Hopefully, when we hit the ground, we are unscathed. There are many more trees to climb.

NM October 2011 385

Great place to stand alone
Aguirre Springs, New Mexico

 

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#6

Posted on

#6. “I could easily get into a fist fight with people who talk during a concert. If you’re not singing, shut up!”

DSCF4662

Tragically Hip
(and the brilliant mind of Gord)

Have you been there?

It’s hard enough watching a struggling artist pour out his heart and soul in a quiet bar as people obnoxiously talk over him.  At a concert, it especially baffles me when people actually pay for a ticket but don’t have any interest in the band. There’s the fifteen year old textaholics that didn’t know the name of the group until they got there because they never heard of them. Why? Because they were not BORN YET!! Then there’s the couple who had a few too many “pre-drinks” and are now arguing about how many they’ve had and how they’re getting home. Don’t forget the ones that continually talk into each other’s  ears about the group you’re trying to listen to as if no one can hear them.

Besides the evil glares that I cast upon them, I can envision myself (maybe after one more beer), winding up a good one.

Pop!!

Of course, that never happens. I am there to see a band that I love and somehow through my gritting teeth, I manage to bite my tongue and behave myself.

The evil glares continue, however.

Music is extremely meaningful and sentimental to me and I appreciate that not everyone shares this passion to the extent that I do but…pahleeaase!! Would they like it if someone was interfering with their livelihood? Hmmm….imagine if you’re a public speaker and a few oblivious people in your audience suddenly burst out into song.

There is a time and place for everything.

DSCF4352

The Eagles
(a major check off the bucket list)

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#5

Posted on

#5. “Everyone you meet in your life will teach you something…..if you’re willing to learn.”

Image

If you think about how much you have learned over your life time so far, it is probably at the very least, mind blowing.  By asking simple questions of those you meet, you can multiply this amount of information over and over.

There came a time in my life (probably around 40,  since I have evolved slowly), when I realized that every unique being on this earth has something to offer me.  I have always found human behaviour to be quite fascinating but within this hobby of observation, it is easy to analyze and judge.  When I tried to curb this a bit, I began to see more, learn more and feel more.

Besides the obvious factual information so easily obtained, there is always a story, an undertone that whispers  softly , if  you listen….I mean, REALLY listen and imagine where it is coming from.

Do you think you can learn something from the homeless man begging for change on the street?

Absolutely!  He has a story. You can learn from his pain, his misfortune and the small acts of kindness that give him joy. You can learn from your own fear of him, as he approaches you.  Ask yourself why it is so hard to look at his face, even when you hand him your spare coins.  Is he not worthy of eye contact or is his lesson to you lying dormant within yourself? Everyone has a story. Your story may not be any more interesting.  It is just different. Your story is not worn on your sleeve every day, like his.

There are no limits to what you can learn, only doors for you to open or leave shut.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years……#4.

Posted on

#4. If you’re not thinking outside of the box, you’re living in a very small place.

As a child, the world seemed so big and never ending. My dreams were more like goals. Anything seemed possible. I didn’t hope to achieve them. It was only a matter of how and when. I  had nothing to compare them to, no similar situations to remind me of what could go wrong.  There were so many options, so much to see and do, so many places to go.

I listened.

I observed.

I believed in many things.

Then something happened.  It’s interesting that as I grew older, my mind began to filter out ideas that didn’t seem as logical or achievable….as least not to me, anymore.  Reality shoved it’s way into my tranquil, sunshiney space, ready to rain downpour on my parade, with  a few too many “in your face” experiences of loss, disappointments and heartache.  I was angry, resentful and mostly, just sad.

Later on, I think reality had overstayed it’s welcome. I was tired of what I had to do, what I had to face, how I had to live my life.  It wasn’t until I was 40, that I found my youth again. The doors flung open and I emerged like a giant clumsy child.

I’m baaa…aaack!!!!

Who says I can’t have fun? Who says I have to do things a certain way?  Who says I have to get old?  Who says people are everything they seem. They are not. I was ready to explore again, but this time a little bit of knowledge came along with me.  That can be useful.   I was ready to let go of everything holding me back and  move forward  “into the great wide open” as Tom Petty puts it.  The biggest surprise to me was how happy it made me.

The more open I became……

the more I listened,

the more I observed,

the more I believed.

How familiar that feeling was!

We were born with open minds. It is not our experiences that close our minds. It is our reactions to our experiences that close our minds. There is no right way of doing things. There are just many ways of doing things. That’s what makes people interesting. That’s what makes LIFE interesting.

Take a look at the Grand Canyon. You cannot see it’s boundaries…..the never ending space that beckons you to think past what is in front of you.

Think past what you know or where you have been.

Stay open. It’s fun.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#3

Posted on

#3. When tobogganing down a steep ravine, a wine skin filled with cherry whiskey, will soften the blow of every tree you hit.

Looking back at it now, I can’t believe we really owned one of these.  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language describes it as “a bag made from the skin of a goat for example, and used for holding and dispensing wine”.

I am fairly certain that I was unaware of the goat skin as I sipped chugged my cherry whiskey, hoping my socks would stay dry. We were trudging through a foot of good packing snow with our plastic Magic Carpets, waxed up wooden toboggans and super flying saucers. Woooo Hoooo!!!

Life was good……in the 70’s.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#2

Posted on

#2. You can procrastinate about not procrastinating.

Even the word “procrastinate” sounds like something to avoid.  It has such an unusual and harsh tone to it.

Why do we do it? There must be a reason why we don’t get around to doing what we planned to do. My excuses are many.

There isn’t enough time in a day.

Shall I clean the oven in my sleep?

I’m tired.

I am not doing that until this gets done.

I’ll call her tomorrow.

I need to be in the right mood to do that.

It would take me ALL day and I don’t have all day.

I was at work. Does that not count as exercise?

It’s just a little piece bar of chocolate.

If I can’t do it right, I’m not doing it at all.

I know I’ll do it, but not now ever.

I’m tired……again.

There’s  a  tiny little sliver in my right big toe . (Ok, I made that one up)

My excuses are rather lame. My intentions on the other hand , are outstanding!  My mood is very perky when I make the conscientious decision of  drawing up “the list”. With my favourite pen in hand, I look for the perfect piece of “Things to Do” paper . Then, using my best handwriting, I proceed to make the most elaborate list of projects ever! It’s an amazing feat of futility.  It doesn’t stop me, however, from feeling incredibly proud of myself as I cross the first  easiest task off the list. Bravo!! A few more strokes of the pen and I’ll be on my way.

Then something changes. I think it has a lot to do with that “P” word.  Somehow “the list” finds a cozy little space where I can easily forget it ever existed.  I  plan to make a new list…..

after another little piece of chocolate.